WorldWideScience

Sample records for biodiversity ecosystem functions

  1. Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystem Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Tom H; Heard, Matthew S; Isaac, Nick J B; Roy, David B; Procter, Deborah; Eigenbrod, Felix; Freckleton, Rob; Hector, Andy; Orme, C David L; Petchey, Owen L; Proença, Vânia; Raffaelli, David; Suttle, K Blake; Mace, Georgina M; Martín-López, Berta; Woodcock, Ben A; Bullock, James M

    2015-11-01

    Accelerating rates of environmental change and the continued loss of global biodiversity threaten functions and services delivered by ecosystems. Much ecosystem monitoring and management is focused on the provision of ecosystem functions and services under current environmental conditions, yet this could lead to inappropriate management guidance and undervaluation of the importance of biodiversity. The maintenance of ecosystem functions and services under substantial predicted future environmental change (i.e., their 'resilience') is crucial. Here we identify a range of mechanisms underpinning the resilience of ecosystem functions across three ecological scales. Although potentially less important in the short term, biodiversity, encompassing variation from within species to across landscapes, may be crucial for the longer-term resilience of ecosystem functions and the services that they underpin. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Ecosystem function and biodiversity on coral reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Ogden, J.; Done, T.; Salvat, B.

    1994-01-01

    The article highlights a workshop held in Key West, Florida in November 1993 attended by a group of 35 international scientists where topics of ecosystem function and biodiversity on coral reefs were discussed.

  3. Forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Globally, forests cover nearly one third of the land area and they contain over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. Both the extent and quality of forest habitat continue to decrease and the associated loss of biodiversity jeopardizes forest ecosystem functioning and the ability of forests to provide ecosystem services. In the light of the increasing population pressure, it is of major importance not only to conserve, but also to restore forest ecosystems. Ecological restoration has recently started to adopt insights from the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) perspective. Central is the focus on restoring the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Here we provide an overview of important considerations related to forest restoration that can be inferred from this BEF-perspective. Restoring multiple forest functions requires multiple species. It is highly unlikely that species-poor plantations, which may be optimal for above-ground biomass production, will outperform species diverse assemblages for a combination of functions, including overall carbon storage and control over water and nutrient flows. Restoring stable forest functions also requires multiple species. In particular in the light of global climatic change scenarios, which predict more frequent extreme disturbances and climatic events, it is important to incorporate insights from the relation between biodiversity and stability of ecosystem functioning into forest restoration projects. Rather than focussing on species per se, focussing on functional diversity of tree species assemblages seems appropriate when selecting tree species for restoration. Finally, also plant genetic diversity and above - below-ground linkages should be considered during the restoration process, as these likely have prominent but until now poorly understood effects at the level of the ecosystem. The BEF-approach provides a useful framework to evaluate forest restoration in an ecosystem functioning context, but

  4. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Ulrich; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) and its consequence for ecosystem services has predominantly been studied by controlled, short-term and small-scale experiments under standardized environmental conditions and constant community compositions. However, changes in biodiversity occur in real-world ecosystems with varying environments and a dynamic community composition. In this theme issue, we present novel research on BEF in such dynamic communities. The contributions are organized in three sections on BEF relationships in (i) multi-trophic diversity, (ii) non-equilibrium biodiversity under disturbance and varying environmental conditions, and (iii) large spatial and long temporal scales. The first section shows that multi-trophic BEF relationships often appear idiosyncratic, while accounting for species traits enables a predictive understanding. Future BEF research on complex communities needs to include ecological theory that is based on first principles of species-averaged body masses, stoichiometry and effects of environmental conditions such as temperature. The second section illustrates that disturbance and varying environments have direct as well as indirect (via changes in species richness, community composition and species' traits) effects on BEF relationships. Fluctuations in biodiversity (species richness, community composition and also trait dominance within species) can severely modify BEF relationships. The third section demonstrates that BEF at larger spatial scales is driven by different variables. While species richness per se and community biomass are most important, species identity effects and community composition are less important than at small scales. Across long temporal scales, mass extinctions represent severe changes in biodiversity with mixed effects on ecosystem functions. Together, the contributions of this theme issue identify new research frontiers and answer some open questions on BEF relationships

  5. Distributional (in)congruence of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, C.; Boit, A.; Mori, S.; Vonk, J.A.; Dyer, S.D.; Faggiano, L.; Geisen, S.; González, A.L.; Kaspari, M.; Lavorel, S.; Marquet, P.A.; Rossberg, A.G.; Sterner, R.W.; Voigt, W.; Wall, D.H.

    2012-01-01

    The majority of research on biodiversity-ecosystem functioning in laboratories has concentrated on a few traits, but there is increasing evidence from the field that functional diversity controls ecosystem functioning more often than does species number. Given the importance of traits as predictors

  6. Biodiversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Jeff R; Rillig, Matthias C

    2018-03-30

    Contents Summary I. pathways of influence and pervasiveness of effects II. AM fungal richness effects on ecosystem functions III. Other dimensions of biodiversity IV. Back to basics - primary axes of niche differentiation by AM fungi V. Functional diversity of AM fungi - a role for biological stoichiometry? VI. Past, novel and future ecosystems VII. Opportunities and the way forward Acknowledgements References SUMMARY: Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play important functional roles in ecosystems, including the uptake and transfer of nutrients, modification of the physical soil environment and alteration of plant interactions with other biota. Several studies have demonstrated the potential for variation in AM fungal diversity to also affect ecosystem functioning, mainly via effects on primary productivity. Diversity in these studies is usually characterized in terms of the number of species, unique evolutionary lineages or complementary mycorrhizal traits, as well as the ability of plants to discriminate among AM fungi in space and time. However, the emergent outcomes of these relationships are usually indirect, and thus context dependent, and difficult to predict with certainty. Here, we advocate a fungal-centric view of AM fungal biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships that focuses on the direct and specific links between AM fungal fitness and consequences for their roles in ecosystems, especially highlighting functional diversity in hyphal resource economics. We conclude by arguing that an understanding of AM fungal functional diversity is fundamental to determine whether AM fungi have a role in the exploitation of marginal/novel environments (whether past, present or future) and highlight avenues for future research. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. Marine biodiversity-ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulling, Mark T; Hicks, Natalie; Murray, Leigh; Paterson, David M; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C L; Solan, Martin

    2010-07-12

    Anthropogenic activity is currently leading to dramatic transformations of ecosystems and losses of biodiversity. The recognition that these ecosystems provide services that are essential for human well-being has led to a major interest in the forms of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. However, there is a lack of studies examining the impact of climate change on these relationships and it remains unclear how multiple climatic drivers may affect levels of ecosystem functioning. Here, we examine the roles of two important climate change variables, temperature and concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, on the relationship between invertebrate species richness and nutrient release in a model benthic estuarine system. We found a positive relationship between invertebrate species richness and the levels of release of NH(4)-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO(4)-P. Higher temperatures and greater concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide had a negative impact on nutrient release. Importantly, we found significant interactions between the climate variables, indicating that reliably predicting the effects of future climate change will not be straightforward as multiple drivers are unlikely to have purely additive effects, resulting in increased levels of uncertainty.

  8. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in evolving food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allhoff, K T; Drossel, B

    2016-05-19

    We use computer simulations in order to study the interplay between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) during both the formation and the ongoing evolution of large food webs. A species in our model is characterized by its own body mass, its preferred prey body mass and the width of its potential prey body mass spectrum. On an ecological time scale, population dynamics determines which species are viable and which ones go extinct. On an evolutionary time scale, new species emerge as modifications of existing ones. The network structure thus emerges and evolves in a self-organized manner. We analyse the relation between functional diversity and five community level measures of ecosystem functioning. These are the metabolic loss of the predator community, the total biomasses of the basal and the predator community, and the consumption rates on the basal community and within the predator community. Clear BEF relations are observed during the initial build-up of the networks, or when parameters are varied, causing bottom-up or top-down effects. However, ecosystem functioning measures fluctuate only very little during long-term evolution under constant environmental conditions, despite changes in functional diversity. This result supports the hypothesis that trophic cascades are weaker in more complex food webs. © 2016 The Author(s).

  9. Biodiversity, ecosystem function and forest management. Part I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Tacon, F.; Selosse, M-A.; Gosselin, F.

    2000-01-01

    In part one, the authors dealt first with the foundations of biodiversity and its role in forest ecosystems. They then go on to the problems relating to its level of expression and the measurements and indicators for assessing it. Following a section on ethical considerations, the authors explore the possible impact of factors involving human activities other than forest management on biodiversity - fragmentation and structuring of space, forest occupancy, picking, disappearance of carnivorous species, depositions and pollution, global warming and forest fires. (authors)

  10. Biodiversity as a solution to mitigate climate change impacts on the functioning of forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hisano, Masumi; Searle, Eric B; Chen, Han Y H

    2018-02-01

    Forest ecosystems are critical to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sequestration. However, climate change has affected forest ecosystem functioning in both negative and positive ways, and has led to shifts in species/functional diversity and losses in plant species diversity which may impair the positive effects of diversity on ecosystem functioning. Biodiversity may mitigate climate change impacts on (I) biodiversity itself, as more-diverse systems could be more resilient to climate change impacts, and (II) ecosystem functioning through the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning. By surveying the literature, we examined how climate change has affected forest ecosystem functioning and plant diversity. Based on the biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning (B→EF), we specifically address the potential for biodiversity to mitigate climate change impacts on forest ecosystem functioning. For this purpose, we formulate a concept whereby biodiversity may reduce the negative impacts or enhance the positive impacts of climate change on ecosystem functioning. Further B→EF studies on climate change in natural forests are encouraged to elucidate how biodiversity might influence ecosystem functioning. This may be achieved through the detailed scrutiny of large spatial/long temporal scale data sets, such as long-term forest inventories. Forest management strategies based on B→EF have strong potential for augmenting the effectiveness of the roles of forests in the mitigation of climate change impacts on ecosystem functioning. © 2017 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  11. Integrating community assembly and biodiversity to better understand ecosystem function: the Community Assembly and the Functioning of Ecosystems (CAFE) approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bannar-Martin, K.; Kremer, C.; Ernest, S.K. Morgan; Leibold, M.; Auge, H.; Chase, J.; Declerck, S.A.J.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Harpole, W.S.; Hillebrand, H.; Isbell, F.; Koffel, T.; Larsen, S.; Narwani, A.; Petermann, J.; Roscher, C.; Sarmento Cabral, J.; Supp, S.

    2018-01-01

    The research of a generation of ecologists was catalysed by the recognition that the number and identity of species in communities influences the functioning of ecosystems. The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is most often examined by controlling species richness

  12. Exponential Decline of Deep-Sea Ecosystem Functioning Linked to Benthic Biodiversity Loss

    OpenAIRE

    Danovaro, Roberto; Gambi, Cristina; Dell'Anno, Antonio; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Vanreusel, Ann; Vincx, Magda; Gooday, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    BackgroundRecent investigations suggest that biodiversity loss might impair the functioning and sustainability of ecosystems. Although deep-sea ecosystems are the most extensive on Earth, represent the largest reservoir of biomass, and host a large proportion of undiscovered biodiversity, the data needed to evaluate the consequences of biodiversity loss on the ocean floor are completely lacking.ResultsHere, we present a global-scale study based on 116 deep-sea sites that relates benthic biodi...

  13. Quantifying effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning across times and places†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Cowles, Jane; Dee, Laura E.; Loreau, Michel; Reich, Peter B.; Gonzalez, Andrew; Hector, Andy; Schmid, Bernhard

    2018-01-01

    Biodiversity loss decreases ecosystem functioning at the local scales at which species interact, but it remains unclear how biodiversity loss affects ecosystem functioning at the larger scales of space and time that are most relevant to biodiversity conservation and policy. Theory predicts that additional insurance effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning could emerge across time and space if species respond asynchronously to environmental variation and if species become increasingly dominant when and where they are most productive. Even if only a few dominant species maintain ecosystem functioning within a particular time and place, ecosystem functioning may be enhanced by many different species across many times and places (β-diversity). Here, we develop and apply a new approach to estimate these previously unquantified insurance effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning that arise due to species turnover across times and places. In a long-term (18-year) grassland plant diversity experiment, we find that total insurance effects are positive in sign and substantial in magnitude, amounting to 19% of the net biodiversity effect, mostly due to temporal insurance effects. Species loss can therefore reduce ecosystem functioning both locally and by eliminating species that would otherwise enhance ecosystem functioning across temporally fluctuating and spatially heterogeneous environments. PMID:29493062

  14. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition

    OpenAIRE

    Allan, Eric; Manning, Pete; et al

    2015-01-01

    Global change, especially land-use intensification, affects human well-being by impacting the deliv-ery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is amajor component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real-world ecosystems, as inexperimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional compositionand 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land-use intensity. We alsointroduce five mu...

  15. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition.

    OpenAIRE

    Allan Eric; Manning Pete; Alt Fabian; Binkenstein Julia; Blaser Stefan; Blüthgen Nico; Böhm Stefan; Grassein Fabrice; Hölzel Norbert; Klaus Valentin H.; Kleinebecker Till; Morrys Elisabeth Kathryn; Oelmann Yvonne; Prati Daniel; Renner Sven C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Global change, especially land?use intensification, affects human well?being by impacting the delivery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is a major component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real?world ecosystems, as in experimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional composition and 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land?use intensity. We also int...

  16. Re-introducing environmental change drivers in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Laender, Frederik; Rohr, Jason R.; Ashauer, Roman; Baird, Donald J.; Berger, Uta; Eisenhauer, Nico; Grimm, Volker; Hommen, Udo; Maltby, Lorraine; Meliàn, Carlos J.; Pomati, Francesco; Roessink, Ivo; Radchuk, Viktoriia; Van den Brink, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    For the past 20 years, research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (B-EF) has only implicitly considered the underlying role of environmental change. We illustrate that explicitly re-introducing environmental change drivers in B-EF research is needed to predict the functioning of ecosystems facing changes in biodiversity. Next, we show how this reintroduction improves experimental control over community composition and structure, which helps to obtain mechanistic insight about how multiple aspects of biodiversity relate to function, and how biodiversity and function relate in food-webs. We also highlight challenges for the proposed re-introduction, and suggest analyses and experiments to better understand how random biodiversity changes, as studied by classic approaches in B-EF research, contribute to the shifts in function that follow environmental change. PMID:27742415

  17. Global biodiversity, stoichiometry and ecosystem function responses to human-induced C-N-P imbalances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnicer, Jofre; Sardans, Jordi; Stefanescu, Constantí; Ubach, Andreu; Bartrons, Mireia; Asensio, Dolores; Peñuelas, Josep

    2015-01-01

    Global change analyses usually consider biodiversity as a global asset that needs to be preserved. Biodiversity is frequently analysed mainly as a response variable affected by diverse environmental drivers. However, recent studies highlight that gradients of biodiversity are associated with gradual changes in the distribution of key dominant functional groups characterized by distinctive traits and stoichiometry, which in turn often define the rates of ecosystem processes and nutrient cycling. Moreover, pervasive links have been reported between biodiversity, food web structure, ecosystem function and species stoichiometry. Here we review current global stoichiometric gradients and how future distributional shifts in key functional groups may in turn influence basic ecosystem functions (production, nutrient cycling, decomposition) and therefore could exert a feedback effect on stoichiometric gradients. The C-N-P stoichiometry of most primary producers (phytoplankton, algae, plants) has been linked to functional trait continua (i.e. to major axes of phenotypic variation observed in inter-specific analyses of multiple traits). In contrast, the C-N-P stoichiometry of higher-level consumers remains less precisely quantified in many taxonomic groups. We show that significant links are observed between trait continua across trophic levels. In spite of recent advances, the future reciprocal feedbacks between key functional groups, biodiversity and ecosystem functions remain largely uncertain. The reported evidence, however, highlights the key role of stoichiometric traits and suggests the need of a progressive shift towards an ecosystemic and stoichiometric perspective in global biodiversity analyses. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  18. Integrating community assembly and biodiversity to better understand ecosystem function: the Community Assembly and the Functioning of Ecosystems (CAFE) approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannar-Martin, Katherine H; Kremer, Colin T; Ernest, S K Morgan; Leibold, Mathew A; Auge, Harald; Chase, Jonathan; Declerck, Steven A J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Harpole, Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Isbell, Forest; Koffel, Thomas; Larsen, Stefano; Narwani, Anita; Petermann, Jana S; Roscher, Christiane; Cabral, Juliano Sarmento; Supp, Sarah R

    2018-02-01

    The research of a generation of ecologists was catalysed by the recognition that the number and identity of species in communities influences the functioning of ecosystems. The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is most often examined by controlling species richness and randomising community composition. In natural systems, biodiversity changes are often part of a bigger community assembly dynamic. Therefore, focusing on community assembly and the functioning of ecosystems (CAFE), by integrating both species richness and composition through species gains, losses and changes in abundance, will better reveal how community changes affect ecosystem function. We synthesise the BEF and CAFE perspectives using an ecological application of the Price equation, which partitions the contributions of richness and composition to function. Using empirical examples, we show how the CAFE approach reveals important contributions of composition to function. These examples show how changes in species richness and composition driven by environmental perturbations can work in concert or antagonistically to influence ecosystem function. Considering how communities change in an integrative fashion, rather than focusing on one axis of community structure at a time, will improve our ability to anticipate and predict changes in ecosystem function. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Declining resilience of ecosystem functions under biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Tom H; Isaac, Nick J B; August, Tom A; Woodcock, Ben A; Roy, David B; Bullock, James M

    2015-12-08

    The composition of species communities is changing rapidly through drivers such as habitat loss and climate change, with potentially serious consequences for the resilience of ecosystem functions on which humans depend. To assess such changes in resilience, we analyse trends in the frequency of species in Great Britain that provide key ecosystem functions--specifically decomposition, carbon sequestration, pollination, pest control and cultural values. For 4,424 species over four decades, there have been significant net declines among animal species that provide pollination, pest control and cultural values. Groups providing decomposition and carbon sequestration remain relatively stable, as fewer species are in decline and these are offset by large numbers of new arrivals into Great Britain. While there is general concern about degradation of a wide range of ecosystem functions, our results suggest actions should focus on particular functions for which there is evidence of substantial erosion of their resilience.

  20. Bacterial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relations are modified by environmental complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langenheder, Silke; Bulling, Mark T; Solan, Martin; Prosser, James I

    2010-05-26

    With the recognition that environmental change resulting from anthropogenic activities is causing a global decline in biodiversity, much attention has been devoted to understanding how changes in biodiversity may alter levels of ecosystem functioning. Although environmental complexity has long been recognised as a major driving force in evolutionary processes, it has only recently been incorporated into biodiversity-ecosystem functioning investigations. Environmental complexity is expected to strengthen the positive effect of species richness on ecosystem functioning, mainly because it leads to stronger complementarity effects, such as resource partitioning and facilitative interactions among species when the number of available resource increases. Here we implemented an experiment to test the combined effect of species richness and environmental complexity, more specifically, resource richness on ecosystem functioning over time. We show, using all possible combinations of species within a bacterial community consisting of six species, and all possible combinations of three substrates, that diversity-functioning (metabolic activity) relationships change over time from linear to saturated. This was probably caused by a combination of limited complementarity effects and negative interactions among competing species as the experiment progressed. Even though species richness and resource richness both enhanced ecosystem functioning, they did so independently from each other. Instead there were complex interactions between particular species and substrate combinations. Our study shows clearly that both species richness and environmental complexity increase ecosystem functioning. The finding that there was no direct interaction between these two factors, but that instead rather complex interactions between combinations of certain species and resources underlie positive biodiversity ecosystem functioning relationships, suggests that detailed knowledge of how individual

  1. Bacterial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relations are modified by environmental complexity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silke Langenheder

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: With the recognition that environmental change resulting from anthropogenic activities is causing a global decline in biodiversity, much attention has been devoted to understanding how changes in biodiversity may alter levels of ecosystem functioning. Although environmental complexity has long been recognised as a major driving force in evolutionary processes, it has only recently been incorporated into biodiversity-ecosystem functioning investigations. Environmental complexity is expected to strengthen the positive effect of species richness on ecosystem functioning, mainly because it leads to stronger complementarity effects, such as resource partitioning and facilitative interactions among species when the number of available resource increases. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we implemented an experiment to test the combined effect of species richness and environmental complexity, more specifically, resource richness on ecosystem functioning over time. We show, using all possible combinations of species within a bacterial community consisting of six species, and all possible combinations of three substrates, that diversity-functioning (metabolic activity relationships change over time from linear to saturated. This was probably caused by a combination of limited complementarity effects and negative interactions among competing species as the experiment progressed. Even though species richness and resource richness both enhanced ecosystem functioning, they did so independently from each other. Instead there were complex interactions between particular species and substrate combinations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study shows clearly that both species richness and environmental complexity increase ecosystem functioning. The finding that there was no direct interaction between these two factors, but that instead rather complex interactions between combinations of certain species and resources underlie positive biodiversity

  2. An examination of the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship in arable soil microbial communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griffiths, B.S.; Ritz, Karl; Wheatley, R.

    2001-01-01

    , nitrate accumulation, respiratory growth response, community level physiological profile and decomposition). Neither was there a direct effect of biodiversity on the variability of the processes, nor on the stability of decomposition when the soils were perturbed by heat or copper. The biodiversity of......Microbial communities differing in biodiversity were established by inoculating sterile agricultural soil with serially diluted soil suspensions prepared from the parent soil. Three replicate communities of each dilution were allowed to establish an equivalent microbial biomass by incubation for 9...... months at 15°C, after which the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship was examined for a range of soil processes. Biodiversity was determined by monitoring cultivable bacterial and fungal morphotypes, directly extracted eubacterial DNA and protozoan taxa. In the context of this study biodiversity...

  3. Biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services in environmental risk assessment: introduction to the special issue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfer, Ralf B

    2012-01-15

    This Special Issue focuses on the questions if and how biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services could be incorporated into the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). Therefore, three articles provide a framework for the integration of ecosystem services into ERA of soils, sediments and pesticides. Further articles demonstrate ways how stakeholders can be integrated into an ecosystem service-based ERA for soils and describe how the current monitoring could be adapted to new assessment endpoints that are directly linked to ecosystem services. Case studies show that the current ERA may not be protective for biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services and that both pesticides and salinity currently adversely affect ecosystem functions in the field. Moreover, ecological models can be used for prediction of new protection goals and could finally support their implementation into the ERA. Overall, the Special Issue stresses the urgent need to enhance current procedures of ERA if biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services are to be protected. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Global Human Footprint on the Linkage between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Reef Fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Camilo; Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio; Ayala Bocos, Arturo; Ayotte, Paula M.; Banks, Stuart; Bauman, Andrew G.; Beger, Maria; Bessudo, Sandra; Booth, David J.; Brokovich, Eran; Brooks, Andrew; Chabanet, Pascale; Cinner, Joshua E.; Cortés, Jorge; Cruz-Motta, Juan J.; Cupul Magaña, Amilcar; DeMartini, Edward E.; Edgar, Graham J.; Feary, David A.; Ferse, Sebastian C. A.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Gaston, Kevin J.; Gough, Charlotte; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Green, Alison; Guzman, Hector; Hardt, Marah; Kulbicki, Michel; Letourneur, Yves; López Pérez, Andres; Loreau, Michel; Loya, Yossi; Martinez, Camilo; Mascareñas-Osorio, Ismael; Morove, Tau; Nadon, Marc-Olivier; Nakamura, Yohei; Paredes, Gustavo; Polunin, Nicholas V. C.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Reyes Bonilla, Héctor; Rivera, Fernando; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A.; Soler, German; Stuart-Smith, Rick; Tessier, Emmanuel; Tittensor, Derek P.; Tupper, Mark; Usseglio, Paolo; Vigliola, Laurent; Wantiez, Laurent; Williams, Ivor; Wilson, Shaun K.; Zapata, Fernando A.

    2011-01-01

    Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass) scales in a non-saturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness) in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning (i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs). Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the world's coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas. PMID:21483714

  5. Remote sensing of Essential Biodiversity Variables: new measurements linking ecosystem structure, function and composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schimel, D.; Pavlick, R.; Stavros, E. N.; Townsend, P. A.; Ustin, S.; Thompson, D. R.

    2017-12-01

    Remote sensing can inform a wide variety of essential biodiversity variables, including measurements that define primary productivity, forest structure, biome distribution, plant communities, land use-land cover change and climate drivers of change. Emerging remote sensing technologies can add significantly to remote sensing of EBVs, providing new, large scale insights on plant and habitat diversity itself, as well as causes and consequences of biodiversity change. All current biodiversity assessments identify major data gaps, with insufficient coverage in critical regions, limited observations to monitor change over time, with very limited revisit of sample locations, as well as taxon-specific biased biases. Remote sensing cannot fill many of the gaps in global biodiversity observations, but spectroscopic measurements in terrestrial and marine environments can aid in assessing plant/phytoplankton functional diversity and efficiently reveal patterns in space, as well as changes over time, and, by making use of chlorophyll fluorescence, reveal associated patterns in photosynthesis. LIDAR and RADAR measurements quantify ecosystem structure, and can precisely define changes due to growth, disturbance and land use. Current satellite-based EBVs have taken advantage of the extraordinary time series from LANDSAT and MODIS, but new measurements more directly reveal ecosystem structure, function and composition. We will present results from pre-space airborne studies showing the synergistic ability of a suite of new remote observation techniques to quantify biodiversity and ecosystem function and show how it changes during major disturbance events.

  6. Diverse effects of invasive ecosystem engineers on marine biodiversity and ecosystem functions: A global review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guy-Haim, Tamar; Lyons, Devin A; Kotta, Jonne; Ojaveer, Henn; Queirós, Ana M; Chatzinikolaou, Eva; Arvanitidis, Christos; Como, Serena; Magni, Paolo; Blight, Andrew J; Orav-Kotta, Helen; Somerfield, Paul J; Crowe, Tasman P; Rilov, Gil

    2018-03-01

    Invasive ecosystem engineers (IEE) are potentially one of the most influential types of biological invaders. They are expected to have extensive ecological impacts by altering the physical-chemical structure of ecosystems, thereby changing the rules of existence for a broad range of resident biota. To test the generality of this expectation, we used a global systematic review and meta-analysis to examine IEE effects on the abundance of individual species and communities, biodiversity (using several indices) and ecosystem functions, focusing on marine and estuarine environments. We found that IEE had a significant effect (positive and negative) in most studies testing impacts on individual species, but the overall (cumulative) effect size was small and negative. Many individual studies showed strong IEE effects on community abundance and diversity, but the direction of effects was variable, leading to statistically non-significant overall effects in most categories. In contrast, there was a strong overall effect on most ecosystem functions we examined. IEE negatively affected metabolic functions and primary production, but positively affected nutrient flux, sedimentation and decomposition. We use the results to develop a conceptual model by highlighting pathways whereby IEE impact communities and ecosystem functions, and identify several sources of research bias in the IEE-related invasion literature. Only a few of the studies simultaneously quantified IEE effects on community/diversity and ecosystem functions. Therefore, understanding how IEE may alter biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships should be a primary focus of future studies of invasion biology. Moreover, the clear effects of IEE on ecosystem functions detected in our study suggest that scientists and environmental managers ought to examine how the effects of IEE might be manifested in the services that marine ecosystems provide to humans. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Interactive effects of climate change and biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, Aliny P F; Srivastava, Diane S; Marino, Nicholas A C; MacDonald, A Andrew M; Figueiredo-Barros, Marcos Paulo; Farjalla, Vinicius F

    2018-05-01

    Climate change and biodiversity loss are expected to simultaneously affect ecosystems, however research on how each driver mediates the effect of the other has been limited in scope. The multiple stressor framework emphasizes non-additive effects, but biodiversity may also buffer the effects of climate change, and climate change may alter which mechanisms underlie biodiversity-function relationships. Here, we performed an experiment using tank bromeliad ecosystems to test the various ways that rainfall changes and litter diversity may jointly determine ecological processes. Litter diversity and rainfall changes interactively affected multiple functions, but how depends on the process measured. High litter diversity buffered the effects of altered rainfall on detritivore communities, evidence of insurance against impacts of climate change. Altered rainfall affected the mechanisms by which litter diversity influenced decomposition, reducing the importance of complementary attributes of species (complementarity effects), and resulting in an increasing dependence on the maintenance of specific species (dominance effects). Finally, altered rainfall conditions prevented litter diversity from fueling methanogenesis, because such changes in rainfall reduced microbial activity by 58%. Together, these results demonstrate that the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss on ecosystems cannot be understood in isolation and interactions between these stressors can be multifaceted. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  8. Consequences of tropical land use for multitrophic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Andrew D; Jochum, Malte; Mumme, Steffen; Haneda, Noor Farikhah; Farajallah, Achmad; Widarto, Tri Heru; Brose, Ulrich

    2014-10-28

    Our knowledge about land-use impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is mostly limited to single trophic levels, leaving us uncertain about whole-community biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. We analyse consequences of the globally important land-use transformation from tropical forests to oil palm plantations. Species diversity, density and biomass of invertebrate communities suffer at least 45% decreases from rainforest to oil palm. Combining metabolic and food-web theory, we calculate annual energy fluxes to model impacts of land-use intensification on multitrophic ecosystem functioning. We demonstrate a 51% reduction in energy fluxes from forest to oil palm communities. Species loss clearly explains variation in energy fluxes; however, this relationship depends on land-use systems and functional feeding guilds, whereby predators are the most heavily affected. Biodiversity decline from forest to oil palm is thus accompanied by even stronger reductions in functionality, threatening to severely limit the functional resilience of communities to cope with future global changes.

  9. Changes in biodiversity and ecosystem function during the restoration of a tropical forest in south China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    REN Hai; LI ZhiAn; SHEN WeiJun; YU ZuoYue; PENG ShaoLin; LIAO ChongHui; DING MingMao; WU JianGuo

    2007-01-01

    Tropical forests continue to vanish rapidly, but few long-term studies have ever examined if and how the lost forests can be restored. Based on a 45-year restoration study in south China, we found that a tropical rain forest, once completely destroyed, could not recover naturally without deliberate restoration efforts. We identified two kinds of thresholds that must be overcome with human ameliorative measures before the ecosystem was able to recover. The first threshold was imposed primarily by extreme physical conditions such as exceedingly high surface temperature and impoverished soil, while the second was characterized by a critical level of biodiversity and a landscape context that accommodates dispersal and colonization processes. Our three treatment catchments (un-restored barren land, single-species plantation, and mixed-forest stand) exhibited dramatically different changes in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning over 4 decades. The mixed forest, having the highest level of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, possesses several major properties of tropical rain forest.These findings may have important implications for the restoration of many severely degraded or lost tropical forest ecosystems.

  10. Linking benthic biodiversity to the functioning of coastal ecosystems subjected to river runoff (NW Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harmelin–Vivien, M. L.

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Continental particulate organic matter (POM plays a major role in the functioning of coastal marine ecosystems as a disturbance as well as an input of nutrients. Relationships linking continental inputs from the Rhone River to biodiversity of the coastal benthic ecosystem and fishery production were investigated in the Golfe du Lion (NW Mediterranean Sea. Macrobenthic community diversity decreased when continen¬tal inputs of organic matter increased, whereas ecosystem production, measured by common sole (Solea solea fishery yields in the area, increased. Decreases in macrobenthic diversity were mainly related to an increasing abundance of species with specific functional traits, particularly deposit-feeding polychaetes. The decrease in macrobenthic diversity did not result in a decrease, but an increase in ecosystem production, as it enhanced the transfer of continental POM into marine food webs. The present study showed that it is necessary to consider functional traits of species, direct and indirect links between species, and feedback loops to understand the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and productivity.

  11. The importance of biodiversity and dominance for multiple ecosystem functions in a human-modified tropical landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohbeck, M.W.M.; Bongers, F.; Martinez-Ramos, M.; Poorter, L.

    2016-01-01

    Many studies suggest that biodiversity may be particularly important for ecosystem multifunctionality, because different species with different traits can contribute to different functions. Support, however, comes mostly from experimental studies conducted at small spatial scales in low-diversity

  12. Effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning: a consensus of current knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper, D.U.; Chapin, F. S.; Ewel, J.J.; Hector, A.; Inchausti, P.; Lavorel, S.; Lawton, J.H.; Lodge, D.M.; Loreau, M.; Naeem, S.; Schmid, B.; SetSlS, H.; Symstad, A.J.; Vandermeer, J.; Wardle, D.A.

    2005-01-01

    Humans are altering the composition of biological communities through a variety of activities that increase rates of species invasions and species extinctions, at all scales, from local to global. These changes in components of the Earth's biodiversity cause concern for ethical and aesthetic reasons, but they also have a strong potential to alter ecosystem properties and the goods and services they provide to humanity. Ecological experiments, observations, and theoretical developments show that ecosystem properties depend greatly on biodiversity in terms of the functional characteristics of organisms present in the ecosystem and the distribution and abundance of those organisms over space and time. Species effects act in concert with the effects of climate, resource availability, and disturbance regimes in influencing ecosystem properties. Human activities can modify all of the above factors; here we focus on modification of these biotic controls.The scientific community has come to a broad consensus on many aspects of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, including many points relevant to management of ecosystems. Further progress will require integration of knowledge about biotic and abiotic controls on ecosystem properties, how ecological communities are structured, and the forces driving species extinctions and invasions. To strengthen links to policy and management, we also need to integrate our ecological knowledge with understanding of the social and economic constraints of potential management practices. Understanding this complexity, while taking strong steps to minimize current losses of species, is necessary for responsible management of Earth's ecosystems and the diverse biota they contain.Based on our review of the scientific literature, we are certain of the following conclusions:1) Species' functional characteristics strongly influence ecosystem properties. Functional characteristics operate in a variety of contexts

  13. The biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Loreau, Michel

    2015-02-01

    Habitat destruction is driving biodiversity loss in remaining ecosystems, and ecosystem functioning and services often directly depend on biodiversity. Thus, biodiversity loss is likely creating an ecosystem service debt: a gradual loss of biodiversity-dependent benefits that people obtain from remaining fragments of natural ecosystems. Here, we develop an approach for quantifying ecosystem service debts, and illustrate its use to estimate how one anthropogenic driver, habitat destruction, could indirectly diminish one ecosystem service, carbon storage, by creating an extinction debt. We estimate that c. 2-21 Pg C could be gradually emitted globally in remaining ecosystem fragments because of plant species loss caused by nearby habitat destruction. The wide range for this estimate reflects substantial uncertainties in how many plant species will be lost, how much species loss will impact ecosystem functioning and whether plant species loss will decrease soil carbon. Our exploratory analysis suggests that biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debts can be globally substantial, even when locally small, if they occur diffusely across vast areas of remaining ecosystems. There is substantial value in conserving not only the quantity (area), but also the quality (biodiversity) of natural ecosystems for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  14. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity provides data and information on amphibians, disease agents (extent and distribution of infectious and parasitic...

  15. Tradeoffs between income, biodiversity, and ecosystem functioning during tropical rainforest conversion and agroforestry intensification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Kessler, Michael; Barkmann, Jan; Bos, Merijn M; Buchori, Damayanti; Erasmi, Stefan; Faust, Heiko; Gerold, Gerhard; Glenk, Klaus; Gradstein, S Robbert; Guhardja, Edi; Harteveld, Marieke; Hertel, Dietrich; Höhn, Patrick; Kappas, Martin; Köhler, Stefan; Leuschner, Christoph; Maertens, Miet; Marggraf, Rainer; Migge-Kleian, Sonja; Mogea, Johanis; Pitopang, Ramadhaniel; Schaefer, Matthias; Schwarze, Stefan; Sporn, Simone G; Steingrebe, Andrea; Tjitrosoedirdjo, Sri S; Tjitrosoemito, Soekisman; Twele, André; Weber, Robert; Woltmann, Lars; Zeller, Manfred; Tscharntke, Teja

    2007-03-20

    Losses of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning due to rainforest destruction and agricultural intensification are prime concerns for science and society alike. Potentially, ecosystems show nonlinear responses to land-use intensification that would open management options with limited ecological losses but satisfying economic gains. However, multidisciplinary studies to quantify ecological losses and socioeconomic tradeoffs under different management options are rare. Here, we evaluate opposing land use strategies in cacao agroforestry in Sulawesi, Indonesia, by using data on species richness of nine plant and animal taxa, six related ecosystem functions, and on socioeconomic drivers of agroforestry expansion. Expansion of cacao cultivation by 230% in the last two decades was triggered not only by economic market mechanisms, but also by rarely considered cultural factors. Transformation from near-primary forest to agroforestry had little effect on overall species richness, but reduced plant biomass and carbon storage by approximately 75% and species richness of forest-using species by approximately 60%. In contrast, increased land use intensity in cacao agroforestry, coupled with a reduction in shade tree cover from 80% to 40%, caused only minor quantitative changes in biodiversity and maintained high levels of ecosystem functioning while doubling farmers' net income. However, unshaded systems further increased income by approximately 40%, implying that current economic incentives and cultural preferences for new intensification practices put shaded systems at risk. We conclude that low-shade agroforestry provides the best available compromise between economic forces and ecological needs. Certification schemes for shade-grown crops may provide a market-based mechanism to slow down current intensification trends.

  16. Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in long-term time series and palaeoecological records: deep sea as a test bed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Doi, Hideyuki; Wei, Chih-Lin; Danovaro, Roberto; Myhre, Sarah E

    2016-05-19

    The link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) over long temporal scales is poorly understood. Here, we investigate biological monitoring and palaeoecological records on decadal, centennial and millennial time scales from a BEF framework by using deep sea, soft-sediment environments as a test bed. Results generally show positive BEF relationships, in agreement with BEF studies based on present-day spatial analyses and short-term manipulative experiments. However, the deep-sea BEF relationship is much noisier across longer time scales compared with modern observational studies. We also demonstrate with palaeoecological time-series data that a larger species pool does not enhance ecosystem stability through time, whereas higher abundance as an indicator of higher ecosystem functioning may enhance ecosystem stability. These results suggest that BEF relationships are potentially time scale-dependent. Environmental impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning may be much stronger than biodiversity impacts on ecosystem functioning at long, decadal-millennial, time scales. Longer time scale perspectives, including palaeoecological and ecosystem monitoring data, are critical for predicting future BEF relationships on a rapidly changing planet. © 2016 The Author(s).

  17. Biodiversity enhances ecosystem multifunctionality across trophic levels and habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefcheck, Jonathan S.; Byrnes, Jarrett E. K.; Isbell, Forest; Gamfeldt, Lars; Griffin, John N.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Hensel, Marc J. S.; Hector, Andy; Cardinale, Bradley J.; Duffy, J. Emmett

    2015-01-01

    The importance of biodiversity for the integrated functioning of ecosystems remains unclear because most evidence comes from analyses of biodiversity's effect on individual functions. Here we show that the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem function become more important as more functions are considered. We present the first systematic investigation of biodiversity's effect on ecosystem multifunctionality across multiple taxa, trophic levels and habitats using a comprehensive database of 94 manipulations of species richness. We show that species-rich communities maintained multiple functions at higher levels than depauperate ones. These effects were stronger for herbivore biodiversity than for plant biodiversity, and were remarkably consistent across aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Despite observed tradeoffs, the overall effect of biodiversity on multifunctionality grew stronger as more functions were considered. These results indicate that prior research has underestimated the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning by focusing on individual functions and taxonomic groups. PMID:25907115

  18. Towards an integration of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning and food web theory to evaluate relationships between multiple ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hines, Jes; van der Putten, W.H.; De Deyn, G.B.; Wagg, Cameron; Voigt, Winfried; Mulder, Christian; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Engel, Jan; Melian, Carlos; Scheu, Stefan; Birkhofer, Klaus; Ebeling, Anne; Scherber, Christoph; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem responses to changes in species diversity are often studied individually. However, changes in species diversity can simultaneously influence multiple interdependent ecosystem functions. Therefore, an important challenge is to determine when and how changes in species diversity that

  19. Mediterranean-type ecosystems: the influence of biodiversity on their functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, George W.; Richardson, David M.; Keeley, Jon E.; Hobbs, Richard J.; Mooney, H.A.; Cushman, J.H.; Medina, E.; Sala, O.E.; Schulze, E.-D.

    1996-01-01

    Ecosystems in the Mediterranean-climate regions of the world have served as a unit for comparative ecological studies for over two decades. The cohesiveness of research in this set of widely distributed regions rests on the similarity of the climates where they occur, and the identifiable convergence in elements of their vegetation structure (Di Castri and Mooney 1973). In this chapter we review functional aspects of what have come to be known as Mediterranean-type ecosystems (METs) in the context of a concerned global interest in the sustainability of the human environment and its dependence on biological diversity. The approach we adopt here is to look for evidence that this biodiversity, for which some MTEs are renowned (Cowling, 1992; Hobbs, 1992), has an influence on processes which are important both for the maintenance of natural systems, and for providing "ecosystem services" with human utility. Almost a century ago, Schimper (1903) recognized the biological similarities between five widely separated regions characterized by Mediterranean-type climates, and much comparative work has been done on that basis since. These regions comprise the Mediterranean basin itself, a major portion of California, central Chile, the southwestern and southern extremities of South Africa, and parts of southwestern and southern Australia (Figure 7.1). The first attention paid to MTEs in terms of quantitative ecological research arose out of the International Biological Programme (IBP) of the 1960s and 1970s. Those efforts focused on comparisons between the Chilean and Californian systems (Mooney 1977), and dealt with parallel models of ecosystem processes, especially water flux (Fuentes et al 1995). Because of the already perceived similarities between vegetation in these and the other three regions, the project was soon extended to include all five regions. The first broad comparative overview was published as an anthology which considered the origins and the convergent

  20. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecoregions Terrestrial Biomes Protected Areas Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa | 75 7.2. Non-climatic drivers of ecosystem change 7.2.1. Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation Land-use change and landscape... concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the region include tropical and sub-tropical forests, deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves...

  1. Novel urban ecosystems, biodiversity, and conservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kowarik, Ingo

    2011-01-01

    With increasing urbanization the importance of cities for biodiversity conservation grows. This paper reviews the ways in which biodiversity is affected by urbanization and discusses the consequences of different conservation approaches. Cities can be richer in plant species, including in native species, than rural areas. Alien species can lead to both homogenization and differentiation among urban regions. Urban habitats can harbor self-sustaining populations of rare and endangered native species, but cannot replace the complete functionality of (semi-)natural remnants. While many conservation approaches tend to focus on such relict habitats and native species in urban settings, this paper argues for a paradigm shift towards considering the whole range of urban ecosystems. Although conservation attitudes may be challenged by the novelty of some urban ecosystems, which are often linked to high numbers of nonnative species, it is promising to consider their associated ecosystem services, social benefits, and possible contribution to biodiversity conservation. - Highlights: → This paper reviews biotic responses to urbanization and urban conservation approaches. → Cities may be rich in both native and nonnative species. → Urban habitats cannot replace the functionality of natural remnants. → However, even novel urban habitats may harbour rare and endangered species. → Conservation approaches should consider the perspective of novel urban ecosystems. - This paper reviews the ways in which biodiversity is affected by urbanization and argues for expanding urban conservation approaches.

  2. Novel urban ecosystems, biodiversity, and conservation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kowarik, Ingo, E-mail: kowarik@tu-berlin.de [Department of Ecology, Technische Universitaet Berlin, Rothenburgstr. 12, D 12165 Berlin (Germany)

    2011-08-15

    With increasing urbanization the importance of cities for biodiversity conservation grows. This paper reviews the ways in which biodiversity is affected by urbanization and discusses the consequences of different conservation approaches. Cities can be richer in plant species, including in native species, than rural areas. Alien species can lead to both homogenization and differentiation among urban regions. Urban habitats can harbor self-sustaining populations of rare and endangered native species, but cannot replace the complete functionality of (semi-)natural remnants. While many conservation approaches tend to focus on such relict habitats and native species in urban settings, this paper argues for a paradigm shift towards considering the whole range of urban ecosystems. Although conservation attitudes may be challenged by the novelty of some urban ecosystems, which are often linked to high numbers of nonnative species, it is promising to consider their associated ecosystem services, social benefits, and possible contribution to biodiversity conservation. - Highlights: > This paper reviews biotic responses to urbanization and urban conservation approaches. > Cities may be rich in both native and nonnative species. > Urban habitats cannot replace the functionality of natural remnants. > However, even novel urban habitats may harbour rare and endangered species. > Conservation approaches should consider the perspective of novel urban ecosystems. - This paper reviews the ways in which biodiversity is affected by urbanization and argues for expanding urban conservation approaches.

  3. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Exploring Principles of Ecology with Agricultural Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruesink, Jennifer; O'Connor, Eileen; Sparks, Grace

    2006-01-01

    To date, little of the ecological research on biological diversity and ecosystem functioning has been carried out in agricultural systems, despite the fact that agriculture is a major contributor to loss of native habitats and species. However, agricultural research has demonstrated that polycultures of multiple crop species can have higher total…

  4. Soil biodiversity and soil community composition determine ecosystem multifunctionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagg, Cameron; Bender, S. Franz; Widmer, Franco; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity loss has become a global concern as evidence accumulates that it will negatively affect ecosystem services on which society depends. So far, most studies have focused on the ecological consequences of above-ground biodiversity loss; yet a large part of Earth’s biodiversity is literally hidden below ground. Whether reductions of biodiversity in soil communities below ground have consequences for the overall performance of an ecosystem remains unresolved. It is important to investigate this in view of recent observations that soil biodiversity is declining and that soil communities are changing upon land use intensification. We established soil communities differing in composition and diversity and tested their impact on eight ecosystem functions in model grassland communities. We show that soil biodiversity loss and simplification of soil community composition impair multiple ecosystem functions, including plant diversity, decomposition, nutrient retention, and nutrient cycling. The average response of all measured ecosystem functions (ecosystem multifunctionality) exhibited a strong positive linear relationship to indicators of soil biodiversity, suggesting that soil community composition is a key factor in regulating ecosystem functioning. Our results indicate that changes in soil communities and the loss of soil biodiversity threaten ecosystem multifunctionality and sustainability. PMID:24639507

  5. Global biodiversity, stoichiometry and ecosystem function responses to human-induced C-N-P imbalances

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carnicer, Jofre; Sardans, Jordi; Stefanescu, Constanti; Ubach, Andreu; Bartrons, Mireia; Asensio, Dolores; Penuelas, Josep

    2015-01-01

    Global change analyses usually consider biodiversity as a global asset that needs to be preserved. Biodiversity is frequently analysed mainly as a response variable affected by diverse environmental drivers. However, recent studies highlight that gradients of biodiversity are associated with gradual

  6. Establishing the evidence base for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in the oil palm landscapes of South East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, William A.; Snaddon, Jake L.; Turner, Edgar C.; Fayle, Tom M.; Cockerill, Timothy D.; Ellwood, M. D. Farnon; Broad, Gavin R.; Chung, Arthur Y. C.; Eggleton, Paul; Khen, Chey Vun; Yusah, Kalsum M.

    2011-01-01

    The conversion of natural forest to oil palm plantation is a major current threat to the conservation of biodiversity in South East Asia. Most animal taxa decrease in both species richness and abundance on conversion of forest to oil palm, and there is usually a severe loss of forest species. The extent of loss varies significantly across both different taxa and different microhabitats within the oil palm habitat. The principal driver of this loss in diversity is probably the biological and physical simplification of the habitat, but there is little direct evidence for this. The conservation of forest species requires the preservation of large reserves of intact forest, but we must not lose sight of the importance of conserving biodiversity and ecosystem processes within the oil palm habitat itself. We urgently need to carry out research that will establish whether maintaining diversity supports economically and ecologically important processes. There is some evidence that both landscape and local complexity can have positive impacts on biodiversity in the oil palm habitat. By intelligent manipulation of habitat complexity, it could be possible to enhance not only the number of species that can live in oil palm plantations but also their contribution to the healthy functioning of this exceptionally important and widespread landscape. PMID:22006968

  7. Multi-functional landscapes in semi arid environments: implications for biodiversity and ecosystem services

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    O'Farrell, PJ

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available assessment with an ecosystem service assessment. Stakeholder engagement and expert consultation focussed our investigations on surface water, ground water, grazing and tourism as the key services in this region. The key ecosystem services and service hotspots...

  8. Biodiversity effects on ecosystem function due to land use: The case of buffel savannas in the Sky Islands Seas in the central region of Sonora

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. E. Castellanos; H. Celaya; C. Hinojo; A. Ibarra; J. R. Romo

    2013-01-01

    Buffel savannas have been an important landscape on cattle grazing ranches in Sonora over the past 50 years or more. Changes in land use result in biodiversity changes that may produce ecosystem functional changes; however, these are less well documented. Although fire driven processes have been proposed for Buffel savannas, this is not generally the case, and other...

  9. Biodiversity of Arctic marine ecosystems and responses to climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michel, C.; Bluhm, B.; Gallucci, V.

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic Ocean is undergoing major changes in many of its fundamental physical constituents, from a shift from multi- to first-year ice, shorter ice-covered periods, increasing freshwater runoff and surface stratification, to warming and alteration in the distribution of water masses....... These changes have important impacts on the chemical and biological processes that are at the root of marine food webs, influencing their structure, function and biodiversity. Here we summarise current knowledge on the biodiversity of Arctic marine ecosystems and provide an overview of fundamental factors...... that structure ecosystem biodiversity in the Arctic Ocean. We also discuss climateassociated effects on the biodiversity of Arctic marine ecosystems and discuss implications for the functioning of Arctic marine food webs. Based on the complexity and regional character of Arctic ecosystem reponses...

  10. Forest biodiversity and the delivery of ecosystem goods and services: translating science into policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ian Thompson; Kimiko Okabe; Jason Tylianakis; Pushpam Kumar; Eckehard G. Brockerhoff; Nancy Schellhorn; John A. Parrotta; Robert Nasi

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity is integral to almost all ecosystem processes, with some species playing key functional roles that are essential for maintaining the value of ecosystems to humans. However, many ecosystem services remain nonvalued, and decisionmakers rarely consider biodiversity in policy development, in part because the relationships between biodiversity and the provision...

  11. Predicting ecosystem vulnerability to biodiversity loss from community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilpern, Sebastian A; Weeks, Brian C; Naeem, Shahid

    2018-05-01

    Ecosystems vary widely in their responses to biodiversity change, with some losing function dramatically while others are highly resilient. However, generalizations about how species- and community-level properties determine these divergent ecosystem responses have been elusive because potential sources of variation (e.g., trophic structure, compensation, functional trait diversity) are rarely evaluated in conjunction. Ecosystem vulnerability, or the likely change in ecosystem function following biodiversity change, is influenced by two types of species traits: response traits that determine species' individual sensitivities to environmental change, and effect traits that determine a species' contribution to ecosystem function. Here we extend the response-effect trait framework to quantify ecosystem vulnerability and show how trophic structure, within-trait variance, and among-trait covariance affect ecosystem vulnerability by linking extinction order and functional compensation. Using in silico trait-based simulations we found that ecosystem vulnerability increased when response and effect traits positively covaried, but this increase was attenuated by decreasing trait variance. Contrary to expectations, in these communities, both functional diversity and trophic structure increased ecosystem vulnerability. In contrast, ecosystem functions were resilient when response and effect traits covaried negatively, and variance had a positive effect on resiliency. Our results suggest that although biodiversity loss is often associated with decreases in ecosystem functions, such effects are conditional on trophic structure, and the variation within and covariation among response and effect traits. Taken together, these three factors can predict when ecosystems are poised to lose or gain function with ongoing biodiversity change. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  12. Advances in deep-sea biology: biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and conservation. An introduction and overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha, Marina R.; Hilário, Ana; Santos, Ricardo S.

    2017-03-01

    Once considered as monotonous and devoid of life, the deep sea was revealed during the last century as an environment with a plethora of life forms and extremely high species richness (Rex and Etter, 2010). Underwater vehicle developments allowed direct observations of the deep, disclosing unique habitats and diverse seascapes, and other technological advances enabled manipulative experimentation and unprecedented prospects to pursue novel research topics (Levin and Sibuet, 2012; Danovaro et al., 2014). Alongside, the growing human population greatly increased the pressure on deep-sea ecosystems and the services they provide (Ramirez-Llodra et al., 2011; Thurber et al., 2014; Levin et al., 2016). Societal changes further intensified worldwide competition for natural resources, extending the present footprint of impacts over most of the global ocean (Halpern et al., 2008). In this socio-economic context, and in tandem with cutting edge technological advances and an unclear legal framework to regulate access to natural resources (Boyes and Elliott, 2014), the deep sea has emerged as a new opportunity for industrial exploitation and novel economic activities. The expanding use of the deep sea prompted a rapid reply from deep-sea scientists that recommended "a move from a frontier mentality of exploitation and single-sector management to a precautionary system that balances use of living marine resources, energy, and minerals from the deep ocean with maintenance of a productive and healthy marine environment, while improving knowledge and collaboration" and proposed "three directions to advance deep-ocean stewardship: i) protection and mitigation, ii) research, and iii) collaborative governance" (Mengerink et al., 2014). The European Marine Board position paper 22 (Rogers et al., 2015) further examined the key societal and environmental drivers confronting the deep sea and the role of deep-sea research to deliver future knowledge needs for science and society; a clear

  13. Analysis of Reptile Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services within ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    A focus for resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis has been mapping and quantifying biodiversity and ecosystem services. The challenge has been to integrate ecology with economics to better understand the effects of human policies and actions and their subsequent impacts on human well-being and ecosystem function. Biodiversity is valued by humans in varied ways, and thus is an important input to include in assessing the benefits of ecosystems to humans. Some biodiversity metrics more clearly reflect ecosystem services (e.g., game species, threatened and endangered species), whereas others may indicate indirect and difficult to quantify relationships to services (e.g., taxa richness and cultural value). In the present study, we identify and map reptile biodiversity and ecosystem services metrics. The importance of reptiles to biodiversity and ecosystems services is not often described. We used species distribution models for reptiles in the conterminous United States from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Gap Analysis Program. We focus on species richness metrics including all reptile species richness, taxa groupings of lizards, snakes and turtles, NatureServe conservation status (G1, G2, G3) species, IUCN listed reptiles, threatened and endangered species, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation listed reptiles, and rare species. These metrics were analyzed with the Protected Areas Database of the United States to

  14. Parasitism and the biodiversity-functioning relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frainer, André; McKie, Brendan G.; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Knudsen, Rune; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2018-01-01

    Biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning.Biodiversity may decrease or increase parasitism.Parasites impair individual hosts and affect their role in the ecosystem.Parasitism, in common with competition, facilitation, and predation, could regulate BD-EF relationships.Parasitism affects host phenotypes, including changes to host morphology, behavior, and physiology, which might increase intra- and interspecific functional diversity.The effects of parasitism on host abundance and phenotypes, and on interactions between hosts and the remaining community, all have potential to alter community structure and BD-EF relationships.Global change could facilitate the spread of invasive parasites, and alter the existing dynamics between parasites, communities, and ecosystems.Species interactions can influence ecosystem functioning by enhancing or suppressing the activities of species that drive ecosystem processes, or by causing changes in biodiversity. However, one important class of species interactions – parasitism – has been little considered in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BD-EF) research. Parasites might increase or decrease ecosystem processes by reducing host abundance. Parasites could also increase trait diversity by suppressing dominant species or by increasing within-host trait diversity. These different mechanisms by which parasites might affect ecosystem function pose challenges in predicting their net effects. Nonetheless, given the ubiquity of parasites, we propose that parasite–host interactions should be incorporated into the BD-EF framework.

  15. Formation Sources of the Caspian ecosystems biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. A. Monakhova

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The existing ideas of the Caspian ecosystems biodiversity have been classified on the basis of data analysis and the main sources of its formation have been defined. They are different ways of flora and fauna originating combined with different mechanisms of water bodies’ isolation.

  16. Formation Sources of the Caspian ecosystems biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    G. A. Monakhova; G. M. Abdurakhmanov; G. A. Akhmedova

    2009-01-01

    The existing ideas of the Caspian ecosystems biodiversity have been classified on the basis of data analysis and the main sources of its formation have been defined. They are different ways of flora and fauna originating combined with different mechanisms of water bodies’ isolation.

  17. Indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem services: A synthesis across ecosystems and spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feld, C.K.; Da Silva, P.M.; Sousa, J.P.; De Bello, F.; Bugter, R.; Grandin, U.; Hering, D.; Lavorel, S.; Mountford, O.; Pardo, I.; Partel, M.; Rombke, J.; Sandin, Leonard; Jones, K. Bruce; Harrison, P.

    2009-01-01

    According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, common indicators are needed to monitor the loss of biodiversity and the implications for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services. However, a variety of indicators are already being used resulting in many, mostly incompatible, monitoring systems. In order to synthesise the different indicator approaches and to detect gaps in the development of common indicator systems, we examined 531 indicators that have been reported in 617 peer-reviewed journal articles between 1997 and 2007. Special emphasis was placed on comparing indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem services across ecosystems (forests, grass- and shrublands, wetlands, rivers, lakes, soils and agro-ecosystems) and spatial scales (from patch to global scale). The application of biological indicators was found most often focused on regional and finer spatial scales with few indicators applied across ecosystem types. Abiotic indicators, such as physico-chemical parameters and measures of area and fragmentation, are most frequently used at broader (regional to continental) scales. Despite its multiple dimensions, biodiversity is usually equated with species richness only. The functional, structural and genetic components of biodiversity are poorly addressed despite their potential value across habitats and scales. Ecosystem service indicators are mostly used to estimate regulating and supporting services but generally differ between ecosystem types as they reflect ecosystem-specific services. Despite great effort to develop indicator systems over the past decade, there is still a considerable gap in the widespread use of indicators for many of the multiple components of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and a need to develop common monitoring schemes within and across habitats. Filling these gaps is a prerequisite for linking biodiversity dynamics with ecosystem service delivery and to achieving the goals of global and sub-global initiatives to halt

  18. Biodiversity in a Florida Sandhill Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha Robertson

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This project compares two transects of land in the University of South Florida's Botanical Gardens for their biodiversity. The transects were chosen to represent a Florida sandhill ecosystem and the individual Longleaf Pine, Saw Palmetto, Turkey Oak, Laurel Oak and Live Oak specimens were counted. All other species above waist height were counted as "other"?. Once the individuals were counted, the Simpson's and Shannon-Wiener indices were calculated. Since the Shannon-Wiener index incorporates several diversity characteristics, it is typically more reliable than Simpson's. However, both biodiversity indices agreed that transect B was more diverse than transect A.

  19. Ecological network analysis reveals the inter-connection between soil biodiversity and ecosystem function as affected by land use across Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Creamer, R.C.; Hannula, S.E.; Leeuwen, van J.P.; Stone, D.; Rutgers, M.; Schmelz, R.M.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Bohse Hendriksen, N.; Bolger, T.; Bouffaud, M.L.; Buee, M.; Calvalho, F.; Costa, D.; Dirilgen, T.; Francisco, R.; Griffiths, B.S.; Griffiths, R.; Martin, F.; Martins da Silva, P.; Mendes, S.; Morais, P.V.; Pereira, C.; Philippot, L.; Plassart, P.; Redecker, D.; Römbke, J.; Sousa, J.P.; Wouterse, M.; Lemanceau, P.

