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This paper is a product of the Journal of Applied Ecology.


“Ecological systems, including the collection of inhabiting organisms (i.e. biodiversity) and the vital functions provided and the resultant benefits (i.e. ecosystem services), face increasing threats from the stresses of an expanding human population. Despite inconsistent trends in biodiversity change among studies, particularly at the local scale (Vellend et al. 2013; Dornelas et al. 2014; Newbold et al. 2015; Gonzalez et al. 2016), there is a firm consensus that humans have increasingly affected biodiversity globally (Rockström 2009; Rockström et al. 2009; Butchart et al. 2010; Pereira et al. 2013; Pimm et al. 2014; Tittensor et al. 2014; Steffen et al. 2015).

Because diverse assemblages of organisms, including diversity in genes, species and other forms of biological traits, are often necessary to generate and support the fundamental functioning of ecological systems, human-induced loss of diversity could have serious consequences for ecological goods and services that are essential for human well-being (Cardinale et al. 2012). Among the various drivers of global change, biodiversity loss is likely to have one of the largest impacts on the functionality and sustainability of Earth’s ecosystems (Hooper et al. 2012), and its consequences may become gradually more severe than the currently observed trends because of the debts of both biodiversity and the associated ecosystem processes (Isbell et al. 2015)…”

Read on and access the paper at the Journal of Applied Ecology.