Biotic homogenization can decrease landscape-scale forest multifunctionality

Numerous studies have demonstrated the importance of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem functions and services (multifunctionality) at local spatial scales, but it is unknown whether similar relationships are found at larger spatial scales in real-world landscapes. Here, we show, for the first time to our knowledge, that biodiversity can also be important for multifunctionality at larger spatial scales in European forest landscapes. Both high local (α-) diversity and a high turnover in species composition between locations (high β-diversity) were found to be potentially important drivers of ecosystem multifunctionality. Our study provides evidence that it is important to conserve the landscape-scale biodiversity that is being eroded by biotic homogenization if ecosystem multifunctionality is to be maintained.

van der Plas, F. et al.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113 (13), 3557-3562
2016

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