The Wetland Book pp 1991-1996 | Cite as

Biodiversity-Ecosystem Function (BEF) Theory and Wetland Restoration

Reference work entry

Abstract

Biodiversity-ecosystem function (BEF) theory was founded on the idea that levels of ecosystem functions (e.g., productivity, nutrient cycling, decomposition) and the stability of those functions depend directly on levels of biodiversity, including diversity of all biota at the level of genotypes, species, and functional groups (sets of physiologically or morphologically similar species). Ecosystem functions are typically estimated from measures of stocks, e.g., plant biomass or nutrient crop, in response to vascular plant diversity (which can be easily manipulated in experiments). To date, the vast majority of experimental tests indicate that, on average, diversity increases productivity. Experimental outcomes have prompted BEF researchers to call on restoration ecologists to apply BEF theory by establishing more diverse biotic communities to increase ecosystem function. Using BEF theory relevant to its application, outcomes from experiments testing that theory with wetland plants and outcomes from experiments for wetland restoration projects suggest that a major challenge in applying BEF theory in wetlands is to establish and maintain plant diversity. However, applying BEF theory in wetland restoration does not simply mean adding more species to plantings, but to further explore how plantings can help achieve target ecological functions. Field experiments that vary plant composition and diversity, or that indirectly increase bird, insect, and bacterial diversity, would advance the practice of wetland restoration while ground-truthing BEF theory.

Keywords

Ecosystem functions Wetland restoration Field experiments Biodiversity 

References

  1. Bouchard V, Frey SD, Gilbert JM, Reed SE. Effects of macrophyte functional group richness on emergent freshwater wetland functions. Ecology. 2007;88:2903–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bradshaw AD. Ecological principles and land reclamation practice. Landscape Plan. 1984;11:35–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Callaway JC, Sullivan G, Zedler JB. Species-rich plantings increase biomass and nitrogen accumulation in a wetland restoration experiment. Ecol Appl. 2003;13:1626–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cardinale BJ, Matulich KL, Hooper DU, Byrnes JE, Duffy E, Gamfeldt L, et al. The functional role of producer diversity in ecosystems. Am J Bot. 2011;98:572–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Doherty JM, Zedler JB. Dominant graminoids support restoration of productivity but not diversity in urban wetlands. Ecol Eng. in press.Google Scholar
  6. Doherty JM, Callaway JC, Zedler JB. Diversity-function relationships changed in a long-term restoration experiment. Ecol Appl. 2011;21:2143–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Engelhardt KAM, Ritchie ME. Effects of macrophyte species richness on wetland ecosystem functioning and services. Nature. 2001;411:687–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gustafsson C, Bostrom C. Biodiversity influences ecosystem functioning in aquatic angiosperm communities. Oikos. 2011;120:1037–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hector A, Bagchi R. Biodiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality. Nature. 2007;448:188–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hector A, Schmid B, Beierkuhnlein C, Caldeira MC, Diemer M, Dimitrakopoulos PG, et al. Plant diversity and productivity experiments in European grasslands. Science. 1999;286:1123–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Keer GH, Zedler JB. Salt marsh canopy architecture differs with the number and composition of species. Ecol Appl. 2002;12:456–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Moreno-Mateos D, Power ME, Comin FA, Yockteng R. Structural and functional loss in restored wetland ecosystems. Plos Biol. 2012;10:e1001247.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001247.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. Naeem S. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in restored ecosystems: extracting principles for a synthetic perspective. In: Falk DA, Palmer MA, Zedler JB, editors. Foundations of restoration ecology. Washington, DC: Island Press; 2006. p. 210–37.Google Scholar
  14. Olson ER, Doherty JM. The legacy of pipeline installation on the soil and vegetation of southeast Wisconsin wetlands. Ecol Eng. 2012;39:53–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schultz R, Andrews S, O’Reilly L, Bouchard V, Frey S. Plant community composition more predictive than diversity of carbon cycling in freshwater wetlands. Wetlands. 2011;31:965–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Sullivan G, Callaway JC, Zedler JB. Plant assemblage composition explains and predicts how biodiversity affects salt marsh functioning. Ecol Monogr. 2007;77:569–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Tilman D. The ecological consequences of changes in biodiversity: a search for general principles. Ecology. 1999;80:1455–74.Google Scholar
  18. Tilman D, Reich PB, Knops JMH. Biodiversity and ecosystem stability in a decade-long grassland experiment. Nature. 2006;441:629–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of WisconsinnMadisonUSA

Personalised recommendations