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. Forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aerts Raf

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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

  3. Forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aerts, Raf; Honnay, Olivier

    2011-11-24

    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

    2016-05-19

    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. 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

  6. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning decoupled: invariant ecosystem functioning despite non-random reductions in consumer diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Radchuk, V.; Leander, de F.; Brink, van den P.J.; Grimm, V.

    2016-01-01

    Most research that demonstrates enhancement and stabilization of ecosystem functioning due to biodiversity is based on biodiversity manipulations within one trophic level and measuring changes in ecosystem functions provided by that same trophic level. However, it is less understood whether and how

  7. Biodiversity, community structure and function of biofilms in stream ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besemer, Katharina

    2015-12-01

    Multi-species, surface-attached biofilms often dominate microbial life in streams and rivers, where they contribute substantially to biogeochemical processes. The microbial diversity of natural biofilms is huge, and may have important implications for the functioning of aquatic environments and the ecosystem services they provide. Yet the causes and consequences of biofilm biodiversity remain insufficiently understood. This review aims to give an overview of current knowledge on the distribution of stream biofilm biodiversity, the mechanisms generating biodiversity patterns and the relationship between biofilm biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Copyright © 2015 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  8. Effects of biodiversity strengthen over time as ecosystem functioning declines at low and increases at high biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meyer, S.; Ebeling, A.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Mommer, L.; Ravenek, Janneke M.; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Human-caused declines in biodiversity have stimulated intensive research on the consequences of biodiversity loss for ecosystem services and policy initiatives to preserve the functioning of ecosystems. Short-term biodiversity experiments have documented positive effects of plant species richness on

  9. Contrasting biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in phylogenetic and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steudel, Bastian; Hallmann, Christine; Lorenz, Maike; Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Prinz, Kathleen; Herrfurth, Cornelia; Feussner, Ivo; Martini, Johannes W R; Kessler, Michael

    2016-10-01

    It is well known that ecosystem functioning is positively influenced by biodiversity. Most biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments have measured biodiversity based on species richness or phylogenetic relationships. However, theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that ecosystem functioning should be more closely related to functional diversity than to species richness. We applied different metrics of biodiversity in an artificial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment using 64 species of green microalgae in combinations of two to 16 species. We found that phylogenetic and functional diversity were positively correlated with biomass overyield, driven by their strong correlation with species richness. At low species richness, no significant correlation between overyield and functional and phylogenetic diversity was found. However, at high species richness (16 species), we found a positive relationship of overyield with functional diversity and a negative relationship with phylogenetic diversity. We show that negative phylogenetic diversity-ecosystem functioning relationships can result from interspecific growth inhibition. The opposing performances of facilitation (functional diversity) and inhibition (phylogenetic diversity) we observed at the 16 species level suggest that phylogenetic diversity is not always a good proxy for functional diversity and that results from experiments with low species numbers may underestimate negative species interactions. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  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. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krause, S.; Le Roux, X.; Niklaus, P.A.; van Bodegom, P.M.; Lennon, J.T.; Bertilsson, S.A.; Grossart, H.P.; Philippot, L.; Bodelier, P.L.E.

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning in a 15-year grassland experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weisser, Wolfgang; Roscher, Christiane; Meyer, Sebastian T.; Ebeling, Anne; Luo, Guangjuan; Allan, Eric; Beßler, Holger; Barnard, Romain L.; Buchmann, Nina; Buscot, François; Engels, Christof; Fischer, Christine; Fischer, Markus; Gessler, Arthur; Gleixner, Gerd; Halle, Stefan; Hildebrandt, Anke; Hillebrand, Helmut; Kroon, de Hans; Lange, Markus; Leimer, Sophia; Roux, Le Xavier; Milcu, Alexandru; Mommer, Liesje; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Oelmann, Yvonne; Proulx, Raphael; Roy, Jacques; Scherber, Christoph; Scherer-lorenzen, Michael; Scheu, Stefan; Tscharntke, Teja; Wachendorf, Michael; Wagg, Cameron; Weigelt, Alexandra; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Wirth, Christian; Schulze, Ernst Detlef; Schmid, Bernhard; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2017-01-01

    In the past two decades, a large number of studies have investigated the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, most of which focussed on a limited set of ecosystem variables. The Jena Experiment was set up in 2002 to investigate the effects of plant diversity on element

  17. 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...

  18. 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

    to consider when such a task is undertaken. Applying a GIS spatial selection process, a sampling campaign was undertaken by 13 EcoFINDERS partners across 11 countries providing data on the range of indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem functions including; micro and meso fauna biodiversity, extracellular...... campaign is recommended. The techniques applied within the EcoFINDERS sampling would be applicable to a larger campaign....

  19. 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 Synergies between biodiversity conservation objectives and ecosystem service management were investigated in the Succulent Karoo biome (83,000 km2) of South Africa, a recognised biodiversity hotspot. Our study complemented a previous biodiversity...

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allan, Eric; Manning, Pete; Alt, Fabian; Binkenstein, Julia; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Böhm, Stefan; Grassein, Fabrice; Hölzel, Norbert; Klaus, Valentin H; Kleinebecker, Till; Morris, E Kathryn; Oelmann, Yvonne; Prati, Daniel; Renner, Swen C; Rillig, Matthias C; Schaefer, Martin; Schloter, Michael; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Solly, Emily; Sorkau, Elisabeth; Steckel, Juliane; Steffen-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stempfhuber, Barbara; Tschapka, Marco; Weiner, Christiane N; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Werner, Michael; Westphal, Catrin; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Fischer, Markus

    2015-08-01

    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 introduce five multifunctionality measures in which ecosystem services were weighted according to realistic land-use objectives. We found that indirect land-use effects, i.e. those mediated by biodiversity loss and by changes to functional composition, were as strong as direct effects on average. Their strength varied with land-use objectives and regional context. Biodiversity loss explained indirect effects in a region of intermediate productivity and was most damaging when land-use objectives favoured supporting and cultural services. In contrast, functional composition shifts, towards fast-growing plant species, strongly increased provisioning services in more inherently unproductive grasslands. © 2015 The Authors Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS.

  2. Long-term and large-scale perspectives on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, A.J.; Chapin, F. S.; Wall, D.H.; Gross, K.L.; Huenneke, L.F.; Mittelbach, G.G.; Peters, Debra P.C.; Tilman, D.

    2003-01-01

    In a growing body of literature from a variety of ecosystems is strong evidence that various components of biodiversity have significant impacts on ecosystem functioning. However, much of this evidence comes from short-term, small-scale experiments in which communities are synthesized from relatively small species pools and conditions are highly controlled. Extrapolation of the results of such experiments to longer time scales and larger spatial scales—those of whole ecosystems—is difficult because the experiments do not incorporate natural processes such as recruitment limitation and colonization of new species. We show how long-term study of planned and accidental changes in species richness and composition suggests that the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning will vary over time and space. More important, we also highlight areas of uncertainty that need to be addressed through coordinated cross-scale and cross-site research.

  3. Biodiversity and ecosystem multi-functionality: observed relationships in smallholder fallows in western Kenya.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Sircely

    Full Text Available Recent studies indicate that species richness can enhance the ability of plant assemblages to support multiple ecosystem functions. To understand how and when ecosystem services depend on biodiversity, it is valuable to expand beyond experimental grasslands. We examined whether plant diversity improves the capacity of agroecosystems to sustain multiple ecosystem services-production of wood and forage, and two elements of soil formation-in two types of smallholder fallows in western Kenya. In 18 grazed and 21 improved fallows, we estimated biomass and quantified soil organic carbon, soil base cations, sand content, and soil infiltration capacity. For four ecosystem functions (wood biomass, forage biomass, soil base cations, steady infiltration rates linked to the focal ecosystem services, we quantified ecosystem service multi-functionality as (1 the proportion of functions above half-maximum, and (2 mean percentage excess above mean function values, and assessed whether plant diversity or environmental favorability better predicted multi-functionality. In grazed fallows, positive effects of plant diversity best explained the proportion above half-maximum and mean percentage excess, the former also declining with grazing intensity. In improved fallows, the proportion above half-maximum was not associated with soil carbon or plant diversity, while soil carbon predicted mean percentage excess better than diversity. Grazed fallows yielded stronger evidence for diversity effects on multi-functionality, while environmental conditions appeared more influential in improved fallows. The contrast in diversity-multi-functionality relationships among fallow types appears related to differences in management and associated factors including disturbance and species composition. Complementary effects of species with contrasting functional traits on different functions and multi-functional species may have contributed to diversity effects in grazed fallows

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Changes in the location of biodiversity-ecosystem function hot spots across the seafloor landscape with increasing sediment nutrient loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrush, Simon F; Hewitt, Judi E; Kraan, Casper; Lohrer, A M; Pilditch, Conrad A; Douglas, Emily

    2017-04-12

    Declining biodiversity and loss of ecosystem function threatens the ability of habitats to contribute ecosystem services. However, the form of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function (BEF) and how relationships change with environmental change is poorly understood. This limits our ability to predict the consequences of biodiversity loss on ecosystem function, particularly in real-world marine ecosystems that are species rich, and where multiple ecosystem functions are represented by multiple indicators. We investigated spatial variation in BEF relationships across a 300 000 m 2 intertidal sandflat by nesting experimental manipulations of sediment pore water nitrogen concentration into sites with contrasting macrobenthic community composition. Our results highlight the significance of many different elements of biodiversity associated with environmental characteristics, community structure, functional diversity, ecological traits or particular species (ecosystem engineers) to important functions of coastal marine sediments (benthic oxygen consumption, ammonium pore water concentrations and flux across the sediment-water interface). Using the BEF relationships developed from our experiment, we demonstrate patchiness across a landscape in functional performance and the potential for changes in the location of functional hot and cold spots with increasing nutrient loading that have important implications for mapping and predicating change in functionality and the concomitant delivery of ecosystem services. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Sascha; Le Roux, Xavier; Niklaus, Pascal A; Van Bodegom, Peter M; Lennon, Jay T; Bertilsson, Stefan; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Philippot, Laurent; Bodelier, Paul L E

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology.

  8. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sascha eKrause

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology.

  9. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Sascha; Le Roux, Xavier; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Van Bodegom, Peter M.; Lennon, Jay T.; Bertilsson, Stefan; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Philippot, Laurent; Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology. PMID:24904563

  10. Field observed relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning during secondary succession in a tropical lowland rainforest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bu, Wensheng; Zang, Runguo; Ding, Yi

    2014-02-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is one of the most concerned topics in ecology. However, most of the studies have been conducted in controlled experiments in grasslands, few observational field studies have been carried out in forests. In this paper, we report variations of species diversity, functional diversity and aboveground biomass (AGB) for woody plants (trees and shrubs) along a chronosequence of four successional stages (18-year-old fallow, 30-year-old fallow, 60-year-old fallow, and old-growth forest) in a tropical lowland rainforest recovered after shifting cultivation on Hainan Island, China. Fifty randomly selected sample plots of 20 m × 20 m were investigated in each of the four successional stages. Four functional traits (specific leaf area, wood density, maximum species height and leaf dry matter content) were measured for each woody plants species and the relationships between species/functional diversity and AGB during secondary succession were explored. The results showed that both plant diversity and AGB recovered gradually with the secondary succession. AGB was positively correlated with both species and functional diversity in each stage of succession. Consistent with many controlled experimental results in grasslands, our observational field study confirms that ecosystem functioning is closely related to biodiversity during secondary succession in species rich tropical forests.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. Current developments in groundwater ecology--from biodiversity to ecosystem function and services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griebler, Christian; Malard, Florian; Lefébure, Tristan

    2014-06-01

    Groundwater ecosystems constitute the largest terrestrial freshwater biome. They are dark, extremely low in energy and do not provide much space but they contain an unexpectedly high diversity of living forms showing characteristic adaptive features. The restricted accessibility along with the enormous 'invisible' heterogeneity challenged for a long time testing of scientific theories and unraveling of ecosystem functioning. Triggered by an improved interdisciplinarity, comprehensive sampling strategies and current developments in biotechnology and statistical analysis, groundwater ecology gains momentum entering a new era of research. We are only beginning to understand adaptive mechanisms, species distribution patterns and ecosystem functioning. Ninety-five percent of global liquid freshwater is stored in the terrestrial subsurface constituting a major source of water for drinking, irrigation and industrial purposes. There is an urgent need to integrate evolutionary and ecological research for developing a holistic perspective of the functional roles of biodiversity and ecosystem services and predicting global changes under alternative groundwater resource use scenarios. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Biodiversity and ecosystem function responses to disturbance and fertilization in a 35-years' vineyard experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pingel, Martin; Uzman, Deniz; Reineke, Annette; Leyer, Ilona

    2016-04-01

    Soil management techniques such as tillage, herbicide weeding, fertilization, and cover crop management have strong effects on soil biota in vineyards such as macro- and mesofauna, microflora and plants. Soil biota, in turn, is a major driver of soil processes and ecosystem functions, however, large gaps in knowledge regarding interactions between management practices, biodiversity and ecosystem functions exist. In this context, we analyzed the effects of nitrogen fertilization and ground cover management on mesofauna and microflora diversity, soil organic matter and nutrients as well as decomposition rates in an experimental vineyard in Germany where specific management practices are constantly applied for more than 35 years. Plots in this vineyard (Rheingau region near Wiesbaden, Germany) are treated with different amounts of nitrogen fertilizer (0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 kg N/ha/year) in four replicates in combination with two types of inter-rows with different ground cover management (tillage vs. permanent cover). Mesofauna diversity (using Berlese funnels), Microflora (using a metagenomics approach) as well as soil variables (standard procedures) were analyzed by sampling and analyzing soil cores (0-10 cm) in the year 2015. In order to assess the decomposition rate, the Teabag Index method was applied. First results showed that the ground cover management had strong effects on biodiversity, decomposition rate, soil organic matter and nutrients rather than fertilization.

  17. Using a Multi-Trait Approach to Manipulate Plant Functional Diversity in a Biodiversity-Ecosystem Function Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schittko, Conrad; Hawa, Mahmoud; Wurst, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    A frequent pattern emerging from biodiversity-ecosystem function studies is that functional group richness enhances ecosystem functions such as primary productivity. However, the manipulation of functional group richness goes along with major disadvantages like the transformation of functional trait data into categories or the exclusion of functional differences between organisms in the same group. In a mesocosm study we manipulated plant functional diversity based on the multi-trait Functional Diversity (FD)-approach of Petchey and Gaston by using database data of seven functional traits and information on the origin of the species in terms of being native or exotic. Along a gradient ranging from low to high FD we planted 40 randomly selected eight-species mixtures under controlled conditions. We found a significant positive linear correlation of FD with aboveground productivity and a negative correlation with invasibility of the plant communities. Based on community-weighted mean calculations for each functional trait, we figured out that the traits N-fixation and species origin, i.e. being native or exotic, played the most important role for community productivity. Our results suggest that the identification of the impact of functional trait diversity and the relative contributions of relevant traits is essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity for ecosystem functions such as aboveground biomass production and resistance against invasion. PMID:24897501

  18. 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).

  19. Biodiversity conservation, ecosystem functioning, and economic incentives under cocoa agroforestry intensification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisseleua, D H B; Missoup, A D; Vidal, S

    2009-10-01

    World chocolate demand is expected to more than double by 2050. Decisions about how to meet this challenge will have profound effects on tropical rainforests and wild species in cocoa-producing countries. Cocoa, "the chocolate tree," is traditionally produced under a diverse and dense canopy of shade trees that provide habitat for a high diversity of organisms. The current trend to reduce or eliminate shade cover raises concerns about the potential loss of biodiversity. Nevertheless, few studies have assessed the ecological consequences and economic trade-offs under different management options in cocoa plantations. Here we describe the relationships between ant ecology (species richness, community composition, and abundance) and vegetation structure, ecosystem functions, and economic profitability under different land-use management systems in 17 traditional cocoa forest gardens in southern Cameroon. We calculated an index of profitability, based on the net annual income per hectare. We found significant differences associated with the different land-use management systems for species richness and abundance of ants and species richness and density of trees. Ant species richness was significantly higher in floristically and structurally diverse, low-intensity, old cocoa systems than in intensive young systems. Ant species richness was significantly related to tree species richness and density. We found no clear relationship between profitability and biodiversity. Nevertheless, we suggest that improving the income and livelihood of smallholder cocoa farmers will require economic incentives to discourage further intensification and ecologically detrimental loss of shade cover. Certification programs for shade-grown cocoa may provide socioeconomic incentives to slow intensification.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Effects of commercial harvesting of intertidal macroalgae on ecosystem biodiversity and functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stagnol, Doriane; Renaud, Michel; Davoult, Dominique

    2013-09-01

    In 2009, the European Union has defined an organic label for macroalgae, which implies that the commercial harvest of algae shall not cause a significant impact on ecosystems. The aim of this work was to study the effects of hand harvesting of three algae: Fucus serratus, Palmaria palmata, and Porphyra linearis on the associated biodiversity and metabolism of the ecosystem. We used the BACI (Before-After Control-Impact) design to assess the impact of the disturbance (i) on the recovery of the harvested species, (ii) on the specific and functional diversity of the associated algal and animal communities, and (iii) for F. serratus and P. linearis, on the metabolism of the area, using benthic chambers. Our work is based on a mix of fundamental and applied research to identify the effects of commercial harvesting regarding long-term changes, biological and functional interactions, and system responses (including socio-economic interactions). Results of the 12-month monitoring on F. serratus showed that canopy loss seemed to have a negative impact mainly on the diversity of the animal community and the metabolism of the studied area. No significant effects were observed on the algal community. The harvesting impact on the animal community was amplified by the settlement of an ephemeral canopy of Ulva spp., a seasonal opportunistic green alga. Results of the 12-month monitoring of P. palmata after harvesting did not show any significant impact. This alga was epiphytic on the dominant canopy of F. serratus, which was thus maintained, minimizing the impact of the harvest. Finally, results of the 12-month monitoring of P. linearis were difficult to interpret because of an unexpected but continuous sand burial of the study site, one month after the beginning of the study and still covering the population after eight months. Hence, effects of P. linearis harvesting were overshadowed by the natural variability. So far, our results have shown that commercial harvesting has

  3. 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.

  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

    2014-04-08

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Consistent effects of biodiversity loss on multifunctionality across contrasting ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanin, Nicolas; Gundale, Michael J; Farrell, Mark; Ciobanu, Marcel; Baldock, Jeff A; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Kardol, Paul; Wardle, David A

    2018-02-01

    Understanding how loss of biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning, and thus the delivery of ecosystem goods and services, has become increasingly necessary in a changing world. Considerable recent attention has focused on predicting how biodiversity loss simultaneously impacts multiple ecosystem functions (that is, ecosystem multifunctionality), but the ways in which these effects vary across ecosystems remain unclear. Here, we report the results of two 19-year plant diversity manipulation experiments, each established across a strong environmental gradient. Although the effects of plant and associated fungal diversity loss on individual functions frequently differed among ecosystems, the consequences of biodiversity loss for multifunctionality were relatively invariant. However, the context-dependency of biodiversity effects also worked in opposing directions for different individual functions, meaning that similar multifunctionality values across contrasting ecosystems could potentially mask important differences in the effects of biodiversity on functioning among ecosystems. Our findings highlight that an understanding of the relative contribution of species or functional groups to individual ecosystem functions among contrasting ecosystems and their interactions (that is, complementarity versus competition) is critical for guiding management efforts aimed at maintaining ecosystem multifunctionality and the delivery of multiple ecosystem services.

  7. 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

  8. Functional traits as indicators of biodiversity response to land use changes across ecosystems and organisms

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vandewalle, M.; de Bello, Francesco; Berg, M. P.; Bolger, T.; Dolédec, S.; Dubs, F.; Feld, Ch. K.; Harrington, R.; Harrison, P. A.; Lavorel, S.; da Silva, P. M.; Moretti, M.; Niemelä, J.; Santos, P.; Sattler, T.; Sousa, J. P.; Sykes, M. T.; Vanbergen, A. J.; Woodcock, B. A.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 19, č. 10 (2010), s. 2921-2947 ISSN 0960-3115 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : Bioindicators * Birds * Biodiversity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.146, year: 2010

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Griffiths, B.S.; Ritz, K.; Wheatley, R.; Kuan, H.L.; Boag, B.; Christensen, S.; Ekelund, F.; Sorensen, S.J.; Muller, S.; Bloem, J.

    2001-01-01

    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

  10. Responses of leaf processing to impacts in streams in Atlantic rain forest, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil--a test of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moulton, T P; Magalhães, S A P

    2003-02-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has been intensely debated and researched in recent times. It is generally agreed that there is redundancy of species in ecosystems such that loss of species does not necessarily result in change in the functioning of the ecosystem in which they occur. However the state of our knowledge does not allow prediction of sensitivity or specificity of this relationship for any particular ecosystem. A widely-held opinion is that ecosystem functioning is relatively stable to environmental impact, whereas biodiversity is more sensitive. We tested this in streams of the Atlantic forest using leaf decomposition as an aspect of ecosystem functioning and measuring the diversity of the associated fauna. In lightly impacted streams of the urban park Parque Estadual da Pedra Branca, RJ, leaf processing rate of a hard-leaf species, Myrcia rostrata (Myrtaceae) was more than 50% slower than in "intact" streams at the biological reserve of Ilha Grande, RJ. Taxon diversity of fauna of the leaves was not significantly lower in the impacted than the intact streams. We construe this as preliminary evidence contrary to the notion that ecosystem functioning is less sensitive than biodiversity to impacts in this system.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. Nutrient enrichment, biodiversity loss, and consequent declines in ecosystem productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Reich, Peter B; Tilman, David; Hobbie, Sarah E; Polasky, Stephen; Binder, Seth

    2013-07-16

    Anthropogenic drivers of environmental change often have multiple effects, including changes in biodiversity, species composition, and ecosystem functioning. It remains unknown whether such shifts in biodiversity and species composition may, themselves, be major contributors to the total, long-term impacts of anthropogenic drivers on ecosystem functioning. Moreover, although numerous experiments have shown that random losses of species impact the functioning of ecosystems, human-caused losses of biodiversity are rarely random. Here we use results from long-term grassland field experiments to test for direct effects of chronic nutrient enrichment on ecosystem productivity, and for indirect effects of enrichment on productivity mediated by resultant species losses. We found that ecosystem productivity decreased through time most in plots that lost the most species. Chronic nitrogen addition also led to the nonrandom loss of initially dominant native perennial C4 grasses. This loss of dominant plant species was associated with twice as great a loss of productivity per lost species than occurred with random species loss in a nearby biodiversity experiment. Thus, although chronic nitrogen enrichment initially increased productivity, it also led to loss of plant species, including initially dominant species, which then caused substantial diminishing returns from nitrogen fertilization. In contrast, elevated CO2 did not decrease grassland plant diversity, and it consistently promoted productivity over time. Our results support the hypothesis that the long-term impacts of anthropogenic drivers of environmental change on ecosystem functioning can strongly depend on how such drivers gradually decrease biodiversity and restructure communities.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Biodiversity at the Ecosystem Level - Patterns and Processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    This publication contains the presentations and discussions from the second DanBIF conference, entitled Biodiversity at the Ecosystem Level – Patterns and Processes. The questions asked at this conference were: What is biodiversity at the ecosystem level? How is it related to biodiversity at othe...... formulate a strategy for dealing with biodiversity above the species and molecular levels and make data available for the end-users....... levels of organization? How may GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) deal with ecosystem level data and informatics? The conference had two important goals. The first was to present an overview of contemporary research related to ecosystem level biodiversity and the second was to help GBIF...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Creamer, R.E.; Hannula, S.E.; Leeuwen, J.P.Van; Stone, D.; Rutgers, M.; Schmelz, R.M.; Ruiter, P.C.de; Hendriksen, N.Bohse; Bolger, T.; Bouffaud, M.L.; Buee, M.; Carvalho, F.; Costa, D.; Dirilgen, T.; Francisco, R.; Griffiths, B.S.; Griffiths, R.; Martin, F.; Silva, P.Martins da; 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

    Abstract 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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 ...

  7. The links between ecosystem multifunctionality and above- and belowground biodiversity are mediated by climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jing, Xin; Sanders, Nathan J.; Shi, Yu; Chu, Haiyan; Classen, Aimée T.; Zhao, Ke; Chen, Litong; Shi, Yue; Jiang, Youxu; He, Jin-Sheng

    2015-01-01

    Plant biodiversity is often correlated with ecosystem functioning in terrestrial ecosystems. However, we know little about the relative and combined effects of above- and belowground biodiversity on multiple ecosystem functions (for example, ecosystem multifunctionality, EMF) or how climate might mediate those relationships. Here we tease apart the effects of biotic and abiotic factors, both above- and belowground, on EMF on the Tibetan Plateau, China. We found that a suite of biotic and abiotic variables account for up to 86% of the variation in EMF, with the combined effects of above- and belowground biodiversity accounting for 45% of the variation in EMF. Our results have two important implications: first, including belowground biodiversity in models can improve the ability to explain and predict EMF. Second, regional-scale variation in climate, and perhaps climate change, can determine, or at least modify, the effects of biodiversity on EMF in natural ecosystems. PMID:26328906

  8. Information technology challenges of biodiversity and ecosystems informatics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnase, J.L.; Cushing, J.; Frame, M.; Frondorf, A.; Landis, E.; Maier, D.; Silberschatz, A.

    2003-01-01

    Computer scientists, biologists, and natural resource managers recently met to examine the prospects for advancing computer science and information technology research by focusing on the complex and often-unique challenges found in the biodiversity and ecosystem domain. The workshop and its final report reveal that the biodiversity and ecosystem sciences are fundamentally information sciences and often address problems having distinctive attributes of scale and socio-technical complexity. The paper provides an overview of the emerging field of biodiversity and ecosystem informatics and demonstrates how the demands of biodiversity and ecosystem research can advance our understanding and use of information technologies.

  9. 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.

  10. Biodiversity effects on soil processes explained by interspecific functional dissimilarity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heemsbergen, D.A.; Berg, M.P.; Loreau, M.; Hal, van J.R.; Faber, J.H.; Verhoef, H.A.

    2004-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity can have significant impacts on ecosystem functioning, but the mechanisms involved lack empirical confirmation. Using soil microcosms, we show experimentally that functional dissimilarity among detritivorous species, not species number, drives community compositional effects

  11. Biodiversity effects on soil processes explained by interspecific functional dissimilarity.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heemsbergen, D.A.; Berg, M.P.; Loreau, M.; van Hal, J.R.; Faber, J.H.; Verhoef, H.A.

