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Marine biodiversity and ecosystem function relationships: The potential for practical monitoring applications

AutorStrong, James Asa; Garcés, Esther ; Solaun Etxeberria, O.
Palabras claveBiodiversity and ecosystem function
Practical applications
Fecha de publicación5-ago-2015
CitaciónEstuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 161: 46-64 (2015)
ResumenThere is an increasing demand for environmental assessments of the marine environment to include ecosystem function. However, existing schemes are predominantly based on taxonomic (i.e. structural) measures of biodiversity. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function (BEF) relationships are suggested to provide a mechanism for converting taxonomic information into surrogates of ecosystem function. This review assesses the evidence for marine BEF relationships and their potential to be used in practical monitoring applications (i.e. operationalized). Five key requirements were identified for the practical application of BEF relationships: (1) a complete understanding of strength, direction and prevalence of marine BEF relationships, (2) an understanding of which biological components are influential within specific BEF relationships, (3) the biodiversity of the selected biological components can be measured easily, (4) the ecological mechanisms that are the most important for generating marine BEF relationships, i.e. identity effects or complementarity, are known and (5) the proportion of the overall functional variance is explained by biodiversity, and hence BEF relationships, has been established. Numerous positive and some negative BEF relationships were found within the literature, although many reproduced poorly the natural species richness, trophic structures or multiple functions of real ecosystems (requirement 1). Null relationships were also reported. The consistency of the positive and negative relationships was often low that compromised the ability to generalize BEF relationships and confident application of BEF within marine monitoring. Equally, some biological components and functions have received little or no investigation. Expert judgement was used to attribute biological components using spatial extent, presence and functional rate criteria (requirement 2). This approach highlighted the main biological components contributing the most to specific ecosystem functions, and that many of the particularly influential components were found to have received the least amount of research attention. The need for biodiversity to be measureable (requirement 3) is possible for most biological components although difficult within the functionally important microbes. Identity effects underpinned most marine BEF relationships (requirement 4). As such, processes that translated structural biodiversity measures into functional diversity were found to generate better BEF relationships
DescripciónStrong, James Asa ... et. al.-- 19 pages, 4 figures, 3 tables
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2015.04.008
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