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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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Biodiversity and the stability of ecosystem functioning

Biodiversity and the stability of ecosystem functioning

Chapter:
(p.78) 6 Biodiversity and the stability of ecosystem functioning
Source:
Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing
Author(s):

John N. Griffin

Eoin J. O’Gorman

Mark C. Emmerson

Stuart R. Jenkins

Alexandra-Maria Klein

Michel Loreau

Amy Symstad

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547951.003.0006

Concern that the rapid anthropogenic erosion of biodiversity may undermine the delivery of ecosystem services has prompted a synthesis of community and ecosystem ecology over the last decade. Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research is central to this emerging synthesis, asking how biodiversity is related to the magnitude and stability of ecosystem processes. Isolating species richness effects from species composition has been a chief goal of BEF research. This BEF perspective recognized that fluctuating abundances of component species may not produce instability at the community or ecosystem level because compensatory reactions among species dampen fluctuations of aggregate abundance. Within the BEF framework, experiments and theory explicitly relating to the effect of species richness on community-level aggregate properties (mainly biomass) have focused on variability through time in relation to background environmental variation (temporal stability) as well as on the impact (resistance) and recovery (resilience) of such properties to discrete, and often extreme, perturbations. This chapter reviews recent empirical studies examining the links between species richness and these three facets of stability.

Keywords:   anthropogenic erosion, biodiversity, ecosystem, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning, component species, compensatory reactions, experiments, theory

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