Lecture31_BDEF - Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function (BDEF)...

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Unformatted text preview: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function (BDEF) I. What is biodiversity? A. Genetic level B. Species level Species richness: Species diversity: C. Ecosystem level Ecosystem = organisms and the abiotic environment (water, soil, nutrients, energy/sun, temperature, pH, etc.) II. Why does biodiversity matter? A. Human benefits 1. Production of goods and services 2. Ecosystem services ("life support") 3. "Life fulfilling conditions" 4. Genetic repositories III. Studies on North American prairie plants Question: Does plant species richness affect productivity? Primary productivity = production of organic compounds from inorganic precursors (e.g. sugars from CO2 via photosynthesis) Net primary productivity (NPP) = production of biomass (organic material, in grams/m2) Prairie = North American grassland ecosystem Experiment #1 32 prairie species in 5 functional groups Functional group = plants with distinctive function, timing of growth, or growth habit Key idea: different functional groups cool season grasses: warm season grasses: legumes: woody plants: forbs: Protocol: establish 3m x 3m plots in field 2 years of growth; harvest Results: Biomass (g/m2) Species richness Conclude: # Functional groups Question: Does plant species diversity affect response to increased CO2 and N? Experiment #2: use 16 species in 4 functional groups random draw; plant supplement let grow; harvest and measure Results: What is the control treatment here? III. What is the focus of current research? What mechanisms are responsible for these patterns? 1. Niche complementarity: 2. Sampling effect: 3. Species interactions/facilitation: Mutualism or other ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course BIOL 180 taught by Professor Freeman during the Fall '07 term at University of Washington.

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