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Niche and fitness differences relate the maintenance of diversity to ecosystem function: comment


Loreau, Michel; Sapijanskas, Jurgis; Isbell, Forest; Hector, Andy (2012). Niche and fitness differences relate the maintenance of diversity to ecosystem function: comment. Ecology, 93(6):1482-1487.

Abstract

The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) has been one of the most vibrant research fields in ecology and environmental sciences over the past two decades. Hundreds of experiments have now manipulated species diversity to test its effects on a wide range of ecosystem properties. Methods that partition the effect of functional complementarity between species from that of selection for species with particular traits have been instrumental in clarifying the results of these experiments and in resolving debates about potential underlying mechanisms (Loreau and Hector 2001, Cardinale et al. 2007). Relatively few studies, however, have sought to disentangle the actual biological mechanisms at work in the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning. Yet theory shows that different coexistence mechanisms can lead to different BEF relationships (Mouquet et al. 2002). Understanding the mechanisms that drive the functional consequences of biodiversity and their connections with those that determine the maintenance of biodiversity is key to making BEF research more predictive and more relevant to natural, non-experimentally manipulated ecosystems (Loreau 2010). The recent theoretical study by Carroll, Cardinale, and Nisbet (2011; hereafter CCN) makes a valuable contribution toward the goal of linking the maintenance of diversity and its functional consequences. CCN use MacArthur’s (1972) classical consumer

The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) has been one of the most vibrant research fields in ecology and environmental sciences over the past two decades. Hundreds of experiments have now manipulated species diversity to test its effects on a wide range of ecosystem properties. Methods that partition the effect of functional complementarity between species from that of selection for species with particular traits have been instrumental in clarifying the results of these experiments and in resolving debates about potential underlying mechanisms (Loreau and Hector 2001, Cardinale et al. 2007). Relatively few studies, however, have sought to disentangle the actual biological mechanisms at work in the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning. Yet theory shows that different coexistence mechanisms can lead to different BEF relationships (Mouquet et al. 2002). Understanding the mechanisms that drive the functional consequences of biodiversity and their connections with those that determine the maintenance of biodiversity is key to making BEF research more predictive and more relevant to natural, non-experimentally manipulated ecosystems (Loreau 2010). The recent theoretical study by Carroll, Cardinale, and Nisbet (2011; hereafter CCN) makes a valuable contribution toward the goal of linking the maintenance of diversity and its functional consequences. CCN use MacArthur’s (1972) classical consumer

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:12 Jul 2012 06:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:52
Publisher:Ecological Society of America
ISSN:0012-9658
Additional Information:Copyright by the Ecological Society of America
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1890/11-0792.1
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-63294

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