    2016-01-01

    Soil organisms are considered drivers of soil ecosystem services (primary productivity, nutrient cycling, carbon cycling, water regulation) associated with sustainable agricultural production. Soil biodiversity was highlighted in the soil thematic strategy as a key component of soil quality. The

  20. To what extent can ecosystem services motivate protecting biodiversity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dee, Laura E; De Lara, Michel; Costello, Christopher; Gaines, Steven D

    2017-08-01

    Society increasingly focuses on managing nature for the services it provides people rather than for the existence of particular species. How much biodiversity protection would result from this modified focus? Although biodiversity contributes to ecosystem services, the details of which species are critical, and whether they will go functionally extinct in the future, are fraught with uncertainty. Explicitly considering this uncertainty, we develop an analytical framework to determine how much biodiversity protection would arise solely from optimising net value from an ecosystem service. Using stochastic dynamic programming, we find that protecting a threshold number of species is optimal, and uncertainty surrounding how biodiversity produces services makes it optimal to protect more species than are presumed critical. We define conditions under which the economically optimal protection strategy is to protect all species, no species, and cases in between. We show how the optimal number of species to protect depends upon different relationships between species and services, including considering multiple services. Our analysis provides simple criteria to evaluate when managing for particular ecosystem services could warrant protecting all species, given uncertainty. Evaluating this criterion with empirical estimates from different ecosystems suggests that optimising some services will be more likely to protect most species than others. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  1. Finding common ground for biodiversity and ecosystem services

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Reyers, B

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Recently, some members of the conservation community have used ecosystem services as a strategy to conserve biodiversity. Others in the community have criticized this strategy as a distraction from the mission of biodiversity conservation...

  2. Are riparian forest reserves sources of invertebrate biodiversity spillover and associated ecosystem functions in oil palm landscapes?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gray, C. L.; Simmons, B. I.; Fayle, Tom Maurice; Mann, D. J.; Slade, E. M.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 194, Feb 01 (2016), s. 176-183 ISSN 0006-3207 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA14-32302S; GA ČR(CZ) GA16-09427S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : ecosystem function * forest fragments * tropical agriculture Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.022, year: 2016 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320715301956

  3. Review on the Application of Ecosystem Models in Biodiversity ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper is an exposition with the sole aim of highlighting the relevance of ecosystem models in the analyses of biodiversity. The structure of ecosystem models enables researchers to design and consequently formulate monitoring programs that will be useful to the conservation of biodiversity. Ecosystem theoretical ...

  4. Habitat structure mediates biodiversity effects on ecosystem properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godbold, J A; Bulling, M T; Solan, M

    2011-08-22

    Much of what we know about the role of biodiversity in mediating ecosystem processes and function stems from manipulative experiments, which have largely been performed in isolated, homogeneous environments that do not incorporate habitat structure or allow natural community dynamics to develop. Here, we use a range of habitat configurations in a model marine benthic system to investigate the effects of species composition, resource heterogeneity and patch connectivity on ecosystem properties at both the patch (bioturbation intensity) and multi-patch (nutrient concentration) scale. We show that allowing fauna to move and preferentially select patches alters local species composition and density distributions, which has negative effects on ecosystem processes (bioturbation intensity) at the patch scale, but overall positive effects on ecosystem functioning (nutrient concentration) at the multi-patch scale. Our findings provide important evidence that community dynamics alter in response to localized resource heterogeneity and that these small-scale variations in habitat structure influence species contributions to ecosystem properties at larger scales. We conclude that habitat complexity forms an important buffer against disturbance and that contemporary estimates of the level of biodiversity required for maintaining future multi-functional systems may need to be revised.

  5. Soil biodiversity and soil community composition determine ecosystem multifunctionality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wagg, C.; Bender, S.F.; Widmer, D.; van der Heijden, Marcellus|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/240923901

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity loss has become a global concern as evidence accumulates that it will negatively affect ecosystem services on which society depends. So far, most studies have focused on the ecological consequences of above-ground biodiversity loss; yet a large part of Earth’s biodiversity is literally

  6. Aquatic biodiversity in forests: A weak link in ecosystem services resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penaluna, Brooke E.; Olson, Deanna H.; Flitcroft, Rebecca L; Weber, Matthew A.; Bellmore, J. Ryan; Wondzell, Steven M.; Dunham, Jason B.; Johnson, Sherri L.; Reeves, Gordon H.

    2017-01-01

    The diversity of aquatic ecosystems is being quickly reduced on many continents, warranting a closer examination of the consequences for ecological integrity and ecosystem services. Here we describe intermediate and final ecosystem services derived from aquatic biodiversity in forests. We include a summary of the factors framing the assembly of aquatic biodiversity in forests in natural systems and how they change with a variety of natural disturbances and human-derived stressors. We consider forested aquatic ecosystems as a multi-state portfolio, with diverse assemblages and life-history strategies occurring at local scales as a consequence of a mosaic of habitat conditions and past disturbances and stressors. Maintaining this multi-state portfolio of assemblages requires a broad perspective of ecosystem structure, various functions, services, and management implications relative to contemporary stressors. Because aquatic biodiversity provides multiple ecosystem services to forests, activities that compromise aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity could be an issue for maintaining forest ecosystem integrity. We illustrate these concepts with examples of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem services in forests of northwestern North America, also known as Northeast Pacific Rim. Encouraging management planning at broad as well as local spatial scales to recognize multi-state ecosystem management goals has promise for maintaining valuable ecosystem services. Ultimately, integration of information from socio-ecological ecosystems will be needed to maintain ecosystem services derived directly and indirectly from forest aquatic biota.

  7. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Ecological and Economic Foundations.

    OpenAIRE

    John M. Gowdy; Richard Howarth; Clem Tisdell

    2010-01-01

    This chapter presents the economic logic behind the concept of discounting the future and discusses how it applies to biodiversity conservation. How should economists account for the effects of biodiversity and ecosystem losses in the immediate and distant future? We discuss how to integrate traditional cost-benefit analysis with other approaches to understand and measure, where possible, environmental values. We conclude that losses of biodiversity and ecosystems have properties that make it...

  8. Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Craven, Dylan; Connolly, John; Loreau, Michel; Schmid, Bernhard; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bezemer, T Martijn; Bonin, Catherine; Bruelheide, Helge; de Luca, Enrica; Ebeling, Anne; Griffin, John N; Guo, Qinfeng; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtěch; Manning, Pete; Meyer, Sebastian T; Mori, Akira S; Naeem, Shahid; Niklaus, Pascal A; Polley, H Wayne; Reich, Peter B; Roscher, Christiane; Seabloom, Eric W; Smith, Melinda D; Thakur, Madhav P; Tilman, David; Tracy, Benjamin F; van der Putten, Wim H; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Wilsey, Brian; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-10-22

    It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of depauperate communities. However, subsequent experimental tests produced mixed results. Here we use data from 46 experiments that manipulated grassland plant diversity to test whether biodiversity provides resistance during and resilience after climate events. We show that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance for a broad range of climate events, including wet or dry, moderate or extreme, and brief or prolonged events. Across all studies and climate events, the productivity of low-diversity communities with one or two species changed by approximately 50% during climate events, whereas that of high-diversity communities with 16-32 species was more resistant, changing by only approximately 25%. By a year after each climate event, ecosystem productivity had often fully recovered, or overshot, normal levels of productivity in both high- and low-diversity communities, leading to no detectable dependence of ecosystem resilience on biodiversity. Our results suggest that biodiversity mainly stabilizes ecosystem productivity, and productivity-dependent ecosystem services, by increasing resistance to climate events. Anthropogenic environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss thus seem likely to decrease ecosystem stability, and restoration of biodiversity to increase it, mainly by changing the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate events.

  9. Biodiversity and ecosystem services in life cycle impact assessment – Inventory objects or impact categories?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Callesen, Ingeborg

    2016-01-01

    P's, namely ‘biodiversity’ and ‘ecosystem services’. The AoP biodiversity has more emphasis on intrinsic (existence) values than on utilitarian, functional value perceptions that are covered by the AoP ecosystem services. Ecosystem services can in some aspects be substituted or restored, whereas certain...

  10. Microbial biodiversity of Sardinian oleic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santona, Mario; Sanna, Maria Lina; Multineddu, Chiara; Fancello, Francesco; de la Fuente, Sara Audije; Dettori, Sandro; Zara, Severino

    2018-04-01

    The olives are rich in microorganisms that, during the extraction process may persist in the oils and can influence their physicochemical and sensory characteristics. In this work, and for the first time, we isolated and identified microbial species, yeast and bacteria, present during the production process in four Sardinian (Italy) oleic ecosystems. Among these varieties, we found that Nera di Gonnos was associated to the highest microbial biodiversity, which was followed by Bosana, Nocellara del Belice and Semidana. Among the different microbial species isolated, some are specific of olive ecological niches, such as Cryptococcus spp and Serratia spp; and others to olive oils such as Candida spp and Saccharomyces. Some other species identified in this work were not found before in oleic ecosystems. The enzymatic analyses of yeast and bacteria showed that they have good β-glucosidase activity and yeast also showed good β-glucanase activity. The majority of bacteria presented lipolytic and catalase activities while in yeast were species-specific. Interestingly, yeast and bacteria isolates presented a high resistance to bile acid, and about 65% of the yeast were able to resist at pH 2.5 for 2 h. Finally, bacteria showed no biofilm activity compared to yeast. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Future of African terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystems under anthropogenic climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Midgley, Guy F.; Bond, William J.

    2015-09-01

    Projections of ecosystem and biodiversity change for Africa under climate change diverge widely. More than other continents, Africa has disturbance-driven ecosystems that diversified under low Neogene CO2 levels, in which flammable fire-dependent C4 grasses suppress trees, and mega-herbivore action alters vegetation significantly. An important consequence is metastability of vegetation state, with rapid vegetation switches occurring, some driven by anthropogenic CO2-stimulated release of trees from disturbance control. These have conflicting implications for biodiversity and carbon sequestration relevant for policymakers and land managers. Biodiversity and ecosystem change projections need to account for both disturbance control and direct climate control of vegetation structure and function.

  12. When does biodiversity matter? Assessing ecosystem services across broad regions using forest inventory and analysis data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin M. Potter; Christopher W. Woodall; Christopher M. Oswalt; Basil V. III Iannone; Songlin Fei

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity is expected to convey numerous functional benefits to forested ecosystems, including increased productivity and resilience. When assessing biodiversity, however, statistics that account for evolutionary relationships among species may be more ecologically meaningful than traditional measures such as species richness. In three broad-scale studies, we...

  13. Mapping and Quantifying Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Related to Terrestrial Vertebrates: A National Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biodiversity is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems and the products and services from which we transform natural assets of the Earth for human survival, security, and well-being. The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is a...

  14. A National Approach to Map and Quantify Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity within an Ecosystem Services Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biodiversity is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems and the products and services from which we transform natural assets of the Earth for human survival, security, and well-being. The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is a...

  15. On the value of soil biodiversity and ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pascual, U.; Termansen, M.; Hedlund, K.; Brussaard, L.; Faber, J.H.; Foudi, S.; Lemanceau, P.; Liv-Jørgensen, S.

    2015-01-01

    This paper provides a framework to understand the source of the economic value of soil biodiversity and soil ecosystem services and maps out the pathways of such values. We clarify the link between components of the economic value of soil biodiversity and their associated services of particular

  16. Biodiversity, climate change, and ecosystem services

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mooney, H

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available of ecosystems, deepen our understanding of the biological underpinnings for ecosystem service delivery and develop new tools and techniques for maintaining and restoring resilient biological and social systems. We will be building on an ecosystem foundation...

  17. Linkages between biodiversity attributes and ecosystem services: A systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harrison, P.A.; Berry, P.M.; Simpson, G.; Haslett, J.R.; Blicharska, M.; Bucur, M.; Dunford, R.; Egoh, B.; Garcia-llorente, M.; Geamănă, N.; Geertsema, W.; Lommelen, E.; Meiresonne, L.; Turkelboom, F.

    2014-01-01

    A systematic literature review was undertaken to analyse the linkages between different biodiversity attributes and 11 ecosystem services. The majority of relationships between attributes and ecosystem services cited in the 530 studies were positive. For example, the services of water quality

  18. The role of biodiversity in the provision of ecosystem services.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermaat, J.E.; Ellers, J.; Helmus, M.R.; Bouma, J.A.; van Beukering, P.J.H.

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem services have become a popular concept for policymakers and practioners to explain the societal value of ecosystems and biodiversity to the general public. However, in translating the concept into practice, policymakers are struggling as the measurement, valuation and governance of

  19. Do European agroforestry systems enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torralba Viorreta, Mario; Fagerholm, Nora; Burgess, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    Agroforestry has been proposed as a sustainable agricultural system over conventional agriculture and forestry, conserving biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem service provision while not compromising productivity. However, the available evidence for the societal benefits of agroforestry...... is fragmented and does often not integrate diverse ecosystem services into the assessment. To upscale existing case-study insights to the European level, we conducted a meta-analysis on the effects of agroforestry on ecosystem service provision and on biodiversity levels. From 53 publications we extracted...... a total of 365 comparisons that were selected for the meta-analysis. Results revealed an overall positive effect of agroforestry (effect size = 0.454, p agroforestry practices...

  20. Conservation of biodiversity in mountain ecosystems -- At a glance

    OpenAIRE

    MacKinnon, K.

    2002-01-01

    Metadata only record Mountains are especially important for biodiversity conservation since many harbor unique assemblages of plants and animals, including high levels of endemic species. Mountain biodiversity and natural habitats bestow multiple ecosystem, soil conservation, and watershed benefits. Mountains are often centers of endemism, where species are prevalent in or peculiar to a particular region, and Pleistocene refuges, which are hypothesized to have high levels of diversity wher...

  1. Biodiversity Impact Assessment of roads: an approach based on ecosystem rarity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geneletti, Davide

    2003-01-01

    Biodiversity has become one of the central environmental issues in the framework of recent policies and international conventions for the promotion of sustainable development. The reduction of habitat worldwide is currently considered as the main threat to biodiversity conservation. Transportation infrastructures, and above all road networks, are blamed for highly contributing to the decrease in both the quantity and the quality of natural habitat. Therefore, a sound Biodiversity Impact Assessment (BIA) in road planning and development needs to be coupled to other commonly considered aspects. This paper presents an approach to contribute to BIA of road projects that focuses on one type of impact: the direct loss of ecosystems. The first step consists in mapping the different ecosystem types, and in evaluating their relevance for biodiversity conservation. This is based on the assessment of ecosystem's rarity. Rarity is a measure of how frequently an ecosystem type is found within a given area. Its relevance is confirmed by the fact that the protection of rare ecosystems is often considered as the single most important function of biodiversity conservation. Subsequently, the impact of a road project can be quantified by spatially computing the expected losses of each ecosystem type. To illustrate the applicability of the methodology, a case study is presented dealing with the assessment of alternative routes for a highway development in northern Italy

  2. Ecosystem simplification, biodiversity loss and plant virus emergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roossinck, Marilyn J; García-Arenal, Fernando

    2015-02-01

    Plant viruses can emerge into crops from wild plant hosts, or conversely from domestic (crop) plants into wild hosts. Changes in ecosystems, including loss of biodiversity and increases in managed croplands, can impact the emergence of plant virus disease. Although data are limited, in general the loss of biodiversity is thought to contribute to disease emergence. More in-depth studies have been done for human viruses, but studies with plant viruses suggest similar patterns, and indicate that simplification of ecosystems through increased human management may increase the emergence of viral diseases in crops. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, and Climate Change : The Economic Problem

    OpenAIRE

    World Bank

    2010-01-01

    Climate change is both a cause and an effect of biodiversity change. Along with anthropogenic dispersion, climate change is the main driver of change in the geographical distribution of both beneficial and harmful species, crops, livestock, harvested wild species, pests, predators and pathogens. And the capacity of ecosystems to adapt to climate change depends on the diversity of species t...

  4. Mitigation for one & all: An integrated framework for mitigation of development impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tallis, Heather, E-mail: htallis@tnc.org [The Nature Conservancy, 415 Alta Vista Dr., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (United States); Kennedy, Christina M., E-mail: ckennedy@tnc.org [The Nature Conservancy, 117 East Mountain Ave., Ft. Collins, CO 80524 (United States); Ruckelshaus, Mary [The Natural Capital Project, 371 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); Goldstein, Joshua; Kiesecker, Joseph M. [The Nature Conservancy, 117 East Mountain Ave., Ft. Collins, CO 80524 (United States)

    2015-11-15

    Emerging development policies and lending standards call for consideration of ecosystem services when mitigating impacts from development, yet little guidance exists to inform this process. Here we propose a comprehensive framework for advancing both biodiversity and ecosystem service mitigation. We have clarified a means for choosing representative ecosystem service targets alongside biodiversity targets, identified servicesheds as a useful spatial unit for assessing ecosystem service avoidance, impact, and offset options, and discuss methods for consistent calculation of biodiversity and ecosystem service mitigation ratios. We emphasize the need to move away from area- and habitat-based assessment methods for both biodiversity and ecosystem services towards functional assessments at landscape or seascape scales. Such comprehensive assessments more accurately reflect cumulative impacts and variation in environmental quality, social needs and value preferences. The integrated framework builds on the experience of biodiversity mitigation while addressing the unique opportunities and challenges presented by ecosystem service mitigation. These advances contribute to growing potential for economic development planning and execution that will minimize impacts on nature and maximize human wellbeing. - Highlights: • This is the first framework for biodiversity and ecosystem service mitigation. • Functional, landscape scale assessments are ideal for avoidance and offsets. • Servicesheds define the appropriate spatial extent for ecosystem service mitigation. • Mitigation ratios should be calculated consistently and based on standard factors. • Our framework meets the needs of integrated mitigation assessment requirements.

  5. Mitigation for one & all: An integrated framework for mitigation of development impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tallis, Heather; Kennedy, Christina M.; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Goldstein, Joshua; Kiesecker, Joseph M.

    2015-01-01

    Emerging development policies and lending standards call for consideration of ecosystem services when mitigating impacts from development, yet little guidance exists to inform this process. Here we propose a comprehensive framework for advancing both biodiversity and ecosystem service mitigation. We have clarified a means for choosing representative ecosystem service targets alongside biodiversity targets, identified servicesheds as a useful spatial unit for assessing ecosystem service avoidance, impact, and offset options, and discuss methods for consistent calculation of biodiversity and ecosystem service mitigation ratios. We emphasize the need to move away from area- and habitat-based assessment methods for both biodiversity and ecosystem services towards functional assessments at landscape or seascape scales. Such comprehensive assessments more accurately reflect cumulative impacts and variation in environmental quality, social needs and value preferences. The integrated framework builds on the experience of biodiversity mitigation while addressing the unique opportunities and challenges presented by ecosystem service mitigation. These advances contribute to growing potential for economic development planning and execution that will minimize impacts on nature and maximize human wellbeing. - Highlights: • This is the first framework for biodiversity and ecosystem service mitigation. • Functional, landscape scale assessments are ideal for avoidance and offsets. • Servicesheds define the appropriate spatial extent for ecosystem service mitigation. • Mitigation ratios should be calculated consistently and based on standard factors. • Our framework meets the needs of integrated mitigation assessment requirements

  6. Forest biodiversity, carbon and other ecosystem services: relationships and impacts of deforestation and forest degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ian D. Thompson; Joice Ferreira; Toby Gardner; Manuel Guariguata; Lian Pin Koh; Kimiko Okabe; Yude Pan; Christine B. Schmitt; Jason Tylianakis; Jos Barlow; Valerie Kapos; Werner A. Kurz; John A. Parrotta; Mark D. Spalding; Nathalie van Vliet

    2012-01-01

    REDD+ actions should be based on the best science and on the understanding that forests can provide more than a repository for carbon but also offer a wide range of services beneficial to people. Biodiversity underpins many ecosystem services, one of which is carbon sequestration, and individual species’ functional traits play an important role in determining...

  7. The quest for a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity-ecosystem services relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Clare; Thompson, Julian R; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2015-10-22

    Ecosystem services (ES) approaches to biodiversity conservation are currently high on the ecological research and policy agendas. However, despite a wealth of studies into biodiversity's role in maintaining ES (B-ES relationships) across landscapes, we still lack generalities in the nature and strengths of these linkages. Reasons for this are manifold, but can largely be attributed to (i) a lack of adherence to definitions and thus a confusion between final ES and the ecosystem functions (EFs) underpinning them, (ii) a focus on uninformative biodiversity indices and singular hypotheses and (iii) top-down analyses across large spatial scales and overlooking of context-dependency. The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (B-EF) field provides an alternate context for examining biodiversity's mechanistic role in shaping ES, focusing on species' characteristics that may drive EFs via multiple mechanisms across contexts. Despite acknowledgements of a need for B-ES research to look towards underlying B-EF linkages, the connections between these areas of research remains weak. With this review, we pull together recent B-EF findings to identify key areas for future developments in B-ES research. We highlight a means by which B-ES research may begin to identify how and when multiple underlying B-EF relationships may scale to final ES delivery and trade-offs. © 2015 The Author(s).

  8. Accounting for ecosystem services and biodiversity in Limburg province, the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Remme, R.P.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystem services and biodiversity are important for human well-being. Ecosystem services are the contributions of ecosystems to benefits used in economic and other human activity. This thesis aims to empirically assess how spatial models for ecosystem service flows and biodiversity can be

  9. The economics of ecosystems and biodiversity, REDD+ and climate change in mangrove ecosystems of Southeast Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filiberto Pollisco

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Mangroves are trees and shrubs that grow in saline coastal habitats. They occupy large stretches of the sub-tropical and tropical coastlines around the world. They not only provide valuable goods such as timber, fish and medicinal plants but also vital ecological services, such as prevention of coastal erosion. They also help buffer coastal communities from storms and floods. During the ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity held in Singapore in 2009, Ellison reported that mangrove forests in South East Asia are among the highest biodiversity resources in the world, occupying an area of 60.9 x 102 km2. Unfortunately, the region also has the highest rates of mangrove loss in the world, losing 628 km2 per year in two decades. In many parts of the world, where mangrove forests have been cleared, there are now problems of erosion and siltation, and loss of life and property have occurred due to destructive hurricanes, storms and tsunamis. The complex relationship between climate change and mangrove ecosystems can be seen from two different angles. On the one hand, mangrove ecosystems have a critical function in combating climate change; on the other hand, they are affected by climate change. The values of ecosystems vary according to local biophysical and ecological circumstances and the social, economic and cultural context. Intangible values, which may be reflected in society’s willingness to pay to conserve particular species or landscapes, or to protect common resources, must be considered alongside more tangible values such as food or timber to provide a complete economic picture. This has important implications for mangrove conservation strategies and suggests that the preservation of contiguous areas is preferable to patches that are spatially dispersed.

  10. Integrating Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Goal Structure, Target Areas and Means of Implementation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul L. Lucas

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The United Nations’ discussions on defining a new set of post-2015 development goals focus on poverty eradication and sustainable development. Biodiversity and ecosystem services are essential for poverty eradication, which is also one of the foundations of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD. Based on an assessment of current proposals of goals and targets, and a quantitative pathway analysis to meet long term biodiversity and food security goals, this paper discusses how biodiversity and ecosystem services can be integrated into a broad set of goals and targets, and concludes with relevant target areas and means of implementation for which specific targets need to be defined. Furthermore, it responds to the call of the CBD to consider the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the related Aichi biodiversity targets in the post-2015 development agenda. The paper’s analysis identifies three overlapping but also supplemental ways to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services in the post-2015 agenda: integrated goals, goals addressing earth system functioning and goals addressing environmental limits. It further concludes seven target areas to be included under the goals to address biodiversity and ecosystem services in the context of food and agriculture: access to food, demand for agricultural products, sustainable intensification, ecosystem fragmentation, protected areas, essential ecosystem services and genetic diversity. The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity provides a good basis for integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services in the post-2015 development agenda. Many Aichi targets address the proposed target areas and the means of implementation discussed, while they need to be complemented with targets that specifically address human well-being, as well as institutions and governance.

  11. Some remarks on the functions of European coastal ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Maarel, E

    2003-01-01

    Amongst the various functions of European coastal ecosystems the information functions are by far the most important. Information is provided mainly through the various aspects of biodiversity: taxon diversity, genetic diversity, community (P) diversity, phylogentic distinctiveness, rarity and

  12. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhili; Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M; Tu, Qichao; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Wu, Liyou; Yang, Yunfeng; Elias, Dwayne A; Watson, David B; Adams, Michael W W; Fields, Matthew W; Alm, Eric J; Hazen, Terry C; Adams, Paul D; Arkin, Adam P; Zhou, Jizhong

    2018-02-20

    Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth's biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly ( P contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. IMPORTANCE Disentangling the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is an important but poorly understood topic in ecology. Predicting ecosystem functioning on the basis of biodiversity is even more difficult, particularly with microbial biomarkers. As an exploratory effort, this study used key microbial functional genes as biomarkers to provide predictive understanding of environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. The results indicated that the overall functional gene richness/diversity decreased as uranium increased in groundwater, while specific key microbial guilds increased significantly as

  13. β-Diversity, Community Assembly, and Ecosystem Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Akira S; Isbell, Forest; Seidl, Rupert

    2018-05-25

    Evidence is increasing for positive effects of α-diversity on ecosystem functioning. We highlight here the crucial role of β-diversity - a hitherto underexplored facet of biodiversity - for a better process-level understanding of biodiversity change and its consequences for ecosystems. A focus on β-diversity has the potential to improve predictions of natural and anthropogenic influences on diversity and ecosystem functioning. However, linking the causes and consequences of biodiversity change is complex because species assemblages in nature are shaped by many factors simultaneously, including disturbance, environmental heterogeneity, deterministic niche factors, and stochasticity. Because variability and change are ubiquitous in ecosystems, acknowledging these inherent properties of nature is an essential step for further advancing scientific knowledge of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning in theory and practice. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Impacts of climate change on biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services: technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staudinger, Michelle D.; Grimm, Nancy B.; Staudt, Amanda; Carter, Shawn L.; Stuart, F. Stuart; Kareiva, Peter; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Stein, Bruce A.

    2012-01-01

    second cross-cutting topic is the rapidly advancing field of climate adaptation, where there has been significant progress in developing the conceptual framework, planning approaches, and strategies for safeguarding biodiversity and other ecological resources. At the same time, ecosystem-based adaptation is becoming more prominent as a way to utilize ecosystem services to help human systems adapt to climate change. In this summary, we present key findings of the technical input, focusing on themes that can be found throughout the report. Thus, this summary takes a more integrated look at the question of how climate change is affecting our ecological resources, the implications for humans, and possible response strategies. This integrated approach better reflects the impacts of climate in the real world, where changes in ecosystem structure or function will alter the viability of different species and the efficacy of ecosystem services. Likewise, adaptation to climate change will simultaneously address a range of conservation goals. Case studies are used to illustrate this complete picture throughout the report; a snapshot of one case study, 2011 Las Conchas, New Mexico Fire, is included in this summary.

  15. Coastal biodiversity and ecosystem services flows at the landscape scale: The CBESS progamme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paterson, David; Bothwell, John; Bradbury, Richard; Burrows, Michael; Burton, Niall; Emmerson, Mark; Garbutt, Angus; Skov, Martin; Solan, Martin; Spencer, Tom; Underwood, Graham

    2015-04-01

    The health of the European coastline is inextricably linked to the economy and culture of coastal nations but they are sensitive to climate change. As global temperatures increase, sea levels will rise and the forces experienced where land meets sea will become more destructive. Salt marshes, mudflats, beaches will be affected. These landscapes support a wide range of economically valuable animal and plant species, but also act as sites of carbon storage, nutrient recycling, and pollutant capture and amelioration. Their preservation is of utmost importance. Our programme: "A hierarchical approach to the examination of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem service flows across coastal margins" (CBESS) is designed to understand the landscape-scale links between the functions that these systems provide (ecosystem service flows) and the organisms that provide these services (biodiversity stocks) and moves beyond most previous studies, conducted at smaller scales. Our consortium of experts ranges from microbial ecologists, through environmental economists, to mathematical modellers, and organisations (RSPB, BTO, CEFAS, EA) with vested interest in the sustainable use of coastal wetlands. CBESS spans the landscape scale, investigating how biodiversity stocks provide ecosystem services (cf. National Ecosystem Assessment: Supporting services; Provisioning services; Regulating services; and Cultural services). CBESS combined a detailed study of two regional landscapes with a broad-scale UK-wide study to allow both specific and general conclusions to be drawn. The regional study compares two areas of great UK national importance: Morecambe Bay on the west coast and the Essex coastline on the east. We carried out biological and physical surveys at more than 600 stations combined with in situ measures of ecosystem funtction to clarify how biodiversity can provide these important ecosystem functions across scales. This information will be shared with those

  16. Dominance, biomass and extinction resistance determine the consequences of biodiversity loss for multiple coastal ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Thomas W; Jenkins, Stuart R; Kingham, Rachel; Kenworthy, Joseph; Hawkins, Stephen J; Hiddink, Jan G

    2011-01-01

    Key ecosystem processes such as carbon and nutrient cycling could be deteriorating as a result of biodiversity loss. However, currently we lack the ability to predict the consequences of realistic species loss on ecosystem processes. The aim of this study was to test whether species contributions to community biomass can be used as surrogate measures of their contribution to ecosystem processes. These were gross community productivity in a salt marsh plant assemblage and an intertidal macroalgae assemblage; community clearance of microalgae in sessile suspension feeding invertebrate assemblage; and nutrient uptake in an intertidal macroalgae assemblage. We conducted a series of biodiversity manipulations that represented realistic species extinction sequences in each of the three contrasting assemblages. Species were removed in a subtractive fashion so that biomass was allowed to vary with each species removal, and key ecosystem processes were measured at each stage of community disassembly. The functional contribution of species was directly proportional to their contribution to community biomass in a 1:1 ratio, a relationship that was consistent across three contrasting marine ecosystems and three ecosystem processes. This suggests that the biomass contributed by a species to an assemblage can be used to approximately predict the proportional decline in an ecosystem process when that species is lost. Such predictions represent "worst case scenarios" because, over time, extinction resilient species can offset the loss of biomass associated with the extinction of competitors. We also modelled a "best case scenario" that accounts for compensatory responses by the extant species with the highest per capita contribution to ecosystem processes. These worst and best case scenarios could be used to predict the minimum and maximum species required to sustain threshold values of ecosystem processes in the future.

  17. Dominance, biomass and extinction resistance determine the consequences of biodiversity loss for multiple coastal ecosystem processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas W Davies

    Full Text Available Key ecosystem processes such as carbon and nutrient cycling could be deteriorating as a result of biodiversity loss. However, currently we lack the ability to predict the consequences of realistic species loss on ecosystem processes. The aim of this study was to test whether species contributions to community biomass can be used as surrogate measures of their contribution to ecosystem processes. These were gross community productivity in a salt marsh plant assemblage and an intertidal macroalgae assemblage; community clearance of microalgae in sessile suspension feeding invertebrate assemblage; and nutrient uptake in an intertidal macroalgae assemblage. We conducted a series of biodiversity manipulations that represented realistic species extinction sequences in each of the three contrasting assemblages. Species were removed in a subtractive fashion so that biomass was allowed to vary with each species removal, and key ecosystem processes were measured at each stage of community disassembly. The functional contribution of species was directly proportional to their contribution to community biomass in a 1:1 ratio, a relationship that was consistent across three contrasting marine ecosystems and three ecosystem processes. This suggests that the biomass contributed by a species to an assemblage can be used to approximately predict the proportional decline in an ecosystem process when that species is lost. Such predictions represent "worst case scenarios" because, over time, extinction resilient species can offset the loss of biomass associated with the extinction of competitors. We also modelled a "best case scenario" that accounts for compensatory responses by the extant species with the highest per capita contribution to ecosystem processes. These worst and best case scenarios could be used to predict the minimum and maximum species required to sustain threshold values of ecosystem processes in the future.

  18. Biodiversity of Terrestrial Ecosystems in Tropical to Temperate Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond L. Specht

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available During the short period of annual foliage growth in evergreen plant communities, aerodynamic fluxes (frictional, thermal, evaporative in the atmosphere as it flows over and through a plant community determine the Foliage Projective Covers and leaf attributes in overstorey and understorey strata. The number of leaves produced on each vertical foliage shoot depends on available soil water and nutrients during this growth period. The area of all leaves exposed to solar radiation determines net photosynthetic fixation of the plant community throughout the year. In turn, the species richness (number of species per hectare of both plants and resident vertebrates is determined. The species richness of unicellular algae and small multicellular isopods in permanent freshwater lagoons in Northern Australia may possibly have been increased by radiation released from nearby uranium deposits. Evolution of new angiosperms probably occurred in refugia during periods of extreme drought. When favourable climates were restored, the vegetation expanded to result in high Gamma Biodiversity (number of plant species per region but with each major plant community having essentially the same species richness (number of plant species per hectare. The probable effects of pollution and Global Warming on biodiversity in Australian ecosystems, that experience seasonal drought, are discussed.

  19. Biodiversity, extinctions, and evolution of ecosystems with shared resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, Vladimir; Vakulenko, Sergey; Wennergren, Uno

    2017-03-01

    We investigate the formation of stable ecological networks where many species share the same resource. We show that such a stable ecosystem naturally occurs as a result of extinctions. We obtain an analytical relation for the number of coexisting species, and we find a relation describing how many species that may become extinct as a result of a sharp environmental change. We introduce a special parameter that is a combination of species traits and resource characteristics used in the model formulation. This parameter describes the pressure on the system to converge, by extinctions. When that stress parameter is large, we obtain that the species traits are concentrated at certain values. This stress parameter is thereby a parameter that determines the level of final biodiversity of the system. Moreover, we show that the dynamics of this limit system can be described by simple differential equations.

  20. Habitat Fragmentation Intensifies Trade-Offs between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Heathland Ecosystem in Southern England.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordingley, Justine E; Newton, Adrian C; Rose, Robert J; Clarke, Ralph T; Bullock, James M

    2015-01-01

    While habitat fragmentation represents a major threat to global biodiversity, its impacts on provision of ecosystem services are largely unknown. We analysed biodiversity value and provision of multiple ecosystem services in 110 fragments of lowland heathland ecosystems in southern England, in which vegetation dynamics have been monitored for over 30 years. Decreasing fragment size was found to be associated with a decrease in biodiversity and recreational values, but an increase in relative carbon storage, aesthetic value and timber value. The trade-off between either biodiversity or recreational values with the other ecosystem services therefore became more pronounced as heathland size decreased. This was attributed to a higher rate of woody succession in smaller heathland fragments over the past three decades, and contrasting values of different successional vegetation types for biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services. These results suggest that habitat fragmentation can reduce the potential for developing "win win" solutions that contribute to biodiversity conservation while also supporting socio-economic development. Approaches to multi-purpose management of fragmented landscapes should therefore consider the potential trade-offs in ecosystem services and biodiversity associated with fragmentation, in order to make an effective contribution to sustainable development.

  1. Insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States—A regional synthesis to support biodiversity conservation in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Wolfe, William J.

    2016-08-11

    In the southeastern United States, insular ecosystems—such as rock outcrops, depression wetlands, high-elevation balds, flood-scoured riparian corridors, and insular prairies and barrens—occupy a small fraction of land area but constitute an important source of regional and global biodiversity, including concentrations of rare and endemic plant taxa. Maintenance of this biodiversity depends upon regimes of abiotic stress and disturbance, incorporating factors such as soil surface temperature, widely fluctuating hydrologic conditions, fires, flood scouring, and episodic droughts that may be subject to alteration by climate change. Over several decades, numerous localized, site-level investigations have yielded important information about the floristics, physical environments, and ecological dynamics of these insular ecosystems; however, the literature from these investigations has generally remained fragmented. This report consists of literature syntheses for eight categories of insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States, concerning (1) physical geography, (2) ecological determinants of community structures including vegetation dynamics and regimes of abiotic stress and disturbance, (3) contributions to regional and global biodiversity, (4) historical and current anthropogenic threats and conservation approaches, and (5) key knowledge gaps relevant to conservation, particularly in terms of climate-change effects on biodiversity. This regional synthesis was undertaken to discern patterns across ecosystems, identify knowledge gaps, and lay the groundwork for future analyses of climate-change vulnerability. Findings from this synthesis indicate that, despite their importance to regional and global biodiversity, insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States have been subjected to a variety of direct and indirect human alterations. In many cases, important questions remain concerning key determinants of ecosystem function. In particular, few

  2. Incorporating threat in hotspots and coldspots of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröter, Matthias; Kraemer, Roland; Ceauşu, Silvia; Rusch, Graciela M

    2017-11-01

    Spatial prioritization could help target conservation actions directed to maintain both biodiversity and ecosystem services. We delineate hotspots and coldspots of two biodiversity conservation features and five regulating and cultural services by incorporating an indicator of 'threat', i.e. timber harvest profitability for forest areas in Telemark (Norway). We found hotspots, where high values of biodiversity, ecosystem services and threat coincide, ranging from 0.1 to 7.1% of the area, depending on varying threshold levels. Targeting of these areas for conservation follows reactive conservation approaches. In coldspots, high biodiversity and ecosystem service values coincide with low levels of threat, and cover 0.1-3.4% of the forest area. These areas might serve proactive conservation approaches at lower opportunity cost (foregone timber harvest profits). We conclude that a combination of indicators of biodiversity, ecosystem services and potential threat is an appropriate approach for spatial prioritization of proactive and reactive conservation strategies.

  3. Bioenergy harvest impacts to biodiversity and resilience vary across aspen-dominated forest ecosystems in the Lake States region, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda T. Curzon; Anthony W. D' Amato; Brian J. Palik; Kris Verheyen

    2016-01-01

    Questions: Does the increase in disturbance associated with removing harvest residues negatively impact biodiversity and resilience in aspen-dominated forest ecosystems? How do responses of functional diversity measures relate to community recovery and standing biomass? Location: Aspen (Populus tremuloides, Michx.) mixedwood forests in Minnesota...

  4. Leaf bacterial diversity mediates plant diversity and ecosystem function relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laforest-Lapointe, Isabelle; Paquette, Alain; Messier, Christian; Kembel, Steven W

    2017-06-01

    Research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has demonstrated links between plant diversity and ecosystem functions such as productivity. At other trophic levels, the plant microbiome has been shown to influence host plant fitness and function, and host-associated microbes have been proposed to influence ecosystem function through their role in defining the extended phenotype of host organisms However, the importance of the plant microbiome for ecosystem function has not been quantified in the context of the known importance of plant diversity and traits. Here, using a tree biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment, we provide strong support for the hypothesis that leaf bacterial diversity is positively linked to ecosystem productivity, even after accounting for the role of plant diversity. Our results also show that host species identity, functional identity and functional diversity are the main determinants of leaf bacterial community structure and diversity. Our study provides evidence of a positive correlation between plant-associated microbial diversity and terrestrial ecosystem productivity, and a new mechanism by which models of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships can be improved.

  5. Biodiversity mediates top-down control in eelgrass ecosystems: a global comparative-experimental approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, J Emmett; Reynolds, Pamela L; Boström, Christoffer; Coyer, James A; Cusson, Mathieu; Donadi, Serena; Douglass, James G; Eklöf, Johan S; Engelen, Aschwin H; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Fredriksen, Stein; Gamfeldt, Lars; Gustafsson, Camilla; Hoarau, Galice; Hori, Masakazu; Hovel, Kevin; Iken, Katrin; Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Moksnes, Per-Olav; Nakaoka, Masahiro; O'Connor, Mary I; Olsen, Jeanine L; Richardson, J Paul; Ruesink, Jennifer L; Sotka, Erik E; Thormar, Jonas; Whalen, Matthew A; Stachowicz, John J

    2015-07-01

    Nutrient pollution and reduced grazing each can stimulate algal blooms as shown by numerous experiments. But because experiments rarely incorporate natural variation in environmental factors and biodiversity, conditions determining the relative strength of bottom-up and top-down forcing remain unresolved. We factorially added nutrients and reduced grazing at 15 sites across the range of the marine foundation species eelgrass (Zostera marina) to quantify how top-down and bottom-up control interact with natural gradients in biodiversity and environmental forcing. Experiments confirmed modest top-down control of algae, whereas fertilisation had no general effect. Unexpectedly, grazer and algal biomass were better predicted by cross-site variation in grazer and eelgrass diversity than by global environmental gradients. Moreover, these large-scale patterns corresponded strikingly with prior small-scale experiments. Our results link global and local evidence that biodiversity and top-down control strongly influence functioning of threatened seagrass ecosystems, and suggest that biodiversity is comparably important to global change stressors. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  6. Secondary School Students' Environmental Concerns and Attitudes toward Forest Ecosystem Services: Implications for Biodiversity Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torkar, Gregor

    2016-01-01

    Alarming declines in biodiversity have encouraged scientists to begin promoting the idea of the services ecosystems offer to humans in order to gain support for conservation. The concept of ecosystem services is designed to communicate societal dependence on various natural ecosystems. Schools play an important role in educating students to be…

  7. The magnitude of interannual variability of ecosystem photosynthetic capacity is controled by stand age and biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musavi, Talie; Migliavacca, Mirco; Mahecha, Miguel D.; Reichstein, Markus; Kattge, Jens; Wirth, Christian; Black, T. Andrew; Janssens, Ivan; Knohl, Alexander; Loustau, Denis; Roupsard, Olivier; Varlagin, Andrej; Rambal, Serge; Cescatti, Alessandro; Gianelle, Damiano; Kondo, Hiroaki; Tamrakar, Rijan

    2017-04-01

    Gross primary productivity, GPP, the total uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) by ecosystems via photosynthesis, is the largest flux in the global carbon cycle. The photosynthetic capacity at light saturation (GPPsat) is a fundamental ecosystem functional property and its interannual variability (IAV) is propagated to the net ecosystem exchange of CO2. In this contribution we made use of a variety of data streams consisting of ecosystem-atmosphere CO2 fluxes measured at eddy covariance flux sites with more than 4 years of data, the GPPsat derived at the different sites, information about climate (temperature, precipitation, and water availability index - WAI), biodiversity information and species richness, stand age, and plant traits, nutrient availability indexes derived from field campaigns, ancillary databases, and the literature. We also used data about forest structure derived from satellite products. Sites were selected according to the availability of eddy covariance flux measurements for at least 4 years, information about stand age, canopy cover, canopy height, and species abundance. The resulting global database consisted of 50 sites with different vegetation types across different climatic regions. Considering the importance of the understanding of IAV in CO2 fluxes to improve the predictive capacity of the global carbon cycle we analyzed a range of alternative hypotheses and potential drivers of the magnitude of IAV in GPPsat in forest ecosystems. The results show that the IAV in GPPsat within sites is driven by climate (i.e. fluctuations in air temperature and soil water availability), but the magnitude of IAV in GPPsat is related to ecosystem structure, and more in details to stand age and biodiversity (R2=0.55, p<0.0001). We conclude that irrespective of forest type the IAV of GPPsat in older and more diverse forests is dampened, and is higher in younger forests with few dominant species.

  8. Analysis of Reptile Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services within the Protected Areas at a National Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    A focus for resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis has been mapping and quantifying biodiversity and ecosystem services. The challenge has been to integrate ecology with economics to better understand the effects of human policies and acti...

  9. Representation of Reptile Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services within the Protected Areas of the Conterminous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    A focus for resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis has been mapping and quantifying biodiversity and ecosystem services. The challange has been to integrate ecology with economics to better understand the effects of human policies and acti...

  10. In-situ carbon and nitrogen turnover dynamics and the role of soil functional biodiversity therein; a climate warming simulation study in Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djukic, Ika

    2010-05-01

    the original site. The bacterial to fungal ratio of the translocated soil cores showed a rapid acclimatization to the new (host) soil conditions. Our study demonstrates that rising temperatures in Alpine ecosystems will accelerate decomposition of fresh C pools but also lead to rapid adaptation of the microbial community to the new conditions.

  11. Role of functionally dominant species in varying environmental regimes: evidence for the performance-enhancing effect of biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Langenheder Silke

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Theory suggests that biodiversity can act as a buffer against disturbances and environmental variability via two major mechanisms: Firstly, a stabilising effect by decreasing the temporal variance in ecosystem functioning due to compensatory processes; and secondly, a performance enhancing effect by raising the level of community response through the selection of better performing species. Empirical evidence for the stabilizing effect of biodiversity is readily available, whereas experimental confirmation of the performance-enhancing effect of biodiversity is sparse. Results Here, we test the effect of different environmental regimes (constant versus fluctuating temperature on bacterial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relations. We show that positive effects of species richness on ecosystem functioning are enhanced by stronger temperature fluctuations due to the increased performance of individual species. Conclusions Our results provide evidence for the performance enhancing effect and suggest that selection towards functionally dominant species is likely to benefit the maintenance of ecosystem functioning under more variable conditions.

  12. Role of functionally dominant species in varying environmental regimes: evidence for the performance-enhancing effect of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langenheder, Silke; Bulling, Mark T; Prosser, James I; Solan, Martin

    2012-07-30

    Theory suggests that biodiversity can act as a buffer against disturbances and environmental variability via two major mechanisms: Firstly, a stabilising effect by decreasing the temporal variance in ecosystem functioning due to compensatory processes; and secondly, a performance enhancing effect by raising the level of community response through the selection of better performing species. Empirical evidence for the stabilizing effect of biodiversity is readily available, whereas experimental confirmation of the performance-enhancing effect of biodiversity is sparse. Here, we test the effect of different environmental regimes (constant versus fluctuating temperature) on bacterial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relations. We show that positive effects of species richness on ecosystem functioning are enhanced by stronger temperature fluctuations due to the increased performance of individual species. Our results provide evidence for the performance enhancing effect and suggest that selection towards functionally dominant species is likely to benefit the maintenance of ecosystem functioning under more variable conditions.

  13. Soil biodiversity in amazonian and other Brazilian ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moreira, F.M.S.; Siqueira, J.O.; Brussaard, L.

    2006-01-01

    This book reviews soil biodiversity and related ecological processes in one of the key biodiversity hotspots of the world, the Amazon, and nearby regions of Brazil. It covers both the tropical savannah and rainforests. Chapters describe the biology, ecology, taxonomy, geographic distribution and

  14. Microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems: biodiversity, ecological connections and implications of a warming climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotaling, Scott; Hood, Eran; Hamilton, Trinity L

    2017-08-01

    Glacier ecosystems are teeming with life on, beneath, and to a lesser degree, within their icy masses. This conclusion largely stems from polar research, with less attention paid to mountain glaciers that overlap environmentally and ecologically with their polar counterparts in some ways, but diverge in others. One difference lies in the susceptibility of mountain glaciers to the near-term threat of climate change, as they tend to be much smaller in both area and volume. Moreover, mountain glaciers are typically steeper, more dependent upon basal sliding for movement, and experience higher seasonal precipitation. Here, we provide a modern synthesis of the microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems, and particularly those at low- to mid-latitudes. We focus on five ecological zones: the supraglacial surface, englacial interior, subglacial bedrock-ice interface, proglacial streams and glacier forefields. For each, we discuss the role of microbiota in biogeochemical cycling and outline ecological and hydrological connections among zones, underscoring the interconnected nature of these ecosystems. Collectively, we highlight the need to: better document the biodiversity and functional roles of mountain glacier microbiota; describe the ecological implications of rapid glacial retreat under climate change and resolve the relative contributions of ecological zones to broader ecosystem function. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Enhancement of biodiversity in energy farming: towards a functional approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Londo, M.; Dekker, J.

    1997-01-01

    When biomass is a substantial sustainable energy source, and special energy crops are grown on a large scale, land use and the environment of agriculture will be affected. Of these effects, biodiversity deserves special attention. The enhancement of biodiversity in energy farming via standard setting is the overall purpose of this project. In this study, the potential functionality of biodiversity in energy farming is proposed as a way of operationalising the rather abstract and broad concept of biodiversity. Functions of biodiversity are reviewed, and examples of functions are worked out, based on the current literature of nature in energy farming systems. (author)

  16. EnviroAtlas - Reptile Biodiversity Ecosystem Services Metrics by 12-digit HUC for the Conterminous United States

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This EnviroAtlas dataset contains biodiversity metrics reflecting ecosystem services or other aspects of biodiversity for reptile species, based on the number of...

  17. Assessing impacts of intensified biomass production and biodiversity protection on ecosystem services provided by European forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verkerk, P.J.; Mavsar, R.; Giergiczny, M.; Lindner, M.; Edwards, D.; Schelhaas, M.J.

    2014-01-01

    To develop viable strategies for intensifying the use of forest biomass and for increasing forest protection, impacts on ecosystem services need to be assessed. We investigated the biophysical and economic impacts of increased forest biomass production and biodiversity protection on forest ecosystem

  18. Marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: A perspective

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, S.; Anil, A.C.

    expression and repression in oxidative stress, Oxidative stress and heat shock protein expressio n, R e- dox regulation pathways, ROS production and signal trans - duction, Oxidative stress as a mediator of apoptosis, Nutritional status, ROS production... and immunity, Antioxidant enzyme systems. Contact: Professor M. P. Bansal Organizing Secretary National Symposium on Oxidative Stress Department of Biophysics Panjab University Chandigarh 160 014, India Phone: 91 - 0172 - 534119/534120 (O...

  19. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M.; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Wu, Liyou; Watson, David B.; Adams, Michael W. W.; Alm, Eric J.; Adams, Paul D.; Arkin, Adam P.

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth’s biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly (P contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. PMID:29463661

  20. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhili He

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth’s biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN, representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5 increased significantly (P < 0.05 as uranium or nitrate increased, and their changes could be used to successfully predict uranium and nitrate contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning.

  1. An ecosystem approach to biodiversity management and the restoration of post-mining landscapes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Franklin, K.C. [Warwick Business School, Coventry (United Kingdom)

    2001-07-01

    This paper presents an integrated ecosystem approach to biodiversity management and land restoration following mining activity. The approach is informed by an understanding of ecosystems, mining impacts, local peoples and natural resource relationships. It addresses both biological and social issues. Restoration requirements are noted at different levels of the acknowledged biodiversity hierarchy, and include safeguarding identified priority species and ecosystem utility. The responsibility for such projects however is not seen as resting solely with the mining company. Restoration objectives and programs should be developed in conjunction with governments and local peoples. The resultant site-level biodiversity is seen as being closely allied to national strategy or action plans. This is seen as being critical to the creation of a sustainable restoration initiative. 11 refs.

  2. Restoring biodiversity and forest ecosystem services in degraded tropical landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    John A. Parrotta

    2010-01-01

    Over the past century, an estimated 850 million ha of the world’s tropical forests have been lost or severely degraded, with serious impacts on local and regional biodiversity. A significant proportion of these lands were originally cleared of their forest cover for agricultural development or other economic uses. Today, however, they provide few if any environmental...

  3. Coccolithophores: Functional Biodiversity, Enzymes and Bioprospecting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Allen

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Emiliania huxleyi is a single celled, marine phytoplankton with global distribution. As a key species for global biogeochemical cycling, a variety of strains have been amassed in various culture collections. Using a library consisting of 52 strains of E. huxleyi and an ‘in house‘ enzyme screening program, we have assessed the functional biodiversity within this species of fundamental importance to global biogeochemical cycling, whilst at the same time determining their potential for exploitation in biocatalytic applications. Here, we describe the screening of E. huxleyi strains, as well as a coccolithovirus infected strain, for commercially relevant biocatalytic enzymes such as acid/alkali phosphodiesterase, acid/alkali phosphomonoesterase, EC1.1.1-type dehydrogenase, EC1.3.1-type dehydrogenase and carboxylesterase.

  4. Climate change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems in Sri Lanka: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeevan Dananjaya Kottawa-Arachchi

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The climate change impacts are felt by all facets and sectors of ecosystems, covering flora, fauna and environment. Sri Lanka is considered as a vulnerable, small island country that is under serious threat from climate change impacts. The most profound impacts of climate change in Sri Lanka will be on agriculture and food security, water and coastal resources, biodiversity changes, and human health. Sri Lanka's biodiversity is significantly important both on a regional and global scale as it has the highest species density for flowering plants, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Sri Lanka's varied ecosystems provide many services that are of significant economic value and play a crucial role in providing goods and ecosystem services. The subsequent sections featuring specific aspects of biodiversity in forests, freshwater wetlands, coastal and marine systems and agricultural systems, provide greater detail on the ecosystem services and bio-resources. Habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive alien species, deforestation and forest degradation, development projects, environmental pollutions and climate change (global warming are the major threats to the biodiversity of the country. Climate change impacts on environment lead to a reduction in the distribution and abundance of species, especially endemics, which may even result in their global extinction. The introduction of various policies and guidelines in relation to environment is a good sign for conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity. The government of Sri Lanka has been implementing various environmental projects aiming at reducing deforestation and degradation of ecosystems. Policies and measures already developed under such initiatives will no doubt preserve natural habitats for plant and animal species. However, being a developing country with many economic challenges, the funds and expertise available for monitoring climate change impacts and biodiversity conservation are not

  5. Ecosystem engineering and biodiversity in coastal sediments: posing hypotheses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouma, T.J.; Olenin, S.; Reise, K.; Ysebaert, T.

    2009-01-01

    Coastal sediments in sheltered temperate locations are strongly modified by ecosystem engineering species such as marsh plants, seagrass, and algae as well as by epibenthic and endobenthic invertebrates. These ecosystem engineers are shaping the coastal sea and landscape, control particulate and

  6. Habitat and Biodiversity: One out of five essential soil functions for agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinsoutrot Gattin, Isabelle; Creamer, Rachel; van Leeuwen, Jeroen; Vrebos, Dirk; Gatti, Fabio; Bampa, Francesca; Schulte, Rogier; Rutgers, Michiel

    2017-04-01

    Current agricultural challenges require developing new agricultural systems that can optimize the ecological functioning of soils in order to limit the use of chemical inputs (i.e. disease suppression) and maintain a high organic matter content. This implies our ability to evaluate the effects of management practices on immediate performance objectives (i.e. fertility linked to nutrient cycling) but also in longer-term objective (i.e. C cycling and storage) in a variety of agro-climatic conditions. These issues demand the development of systemic approaches for understanding the determinants of soil functioning. In ecology, it is generally accepted that there are many positive relationships between soil biodiversity indicators and the functioning of ecosystems. Indeed, soil organisms and their interactions are essential drivers of ecosystem processes and impact the response, resilience and adaptability of ecosystems to environmental pressures. Thus, maintaining soil biodiversity is a condition for the sustainability of cropping systems. In this new context, the European project Landmark considers soil functions as a key to the improvement of agricultural land management towards sustainable development goals, amongst the five functions is soil biodiversity and habitat provisioning. We propose to present how we manage within this project to deal with this challenging objective at three spatial scales : field, landscape (regional) and European (policy). We aim to define a link between the physical, chemical and biological soil properties and "habitat & biodiversity" soil function in order to identify key indicators which modulate biodiversity. This will allow us to quantify and assess this soil function, in order to provide insight in win wins and tradeoffs in soil functions to enhance management practices which optimise the biodiversity in European agricultural systems.

  7. Biodiversity Scenarios: Projections of 21st century change in biodiversity and associated ecosystem services

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, B

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available �cation on biodiversity can be mini- mized by appropriate agricultural practices. n International regulation of �shing in non-terri- torial waters and improved governance at local to global scales are key to avoiding wide- spread modi�cations of marine food chains...

  8. Appreciation, Use, and Management of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in California's Working Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Ferranto, Shasta; Huntsinger, Lynn; Kelly, Maggi; Getz, Christy

    2012-09-01

    "Working landscapes" is the concept of fostering effective ecosystem stewardship and conservation through active human presence and management and integrating livestock, crop, and timber production with the provision of a broad range of ecosystem services at the landscape scale. Based on a statewide survey of private landowners of "working" forests and rangelands in California, we investigated whether owners who are engaged in commercial livestock or timber production appreciate and manage biodiversity and ecosystem services on their land in different ways than purely residential owners. Both specific uses and management practices, as well as underlying attitudes and motivations toward biodiversity and ecosystem services, were assessed. Correlation analysis showed one bundle of ecosystem goods and services (e.g., livestock, timber, crops, and housing) that is supported by some landowners at the community level. Another closely correlated bundle of biodiversity and ecosystem services includes recreation, hunting/fishing, wildlife habitat, and fire prevention. Producers were more likely to ally with the first bundle and residential owners with the second. The survey further confirmed that cultural ecosystem services and quality-of-life aspects are among the primary amenities that motivate forest and rangeland ownership regardless of ownership type. To live near natural beauty was the most important motive for both landowner groups. Producers were much more active in management for habitat improvement and other environmental goals than residential owners. As the number of production-oriented owners decreases, developing strategies for encouraging environment-positive management by all types of landowners is crucial.

  9. Biodiversity of bacterial ecosystems in traditional Egyptian Domiati cheese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Baradei, Gaber; Delacroix-Buchet, Agnès; Ogier, Jean-Claude

    2007-02-01

    Bacterial biodiversity occurring in traditional Egyptian soft Domiati cheese was studied by PCR-temporal temperature gel electrophoresis (TTGE) and PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Bands were identified using a reference species database (J.-C. Ogier et al., Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:5628-5643, 2004); de novo bands having nonidentified migration patterns were identified by DNA sequencing. Results reveal a novel bacterial profile and extensive bacterial biodiversity in Domiati cheeses, as reflected by the numerous bands present in TTGE and DGGE patterns. The dominant lactic acid bacteria (LAB) identified were as follows: Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactococcus garvieae, Aerococcus viridans, Lactobacillus versmoldensis, Pediococcus inopinatus, and Lactococcus lactis. Frequent non-LAB species included numerous coagulase-negative staphylococci, Vibrio spp., Kocuria rhizophila, Kocuria kristinae, Kocuria halotolerans, Arthrobacter spp./Brachybacterium tyrofermentans. This is the first time that the majority of these species has been identified in Domiati cheese. Nearly all the dominant and frequent bacterial species are salt tolerant, and several correspond to known marine bacteria. As Domiati cheese contains 5.4 to 9.5% NaCl, we suggest that these bacteria are likely to have an important role in the ripening process. This first systematic study of the microbial composition of Domiati cheeses reveals great biodiversity and evokes a role for marine bacteria in determining cheese type.

  10. Biodiversity of Bacterial Ecosystems in Traditional Egyptian Domiati Cheese▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Baradei, Gaber; Delacroix-Buchet, Agnès; Ogier, Jean-Claude

    2007-01-01

    Bacterial biodiversity occurring in traditional Egyptian soft Domiati cheese was studied by PCR-temporal temperature gel electrophoresis (TTGE) and PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Bands were identified using a reference species database (J.-C. Ogier et al., Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:5628-5643, 2004); de novo bands having nonidentified migration patterns were identified by DNA sequencing. Results reveal a novel bacterial profile and extensive bacterial biodiversity in Domiati cheeses, as reflected by the numerous bands present in TTGE and DGGE patterns. The dominant lactic acid bacteria (LAB) identified were as follows: Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactococcus garvieae, Aerococcus viridans, Lactobacillus versmoldensis, Pediococcus inopinatus, and Lactococcus lactis. Frequent non-LAB species included numerous coagulase-negative staphylococci, Vibrio spp., Kocuria rhizophila, Kocuria kristinae, Kocuria halotolerans, Arthrobacter spp./Brachybacterium tyrofermentans. This is the first time that the majority of these species has been identified in Domiati cheese. Nearly all the dominant and frequent bacterial species are salt tolerant, and several correspond to known marine bacteria. As Domiati cheese contains 5.4 to 9.5% NaCl, we suggest that these bacteria are likely to have an important role in the ripening process. This first systematic study of the microbial composition of Domiati cheeses reveals great biodiversity and evokes a role for marine bacteria in determining cheese type. PMID:17189434

  11. CITY HOTSPOT: LINKAGES BETWEEN ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND BIODIVERSITY OF URBAN GREEN AREAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Špela Železnikar

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Green areas in cities and their ecosystem services (ES offer residents various benefits. The range of services depends on biodiversity of a green space. The aim was to determine the relationship between biodiversity in different categories of green areas in the city and the ecosystem services, which appear in it. We made 108 relevés in the autumn and spring time, within nine categories of green areas in the Municipality of Ljubljana. In each category the range of ES was assessed based on field analysis and compared with literature assessed ecosystem services. Results showed that the category of forests differ from others. Other categories were similar to each other, in particular grassland categories. Also, a positive relationship linkage was found - more plant species mean more assessed ecosystem services in a specific green infrastructure category.

  12. A mosaic-based approach is needed to conserve biodiversity in disturbed freshwater ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitchman, Sean M.; Mather, Martha E.; Smith, Joseph M.; Fencl, Jane S.