    2004-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity can have significant impacts on ecosystem functioning, but the mechanisms involved lack empirical confirmation. Using soil microcosms, we show experimentally that functional dissimilarity among detritivorous species, not species number, drives community compositional effects

  12. 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

  13. 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; 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Community ecology theory predicts the effects of agrochemical mixtures on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halstead, Neal T; McMahon, Taegan A; Johnson, Steve A; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; Crumrine, Patrick W; Rohr, Jason R

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystems are often exposed to mixtures of chemical contaminants, but the scientific community lacks a theoretical framework to predict the effects of mixtures on biodiversity and ecosystem properties. We conducted a freshwater mesocosm experiment to examine the effects of pairwise agrochemical mixtures [fertiliser, herbicide (atrazine), insecticide (malathion) and fungicide (chlorothalonil)] on 24 species- and seven ecosystem-level responses. As postulated, the responses of biodiversity and ecosystem properties to agrochemicals alone and in mixtures was predictable by integrating information on each functional group's (1) sensitivity to the chemicals (direct effects), (2) reproductive rates (recovery rates), (3) interaction strength with other functional groups (indirect effects) and (4) links to ecosystem properties. These results show that community ecology theory holds promise for predicting the effects of contaminant mixtures on biodiversity and ecosystem services and yields recommendations on which types of agrochemicals to apply together and separately to reduce their impacts on aquatic ecosystems. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Obscuring ecosystem function with application of the ecosystem services concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Markus J; Hall, Damon M; Feldpausch-Parker, Andrea M; Peterson, Tarla Rai

    2010-02-01

    Conservationists commonly have framed ecological concerns in economic terms to garner political support for conservation and to increase public interest in preserving global biodiversity. Beginning in the early 1980s, conservation biologists adapted neoliberal economics to reframe ecosystem functions and related biodiversity as ecosystem services to humanity. Despite the economic success of programs such as the Catskill/Delaware watershed management plan in the United States and the creation of global carbon exchanges, today's marketplace often fails to adequately protect biodiversity. We used a Marxist critique to explain one reason for this failure and to suggest a possible, if partial, response. Reframing ecosystem functions as economic services does not address the political problem of commodification. Just as it obscures the labor of human workers, commodification obscures the importance of the biota (ecosystem workers) and related abiotic factors that contribute to ecosystem functions. This erasure of work done by ecosystems impedes public understanding of biodiversity. Odum and Odum's radical suggestion to use the language of ecosystems (i.e., emergy or energy memory) to describe economies, rather than using the language of economics (i.e., services) to describe ecosystems, reverses this erasure of the ecosystem worker. Considering the current dominance of economic forces, however, implementing such solutions would require social changes similar in magnitude to those that occurred during the 1960s. Niklas Luhmann argues that such substantive, yet rapid, social change requires synergy among multiple societal function systems (i.e., economy, education, law, politics, religion, science), rather than reliance on a single social sphere, such as the economy. Explicitly presenting ecosystem services as discreet and incomplete aspects of ecosystem functions not only allows potential economic and environmental benefits associated with ecosystem services, but also

  19. Diversity-dependent temporal divergence of ecosystem functioning in experimental ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathaly R. Guerrero-Ramírez; Dylan Craven; Peter B. Reich; John J. Ewel; Forest Isbell; Julia Koricheva; John A. Parrotta; Harald Auge; Heather E. Erickson; David I. Forrester; Andy Hector; Jasmin Joshi; Florencia Montagnini; Cecilia Palmborg; Daniel Piotto; Catherine Potvin; Christiane Roscher; Jasper van Ruijven; David Tilman; Brian Wilsey; Nico Eisenhauer

    2017-01-01

    The effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning generally increase over time, but the underlying processes remain unclear. Using 26 long-term grassland and forest experimental ecosystems, we demonstrate that biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships strengthen mainly by greater increases in functioning in high-diversity communities in grasslands and forests...

  20. Ecosystem response of pasture soil communities to fumigation-induced microbial diversity reductions: an examination of the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Griffiths, B.S.; Ritz, K.; Bardgett, R.D.; Cook, R.; Christensen, S.; Ekelund, F.; Sorensen, S.J.; Bccth, E.; Bloem, J.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Dolfing, J.; Nicolardot, B.

    2000-01-01

    A technique based on progressive fumigation was used to reduce soil microbial biodiversity, and the effects of such reductions upon the stability of key soil processes were measured. Mineral soil samples from a grassland were fumigated with chloroform for up to 24 h and then incubated for 5 months

  1. 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...

  2. 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

    The global loss of biodiversity threatens unique biota and the functioning and services of ecosystems essential for human wellbeing. To safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services, designating protected areas is crucial; yet the extent to which the existing placement of protection is aligned...... to meet these conservation priorities is questionable, especially in the oceans. Here we investigate and compare global patterns of multiple biodiversity components (taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional), ecosystem services and human impacts, with the coverage of marine protected areas across a nested...... that global patterns of biodiversity, ecosystem services and human impacts are poorly correlated, hence complicating the identification of generally applicable spatial prioritization schemes. However, a hypothetical "consensus approach" would have been able to address all these conservation priorities far...

  3. 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...

  4. Predicting ecosystem stability from community composition and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Mazancourt, Claire; Isbell, Forest; Larocque, Allen; Berendse, Frank; De Luca, Enrica; Grace, James B; Haegeman, Bart; Wayne Polley, H; Roscher, Christiane; Schmid, Bernhard; Tilman, David; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Wilsey, Brian J; Loreau, Michel

    2013-05-01

    As biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate, an important current scientific challenge is to understand and predict the consequences of biodiversity loss. Here, we develop a theory that predicts the temporal variability of community biomass from the properties of individual component species in monoculture. Our theory shows that biodiversity stabilises ecosystems through three main mechanisms: (1) asynchrony in species' responses to environmental fluctuations, (2) reduced demographic stochasticity due to overyielding in species mixtures and (3) reduced observation error (including spatial and sampling variability). Parameterised with empirical data from four long-term grassland biodiversity experiments, our prediction explained 22-75% of the observed variability, and captured much of the effect of species richness. Richness stabilised communities mainly by increasing community biomass and reducing the strength of demographic stochasticity. Our approach calls for a re-evaluation of the mechanisms explaining the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem stability. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: a useful way to manage and conserve marine resources?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavanagh, Rachel D; Broszeit, Stefanie; Pilling, Graham M; Grant, Susie M; Murphy, Eugene J; Austen, Melanie C

    2016-12-14

    Valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) is widely recognized as a useful, though often controversial, approach to conservation and management. However, its use in the marine environment, hence evidence of its efficacy, lags behind that in terrestrial ecosystems. This largely reflects key challenges to marine conservation and management such as the practical difficulties in studying the ocean, complex governance issues and the historically-rooted separation of biodiversity conservation and resource management. Given these challenges together with the accelerating loss of marine biodiversity (and threats to the ES that this biodiversity supports), we ask whether valuation efforts for marine ecosystems are appropriate and effective. We compare three contrasting systems: the tropical Pacific, Southern Ocean and UK coastal seas. In doing so, we reveal a diversity in valuation approaches with different rates of progress and success. We also find a tendency to focus on specific ES (often the harvested species) rather than biodiversity. In light of our findings, we present a new conceptual view of valuation that should ideally be considered in decision-making. Accounting for the critical relationships between biodiversity and ES, together with an understanding of ecosystem structure and functioning, will enable the wider implications of marine conservation and management decisions to be evaluated. We recommend embedding valuation within existing management structures, rather than treating it as an alternative or additional mechanism. However, we caution that its uptake and efficacy will be compromised without the ability to develop and share best practice across regions. © 2016 The Authors.

  9. Higher biodiversity is required to sustain multiple ecosystem processes across temperature regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Daniel M; Bailey, R A; Dossena, Matteo; Gamfeldt, Lars; Reiss, Julia; Trimmer, Mark; Woodward, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity loss is occurring rapidly worldwide, yet it is uncertain whether few or many species are required to sustain ecosystem functioning in the face of environmental change. The importance of biodiversity might be enhanced when multiple ecosystem processes (termed multifunctionality) and environmental contexts are considered, yet no studies have quantified this explicitly to date. We measured five key processes and their combined multifunctionality at three temperatures (5, 10 and 15 °C) in freshwater aquaria containing different animal assemblages (1–4 benthic macroinvertebrate species). For single processes, biodiversity effects were weak and were best predicted by additive-based models, i.e. polyculture performances represented the sum of their monoculture parts. There were, however, significant effects of biodiversity on multifunctionality at the low and the high (but not the intermediate) temperature. Variation in the contribution of species to processes across temperatures meant that greater biodiversity was required to sustain multifunctionality across different temperatures than was the case for single processes. This suggests that previous studies might have underestimated the importance of biodiversity in sustaining ecosystem functioning in a changing environment. PMID:25131335

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Regional zooplankton biodiversity provides limited buffering of pond ecosystems against climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Patrick L; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2012-01-01

    1. Climate change and other human-driven environmental perturbations are causing reductions in biodiversity and impacting the functioning of ecosystems on a global scale. Metacommunity theory suggests that ecosystem connectivity may reduce the magnitude of these impacts if the regional species pool contains functionally redundant species that differ in their environmental tolerances. Dispersal may increase the resistance of local ecosystems to environmental stress by providing regional species with traits adapted to novel conditions. 2. We tested this theory by subjecting freshwater zooplankton communities in mesocosms that were either connected to or isolated from the larger regional species pool to a factorial manipulation of experimental warming and increased salinity. 3. Compensation by regional taxa depended on the source of stress. Warming tolerant regional taxa partially compensated for reductions in heat sensitive local taxa but similar compensation did not occur under increased salinity. 4. Dispersal-mediated species invasions dampened the effects of warming on summer net ecosystem productivity. However, this buffering effect did not occur in the fall or for periphyton growth, the only other ecosystem function affected by the stress treatments. 5. The results indicate that regional biodiversity can provide insurance in a dynamic environment but that the buffering capacity is limited to some ecosystem processes and sources of stress. Maintaining regional biodiversity and habitat connectivity may therefore provide some limited insurance for local ecosystems in changing environments, but is unable to impart resistance against all sources of environmental stress. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2011 British Ecological Society.

  13. Local scale processes drive long-term change in biodiversity of sandy beach ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schooler, Nicholas K; Dugan, Jenifer E; Hubbard, David M; Straughan, Dale

    2017-07-01

    Evaluating impacts to biodiversity requires ecologically informed comparisons over sufficient time spans. The vulnerability of coastal ecosystems to anthropogenic and climate change-related impacts makes them potentially valuable indicators of biodiversity change. To evaluate multidecadal change in biodiversity, we compared results from intertidal surveys of 13 sandy beaches conducted in the 1970s and 2009-11 along 500 km of coast (California, USA). Using a novel extrapolation approach to adjust species richness for sampling effort allowed us to address data gaps and has promise for application to other data-limited biodiversity comparisons. Long-term changes in species richness varied in direction and magnitude among beaches and with human impacts but showed no regional patterns. Observed long-term changes in richness differed markedly among functional groups of intertidal invertebrates. At the majority (77%) of beaches, changes in richness were most evident for wrack-associated invertebrates suggesting they have disproportionate vulnerability to impacts. Reduced diversity of this group was consistent with long-term habitat loss from erosion and sea level rise at one beach. Wrack-associated species richness declined over time at impacted beaches (beach fill and grooming), despite observed increases in overall intertidal richness. In contrast richness of these taxa increased at more than half (53%) of the beaches including two beaches recovering from decades of off-road vehicle impacts. Over more than three decades, our results suggest that local scale processes exerted a stronger influence on intertidal biodiversity on beaches than regional processes and highlight the role of human impacts for local spatial scales. Our results illustrate how comparisons of overall biodiversity may mask ecologically important changes and stress the value of evaluating biodiversity change in the context of functional groups. The long-term loss of wrack-associated species, a key

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 applied in the context of ecosystem accounting, management and conservation for Limburg province, the Netherlands. Ecosystem accounting is a systematic approach to measure and monitor ecosystems, ecosystem...

  15. Indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem services: a synthesis across ecosystems and spatial scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feld, C.K.; Silva, da P.M.; Sousa, J.P.; Bello, de F.; Bugter, R.J.F.; Grandin, U.; Hering, D.; Lavorel, S.; Mountford, O.; Pardo, I.; Partel, M.; Rombke, J.; Sandin, L.; Jones, K.B.; 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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).

  18. 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...... 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 conventional agriculture and forestry. However, results were heterogeneous, with differences among the types of agroforestry practices...... and ecosystem services assessed. Erosion control, biodiversity, and soil fertility are enhanced by agroforestry while there is no clear effect on provisioning services. The effect of agroforestry on biomass production is negative. Comparisons between agroforestry types and reference land-uses showed that both...

  19. 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.

  20. 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 applied

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Biodiversity increases functional and compositional resistance, but decreases resilience in phytoplankton communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baert, Jan M; De Laender, Frederik; Sabbe, Koen; Janssen, Colin R

    2016-12-01

    There is now ample evidence that biodiversity stabilizes aggregated ecosystem functions, such as primary production, in changing environments. In primary producer systems, this stabilizing effect is found to be driven by higher functional resistance (i.e., reduced changes in functions by environmental changes) rather than through higher functional resilience (i.e., rapid recovery following environmental changes) in more diverse systems. The stability of aggregated ecosystem functions directly depends on changes in species composition and by consequence their functional contributions to ecosystem functions. Still, it remains only theoretically explored how biodiversity can stabilize ecosystem functions by affecting compositional stability. Here, we demonstrate how biodiversity effects on compositional stability drive biodiversity effects on functional stability in diatom communities. In a microcosm experiment, we exposed 39 communities of five different levels of species richness (1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 species) to three concentrations of a chemical stressor (0, 25, and 250 μg/L atrazine) for four weeks, after which all communities were transferred to atrazine-free medium for three more weeks. Biodiversity simultaneously increased, increasing functional and compositional resistance, but decreased functional and compositional resilience. These results confirm the theoretically proposed link between biodiversity effects on functional and compositional stability in primary producer systems, and provide a mechanistic underpinning for observed biodiversity-stability relationships. Finally, we discuss how higher compositional stability can be expected to become increasingly important in stabilizing ecosystem functions under field conditions when multiple environmental stressors fluctuate simultaneously. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  5. 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.

  6. Mangrove exploitation effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Malik, Abdul; Fensholt, Rasmus; Mertz, Ole

    2015-01-01

    Mangrove forests are one of the most important coastal ecosystems as they support many local communities. However, over the last two decades harvesting of mangrove forests has been extensive with effects on mangrove biodiversity and ecosystem services. We investigate the effect of mangrove...... with local forestry and fishery workers to determine the level of exploitation. Ten mangrove species were recorded (Avicennia alba, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Ceriops tagal, Excoecaria agallocha, Lumnitzera racemosa, Nypa fruticans, Rhizophora apiculata, Rhizophora mucronata, Rhizophora stylosa, and Sonneratia...... alba) belonging to six families (Avicenniaceae, Rhizophoraceae, Euphorbiaceae, Combretaceae, Arecaceae and Sonneratiaceae). Mangrove forests are now dominated by saplings and seedlings, with few trees above 15 cm diameter at breast height. Rhizophora sp. were found to be the most important and dominant...

  7. Plant Functional Traits: Soil and Ecosystem Services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faucon, Michel-Pierre; Houben, David; Lambers, Hans

    2017-05-01

    Decline of ecosystem services has triggered numerous studies aiming at developing more sustainable agricultural management practices. Some agricultural practices may improve soil properties by expanding plant biodiversity. However, sustainable management of agroecosystems should be performed from a functional plant trait perspective. Advances in functional ecology, especially plant functional trait effects on ecosystem processes and services, provide pivotal knowledge for ecological intensification of agriculture; this approach acknowledges that a crop field is an agroecosystem whose ecological processes influence soil properties. We highlight the links between plant functional traits and soil properties in relation to four major ecosystem processes involved in vital ecosystem services: food production, crop protection, climate change mitigation, and soil and water conservation, aiming towards ecological intensification of sustainable agricultural and soil management. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. Safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Little Karoo, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Egoh, Benis N

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available targets for biodiversity only while minimizing opportunity costs. We then examined the costs of adding targets for ecosystem services into this conservation plan. Finally, we explored trade-offs between biodiversity and ecosystem service targets at a fixed...

  10. Geospatial studies of global change impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity in China

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nüchel, Jonas

    2016-01-01

    Global change is affecting a substantial part of the globe and its many impacts, such as deforestation, are the main drivers of ecosystems degradation and loss of biodiversity. This thesis investigates different aspect of how global change has impacted ecosystems and biodiversity in China. China...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Interacting effects of change in climate, human population, land use, and water use on biodiversity and ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elmhagen, Bodil; Destouni, Georgia; Angerbjörn, Anders; Borgström, Sara; Boyd, Emily; Cousins, Sara A.O.; Dalén, Love; Ehrlén, Johan; Ermold, Matti; Hambäck, Peter A.; Hedlund, Johanna; Hylander, Kristoffer; Jaramillo, Fernando; Lagerholm, Vendela K.; Lyon, Steve W.; Moor, Helen; Nykvist, Björn; Pasanen-Mortensen, Marianne; Plue, Jan; Prieto, Carmen; van der Velde, Ype; Lindborg, Regina

    2015-01-01

    Human population growth and resource use, mediated by changes in climate, land use, and water use, increasingly impact biodiversity and ecosystem services provision. However, impacts of these drivers on biodiversity and ecosystem services are rarely analyzed simultaneously and remain largely

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justine E Cordingley

    Full Text Available 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Regime shifts, resilience, and biodiversity in ecosystem management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Folke, C.; Carpenter, S.; Walker, B.; Scheffer, M.; Elmqvist, T.; Gunderson, L.; Holling, C.S.

    2004-01-01

    We review the evidence of regime shifts in terrestrial and aquatic environments in relation to resilience of complex adaptive ecosystems and the functional roles of biological diversity in this context. The evidence reveals that the likelihood of regime shifts may increase when humans reduce

  19. 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...

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. The value of urban vacant land to support arthropod biodiversity and ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardiner, Mary M; Burkman, Caitlin E; Prajzner, Scott P

    2013-12-01

    The expansion of urban areas is occurring globally, but not all city neighborhoods are gaining population. Because of economic decline and the recent foreclosure crisis, many U.S. cities are demolishing abandoned residential structures to create parcels of vacant land. In some cities, weak housing markets have, or will likely, recover in the near term, and these parcels will be redeveloped. However, in other cities, large numbers of abandoned parcels have no significant market value and no likelihood of near-term redevelopment. The creation of these vacated green spaces could offer opportunities to preserve declining species, restore ecosystem functions, and support diverse ecosystem services. Arthropods are an important indicator of the ability of urban vacant land to serve multiple functions, from conservation to food production. Across Europe, vacant lands have been found to support a diversity of rare species, and similar examinations of arthropods within this habitat are underway in the United States. In addition, using vacant land as a resource for local food production is growing rapidly worldwide. Arthropods play key roles in the sustainability of food production in cities, and land conversion to farming has been found to influence their community composition and function. A greater focus on quantifying the current ecological value of vacant land and further assessment of how changes in its ecosystem management affect biodiversity and ecosystem processes is clearly needed. Herein, we specifically focus on the role of arthropods in addressing these priorities to advance our ecological understanding of the functional role of vacant land habitats in cities.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. GLOBIO-Aquatic, a global model of human impact on the biodiversity of inland aquatic ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janse, J.H.; Kuiper, J.J.; Weijters, M.J.; Westerbeek, E.P.; Jeuken, M.H.J.L.; Bakkenes, M.; Alkemade, R.; Mooij, W.M.; Verhoeven, J.T.A.

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems - rivers, lakes and wetlands - is undergoing rapid global decline. Major drivers are land use change, eutrophication, hydrological disturbance, climate change, overexploitation and invasive species. We developed a global model for assessing the dominant human

  6. GLOBIO-Aquatic, a global model of human impact on the biodiversity of inland aquatic ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janse, J.H.; Kuiper, J.J.; Weijters, M.J.; Westerbeek, E.P.; Jeuken, M.H.J.L.; Bakkenes, M.; Alkemade, R.; Mooij, W.M.; Verhoeven, J.T.A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems – rivers, lakes and wetlands – is undergoing rapid global decline. Major drivers are land use change, eutrophication, hydrological disturbance, climate change, overexploitation and invasive species. We developed a global model for assessing the dominant

  7. 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

    of CFs based on FD can help on the establishment of possible links between species loss and key ecosystem functions, i.e., on the association between the midpoint indicator (e.g., biodiversity loss) and the damage caused to ecosystem quality, in terms of functions lost. Basing CFs on FD is not without......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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. Marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: A perspective

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, S.; Anil, A.C.

    in swarms at the end of the winter period in February 29,30 . It is a n intensive filter feeder and rapidly defecates n umerous, square - shaped faecal pellets, approximately 0.25 cm 2 in area. A microscopic examination of the faecal pellets yields...

  11. 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...

  12. Soil functional operating range linked to microbial biodiversity and community composition using denitrifiers as model guild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallin, Sara; Welsh, Allana; Stenström, John; Hallet, Stephanie; Enwall, Karin; Bru, David; Philippot, Laurent

    2012-01-01

    Soil microorganisms are key players in biogeochemical cycles. Yet, there is no consistent view on the significance of microbial biodiversity for soil ecosystem functioning. According to the insurance hypothesis, declines in ecosystem functioning due to reduced biodiversity are more likely to occur under fluctuating, extreme or rapidly changing environmental conditions. Here, we compare the functional operating range, a new concept defined as the complete range of environmental conditions under which soil microbial communities are able to maintain their functions, between four naturally assembled soil communities from a long-term fertilization experiment. A functional trait approach was adopted with denitrifiers involved in nitrogen cycling as our model soil community. Using short-term temperature and salt gradients, we show that the functional operating range was broader and process rates were higher when the soil community was phylogenetically more diverse. However, key bacterial genotypes played an important role for maintaining denitrification as an ecosystem functioning under certain conditions.

  13. Biodiversity and ecosystem services require IPBES to take novel approach to scenarios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kok, M.T.J.; Kok, Kasper; Peterson, G.D.; Hill, Rosemary; Agard, John; Carpenter, S.R.

    2017-01-01

    What does the future hold for the world’s ecosystems and benefits that people obtain from them? While the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has identified the development of scenarios as a key to helping decision makers identify potential impacts of

  14. 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

  15. Using Metagenomics to Connect Microbial Community Biodiversity and Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes, Lucas William; Braga, Lucas Peres Palma; Navarrete, Acacio Aparecido; Souza, Dennis Goss de; Silva, Genivaldo Gueiros Zacarias; Tsai, Siu Mui

    2017-01-01

    Microbes constitute about a third of the Earth's biomass and are composed by an enormous genetic diversity. In a majority of environments the microbial communities play crucial roles for the ecosystem functioning, where a drastic biodiversity alteration or loss could lead to negative effects on the environment and sustainability. A central goal in microbiome studies is to elucidate the relation between microbial diversity to functions. A better understanding of the relation diversity-function would increase the ability to manipulate that diversity to improve plant and animal health and also setting conservation priorities. The recent advances in genomic methodologies in microbial ecology have provide means to assess highly complex communities in detail, making possible the link between diversity and the functions performed by the microbes. In this work we first explore some advances in bioinformatics tools to connect the microbial community biodiversity to their potential metabolism and after present some examples of how this information can be useful for a better understanding of the microbial role in the environment.

  16. Do riparian reserves support dung beetle biodiversity and ecosystem services in oil palm-dominated tropical landscapes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Claudia L; Slade, Eleanor M; Mann, Darren J; Lewis, Owen T

    2014-04-01

    Agricultural expansion and intensification are major threats to global biodiversity, ecological functions, and ecosystem services. The rapid expansion of oil palm in forested tropical landscapes is of particular concern given their high biodiversity. Identifying management approaches that maintain native species and associated ecological processes within oil palm plantations is therefore a priority. Riparian reserves are strips of forest retained alongside rivers in cultivated areas, primarily for their positive hydrological impact. However, they can also support a range of forest-dependent species or ecosystem services. We surveyed communities of dung beetles and measured dung removal activity in an oil palm-dominated landscape in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. The species richness, diversity, and functional group richness of dung beetles in riparian reserves were significantly higher than in oil palm, but lower than in adjacent logged forests. The community composition of the riparian reserves was more similar to logged forest than oil palm. Despite the pronounced differences in biodiversity, we did not find significant differences in dung removal rates among land uses. We also found no evidence that riparian reserves enhance dung removal rates within surrounding oil palm. These results contrast previous studies showing positive relationships between dung beetle species richness and dung removal in tropical forests. We found weak but significant positive relationships between riparian reserve width and dung beetle diversity, and between reserve vegetation complexity and dung beetle abundance, suggesting that these features may increase the conservation value of riparian reserves. Synthesis and applications: The similarity between riparian reserves and logged forest demonstrates that retaining riparian reserves increases biodiversity within oil palm landscapes. However, the lack of correlation between dung beetle community characteristics and dung removal highlights the

  17. CHARACTERIZATION OF USEFUL AND HARMFUL INSECTS BIODIVERSITY IN VALEA CALUGAREASCA VITICULTURAL ECOSYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lidia Fîciu

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The mail goal of this paper was to analyse the environmental impact of agricultural practices in Valea Calugareasca viticultural ecosystem. Diversity characterizes the healthy state of ecosistems. The quantification of biodiversity was achieved in order to understand and compare the ecosystem community structure, based on the following indicators: Simpson biodiversity index, Shannon biodiversity index, equitability. They were applied five different variants of vines culture technology: (1 natural permanent grassing soil; (2 temporary natural grassing; (3 artificial grassing or sown; (4 cultivation of the strips between the rows with plants bees; (5 black furrow by plowing. The biodiversity at the level of useful and harmful insect species was influenced by the applied culture technology, this process been highlighted by the values of diversity indices. The two indices of diversity, Shannon and Simpson recorded the highest values in case of technological variants based on maintenance of soil by permanent natural grassing and artificial or sown grassing.

