Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing: An Ecological and Economic Perspective

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How will biodiversity loss affect ecosystem functioning, ecosystem services, and human well-being?

In an age of accelerating biodiversity loss, this timely and critical volume summarizes recent advances in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research and explores the economics of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The book starts by summarizing the development of the basic science and provides a meta-analysis that quantitatively tests several biodiversity and ecosystem functioning hypotheses. It then describes the natural science foundations of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research including: quantifying functional diversity, the development of the field into a predictive science, the effects of stability and complexity, methods to quantify mechanisms by which diversity affects functioning, the importance of trophic structure, microbial ecology, and spatial dynamics. Finally, the book takes research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning further than it has ever gone into the human dimension, describing the most pressing environmental challenges that face humanity and the effects of diversity on: climate change mitigation, restoration of degraded habitats, managed ecosystems, pollination, disease, and biological invasions.

However, what makes this volume truly unique are the chapters that consider the economic perspective. These include a synthesis of the economics of ecosystem services and biodiversity, and the options open to policy-makers to address the failure of markets to account for the loss of ecosystem services; an examination of the challenges of valuing ecosystem services and, hence, to understanding the human consequences of decisions that neglect these services; and an examination of the ways in which economists are currently incorporating biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research into decision models for the conservation and management of biodiversity. A final section describes new advances in ecoinformatics that will help transform this field into a globally predictive science, and summarizes the advancements and future directions of the field. The ultimate conclusion is that biodiversity is an essential element of any strategy for sustainable development.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199547968
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Shahid Naeem is Professor of Ecology and Chair, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University. Dr. Naeem pioneered experimental tests of the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem function and co-chaired the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Biodiversity Synthesis Report (Duraiappah and Naeem 2005).

Daniel Bunker is an Assistant Professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, New Jersey, USA). Dr. Bunker is also co-director of the BioMERGE project and the TraitNet project. He focuses on understanding the effects of global climate change on species diversity and composition, and the concomitant effects of ecosystem functioning and services.

Andy Hector is a community ecologist interested in the links between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. In 2003, he was appointed Assistant Professor within the Institute of Environmental Sciences at the University of Zurich where he is currently undergoing tenure review for a full Professorship.

Michel Loreau is Full Professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in theoretical ecology at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). He has won several scientific prizes, including the International Ecology Institute Prize and the Silver Medal of the National Centre for Scientific Research (France), and has been a member of numerous national and international scientific committees such as chairing the Scientific Committee of DIVERSITAS and the Steering Committee of the European Science Foundation programme (LINKECOL).

Charles Perrings is Professor of Environmental Economics in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. He has served as President of the International Society for Ecological Economics and as Vice Chair of the Scientific Committee of Diversitas. He is also the 2008 winner of the Kenneth E. Boulding Prize for ecological economics.

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Table of Contents

Introduction, Background, and Meta-analyses
1. Introduction: The Ecological and Social Implications of Changing Biodiversity: An overview of a decade of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research, Shahid Naeem, Daniel E. Bunker, Andy Hector, Michel Loreau, Charles Perrings
2. Consequences of Species Loss for Ecosystem Functioning: Meta-analyses of data from biodiversity experiments, Bernhard Schmid, Patricia Balvanera, Bradley J. Cardinale, Jasmin Godbold, Andrea B. Pfisterer, David Raffaelli, Martin Solan, Diane S. Srivastava
3. Biodiversity-ecosystem Function Research and Biodiversity Futures: Early bird catches the worm or a day late and a dollar short?, Martin Solan, Jasmin A. Godbold, Amy Symstad, Dan F.B. Flynn, Daniel E. Bunker
Natural Science Foundations
4. A Functional Guide to Functional Diversity Measures, Owen L Petchey, Eoin O'Gorman, Dan F.B. Flynn
5. Forecasting Decline in Ecosystem Services Under Realistic Scenarios of Extinction, J. Emmett Duffy, Diane S. Srivastava, Jennie McLaren, Mahesh Sankaran, Martin Solan, John Griffin, Mark Emmerson, Kate E. Jones
6. Biodiversity and the Stability of Ecosystem Functioning, John Griffin, Eoin O'Gorman, Mark Emmerson, Stuart Jenkins, Alexandra-Maria Klein, Michel Loreau, Amy Symstad
7. The Analysis of Biodiversity Experiments: From pattern toward mechanism, Andy Hector, Thomas Bell, John Connolly, John Finn, Jeremy Fox, Laura Kirwan, Michel Loreau, Jennie McLaren, Bernhard Schmid, Alexandra Weigelt
8. Towards a Food-web Perspective on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning, Bradley J. Cardinale, J. Emmett Duffy, Diane S. Srivastava, Michel Loreau, Matthew Thomas, Mark Emmerson
9. Microbial Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning Under Controlled Conditions and in the Wild, Thomas Bell, Mark O. Gessner, Robert I. Griffiths, Jennie McLaren, Peter J. Morin, Marcel van der Heijden, Wim van der Putten
10. Biodiversity as Spatial Insurance: The effects of habitat fragmentation and dispersal on ecosystem functioning, Andrew Gonzalez, Nicolas Mouquet, Michel Loreau
Ecosystem Services and Human Wellbeing
11. Incorporating Biodiversity in Climate Change Mitigation Initiatives, Sandra Díaz, David A. Wardle, Andy Hector
12. Restoring Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function: Will an integrated approach improve results?, Justin Wright, Amy Symstad, James M. Bullock, Katharina Engelhardt, Louise Jackson, Emily Bernhardt
13. Managed Ecosystems: Biodiversity and ecosystem functions in landscapes modified by human use, Louise Jackson, Todd Rosenstock, Matthew Thomas, Justin Wright, Amy Symstad
14. Understanding the Role of Species Richness for Crop Pollination Services, Alexandra-Maria Klein, Christine Müller, Patrick Hoehn, Claire Kremen
15. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function: Perspectives on disease, Richard S. Ostfeld, Matthew Thomas, Felicia Keesing
16. Opening Communities to Colonization: The impacts of invaders on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, Katharina Engelhardt, Amy Symstad, Anne-Helene Prieur-Richard, Matthew Thomas, Daniel E. Bunker
17. The Economics of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, C. Perrings, S. Baumgärtner, W.A. Brock, K. Chopra, M. Conte, C. Costello, A. Duraiappah, A.P. Kinzig, U. Pascual, S. Polasky, J. Tschirhart, A. Xepapadeas
18. The Valuation of Ecosystem Services, E.B. Barbier, S. Baumgärtner, K. Chopra, C. Costello, A. Duraiappah, R. Hassan, A. Kinzig, M. Lehman, U. Pascual, S. Polasky, C. Perrings
19. Modeling Biodiversity And Ecosystem Services in Coupled Ecological-Economic Systems, W.A. Brock, D. Finnoff, A.P. Kinzig, U. Pascual, C. Perrings, J. Tschirhart, A. Xepapadeas
Summary and Synthesis
20. TraitNet: Furthering biodiversity research through the curation, discovery, and sharing of species trait data, Shahid Naeem and Daniel E. Bunker
21. Can We Predict the Effects of Global Change on Biodiversity Loss and Ecosystem Functioning?, Shahid Naeem, Daniel E. Bunker, Andy Hector, Michel Loreau, Charles Perrings

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