Diversity: It Matters! (for plants & algae)

 

I recently blogged about a new paper (a meta-analysis of hundreds of published experiments) on the influence of plant species richness on ecosystem functions, namely primary production. One of the co-authors – Dr. Jarrett Byrnes, a marine biodiversity expert – wrote a great post about the paper, explaining what they found and why diversity matters.  You can read the whole post at Jarrett’s long running and excellent blog i’m a chordata! urochordata! (yeah, it is a geeky science thing)

Geological time has witnessed 5 extinction crises. Now we’re in the middle of the 6th – this time driven by man. What’s unprecedented, however, is the rate we are driving species extinct. For many taxa, it’s faster than we’ve seen in geological time (see here for discussion).

So? Will vast reductions in the diversity of species on earth matter? I mean, heck, maybe we only need two or three of each taxa, and we’re all good. Or maybe not…

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