  18. Phylogenetic and Functional Metagenomic Profiling for Assessing Microbial Biodiversity in Environmental Monitoring

    OpenAIRE

    Kisand, Veljo; Valente, Angelica; Lahm, Armin; Tanet, Gerard; Lettieri, Teresa

    2012-01-01

    Decisions guiding environmental management need to be based on a broad and comprehensive understanding of the biodiversity and functional capability within ecosystems. Microbes are of particular importance since they drive biogeochemical cycles, being both producers and decomposers. Their quick and direct responses to changes in environmental conditions modulate the ecosystem accordingly, thus providing a sensitive readout. Here we have used direct sequencing of total DNA from water samples t...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Biodiversity redistribution under climate change: Impacts on ecosystems and human well-being.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecl, Gretta T; Araújo, Miguel B; Bell, Johann D; Blanchard, Julia; Bonebrake, Timothy C; Chen, I-Ching; Clark, Timothy D; Colwell, Robert K; Danielsen, Finn; Evengård, Birgitta; Falconi, Lorena; Ferrier, Simon; Frusher, Stewart; Garcia, Raquel A; Griffis, Roger B; Hobday, Alistair J; Janion-Scheepers, Charlene; Jarzyna, Marta A; Jennings, Sarah; Lenoir, Jonathan; Linnetved, Hlif I; Martin, Victoria Y; McCormack, Phillipa C; McDonald, Jan; Mitchell, Nicola J; Mustonen, Tero; Pandolfi, John M; Pettorelli, Nathalie; Popova, Ekaterina; Robinson, Sharon A; Scheffers, Brett R; Shaw, Justine D; Sorte, Cascade J B; Strugnell, Jan M; Sunday, Jennifer M; Tuanmu, Mao-Ning; Vergés, Adriana; Villanueva, Cecilia; Wernberg, Thomas; Wapstra, Erik; Williams, Stephen E

    2017-03-31

    Distributions of Earth's species are changing at accelerating rates, increasingly driven by human-mediated climate change. Such changes are already altering the composition of ecological communities, but beyond conservation of natural systems, how and why does this matter? We review evidence that climate-driven species redistribution at regional to global scales affects ecosystem functioning, human well-being, and the dynamics of climate change itself. Production of natural resources required for food security, patterns of disease transmission, and processes of carbon sequestration are all altered by changes in species distribution. Consideration of these effects of biodiversity redistribution is critical yet lacking in most mitigation and adaptation strategies, including the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  3. 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.

  4. Interacting effects of change in climate, human population, land use, and water use on biodiversity and ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elmhagen, Bodil; Destouni, Georgia; Angerbjörn, Anders; Velde, van der Ype

    2015-01-01

    Human population growth and resource use, mediated by changes in climate, land use, and water use, increasingly impact biodiversity and ecosystem services provision. However, impacts of these drivers on biodiversity and ecosystem services are rarely analyzed simultaneously and remain largely

  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. Identifying keystone habitats with a mosaic approach can improve biodiversity conservation in disturbed ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    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 (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. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. 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.

  8. 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%.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Do riparian reserves support dung beetle biodiversity and ecosystem services in oil palm-dominated tropical landscapes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Claudia L; Slade, Eleanor M; Mann, Darren J; Lewis, Owen T

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural expansion and intensification are major threats to global biodiversity, ecological functions, and ecosystem services. The rapid expansion of oil palm in forested tropical landscapes is of particular concern given their high biodiversity. Identifying management approaches that maintain native species and associated ecological processes within oil palm plantations is therefore a priority. Riparian reserves are strips of forest retained alongside rivers in cultivated areas, primarily for their positive hydrological impact. However, they can also support a range of forest-dependent species or ecosystem services. We surveyed communities of dung beetles and measured dung removal activity in an oil palm-dominated landscape in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. The species richness, diversity, and functional group richness of dung beetles in riparian reserves were significantly higher than in oil palm, but lower than in adjacent logged forests. The community composition of the riparian reserves was more similar to logged forest than oil palm. Despite the pronounced differences in biodiversity, we did not find significant differences in dung removal rates among land uses. We also found no evidence that riparian reserves enhance dung removal rates within surrounding oil palm. These results contrast previous studies showing positive relationships between dung beetle species richness and dung removal in tropical forests. We found weak but significant positive relationships between riparian reserve width and dung beetle diversity, and between reserve vegetation complexity and dung beetle abundance, suggesting that these features may increase the conservation value of riparian reserves. Synthesis and applications: The similarity between riparian reserves and logged forest demonstrates that retaining riparian reserves increases biodiversity within oil palm landscapes. However, the lack of correlation between dung beetle community characteristics and dung removal highlights the

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. An indicator framework for assessing ecosystem services in support of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maes, Joachim; Liquete, Camino; Teller, Anne; Pérez-Soba, M.

    2016-01-01

    In the EU, the mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services, abbreviated to MAES, is seen as a key action for the advancement of biodiversity objectives, and also to inform the development and implementation of related policies on water, climate, agriculture, forest, marine and

  15. Monitoring Ecosystems and Biodiversity at a Continental Scale--A Proposal for South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xavier Silva

    2006-01-01

    A monitoring system plan is being developed in South America to assess critically endangered ecoregions. The system will be based on a previous ecosystem and biodiversity inventory developed through a large gap analysis program in five South American ecoregions. The monitoring system will include three main elements: (1) Landscape Ecology: vegetation cover,...

  16. 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...

  17. Supporting Evidence-Based Policy on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Recommendations for Effective Policy Briefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balian, Estelle V.; Drius, Liza; Eggermont, Hilde; Livoreil, Barbara; Vandewalle, Marie; Vandewoestjine, Sofie; Wittmer, Heidi; Young, Juliette

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge brokerage on biodiversity and ecosystem services can apply communication tools such as policy briefs to facilitate the dialogue between scientists and policymakers. There is currently considerable debate on how to go beyond the linear communication model, outdated in theoretical debate but still often implicitly leading interaction with…

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. National Biodiversity Assessment – Testing the integrity of our freshwater ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Deventer, Heidi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available is planned at various conferences and meetings. A temporary web map viewer (http://gsdi.geoportal. csir.co.za/projects/national-biodiversity-assessment-of-2018) has also been created to allow people to view the freshwater ecosystem types and provide...

  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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. The importance of marine sediment biodiversity in ecosystem precesses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snelgrove, P.V.R.; Blackburn, T.H.; Hutchings, P.; Alongi, D.M.; Grassle, J.F.; Hummel, H.; King, G.; Koike, I.; Lambshead, P.J.D.; Ramsing, N.B.; Solis-Weiss, V.

    1997-01-01

    Sedimentary habitats cover most of the ocean bottom and therefore constitute the largest. single ecosystem on earth in spatial coverage, Although only a small fraction of the micro-, meio- and macroscopic benthic organisms that reside in and on sediments have been described and few estimates of

  7. Predicting richness effects on ecosystem function in natural communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    revealed that richness and identity effects on decomposition rates were lost with increasing shredder community complexity. Our approach of combining experimental and empirical data with modeling in species-poor ecosystems may serve as an impetus for new B-EF studies. If theory can explain B-EF in low....... 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...

  8. 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

  9. Effects of climate-change induced vegetation die-off on soil biodiversity and functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curiel Yuste, Jorge; Garcia Angulo, Daniel; Barba, Josep; Poyatos, Rafael

    2017-04-01

    Climate change-induced vegetation die-off is nowadays a widespread phenomenon responsible for limiting the capacity of terrestrial ecosystems to provide essential services worldwide. Less is known, however, about how vegetation die-off relates with changes in the biodiversity and ecology of the soil compartment, which accounts for many of the vital ecosystem functions such as providing essential nutrients for plant growth (nitrogen, N; or phosphorous, P), or long-term carbon (C) sequestration. The death of the vegetation alters soil abiotic (microclimate) conditions and limits the supply of the energy (carbohydrates specially) demanded by the soil biological communities. These abiotic and biotic changes triggers a cascade of causal-effect processes that may result in irreversible losses in soil biodiversity and in the stability of the trophic webs that sustain soil functions such as N fixation, mineralization of essential nutrients or C stabilization. However, to date, information on the potential impacts of climate-change induced vegetation die-off over soil biodiversity and functioning is fragmented (e.g. case-studies) and not very conclusive. We here want to summarize the state of the knowledge on all potential effects of climate-change induced vegetation die-off over soil biodiversity and soil functioning. Additionally, we also discuss the functional resilience of soils to climate-change vegetation die-off and how management practices could improve the resilience and the sustainability of the soil functioning.

  10. 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 ecosystems. The high biodiversity value of the area, along with the pressures on this biodiversity, have resulted in the Little Karoo being identified as an area of conservation importance by three internationally funded conservation and development... programs (the Cape Action Plan for People and the Environment, the Subtropical Thicket Ecosystem Program, and the Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Plan), each of which identified a suite of projects for achieving conservation-related objectives in the Little...

  11. Optimising UK urban road verge contributions to biodiversity and ecosystem services with cost-effective management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Sullivan, Odhran S; Holt, Alison R; Warren, Philip H; Evans, Karl L

    2017-04-15

    Urban road verges can contain significant biodiversity, contribute to structural connectivity between other urban greenspaces, and due to their proximity to road traffic are well placed to provide ecosystem services. Using the UK as a case study we review and critically evaluate a broad range of evidence to assess how this considerable potential can be enhanced despite financial, contractual and public opinion constraints. Reduced mowing frequency and other alterations would enhance biodiversity, aesthetics and pollination services, whilst delivering costs savings and potentially being publically acceptable. Retaining mature trees and planting additional ones is favourable to residents and would enhance biodiversity, pollution and climate regulation, carbon storage, and stormwater management. Optimising these services requires improved selection of tree species, and creating a more diverse tree stock. Due to establishment costs additional tree planting and maintenance could benefit from payment for ecosystem service schemes. Verges could also provide areas for cultivation of biofuels and possibly food production. Maximising the contribution of verges to urban biodiversity and ecosystem services is economical and becoming an increasingly urgent priority as the road network expands and other urban greenspace is lost, requiring enhancement of existing greenspace to facilitate sustainable urban development. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  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. 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.

  14. Natural disturbance impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity in temperate and boreal forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thom, Dominik; Seidl, Rupert

    2016-08-01

    In many parts of the world forest disturbance regimes have intensified recently, and future climatic changes are expected to amplify this development further in the coming decades. These changes are increasingly challenging the main objectives of forest ecosystem management, which are to provide ecosystem services sustainably to society and maintain the biological diversity of forests. Yet a comprehensive understanding of how disturbances affect these primary goals of ecosystem management is still lacking. We conducted a global literature review on the impact of three of the most important disturbance agents (fire, wind, and bark beetles) on 13 different ecosystem services and three indicators of biodiversity in forests of the boreal, cool- and warm-temperate biomes. Our objectives were to (i) synthesize the effect of natural disturbances on a wide range of possible objectives of forest management, and (ii) investigate standardized effect sizes of disturbance for selected indicators via a quantitative meta-analysis. We screened a total of 1958 disturbance studies published between 1981 and 2013, and reviewed 478 in detail. We first investigated the overall effect of disturbances on individual ecosystem services and indicators of biodiversity by means of independence tests, and subsequently examined the effect size of disturbances on indicators of carbon storage and biodiversity by means of regression analysis. Additionally, we investigated the effect of commonly used approaches of disturbance management, i.e. salvage logging and prescribed burning. We found that disturbance impacts on ecosystem services are generally negative, an effect that was supported for all categories of ecosystem services, i.e. supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural services (P biodiversity, i.e. species richness, habitat quality and diversity indices, on the other hand were found to be influenced positively by disturbance (P biodiversity. A detailed investigation of disturbance

  15. 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.

  16. Functional landscape heterogeneity and animal biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahrig, Lenore; Baudry, Jacques; Brotons, Lluís; Burel, Françoise G; Crist, Thomas O; Fuller, Robert J; Sirami, Clelia; Siriwardena, Gavin M; Martin, Jean-Louis

    2011-02-01

    Biodiversity in agricultural landscapes can be increased with conversion of some production lands into 'more-natural'- unmanaged or extensively managed - lands. However, it remains unknown to what extent biodiversity can be enhanced by altering landscape pattern without reducing agricultural production. We propose a framework for this problem, considering separately compositional heterogeneity (the number and proportions of different cover types) and configurational heterogeneity (the spatial arrangement of cover types). Cover type classification and mapping is based on species requirements, such as feeding and nesting, resulting in measures of 'functional landscape heterogeneity'. We then identify three important questions: does biodiversity increase with (1) increasing heterogeneity of the more-natural areas, (2) increasing compositional heterogeneity of production cover types and (3) increasing configurational heterogeneity of production cover types? We discuss approaches for addressing these questions. Such studies should have high priority because biodiversity protection globally depends increasingly on maintaining biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  17. Securing biodiversity and ecosystem services in Africa: Notes from the 2015 Satoyama Initiative Regional Workshop in Accra, Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfred Oteng-Yeboah

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The first Satoyama Initiative Regional Workshop in Africa was held in Accra, Ghana, from 10 to 12 August 2015. The objective of the workshop was to contribute to the sustainable development agenda in the region within the scope of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by strengthening the knowledge base related to the Satoyama Initiative, a global effort ‘to realize societies in harmony with nature’ through the revitalisation and sustainable development of ‘socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes’. This short report summarises some of the main points arising from the workshop.

  18. 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.

  19. Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in a Rapidly Transforming Landscape in Northern Borneo

    OpenAIRE

    Labri?re, Nicolas; Laumonier, Yves; Locatelli, Bruno; Vieilledent, Ghislain; Comptour, Marion

    2015-01-01

    Because industrial agriculture keeps expanding in Southeast Asia at the expense of natural forests and traditional swidden systems, comparing biodiversity and ecosystem services in the traditional forest–swidden agriculture system vs. monocultures is needed to guide decision making on land-use planning. Focusing on tree diversity, soil erosion control, and climate change mitigation through carbon storage, we surveyed vegetation and monitored soil loss in various land-use areas in a northern B...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Responses of leaf processing to impacts in streams in Atlantic rain Forest, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - a test of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship? Respostas do processamento de folha a impactos em córregos de Mata Atlântica, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil - uma prova da relação entre biodiversidade e funcionamento de ecossistema?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. P. Moulton

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has been intensely debated and researched in recent times. It is generally agreed that there is redundancy of species in ecosystems such that loss of species does not necessarily result in change in the functioning of the ecosystem in which they occur. However the state of our knowledge does not allow prediction of sensitivity or specificity of this relationship for any particular ecosystem. A widely-held opinion is that ecosystem functioning is relatively stable to environmental impact, whereas biodiversity is more sensitive. We tested this in streams of the Atlantic forest using leaf decomposition as an aspect of ecosystem functioning and measuring the diversity of the associated fauna. In lightly impacted streams of the urban park Parque Estadual da Pedra Branca, RJ, leaf processing rate of a hard-leaf species, Myrcia rostrata (Myrtaceae was more than 50% slower than in "intact" streams at the biological reserve of Ilha Grande, RJ. Taxon diversity of fauna of the leaves was not significantly lower in the impacted than the intact streams. We construe this as preliminary evidence contrary to the notion that ecosystem functioning is less sensitive than biodiversity to impacts in this system.A relação entre biodiversidade e funcionamento de ecossistema tem sido debatida e pesquisada intensivamente em tempos recentes. Concorda-se geralmente que existe redundância de espécies em ecossistemas que faz com que a perda de espécies não necessariamente implique mudança no funcionamento do ecossistema em que ocorrem. Porém, o estado de nosso conhecimento não permite previsão de sensibilidade ou especificidade dessa relação para qualquer ecossistema. Uma opinião amplamente aceita é que o funcionamento do ecossistema fica relativamente estável ao impacto ambiental; em contrapartida, a biodiversidade é mais sensível. Testamos isto em córregos da Mata Atlântica usando decomposi

  3. Ecosystem functions across trophic levels are linked to functional and phylogenetic diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick L Thompson

    Full Text Available 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.

  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.

  5. The Montérégie Connection: linking landscapes, biodiversity, and ecosystem services to improve decision making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew G. E. Mitchell

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available To maximize specific ecosystem services (ES such as food production, people alter landscape structure, i.e., the types of ecosystems present, their relative proportions, and their spatial arrangement across landscapes. This can have significant, and sometimes unexpected, effects on biodiversity and ES. Communities need information about how land-use activities and changes to landscape structure are likely to affect biodiversity and ES, but current scientific understanding of these effects is incomplete. The Montérégie Connection (MC project has used the rapidly suburbanizing agricultural Montérégien landscape just east of Montreal, Québec, Canada, to investigate how current and historic landscape structure influences ES provision. Our results highlight the importance of forest connectivity and functional diversity on ES provision, and show that ES provision can vary significantly even within single land-use types in response to changes in landscape structure. Our historical analysis reveals that levels of ES provision, as well as relationships among individual ES, can change dramatically through time. We are using these results to build quantitative ES-landscape structure models to assess four future landscape scenarios for the region: Periurban Development, Demand for Energy, Whole-System Crisis, and Green Development. These scenarios integrate empirical and historical data on ES provision with local stakeholder input about global and local social and ecological drivers to explore how land-use decisions could affect ES provision and human well-being across the region to the year 2045. By integrating empirical data, quantitative models, and scenarios we have achieved the central goals of the MC project: (1 increasing understanding of the effects of landscape structure on biodiversity and ES provision, (2 effectively linking this knowledge to decision making to better manage for biodiversity and ES, and (3 creating a vision for a more

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. A quantitative assessment of policy options for no net loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the European Union

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, C.J.E.; van Teeffelen, A.J.A.; Tucker, G.; Verburg, P.H.

    2016-01-01

    The Biodiversity Strategy of the European Union includes a target to "ensure no-net-loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services by 2020". Many policy options can be envisioned to achieve such a no-net-loss target, mainly acting on land use and land management. To assess the effectiveness of such

  9. Hybrid ecosystems can contribute to local biodiversity conservation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kasari, L.; Saar, L.; de Bello, Francesco; Takkis, K.; Helm, A.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 14 (2016), s. 3023-3041 ISSN 0960-3115 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-15012S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Functional diversity * Habitat integrity * Phylogenetic diversity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.265, year: 2016

  10. Functional diversity enhances detection of ecosystem stability and resolution of predator-prey interactions within a multitrophic community

    OpenAIRE

    Kissick, Ashley Lorraine

    2016-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation and loss are principal factors that contribute to the decline of biodiversity which in turn has a negative impact on ecosystem function. There has been growing interest in understanding diversity’s role in the mechanisms behind ecosystem resilience with much attention focusing on how functional diversity, or the range of species’ ecological roles in a community, impacts ecosystem function. Under the functional insurance hypothesis, stability in ecosystems is maintained b...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Biodiversity and the functioning of tropical forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sande, van der M.T.

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests are the most diverse terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, their capacity for removal of carbon from the atmosphere makes them important for climate change mitigation. Theories predict that species use resources in a different way, and therefore high species diversity would result in

  14. Field evidence that ecosystem service projects support biodiversity and diversify options.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldman, Rebecca L; Tallis, Heather; Kareiva, Peter; Daily, Gretchen C

    2008-07-08

    Ecosystem service approaches to conservation are being championed as a new strategy for conservation, under the hypothesis that they will broaden and deepen support for biodiversity protection. Where traditional approaches focus on setting aside land by purchasing property rights, ecosystem service approaches aim to engage a much wider range of places, people, policies, and financial resources in conservation. This is particularly important given projected intensification of human impacts, with rapid growth in population size and individual aspirations. Here we use field research on 34 ecosystem service (ES) projects and 26 traditional biodiversity (BD) projects from the Western Hemisphere to test whether ecosystem service approaches show signs of realizing their putative potential. We find that the ES projects attract on average more than four times as much funding through greater corporate sponsorship and use of a wider variety of finance tools than BD projects. ES projects are also more likely to encompass working landscapes and the people in them. We also show that, despite previous concern, ES projects not only expand opportunities for conservation, but they are no less likely than BD projects to include or create protected areas. Moreover, they do not draw down limited financial resources for conservation but rather engage a more diverse set of funders. We also found, however, that monitoring of conservation outcomes in both cases is so infrequent that it is impossible to assess the effectiveness of either ES or BD approaches.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pollisco, Filiberto; Simorangkir, Dicky

    2013-01-01

    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...

  16. Biodiversity of Andean potatoes: Morphological, nutritional and functional characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calliope, Sonia Rosario; Lobo, Manuel Oscar; Sammán, Norma Cristina

    2018-01-01

    Andean potatoes (Solanum tuberosum andigenum) are a staple food for Andean population; there is great biodiversity but only few varieties are cultivated nowadays. In order to contribute to biodiversity conservation of Andean potatoes, information about their morphological, nutritional and functional characteristics was generated. In gene bank (INTA-Balcarce), varieties collected from regional producers were preserved. Forty-four genotypes were multiplied and characterized. Morphological characteristics; proximate composition and functional compounds were analyzed. Cluster analysis separated them into 3 groups according to distinguishing characteristics, which define industrial or nutritional applications. Group 2 was characterized by higher content of macronutrients and Group 3 with the highest antioxidant activity, both would be advisable for direct consumption. Genotype CS 1418 had big size and oval form so it could be destined to potato chips industry. Knowledge on nutritional and functional properties of genotypes contributes to promoting the cultivation depending on properties and also to preserve biodiversity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Impact of seasonal variation on soil bacterial diversity and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoo, Adenike Eunice; Oluranti Babalola, Olubukola

    2017-04-01

    Soil biodiversity boosts the functioning of the ecosystem thereby contributing to the provision of various ecosystem services. Understanding the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and their reaction to environmental heterogeneity can maximize the contribution of soil microbes to ecosystem services. The diversity, abundance and function of microorganisms can be altered by seasonal variation. There is a dearth of information on how soil biodiversity respond to environmental changes. The impact of seasonal variation on bacterial communities and its effects on soil functioning in four South African forests was investigated. The samples were analysed for pH, moisture content, total carbon and nitrogen, soil nitrate and extractable phosphate. High-throughput sequencing and quantitative PCR were used to determine the diversity and abundance of bacteria. Community level physiological profiles (CLPPs) were measured using the MicroResp™ method. Enzyme activities were additionally used as proxy for ecosystem functions. The functional genes for nitrification and phosphate solubilisation were also measured. Seasonal variation has strong effects on bacterial communities and consequently soil processes. A reduction in biodiversity has direct results on soil ecosystem functioning.

  18. 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

    of ecosystems to change. Here we examine temporal and spatial patterns and drivers of multiple marine biodiversity indicators using the North Sea fish community as a case study. Based on long-term spatially resolved survey data on fish species occurrences and biomasses from 1983 to 2014 and an extensive trait......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 recognition...... has led to the exploration of other components of biodiversity, notably the diversity of ecologically important traits. Recent studies taking into account both taxonomic and trait diversity have revealed that the two biodiversity components may exhibit pronounced temporal and spatial differences...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25157190

  2. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neugarten, Rachel A; Honzák, Miroslav; Carret, Pierre; Koenig, Kellee; Andriamaro, Luciano; Cano, Carlos Andres; Grantham, Hedley S; Hole, David; Juhn, Daniel; McKinnon, Madeleine; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Steininger, Marc; Wright, Timothy Max; Turner, Will R

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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; 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.

    2018-01-01

    * 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

  8. 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

  9. Biodiversity and ecosystem risks arising from using guppies to control mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Sabaawi, Rana W; Frauendorf, Therese C; Marques, Piata S; Mackenzie, Richard A; Manna, Luisa R; Mazzoni, Rosana; Phillip, Dawn A T; Warbanski, Misha L; Zandonà, Eugenia

    2016-10-01

    Deploying mosquito predators such as the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) into bodies of water where mosquitoes breed is a common strategy for limiting the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes. Here, we draw on studies from epidemiology, conservation, ecology and evolution to show that the evidence for the effectiveness of guppies in controlling mosquitoes is weak, that the chances of accidental guppy introduction into local ecosystems are large, and that guppies can easily establish populations and damage these aquatic ecosystems. We highlight several knowledge and implementation gaps, and urge that this approach is either abandoned in favour of more effective strategies or that it is used much more rigorously. Controlling mosquitoes does not need to come at the expense of freshwater biodiversity. © 2016 The Author(s).

  10. Protecting aquatic biodiversity in Europe: How much do EU environmental policies support ecosystem-based management?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouillard, Josselin; Lago, Manuel; Abhold, Katrina; Röschel, Lina; Kafyeke, Terri; Mattheiß, Verena; Klimmek, Helen

    2018-02-01

    The sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems requires better coordination between policies span-ning freshwater, coastal and marine environments. Ecosystem-based management (EBM) has been promoted as a holistic and integrative approach for the safekeeping and protection of aquatic biodiversity. The paper assesses the degree to which key European environmental policies for the aquatic environment, namely the Birds and Habitats Directives, Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive, individually support EBM and can work synergistically to implement EBM. This assessment is based on a review of legal texts, EU guidance and implementation documents. The paper concludes that EBM can be made operational by implementing these key environmental directives. Opportunities for improving the integration of EU environmental policies are highlighted.

  11. Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in a Rapidly Transforming Landscape in Northern Borneo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Labrière

    Full Text Available Because industrial agriculture keeps expanding in Southeast Asia at the expense of natural forests and traditional swidden systems, comparing biodiversity and ecosystem services in the traditional forest-swidden agriculture system vs. monocultures is needed to guide decision making on land-use planning. Focusing on tree diversity, soil erosion control, and climate change mitigation through carbon storage, we surveyed vegetation and monitored soil loss in various land-use areas in a northern Bornean agricultural landscape shaped by swidden agriculture, rubber tapping, and logging, where various levels and types of disturbance have created a fine mosaic of vegetation from food crop fields to natural forest. Tree species diversity and ecosystem service production were highest in natural forests. Logged-over forests produced services similar to those of natural forests. Land uses related to the swidden agriculture system largely outperformed oil palm or rubber monocultures in terms of tree species diversity and service production. Natural and logged-over forests should be maintained or managed as integral parts of the swidden system, and landscape multifunctionality should be sustained. Because natural forests host a unique diversity of trees and produce high levels of ecosystem services, targeting carbon stock protection, e.g. through financial mechanisms such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+, will synergistically provide benefits for biodiversity and a wide range of other services. However, the way such mechanisms could benefit communities must be carefully evaluated to counter the high opportunity cost of conversion to monocultures that might generate greater income, but would be detrimental to the production of multiple ecosystem services.

