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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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The analysis of biodiversity experiments: from pattern toward mechanism

The analysis of biodiversity experiments: from pattern toward mechanism

(p.94) 7 The analysis of biodiversity experiments: from pattern toward mechanism
Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing

Andy Hector

Thomas Bell

John Connolly

John Finn

Jeremy Fox

Laura Kirwan

Michel Loreau

Jennie McLaren

Bernhard Schmid

Alexandra Weigelt

Oxford University Press

Meta-analysis of the first generation of biodiversity experiments has revealed that there is a general positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem processes that is consistent across trophic groups and ecosystem types. However, the mechanisms generating these general patterns are still under debate. While there are unresolved conceptual issues about the nature of diversity and complementarity, the debate is partly due to the difficulty of performing a full-factorial analysis of the functional effects of all species in a diverse community. However, there are now several different analytical approaches that can address mechanisms even when full factorial analysis is not possible. This chapter presents an overview and users' guide to these methods. This chapter concludes that the current toolbox of methods allows investigation of the mechanisms for most, if not all, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning experiments conducted to date that manipulate species within a single trophic level (e.g. plant biodiversity experiments). Methods that can address mechanisms in multitrophic studies are a key need for future research.

Keywords:   biodiversity experiments, complementarity, resource partitioning, selection, additive partitioning of biodiversity effects

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