Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: It Is Time for Dispersal Experiments

Zobel, M., M. O_pik, M. Moora and M. Pa_rtel

Publication Date:

The experimental study of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function has mainly addressed the effect of species and number of functional groups. In theory, this approach has mainly focused on how extinction affects function, whereas dispersal limitation of ecosystem function has been rarely discussed. A handful of seed introduction experiments, as well as numerous observations of the effects of long-distance dispersal of alien species, indicate that ecosystem function may be strongly determined by dispersal limitation at the local, regional and/or global scales. We suggest that it is time to replace biodiversity manipulation experiments, based on random draw of species, with those addressing realistic scenarios of either extinction or dispersal.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Journal of Vegetation Science