    2017-01-01

    Conserving native biodiversity in the face of human‐ and climate‐related impacts is a challenging and globally important ecological problem that requires an understanding of spatially connected, organismal‐habitat relationships. Globally, a suite of disturbances (e.g., agriculture, urbanization, climate change) degrades habitats and threatens biodiversity. A mosaic approach (in which connected, interacting collections of juxtaposed habitat patches are examined) provides a scientific foundation for addressing many disturbance‐related, ecologically based conservation problems. For example, if specific habitat types disproportionately increase biodiversity, these keystones should be incorporated into research and management plans. Our sampling of fish biodiversity and aquatic habitat along ten 3‐km sites within the Upper Neosho River subdrainage, KS, from June‐August 2013 yielded three generalizable ecological insights. First, specific types of mesohabitat patches (i.e., pool, riffle, run, and glide) were physically distinct and created unique mosaics of mesohabitats that varied across sites. Second, species richness was higher in riffle mesohabitats when mesohabitat size reflected field availability. Furthermore, habitat mosaics that included more riffles had greater habitat diversity and more fish species. Thus, riffles (<5% of sampled area) acted as keystone habitats. Third, additional conceptual development, which we initiate here, can broaden the identification of keystone habitats across ecosystems and further operationalize this concept for research and conservation. Thus, adopting a mosaic approach can increase scientific understanding of organismal‐habitat relationships, maintain natural biodiversity, advance spatial ecology, and facilitate effective conservation of native biodiversity in human‐altered ecosystems.

  13. Identifying future research directions for biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainability: perspectives from early-career researchers

    OpenAIRE

    Hossain, S.; Pogue, S.J.; Trenchard, L.; Oudenhoven, van, A.P.E.; Washbourne, C-L.; Muiruri, E.W.; Tomczyk, A.M.; García-Llorente, M.; Hale, R.; Hevia, V.; Adams, T.; Tavallali, L.; De, Bell S.; Pye, M.; Resende, F.

    2017-01-01

    We aimed to identify priority research questions in the field of biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainability (BESS), based on a workshop held during the NRG BESS Conference for Early Career Researchers on BESS, and to compare these to existing horizon scanning exercises. This work highlights the need for improved data availability through collaboration and knowledge exchange, which, in turn, can support the integrated valuation and sustainable management of ecosystems in response to g...

  14. Ecosystem services and opportunity costs shift spatial priorities for conserving forest biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Schröter

    Full Text Available Inclusion of spatially explicit information on ecosystem services in conservation planning is a fairly new practice. This study analyses how the incorporation of ecosystem services as conservation features can affect conservation of forest biodiversity and how different opportunity cost constraints can change spatial priorities for conservation. We created spatially explicit cost-effective conservation scenarios for 59 forest biodiversity features and five ecosystem services in the county of Telemark (Norway with the help of the heuristic optimisation planning software, Marxan with Zones. We combined a mix of conservation instruments where forestry is either completely (non-use zone or partially restricted (partial use zone. Opportunity costs were measured in terms of foregone timber harvest, an important provisioning service in Telemark. Including a number of ecosystem services shifted priority conservation sites compared to a case where only biodiversity was considered, and increased the area of both the partial (+36.2% and the non-use zone (+3.2%. Furthermore, opportunity costs increased (+6.6%, which suggests that ecosystem services may not be a side-benefit of biodiversity conservation in this area. Opportunity cost levels were systematically changed to analyse their effect on spatial conservation priorities. Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services trades off against timber harvest. Currently designated nature reserves and landscape protection areas achieve a very low proportion (9.1% of the conservation targets we set in our scenario, which illustrates the high importance given to timber production at present. A trade-off curve indicated that large marginal increases in conservation target achievement are possible when the budget for conservation is increased. Forty percent of the maximum hypothetical opportunity costs would yield an average conservation target achievement of 79%.

  15. Ecosystem Services and Opportunity Costs Shift Spatial Priorities for Conserving Forest Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröter, Matthias; Rusch, Graciela M.; Barton, David N.; Blumentrath, Stefan; Nordén, Björn

    2014-01-01

    Inclusion of spatially explicit information on ecosystem services in conservation planning is a fairly new practice. This study analyses how the incorporation of ecosystem services as conservation features can affect conservation of forest biodiversity and how different opportunity cost constraints can change spatial priorities for conservation. We created spatially explicit cost-effective conservation scenarios for 59 forest biodiversity features and five ecosystem services in the county of Telemark (Norway) with the help of the heuristic optimisation planning software, Marxan with Zones. We combined a mix of conservation instruments where forestry is either completely (non-use zone) or partially restricted (partial use zone). Opportunity costs were measured in terms of foregone timber harvest, an important provisioning service in Telemark. Including a number of ecosystem services shifted priority conservation sites compared to a case where only biodiversity was considered, and increased the area of both the partial (+36.2%) and the non-use zone (+3.2%). Furthermore, opportunity costs increased (+6.6%), which suggests that ecosystem services may not be a side-benefit of biodiversity conservation in this area. Opportunity cost levels were systematically changed to analyse their effect on spatial conservation priorities. Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services trades off against timber harvest. Currently designated nature reserves and landscape protection areas achieve a very low proportion (9.1%) of the conservation targets we set in our scenario, which illustrates the high importance given to timber production at present. A trade-off curve indicated that large marginal increases in conservation target achievement are possible when the budget for conservation is increased. Forty percent of the maximum hypothetical opportunity costs would yield an average conservation target achievement of 79%. PMID:25393951

  16. The role of a dominant predator in shaping biodiversity over space and time in a marine ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellingsen, Kari E; Anderson, Marti J; Shackell, Nancy L; Tveraa, Torkild; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Frank, Kenneth T

    2015-09-01

    1. Exploitation of living marine resources has resulted in major changes to populations of targeted species and functional groups of large-bodied species in the ocean. However, the effects of overfishing and collapse of large top predators on the broad-scale biodiversity of oceanic ecosystems remain largely unexplored. 2. Populations of the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) were overfished and several collapsed in the early 1990s across Atlantic Canada, providing a unique opportunity to study potential ecosystem-level effects of the reduction of a dominant predator on fish biodiversity, and to identify how such effects might interact with other environmental factors, such as changes in climate, over time. 3. We combined causal modelling with model selection and multimodel inference to analyse 41 years of fishery-independent survey data (1970-2010) and quantify ecosystem-level effects of overfishing and climate variation on the biodiversity of fishes across a broad area (172 000 km(2) ) of the Scotian Shelf. 4. We found that alpha and beta diversity increased with decreases in cod occurrence; fish communities were less homogeneous and more variable in systems where cod no longer dominated. These effects were most pronounced in the colder north-eastern parts of the Scotian Shelf. 5. Our results provide strong evidence that intensive harvesting (and collapse) of marine apex predators can have large impacts on biodiversity, with far-reaching consequences for ecological stability across an entire ecosystem. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ecological Society.

  17. Assessment of the Ecosystem Services Capacity in Natural Protected Areas for Biodiversity Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronchi, Silvia; Salata, Stefano

    2017-10-01

    Recently, in Italy, a legislative proposal has been set to reform the role and the functions of natural protected areas promoting their aggregation (or the abolition) pursuing a better efficiency for their administration and economic saving. The system of natural protected areas is composed of different conservation levels: there are the Natural parks, established in the ‘80 by national or regional institution for the safeguard of natural elements, the Natura 2000 -Habitat 92/43/CEE promoted by European Union, with conservation measures for maintaining or restoring habitats and species of Communitarian interest, and the local parks of supra-municipal interest (namely PLIS) created by single municipalities or their aggregation aimed at limiting the soil sealing process. The hierarchical level of protection has determined differences in the management of the areas which leads to various approaches and strategies for biodiversity conservation and integrity. In order to assess strengths and weaknesses of the legislative initiative, the new management framework should be designed, considering the ecosystem characteristics of each natural protected area to define the future opportunities and critics, rather than, in the extreme case, remove the level of protection due to the absence of valuable ecosystem conditions. The paper provides an operative support to better apply the legislative proposal investigating the dynamics that affect all protected areas using the land take process as a major threat to biodiversity conservation in natural zones. The land take process is explored using the Land Use Change analysis (LUCa) as a possible way to determine the impact and the environmental effects of land transitions. LUCa is also useful to determine the loss of protected zones capacity to support Ecosystem Services. Finally, the assessment of the Ecosystem Services Capacity (ESC) index expresses the ability of each LULC to provide ES and, in particular, the Ecological

  18. Opportunities and challenges for private sector entrepreneurship and investment in biodiversity, ecosystem services and nature conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lambooy, T.E.; Levashova, Y.

    2011-01-01

    Private companies and investors can profit from the enhancement of nature in general and from specific investments allocated to improve biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES). The question is: What is the incentive, from a private sector point of view, to invest in nature, and what are the

  19. Prairie strips improve biodiversity and the delivery of multiple ecosystem services from corn-soybean croplands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losses of biodiversity and ecosystem services from industrial agricultural lands are persistent and growing challenges in the United States despite decades of spending on natural resource management. Most investments have been targeted toward engineered practices (e.g., sediment control basins, terr...

  20. Payments for ecosystem services and the financing of global biodiversity conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hein, L.G.; Miller, D.C.; Groot, de R.S.

    2013-01-01

    It is generally recognized that addressing the ongoing loss of global biodiversity requires a substantial increase in funding for conservation activities, particularly in developing countries. An increasing interest in Payment Mechanisms for Ecosystem Services (PES) begs the question of whether a

  1. Development and Implementation of an Instructional Design for Effective Teaching of Ecosystem, Biodiversity, and Environmental Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yucel, Elif Ozata; Ozkan, Muhlis

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to develop an instructional design whereby ecosystem, biodiversity, and environmental issues are addressed with a holistic approach that provides more efficient teaching as well as to test the effectiveness of this design. A literature review was carried out and need-assessment was firstly made using the Readiness Test. This review…

  2. How can global conventions for biodiversity and ecosystem services guide local conservation actions?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geijzendorffer, Ilse R.; van Teeffelen, Astrid; Allison, Hilary; Braun, Daniela; Horgan, K.; Iturrate-Garcia, Maitane; Santos, Maria João; Pellissier, Loïc; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Helene; Quatrini, Simone; Sakai, Shoko; Zuppinger-Dingley, Debra

    2017-01-01

    With global science-policy conventions for biodiversity and ecosystem services in place, much effort goes into monitoring and reporting on the progress toward policy targets. As conservation actions happen locally, can such global monitoring and reporting efforts effectively guide conservation

  3. Interacting Regional-Scale Regime Shifts for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leadley, P.; Proenca, V.; Fernandez-Manjarres, J.; Pereira, H.M.; Alkemade, J.R.M.; Biggs, R.; Bruley, E.; Cheung, W.; Cooper, D.; Figueiredo, J.; Gilman, E.; Guenette, S.; Hurtt, G.; Mbow, C.; Oberdorff, T.; Revenga, C.; Scharlemann, J.P.W.; Scholes, R.; Smith, M.S.; Sumaila, U.R.; Walpole, M.

    2014-01-01

    Current trajectories of global change may lead to regime shifts at regional scales, driving coupled human-environment systems to highly degraded states in terms of biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human well-being. For business-as-usual socioeconomic development pathways, regime shifts are

  4. Identifying future research directions for biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainability : perspectives from early-career researchers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hossain, S.; Pogue, S.J.; Trenchard, L.; Oudenhoven, van A.P.E.; Washbourne, C-L.; Muiruri, E.W.; Tomczyk, A.M.; García-Llorente, M.; Hale, R.; Hevia, V.; Adams, T.; Tavallali, L.; De, Bell S.; Pye, M.; Resende, F.

    2017-01-01

    We aimed to identify priority research questions in the field of biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainability (BESS), based on a workshop held during the NRG BESS Conference for Early Career Researchers on BESS, and to compare these to existing horizon scanning exercises. This work highlights

  5. Functional traits in agriculture: agrobiodiversity and ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Stephen A; Karp, Daniel S; DeClerck, Fabrice; Kremen, Claire; Naeem, Shahid; Palm, Cheryl A

    2015-09-01

    Functional trait research has led to greater understanding of the impacts of biodiversity in ecosystems. Yet, functional trait approaches have not been widely applied to agroecosystems and understanding of the importance of agrobiodiversity remains limited to a few ecosystem processes and services. To improve this understanding, we argue here for a functional trait approach to agroecology that adopts recent advances in trait research for multitrophic and spatially heterogeneous ecosystems. We suggest that trait values should be measured across environmental conditions and agricultural management regimes to predict how ecosystem services vary with farm practices and environment. This knowledge should be used to develop management strategies that can be easily implemented by farmers to manage agriculture to provide multiple ecosystem services. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The Middle Eastern Biodiversity Network: Generating and sharing knowledge for ecosystem management and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Friedhelm Krupp

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite prevailing arid conditions, the diversity of terrestrial and freshwater biota in the Middle East is amazingly high and marine biodiversity is the second highest on Earth. Throughout the region, threats to the environment are moderate to severe. Despite the outstanding economic and ecological importance of biological diversity, the capacity in biodiversity-related research and education is inadequate in most parts of the Middle East. The ";;Middle Eastern Biodiversity Network";; (MEBN, founded in 2006 by six universities and research institutes in Iran, Jordan, Germany, Lebanon and Yemen was designed to fill this gap. An integrated approach is taken to upgrade biodiversity research and education to improve regional ecosystem conservation and management capacities. A wide range of activities are carried out in the framework of the Network, including capacity building in biological collection management and professional natural history curatorship, developing university curricula in biodiversity, conducting scientific research, organising workshops and conferences on Middle Eastern biodiversity, and translating the results of biodiversity research into conservation and sustainable development.

  7. Soil biodiversity: functions, threats and tools for policy makers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Putten, van der W.H.; Mudgal, S.; Turbé, A.; Toni, de A.; Lavelle, P.; Benito, P.; Ruiz, N.

    2010-01-01

    Human societies rely on the vast diversity of benefits provided by nature, such as food, fibres, construction materials, clean water, clean air and climate regulation. All the elements required for these ecosystem services depend on soil, and soil biodiversity is the driving force behind their

  8. Biodiversity of microcrustaceans (Cladocera, Copepoda in a lowland river ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej Karpowicz

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This study presents comprehensive research on microcrustacean diversity in different types of aquatic environments in the Upper Narew Valley over five years. A total of 559 samples were analyzed, and 74 species of crustacean zooplankton were identified. Metacyclops planus (Gurney, 1909 is a new species for the fauna of Poland and was found in oxbow lakes and tributary streams. The results of the study suggest that oxbow lakes, with more than 80% of all recorded species, may significantly contribute to the regional biodiversity of floodplain rivers. The highest crustacean community diversity was observed in the semi-lotic oxbow lakes, which emphasizes the role of intermediate disturbance in enhancing biodiversity of water bodies in river valleys. Generally, more “heterogeneous” habitats, such as small oxbow lakes and tributary streams, had higher crustacean species richness. However, a sampling station that was quite “homogeneous”, the Narew River upstream the Siemianówka Reservoir, had high crustacean species richness. The species accumulation curves revealed that approximately 50 - 100 zooplankton samples taken from different environments of river valley are required to establish crustacean species richness. These data could be important for river catchment management and could act as pilot survey data for monitoring plans.

  9. Functional traits explain ecosystem function through opposing mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadotte, Marc W

    2017-08-01

    The ability to explain why multispecies assemblages produce greater biomass compared to monocultures, has been a central goal in the quest to understand biodiversity effects on ecosystem function. Species contributions to ecosystem function can be driven by two processes: niche complementarity and a selection effect that is influenced by fitness (competitive) differences, and both can be approximated with measures of species' traits. It has been hypothesised that fitness differences are associated with few, singular traits while complementarity requires multidimensional trait measures. Here, using experimental data from plant assemblages, I show that the selection effect was strongest when trait dissimilarity was low, while complementarity was greatest with high trait dissimilarity. Selection effects were best explained by a single trait, plant height. Complementarity was correlated with dissimilarity across multiple traits, representing above and below ground processes. By identifying the relevant traits linked to ecosystem function, we obtain the ability to predict combinations of species that will maximise ecosystem function. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  10. Insights and Opportunities Offered by a Rapid Ecosystem Service Assessment in Promoting a Conservation Agenda in an Urban Biodiversity Hotspot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. O'Farrell

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Regional and global scale ecosystem service assessments have demonstrated the socioeconomic value of protecting biodiversity and have been integrated into associated policy. Local government decision makers are still unsure of the applicability, return on investment, and usefulness of these assessments in aiding their decision making. Cape Town, a developing city in a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot, has numerous competing land uses. City managers, with a tightly constrained budget, requested an exploratory study on the links between ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation within this municipal area. We set out to develop and test a simple and rapid ecosystem service assessment method aimed at determining the contribution natural vegetation remnants make to ecosystem service provision. We took selected services, identified in conjunction with city managers, and assessed these in two ways. First we used an area weighted approach to attribute services to vegetation types and assessed how these had changed through time and into the future given development needs. Second, we did a regulatory and cultural service remnant distance analysis to better understand proximity effects and linkages. Provisioning services were found to have been most severely affected through vegetation transformation. Regulatory services have been similarly affected, and these losses are more significant because regulatory services can only function in situ and cannot be outsourced in the way provisioning services can. The most significant losses were in coastal zone protection and flood mitigation services, both of which will be placed under even greater pressure given the predicted changes in climatic regimes. The role of remnant vegetation in regulating and cultural services was shown to be a significant additional consideration in making the case for conservation in the city. Our rapid assessment approach does not allow for nuanced and individual

  11. Wildfires, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity in Tropical Dry Forest in India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmerbeck, Joachim; Fiener, Peter

    2015-08-01

    This review is intended to contribute to the understanding of the interlinkage between wildfire in India's tropical dry forest (TDF) and selected ecosystem services (ES), namely forest provisioning and water regulating services, as well as biodiversity. TDF covers approximately 146,000 km2 (4.4 %) of India, whereas according to the MODIS fire product about 2200 km2 (1.4 %) burns per year. As studies on wildfire effects upon ESs and biodiversity in Indian TDFs are rare we partly transferred findings from other (dry) forest areas to the environmental situation in India. In India (intentionally lit) wildfires have a very important connection to local livelihoods and the availability of non-wood forest products. Very important adverse long-term effects are the deterioration of forest ecosystems and soil degradation. The potential for TDF to regulate hydrological cycles is expected to be greater in the absence of fire than with it. A general judgment on the effect of fire on biodiversity is difficult as it depends on the community and species involved but a loss of biodiversity under regular burnings is apparent. Consequently, forest managers need sound knowledge regarding the interplay of wildfires and ecosystem behavior in general and more specific knowledge regarding the effects on taxa being considered for conservation efforts. Generally, much more research is needed to understand the trade-offs between the short-term benefits gained from forest provisioning services and long-term adverse effects.

  12. Wildfires, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity in Tropical Dry Forest in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmerbeck, Joachim; Fiener, Peter

    2015-08-01

    This review is intended to contribute to the understanding of the interlinkage between wildfire in India's tropical dry forest (TDF) and selected ecosystem services (ES), namely forest provisioning and water regulating services, as well as biodiversity. TDF covers approximately 146,000 km(2) (4.4%) of India, whereas according to the MODIS fire product about 2200 km(2) (1.4%) burns per year. As studies on wildfire effects upon ESs and biodiversity in Indian TDFs are rare we partly transferred findings from other (dry) forest areas to the environmental situation in India. In India (intentionally lit) wildfires have a very important connection to local livelihoods and the availability of non-wood forest products. Very important adverse long-term effects are the deterioration of forest ecosystems and soil degradation. The potential for TDF to regulate hydrological cycles is expected to be greater in the absence of fire than with it. A general judgment on the effect of fire on biodiversity is difficult as it depends on the community and species involved but a loss of biodiversity under regular burnings is apparent. Consequently, forest managers need sound knowledge regarding the interplay of wildfires and ecosystem behavior in general and more specific knowledge regarding the effects on taxa being considered for conservation efforts. Generally, much more research is needed to understand the trade-offs between the short-term benefits gained from forest provisioning services and long-term adverse effects.

  13. Small Mammals as Indicators of Climate, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, Andrew G.; Waltari, Eric; Morse, Nathan R.; Flamme, M.J.; Cook, Joseph A.; Talbot, Sandra L.

    2017-01-01

    Climate is a driving evolutionary force for biodiversity in high-latitude Alaska. This region is complex and dynamic with high annual variation in temperature and light. Through deeper time, Alaska has experienced major climate extremes over much longer periodicity. For example, the Quaternary Period (the last ~2.5 million years), commonly known as the Ice Age, was punctuated by more than 20 major glacial-interglacial cycles. During glacial phases, water was locked up in ice sheets that covered much of North America, and the resulting lower sea levels exposed a land connection between Alaska and Siberia, a combined region known as Beringia (Figure 1). This isthmus provided vast expanses of land for species to inhabit, provided they could withstand potentially harsh polar conditions. Each extended glacial phase periodically transitioned into a shorter interglacial warm phase. These climate reversals melted continental ice sheets to expose corridors for reinvasion of terrestrial species, particularly those associated with forested habitats further south. Those species that survived at northern latitudes through repeated glacial-interglacial cycles formed the Arctic tundra communities that persist today. At present, Alaska supports diverse communities associated with both tundra and forests (Figure 2). These communities often interact with one another across latitudinal and elevational gradients, with tundra species generally found further north or higher in elevation. Alaska’s climate is continuing to change today, strongly influencing local environments and the distribution and dynamics of wildlife species.

  14. Satellite Sensor Requirements for Monitoring Essential Biodiversity Variables of Coastal Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller-Karger, Frank E.; Hestir, Erin; Ade, Christiana; Turpie, Kevin; Roberts, Dar A.; Siegel, David; Miller, Robert J.; Humm, David; Izenberg, Noam; Keller, Mary; hide

    2018-01-01

    The biodiversity and high productivity of coastal terrestrial and aquatic habitats are the foundation for important benefits to human societies around the world. These globally distributed habitats need frequent and broad systematic assessments, but field surveys only cover a small fraction of these areas. Satellite-based sensors can repeatedly record the visible and near-infrared reflectance spectra that contain the absorption, scattering, and fluorescence signatures of functional phytoplankton groups, colored dissolved matter, and particulate matter near the surface ocean, and of biologically structured habitats (floating and emergent vegetation, benthic habitats like coral, seagrass, and algae). These measures can be incorporated into Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs), including the distribution, abundance, and traits of groups of species populations, and used to evaluate habitat fragmentation. However, current and planned satellites are not designed to observe the EBVs that change rapidly with extreme tides, salinity, temperatures, storms, pollution, or physical habitat destruction over scales relevant to human activity. Making these observations requires a new generation of satellite sensors able to sample with these combined characteristics: (1) spatial resolution on the order of 30 to 100-m pixels or smaller; (2) spectral resolution on the order of 5 nm in the visible and 10 nm in the short-wave infrared spectrum (or at least two or more bands at 1,030, 1,240, 1,630, 2,125, and/or 2,260 nm) for atmospheric correction and aquatic and vegetation assessments; (3) radiometric quality with signal to noise ratios (SNR) above 800 (relative to signal levels typical of the open ocean), 14-bit digitization, absolute radiometric calibration less than 2%, relative calibration of 0.2%, polarization sensitivity less than 1%, high radiometric stability and linearity, and operations designed to minimize sunglint; and (4) temporal resolution of hours to days. We refer

  15. The ecosystem approach to fisheries: management at the dynamic interface between biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, Simon; Smith, Anthony D M; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Smith, David C

    2014-08-01

    The emergence of an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) was characterized by the adoption of objectives for maintaining ecosystem health alongside those for fisheries. The EAF was expected to meet some aspirations for biodiversity conservation, but health was principally linked to sustainable use rather than lower levels of human impact. Consequently, while policies including EAF concepts identified objectives for fisheries management and biodiversity conservation, the wording often reflected unresolved societal and political debates about objectives and gave imprecise guidance on addressing inevitable trade-offs. Despite scientific progress in making trade-offs and consequences explicit, there remain substantial differences in interpretations of acceptable impact, responses to uncertainty and risk, and the use of management measures by groups accountable for fisheries management and biodiversity conservation. Within and among nations and regions, these differences are influenced by the contribution of fisheries, aquaculture, farming, and trade to food security, consumers' options, and other social, economic, and environmental factors. Notwithstanding, mutual understanding of the motivations and norms of fisheries management and biodiversity conservation groups is increasing, and interactions between these groups have likely supported more progress toward meeting their stated objectives than would have otherwise been achievable. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

  16. Quantifying resilience of multiple ecosystem services and biodiversity in a temperate forest landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantarello, Elena; Newton, Adrian C; Martin, Philip A; Evans, Paul M; Gosal, Arjan; Lucash, Melissa S

    2017-11-01

    Resilience is increasingly being considered as a new paradigm of forest management among scientists, practitioners, and policymakers. However, metrics of resilience to environmental change are lacking. Faced with novel disturbances, forests may be able to sustain existing ecosystem services and biodiversity by exhibiting resilience, or alternatively these attributes may undergo either a linear or nonlinear decline. Here we provide a novel quantitative approach for assessing forest resilience that focuses on three components of resilience, namely resistance, recovery, and net change, using a spatially explicit model of forest dynamics. Under the pulse set scenarios, we explored the resilience of nine ecosystem services and four biodiversity measures following a one-off disturbance applied to an increasing percentage of forest area. Under the pulse + press set scenarios, the six disturbance intensities explored during the pulse set were followed by a continuous disturbance. We detected thresholds in net change under pulse + press scenarios for the majority of the ecosystem services and biodiversity measures, which started to decline sharply when disturbance affected >40% of the landscape. Thresholds in net change were not observed under the pulse scenarios, with the exception of timber volume and ground flora species richness. Thresholds were most pronounced for aboveground biomass, timber volume with respect to the ecosystem services, and ectomycorrhizal fungi and ground flora species richness with respect to the biodiversity measures. Synthesis and applications . The approach presented here illustrates how the multidimensionality of stability research in ecology can be addressed and how forest resilience can be estimated in practice. Managers should adopt specific management actions to support each of the three components of resilience separately, as these may respond differently to disturbance. In addition, management interventions aiming to deliver resilience

  17. Regional assessment of North America: Urbanization trends, biodiversity patterns, and ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPhearson, Timon; Auch, Roger F.; Alberti, Marina

    2013-01-01

    North America contains some of the most urbanized landscapes in the world. In the United States (U.S.) and Canada, approximately 80 % of the population is urban, with Mexico slightly less (Kaiser Family Foundation 2013). Population growth combined with economic growth has fueled recent urban land expansion in North America. Between 1970 and 2000, urban land area expanded at a rate of 3.31 % (Seto et al. 2011) creating unique challenges for conserving biodiversity and maintaining regional and local ecosystem services.

  18. Developing wind energy in Ireland - consequences for our biodiversity and ecosystem services

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bourke, David; Stout, Jane

    2011-07-01

    Full text: In response to climate change, the EU has set a target to achieve 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020 (Directive 2009/28/EC). Consequently, Ireland has set targets of 40, 10 and 12% of energy coming from renewable sources for electricity, transport and heat, respectively, by 2020. Wind energy is expected to contribute significantly to achieving these targets given Ireland.s large onshore and offshore wind potential. However, the potential impacts of these wind farm developments on Ireland.s biodiversity remain largely un quantified. The SIMBIOSYS (www.SIMBIOSYS.ie) project was set up to investigate the impacts of a range of sectors on biodiversity and ecosystem services, with part of the project.s focus on those measures that may help mitigate the effects of climate change. In this paper we aim to assess the potential positive and negative impacts of wind farms on Ireland.s marine and terrestrial biodiversity, highlighting potential conflicts concerning the spatial distribution of our wind and biodiversity resources. To help make these assessments an extensive review of the national and international scientific literature is used to highlight the potential positive and negative impacts of wind farm developments on biodiversity to date. Using GIS, spatial analyses are then used to quantify the extent to which wind resources and current and future wind farm developments overlap with biodiversity, using indicators such as Natura 2000 sites and Red Data List Plants. The outputs of these analyses are combined to help make recommendations on the sustainable future planning and management of wind farms in Ireland. Appropriate impact assessment and careful spatial planning will help ensure the direct benefits of green house gas emission reduction are maximised without compromising the protection of biodiversity in Ireland. (Author)

  19. Biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity offers multiple opportunities for development and improving human well-being. It is the basis for essential environmental services upon which life on Earth depends. Thus, its conservation and sustainable use are of critical importance...

  20. Temporal and spatial differences between taxonomic and trait biodiversity in a large marine ecosystem: Causes and consequences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dencker, Tim Spaanheden; Pécuchet, Lauréne; Beukhof, Esther

    2017-01-01

    Biodiversity is a multifaceted concept, yet most biodiversity studies have taken a taxonomic approach, implying that all species are equally important. However, species do not contribute equally to ecosystem processes and differ markedly in their responses to changing environments. This recogniti...

  1. A National Analysis of Reptile Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services within the Protected Areas of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    A focus for resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis has been mapping and quantifying biodiversity and ecosystem services. The challenge has been to integrate ecology with economics to better understand the effects of human policies and acti...

  2. Fish biodiversity sampling in stream ecosystems: a process for evaluating the appropriate types and amount of gear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Joseph M.; Wells, Sarah P.; Mather, Martha E.; Muth, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Because human impacts and climate change threaten aquatic ecosystems, a need exists to quantify catchment-scale biodiversity patterns and identify conservation actions that can mitigate adverse human impacts on aquatic biota.

  3. The relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem services and the effects of grazing cessation in semi-natural grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Wehn

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Land use change can affect biodiversity, and this has an impact on ecosystem services (ESs, but the relationships between biodiversity and ESs are complex and poorly understood. Biodiversity is declining due to the abandonment of extensively grazed semi-natural grasslands.We therefore aim to explore relationships between biodiversity and ESs provided by extensively managed semi-natural grasslands. Focusing on vascular plant species richness, as well as the ESs fodder quantity, quality, and stability, allergy control, climate regulation, nutrient cycling, pollination, and aesthetic appreciation, we carried out botanical field surveys of 28 paired extensively grazed and abandoned semi-natural grassland plots, with four subplots of 4 m2 in each plot. The management of the semi-natural grasslands is and has been at low intensity. We calculated the influence of abandonment on the ES indicators, measured the correlation between the biodiversity measure of vascular plant species richness and ES indicators, and finally determined how the relationships between plant species richness and the ES indicators were affected by the cessation of the extensive management.ES indicators are often, but not always, positively correlated with species richness. Cessation of extensive grazing has both negative and positive effects on ES indicators but the relationships between species richness and ES indicators are often different in extensively managed and abandoned semi-natural grasslands. The relationships between species richness and ES indicators are less pronounced in the extensively managed semi-natural grassland than for the abandoned. One possible reason for this outcome is high functional redundancy in the extensively managed semi-natural grasslands.

  4. Ecosystem Functions across Trophic Levels Are Linked to Functional and Phylogenetic Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Patrick L.; Davies, T. Jonathan; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    In experimental systems, it has been shown that biodiversity indices based on traits or phylogeny can outperform species richness as predictors of plant ecosystem function. However, it is unclear whether this pattern extends to the function of food webs in natural ecosystems. Here we tested whether zooplankton functional and phylogenetic diversity explains the functioning of 23 natural pond communities. We used two measures of ecosystem function: (1) zooplankton community biomass and (2) phytoplankton abundance (Chl a). We tested for diversity-ecosystem function relationships within and across trophic levels. We found a strong correlation between zooplankton diversity and ecosystem function, whereas local environmental conditions were less important. Further, the positive diversity-ecosystem function relationships were more pronounced for measures of functional and phylogenetic diversity than for species richness. Zooplankton and phytoplankton biomass were best predicted by different indices, suggesting that the two functions are dependent upon different aspects of diversity. Zooplankton community biomass was best predicted by zooplankton trait-based functional richness, while phytoplankton abundance was best predicted by zooplankton phylogenetic diversity. Our results suggest that the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem function can extend across trophic levels in natural environments, and that greater insight into variation in ecosystem function can be gained by combining functional and phylogenetic diversity measures. PMID:25693188

  5. The importance of conserving biodiversity outside of protected areas in mediterranean ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin L Cox

    Full Text Available Mediterranean-type ecosystems constitute one of the rarest terrestrial biomes and yet they are extraordinarily biodiverse. Home to over 250 million people, the five regions where these ecosystems are found have climate and coastal conditions that make them highly desirable human habitats. The current conservation landscape does not reflect the mediterranean biome's rarity and its importance for plant endemism. Habitat conversion will clearly outpace expansion of formal protected-area networks, and conservationists must augment this traditional strategy with new approaches to sustain the mediterranean biota. Using regional scale datasets, we determine the area of land in each of the five regions that is protected, converted (e.g., to urban or industrial, impacted (e.g., intensive, cultivated agriculture, or lands that we consider to have conservation potential. The latter are natural and semi-natural lands that are unprotected (e.g., private range lands but sustain numerous native species and associated habitats. Chile has the greatest proportion of its land (75% in this category and California-Mexico the least (48%. To illustrate the potential for achieving mediterranean biodiversity conservation on these lands, we use species-area curves generated from ecoregion scale data on native plant species richness and vertebrate species richness. For example, if biodiversity could be sustained on even 25% of existing unprotected, natural and semi-natural lands, we estimate that the habitat of more than 6,000 species could be represented. This analysis suggests that if unprotected natural and semi-natural lands are managed in a manner that allows for persistence of native species, we can realize significant additional biodiversity gains. Lasting biodiversity protection at the scale needed requires unprecedented collaboration among stakeholders to promote conservation both inside and outside of traditional protected areas, including on lands where people

  6. Habitat mosaics and path analysis can improve biological conservation of aquatic biodiversity in ecosystems with low-head dams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitchman, Sean M; Mather, Martha E; Smith, Joseph M; Fencl, Jane S

    2018-04-01

    Conserving native biodiversity depends on restoring functional habitats in the face of human-induced disturbances. Low-head dams are a ubiquitous human impact that degrades aquatic ecosystems worldwide. To improve our understanding of how low-head dams impact habitat and associated biodiversity, our research examined complex interactions among three spheres of the total environment. i.e., how low-head dams (anthroposphere) affect aquatic habitat (hydrosphere), and native biodiversity (biosphere) in streams and rivers. Creation of lake-like habitats upstream of low-head dams is a well-documented major impact of dams. Alterations downstream of low head dams also have important consequences, but these downstream dam effects are more challenging to detect. In a multidisciplinary field study at five dammed and five undammed sites within the Neosho River basin, KS, we tested hypotheses about two types of habitat sampling (transect and mosaic) and two types of statistical analyses (analysis of covariance and path analysis). We used fish as our example of biodiversity alteration. Our research provided three insights that can aid environmental professionals who seek to conserve and restore fish biodiversity in aquatic ecosystems threatened by human modifications. First, a mosaic approach identified habitat alterations below low-head dams (e.g. increased proportion of riffles) that were not detected using the more commonly-used transect sampling approach. Second, the habitat mosaic approach illustrated how low-head dams reduced natural variation in stream habitat. Third, path analysis, a statistical approach that tests indirect effects, showed how dams, habitat, and fish biodiversity interact. Specifically, path analysis revealed that low-head dams increased the proportion of riffle habitat below dams, and, as a result, indirectly increased fish species richness. Furthermore, the pool habitat that was created above low-head dams dramatically decreased fish species richness

  7. Habitat mosaics and path analysis can improve biological conservation of aquatic biodiversity in ecosystems with low-head dams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitchman, Sean M.; Mather, Martha E.; Smith, Joseph M.; Fencl, Jane S.

    2018-01-01

    Conserving native biodiversity depends on restoring functional habitats in the face of human-induced disturbances. Low-head dams are a ubiquitous human impact that degrades aquatic ecosystems worldwide. To improve our understanding of how low-head dams impact habitat and associated biodiversity, our research examined complex interactions among three spheres of the total environment. i.e., how low-head dams (anthroposphere) affect aquatic habitat (hydrosphere), and native biodiversity (biosphere) in streams and rivers. Creation of lake-like habitats upstream of low-head dams is a well-documented major impact of dams. Alterations downstream of low head dams also have important consequences, but these downstream dam effects are more challenging to detect. In a multidisciplinary field study at five dammed and five undammed sites within the Neosho River basin, KS, we tested hypotheses about two types of habitat sampling (transect and mosaic) and two types of statistical analyses (analysis of covariance and path analysis). We used fish as our example of biodiversity alteration. Our research provided three insights that can aid environmental professionals who seek to conserve and restore fish biodiversity in aquatic ecosystems threatened by human modifications. First, a mosaic approach identified habitat alterations below low-head dams (e.g. increased proportion of riffles) that were not detected using the more commonly-used transect sampling approach. Second, the habitat mosaic approach illustrated how low-head dams reduced natural variation in stream habitat. Third, path analysis, a statistical approach that tests indirect effects, showed how dams, habitat, and fish biodiversity interact. Specifically, path analysis revealed that low-head dams increased the proportion of riffle habitat below dams, and, as a result, indirectly increased fish species richness. Furthermore, the pool habitat that was created above low-head dams dramatically decreased fish species

  8. Predicting richness effects on ecosystem function in natural communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dangles, Olivier; Crespo-Pérez, Verónica; Andino, Patricio

    2011-01-01

    rates in the field, although water discharge may also play a role locally. We also examined the relative contribution of the three most abundant shredders on decomposition rates by manipulating shredder richness and community composition in a field experiment. Transgressive overyielding was detected....... Despite the increased complexity of experimental and theoretical studies on the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (B-EF) relationship, a major challenge is to demonstrate whether the observed importance of biodiversity in controlled experimental systems also persists in nature. Due...... to their structural simplicity and their low levels of human impacts, extreme species-poor ecosystems may provide new insights into B-EF relationships in natural systems. We address this issue using shredder invertebrate communities and organic matter decomposition rates in 24 high-altitude (3200-3900 m) Neotropical...

  9. Neotropical coastal lagoons: an appraisal of their biodiversity, functioning, threats and conservation management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FA. Esteves

    Full Text Available Neotropical coastal lagoons (NCL are human-dominated ecosystems. Their distribution along densely populated coastal areas of developing countries makes these systems among the most threatened in the world. Here, we summarize some aspects of the causes and consequences of NCL biodiversity, their functioning, their importance to the surrounding populations, their fragility, and their responses to local and global anthropogenic impacts and the challenges that Neotropical countries face in conserving these systems. Although still scarce and geographically concentrated, a growing body of studies has shown that NCLs are physiographically diversified systems, which harbor a considerable and particular proportion of the Neotropical inland aquatic biodiversity. Despite the fact that coastal lagoons are ecotones that are intricately connected to surrounding environments, they develop mechanisms for structural and functional regulation, which confer to these systems higher productivity and carrying capacities than surrounding ecosystems. Such traits attract residential developments and subsidize local traditional populations with important economic and aesthetic ecosystem revenues such as fisheries and scenic beauty. However, the disorganized human occupation around NCLs are causing profound impacts such as eutrophication, salinization, exotic species introduction, as well as other effects, which are ultimately imposing major habitat degradations and biodiversity extirpations in NCLs. We argue that interdisciplinary conservation strategies, which integrate scientific expertise, government officials, private companies and the general public, are the most likely to overcome the geographic and economic obstacles to NCL conservation.

  10. Functional identity and diversity of animals predict ecosystem functioning better than species-based indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagic, Vesna; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Jonsson, Tomas; Taylor, Astrid; Winqvist, Camilla; Fischer, Christina; Slade, Eleanor M; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Emmerson, Mark; Potts, Simon G; Tscharntke, Teja; Weisser, Wolfgang; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2015-02-22

    Drastic biodiversity declines have raised concerns about the deterioration of ecosystem functions and have motivated much recent research on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning. A functional trait framework has been proposed to improve the mechanistic understanding of this relationship, but this has rarely been tested for organisms other than plants. We analysed eight datasets, including five animal groups, to examine how well a trait-based approach, compared with a more traditional taxonomic approach, predicts seven ecosystem functions below- and above-ground. Trait-based indices consistently provided greater explanatory power than species richness or abundance. The frequency distributions of single or multiple traits in the community were the best predictors of ecosystem functioning. This implies that the ecosystem functions we investigated were underpinned by the combination of trait identities (i.e. single-trait indices) and trait complementarity (i.e. multi-trait indices) in the communities. Our study provides new insights into the general mechanisms that link biodiversity to ecosystem functioning in natural animal communities and suggests that the observed responses were due to the identity and dominance patterns of the trait composition rather than the number or abundance of species per se. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  11. The effects of logging residue extraction for energy on ecosystem services and biodiversity: A synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranius, Thomas; Hämäläinen, Aino; Egnell, Gustaf; Olsson, Bengt; Eklöf, Karin; Stendahl, Johan; Rudolphi, Jörgen; Sténs, Anna; Felton, Adam

    2018-03-01

    We review the consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem services from the industrial-scale extraction of logging residues (tops, branches and stumps from harvested trees and small-diameter trees from thinnings) in managed forests. Logging residue extraction can replace fossil fuels, and thus contribute to climate change mitigation. The additional biomass and nutrients removed, and soils and other structures disturbed, have several potential environmental impacts. To evaluate potential impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity we reviewed 279 scientific papers that compared logging residue extraction with non-extraction, the majority of which were conducted in Northern Europe and North America. The weight of available evidence indicates that logging residue extraction can have significant negative effects on biodiversity, especially for species naturally adapted to sun-exposed conditions and the large amounts of dead wood that are created by large-scaled forest disturbances. Slash extraction may also pose risks for future biomass production itself, due to the associated loss of nutrients. For water quality, reindeer herding, mammalian game species, berries, and natural heritage the results were complicated by primarily negative but some positive effects, while for recreation and pest control positive effects were more consistent. Further, there are initial negative effects on carbon storage, but these effects are transient and carbon stocks are mostly restored over decadal time perspectives. We summarize ways of decreasing some of the negative effects of logging residue extraction on specific ecosystem services, by changing the categories of residue extracted, and site or forest type targeted for extraction. However, we found that suggested pathways for minimizing adverse outcomes were often in conflict among the ecosystem services assessed. Compensatory measures for logging residue extraction may also be used (e.g. ash recycling, liming, fertilization

  12. Green Infrastructure Design Based on Spatial Conservation Prioritization and Modeling of Biodiversity Features and Ecosystem Services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snäll, Tord; Lehtomäki, Joona; Arponen, Anni; Elith, Jane; Moilanen, Atte

    2016-02-01

    There is high-level political support for the use of green infrastructure (GI) across Europe, to maintain viable populations and to provide ecosystem services (ES). Even though GI is inherently a spatial concept, the modern tools for spatial planning have not been recognized, such as in the recent European Environment Agency (EEA) report. We outline a toolbox of methods useful for GI design that explicitly accounts for biodiversity and ES. Data on species occurrence, habitats, and environmental variables are increasingly available via open-access internet platforms. Such data can be synthesized by statistical species distribution modeling, producing maps of biodiversity features. These, together with maps of ES, can form the basis for GI design. We argue that spatial conservation prioritization (SCP) methods are effective tools for GI design, as the overall SCP goal is cost-effective allocation of conservation efforts. Corridors are currently promoted by the EEA as the means for implementing GI design, but they typically target the needs of only a subset of the regional species pool. SCP methods would help to ensure that GI provides a balanced solution for the requirements of many biodiversity features (e.g., species, habitat types) and ES simultaneously in a cost-effective manner. Such tools are necessary to make GI into an operational concept for combating biodiversity loss and promoting ES.

  13. Life cycle assessment needs predictive spatial modelling for biodiversity and ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca; Sim, Sarah; Hamel, Perrine; Bryant, Benjamin; Noe, Ryan; Mueller, Carina; Rigarlsford, Giles; Kulak, Michal; Kowal, Virginia; Sharp, Richard; Clavreul, Julie; Price, Edward; Polasky, Stephen; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Daily, Gretchen

    2017-04-21

    International corporations in an increasingly globalized economy exert a major influence on the planet's land use and resources through their product design and material sourcing decisions. Many companies use life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate their sustainability, yet commonly-used LCA methodologies lack the spatial resolution and predictive ecological information to reveal key impacts on climate, water and biodiversity. We present advances for LCA that integrate spatially explicit modelling of land change and ecosystem services in a Land-Use Change Improved (LUCI)-LCA. Comparing increased demand for bioplastics derived from two alternative feedstock-location scenarios for maize and sugarcane, we find that the LUCI-LCA approach yields results opposite to those of standard LCA for greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, and of different magnitudes for soil erosion and biodiversity. This approach highlights the importance of including information about where and how land-use change and related impacts will occur in supply chain and innovation decisions.

  14. Life cycle assessment needs predictive spatial modelling for biodiversity and ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca; Sim, Sarah; Hamel, Perrine; Bryant, Benjamin; Noe, Ryan; Mueller, Carina; Rigarlsford, Giles; Kulak, Michal; Kowal, Virginia; Sharp, Richard; Clavreul, Julie; Price, Edward; Polasky, Stephen; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Daily, Gretchen

    2017-04-01

    International corporations in an increasingly globalized economy exert a major influence on the planet's land use and resources through their product design and material sourcing decisions. Many companies use life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate their sustainability, yet commonly-used LCA methodologies lack the spatial resolution and predictive ecological information to reveal key impacts on climate, water and biodiversity. We present advances for LCA that integrate spatially explicit modelling of land change and ecosystem services in a Land-Use Change Improved (LUCI)-LCA. Comparing increased demand for bioplastics derived from two alternative feedstock-location scenarios for maize and sugarcane, we find that the LUCI-LCA approach yields results opposite to those of standard LCA for greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, and of different magnitudes for soil erosion and biodiversity. This approach highlights the importance of including information about where and how land-use change and related impacts will occur in supply chain and innovation decisions.

  15. Identification, definition and quantification of goods and services provided by marine biodiversity: Implications for the ecosystem approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beaumont, N.J.; Austen, M.C.; Atkins, J.P.; Burdon, D.; Degraer, S.; Dentinho, T.P.; Serous, S.; Holm, P.; Horton, T.; Ierland, van E.C.; Marboe, A.H.; Starkey, D.J.; Townsend, M.; Zarzycki, T.

    2007-01-01

    This paper identifies and defines ecosystem goods and services provided by marine biodiversity. Case studies have been used to provide an insight into the practical issues associated with the assessment of marine ecosystem goods and services at specific locations. The aim of this research was to

  16. Rapid Assessment of Ecosystem Service Co-Benefits of Biodiversity Priority Areas in Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel A Neugarten

    Full Text Available The importance of ecosystems for supporting human well-being is increasingly recognized by both the conservation and development sectors. Our ability to conserve ecosystems that people rely on is often limited by a lack of spatially explicit data on the location and distribution of ecosystem services (ES, the benefits provided by nature to people. Thus there is a need to map ES to guide conservation investments, to ensure these co-benefits are maintained. To target conservation investments most effectively, ES assessments must be rigorous enough to support conservation planning, rapid enough to respond to decision-making timelines, and often must rely on existing data. We developed a framework for rapid spatial assessment of ES that relies on expert and stakeholder consultation, available data, and spatial analyses in order to rapidly identify sites providing multiple benefits. We applied the framework in Madagascar, a country with globally significant biodiversity and a high level of human dependence on ecosystems. Our objective was to identify the ES co-benefits of biodiversity priority areas in order to guide the investment strategy of a global conservation fund. We assessed key provisioning (fisheries, hunting and non-timber forest products, and water for domestic use, agriculture, and hydropower, regulating (climate mitigation, flood risk reduction and coastal protection, and cultural (nature tourism ES. We also conducted multi-criteria analyses to identify sites providing multiple benefits. While our approach has limitations, including the reliance on proximity-based indicators for several ES, the results were useful for targeting conservation investments by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF. Because our approach relies on available data, standardized methods for linking ES provision to ES use, and expert validation, it has the potential to quickly guide conservation planning and investment decisions in other data-poor regions.

  17. Rapid Assessment of Ecosystem Service Co-Benefits of Biodiversity Priority Areas in Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andriamaro, Luciano; Cano, Carlos Andres; Grantham, Hedley S.; Hole, David; Juhn, Daniel; McKinnon, Madeleine; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Steininger, Marc; Wright, Timothy Max

    2016-01-01

    The importance of ecosystems for supporting human well-being is increasingly recognized by both the conservation and development sectors. Our ability to conserve ecosystems that people rely on is often limited by a lack of spatially explicit data on the location and distribution of ecosystem services (ES), the benefits provided by nature to people. Thus there is a need to map ES to guide conservation investments, to ensure these co-benefits are maintained. To target conservation investments most effectively, ES assessments must be rigorous enough to support conservation planning, rapid enough to respond to decision-making timelines, and often must rely on existing data. We developed a framework for rapid spatial assessment of ES that relies on expert and stakeholder consultation, available data, and spatial analyses in order to rapidly identify sites providing multiple benefits. We applied the framework in Madagascar, a country with globally significant biodiversity and a high level of human dependence on ecosystems. Our objective was to identify the ES co-benefits of biodiversity priority areas in order to guide the investment strategy of a global conservation fund. We assessed key provisioning (fisheries, hunting and non-timber forest products, and water for domestic use, agriculture, and hydropower), regulating (climate mitigation, flood risk reduction and coastal protection), and cultural (nature tourism) ES. We also conducted multi-criteria analyses to identify sites providing multiple benefits. While our approach has limitations, including the reliance on proximity-based indicators for several ES, the results were useful for targeting conservation investments by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). Because our approach relies on available data, standardized methods for linking ES provision to ES use, and expert validation, it has the potential to quickly guide conservation planning and investment decisions in other data-poor regions. PMID:28006005

  18. Continental-Scale Effects of Nutrient Pollution on Stream Ecosystem Functioning

    OpenAIRE

    Woodward , Guy; Gessner , Mark O.; Giller , Paul S.; Gulis , Vladislav; Hladyz , Sally; Lecerf , Antoine; Malmqvist , Björn; McKie , Brendan G.; Tiegs , Scott D.; Cariss , Helen; Dobson , Mike; Elosegi , Arturo; Ferreira , Veronica; Graça , Manuel A. S.; Fleituch , Tadeusz

    2012-01-01

    International audience; Excessive nutrient loading is a major threat to aquatic ecosystems worldwide that leads to profound changes in aquatic biodiversity and biogeochemical processes. Systematic quantitative assessment of functional ecosystem measures for river networks is, however, lacking, especially at continental scales. Here, we narrow this gap by means of a pan-European field experiment on a fundamental ecosystem process--leaf-litter breakdown--in 100 streams across a greater than 100...

  19. Grazing management that regenerates ecosystem function and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Grazing management that regenerates ecosystem function and grazingland ... in ecosystem improvement, productivity, soil carbon and fertility, water-holding ... for sufficient time to produce resource improvement, sound animal production, and ...

  20. Biodiversity change is uncoupled from species richness trends : Consequences for conservation and monitoring

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hillebrand, Helmut; Blasius, Bernd; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Chase, Jonathan M.; Downing, John A.; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Filstrup, Christopher T.; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hodapp, Dorothee; Larsen, Stefano; Lewandowska, Aleksandra M.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Van de Waal, Dedmer B.; Ryabov, Alexey B.

    Global concern about human impact on biological diversity has triggered an intense research agenda on drivers and consequences of biodiversity change in parallel with international policy seeking to conserve biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions. Quantifying the trends in biodiversity is

  1. Biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity as key drivers of ecosystem services provided by soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, P.; Cotrufo, M. F.; Rumpel, C.; Paustian, K.; Kuikman, P. J.; Elliott, J. A.; McDowell, R.; Griffiths, R. I.; Asakawa, S.; Bustamante, M.; House, J. I.; Sobocká, J.; Harper, R.; Pan, G.; West, P. C.; Gerber, J. S.; Clark, J. M.; Adhya, T.; Scholes, R. J.; Scholes, M. C.

    2015-06-01

    Soils play a pivotal role in major global biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nutrient and water), while hosting the largest diversity of organisms on land. Because of this, soils deliver fundamental ecosystem services, and management to change a soil process in support of one ecosystem service can either provide co-benefits to other services or can result in trade-offs. In this critical review, we report the state-of-the-art understanding concerning the biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity in soil, and relate these to the provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural ecosystem services which they underpin. We then outline key knowledge gaps and research challenges, before providing recommendations for management activities to support the continued delivery of ecosystem services from soils. We conclude that although there are knowledge gaps that require further research, enough is known to start improving soils globally. The main challenge is in finding ways to share knowledge with soil managers and policy-makers, so that best-practice management can be implemented. A key element of this knowledge sharing must be in raising awareness of the multiple ecosystem services underpinned by soils, and the natural capital they provide. The International Year of Soils in 2015 presents the perfect opportunity to begin a step-change in how we harness scientific knowledge to bring about more sustainable use of soils for a secure global society.

  2. Ecosystem services, land-cover change, and stakeholders: finding a sustainable foothold for a semiarid biodiversity hotspot

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Reyers, B

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available -cover change involves changes in the human management of ecosystems (e.g., settlement, cultivation, and grazing) that alter the biogeochemical cycles, climate, and hydrology of an ecosystem. It also drives biodiversity loss through habitat fragmentation... and Frank 2006, Li et al. 2007). Case studies and simulations of land-cover change have also been used to examine the effects on single ecosystem services or processes (e.g., nitrogen levels (Turner et al. 2003), pollination (Priess et al. 2007...

  3. Biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity as key drivers of ecosystem services provided by soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, P.; Cotrufo, M. F.; Rumpel, C.; Paustian, K.; Kuikman, P. J.; Elliott, J. A.; McDowell, R.; Griffiths, R. I.; Asakawa, S.; Bustamante, M.; House, J. I.; Sobocká, J.; Harper, R.; Pan, G.; West, P. C.; Gerber, J. S.; Clark, J. M.; Adhya, T.; Scholes, R. J.; Scholes, M. C.

    2015-11-01

    Soils play a pivotal role in major global biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nutrient, and water), while hosting the largest diversity of organisms on land. Because of this, soils deliver fundamental ecosystem services, and management to change a soil process in support of one ecosystem service can either provide co-benefits to other services or result in trade-offs. In this critical review, we report the state-of-the-art understanding concerning the biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity in soil, and relate these to the provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services which they underpin. We then outline key knowledge gaps and research challenges, before providing recommendations for management activities to support the continued delivery of ecosystem services from soils. We conclude that, although soils are complex, there are still knowledge gaps, and fundamental research is still needed to better understand the relationships between different facets of soils and the array of ecosystem services they underpin, enough is known to implement best practices now. There is a tendency among soil scientists to dwell on the complexity and knowledge gaps rather than to focus on what we do know and how this knowledge can be put to use to improve the delivery of ecosystem services. A significant challenge is to find effective ways to share knowledge with soil managers and policy makers so that best management can be implemented. A key element of this knowledge exchange must be to raise awareness of the ecosystems services underpinned by soils and thus the natural capital they provide. We know enough to start moving in the right direction while we conduct research to fill in our knowledge gaps. The lasting legacy of the International Year of Soils in 2015 should be for soil scientists to work together with policy makers and land managers to put soils at the centre of environmental policy making and land management decisions.

  4. Soundscape studies in Montreal's Biodome: using enclosed ecosystems to explain biodiversity to the public

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher Favret, K. E.

    2016-02-01

    The Biodome in Montreal is a unique public museum with over 750 species organized into five different ecosystems. We spent several weeks obtaining soundscapes from three of these: Gulf of St. Lawrence, Labrador Coast, and Sub-Antarctic Islands. The idea was to leverage the accessibility and known biodiversity of these mesocosms to calibrate instruments, evaluate methods for assessing biodiversity, and educate people ranging from the penguin keeper to the general public about soundscape ecology and biodiversity assessments. The Gulf of St. Lawrence exhibit has hundreds of fish that belong to 20 species swimming in 2.5 million gallons of seawater, with seabirds and invertebrates nearby. The Sub-Antarctic Islands exhibit, by contrast, has four species of penguins. As part of Montreal's Space for Life program, there is a searchable index of the species available to the public: http://espacepourlavie.ca/en/fauna-and-flora-biodome.The emerging field of soundscape ecology offers a new approach for effectively monitoring changes in sounds generated by communities ranging from urban centers to oceans. The entropy-based approach pioneered by Sueur et al., (2008) characterizes acoustic spectrograms based on the spectral space-filling properties of the sound producers. By calculating the complexity of the acoustic environment, we can detect cycles over various time scales. Disturbed systems can be detected by changes in the timing and frequency of sounds filling various "niches" in the soundscape that might act as early warnings of changes induced on scales from single events to climate shifts. These changes range from presence or absence of vocalizations by individual species, to changes in the higher order statistics of the daily sound structures that include sounds with physical, biological, and human origins. Here we show what we have learned so far about comparing enclosed ecosystems to the real world outside, and some of the challenges and rewards of using soundscape

  5. The Smithsonian-led Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO): Proposed Model for a Collaborative Network Linking Marine Biodiversity to Ecosystem Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, J. E.

    2016-02-01

    Biodiversity - the variety of functional types of organisms - is the engine of marine ecosystem processes, including productivity, nutrient cycling, and carbon sequestration. Biodiversity remains a black box in much of ocean science, despite wide recognition that effectively managing human interactions with marine ecosystems requires understanding both structure and functional consequences of biodiversity. Moreover, the inherent complexity of biological systems puts a premium on data-rich, comparative approaches, which are best met via collaborative networks. The Smithsonian Institution's MarineGEO program links a growing network of partners conducting parallel, comparative research to understand change in marine biodiversity and ecosystems, natural and anthropogenic drivers of that change, and the ecological processes mediating it. The focus is on nearshore, seabed-associated systems where biodiversity and human population are concentrated and interact most, yet which fall through the cracks of existing ocean observing programs. MarineGEO offers a standardized toolbox of research modules that efficiently capture key elements of biological diversity and its importance in ecological processes across a range of habitats. The toolbox integrates high-tech (DNA-based, imaging) and low-tech protocols (diver surveys, rapid assays of consumer activity) adaptable to differing institutional capacity and resources. The model for long-term sustainability involves leveraging in-kind support among partners, adoption of best practices wherever possible, engagement of students and citizen scientists, and benefits of training, networking, and global relevance as incentives for participation. Here I highlight several MarineGEO comparative research projects demonstrating the value of standardized, scalable assays and parallel experiments for measuring fish and invertebrate diversity, recruitment, benthic herbivory and generalist predation, decomposition, and carbon sequestration. Key

  6. Biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Giraldo; Luis Jair

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity is a really surprising ecological event, as long as there is an extraordinary chemical and biochemical homogeneity at the very foundation of all living beings. It is believed that there are at least three phenomena that may explain it: Darwinian evolution, that is a kind of ramifying evolution; structural coupling, as defined by H. Maturana; and, finally, thermodynamical phenomena, as presented by S. Kauffman leaning on the concepts of organization and a propagating organization that diversifies, and they are all interpreted by E. D. Schneider and J. J. Kay from the idea of Earth as a thermodynamical system. The explanatory importance of this idea in the current environmental crisis, evident in other events such as global warming, is of great relevance.

