Species, Functional Groups, and Thresholds in Ecological Resilience

Sundstrom, S.M., C.R. Allen and C. Barichievy (

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On the basis of our results, we believe an ecosystem with a full complement of species can sustain considerable species losses without affecting the distribution of functions within and across aggregations, although ecological resilience is reduced. We propose that the mechanisms responsible for shaping discontinuous distributions of body mass and the nonrandom distribution of functions may also shape species losses such that local extinctions will be nonrandom with respect to the retention and distribution of functions and that the distribution of function within and across aggregations will be conserved despite extinctions.

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Peer-reviewed Article

Conservation Biology