Restoring biodiversity and ecosystem function: Will an integrated approach improve results?


Journal Article (Chapter)

© Oxford University Press 2009. All rights reserved. Ecological restorations often focus on restoring communities while ignoring ecosystem functioning, or on ecosystem functioning without regard to communities. This chapter argues that the biodiversity-ecosystem function (BEF) perspective provides an opportunity to integrate these views and potentially improve the success of restoration. First, the restoration of biodiversity may lead to desired levels of ecosystem properties and processes through "classical" BEF mechanisms such as complementarity or selection effects. Second, BEF theory suggests that biodiversity may enhance temporal stability of the provisioning of ecosystem services in restored ecosystems. Finally, in restored ecosystems with multiple management goals, biodiversity may enhance the provisioning of multiple services. Assessing the relative benefits of biodiversity for risk management and the provisioning of multiple services requires economic as well as ecological analyses. Scientists, managers and policy makers will need to ask relevant questions and collaborate in interpreting results if BEF theory's potential to impact restoration is to be realized.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wright, J; Symstad, A; Bullock, JM; Engelhardt, K; Jackson, L; Bernhardt, E

Published Date

  • July 30, 2009

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547951.003.0012

Citation Source

  • Scopus