  7. Land-use intensification can exaggerate the reduction of functionality with increasing soil biodiversity loss in an alpine meadow on eastern Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Manqiang; Chen, Xiaoyun; Chen, Chenying; Hu, Zhengkun; Guo, Hui; Li, Junyong; Du, Guozhen; Li, Huixin; Hu, Feng

    2017-04-01

    Soil biota plays a pivotal role in ecosystem functionality which is of central importance to sustainable services such as food and fiber production. Intensive land use is associated with species loss and subsequent the related functionality loss. Currently, the claim that negligible effects of soil biodiversity loss due to high functional redundancy has been questioned in the face of intense human activities. Recent studies corroborated that soil biodiversity guaranteed functionality following perturbation. Few studies have, however, attempted to explore the intensive land use on the relationship between soil biodiversity and function particularly for the region susceptible to human perturbation and climate change. With increasing demands for livestock on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, extensive fertilization is a common way to fill the gap of grass productivity in the alpine meadow. However, excess chemical fertilizer can lead to the species loss and functionality degradation. Do the fertilizer-induced changes in soil biota lead to a higher risk of functionality? We predicted that fertilization would exacerbate effects of biodiversity-loss on the reduction of functionality. Herein, a dilution-to-extinction approach was used to set up soil biodiversity loss by inoculating serially diluted soil suspension (ranging from 100 to 10-8 levels) from two long-term fertilization treatments to the sterilized soil that has never been fertilized. The two fertilization treatments represented two distinct intensification land use including the unfertilized control (NP0) and a fertilized treatment (NP120) amended with (NH4)2HPO4 annually (120 kg ha-1 yr-1) since 2002 in an alpine meadow on the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Soil microcosms of 2 fertilization levels crossing 8 biodiversity levels were incubated for 8 months. Then, soil community and multi-functionality parameters including carbon (C)and nutrient mineralization, plant growth and functional stability were determined

  8. Building on Two Decades of Ecosystem Management and Biodiversity Conservation under the Northwest Forest Plan, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominick A. DellaSala

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The 1994 Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP shifted federal lands management from a focus on timber production to ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation. The plan established a network of conservation reserves and an ecosystem management strategy on ~10 million hectares from northern California to Washington State, USA, within the range of the federally threatened northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina. Several subsequent assessments—and 20 years of data from monitoring programs established under the plan—have demonstrated the effectiveness of this reserve network and ecosystem management approach in making progress toward attaining many of the plan’s conservation and ecosystem management goals. This paper (1 showcases the fundamental conservation biology and ecosystem management principles underpinning the NWFP as a case study for managers interested in large-landscape conservation; and (2 recommends improvements to the plan’s strategy in response to unprecedented climate change and land-use threats. Twenty years into plan implementation, however, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, under pressure for increased timber harvest, are retreating from conservation measures. We believe that federal agencies should instead build on the NWFP to ensure continuing success in the Pacific Northwest. We urge federal land managers to (1 protect all remaining late-successional/old-growth forests; (2 identify climate refugia for at-risk species; (3 maintain or increase stream buffers and landscape connectivity; (4 decommission and repair failing roads to improve water quality; (5 reduce fire risk in fire-prone tree plantations; and (6 prevent logging after fires in areas of high conservation value. In many respects, the NWFP is instructive for managers considering similar large-scale conservation efforts.

  9. A promising future for integrative biodiversity research: an increased role of scale-dependency and functional biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, L.

    2016-01-01

    Studies into the complex interaction between an organism and changes to its biotic and abiotic environment are fundamental to understanding what regulates biodiversity. These investigations occur at many phylogenetic, temporal and spatial scales and within a variety of biological and geological disciplines but often in relative isolation. This issue focuses on what can be achieved when ecological mechanisms are integrated into analyses of deep-time biodiversity patterns through the union of fossil and extant data and methods. We expand upon this perspective to argue that, given its direct relevance to the current biodiversity crisis, greater integration is needed across biodiversity research. We focus on the need to understand scaling effects, how lower-level ecological and evolutionary processes scale up and vice versa, and the importance of incorporating functional biology. Placing function at the core of biodiversity research is fundamental, as it establishes how an organism interacts with its abiotic and biotic environment and it is functional diversity that ultimately determines important ecosystem processes. To achieve full integration, concerted and ongoing efforts are needed to build a united and interactive community of biodiversity researchers, with education and interdisciplinary training at its heart. PMID:26977068

  10. A promising future for integrative biodiversity research: an increased role of scale-dependency and functional biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, S A; Schmitz, L

    2016-04-05

    Studies into the complex interaction between an organism and changes to its biotic and abiotic environment are fundamental to understanding what regulates biodiversity. These investigations occur at many phylogenetic, temporal and spatial scales and within a variety of biological and geological disciplines but often in relative isolation. This issue focuses on what can be achieved when ecological mechanisms are integrated into analyses of deep-time biodiversity patterns through the union of fossil and extant data and methods. We expand upon this perspective to argue that, given its direct relevance to the current biodiversity crisis, greater integration is needed across biodiversity research. We focus on the need to understand scaling effects, how lower-level ecological and evolutionary processes scale up and vice versa, and the importance of incorporating functional biology. Placing function at the core of biodiversity research is fundamental, as it establishes how an organism interacts with its abiotic and biotic environment and it is functional diversity that ultimately determines important ecosystem processes. To achieve full integration, concerted and ongoing efforts are needed to build a united and interactive community of biodiversity researchers, with education and interdisciplinary training at its heart. © 2016 The Author(s).

  11. Case Study Application of the Biodiversity Security Index to Ranking Feasibility Studies for Ecosystem Restoration Projects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    ER D C/ EL C R- 16 -1 Ecosystem Management and Restoration Research Program Case Study Application of the Biodiversity Security Index... Biodiversity Security Index to Ranking Feasibility Studies for Ecosystem Restoration Projects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Richard A. Cole... Biodiversity Security Index (BSI) was applied to 23 project sites ranked for restoration feasibility study annual funding by the U. S. Army Corps of

  12. Life cycle assessment needs predictive spatial modelling for biodiversity and ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca; Sim, Sarah; Hamel, Perrine; Bryant, Benjamin; Noe, Ryan; Mueller, Carina; Rigarlsford, Giles; Kulak, Michal; Kowal, Virginia; Sharp, Richard; Clavreul, Julie; Price, Edward; Polasky, Stephen; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Daily, Gretchen

    2017-01-01

    International corporations in an increasingly globalized economy exert a major influence on the planet's land use and resources through their product design and material sourcing decisions. Many companies use life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate their sustainability, yet commonly-used LCA methodologies lack the spatial resolution and predictive ecological information to reveal key impacts on climate, water and biodiversity. We present advances for LCA that integrate spatially explicit modelling of land change and ecosystem services in a Land-Use Change Improved (LUCI)-LCA. Comparing increased demand for bioplastics derived from two alternative feedstock-location scenarios for maize and sugarcane, we find that the LUCI-LCA approach yields results opposite to those of standard LCA for greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, and of different magnitudes for soil erosion and biodiversity. This approach highlights the importance of including information about where and how land-use change and related impacts will occur in supply chain and innovation decisions. PMID:28429710

  13. The role of sustained observations in tracking impacts of environmental change on marine biodiversity and ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mieszkowska, N; Sugden, H; Firth, L B; Hawkins, S J

    2014-09-28

    Marine biodiversity currently faces unprecedented threats from multiple pressures arising from human activities. Global drivers such as climate change and ocean acidification interact with regional eutrophication, exploitation of commercial fish stocks and localized pressures including pollution, coastal development and the extraction of aggregates and fuel, causing alteration and degradation of habitats and communities. Segregating natural from anthropogenically induced change in marine ecosystems requires long-term, sustained observations of marine biota. In this review, we outline the history of biological recording in the coastal and shelf seas of the UK and Ireland and highlight where sustained observations have contributed new understanding of how anthropogenic activities have impacted on marine biodiversity. The contributions of sustained observations, from those collected at observatories, single station platforms and multiple-site programmes to the emergent field of multiple stressor impacts research, are discussed, along with implications for management and sustainable governance of marine resources in an era of unprecedented use of the marine environment. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  14. Assessing biodiversity on the farm scale as basis for ecosystem service payments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Haaren, Christina; Kempa, Daniela; Vogel, Katrin; Rüter, Stefan

    2012-12-30

    Ecosystem services payments must be based on a standardised transparent assessment of the goods and services provided. This is especially relevant in the context of EU agri-environmental programs, but also for organic-food companies that foster environmental services on their contractor farms. Addressing the farm scale is important because land users/owners are major recipients of payments and they could be more involved in data generation and conservation management. A standardised system for measuring on-farm biodiversity does not yet exist that concentrates on performance indicators and includes farmers in generating information. A method is required that produces ordinal or metric scaled assessment results as well as management measures. Another requirement is the ease of application, which includes the ease of gathering input data and understandability. In order to respond to this need, we developed a method which is designed for automated application in an open source farm assessment system named MANUELA. The method produces an ordinal scale assessment of biodiversity that includes biotopes, species, biotope connectivity and the influence of land use. In addition, specific measures for biotope types are proposed. The open source geographical information system OpenJump is used for the implementation of MANUELA. The results of the trial applications and robustness tests show that the assessment can be implemented, for the most part, using existing information as well as data available from farmers or advisors. The results are more sensitive for showing on-farm achievements and changes than existing biotope-type classifications. Such a differentiated classification is needed as a basis for ecosystem service payments and for designing effective measures. The robustness of the results with respect to biotope connectivity is comparable to that of complex models, but it should be further improved. Interviews with the test farmers substantiate that the assessment

  15. Lessons from native spruce forests in Alaska: managing Sitka spruce plantations worldwide to benefit biodiversity and ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Deal; Paul Hennon; Richard O' Hanlon; David D' Amore

    2014-01-01

    There is increasing interest worldwide in managing forests to maintain or improve biodiversity, enhance ecosystem services and assure long-term sustainability of forest resources. An important goal of forest management is to increase stand diversity, provide wildlife habitat and improve forest species diversity. We synthesize results from natural spruce forests in...

  16. Can Artificial Ecosystems Enhance Local Biodiversity? The Case of a Constructed Wetland in a Mediterranean Urban Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Martis, Gabriele; Mulas, Bonaria; Malavasi, Veronica; Marignani, Michela

    2016-05-01

    Constructed wetlands (CW) are considered a successful tool to treat wastewater in many countries: their success is mainly assessed observing the rate of pollution reduction, but CW can also contribute to the conservation of ecosystem services. Among the many ecosystem services provided, the biodiversity of CW has received less attention. The EcoSistema Filtro (ESF) of the Molentargius-Saline Regional Natural Park is a constructed wetland situated in Sardinia (Italy), built to filter treated wastewater, increase habitat diversity, and enhance local biodiversity. A floristic survey has been carried out yearly 1 year after the construction of the artificial ecosystem in 2004, observing the modification of the vascular flora composition in time. The flora of the ESF accounted for 54 % of the whole Regional Park's flora; alien species amount to 12 %; taxa of conservation concern are 6 %. Comparing the data in the years, except for the biennium 2006/2007, we observed a continuous increase of species richness, together with an increase of endemics, species of conservation concern, and alien species too. Once the endemics appeared, they remained part of the flora, showing a good persistence in the artificial wetland. Included in a natural park, but trapped in a sprawling and fast growing urban context, this artificial ecosystem provides multiple uses, by preserving and enhancing biodiversity. This is particularly relevant considering that biodiversity can act as a driver of sustainable development in urban areas where most of the world's population lives and comes into direct contact with nature.

  17. Can Artificial Ecosystems Enhance Local Biodiversity? The Case of a Constructed Wetland in a Mediterranean Urban Context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Martis, Gabriele; Mulas, Bonaria; Malavasi, Veronica; Marignani, Michela

    2016-05-01

    Constructed wetlands (CW) are considered a successful tool to treat wastewater in many countries: their success is mainly assessed observing the rate of pollution reduction, but CW can also contribute to the conservation of ecosystem services. Among the many ecosystem services provided, the biodiversity of CW has received less attention. The EcoSistema Filtro (ESF) of the Molentargius-Saline Regional Natural Park is a constructed wetland situated in Sardinia (Italy), built to filter treated wastewater, increase habitat diversity, and enhance local biodiversity. A floristic survey has been carried out yearly 1 year after the construction of the artificial ecosystem in 2004, observing the modification of the vascular flora composition in time. The flora of the ESF accounted for 54% of the whole Regional Park's flora; alien species amount to 12%; taxa of conservation concern are 6%. Comparing the data in the years, except for the biennium 2006/2007, we observed a continuous increase of species richness, together with an increase of endemics, species of conservation concern, and alien species too. Once the endemics appeared, they remained part of the flora, showing a good persistence in the artificial wetland. Included in a natural park, but trapped in a sprawling and fast growing urban context, this artificial ecosystem provides multiple uses, by preserving and enhancing biodiversity. This is particularly relevant considering that biodiversity can act as a driver of sustainable development in urban areas where most of the world's population lives and comes into direct contact with nature.

  18. Essential ocean variables for global sustained observations of biodiversity and ecosystem changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miloslavich, Patricia; Bax, Nicholas J; Simmons, Samantha E; Klein, Eduardo; Appeltans, Ward; Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio; Andersen Garcia, Melissa; Batten, Sonia D; Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro; Checkley, David M; Chiba, Sanae; Duffy, J Emmett; Dunn, Daniel C; Fischer, Albert; Gunn, John; Kudela, Raphael; Marsac, Francis; Muller-Karger, Frank E; Obura, David; Shin, Yunne-Jai

    2018-04-05

    Sustained observations of marine biodiversity and ecosystems focused on specific conservation and management problems are needed around the world to effectively mitigate or manage changes resulting from anthropogenic pressures. These observations, while complex and expensive, are required by the international scientific, governance and policy communities to provide baselines against which the effects of human pressures and climate change may be measured and reported, and resources allocated to implement solutions. To identify biological and ecological essential ocean variables (EOVs) for implementation within a global ocean observing system that is relevant for science, informs society, and technologically feasible, we used a driver-pressure-state-impact-response (DPSIR) model. We (1) examined relevant international agreements to identify societal drivers and pressures on marine resources and ecosystems, (2) evaluated the temporal and spatial scales of variables measured by 100+ observing programs, and (3) analysed the impact and scalability of these variables and how they contribute to address societal and scientific issues. EOVs were related to the status of ecosystem components (phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass and diversity, and abundance and distribution of fish, marine turtles, birds and mammals), and to the extent and health of ecosystems (cover and composition of hard coral, seagrass, mangrove and macroalgal canopy). Benthic invertebrate abundance and distribution and microbe diversity and biomass were identified as emerging EOVs to be developed based on emerging requirements and new technologies. The temporal scale at which any shifts in biological systems will be detected will vary across the EOVs, the properties being monitored and the length of the existing time-series. Global implementation to deliver useful products will require collaboration of the scientific and policy sectors and a significant commitment to improve human and infrastructure

  19. Forest Fragmentation in the Lower Amazon Floodplain: Implications for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Provision to Riverine Populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivian Renó

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This article analyzes the process of forest fragmentation of a floodplain landscape of the Lower Amazon over a 30-year period and its implications for the biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services to the riverine population. To this end, we created a multi-temporal forest cover map based on Landsat images, and then analyzed the fragmentation dynamics through landscape metrics. From the analyses of the landscape and bibliographic information, we made inferences regarding the potential impacts of fragmentation on the biodiversity of trees, birds, mammals and insects. Subsequently, we used data on the local populations’ environmental perception to assess whether the inferred impacts on biodiversity are perceived by these populations and whether the ecosystem services related to the biodiversity of the addressed groups are compromised. The results show a 70% reduction of the forest habitat as well as important changes in the landscape structure that constitute a high degree of forest fragmentation. The perceived landscape alterations indicate that there is great potential for compromise of the biodiversity of trees, birds, mammals and insects. The field interviews corroborate the inferred impacts on biodiversity and indicate that the ecosystem services of the local communities have been compromised. More than 95% of the communities report a decreased variety and/or abundance of animal and plant species, 46% report a decrease in agricultural productivity, and 19% confirm a higher incidence of pests during the last 30 years. The present study provides evidence of an accelerated process of degradation of the floodplain forests of the Lower Amazon and indicate substantial compromise of the ecosystem services provision to the riverine population in recent decades, including reductions of food resources (animals and plants, fire wood, raw material and medicine, as well as lower agricultural productivity due to probable lack of pollination

  20. Landscape and Local Controls of Insect Biodiversity in Conservation Grasslands: Implications for the Conservation of Ecosystem Service Providers in Agricultural Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas O. Crist

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The conservation of biodiversity in intensively managed agricultural landscapes depends on the amount and spatial arrangement of cultivated and natural lands. Conservation incentives that create semi-natural grasslands may increase the biodiversity of beneficial insects and their associated ecosystem services, such as pollination and the regulation of insect pests, but the effectiveness of these incentives for insect conservation are poorly known, especially in North America. We studied the variation in species richness, composition, and functional-group abundances of bees and predatory beetles in conservation grasslands surrounded by intensively managed agriculture in Southwest Ohio, USA. Characteristics of grassland patches and surrounding land-cover types were used to predict insect species richness, composition, and functional-group abundance using linear models and multivariate ordinations. Bee species richness was positively influenced by forb cover and beetle richness was positively related to grass cover; both taxa had greater richness in grasslands surrounded by larger amounts of semi-natural land cover. Functional groups of bees and predatory beetles defined by body size and sociality varied in their abundance according to differences in plant composition of grassland patches, as well as the surrounding land-cover diversity. Intensive agriculture in the surrounding landscape acted as a filter to both bee and beetle species composition in conservation grasslands. Our results support the need for management incentives to consider landscape-level processes in the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  1. Connecting Earth observation to high-throughput biodiversity data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bush, Alex; Sollmann, Rahel; Wilting, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Understandably, given the fast pace of biodiversity loss, there is much interest in using Earth observation technology to track biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. However, because most biodiversity is invisible to Earth observation, indicators based on Earth observation could...... observation data. This approach is achievable now, offering efficient and near-real-time monitoring of management impacts on biodiversity and its functions and services....

  2. Body condition, diet and ecosystem function of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in a fenced nature reserve

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fløjgaard, Camilla; De Barba, Marta; Taberlet, Pierre

    2017-01-01

    is therefore relevant to increase understanding of herbivores' ecosystem function and to inform management. In this study, we focused on red deer, Cervus elaphus, in a fenced nature reserve in Denmark, where the deer are managed as ecosystem engineers to contribute to biodiversity conservation. We measured...... on variation in body condition within the population. Our findings call for the need to consider the consequences of management practices, including culling or supplemental feeding, on the outcomes of habitat restoration, and more broadly underline the importance of preserving the overall breath of herbivore...... ecosystem functions for effective biodiversity conservation....

  3. Remotely Sensed High-Resolution Global Cloud Dynamics for Predicting Ecosystem and Biodiversity Distributions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam M Wilson

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Cloud cover can influence numerous important ecological processes, including reproduction, growth, survival, and behavior, yet our assessment of its importance at the appropriate spatial scales has remained remarkably limited. If captured over a large extent yet at sufficiently fine spatial grain, cloud cover dynamics may provide key information for delineating a variety of habitat types and predicting species distributions. Here, we develop new near-global, fine-grain (≈1 km monthly cloud frequencies from 15 y of twice-daily Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS satellite images that expose spatiotemporal cloud cover dynamics of previously undocumented global complexity. We demonstrate that cloud cover varies strongly in its geographic heterogeneity and that the direct, observation-based nature of cloud-derived metrics can improve predictions of habitats, ecosystem, and species distributions with reduced spatial autocorrelation compared to commonly used interpolated climate data. These findings support the fundamental role of remote sensing as an effective lens through which to understand and globally monitor the fine-grain spatial variability of key biodiversity and ecosystem properties.

  4. Sustainable utilization and conservation of plant biodiversity in montane ecosystems: the western Himalayas as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Shujaul Mulk; Page, Sue E; Ahmad, Habib; Harper, David M

    2013-08-01

    Conservation of the unique biodiversity of mountain ecosystems needs trans-disciplinary approaches to succeed in a crowded colloquial world. Geographers, conservationists, ecologists and social scientists have, in the past, had the same conservation goals but have tended to work independently. In this review, the need to integrate different conservation criteria and methodologies is discussed. New criteria are offered for prioritizing species and habitats for conservation in montane ecosystems that combine both ecological and social data. Ecological attributes of plant species, analysed through robust community statistical packages, provide unbiased classifications of species assemblages and environmental biodiversity gradients and yield importance value indices (IVIs). Surveys of local communities' utilization of the vegetation provides use values (UVs). This review suggests a new means of assessing anthropogenic pressure on plant biodiversity at both species and community levels by integrating IVI and UV data sets in a combined analysis. Mountain ecosystems are hot spots for plant conservation efforts because they hold a high overall plant diversity as communities replace each other along altitudinal and climatic gradients, including a high proportion of endemic species. This review contributes an enhanced understanding of (1) plant diversity in mountain ecosystems with special reference to the western Himalayas; (2) ethnobotanical and ecosystem service values of mountain vegetation within the context of anthropogenic impacts; and (3) local and regional plant conservation strategies and priorities.

  5. Marine biodiversity–ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulling, Mark T.; Hicks, Natalie; Murray, Leigh; Paterson, David M.; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C. L.; Solan, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic activity is currently leading to dramatic transformations of ecosystems and losses of biodiversity. The recognition that these ecosystems provide services that are essential for human well-being has led to a major interest in the forms of the biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationship. However, there is a lack of studies examining the impact of climate change on these relationships and it remains unclear how multiple climatic drivers may affect levels of ecosystem functioning. Here, we examine the roles of two important climate change variables, temperature and concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, on the relationship between invertebrate species richness and nutrient release in a model benthic estuarine system. We found a positive relationship between invertebrate species richness and the levels of release of NH4-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO4-P. Higher temperatures and greater concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide had a negative impact on nutrient release. Importantly, we found significant interactions between the climate variables, indicating that reliably predicting the effects of future climate change will not be straightforward as multiple drivers are unlikely to have purely additive effects, resulting in increased levels of uncertainty. PMID:20513718

  6. Habitat creation and biodiversity maintenance in mangrove forests: teredinid bivalves as ecosystem engineers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian W. Hendy

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Substantial amounts of dead wood in the intertidal zone of mature mangrove forests are tunnelled by teredinid bivalves. When the tunnels are exposed, animals are able to use tunnels as refuges. In this study, the effect of teredinid tunnelling upon mangrove forest faunal diversity was investigated. Mangrove forests exposed to long emersion times had fewer teredinid tunnels in wood and wood not containing teredinid tunnels had very few species and abundance of animals. However, with a greater cross-sectional percentage surface area of teredinid tunnels, the numbers of species and abundance of animals was significantly higher. Temperatures within teredinid-attacked wood were significantly cooler compared with air temperatures, and animal abundance was greater in wood with cooler temperatures. Animals inside the tunnels within the wood may avoid desiccation by escaping the higher temperatures. Animals co-existing in teredinid tunnelled wood ranged from animals found in terrestrial ecosystems including centipedes, crickets and spiders, and animals found in subtidal marine ecosystems such as fish, octopods and polychaetes. There was also evidence of breeding within teredinid-attacked wood, as many juvenile individuals were found, and they may also benefit from the cooler wood temperatures. Teredinid tunnelled wood is a key low-tide refuge for cryptic animals, which would otherwise be exposed to fishes and birds, and higher external temperatures. This study provides evidence that teredinids are ecosystem engineers and also provides an example of a mechanism whereby mangrove forests support intertidal biodiversity and nurseries through the wood-boring activity of teredinids.

  7. [Assessment on the changing conditions of ecosystems in key ecological function zones in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Cao, Wei; Wu, Dan; Gong, Guo-li; Zhao, Guo-song

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, the dynamics of ecosystem macrostructure, qualities and core services during 2000 and 2010 were analyzed for the key ecological function zones of China, which were classified into four types of water conservation, soil conservation, wind prevention and sand fixation, and biodiversity maintenance. In the water conservation ecological function zones, the areas of forest and grassland ecosystems were decreased whereas water bodies and wetland were increased in the past 11 years, and the water conservation volume of forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems increased by 2.9%. This region needs to reverse the decreasing trends of forest and grassland ecosystems. In the soil conservation ecological function zones, the area of farmland ecosystem was decreased, and the areas of forest, grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were increased. The total amount of the soil erosion was reduced by 28.2%, however, the soil conservation amount of ecosystems increased by 38.1%. In the wind prevention and sand fixation ecological function zones, the areas of grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were decreased, but forest and farmland ecosystems were increased. The unit amount of the soil. wind erosion was reduced and the sand fixation amount of ecosystems increased lightly. In this kind of region that is located in arid and semiarid areas, ecological conservation needs to reduce farmland area and give priority to the protection of the original ecological system. In the biodiversity maintenance ecological function zones, the areas of grassland and desert ecosystems were decreased and other types were increased. The human disturbances showed a weakly upward trend and needs to be reduced. The key ecological function zones should be aimed at the core services and the protecting objects, to assess quantitatively on the effectiveness of ecosystem conservation and improvement.

  8. Re-establishing an ecological discourse in the policy debate over how to value ecosystems and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spash, Clive L; Aslaksen, Iulie

    2015-08-15

    In this paper we explore the discourses of ecology, environmental economics, new environmental pragmatism and social ecological economics as they relate to the value of ecosystems and biodiversity. Conceptualizing biodiversity and ecosystems as goods and services that can be represented by monetary values in policy processes is an economic discourse being increasingly championed by ecologists and conservation biologists. The latter promote a new environmental pragmatism internationally as hardwiring biodiversity and ecosystems services into finance. The approach adopts a narrow instrumentalism, denies value pluralism and incommensurability, and downplays the role of scientific knowledge. Re-establishing an ecological discourse in biodiversity policy implies a crucial role for biophysical indicators as independent policy targets, exemplified in this paper by the Nature Index for Norway. Yet, there is a recognisable need to go beyond a traditional ecological approach to one recognising the interconnections of social, ecological and economic problems. This requires reviving and relating to a range of alternative ecologically informed discourses, including an ecofeminist perspective, in order to transform the increasingly dominant and destructive relationship of humans separated from and domineering over Nature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. High Biodiversity of Green Infrastructure Does Not Contribute to Recreational Ecosystem Services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daria Sikorska

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Urban lakes, especially those of natural origin, provide ecosystem services, recreation being one of the most important and highly valued by city dwellers. Fulfilling the needs of city residents to relax and have contact with nature has become a priority in urbanized areas and has been proven to positively affect people’s health and well-being. The recreational potential of water bodies was identified to be the most important aspect of ecosystem services to the residents of the neighboring areas. An assessment of recreational ecosystem services (RES provisioning to society based on the real time spent by the citizens and housing values in the urban–rural gradient revealed that the economic benefits of lakes differ in urbanized, suburban and rural landscapes. The growth of cities has led to an increased population density in the surroundings of ecologically valuable areas, resulting in higher pressure from visitors seeking recreational areas. Along with urbanization, the impoverishment of ecosystem functions takes place, limiting their capability to provide ecosystem services. In this work, the provisioning of recreational ecosystem services of 28 floodplain lakes located along the urban–rural gradient of the Warsaw agglomeration was assessed. The relationship between the ecological value of the water bodies, measured using naturalness indices, and the recreational ecosystem services they can provide was assessed. The results showed that the floodplain lakes located along the urban–rural gradient are of great importance to the citizens due to their recreational potential. The provisioning of recreational ecosystem services is poorly connected with the ecological characteristics of the floodplain lakes. Only hemeroby was significantly correlated with provisioning, and there was no relationship with factors such as naturalness of vegetation or water quality, demonstrating that public preference was not generally influenced by high

  10. Habitat modeling for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce G. Marcot

    2006-01-01

    Habitat models address only 1 component of biodiversity but can be useful in addressing and managing single or multiple species and ecosystem functions, for projecting disturbance regimes, and in supporting decisions. I review categories and examples of habitat models, their utility for biodiversity conservation, and their roles in making conservation decisions. I...

  11. Soil biodiversity for agricultural sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brussaard, L.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Brown, G.G.

    2007-01-01

    We critically highlight some evidence for the importance of soil biodiversity to sustaining (agro-)ecosystem functioning and explore directions for future research. We first deal with resistance and resilience against abiotic disturbance and stress. There is evidence that soil biodiversity does

  12. Ecosystem Function: Cyanobacteria Solutions, A Missed Opportunity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stream and wetland riparian functions integrate the relationships between species, their habitats and fostering ecosystem resilience, which is critical to resilience – i.e., ensuring long-term sustainability. These relationships are dependent on the drivers of ecological functio...

  13. Plant species and functional group combinations affect green roof ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Macivor, J Scott; Macdougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-03-12

    Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms governing biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in green

  14. Ontogenetic functional diversity: size structure of a keystone predator drives functioning of a complex ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolf, Volker H W; Rasmussen, Nick L

    2013-05-01

    A central challenge in community ecology is to understand the connection between biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems. While traditional approaches have largely focused on species-level diversity, increasing evidence indicates that there exists substantial ecological diversity among individuals within species. By far, the largest source of this intraspecific diversity stems from variation among individuals in ontogenetic stage and size. Although such ontogenetic shifts are ubiquitous in natural communities, whether and how they scale up to influence the structure and functioning of complex ecosystems is largely unknown. Here we take an experimental approach to examine the consequences of ontogenetic niche shifts for the structure of communities and ecosystem processes. In particular we experimentally manipulated the stage structure in a keystone predator, larvae of the dragonfly Anax junius, in complex experimental pond communities to test whether changes in the population stage or size structure of a keystone species scale up to alter community structure and ecosystem processes, and how functional differences scale with relative differences in size among stages. We found that the functional role of A. junius was stage-specific. Altering what stages were present in a pond led to concurrent changes in community structure, primary producer biomass (periphyton and phytoplankton), and ultimately altered ecosystem processes (respiration and net primary productivity), indicating a strong, but stage-specific, trophic cascade. Interestingly, the stage-specific effects did not simply scale with size or biomass of the predator, but instead indicated clear ontogenetic niche shifts in ecological interactions. Thus, functional differences among stages within a keystone species scaled up to alter the functioning of entire ecosystems. Therefore, our results indicate that the classical approach of assuming an average functional role of a species can be misleading because

  15. Ecosystem functioning is enveloped by hydrometeorological variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappas, Christoforos; Mahecha, Miguel D; Frank, David C; Babst, Flurin; Koutsoyiannis, Demetris

    2017-09-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem processes, and the associated vegetation carbon dynamics, respond differently to hydrometeorological variability across timescales, and so does our scientific understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Long-term variability of the terrestrial carbon cycle is not yet well constrained and the resulting climate-biosphere feedbacks are highly uncertain. Here we present a comprehensive overview of hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability from hourly to decadal timescales integrating multiple in situ and remote-sensing datasets characterizing extra-tropical forest sites. We find that ecosystem variability at all sites is confined within a hydrometeorological envelope across sites and timescales. Furthermore, ecosystem variability demonstrates long-term persistence, highlighting ecological memory and slow ecosystem recovery rates after disturbances. However, simulation results with state-of-the-art process-based models do not reflect this long-term persistent behaviour in ecosystem functioning. Accordingly, we develop a cross-time-scale stochastic framework that captures hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability. Our analysis offers a perspective for terrestrial ecosystem modelling and paves the way for new model-data integration opportunities in Earth system sciences.

  16. High-resolution deep sequencing reveals biodiversity, population structure, and persistence of HIV-1 quasispecies within host ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yin Li

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Deep sequencing provides the basis for analysis of biodiversity of taxonomically similar organisms in an environment. While extensively applied to microbiome studies, population genetics studies of viruses are limited. To define the scope of HIV-1 population biodiversity within infected individuals, a suite of phylogenetic and population genetic algorithms was applied to HIV-1 envelope hypervariable domain 3 (Env V3 within peripheral blood mononuclear cells from a group of perinatally HIV-1 subtype B infected, therapy-naïve children. Results Biodiversity of HIV-1 Env V3 quasispecies ranged from about 70 to 270 unique sequence clusters across individuals. Viral population structure was organized into a limited number of clusters that included the dominant variants combined with multiple clusters of low frequency variants. Next generation viral quasispecies evolved from low frequency variants at earlier time points through multiple non-synonymous changes in lineages within the evolutionary landscape. Minor V3 variants detected as long as four years after infection co-localized in phylogenetic reconstructions with early transmitting viruses or with subsequent plasma virus circulating two years later. Conclusions Deep sequencing defines HIV-1 population complexity and structure, reveals the ebb and flow of dominant and rare viral variants in the host ecosystem, and identifies an evolutionary record of low-frequency cell-associated viral V3 variants that persist for years. Bioinformatics pipeline developed for HIV-1 can be applied for biodiversity studies of virome populations in human, animal, or plant ecosystems.

  17. Identification, definition and quantification of goods and services provided by marine biodiversity: implications for the ecosystem approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaumont, N J; Austen, M C; Atkins, J P; Burdon, D; Degraer, S; Dentinho, T P; Derous, S; Holm, P; Horton, T; van Ierland, E; Marboe, A H; Starkey, D J; Townsend, M; Zarzycki, T

    2007-03-01

    This paper identifies and defines ecosystem goods and services provided by marine biodiversity. Case studies have been used to provide an insight into the practical issues associated with the assessment of marine ecosystem goods and services at specific locations. The aim of this research was to validate the definitions of goods and services, and to identify knowledge gaps and likely difficulties of quantifying the goods and services. A validated theoretical framework for the assessment of goods and services is detailed, and examples of the goods and services at a variety of case study areas are documented. These results will enable future assessments of marine ecosystem goods and services. It is concluded that the utilisation of this goods and services approach has the capacity to play a fundamental role in the Ecosystem Approach, by enabling the pressures and demands of society, the economy and the environment to be integrated into environmental management.

  18. Assessment of long-term effects of climate change on biodiversity and vulnerability of terrestrial ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oene, H.; Berendse, F.; De Kovel, C.G.F. [Nature Consevation and Plant Ecology Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen (Netherlands); Alkemade, J.R.M.; Bakkenes, M.; Ihle, F. [National Institute of Public Health and the Environment RIVM, Bilthoven (Netherlands)

    1999-07-01

    The aim of this project was to analyze the effects of climatic change on plant species diversity and ecosystem functioning. The direct effects of climatic change on plant species diversity are analyzed using a species based probabilistic Model (EUROMOVE) that relates the probability of occurrence of ca 1400 European plant species to climatic variables as the mean temperature of the coldest month, the effective temperature sum, the annual precipitation, the annual potential and actual evapotranspiration, the length of the growing season, and the mean growing season temperature. The indirect effects of raised C0{sub 2} levels and increased temperatures on ecosystem functioning and the consequences of these indirect effects for plant diversity are analyzed by combining a mechanistic simulation model (NUCOM) with regression models. NUCOM predicts the effects of environmental changes on dominant plant species composition and ecosystem variables. The predicted ecosystem variables are linked to plant species diversity of subordinate species by regression models, using Ellenberg indices for N availability, soil acidity, soil moisture, and light intensity. With these two approaches, the consequences of climatic change scenarios (IPCC Baseline A, IPCC Stabilization 450) and N deposition scenarios (reduced, constant) are analyzed for Europe (EUROMOVE) and part of the Netherlands (NUCOM). The results showed that the direct effects of climatic change may have large impact on plant species diversity and distribution. The indirect effects of climatic change on plant diversity appeared minor but effects of changes in soil moisture are not included. Other environmental changes like eutrofication and human impact have large effect on ecosystem variables and plant species diversity. Reductions in nitrogen emission have a positive effect but take time to become apparent. 49 refs.

  19. Effects of long-range transported acidification on the bio-diversity in terrestrial ecosystems; Effekter av langtransporterte forsuringer paa biodiversitet i terrestriske oekosystemer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoeiland, K [Oslo Univ. (Norway)

    1996-01-01

    The conference paper deals with the environmental effects of long-range transported pollutants on the biodiversity in the terrestrial ecosystems. The paper discusses different chemical substances existing in the atmosphere and their influence on vegetation together with the effects on biodiversity from acidification. 4 refs.

  20. Fine-scale mapping of High Nature Value farmlands: novel approaches to improve the management of rural biodiversity and ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carvalho-Santos, C.; Jongman, R.H.G.; Alonso, J.; Honrado, J.

    2010-01-01

    High Nature Value farmlands (HNVf) are defined as rural lands characterized by high levels of biodiversity and extensive farming practices. These farmlands are also known to provide important ecosystems services, such as food production, pollination, water purification and landscape recreation.

  1. Discovering hidden biodiversity: the use of complementary monitoring of fish diet based on DNA barcoding in freshwater ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, Hyunbin; Ventura, Marc; Vidal, Nicolas; Gim, Jeong-Soo; Buchaca, Teresa; Barmuta, Leon A; Jeppesen, Erik; Joo, Gea-Jae

    2016-01-01

    Ecological monitoring contributes to the understanding of complex ecosystem functions. The diets of fish reflect the surrounding environment and habitats and may, therefore, act as useful integrating indicators of environmental status. It is, however, often difficult to visually identify items in gut contents to species level due to digestion of soft-bodied prey beyond visual recognition, but new tools rendering this possible are now becoming available. We used a molecular approach to determine the species identities of consumed diet items of an introduced generalist feeder, brown trout (Salmo trutta), in 10 Tasmanian lakes and compared the results with those obtained from visual quantification of stomach contents. We obtained 44 unique taxa (OTUs) belonging to five phyla, including seven classes, using the barcode of life approach from cytochrome oxidase I (COI). Compared with visual quantification, DNA analysis showed greater accuracy, yielding a 1.4-fold higher number of OTUs. Rarefaction curve analysis showed saturation of visually inspected taxa, while the curves from the DNA barcode did not saturate. The OTUs with the highest proportions of haplotypes were the families of terrestrial insects Formicidae, Chrysomelidae, and Torbidae and the freshwater Chironomidae. Haplotype occurrence per lake was negatively correlated with lake depth and transparency. Nearly all haplotypes were only found in one fish gut from a single lake. Our results indicate that DNA barcoding of fish diets is a useful and complementary method for discovering hidden biodiversity.

  2. Consumers control diversity and functioning of a natural marine ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew H Altieri

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Our understanding of the functional consequences of changes in biodiversity has been hampered by several limitations of previous work, including limited attention to trophic interactions, a focus on species richness rather than evenness, and the use of artificially assembled communities. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we manipulated the density of an herbivorous snail in natural tide pools and allowed seaweed communities to assemble in an ecologically relevant and non-random manner. Seaweed species evenness and biomass-specific primary productivity (mg O(2 h(-1 g(-1 were higher in tide pools with snails because snails preferentially consumed an otherwise dominant seaweed species that can reduce biomass-specific productivity rates of algal assemblages. Although snails reduced overall seaweed biomass in tide pools, they did not affect gross primary productivity at the scale of tide pools (mg O(2 h(-1 pool(-1 or mg O(2 h(-1 m(-2 because of the enhanced biomass-specific productivity associated with grazer-mediated increases in algal evenness. SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that increased attention to trophic interactions, diversity measures other than richness, and particularly the effects of consumers on evenness and primary productivity, will improve our understanding of the relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning and allow more effective links between experimental results and real-world changes in biodiversity.

  3. BiodivERsA project VineDivers: Analysing interlinkages between soil biota and biodiversity-based ecosystem services in vineyards across Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaller, Johann G.; Winter, Silvia; Strauss, Peter; Querner, Pascal; Kriechbaum, Monika; Pachinger, Bärbel; Gómez, José A.; Campos, Mercedes; Landa, Blanca; Popescu, Daniela; Comsa, Maria; Iliescu, Maria; Tomoiaga, Liliana; Bunea, Claudiu-Ioan; Hoble, Adela; Marghitas, Liviu; Rusu, Teodor; Lora, Ángel; Guzmán, Gema; Bergmann, Holger

    2015-04-01

    Essential ecosystem services provided by viticultural landscapes result from diverse communities of above- and belowground organisms and their interactions. For centuries traditional viticulture was part of a multifunctional agricultural system including low-input grasslands and fruit trees resulting in a high functional biodiversity. However, in the last decades intensification and mechanisation of vineyard management caused a separation of production and conservation areas. As a result of management intensification including frequent tilling and/or use of pesticides several ecosystem services are affected leading to high rates of soil erosion, degradation of soil structure and fertility, contamination of groundwater and high levels of agricultural inputs. In this transdisciplinary BiodivERsA project we will examine to what extent differently intensive managed vineyards affect the activity and diversity of soil biota (e.g. earthworms, collembola, soil microorganisms) and how this feed back on aboveground biodiversity (e.g. weeds, pollinators). We will also investigate ecosystem services associated with soil faunal activity and biodiversity such as soil structure, the formation of stable soil aggregates, water infiltration, soil erosion as well as grape quality. These effects will become increasingly important as more extreme precipitation events are predicted with climate change. The socio-economic part of the project will investigate the role of diversely structured, species-rich viticultural landscapes as a cultural heritage providing aesthetic values for human well-being and recreation. The project objectives will be analysed at plot, field (vineyard) and landscape scales in vineyards located in Spain, France, Romania and Austria. A detailed engagement and dissemination plan for stakeholder at the different governance levels will accompany scientific research and will contribute to the implementation of best-practice recommendations for policy and farmers.

  4. Evaluation of Weed Biodiversity on Rice (Oryza sativa L Agro-ecosystems (Organic and High-input

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Yusef Musavi Toghyani

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Weeds are one of the complementary components of agricultural ecosystems and inseparable part of them. So, it is essential to understand the composition and structure of them in agricultural ecosystems, to conservation and optimal utilization of ecosystems components. The agro-ecosystems are special case of secondary succession, so regular and consecutive disturbance to them, causing the compatibility of specific weeds. This study was conducted to comparison the biodiversity of rice agro-ecosystems' weeds in Mazandaran province. Material and Methods Three fields inside the ecosystems (range from 0.30 to 0.50 ha were replications of the experiment. In each field nine quadrates (1m ×1m was randomly determined. The weeds species and their frequency in each quadrate were counted in four phases (tillering, stem elongation, grain filling and post-harvest.Identification was performed using reliable sources, as much as possible at the species level. The diversity and evenness of weeds in the studied fields and its average in management systems were determined using relevant indicators. Data analysis was performed by comparing the mean of biodiversity indices of the two communities with method of one-way ANOVA using SAS 9.1 software. Results and Discussion Based on the results of this study, weed species belong to four plant families (Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Plantaginaceae and Asteraceae. From this collection, there were eight weed species which belong to monocotyledone (Gramineae, Cyperaceae and Plantaginaceae and two dycotyledone (Asteraceae. Of the 10 species available, four weed species (Xanthium strumarium, Eclipta prostrata, Digitaria spp., and Cyperus spp. only exist in the organic management system and the Alisma plantagoaquatica species only in the high input system was observed. Comparison of the mean of biodiversity indicators of the two management systems showed that despite increasing the amount of diversity indices in the organic

  5. ECOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION OF LAND AND ECOSYSTEM MAPPING. TOWARDS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ACTION 5 OF THE EUROPEAN BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY TO 2020 IN ITALY.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Capotorti

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present paper is to illustrate the basic data and the methodological approach proposed for the implementation of Action 5 of the European Biodiversity Strategy in Italy. In particular, it focuses on a model for ecosystem mapping and characterisation at the country level that has been built with the interdisciplinary involvement of geobotanists, functional ecologists, forest scientists and zoologists. The first operational steps of the model are based on the cartographic integration between potential natural vegetation, biogeographic regions, and land cover maps. The final step entails characterising the mapped ecosystems in terms of Habitats Directive, local occurrence of threatened plant species and faunal components. The model is going to be tested in Italy, but should also be applied elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe, especially in those countries that have a comparable ecological complexity.

  6. A Demonstration Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON): Understanding Marine Life and its Role in Maintaining Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller-Karger, F. E.; Iken, K.; Miller, R. J.; Duffy, J. E.; Chavez, F.; Montes, E.

    2016-02-01

    The U.S. Federal government (NOAA, NASA, BOEM, and the Smithsonian Institution), academic researchers, and private partners are laying the foundation for a Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON). The goals of the network are to: 1) Observe and understand life, from microbes to whales, in different coastal and continental shelf habitats; 2) Define an efficient set of observations required for implementing a useful MBON; 3) Develop technology for biodiversity assessments including emerging environmental DNA (eDNA), remote sensing, and image analysis methods to coordinate with classical sampling; 4) Integrate and synthesize information in coordination with the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), the international Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network(GEO BON), and the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) sponsored by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC); and 5) Understand the linkages between marine biodiversity, ecosystem processes, and the social-economic context of a region. Pilot projects have been implemented within three NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries (Florida Keys, Monterey Bay, and Channel Islands), the wider Santa Barbara Channel, in the Chukchi Sea, and through the Smithsonian's Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network (TMON) at several sites in the U.S. and collaborating countries. Together, these MBON sites encompass a wide range of marine environments, including deep sea, continental shelves, and coastal habitats including estuaries, wetlands, and coral reefs. The present MBON partners are open to growth of the MBON through additional collaborations. Given these initiatives, GEO BON is proposing an MBON effort that spans from pole to pole, with a pathfinder effort among countries in the Americas. By specializing in coastal ecosystems—where marine biodiversity and people are concentrated and interact most—the MBON and TMON initiatives aim to provide policymakers with the science to

  7. Maximizing Amazonia's Ecosystem Services: Juggling the potential for carbon storage, agricultural yield and biodiversity in the Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, C. S.; Foley, J. A.; Gerber, J. S.; Polasky, S.

    2011-12-01

    The Amazon is not only an exceptionally biodiverse and carbon-rich tract of tropical forest, it is also a case study in land use change. Over the next forty years it will continue to experience pressure from an urbanizing and increasingly affluent populace: under a business-as-usual scenario, global cropland, pasture and biofuels systems will carry on expanding, while the Amazon's carbon storage potential will likely become another viable revenue source under REDD+. Balancing those competing land use pressures ought also take into account Amazonia's high - but heterogeneous - biodiversity. Knowing where Amazonia has opportunities to make efficient or optimal trade offs between carbon storage, agricultural production and biodiversity can allow policymakers to direct or influence LUC drivers. This analysis uses a spatially-explicit model that takes climate and management into account to quantify the potential agricultural yield of both the Amazon's most important agricultural commodities - sugar, soy and maize - as well as several that are going to come into increasing prominence, including palm oil. In addition, it maps the potential for carbon to be stored in forest biomass and relative species richness across Amazonia. We then compare carbon storage, agricultural yield and species richness and identify areas where efficient trade offs occur between food, carbon, and biodiversity - three critical ecosystem goods and services provided by the world's largest tropical forest.

  8. The role of ants, birds and bats for ecosystem functions and yield in oil palm plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denmead, Lisa H; Darras, Kevin; Clough, Yann; Diaz, Patrick; Grass, Ingo; Hoffmann, Munir P; Nurdiansyah, Fuad; Fardiansah, Rico; Tscharntke, Teja

    2017-07-01

    One of the world's most important and rapidly expanding crops, oil palm, is associated with low levels of biodiversity. Changes in predator communities might alter ecosystem services and subsequently sustainable management but these links have received little attention to date. Here, for the first time, we manipulated ant and flying vertebrate (birds and bats) access to oil palms in six smallholder plantations in Sumatra (Indonesia) and measured effects on arthropod communities, related ecosystem functions (herbivory, predation, decomposition and pollination) and crop yield. Arthropod predators increased in response to reductions in ant and bird access, but the overall effect of experimental manipulations on ecosystem functions was minimal. Similarly, effects on yield were not significant. We conclude that ecosystem functions and productivity in oil palm are, under current levels of low pest pressure and large pollinator populations, robust to large reductions of major predators. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  9. Socioeconomic influences on biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being: a quantitative application of the DPSIR model in Jiangsu, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Ying; Zhou, Shudong; Burkhard, Benjamin; Müller, Felix

    2014-08-15

    One focus of ecosystem service research is the connection between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being as well as the socioeconomic influences on them. Despite existing investigations, exact impacts from the human system on the dynamics of biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being are still uncertain because of the insufficiency of the respective quantitative analyses. Our research aims are discerning the socioeconomic influences on biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being and demonstrating mutual impacts between these items. We propose a DPSIR framework coupling ecological integrity, ecosystem services as well as human well-being and suggest DPSIR indicators for the case study area Jiangsu, China. Based on available statistical and surveying data, we revealed the factors significantly impacting biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being in the research area through factor analysis and correlation analysis, using the 13 prefecture-level cities of Jiangsu as samples. The results show that urbanization and industrialization in the urban areas have predominant positive influences on regional biodiversity, agricultural productivity and tourism services as well as rural residents' living standards. Additionally, the knowledge, technology and finance inputs for agriculture also have generally positive impacts on these system components. Concerning regional carbon storage, non-cropland vegetation cover obviously plays a significant positive role. Contrarily, the expansion of farming land and the increase of total food production are two important negative influential factors of biodiversity, ecosystem's food provisioning service capacity, regional tourism income and the well-being of the rural population. Our study provides a promising approach based on the DPSIR model to quantitatively capture the socioeconomic influential factors of biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being for human-environmental systems

  10. Selection of multiple umbrella species for functional and taxonomic diversity to represent urban biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sattler, T; Pezzatti, G B; Nobis, M P; Obrist, M K; Roth, T; Moretti, M

    2014-04-01

    Surrogates, such as umbrella species, are commonly used to reduce the complexity of quantifying biodiversity for conservation purposes. The presence of umbrella species is often indicative of high taxonomic diversity; however, functional diversity is now recognized as an important metric for biodiversity and thus should be considered when choosing umbrella species. We identified umbrella species associated with high taxonomic and functional biodiversity in urban areas in Switzerland. We analyzed 39,752 individuals of 574 animal species from 96 study plots and 1397 presences of 262 plant species from 58 plots. Thirty-one biodiversity measures of 7 taxonomic groups (plants, spiders, bees, ground beetles, lady bugs, weevils and birds) were included in within- and across-taxa analyses. Sixteen measures were taxonomical (species richness and species diversity), whereas 15 were functional (species traits including mobility, resource use, and reproduction). We used indicator value analysis to identify umbrella species associated with single or multiple biodiversity measures. Many umbrella species were indicators of high biodiversity within their own taxonomic group (from 33.3% in weevils to 93.8% in birds), to a lesser extent they were indicators across taxa. Principal component analysis revealed that umbrella species for multiple measures of biodiversity represented different aspects of biodiversity, especially with respect to measures of taxonomic and functional diversity. Thus, even umbrella species for multiple measures of biodiversity were complementary in the biodiversity aspects they represented. Thus, the choice of umbrella species based solely on taxonomic diversity is questionable and may not represent biodiversity comprehensively. Our results suggest that, depending on conservation priorities, managers should choose multiple and complementary umbrella species to assess the state of biodiversity. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Climate warming reduces fish production and benthic habitat in Lake Tanganyika, one of the most biodiverse freshwater ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Andrew S.; Gergurich, Elizabeth L.; Kraemer, Benjamin M.; McGlue, Michael M.; McIntyre, Peter B.; Russell, James M.; Simmons, Jack D.; Swarzenski, Peter W.

    2016-01-01

    Warming climates are rapidly transforming lake ecosystems worldwide, but the breadth of changes in tropical lakes is poorly documented. Sustainable management of freshwater fisheries and biodiversity requires accounting for historical and ongoing stressors such as climate change and harvest intensity. This is problematic in tropical Africa, where records of ecosystem change are limited and local populations rely heavily on lakes for nutrition. Here, using a ∼1,500-y paleoecological record, we show that declines in fishery species and endemic molluscs began well before commercial fishing in Lake Tanganyika, Africa’s deepest and oldest lake. Paleoclimate and instrumental records demonstrate sustained warming in this lake during the last ∼150 y, which affects biota by strengthening and shallowing stratification of the water column. Reductions in lake mixing have depressed algal production and shrunk the oxygenated benthic habitat by 38% in our study areas, yielding fish and mollusc declines. Late-20th century fish fossil abundances at two of three sites were lower than at any other time in the last millennium and fell in concert with reduced diatom abundance and warming water. A negative correlation between lake temperature and fish and mollusc fossils over the last ∼500 y indicates that climate warming and intensifying stratification have almost certainly reduced potential fishery production, helping to explain ongoing declines in fish catches. Long-term declines of both benthic and pelagic species underscore the urgency of strategic efforts to sustain Lake Tanganyika’s extraordinary biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  12. Effects of budget constraints on conservation network design for biodiversity and ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Remme, Roy P.; Schröter, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Limited budgets and budget cuts hamper the development of effective biodiversity conservation networks. Optimizing the spatial configuration of conservation networks given such budget constraints remains challenging. Systematic conservation planning addresses this challenge. Systematic

  13. Human interest meets biodiversity hotspots: A new systematic approach for urban ecosystem conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasada, Minoru; Matsuba, Misako; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2017-01-01

    Creating a win-win relationship between biodiversity and human well-being is one of the major current challenges for environmental policy. One way to approach this challenge is to identify sites with both high biodiversity and high human interest in urban areas. Here, we propose a new systematic approach to identify such sites by using land prices and biodiversity indexes for butterflies and birds from a nationwide perspective. As a result, we found sites that are valuable to humans and to other organisms, including national red-list species, and they are located in sites with cultural heritages and near seaside. By referencing the habitat features and landscape characteristics of these sites, we can establish high quality environments that provide a benefit to both humans and biodiversity in urban landscapes.

  14. Satellite sensor requirements for monitoring essential biodiversity variables of coastal ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    The biodiversity and high productivity of coastal terrestrial and aquatic habitats are the foundation for important benefits to human societies around the world. These globally distributed habitats need frequent and broad systematic assessments, but field surveys only cover a sma...

  15. Phylogenetic Patterns of Extinction Risk in the Eastern Arc Ecosystems, an African Biodiversity Hotspot

    OpenAIRE

    Yessoufou, Kowiyou; Daru, Barnabas H.; Davies, T. Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    There is an urgent need to reduce drastically the rate at which biodiversity is declining worldwide. Phylogenetic methods are increasingly being recognised as providing a useful framework for predicting future losses, and guiding efforts for pre-emptive conservation actions. In this study, we used a reconstructed phylogenetic tree of angiosperm species of the Eastern Arc Mountains - an important African biodiversity hotspot - and described the distribution of extinction risk across taxonomic ...

  16. Conservation of soil organic carbon, biodiversity and the provision of other ecosystem services along climatic gradients in West Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Marks

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial carbon resources are major drivers of development in West Africa. The distribution of these resources co-varies with ecosystem type and rainfall along a strong Northeast-Southwest climatic gradient. Soil organic carbon, a strong indicator of soil quality, has been severely depleted in some areas by human activities, which leads to issues of soil erosion and desertification, but this trend can be altered with appropriate management. There is significant potential to enhance existing soil carbon stores in West Africa, with benefits at the global and local scale, for atmospheric CO2 mitigation as well as supporting and provisioning ecosystem services. Three key factors impacting carbon stocks are addressed in this review: climate, biotic factors, and human activities. Climate risks must be considered in a framework of global change, especially in West Africa, where landscape managers have few resources available to adapt to climatic perturbations. Among biotic factors, biodiversity conservation paired with carbon conservation may provide a pathway to sustainable development, and biodiversity conservation is also a global priority with local benefits for ecosystem resilience, biomass productivity, and provisioning services such as foodstuffs. Finally, human management has largely been responsible for reduced carbon stocks, but this trend can be reversed through the implementation of appropriate carbon conservation strategies in the agricultural sector, as shown by multiple studies. Owing to the strong regional climatic gradient, country-level initiatives will need to consider carbon sequestration approaches for multiple ecosystem types. Given the diversity of environments, global policies must be adapted and strategies developed at the national or sub-national levels to improve carbon storage above and belowground. Initiatives of this sort must act locally at farmer scale, and focus on ecosystem services rather than on carbon

  17. Continental-scale effects of nutrient pollution on stream ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Guy; Gessner, Mark O; Giller, Paul S; Gulis, Vladislav; Hladyz, Sally; Lecerf, Antoine; Malmqvist, Björn; McKie, Brendan G; Tiegs, Scott D; Cariss, Helen; Dobson, Mike; Elosegi, Arturo; Ferreira, Verónica; Graça, Manuel A S; Fleituch, Tadeusz; Lacoursière, Jean O; Nistorescu, Marius; Pozo, Jesús; Risnoveanu, Geta; Schindler, Markus; Vadineanu, Angheluta; Vought, Lena B-M; Chauvet, Eric

    2012-06-15

    Excessive nutrient loading is a major threat to aquatic ecosystems worldwide that leads to profound changes in aquatic biodiversity and biogeochemical processes. Systematic quantitative assessment of functional ecosystem measures for river networks is, however, lacking, especially at continental scales. Here, we narrow this gap by means of a pan-European field experiment on a fundamental ecosystem process--leaf-litter breakdown--in 100 streams across a greater than 1000-fold nutrient gradient. Dramatically slowed breakdown at both extremes of the gradient indicated strong nutrient limitation in unaffected systems, potential for strong stimulation in moderately altered systems, and inhibition in highly polluted streams. This large-scale response pattern emphasizes the need to complement established structural approaches (such as water chemistry, hydrogeomorphology, and biological diversity metrics) with functional measures (such as litter-breakdown rate, whole-system metabolism, and nutrient spiraling) for assessing ecosystem health.

  18. A National Approach to Quantify and Map Biodiversity Conservation Metrics within an Ecosystem Services Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem services, i.e., "services provided to humans from natural systems," have become a key issue of this century in resource management, conservation planning, human well-being, and environmental decision analysis. Mapping and quantifying ecosystem services have be...

  19. Quantifying and Mapping Habitat-Based Biodiversity Metrics Within an Ecosystem Services Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem services have become a key issue of this century in resource management, conservation planning, human well-being, and environmental decision analysis. Mapping and quantifying ecosystem services have become strategic national interests for integrating ecology with econom...

  20. Assessing the impacts of livestock production on biodiversity in rangeland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkemade, Rob; Reid, Robin S.; van den Berg, Maurits; de Leeuw, Jan; Jeuken, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity in rangelands is decreasing, due to intense utilization for livestock production and conversion of rangeland into cropland; yet the outlook of rangeland biodiversity has not been considered in view of future global demand for food. Here we assess the impact of future livestock production on the global rangelands area and their biodiversity. First we formalized existing knowledge about livestock grazing impacts on biodiversity, expressed in mean species abundance (MSA) of the original rangeland native species assemblages, through metaanalysis of peer-reviewed literature. MSA values, ranging from 1 in natural rangelands to 0.3 in man-made grasslands, were entered in the IMAGE-GLOBIO model. This model was used to assess the impact of change in food demand and livestock production on future rangeland biodiversity. The model revealed remarkable regional variation in impact on rangeland area and MSA between two agricultural production scenarios. The area of used rangelands slightly increases globally between 2000 and 2050 in the baseline scenario and reduces under a scenario of enhanced uptake of resource-efficient production technologies increasing production [high levels of agricultural knowledge, science, and technology (high-AKST)], particularly in Africa. Both scenarios suggest a global decrease in MSA for rangelands until 2050. The contribution of livestock grazing to MSA loss is, however, expected to diminish after 2030, in particular in Africa under the high-AKST scenario. Policies fostering agricultural intensification can reduce the overall pressure on rangeland biodiversity, but additional measures, addressing factors such as climate change and infrastructural development, are necessary to totally halt biodiversity loss. PMID:22308313

  1. Maximum entropy models of ecosystem functioning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertram, Jason

    2014-01-01

    Using organism-level traits to deduce community-level relationships is a fundamental problem in theoretical ecology. This problem parallels the physical one of using particle properties to deduce macroscopic thermodynamic laws, which was successfully achieved with the development of statistical physics. Drawing on this parallel, theoretical ecologists from Lotka onwards have attempted to construct statistical mechanistic theories of ecosystem functioning. Jaynes’ broader interpretation of statistical mechanics, which hinges on the entropy maximisation algorithm (MaxEnt), is of central importance here because the classical foundations of statistical physics do not have clear ecological analogues (e.g. phase space, dynamical invariants). However, models based on the information theoretic interpretation of MaxEnt are difficult to interpret ecologically. Here I give a broad discussion of statistical mechanical models of ecosystem functioning and the application of MaxEnt in these models. Emphasising the sample frequency interpretation of MaxEnt, I show that MaxEnt can be used to construct models of ecosystem functioning which are statistical mechanical in the traditional sense using a savanna plant ecology model as an example

  2. Maximum entropy models of ecosystem functioning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bertram, Jason, E-mail: jason.bertram@anu.edu.au [Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200 (Australia)

    2014-12-05

    Using organism-level traits to deduce community-level relationships is a fundamental problem in theoretical ecology. This problem parallels the physical one of using particle properties to deduce macroscopic thermodynamic laws, which was successfully achieved with the development of statistical physics. Drawing on this parallel, theoretical ecologists from Lotka onwards have attempted to construct statistical mechanistic theories of ecosystem functioning. Jaynes’ broader interpretation of statistical mechanics, which hinges on the entropy maximisation algorithm (MaxEnt), is of central importance here because the classical foundations of statistical physics do not have clear ecological analogues (e.g. phase space, dynamical invariants). However, models based on the information theoretic interpretation of MaxEnt are difficult to interpret ecologically. Here I give a broad discussion of statistical mechanical models of ecosystem functioning and the application of MaxEnt in these models. Emphasising the sample frequency interpretation of MaxEnt, I show that MaxEnt can be used to construct models of ecosystem functioning which are statistical mechanical in the traditional sense using a savanna plant ecology model as an example.

