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Colloquium Natural and Life Sciences - Michael Staab

Disentangling nature: the role of biodiversity experiments for understanding ecosystem functionality

Dr. Michael Staab
Ecology and Biodiversity
University of Freiburg

Disentangling nature: the role of biodiversity experiments for understanding ecosystem functionality
When May 08, 2018
from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, seminar room
Contact Name
Contact Phone +49 (0)761 203-97353
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It is now accepted in ecology that diverse ecosystems not only sustain more species but that diversity itself is related to ecosystem processes and to general ecosystem functionality. While theoretically intuitive, it has long proven difficult to establish mechanistic links between diversity and functionality, mostly because species diversity in natural ecosystems is usually confounded with the environment (e.g. climate). Biodiversity experiments manipulate species (usually plant) diversity and thus create synthetic species communities allowing the separation of potential species diversity effects per se. Drawing from my experience in forest diversity experiments, I will explain the basic principles and challenges of such experiments. I will also illustrate some key results of experimental biodiversity research, and discuss the broader implications for ecosystem management.