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


Allan, Eric; Manning, Pete; et al (2015). Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition. Ecology Letters, 18(8):834-843.

Abstract

Global change, especially land-use intensification, affects human well-being by impacting the deliv-ery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is amajor component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real-world ecosystems, as inexperimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional compositionand 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land-use intensity. We alsointroduce five multifunctionality measures in which ecosystem services were weighted according torealistic land-use objectives. We found that indirect land-use effects, i.e. those mediated by biodi-versity 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 explainedindirect effects in a region of intermediate productivity and was most damaging when land-useobjectives favoured supporting and cultural services. In contrast, functional composition shifts,towards fast-growing plant species, strongly increased provisioning services in more inherentlyunproductive grasslands.

Abstract

Global change, especially land-use intensification, affects human well-being by impacting the deliv-ery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is amajor component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real-world ecosystems, as inexperimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional compositionand 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land-use intensity. We alsointroduce five multifunctionality measures in which ecosystem services were weighted according torealistic land-use objectives. We found that indirect land-use effects, i.e. those mediated by biodi-versity 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 explainedindirect effects in a region of intermediate productivity and was most damaging when land-useobjectives favoured supporting and cultural services. In contrast, functional composition shifts,towards fast-growing plant species, strongly increased provisioning services in more inherentlyunproductive grasslands.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:01 Mar 2018 15:50
Last Modified:13 Apr 2018 11:39
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1461-023X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12469

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