In this Chapter, Carlos A. Peres highlights the effects of human exploitation of terrestrial and aquatic biomes on biodiversity. Human exploitation of biological commodities involves resource extraction from the land, freshwater bodies or oceans, so that wild animals, plants or their products are used for a wide variety of purposes. Overexploitation occurs when the harvest rate of any given population exceeds its natural replacement rate. Many species are relatively insensitive to harvesting, remaining abundant under relatively high rates of offtake, whereas others can be driven to local extinction by even the lightest levels of offtake. This chapter reviews the effects of overexploitation in terrestrial as well as aquatic biomes. Options to manage resource exploitation are also discussed.
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