  12. Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in a Rapidly Transforming Landscape in Northern Borneo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labrière, Nicolas; Laumonier, Yves; Locatelli, Bruno; Vieilledent, Ghislain; Comptour, Marion

    2015-01-01

    Because industrial agriculture keeps expanding in Southeast Asia at the expense of natural forests and traditional swidden systems, comparing biodiversity and ecosystem services in the traditional forest-swidden agriculture system vs. monocultures is needed to guide decision making on land-use planning. Focusing on tree diversity, soil erosion control, and climate change mitigation through carbon storage, we surveyed vegetation and monitored soil loss in various land-use areas in a northern Bornean agricultural landscape shaped by swidden agriculture, rubber tapping, and logging, where various levels and types of disturbance have created a fine mosaic of vegetation from food crop fields to natural forest. Tree species diversity and ecosystem service production were highest in natural forests. Logged-over forests produced services similar to those of natural forests. Land uses related to the swidden agriculture system largely outperformed oil palm or rubber monocultures in terms of tree species diversity and service production. Natural and logged-over forests should be maintained or managed as integral parts of the swidden system, and landscape multifunctionality should be sustained. Because natural forests host a unique diversity of trees and produce high levels of ecosystem services, targeting carbon stock protection, e.g. through financial mechanisms such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), will synergistically provide benefits for biodiversity and a wide range of other services. However, the way such mechanisms could benefit communities must be carefully evaluated to counter the high opportunity cost of conversion to monocultures that might generate greater income, but would be detrimental to the production of multiple ecosystem services.

  13. Deep Margins Under Pressure: Sustaining Biodiversity and Function where Climate Change and Humans Collide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, L. A.

    2012-12-01

    The ocean's deep continental margins (200 - 3000 m) extend for over 150,000 km and cover 45 million square km. Once considered monotonous and of limited environmental value, we now recognize that they are highly heterogeneous and that the diverse habitats and organisms provide key ecological functions and ecosystem services. Driven by increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, continental slopes are experiencing rapid changes in temperature, oxygen and pH. At the same time they are increasingly exploited for their fisheries, energy and mineral resources. This talk will highlight natural- and climate-change induced hypoxia, acidification and warming on upwelling margins. Natural variations in space and time provide lessons about the evolutionary and ecological responses of animals, communities and ecosystems to individual and multiple stressors. We ask, to what extent do they foretell the future? The overprint of stress from climate change is likely to increase ecosystem vulnerability to human disturbance from oil and gas extraction, fishing and minerals mining, with threats to biodiversity and lowered resilience. These challenges demand a global commitment to improved stewardship of deep-ocean ecosystems and resources. Sustaining the integrity of the deep ocean will require integration of oceanography, biodiversity and conservation science, technology, informatics, economics, policy, law and communication, as well as engagement of stakeholders.

  14. Phylogenetic and functional metagenomic profiling for assessing microbial biodiversity in environmental monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisand, Veljo; Valente, Angelica; Lahm, Armin; Tanet, Gerard; Lettieri, Teresa

    2012-01-01

    Decisions guiding environmental management need to be based on a broad and comprehensive understanding of the biodiversity and functional capability within ecosystems. Microbes are of particular importance since they drive biogeochemical cycles, being both producers and decomposers. Their quick and direct responses to changes in environmental conditions modulate the ecosystem accordingly, thus providing a sensitive readout. Here we have used direct sequencing of total DNA from water samples to compare the microbial communities of two distinct coastal regions exposed to different anthropogenic pressures: the highly polluted Port of Genoa and the protected area of Montecristo Island in the Mediterranean Sea. Analysis of the metagenomes revealed significant differences in both microbial diversity and abundance between the two areas, reflecting their distinct ecological habitats and anthropogenic stress conditions. Our results indicate that the combination of next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and bioinformatics tools presents a new approach to monitor the diversity and the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems. Integration of metagenomics into environmental monitoring campaigns should enable the impact of the anthropogenic pressure on microbial biodiversity in various ecosystems to be better assessed and also predicted.

  15. Phylogenetic and functional metagenomic profiling for assessing microbial biodiversity in environmental monitoring.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veljo Kisand

    Full Text Available Decisions guiding environmental management need to be based on a broad and comprehensive understanding of the biodiversity and functional capability within ecosystems. Microbes are of particular importance since they drive biogeochemical cycles, being both producers and decomposers. Their quick and direct responses to changes in environmental conditions modulate the ecosystem accordingly, thus providing a sensitive readout. Here we have used direct sequencing of total DNA from water samples to compare the microbial communities of two distinct coastal regions exposed to different anthropogenic pressures: the highly polluted Port of Genoa and the protected area of Montecristo Island in the Mediterranean Sea. Analysis of the metagenomes revealed significant differences in both microbial diversity and abundance between the two areas, reflecting their distinct ecological habitats and anthropogenic stress conditions. Our results indicate that the combination of next generation sequencing (NGS technologies and bioinformatics tools presents a new approach to monitor the diversity and the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems. Integration of metagenomics into environmental monitoring campaigns should enable the impact of the anthropogenic pressure on microbial biodiversity in various ecosystems to be better assessed and also predicted.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, Lisa A; Niemi, Jarad; Helmers, Matthew J; Liebman, Matt; Arbuckle, J Gordon; James, David E; Kolka, Randall K; O'Neal, Matthew E; Tomer, Mark D; Tyndall, John C; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Drobney, Pauline; Neal, Jeri; Van Ryswyk, Gary; Witte, Chris

    2017-10-17

    Loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem services from agricultural lands remain important challenges in the United States despite decades of spending on natural resource management. To date, conservation investment has emphasized engineering practices or vegetative strategies centered on monocultural plantings of nonnative plants, largely excluding native species from cropland. In a catchment-scale experiment, we quantified the multiple effects of integrating strips of native prairie species amid corn and soybean crops, with prairie strips arranged to arrest run-off on slopes. Replacing 10% of cropland with prairie strips increased biodiversity and ecosystem services with minimal impacts on crop production. Compared with catchments containing only crops, integrating prairie strips into cropland led to greater catchment-level insect taxa richness (2.6-fold), pollinator abundance (3.5-fold), native bird species richness (2.1-fold), and abundance of bird species of greatest conservation need (2.1-fold). Use of prairie strips also reduced total water runoff from catchments by 37%, resulting in retention of 20 times more soil and 4.3 times more phosphorus. Corn and soybean yields for catchments with prairie strips decreased only by the amount of the area taken out of crop production. Social survey results indicated demand among both farming and nonfarming populations for the environmental outcomes produced by prairie strips. If federal and state policies were aligned to promote prairie strips, the practice would be applicable to 3.9 million ha of cropland in Iowa alone.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helmers, Matthew J.; Liebman, Matt; James, David E.; Kolka, Randall K.; O’Neal, Matthew E.; Tomer, Mark D.; Tyndall, John C.; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Drobney, Pauline; Neal, Jeri; Van Ryswyk, Gary; Witte, Chris

    2017-01-01

    Loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem services from agricultural lands remain important challenges in the United States despite decades of spending on natural resource management. To date, conservation investment has emphasized engineering practices or vegetative strategies centered on monocultural plantings of nonnative plants, largely excluding native species from cropland. In a catchment-scale experiment, we quantified the multiple effects of integrating strips of native prairie species amid corn and soybean crops, with prairie strips arranged to arrest run-off on slopes. Replacing 10% of cropland with prairie strips increased biodiversity and ecosystem services with minimal impacts on crop production. Compared with catchments containing only crops, integrating prairie strips into cropland led to greater catchment-level insect taxa richness (2.6-fold), pollinator abundance (3.5-fold), native bird species richness (2.1-fold), and abundance of bird species of greatest conservation need (2.1-fold). Use of prairie strips also reduced total water runoff from catchments by 37%, resulting in retention of 20 times more soil and 4.3 times more phosphorus. Corn and soybean yields for catchments with prairie strips decreased only by the amount of the area taken out of crop production. Social survey results indicated demand among both farming and nonfarming populations for the environmental outcomes produced by prairie strips. If federal and state policies were aligned to promote prairie strips, the practice would be applicable to 3.9 million ha of cropland in Iowa alone. PMID:28973922

  18. 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

  19. Ecosystem restoration strengthens pollination network resilience and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser-Bunbury, Christopher N; Mougal, James; Whittington, Andrew E; Valentin, Terence; Gabriel, Ronny; Olesen, Jens M; Blüthgen, Nico

    2017-02-09

    Land degradation results in declining biodiversity and the disruption of ecosystem functioning worldwide, particularly in the tropics. Vegetation restoration is a common tool used to mitigate these impacts and increasingly aims to restore ecosystem functions rather than species diversity. However, evidence from community experiments on the effect of restoration practices on ecosystem functions is scarce. Pollination is an important ecosystem function and the global decline in pollinators attenuates the resistance of natural areas and agro-environments to disturbances. Thus, the ability of pollination functions to resist or recover from disturbance (that is, the functional resilience) may be critical for ensuring a successful restoration process. Here we report the use of a community field experiment to investigate the effects of vegetation restoration, specifically the removal of exotic shrubs, on pollination. We analyse 64 plant-pollinator networks and the reproductive performance of the ten most abundant plant species across four restored and four unrestored, disturbed mountaintop communities. Ecosystem restoration resulted in a marked increase in pollinator species, visits to flowers and interaction diversity. Interactions in restored networks were more generalized than in unrestored networks, indicating a higher functional redundancy in restored communities. Shifts in interaction patterns had direct and positive effects on pollination, especially on the relative and total fruit production of native plants. Pollinator limitation was prevalent at unrestored sites only, where the proportion of flowers producing fruit increased with pollinator visitation, approaching the higher levels seen in restored plant communities. Our results show that vegetation restoration can improve pollination, suggesting that the degradation of ecosystem functions is at least partially reversible. The degree of recovery may depend on the state of degradation before restoration

  20. 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

  1. SOIL FUNGI ARE AN ACTIVE PARTNER OF OUR ECOSYSTEM. THEIR BIODIVERSITY AND ACTIVITIES SHOULD BE APPRECIATED*

    OpenAIRE

    Moubasher, A. H. [عبد العال حسن مباشر

    1995-01-01

    Soil fungi play an active role in the maintenance and functioning of ecosystems around man. This paper is an appreciation of their bio¬diversity and activities at the global and Arab world levels. Microorganisms merit more respect from "macroorganism" conservationists and ecologists. It is myopic to consider the maintenance of birds, mammals, fish, trees or flowers in natural ecosystems, without according due attention to the functioning of their life-support systems. [1]. My lecture ...

  2. 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

  3. Biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available four times the size of Spain) (IUCN-WCPA undated). The eco-regions under the best protection tend to be the savannah habitats, particularly those of Eastern and Southern Africa (Burgess and others 2005). Charismatic animals, such as large mammals..., and on freshwater and marine ecosystems. Global trade has intensified the demand for animal products, tropical timbers, cash crops and seafood. At the same time, global connectedness has brought new problems, such as global climate change, IAS, the spread...

  4. Linking national wood consumption with global biodiversity and ecosystem service losses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhary, Abhishek; Carrasco, L Roman; Kastner, Thomas

    2017-05-15

    Identifying the global hotspots of forestry driven species, ecosystem services losses and informing the consuming nations of their environmental footprint domestically and abroad is essential to design demand side interventions and induce sustainable production methods. Here we first use countryside species area relationship model to project species extinctions of four vertebrate taxa (mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles) due to forest land use in 174 countries. We combine the projected extinctions with a global database on the monetary value of ecosystem services provided by different biomes and with bilateral trade data of wood products to calculate species extinctions and ecosystem services losses inflicted by national wood consumption and international wood trade. Results show that globally a total of 485 species are projected to go extinct due to current forest land use. About 32% of this projected loss can be attributed to land use devoted for export production. However, under the counterfactual scenario with the same consumption levels but no international trade of wood products, an additional 334 species are projected to go extinct. Globally, we find that losses of ecosystem services worth $1.5trillion/year are embodied in the timber trade. Compared to high-income nations, tropical countries such as Philippines, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Gambia and Bolivia presented the highest net ecosystem services losses (>3000US$/ha/year) that could not be compensated through current land rents, indicating underpriced exports. Small tropical countries also gained much lower rents per species extinction suffered. These results can help internalize these costs into the global trade through financial compensation mechanisms such as REDD+ or through price premiums on wood sourced from these countries. Overall the results can provide valuable insights for devising national strategies to meet several of the global Aichi 2020 biodiversity targets and can also be useful for

  5. 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

  6. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michie, Laura; Taylor, Ben W.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25276505

  8. Food production, ecosystem services and biodiversity: We can't have it all everywhere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Alison R; Alix, Anne; Thompson, Anne; Maltby, Lorraine

    2016-12-15

    Debate about how sustainable intensification and multifunctionality might be implemented continues, but there remains little understanding as to what extent they are achievable in arable landscapes. Policies that influence agronomic decisions are rarely made with an appreciation of the trade-offs that exist between food production, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service provision. We present an approach that can reveal such trade-offs when used to assess current and future policy options that affect agricultural inputs (e.g. pesticides, nutrients) and practices. In addition, by demonstrating it in a pesticide policy context, we show how safeguarding a range of ecosystem services may have serious implications for UK food security. We suggest that policy change is most usefully implemented at a landscape scale to promote multifunctionality, tailoring pesticide risk assessment and incentives for management that support bundles of ecosystem services to specific landscape contexts. In some instances tough trade-offs may need to be accepted. However, our approach can ensure that current knowledge is used to inform policy decisions for progress towards a more balanced food production system. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. The need for the incorporation of phylogeny in the measurement of biological diversity, with special reference to ecosystem functioning research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Ian

    2009-01-01

    Defining and measuring biodiversity is an important research area in biology, with very interesting theoretical and applied aspects. Numerous definitions have been proposed, and these definitions of biodiversity influence how it is measured. From the still commonly used measure of species diversity, through higher taxon diversity, molecular measures, ecological measures and indicator taxa, these measures have as their fundamental shortcoming the lack of an explicit consideration of the evolutionary context represented by phylogenies. Attempts have been made to incorporate phylogenetic considerations into measuring biodiversity, but more hypothesis-driven research needs to be done. A specific case study is presented of how this added emphasis on phylogeny-based biodiversity measurement can influence the way in which research is directed and hypotheses are generated. The elucidation of the relationship of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning is a very timely concern with the unarguable loss of biodiversity this planet is experiencing, whichever way biodiversity is measured.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Brazilian LTER: ecosystem and biodiversity information in support of decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, F A R; Scarano, F R; Sabará, M G; Esteves, F A

    2004-01-01

    Brazil officially joined the International Long Term Ecological Research (ILTER) network in January 2000, when nine research sites were created and funded by the Brazilian Council for Science and Technology (CNPq). Two-years later some positive signs already emerge of the scientific, social and political achievements of the Brazilian LTER program. We discuss examples of how ecosystem and biodiversity information gathered within a long-term research approach are currently subsidizing decision-making as regards biodiversity conservation and watershed management at local and regional scales. Success in this respect has often been related to satisfactory communication between scientists, private companies, government and local citizens. Environmental education programs in the LTER sites are playing an important role in social and political integration. Most examples of integration of ecological research to decision-making in Brazil derive from case studies at local or regional scale. Despite the predominance of a bottom-up integrative pathway (from case studies to models; from local to national scale), some top-down initiatives are also in order, such as the construction of a model to estimate the inpact of different macroeconomic policies and growth trajectories on land use. We believe science and society in Brazil will benefit of the coexistence of bottom-up and top-down integrative approaches.

  13. 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

  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. Impacts of N-depostion on biodiversity in a grassland ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, S.; Luth, D.

    2003-12-01

    Nitrogen deposition threatens biodiversity in many ecosystems across the globe, and poses a range of scientific and policy challenges. Grassland ecosystems on nutrient-poor serpentine soils provide a model system for understanding local and regional impacts of N-deposition on biodiversity. A population of the threatened Bay checkerspot butterfly crashed from 3500 butterflies in 1997 to likely extinction in 2003. Non-native annual grass crowded out larval hostplants over much of the habitat, primarily driven by nitrogen deposition from tailpipe emissions of NH3 from 100,000 vehicles per day on a roadway bisecting the habitat. NH3 levels (measured with passive monitors) are elevated adjacent to the roadway, but are near background levels 400 m away. Grass cover was higher closer to and downwind of the road, and hostplant cover was inversely related to grass cover. Results from a first-order model show that N-deposition levels adjacent to the roadway are similar (>10 kg-N ha-1 yr-1) to levels downwind of the heavily urbanized Santa Clara Valley (where grass invasions have led to the extinction of large populations via vigorous grass invasions). This local butterfly extinction is unexpected fallout of the adoption of three-way catalytic converters in 1990s. The only known occurrence of an endangered plant, Pentachaeta bellidiflora, exists west of the freeway and may be at long term risk. Invasions of nitrophilous grasses and other weedy species into N-limited grasslands and shrublands appear to be a common response to increased atmospheric deposition in semi-arid areas.

  16. 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

  17. Impact of agricultural extensification on the relation between soil biodiversity and ecosystem services (soil structure maintenance, water regulation)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faber, J.; Pérès, G.; Groot, A. de

    Introduction – There are increasing pressures on soil biodiversity and soil degradation remains a pertinent issue. In this context, one aim of the EcoFINDERS European project was to assess the impact of agricultural extensification, across a broad range of European land-use systems, on the relati...... biodiversity, providing better soil structure and water infiltration. These results provide more quantitative insights that allow for ecohydrological modelling (forecasting) and economic valuation......., on the relationships between soil biodiversity and ecosystem services. Special attention was given to the relation between i) soil biodiversity and aggregate stability, and ii) earthworms and soil macroporosity and water infiltration.  Method - Data from seven long-term field studies (France, Germany, United......-Kingdom, Slovenia, Denmark) on replicated plots of different land management scenarios (grassland, arable cropping, mixed crop-grassland, reduced or conventional tillage) were analysed. Earthworms were sampled using hand sorting and chemical extraction. Aggregate stability was measured using wet sieving method...

  18. Interacting effects of change in climate, human population, land use, and water use on biodiversity and ecosystem services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bodil Elmhagen

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Human population growth and resource use, mediated by changes in climate, land use, and water use, increasingly impact biodiversity and ecosystem services provision. However, impacts of these drivers on biodiversity and ecosystem services are rarely analyzed simultaneously and remain largely unknown. An emerging question is how science can improve the understanding of change in biodiversity and ecosystem service delivery and of potential feedback mechanisms of adaptive governance. We analyzed past and future change in drivers in south-central Sweden. We used the analysis to identify main research challenges and outline important research tasks. Since the 19th century, our study area has experienced substantial and interlinked changes; a 1.6°C temperature increase, rapid population growth, urbanization, and massive changes in land use and water use. Considerable future changes are also projected until the mid-21st century. However, little is known about the impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services so far, and this in turn hampers future projections of such effects. Therefore, we urge scientists to explore interdisciplinary approaches designed to investigate change in multiple drivers, underlying mechanisms, and interactions over time, including assessment and analysis of matching-scale data from several disciplines. Such a perspective is needed for science to contribute to adaptive governance by constantly improving the understanding of linked change complexities and their impacts.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Heterogeneity of hemiboreal forests related to ecosystems functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasnov, Dmitrii; Noe, Steffen M.; Krasnova, Alisa; Niinemets, Ülo

    2014-05-01

    Heterogeneity is one of the key components of sustainable development of every living system. Boreal and hemiboreal terrestrial systems have less biodiversity compared to tropical (or more southern). Heterogeneity provides the source for restocking of ecosystem living components, irregular distribution of nutrients, places for living (medium for living). Main components of forest horizontal heterogeneity are related to: horizontal distribution of dominant species, soil properties, topography and as natural as human disturbances. Soil as a main source for nutrient supply plays important role in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. The understanding of principles (regularity) of spatial distribution of such soil properties as soil acidity, available for living organisms nutrients, soil moisture and temperature, soil density and the role of tree dominant and co-dominate species can give deeper knowledge about ecosystem functioning. The models based on this knowledge can be more precise and give possibilities to predict behavior of ecosystem in terms of global climate change. The aim of the project is to assess spatial distribution and changing of soil properties related to spatial distribution of vegetation, microtopography and landscape position. The project was done in the frame of SMEAR Estonia.

  4. [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.

  5. 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.

  6. Earth-System Scales of Biodiversity Variability in Shallow Continental Margin Seafloor Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moffitt, S. E.; White, S. M.; Hill, T. M.; Kennett, J.

    2015-12-01

    High-resolution paleoceanographic sedimentary sequences allow for the description of ecosystem sensitivity to earth-system scales of climate and oceanographic change. Such archives from Santa Barbara Basin, California record the ecological consequences to seafloor ecosystems of climate-forced shifts in the California Current Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ). Here we use core MV0508-20JPC dated to 735,000±5,000 years ago (Marine Isotope Stage 18) as a "floating window" of millennial-scale ecological variability. For this investigation, previously published archives of planktonic δ18O (Globigerina bulloides) record stadial and interstadial oscillations in surface ocean temperature. Core MV0508-20JPC is an intermittently laminated archive, strongly influenced by the California Current OMZ, with continuously preserved benthic foraminifera and discontinuously preserved micro-invertebrates, including ophiuroids, echinoderms, ostracods, gastropods, bivalves and scaphopods. Multivariate statistical approaches, such as ordinations and cluster analyses, describe climate-driven changes in both foraminiferal and micro-invertebrate assemblages. Statistical ordinations illustrate that the shallow continental margin seafloor underwent predictable phase-shifts in oxygenation and biodiversity across stadial and interstadial events. A narrow suite of severely hypoxic taxa characterized foraminiferal communities from laminated intervals, including Bolivina tumida, Globobulimina spp., and Nonionella stella. Foraminiferal communities from bioturbated intervals are diverse and >60% similar to each other, and they are associated with echinoderm, ostracod and mollusc fossils. As with climate shifts in the latest Quaternary, there is a sensitive benthic ecosystem response in mid-Pleistocene continental margins to climatically related changes in OMZ strength.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Multitrophic functional diversity predicts ecosystem functioning in experimental assemblages of estuarine consumers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Duffy, J Emmett

    2015-11-01

    The use of functional traits to explain how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning has attracted intense interest, yet few studies have a priori altered functional diversity, especially in multitrophic communities. Here, we manipulated multivariate functional diversity of estuarine grazers and predators within multiple levels of species richness to test how species richness and functional diversity predicted ecosystem functioning in a multitrophic food web. Community functional diversity was a better predictor than species richness for the majority of ecosystem properties, based on generalized linear mixed-effects models. Combining inferences from eight traits into a single multivariate index increased prediction accuracy of these models relative to any individual trait. Structural equation modeling revealed that functional diversity of both grazers and predators was important in driving final biomass within trophic levels, with stronger effects observed for predators. We also show that different species drove different ecosystem responses, with evidence for both sampling effects and complementarity. Our study extends experimental investigations of functional trait diversity to a multilevel food web, and demonstrates that functional diversity can be more accurate and effective than species richness in predicting community biomass in a food web context.

  10. INVASIVE PLANTS HARBOR HUNGRY DETRITIVORES THAT ALTER ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystems are expected to function more efficiently in response to a diverse community of inhabitants. However, biological invasions may change expected relationships between ecosystem function and diversity. We observed increased decomposition, a measure of ecosystem function...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Biodiversity Conservation in Asia

    OpenAIRE

    Dale Squires

    2014-01-01

    Asian's remarkable economic growth brought many benefits but also fuelled threats to its ecosystems and biodiversity. Economic growth brings biodiversity threats but also conservation opportunities. Continued biodiversity loss is inevitable, but the types, areas and rates of biodiversity loss are not. Prioritising biodiversity conservation, tempered by what is tractable, remains a high priority. Policy and market distortions and failures significantly underprice biodiversity, undermine ecosys...

  15. Biodiversity and climate determine the functioning of Neotropical forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poorter, L.; Sande, van der M.T.; Arets, E.J.M.M.; Ascarrunz, N.; Enquist, B.J.; Finegan, B.; Licona, J.C.; Martinez-Ramos, M.; Mazzei, L.; Meave, J.; Munoz, R.; Nytch, C.J.; Oliveira, de A.A.; Perez-Garcia, E.A.; Prado-Junior, J.A.; Rodriguez-Velazquez, J.; Ruschel, A.R.; Salgado Negret, B.; Schiavini, I.; Swenson, N.G.; Tenorio, E.A.; Thompson, J.; Toledo, M.; Uriarte, M.; Hout, van der P.; Zimmerman, J.K.; Pena Claros, M.

    2017-01-01

    Tropical forests account for a quarter of the global carbon storage and a third of the terrestrial productivity. Few studies have teased apart the relative importance of environmental factors and forest attributes for ecosystem functioning, especially for the tropics. This study aims to relate

  16. Biodiversity and climate determine the functioning of Neotropical forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poorter, Lourens; Sande, van der Masha T.; Arets, Eric J.M.M.; Ascarrunz, Nataly; Enquist, Brian; Finegan, Bryan; Licona, Juan Carlos; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Mazzei, Lucas; Meave, Jorge A.; Muñoz, Rodrigo; Nytch, Christopher J.; Oliveira, de Alexandre A.; Pérez-García, Eduardo A.; Prado-junior, Jamir; Rodríguez-Velázques, Jorge; Ruschel, Ademir Roberto; Salgado-Negret, Beatriz; Schiavini, Ivan; Swenson, Nathan G.; Tenorio, Elkin A.; Thompson, Jill; Toledo, Marisol; Uriarte, Maria; Hout, van der Peter; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Peña-Claros, Marielos

    2017-01-01

    Aim: Tropical forests account for a quarter of the global carbon storage and a third of the terrestrial productivity. Few studies have teased apart the relative importance of environmental factors and forest attributes for ecosystem functioning, especially for the tropics. This study aims to relate

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. Functional biodiversity of microbial communities in aerobic selector slaughterhouse wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ai-Mutairi, Nayef Z

    2007-06-01

    The biodiversity of the microbial communities of an aerobic selector and a conventional system treating slaughterhouse wastewater were evaluated using the Biolog technique (Biolog Inc., Hayward, California). Principal components analysis of patterns and level of microbial activity indicate that microbial communities statistically differentiate between the selector and conventional system. Biolog data indicated that there was seasonal variation in the structure and function of the microbial community in conventional samples, which may be a useful indicator of wastewater community disturbance and unsteadiness, while, for the selector system, there were no recognizable statistical differences between winter and summer data communities, Biodiversity indices indicated that the selector system maintained a high functional diversity (Shannon-Weaver diversity index [H'] from 3.8 to 4.6) than the conventional system (H' from 1.8 to 2.8). The high values in the selector system were a reflection of the fact that most of the carbon sources were used, contributing to the very high Shannon indices. In addition, the high substrate equitability values (J) obtained for the selector samples indicated that the microbial communities between the summer and winter samples used the carbon sources in the same proportion. In contrast, differences in the equitability of the microbial communities within the conventional system were observed. This indicated a pattern representing unevenness.

