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Plant traits – the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants and their organs – determine how primary producers respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, influence ecosystem processes and services and provide a link from species richness to ecosystem functional diversity. Trait data(More)
Quantitative scenarios are coming of age as a tool for evaluating the impact of future socioeconomic development pathways on biodiversity and ecosystem services. We analyze global terrestrial, freshwater, and marine biodiversity scenarios using a range of measures including extinctions, changes in species abundance, habitat loss, and distribution shifts, as(More)
Many studies in recent years have investigated the effects of climate change on the future of biodiversity. In this review, we first examine the different possible effects of climate change that can operate at individual, population, species, community, ecosystem and biome scales, notably showing that species can respond to climate change challenges by(More)
Interactive effects of reductions in plant species diversity and increases in atmospheric CO2 were investigated in a long-term study in nutrient-poor calcareous grassland. Throughout the experiment, soil nitrate was persistently increased at low plant species diversity, and CO2 enrichment reduced soil [NO3-] at all levels of plant species diversity. In our(More)
Model-based projections of shifts in tree species range due to climate change are becoming an important decision support tool for forest management. However, poorly evaluated sources of uncertainty require more scrutiny before relying heavily on models for decision-making. We evaluated uncertainty arising from differences in model formulations of tree(More)
In 2010, the international community, under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, agreed on 20 biodiversity-related "Aichi Targets" to be achieved within a decade. We provide a comprehensive mid-term assessment of progress toward these global targets using 55 indicator data sets. We projected indicator trends to 2020 using an adaptive(More)
Recruitment algorithms in forest gap models are examined with particular regard to their suitability for simulating forest ecosystem responses to a changing climate. The traditional formulation of recruitment is found limiting in three areas. First, the aggregation of different regeneration stages (seed production, dispersal, storage, germination and(More)
Plant nutrient responses to 4 years of CO2 enrichment were investigated in situ in calcareous grassland. Beginning in year 2, plant aboveground C:N ratios were increased by 9% to 22% at elevated CO2 (P < 0.01), depending on year. Total amounts of N removed in biomass harvests during the first 4 years were not affected by elevated CO2 (19.9 ± 1.3 and 21.1 ±(More)
The effects of elevated CO(2) on plant biomass and community structure have been studied for four seasons in a calcareous grassland in northwest Switzerland. This highly diverse, semi-natural plant community is dominated by the perennial grass Bromus erectus and is mown twice a year to maintain species composition. Plots of 1.3 m(2) were exposed to ambient(More)
Aim Functional traits of organisms are key to understanding and predicting biodiversity and ecological change, which motivates continuous collection of traits and their integration into global databases. Such trait matrices are inherently sparse, severely limiting their usefulness for further analyses. On the other hand, traits are characterized by the(More)