Quantifying Functional Biodiversity

  • Laura Pla
  • Fernando Casanoves
  • Julio Di Rienzo

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Environmental Science book series (BRIEFSENVIRONMENTAL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Laura Pla, Fernando Casanoves, Julio Di Rienzo
    Pages 1-8
  3. Laura Pla, Fernando Casanoves, Julio Di Rienzo
    Pages 9-25
  4. Laura Pla, Fernando Casanoves, Julio Di Rienzo
    Pages 27-51
  5. Laura Pla, Fernando Casanoves, Julio Di Rienzo
    Pages 53-95
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 97-98

About this book


Functional diversity (FD) – the value, range, and abundance of functional traits in a given community or ecosystem – is increasingly accepted as a synthetic ecological concept that sheds light on ecosystem functioning. Standard tools for comparing FD across different ecosystems and for different ecosystem processes would be invaluable for supporting a better, more general understanding of the functional role of biodiversity in the provision of ecosystem services. Functional group richness and functional biodiversity indices have been proposed as standards for quantifying the functional diversity of communities and their components.


This book synthesizes current methods used to quantify functional diversity, providing step-by-step examples for defining functional groups and estimating functional indices. The authors show how to compare communities, and how to analyze changes of diversity along environmental gradients, using real-life examples throughout. One section of the book demonstrates the selection of traits, and the standardization and characterization of ecosystem data. Another section presents methods used to quantify functional diversity, shows how to relate functional diversity with environmental variables and how to connect these to ecosystem services. The concluding section introduces FDiversity, a free program developed by the authors. The reader is guided through every step from software installation and basic functions, to sample and database design, to graphical projection methods, employing case study data to illustrate key concepts.


community assembly processes diversity indices ecosystem services guilds plant functional types

Authors and affiliations

  • Laura Pla
    • 1
  • Fernando Casanoves
    • 2
  • Julio Di Rienzo
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural TechnologyFrancisco de Miranda National ExperimentCoroVenezuela
  2. 2.Tropical Agriculture Research and HigherTurrialbaCosta Rica
  3. 3.The National University of CordobaFaculty of Agricultural Sciences The National University of CordobaCordobaArgentina

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2648-2
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2012
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-94-007-2647-5
  • Online ISBN 978-94-007-2648-2
  • Series Print ISSN 2191-5547
  • Series Online ISSN 2191-5555
  • About this book