  20. A multi-sensor method for in-situ quantification of multiple biodiversity and ecosystem service indicators in wetland vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zlinszky, András; Prager, Katharina; Koma, Zsófia

    2017-04-01

    Biodiversity and ecosystem services are in the focus of biogeosciences research and conservation management worldwide. However, their quantification is notoriously difficult. Since full coverage of biodiversity and/or ecosystem services is unfeasible due to their complexity, indicators are recommended: biophysical quantities that are measureable and are expected to be closely related to biodiversity or to ecosystem processes. Nevertheless, many biodiversity and ecosystem service assessments are based on upscaling very few (if any) in-situ measurements using models driven by basic land cover data. Also, many assessments select only a single or very few indicators, which then does not enable analysis of trade-offs and interconnections. Here we propose a system of simple yet reliable field measurements, based on basic sensors, measurements, imaging and sampling technology, suitable for quantitatively representing many components of biodiversity and ecosystem services in emergent wetland vegetation. Along a transect from open water to the shore, sampling stations are laid out that include water temperature, air temperature and humidity sensors, zenith facing photographs and pole contact counts of vegetation in height intervals. Additionally, for some of these stations, small quadrats of vegetation are harvested, separated to individual species and weighed in height intervals above ground/water. Underwater surface of vegetation is estimated by counting stalks and registering average diameter. Finally, decomposition is quantified by leaving a standard amount of biomass in a plastic net bag and re-weighing it a year later. This system allows measuring alpha and beta diversity together with vertical structural diversity, leaf area (as a proxy of shading and pollution absorbtion), biomass (as a proxy of carbon sequestration), underwater surface (as a proxy of fish population sustaining), microclimate influence and soil provision. The necessary tools are temperature and

  1. European seaweeds under pressure: Consequences for communities and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mineur, Frédéric; Arenas, Francisco; Assis, Jorge; Davies, Andrew J.; Engelen, Aschwin H.; Fernandes, Francisco; Malta, Erik-jan; Thibaut, Thierry; Van Nguyen, Tu; Vaz-Pinto, Fátima; Vranken, Sofie; Serrão, Ester A.; De Clerck, Olivier

    2015-04-01

    Seaweed assemblages represent the dominant autotrophic biomass in many coastal environments, playing a central structural and functional role in several ecosystems. In Europe, seaweed assemblages are highly diverse systems. The combined seaweed flora of different European regions hold around 1550 species (belonging to nearly 500 genera), with new species continuously uncovered, thanks to the emergence of molecular tools. In this manuscript we review the effects of global and local stressors on European seaweeds, their communities, and ecosystem functioning. Following a brief review on the present knowledge on European seaweed diversity and distribution, and the role of seaweed communities in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, we discuss the effects of biotic homogenization (invasive species) and global climate change (shifts in bioclimatic zones and ocean acidification) on the distribution of individual species and their effect on the structure and functioning of seaweed communities. The arrival of new introduced species (that already account for 5-10% of the European seaweeds) and the regional extirpation of native species resulting from oceans' climate change are creating new diversity scenarios with undetermined functional consequences. Anthropogenic local stressors create additional disruption often altering dramatically assemblage's structure. Hence, we discuss ecosystem level effects of such stressors like harvesting, trampling, habitat modification, overgrazing and eutrophication that impact coastal communities at local scales. Last, we conclude by highlighting significant knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to anticipate the combined effects of global and local stressors on seaweed communities. With physical and biological changes occurring at unexpected pace, marine phycologists should now integrate and join their research efforts to be able to contribute efficiently for the conservation and management of coastal systems.

  2. A global synthesis reveals biodiversity loss as a major driver of ecosystem change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper, David U; Adair, E Carol; Cardinale, Bradley J; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Hungate, Bruce A; Matulich, Kristin L; Gonzalez, Andrew; Duffy, J Emmett; Gamfeldt, Lars; O'Connor, Mary I

    2012-05-02

    Evidence is mounting that extinctions are altering key processes important to the productivity and sustainability of Earth's ecosystems. Further species loss will accelerate change in ecosystem processes, but it is unclear how these effects compare to the direct effects of other forms of environmental change that are both driving diversity loss and altering ecosystem function. Here we use a suite of meta-analyses of published data to show that the effects of species loss on productivity and decomposition--two processes important in all ecosystems--are of comparable magnitude to the effects of many other global environmental changes. In experiments, intermediate levels of species loss (21-40%) reduced plant production by 5-10%, comparable to previously documented effects of ultraviolet radiation and climate warming. Higher levels of extinction (41-60%) had effects rivalling those of ozone, acidification, elevated CO(2) and nutrient pollution. At intermediate levels, species loss generally had equal or greater effects on decomposition than did elevated CO(2) and nitrogen addition. The identity of species lost also had a large effect on changes in productivity and decomposition, generating a wide range of plausible outcomes for extinction. Despite the need for more studies on interactive effects of diversity loss and environmental changes, our analyses clearly show that the ecosystem consequences of local species loss are as quantitatively significant as the direct effects of several global change stressors that have mobilized major international concern and remediation efforts.

  3. Biodiversity and multifunctionality in a microbial community: a novel theoretical approach to quantify functional redundancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miki, Takeshi; Yokokawa, Taichi; Matsui, Kazuaki

    2014-02-07

    Ecosystems have a limited buffering capacity of multiple ecosystem functions against biodiversity loss (i.e. low multifunctional redundancy). We developed a novel theoretical approach to evaluate multifunctional redundancy in a microbial community using the microbial genome database (MBGD) for comparative analysis. In order to fully implement functional information, we defined orthologue richness in a community, each of which is a functionally conservative evolutionary unit in genomes, as an index of community multifunctionality (MF). We constructed a graph of expected orthologue richness in a community (MF) as a function of species richness (SR), fit the power function to SR (i.e. MF = cSR(a)), and interpreted the higher exponent a as the lower multifunctional redundancy. Through a microcosm experiment, we confirmed that MF defined by orthologue richness could predict the actual multiple functions. We simulated random and non-random community assemblages using full genomic data of 478 prokaryotic species in the MBGD, and determined that the exponent in microbial communities ranged from 0.55 to 0.75. This exponent range provided a quantitative estimate that a 6.6-8.9% loss limit in SR occurred in a microbial community for an MF reduction no greater than 5%, suggesting a non-negligible initial loss effect of microbial diversity on MF.

  4. Functional composition drives ecosystem function through multiple mechanisms in a broadleaved subtropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Jyh-Min; Spasojevic, Marko J; Muller-Landau, Helene C; Sun, I-Fang; Lin, Yiching; Su, Sheng-Hsin; Chen, Zueng-Sang; Chen, Chien-Teh; Swenson, Nathan G; McEwan, Ryan W

    2016-11-01

    Understanding the role of biodiversity (B) in maintaining ecosystem function (EF) is a foundational scientific goal with applications for resource management and conservation. Two main hypotheses have emerged that address B-EF relationships: niche complementarity (NC) and the mass-ratio (MR) effect. We tested the relative importance of these hypotheses in a subtropical old-growth forest on the island nation of Taiwan for two EFs: aboveground biomass (ABG) and coarse woody productivity (CWP). Functional dispersion (FDis) of eight plant functional traits was used to evaluate complementarity of resource use. Under the NC hypothesis, EF will be positively correlated with FDis. Under the MR hypothesis, EF will be negatively correlated with FDis and will be significantly influenced by community-weighted mean (CWM) trait values. We used path analysis to assess how these two processes (NC and MR) directly influence EF and may contribute indirectly to EF via their influence on canopy packing (stem density). Our results indicate that decreasing functional diversity and a significant influence of CWM traits were linked to increasing AGB for all eight traits in this forest supporting the MR hypothesis. Interestingly, CWP was primarily influenced by NC and MR indirectly via their influence on canopy packing. Maximum height explained more of the variation in both AGB and CWP than any of the other plant functional traits. Together, our results suggest that multiple mechanisms operate simultaneously to influence EF, and understanding their relative importance will help to elucidate the role of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem function.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Trophic complexity enhances ecosystem functioning in an aquatic detritus-based model system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabiol, Jérémy; McKie, Brendan G; Bruder, Andreas; Bernadet, Caroline; Gessner, Mark O; Chauvet, Eric

    2013-09-01

    1. Understanding the functional significance of species interactions in ecosystems has become a major challenge as biodiversity declines rapidly worldwide. Ecosystem consequences arising from the loss of diversity either within trophic levels (horizontal diversity) or across trophic levels (vertical diversity) are well documented. However, simultaneous losses of species at different trophic levels may also result in interactive effects, with potentially complex outcomes for ecosystem functioning. 2. Because of logistical constraints, the outcomes of such interactions have been difficult to assess in experiments involving large metazoan species. Here, we take advantage of a detritus-based model system to experimentally assess the consequences of biodiversity change within both horizontal and vertical food-web components on leaf-litter decomposition, a fundamental process in a wide range of ecosystems. 3. Our concurrent manipulation of fungal decomposer diversity (0, 1 or 5 species), detritivore diversity (0, 1 or 3 species), and the presence of predatory fish scent showed that trophic complexity is key to eliciting diversity effects on ecosystem functioning. Specifically, although fungi and detritivores tended to promote decomposition individually, rates were highest in the most complete community where all trophic levels were represented at the highest possible species richness. In part, the effects were trait-mediated, reflected in the contrasting foraging responses of the detritivore species to predator scent. 4. Our results thus highlight the importance of interactive effects of simultaneous species loss within multiple trophic levels on ecosystem functioning. If a common phenomenon, this outcome suggests that functional ecosystem impairment resulting from widespread biodiversity loss could be more severe than inferred from previous experiments confined to varying diversity within single trophic levels. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013

  8. 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.

  9. Deconstructing the relationships between phylogenetic diversity and ecology: a case study on ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, T Jonathan; Urban, Mark C; Rayfield, Bronwyn; Cadotte, Marc W; Peres-Neto, Pedro R

    2016-09-01

    Recent studies have supported a link between phylogenetic diversity and various ecological properties including ecosystem function. However, such studies typically assume that phylogenetic branches of equivalent length are more or less interchangeable. Here we suggest that there is a need to consider not only branch lengths but also their placement on the phylogeny. We demonstrate how two common indices of network centrality can be used to describe the evolutionary distinctiveness of network elements (nodes and branches) on a phylogeny. If phylogenetic diversity enhances ecosystem function via complementarity and the representation of functional diversity, we would predict a correlation between evolutionary distinctiveness of network elements and their contribution to ecosystem process. In contrast, if one or a few evolutionary innovations play key roles in ecosystem function, the relationship between evolutionary distinctiveness and functional contribution may be weak or absent. We illustrate how network elements associated with high functional contribution can be identified from regressions between phylogenetic diversity and productivity using a well-known empirical data set on plant productivity from the Cedar Creek Long-Term Ecological Research. We find no association between evolutionary distinctiveness and ecosystem functioning, but we are able to identify phylogenetic elements associated with species of known high functional contribution within the Fabaceae. Our perspective provides a useful guide in the search for ecological traits linking diversity and ecosystem function, and suggests a more nuanced consideration of phylogenetic diversity is required in the conservation and biodiversity-ecosystem-function literature. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  10. Relationships between Meiofaunal Biodiversity and Prokaryotic Heterotrophic Production in Different Tropical Habitats and Oceanic Regions

    OpenAIRE

    Pusceddu, Antonio; Gambi, Cristina; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Scopa, Mariaspina; Danovaro, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Tropical marine ecosystems are among the most diverse of the world oceans, so that assessing the linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem functions (BEF) is a crucial step to predict consequences of biodiversity loss. Most BEF studies in marine ecosystems have been carried out on macrobenthic diversity, whereas the influence of the meiofauna on ecosystem functioning has received much less attention. We compared meiofaunal and nematode biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production a...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Adopting a systems view and regenerative philosophy can indicate how to regenerate ecosystem function on commercial-scale agro-ecological landscapes. Adaptive multi-paddock grazing management is an example of an approach for grazinglands. Leading conservation farmers have achieved superior results in ...

  14. Vegetation ecology meets ecosystem science: Permanent grasslands as a functional biogeography case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Violle, Cyrille; Choler, Philippe; Borgy, Benjamin; Garnier, Eric; Amiaud, Bernard; Debarros, Guilhem; Diquelou, Sylvain; Gachet, Sophie; Jolivet, Claudy; Kattge, Jens; Lavorel, Sandra; Lemauviel-Lavenant, Servane; Loranger, Jessy; Mikolajczak, Alexis; Munoz, François; Olivier, Jean; Viovy, Nicolas

    2015-11-15

    The effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning has been widely acknowledged, and the importance of the functional roles of species, as well as their diversity, in the control of ecosystem processes has been emphasised recently. However, bridging biodiversity and ecosystem science to address issues at a biogeographic scale is still in its infancy. Bridging this gap is the primary goal of the emerging field of functional biogeography. While the rise of Big Data has catalysed functional biogeography studies in recent years, comprehensive evidence remains scarce. Here, we present the rationale and the first results of a country-wide initiative focused on the C3 permanent grasslands. We aimed to collate, integrate and process large databases of vegetation relevés, plant traits and environmental layers to provide a country-wide assessment of ecosystem properties and services which can be used to improve regional models of climate and land use changes. We outline the theoretical background, data availability, and ecoinformatics challenges associated with the approach and its feasibility. We provide a case study of upscaling of leaf dry matter content averaged at ecosystem level and country-wide predictions of forage digestibility. Our framework sets milestones for further hypothesis testing in functional biogeography and earth system modelling. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Testing the link between functional diversity and ecosystem functioning in a Minnesota grassland experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher M; Flynn, Dan F B; Butterfield, Bradley J; Reich, Peter B

    2012-01-01

    The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the association between eight leading functional diversity metrics (Rao's Q, FD, FDis, FEve, FDiv, convex hull volume, and species and functional group richness) that emphasize different attributes of functional diversity, plus 11 extensions of these existing metrics that incorporate heterogeneous species abundances and trait variation. We assess the relationships among these metrics and compare their performances for predicting three key ecosystem functions (above- and belowground biomass and light capture) within a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment. Many metrics were highly correlated, although unique information was captured in FEve, FDiv, and dendrogram-based measures (FD) that were adjusted by abundance. FD adjusted by abundance outperformed all other metrics in predicting both above- and belowground biomass, although several others also performed well (e.g. Rao's Q, FDis, FDiv). More generally, trait-based richness metrics and hybrid metrics incorporating multiple diversity attributes outperformed evenness metrics and single-attribute metrics, results that were not changed when combinations of metrics were explored. For light capture, species richness alone was the best predictor, suggesting that traits for canopy architecture would be necessary to improve predictions. Our study provides a comprehensive test linking different attributes of functional diversity with ecosystem function for a grassland system.

  16. Testing the Link between Functional Diversity and Ecosystem Functioning in a Minnesota Grassland Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butterfield, Bradley J.; Reich, Peter B.

    2012-01-01

    The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the association between eight leading functional diversity metrics (Rao’s Q, FD, FDis, FEve, FDiv, convex hull volume, and species and functional group richness) that emphasize different attributes of functional diversity, plus 11 extensions of these existing metrics that incorporate heterogeneous species abundances and trait variation. We assess the relationships among these metrics and compare their performances for predicting three key ecosystem functions (above- and belowground biomass and light capture) within a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment. Many metrics were highly correlated, although unique information was captured in FEve, FDiv, and dendrogram-based measures (FD) that were adjusted by abundance. FD adjusted by abundance outperformed all other metrics in predicting both above- and belowground biomass, although several others also performed well (e.g. Rao’s Q, FDis, FDiv). More generally, trait-based richness metrics and hybrid metrics incorporating multiple diversity attributes outperformed evenness metrics and single-attribute metrics, results that were not changed when combinations of metrics were explored. For light capture, species richness alone was the best predictor, suggesting that traits for canopy architecture would be necessary to improve predictions. Our study provides a comprehensive test linking different attributes of functional diversity with ecosystem function for a grassland system. PMID:23300787

  17. Testing the link between functional diversity and ecosystem functioning in a Minnesota grassland experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher M Clark

    Full Text Available The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the association between eight leading functional diversity metrics (Rao's Q, FD, FDis, FEve, FDiv, convex hull volume, and species and functional group richness that emphasize different attributes of functional diversity, plus 11 extensions of these existing metrics that incorporate heterogeneous species abundances and trait variation. We assess the relationships among these metrics and compare their performances for predicting three key ecosystem functions (above- and belowground biomass and light capture within a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment. Many metrics were highly correlated, although unique information was captured in FEve, FDiv, and dendrogram-based measures (FD that were adjusted by abundance. FD adjusted by abundance outperformed all other metrics in predicting both above- and belowground biomass, although several others also performed well (e.g. Rao's Q, FDis, FDiv. More generally, trait-based richness metrics and hybrid metrics incorporating multiple diversity attributes outperformed evenness metrics and single-attribute metrics, results that were not changed when combinations of metrics were explored. For light capture, species richness alone was the best predictor, suggesting that traits for canopy architecture would be necessary to improve predictions. Our study provides a comprehensive test linking different attributes of functional diversity with ecosystem function for a grassland system.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Climate warming increases biodiversity of small rodents by favoring rare or less abundant species in a grassland ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Guangshun; Liu, Jun; Xu, Lei; Yu, Guirui; He, Honglin; Zhang, Zhibin

    2013-06-01

    Our Earth is facing the challenge of accelerating climate change, which imposes a great threat to biodiversity. Many published studies suggest that climate warming may cause a dramatic decline in biodiversity, especially in colder and drier regions. In this study, we investigated the effects of temperature, precipitation and a normalized difference vegetation index on biodiversity indices of rodent communities in the current or previous year for both detrended and nondetrended data in semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia during 1982-2006. Our results demonstrate that temperature showed predominantly positive effects on the biodiversity of small rodents; precipitation showed both positive and negative effects; a normalized difference vegetation index showed positive effects; and cross-correlation function values between rodent abundance and temperature were negatively correlated with rodent abundance. Our results suggest that recent climate warming increased the biodiversity of small rodents by providing more benefits to population growth of rare or less abundant species than that of more abundant species in Inner Mongolia grassland, which does not support the popular view that global warming would decrease biodiversity in colder and drier regions. We hypothesized that higher temperatures might benefit rare or less abundant species (with smaller populations and more folivorous diets) by reducing the probability of local extinction and/or by increasing herbaceous food resources. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

  1. The challenges of integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services monitoring and evaluation at a landscape-scale wetland restoration project in the UK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francine M. R. Hughes

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available There is an increasing emphasis on the restoration of ecosystem services as well as of biodiversity, especially where restoration projects are planned at a landscape scale. This increase in the diversity of restoration aims has a number of conceptual and practical implications for the way that restoration projects are monitored and evaluated. Landscape-scale projects require monitoring of not only ecosystem services and biodiversity but also of ecosystem processes since these can underpin both. Using the experiences gained at a landscape-scale wetland restoration project in the UK, we discuss a number of issues that need to be considered, including the choice of metrics for monitoring ecosystem services and the difficulties of assessing the interactions between ecosystem processes, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. Particular challenges that we identify, using two pilot data sets, include the decoupling of monetary metrics used for monitoring ecosystem services from biophysical change on the ground and the wide range of factors external to a project that influence the monitoring results. We highlight the fact that the wide range of metrics necessary to evaluate the ecosystem service, ecosystem process, and biodiversity outcomes of landscape-scale projects presents a number of practical challenges, including the need for high levels of varied expertise, high costs, incommensurate monitoring outputs, and the need for careful management of monitoring results, especially where they may be used in making decisions about the relative importance of project aims.

  2. 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.

  3. Projecting global land-use change and its effect on ecosystem service provision and biodiversity with simple models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik Nelson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: As the global human population grows and its consumption patterns change, additional land will be needed for living space and agricultural production. A critical question facing global society is how to meet growing human demands for living space, food, fuel, and other materials while sustaining ecosystem services and biodiversity [1]. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We spatially allocate two scenarios of 2000 to 2015 global areal change in urban land and cropland at the grid cell-level and measure the impact of this change on the provision of ecosystem services and biodiversity. The models and techniques used to spatially allocate land-use/land-cover (LULC change and evaluate its impact on ecosystems are relatively simple and transparent [2]. The difference in the magnitude and pattern of cropland expansion across the two scenarios engenders different tradeoffs among crop production, provision of species habitat, and other important ecosystem services such as biomass carbon storage. For example, in one scenario, 5.2 grams of carbon stored in biomass is released for every additional calorie of crop produced across the globe; under the other scenario this tradeoff rate is 13.7. By comparing scenarios and their impacts we can begin to identify the global pattern of cropland and irrigation development that is significant enough to meet future food needs but has less of an impact on ecosystem service and habitat provision. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Urban area and croplands will expand in the future to meet human needs for living space, livelihoods, and food. In order to jointly provide desired levels of urban land, food production, and ecosystem service and species habitat provision the global society will have to become much more strategic in its allocation of intensively managed land uses. Here we illustrate a method for quickly and transparently evaluating the performance of potential global futures.

  4. 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

  5. Does logging and forest conversion to oil palm agriculture alter functional diversity in a biodiversity hotspot?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, F A; Edwards, D P; Larsen, T H; Hsu, W W; Benedick, S; Chung, A; Vun Khen, C; Wilcove, D S; Hamer, K C

    2014-04-01

    Forests in Southeast Asia are rapidly being logged and converted to oil palm. These changes in land-use are known to affect species diversity but consequences for the functional diversity of species assemblages are poorly understood. Environmental filtering of species with similar traits could lead to disproportionate reductions in trait diversity in degraded habitats. Here, we focus on dung beetles, which play a key role in ecosystem processes such as nutrient recycling and seed dispersal. We use morphological and behavioural traits to calculate a variety of functional diversity measures across a gradient of disturbance from primary forest through intensively logged forest to oil palm. Logging caused significant shifts in community composition but had very little effect on functional diversity, even after a repeated timber harvest. These data provide evidence for functional redundancy of dung beetles within primary forest and emphasize the high value of logged forests as refugia for biodiversity. In contrast, conversion of forest to oil palm greatly reduced taxonomic and functional diversity, with a marked decrease in the abundance of nocturnal foragers, a higher proportion of species with small body sizes and the complete loss of telecoprid species (dung-rollers), all indicating a decrease in the functional capacity of dung beetles within plantations. These changes also highlight the vulnerability of community functioning within logged forests in the event of further environmental degradation.

  6. Commonness and rarity of species: Does species' rank influence contribution to ecosystem function?

    OpenAIRE

    Meha Jain; Case Prager; Dan Flynn; Caroline Devan; Georgia Hart; Farshid Ahrestani; Dan Bunker; Matt Palmer; Sean Smukler; Jason Sircely; Shahid Naeem

    2010-01-01

    Across the globe, biodiversity loss is occurring at an unprecedented rate. Rare species are especially susceptible to extinction, given that they typically have small population sizes and restricted geographic ranges, are less adaptable to disturbances, and are greater habitat specialists. However, while rare species may be prone to extinction, it remains unclear whether the loss of rare species is important to ecosystem function. In addition, it is important to consider the way in which rari...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hiddink, K.E.; MacKenzie, B.R.; Rijnsdorp, A.D.; Dulvy, N.K.; Nielsen, E.E.; Bekkevold, D.; Heino, M.; Lorance, P.; Ojaveer, H.

    2008-01-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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 ...

  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; Morgan, Frank; Frouin, Robert; Dekker, Arnold G; Gardner, Royal; Goodman, James; Schaeffer, Blake; Franz, Bryan A; Pahlevan, Nima; Mannino, Antonio G; Concha, Javier A; Ackleson, Steven G; Cavanaugh, Kyle C; Romanou, Anastasia; Tzortziou, Maria; Boss, Emmanuel S; Pavlick, Ryan; Freeman, Anthony; Rousseaux, Cecile S; Dunne, John; Long, Matthew C; Klein, Eduardo; McKinley, Galen A; Goes, Joachim; Letelier, Ricardo; Kavanaugh, Maria; Roffer, Mitchell; Bracher, Astrid; Arrigo, Kevin R; Dierssen, Heidi; Zhang, Xiaodong; Davis, Frank W; Best, Ben; Guralnick, Robert; Moisan, John; Sosik, Heidi M; Kudela, Raphael; Mouw, Colleen B; Barnard, Andrew H; Palacios, Sherry; Roesler, Collin; Drakou, Evangelia G; Appeltans, Ward; Jetz, Walter

    2018-03-06

    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 satellite in a 3-d repeat low-Earth orbit could sample 30-km swath images of several hundred coastal habitats daily. Nine H4 satellites would provide weekly coverage of global coastal zones. Such satellite constellations

  15. 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

  16. 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

    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 as...

  17. 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...

  18. A Methodology to Map Ecosystem Functions to Support Ecosystem Services Assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mik Petter

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The project developed and trialed a method of mapping ecosystem functions in South East Queensland using biophysical data layers in preference to land use surrogates. Biophysical data and surrogates were identified for 19 ecosystem functions and maps were produced for each. Data layers for each ecosystem function were standardized for mapping purposes using existing expert advice or data quantiling. Two versions of the total ecosystem function overlap maps were also produced, showing areas of high ecosystem function that have the potential to contribute to high ecosystem service provision. This method was successfully used to replace land use surrogates in most cases, and produced maps that planners and decision makers considered credible. The mapping exercise allowed an ecosystem services framework (the SEQ Ecosystem Services Framework to be embedded in a statutory planning document, used in a State of the Region Report and to influence planning decisions at a local government level.

  19. 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

    With a growing number of forest biodiversity indicators being applied in forest policy documents and even more being suggested by the scientific community, there is a need to evaluate, review and critically assess the strength of evidence for individual indicators, their interrelationships.......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...

