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Species Diversity Through the Food Chain Maintains Ecosystem Services More Effectively

April 18, 2017 |

This article was originally published on Farming Futures

Biodiversity’s contribution to ecosystem services in grasslands — at different levels of the food chain (known as trophic levels) — has been assessed in a new study. Higher species diversity across trophic levels — particularly for plants, insects and soil microbial decomposers — is important for the provision of multiple ecosystem services related to food production, recreational benefits, or climate regulation. Species diversity across different trophic groups was also found to be just as important in controlling ecosystem functioning as the management intensity of grasslands and environmental factors, such as climate or soil type.

Globally, biodiversity is being lost due to factors such as habitat loss, land use and climate change, pollution and invasive species. The changes in biodiversity can lead to a reduction in species richness and changes in the abundance of organisms within multiple trophic levels. Understanding how this loss of biodiversity can result in changes in ecosystem functioning is important for conservation and regional policy and planning because of its impact on ecosystem services, such as pollination and climate regulation…”

Read on at: Farming Futures.

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