Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Decreasing biodiversity affects productivity of remaining plants

21.04.2015

When plant biodiversity declines, the remaining plants face diminishing productivity, say scientists in study published April 20 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems," said lead author Jingjing Liang, a forest ecologist from West Virginia University.


Empirical evidence from Alaska's boreal forest suggests that every 1 percent reduction in overall plant diversity could render an average of .23 percent decline in individual tree productivity.

Credit: Todd Paris/UAF

Ecosystem services include any positive benefit that plants and animals provide to people including food, fresh water, raw materials and medicinal resources.

A team of scientists, led by Liang, and using data from Alaska's boreal forests developed a model that measures and quantifies the effects of plant productivity resulting from a loss of species diversity.

Previous research focused the positive role biodiversity plays on resource acquisition by plants.

"What also differs our study from previous research is that we developed a theoretical model to quantify the influence of biodiversity on plant productivity at individual plant and community levels," said A. David McGuire, an ecosystem modeler with the U.S. Geological Survey and University of Alaska Fairbanks' Institute of Arctic Biology. "This model enables the scientific community to better integrate biological conservation in natural resource management."

While the world struggles to reduce the loss of biodiversity, concern is mounting over the ongoing relationship between biological conservation and poverty, especially in rural areas where livelihoods depend heavily on ecosystem resources, say the authors.

"The development of our ecological model was inspired and aided by an existing economic theory," Liang said.

According to co-author and WVU economist Mo Zhou, the theory of diminishing marginal productivity in the context of ecology, indicates that marginal resource productivity will at some point decrease as resource acquisition increases.

"We demonstrate that conserving the diversity of plant species may help to maintain ecosystem services for current and future generations," say Liang and Zhou.

###

Jingjing Liang, West Virginia University, School of Natural Resources, Jingjing.Liang@mail.wvu.edu

Mo Zhou, West Virginia University, School of Natural Resources, Mo.Zhou@mail.wvu.edu

Patrick Tobin, University of Washington, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, pctobin@uw.edu

A. David McGuire, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Institute of Arctic Biology; U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, admcguire@alaska.edu

Peter B. Reich, University of Minnesota, Department of Forest Resources; University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment.

Media Contact

Marie Thoms
methoms@alaska.edu
907-474-7412

 @uafairbanks

http://www.uaf.edu 

Marie Thoms | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>