Forecasting decline in ecosystem services under realistic scenarios of extinction

J. Emmett Duffy, Diane S. Srivastava, Jennie McLaren, Mahesh Sankaran, Martin Solan, John Griffin, Mark Emmerson and Kate E. Jones

in Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199547951
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720345 | DOI:
 Forecasting decline in ecosystem services under realistic scenarios of extinction

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Biodiversity-Ecosystem functioning research remains incompletely integrated with practical conservation by inadequately incorporating the deterministic nature of biodiversity change, which frequently depends on traits that render species sensitive to environmental change. This chapter summarizes progress toward developing a trait-based framework linking empirical data on extinction trajectories, through subsequent community reorganization, to changes in functioning of multitrophic ecosystems. First, this chapter reviews data on traits important in mediating loss and decline of plant and animal species in nature. Second, we discuss how organismal traits may be linked to reorganization of communities via compensation and secondary extinctions following a primary extinction. Third, the chapter briefly considers how organismal traits relate to basic ecosystem processes such as productivity and trophic transfer. Finally this chapter reviews the small number of studies that have compared random vs. deterministic sequences of species loss, and show that deterministic extinction sequences lead to varied, and often stronger, effects on ecosystem functioning.

Keywords: biodiversity change; extinction; ecosystem functioning; ecosystem services; global change; invasion

Chapter.  9308 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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