Chapter

The assembly and function of Cape plant communities in a changing world

Jasper A. Slingsby, David D. Ackerly, Andrew M. Latimer, H. Peter Linder and Anton Pauw

in Fynbos

Published in print September 2014 | ISBN: 9780199679584
Published online October 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780191791949 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679584.003.0009
The assembly and function of Cape plant communities in a changing world

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A clear understanding of how communities are assembled is essential to understand how ecosystems function, how global change impacts are altering ecosystems and the functions they perform, and how best to manage ecosystems for desirable outcomes. The composition and diversity of communities is determined by a range of community assembly processes and greatly influence the functions that these communities and ecosystems perform. Human activities alter many community assembly processes and are rapidly changing the composition, diversity, and function of communities. This chapter reviews and discusses what is known about (1) the assembly of plant communities in the Greater Cape Floristic Region, (2) the effects of composition and diversity on various ecosystem functions, (3) how human activities are negatively impacting on composition, diversity, and function, and (4) how community assembly processes can be and are being manipulated for positive outcomes.

Keywords: coexistence; regional process; ecosystem function; community assembly process; plant community global change impact

Chapter.  18062 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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