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Ecosystems

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 339–347 | Cite as

Functional Group Change within and across Scales following Invasions and Extinctions in the Everglades Ecosystem

  • Elizabeth A. Forys
  • Craig R. Allen

Abstract

Cross-scale resilience theory predicts that the combination of functional diversity within scales and functional redundancy across scales is an important attribute of ecosystems because it helps these systems resist minor ecological disruptions and regenerate after major disturbances such as hurricanes and fire. Using the vertebrate fauna of south Florida, we quantified how the loss of native species and invasion by nonnatives may alter functional group richness within and across scales. We found that despite large changes in species composition due to potential extinctions and successful invasions by nonnative species, functional group richness will not change significantly within scales, there will not be any significant loss of overall redundancy of ecology function across scales, and overall body mass pattern will not undergo substantial change. However, the types of functions performed will change, and this change may have profound effects on not only the Everglades ecosystem but on the entire landscape of south Florida.

Key words: cross-scale resilience; diversity; functional group; ecosystem structure; endangered species; Everglades ecosystem; extinctions; Florida; invasive species; nonnative species. 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Forys
    • 1
  • Craig R. Allen
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Studies Discipline, Eckerd College, 4200 54th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida, 33711 USAUS
  2. 2.United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Room G27, Lehotsky Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634, USAUS

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