Chapter

Restoring biodiversity and ecosystem function: will an integrated approach improve results?

Justin Wright, Amy Symstad, James M. Bullock, Katharina Engelhardt, Louise Jackson and Emily Bernhardt

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/9780199547951.003.0012
 Restoring biodiversity and ecosystem function: will an integrated approach improve results?

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Ecological restorations often focus on restoring communities while ignoring ecosystem functioning, or on ecosystem functioning without regard to communities. This chapter argues that the biodiversity-ecosystem function (BEF) perspective provides an opportunity to integrate these views and potentially improve the success of restoration. First, the restoration of biodiversity may lead to desired levels of ecosystem properties and processes through "classical" BEF mechanisms such as complementarity or selection effects. Second, BEF theory suggests that biodiversity may enhance temporal stability of the provisioning of ecosystem services in restored ecosystems. Finally, in restored ecosystems with multiple management goals, biodiversity may enhance the provisioning of multiple services. Assessing the relative benefits of biodiversity for risk management and the provisioning of multiple services requires economic as well as ecological analyses. Scientists, managers and policy makers will need to ask relevant questions and collaborate in interpreting results if BEF theory's potential to impact restoration is to be realized.

Keywords: communities; complementarity; ecosystems; monitoring; multi-functionality; restoration; sampling effect; stability

Chapter.  7154 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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