  20. Ecosystem services transcend boundaries: estuaries provide resource subsidies and influence functional diversity in coastal benthic communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Candida Savage

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Estuaries are highly productive ecosystems that can export organic matter to coastal seas (the 'outwelling hypothesis'. However the role of this food resource subsidy on coastal ecosystem functioning has not been examined. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the influence of estuarine primary production as a resource subsidy and the influence of estuaries on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in coastal mollusk-dominated sediment communities. Stable isotope values (δ(13C, δ(15N demonstrated that estuarine primary production was exported to the adjacent coast and contributed to secondary production up to 4 km from the estuary mouth. Further, isotope signatures of suspension feeding bivalves on the adjacent coast (Dosinia subrosea closely mirrored the isotope values of the dominant bivalves inside the estuaries (Austrovenus stutchburyi, indicating utilization of similar organic matter sources. However, the food subsidies varied between estuaries; with estuarine suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM dominant at Tairua estuary, while seagrass and fringing vegetation detritus was proportionately more important at Whangapoua estuary, with lesser contributions of estuarine SPOM. Distance from the estuary mouth and the size and density of large bivalves (Dosinia spp. had a significant influence on the composition of biological traits in the coastal macrobenthic communities, signaling the potential influence of these spatial subsidies on ecosystem functioning. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study demonstrated that the locations where ecosystem services like productivity are generated are not necessarily where the services are utilized. Further, we identified indirect positive effects of the nutrient subsidies on biodiversity (the estuarine subsidies influenced the bivalves, which in turn affected the diversity and functional trait composition of the coastal sediment macrofaunal communities. These findings highlight the

  1. Ecosystem services transcend boundaries: estuaries provide resource subsidies and influence functional diversity in coastal benthic communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Candida; Thrush, Simon F; Lohrer, Andrew M; Hewitt, Judi E

    2012-01-01

    Estuaries are highly productive ecosystems that can export organic matter to coastal seas (the 'outwelling hypothesis'). However the role of this food resource subsidy on coastal ecosystem functioning has not been examined. We investigated the influence of estuarine primary production as a resource subsidy and the influence of estuaries on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in coastal mollusk-dominated sediment communities. Stable isotope values (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) demonstrated that estuarine primary production was exported to the adjacent coast and contributed to secondary production up to 4 km from the estuary mouth. Further, isotope signatures of suspension feeding bivalves on the adjacent coast (Dosinia subrosea) closely mirrored the isotope values of the dominant bivalves inside the estuaries (Austrovenus stutchburyi), indicating utilization of similar organic matter sources. However, the food subsidies varied between estuaries; with estuarine suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM) dominant at Tairua estuary, while seagrass and fringing vegetation detritus was proportionately more important at Whangapoua estuary, with lesser contributions of estuarine SPOM. Distance from the estuary mouth and the size and density of large bivalves (Dosinia spp.) had a significant influence on the composition of biological traits in the coastal macrobenthic communities, signaling the potential influence of these spatial subsidies on ecosystem functioning. Our study demonstrated that the locations where ecosystem services like productivity are generated are not necessarily where the services are utilized. Further, we identified indirect positive effects of the nutrient subsidies on biodiversity (the estuarine subsidies influenced the bivalves, which in turn affected the diversity and functional trait composition of the coastal sediment macrofaunal communities). These findings highlight the importance of integrative ecosystem-based management that maintains the

  2. Can the Results of Biodiversity-Ecosystem Productivity Studies Be Translated to Bioenergy Production?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy L Dickson

    Full Text Available Biodiversity experiments show that increases in plant diversity can lead to greater biomass production, and some researchers suggest that high diversity plantings should be used for bioenergy production. However, many methods used in past biodiversity experiments are impractical for bioenergy plantings. For example, biodiversity experiments often use intensive management such as hand weeding to maintain low diversity plantings and exclude unplanted species, but this would not be done for bioenergy plantings. Also, biodiversity experiments generally use high seeding densities that would be too expensive for bioenergy plantings. Here we report the effects of biodiversity on biomass production from two studies of more realistic bioenergy crop plantings in southern Michigan, USA. One study involved comparing production between switchgrass (Panicum virgatum monocultures and species-rich prairie plantings on private farm fields that were managed similarly to bioenergy plantings. The other study was an experiment where switchgrass was planted in monoculture and in combination with increasingly species-rich native prairie mixtures. Overall, we found that bioenergy plantings with higher species richness did not produce more biomass than switchgrass monocultures. The lack of a positive relationship between planted species richness and production in our studies may be due to several factors. Non-planted species (weeds were not removed from our studies and these non-planted species may have competed with planted species and also prevented realized species richness from equaling planted species richness. Also, we found that low seeding density of individual species limited the biomass production of these individual species. Production in future bioenergy plantings with high species richness may be increased by using a high density of inexpensive seed from switchgrass and other highly productive species, and future efforts to translate the results of

  3. 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.

  4. The exergy of a phase shift: Ecosystem functioning loss in seagrass meadows of the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montefalcone, Monica; Vassallo, Paolo; Gatti, Giulia; Parravicini, Valeriano; Paoli, Chiara; Morri, Carla; Bianchi, Carlo Nike

    2015-04-01

    Sustained functioning of ecosystems is predicted to depend upon the maintenance of their biodiversity, structure and integrity. The large consensus achieved in this regard, however, faces to the objective difficulty of finding appropriate metrics to measure ecosystem functioning. Here, we aim at evaluating functional consequence of the phase shift occurring in meadows of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica, a priority habitat that is undergoing regression in many coastal areas due to multiple human pressures. Structural degradation of the P. oceanica ecosystem, consequent to increasing coastal exploitation and climate change, may result in the progressive replacement of this seagrass by opportunistic macrophytes, either native or alien. Reviewing published information and our personal records, we measured changes in biological habitat provisioning, species richness and biomass associated to each of the alternative states characterizing the phase shift. Then, ecosystem functioning was assessed by computing the exergy associated to each state, exergy being a state variable that measures the ecosystem capacity to produce work. Phase shift was consistently shown to imply loss in habitat provision, species richness, and biomass; structural and compositional loss was parallelled by a reduction of exergy content, thus providing for the first time an objective and integrative measure of the loss of ecosystem functioning following the degradation of healthy seagrass meadows.

  5. 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

  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. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Allotment gardens and parks: Provision of ecosystem services with an emphasis on biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Speak, A.F.; Mizgajski, Andrzej; Borysiak, Janina

    2015-01-01

    Urban areas, in particular, present unique challenges for the conservation of ecosystems. Allotment gardens (AGs) are an important greenspace feature of urban landscapes in Europe which have the potential to offer multiple social and bio-physical ecosystem services in addition to food production. This study is an attempt to assess and compare the ecosystem services provided by AGs in Manchester, UK, and Poznań, Poland as well as a comparison to city parks. The surveys included a detailed land...

  12. 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...... be misleading and reduce the effectiveness of nature conservation and even unintentionally decrease conservation effort. We describe an approach that combines automated recording devices, high-throughput DNA sequencing and modern ecological modelling to extract much more of the information available in Earth...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Functional Valuation of Ecosystem Services on Bonaire: an ecological analysis of ecosystem functions provided by coral reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beek, van I.J.M.

    2011-01-01

    This research is a semi-quantitative analysis of the functional value of coral reef habitats on Bonaire to support ecosystem services. It is part of an economic valuation study of marine and terrestrial ecosystem services on Bonaire.

  1. The added complications of climate change: understanding and managing biodiversity and ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amanda Staudt,; Allison K. Leidner,; Jennifer Howard,; Kate A. Brauman,; Jeffrey S. Dukes,; Hansen, Lara J.; Paukert, Craig; Sabo, John L.; Solorzano, Luis A.

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystems around the world are already threatened by land-use and land-cover change, extraction of natural resources, biological disturbances, and pollution. These environmental stressors have been the primary source of ecosystem degradation to date, and climate change is now exacerbating some of their effects. Ecosystems already under stress are likely to have more rapid and acute reactions to climate change; it is therefore useful to understand how multiple stresses will interact, especially as the magnitude of climate change increases. Understanding these interactions could be critically important in the design of climate adaptation strategies, especially because actions taken by other sectors (eg energy, agriculture, transportation) to address climate change may create new ecosystem stresses.

  2. Getting the measure of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purvis, A; Hector, A

    2000-05-11

    The term 'biodiversity' is a simple contraction of 'biological diversity', and at first sight the concept is simple too: biodiversity is the sum total of all biotic variation from the level of genes to ecosystems. The challenge comes in measuring such a broad concept in ways that are useful. We show that, although biodiversity can never be fully captured by a single number, study of particular facets has led to rapid, exciting and sometimes alarming discoveries. Phylogenetic and temporal analyses are shedding light on the ecological and evolutionary processes that have shaped current biodiversity. There is no doubt that humans are now destroying this diversity at an alarming rate. A vital question now being tackled is how badly this loss affects ecosystem functioning. Although current research efforts are impressive, they are tiny in comparison to the amount of unknown diversity and the urgency and importance of the task.

  3. Biodiversity and Complexity Influence Seagrass Functioning: A Comparative-Experimental Approach Across the Northern Hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, P. L.

    2016-02-01

    Coastal ecosystems are mediated by interactions between resource supply, consumer pressure, and community composition, with the balance shifting along environmental gradients. Comparative-experimental approaches, including observational and experimental networks, are a promising way forward to organizing this complexity into predictive models and to quantify the role of biodiversity on ocean processes. Through the Zostera Experimental Network we utilize this approach to study the community ecology of eelgrass (Zostera marina), the most widespread marine plant and foundation of important but threatened coastal ecosystems throughout the northern hemisphere. In 2014, parallel field surveys and experiments were conducted at 50 field sites to measure correlations between mesograzer species diversity, eelgrass genetic diversity, predation pressure, and seagrass dynamics. Biodiversity was positively correlated with plant and grazer biomass across sites. Predation pressure in these systems decreased with grazer biomass and latitude. In subsequent experiments in 2015, habitat complexity influenced the grazer community. These results suggest that the impacts of biodiversity loss on ecosystems will be of comparable magnitude to those of other global change factors and should be accounted for in relevant monitoring and restoration activities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villnäs, Anna; Norkko, Joanna; Lukkari, Kaarina; Hewitt, Judi; Norkko, Alf

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. From individuals to ecosystem function: toward an integration of evolutionary and ecosystem ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Oswald J; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Peckarsky, Barbara L; Preisser, Evan L; Trussell, Geoffrey C; Vonesh, James R

    2008-09-01

    An important goal in ecology is developing general theory on how the species composition of ecosystems is related to ecosystem properties and functions. Progress on this front is limited partly because of the need to identify mechanisms controlling functions that are common to a wide range of ecosystem types. We propose that one general mechanism, rooted in the evolutionary ecology of all species, is adaptive foraging behavior in response to predation risk. To support our claim, we present two kinds of empirical evidence from plant-based and detritus-based food chains of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The first kind comes from experiments that explicitly trace how adaptive foraging influences ecosystem properties and functions. The second kind comes from a synthesis of studies that individually examine complementary components of particular ecosystems that together provide an integrated perspective on the link between adaptive foraging and ecosystem function. We show that the indirect effects of predators on plant diversity, plant productivity, nutrient cycling, trophic transfer efficiencies, and energy flux caused by consumer foraging shifts in response to risk are qualitatively different from effects caused by reductions in prey density due to direct predation. We argue that a perspective of ecosystem function that considers effects of consumer behavior in response to predation risk will broaden our capacity to explain the range of outcomes and contingencies in trophic control of ecosystems. This perspective also provides an operational way to integrate evolutionary and ecosystem ecology, which is an important challenge in ecology.

  8. User fees across ecosystem boundaries: Are SCUBA divers willing to pay for terrestrial biodiversity conservation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Michaela; Hanley, Nick; Cresswell, Will

    2017-09-15

    While ecological links between ecosystems have been long recognised, management rarely crosses ecosystem boundaries. Coral reefs are susceptible to damage through terrestrial run-off, and failing to account for this within management threatens reef protection. In order to quantify the extent to that coral reef users are willing to support management actions to improve ecosystem quality, we conducted a choice experiment with SCUBA divers on the island of Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands. Specifically, we estimated their willingness to pay to reduce terrestrial overgrazing as a means to improve reef health. Willingness to pay was estimated using the multinomial, random parameter and latent class logit models. Willingness to pay for improvements to reef quality was positive for the majority of respondents. Estimates from the latent class model determined willingness to pay for reef improvements of between $31.17 - $413.18/year, dependent on class membership. This represents a significant source of funding for terrestrial conservation, and illustrates the potential for user fees to be applied across ecosystem boundaries. We argue that such across-ecosystem-boundary funding mechanisms are an important avenue for future investigation in many connected systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh (contributor), Paul Henning

    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...... and climate change? The first ever European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity uses informative texts, stunning photographs and maps to answer these questions and other issues. The European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity functions as a comprehensive guide allowing non-specialists to access information about this unseen...... Biodiversity'. Starting with the smallest organisms such as the bacteria, this segment works through a range of taxonomic groups such as fungi, nematodes, insects and macro-fauna to illustrate the astonishing levels of heterogeneity of life in soil. The European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity is more than just...

  10. 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

  11. Disturbance and the rising tide: the challenge of biodiversity management on low-island ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.S. Ross; J.J. O' Brien; R.G. Ford; K. Zhang; A. Morkill

    2009-01-01

    Sea-level rise presents an imminent threat to freshwater-dependent ecosystems on small oceanic islands, which often harbor rare and endemic taxa. Conservation of these assemblages is complicated by feedbacks between sea level and recurring pulse disturbances (eg hurricanes, fire). Once sea level reaches a critical level, the transition from a landscape characterized by...

  12. 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

  13. 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 ...

  14. Kinetic energy of Throughfall in subtropical forests of SE China - effects of tree canopy structure, functional traits, and biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Geißler

    Full Text Available Throughfall kinetic energy (TKE plays an important role in soil erosion in forests. We studied TKE as a function of biodiversity, functional diversity as well as structural stand variables in a secondary subtropical broad-leaved forest in the Gutianshan National Nature Reserve (GNNR in south-east China, a biodiversity hotspot in the northern hemisphere with more than 250 woody species present. Using a mixed model approach we could identify significant effects of all these variables on TKE: TKE increased with rarefied tree species richness and decreased with increasing proportion of needle-leaved species and increasing leaf area index (LAI. Furthermore, for average rainfall amounts TKE was decreasing with tree canopy height whereas for high rainfall amounts this was not the case. The spatial pattern of throughfall was stable across several rain events. The temporal variation of TKE decreased with rainfall intensity and increased with tree diversity. Our results show that more diverse forest stands over the season have to cope with higher cumulative raindrop energy than less diverse stands. However, the kinetic energy (KE of one single raindrop is less predictable in diverse stands since the variability in KE is higher. This paper is the first to contribute to the understanding of the ecosystem function of soil erosion prevention in diverse subtropical forests.

  15. Evolutionary diversification in stickleback affects ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, Luke J; Matthews, Blake; Des Roches, Simone; Chase, Jonathan M; Shurin, Jonathan B; Schluter, Dolph

    2009-04-30

    Explaining the ecological causes of evolutionary diversification is a major focus of biology, but surprisingly little has been said about the effects of evolutionary diversification on ecosystems. The number of species in an ecosystem and their traits are key predictors of many ecosystem-level processes, such as rates of productivity, biomass sequestration and decomposition. Here we demonstrate short-term ecosystem-level effects of adaptive radiation in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) over the past 10,000 years. These fish have undergone recent parallel diversification in several lakes in coastal British Columbia, resulting in the formation of two specialized species (benthic and limnetic) from a generalist ancestor. Using a mesocosm experiment, we demonstrate that this diversification has strong effects on ecosystems, affecting prey community structure, total primary production, and the nature of dissolved organic materials that regulate the spectral properties of light transmission in the system. However, these ecosystem effects do not simply increase in their relative strength with increasing specialization and species richness; instead, they reflect the complex and indirect consequences of ecosystem engineering by sticklebacks. It is well known that ecological factors influence adaptive radiation. We demonstrate that adaptive radiation, even over short timescales, can have profound effects on ecosystems.

  16. Understanding fungal functional biodiversity during the mitigation of environmentally dispersed pentachlorophenol in cork oak forest soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Varela, Adelia; Martins, Celso; Nunez, Oscar; Martins, Isabel; Houbraken, Jos A. M. P.; Martins, Tiago M.; Leitao, M. Cristina; McLellan, Iain; Vetter, Walter; Galceran, M. Teresa; Samson, Robert A.; Hursthouse, Andrew; Pereira, Cristina Silva

    Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is globally dispersed and contamination of soil with this biocide adversely affects its functional biodiversity, particularly of fungi – key colonizers. Their functional role as a community is poorly understood, although a few pathways have been already elucidated in pure

  17. Biodiversity and ecosystem risks arising from using guppies to control mosquitoes

    OpenAIRE

    El-Sabaawi, Rana W.; Frauendorf, Therese C.; Marques, Piata S.; Mackenzie, Richard A.; Manna, Luisa R.; Mazzoni, Rosana; Phillip, Dawn A. T.; Warbanski, Misha L.; Zandonà, Eugenia

    2016-01-01

    Deploying mosquito predators such as the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) into bodies of water where mosquitoes breed is a common strategy for limiting the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes. Here, we draw on studies from epidemiology, conservation, ecology and evolution to show that the evidence for the effectiveness of guppies in controlling mosquitoes is weak, that the chances of accidental guppy introduction into local ecosystems are large, and that guppies can easily establish populations ...

  18. 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

  19. Effects of Non-Indigenous Oysters on Microbial Diversity and Ecosystem Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Dannielle S.; Boots, Bas; Crowe, Tasman P.

    2012-01-01

    Invasive ecosystem engineers can physically and chemically alter the receiving environment, thereby affecting biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, invasive throughout much of the world, can establish dense populations monopolising shorelines and possibly altering ecosystem processes including decomposition and nutrient cycling. The effects of increasing cover of invasive C. gigas on ecosystem processes and associated microbial assemblages in mud-flats were tested experimentally in the field. Pore-water nutrients (NH4+ and total oxidised nitrogen), sediment chlorophyll content, microbial activity, total carbon and nitrogen, and community respiration (CO2 and CH4) were measured to assess changes in ecosystem functioning. Assemblages of bacteria and functionally important microbes, including methanogens, methylotrophs and ammonia-oxidisers were assessed in the oxic and anoxic layers of sediment using terminal restriction length polymorphism of the bacterial 16S rRNA, mxaF, amoA and archaeal mcrA genes respectively. At higher covers (40 and 80%) of oysters there was significantly greater microbial activity, increased chlorophyll content, CO2 (13 fold greater) and CH4 (6 fold greater) emission from the sediment compared to mud-flats without C. gigas. At 10% cover, C. gigas increased the concentration of total oxidised nitrogen and altered the assemblage structure of ammonia-oxidisers and methanogens. Concentrations of pore-water NH4+ were increased by C. gigas regardless of cover. Invasive species can alter ecosystem functioning not only directly, but also indirectly, by affecting microbial communities vital for the maintenance of ecosystem processes, but the nature and magnitude of these effects can be non-linear, depending on invader abundance. PMID:23144762

  20. Effects of non-indigenous oysters on microbial diversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dannielle S Green

    Full Text Available Invasive ecosystem engineers can physically and chemically alter the receiving environment, thereby affecting biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, invasive throughout much of the world, can establish dense populations monopolising shorelines and possibly altering ecosystem processes including decomposition and nutrient cycling. The effects of increasing cover of invasive C. gigas on ecosystem processes and associated microbial assemblages in mud-flats were tested experimentally in the field. Pore-water nutrients (NH(4(+ and total oxidised nitrogen, sediment chlorophyll content, microbial activity, total carbon and nitrogen, and community respiration (CO(2 and CH(4 were measured to assess changes in ecosystem functioning. Assemblages of bacteria and functionally important microbes, including methanogens, methylotrophs and ammonia-oxidisers were assessed in the oxic and anoxic layers of sediment using terminal restriction length polymorphism of the bacterial 16S rRNA, mxaF, amoA and archaeal mcrA genes respectively. At higher covers (40 and 80% of oysters there was significantly greater microbial activity, increased chlorophyll content, CO(2 (13 fold greater and CH(4 (6 fold greater emission from the sediment compared to mud-flats without C. gigas. At 10% cover, C. gigas increased the concentration of total oxidised nitrogen and altered the assemblage structure of ammonia-oxidisers and methanogens. Concentrations of pore-water NH(4(+ were increased by C. gigas regardless of cover. Invasive species can alter ecosystem functioning not only directly, but also indirectly, by affecting microbial communities vital for the maintenance of ecosystem processes, but the nature and magnitude of these effects can be non-linear, depending on invader abundance.

  1. Permanent, biodiverse pastures in Montado ecosystems - biogeochemical and physiological implications for cork oak trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, C.; Dawson, T. E.; Santos Pereira, J.

    2012-12-01

    Sown biodiverse permanent pastures rich in legumes (SBPPRL) have been implemented in Portugal as a management tool to increase soil fertility, grassland productivity and animal carrying capacity and were later selected as a voluntary land-use change activity towards increased carbon sequestration within the context of the Kyoto protocol. SBPPRL are commonly found in the understory of Mediterranean-type agro-silvo-pastoral systems - Montados - with cork oak as a dominant tree species. However, little is known about the effects of these introduced pastures on co-occurring cork oak physiology and productivity. Understanding the impact of grassland conversion on carbon, water, and nutrient cycling - namely at the tree level - could be of great importance for future management and policy decisions. Cork oak trees growing in an LTER, flux-tower site in Southern Portugal have been selected among two types of understory land-use: natural grassland and sown biodiverse permanent pasture. A suite of leaf-based physiological and morphological parameters were measured in cork oak trees across both land-use scenarios and different seasons. Here we focus on the results from foliar 15δN and 13δC between spring and summer. 13δC ranged from-30.21 to -27.36, with an average value of -28.74 (± 0.12) and no significant differences found between pasture types (natural vs. improved) or time (spring vs. summer). Foliar 15δN on the other hand showed statistically significant differences between cork oaks in different pasture types (-2.96±0.09 natural vs. -2.21±0.17 improved pastures, t-test, p ≤ 0.05), but no differences across time points. Cork oak trees in the permanent pasture have a 15δN signature closer to zero, consistent with a higher percentage of legumes (and N2 fixation) in that system. Using a mixed-model approach we estimated these trees to be using ca. 25% of their nitrogen from legume-fixation in the pasture. Despite the clear signature influence of legume-fixed N

  2. 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

  3. Connectivity, non-random extinction and ecosystem function in experimental metacommunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staddon, Philip; Lindo, Zoë; Crittenden, Peter D; Gilbert, Francis; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2010-05-01

    The spatial insurance hypothesis indicates that connectivity is an important attribute of natural ecosystems that sustains both biodiversity and ecosystem function. We tested the hypothesis by measuring the impact of manipulating connectivity in experimental metacommunties of a natural and diverse microecosystem. Isolation led to the extinction of large-bodied apex predators, subsequently followed by increases in prey species abundance. This trophic cascade was associated with significantly altered carbon and nitrogen fluxes in fragmented treatments. The ecosystem impacts were characteristic of a function debt because they persisted for several generations after the initial loss of connectivity. Local extinctions and disruption of ecosystem processes were mitigated, and even reversed, by the presence of corridors in the connected metacommunities, although these beneficial effects were unexpectedly delayed. We hypothesized that corridors maintained grazer movement between fragments, which enhanced microbial activity, and decomposition in comparison to isolated fragments. Our results indicate that knowledge of habitat connectivity and spatial processes is essential to understand the magnitude and timing of ecosystem perturbation in fragmented landscapes.

  4. 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.

  5. Effects of global changes on above- and belowground biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems: Implications for ecosystem functioning

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wolters, V.; Silver, W. L.; Bignell, D. E.; Coleman, D. C.; Lavelle, P.; Putten, V. H.; Ruiter, P. C.; Rusek, Josef; Wall, D. H.; Wardle, D. A.; Brussaard, L.; Dangerfield, J. M.; Brown, V. K.; Giller, K. E.; Hooper, D. U.; Sala, O.; Tiedje, J. M.; Veen, J. A.

    2000-01-01

    Roč. 50, č. 12 (2000), s. 1089-1098 ISSN 0006-3568 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KSK2017602 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6066911 Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.952, year: 2000

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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”.

  10. Towards a conceptual framework for social-ecological systems integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services with resource efficiency indicators

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eisenmenger, N.; Giljum, S.; Lutter, S.; Marques, A.; Theurl, M.C.; Pereira, H.M.; Tukker, A.

    2016-01-01

    In this article we develop a comprehensive conceptual framework for resource efficiency indicators with a consistent link of resource use to the socio-economic system and activities therein as well as to the natural system and its ecosystem functioning. Three broad groups of indicators are defined:

  11. Biodiversity in the neotropics: ecological, economic and social values

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JG. Tundisi

    Full Text Available Biodiversity in the neotropical region is of enormous importance, specially related to the future exploitation of this natural resource for food production, medical applications and restoration ecology and technology. Knowledge of this biodiversity and its conservation represents an important step from the scientific and applied point of view. Neotropical biodiversity is endangered by human interventions. Loss of this large genetic and phenotypic base will affect the functioning of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Neotropical forests and floodplains, great internal deltas of rivers are active centers of evolution. Loss of neotropical biodiversity will represent the loss of processes, economic values and ecosystem services.

  12. Combining the Conservation of Biodiversity with the Provision of Ecosystem Services in Urban Green Infrastructure Planning: Critical Features Arising from a Case Study in the Metropolitan Area of Rome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Capotorti

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available A large number of green infrastructure (GI projects have recently been proposed, planned and implemented in European cities following the adoption of the GI strategy by the EU Commission in 2013. Although this policy tool is closely related to biodiversity conservation targets, some doubts have arisen as regards the ability of current urban GI to provide beneficial effects not only for human societies but also for the ecological systems that host them. The aim of this work is to review the features that should be considered critical when searching for solutions that simultaneously support biodiversity and guarantee the provision of ecosystem services (ES in urban areas. Starting from a case study in the metropolitan area of Rome, we highlight the role of urban trees and forests as proxies for overall biodiversity and as main ecosystem service providers. We look beyond the individual functional features of plant species and vegetation communities to promote the biogeographic representativity, ecological coherence and landscape connectivity of new or restored GI elements.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Impacts of climate variability on functional diversity and species distribution in dryland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caylor, K. K.; Franz, T.

