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Species compensatory responses and biodiversity biodiversityecosystem function relations

Species compensatory responses and biodiversity biodiversityecosystem function relations
Species compensatory responses and biodiversity biodiversityecosystem function relations
Anthropogenic activities affect ecosystems and alter community dynamics and species interactions, which can have with significant consequences for biodiversity function relations. Current knowledge on the role of biodiversity in mediating ecosystem processes and functions is largely derived from controlled, biodiversity manipulation experiments. However, these studies rarely account for species compensatory responses that potentially represent an important ecological response to perturbations in natural systems. Incorporating species compensation into empirical studies or predictive models has the potential to fundamentally change perceptions of the ecosystem consequences associated with changing biodiversity, but has received little attention.

Here, I explicitly incorporate aspects of biodiversity change that have not previously been included within the biodiversity-ecosystem function framework. By adopting a range of approaches, including trait-based models, laboratory-based mesocosm experiments and field observations, I explore the role of compensation in marine benthic communities. Results show that scenarios of species loss that include community compensatory responses are fundamentally different to those where response mechanisms are excluded. However, the ecosystem consequences of compensation depend on the type and expression of compensation. I demonstrate that the functional traits of the species driving the compensatory response, and their relative abundance within the community, is highly important in determining the functional outcome of altered biodiversity. Although, a consistent feature across communities, irrespective of the driver of perturbation, the functional consequences of compensatory responses are also dependent on environmental context.

The general paradigm that emerges is that compensatory responses exist in natural systems and are likely to alter the form of biodiversity-function relations, leading to changes in ecosystem properties that differ from current expectation. I conclude that, in order to project the ecosystem consequences of anticipated levels of biodiversity change, it will be necessary to acknowledge the role of compensation in natural systems to ensure the benefits that ecosystems provide society are sustained.
University of Southampton
Thomsen, Matthias Schmidt
e7cd9088-470d-47d0-9b87-59e3bd6b03d3
Thomsen, Matthias Schmidt
e7cd9088-470d-47d0-9b87-59e3bd6b03d3
Solan, Martin
c28b294a-1db6-4677-8eab-bd8d6221fecf

Thomsen, Matthias Schmidt (2018) Species compensatory responses and biodiversity biodiversityecosystem function relations. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 227pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Anthropogenic activities affect ecosystems and alter community dynamics and species interactions, which can have with significant consequences for biodiversity function relations. Current knowledge on the role of biodiversity in mediating ecosystem processes and functions is largely derived from controlled, biodiversity manipulation experiments. However, these studies rarely account for species compensatory responses that potentially represent an important ecological response to perturbations in natural systems. Incorporating species compensation into empirical studies or predictive models has the potential to fundamentally change perceptions of the ecosystem consequences associated with changing biodiversity, but has received little attention.

Here, I explicitly incorporate aspects of biodiversity change that have not previously been included within the biodiversity-ecosystem function framework. By adopting a range of approaches, including trait-based models, laboratory-based mesocosm experiments and field observations, I explore the role of compensation in marine benthic communities. Results show that scenarios of species loss that include community compensatory responses are fundamentally different to those where response mechanisms are excluded. However, the ecosystem consequences of compensation depend on the type and expression of compensation. I demonstrate that the functional traits of the species driving the compensatory response, and their relative abundance within the community, is highly important in determining the functional outcome of altered biodiversity. Although, a consistent feature across communities, irrespective of the driver of perturbation, the functional consequences of compensatory responses are also dependent on environmental context.

The general paradigm that emerges is that compensatory responses exist in natural systems and are likely to alter the form of biodiversity-function relations, leading to changes in ecosystem properties that differ from current expectation. I conclude that, in order to project the ecosystem consequences of anticipated levels of biodiversity change, it will be necessary to acknowledge the role of compensation in natural systems to ensure the benefits that ecosystems provide society are sustained.

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Published date: May 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 425896
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/425896
PURE UUID: aae24664-7a09-49f4-99c0-dcdac9dde481
ORCID for Matthias Schmidt Thomsen: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9017-3997
ORCID for Martin Solan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9924-5574

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Date deposited: 06 Nov 2018 17:30
Last modified: 12 Dec 2021 03:42

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Contributors

Author: Matthias Schmidt Thomsen ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Martin Solan ORCID iD

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