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      Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition

      , 1 , 2 , 1 , 3 , 4 , 1 , 5 , 6 , 1 , 7 , 7 , 7 , 8 , 3 , 1 , 6 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 4 , 13 , 1 , 14 , 14 , 14 , 3 , 15 , 15 , 16 , 6 , 17 , 15 , 18 , 19 , 15 , 20 , 21 , 22 , 1 , 23 , 24


      Ecology Letters

      John Wiley and Sons Inc.

      Biodiversity–ecosystem functioning, ecosystem services, global change, land use, multifunctionality

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          Global change, especially land‐use intensification, affects human well‐being by impacting the delivery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is a major component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real‐world ecosystems, as in experimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional composition and 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land‐use intensity. We also introduce five multifunctionality measures in which ecosystem services were weighted according to realistic land‐use objectives. We found that indirect land‐use effects, i.e. those mediated by biodiversity loss and by changes to functional composition, were as strong as direct effects on average. Their strength varied with land‐use objectives and regional context. Biodiversity loss explained indirect effects in a region of intermediate productivity and was most damaging when land‐use objectives favoured supporting and cultural services. In contrast, functional composition shifts, towards fast‐growing plant species, strongly increased provisioning services in more inherently unproductive grasslands.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Farming and the fate of wild nature.

          World food demand is expected to more than double by 2050. Decisions about how to meet this challenge will have profound effects on wild species and habitats. We show that farming is already the greatest extinction threat to birds (the best known taxon), and its adverse impacts look set to increase, especially in developing countries. Two competing solutions have been proposed: wildlife-friendly farming (which boosts densities of wild populations on farmland but may decrease agricultural yields) and land sparing (which minimizes demand for farmland by increasing yield). We present a model that identifies how to resolve the trade-off between these approaches. This shows that the best type of farming for species persistence depends on the demand for agricultural products and on how the population densities of different species on farmland change with agricultural yield. Empirical data on such density-yield functions are sparse, but evidence from a range of taxa in developing countries suggests that high-yield farming may allow more species to persist.
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            High plant diversity is needed to maintain ecosystem services.

            Biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide, and there is consensus that this can decrease ecosystem functioning and services. It remains unclear, though, whether few or many of the species in an ecosystem are needed to sustain the provisioning of ecosystem services. It has been hypothesized that most species would promote ecosystem services if many times, places, functions and environmental changes were considered; however, no previous study has considered all of these factors together. Here we show that 84% of the 147 grassland plant species studied in 17 biodiversity experiments promoted ecosystem functioning at least once. Different species promoted ecosystem functioning during different years, at different places, for different functions and under different environmental change scenarios. Furthermore, the species needed to provide one function during multiple years were not the same as those needed to provide multiple functions within one year. Our results indicate that even more species will be needed to maintain ecosystem functioning and services than previously suggested by studies that have either (1) considered only the number of species needed to promote one function under one set of environmental conditions, or (2) separately considered the importance of biodiversity for providing ecosystem functioning across multiple years, places, functions or environmental change scenarios. Therefore, although species may appear functionally redundant when one function is considered under one set of environmental conditions, many species are needed to maintain multiple functions at multiple times and places in a changing world.
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              Enhancement of biodiversity and ecosystem services by ecological restoration: a meta-analysis.

              Ecological restoration is widely used to reverse the environmental degradation caused by human activities. However, the effectiveness of restoration actions in increasing provision of both biodiversity and ecosystem services has not been evaluated systematically. A meta-analysis of 89 restoration assessments in a wide range of ecosystem types across the globe indicates that ecological restoration increased provision of biodiversity and ecosystem services by 44 and 25%, respectively. However, values of both remained lower in restored versus intact reference ecosystems. Increases in biodiversity and ecosystem service measures after restoration were positively correlated. Results indicate that restoration actions focused on enhancing biodiversity should support increased provision of ecosystem services, particularly in tropical terrestrial biomes.

                Author and article information

                Ecol Lett
                Ecol. Lett
                Ecology Letters
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                22 June 2015
                August 2015
                : 18
                : 8 ( doiID: 10.1111/ele.2015.18.issue-8 )
                : 834-843
                [ 1 ] Institute of Plant SciencesUniversity of Bern Altenbergrain 21 3013 BernSwitzerland
                [ 2 ] Centre for Development and EnvironmentUniversity of Bern Hallerstrasse 10 3012 BernSwitzerland
                [ 3 ] GeocologyUniversity of Tuebingen Ruemelinstr. 19‐23 72070 TuebingenGermany
                [ 4 ] Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Faculty of BiologyUniversity of Freiburg Hauptstraße 1 79104 Freiburg i. BrGermany
                [ 5 ] Ecological Networks, BiologyTechnische Universität Darmstadt Schnittspahnstr. 3 64287 DarmstadtGermany
                [ 6 ] Institute of Experimental EcologyUniversity of Ulm Albert‐Einstein‐Allee 11 89069 UlmGermany
                [ 7 ] Institute of Landscape EcologyUniversity of Münster Heisenbergstr. 2 48149 MünsterGermany
                [ 8 ]Xavier University 3800 Victory Parkway Cincinnati OH 45207USA
                [ 9 ] Institute for Biology I (Zoology)University of Freiburg FreiburgGermany
                [ 10 ]Smithsonian Conservation Biology Center at the National Zoological Park Front Royal 1500 Remount Road, VA 22630USA
                [ 11 ]Freie Universität Berlin, Plant Ecology Altensteinstr. 6 14195 BerlinGermany
                [ 12 ]Berlin‐Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB) 14195 BerlinGermany
                [ 13 ] Research Unit for Environmental GenomicsHelmholtz Zentrum München Ingolstädter Landstr. 1 85758 OberschleissheimGermany
                [ 14 ]Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry Hans‐Knöll‐Str. 10 07745 JenaGermany
                [ 15 ] Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, BiocentreUniversity of Würzburg Am Hubland 97974 WürzburgGermany
                [ 16 ] Helmholtz Zentrum MünchenGerman Research Centre for Environmental Health Environmental Genomics Ingolstädter Landstraße 1 85764 NeuherbergGermany
                [ 17 ]Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute P.O. Box 0843‐03092 Balboa AncónPanama
                [ 18 ] Institute of EcologyFriedrich‐Schiller‐University Jena Dornburger Straße 159 D‐07743 JenaGermany
                [ 19 ] Terrestrial Ecology Research Group Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management Center for Food and Life Sciences WeihenstephanTechnische Universität München Hans‐Carl‐von‐Carlowitz‐Platz 2 85354 FreisingGermany
                [ 20 ] Agroecology Department of Crop SciencesGeorg‐August‐University Göttingen Grisebachstr. 6 37077 GöttingenGermany
                [ 21 ] Geographic InstituteUniversity of Bern Hallerstrasse 12 3012 BernSwitzerland
                [ 22 ] Institute of Geography and GeoecologyKarlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) Reinhard‐Baumeister‐Platz 1 76131 KarlsruheGermany
                [ 23 ] Senckenberg Gesellschaft für NaturforschungBiodiversity and Climate Research Centre BIK‐F Senckenberganlage 25 60325 FrankfurtGermany
                [ 24 ] Biodiversity Research/Systematic BotanyUniversity of Potsdam Maulbeerallee 1 D‐14469 PotsdamGermany
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: E‐mail: eric.allan@
                © 2015 The Authors Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

                Page count
                Pages: 10
                Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Priority Program
                Award ID: 1374
                Custom metadata
                August 2015
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