  3. EnviroAtlas - Reptile Biodiversity Ecosystem Services Metrics by 12-digit HUC for the Conterminous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    This EnviroAtlas dataset contains biodiversity metrics reflecting ecosystem services or other aspects of biodiversity for reptile species, based on the number of reptile species as measured by predicted habitat present within a pixel. These metrics were created from grouping national level single species habitat models created by the USGS Gap Analysis Program into smaller ecologically based, phylogeny based, or stakeholder suggested composites. The dataset includes reptile species richness metrics for all reptile species, lizards, snakes, turtles, poisonous reptiles, Natureserve-listed G1,G2, and G3 reptile species, and reptile species listed by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), PARC (Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation) and SWPARC (Southwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation). This dataset was produced by a joint effort of New Mexico State University, US EPA, and USGS to support research and online mapping activities related to EnviroAtlas. EnviroAtlas (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas) allows the user to interact with a web-based, easy-to-use, mapping application to view and analyze multiple ecosystem services for the contiguous United States. The dataset is available as downloadable data (https://edg.epa.gov/data/Public/ORD/EnviroAtlas) or as an EnviroAtlas map service. Additional descriptive information about each attribute in this dataset can be found in its associated EnviroAtlas Fact Sheet (https://www.epa

  4. Biodiversity and key ecosystem services in agroforestry coffee systems in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Biome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Souza, de H.N.

    2012-01-01

    The thesis reports the results of long-term experimentation (since 1993) of family farmers with agroforestry (AF) coffee systems in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest region, a highly fragmented and threatened biodiversity hotspot. The farmers used native trees from forest fragments during a

  5. Exclusion of agricultural lands in spatial conservation prioritization strategies: consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem service representation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durán, América P; Duffy, James P; Gaston, Kevin J

    2014-10-07

    Agroecosystems have traditionally been considered incompatible with biological conservation goals, and often been excluded from spatial conservation prioritization strategies. The consequences for the representativeness of identified priority areas have been little explored. Here, we evaluate these for biodiversity and carbon storage representation when agricultural land areas are excluded from a spatial prioritization strategy for South America. Comparing different prioritization approaches, we also assess how the spatial overlap of priority areas changes. The exclusion of agricultural lands was detrimental to biodiversity representation, indicating that priority areas for agricultural production overlap with areas of relatively high occurrence of species. By contrast, exclusion of agricultural lands benefits representation of carbon storage within priority areas, as lands of high value for agriculture and carbon storage overlap little. When agricultural lands were included and equally weighted with biodiversity and carbon storage, a balanced representation resulted. Our findings suggest that with appropriate management, South American agroecosystems can significantly contribute to biodiversity conservation. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  6. Importance of fish biodiversity for the management of fisheries and ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hiddink, J.G.; MacKenzie, Brian; Rijnsdorp, A.

    2008-01-01

    A group of fisheries scientists participating in a European Union Network of Excellence (MARBEF) summarizes risks to the biodiversity of fish in European seas and recommends ways how existing fish diversity can be conserved, restored and managed. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved....

  7. Priority areas in the Soil Framework Directive : the significance of soil biodiversity and ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rutgers, M.; Jagers op Akkerhuis, G.A.J.M.; Bloem, J.

    2010-01-01

    Seven soil threats are distinguished in the draft text of the Soil Framework Directive of the European Commission. Soil organic matter decline and soil compaction are the most relevant for the Netherlands due to intensive agricultural land management. Loss of soil biodiversity should be considered

  8. A review of earthworm impact on soil function and ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blouin, M.; Hodson, M.E.; Delgado, E.A.; Baker, G.; Brussaard, L.; Butt, K.R.; Dai, J.; Dendooven, L.; Peres, G.; Tondoh, J.E.; Cluzeau, D.; Brun, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity is responsible for the provision of many ecosystem services; human well-being is based on these services, and consequently on biodiversity. In soil, earthworms represent the largest component of the animal biomass and are commonly termed ecosystem engineers'. This review considers the

  9. Body condition, diet and ecosystem function of red deer (Cervus elaphus in a fenced nature reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilla Fløjgaard

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Body condition, as a sign of animal welfare, is of management concern in rewilding projects where fenced animals are subject to winter starvation, which may conflict with animal welfare legislation. Investigating the relationship between body condition, age, sex, diet quality and diet composition is therefore relevant to increase understanding of herbivores' ecosystem function and to inform management. In this study, we focused on red deer, Cervus elaphus, in a fenced nature reserve in Denmark, where the deer are managed as ecosystem engineers to contribute to biodiversity conservation. We measured body mass and body size of 91 culled red deer, and determined diet composition using DNA metabarcoding and diet quality using fecal nitrogen on 246 fecal samples. We found that body condition was predicted by age and diet composition, but not diet quality. We also found that individuals of different body condition had different diets, i.e., the fecal samples of red deer in poorer body condition contained significantly more Ericaceae sequences than red deer in good body condition. This may imply that certain functions of red deer in ecosystems, such as regeneration of heather by grazing, may depend on variation in body condition within the population. Our findings call for the need to consider the consequences of management practices, including culling or supplemental feeding, on the outcomes of habitat restoration, and more broadly underline the importance of preserving the overall breath of herbivore ecosystem functions for effective biodiversity conservation.

  10. Functional approach in estimation of cultural ecosystem services of recreational areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sautkin, I. S.; Rogova, T. V.

    2018-01-01

    The article is devoted to the identification and analysis of cultural ecosystem services of recreational areas from the different forest plant functional groups in the suburbs of Kazan. The study explored two cultural ecosystem services supplied by forest plants by linking these services to different plant functional traits. Information on the functional traits of 76 plants occurring in the forest ecosystems of the investigated area was collected from reference books on the biological characteristics of plant species. Analysis of these species and traits with the Ward clustering method yielded four functional groups with different potentials for delivering ecosystem services. The results show that the contribution of species diversity to services can be characterized through the functional traits of plants. This proves that there is a stable relationship between biodiversity and the quality and quantity of ecosystem services. The proposed method can be extended to other types of services (regulating and supporting). The analysis can be used in the socio-economic assessment of natural ecosystems for recreation and other uses.

  11. Non-linear interactions determine the impact of sea-level rise on estuarine benthic biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Tsuyuko; Raffaelli, David; White, Piran C L

    2013-01-01

    Sea-level rise induced by climate change may have significant impacts on the ecosystem functions and ecosystem services provided by intertidal sediment ecosystems. Accelerated sea-level rise is expected to lead to steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure, with consequent impacts on intertidal ecosystems. We examined the relationships between abundance, biomass, and community metabolism of benthic fauna with beach slope, particle size and exposure, using samples across a range of conditions from three different locations in the UK, to determine the significance of sediment particle size beach slope and wave exposure in affecting benthic fauna and ecosystem function in different ecological contexts. Our results show that abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption of intertidal macrofauna and meiofauna are affected significantly by interactions among sediment particle size, beach slope and wave exposure. For macrofauna on less sloping beaches, the effect of these physical constraints is mediated by the local context, although for meiofauna and for macrofauna on intermediate and steeper beaches, the effects of physical constraints dominate. Steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure generally result in decreases in abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption, but these relationships are complex and non-linear. Sea-level rise is likely to lead to changes in ecosystem structure with generally negative impacts on ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. However, the impacts of sea-level rise will also be affected by local ecological context, especially for less sloping beaches.

  12. Functional trait responses to sediment deposition reduce macrofauna-mediated ecosystem functioning in an estuarine mudflat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mestdagh, Sebastiaan; Bagaço, Leila; Braeckman, Ulrike; Ysebaert, Tom; De Smet, Bart; Moens, Tom; Van Colen, Carl

    2018-05-01

    Human activities, among which dredging and land use change in river basins, are altering estuarine ecosystems. These activities may result in changes in sedimentary processes, affecting biodiversity of sediment macrofauna. As macrofauna controls sediment chemistry and fluxes of energy and matter between water column and sediment, changes in the structure of macrobenthic communities could affect the functioning of an entire ecosystem. We assessed the impact of sediment deposition on intertidal macrobenthic communities and on rates of an important ecosystem function, i.e. sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC). An experiment was performed with undisturbed sediment samples from the Scheldt river estuary (SW Netherlands). The samples were subjected to four sedimentation regimes: one control and three with a deposited sediment layer of 1, 2 or 5 cm. Oxygen consumption was measured during incubation at ambient temperature. Luminophores applied at the surface, and a seawater-bromide mixture, served as tracers for bioturbation and bio-irrigation, respectively. After incubation, the macrofauna was extracted, identified, and counted and then classified into functional groups based on motility and sediment reworking capacity. Total macrofaunal densities dropped already under the thinnest deposits. The most affected fauna were surficial and low-motility animals, occurring at high densities in the control. Their mortality resulted in a drop in SCOC, which decreased steadily with increasing deposit thickness, while bio-irrigation and bioturbation activity showed increases in the lower sediment deposition regimes but decreases in the more extreme treatments. The initial increased activity likely counteracted the effects of the drop in low-motility, surficial fauna densities, resulting in a steady rather than sudden fall in oxygen consumption. We conclude that the functional identity in terms of motility and sediment reworking can be crucial in our understanding of the

  13. Functional trait responses to sediment deposition reduce macrofauna-mediated ecosystem functioning in an estuarine mudflat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Mestdagh

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Human activities, among which dredging and land use change in river basins, are altering estuarine ecosystems. These activities may result in changes in sedimentary processes, affecting biodiversity of sediment macrofauna. As macrofauna controls sediment chemistry and fluxes of energy and matter between water column and sediment, changes in the structure of macrobenthic communities could affect the functioning of an entire ecosystem. We assessed the impact of sediment deposition on intertidal macrobenthic communities and on rates of an important ecosystem function, i.e. sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC. An experiment was performed with undisturbed sediment samples from the Scheldt river estuary (SW Netherlands. The samples were subjected to four sedimentation regimes: one control and three with a deposited sediment layer of 1, 2 or 5 cm. Oxygen consumption was measured during incubation at ambient temperature. Luminophores applied at the surface, and a seawater–bromide mixture, served as tracers for bioturbation and bio-irrigation, respectively. After incubation, the macrofauna was extracted, identified, and counted and then classified into functional groups based on motility and sediment reworking capacity. Total macrofaunal densities dropped already under the thinnest deposits. The most affected fauna were surficial and low-motility animals, occurring at high densities in the control. Their mortality resulted in a drop in SCOC, which decreased steadily with increasing deposit thickness, while bio-irrigation and bioturbation activity showed increases in the lower sediment deposition regimes but decreases in the more extreme treatments. The initial increased activity likely counteracted the effects of the drop in low-motility, surficial fauna densities, resulting in a steady rather than sudden fall in oxygen consumption. We conclude that the functional identity in terms of motility and sediment reworking can be crucial in our

  14. Adaptation approaches for conserving ecosystems services and biodiversity in dynamic landscapes caused by climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oswald J. Schmitz; Anne M. Trainor

    2014-01-01

    Climate change stands to cause animal species to shift their geographic ranges. This will cause ecosystems to become reorganized across landscapes as species migrate into and out of specific locations with attendant impacts on values and services that ecosystems provide to humans. Conservation in an era of climate change needs to ensure that landscapes are resilient by...

  15. Biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity as key drivers of ecosystem services provided by soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smith, Pete; Cotrufo, M.F.; Rumpel, C.; Paustian, K.; Kuikman, P.J.

    2015-01-01

    Soils play a pivotal role in major global biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nutrient, and water), while hosting the largest diversity of organisms on land. Because of this, soils deliver fundamental ecosystem services, and management to change a soil process in support of one ecosystem service can

  16. Linking hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in African papyrus wetlands using a Bayesian Network Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dam, A.; Gettel, G. M.; Kipkemboi, J.; Rahman, M. M.

    2011-12-01

    Papyrus wetlands in East Africa provide ecosystem services supporting the livelihoods of millions but are rapidly degrading due to economic development. For ecosystem conservation, an integrated understanding of the natural and social processes driving ecosystem change is needed. This research focuses on integrating the causal relationships between hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in Nyando wetland, western Kenya. Livelihood sustainability is based on ecosystem services that include plant and animal harvest for building material and food, conversion of wetlands to crop and grazing land, water supply, and water quality regulation. Specific objectives were: to integrate studies of hydrology, ecology, and livelihood activities using a Bayesian Network (BN) model and include stakeholder involvement in model development. The BN model (Netica 4.16) had 35 nodes with seven decision nodes describing demography, economy, papyrus market, and rainfall, and two target nodes describing ecosystem function (defined by groundwater recharge, nutrient and sediment retention, and biodiversity) and livelihood sustainability (drinking water supply, crop production, livestock production, and papyrus yield). The conditional probability tables were populated using results of ecohydrological and socio-economic field work and consultations with stakeholders. The model was evaluated for an average year with decision node probabilities set according to data from research, expert opinion, and stakeholders' views. Then, scenarios for dry and wet seasons and for economic development (low population growth and unemployment) and policy development (more awareness of wetland value) were evaluated. In an average year, the probability for maintaining a "good" level of sediment and nutrient retention functions, groundwater recharge, and biodiversity was about 60%. ("Good" is defined by expert opinion based on ongoing field research.) In the dry season, the probability was

  17. From bacteria to elephants: Effects of land-use legacies on biodiversity and ecosystem structure in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem: Chapter 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verchot, Louis V.; Ward, Naomi L.; Belnap, Jayne; Bossio, Deborah; Coughenour, Michael; Gibson, John; Hanotte, Olivier; Muchiru, Andrew N.; Phillips, Susan L.; Steven, Blaire; Wall, Diana H.; Reid, Robin S.

    2015-01-01

    Generally, ecological research has considered the aboveground and belowground components of ecosystems separately. Consequently, frameworks for integrating the two components are not well developed. Integrating the microbial components into ecosystem ecology requires different approaches from those offered by plant ecology, partly because of the scales at which microbial processes operate and partly because of measurement constraints. Studies have begun to relate microbial community structure to ecosystem function. results suggest that excluding people and livestock from the MMNR, or preventing heavier livestock from grazing around settlements, may not change the general structure of the ecosystem (soils, plant structure), but can change the numbers and diversity of wildlife, nematodes and microbes in this ecosystem in subtle ways.

  18. Reviewing the strength of evidence of biodiversity indicators for forest ecosystems in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gao, Tian; Nielsen, Anders Busse; Hedblom, Marcus

    2015-01-01

    .e. the indicated aspect of biodiversity); (2) assess the strength of scientific evidence for individual indicators; and (3) identify a set of indicators with confirmed validity for further scientific testing and inclusion in long-term reporting and decision-making regarding forest biodiversity. Ten indicator...... groups and 83 individual indicators were identified with application from stand scale up to landscape scale in 142 eligible scientific papers. In 62 of the 142 studies no statistical correlations between indicator(s) and indicandum were performed and 42 (out of the 62) did not even present a clear...... indicandum. In the remaining 80 studies, 412 correlations between indicator and indicandum were identified. However, only six correlations were assessed as being supported by strong evidence, i.e. three or more studies found statistical correlation between the indicator and indicandum, and no studies...

  19. Phylogenetic patterns of extinction risk in the eastern arc ecosystems, an African biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yessoufou, Kowiyou; Daru, Barnabas H; Davies, T Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    There is an urgent need to reduce drastically the rate at which biodiversity is declining worldwide. Phylogenetic methods are increasingly being recognised as providing a useful framework for predicting future losses, and guiding efforts for pre-emptive conservation actions. In this study, we used a reconstructed phylogenetic tree of angiosperm species of the Eastern Arc Mountains - an important African biodiversity hotspot - and described the distribution of extinction risk across taxonomic ranks and phylogeny. We provide evidence for both taxonomic and phylogenetic selectivity in extinction risk. However, we found that selectivity varies with IUCN extinction risk category. Vulnerable species are more closely related than expected by chance, whereas endangered and critically endangered species are not significantly clustered on the phylogeny. We suggest that the general observation for taxonomic and phylogenetic selectivity (i.e. phylogenetic signal, the tendency of closely related species to share similar traits) in extinction risks is therefore largely driven by vulnerable species, and not necessarily the most highly threatened. We also used information on altitudinal distribution and climate to generate a predictive model of at-risk species richness, and found that greater threatened species richness is found at higher altitude, allowing for more informed conservation decision making. Our results indicate that evolutionary history can help predict plant susceptibility to extinction threats in the hyper-diverse but woefully-understudied Eastern Arc Mountains, and illustrate the contribution of phylogenetic approaches in conserving African floristic biodiversity where detailed ecological and evolutionary data are often lacking.

  20. Phylogenetic patterns of extinction risk in the eastern arc ecosystems, an African biodiversity hotspot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kowiyou Yessoufou

    Full Text Available There is an urgent need to reduce drastically the rate at which biodiversity is declining worldwide. Phylogenetic methods are increasingly being recognised as providing a useful framework for predicting future losses, and guiding efforts for pre-emptive conservation actions. In this study, we used a reconstructed phylogenetic tree of angiosperm species of the Eastern Arc Mountains - an important African biodiversity hotspot - and described the distribution of extinction risk across taxonomic ranks and phylogeny. We provide evidence for both taxonomic and phylogenetic selectivity in extinction risk. However, we found that selectivity varies with IUCN extinction risk category. Vulnerable species are more closely related than expected by chance, whereas endangered and critically endangered species are not significantly clustered on the phylogeny. We suggest that the general observation for taxonomic and phylogenetic selectivity (i.e. phylogenetic signal, the tendency of closely related species to share similar traits in extinction risks is therefore largely driven by vulnerable species, and not necessarily the most highly threatened. We also used information on altitudinal distribution and climate to generate a predictive model of at-risk species richness, and found that greater threatened species richness is found at higher altitude, allowing for more informed conservation decision making. Our results indicate that evolutionary history can help predict plant susceptibility to extinction threats in the hyper-diverse but woefully-understudied Eastern Arc Mountains, and illustrate the contribution of phylogenetic approaches in conserving African floristic biodiversity where detailed ecological and evolutionary data are often lacking.

  1. Maintaining ecosystem resilience: functional responses of tree cavity nesters to logging in temperate forests of the Americas

    OpenAIRE

    Ibarra, Jose Tomas; Martin, Michaela; Cockle, Kristina L; Martin, Kathy

    2017-01-01

    Logging often reduces taxonomic diversity in forest communities, but little is known about how this biodiversity loss affects the resilience of ecosystem functions. We examined how partial logging and clearcutting of temperate forests influenced functional diversity of birds that nest in tree cavities. We used point-counts in a before-after-control-impact design to examine the effects of logging on the value, range, and density of functional traits in bird communities in Canada (21 species) a...

  2. The Increase of Arthropods Biodiversity in Paddy Field Ecosystem Managed by Using Integrated Pest Management at South Borneo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samharinto

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We have studied the arthropods biodiversity in two paddy field ecosystems, namely, paddy field ecosystem using Integrated Pest Management (IPM system and non-IPM paddy field ecosystem. This study was conducted from April 2011 – November 2011 in three locations, that is, Pasar Kamis village and Sungai Rangas village in Banjar regency, and Guntung Payung village in Banjarbaru city, South Borneo Province. In this study, we used insect nets, yellow sticky traps, light trap and pitfall trap to get the sample or catch the arthropods in one period of planting season. The arthropods caught were then classified into some classes: pest (herbivore, natural enemy (parasitoid and predator, and other arthropods. After that, the Species Diversity Index was determined using its Shannon-Wiener Index (H’, Evenness (e, Species Richness (R, and Species Similarity Index (IS. The sum of arthropods which have the characteristic of pest and parasitoid were higher in the IPM paddy fields than in the non-IPM paddy fields, and the sum of other arthropods were the same. The highest H’ and e values were in the IPM paddy field in Pasar Kamis village. The IS value for each three locations were 77.5% in Pasar Kamis village, 93.42% in Guntung Payung village, and 78.76% in Sungai Rangas village.

  3. A global mismatch in the protection of multiple marine biodiversity components and ecosystem services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindegren, Martin; Holt, Ben G.; MacKenzie, Brian R.

    2018-01-01

    spatial scale. We demonstrate a pronounced spatial mismatch between the existing degree of protection and all the conservation priorities above, highlighting that neither the world's most diverse, nor the most productive ecosystems are currently the most protected ecosystems. Furthermore, we show...... more effectively than the existing degree of protection, which at best is only marginally better than a random expectation. Therefore, a holistic perspective is needed when designating an appropriate degree of protection of marine conservation priorities worldwide....

  4. Accounting for biodiversity in the dairy industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sizemore, Grant C

    2015-05-15

    Biodiversity is an essential part of properly functioning ecosystems, yet the loss of biodiversity currently occurs at rates unparalleled in the modern era. One of the major causes of this phenomenon is habitat loss and modification as a result of intensified agricultural practices. This paper provides a starting point for considering biodiversity within dairy production, and, although focusing primarily on the United States, findings are applicable broadly. Biodiversity definitions and assessments (e.g., indicators, tools) are proposed and reviewed. Although no single indicator or tool currently meets all the needs of comprehensive assessment, many sustainable practices are readily adoptable as ways to conserve and promote biodiversity. These practices, as well as potential funding opportunities are identified. Given the state of uncertainty in addressing the complex nature of biodiversity assessments, the adoption of generally sustainable environmental practices may be the best currently available option for protecting biodiversity on dairy lands. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Towards multifunctional agricultural landscapes in Europe: Assessing and governing synergies between food production, biodiversity, and ecosystem services - TALE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volk, Martin; Cord, Anna; Demiguel, Ángel; Holzkämper, Annelie; Kaim, Andrea; Kirchner, Mathias; Lienhoop, Nele; Nieto Romero, Marta; Nitsch, Heike; Rutz, Cordula; Saa, Antonio; Schmid, Erwin; Schönhart, Martin; Schramek, Jörg; Strauch, Michael; Tarquis Alfonso, Ana Maria; van der Zanden, Emma H.; Verburg, Peter; Willaarts, Bárbara; Zarrineh, Nina; Rivas, David; Hagemann, Nina

    2016-04-01

    There is a need to improve our understanding of the synergies between biodiversity, food and energy production and other regulating or cultural ecosystem services (ESS) and the development of technical and policy measures to support these synergies. Procedures to quantify synergies and trade-offs between ESS and biodiversity are considered as promising solutions to close this gap. The BiodivERsA project TALE aims at developing such methodologies in a set of representative European agricultural landscapes in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, The Netherlands and Spain. This will be done by using i) a framework that links process-based, integrated, and statistical models with optimization algorithms, and ii) a set of land use scenarios and land use policies, iii) a systematic stakeholder integration process that allows the incorporation of expert knowledge in all phases of the research project to safeguard that research results are of practical relevance. Moreover, the project not only addresses experts but provides an innovative online learning environment that is accessible also for students and the general public.

  6. Bridging the gap between biodiversity data and policy reporting needs: An essential biodiversity variables perspective

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Geijzendorffer, IR

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available come from less biodiverse areas such as North America and 92 Europe rather than biodiversity-rich areas such as some parts of the tropics (Collen et al. 2008; Mora et 93 al. 2008; Pereira et al. 2012) and developing countries (Butchart et al. 2010... provision, EBVs 349 for other specific ecosystem functions were missing (e.g., pollination or soil decomposition rates). 350 351 This analysis also highlighted that reporting required additional indicators on non-biodiversity variables, 352...

  7. A new model of dynamic of plant biodiversity in changing farmlands ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    However, the relationship between plant diversity and disturbance gradient makes ... factors affecting herbs species diversity in the ecosystem to building a model. ... in conserving global biodiversity and maintaining global ecosystem function.

  8. Consequences of increasing hypoxic disturbance on benthic communities and ecosystem functioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Villnäs

    benthic habitat matters, and that the link between biodiversity and ecosystem function is likely to be affected by a range of factors in complex, natural environments.

  9. Networks of soil biota in a secondary succession gradient: Is it biodiversity or network structure that determines soil function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morriën, Elly; Hannula, Emilia; Snoek, Basten; Hol, Gera; van Veen, Hans; van der Putten, Wim

    2017-04-01

    Land abandonment is considered an effective tool for restoring biodiversity and ecosystem functions. However, thus far little attention is given to the role of soil biodiversity. Here, we present results of a soil biodiversity development and ecosystem functioning from a chonosequence of ex-arable fields in The Netherlands. These fields are typically managed by low-intensive grazing while undergoing a transition from an arable system into a species-rich grassland. We manipulated soil biodiversity to be able to couple biodiversity loss to loss of soil functions. We hypothesized that biodiversity loss would lead to less N uptake by plants and slower C transfer to microbes. A greenhouse mesocosm experiment was performed in which sterilized soils from the chronosequence were re-inoculated with a dilution series of soil suspensions (filtered to include only bacteria, fungi and protozoa) to manipulate soil diversity. These mesocosms were planted with a community of plants that naturally occur in all of the grasslands along the chronosequence. We measured microbial community development with TRFLP and sequencing, plant C, N and biomass and using dual labelled 15N ammonium nitrate (15NH415NO3) and 13C in the form of 13CO2 fed to the plants to assess the short term fate, turnover and retention of recent plant assimilated carbon and nitrogen in soil. The faith of the C and N were followed by sequential sampling of aboveground and belowground plant tissues and soil bacterial and fungal PLFA and NLFA biomarkers. With the first method the role of microbial diversity and soil on plant carbon assimilation and nitrogen uptake was evaluated. This was further related to the amount of recently photosynthesized carbon plants allocated to different microbial groups in soils. Microbial end-communities were pyrosequenced to evaluate the end diversity. In this study we showed the effects of the loss of soil biodiversity to C and N cycling in plants and microbes. Next to this manipulative

  10. Traditional African Knowledge In Biodiversity Conservation ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The tropical forest ecosystem is one of the most important ecosystems of the world, because it contains a large proportion of the world's biodiversity and provides many environmental functions. Local communities have successfully conserved these resources that are of interest to them through laws and taboos. These range ...

  11. An ecosystem services perspective for the oceanic eastern tropical Pacific: commercial fisheries, carbon storage, recreational fishing, and biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Summer Lynn Martin

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The ocean provides ecosystem services (ES that support humanity. Traditional single-issue management largely failed to protect the full suite of ES. Ecosystem-based management (EBM promotes resilient social-ecological systems that provide ES. To implement EBM, an ES approach is useful: 1 characterize major ES provided (magnitude, geographic extent, monetary value, trends, and stakeholders, 2 identify trade-offs, 3 determine desired outcomes, and 4 manage anthropogenic activities accordingly. Here we apply the ES approach (steps 1-2 to an open ocean ecosystem, the eastern tropical Pacific (ETP, an area of 21 million km2 that includes waters of 12 nations and the oceanic commons, using 35 years (1975-2010 of fisheries and economic data, and 20 years (1986-2006 of ship-based survey data. We examined commercial fisheries, carbon storage, biodiversity, and recreational fishing as the major provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ES, respectively. Average catch value (using U.S. import prices for fish for the 10 most commercially fished species was $2.7 billion yr-1. The value of carbon export to the deep ocean was $12.9 billion yr-1 (using average European carbon market prices. For two fisheries-depleted dolphin populations, the potential value of rebuilding carbon stores was $1.6 million (cumulative; for exploited fish stocks it was also $1.6 million (an estimated reduction of 544,000 mt. Sport fishing expenditures totaled $1.2 billion yr-1, from studies of three popular destinations. These initial, conservative estimates do not represent a complete summary of ETP ES values. We produced species richness maps for cetaceans, seabirds, and ichthyoplankton, and a sightings density map for marine turtles. Over 1/3 of cetacean, seabird, and marine turtle species occur in the ETP, and diversity (or density hotspots are widespread. This study fills several gaps in the assessment of marine and coastal ES by focusing on an oceanic habitat

  12. A Review on Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, and Perceptions of New Zealand’s Mangroves: Can We Make Informed Decisions about Their Removal?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amrit Melissa Dencer-Brown

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Mangrove cover is increasing in estuaries and harbours in many areas on North Island, New Zealand. The expansion of mangroves has been attributed to anthropogenic land-use change, including urbanisation and conversion of land to agriculture. Rapid expansion of mangroves in the coastal landscape has created discord in local communities over their importance in terms of the services they deliver to both wildlife and people. Some community groups have been advocates for the large-scale removal of mangrove habitat, whilst other local residents oppose this removal. This review paper investigated and discussed pertinent biodiversity and ecosystem services studies based in New Zealand mangroves from 1950 to 2017. Results showed that the majority of biodiversity studies have targeted particular species or groups of organisms, with a focus on benthic invertebrate communities. Deficits remain in our knowledge of this expanding forest and shrub ecosystem, notably the terrestrial component of biodiversity, species community-shifts with landscape fragmentation, and associated cultural values. It is recommended that broader species assessments and a longer-term approach be applied to biodiversity monitoring in mangroves, coupled with Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge and western science for holistic management of this coastal ecosystem.

  13. Biodiversity on mire ecosystems and drained peatlands - a basis for environmental peat harvesting; Biologisk maangfald paa myrar och dikad torvmark - underlag foer ett miljoemaessigt torvbruk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stedingk, Henrik von (Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Uppsala (Sweden))

    2009-07-01

    biodiversity than not drained peatlands. The plant succession following drainage leads to denser vegetation and dominance of forest plants. Often drainage is followed by forestry, leading to even lower nature conservation values. Conservation values on drained peatlands are rarely studied. Potential environments for nature conservation in drained peatlands are: 1) Areas with little drainage influence and preserved mire function. 2) Late forest successions after drainage with deciduous trees and dead wood. 3) Open pine forest or swamp forest that act as refugia for old growth lichens and wood fungi. 4) Pools and stream like older ditches with running water. An inventory focused on conservation values on drained peatlands is recommended. Peat harvesting causes ecosystem shift and species living on the mire disappear. An estimation of biodiversity effects from peat harvesting must include the lost mire, time of exploitation, as well as the after-treatment. A longer time perspective is therefore required when evaluating consequences of peat harvesting. The development of a broader spectra of after-treatment involving biodiversity is essential, as well as a system that guarantees a long term perspective in after-treatment for biodiversity. Methods for evaluating effects on the landscape level from increased peat harvesting are required. Increased peat harvesting on drained peatlands could be in convergence with the Swedish environmental goals, if choice of site and after-treatment is based on landscape analysis focusing on biodiversity

  14. Impacts of cwd on understory biodiversity in forest ecosystems in the qinling mountains, china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuan, J.; Wei, X.; Shang, Z.; Cheng, F.; Hu, Z.; Zheng, X.; Zhang, S.

    2015-01-01

    The stocks and characteristics of coarse woody debris (CWD) are expected to reflect forest stand features. However, despite their importance, there have been no reports of CWD stocks and characteristics in the Qinling Mountains. We measured the CWD stocks in different CWD types, decay classes and diameter classes of the five forest types in the Qinling Mountains. The highest biomass of CWD was the Pinus tabulaeformis forest (12.57 t-hm /sup -2/), occupied 5.66 percentage in the biomass of this forest, the lowest occupied 1.03 percentage in Betula albo-sinensis forest (1.82 t-hm /sup -2/). Our results revealed that there was a strong correlation between CWD and forest biomass. When the CWD biomass were 9.9 t-hm /sup -2/ and 11.6 hm /sup -2/, the biomass of Pinus armandi forest and P. tabulaeformis forest reached maximum, respectively. CWD is particularly important for biodiversity, but the importance of CWD in the control of diversity in forest systems has not been fully appreciated and certainly has not been evaluated intensively within China, especially in Qinling forests. In our research, we used species richness (S), Shannon-Wiener index (H), Simpson index (D) and Pielou evenness index (J) to assess the diversity of plant community. According to our analysis, we found 1) the effect of CWD biomass on these a diversity index was dependent on tree, shrub and herb in the five forest types, 2) the impacts of CWD biomass on understory biodiversity were more obvious, 3) With the increase of CWD biomass, the species richness (S), Shannon-Wiener index (H) and Simpson index (D) of understory increased significantly. Our results suggested that there was a relatively lower CWD biomass in the Qinling Mountains, but it had significant effects on forest biomass and diversity of plant community. Reserving CWD was important for eco-forestry, but how many and how characteristic of CWD should be retained need further research. Development of CWD reasonable strategies was

  15. Trade-offs between ecosystem services. Water and carbon in a biodiversity hotspot

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chisholm, Ryan A. [Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, NJ (United States)

    2010-08-15

    Carbon sequestration by afforestation can help mitigate global climate change but may have adverse environmental and economic impacts in some regions. For example, economic incentives for carbon sequestration may encourage the expansion of Pinus radiata timber plantations in the Fynbos biome of South Africa, with negative consequences for water supply and biodiversity. I built a dynamic ecological-economic model to investigate whether afforestation of a Fynbos catchment with Pinus radiata is economically viable when the potential benefits of carbon sequestration and timber production are balanced against the losses to water supply. I found that afforestation appears viable to the forestry industry under current water tariffs and current carbon accounting legislation, but would appear unviable if the forestry industry were to pay the true cost of water used by the plantations. I also found that under various plausible future economic scenarios, afforestation can be associated with either large future economic gains or losses, suggesting a need for future analyses based on branches of decision theory that deal with severe uncertainty. I conclude with a general recommendation that climate legislation should be explicit about the conditions under which afforestation for carbon sequestration of native vegetation is a legitimate climate mitigation strategy. (author)

  16. Biodiversity, land use and ecosystem services—An organismic and comparative approach to different geographical regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich Zeller

    2017-04-01

    The approach further focuses on human–wildlife interactions. The emergence of top predators in Europe reveals the value of the experience from Africa, where pastoralists manage to coexist with large predators since millennia. The investigation of African grasslands enables a critical reflection and a thorough understanding of processes, which have occurred a long time ago in Europe. Our approach leads to a revaluation of the significance of Africa in terms of a conservative, relict case scenario that can provide essential insights into the original situation of ecosystems, especially in view of “rewilding” approaches in Europe. Thereby, the approach leads to a careful consideration of the term “wilderness”.

  17. Invasion of a Legume Ecosystem Engineer in a Cold Biome Alters Plant Biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa M. S. Vetter

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Plant ecosystem engineers are widely used to combat land degradation. However, the ability of those plants to modulate limiting abiotic and biotic resources of other species can cause damage to ecosystems in which they become invasive. Here, we use Lupinus nootkatensis as example to estimate and project the hazardous potential of nitrogen fixing herbaceous plants in a sub-polar oceanic climate. L. nootkatensis was introduced to Iceland in the 1940s to address erosion problems and foster reforestation, but subsequently became a high-latitude invader. In a local field survey, we quantified the impact of L. nootkatensis invasion at three different cover levels (0, 10–50, and 51–100% upon native plant diversity, richness, and community composition of heath-, wood-, and grasslands using a pairwise comparison design and comparisons of means. Afterward, we scaled impacts up to the ecosystem and landscape level by relating occurrences of L. nootkatensis to environmental and human-mediated variables across Iceland using a species distribution model. Plant diversity was significantly deteriorated under high lupine cover levels of the heath- and woodland, but not in the grassland. Plant species richness of the most diverse habitat, the heathland, linearly decreased with lupine cover level. The abundance of small rosettes, cushion plants, orchids, and small woody long-lived plants of the heath declined with invader presence, while the abundance of late successional species and widespread nitrophilous ruderals in wood- and grasslands increased. Distribution modeling revealed 13.3% of Iceland’s land surface area to be suitable lupine habitat. Until 2061–2080, this area will more than double and expand significantly into the Central Highlands due to human mediation and increasingly favorable climatic conditions. Species-rich habitats showed a loss of plant species diversity and richness as well as a change in community composition even in low lupine

  18. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  19. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Rodríguez-Lozano

    Full Text Available Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1 leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2 triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel, conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been

  20. Environmental and Human Controls of Ecosystem Functional Diversity in Temperate South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domingo Alcaraz-Segura

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The regional controls of biodiversity patterns have been traditionally evaluated using structural and compositional components at the species level, but evaluation of the functional component at the ecosystem level is still scarce. During the last decades, the role of ecosystem functioning in management and conservation has increased. Our aim was to use satellite-derived Ecosystem Functional Types (EFTs, patches of the land-surface with similar carbon gain dynamics to characterize the regional patterns of ecosystem functional diversity and to evaluate the environmental and human controls that determine EFT richness across natural and human-modified systems in temperate South America. The EFT identification was based on three descriptors of carbon gain dynamics derived from seasonal curves of the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI: annual mean (surrogate of primary production, seasonal coefficient of variation (indicator of seasonality and date of maximum EVI (descriptor of phenology. As observed for species richness in the southern hemisphere, water availability, not energy, emerged as the main climatic driver of EFT richness in natural areas of temperate South America. In anthropogenic areas, the role of both water and energy decreased and increasing human intervention increased richness at low levels of human influence, but decreased richness at high levels of human influence.

  1. Effects of red-backed salamanders on ecosystem functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Hocking

    Full Text Available Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp. likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m(2 plots and small-scale enclosures (2 m(2 where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m(-2. In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders. Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types.

  2. Effects of red-backed salamanders on ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocking, Daniel J; Babbitt, Kimberly J

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp.) likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m(2) plots) and small-scale enclosures (2 m(2)) where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m(-2)). In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders). Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types.

  3. The value of biodiversity for the functioning of tropical forests: insurance effects during the first decade of the Sabah biodiversity experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Michael J.; Philipson, Christopher D.; Saner, Philippe; Tanadini, Matteo; Dzulkifli, Dzaeman; Godoong, Elia; Nilus, Reuben; Ong, Robert C.; Schmid, Bernhard; Sinun, Waidi; Snaddon, Jake L.; Snoep, Martijn; Tangki, Hamzah; Tay, John; Ulok, Philip; Wai, Yap Sau; Weilenmann, Maja; Reynolds, Glen

    2016-01-01

    One of the main environmental threats in the tropics is selective logging, which has degraded large areas of forest. In southeast Asia, enrichment planting with seedlings of the dominant group of dipterocarp tree species aims to accelerate restoration of forest structure and functioning. The role of tree diversity in forest restoration is still unclear, but the ‘insurance hypothesis’ predicts that in temporally and spatially varying environments planting mixtures may stabilize functioning owing to differences in species traits and ecologies. To test for potential insurance effects, we analyse the patterns of seedling mortality and growth in monoculture and mixture plots over the first decade of the Sabah biodiversity experiment. Our results reveal the species differences required for potential insurance effects including a trade-off in which species with denser wood have lower growth rates but higher survival. This trade-off was consistent over time during the first decade, but growth and mortality varied spatially across our 500 ha experiment with species responding to changing conditions in different ways. Overall, average survival rates were extreme in monocultures than mixtures consistent with a potential insurance effect in which monocultures of poorly surviving species risk recruitment failure, whereas monocultures of species with high survival have rates of self-thinning that are potentially wasteful when seedling stocks are limited. Longer-term monitoring as species interactions strengthen will be needed to more comprehensively test to what degree mixtures of species spread risk and use limited seedling stocks more efficiently to increase diversity and restore ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:27928046

  4. Science and Measurement Requirements for a Plant Physiology and Functional Types Mission: Measuring the Composition, Function and Health of Global Land and Coastal Ocean Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Robert O.; Rogez, Francois; Green, Rob; Ungar, Steve; Knox, Robert; Asner, Greg; Muller-Karger, Frank; Bissett, Paul; Chekalyuk, Alex; Dierssen, Heidi; hide

    2007-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the proposed Plant Physiology and Functional Types (PPFT) Mission. The National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey, placed a critical priority on a Mission to observe distribution and changes in ecosystem functions. The PPFT satellite mission provides the essential measurements needed to assess drivers of change in biodiversity and ecosystem services that affect human welfare. The presentation reviews the science questions that the mission will be designed to answer, the science rationale, the science measurements, the mission concept, the planned instrumentation, the calibration method, and key signal to noise ratios and uniformity requirements.

  5. Linking Ecosystem Services Benefit Transfer Databases and Ecosystem Services Production Function Libraries

    Science.gov (United States)

    The quantification or estimation of the economic and non-economic values of ecosystem services can be done from a number of distinct approaches. For example, practitioners may use ecosystem services production function models (ESPFMs) for a particular location, or alternatively, ...

  6. Biodiversity and spatial patterns of benthic habitat and associated demersal fish communities at two tropical submerged reef ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul Wahab, Muhammad Azmi; Radford, Ben; Cappo, Mike; Colquhoun, Jamie; Stowar, Marcus; Depczynski, Martial; Miller, Karen; Heyward, Andrew

    2018-06-01

    Submerged reef ecosystems can be very diverse and may serve as important refugia for shallow-water conspecifics. This study quantified the benthic and fish communities of two proximate, predominantly mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs), Glomar Shoal and Rankin Bank, which are geographically isolated from other similar features in the region. Glomar Shoal is identified as a key ecological feature (KEF) in the North West Marine Region of Australia. Multibeam surveys were performed to characterise the seafloor and to derive secondary environmental variables, used to explain patterns in benthic and fish communities. Towed video surveys quantified benthic cover, and stereo baited remote underwater stations were used to survey fish abundance and diversity. Surveys were completed in depths of 20-115 m. The two MCEs exhibited distinct communities; Rankin Bank consistently had higher cover (up to 30×) of benthic taxa across depths, and fish communities that were twice as abundant and 1.5× more diverse than Glomar Shoal. The location of the MCEs, depth and rugosity were most influential in structuring benthic communities. Phototrophic taxa, specifically macroalgae and hard corals, had up to 22 × higher cover at Rankin Bank than at Glomar Shoal and were dominant to 80 m (compared to 60 m at Glomar Shoal), presumably due to greater light penetration (lower turbidity) and lower sand cover at greater depths. The 20% coral cover at Rankin Bank was comparable to that reported for shallow reefs. The cover of sand, hard corals and sponges influenced fish communities, with higher abundance and diversity of fish associated with shallow hard coral habitats. This study demonstrated that the two MCEs were unique within the local context, and when coupled with their geographical isolation and biodiversity, presents compelling support for the additional recognition of Rankin Bank as a KEF.

  7. Organism-Sediment Interactions Govern Post-Hypoxia Recovery of Ecosystem Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Colen, Carl; Rossi, Francesca; Montserrat, Francesc; Andersson, Maria G. I.; Gribsholt, Britta; Herman, Peter M. J.; Degraer, Steven; Vincx, Magda; Ysebaert, Tom; Middelburg, Jack J.

    2012-01-01

    Hypoxia represents one of the major causes of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning loss for coastal waters. Since eutrophication-induced hypoxic events are becoming increasingly frequent and intense, understanding the response of ecosystems to hypoxia is of primary importance to understand and predict the stability of ecosystem functioning. Such ecological stability may greatly depend on the recovery patterns of communities and the return time of the system properties associated to these patterns. Here, we have examined how the reassembly of a benthic community contributed to the recovery of ecosystem functioning following experimentally-induced hypoxia in a tidal flat. We demonstrate that organism-sediment interactions that depend on organism size and relate to mobility traits and sediment reworking capacities are generally more important than recovering species richness to set the return time of the measured sediment processes and properties. Specifically, increasing macrofauna bioturbation potential during community reassembly significantly contributed to the recovery of sediment processes and properties such as denitrification, bedload sediment transport, primary production and deep pore water ammonium concentration. Such bioturbation potential was due to the replacement of the small-sized organisms that recolonised at early stages by large-sized bioturbating organisms, which had a disproportionately stronger influence on sediment. This study suggests that the complete recovery of organism-sediment interactions is a necessary condition for ecosystem functioning recovery, and that such process requires long periods after disturbance due to the slow growth of juveniles into adult stages involved in these interactions. Consequently, repeated episodes of disturbance at intervals smaller than the time needed for the system to fully recover organism-sediment interactions may greatly impair the resilience of ecosystem functioning. PMID:23185440

  8. Plant functional traits predict green roof ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Tran, Stephanie; Gebert, Luke

    2015-02-17

    Plants make important contributions to the services provided by engineered ecosystems such as green roofs. Ecologists use plant species traits as generic predictors of geographical distribution, interactions with other species, and ecosystem functioning, but this approach has been little used to optimize engineered ecosystems. Four plant species traits (height, individual leaf area, specific leaf area, and leaf dry matter content) were evaluated as predictors of ecosystem properties and services in a modular green roof system planted with 21 species. Six indicators of ecosystem services, incorporating thermal, hydrological, water quality, and carbon sequestration functions, were predicted by the four plant traits directly or indirectly via their effects on aggregate ecosystem properties, including canopy density and albedo. Species average height and specific leaf area were the most useful traits, predicting several services via effects on canopy density or growth rate. This study demonstrates that easily measured plant traits can be used to select species to optimize green roof performance across multiple key services.

  9. Diversity-interaction modeling: estimating contributions of species identities and interactions to ecosystem function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirwan, L; Connolly, J; Finn, J A

    2009-01-01

    to the roles of evenness, functional groups, and functional redundancy. These more parsimonious descriptions can be especially useful in identifying general diversity-function relationships in communities with large numbers of species. We provide an example of the application of the modeling framework......We develop a modeling framework that estimates the effects of species identity and diversity on ecosystem function and permits prediction of the diversity-function relationship across different types of community composition. Rather than just measure an overall effect of diversity, we separately....... These models describe community-level performance and thus do not require separate measurement of the performance of individual species. This flexible modeling approach can be tailored to test many hypotheses in biodiversity research and can suggest the interaction mechanisms that may be acting....

  10. Citation patterns of a controversial and high-impact paper: Worm et al. (2006 "Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services".

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trevor A Branch

    Full Text Available Citation patterns were examined for Worm et al. 2006 (Science 314:787-790, a high-impact paper that focused on relationships between marine biodiversity and ecosystem services. This paper sparked much controversy through its projection, highlighted in the press release, that all marine fisheries would be collapsed by 2048. Analysis of 664 citing papers revealed that only a small percentage (11% referred to the 2048 projection, while 39% referred to fisheries collapse in general, and 40% to biodiversity and ecosystem services. The 2048 projection was mentioned more often in papers published soon after the original paper, in low-impact journals, and in journals outside of fields that would be expected to focus on biodiversity. Citing papers also mentioned the 2048 projection more often if they had few authors (28% of single-author papers vs. 2% of papers with 10 or more authors. These factors suggest that the more knowledgeable the authors of citing papers were about the controversy over the 2048 projection, the less likely they were to refer to it. A noteworthy finding was that if the original authors were also involved in the citing papers, they rarely (1 of 55 papers, 2% mentioned the 2048 projection. Thus the original authors have emphasized the broader concerns about biodiversity loss, rather than the 2048 projection, as the key result of their study.

  11. Citation patterns of a controversial and high-impact paper: Worm et al. (2006) "Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branch, Trevor A

    2013-01-01

    Citation patterns were examined for Worm et al. 2006 (Science 314:787-790), a high-impact paper that focused on relationships between marine biodiversity and ecosystem services. This paper sparked much controversy through its projection, highlighted in the press release, that all marine fisheries would be collapsed by 2048. Analysis of 664 citing papers revealed that only a small percentage (11%) referred to the 2048 projection, while 39% referred to fisheries collapse in general, and 40% to biodiversity and ecosystem services. The 2048 projection was mentioned more often in papers published soon after the original paper, in low-impact journals, and in journals outside of fields that would be expected to focus on biodiversity. Citing papers also mentioned the 2048 projection more often if they had few authors (28% of single-author papers vs. 2% of papers with 10 or more authors). These factors suggest that the more knowledgeable the authors of citing papers were about the controversy over the 2048 projection, the less likely they were to refer to it. A noteworthy finding was that if the original authors were also involved in the citing papers, they rarely (1 of 55 papers, 2%) mentioned the 2048 projection. Thus the original authors have emphasized the broader concerns about biodiversity loss, rather than the 2048 projection, as the key result of their study.

  12. Should we pay, and to whom, for biodiversity enhancement in private forests? An empirical study of attitudes towards payments for forest ecosystem services in Poland

    OpenAIRE

    Anna Bartczak; Katarzyna Metelska-Szaniawska

    2015-01-01

    This paper investigates the possibility of forest policy changes in Poland. The main objective is to investigate whether, and to whom, the society would be willing to pay for providing biodiversity enhancement in private forests. The empirical evidence is derived from a stated preference survey conducted on the national level and analyzed using a multinomial logit model (MNL). Our findings show a rather strong potential for the implementation of payments for ecosystem services (PES) in privat...

  13. The value of biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CJR. Alho

    Full Text Available In addition to its intrinsic value (nature working as it is; species are the product of a long history of continuing evolution by means of ecological processes, and so they have the right to continued existence, biodiversity also plays a fundamental role as ecosystem services in the maintenance of natural ecological processes. The economic or utilitarian values of biodiversity rely upon the dependence of man on biodiversity; products that nature can provide: wood, food, fibers to make paper, resins, chemical organic products, genes as well as knowledge for biotechnology, including medicine and cosmetic sub-products. It also encompasses ecosystem services, such as climate regulation, reproductive and feeding habitats for commercial fish, some organisms that can create soil fertility through complex cycles and interactions, such as earthworms, termites and bacteria, in addition to fungi responsible for cycling nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur and making them available to plant absorption. These services are the benefits that people indirectly receive from natural ecosystem functions (air quality maintenance, regional climate, water quality, nutrient cycling, reproductive habitats of commercial fish, etc. with their related economic values.

  14. Review on the effects of toxicants on freshwater ecosystem functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peters, K.; Bundschuh, M.; Schäfer, R.B.

    2013-01-01

    We reviewed 122 peer-reviewed studies on the effects of organic toxicants and heavy metals on three fundamental ecosystem functions in freshwater ecosystems, i.e. leaf litter breakdown, primary production and community respiration. From each study meeting the inclusion criteria, the concentration resulting in a reduction of at least 20% in an ecosystem function was standardized based on median effect concentrations of standard test organisms (i.e. algae and daphnids). For pesticides, more than one third of observations indicated reductions in ecosystem functions at concentrations that are assumed being protective in regulation. Moreover, the reduction in leaf litter breakdown was more pronounced in the presence of invertebrate decomposers compared to studies where only microorganisms were involved in this function. High variability within and between studies hampered the derivation of a concentration–effect relationship. Hence, if ecosystem functions are to be included as protection goal in chemical risk assessment standardized methods are required. -- Highlights: •Quantitative review of 122 studies on effects of toxicants on ecosystem functions. •Variation between studies hampered derivation of concentration–effect relationships. •Adverse effects of pesticide were observed below thresholds corresponding to regulation. •Effects on leaf breakdown were greater when invertebrates were involved. -- Concentrations assumed as protective in chemical regulation cause adverse effects in three fundamental ecosystem functions

  15. Riparian ecosystems and buffers - multiscale structure, function, and management: introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathleen A. Dwire; Richard R. Lowrance

    2006-01-01

    Given the importance of issues related to improved understanding and management of riparian ecosystems and buffers, the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) sponsored a Summer Specialty Conference in June 2004 at Olympic Valley, California, entitled 'Riparian Ecosystems and Buffers: Multiscale Structure, Function, and Management.' The primary objective...

  16. Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilcox, Kevin R.; Tredennick, Andrew T.; Koerner, Sally E.

    2017-01-01

    Temporal stability of ecosystem functioning increases the predictability and reliability of ecosystem services, and understanding the drivers of stability across spatial scales is important for land management and policy decisions. We used species-level abundance data from 62 plant communities...

  17. Effect of land use change on ecosystem function of dung beetles: experimental evidence from Wallacea Region in Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SHAHABUDDIN

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Shahabuddin (2011 Effect of land use change on ecosystem function of dung beetles: experimental evidence from Wallacea Region in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 12: 177-181. The deforestation of tropical forests and their subsequent conversion to human-dominated land-use systems is one of the most significant causes of biodiversity loss. However clear understanding of the links between ecological functions and biodiversity is needed to evaluate and predict the true environmental consequences of human activities. This study provided experimental evidence comparing ecosystem function of dung beetles across a land use gradient ranging from natural tropical forest and agroforestry systems to open cultivated areas in Central Sulawesi. Therefore, standardized dung pats were exposed at each land-use type to assess dung removal and parasite suppression activity by dung beetles. The results showed that ecosystem function of dung beetles especially dung burial activity were remarkably disrupted by land use changes from natural forest to open agricultural area. Dung beetles presence enhanced about 53% of the total dung removed and reduced about 83% and 63% of fly population and species number respectively, indicating a pronounce contribution of dung beetles in our ecosystem.

  18. Regional zooplankton dispersal provides spatial insurance for ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symons, Celia C; Arnott, Shelley E

    2013-05-01

    Changing environmental conditions are affecting diversity and ecosystem function globally. Theory suggests that dispersal from a regional species pool may buffer against changes in local community diversity and ecosystem function after a disturbance through the establishment of functionally redundant tolerant species. The spatial insurance provided by dispersal may decrease through time after environmental change as the local community monopolizes resources and reduces community invasibility. To test for evidence of the spatial insurance hypothesis and to determine the role dispersal timing plays in this response we conducted a field experiment using crustacean zooplankton communities in a subarctic region that is expected to be highly impacted by climate change - Churchill, Canada. Three experiments were conducted where nutrients, salt, and dispersal were manipulated. The three experiments differed in time-since-disturbance that the dispersers were added. We found that coarse measures of diversity (i.e. species richness, evenness, and Shannon-Weiner diversity) were generally resistant to large magnitude disturbances, and that dispersal had the most impact on diversity when dispersers were added shortly after disturbance. Ecosystem functioning (chl-a) was degraded in disturbed communities, but dispersal recovered ecosystem function to undisturbed levels. This spatial insurance for ecosystem function was mediated through changes in community composition and the relative abundance of functional groups. Results suggest that regional diversity and habitat connectivity will be important in the future to maintain ecosystem function by introducing functionally redundant species to promote compensatory dynamics. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  19. Taking a closer look: disentangling effects of functional diversity on ecosystem functions with a trait-based model across hierarchy and time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzwarth, Frédéric; Rüger, Nadja; Wirth, Christian

    2015-03-01

    Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has progressed from the detection of relationships to elucidating their drivers and underlying mechanisms. In this context, replacing taxonomic predictors by trait-based measures of functional composition (FC)-bridging functions of species and of ecosystems-is a widely used approach. The inherent challenge of trait-based approaches is the multi-faceted, dynamic and hierarchical nature of trait influence: (i) traits may act via different facets of their distribution in a community, (ii) their influence may change over time and (iii) traits may influence processes at different levels of the natural hierarchy of organization. Here, we made use of the forest ecosystem model 'LPJ-GUESS' parametrized with empirical trait data, which creates output of individual performance, community assembly, stand-level states and processes. To address the three challenges, we resolved the dynamics of the top-level ecosystem function 'annual biomass change' hierarchically into its various component processes (growth, leaf and root turnover, recruitment and mortality) and states (stand structures, water stress) and traced the influence of different facets of FC along this hierarchy in a path analysis. We found an independent influence of functional richness, dissimilarity and identity on ecosystem states and processes and hence biomass change. Biodiversity effects were only positive during early succession and later turned negative. Unexpectedly, resource acquisition (growth, recruitment) and conservation (mortality, turnover) played an equally important role throughout the succession. These results add to a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity effects and place a caveat on simplistic approaches omitting hierarchical levels when analysing BEF relationships. They support the view that BEF relationships experience dramatic shifts over successional time that should be acknowledged in mechanistic theories.

  20. The effect of ecosystem biodiversity on virus genetic diversity depends on virus species: A study of chiltepin-infecting begomoviruses in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodelo-Urrego, Manuel; García-Arenal, Fernando; Pagán, Israel

    2015-01-01

    Current declines in biodiversity put at risk ecosystem services that are fundamental for human welfare. Increasing evidence indicates that one such service is the ability to reduce virus emergence. It has been proposed that the reduction of virus emergence occurs at two levels: through a reduction of virus prevalence/transmission and, as a result of these epidemiological changes, through a limitation of virus genetic diversity. Although the former mechanism has been studied in a few host-virus interactions, very little is known about the association between ecosystem biodiversity and virus genetic diversity. To address this subject, we estimated genetic diversity, synonymous and non-synonymous nucleotide substitution rates, selection pressures, and frequency of recombinants and re-assortants in populations of Pepper golden mosaic virus (PepGMV) and Pepper huasteco yellow vein virus (PHYVV) that infect chiltepin plants in Mexico. We then analyzed how these parameters varied according to the level of habitat anthropization, which is the major cause of biodiversity loss. Our results indicated that genetic diversity of PepGMV (but not of PHYVV) populations increased with the loss of biodiversity at higher levels of habitat anthropization. This was mostly the consequence of higher rates of synonymous nucleotide substitutions, rather than of adaptive selection. The frequency of recombinants and re-assortants was higher in PepGMV populations infecting wild chiltepin than in those infecting cultivated ones, suggesting that genetic exchange is not the main mechanism for generating genetic diversity in PepGMV populations. These findings provide evidence that biodiversity may modulate the genetic diversity of plant viruses, but it may differentially affect even two closely related viruses. Our analyses may contribute to understanding the factors involved in virus emergence.

  1. Simultaneous loss of soil biodiversity and functions along a copper contamination gradient

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Moldrup, Per; Arthur, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    and associated soil functions is limited. Here, we quantified an array of soil biological constituents (plants, earthworms, nematodes, bacteria, and fungi) to explore their interactions and to characterize their influence on various soil functions (habitat for soil organisms, air and water regulation......The impact of biodiversity loss on soil functions is well established via laboratory experiments that generally consider soil biota groups in isolation from each other, a condition rarely present in field soils. As a result, our knowledge about anthropogenic induced changes in biodiversity......, and recycling of nutrients and organic waste) along a legacy copper (Cu) pollution gradient. Increasing Cu concentrations had detrimental impact on both plant growth and species richness. Belowground soil biota showed similar response with their sensitivity to elevated Cu concentrations decreasing...

  2. Using local biodiversity to prevent pollution transfers to environmental components of a Mediterranean semi-arid ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heckenroth, Alma; Rabier, Jacques; Laffont-Schwob, Isabelle

    2014-05-01

    In arid and semi-arid Mediterranean coastal areas, metals and metalloids (MM) pollution coming from unreclaimed brownfields has increased the negative environmental stresses leading to ecosystems degradations as soil erosion and losses of organic matter and biodiversity. On these sites, maintaining or restoring a local vegetation cover is considered as a key step to stop the degradation cycle. Furthermore, in a context of high pollution occurring in natural areas, phytoremediation is considered as an attractive alternative to conventional soil remediation techniques, the first reducing pollution transfers, improving the soil quality. In protected or natural areas, it is also important to perceive then design phytoremediation as a way to assist ecosystems recovery, using the restoration ecology concepts. However, only few works in the literature deal with the potential use of native Mediterranean plant species for phytoremediation. On the South-East coast of Marseille (France), the activity of the former smelting factory of l'Escalette, ceased since 1925. However, its brownfield is still a source of pollution by trace metals and metalloids for abiotic and biotic components of the surrounding massif. This massif hosts a rich biodiversity with rare and protected plant species despite the metallic pollution and this area has been included in the recently created first peri-urban French National Park of Calanques. In this context, an integrated research project is being conducted with local actors and stakeholders, from the selection of native plant species, assessment and optimization of phytostabilization capacities of selected species, to the development of ecological engineering techniques well adapted to local constraints and phytostabilization field trials. The first part of this study has been conducted on two areas, corresponding to different pollution pattern, plant communities and environmental drivers: a halophytic area, characterized by typical coastal

  3. A National System to Map and Quantify Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biodiversity is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems and the products and services from which we transform natural assets of the Earth for human survival, security, and well-being. The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is a...

