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The importance of species traits in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research

Astor, Tina (2011). The importance of species traits in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research. Uppsala: (NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet. Introductory research essay (Department of Ecology, SLU) ; 15

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Biodiversity‐ecosystem functioning research is a major field in ecology. Currently research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is shifting from focusing on species diversity to focus on functional diversity. From this point of views species traits play a central role, because it is the traits that determine how a species reacts to environmental change, and how this reaction influences ecosystem functions. In this essay, I present an overview over the nature and measurement of traits, and highlight examples of trait based approaches from different ecosystems. Despite that there is an increasing numbers of studies dealing with this topic, there is still confusion about the terminology of traits and functional groups. A new concept, dividing species traits into response‐ and effect traits seems to be a promising step forward. So far, focus has been placed on plants, because these are the most studied organisms in this field. Some key plant traits, such as leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and specific leaf area (SLA), are identified to be important factors determining species responses to environmental change, and seem to affect ecosystem functioning. Although decomposition is an ecosystem function of fundamental importance, the knowledge about soil communities is still limited. Despite that they are known to have considerable effects on decomposition rates, soil animal traits are rarely considered in decomposition studies. A change may, however be on its way, as the interest of the role of soil animal traits recently seem to be increasing.

Authors/Creators:Astor, Tina
Title:The importance of species traits in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research
Series Name/Journal:Introductory research essay (Department of Ecology, SLU)
Year of publishing :2011
Number of Pages:17
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Publication Type:Report
Article category:Other scientific
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:F Plant production > F40 Plant ecology
L Animal production > L20 Animal ecology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Agrovoc terms:biodiversity, functional traits, gastropoda, decomposition, ecosystems
Keywords:functional traits, functional diversity, gastropoda, macrodetritivores, decomposition, ecosystem function, diversity index
Permanent URL:
ID Code:13155
Faculty:NL - Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences (until 2013)
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:10 Mar 2016 12:54
Metadata Last Modified:09 Sep 2020 14:17

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