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Patterns of invertebrate functional diversity highlight the vulnerability of ecosystem services over a 45-year period

Greenop, A; Woodcock, BA; Outhwaite, CL; Carvell, C; Pywell, RF; Mancini, F; Edwards, FK; ... Isaac, NJB; + view all (2021) Patterns of invertebrate functional diversity highlight the vulnerability of ecosystem services over a 45-year period. Current Biology 10.1016/j.cub.2021.07.080. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Summary: Declines in invertebrate biodiversity1,2 pose a significant threat to key ecosystem services.3, 4, 5 Current analyses of biodiversity often focus on taxonomic diversity (e.g., species richness),6,7 which does not account for the functional role of a species. Functional diversity of species’ morphological or behavioral traits is likely more relevant to ecosystem service delivery than taxonomic diversity, as functional diversity has been found to be a key driver of a number of ecosystem services including decomposition and pollination.8, 9, 10, 11, 12 At present, we lack a good understanding of long-term and large-scale changes in functional diversity, which limits our capacity to determine the vulnerability of key ecosystem services with ongoing biodiversity change. Here we derive trends in functional diversity and taxonomic diversity over a 45-year period across Great Britain for species supporting freshwater aquatic functions, pollination, natural pest control, and agricultural pests (a disservice). Species supporting aquatic functions showed a synchronous collapse and recovery in functional and taxonomic diversity. In contrast, pollinators showed an increase in taxonomic diversity, but a decline and recovery in functional diversity. Pest control agents and pests showed greater stability in functional diversity over the assessment period. We also found that functional diversity could appear stable or show patterns of recovery, despite ongoing changes in the composition of traits among species. Our results suggest that invertebrate assemblages can show considerable variability in their functional structure over time at a national scale, which provides an important step in determining the long-term vulnerability of key ecosystem services with ongoing biodiversity change.

Type: Article
Title: Patterns of invertebrate functional diversity highlight the vulnerability of ecosystem services over a 45-year period
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.07.080
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2021.07.080
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Ecosystem services, functional diversity, taxonomic diversity, functional traits, pest control, pests, pollination, aquatic functions
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10133234
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