  4. A National Approach to Map and Quantify Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biodiversity is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems and the products and services from which we transform natural assets of the Earth for human survival, security, and well-being. The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is a...

  5. Quantifying Trade-Offs Among Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Agricultural Returns in an Agriculturally Dominated Landscape Under Future Land‑Management Scenarios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma C. Underwood

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available https://doi.org/10.15447/sfews.2017v15iss2art4Change in land use in agriculturally dominated areas is often assumed to provide positive benefits for land-owners and financial agricultural returns at the expense of biodiversity and other ecosystem services. For an agriculturally dominated area in the Central Valley of California we quantify the trade-offs among ecosystem services, biodiversity, and the financial returns from agricultural lands. We do this by evaluating three different landscape management scenarios projected to 2050 compared to the current baseline: habitat restoration, urbanization, and enhanced agriculture. The restoration scenario benefited carbon storage services and increased landscape suitability for birds, and also decreased ecosystem disservices (nitrous oxide emissions, nitrogen leaching, although there was a trade-off in slightly lower financial agricultural returns. Under the urbanization scenario, carbon storage, suitability for birds, and agricultural returns were negatively affected. A scenario which enhanced agriculture, tailored to the needs of a key species of conservation concern (Swainson’s Hawk, Buteo swainsoni, presented the most potential for trade-offs. This scenario benefitted carbon storage and increased landscape suitability for the Swainson's Hawk as well as 15 other focal bird species. However, this scenario increased ecosystem disservices. These spatially explicit results, generated at a scale relevant to land management decision-makers in the Central Valley, provide valuable insight into managing for multiple benefits in the landscape and an approach for assessing future land-management decisions.

  6. Extinction order and altered community structure rapidly disrupt ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Trond H; Williams, Neal M; Kremen, Claire

    2005-05-01

    By causing extinctions and altering community structure, anthropogenic disturbances can disrupt processes that maintain ecosystem integrity. However, the relationship between community structure and ecosystem functioning in natural systems is poorly understood. Here we show that habitat loss appeared to disrupt ecosystem functioning by affecting extinction order, species richness and abundance. We studied pollination by bees in a mosaic of agricultural and natural habitats in California and dung burial by dung beetles on recently created islands in Venezuela. We found that large-bodied bee and beetle species tended to be both most extinction-prone and most functionally efficient, contributing to rapid functional loss. Simulations confirmed that extinction order led to greater disruption of function than predicted by random species loss. Total abundance declined with richness and also appeared to contribute to loss of function. We demonstrate conceptually and empirically how the non-random response of communities to disturbance can have unexpectedly large functional consequences.

  7. Effects on the function of Arctic ecosystems in the short- and long-term perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus

    2004-11-01

    Historically, the function of Arctic ecosystems in terms of cycles of nutrients and carbon has led to low levels of primary production and exchanges of energy, water and greenhouse gases have led to low local and regional cooling. Sequestration of carbon from atmospheric CO2, in extensive, cold organic soils and the high albedo from low, snow-covered vegetation have had impacts on regional climate. However, many aspects of the functioning of Arctic ecosystems are sensitive to changes in climate and its impacts on biodiversity. The current Arctic climate results in slow rates of organic matter decomposition. Arctic ecosystems therefore tend to accumulate organic matter and elements despite low inputs. As a result, soil-available elements like nitrogen and phosphorus are key limitations to increases in carbon fixation and further biomass and organic matter accumulation. Climate warming is expected to increase carbon and element turnover, particularly in soils, which may lead to initial losses of elements but eventual, slow recovery. Individual species and species diversity have clear impacts on element inputs and retention in Arctic ecosystems. Effects of increased CO2 and UV-B on whole ecosystems, on the other hand, are likely to be small although effects on plant tissue chemisty, decomposition and nitrogen fixation may become important in the long-term. Cycling of carbon in trace gas form is mainly as CO2 and CH4. Most carbon loss is in the form of CO2, produced by both plants and soil biota. Carbon emissions as methane from wet and moist tundra ecosystems are about 5% of emissions as CO2 and are responsive to warming in the absence of any other changes. Winter processes and vegetation type also affect CH4 emissions as well as exchanges of energy between biosphere and atmosphere. Arctic ecosystems exhibit the largest seasonal changes in energy exchange of any terrestrial ecosystem because of the large changes in albedo from late winter, when snow reflects most

  8. Resilience and stability of a pelagic marine ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindegren, Martin; Checkley, David M.; Ohman, Mark D.

    2016-01-01

    The accelerating loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services worldwide has accentuated a long-standing debate on the role of diversity in stabilizing ecological communities and has given rise to a field of research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF). Although broad consensus has been...

  9. Rare species support vulnerable functions in high-diversity ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R; Baraloto, Christopher; Chave, Jerome; Galzin, Rene; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Kulbicki, Michel; Lavergne, Sebastien; Lavorel, Sandra; Mouquet, Nicolas; Paine, C E Timothy; Renaud, Julien; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2013-01-01

    Around the world, the human-induced collapses of populations and species have triggered a sixth mass extinction crisis, with rare species often being the first to disappear. Although the role of species diversity in the maintenance of ecosystem processes has been widely investigated, the role of rare species remains controversial. A critical issue is whether common species insure against the loss of functions supported by rare species. This issue is even more critical in species-rich ecosystems where high functional redundancy among species is likely and where it is thus often assumed that ecosystem functioning is buffered against species loss. Here, using extensive datasets of species occurrences and functional traits from three highly diverse ecosystems (846 coral reef fishes, 2,979 alpine plants, and 662 tropical trees), we demonstrate that the most distinct combinations of traits are supported predominantly by rare species both in terms of local abundance and regional occupancy. Moreover, species that have low functional redundancy and are likely to support the most vulnerable functions, with no other species carrying similar combinations of traits, are rarer than expected by chance in all three ecosystems. For instance, 63% and 98% of fish species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions in coral reef ecosystems are locally and regionally rare, respectively. For alpine plants, 32% and 89% of such species are locally and regionally rare, respectively. Remarkably, 47% of fish species and 55% of tropical tree species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions have only one individual per sample on average. Our results emphasize the importance of rare species conservation, even in highly diverse ecosystems, which are thought to exhibit high functional redundancy. Rare species offer more than aesthetic, cultural, or taxonomic diversity value; they disproportionately increase the potential breadth of functions provided by ecosystems across

  10. Rare species support vulnerable functions in high-diversity ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Mouillot

    Full Text Available Around the world, the human-induced collapses of populations and species have triggered a sixth mass extinction crisis, with rare species often being the first to disappear. Although the role of species diversity in the maintenance of ecosystem processes has been widely investigated, the role of rare species remains controversial. A critical issue is whether common species insure against the loss of functions supported by rare species. This issue is even more critical in species-rich ecosystems where high functional redundancy among species is likely and where it is thus often assumed that ecosystem functioning is buffered against species loss. Here, using extensive datasets of species occurrences and functional traits from three highly diverse ecosystems (846 coral reef fishes, 2,979 alpine plants, and 662 tropical trees, we demonstrate that the most distinct combinations of traits are supported predominantly by rare species both in terms of local abundance and regional occupancy. Moreover, species that have low functional redundancy and are likely to support the most vulnerable functions, with no other species carrying similar combinations of traits, are rarer than expected by chance in all three ecosystems. For instance, 63% and 98% of fish species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions in coral reef ecosystems are locally and regionally rare, respectively. For alpine plants, 32% and 89% of such species are locally and regionally rare, respectively. Remarkably, 47% of fish species and 55% of tropical tree species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions have only one individual per sample on average. Our results emphasize the importance of rare species conservation, even in highly diverse ecosystems, which are thought to exhibit high functional redundancy. Rare species offer more than aesthetic, cultural, or taxonomic diversity value; they disproportionately increase the potential breadth of functions provided by

  11. Understanding the value of plant diversity for ecosystem functioning through niche theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Purves, Drew W.; Loreau, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity experiments have generated robust empirical results supporting the hypothesis that ecosystems function better when they contain more species. Given that ecosystems provide services that are valued by humans, this inevitably suggests that the loss of species from natural ecosystems could diminish their value. This raises two important questions. First, will experimental results translate into the real world, where species are being lost at an alarming rate? And second, what are the benefits and pitfalls of such valuation exercises? We argue that the empirical results obtained in experiments are entirely consistent with well-established theories of species coexistence. We then examine the current body of work through the lens of niche theory and highlight where closer links with theory could open up opportunities for future research. We argue that niche theory predicts that diversity–functioning relationships are likely to be stronger (and require more species) in the field than in simplified experimental settings. However, we caution that while many of the biological processes that promote coexistence can also generate diversity–function relationships, there is no simple mapping between the two. This implies that valuation exercises need to proceed with care. PMID:27928043

  12. Dung beetle community and functions along a habitat-disturbance gradient in the Amazon: a rapid assessment of ecological functions associated to biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo F Braga

    Full Text Available Although there is increasing interest in the effects of habitat disturbance on community attributes and the potential consequences for ecosystem functioning, objective approaches linking biodiversity loss to functional loss are uncommon. The objectives of this study were to implement simultaneous assessment of community attributes (richness, abundance and biomass, each calculated for total-beetle assemblages as well as small- and large-beetle assemblages and three ecological functions of dung beetles (dung removal, soil perturbation and secondary seed dispersal, to compare the effects of habitat disturbance on both sets of response variables, and their relations. We studied dung beetle community attributes and functions in five land-use systems representing a disturbance gradient in the Brazilian Amazon: primary forest, secondary forest, agroforestry, agriculture and pasture. All response variables were affected negatively by the intensification of habitat disturbance regimes, but community attributes and ecological functions did not follow the same pattern of decline. A hierarchical partitioning analysis showed that, although all community attributes had a significant effect on the three ecological functions (except the abundance of small beetles on all three ecological functions and the biomass of small beetles on secondary dispersal of large seed mimics, species richness and abundance of large beetles were the community attributes with the highest explanatory value. Our results show the importance of measuring ecological function empirically instead of deducing it from community metrics.

  13. Taking a closer look: disentangling effects of functional diversity on ecosystem functions with a trait-based model across hierarchy and time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzwarth, Frédéric; Rüger, Nadja; Wirth, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has progressed from the detection of relationships to elucidating their drivers and underlying mechanisms. In this context, replacing taxonomic predictors by trait-based measures of functional composition (FC)—bridging functions of species and of ecosystems—is a widely used approach. The inherent challenge of trait-based approaches is the multi-faceted, dynamic and hierarchical nature of trait influence: (i) traits may act via different facets of their distribution in a community, (ii) their influence may change over time and (iii) traits may influence processes at different levels of the natural hierarchy of organization. Here, we made use of the forest ecosystem model ‘LPJ-GUESS’ parametrized with empirical trait data, which creates output of individual performance, community assembly, stand-level states and processes. To address the three challenges, we resolved the dynamics of the top-level ecosystem function ‘annual biomass change’ hierarchically into its various component processes (growth, leaf and root turnover, recruitment and mortality) and states (stand structures, water stress) and traced the influence of different facets of FC along this hierarchy in a path analysis. We found an independent influence of functional richness, dissimilarity and identity on ecosystem states and processes and hence biomass change. Biodiversity effects were only positive during early succession and later turned negative. Unexpectedly, resource acquisition (growth, recruitment) and conservation (mortality, turnover) played an equally important role throughout the succession. These results add to a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity effects and place a caveat on simplistic approaches omitting hierarchical levels when analysing BEF relationships. They support the view that BEF relationships experience dramatic shifts over successional time that should be acknowledged in mechanistic theories. PMID:26064620

  14. Structural and functional loss in restored wetland ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Moreno-Mateos

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Wetlands are among the most productive and economically valuable ecosystems in the world. However, because of human activities, over half of the wetland ecosystems existing in North America, Europe, Australia, and China in the early 20th century have been lost. Ecological restoration to recover critical ecosystem services has been widely attempted, but the degree of actual recovery of ecosystem functioning and structure from these efforts remains uncertain. Our results from a meta-analysis of 621 wetland sites from throughout the world show that even a century after restoration efforts, biological structure (driven mostly by plant assemblages, and biogeochemical functioning (driven primarily by the storage of carbon in wetland soils, remained on average 26% and 23% lower, respectively, than in reference sites. Either recovery has been very slow, or postdisturbance systems have moved towards alternative states that differ from reference conditions. We also found significant effects of environmental settings on the rate and degree of recovery. Large wetland areas (>100 ha and wetlands restored in warm (temperate and tropical climates recovered more rapidly than smaller wetlands and wetlands restored in cold climates. Also, wetlands experiencing more (riverine and tidal hydrologic exchange recovered more rapidly than depressional wetlands. Restoration performance is limited: current restoration practice fails to recover original levels of wetland ecosystem functions, even after many decades. If restoration as currently practiced is used to justify further degradation, global loss of wetland ecosystem function and structure will spread.

  15. Disturbance, Functional Diversity and Ecosystem Processes: Does Species Identity Matter?

    OpenAIRE

    Emrick III, Verl Roy

    2013-01-01

    The role of disturbance is widely recognized as a fundamental driver of ecological organization from individual species to entire landscapes. Anthropogenic disturbances from military training provide a unique opportunity to examine effects of disturbance on vegetation dynamics, physicochemical soil properties, and ecosystem processes. Additionally, plant functional diversity has been suggested as the key to ecosystem processes such as productivity and nutrient dynamics. I investigated how dis...

  16. The Sabah Biodiversity Experiment: a long-term test of the role of tree diversity in restoring tropical forest structure and functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hector, Andy; Philipson, Christopher; Saner, Philippe; Chamagne, Juliette; Dzulkifli, Dzaeman; O'Brien, Michael; Snaddon, Jake L.; Ulok, Philip; Weilenmann, Maja; Reynolds, Glen; Godfray, H. Charles J.

    2011-01-01

    Relatively, little is known about the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in forests, especially in the tropics. We describe the Sabah Biodiversity Experiment: a large-scale, long-term field study on the island of Borneo. The project aims at understanding the relationship between tree species diversity and the functioning of lowland dipterocarp rainforest during restoration following selective logging. The experiment is planned to run for several decades (from seed to adult tree), so here we focus on introducing the project and its experimental design and on assessing initial conditions and the potential for restoration of the structure and functioning of the study system, the Malua Forest Reserve. We estimate residual impacts 22 years after selective logging by comparison with an appropriate neighbouring area of primary forest in Danum Valley of similar conditions. There was no difference in the alpha or beta species diversity of transect plots in the two forest types, probably owing to the selective nature of the logging and potential effects of competitive release. However, despite equal total stem density, forest structure differed as expected with a deficit of large trees and a surfeit of saplings in selectively logged areas. These impacts on structure have the potential to influence ecosystem functioning. In particular, above-ground biomass and carbon pools in selectively logged areas were only 60 per cent of those in the primary forest even after 22 years of recovery. Our results establish the initial conditions for the Sabah Biodiversity Experiment and confirm the potential to accelerate restoration by using enrichment planting of dipterocarps to overcome recruitment limitation. What role dipterocarp diversity plays in restoration only will become clear with long-term results. PMID:22006970

  17. Changes in biodiversity and trade-offs among ecosystem services, stakeholders, and components of well-being: the contribution of the International Long-Term Ecological Research network (ILTER to Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Maass

    2016-09-01

    ecosystems with different policy and management drivers of ecosystem conversion; distinct trends of biodiversity change; different stakeholders' preferences for ecosystem services; and diverse components of well-being issues.

  18. Local loss and spatial homogenization of plant diversity reduce ecosystem multifunctionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Experimental studies show that local plant species loss decreases ecosystem functioning and services, but it remains unclear how other changes in biodiversity, such as spatial homogenization, alter multiple processes (multifunctionality) in natural ecosystems. We present a global analysis of eight ...

  19. Steel and biodiversity: a promising alliance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Klaus; Colla, Valentina; Moonen, Anna Camilla; Branca, Teresa Annunziata; Moretto, Deny Del; Ragaglini, Giorgio; Delmiro, Vanesa Maria Menendez; Romaniello, Lea; Carler, Sophie; Hodges, Jennifer; Bullock, Matthew; Malfa, Enrico

    2018-06-01

    The term "Biodiversity" derives from a contraction of "biological diversity" and commonly refers to a measure of the variety of organisms, which are present in different ecosystems, by considering genetic variation, ecosystem variation, or species variation within an area, biome, or planet. Biodiversity is receiving an ever-increasing attention at many levels of European society as well as from many industrial sectors, and a variety of actions are being put in place in order to protect, preserve and increase it. The present paper provides examples of the capabilities and potentials of the steel sector with respect to biodiversity. In effect, steel is a valuable and fundamental structural material in order to develop measures and systems for protection of biodiversity. On the other hand, biodiversity can represent for the steel industry not only a heritage to preserve, but, through its functional traits, it can become an opportunity, offering an ecosystem's perspective to all industrial companies. In the paper, steel relevant topics and applications are analyzed leading to the conclusion that biodiversity should be exploited and can play a role with potentially relevant benefits both for the company and for local communities. Sustainability and Ecodesign of processes, products and services

  20. Mapping and Quantifying Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity at ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast functions of ecosystems is critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our environment. Because of the variability among living organisms and levels of organization (e.g. genetic, species, ecosystem), biodiversity has always been difficult to measure precisely, especially within a systematic manner and over multiple scales. In answer to this challenge, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created a partnership with other Federal agencies, academic institutions, and Non-Governmental Organizations to develop the EnviroAtlas (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas), an online national Decision Support Tool that allows users to view and analyze the geographical description of the supply and demand for ecosystem services, as well as the drivers of change. As part of the EnviroAtlas, an approach has been developed that uses deductive habitat models for all terrestrial vertebrates of the conterminous United States and clusters them into biodiversity metrics that relate to ecosystem service-relevant categories. Metrics, such as species and taxon richness, have been developed and integrated with other measures of biodiversity. Collectively, these metrics provide a consistent scalable process from which to make geographic comparisons, provide thematic assessments, and to monitor status and trends in biodiversity. The national biodiversity component operates across approximatel

  1. Dimensions of biodiversity loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Palma, De Adriana; Kuhlmann, Michael; Bugter, Rob; Ferrier, Simon; Hoskins, Andrew J.; Potts, Simon G.; Roberts, Stuart P.M.; Schweiger, Oliver; Purvis, Andy

    2017-01-01

    Aim: Agricultural intensification and urbanization are important drivers of biodiversity change in Europe. Different aspects of bee community diversity vary in their sensitivity to these pressures, as well as independently influencing ecosystem service provision (pollination). To obtain a more

  2. Plant Biodiversity in Urbanized Areas Plant Functional Traits in Space and Time, Plant Rarity and Phylogenetic Diversity

    CERN Document Server

    Knapp, Sonja

    2010-01-01

    Urbanization is one of the main drivers of global change. It often takes place in areas with high biodiversity, threatening species worldwide. To protect biodiversity not only outside but also right within urban areas, knowledge about the effects of urban land use on species assemblages is essential. Sonja Knapp compares several aspects of plant biodiversity between urban and rural areas in Germany. Using extensive databases and modern statistical methods, she goes beyond species richness: Urban areas are rich in species but plant species in urban areas are closer related to each other than plant species in rural areas, respectively. The urban environment, characterized by high temperatures and frequent disturbances, changes the functional composition of the flora. It promotes e.g. short-lived species with leaves adapted to drought but threatens insect-pollinated or wind-dispersed species. The author claims that the protection of biodiversity should not only focus on species richness but also on functional an...

  3. Characterization of a Highly Biodiverse Floodplain Meadow Using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing within a Plant Functional Trait Framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suvarna Punalekar

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available We assessed the potential for using optical functional types as effective markers to monitor changes in vegetation in floodplain meadows associated with changes in their local environment. Floodplain meadows are challenging ecosystems for monitoring and conservation because of their highly biodiverse nature. Our aim was to understand and explain spectral differences among key members of floodplain meadows and also characterize differences with respect to functional traits. The study was conducted on a typical floodplain meadow in UK (MG4-type, mesotrophic grassland type 4, according to British National Vegetation Classification. We compared two approaches to characterize floodplain communities using field spectroscopy. The first approach was sub-community based, in which we collected spectral signatures for species groupings indicating two distinct eco-hydrological conditions (dry and wet soil indicator species. The other approach was “species-specific”, in which we focused on the spectral reflectance of three key species found on the meadow. One herb species is a typical member of the MG4 floodplain meadow community, while the other two species, sedge and rush, represent wetland vegetation. We also monitored vegetation biophysical and functional properties as well as soil nutrients and ground water levels. We found that the vegetation classes representing meadow sub-communities could not be spectrally distinguished from each other, whereas the individual herb species was found to have a distinctly different spectral signature from the sedge and rush species. The spectral differences between these three species could be explained by their observed differences in plant biophysical parameters, as corroborated through radiative transfer model simulations. These parameters, such as leaf area index, leaf dry matter content, leaf water content, and specific leaf area, along with other functional parameters, such as maximum carboxylation capacity

  4. Are there links between responses of soil microbes and ecosystem functioning to elevated CO2, N deposition and warming? A global perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L; Shaw, E Ashley; Dam, Marie; Post, Keith H; Ramirez, Kelly S; Sylvain, Zachary A; de Tomasel, Cecilia Milano; Wall, Diana H

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, there has been an increase in research to understand how global changes' impacts on soil biota translate into altered ecosystem functioning. However, results vary between global change effects, soil taxa, and ecosystem processes studied, and a synthesis of relationships is lacking. Therefore, here we initiate such a synthesis to assess whether the effect size of global change drivers (elevated CO2, N deposition, and warming) on soil microbial abundance is related with the effect size of these drivers on ecosystem functioning (plant biomass, soil C cycle, and soil N cycle) using meta-analysis and structural equation modeling. For N deposition and warming, the global change effect size on soil microbes was positively associated with the global change effect size on ecosystem functioning, and these relationships were consistent across taxa and ecosystem processes. However, for elevated CO2, such links were more taxon and ecosystem process specific. For example, fungal abundance responses to elevated CO2 were positively correlated with those of plant biomass but negatively with those of the N cycle. Our results go beyond previous assessments of the sensitivity of soil microbes and ecosystem processes to global change, and demonstrate the existence of general links between the responses of soil microbial abundance and ecosystem functioning. Further we identify critical areas for future research, specifically altered precipitation, soil fauna, soil community composition, and litter decomposition, that are need to better quantify the ecosystem consequences of global change impacts on soil biodiversity. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Ecosystem functional response across precipitation extremes in a sagebrush steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tredennick, Andrew T; Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Taylor, J Bret; Adler, Peter B

    2018-01-01

    Precipitation is predicted to become more variable in the western United States, meaning years of above and below average precipitation will become more common. Periods of extreme precipitation are major drivers of interannual variability in ecosystem functioning in water limited communities, but how ecosystems respond to these extremes over the long-term may shift with precipitation means and variances. Long-term changes in ecosystem functional response could reflect compensatory changes in species composition or species reaching physiological thresholds at extreme precipitation levels. We conducted a five year precipitation manipulation experiment in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem in Idaho, United States. We used drought and irrigation treatments (approximately 50% decrease/increase) to investigate whether ecosystem functional response remains consistent under sustained high or low precipitation. We recorded data on aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), species abundance, and soil moisture. We fit a generalized linear mixed effects model to determine if the relationship between ANPP and soil moisture differed among treatments. We used nonmetric multidimensional scaling to quantify community composition over the five years. Ecosystem functional response, defined as the relationship between soil moisture and ANPP, was similar among irrigation and control treatments, but the drought treatment had a greater slope than the control treatment. However, all estimates for the effect of soil moisture on ANPP overlapped zero, indicating the relationship is weak and uncertain regardless of treatment. There was also large spatial variation in ANPP within-years, which contributes to the uncertainty of the soil moisture effect. Plant community composition was remarkably stable over the course of the experiment and did not differ among treatments. Despite some evidence that ecosystem functional response became more sensitive under sustained drought conditions, the response

  6. Six decades of change in pollution and benthic invertebrate biodiversity in a southern New England estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollution has led to a decline of benthic invertebrate biodiversity of Narragansett Bay, raising questions about effects on ecosystem functions and services including shellfish production, energy flow to fishes, and biogeochemical cycles. Changes in community composition and taxo...

  7. Biodiversity impact assessment (BIA+) - methodological framework for screening biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, Lisa; Pflugmacher, Stephan; Berger, Markus; Finkbeiner, Matthias

    2018-03-01

    For the past 20 years, the life cycle assessment (LCA) community has sought to integrate impacts on biodiversity into the LCA framework. However, existing impact assessment methods still fail to do so comprehensively because they quantify only a few impacts related to specific species and regions. This paper proposes a methodological framework that will allow LCA practitioners to assess currently missing impacts on biodiversity on a global scale. Building on existing models that seek to quantify the impacts of human activities on biodiversity, the herein proposed methodological framework consists of 2 components: a habitat factor for 14 major habitat types and the impact on the biodiversity status in those major habitat types. The habitat factor is calculated by means of indicators that characterize each habitat. The biodiversity status depends on parameters from impact categories. The impact functions, relating these different parameters to a given response in the biodiversity status, rely on expert judgments. To ensure the applicability for LCA practitioners, the components of the framework can be regionalized on a country scale for which LCA inventory data is more readily available. The weighting factors for the 14 major habitat types range from 0.63 to 1.82. By means of area weighting of the major habitat types in a country, country-specific weighting factors are calculated. In order to demonstrate the main part of the framework, examples of impact functions are given for the categories "freshwater eutrophication" and "freshwater ecotoxicity" in 1 major habitat type. The results confirm suitability of the methodological framework. The major advantages are the framework's user-friendliness, given that data can be used from LCA databases directly, and the complete inclusion of all levels of biodiversity (genetic, species, and ecosystem). It is applicable for the whole world and a wide range of impact categories. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2018;14:282-297.

  8. Changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning of a large, shallow Chinese lake during the 1950s, 1980s and 2000s

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kong, Xiangzhen; He, Wei; Liu, Wenxiu

    2016-01-01

    that hydrological regulation may play a significant role in driving all of these changes in Lake Chaohu in addition to eutrophication and intensive fishery. Overall, we strongly advocate the identification of a threshold in abundance of zooplanktivorous fish, an integrated strategy for future ecological restoration......Food web structure dynamics and ecosystem functioning are strongly linked, and both are indispensable in evaluating ecosystem development in lakes under multiple anthropogenic stressors. However, model-based approaches concerning the changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning...... validated by the stable isotope-determined trophic level (TL) for each functional group, which indicated an acceptable model performance. Over time, we observed a collapse of the food web toward a simplified structure and decreasing biodiversity and trophic interactions. The lake ecosystem was approaching...

  9. Seafloor ecosystem functioning: the importance of organic matter priming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Nugteren, P.; Moodley, L.; Brummer, G.J.; Heip, C.H.R.; Herman, P.M.J.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2009-01-01

    Organic matter (OM) remineralization may be considered a key function of the benthic compartment of marine ecosystems and in this study we investigated if the input of labile organic carbon alters mineralization of indigenous sediment OM (OM priming). Using 13C-enriched diatoms as labile tracer

  10. MODELKEY - Models for assessing and forecasting the impact of environmental key pollutants on freshwater and marine ecosystems and biodiversity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Brack, W.; Bakker, J.; de Deckere, E.; Deerenberg, C.; van Gils, J.; Hein, M.; Jurajda, Pavel; Kooijman, B.; Lamoree, M.; Lek, S.; de Alda, M. J. L.; Marcomini, A.; Munoz, I.; Rattei, S.; Segner, H.; Thomas, K.; von der Ohe, P. C.; Westrich, B.; de Zwart, D.; Schmitt-Jansen, M.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 5 (2005), s. 252-256 ISSN 0944-1344 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : biodiversity * EU- Projects * fish communities Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.518, year: 2005

  11. Integration of species and ecosystem monitoring for selecting priority areas for biodiversity conservation: Case studies from the Palearctic of Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey A. Romanov

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available At the start of the third millennium, new opportunities have arisen in biogeographical research, namely in the generalisation, visualisation and cross-spectrum analysis of biological and geographical information and in the compilation of biogeographical maps and innovative models for regions that differ in the availability of distribution data. These tasks include long-term monitoring of plants and animals which are in danger of extinction, geographical analysis of biodiversity distribution and development of effective wildlife conservation strategies for specific regions. The studies of the Department of Biogeography of Moscow University on geography and biodiversity conservation are based on long-term field expeditions. The examples of the Asian Subarctic Mountains, the steppes of Central Kazakhstan and the urbanised north-west of Russia are used to illustrate Russian approaches to the use of biogeographical monitoring for the identification of priority areas for biodiversity conservation. The species populations of the higher plants and vertebrates listed in the Red Books have been considered as the basic units of biodiversity.

  12. Modeling silviculture after natural disturbance to sustain biodiversity in the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) ecosystem : balancing complexity and implementation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian J. Palik; Robert J. Mitchell; J. Kevin Hiers

    2002-01-01

    Modeling silviculture after natural disturbance to maintain biodiversity is a popular concept, yet its application remains elusive. We discuss difficulties inherent to this idea, and suggest approaches to facilitate implementation, using longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) as an example. Natural disturbance regimes are spatially and temporally variable. Variability...

  13. European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh (contributor), Paul Henning

    Soil is one of the fundamental components for supporting life on Earth. Most ecosystem processes and global functions that occur within soil are driven by living organisms that, in turn, sustain life above ground. However, despite the fact that soils are home to a quarter of all living species on...... Biodiversity is an essential reference to the many and varied aspects of soil. The overall goal of this work is to convey the fundamental necessity to safeguard soil biodiversity in order to guarantee life on this planet.......Soil is one of the fundamental components for supporting life on Earth. Most ecosystem processes and global functions that occur within soil are driven by living organisms that, in turn, sustain life above ground. However, despite the fact that soils are home to a quarter of all living species...... on Earth, life within the soil is often hidden away and suffers by being 'out of sight and out of mind'. What kind of life is there in soil? What do we mean by soil biodiversity? What is special about soil biology? How do our activities affect soil ecosystems? What are the links between soil biota...

  14. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, M.S.; Hoey, A.S.; Wilson, S.K.; Messmer, V.; Graham, N.A.J.

    2011-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  15. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, M.S.

    2011-08-12

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  16. Community Structure, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services in Treeline Whitebark Pine Communities: Potential Impacts from a Non-Native Pathogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana F. Tomback

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis has the largest and most northerly distribution of any white pine (Subgenus Strobus in North America, encompassing 18° latitude and 21° longitude in western mountains. Within this broad range, however, whitebark pine occurs within a narrow elevational zone, including upper subalpine and treeline forests, and functions generally as an important keystone and foundation species. In the Rocky Mountains, whitebark pine facilitates the development of krummholz conifer communities in the alpine-treeline ecotone (ATE, and thus potentially provides capacity for critical ecosystem services such as snow retention and soil stabilization. The invasive, exotic pathogen Cronartium ribicola, which causes white pine blister rust, now occurs nearly rangewide in whitebark pine communities, to their northern limits. Here, we synthesize data from 10 studies to document geographic variation in structure, conifer species, and understory plants in whitebark pine treeline communities, and examine the potential role of these communities in snow retention and regulating downstream flows. Whitebark pine mortality is predicted to alter treeline community composition, structure, and function. Whitebark pine losses in the ATE may also alter response to climate warming. Efforts to restore whitebark pine have thus far been limited to subalpine communities, particularly through planting seedlings with potential blister rust resistance. We discuss whether restoration strategies might be appropriate for treeline communities.

  17. Biodiversity enhances reef fish biomass and resistance to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, J Emmett; Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Navarrete, Sergio A; Edgar, Graham J

    2016-05-31

    Fishes are the most diverse group of vertebrates, play key functional roles in aquatic ecosystems, and provide protein for a billion people, especially in the developing world. Those functions are compromised by mounting pressures on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Because of its economic and food value, fish biomass production provides an unusually direct link from biodiversity to critical ecosystem services. We used the Reef Life Survey's global database of 4,556 standardized fish surveys to test the importance of biodiversity to fish production relative to 25 environmental drivers. Temperature, biodiversity, and human influence together explained 47% of the global variation in reef fish biomass among sites. Fish species richness and functional diversity were among the strongest predictors of fish biomass, particularly for the large-bodied species and carnivores preferred by fishers, and these biodiversity effects were robust to potentially confounding influences of sample abundance, scale, and environmental correlations. Warmer temperatures increased biomass directly, presumably by raising metabolism, and indirectly by increasing diversity, whereas temperature variability reduced biomass. Importantly, diversity and climate interact, with biomass of diverse communities less affected by rising and variable temperatures than species-poor communities. Biodiversity thus buffers global fish biomass from climate change, and conservation of marine biodiversity can stabilize fish production in a changing ocean.

  18. Quantifying the pedo-ecohydrological structure and function of degraded, grassland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

    the environmental setting or wider climatic conditions that the grasslands experience. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the relatively stable ecosystem state that has prevailed in the 'pristine' grasslands studied, is in fact very fragile and may be easily altered, either by anthropogenic forcing, due to land management or by 'semi-natural' processes, related to climate change or changes in the incidence of wildfires (for example). Once structurally altered, it is also shown that positive feedbacks will occur to accelerate the loss of critical resources (topsoil and nutrients) from the ecosystem, in particular in drylands, resulting in widespread land degradation that cannot be reversed. In the temperate grasslands studied, it is shown that anthropogenic intervention may halt or even to some degree reverse the degradation of the soil-vegetation-water continuum. However, such 'landscape restoration' approaches are costly and require long-term management commitment if they are to succeed. degrade these critical ecosystems further. Finally, analysis of water, sediment and nutrient fluxes from this range of grasslands also demonstrates how critical ecosystem services that grasslands can provide; including soil water storage to buffer downstream flooding, soil carbon storage and enhanced biodiversity are reduced, often to the point where restoration of the original (pristine) landscape function is impossible. To conclude, discussion is made of how we can learn across grass landscapes globally, to ensure that those ecosystems that might be restored to build resilient landscapes under future climates are well understood and that future efforts to manage grasslands for increased food production do not degrade these critical ecosystems further.

  19. Linking the influence and dependence of people on biodiversity across scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel; Cowles, Jane; Díaz, Sandra; Hector, Andy; Mace, Georgina M.; Wardle, David A.; O’Connor, Mary I.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Turnbull, Lindsay A.; Thompson, Patrick L.; Larigauderie, Anne

    2017-01-01

    Biodiversity enhances many of nature’s benefits to people, including the regulation of climate and the production of wood in forests, livestock forage in grasslands and fish in aquatic ecosystems. Yet people are now driving the sixth mass extinction event in Earth’s history. Human dependence and influence on biodiversity have mainly been studied separately and at contrasting scales of space and time, but new multiscale knowledge is beginning to link these relationships. Biodiversity loss substantially diminishes several ecosystem services by altering ecosystem functioning and stability, especially at the large temporal and spatial scales that are most relevant for policy and conservation. PMID:28569811

  20. Linking the influence and dependence of people on biodiversity across scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel; Cowles, Jane; Díaz, Sandra; Hector, Andy; Mace, Georgina M; Wardle, David A; O'Connor, Mary I; Duffy, J Emmett; Turnbull, Lindsay A; Thompson, Patrick L; Larigauderie, Anne

    2017-05-31

    Biodiversity enhances many of nature's benefits to people, including the regulation of climate and the production of wood in forests, livestock forage in grasslands and fish in aquatic ecosystems. Yet people are now driving the sixth mass extinction event in Earth's history. Human dependence and influence on biodiversity have mainly been studied separately and at contrasting scales of space and time, but new multiscale knowledge is beginning to link these relationships. Biodiversity loss substantially diminishes several ecosystem services by altering ecosystem functioning and stability, especially at the large temporal and spatial scales that are most relevant for policy and conservation.

  1. Long-Term Impacts of China’s New Commercial Harvest Exclusion Policy on Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in the Temperate Forests of Northeast China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Liu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Temperate forests in Northeast China have been severely exploited by timber harvesting in the last century. To reverse this trend, China implemented the Classified Forest Management policy in the Natural Forest Conservation Program in 1998 to protect forests from excessive harvesting. However, the policy was unable to meet the 2020 commitment of increasing growing stock (set in the Kyoto Protocol because of high-intensity harvesting. Accordingly, China banned all commercial harvesting in Northeast China in 2014. In this study, we investigated the long-term impacts of the no commercial harvest (NCH policy on ecosystem services and biodiversity using a forest landscape model, LANDIS PRO 7.0, in the temperate forests of the Small Khingan Mountains, Northeast China. We designed three management scenarios: The H scenario (the Classified Forest Management policy used in the past, the NCH scenario (the current Commercial Harvest Exclusion policy, and the LT scenario (mitigation management, i.e., light thinning. We compared total aboveground forest biomass, biomass by tree species, abundance of old-growth forests, and diversity of tree species and age class in three scenarios from 2010 to 2100. We found that compared with the H scenario, the NCH scenario increased aboveground forest biomass, abundance of old-growth forests, and biomass of most timber species over time; however, it decreased the biomass of rare and protected tree species and biodiversity. We found that the LT scenario increased the biomass of rare and protected tree species and biodiversity in comparison with the NCH scenario, while it maintained aboveground forest biomass and abundance of old-growth forests at a high level (slightly less than the NCH scenario. We concluded there was trade-off between carbon storage and biodiversity. We also concluded that light thinning treatment was able to regulate the trade-off and alleviate the negative effects associated with the NCH policy. Our

  2. Species-Specific Effects on Ecosystem Functioning Can Be Altered by Interspecific Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clare, David S; Spencer, Matthew; Robinson, Leonie A; Frid, Christopher L J

    2016-01-01

    Biological assemblages are constantly undergoing change, with species being introduced, extirpated and experiencing shifts in their densities. Theory and experimentation suggest that the impacts of such change on ecosystem functioning should be predictable based on the biological traits of the species involved. However, interspecific interactions could alter how species affect functioning, with the strength and sign of interactions potentially depending on environmental context (e.g. homogenous vs. heterogeneous conditions) and the function considered. Here, we assessed how concurrent changes to the densities of two common marine benthic invertebrates, Corophium volutator and Hediste diversicolor, affected the ecological functions of organic matter consumption and benthic-pelagic nutrient flux. Complementary experiments were conducted within homogenous laboratory microcosms and naturally heterogeneous field plots. When the densities of the species were increased within microcosms, interspecific interactions enhanced effects on organic matter consumption and reduced effects on nutrient flux. Trait-based predictions of how each species would affect functioning were only consistently supported when the density of the other species was low. In field plots, increasing the density of either species had a positive effect on organic matter consumption (with no significant interspecific interactions) but no effect on nutrient flux. Our results indicate that species-specific effects on ecosystem functioning can be altered by interspecific interactions, which can be either facilitative (positive) or antagonistic (negative) depending on the function considered. The impacts of biodiversity change may therefore not be predictable based solely on the biological traits of the species involved. Possible explanations for why interactions were detected in microcosms but not in the field are discussed.

  3. Species-Specific Effects on Ecosystem Functioning Can Be Altered by Interspecific Interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S Clare

    Full Text Available Biological assemblages are constantly undergoing change, with species being introduced, extirpated and experiencing shifts in their densities. Theory and experimentation suggest that the impacts of such change on ecosystem functioning should be predictable based on the biological traits of the species involved. However, interspecific interactions could alter how species affect functioning, with the strength and sign of interactions potentially depending on environmental context (e.g. homogenous vs. heterogeneous conditions and the function considered. Here, we assessed how concurrent changes to the densities of two common marine benthic invertebrates, Corophium volutator and Hediste diversicolor, affected the ecological functions of organic matter consumption and benthic-pelagic nutrient flux. Complementary experiments were conducted within homogenous laboratory microcosms and naturally heterogeneous field plots. When the densities of the species were increased within microcosms, interspecific interactions enhanced effects on organic matter consumption and reduced effects on nutrient flux. Trait-based predictions of how each species would affect functioning were only consistently supported when the density of the other species was low. In field plots, increasing the density of either species had a positive effect on organic matter consumption (with no significant interspecific interactions but no effect on nutrient flux. Our results indicate that species-specific effects on ecosystem functioning can be altered by interspecific interactions, which can be either facilitative (positive or antagonistic (negative depending on the function considered. The impacts of biodiversity change may therefore not be predictable based solely on the biological traits of the species involved. Possible explanations for why interactions were detected in microcosms but not in the field are discussed.

  4. Functional complexity and ecosystem stability: an experimental approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Voris, P.; O' Neill, R.V.; Shugart, H.H.; Emanuel, W.R.

    1978-01-01

    The complexity-stability hypothesis was experimentally tested using intact terrestrial microcosms. Functional complexity was defined as the number and significance of component interactions (i.e., population interactions, physical-chemical reactions, biological turnover rates) influenced by nonlinearities, feedbacks, and time delays. It was postulated that functional complexity could be nondestructively measured through analysis of a signal generated from the system. Power spectral analysis of hourly CO/sub 2/ efflux, from eleven old-field microcosms, was analyzed for the number of low frequency peaks and used to rank the functional complexity of each system. Ranking of ecosystem stability was based on the capacity of the system to retain essential nutrients and was measured by net loss of Ca after the system was stressed. Rank correlation supported the hypothesis that increasing ecosystem functional complexity leads to increasing ecosystem stability. The results indicated that complex functional dynamics can serve to stabilize the system. The results also demonstrated that microcosms are useful tools for system-level investigations.

  5. Spatial pattern enhances ecosystem functioning in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Robert M; Doak, Daniel F; Brody, Alison K; Jocqué, Rudy; Palmer, Todd M

    2010-05-25

    The finding that regular spatial patterns can emerge in nature from local interactions between organisms has prompted a search for the ecological importance of these patterns. Theoretical models have predicted that patterning may have positive emergent effects on fundamental ecosystem functions, such as productivity. We provide empirical support for this prediction. In dryland ecosystems, termite mounds are often hotspots of plant growth (primary productivity). Using detailed observations and manipulative experiments in an African savanna, we show that these mounds are also local hotspots of animal abundance (secondary and tertiary productivity): insect abundance and biomass decreased with distance from the nearest termite mound, as did the abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of insect-eating predators. Null-model analyses indicated that at the landscape scale, the evenly spaced distribution of termite mounds produced dramatically greater abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of consumers across trophic levels than would be obtained in landscapes with randomly distributed mounds. These emergent properties of spatial pattern arose because the average distance from an arbitrarily chosen point to the nearest feature in a landscape is minimized in landscapes where the features are hyper-dispersed (i.e., uniformly spaced). This suggests that the linkage between patterning and ecosystem functioning will be common to systems spanning the range of human management intensities. The centrality of spatial pattern to system-wide biomass accumulation underscores the need to conserve pattern-generating organisms and mechanisms, and to incorporate landscape patterning in efforts to restore degraded habitats and maximize the delivery of ecosystem services.

  6. Grassland biodiversity can pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Seth; Isbell, Forest; Polasky, Stephen; Catford, Jane A; Tilman, David

    2018-04-10

    The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) literature provides strong evidence of the biophysical basis for the potential profitability of greater diversity but does not address questions of optimal management. BEF studies typically focus on the ecosystem outputs produced by randomly assembled communities that only differ in their biodiversity levels, measured by indices such as species richness. Landholders, however, do not randomly select species to plant; they choose particular species that collectively maximize profits. As such, their interest is not in comparing the average performance of randomly assembled communities at each level of biodiversity but rather comparing the best-performing communities at each diversity level. Assessing the best-performing mixture requires detailed accounting of species' identities and relative abundances. It also requires accounting for the financial cost of individual species' seeds, and the economic value of changes in the quality, quantity, and variability of the species' collective output-something that existing multifunctionality indices fail to do. This study presents an assessment approach that integrates the relevant factors into a single, coherent framework. It uses ecological production functions to inform an economic model consistent with the utility-maximizing decisions of a potentially risk-averse private landowner. We demonstrate the salience and applicability of the framework using data from an experimental grassland to estimate production relationships for hay and carbon storage. For that case, our results suggest that even a risk-neutral, profit-maximizing landowner would favor a highly diverse mix of species, with optimal species richness falling between the low levels currently found in commercial grasslands and the high levels found in natural grasslands.

  7. Giving credit where credit is due: increasing landowner compensation for ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gina L. LaRocco; Robert L. Deal

    2011-01-01

    Conservation of biodiversity serves a number of human needs, including maintenance of ecosystem services that are critical to the sustainability of all life. Effective biodiversity conservation will require better landowner incentives for restoration and protection of ecosystems. Many services produced from healthy, functioning landscapes are not well recognized in...

  8. July: "Soils are living: Overview of soil biodiversity, global issues, and new resources"

    Science.gov (United States)

    The July poster will provide an overview of soil biology and the many ecosystem functions that soil organisms drive including their impact on global biodiversity, climate regulation, soil health/stability, and plant growth. Five main global issues related to soil biodiversity will be presented such ...

  9. Enhancing Biodiversity and Multifunctionality of an Organic Farmscape in California’s Central Valley

    OpenAIRE

    Smukler, S.M.; Jackson, L.E.; Sánchez Moreno, S.; Fonte, S.J.; Ferris, H.; Klonsky, K.; O'Geen, A.T.; Scow, K.M.; Cordova-Kreylos, A.L.

    2008-01-01

    Organic farmers in the USA increasingly manage the margins of previously monocultured farmed landscapes to increase biodiversity, e.g. they restore and protect riparian corridors, plant hedgerows and construct vegetated tailwater ponds. This study attempts to link habitat enhancements, biodiversity and changes in ecosystem functions by: 1. inventorying the existing biodiversity and the associated belowground community structure and composition in the various habitats of an organic farm in Cal...

  10. Microbial communities, processes and functions in acid mine drainage ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lin-xing; Huang, Li-nan; Méndez-García, Celia; Kuang, Jia-liang; Hua, Zheng-shuang; Liu, Jun; Shu, Wen-sheng

    2016-04-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is generated from the oxidative dissolution of metal sulfides when water and oxygen are available largely due to human mining activities. This process can be accelerated by indigenous microorganisms. In the last several decades, culture-dependent researches have uncovered and validated the roles of AMD microorganisms in metal sulfides oxidation and acid generation processes, and culture-independent studies have largely revealed the diversity and metabolic potentials and activities of AMD communities, leading towards a full understanding of the microbial diversity, functions and interactions in AMD ecosystems. This review describes the diversity of microorganisms and their functions in AMD ecosystems, and discusses their biotechnological applications in biomining and AMD bioremediation according to their capabilities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Function of Wildfire-Deposited Pyrogenic Carbon in Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa R. A. Pingree

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Fire is an important driver of change in most forest, savannah, and prairie ecosystems and fire-altered organic matter, or pyrogenic carbon (PyC, conveys numerous functions in soils of fire-maintained terrestrial ecosystems. Although an exceptional number of recent review articles and books have addressed agricultural soil application of charcoal or biochar, few reviews have addressed the functional role of naturally formed PyC in fire-maintained ecosystems. Recent advances in molecular spectroscopic techniques have helped strengthen our understanding of PyC as a ubiquitous, complex material that is capable of altering soil chemical, physical, and biological properties and processes. The uniquely recalcitrant nature of PyC in soils is partly a result of its stable C = C double-bonded, graphene-like structure and C-rich, N-poor composition. This attribute allows it to persist in soils for hundreds to thousands of years and represent net ecosystem C sequestration in fire-maintained ecosystems. The rapid formation of PyC during wildfire or anthropogenic fire events short-circuits the normally tortuous pathway of recalcitrant soil C formation. Existing literature also suggests that PyC provides an essential role in the cycling of certain nutrients, greatly extending the timeframe by which fires influence soil processes and facilitating recovery in ecosystems where organic matter inputs are low and post-fire surface soil bacterial and fungal activity is reduced. The high surface area of PyC allows for the adsorption a broad spectrum of organic compounds that directly or indirectly influence microbial processes after fire events. Adsorption capacity and microsite conditions created by PyC yields a “charosphere” effect in soil with heightened microbial activity in the vicinity of PyC. In this mini-review, we explore the function of PyC in natural and semi-natural settings, provide a mechanistic approach to understanding these functions, and examine

  12. Biological factors of natural and artificial ecosystems stable (unstable) functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechurkin, Nikolai S.

    The problem of sustainable development of humanity on Earth and the problem of supporting human life in space have the same scientific and methodological bases. The key to solve both problems is a long term maintenance of balanced material cycle. As a whole, natural or artificial ecosystems are to be more closed than open, but their elements (links of systems) are to be substantially open in interactions with each other. Prolonged stable interactions of different links have to have unique joint results - closed material cycling or biotic turnover. It is necessary to include, at least, three types of main links into any system to support real material cycling: producers, consumers, reducers. Producer links are now under studies in many laboratories. It is evident that the higher productivity of link, the lower link stability. Especially, it concerns with parasite impact to plants. As usual, artificial ecosystems are more simple (incomplete) than natural ecosystems, sometimes, they have not enough links for prolonged stable functioning. For example, life support system for space flight can be incomplete in consumer link, having only some crew persons, instead of interacting populations of consumers. As for reducer link, it is necessary to "organize" a special coordinated work of microbial biocenoses to fulfill proper cycling. Possible evolution of links, their self development is a matter of special attention for the maintenance of prolonged stable functioning. It's the most danger for systems with populations of quickly reproducing, so-called, R - strategists, according to symbols of logistic equation. From another side, quick reproduction of R - strategists is able to increase artificial ecosystems and their links functioning. After some damages of system, R - strategist's link can be quickly "self repaired" up to level of normal functioning. Some experimental data of this kind and mathematical models are to be discussed in the paper. This work is supported by

  13. European mountain biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagy, Jennifer

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper, originally prepared as a discussion document for the ESF Exploratory Workshop «Trends in European Mountain Biodiversity - Research Planning Workshop», provides an overview of current mountain biodiversity research in Europe. It discusses (a biogeographical trends, (b the general properties of biodiversity, (c environmental factors and the regulation of biodiversity with respect to ecosystem function, (d the results of research on mountain freshwater ecosystems, and (e climate change and air pollution dominated environmental interactions.- The section on biogeographical trends highlights the importance of altitude and latitude on biodiversity. The implications of the existence of different scales over the different levels of biodiversity and across organism groups are emphasised as an inherent complex property of biodiversity. The discussion on ecosystem function and the regulation of biodiversity covers the role of environmental factors, productivity, perturbation, species migration and dispersal, and species interactions in the maintenance of biodiversity. Regional and long-term temporal patterns are also discussed. A section on the relatively overlooked topic of mountain freshwater ecosystems is presented before the final topic on the implications of recent climate change and air pollution for mountain biodiversity.

    [fr] Ce document a été préparé à l'origine comme une base de discussion pour «ESF Exploratory Workshop» intitulé «Trends in European Mountain Biodiversity - Research Planning Workshop»; il apporte une vue d'ensemble sur les recherches actuelles portant sur la biodiversité des montagnes en Europe. On y discute les (a traits biogéographiques, (b les caractéristiques générales- de la biodiversité, (c les facteurs environnementaux et la régulation de la biodiversité par rapport à la fonction des écosystèmes, (d les résultats des études sur les écosystèmes aquatiques des montagnes et (e les

  14. Biodiversity, Community and Trophic Structure of the Suprabenthos of the Gulf of Cádiz-Guadalquivir Estuary Coupled System: Linking Pelagic-Benthic and Terrestrial-Marine Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilas, C.

    2016-02-01

    Suprabenthos biodiversity and species densities on both offshore and coastal systems are largely unknown. Main components like mysids, euphasiids or amphipods are omnivorous and constitute a major dietary component for many benthic and pelagic fishes, mammals, cephalopods and decapods. Despite their relevant ecological role linking pelagic-benthic food webs, suprabenthos have been chronically undersampled and their components underrepresented and underestimated in food web models. Many pelagic and demersal species of high commercial and ecological interest at the Gulf of Cádiz (GoC) feed at a bottom scattering layer identified from 0 to 200 m depth and up to 50 km from coast, related to the Guadalquivir Estuary (GE) influence coastal area, and present life history cycles based on a sequential use of habitats from GoC to GE nursery area, may be adapted to match the horizontal migrations of key suprabenthos prey species. In order to understand the ecological mechanisms through which the GE-GoC coupled ecosystem would influence the recruitment of these fishery resources, the suprabenthos was sampled by suprabenthic sldege (200 μm) from the shallow estuary to 75 m depth during June, August and November of 2013. We identified up to 300 species (H index 0.4-2-9 and Beta diversity 0.55), being copepods, molluscs, cumacea, cladocera, poliquets, decapods, mysids and amphipods the most important groups by biomass (mg/m3), finding densities up to 32.9 mg/m3 for copepods, 6 for mysids and up to 100 mg/m3 for decapods. Multivariate analysis determines depth as the most important variable explaining community structure, decreasing biodiversity with depth, while for sites at depths species show seasonal horizontal migrations between GoC and GE, connecting terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

  15. Land use impacts on biodiversity in LCA: proposal of characterization factors based on functional diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Souza, Danielle Maia de; Flynn, Dan F. B.; DeClerck, Fabrice

    2013-01-01

    the distinctiveness of species; this paper proposes the use of an FD index to calculate characterization factors (CFs) for land use impacts. Furthermore, we compare the results of the CFs to current practice and assess the increase in complexity introduced by the use of the new indicator.The model proposed is based...... challenges. Such indices are data hungry (requiring species composition and traits) require more complex calculations than current common practice, including decisions on the choice of a method to calculate FD and the selection of traits.......The focus of land use modeling in life cycle impact assessment has been mainly on taxonomic measures of biodiversity, namely species richness (SR). However, increasing availability of trait data for species has led to the use of functional diversity (FD) as a promising metric to reflect...

  16. Microbes as engines of ecosystem function: when does community structure enhance predictions of ecosystem processes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily B. Graham

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Microorganisms are vital in mediating the earth’s biogeochemical cycles; yet, despite our rapidly increasing ability to explore complex environmental microbial communities, the relationship between microbial community structure and ecosystem processes remains poorly understood. Here, we address a fundamental and unanswered question in microbial ecology: ‘When do we need to understand microbial community structure to accurately predict function?’ We present a statistical analysis investigating the value of environmental data and microbial community structure independently and in combination for explaining rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling processes within 82 global datasets. Environmental variables were the strongest predictors of process rates but left 44% of variation unexplained on average, suggesting the potential for microbial data to increase model accuracy. Although only 29% of our datasets were significantly improved by adding information on microbial community structure, we observed improvement in models of processes mediated by narrow phylogenetic guilds via functional gene data, and conversely, improvement in models of facultative microbial processes via community diversity metrics. Our results also suggest that microbial diversity can strengthen predictions of respiration rates beyond microbial biomass parameters, as 53% of models were improved by incorporating both sets of predictors compared to 35% by microbial biomass alone. Our analysis represents the first comprehensive analysis of research examining links between microbial community structure and ecosystem function. Taken together, our results indicate that a greater understanding of microbial communities informed by ecological principles may enhance our ability to predict ecosystem process rates relative to assessments based on environmental variables and microbial physiology.

  17. Ecosystem Functions Connecting Contributions from Ecosystem Services to Human Wellbeing in a Mangrove System in Northern Taiwan

    OpenAIRE

    Hsieh, Hwey-Lian; Lin, Hsing-Juh; Shih, Shang-Shu; Chen, Chang-Po

    2015-01-01

    The present study examined a mangrove ecosystem in northern Taiwan to determine how the various components of ecosystem function, ecosystem services and human wellbeing are connected. The overall contributions of mangrove services to specific components of human wellbeing were also assessed. A network was developed and evaluated by an expert panel consisting of hydrologists, ecologists, and experts in the field of culture, landscape or architecture. The results showed that supporting habitats...

  18. Realizing ecosystem services: wetland hydrologic function along a gradient of ecosystem condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlin, Daniel L; Cohen, Matthew J

    2013-10-01

    Wetlands provide numerous ecosystem services, from habitat provision to pollutant removal, floodwater storage, and microclimate regulation. Delivery of particular services relies on specific ecological functions, and thus to varying degree on wetland ecological condition, commonly quantified as departure from minimally impacted reference sites. Condition assessments are widely adopted as regulatory indicators of ecosystem function, and for some services (e.g., habitat) links between condition and function are often direct. For others, however, links are more tenuous, and using condition alone to enumerate ecosystem value (e.g., for compensatory mitigation) may underestimate important services. Hydrologic function affects many services cited in support of wetland protection both directly (floodwater retention, microclimate regulation) and indirectly (biogeochemical cycling, pollutant removal). We investigated links between condition and hydrologic function to test the hypothesis, embedded in regulatory assessment of wetland value, that condition predicts function. Condition was assessed using rapid and intensive approaches, including Florida's official wetland assessment tool, in 11 isolated forested wetlands in north Florida (USA) spanning a land use intensity gradient. Hydrologic function was assessed using hydrologic regime (mean, variance, and rates of change of water depth), and measurements of groundwater exchange and evapotranspiration (ET). Despite a wide range in condition, no systematic variation in hydrologic regime was observed; indeed reference sites spanned the full range of variation. In contrast, ET was affected by land use, with higher rates in intensive (agriculture and urban) landscapes in response to higher leaf area. ET determines latent heat exchange, which regulates microclimate, a valuable service in urban heat islands. Higher ET also indicates higher productivity and thus carbon cycling. Groundwater exchange regularly reversed flow direction

  19. Shifts of community composition and population density substantially affect ecosystem function despite invariant richness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spaak, Jurg W.; Baert, Jan M.; Baird, Donald J.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Maltby, Lorraine; Pomati, Francesco; Radchuk, Viktoriia; Rohr, Jason R.; Brink, van den Paul J.; Laender, De Frederik

    2017-01-01

    There has been considerable focus on the impacts of environmental change on ecosystem function arising from changes in species richness. However, environmental change may affect ecosystem function without affecting richness, most notably by affecting population densities and community

  20. Maintaining ecosystem resilience: functional responses of tree cavity nesters to logging in temperate forests of the Americas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibarra, José Tomás; Martin, Michaela; Cockle, Kristina L; Martin, Kathy

    2017-06-30

    Logging often reduces taxonomic diversity in forest communities, but little is known about how this biodiversity loss affects the resilience of ecosystem functions. We examined how partial logging and clearcutting of temperate forests influenced functional diversity of birds that nest in tree cavities. We used point-counts in a before-after-control-impact design to examine the effects of logging on the value, range, and density of functional traits in bird communities in Canada (21 species) and Chile (16 species). Clearcutting, but not partial logging, reduced diversity in both systems. The effect was much more pronounced in Chile, where logging operations removed critical nesting resources (large decaying trees), than in Canada, where decaying aspen Populus tremuloides were retained on site. In Chile, logging was accompanied by declines in species richness, functional richness (amount of functional niche occupied by species), community-weighted body mass (average mass, weighted by species densities), and functional divergence (degree of maximization of divergence in occupied functional niche). In Canada, clearcutting did not affect species richness but nevertheless reduced functional richness and community-weighted body mass. Although some cavity-nesting birds can persist under intensive logging operations, their ecosystem functions may be severely compromised unless future nest trees can be retained on logged sites.

  1. Functional diversity changes during tropical forest succession.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohbeck, M.W.M.; Poorter, L.; Paz, H.; Breugel, van M.; Martinez-Ramos, M.; Bongers, F.

    2012-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) ‘those components of biodiversity that influence how an ecosystem operates or functions’ is a promising tool to assess the effect of biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning. FD has received ample theoretical attention, but empirical studies are limited. We evaluate

  2. Spatial pattern enhances ecosystem functioning in an African savanna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert M Pringle

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The finding that regular spatial patterns can emerge in nature from local interactions between organisms has prompted a search for the ecological importance of these patterns. Theoretical models have predicted that patterning may have positive emergent effects on fundamental ecosystem functions, such as productivity. We provide empirical support for this prediction. In dryland ecosystems, termite mounds are often hotspots of plant growth (primary productivity. Using detailed observations and manipulative experiments in an African savanna, we show that these mounds are also local hotspots of animal abundance (secondary and tertiary productivity: insect abundance and biomass decreased with distance from the nearest termite mound, as did the abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of insect-eating predators. Null-model analyses indicated that at the landscape scale, the evenly spaced distribution of termite mounds produced dramatically greater abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of consumers across trophic levels than would be obtained in landscapes with randomly distributed mounds. These emergent properties of spatial pattern arose because the average distance from an arbitrarily chosen point to the nearest feature in a landscape is minimized in landscapes where the features are hyper-dispersed (i.e., uniformly spaced. This suggests that the linkage between patterning and ecosystem functioning will be common to systems spanning the range of human management intensities. The centrality of spatial pattern to system-wide biomass accumulation underscores the need to conserve pattern-generating organisms and mechanisms, and to incorporate landscape patterning in efforts to restore degraded habitats and maximize the delivery of ecosystem services.

