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Banking For Ecologists: Hidden Ecological Effects of Algorithmic Trade & New Financial Instruments

February 22, 2018 |

By Rafael Matsunaga (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This article was originally published on Stockholm Resilience Centre.


  • Study explores connections between financial markets and ecological change
  • Links between financial markets and ecosystems often unfold through complex causal pathways, such as algorithmic trade
  • Changes in financial markets are important but poorly understood
A new publication in TREE explains why ecologists should start paying attention to the activities of banks, investors and other financial actors – key players not only in the global economy but also for ecosystems it turns out

“Banks, investors, and other financial actors are key players in the global economy and seem to increasingly affect forests, oceans and other ecosystems around the world. At the same time, we know surprisingly little of the extent of these effects.

It’s time ecologists and other global change scholars start paying much more attention to how these actors could impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services worldwide.

These are the main conclusions in a new article published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution (TREE) by a team of researchers from Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere Programme at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, and the Stockholm Environment Institute.

The study is the first to explore the connections between financial markets and ecological change in depth, including the first mapping of the development of ultrafast so called “algorithmic trade” with commodities, many of which have links to ecosystems…”

Read on at: Stockholm Resilience Centre.

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