Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function: The Debate Deepens

  title={Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function: The Debate Deepens},
  author={John Philip Grime},
  pages={1260 - 1261}
  • J. P. Grime
  • Published 29 August 1997
  • Environmental Science
  • Science
One of the tenets of the conservation movement has been that areas containing many species--those of high biodiversity--are particularly worth saving, since ecosystems of high diversity show improved ecosystem function. As Grime explains in his Perspective, this tenet is being replaced by another view, which is bolstered by three reports in this week9s issue (pages 1296, 1300, and 1302). These studies all show that it is actually the specific features of the species in an ecosystem that… 


The background, hypotheses and experimental evidence for the proposed relationship between species diversity and ecosystem function are reviewed and the idea that the species diversity of ecological communities contributes to stability is proposed.

The functional significance of forest diversity: the starting point

The aim of the present book is to summarize the state of knowledge with respect to forests, focusing on the temperate and boreal regions.

Introduction: The Role of Soil Biodiversity in Ecosystem Productivity and Resilience

Biodiversity, both above- and belowground, is positively linked with ecosystem productivity and stability. The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function is far better researched and

Death of biodiversity – the urgent need for global ecology

There is an urgent need to move away from a narrow focus on biological diversity when considering anthropogenic impacts on the biosphere and an intellectually rigorous global ecology needs to be developed because planetary health requires management of entire ecosystems and the maintenance of biogeochemical cycles.

Biodiversity Effects on Aquatic Ecosystem Functioning – Maturation of a New Paradigm

How the paradigm that biodiversity is an important factor for the functioning of aquatic ecosystems is currently maturing with more realistic studies embracing both new and innovative approaches is discussed.

A multitrophic perspective on biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research.

Biodiversity in a complex world: consolidation and progress in functional biodiversity research.

It is argued that implementing a trait-based approach and broadening the perception of diversity to include trait dissimilarity or trait divergence will result in more realistic predictions on the consequences of altered biodiversity.

Diversity and Production in European Grasslands

An ecosystem that contains many different plant species is more productive and successful than one containing only a few. There has been much debate about the mechanisms that underlie this



Biodiversity and stability in grasslands

ONE of the ecological tenets justifying conservation of biodiversity is that diversity begets stability. Impacts of biodiversity on population dynamics and ecosystem functioning have long been

The Influence of Functional Diversity and Composition on Ecosystem Processes

Functional composition and functional diversity were the principal factors explaining plant productivity, plant percent nitrogen, plant total nitrogen, and light penetration in grassland plots.

Biodiversity: Population Versus Ecosystem Stability

The relationships between biodiversity and stability were determined for both population and ecosystem traits in a long-term study of 207 grassland plots. Results demonstrate that biodiversity

Hidden treatments in ecological experiments: re-evaluating the ecosystem function of biodiversity

Case studies re-evaluating three different types of biodiversity experiments demonstrate that the increases found in such ecosystem properties as productivity, nutrient use efficiency, and stability were actually caused by “hidden treatments” that altered plant biomass and productivity.

Competitive Exclusion in Herbaceous Vegetation

IN maintaining or reconstructing types of herbaceous vegetation in which the density of flowering plants exceeds 20 species/m2—the so-called “species-rich” communities, success is often frustrated by


It is hypothesized that water-level fluctuations are essential to the long-term survival of lakeshores and some lakeshore species found there can be considered "coastal plain disjuncts" similar to those of southwestern Michigan and adjacent Indiana, and central Wisconsin.

Does diversity beget stability?