    2008-12-01

    The role rainfall heterogeneity is an important but poorly understood aspect of ecosystem function in dryland communities. While general relationships between annual rainfall and tree cover have been revealed through meta-analysis and inter-site comparisons, the impact of rainfall variability on both functional and species-level biodiversity has received less attention. However, it is likely that shifts in the seasonality, and distribution of rainfall (i.e. changes in daily storm frequency and/or storm intensity) could substantially alter waterbalance of dryland ecosystems. In particular, the distribution of plant water use and plant water stress (proxies for growth and survival, respectively) are highly dependent on the temporal signatures of rainfall events within and between growing seasons. Therefore, ecosystem resilience is likely to be dependent on the functional - and species-level - responses of ecosystems to shifts in rainfall timing and intensity. This presentation will explore the potential and observed impacts of both seasonal and inter-annual variability in rainfall distribution in two classic dryland ecosystems. The first is the Kalahari region of southern Africa, where seasonal variability in rainfall patterns leads to functional organization of trees and grasses across a large climate gradient that optimize water use and minimize water stress. The second example is drawn from an east African savanna in Kenya, where observed shifts in rainfall seasonality are used to infer changes in the spatial distributions in the dominant woody species. Finally, I will address the critical need for new observational frameworks capable of directly measuring plant and ecosystem-scale responses to rainfall heterogeneity and propose a sampling design capable of resolving the functional response of vegetation to rainfall heterogeneity in water-limited landscapes.

  16. Incorporating plant functional diversity effects in ecosystem service assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Sandra; Lavorel, Sandra; de Bello, Francesco; Quétier, Fabien; Grigulis, Karl; Robson, T Matthew

    2007-12-26

    Global environmental change affects the sustained provision of a wide set of ecosystem services. Although the delivery of ecosystem services is strongly affected by abiotic drivers and direct land use effects, it is also modulated by the functional diversity of biological communities (the value, range, and relative abundance of functional traits in a given ecosystem). The focus of this article is on integrating the different possible mechanisms by which functional diversity affects ecosystem properties that are directly relevant to ecosystem services. We propose a systematic way for progressing in understanding how land cover change affects these ecosystem properties through functional diversity modifications. Models on links between ecosystem properties and the local mean, range, and distribution of plant trait values are numerous, but they have been scattered in the literature, with varying degrees of empirical support and varying functional diversity components analyzed. Here we articulate these different components in a single conceptual and methodological framework that allows testing them in combination. We illustrate our approach with examples from the literature and apply the proposed framework to a grassland system in the central French Alps in which functional diversity, by responding to land use change, alters the provision of ecosystem services important to local stakeholders. We claim that our framework contributes to opening a new area of research at the interface of land change science and fundamental ecology.

  17. Incorporating plant functional diversity effects in ecosystem service assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Sandra; Lavorel, Sandra; de Bello, Francesco; Quétier, Fabien; Grigulis, Karl; Robson, T. Matthew

    2007-01-01

    Global environmental change affects the sustained provision of a wide set of ecosystem services. Although the delivery of ecosystem services is strongly affected by abiotic drivers and direct land use effects, it is also modulated by the functional diversity of biological communities (the value, range, and relative abundance of functional traits in a given ecosystem). The focus of this article is on integrating the different possible mechanisms by which functional diversity affects ecosystem properties that are directly relevant to ecosystem services. We propose a systematic way for progressing in understanding how land cover change affects these ecosystem properties through functional diversity modifications. Models on links between ecosystem properties and the local mean, range, and distribution of plant trait values are numerous, but they have been scattered in the literature, with varying degrees of empirical support and varying functional diversity components analyzed. Here we articulate these different components in a single conceptual and methodological framework that allows testing them in combination. We illustrate our approach with examples from the literature and apply the proposed framework to a grassland system in the central French Alps in which functional diversity, by responding to land use change, alters the provision of ecosystem services important to local stakeholders. We claim that our framework contributes to opening a new area of research at the interface of land change science and fundamental ecology. PMID:18093933

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

    Tuck, Sean L; O'Brien, Michael J; Philipson, Christopher D; Saner, Philippe; Tanadini, Matteo; Dzulkifli, Dzaeman; Godfray, H Charles J; 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; Hector, Andy

    2016-12-14

    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. © 2016 The Authors.

  20. Emergent Global Patterns of Ecosystem Structure and Function from a Mechanistic General Ecosystem Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmott, Stephen; Hutton, Jon; Lyutsarev, Vassily; Smith, Matthew J.; Scharlemann, Jörn P. W.; Purves, Drew W.

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities are causing widespread degradation of ecosystems worldwide, threatening the ecosystem services upon which all human life depends. Improved understanding of this degradation is urgently needed to improve avoidance and mitigation measures. One tool to assist these efforts is predictive models of ecosystem structure and function that are mechanistic: based on fundamental ecological principles. Here we present the first mechanistic General Ecosystem Model (GEM) of ecosystem structure and function that is both global and applies in all terrestrial and marine environments. Functional forms and parameter values were derived from the theoretical and empirical literature where possible. Simulations of the fate of all organisms with body masses between 10 µg and 150,000 kg (a range of 14 orders of magnitude) across the globe led to emergent properties at individual (e.g., growth rate), community (e.g., biomass turnover rates), ecosystem (e.g., trophic pyramids), and macroecological scales (e.g., global patterns of trophic structure) that are in general agreement with current data and theory. These properties emerged from our encoding of the biology of, and interactions among, individual organisms without any direct constraints on the properties themselves. Our results indicate that ecologists have gathered sufficient information to begin to build realistic, global, and mechanistic models of ecosystems, capable of predicting a diverse range of ecosystem properties and their response to human pressures. PMID:24756001

  1. Success stories in landscape management for functional biodiversity: an assessment from 5 west-European countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snoo, de G.R.; Burgio, G.; Eggenschwiler, L.; Gerowitt, B.; Mante, J.; Powell, W.; Alebeek, van F.A.N.; Kragten, S.; Rossing, W.A.H.

    2006-01-01

    Within IOBC, a small scale inventory was made to collect success stories in landscape management for functional biodiversity. Five projects from different European countries were analysed to define the indicators in the people, planet and profit domains being seen as important for success. Projects

  2. Risks of large-scale use of systemic insecticides to ecosystem functioning and services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chagnon, Madeleine; Kreutzweiser, David; Mitchell, Edward A D; Morrissey, Christy A; Noome, Dominique A; Van der Sluijs, Jeroen P

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale use of the persistent and potent neonicotinoid and fipronil insecticides has raised concerns about risks to ecosystem functions provided by a wide range of species and environments affected by these insecticides. The concept of ecosystem services is widely used in decision making in the context of valuing the service potentials, benefits, and use values that well-functioning ecosystems provide to humans and the biosphere and, as an endpoint (value to be protected), in ecological risk assessment of chemicals. Neonicotinoid insecticides are frequently detected in soil and water and are also found in air, as dust particles during sowing of crops and aerosols during spraying. These environmental media provide essential resources to support biodiversity, but are known to be threatened by long-term or repeated contamination by neonicotinoids and fipronil. We review the state of knowledge regarding the potential impacts of these insecticides on ecosystem functioning and services provided by terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems including soil and freshwater functions, fisheries, biological pest control, and pollination services. Empirical studies examining the specific impacts of neonicotinoids and fipronil to ecosystem services have focused largely on the negative impacts to beneficial insect species (honeybees) and the impact on pollination service of food crops. However, here we document broader evidence of the effects on ecosystem functions regulating soil and water quality, pest control, pollination, ecosystem resilience, and community diversity. In particular, microbes, invertebrates, and fish play critical roles as decomposers, pollinators, consumers, and predators, which collectively maintain healthy communities and ecosystem integrity. Several examples in this review demonstrate evidence of the negative impacts of systemic insecticides on decomposition, nutrient cycling, soil respiration, and invertebrate populations valued by humans. Invertebrates

  3. How Do “Renewable Products” Impact Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – The Example of Natural Rubber in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Cotter

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to present the implications brought by the expansion of “renewable products” plantation systems in the tropics with cultivation of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis as a main focus. Throughout South East Asia, natural forest is being replaced by rubber or oil palm (Elaeis guineensis plantations, with severe consequences for the local flora and fauna. Main aspects of this review are: i The provision of an overview over renewable resources in general and rubber in particular, with eco-physiological and agronomical information concerning rubber cultivation. ii The effect of rubber plantations on biodiversity and species composition under different rubber farming approaches. In addition we debate the possible influences of such large scale land cover transformations on ecosystem services. iii The conversion of natural forests into rubber plantations releases considerable amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We estimated these values for different land cover types in southern China and assessed the carbon sequestration potential of local rubber plantations.

  4. Institutional entrepreneurship and techniques of inclusiveness in the creation of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Arpin

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This article contributes to understanding the conditions of social-ecological change by focusing on the agency of individuals in the pathways to institutionalization. Drawing on the case of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES, it addresses institutional entrepreneurship in an emerging environmental science-policy institution (ESPI at a global scale. Drawing on ethnographic observations, semistructured interviews, and document analysis, we propose a detailed chronology of the genesis of the IPBES before focusing on the final phase of the negotiations toward the creation of the institution. We analyze the techniques and skills deployed by the chairman during the conference to handle the tensions at play both to prevent participants from deserting the negotiations arena and to prevent a lack of inclusiveness from discrediting the future institution. We stress that creating a new global environmental institution requires the situated exercise of an art of "having everybody on board" through techniques of inclusiveness that we characterize. Our results emphazise the major challenge of handling the fragmentation and plasticity of the groups of interest involved in the institutionalization process, thus adding to the theory of transformative agency of institutional entrepreneurs. Although inclusiveness might remain partly unattainable, such techniques of inclusiveness appear to be a major condition of the legitimacy and success of the institutionalization of a new global ESPI. Our results also add to the literature on boundary making within ESPIs by emphasizing the multiplicity and plasticity of the groups actually at stake.

  5. Epistemic Selectivities and the Valorisation of Nature: The Cases of the Nagoya Protocol and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich Brand and Alice B.M. Vadrot

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This article addresses the intertwined and contentious relationship between knowledge production and policy-making inside the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD. We develop the argument that international biodiversity politics is constituted by epistemic selectivities, in which a set of favoured concepts establishes its own institutionalisation by defining ‘what needs to be governed’. Against this background the article aims to analyse the relationship between the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing and the process towards the creation of the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES, on the one hand, and the increased popularity of the concept of ecosystem services, on the other. We argue that both cases illustrate the ‘pay to conserve logic’, prearranging the terrain of international biodiversity politics and related knowledge production and its influence on political processes. We introduce the concept of epistemic selectivities, in order to understand how this logic materialises in political institutions and to analyse the relationship between hegemonic forms of societal and scientific knowledge and that of policy knowledge. Our argument needs to be understood against the background of the wider context beyond global environmental policy by considering the political economy of biodiversity politics. This article is theoretically informed by the strategic-relational approach and focuses on the relationship between truth and power as well as on the role of the internationalised state of which the CBD is part.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. Meta-ecosystem dynamics and functioning on finite spatial networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marleau, Justin N; Guichard, Frédéric; Loreau, Michel

    2014-02-22

    The addition of spatial structure to ecological concepts and theories has spurred integration between sub-disciplines within ecology, including community and ecosystem ecology. However, the complexity of spatial models limits their implementation to idealized, regular landscapes. We present a model meta-ecosystem with finite and irregular spatial structure consisting of local nutrient-autotrophs-herbivores ecosystems connected through spatial flows of materials and organisms. We study the effect of spatial flows on stability and ecosystem functions, and provide simple metrics of connectivity that can predict these effects. Our results show that high rates of nutrient and herbivore movement can destabilize local ecosystem dynamics, leading to spatially heterogeneous equilibria or oscillations across the meta-ecosystem, with generally increased meta-ecosystem primary and secondary production. However, the onset and the spatial scale of these emergent dynamics depend heavily on the spatial structure of the meta-ecosystem and on the relative movement rate of the autotrophs. We show how this strong dependence on finite spatial structure eludes commonly used metrics of connectivity, but can be predicted by the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the connectivity matrix that describe the spatial structure and scale. Our study indicates the need to consider finite-size ecosystems in meta-ecosystem theory.

  10. Hydrological Controls of Riverine Ecosystems of the Napo River (Amazon Basin): Implications for the Management and Conservation of Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celi, J. E.; Hamilton, S. K.

    2013-12-01

    Scientific understanding of neotropical floodplains comes mainly from work on large rivers with predictable seasonal flooding regimes. Less studied rivers and floodplains on the Andean-Amazon interface are distinct in their hydrology, with more erratic flow regimes, and thus ecological roles of floodplain inundation differ in those ecosystems. Multiple and unpredictable flooding events control inundation of floodplains, with important implications for fish and wildlife, plant communities, and human activities. Wetlands along the river corridor exist across a continuum from strong river control to influence only by local waters, with the latter often lying on floodplain paleoterraces. The goal of this study was to understand the hydrological interactions and habitat diversity of the Napo River, a major Amazon tributary that originates in the Andes and drains exceptionally biodiverse Andean foreland plains. This river system is envisioned by developers as an industrial waterway that would require hydrological alterations and affect floodplain ecosystems. Water level regimes of the Napo River and its associated environments were assessed using networks of data loggers that recorded time under water across transects extending inland from the river across more than 100 sites and for up to 5 years. These networks also included rising stage samplers that collected flood water samples for determination of their origin (i.e., Andean rivers vs. local waters) based on hydrochemical composition. In addition, this work entails a classification of aquatic environments of the Napo Basin using an object-oriented remote sensing approach to simultaneously analyze optical and radar satellite imagery and digital elevation models to better assess the extent and diversity of flooded environments. We found out a continuum of hydrological regimes and aquatic habitats along the Napo River floodplains that are linked to the river hydrology in different degrees. Overall, environments that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brack, Werner; Bakker, Joop; de Deckere, Eric; Deerenberg, Charlotte; van Gils, Jos; Hein, Michaela; Jurajda, Pavel; Kooijman, Bas; Lamoree, Marja; Lek, Sovan; López de Alda, Maria Jose; Marcomini, Antonio; Muñoz, Isabel; Rattei, Silke; Segner, Helmut; Thomas, Kevin; von der Ohe, Peter Carsten; Westrich, Bernhard; de Zwart, Dick; Schmitt-Jansen, Mechthild

    2005-09-01

    Triggered by the requirement of Water Framework Directive for a good ecological status for European river systems till 2015 and by still existing lacks in tools for cause identification of insufficient ecological status MODELKEY (http:// www.modelkey.org), an Integrated Project with 26 partners from 14 European countries, was started in 2005. MODELKEY is the acronym for 'Models for assessing and forecasting the impact of environmental key pollutants on freshwater and marine ecosystems and biodiversity'. The project is funded by the European Commission within the Sixth Framework Programme. MODELKEY comprises a multidisciplinary approach aiming at developing interlinked tools for an enhanced understanding of cause-effect-relationships between insufficient ecological status and environmental pollution as causative factor and for the assessment and forecasting of the risks of key pollutants on fresh water and marine ecosystems at a river basin and adjacent marine environment scale. New modelling tools for risk assessment including generic exposure assessment models, mechanistic models of toxic effects in simplified food chains, integrated diagnostic effect models based on community patterns, predictive component effect models applying artificial neural networks and GIS-based analysis of integrated risk indexes will be developed and linked to a user-friendly decision support system for the prioritisation of risks, contamination sources and contaminated sites. Modelling will be closely interlinked with extensive laboratory and field investigations. Early warning strategies on the basis of sub-lethal effects in vitro and in vivo are provided and combined with fractionation and analytical tools for effect-directed analysis of key toxicants. Integrated assessment of exposure and effects on biofilms, invertebrate and fish communities linking chemical analysis in water, sediment and biota with in vitro, in vivo and community level effect analysis is designed to provide data

  12. Positive biodiversity-productivity relationship predominant in global forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The value of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alho, C J R

    2008-11-01

    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.

  16. 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

    principle that ecosystem function depends in part on the expression of various morphological, structural, physiological , or chemical traits of organisms...ratio, leaf arrangement, stem wood specific gravity, canopy stature, elevational range, maximum height, vegetative spread, seed mass and an index...project. 3.5 Pre-treatment Measurements Vegetation was surveyed in June-August 2012 using a modification of the methods in Zimmerman et al. (2008

  17. 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.

  18. Earth Observation for Biodiversity Assessment (EO-BA)

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Cho, Moses A

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available in the Dukuduku coastal forest Earth Observation for Biodiversity Assessment (EO-BA) MA CHO, P DEBBA, R MATHIEU, A RAMOELO, L NAIDOO, H VAN DEVENTER, O MALAHLELA AND R MAIN CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment, Pretoria, South Africa PO Box 395..., Pretoria, South Africa, 0001 Email: mcho@csir.co.za ? www.csir.co.za THE ROLE OF EARTH OBSERVATION IN PROVIDING BIODIVERSITY INFORMATION Biodiversity encompasses four levels: genetic, species, ecosystem and functional diversities. By sustaining...

  19. Abrupt shifts in ecosystem function and intensification of global biogeochemical cycle driven by hydroclimatic extremes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xuanlong; Huete, Alfredo; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo; Zhang, Yongguang; Xie, Zunyi; Giovannini, Leandro; Cleverly, James; Eamus, Derek

    2016-04-01

    Amplification of the hydrologic cycle as a consequence of global warming is increasing the frequency, intensity, and spatial extent of extreme climate events globally. The potential influences resulting from amplification of the hydro-climatic cycle, coupled with an accelerating warming trend, pose great concerns on the sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems to sequester carbon, maintain biodiversity, provide ecosystem services, food security, and support human livelihood. Despite the great implications, the magnitude, direction, and carry-over effect of these extreme climate events on ecosystem function, remain largely uncertain. To address these pressing issues, we conducted an observational, interdisciplinary study using satellite retrievals of atmospheric CO2 and photosynthesis (chlorophyll fluorescence), and in-situ flux tower measures of ecosystem-atmosphere carbon exchange, to reveal the shifts in ecosystem function across extreme drought and wet periods. We further determine the factors that govern ecosystem sensitivity to hydroclimatic extremes. We focus on Australia but extended our analyses to other global dryland regions due to their significant role in global biogeochemical cycles. Our results revealed dramatic impacts of drought and wet hydroclimatic extremes on ecosystem function, with abrupt changes in vegetation productivity, carbon uptake, and water-use-efficiency between years. Drought resulted in widespread reductions or collapse in the normal patterns of vegetation growth seasonality such that in many cases there was no detectable phenological cycle during extreme drought years. We further identified a significant increasing trend (p Australia and many other global regions, resulting in an increasing trend in magnitude of the episodic carbon sink pulses coupled to each La Niña-induced wet years. This finding is of global biogeochemical significance, with the consequence of amplifying the global carbon cycle. Lastly, we use landscape

  20. Biodiversity and the lexicon zoo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    B.G. Marcot

    2007-01-01

    Ecologists and natural resource managers struggle to define and relate biodiversity, biocomplexity, ecological integrity, ecosystem services, and related concepts; to describe effects of disturbance dynamics on biodiversity; and to understand how biodiversity relates to resilience, resistance, and stability of ecosystems and sustainability of resource conditions. To...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. Biodiversity and functional genomics in the human microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Xochitl C; Segata, Nicola; Huttenhower, Curtis

    2013-01-01

    Over the course of our lives, humans are colonized by a tremendous diversity of commensal microbes, which comprise the human microbiome. The collective genetic potential (metagenome) of the human microbiome is orders of magnitude more than the human genome, and it profoundly affects human health and disease in ways we are only beginning to understand. Advances in computing and high-throughput sequencing have enabled population-level surveys such as MetaHIT and the recently released Human Microbiome Project, detailed investigations of the microbiome in human disease, and mechanistic studies employing gnotobiotic model organisms. The resulting knowledge of human microbiome composition, function, and range of variation across multiple body sites has begun to assemble a rich picture of commensal host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions as well as their roles in human health and disease and their potential as diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  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. Linking soil biodiversity and agricultural soil management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thiele-Bruhn, S.; Bloem, J.; de Vries, F.T.; Kalbitz, K.; Wagg, C.

    2012-01-01

    Soil biodiversity vastly exceeds aboveground biodiversity, and is prerequisite for ecosystem stability and services. This review presents recent findings in soil biodiversity research focused on interrelations with agricultural soil management. Richness and community structure of soil biota depend

  10. Quantitative criteria for estimation of natural and artificial ecosystems functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechurkin, N. S.

    Using biotic turnover of substances in trophic chains, natural and artificial ecosystems are similar in functioning, but different in structure. It is necessary to have quantitative criteria to evaluate the efficiency of artificial ecosystems (AES). These criteria are dependent on the specific objectives for which the AES are designed. For example, if AES is considered for use in space, important criteria are efficiency in use of mass, power, volume (size) and human labor and reliability. Another task involves the determination of quantitative criteria for the functioning of natural ecosystems. To solve the problem, it is fruitful to use a hierarchical approach suitable for both individual links and the ecosystem as a whole. Energy flux criteria (principles) were developed to estimate the functional activities of biosystems at the population, community and ecosystem levels. A major feature of ecosystems as a whole is their biotic turnover of matter the rate of which is restricted by the lack of limiting substances. Obviously, the most generalized criterion is to take into account the energy flux used by the biosystem and the quantity of limiting substance included in its turnover. The use of energy flux by ecosystem, EUSED - is determined from the photoassimilation of CO 2 by plants (per time unit). It can be approximately estimated as the net primary production of photosynthesis (NPP). So, the ratio of CO 2 photoassimilation rate (sometimes, measured as NPP) to the total mass of limiting substrate can serve as a main universal criterion (MUC). This MUC characterizes the specific cycling rate of limiting chemical elements in the system and effectiveness of every ecosystem including the global Biosphere. Comparative analysis and elaboration of quantitative criteria for estimation of natural and artificial ecosystems activities is of high importance both for theoretical considerations and for real applications.

  11. Structural and functional loss in restored wetland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Mateos, David; Power, Mary E; Comín, Francisco A; Yockteng, Roxana

    2012-01-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Interaction between the society around forest area with the use of biodiversity in the natural forest ecosystem of Bedugul-Pancasari, Bali

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BRAMANTYO TRI ADI NUGROHO

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Natural ecosystem forest of Bedugul-Pancasari represents an area which located in Tabanan regency, Bali province. This ecosystem area consist of eight laid orchard at strategic area so that do not deny by many society forest exploit variety involve residing in the area. This research aimed to get the information about variance factors that influence the extraction of nature resources by the village and also to know the respondent characteristic. The result from frequency distribution table showed the age of respondent 20-35 (45% was the biggest group which taken the forest biodiversities around Bedugul-Pancasari forest. The respondent who taken the biggest forest biodiversity has income from 50,000-185,000 rupiahs (42% and 82% as a farmer. The age, the distance between house and forest, and the number of family member variables influenced the respondents to take the forest biodiversities. The Cramer’s V value for each variable is 0.592, 0.691 and 0.723 that indicated there was correlation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braga, Rodrigo F; Korasaki, Vanesca; Andresen, Ellen; Louzada, Julio

    2013-01-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Impacts of Climate Chnage on Terrestrial Ecosystems Functioning - An Overview

    OpenAIRE

    Beier, Claus; Ambus, Per; Amdal, M. F.; Christensen, Steen; Holmstrup, M.; Larsen, Klaus Steenberg; Michelsen, A.; Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard; Priemé, A.; Schmidt, I. K.; Pilegaard, Kim

    2015-01-01

    CLiMA!TE - backgroundThe concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing, globaltemperatures are increasing, and local precipitation patterns arechanging with increases in the intensity of rain events and droughtperiods. This is expected to affect the structure and functioning ofterrestrial ecosystems (IPCC, 2013) with major impacts on naturalenvironments as well as ecosystems used for agriculture or forestry. Over the past three decades, major efforts have been devoted to understandand ...

  17. Megafauna and ecosystem function from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Doughty, Christopher E; Galetti, Mauro; Smith, Felisa A; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Terborgh, John W

    2016-01-26

    Large herbivores and carnivores (the megafauna) have been in a state of decline and extinction since the Late Pleistocene, both on land and more recently in the oceans. Much has been written on the timing and causes of these declines, but only recently has scientific attention focused on the consequences of these declines for ecosystem function. Here, we review progress in our understanding of how megafauna affect ecosystem physical and trophic structure, species composition, biogeochemistry, and climate, drawing on special features of PNAS and Ecography that have been published as a result of an international workshop on this topic held in Oxford in 2014. Insights emerging from this work have consequences for our understanding of changes in biosphere function since the Late Pleistocene and of the functioning of contemporary ecosystems, as well as offering a rationale and framework for scientifically informed restoration of megafaunal function where possible and appropriate.

  18. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Changes in climate, combined with land-use change and the spread of invasive species, are likely to limit the resilience...

  19. The Functionally-Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator Version 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2017-06-02

    The Functionally-Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator (FATES) is a vegetation model for use in Earth system models (ESMs). The model includes a size- and age-structured representation of tree dynamics, competition between functionally diverse plant functional types, and the biophysics underpinning plant growth, competition, mortality, as well as the carbon, water, and energy exchange with the atmosphere. The FATES model is designed as a modular vegetation model that can be integrated within a host land model for inclusion in ESMs. The model is designed for use in global change studies to understand and project the responses and feedbacks between terrestrial ecosystems and the Earth system under changing climate and other forcings.

  20. Testing the Link between Functional Diversity and Ecosystem Functioning in a Minnesota Grassland Experiment

    OpenAIRE

    Clark, Christopher M; Flynn, Dan F B; Butterfield, Bradley J; Reich, Peter B

    2012-01-01

    The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the associatio...

  1. Changes in Biodiversity and Functioning of Reef Fish Assemblages following Coral Bleaching and Coral Loss

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholas A.J. Graham; Vanessa Messmer; Morgan S. Pratchett; Andrew S. Hoey; Shaun K. Wilson

    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 ...

  2. 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

    2011-11-27

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Consequences of Uncertainty in Global-Scale Land Cover Maps for Mapping Ecosystem Functions: An Analysis of Pollination Efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob Alkemade

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Mapping ecosystem services (ESs is an important tool for providing the quantitative information necessary for the optimal use and protection of ecosystems and biodiversity. A common mapping approach is to apply established empirical relationships to ecosystem property maps. Often, ecosystem properties that provide services to humanity are strongly related to the land use and land cover, where the spatial allocation of the land cover in the landscape is especially important. Land use and land cover maps are, therefore, essential for ES mapping. However, insight into the uncertainties in land cover maps and how these propagate into ES maps is lacking. To analyze the effects of these uncertainties, we mapped pollination efficiency as an example of an ecosystem function, using two continental-scale land cover maps and two global-scale land cover maps. We compared the outputs with maps based on a detailed national-scale map. The ecosystem properties and functions could be mapped using the GLOBCOVER map with a reasonable to good accuracy. In homogeneous landscapes, an even coarser resolution map would suffice. For mapping ESs that depend on the spatial allocation of land cover in the landscape, a classification of satellite images using fractional land cover or mosaic classes is an asset.

