As understanding has increased and the intensity of management of livestock has also increased, there is now a greater awareness of the negative impacts of livestock on the delivery of ecosystem services. A broader systems approach to the development of new livestock systems, often combined with a stronger regulatory framework in the developed counties of the world, is now being taken. Such an approach takes into account the effects of livestock systems on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the productivity of grazed ecosystems, and issues of biodiversity. As understanding of ecosystem processes develops, it will be possible to be more precise in setting the context within which livestock systems can operate. In the context of rangelands, an excellent synthesis of these issues has recently been published.
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