368 pages, Figs, tabs
How will biodiversity loss affect ecosystem functioning, ecosystem services, and human well-being?
In an age of accelerating biodiversity loss, this timely and critical volume summarizes recent advances in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research and explores the economics of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The book starts by summarizing the development of the basic science and provides a meta-analysis that quantitatively tests several biodiversity and ecosystem functioning hypotheses. It then describes the natural science foundations of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research including: quantifying functional diversity, the development of the field into a predictive science, the effects of stability and complexity, methods to quantify mechanisms by which diversity affects functioning, the importance of trophic structure, microbial ecology, and spatial dynamics. Finally, the book takes research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning further than it has ever gone into the human dimension, describing the most pressing environmental challenges that face humanity and the effects of diversity on: climate change mitigation, restoration of degraded habitats, managed ecosystems, pollination, disease, and biological invasions.
However, what makes this volume truly unique are the chapters that consider the economic perspective. These include a synthesis of the economics of ecosystem services and biodiversity, and the options open to policy-makers to address the failure of markets to account for the loss of ecosystem services; an examination of the challenges of valuing ecosystem services and, hence, to understanding the human consequences of decisions that neglect these services; and an examination of the ways in which economists are currently incorporating biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research into decision models for the conservation and management of biodiversity. A final section describes new advances in ecoinformatics that will help transform this field into a globally predictive science, and summarizes the advancements and future directions of the field. The ultimate conclusion is that biodiversity is an essential element of any strategy for sustainable development.
A very useful volume to anyone interested in ecosystem functionality. Bulletin of the British Ecological Society
Preface; INTRODUCTION, BACKGROUND, AND META-ANALYSES; 1. Introduction: The Ecological and Social Implications of Changing Biodiversity: An overview of a decade of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research; 2. Consequences of Species Loss for Ecosystem Functioning: Meta-analyses of data from biodiversity experiments; 3. Biodiversity-ecosystem Function Research and Biodiversity Futures: Early bird catches the worm or a day late and a dollar short?; NATURAL SCIENCE FOUNDATIONS; 4. A Functional Guide to Functional Diversity Measures; 5. Forecasting Decline in Ecosystem Services Under Realistic Scenarios of Extinction; 6. Biodiversity and the Stability of Ecosystem Functioning; 7. The Analysis of Biodiversity Experiments: From pattern toward mechanism; 8. Towards a Food-web Perspective on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning; 9. Microbial Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning Under Controlled Conditions and in the Wild; 10. Biodiversity as Spatial Insurance: The effects of habitat fragmentation and dispersal on ecosystem functioning; ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND HUMAN WELLBEING; 11. Incorporating Biodiversity in Climate Change Mitigation Initiatives; 12. Restoring Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function: Will an integrated approach improve results?; 13. Managed Ecosystems: Biodiversity and ecosystem functions in landscapes modified by human use; 14. Understanding the Role of Species Richness for Crop Pollination Services; 15. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function: Perspectives on disease; 16. Opening Communities to Colonization: The impacts of invaders on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning; 17. The Economics of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services; 18. The Valuation of Ecosystem Services; 19. Modeling Biodiversity And Ecosystem Services in Coupled Ecological-Economic Systems; SUMMARY AND SYNTHESIS; 20. TraitNet: Furthering biodiversity research through the curation, discovery, and sharing of species trait data; 21. Can We Predict the Effects of Global Change on Biodiversity Loss and Ecosystem Functioning?; References; Index
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