  3. Modeling Landscape-scale Ecosystem Services Relative to Biodiversity in the Upper San Pedro River Basin (U.S. Mexico)

    Science.gov (United States)

    It is widely understood that human condition is tightly linked to environmental condition and the services it provides. Ecosystem services, i.e. "services provided to humans from natural systems" have become a paramount issue of this century in resource management, conservation, ...

  4. Biodiversity and ecosystem processes: lessons from nature to improve management of planted forests for REDD-plus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ian D. Thompson; Kimiko Okabe; John A. Parrotta; David I. Forrester; Eckehard Brockerhoff; Hervé Jactel; Hisatomo Taki

    2014-01-01

    Planted forests are increasingly contributing wood products and other ecosystem services at a global scale. These forests will be even more important as carbon markets develop and REDD-plus forest programs (forests used specifically to reduce atmospheric emissions of CO2 through deforestation and forest degradation) become common. Restoring degraded and deforested...

  5. Fish functional traits correlated with environmental variables in a temperate biodiversity hotspot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin P Keck

    Full Text Available The global biodiversity crisis has invigorated the search for generalized patterns in most disciplines within the natural sciences. Studies based on organismal functional traits attempt to broaden implications of results by identifying the response of functional traits, instead of taxonomic units, to environmental variables. Determining the functional trait responses enables more direct comparisons with, or predictions for, communities of different taxonomic composition. The North American freshwater fish fauna is both diverse and increasingly imperiled through human mediated disturbances, including climate change. The Tennessee River, USA, contains one of the most diverse assemblages of freshwater fish in North America and has more imperiled species than other rivers, but there has been no trait-based study of community structure in the system. We identified 211 localities in the upper Tennessee River that were sampled by the Tennessee Valley Authority between 2009 and 2011 and compiled fish functional traits for the observed species and environmental variables for each locality. Using fourth corner analysis, we identified significant correlations between many fish functional traits and environmental variables. Functional traits associated with an opportunistic life history strategy were correlated with localities subject to greater land use disturbance and less flow regulation, while functional traits associated with a periodic life history strategy were correlated with localities subject to regular disturbance and regulated flow. These are patterns observed at the continental scale, highlighting the generalizability of trait-based methods. Contrary to studies that found no community structure differences when considering riparian buffer zones, we found that fish functional traits were correlated with different environmental variables between analyses with buffer zones vs. entire catchment area land cover proportions. Using existing databases

  6. Fish functional traits correlated with environmental variables in a temperate biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keck, Benjamin P; Marion, Zachary H; Martin, Derek J; Kaufman, Jason C; Harden, Carol P; Schwartz, John S; Strange, Richard J

    2014-01-01

    The global biodiversity crisis has invigorated the search for generalized patterns in most disciplines within the natural sciences. Studies based on organismal functional traits attempt to broaden implications of results by identifying the response of functional traits, instead of taxonomic units, to environmental variables. Determining the functional trait responses enables more direct comparisons with, or predictions for, communities of different taxonomic composition. The North American freshwater fish fauna is both diverse and increasingly imperiled through human mediated disturbances, including climate change. The Tennessee River, USA, contains one of the most diverse assemblages of freshwater fish in North America and has more imperiled species than other rivers, but there has been no trait-based study of community structure in the system. We identified 211 localities in the upper Tennessee River that were sampled by the Tennessee Valley Authority between 2009 and 2011 and compiled fish functional traits for the observed species and environmental variables for each locality. Using fourth corner analysis, we identified significant correlations between many fish functional traits and environmental variables. Functional traits associated with an opportunistic life history strategy were correlated with localities subject to greater land use disturbance and less flow regulation, while functional traits associated with a periodic life history strategy were correlated with localities subject to regular disturbance and regulated flow. These are patterns observed at the continental scale, highlighting the generalizability of trait-based methods. Contrary to studies that found no community structure differences when considering riparian buffer zones, we found that fish functional traits were correlated with different environmental variables between analyses with buffer zones vs. entire catchment area land cover proportions. Using existing databases and fourth corner

  7. Biodiversity conservation in an anthropized landscape: Trees, not patch size drive, bird community composition in a low-input agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellink, Eric; Riojas-López, Mónica E; Cárdenas-García, Melinda

    2017-01-01

    One of the most typical agro-ecosystems in the Llanos de Ojuelos, a semi-arid region of central Mexico, is that of fruit-production orchards of nopales (prickly pear cacti). This perennial habitat with complex vertical structure provides refuge and food for at least 112 species of birds throughout the year. Nopal orchards vary in their internal structure, size and shrub/tree composition, yet these factors have unknown effects on the animals that use them. To further understand the conservation potential of this agro-ecosystem, we evaluated the effects of patch-size and the presence of trees on bird community composition, as well as several habitat variables, through an information-theoretical modelling approach. Community composition was obtained through a year of census transects in 12 orchards. The presence of trees in the orchards was the major driver of bird communities followed by seasonality; bird communities are independent of patch size, except for small orchard patches that benefit black-chin sparrows, which are considered a sensitive species. At least 55 species of six trophic guilds (insectivores, granivores, carnivores, nectivores, omnivores, and frugivores) used the orchards. Orchards provide adequate habitat and food resources for several sensitive species of resident and migratory sparrows. The attributes that make orchards important for birds: trees, shrubs, herb seeds, and open patches can be managed to maintain native biodiversity in highly anthropized regions with an urgent need to find convergence between production and biological conservation.

  8. High specificity but contrasting biodiversity of Sphagnum-associated bacterial and plant communities in bog ecosystems independent of the geographical region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opelt, Katja; Berg, Christian; Schönmann, Susan; Eberl, Leo; Berg, Gabriele

    2007-10-01

    Mosses represent ecological niches that harbor a hitherto largely uncharacterized microbial diversity. To investigate which factors affect the biodiversity of bryophyte-associated bacteria, we analyzed the bacterial communities associated with two moss species, which exhibit different ecological behaviors and importance in bog ecosystems, Sphagnum magellanicum and Sphagnum fallax, from six temperate and boreal bogs in Germany and Norway. Furthermore, their surrounding plant communities were studied. Molecular analysis of bacterial communities was determined by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis using eubacterial and genus-specific primers for the dominant genera Burkholderia and Serratia as well as by sequence analysis of a Burkholderia 16S rRNA gene clone library. Plant communities were analyzed by monitoring the abundance and composition of bryophyte and vascular plant species, and by determining ecological indicator values. Interestingly, we found a high degree of host specificity for associated bacterial and plant communities of both Sphagnum species independent of the geographical region. Calculation of diversity indices on the basis of SSCP gels showed that the S. fallax-associated communities displayed a statistically significant higher degree of diversity than those associated with S. magellanicum. In contrast, analyses of plant communities of Sphagnum-specific habitats resulted in a higher diversity of S. magellanicum-specific habitats for all six sites. The higher content of nutrients in the S. fallax-associated ecosystems can explain higher diversity of microorganisms.

  9. The Sphagnum microbiome supports bog ecosystem functioning under extreme conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bragina, Anastasia; Oberauner-Wappis, Lisa; Zachow, Christin; Halwachs, Bettina; Thallinger, Gerhard G; Müller, Henry; Berg, Gabriele

    2014-09-01

    Sphagnum-dominated bogs represent a unique yet widely distributed type of terrestrial ecosystem and strongly contribute to global biosphere functioning. Sphagnum is colonized by highly diverse microbial communities, but less is known about their function. We identified a high functional diversity within the Sphagnum microbiome applying an Illumina-based metagenomic approach followed by de novo assembly and MG-RAST annotation. An interenvironmental comparison revealed that the Sphagnum microbiome harbours specific genetic features that distinguish it significantly from microbiomes of higher plants and peat soils. The differential traits especially support ecosystem functioning by a symbiotic lifestyle under poikilohydric and ombrotrophic conditions. To realise a plasticity-stability balance, we found abundant subsystems responsible to cope with oxidative and drought stresses, to exchange (mobile) genetic elements, and genes that encode for resistance to detrimental environmental factors, repair and self-controlling mechanisms. Multiple microbe-microbe and plant-microbe interactions were also found to play a crucial role as indicated by diverse genes necessary for biofilm formation, interaction via quorum sensing and nutrient exchange. A high proportion of genes involved in nitrogen cycle and recycling of organic material supported the role of bacteria for nutrient supply. 16S rDNA analysis indicated a higher structural diversity than that which had been previously detected using PCR-dependent techniques. Altogether, the diverse Sphagnum microbiome has the ability to support the life of the host plant and the entire ecosystem under changing environmental conditions. Beyond this, the moss microbiome presents a promising bio-resource for environmental biotechnology - with respect to novel enzymes or stress-protecting bacteria. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Ecological strategies shapes the insurance potential of biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel eMatias

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity is thought to provide insurance for ecosystem functioning under heterogeneous environments, however, such insurance potential is under serious threat following unprecedented loss of biodiversity. One of the key mechanism underlying ecological insurance is that niche differentiation allows asynchronous responses to fluctuating environments; although, the role of different ecological strategies (e.g. specialists vs generalists has yet to be formally evaluated. We combine here a simple model and experimental study to illustrate how different specialization-performance strategies shape the biodiversity-insurance relationship. We assembled microcosm of generalists and specialist bacteria over a gradient of salinity and found that, bacterial communities made up of generalists were more productive and more stable over time under environmental fluctuations. We argue that beyond species richness itself, it is essential to incorporate the distribution of ecological strategies across relevant environmental gradients as predictors of the insurance potential of biodiversity in natural ecosystems.

  11. Response diversity determines the resilience of ecosystems to environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Akira S; Furukawa, Takuya; Sasaki, Takehiro

    2013-05-01

    A growing body of evidence highlights the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem stability and the maintenance of optimal ecosystem functionality. Conservation measures are thus essential to safeguard the ecosystem services that biodiversity provides and human society needs. Current anthropogenic threats may lead to detrimental (and perhaps irreversible) ecosystem degradation, providing strong motivation to evaluate the response of ecological communities to various anthropogenic pressures. In particular, ecosystem functions that sustain key ecosystem services should be identified and prioritized for conservation action. Traditional diversity measures (e.g. 'species richness') may not adequately capture the aspects of biodiversity most relevant to ecosystem stability and functionality, but several new concepts may be more appropriate. These include 'response diversity', describing the variation of responses to environmental change among species of a particular community. Response diversity may also be a key determinant of ecosystem resilience in the face of anthropogenic pressures and environmental uncertainty. However, current understanding of response diversity is poor, and we see an urgent need to disentangle the conceptual strands that pervade studies of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Our review clarifies the links between response diversity and the maintenance of ecosystem functionality by focusing on the insurance hypothesis of biodiversity and the concept of functional redundancy. We provide a conceptual model to describe how loss of response diversity may cause ecosystem degradation through decreased ecosystem resilience. We explicitly explain how response diversity contributes to functional compensation and to spatio-temporal complementarity among species, leading to long-term maintenance of ecosystem multifunctionality. Recent quantitative studies suggest that traditional diversity measures may often be uncoupled from

  12. What is marine biodiversity? Towards common concepts and their implications for assessing biodiversity status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Cochrane

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available ‘Biodiversity’ is one of the most common keywords used in environmental sciences, spanning from research to management, nature conservation and consultancy. Despite this, our understanding of the underlying concepts varies greatly, between and within disciplines as well as among the scientists themselves. Biodiversity can refer to descriptions or assessments of the status and condition of all or selected groups of organisms, from the genetic variability, to the species, populations, communities, and ecosystems. However, a concept of biodiversity also must encompass understanding the interactions and functions on all levels from individuals up to the whole ecosystem, including changes related to natural and anthropogenic environmental pressures. While biodiversity as such is an abstract and relative concept rooted in the spatial domain, it is central to most international, European and national governance initiatives aimed at protecting the marine environment. These rely on status assessments of biodiversity which typically require numerical targets and specific reference values, to allow comparison in space and/or time, often in association with some external structuring factors such as physical and biogeochemical conditions. Given that our ability to apply and interpret such assessments requires a solid conceptual understanding of marine biodiversity, here we define this and show how the abstract concept can and needs to be interpreted and subsequently applied in biodiversity assessments.

  13. Building capacity in biodiversity monitoring at the global scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmeller, Dirk S.; Bohm, Monika; Arvanitidis, Christos; Barber-Meyer, Shannon; Brummitt, Neil; Chandler, Mark; Chatzinikolaou, Eva; Costello, Mark J.; Ding, Hui; García-Moreno, Jaime; Gill, Michael J.; Haase, Peter; Jones, Miranda; Juillard, Romain; Magnusson, William E.; Martin, Corinne S.; McGeoch, Melodie A.; Mihoub, Jean-Baptiste; Pettorelli, Nathalie; Proença, Vânia; Peng, Cui; Regan, Eugenie; Schmiedel, Ute; Simsika, John P.; Weatherdon, Lauren; Waterman, Carly; Xu, Haigen; Belnap, Jayne

    2017-01-01

    Human-driven global change is causing ongoing declines in biodiversity worldwide. In order to address these declines, decision-makers need accurate assessments of the status of and pressures on biodiversity. However, these are heavily constrained by incomplete and uneven spatial, temporal and taxonomic coverage. For instance, data from regions such as Europe and North America are currently used overwhelmingly for large-scale biodiversity assessments due to lesser availability of suitable data from other, more biodiversity-rich, regions. These data-poor regions are often those experiencing the strongest threats to biodiversity, however. There is therefore an urgent need to fill the existing gaps in global biodiversity monitoring. Here, we review current knowledge on best practice in capacity building for biodiversity monitoring and provide an overview of existing means to improve biodiversity data collection considering the different types of biodiversity monitoring data. Our review comprises insights from work in Africa, South America, Polar Regions and Europe; in government-funded, volunteer and citizen-based monitoring in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. The key steps to effectively building capacity in biodiversity monitoring are: identifying monitoring questions and aims; identifying the key components, functions, and processes to monitor; identifying the most suitable monitoring methods for these elements, carrying out monitoring activities; managing the resultant data; and interpreting monitoring data. Additionally, biodiversity monitoring should use multiple approaches including extensive and intensive monitoring through volunteers and professional scientists but also harnessing new technologies. Finally, we call on the scientific community to share biodiversity monitoring data, knowledge and tools to ensure the accessibility, interoperability, and reporting of biodiversity data at a global scale.

  14. WineSeq®: A new tool for the study of the functional biodiversity of soils, and its use as a biomarker and guide for vitiviniculture practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belda Ignacio

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Apart from their explicit viticulture value, vineyards are natural reservoirs of biological diversity, constituting a complex, but interesting, anthropogenic ecosystem. The functional biodiversity found in vineyard soils is determinant not only for the physical-chemical and nutritional properties of these soils, but also for vine health and grape yield and quality. Diseases affecting vine health or grape quality cause significant economic losses for wineries, specially in the case of old and unique vineyards. In a precision viticulture context, the use of rational phytosanitary treatments and the application of adequate agronomical practices is the only way to maintain the biodiversity required by the fields to keep their stability and resilience. In this context, we have developed WineSeqⓇ (https://wineseq.com/, as the first online portal created to support the management of vine health and yield and to prevent or to diagnose vine diseases. The portal (https://portal.wineseq.com/ shows filtered and interpreted results of the global microbial population analyzed by metagenomics (DNA Next Generation Sequencing from soil, wood, grapes or fermentation samples. WineSeqⓇ technology is based on machine learning and cloud computing to integrate microbiome information with climatic, edaphic and agronomical information of interest. Thus, we make easier and understandable the analysis of the microbial variable for vinegrowers and winemakers.

  15. Potential of satellite-derived ecosystem functional attributes to anticipate species range shifts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcaraz-Segura, Domingo; Lomba, Angela; Sousa-Silva, Rita; Nieto-Lugilde, Diego; Alves, Paulo; Georges, Damien; Vicente, Joana R.; Honrado, João P.

    2017-05-01

    In a world facing rapid environmental changes, anticipating their impacts on biodiversity is of utmost relevance. Remotely-sensed Ecosystem Functional Attributes (EFAs) are promising predictors for Species Distribution Models (SDMs) by offering an early and integrative response of vegetation performance to environmental drivers. Species of high conservation concern would benefit the most from a better ability to anticipate changes in habitat suitability. Here we illustrate how yearly projections from SDMs based on EFAs could reveal short-term changes in potential habitat suitability, anticipating mid-term shifts predicted by climate-change-scenario models. We fitted two sets of SDMs for 41 plant species of conservation concern in the Iberian Peninsula: one calibrated with climate variables for baseline conditions and projected under two climate-change-scenarios (future conditions); and the other calibrated with EFAs for 2001 and projected annually from 2001 to 2013. Range shifts predicted by climate-based models for future conditions were compared to the 2001-2013 trends from EFAs-based models. Projections of EFAs-based models estimated changes (mostly contractions) in habitat suitability that anticipated, for the majority (up to 64%) of species, the mid-term shifts projected by traditional climate-change-scenario forecasting, and showed greater agreement with the business-as-usual scenario than with the sustainable-development one. This study shows how satellite-derived EFAs can be used as meaningful essential biodiversity variables in SDMs to provide early-warnings of range shifts and predictions of short-term fluctuations in suitable conditions for multiple species.

  16. Symbiotic functioning and bradyrhizobial biodiversity of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp. in Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dakora Felix D

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cowpea is the most important food grain legume in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, no study has so far assessed rhizobial biodiversity and/or nodule functioning in relation to strain IGS types at the continent level. In this study, 9 cowpea genotypes were planted in field experiments in Botswana, South Africa and Ghana with the aim of i trapping indigenous cowpea root-nodule bacteria (cowpea "rhizobia" in the 3 countries for isolation, molecular characterisation using PCR-RFLP analysis, and sequencing of the 16S - 23S rDNA IGS gene, ii quantifying N-fixed in the cowpea genotypes using the 15N natural abundance technique, and iii relating the levels of nodule functioning (i.e. N-fixed to the IGS types found inside nodules. Results Field measurements of N2 fixation revealed significant differences in plant growth, δ15N values, %Ndfa and amounts of N-fixed between and among the 9 cowpea genotypes in Ghana and South Africa. Following DNA analysis of 270 nodules from the 9 genotypes, 18 strain IGS types were found. Relating nodule function to the 18 IGS types revealed significant differences in IGS type N2-fixing efficiencies. Sequencing the 16S - 23S rDNA gene also revealed 4 clusters, with cluster 2 forming a distinct group that may be a new Bradyrhizobium species. Taken together, our data indicated greater biodiversity of cowpea bradyrhizobia in South Africa relative to Botswana and Ghana. Conclusions We have shown that cowpea is strongly dependant on N2 fixation for its N nutrition in both South Africa and Ghana. Strain IGS type symbiotic efficiency was assessed for the first time in this study, and a positive correlation was discernible where there was sole nodule occupancy. The differences in IGS type diversity and symbiotic efficiency probably accounts for the genotype × environment interaction that makes it difficult to select superior genotypes for use across Africa. The root-nodule bacteria nodulating cowpea in this study

  17. Positive biodiversity-productivity relationship predominant in global forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jingjing; Crowther, Thomas W; Picard, Nicolas; Wiser, Susan; Zhou, Mo; Alberti, Giorgio; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; McGuire, A David; Bozzato, Fabio; Pretzsch, Hans; de-Miguel, Sergio; Paquette, Alain; Hérault, Bruno; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Barrett, Christopher B; Glick, Henry B; Hengeveld, Geerten M; Nabuurs, Gert-Jan; Pfautsch, Sebastian; Viana, Helder; Vibrans, Alexander C; Ammer, Christian; Schall, Peter; Verbyla, David; Tchebakova, Nadja; Fischer, Markus; Watson, James V; Chen, Han Y H; Lei, Xiangdong; Schelhaas, Mart-Jan; Lu, Huicui; Gianelle, Damiano; Parfenova, Elena I; Salas, Christian; Lee, Eungul; Lee, Boknam; Kim, Hyun Seok; Bruelheide, Helge; Coomes, David A; Piotto, Daniel; Sunderland, Terry; Schmid, Bernhard; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie; Sonké, Bonaventure; Tavani, Rebecca; Zhu, Jun; Brandl, Susanne; Vayreda, Jordi; Kitahara, Fumiaki; Searle, Eric B; Neldner, Victor J; Ngugi, Michael R; Baraloto, Christopher; Frizzera, Lorenzo; Bałazy, Radomir; Oleksyn, Jacek; Zawiła-Niedźwiecki, Tomasz; Bouriaud, Olivier; Bussotti, Filippo; Finér, Leena; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Jucker, Tommaso; Valladares, Fernando; Jagodzinski, Andrzej M; Peri, Pablo L; Gonmadje, Christelle; Marthy, William; O'Brien, Timothy; Martin, Emanuel H; Marshall, Andrew R; Rovero, Francesco; Bitariho, Robert; Niklaus, Pascal A; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Chamuya, Nurdin; Valencia, Renato; Mortier, Frédéric; Wortel, Verginia; Engone-Obiang, Nestor L; Ferreira, Leandro V; Odeke, David E; Vasquez, Rodolfo M; Lewis, Simon L; Reich, Peter B

    2016-10-14

    The biodiversity-productivity relationship (BPR) is foundational to our understanding of the global extinction crisis and its impacts on ecosystem functioning. Understanding BPR is critical for the accurate valuation and effective conservation of biodiversity. Using ground-sourced data from 777,126 permanent plots, spanning 44 countries and most terrestrial biomes, we reveal a globally consistent positive concave-down BPR, showing that continued biodiversity loss would result in an accelerating decline in forest productivity worldwide. The value of biodiversity in maintaining commercial forest productivity alone-US$166 billion to 490 billion per year according to our estimation-is more than twice what it would cost to implement effective global conservation. This highlights the need for a worldwide reassessment of biodiversity values, forest management strategies, and conservation priorities. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. Uncertainty of Monetary Valued Ecosystem Services - Value Transfer Functions for Global Mapping.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Schmidt

    Full Text Available Growing demand of resources increases pressure on ecosystem services (ES and biodiversity. Monetary valuation of ES is frequently seen as a decision-support tool by providing explicit values for unconsidered, non-market goods and services. Here we present global value transfer functions by using a meta-analytic framework for the synthesis of 194 case studies capturing 839 monetary values of ES. For 12 ES the variance of monetary values could be explained with a subset of 93 study- and site-specific variables by utilizing boosted regression trees. This provides the first global quantification of uncertainties and transferability of monetary valuations. Models explain from 18% (water provision to 44% (food provision of variance and provide statistically reliable extrapolations for 70% (water provision to 91% (food provision of the terrestrial earth surface. Although the application of different valuation methods is a source of uncertainty, we found evidence that assuming homogeneity of ecosystems is a major error in value transfer function models. Food provision is positively correlated with better life domains and variables indicating positive conditions for human well-being. Water provision and recreation service show that weak ownerships affect valuation of other common goods negatively (e.g. non-privately owned forests. Furthermore, we found support for the shifting baseline hypothesis in valuing climate regulation. Ecological conditions and societal vulnerability determine valuation of extreme event prevention. Valuation of habitat services is negatively correlated with indicators characterizing less favorable areas. Our analysis represents a stepping stone to establish a standardized integration of and reporting on uncertainties for reliable and valid benefit transfer as an important component for decision support.

  19. Uncertainty of Monetary Valued Ecosystem Services – Value Transfer Functions for Global Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Stefan; Manceur, Ameur M.; Seppelt, Ralf

    2016-01-01

    Growing demand of resources increases pressure on ecosystem services (ES) and biodiversity. Monetary valuation of ES is frequently seen as a decision-support tool by providing explicit values for unconsidered, non-market goods and services. Here we present global value transfer functions by using a meta-analytic framework for the synthesis of 194 case studies capturing 839 monetary values of ES. For 12 ES the variance of monetary values could be explained with a subset of 93 study- and site-specific variables by utilizing boosted regression trees. This provides the first global quantification of uncertainties and transferability of monetary valuations. Models explain from 18% (water provision) to 44% (food provision) of variance and provide statistically reliable extrapolations for 70% (water provision) to 91% (food provision) of the terrestrial earth surface. Although the application of different valuation methods is a source of uncertainty, we found evidence that assuming homogeneity of ecosystems is a major error in value transfer function models. Food provision is positively correlated with better life domains and variables indicating positive conditions for human well-being. Water provision and recreation service show that weak ownerships affect valuation of other common goods negatively (e.g. non-privately owned forests). Furthermore, we found support for the shifting baseline hypothesis in valuing climate regulation. Ecological conditions and societal vulnerability determine valuation of extreme event prevention. Valuation of habitat services is negatively correlated with indicators characterizing less favorable areas. Our analysis represents a stepping stone to establish a standardized integration of and reporting on uncertainties for reliable and valid benefit transfer as an important component for decision support. PMID:26938447

  20. Evolution of body size, vision, and biodiversity of coral-associated organisms: evidence from fossil crustaceans in cold-water coral and tropical coral ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klompmaker, Adiël A; Jakobsen, Sten L; Lauridsen, Bodil W

    2016-06-16

    Modern cold-water coral and tropical coral environments harbor a highly diverse and ecologically important macrofauna of crustaceans that face elevated extinction risks due to reef decline. The effect of environmental conditions acting on decapod crustaceans comparing these two habitats is poorly understood today and in deep time. Here, we compare the biodiversity, eye socket height as a proxy for eye size, and body size of decapods in fossil cold-water and tropical reefs that formed prior to human disturbance. We show that decapod biodiversity is higher in fossil tropical reefs from The Netherlands, Italy, and Spain compared to that of the exceptionally well-preserved Paleocene (Danian) cold-water reef/mound ecosystem from Faxe (Denmark), where decapod diversity is highest in a more heterogeneous, mixed bryozoan-coral habitat instead of in coral and bryozoan-dominated facies. The relatively low diversity at Faxe was not influenced substantially by the preceding Cretaceous/Paleogene extinction event that is not apparent in the standing diversity of decapods in our analyses, or by sampling, preservation, and/or a latitudinal diversity gradient. Instead, the lower availability of food and fewer hiding places for decapods may explain this low diversity. Furthermore, decapods from Faxe are larger than those from tropical waters for half of the comparisons, which may be caused by a lower number of predators, the delayed maturity, and the increased life span of crustaceans in deeper, colder waters. Finally, deep-water specimens of the benthic crab Caloxanthus from Faxe exhibit a larger eye socket size compared to congeneric specimens from tropical reefs, suggesting that dim light conditions favored the evolution of relatively large eyes. The results suggest a strong habitat control on the biodiversity of crustaceans in coral-associated environments and that the diversity difference between deep, cold-water reefs and tropical reefs evolved at least ~63 million years ago

  1. Mapping ecosystem functions and services in Eastern Europe using global-scale data sets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, C.J.E.; Alkemade, R.; Klein Goldewijk, K.; Petz, K.

    2012-01-01

    To assess future interactions between the environment and human well-being, spatially explicit ecosystem service models are needed. Currently available models mainly focus on provisioning services and do not distinguish changes in the functioning of the ecosystem (Ecosystem Functions – ESFs) and

  2. Changing biodiversity scenario in the Himalayan ecosystem: Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India, as revealed by the study of blue butterflies (Lycaenidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.K. Sidhu

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Any change in the population of butterflies is an early warning of pollution or other kinds of habitat degradation. An area rich in butterfly diversity has its own significance in the ecosystem. The current status of butterflies in Mussoorie (Uttarakhand is reviewed. The degradation of the butterfly-rich spots of Mussoorie is discussed. A comparative chart of 66 species of Lycaenid butterflies compares species collected by earlier authors from Mussoorie with current observations. Some of the rare butterflies species have disappeared, probably due the loss of habitat to developmental activities, use of pesticides in farming, urbanization and other anthropogenic activities.

  3. Dimensions of biodiversity loss: Spatial mismatch in land-use impacts on species, functional and phylogenetic diversity of European bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Palma, Adriana; Kuhlmann, Michael; Bugter, Rob; Ferrier, Simon; Hoskins, Andrew J; Potts, Simon G; Roberts, Stuart P M; Schweiger, Oliver; Purvis, Andy

    2017-12-01

    Agricultural intensification and urbanization are important drivers of biodiversity change in Europe. Different aspects of bee community diversity vary in their sensitivity to these pressures, as well as independently influencing ecosystem service provision (pollination). To obtain a more comprehensive understanding of human impacts on bee diversity across Europe, we assess multiple, complementary indices of diversity. One Thousand four hundred and forty six sites across Europe. We collated data on bee occurrence and abundance from the published literature and supplemented them with the PREDICTS database. Using Rao's Quadratic Entropy, we assessed how species, functional and phylogenetic diversity of 1,446 bee communities respond to land-use characteristics including land-use class, cropland intensity, human population density and distance to roads. We combined these models with statistically downscaled estimates of land use in 2005 to estimate and map-at a scale of approximately 1 km 2 -the losses in diversity relative to semi-natural/natural baseline (the predicted diversity of an uninhabited grid square, consisting only of semi-natural/natural vegetation). We show that-relative to the predicted local diversity in uninhabited semi-natural/natural habitat-half of all EU27 countries have lost over 10% of their average local species diversity and two-thirds of countries have lost over 5% of their average local functional and phylogenetic diversity. All diversity measures were generally lower in pasture and higher-intensity cropland than in semi-natural/natural vegetation, but facets of diversity showed less consistent responses to human population density. These differences have led to marked spatial mismatches in losses: losses in phylogenetic diversity were in some areas almost 20 percentage points (pp.) more severe than losses in species diversity, but in other areas losses were almost 40 pp. less severe. These results highlight the importance of exploring

  4. Biodiversity as a multidimensional construct: a review, framework and case study of herbivory's impact on plant biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naeem, S.; Prager, Case; Weeks, Brian; Varga, Alex; Flynn, Dan F. B.; Griffin, Kevin; Muscarella, Robert; Palmer, Matthew; Wood, Stephen; Schuster, William

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity is inherently multidimensional, encompassing taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic, genetic, landscape and many other elements of variability of life on the Earth. However, this fundamental principle of multidimensionality is rarely applied in research aimed at understanding biodiversity's value to ecosystem functions and the services they provide. This oversight means that our current understanding of the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss is limited primarily to what unidimensional studies have revealed. To address this issue, we review the literature, develop a conceptual framework for multidimensional biodiversity research based on this review and provide a case study to explore the framework. Our case study specifically examines how herbivory by whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) alters the multidimensional influence of biodiversity on understory plant cover at Black Rock Forest, New York. Using three biodiversity dimensions (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity) to explore our framework, we found that herbivory alters biodiversity's multidimensional influence on plant cover; an effect not observable through a unidimensional approach. Although our review, framework and case study illustrate the advantages of multidimensional over unidimensional approaches, they also illustrate the statistical and empirical challenges such work entails. Meeting these challenges, however, where data and resources permit, will be important if we are to better understand and manage the consequences we face as biodiversity continues to decline in the foreseeable future. PMID:27928041

  5. Biodiversity as a multidimensional construct: a review, framework and case study of herbivory's impact on plant biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naeem, S; Prager, Case; Weeks, Brian; Varga, Alex; Flynn, Dan F B; Griffin, Kevin; Muscarella, Robert; Palmer, Matthew; Wood, Stephen; Schuster, William

    2016-12-14

    Biodiversity is inherently multidimensional, encompassing taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic, genetic, landscape and many other elements of variability of life on the Earth. However, this fundamental principle of multidimensionality is rarely applied in research aimed at understanding biodiversity's value to ecosystem functions and the services they provide. This oversight means that our current understanding of the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss is limited primarily to what unidimensional studies have revealed. To address this issue, we review the literature, develop a conceptual framework for multidimensional biodiversity research based on this review and provide a case study to explore the framework. Our case study specifically examines how herbivory by whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) alters the multidimensional influence of biodiversity on understory plant cover at Black Rock Forest, New York. Using three biodiversity dimensions (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity) to explore our framework, we found that herbivory alters biodiversity's multidimensional influence on plant cover; an effect not observable through a unidimensional approach. Although our review, framework and case study illustrate the advantages of multidimensional over unidimensional approaches, they also illustrate the statistical and empirical challenges such work entails. Meeting these challenges, however, where data and resources permit, will be important if we are to better understand and manage the consequences we face as biodiversity continues to decline in the foreseeable future. © 2016 The Authors.

  6. Does biodiversity make a difference? Relationships between species richness, evolutionary diversity, and aboveground live tree biomass across US forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin M. Potter; Christopher W. Woodall

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity conveys numerous functional benefits to forested ecosystems, including community stability and resilience. In the context of managing forests for climate change mitigation/adaptation, maximizing and/or maintaining aboveground biomass will require understanding the interactions between tree biodiversity, site productivity, and the stocking of live trees....

  7. Noah’s Ark or World Wild Web? Cultural Perspectives in Global Scenario Studies and Their Function for Biodiversity Conservation in a Changing World

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carijn Beumer

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we review the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Scenarios and their assumptions on biodiversity conservation, using a framework based on the cultural theory (CT perspectives. We explored an adaptation of the CT typology and the significance of some underrepresented worldviews for discussions on conservation in a changing world. The evaluation of the assumptions on biodiversity conservation in the scenario studies and storylines adds to our understanding of the socio-cultural dimensions of biodiversity loss in a changing world. It contributes to an understanding of the worldviews underlying the complex debates on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Making such assumptions and world views explicit will help policymakers and conservationists discuss the diversity of conservation strategies in the face of uncertainty.

  8. Using ecological production functions to link ecological processes to ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively ...

  9. Large conservation gains possible for global biodiversity facets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, Laura J; Thuiller, Wilfried; Jetz, Walter

    2017-06-01

    Different facets of biodiversity other than species numbers are increasingly appreciated as critical for maintaining the function of ecosystems and their services to humans. While new international policy and assessment processes such as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) recognize the importance of an increasingly global, quantitative and comprehensive approach to biodiversity protection, most insights are still focused on a single facet of biodiversity-species. Here we broaden the focus and provide an evaluation of how much of the world's species, functional and phylogenetic diversity of birds and mammals is currently protected and the scope for improvement. We show that the large existing gaps in the coverage for each facet of diversity could be remedied by a slight expansion of protected areas: an additional 5% of the land has the potential to more than triple the protected range of species or phylogenetic or functional units. Further, the same areas are often priorities for multiple diversity facets and for both taxa. However, we find that the choice of conservation strategy has a fundamental effect on outcomes. It is more difficult (that is, requires more land) to maximize basic representation of the global biodiversity pool than to maximize local diversity. Overall, species and phylogenetic priorities are more similar to each other than they are to functional priorities, and priorities for the different bird biodiversity facets are more similar than those of mammals. Our work shows that large gains in biodiversity protection are possible, while also highlighting the need to explicitly link desired conservation objectives and biodiversity metrics. We provide a framework and quantitative tools to advance these goals for multi-faceted biodiversity conservation.

  10. An experimental framework to identify community functional components driving ecosystem processes and services delivery

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dias, A. T. C.; Berg, M. P.; de Bello, Francesco; Oosten, A. R. V.; Bílá, Karolína; Morreti, M.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 101, č. 1 (2013), s. 29-37 ISSN 0022-0477 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/1296 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:67179843 Keywords : CWM * ecosystem functioning * ecosystem processes * ecosystem services * functional divergence * functional diversity * functional evenness * functional richness * mass ratio hypothesis * Rao index Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EF - Botanics (BU-J) Impact factor: 5.694, year: 2013

  11. Delayed responses of an Arctic ecosystem to an extremely dry summer: impacts on net ecosystem exchange and vegetation functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zona, D.; Lipson, D. A.; Richards, J. H.; Phoenix, G. K.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Ueyama, M.; Sturtevant, C. S.; Oechel, W. C.

    2013-12-01

    The importance and mode of action of extreme events on the global carbon budget are inadequately understood. This includes the differential impact of extreme events on various ecosystem components, lag effects, recovery times, and compensatory processes. Summer 2007 in Barrow, Arctic Alaska, experienced unusually high air temperatures (fifth warmest over a 65 yr period) and record low precipitation (lowest over a 65 yr period). These abnormal conditions resulted in strongly reduced net Sphagnum CO2 uptake, but no effect neither on vascular plant development nor on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from this arctic tundra ecosystem. Gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were both generally greater during most of this extreme summer. Cumulative ecosystem C uptake in 2007 was similar to the previous summers, showing the capacity of the ecosystem to compensate in its net ecosystem exchange (NEE) despite the impact on other functions and structure such as substantial necrosis of the Sphagnum layer. Surprisingly, the lowest ecosystem C uptake (2005-2009) was observed during the 2008 summer, i.e the year directly following the extremely summer. In 2008, cumulative C uptake was ∼70% lower than prior years. This reduction cannot solely be attributed to mosses, which typically contribute with ∼40% - of the entire ecosystem C uptake. The minimum summer cumulative C uptake in 2008 suggests that the entire ecosystem experienced difficulty readjusting to more typical weather after experiencing exceptionally warm and dry conditions. Importantly, the return to a substantial cumulative C uptake occurred two summers after the extreme event, which suggest a high resilience of this tundra ecosystem. Overall, these results show a highly complex response of the C uptake and its sub-components to atypically dry conditions. The impact of multiple extreme events still awaits further investigation.

  12. The cost of policy inaction : the case of not meeting the 2010 biodiversity target

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Braat, L.C.; Brink, ten P.; Klok, T.C.

    2008-01-01

    The COPI methodology and valuation database. Change in land use, climate, pollution, water use; change in biodiversity; change in ecosystem functions; change in ecosystem services contributes to change in economic value. The Cost of Policy Inaction (COPI) is described in monitory terms. The outcome

  13. Bird functional diversity decreases with time since disturbance: Does patchy prescribed fire enhance ecosystem function?.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitters, Holly; Di Stefano, Julian; Christie, Fiona; Swan, Matthew; York, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Animal species diversity is often associated with time since disturbance, but the effects of disturbances such as fire on functional diversity are unknown. Functional diversity measures the range, abundance, and distribution of trait values in a community, and links changes in species composition with the consequences for ecosystem function. Improved understanding of the relationship between time since fire (TSF) and functional diversity is critical given that the frequency of both prescribed fire and wildfire is expected to increase. To address this knowledge gap, we examined responses of avian functional diversity to TSF and two direct measures of environmental heterogeneity, plant diversity, and structural heterogeneity. We surveyed birds across a 70-year chronosequence spanning four vegetation types in southeast Australia. Six bird functional traits were used to derive four functional diversity indices (richness, evenness, divergence, and dispersion) and the effects of TSF, plant diversity and structural heterogeneity on species richness and the functional diversity indices were examined using mixed models. We used a regression tree method to identify traits associated with species more common in young vegetation. Functional richness and dispersion were negatively associated with TSF in all vegetation types, suggesting that recent prescribed fire generates heterogeneous vegetation and provides greater opportunities for resource partitioning. Species richness was not significantly associated with TSF, and is probably an unreliable surrogate for functional diversity in fire-prone systems. A positive, relationship between functional evenness and structural heterogeneity was comnon to all vegetation types, suggesting that fine-scale (tens of meters) structural variation can enhance ecosystem function. Species more common in young vegetation were primarily linked by their specialist diets, indicating that ecosystem services such as seed dispersal and insect control

  14. A method of establishing a transect for biodiversity and ecosystem function monitoring across Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stone, D.; Blomkvist, P.; Hendriksen, N. Bohse

    2016-01-01

    . Discrimination between the major bio-geographical zones of Atlantic and Continental was possible for all land-use types. Boreal and Alpine zones only allowed discrimination in the most common land-use type for that area e.g. forestry and grassland sites, respectively, while the Mediterranean zone did not have...

  15. Spatial Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Functions and Services using Human Relating Factors for SDG

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, C.; Lee, W. K.; Jeon, S. W.; Kim, T.; Lim, C. H.

    2015-12-01

    Application of ecosystem service concept in environmental related decision making could be numerical and objective standard for policy maker between preserving and developing perspective of environment. However, pursuing maximum benefit from natural capital through ecosystem services caused failure by losing ecosystem functions through its trade-offs. Therefore, difference between ecosystem functions and services were demonstrated and would apply human relating perspectives. Assessment results of ecosystem functions and services can be divided 3 parts. Tree growth per year set as the ecosystem function factor and indicated through so called pure function map. After that, relating functions can be driven such as water conservation, air pollutant purification, climate change regulation, and timber production. Overall process and amount are numerically quantified. These functional results can be transferred to ecosystem services by multiplying economic unit value, so function reflecting service maps can be generated. On the other hand, above services, to implement more reliable human demand, human reflecting service maps are also be developed. As the validation, quantified ecosystem functions are compared with former results through pixel based analysis. Three maps are compared, and through comparing difference between ecosystem function and services and inversed trends in function based and human based service are analysed. In this study, we could find differences in PF, FRS, and HRS in relation to based ecosystem conditions. This study suggests that the differences in PF, FRS, and HRS should be understood in the decision making process for sustainable management of ecosystem services. Although the analysis is based on in sort existing process separation, it is important to consider the possibility of different usage of ecosystem function assessment results and ecosystem service assessment results in SDG policy making. Furthermore, process based functional approach

  16. The Brookside Farm Wetland Ecosystem Treatment (WET System: A Low-Energy Methodology for Sewage Purification, Biomass Production (Yield, Flood Resilience and Biodiversity Enhancement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian C. Abrahams

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Wastewater from domestic developments, farms and agro-industrial processing can be sources of pollution in the environment; current wastewater management methods are usually machine-based, and thus energy consuming. When Permaculture Principles are used in the creation of water purification and harvesting systems, there can be multiple environmental and economic benefits. In the context of energy descent, it may be considered desirable to treat wastewater using minimal energy. The constructed wetland design presented here is a low-entropy system in which wastewater is harvested and transformed into lush and productive wetland, eliminating the requirement for non-renewable energy in water purification, and also maximising benefits: biodiversity, flood resilience and yield. In permaculture design, the high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous compounds in sewage are viewed as valuable nutrients, resources to be harvested by a constructed wetland ecosystem and converted into useful yield. Similarly, rainwater runoff is not viewed as a problem which can cause flooding, but as a potential resource to be harvested to provide a yield. This paper presents a case study, with both water quality and productivity data, from Brookside Farm UK, where the use of Permaculture Design Principles has created a combined wastewater management and purification system, accepting all site water.

  17. Landscape moderation of biodiversity patterns and processes - eight hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Rand, Tatyana A; Didham, Raphael K; Fahrig, Lenore; Batáry, Péter; Bengtsson, Janne; Clough, Yann; Crist, Thomas O; Dormann, Carsten F; Ewers, Robert M; Fründ, Jochen; Holt, Robert D; Holzschuh, Andrea; Klein, Alexandra M; Kleijn, David; Kremen, Claire; Landis, Doug A; Laurance, William; Lindenmayer, David; Scherber, Christoph; Sodhi, Navjot; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Thies, Carsten; van der Putten, Wim H; Westphal, Catrin

    2012-08-01

    Understanding how landscape characteristics affect biodiversity patterns and ecological processes at local and landscape scales is critical for mitigating effects of global environmental change. In this review, we use knowledge gained from human-modified landscapes to suggest eight hypotheses, which we hope will encourage more systematic research on the role of landscape composition and configuration in determining the structure of ecological communities, ecosystem functioning and services. We organize the eight hypotheses under four overarching themes. Section A: 'landscape moderation of biodiversity patterns' includes (1) the landscape species pool hypothesis-the size of the landscape-wide species pool moderates local (alpha) biodiversity, and (2) the dominance of beta diversity hypothesis-landscape-moderated dissimilarity of local communities determines landscape-wide biodiversity and overrides negative local effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. Section B: 'landscape moderation of population dynamics' includes (3) the cross-habitat spillover hypothesis-landscape-moderated spillover of energy, resources and organisms across habitats, including between managed and natural ecosystems, influences landscape-wide community structure and associated processes and (4) the landscape-moderated concentration and dilution hypothesis-spatial and temporal changes in landscape composition can cause transient concentration or dilution of populations with functional consequences. Section C: 'landscape moderation of functional trait selection' includes (5) the landscape-moderated functional trait selection hypothesis-landscape moderation of species trait selection shapes the functional role and trajectory of community assembly, and (6) the landscape-moderated insurance hypothesis-landscape complexity provides spatial and temporal insurance, i.e. high resilience and stability of ecological processes in changing environments. Section D: 'landscape constraints on

  18. Conserving biodiversity using risk management: hoax or hope?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan Hummel; Geoffrey H. Donovan; Thomas A. Spies; Miles A. Hemstrom

    2008-01-01

    Biodiversity has been called a form of ecosystem insurance. According to the "insurance hypothesis", the presence of many species protects against system decline, because built-in redundancies guarantee that some species will maintain key functions even if others fail. The hypothesis might have merit, but calling it "insurance" promotes an ambiguous...

  19. Landscape Visual Quality and Meiofauna Biodiversity on Sandy Beaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felix, Gabriela; Marenzi, Rosemeri C.; Polette, Marcos; Netto, Sérgio A.

    2016-10-01

    Sandy beaches are central economic assets, attracting more recreational users than other coastal ecosystems. However, urbanization and landscape modification can compromise both the functional integrity and the attractiveness of beach ecosystems. Our study aimed at investigating the relationship between sandy beach artificialization and the landscape perception by the users, and between sandy beach visual attractiveness and biodiversity. We conducted visual and biodiversity assessments of urbanized and semiurbanized sandy beaches in Brazil and Uruguay. We specifically examined meiofauna as an indicator of biodiversity. We hypothesized that urbanization of sandy beaches results in a higher number of landscape detractors that negatively affect user evaluation, and that lower-rated beach units support lower levels of biodiversity. We found that urbanized beach units were rated lower than semiurbanized units, indicating that visual quality was sensitive to human interventions. Our expectations regarding the relationship between landscape perception and biodiversity were only partially met; only few structural and functional descriptors of meiofauna assemblages differed among classes of visual quality. However, lower-rated beach units exhibited signs of lower environmental quality, indicated by higher oligochaete densities and significant differences in meiofauna structure. We conclude that managing sandy beaches needs to advance beyond assessment of aesthetic parameters to also include the structure and function of beach ecosystems. Use of such supporting tools for managing sandy beaches is particularly important in view of sea level rise and increasing coastal development.

  20. Biodiversity and pollination : Flowering plants and flower-visiting insects in agricultural and semi-natural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoffmann, Frank

    2005-01-01

    The dissertation describes the effects of plant and insect diversity on pollination of wild plant species. As biodiversity is decreasing due to human activities, it is important to know the effects of lower species richness on ecosystem functioning. One such ecosystem function is pollination by

  1. Calibration of two complex ecosystem models with different likelihood functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidy, Dóra; Haszpra, László; Pintér, Krisztina; Nagy, Zoltán; Barcza, Zoltán

    2014-05-01

    The biosphere is a sensitive carbon reservoir. Terrestrial ecosystems were approximately carbon neutral during the past centuries, but they became net carbon sinks due to climate change induced environmental change and associated CO2 fertilization effect of the atmosphere. Model studies and measurements indicate that the biospheric carbon sink can saturate in the future due to ongoing climate change which can act as a positive feedback. Robustness of carbon cycle models is a key issue when trying to choose the appropriate model for decision support. The input parameters of the process-based models are decisive regarding the model output. At the same time there are several input parameters for which accurate values are hard to obtain directly from experiments or no local measurements are available. Due to the uncertainty associated with the unknown model parameters significant bias can be experienced if the model is used to simulate the carbon and nitrogen cycle components of different ecosystems. In order to improve model performance the unknown model parameters has to be estimated. We developed a multi-objective, two-step calibration method based on Bayesian approach in order to estimate the unknown parameters of PaSim and Biome-BGC models. Biome-BGC and PaSim are a widely used biogeochemical models that simulate the storage and flux of water, carbon, and nitrogen between the ecosystem and the atmosphere, and within the components of the terrestrial ecosystems (in this research the developed version of Biome-BGC is used which is referred as BBGC MuSo). Both models were calibrated regardless the simulated processes and type of model parameters. The calibration procedure is based on the comparison of measured data with simulated results via calculating a likelihood function (degree of goodness-of-fit between simulated and measured data). In our research different likelihood function formulations were used in order to examine the effect of the different model

  2. Functional ecomorphology: Feedbacks between form and function in fluvial landscape ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Stuart G.; Heffernan, James B.; Sponseller, Ryan A.; Welter, Jill R.

    2007-09-01

    The relationship between form and function has been a central organizing principle in biology throughout its history as a formal science. This concept has been relevant from molecules to organisms but loses meaning at population and community levels where study targets are abstract collectives and assemblages. Ecosystems include organisms and abiotic factors but ecosystem ecology too has developed until recently without a strong spatially explicit reference. Landscape ecology provides an opportunity to once again anneal form and function and to consider reciprocal causation between them. This ecomorphologic view can be applied at a variety of ecologically relevant scales and consists of an investigation of how geomorphology provides a structural template that shapes, and is shaped by ecological processes. Running water ecosystems illustrate several principles governing the interaction of landscape form and ecological function subsumed by the concept of "Functional Ecomorphology". Particularly lucrative are ecosystem-level interactions between geologic form and biogeochemical processes integrated by hydrologic flowpaths. While the utility of a flowpath-based approach is most apparent in streams, spatially explicit biogeochemical processing pervades all landscapes and may be of general ecological application.

  3. EnviroAtlas - Biodiversity Metrics by 12-digit HUC for the Southwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    This EnviroAtlas dataset was produced by a joint effort of New Mexico State University, US EPA, and the US Geological Survey (USGS) to support research and online mapping activities related to EnviroAtlas. Ecosystem services, i.e., services provided to humans from ecological systems, have become a key issue of this century in resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis. Mapping and quantifying ecosystem services have become strategic national interests for integrating ecology with economics to help understand the effects of human policies and actions and their subsequent impacts on both ecosystem function and human well-being. Some aspects of biodiversity are valued by humans in varied ways, and thus are important to include in any assessment that seeks to identify and quantify the benefits of ecosystems to humans. Some biodiversity metrics clearly reflect ecosystem services (e.g., abundance and diversity of harvestable species), whereas others may reflect indirect and difficult to quantify relationships to services (e.g., relevance of species diversity to ecosystem resilience, or cultural and aesthetic values). Wildlife habitat has been modeled at broad spatial scales and can be used to map a number of biodiversity metrics. We map 15 biodiversity metrics reflecting ecosystem services or other aspects of biodiversity for all vertebrate species except fish. Metrics include species richness for all vertebrates, specific taxon gr

  4. EnviroAtlas - Biodiversity Metrics by 12-digit HUC for the Southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    This EnviroAtlas dataset was produced by a joint effort of New Mexico State University, US EPA, and the US Geological Survey (USGS) to support research and online mapping activities related to EnviroAtlas. Ecosystem services, i.e., services provided to humans from ecological systems, have become a key issue of this century in resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis. Mapping and quantifying ecosystem services have become strategic national interests for integrating ecology with economics to help understand the effects of human policies and actions and their subsequent impacts on both ecosystem function and human well-being. Some aspects of biodiversity are valued by humans in varied ways, and thus are important to include in any assessment that seeks to identify and quantify the benefits of ecosystems to humans. Some biodiversity metrics clearly reflect ecosystem services (e.g., abundance and diversity of harvestable species), whereas others may reflect indirect and difficult to quantify relationships to services (e.g., relevance of species diversity to ecosystem resilience, or cultural and aesthetic values). Wildlife habitat has been modeled at broad spatial scales and can be used to map a number of biodiversity metrics. We map 14 biodiversity metrics reflecting ecosystem services or other aspects of biodiversity for all vertebrate species except fish. Metrics include species richness for all vertebrates, specific taxon gr

  5. Functional redundancy and food web functioning in linuron-exposed ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Laender, F.; Van den Brink, P.J.; Janssen, C.R.

    2011-01-01

    An extensive data set describing effects of the herbicide linuron on macrophyte-dominated microcosms was analysed with a food web model to assess effects on ecosystem functioning. We showed that sensitive phytoplankton and periphyton groups in the diets of heterotrophs were gradually replaced by more tolerant phytoplankton species as linuron concentrations increased. This diet shift - showing redundancy among phytoplankton species - allowed heterotrophs to maintain their functions in the contaminated microcosms. On an ecosystem level, total gross primary production was up to hundred times lower in the treated microcosms but the uptake of dissolved organic carbon by bacteria and mixotrophs was less sensitive. Food web efficiency was not consistently lower in the treated microcosms. We conclude that linuron predominantly affected the macrophytes but did not alter the overall functioning of the surrounding planktonic food web. Therefore, a risk assessment that protects macrophyte growth also protects the functioning of macrophyte-dominated microcosms. - Highlights: → Food web modelling reveals the functional response of species and ecosystem to linuron. → Primary production was more sensitive to linuron than bacterial production. → Linuron replaced sensitive phytoplankton by tolerant phytoplankton in heterotrophs' diets. → Linuron did not change the functioning of heterotrophs. - Food web modelling reveals functional redundancy of the planktonic community in microcosms treated with linuron.

  6. Functional redundancy and food web functioning in linuron-exposed ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Laender, F., E-mail: frederik.delaender@ugent.be [Laboratory of Environmental Toxicity and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Ghent (Belgium); Van den Brink, P.J., E-mail: Paul.vandenBrink@wur.nl [Department of Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management, Wageningen University, PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen (Netherlands); Janssen, C.R., E-mail: colin.janssen@ugent.be [Laboratory of Environmental Toxicity and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Ghent (Belgium)

    2011-10-15

    An extensive data set describing effects of the herbicide linuron on macrophyte-dominated microcosms was analysed with a food web model to assess effects on ecosystem functioning. We showed that sensitive phytoplankton and periphyton groups in the diets of heterotrophs were gradually replaced by more tolerant phytoplankton species as linuron concentrations increased. This diet shift - showing redundancy among phytoplankton species - allowed heterotrophs to maintain their functions in the contaminated microcosms. On an ecosystem level, total gross primary production was up to hundred times lower in the treated microcosms but the uptake of dissolved organic carbon by bacteria and mixotrophs was less sensitive. Food web efficiency was not consistently lower in the treated microcosms. We conclude that linuron predominantly affected the macrophytes but did not alter the overall functioning of the surrounding planktonic food web. Therefore, a risk assessment that protects macrophyte growth also protects the functioning of macrophyte-dominated microcosms. - Highlights: > Food web modelling reveals the functional response of species and ecosystem to linuron. > Primary production was more sensitive to linuron than bacterial production. > Linuron replaced sensitive phytoplankton by tolerant phytoplankton in heterotrophs' diets. > Linuron did not change the functioning of heterotrophs. - Food web modelling reveals functional redundancy of the planktonic community in microcosms treated with linuron.

  7. Ecosystem engineering by invasive exotic beavers reduces in-stream diversity and enhances ecosystem function in Cape Horn, Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Christopher B; Rosemond, Amy D

    2007-11-01

    Species invasions are of global significance, but predicting their impacts can be difficult. Introduced ecosystem engineers, however, provide an opportunity to test the underlying mechanisms that may be common to all invasive engineers and link relationships between changes in diversity and ecosystem function, thereby providing explanatory power for observed ecological patterns. Here we test specific predictions for an invasive ecosystem engineer by quantifying the impacts of habitat and resource modifications caused by North American beavers (Castor canadensis) on aquatic macroinvertebrate community structure and stream ecosystem function in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile. We compared responses to beavers in three habitat types: (1) forested (unimpacted) stream reaches, (2) beaver ponds, and (3) sites immediately downstream of beaver dams in four streams. We found that beaver engineering in ponds created taxonomically simplified, but more productive, benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages. Specifically, macroinvertebrate richness, diversity and number of functional feeding groups were reduced by half, while abundance, biomass and secondary production increased three- to fivefold in beaver ponds compared to forested sites. Reaches downstream of beaver ponds were very similar to natural forested sections. Beaver invasion effects on both community and ecosystem parameters occurred predominantly via increased retention of fine particulate organic matter, which was associated with reduced macroinvertebrate richness and diversity (via homogenization of benthic microhabitat) and increased macroinvertebrate biomass and production (via greater food availability). Beaver modifications to macroinvertebrate community structure were largely confined to ponds, but increased benthic production in beaver-modified habitats adds to energy retention and flow for the entire stream ecosystem. Furthermore, the effects of beavers on taxa richness (negative) and measures of

  8. Effects of urban development on ant communities: implications for ecosystem services and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.P. Sanford; Patricia N. Manley; Dennis D. Murphy

    2009-01-01

    Research that connects the effects of urbanization on biodiversity and ecosystem services is lacking. Ants perform multifarious ecological functions that stabilize ecosystems and contribute to a number of ecosystem services. We studied responses of ant communities to urbanization in the Lake Tahoe basin by sampling sites along a gradient...

  9. Large conservation gains possible for global biodiversity facets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, Laura J.; Thuiller, Wilfried; Jetz, Walter

    2017-06-01

    Different facets of biodiversity other than species numbers are increasingly appreciated as critical for maintaining the function of ecosystems and their services to humans. While new international policy and assessment processes such as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) recognize the importance of an increasingly global, quantitative and comprehensive approach to biodiversity protection, most insights are still focused on a single facet of biodiversity—species. Here we broaden the focus and provide an evaluation of how much of the world’s species, functional and phylogenetic diversity of birds and mammals is currently protected and the scope for improvement. We show that the large existing gaps in the coverage for each facet of diversity could be remedied by a slight expansion of protected areas: an additional 5% of the land has the potential to more than triple the protected range of species or phylogenetic or functional units. Further, the same areas are often priorities for multiple diversity facets and for both taxa. However, we find that the choice of conservation strategy has a fundamental effect on outcomes. It is more difficult (that is, requires more land) to maximize basic representation of the global biodiversity pool than to maximize local diversity. Overall, species and phylogenetic priorities are more similar to each other than they are to functional priorities, and priorities for the different bird biodiversity facets are more similar than those of mammals. Our work shows that large gains in biodiversity protection are possible, while also highlighting the need to explicitly link desired conservation objectives and biodiversity metrics. We provide a framework and quantitative tools to advance these goals for multi-faceted biodiversity conservation.

  10. Community structure, biodiversity, and ecosystem services in treeline whitebark pine communities: Potential impacts from a non-native pathogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diana F. Tomback; Lynn M. Resler; Robert E. Keane; Elizabeth R. Pansing; Andrew J. Andrade; Aaron C. Wagner

    2016-01-01

    Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) has the largest and most northerly distribution of any white pine (Subgenus Strobus) in North America, encompassing 18° latitude and 21° longitude in western mountains. Within this broad range, however, whitebark pine occurs within a narrow elevational zone, including upper subalpine and treeline forests, and functions...

  11. SYNOPTIC ASSESSMENT OF WETLAND FUNCTION: A PLANNING TOOL FOR PROTECTION OF WETLAND SPECIES BIODIVERSITY

    Science.gov (United States)

    We present a synoptic assessment intended to maximize the benefits to wetland species biodiversity gained through Clean Water Act regulatory efforts within 225 sub-basins in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas (U.S. EPA, Region 7) USA. Our assessment provides a method for identif...

