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Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human WellbeingAn Ecological and Economic Perspective$
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Shahid Naeem, Daniel E. Bunker, Andy Hector, Michel Loreau, and Charles Perrings

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199547951

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547951.001.0001

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A functional guide to functional diversity measures

A functional guide to functional diversity measures

(p.49) 4 A functional guide to functional diversity measures
Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing

Owen L. Petchey

Eoin J. O’Gorman

Dan F. B. Flynn

Oxford University Press

This chapter asks the questions: what kinds of resources do organisms exploit, where do they exploit them, and when do they exploit them? Each of these characteristics, and many others, can be a component of functional diversity. One critical reason that functional diversity might link organisms and ecosystems is that it implicitly contains information about how species will compensate for the loss of another. Another illustration of the interactions that are implicitly represented in measures of functional diversity is that the effect on functional diversity of losing a particular species (or adding a particular species) is context-dependent. The context here is the other species present in the community. Functional diversity is a measure of diversity that implicitly incorporates some mechanisms of ecological interactions between species. At present, much attention is focused on how to measure it, and that is the broad subject of this chapter.

Keywords:   exploitation, functional diversity, ecosystems, measures, species, ecological interactions

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