  6. 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...... across five continents to assess mechanisms of temporal stability across spatial scales. We assessed how asynchrony (i.e. different units responding dissimilarly through time) of species and local communities stabilised metacommunity ecosystem function. Asynchrony of species increased stability of local...... communities, and asynchrony among local communities enhanced metacommunity stability by a wide range of magnitudes (1–315%); this range was positively correlated with the size of the metacommunity. Additionally, asynchronous responses among local communities were linked with species’ populations fluctuating...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T. Tredennick

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Discussion Despite some evidence that ecosystem functional response became more

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. The value of biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

    2011-01-01

    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,...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. The Biodiversity of Urban and Peri-Urban Forests and the Diverse Ecosystem Services They Provide as Socio-Ecological Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J. Livesley

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Urban and peri-urban forests provide a variety of ecosystem service benefits for urban society. Recognising and understanding the many human–tree interactions that urban forests provide may be more complex but probably just as important to our urbanised society. This paper introduces four themes that link the studies from across the globe presented in this Special Issue: (1 human–tree interactions; (2 urban tree inequity; (3 carbon sequestration in our own neighbourhoods; and (4 biodiversity of urban forests themselves and the fauna they support. Urban forests can help tackle many of the “wicked problems” that confront our towns and cities and the people that live in them. For urban forests to be accepted as an effective element of any urban adaptation strategy, we need to improve the communication of these ecosystem services and disservices and provide evidence of the benefits provided to urban society and individuals, as well as the biodiversity with which we share our town and cities.

  14. 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

    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...... an immature but stable status from the 1950s to the 2000s, as indicated by the multiple related indicators and the distribution of energy flows in slow detrital-based and fast primary producer-based channels. We further discuss the potential driving factors and underlying mechanisms, hypothesizing...

  15. Invasive Species Mediate Insecticide Effects on Community and Ecosystem Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Andreia C M; Machado, Ana L; Bordalo, Maria D; Saro, Liliana; Simão, Fátima C P; Rocha, Rui J M; Golovko, Oksana; Žlábek, Vladimír; Barata, Carlos; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Pestana, João L T

    2018-04-03

    Anthropogenic activities increase pesticide contamination and biological invasions in freshwater ecosystems. Understanding their combined effects on community structure and on ecosystem functioning presents challenges for an improved ecological risk assessment. This study focuses on an artificial stream mesocosms experiment testing for direct and indirect effects of insecticide (chlorantraniliprole - CAP) exposure on the structure of a benthic macroinvertebrate freshwater community and on ecosystem functioning (leaf decomposition, primary production). To understand how predator identity and resource quality alter the community responses to chemical stress, the mediating effects of an invasive predator species (crayfish Procambarus clarkii) and detritus quality (tested by using leaves of the invasive Eucalyptus globulus) on insecticide toxicity were also investigated. Low concentrations of CAP reduced the abundance of shredders and grazers, decreasing leaf decomposition and increasing primary production. Replacement of autochthonous predators and leaf litter by invasive species decreased macroinvertebrate survival, reduced leaf decomposition, and enhanced primary production. Structural equation modeling (SEM) highlighted that CAP toxicity to macroinvertebrates was mediated by the presence of crayfish or eucalypt leaf litter which are now common in many Mediterranean freshwaters. In summary, our results demonstrate that the presence of these two invasive species alters the effects of insecticide exposure on benthic freshwater communities. The approach used here also allowed for a mechanistic evaluation of indirect effects of these stressors and of their interaction on ecosystem functional endpoint, emphasizing the value of incorporating biotic stressors in ecotoxicological experiments.

  16. Biodiversity and species competition regulate the resilience of microbial biofilm community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Kai; Zhang, Zhaojing; Cai, Weiwei

    2017-01-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem stability is poorly understood in microbial communities. Biofilm communities in small bioreactors called microbial electrolysis cells (MEC) contain moderate species numbers and easy tractable functional traits, thus providing an ideal platform f...

  17. Changes in Biodiversity and Functioning of Reef Fish Assemblages following Coral Bleaching and Coral Loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A.J. Graham

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Impacts of Climate Chnage on Terrestrial Ecosystems Functioning - An Overview

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beier, Claus; Ambus, Per; Amdal, M. F.

    ecosystems (IPCC, 2013) with major impacts on naturalenvironments as well as ecosystems used for agriculture or forestry. Over the past three decades, major efforts have been devoted to understandand predict such impacts of climate change on ecosystemprocesses and functioning in order to understand...... to climate change and experimentationis the time scale. Climate change acts over decades, meaningthat climate change experiments running for 2-4 years only highlightshort term and transient effects on the ecosystems, while lackingthe ability to inform about long term and more stable effects.The "long term...... mimicking future climate changes, and dynamicecosystem modelling (Beier, 2004; Rustad, 2008). Each of theseapproaches has their forces and drawbacks, but across all a generallimitation is that observations and experiments have focused on onesingle climate factor. For example, observations across gradients...

  20. Ecosystem Processes at the Watershed Scale: Stability and Resilience of Catchment Spatial Structure and Function to Disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Band, L. E.

    2015-12-01

    Ecohydrological systems evolve spontaneously in response to geologic, hydroclimate and biodiversity drivers. The stability and resilience of these systems to multiple disturbances can be addressed over specific temporal extents, potentially embedded within long term transience in response to geologic or climate change. The limits of ecohydrological resilience of system state in terms of vegetation canopy and soil catenae and the space/time distribution of water, carbon and nutrient cycling is determined by a set of critical feedbacks and potential substitutions of plant functional forms in response to disturbance. The ability of forest systems to return to states functionally similar to states prior to major disturbance, or combinations of multiple disturbances, is a critical question given increasing hydroclimate extremes, biological invasions, and human disturbance. Over the past century, forest landscape ecological patterns appear to have the ability to recover from significant disturbance and re-establish similar hydrological and ecological function in humid, biodiverse regions such as the southern Appalachians, and potentially drier forest ecosystems. Understanding and prediction of past and future long term dynamics requires explicit representation of spatial and temporal feedbacks and dependencies between hydrological, ecosystem and geomorphic processes, and the spatial pattern of species or plant functional type (PFT). Comprehensive models of watershed ecohydrological resilience requires careful balance between the level of process and parameter detail between the interacting components, relative to the structure, organization, space and time scales of the landscape.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. In silico substrate dependence increases community productivity but threatens biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, Aisling J.; Baetens, Jan M.; De Baets, Bernard

    2016-04-01

    The critical role that biodiversity plays in ecosystem functioning has motivated many studies of the mechanisms that sustain biodiversity, a notable example being cyclic competition. We extend existing models of communities with cyclic competition by incorporating variable community evenness and resource dependence in demographic processes, two features that have generally been neglected. In this way, we align previous approaches more closely with real-world microbial ecosystems. We demonstrate the existence of a trade-off between increasing biomass production and maintaining biodiversity. This supports experimental observations of a net negative biodiversity effect on biomass productivity, due to competition effects suffered by highly productive species in diverse communities. Our results also support the important role assigned by microbial ecologists to evenness in maintaining ecosystem stability, thus far largely overlooked in in silico approaches.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Biodiversity enhances reef fish biomass and resistance to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, J. Emmett; Lefcheck, Jonathan S.; Navarrete, Sergio A.; Edgar, Graham J.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27185921

  9. Forecasting Urban Forest Ecosystem Structure, Function, and Vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenberg, James W. N.; Millward, Andrew A.; Nowak, David J.; Robinson, Pamela J.; Ellis, Alexis

    2017-03-01

    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 assess and analyze the spatial and temporal changes, and potential vulnerability, of the urban forest resource in Toronto, Canada. This research was conducted using a spatially-explicit, indicator-based assessment of vulnerability and i-Tree Forecast modeling of temporal changes in forest structure and function. Nine scenarios were simulated for 45 years and model output was analyzed at the ecosystem and municipal scale. Substantial mismatches in ecological processes between spatial scales were found, which can translate into unanticipated loss of function and social inequities if not accounted for in planning and management. At the municipal scale, the effects of Asian longhorned beetle and ice storm disturbance were far less influential on structure and function than changes in management actions. The strategic goals of removing invasive species and increasing tree planting resulted in a decline in carbon storage and leaf biomass. Introducing vulnerability parameters in the modeling increased the spatial heterogeneity in structure and function while expanding the disparities of resident access to ecosystem services. There was often a variable and uncertain relationship between vulnerability and ecosystem structure and function. Vulnerability assessment and analysis can provide strategic planning initiatives with valuable insight into the processes of structural and functional change resulting from management intervention.

  10. Forecasting Urban Forest Ecosystem Structure, Function, and Vulnerability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenberg, James W N; Millward, Andrew A; Nowak, David J; Robinson, Pamela J; Ellis, Alexis

    2017-03-01

    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 assess and analyze the spatial and temporal changes, and potential vulnerability, of the urban forest resource in Toronto, Canada. This research was conducted using a spatially-explicit, indicator-based assessment of vulnerability and i-Tree Forecast modeling of temporal changes in forest structure and function. Nine scenarios were simulated for 45 years and model output was analyzed at the ecosystem and municipal scale. Substantial mismatches in ecological processes between spatial scales were found, which can translate into unanticipated loss of function and social inequities if not accounted for in planning and management. At the municipal scale, the effects of Asian longhorned beetle and ice storm disturbance were far less influential on structure and function than changes in management actions. The strategic goals of removing invasive species and increasing tree planting resulted in a decline in carbon storage and leaf biomass. Introducing vulnerability parameters in the modeling increased the spatial heterogeneity in structure and function while expanding the disparities of resident access to ecosystem services. There was often a variable and uncertain relationship between vulnerability and ecosystem structure and function. Vulnerability assessment and analysis can provide strategic planning initiatives with valuable insight into the processes of structural and functional change resulting from management intervention.

  11. Biodiversity Conservation in the REDD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paoli, Gary D; Wells, Philip L; Meijaard, Erik; Struebig, Matthew J; Marshall, Andrew J; Obidzinski, Krystof; Tan, Aseng; Rafiastanto, Andjar; Yaap, Betsy; Ferry Slik, Jw; Morel, Alexandra; Perumal, Balu; Wielaard, Niels; Husson, Simon; D'Arcy, Laura

    2010-11-23

    Deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics is a major source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The tropics also harbour more than half the world's threatened species, raising the possibility that reducing GHG emissions by curtailing tropical deforestation could provide substantial co-benefits for biodiversity conservation. Here we explore the potential for such co-benefits in Indonesia, a leading source of GHG emissions from land cover and land use change, and among the most species-rich countries in the world. We show that focal ecosystems for interventions to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia do not coincide with areas supporting the most species-rich communities or highest concentration of threatened species. We argue that inherent trade-offs among ecosystems in emission reduction potential, opportunity cost of foregone development and biodiversity values will require a regulatory framework to balance emission reduction interventions with biodiversity co-benefit targets. We discuss how such a regulatory framework might function, and caution that pursuing emission reduction strategies without such a framework may undermine, not enhance, long-term prospects for biodiversity conservation in the tropics.

  12. Biodiversity Conservation in the REDD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferry Slik JW

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics is a major source of global greenhouse gas (GHG emissions. The tropics also harbour more than half the world's threatened species, raising the possibility that reducing GHG emissions by curtailing tropical deforestation could provide substantial co-benefits for biodiversity conservation. Here we explore the potential for such co-benefits in Indonesia, a leading source of GHG emissions from land cover and land use change, and among the most species-rich countries in the world. We show that focal ecosystems for interventions to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia do not coincide with areas supporting the most species-rich communities or highest concentration of threatened species. We argue that inherent trade-offs among ecosystems in emission reduction potential, opportunity cost of foregone development and biodiversity values will require a regulatory framework to balance emission reduction interventions with biodiversity co-benefit targets. We discuss how such a regulatory framework might function, and caution that pursuing emission reduction strategies without such a framework may undermine, not enhance, long-term prospects for biodiversity conservation in the tropics.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Biodiversity Implications of Riparian Home-gardens: the Case of Chalakkudy River Based Agro-Ecosystem in Kerala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allan Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Riparian home-garden farming system are human landscapes that are sustainable,fulfilling the different pillars of socio-economic and environmental stability. This explorative study conducted in the 60 selected home-gardens in the left-right riparian banks of Chalakkudy river in Kerala, India casting the upper reaches and middle to lower reaches aimed to assess the crop diversity of tropical riparian home-gardens in terms of diversity index. Altogether 60 home-gardens were analysed and the Shannon – Wiener index of Biodiversity was found to be 1.518 in the upper riparian reaches and for the middle to lower reaches the average diversity index was 1.453 indicating erosion in biodiversity in home-gardens cascading towards middle to lower reaches of the riparian corridors.

  17. Inducible phenotypic plasticity in plants regulates aquatic ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackrel, Sara L; Morton, Timothy C

    2018-04-01

    Differences among individuals within species affect community and ecosystem processes in many systems, and may rival the importance of differences between species. Intraspecific variation consists of both plastic and genetic components that are regulated by different processes and operate on different time scales. Therefore, probing which mechanisms can affect traits sufficiently strongly to affect ecosystem processes is fundamental to understanding the consequences of individual variation. We find that a dominant deciduous tree of Pacific Northwest riparian ecosystems, red alder, exhibits strong and synergistic responses to nutrient resources and herbivory stress. These induced responses, which include shifting nutrient and plant secondary metabolite composition, have cascading effects on aquatic ecosystem function. Defense responses suppress leaf litter decomposition in small streams, thus altering the rate of energy capture for one of the most abundant terrestrial carbon sources entering aquatic systems. We find that alder responses to herbivory stress largely depend on availability of soil nutrients, with modification of the highly cytotoxic diarylheptanoid group of secondary metabolites being favored in nutrient-poor environments and modification of the typically dose-dependent ellagitannins being favored in nutrient-rich environments. Importantly, these findings identify traits for herbivore resistance in alder trees and demonstrate that plastic responses occurring within a species and over short time scales substantially alter a key function of an adjacent ecosystem. Furthermore, demonstrating plasticity among alder secondary metabolites lends insight into this system, in which decomposer communities are known to adjust to the secondary chemistry of local alder trees to facilitate rapid decomposition of locally derived leaf litter.

  18. Linking stoichiometric homeostasis with ecosystem structure, functioning, and stability

    OpenAIRE

    Qiang Yu; Quansheng Chen; James Elser; Arianne Cease; Nianpeng He; Honghui Wu; Guangming Zhang; Jianguo Wu; Yongfei Bai; Xingguo Han

    2010-01-01

    Ecosystem structure, functioning, and stability have been a focus of ecological and environmental sciences during the past two decades. The mechanisms underlying their relationship, however, are not well understood. Based on comprehensive studies in Inner Mongolia grassland, here we show that species-level stoichiometric homeostasis was consistently positively correlated with dominance and stability on both 2-year and 27-year temporal scales and across a 1200-km spatial transect. At the co...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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 ...

  3. Land transformation and its implication for biodiversity integrity and hydrological functioning from 1944 to 1999, Karkloof catchment, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa D. Weyer

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background and objectives: Land transformation of the Karkloof catchment is described for the period 1944–1999, together with implications for biodiversity integrity and hydrological functioning. Method: Maps of land categories were generated by using aerial photographs and a geographical information system. Property ownership and extent were mapped based on title deed searches and analysis of property grants. Implications of land transformation on biodiversity integrity and hydrological functioning were determined according to an expert approach using the analytic hierarchy process. Results: More than half (54% of the natural grassland area has been transformed to commercial timber plantations (427% increase and commercial agricultural cropping (311% increase. Loss of grassland in the Karkloof catchment is considered to be representative of the general trend in the moist eastern portion of the Grassland Biome of South Africa. Both combined forest and woodland and areas of dense alien vegetation increased (26% and 397%, respectively, whereas the area under subsistence cultivation decreased (98%. Land ownership has changed from private individuals to private business entities (31% and corporate forestry (26%. Biodiversity integrity of the catchment is estimated to have decreased by 326% and hydrological functioning for the support of aquatic biodiversity by 166%. Conclusion: Continued pressure to change patterns of ownership and land use is expected. This is likely to occur within the global context of climate change, population growth and shortages of land and its products. Immense pressure on the land areas, and specifically water services and biodiversity, is likely to occur, with associated environmental impacts.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Assessing land-use effects on water quality, in-stream habitat, riparian ecosystems and biodiversity in Patagonian northwest streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miserendino, María Laura; Casaux, Ricardo; Archangelsky, Miguel; Di Prinzio, Cecilia Yanina; Brand, Cecilia; Kutschker, Adriana Mabel

    2011-01-01

    Changes in land-use practices have affected the integrity and quality of water resources worldwide. In Patagonia there is a strong concern about the ecological status of surface waters because these changes are rapidly occurring in the region. To test the hypothesis that greater intensity of land-use will have negative effects on water quality, stream habitat and biodiversity we assessed benthic macroinvertebrates, riparian/littoral invertebrates, fish and birds from the riparian corridor and environmental variables of 15 rivers (Patagonia) subjected to a gradient of land-use practices (non-managed native forest, managed native forest, pine plantations, pasture, urbanization). A total of 158 macroinvertebrate taxa, 105 riparian/littoral invertebrate taxa, 5 fish species, 34 bird species, and 15 aquatic plant species, were recorded considering all sites. Urban land-use produced the most significant changes in streams including physical features, conductivity, nutrients, habitat condition, riparian quality and invertebrate metrics. Pasture and managed native forest sites appeared in an intermediate situation. The highest values of fish and bird abundance and diversity were observed at disturbed sites; this might be explained by the opportunistic behavior displayed by these communities which let them take advantage of increased trophic resources in these environments. As expected, non-managed native forest sites showed the highest integrity of ecological conditions and also great biodiversity of benthic communities. Macroinvertebrate metrics that reflected good water quality were positively related to forest land cover and negatively related to urban and pasture land cover. However, by offering stream edge areas, pasture sites still supported rich communities of riparian/littoral invertebrates, increasing overall biodiversity. Macroinvertebrates were good indicators of land-use impact and water quality conditions and resulted useful tools to early alert of

  8. Understanding Environmental Change and Biodiversity in a Dryland Ecosystem through Quantification of Climate Variability and Land Modification: The Case of the Dhofar Cloud Forest, Oman

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galletti, Christopher S.

    The Dhofar Cloud Forest is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the Arabian Peninsula. As part of the South Arabian Cloud Forest that extends from southern Oman to Yemen, the cloud forest is an important center of endemism and provides valuable ecosystem services to those living in the region. There have been various claims made about the health of the cloud forest and its surrounding region, the most prominent of which are: 1) variability of the Indian Summer Monsoon threatens long-term vegetation health, and 2) human encroachment is causing deforestation and land degradation. This dissertation uses three independent studies to test these claims and bring new insight about the biodiversity of the cloud forest. Evidence is presented that shows that the vegetation dynamics of the cloud forest are resilient to most of the variability in the monsoon. Much of the biodiversity in the cloud forest is dominated by a few species with high abundance and a moderate number of species at low abundance. The characteristic tree species include Anogeissus dhofarica and Commiphora spp. These species tend to dominate the forested regions of the study area. Grasslands are dominated by species associated with overgrazing (Calotropis procera and Solanum incanum). Analysis from a land cover study conducted between 1988 and 2013 shows that deforestation has occurred to approximately 8% of the study area and decreased vegetation fractions are found throughout the region. Areas around the city of Salalah, located close to the cloud forest, show widespread degradation in the 21st century based on an NDVI time series analysis. It is concluded that humans are the primary driver of environmental change. Much of this change is tied to national policies and development priorities implemented after the Dhofar War in the 1970's.

  9. GPCR Heterodimerization in the Reproductive System: Functional Regulation and Implication for Biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satake, Honoo; Matsubara, Shin; Aoyama, Masato; Kawada, Tsuyoshi; Sakai, Tsubasa

    2013-01-01

    A G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) functions not only as a monomer or homodimer but also as a heterodimer with another GPCR. GPCR heterodimerization results in the modulation of the molecular functions of the GPCR protomer, including ligand binding affinity, signal transduction, and internalization. There has been a growing body of reports on heterodimerization of multiple GPCRs expressed in the reproductive system and the resultant functional modulation, suggesting that GPCR heterodimerization is closely associated with reproduction including the secretion of hormones and the growth and maturation of follicles and oocytes. Moreover, studies on heterodimerization among paralogs of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptors of a protochordate, Ciona intestinalis, verified the species-specific regulation of the functions of GPCRs via multiple GnRH receptor pairs. These findings indicate that GPCR heterodimerization is also involved in creating biodiversity. In this review, we provide basic and current knowledge regarding GPCR heterodimers and their functional modulation, and explore the biological significance of GPCR heterodimerization.

  10. 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

  11. Parrots as key multilinkers in ecosystem structure and functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando; Rojas, Abraham; Dénes, Francisco V; Tella, José L

    2015-09-01

    Mutually enhancing organisms can become reciprocal determinants of their distribution, abundance, and demography and thus influence ecosystem structure and dynamics. In addition to the prevailing view of parrots (Psittaciformes) as plant antagonists, we assessed whether they can act as plant mutualists in the dry tropical forest of the Bolivian inter-Andean valleys, an ecosystem particularly poor in vertebrate frugivores other than parrots (nine species). We hypothesised that if interactions between parrots and their food plants evolved as primarily or facultatively mutualistic, selection should have acted to maximize the strength of their interactions by increasing the amount and variety of resources and services involved in particular pairwise and community-wide interaction contexts. Food plants showed different growth habits across a wide phylogenetic spectrum, implying that parrots behave as super-generalists exploiting resources differing in phenology, type, biomass, and rewards from a high diversity of plants (113 species from 38 families). Through their feeding activities, parrots provided multiple services acting as genetic linkers, seed facilitators for secondary dispersers, and plant protectors, and therefore can be considered key mutualists with a pervasive impact on plant assemblages. The number of complementary and redundant mutualistic functions provided by parrots to each plant species was positively related to the number of different kinds of food extracted from them. These mutually enhancing interactions were reflected in species-level properties (e.g., biomass or dominance) of both partners, as a likely consequence of the temporal convergence of eco-(co)evolutionary dynamics shaping the ongoing structure and organization of the ecosystem. A full assessment of the, thus far largely overlooked, parrot-plant mutualisms and other ecological linkages could change the current perception of the role of parrots in the structure, organization, and

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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, ...

  16. 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.

  17. [Metagenomics and biodiversity of sphagnum bogs].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusin, L Yu

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity of sphagnum bogs is one of the richest and less studied, while these ecosystems are among the top ones in ecological, conservation, and economic value. Recent studies focused on the prokaryotic consortia associated with sphagnum mosses, and revealed the factors that maintain sustainability and productivity of bog ecosystems. High-throughput sequencing technologies provided insight into functional diversity of moss microbial communities (microbiomes), and helped to identify the biochemical pathways and gene families that facilitate the spectrum of adaptive strategies and largely foster the very successful colonization of the Northern hemisphere by sphagnum mosses. Rich and valuable information obtained on microbiomes of peat bogs sets off the paucity of evidence on their eukaryotic diversity. Prospects and expectations of reliable assessment of taxonomic profiles, relative abundance of taxa, and hidden biodiversity of microscopic eukaryotes in sphagnum bog ecosystems are briefly outlined in the context of today's metagenomics.

  18. 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.

  19. 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; 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. PMID:28686608

  20. 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.

  1. Long-Term Impacts of Forest Ditching on Non-Aquatic Biodiversity: Conservation Perspectives for a Novel Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remm, Liina; Lõhmus, Piret; Leis, Mare; Lõhmus, Asko

    2013-01-01

    Artificial drainage (ditching) is widely used to increase timber yield in northern forests. When the drainage systems are maintained, their environmental impacts are likely to accumulate over time and along accompanying management, notably after logging when new forest develops on decayed peat. Our study provides the first comprehensive documentation of long-term ditching impacts on terrestrial and arboreal biodiversity by comparing natural alder swamps and second-generation drained forests that have evolved from such swamps in Estonia. We explored species composition of four potentially drainage-sensitive taxonomic groups (vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, and snails), abundance of species of conservation concern, and their relationships with stand structure in two-ha plots representing four management types (ranging from old growth to clearcut). We found that drainage affected plot-scale species richness only weakly but it profoundly changed assemblage composition. Bryophytes and lichens were the taxonomic groups that were most sensitive both to drainage and timber-harvesting; in closed stands they responded to changed microhabitat structure, notably impoverished tree diversity and dead-wood supply. As a result, natural old-growth plots were the most species-rich and hosted several specific species of conservation concern. Because the most influential structural changes are slow, drainage impacts may be long hidden. The results also indicated that even very old drained stands do not provide quality habitats for old-growth species of drier forest types. However, drained forests hosted many threatened species that were less site type specific, including early-successional vascular plants and snails on clearcuts and retention cuts, and bryophytes and lichens of successional and old forests. We conclude that three types of specific science-based management tools are needed to mitigate ditching effects on forest biodiversity: (i) silvicultural techniques to

  2. Long-term impacts of forest ditching on non-aquatic biodiversity: conservation perspectives for a novel ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remm, Liina; Lõhmus, Piret; Leis, Mare; Lõhmus, Asko

    2013-01-01

    Artificial drainage (ditching) is widely used to increase timber yield in northern forests. When the drainage systems are maintained, their environmental impacts are likely to accumulate over time and along accompanying management, notably after logging when new forest develops on decayed peat. Our study provides the first comprehensive documentation of long-term ditching impacts on terrestrial and arboreal biodiversity by comparing natural alder swamps and second-generation drained forests that have evolved from such swamps in Estonia. We explored species composition of four potentially drainage-sensitive taxonomic groups (vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, and snails), abundance of species of conservation concern, and their relationships with stand structure in two-ha plots representing four management types (ranging from old growth to clearcut). We found that drainage affected plot-scale species richness only weakly but it profoundly changed assemblage composition. Bryophytes and lichens were the taxonomic groups that were most sensitive both to drainage and timber-harvesting; in closed stands they responded to changed microhabitat structure, notably impoverished tree diversity and dead-wood supply. As a result, natural old-growth plots were the most species-rich and hosted several specific species of conservation concern. Because the most influential structural changes are slow, drainage impacts may be long hidden. The results also indicated that even very old drained stands do not provide quality habitats for old-growth species of drier forest types. However, drained forests hosted many threatened species that were less site type specific, including early-successional vascular plants and snails on clearcuts and retention cuts, and bryophytes and lichens of successional and old forests. We conclude that three types of specific science-based management tools are needed to mitigate ditching effects on forest biodiversity: (i) silvicultural techniques to

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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