  12. Biodiversity recovery following delta-wide measures for flood risk reduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straatsma, Menno W; Bloecker, Alexandra M; Lenders, H J Rob; Leuven, Rob S E W; Kleinhans, Maarten G

    2017-11-01

    Biodiversity declined markedly over the past 150 years, with the biodiversity loss in fluvial ecosystems exceeding the global average. River restoration now aims at flood safety while enhancing biodiversity and has had success locally. However, at the scale of large river distributaries, the recovery remained elusive. We quantify changes in biodiversity of protected and endangered species over 15 years of river restoration in the embanked floodplains of an entire river delta. We distinguish seven taxonomic groups and four functional groups in more than 2 million field observations of species presence. Of all 179 fluvial floodplain sections examined, 137 showed an increase in biodiversity, particularly for fast-spreading species. Birds and mammals showed the largest increase, that is, +13 and +3 percentage point saturation of their potential based on habitat. This shows that flood risk interventions were successfully combined with enhancement of biodiversity, whereas flood stage decreased (-24 cm).

  13. Effects of a large scale nitrogen and phosphorous fertilization on the ecosystem functioning of a Mediterranean tree-grass ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migliavacca, Mirco; El Madany, Tarek; Perez-Priego, Oscar; Carrara, Arnaud; Hammer, Tiana; Henkel, Kathin; Kolle, Olaf; Luo, Yunpeng; Moreno, Gerardo; Morris, Kendalynn; Nair, Richard; Schrumpf, Marion; Wutzler, Thomas; Reichstein, Markus

    2017-04-01

    Recent studies have shown how human induced N/P imbalances affect essential ecosystem processes, and might be particularly important in water-limited ecosystems. In this contribution we will present results from an ecosystem scale nutrient manipulation experiment on a Mediterranean tree-grass ecosystem (Majadas del Tietar, Spain). Specifically, we will show how ecosystem functioning (e.g. light use efficiency, water use efficiency - WUE, albedo) changes as consequence of N and NP fertilization. A cluster of eddy covariance (EC) flux towers has been set up beside a long-term EC site (Control site) to measured high temporal resolution C and water fluxes between the ecosystem and the atmosphere. The sites were selected in a way to have similar pre-treatment conditions. Two out of three EC footprint areas (18 Ha) were fertilized with N and NP at the beginning of 2015 and 2016. To interpret the variations in C and water fluxes measured with the EC systems we monitored spatial and temporal variations in phenology, plant traits, species richness, and tree transpiration by using sap-flow meters, digital repeat photography, as well as soil sampling. The results show a consistent increase ( 15% compared to the Control site) in net ecosystem production (NEP) observed both in the N and the NP treatments. An increase of evapotranspiration (ET) of about 15% and 10% is observed in the N and NP site, respectively, indicating an increase of WUE in the NP treatment. The partitioning of the NEP into its gross components, the gross primary production (GPP) and the total ecosystem respiration (TER), show that the fertilization stimulated more GPP rather than TER, increasing therefore the capability of the ecosystem to act as carbon sink. The effects of fertilization are pronounced in spring and autumn and negligible in summer. This indicates that grass reacted much more than trees to N and NP addition. An increase of greenness and also an earlier green-up of grass in the N and NP sites

  14. Structural and functional characteristics of buffer strip vegetation in an agricultural landscape - high potential for nutrient removal but low potential for plant biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hille, Sandra; Andersen, Dagmar Kappel; Kronvang, Brian; Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette

    2018-07-01

    Vegetated buffer strips constitute a transition zone between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and provide several ecosystem services. Buffer strips are often applied as a mitigation measure against diffuse pollution in agricultural areas, primarily because they may retain nutrients and in this way help protect the aquatic environment. Additionally, they can improve biodiversity in an otherwise homogenous landscape and may therefore have a value in their own right. In the present study, we characterized the structural and functional features of the vegetation in Danish buffer strips using a nationwide dataset to explore: i) their floristic quality in terms of species diversity and conservation value and ii) based on their functional characteristics, their potential to retain nutrients. Moreover, we analyzed how the structural and functional characteristics varied along gradients in the environmental features of the catchment. We found that the floristic quality of the buffer vegetation was generally low, exhibiting an average of only 3.3% of the number of species of conservation interest. Instead, Danish buffer strips were dominated by widespread and productive species that are tolerant of anthropogenic impacts in the catchment. The abundance of highly productive plant species was positively related to high intensity land use, whereas the abundance of stress-tolerant plant species was positively related to low intensity land use. The high productivity of the buffer strips implies a large bio-storage potential, and these areas might therefore offer an opportunity to remove nutrients by harvesting the plant biomass. We discuss how Danish buffer strips could be exploited via appropriate management (e.g. harvesting) to maximize nutrient retention and at the same time improve floristic quality. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Liko Na Pilina: Developing Novel Ecosystems that Enhance Carbon Storage, Native Biodiversity, and Human Mobility in Lowland Hawaiian Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-08

    of site-based biomass removal: selected sawn logs intended for intact uses such as construction ; wood chips for plywood and other composites; and... Ecology 28: 1256–1265. Chave, J., D. Coomes, S. Jansen, S.L. Lewis, N.G. Swenson, and A.E. Zanne. 2009. Towards a worldwide wood economics... ecological theory concerning complementary and redundant trait space within plant communities. We hypothesized that this higher functional diversity

  16. Modelling and mapping of spatial differentiated impacts of nitrogen input to ecosystems within the framework of the UNECE-Convention of Air Pollution Prevention. Part II. The model BERN - assessment of vegetation change and biodiversity; Modellierung und Kartierung raeumlich differenzierter Wirkungen von Stickstoffeintraegen in Oekosysteme im Rahmen der UNECE-Luftreinhaltekonvention. Teilbericht II. Das BERN-Modell - ein Bewertungsmodell fuer die oberirdische Biodiversitaet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nagel, Hans-Dieter; Schlutow, Angela; Kraft, Philipp; Scheuschner, Thomas; Weigelt-Kirchner, Regine [OEKO-DATA - Ecosystem Analysis and Environmental Data Management, Strausberg (Germany)

    2010-03-15

    Semi-natural ecosystems are exposed to high atmospheric deposition for decades. In contrary to sulphur deposition which could be significantly reduced due to international conventions on air pollution prevention during the last decades, deposition of both, reduced and oxidized nitrogen is still on a very high level in average 40 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} in forest ecosystems in Germany. The FuE-Project ''Modelling and mapping of spatial differentiated impacts of nitrogen input to ecosystems within the framework of the UNECE - Convention of Air Pollution Prevention'' was jointly conducted by 4 partner institutions and studied impacts of atmospheric nitrogen deposition and climate change on physicochemical properties of forest soils, nutrient storage and nutrient export (Karlsruhe Research Centre, IMK-IFU) as well as biodiversity of vegetation (OEKO-DATA and Waldkundeinstitut Eberswalde) and soil organisms (Giessen University). Work carried out at OEKO-DATA initially concentrated on the development of the BERN-model. About 14 585 vegetation inventories from all over Germany and other 2 914 relevant inventories evaluated from neighboring countries were integrated in BERN database. With this model, the vegetation changes as a function of variations in the location conditions could be identified due to the implementation of the corresponding time series of geochemical and climate parameters from MoBiLE. A validation of the MoBiLE-BERN-coupling was carried out at Level II sites. From the dynamics of the vegetation development in the context of location changes could be derived critical loads and limits. Also the current regeneration potential as well as a harmonious natural balance of location factors could be determined. Likewise, the potential of danger to biodiversity and the livelihood opportunities of plant species or societies could be demonstrated. The most distinct dependence of biodiversity change could be detected on the alterations of

  17. Upscaling key ecosystem functions across the conterminous United States by a water‐centric ecosystem model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge Sun; Peter Caldwell; Asko Noormets; Steven G. McNulty; Erika Cohen; al. et.

    2011-01-01

    We developed a water‐centric monthly scale simulation model (WaSSI‐C) by integrating empirical water and carbon flux measurements from the FLUXNET network and an existing water supply and demand accounting model (WaSSI). The WaSSI‐C model was evaluated with basin‐scale evapotranspiration (ET), gross ecosystem productivity (GEP), and net ecosystem exchange (NEE)...

  18. Habitats as surrogates of taxonomic and functional fish assemblages in coral reef ecosystems: a critical analysis of factors driving effectiveness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Van Wynsberge

    Full Text Available Species check-lists are helpful to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs and protect local richness, endemicity, rarity, and biodiversity in general. However, such exhaustive taxonomic lists (i.e., true surrogate of biodiversity require extensive and expensive censuses, and the use of estimator surrogates (e.g., habitats is an appealing alternative. In truth, surrogate effectiveness appears from the literature highly variable both in marine and terrestrial ecosystems, making it difficult to provide practical recommendations for managers. Here, we evaluate how the biodiversity reference data set and its inherent bias can influence effectiveness. Specifically, we defined habitats by geomorphology, rugosity, and benthic cover and architecture criteria, and mapped them with satellite images for a New-Caledonian site. Fish taxonomic and functional lists were elaborated from Underwater Visual Censuses, stratified according to geomorphology and exposure. We then tested if MPA networks designed to maximize habitat richness, diversity and rarity could also effectively maximize fish richness, diversity, and rarity. Effectiveness appeared highly sensitive to the fish census design itself, in relation to the type of habitat map used and the scale of analysis. Spatial distribution of habitats (estimator surrogate's distribution, quantity and location of fish census stations (target surrogate's sampling, and random processes in the MPA design all affected effectiveness to the point that one small change in the data set could lead to opposite conclusions. We suggest that previous conclusions on surrogacy effectiveness, either positive or negative, marine or terrestrial, should be considered with caution, except in instances where very dense data sets were used without pseudo-replication. Although this does not rule out the validity of using surrogates of species lists for conservation planning, the critical joint examination of both target and estimator

  19. Chapter Four : Towards an Integration of Biodiversity–Ecosystem Functioning and Food Web Theory to Evaluate Relationships between Multiple Ecosystem Services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hines, J.; Putten, van der W.H.; Deyn, de G.B.; Wagg, C.; Voigt, W.; Mulder, C.; Weisser, W.W.; Engel, J.; Melian, C.; Scheu, S.; Birkhofer, K.; Ebeling, A.; Scherber, C.; Eisenhauer, N.

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem responses to changes in species diversity are often studied individually. However, changes in species diversity can simultaneously influence multiple interdependent ecosystem functions. Therefore, an important challenge is to determine when and how changes in species diversity that

  20. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche-efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jingjing; Zhou, Mo; Tobin, Patrick C; McGuire, A David; Reich, Peter B

    2015-05-05

    The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems. Previous research has focused on the positive role of biodiversity on resource acquisition (i.e., niche complementarity), but a lack of study on resource utilization efficiency, a link between resource and productivity, has rendered it difficult to quantify the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. Here we demonstrate that biodiversity loss reduces plant productivity, other things held constant, through theory, empirical evidence, and simulations under gradually relaxed assumptions. We developed a theoretical model named niche-efficiency to integrate niche complementarity and a heretofore-ignored mechanism of diminishing marginal productivity in quantifying the effects of biodiversity loss on plant productivity. Based on niche-efficiency, we created a relative productivity metric and a productivity impact index (PII) to assist in biological conservation and resource management. Relative productivity provides a standardized measure of the influence of biodiversity on individual productivity, and PII is a functionally based taxonomic index to assess individual species' inherent value in maintaining current ecosystem productivity. Empirical evidence from the Alaska boreal forest suggests that every 1% reduction in overall plant diversity could render an average of 0.23% decline in individual tree productivity. Out of the 283 plant species of the region, we found that large woody plants generally have greater PII values than other species. This theoretical model would facilitate the integration of biological conservation in the international campaign against several pressing global issues involving energy use, climate change, and poverty.

  1. Soil Functional Zone Management: A Vehicle for Enhancing Production and Soil Ecosystem Services in Row-Crop Agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Alwyn; Kane, Daniel A; Ewing, Patrick M; Atwood, Lesley W; Jilling, Andrea; Li, Meng; Lou, Yi; Davis, Adam S; Grandy, A Stuart; Huerd, Sheri C; Hunter, Mitchell C; Koide, Roger T; Mortensen, David A; Smith, Richard G; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Spokas, Kurt A; Yannarell, Anthony C; Jordan, Nicholas R

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing global demand for food, bioenergy feedstocks and a wide variety of bio-based products. In response, agriculture has advanced production, but is increasingly depleting soil regulating and supporting ecosystem services. New production systems have emerged, such as no-tillage, that can enhance soil services but may limit yields. Moving forward, agricultural systems must reduce trade-offs between production and soil services. Soil functional zone management (SFZM) is a novel strategy for developing sustainable production systems that attempts to integrate the benefits of conventional, intensive agriculture, and no-tillage. SFZM creates distinct functional zones within crop row and inter-row spaces. By incorporating decimeter-scale spatial and temporal heterogeneity, SFZM attempts to foster greater soil biodiversity and integrate complementary soil processes at the sub-field level. Such integration maximizes soil services by creating zones of 'active turnover', optimized for crop growth and yield (provisioning services); and adjacent zones of 'soil building', that promote soil structure development, carbon storage, and moisture regulation (regulating and supporting services). These zones allow SFZM to secure existing agricultural productivity while avoiding or minimizing trade-offs with soil ecosystem services. Moreover, the specific properties of SFZM may enable sustainable increases in provisioning services via temporal intensification (expanding the portion of the year during which harvestable crops are grown). We present a conceptual model of 'virtuous cycles', illustrating how increases in crop yields within SFZM systems could create self-reinforcing feedback processes with desirable effects, including mitigation of trade-offs between yield maximization and soil ecosystem services. Through the creation of functionally distinct but interacting zones, SFZM may provide a vehicle for optimizing the delivery of multiple goods and services in

  2. Soil functional zone management: a vehicle for enhancing production and soil ecosystem services in row-crop agroecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alwyn eWilliams

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available There is increasing global demand for food, bioenergy feedstocks and a wide variety of bio-based products. In response, agriculture has advanced production, but is increasingly depleting soil regulating and supporting ecosystem services. New production systems have emerged, such as no-tillage, that can enhance soil services but may limit yields. Moving forward, agricultural systems must reduce trade-offs between production and soil services. Soil functional zone management (SFZM is a novel strategy for developing sustainable production systems that attempts to integrate the benefits of conventional, intensive agriculture and no-tillage. SFZM creates distinct functional zones within crop row and inter-row spaces. By incorporating decimetre-scale spatial and temporal heterogeneity, SFZM attempts to foster greater soil biodiversity and integrate complementary soil processes at the sub-field level. Such integration maximizes soil services by creating zones of ‘active turnover’, optimized for crop growth and yield (provisioning services; and adjacent zones of ‘soil building’, that promote soil structure development, carbon storage and moisture regulation (regulating and supporting services. These zones allow SFZM to secure existing agricultural productivity while avoiding or minimizing trade-offs with soil ecosystem services. Moreover, the specific properties of SFZM may enable sustainable increases in provisioning services via temporal intensification (expanding the portion of the year during which harvestable crops are grown. We present a conceptual model of ‘virtuous cycles’, illustrating how increases in crop yields within SFZM systems could create self-reinforcing feedback processes with desirable effects, including mitigation of trade-offs between yield maximization and soil ecosystem services. Through the creation of functionally distinct but interacting zones, SFZM may provide a vehicle for optimizing the delivery of multiple

  3. Rapidly restoring biological soil crusts and ecosystem functions in a severely disturbed desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Abella, Scott R; Bowker, Matthew A

    2016-06-01

    Restoring biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in degraded drylands can contribute to recovery of ecosystem functions that have global implications, including erosion resistance and nutrient cycling. To examine techniques for restoring biocrusts, we conducted a replicated, factorial experiment on recently abandoned road surfaces by applying biocrust inoculation (salvaged and stored dry for two years), salvaged topsoil, an abiotic soil amendment (wood shavings), and planting of a dominant perennial shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Eighteen months after treatments, we measured biocrust abundance and species composition, soil chlorophyll a content and fertility, and soil resistance to erosion. Biocrust addition significantly accelerated biocrust recovery on disturbed soils, including increasing lichen and moss cover and cyanobacteria colonization. Compared to undisturbed controls, inoculated plots had similar lichen and moss composition, recovered 43% of total cyanobacteria density, had similar soil chlorophyll content, and exhibited recovery of soil fertility and soil stability. Inoculation was the only treatment that generated lichen and moss cover. Topsoil application resulted in partial recovery of the cyanobacteria community and soil properties. Compared to untreated disturbed plots, topsoil application without inoculum increased cyanobacteria density by 186% and moderately improved soil chlorophyll and ammonium content and soil stability. Topsoil application produced 22% and 51% of the cyanobacteria density g⁻¹ soil compared to undisturbed and inoculated plots, respectively. Plots not treated with either topsoil or inoculum had significantly lower cyanobacteria density, soil chlorophyll and ammonium concentrations, and significantly higher soil nitrate concentration. Wood shavings and Ambrosia had no influence on biocrust lichen and moss species recovery but did affect cyanobacteria composition and soil fertility. Inoculation of severely disturbed soil with native

  4. Climate change drives a shift in peatland ecosystem plant community: implications for ecosystem function and stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieleman, Catherine M; Branfireun, Brian A; McLaughlin, James W; Lindo, Zoë

    2015-01-01

    The composition of a peatland plant community has considerable effect on a range of ecosystem functions. Peatland plant community structure is predicted to change under future climate change, making the quantification of the direction and magnitude of this change a research priority. We subjected intact, replicated vegetated poor fen peat monoliths to elevated temperatures, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), and two water table levels in a factorial design to determine the individual and synergistic effects of climate change factors on the poor fen plant community composition. We identify three indicators of a regime shift occurring in our experimental poor fen system under climate change: nonlinear decline of Sphagnum at temperatures 8 °C above ambient conditions, concomitant increases in Carex spp. at temperatures 4 °C above ambient conditions suggesting a weakening of Sphagnum feedbacks on peat accumulation, and increased variance of the plant community composition and pore water pH through time. A temperature increase of +4 °C appeared to be a threshold for increased vascular plant abundance; however the magnitude of change was species dependent. Elevated temperature combined with elevated CO2 had a synergistic effect on large graminoid species abundance, with a 15 times increase as compared to control conditions. Community analyses suggested that the balance between dominant plant species was tipped from Sphagnum to a graminoid-dominated system by the combination of climate change factors. Our findings indicate that changes in peatland plant community composition are likely under future climate change conditions, with a demonstrated shift toward a dominance of graminoid species in poor fens. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Biodiversity effects of benthic ecosystem engineers on the spatial patterns of sediment CH4 concentration in an urban Neotropical coastal lagoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriano Caliman

    Full Text Available AIM: Biodiversity of sediment bioturbators has been shown to be important for to the magnitude and stability of benthic-pelagic processes. However, no study to date has evaluated the importance of the biodiversity of benthic invertebrate bioturbators to the spatial patterns of sediment CH4 concentration ([CH4]. Here we conducted a laboratorial experiment to test the following predictions: (1 Bioturbator species richness will reduce the sediment [CH4]; (2 individual bioturbator species (i.e. species composition will have different effects on sediment [CH4]; (3 and both the effects of bioturbator species richness and composition on sediment [CH4] will be dependent on sediment depth. METHODS: We manipulated the number and composition of three functional divergent benthic invertebrate bioturbators species that are widespread in South Atlantic coastal lagoons, in laboratorial sediment chambers containing the sediment and water of an urban impacted coastal lagoon RESULTS: Bioturbator species richness had no overall significant effect on sediment [CH4] when comparisons of sediment [CH4] were made among species richness levels. However, bioturbator species richness significantly reduced sediment [CH4] when species richness levels were compared to the control (defaunated treatments, but this effect was significant only at the deepest sediment layer. Furthermore, bioturbator species composition had significant, but distinct effects on the patterns of reduction in sediment [CH4], depending on the sediment depth and the bioturbator species. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that both the number and composition of bioturbator species are important to determine the effects of benthic bioturbators on spatial patterns of sediment [CH4], but the strength of these effects depend on species traits that determine interspecific interactions strength across the sediment vertical niche space.

  6. The use of soil quality indicators to assess soil functionality in restored semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    . Soil microbial activity was measured with the 1-day CO2 test, a cost-effective and rapid method to determine soil microbial respiration rate based on the measurement of the CO2 burst produced after moistening dry soil (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016). Soil microbial abundance of specific groups was measured by phospholipid fatty acid analysis. Results and discussion We showed that in addition to organic C and C:N ratio, biological indicators (microbial diversity and activity in particular), are the most sensitive indicators to detect differences among reconstructed soils and analogue undisturbed soils in semi-arid areas. The 1-day CO2 test is an alternative cost- and time-effective method to measure microbial activity and assess soil functionality of restored soils. Our results also showed a positive effect of vegetation on reconstructed soils and a recovery of soil functionality in waste material to levels similar to topsoil once vegetation is established, although soil quality levels are still far from those in undisturbed native soils four years post-restoration. Soil functionality is critical in the restoration process, particularly in semi-arid areas, and the methods used here could be effectively applied in a broad range of restoration projects in arid and semi-arid environments. References Costantini EAC, Branquinho C, Nunes A, Schwilch G, Stavi I, Valdecantos A and Zucca C (2015) Soil indicators to assess the effectiveness of restoration strategies in dryland ecosystems. Solid Earth Discussions 7:3645-3687. James JJ, Sheley RL, EricksonT, Rollins KS, Taylor MH, Dixon KW (2013) A systems approach to restoring degraded drylands. Journal of Applied Ecology 50:730-739. Muñoz-Rojas M., Erickson T, Merritt D, Dixon K (2014) Optimising post-mining soil conditions to maximise restoration success in a biodiverse semiarid environment. Geophysical Research. Abstracts Vol. 16, EGU2014-2069-1, EGU General Assembly. Muñoz-Rojas M, Erickson T, Merritt D, Dixon K (2015) Applying

  7. Forest Resilience, Biodiversity, and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    I. Thompson; B. Mackey; S. McNulty; A. Mosseler

    2009-01-01

    This paper reviews the concepts of ecosystem resilience, resistance, and stability in forests and their relationship to biodiversity, with particular reference to climate change. The report is a direct response to a request by the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, in decision IX/51, to explore the links between biodiversity, forest ecosystem...

  8. Climate change: potential implications for Ireland's biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Alison

    2018-03-01

    A national biodiversity and climate change adaptation plan is being developed for Ireland by the Department of Communications, Climate Action, and Environment. In order to inform such a plan, it was necessary to review and synthesize some of the recent literature pertaining to the impact of climate change on biodiversity in Ireland. Published research on this topic fell within three broad categories: (i) changes in the timing of life-cycle events (phenology) of plants, birds, and insects; (ii) changes in the geographic range of some bird species; and (iii) changes in the suitable climatic zones of key habitats and species. The synthesis revealed evidence of (i) a trend towards earlier spring activity of plants, birds, and insects which may result in a change in ecosystem function; (ii) an increase in the number of bird species; and (iii) both increases and decreases in the suitable climatic area of key habitats and species, all of which are expected to impact Ireland's future biodiversity. This process identified data gaps and limitations in available information both of which could be used to inform a focused research strategy. In addition, it raises awareness of the potential implications of climate change for biodiversity in Ireland and elsewhere and demonstrates the need for biodiversity conservation plans to factor climate change into future designs.

  9. Modelling and mapping of spatial differentiated impacts of nitrogen input to ecosystems within the framework of the UNECE-Convention of Air Pollution Prevention. Part III. Modelling the effects of N-deposition on the biodiversity of plant communities in temperate forests; Modellierung und Kartierung raeumlich differenzierter Wirkungen von Stickstoffeintraegen in Oekosysteme im Rahmen der UNECE-Luftreinhaltekonvention. Teilbericht III. Modellierung der Wirkung der Stickstoff-Deposition auf die biologische Vielfalt der Pflanzengesellschaften von Waeldern der gemaessigten Breiten

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jenssen, Martin [Waldkunde-Institut Eberswalde GmbH - W.I.E., Bad Freienwalde (Oder) (Germany)

    2010-03-15

    Semi-natural ecosystems are exposed to high atmospheric deposition for decades. In contrary to sulphur deposition which could be significantly reduced due to international conventions on air pollution prevention during the last decades, deposition of both, reduced and oxidized nitrogen is still on a very high level in average 40 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} in forest ecosystems in Germany. The FuE-Project ''Modelling and mapping of spatial differentiated impacts of nitrogen input to ecosystems within the framework of the UNECE - Convention of Air Pollution Prevention'' was jointly conducted by 4 partner institutions and studied impacts of atmospheric nitrogen deposition and climate change on physico-chemical properties of forest soils, nutrient storage and nutrient export (Karlsruhe Research Centre, IMK-IFU) as well as biodiversity of vegetation (OeKO-DATA and Institute for Forest Science Eberswalde) and soil organisms (Giessen University). Work carried out at the Institute for Forest Science Eberswalde concentrated on modeling the effect of N-deposition on plant biodiversity in forests of the Northeast German lowlands. The model approach is based on 722 probability density functions modeling the distribution of about 400 plant species over chemical top-soil parameters C/N-ratio and pH-value. On this base an indicator value model was developed and applied to the analysis of forest vegetation dynamics due to N-deposition-induced top soil dynamics since the middle of the last century. Threshold values for deposition-induced changes of top soil were derived for most important forest ecosystems types on sites not influenced by ground water. These threshold values correspond to four different classes of endangering of plant biodiversity. Coupling with the biogeochemical process model of IMK-IFU yielded projections of endangering of plant biodiversity for selected forest sites up to the year 2050. (orig.)

  10. Intensive agriculture reduces soil biodiversity across Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsiafouli, Maria A; Thébault, Elisa; Sgardelis, Stefanos P; de Ruiter, Peter C; van der Putten, Wim H; Birkhofer, Klaus; Hemerik, Lia; de Vries, Franciska T; Bardgett, Richard D; Brady, Mark Vincent; Bjornlund, Lisa; Jørgensen, Helene Bracht; Christensen, Sören; Hertefeldt, Tina D'; Hotes, Stefan; Gera Hol, W H; Frouz, Jan; Liiri, Mira; Mortimer, Simon R; Setälä, Heikki; Tzanopoulos, Joseph; Uteseny, Karoline; Pižl, Václav; Stary, Josef; Wolters, Volkmar; Hedlund, Katarina

    2015-02-01

    Soil biodiversity plays a key role in regulating the processes that underpin the delivery of ecosystem goods and services in terrestrial ecosystems. Agricultural intensification is known to change the diversity of individual groups of soil biota, but less is known about how intensification affects biodiversity of the soil food web as a whole, and whether or not these effects may be generalized across regions. We examined biodiversity in soil food webs from grasslands, extensive, and intensive rotations in four agricultural regions across Europe: in Sweden, the UK, the Czech Republic and Greece. Effects of land-use intensity were quantified based on structure and diversity among functional groups in the soil food web, as well as on community-weighted mean body mass of soil fauna. We also elucidate land-use intensity effects on diversity of taxonomic units within taxonomic groups of soil fauna. We found that between regions soil food web diversity measures were variable, but that increasing land-use intensity caused highly consistent responses. In particular, land-use intensification reduced the complexity in the soil food webs, as well as the community-weighted mean body mass of soil fauna. In all regions across Europe, species richness of earthworms, Collembolans, and oribatid mites was negatively affected by increased land-use intensity. The taxonomic distinctness, which is a measure of taxonomic relatedness of species in a community that is independent of species richness, was also reduced by land-use intensification. We conclude that intensive agriculture reduces soil biodiversity, making soil food webs less diverse and composed of smaller bodied organisms. Land-use intensification results in fewer functional groups of soil biota with fewer and taxonomically more closely related species. We discuss how these changes in soil biodiversity due to land-use intensification may threaten the functioning of soil in agricultural production systems. © 2014 John Wiley

  11. The Italian forest sites of FunDivEUROPE: a new FP7 project on the functional significance of forest biodiversity in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bussotti F

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The Italian forest sites of FunDivEUROPE: a new FP7 project on the functional significance of forest biodiversity in Europe. FunDivEUROPE is a new project aiming at a deeper understanding of the role of forest diversity on ecosystem functions and service provisioning for society. This project combines three scientific platforms: experimental, exploratory and inventory. The exploratory platform is based on the observation of a broad range of properties, traits and ecological processes on a network of ca. 240 natural forest sites representing a gradient of tree species diversity in six focal regions of Europe (Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland, Finland and Romania. The Italian sites are located on the hills of central and Southern Tuscany and represent the category “thermophilous deciduous forest”. Almost one year of fieldwork was needed to select and characterize 36 plots measuring 30 x 30 m. Selection was based on criteria concerning tree mixtures and richness, structural parameters and main environmental variables. The main features of these sites are synthetically presented in this paper together with a short description of the project structure and scope. The aim is also to enhance dissemination of the potential implications for a sustainable forest management in Italy.

  12. Evaluating Temporal Consistency in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots

    OpenAIRE

    Piacenza, Susan E.; Thurman, Lindsey L.; Barner, Allison K.; Benkwitt, Cassandra E.; Boersma, Kate S.; Cerny-Chipman, Elizabeth B.; Ingeman, Kurt E.; Kindinger, Tye L.; Lindsley, Amy J.; Nelson, Jake; Reimer, Jessica N.; Rowe, Jennifer C.; Shen, Chenchen; Thompson, Kevin A.; Heppell, Selina S.

    2015-01-01

    With the ongoing crisis of biodiversity loss and limited resources for conservation, the concept of biodiversity hotspots has been useful in determining conservation priority areas. However, there has been limited research into how temporal variability in biodiversity may influence conservation area prioritization. To address this information gap, we present an approach to evaluate the temporal consistency of biodiversity hotspots in large marine ecosystems. Using a large scale, public monito...

  13. Microplastic moves pollutants and additives to worms, reducing functions linked to health and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, Mark Anthony; Niven, Stewart J; Galloway, Tamara S; Rowland, Steve J; Thompson, Richard C

    2013-12-02

    Inadequate products, waste management, and policy are struggling to prevent plastic waste from infiltrating ecosystems [1, 2]. Disintegration into smaller pieces means that the abundance of micrometer-sized plastic (microplastic) in habitats has increased [3] and outnumbers larger debris [2, 4]. When ingested by animals, plastic provides a feasible pathway to transfer attached pollutants and additive chemicals into their tissues [5-15]. Despite positive correlations between concentrations of ingested plastic and pollutants in tissues of animals, few, if any, controlled experiments have examined whether ingested plastic transfers pollutants and additives to animals. We exposed lugworms (Arenicola marina) to sand with 5% microplastic that was presorbed with pollutants (nonylphenol and phenanthrene) and additive chemicals (Triclosan and PBDE-47). Microplastic transferred pollutants and additive chemicals into gut tissues of lugworms, causing some biological effects, although clean sand transferred larger concentrations of pollutants into their tissues. Uptake of nonylphenol from PVC or sand reduced the ability of coelomocytes to remove pathogenic bacteria by >60%. Uptake of Triclosan from PVC diminished the ability of worms to engineer sediments and caused mortality, each by >55%, while PVC alone made worms >30% more susceptible to oxidative stress. As global microplastic contamination accelerates, our findings indicate that large concentrations of microplastic and additives can harm ecophysiological functions performed by organisms. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Biodiversity and functional regeneration during secondary succession in a tropical dry forest: from microorganisms to mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    do Espírito Santo, M. M.; Neves, F. S.; Valério, H. M.; Leite, L. O.; Falcão, L. A.; Borges, M.; Beirão, M.; Reis, R., Jr.; Berbara, R.; Nunes, Y. R.; Silva, A.; Silva, L. F.; Siqueira, P. R.

    2015-12-01

    In this study, we aimed to determine the changes on soil traits, forest structure and species richness and composition of multiple groups of organisms along secondary succession in a tropical dry forest (TDF) in southeastern Brazil. We defined three successional stages based in forest vertical and horizontal structure and age: early (18-25 years), intermediate (50-60 years) and late (no records of clearing). Five plots of 50 x 20 m were established per stage, and the following groups were sampled using specific techniques: rhizobacteria, mycorrhiza, trees and lianas, butterflies, ants, dung beetles, mosquitoes (Culicidae), birds and bats. We also determined soil chemical and physical characteristics and forest structure (tree height, density and basal area). Soil fertility increased along the successional gradient, and the same pattern was observed for all the forest structure variables. However, species richness and composition showed mixed results depending on the organism group. Three groups usually considered as good bioindicators of habitat quality did not differ in species richness and composition between stages: butterflies, ants and dung beetles. On the other hand, rizhobacteria and mycorrhiza differed both in species richness and composition between stages and may be more sensitive to changes in environmental conditions in TDFs. The other five groups differed either in species richness or composition between one or two pairs of successional stages. Although changes in abiotic conditions and forest structure match the predictions of classical successional models, the response of each group of organism is idiosyncratic in terms of diversity and ecological function, as a consequence of specific resource requirements and life-history traits. In general, diversity increased and functional groups changed mostly from early to intermediate-late stages, strengthening the importance of secondary forests to the maintenance of ecosystem integrity of TDFs.

  15. Biodiversity and models of evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. L. Podvalny

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Summary. The paper discusses the evolutionary impact of biodiversity, the backbone of noosphere, which status has been fixed by a UN convention. The examples and role of such diversity are considered the various levels of life arrangement. On the level of standalone organisms, the diversity in question manifests itself in the differentiation and separation of the key physiologic functions which significantly broaden the eco-niche for the species with the consummate type of such separation. However, the organismic level of biodiversity does not work for building any developmental models since the starting point of genetic inheritance and variability processes emerges on the minimum structural unit of the living world only, i.e. the population. It is noted that the sufficient gene pool for species development may accumulate in fairly large populations only, where the general rate of mutation does not yield to the rate of ambient variations. The paper shows that the known formal models of species development based on the Fisher theorem about the impact of genodispersion on species adjustment are not in keeping with the actual existence of the species due to the conventionally finite and steady number of genotypes within a population. On the ecosystem level of life arrangement, the key role pertains to the taxonomic diversity supporting the continuous food chain in the system against any adverse developmental conditions of certain taxons. Also, the progressive evolution of an ecosystem is largely stabilized by its multilayer hierarchic structure and the closed circle of matter and energy. The developmental system models based on the Lotka-Volterra equations describing the interaction of the open-loop ecosystem elements only insufficiently represent the position of biodiversity in the evolutionary processes. The paper lays down the requirements to such models which take into account the mass balance within a system; its trophic structure; the

  16. The role of plant functional trade-offs for biodiversity changes and biome shifts under scenarios of global climatic change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Reu

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The global geographic distribution of biodiversity and biomes is determined by species-specific physiological tolerances to climatic constraints. Current vegetation models employ empirical bioclimatic relationships to predict present-day vegetation patterns and to forecast biodiversity changes and biome shifts under climatic change. In this paper, we consider trade-offs in plant functioning and their responses under climatic changes to forecast and explain changes in plant functional richness and shifts in biome geographic distributions.

    The Jena Diversity model (JeDi simulates plant survival according to essential plant functional trade-offs, including ecophysiological processes such as water uptake, photosynthesis, allocation, reproduction and phenology. We use JeDi to quantify changes in plant functional richness and biome shifts between present-day and a range of possible future climates from two SRES emission scenarios (A2 and B1 and seven global climate models using metrics of plant functional richness and functional identity.

    Our results show (i a significant loss of plant functional richness in the tropics, (ii an increase in plant functional richness at mid and high latitudes, and (iii a pole-ward shift of biomes. While these results are consistent with the findings of empirical approaches, we are able to explain them in terms of the plant functional trade-offs involved in the allocation, metabolic and reproduction strategies of plants. We conclude that general aspects of plant physiological tolerances can be derived from functional trade-offs, which may provide a useful process- and trait-based alternative to bioclimatic relationships. Such a mechanistic approach may be particularly relevant when addressing vegetation responses to climatic changes that encounter novel combinations of climate parameters that do not exist under contemporary climate.

  17. Strategies for conservation of endangered ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ashraf, M.; Hussain, M.; Ahmad, M.S.A.

    2012-01-01

    The planet Earth is known to host a rich biodiversity owing to its suitable environmental conditions for life and at a larger scale it is regarded as a major ecosystem. Healthy existence of living organisms in this ecosystem depends on proper functioning of all the associated environmental factors. Since millennia, living organisms have adapted to thrive under a limited range of environmental conditions. Nevertheless previous history of the earth and fossil records indicates that the biodiversity housed by the planet earth has experienced five major catastrophic extinctions due to change in physical environment. Even currently, it is undergoing sixth major extinction event mainly due to anthropogenic activities. The human activities are proving a dual menace for biodiversity. On the one hand, it is causing habitat loss through intensive deforestation, conversion of different natural plant communities for agriculture, and urbanization and industrialization. Moreover, it is resulting in habitat degradation by polluting both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, emitting air pollutants resulting in acid rains, ozone layer depletion, global warming, heavy metal contamination and eutrophication of water bodies. As a result, healthy existence of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and their associated biodiversity is altogether threatened. Worldwide efforts are underway to conserve the threatened ecosystems and their related biodiversity. A number of international conventions have been held to conserve natural ecosystems. Pakistan being a signatory of these conventions has its obligation to join hands with international community to conserve the endangered ecosystems within as well as outside its bounds. Under the existing scenario the objective of organizing this symposium was to pinpoint the threats to endangered ecosystems of the world in general and those in Pakistan in particular, and to develop suitable strategies for conservation of such paralyzed ecosystems

  18. Ecosystem Functions Connecting Contributions from Ecosystem Services to Human Wellbeing in a Mangrove System in Northern Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Hwey-Lian; Lin, Hsing-Juh; Shih, Shang-Shu; Chen, Chang-Po

    2015-06-09

    The present study examined a mangrove ecosystem in northern Taiwan to determine how the various components of ecosystem function, ecosystem services and human wellbeing are connected. The overall contributions of mangrove services to specific components of human wellbeing were also assessed. A network was developed and evaluated by an expert panel consisting of hydrologists, ecologists, and experts in the field of culture, landscape or architecture. The results showed that supporting habitats was the most important function to human wellbeing, while water quality, habitable climate, air quality, recreational opportunities, and knowledge systems were services that were strongly linked to human welfare. Security of continuous supply of services appeared to be the key to a comfortable life. From a bottom-up and top-down perspective, knowledge systems (a service) were most supported by ecosystem functions, while the security of continuous supply of services (wellbeing) had affected the most services. In addition, the overall benefits of mangrove services to human prosperity concentrated on mental health, security of continuous supply of services, and physical health.

  19. Ecosystem Functions Connecting Contributions from Ecosystem Services to Human Wellbeing in a Mangrove System in Northern Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hwey-Lian Hsieh

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study examined a mangrove ecosystem in northern Taiwan to determine how the various components of ecosystem function, ecosystem services and human wellbeing are connected. The overall contributions of mangrove services to specific components of human wellbeing were also assessed. A network was developed and evaluated by an expert panel consisting of hydrologists, ecologists, and experts in the field of culture, landscape or architecture. The results showed that supporting habitats was the most important function to human wellbeing, while water quality, habitable climate, air quality, recreational opportunities, and knowledge systems were services that were strongly linked to human welfare. Security of continuous supply of services appeared to be the key to a comfortable life. From a bottom-up and top-down perspective, knowledge systems (a service were most supported by ecosystem functions, while the security of continuous supply of services (wellbeing had affected the most services. In addition, the overall benefits of mangrove services to human prosperity concentrated on mental health, security of continuous supply of services, and physical health.

  20. Partitioning inter annual variability in net ecosystem exchange between climatic variability and functional change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hui, D.; Luo, Y.; Katul, G.

    2003-01-01

    Inter annual variability in net ecosystem exchange of carbon is investigated using a homogeneity-of-slopes model to identify the function change contributing to inter annual variability, net ecosystem carbon exchange, and night-time ecosystem respiration. Results of employing this statistical approach to a data set collected at the Duke Forest AmeriFlux site from August 1997 to December 2001 are discussed. The results demonstrate that it is feasible to partition the variation in ecosystem carbon fluxes into direct effects of seasonal and inter annual climatic variability and functional change. 51 refs., 4 tabs., 5 figs

  1. Structural and Functional Diversity of Weed Species in Organic and Conventional Rice Agro-Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Y. Mousawi Toghani

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Diversity reflects the complexity of a system and can maintain its sustainability. Higherdiversity, results in higher inherent complexity of agro-ecosystems and strengthen their processes. It is necessary to realize the spatial distribution and temporal properties of the biodiversity components in agro-ecosystems, for the conservation and optimal utilization. Since weeds as a complementary component of agro-ecosystems and are inseparable, so the study of species, their functional and structural diversity of them can play an important role in weed management and balance in ecological systems. Materials and Methods This study was performed to determine the effects of different management systems on structural, and functional diversity of paddy weeds in Mazandaran province. Three rice fields, ranged from 0.3 to 0.5 ha, were chosen for each management system. Samples were collected from three fields running under each selected management system (organic and conventional. Data (number of weed species and their density were randomly gathered from 9 quadrates (1m×1m per each field in four stages (tillering, stem elongation, grain filling and after harvest. The diversity, evenness, frequency and similarity indices for weeds were determined at genera and species level. Data analysis carried out through T-test and grouping performed via cluster analysis as hierarchy. Results and Discussion All monitored weeds can be classified into four plant family including cereals (Poaceae, sedges (Cyperaceae, plantain (Plantaginaceae and chicory (Asteraceae.Under conventional systems the values of weed diversity indices were higher during tillering and stem elongation compared with organic ones, and were lower during grain filling and after harvest stages. However indices of weed evenness showed contrary tendency. Both Sympson and Shanon-Wiener diversity indices, consist of two clusters in 76% similarity. Evenness indices of Kamargo and Smith

  2. Soil ecosystem functioning under climate change: plant species and community effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kardol, Paul [ORNL; Cregger, Melissa [ORNL; Campany, Courtney E [ORNL; Classen, Aimee T [ORNL

    2010-01-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change depend on soil ecosystem dynamics. Soil ecosystems can directly and indirectly respond to climate change. For example, warming directly alters microbial communities by increasing their activity. Climate change may also alter plant community composition, thus indirectly altering the microbial communities that feed on their inputs. To better understand how climate change may directly and indirectly alter soil ecosystem functioning, we investigated old-field plant community and soil ecosystem responses to single and combined effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and water availability. Specifically, we collected soils at the plot level (plant community soils), and beneath dominant plant species (plant-specific soils). We used microbial enzyme activities and soil nematodes as indicators for soil ecosystem functioning. Our study resulted in two main findings: 1) Overall, while there were some interactions, water, relative to increases in [CO2] and warming, had the largest impact on plant community composition, soil enzyme activities, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in this case, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water availability. 2) Indirect effects of climate change, via changes in plant communities, had a significant impact on soil ecosystem functioning and this impact was not obvious when looking at plant community soils. Climate change effects on enzyme activities and soil nematode abundance and community structure strongly differed between plant community soils and plant-specific soils, but also within plant-specific soils. In sum, these results indicate that accurate assessments of climate change impacts on soil ecosystem functioning require incorporating the concurrent changes in plant function and plant community composition. Climate change-induced shifts in plant community composition will likely modify or counteract the direct

  3. Towards a Stochastic Predictive Understanding of Ecosystem Functioning and Resilience to Environmental Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappas, C.

    2017-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem processes respond differently to hydrometeorological variability across timescales, and so does our scientific understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Process-based modeling of ecosystem functioning is therefore challenging, especially when long-term predictions are envisioned. Here we analyze the statistical properties of hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability, i.e., the variability of ecosystem process related to vegetation carbon dynamics, from hourly to decadal timescales. 23 extra-tropical forest sites, covering different climatic zones and vegetation characteristics, are examined. Micrometeorological and reanalysis data of precipitation, air temperature, shortwave radiation and vapor pressure deficit are used to describe hydrometeorological variability. Ecosystem variability is quantified using long-term eddy covariance flux data of hourly net ecosystem exchange of CO2 between land surface and atmosphere, monthly remote sensing vegetation indices, annual tree-ring widths and above-ground biomass increment estimates. We find that across sites and timescales ecosystem variability is confined within a hydrometeorological envelope that describes the range of variability of the available resources, i.e., water and energy. Furthermore, ecosystem variability demonstrates long-term persistence, highlighting ecological memory and slow ecosystem recovery rates after disturbances. We derive an analytical model, combining deterministic harmonics and stochastic processes, that represents major mechanisms and uncertainties and mimics the observed pattern of hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability. This stochastic framework offers a parsimonious and mathematically tractable approach for modelling ecosystem functioning and for understanding its response and resilience to environmental changes. Furthermore, this framework reflects well the observed ecological memory, an inherent property of ecosystem functioning that is currently not

  4. Towards global interoperability for supporting biodiversity research on Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kissling, W.D.; Hardisty, A.; García, E.A.; Santamaria, M.; De Leo, F.; Pesole, G.; Freyhof, J.; Manset, D.; Wissel, S.; Konijn, J.; Los, W.

    2015-01-01

    Essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) have been proposed by the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) to identify a minimum set of essential measurements that are required for studying, monitoring and reporting biodiversity and ecosystem change. Despite the initial

  5. Ecosystem approach in education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabiullin, Iskander

    2017-04-01

    Environmental education is a base for sustainable development. Therefore, in our school we pay great attention to environmental education. Environmental education in our school is based on ecosystem approach. What is an ecosystem approach? Ecosystem is a fundamental concept of ecology. Living organisms and their non-living environments interact with each other as a system, and the biosphere planet functions as a global ecosystem. Therefore, it is necessary for children to understand relationships in ecosystems, and we have to develop systems thinking in our students. Ecosystem approach and systems thinking should help us to solve global environmental problems. How do we implement the ecosystem approach? Students must understand that our biosphere functions as a single ecosystem and even small changes can lead to environmental disasters. Even the disappearance of one plant or animal species can lead to irreversible consequences. So in the classroom we learn the importance of each living organism for the nature. We pay special attention to endangered species, which are listed in the Red Data List. Kids are doing projects about these organisms, make videos, print brochures and newspapers. Fieldwork also plays an important role for ecosystem approach. Every summer, we go out for expeditions to study species of plants and animals listed in the Red Data List of Tatarstan. In class, students often write essays on behalf of any endangered species of plants or animals, this also helps them to understand the importance of each living organism in nature. Each spring we organise a festival of environmental projects among students. Groups of 4-5 students work on a solution of environmental problems, such as water, air or soil pollution, waste recycling, the loss of biodiversity, etc. Participants shoot a clip about their project, print brochures. Furthermore, some of the students participate in national and international scientific Olympiads with their projects. In addition to

  6. Biodiversity, Phylogeny, and Antifungal Functions of Endophytic Fungi Associated with Zanthoxylum bungeanum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peiqin Li

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the biodiversity, phylogeny, and antifungal activity of endophytic fungi isolated from Zanthoxylum bungeanum. A total of 940 isolates obtained were grouped into 93 morphotypes, 43 species, and 23 genera, which were authenticated by molecular identification based on rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS sequence analysis. A high diversity of endophytic fungi from Z. bungeanum are observed with high species richness S (43, Margalef index D′ (6.1351, Shannon–Wiener index H′ (3.2743, Simpson diversity index Ds (0.9476, PIE index (0.9486, and evenness Pielou index J (0.8705 but a low dominant index λ (0.0524. Significant tissue specificity of the endophytic fungi was observed in Z. bungeanum, and the highest species richness and diversity indexes were obtained in the stem. Phylogenetic analyses of the 93 endophytic isolates were carried out by the neighbor-joining (NJ method to demonstrate their evolutionary processes. Antifungal activities of endophytic fungi were assayed and eight endophytic isolates showed strong and long-lasting inhibition against host pathogenic fungi Fusarium sambucinum and Pseudocercospora zanthoxyli. Here, for the first time, we systematically demonstrate the biodiversity, phylogeny, and antifungal activity of endophytic fungi associated with Z. bungeanum and reveal the value of sampling different tissues of a given plant to obtain the greatest endophyte species diversity, which might offer a framework for further investigation and utilization of endophytic fungi as aunique source of interesting and useful bioactive compounds.

  7. Biodiversity in the Anthropocene: prospects and policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seddon, Nathalie; Mace, Georgina M; Naeem, Shahid; Tobias, Joseph A; Pigot, Alex L; Cavanagh, Rachel; Mouillot, David; Vause, James; Walpole, Matt

    2016-12-14

    Meeting the ever-increasing needs of the Earth's human population without excessively reducing biological diversity is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, suggesting that new approaches to biodiversity conservation are required. One idea rapidly gaining momentum-as well as opposition-is to incorporate the values of biodiversity into decision-making using economic methods. Here, we develop several lines of argument for how biodiversity might be valued, building on recent developments in natural science, economics and science-policy processes. Then we provide a synoptic guide to the papers in this special feature, summarizing recent research advances relevant to biodiversity valuation and management. Current evidence suggests that more biodiverse systems have greater stability and resilience, and that by maximizing key components of biodiversity we maximize an ecosystem's long-term value. Moreover, many services and values arising from biodiversity are interdependent, and often poorly captured by standard economic models. We conclude that economic valuation approaches to biodiversity conservation should (i) account for interdependency and (ii) complement rather than replace traditional approaches. To identify possible solutions, we present a framework for understanding the foundational role of hard-to-quantify 'biodiversity services' in sustaining the value of ecosystems to humanity, and then use this framework to highlight new directions for pure and applied research. In most cases, clarifying the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and developing effective policy and practice for managing biodiversity, will require a genuinely interdisciplinary approach. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. Forest ecosystems functioning of and conducting of forestry in the zones of absolute alienation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yirklyienko, S.P.; Buzun, V.O.; Dmitrenko, O.G.; Turchak, F.M.

    2001-01-01

    The main regularities of forest ecosystems functioning in the zone of absolute alienation were shown. The radio contamination mozaicity of forest ecosystems was underlined. Regularities of 137 Cs accumulation in the wood of the main arboreous species were analyzed. The detailed measures of forestry conducting and forests rehabilitation were proposed

  9. Forecasting Urban Forest Ecosystem Structure, Function, and Vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    James W. N. Steenberg; Andrew A. Millward; David J. Nowak; Pamela J. Robinson; Alexis Ellis

    2016-01-01

    The benefits derived from urban forest ecosystems are garnering increasing attention in ecological research and municipal planning. However, because of their location in heterogeneous and highly-altered urban landscapes, urban forests are vulnerable and commonly suffer disproportionate and varying levels of stress and disturbance. The objective of this study is to...

  10. Public perception of ecosystem service functions of peri - urban ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    AGBAJE ISMAEEL

    Forest ecosystems and landscapes are under strong and multiple pressures that challenge their capacities to continue to ... they are always considered as free gifts of nature. As a ... historic 'Olumo Rock' is a popular tourist and holiday resort in the town. ..... Adekunle MF, Ajibola AA, Odeyemi AS (2012): Economic Valuation.

  11. Beyond barriers: ecosystem functions of alien aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grutters, Bart M.C.

    2017-01-01

    Human impacts have become a dominant force in shaping Earth’s biosphere. One major consequence is the global reshuffling of species, both through intentional introductions, but also unintentional because human infrastructure benefits the movement of certain species. Consequently, ecosystems are

  12. The circumpolar biodiversity monitoring program - Terrestrial plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Tom; Payne, J.; Doyle, M.

    , northern communities, and scientists to detect, understand and report on long-term change in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity. This presentation will outline the key management questions the plan aims to address and the proposed nested, multi-scaled approach linking targeted, research based...... monitoring with survey-based monitoring and remotely sensed data. The CBMP Terrestrial Plan intends to build upon and expand existing monitoring networks, engaging participants across a range of capacity and interests. The presentation will summarize the recommended focal soil ecosystem components...... and attributes to monitor in the plan related to soil invertebrates. Focal Ecosystem Components (FECs) of the soil decomposer system include the soil living invertebrates such as microarthropods, enchytraeids and earthworms and the functions performed by microorganisms such as nitrification, decomposition...

  13. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche–efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jingjing; Zhou, Mo; Tobin, Patrick C.; McGuire, A. David; Reich, Peter B.

    2015-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems. Previous research has focused on the positive role of biodiversity on resource acquisition (i.e., niche complementarity), but a lack of study on resource utilization efficiency, a link between resource and productivity, has rendered it difficult to quantify the biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationship. Here we demonstrate that biodiversity loss reduces plant productivity, other things held constant, through theory, empirical evidence, and simulations under gradually relaxed assumptions. We developed a theoretical model named niche–efficiency to integrate niche complementarity and a heretofore-ignored mechanism of diminishing marginal productivity in quantifying the effects of biodiversity loss on plant productivity. Based on niche–efficiency, we created a relative productivity metric and a productivity impact index (PII) to assist in biological conservation and resource management. Relative productivity provides a standardized measure of the influence of biodiversity on individual productivity, and PII is a functionally based taxonomic index to assess individual species’ inherent value in maintaining current ecosystem productivity. Empirical evidence from the Alaska boreal forest suggests that every 1% reduction in overall plant diversity could render an average of 0.23% decline in individual tree productivity. Out of the 283 plant species of the region, we found that large woody plants generally have greater PII values than other species. This theoretical model would facilitate the integration of biological conservation in the international campaign against several pressing global issues involving energy use, climate change, and poverty.

  14. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche–efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jingjing; Zhou, Mo; Tobin, Patrick C.; McGuire, A. David; Reich, Peter B.

    2015-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems. Previous research has focused on the positive role of biodiversity on resource acquisition (i.e., niche complementarity), but a lack of study on resource utilization efficiency, a link between resource and productivity, has rendered it difficult to quantify the biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationship. Here we demonstrate that biodiversity loss reduces plant productivity, other things held constant, through theory, empirical evidence, and simulations under gradually relaxed assumptions. We developed a theoretical model named niche–efficiency to integrate niche complementarity and a heretofore-ignored mechanism of diminishing marginal productivity in quantifying the effects of biodiversity loss on plant productivity. Based on niche–efficiency, we created a relative productivity metric and a productivity impact index (PII) to assist in biological conservation and resource management. Relative productivity provides a standardized measure of the influence of biodiversity on individual productivity, and PII is a functionally based taxonomic index to assess individual species’ inherent value in maintaining current ecosystem productivity. Empirical evidence from the Alaska boreal forest suggests that every 1% reduction in overall plant diversity could render an average of 0.23% decline in individual tree productivity. Out of the 283 plant species of the region, we found that large woody plants generally have greater PII values than other species. This theoretical model would facilitate the integration of biological conservation in the international campaign against several pressing global issues involving energy use, climate change, and poverty. PMID:25901325

  15. Predicting the consequences of species loss using size-structured biodiversity approaches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brose, Ulrich; Blanchard, Julia L.; Eklöf, Anna

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the consequences of species loss in complex ecological communities is one of the great challenges in current biodiversity research. For a long time, this topic has been addressed by traditional biodiversity experiments. Most of these approaches treat species as trait-free, taxonomic...... stability, and (iii) ecosystem functioning. Contrasting current expectations, size-structured approaches suggest that the loss of large species, that typically exploit most resource species, may lead to future food webs that are less interwoven and more structured by chains of interactions and compartments...... trait when analysing the consequences of biodiversity loss for natural ecosystems. Applying size-structured approaches provides an integrative ecological concept that enables a better understanding of each species' unique role across communities and the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss....

  16. Exploring future agricultural development and biodiversity in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Soesbergen, Arnout; Arnell, Andrew P.; Sassen, Marieke

    2017-01-01

    Competition for land is increasing as a consequence of the growing demands for food and other commodities and the need to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Land conversion and the intensification of current agricultural systems continues to lead to a loss of biodiversity and trade......-offs among ecosystem functions. Decision-makers need to understand these trade-offs in order to better balance different demands on land and resources. There is an urgent need for spatially explicit information and analyses on the effects of different trajectories of human-induced landscape change...... and that expanding protected areas to include other important biodiversity areas can help reduce biodiversity losses in all three countries. These results highlight the need for effective protection and the potential benefits of expanding the protected area network while meeting agricultural production needs....

  17. Self-feedbacks determine the sustainability of human interventions in eco-social complex systems: Impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Marco; Levins, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Several administrative polices have been implemented in order to reduce the negative impacts of fishing on natural ecosystems. Four eco-social models with different levels of complexity were constructed, which represent the seaweed harvest in central-northern Chile under two different regimes, Management and Exploitation Areas for Benthic Resources (MAEBRs) and Open Access Areas (OAAs). The dynamics of both regimes were analyzed using the following theoretical frameworks: (1) Loop Analysis, which allows the local stability or sustainability of the models and scenarios to be assessed; and (2) Hessian´s optimization procedure of a global fishery function (GFF) that represents each dynamics of each harvest. The results suggest that the current fishing dynamics in MAEBRs are not sustainable unless the market demand presents some type of control (i.e. taxes). Further, the results indicated that if the demand changes to a self-negative feedback (self-control) in MAEBRs, the stability is increased and, simultaneously, a relative maximum for the GFF is reached. Contrarily, the sustainability of the model/system representing the harvest (principally by cutting plants) in OAAs is not reached. The implementation of an "ecological" tax for intensive artisanal fisheries with low operational cost is proposed. The network analysis developed here is proposed as a general strategy for studying the effects of human interventions in marine coastal ecosystems under transient (short-term) dynamics.

  18. Self-feedbacks determine the sustainability of human interventions in eco-social complex systems: Impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem health.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Ortiz

    Full Text Available Several administrative polices have been implemented in order to reduce the negative impacts of fishing on natural ecosystems. Four eco-social models with different levels of complexity were constructed, which represent the seaweed harvest in central-northern Chile under two different regimes, Management and Exploitation Areas for Benthic Resources (MAEBRs and Open Access Areas (OAAs. The dynamics of both regimes were analyzed using the following theoretical frameworks: (1 Loop Analysis, which allows the local stability or sustainability of the models and scenarios to be assessed; and (2 Hessian´s optimization procedure of a global fishery function (GFF that represents each dynamics of each harvest. The results suggest that the current fishing dynamics in MAEBRs are not sustainable unless the market demand presents some type of control (i.e. taxes. Further, the results indicated that if the demand changes to a self-negative feedback (self-control in MAEBRs, the stability is increased and, simultaneously, a relative maximum for the GFF is reached. Contrarily, the sustainability of the model/system representing the harvest (principally by cutting plants in OAAs is not reached. The implementation of an "ecological" tax for intensive artisanal fisheries with low operational cost is proposed. The network analysis developed here is proposed as a general strategy for studying the effects of human interventions in marine coastal ecosystems under transient (short-term dynamics.

  19. Application of macrobenthos functional groups to estimate the ecosystem health in a semi-enclosed bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Shitao; Zhou, Ran; Qin, Xuebo; Shi, Honghua; Ding, Dewen

    2013-09-15

    In this study, the functional group concept was first applied to evaluate the ecosystem health of Bohai Bay. Macrobenthos functional groups were defined according to feeding types and divided into five groups: a carnivorous group (CA), omnivorous group (OM), planktivorous group (PL), herbivorous group (HE), and detritivorous group (DE). Groups CA, DE, OM, and PL were identified, but the HE group was absent from Bohai Bay. Group DE was dominant during the study periods. The ecosystem health was assessed using a functional group evenness index. The functional group evenness values of most sampling stations were less than 0.40, indicating that the ecosystem health was deteriorated in Bohai Bay. Such deterioration could be attributed to land reclamation, industrial and sewage effluents, oil pollution, and hypersaline water discharge. This study demonstrates that the functional group concept can be applied to ecosystem health assessment in a semi-enclosed bay. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Stable isotope views on ecosystem function: challenging or challenged?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resco, Víctor; Querejeta, José I; Ogle, Kiona; Voltas, Jordi; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa; Serrano-Ortiz, Penélope; Linares, Juan C; Moreno-Gutiérrez, Cristina; Herrero, Asier; Carreira, José A; Torres-Cañabate, Patricia; Valladares, Fernando

    2010-06-23

    Stable isotopes and their potential for detecting various and complex ecosystem processes are attracting an increasing number of scientists. Progress is challenging, particularly under global change scenarios, but some established views have been challenged. The IX meeting of the Spanish Association of Terrestrial Ecology (AAET, Ubeda, 18-22 October 2009) hosted a symposium on the ecology of stable isotopes where the linear mixing model approach of partitioning sinks and sources of carbon and water fluxes within an ecosystem was challenged, and new applications of stable isotopes for the study of plant interactions were evaluated. Discussion was also centred on the need for networks that monitor ecological processes using stable isotopes and key ideas for fostering future research with isotopes.