The Baseline Concept in Biodiversity Conservation

Being Nostalgic or Not in the Anthropocene Era

The Baseline Concept in Biodiversity Conservation

Edited by

Laurent Godet, Nantes University, France
Simon Dufour, University of Rennes 2, France
Anne-Julia Rollet, University of Rennes 2, France

ISBN : 9781786308887

Publication Date : October 2022

Hardcover 280 pp

165.00 USD



The Anthropocene era has been marked by such significant human pressure that it has led to the sixth mass extinction. The Baseline Concept in Biodiversity Conservation interprets human domination of the Earth as the process of gradual landscape change, the execution of which is neither linear nor homogeneous.

This book is structured around three key questions: Where and when did everything go wrong? How do we define baseline states for biodiversity conservation strategies? How are reference states mobilized in a concrete way through case studies?

Today, biodiversity conservation faces a dilemma that this book sheds light on: return to states less modified by humans than today but in a world that has changed significantly; or, let the nature of tomorrow express itself where it still can but without a road map.


Part 1. Defining Baselines
1. Temporal Baselines: Finding a Tipping Point in the Past by Laurent Godet, Simon Dufour, Anne-Julia Rollet and Armelle Decaulne.
2. Spatial Baselines: Is Going Elsewhere Easier Than Going Back in Time by Anne-Julia Rollet, Simon Dufour and Armelle Decaulne.
3. Mapping What is Left of Nature by Laurent Godet and Adrien Geutté.
4. The Baseline: A Social Construction by Clémence Moreau, Cécile Barnaud and Raphaël Mathevet.

Part 2. Using Baselines to Conserve Nature
5. Rewilding by the Return of Ghosts of the Past by Laurent Godet.
6. Spontaneous Rewilding through Land Abandonment by Adrien Guetté and Jonathan Carruthers-Jones.
7. Geoprospective: Looking for Potential Scenarios by Thomas Houet.
8. The Place of Ecological Knowledge in Policies for Ecological Neutrality: No Net Loss and Biodiversity Offsetting by Coralie Calvet.

Part 3. Examples of the Use of Baselines
9. The Variability of Baselines Mobilized in Littoral Protected Areas: The Anthropocene as a Dividing Line? By Vincent Andreu-Boussut and Céline Chadenas.
10. Baselines and French Forests by Damien Marage.
11. How Can We Maintain Traditional Agro-Pastoral Landscapes? By David Montembault.

About the authors/editors

Laurent Godet is a CNRS researcher at Nantes University, France. As a biogeographer, his research focuses on anthropization and its impacts on the spatial distribution of biodiversity from local to national scales.

Simon Dufour is a research professor at the University of Rennes 2, France. As a geographer, his research focuses on the mapping, dynamics and renaturation of river landscapes.

Anne-Julia Rollet is a research professor at the University of Rennes 2, France. As a geographer and hydrogeomorphologist, her research focuses on the physical functioning and management of watercourses.

All three are members of the LETG laboratory (UMR 6554).

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