Chapter

A functional guide to functional diversity measures

Owen L. Petchey, Eoin J. O’Gorman and Dan F. B. Flynn

in Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199547951
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720345 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547951.003.0004
 A functional guide to functional diversity measures

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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

Chapter.  6541 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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