Biodiversity and Function of Grazing Ecosystems
Does biodiversity influence ecosystem function? Darwin believed it did. In Chap. IV of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, he wrote (p. 97), “The more diversified in habits and structures the descendants … become, the more places they will be enabled to occupy. … It has been experimentally proved, if a plot of ground be sown with one species of grass, and a similar plot be sown with several distinct genera of grasses, a greater number of plants and a greater weight of dry herbage can be raised in the latter than the former case.” This is a clear statement of the ideas that (a) the biodiversity of communities is due to niche diversification of the co-occurring species and (b) such diversification will lead to greater community productivity due to more effective resource exploitation.
KeywordsBiomass Migration Microbe Hunt Pleistocene
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