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Links Between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function in the Cape Floristic Region

  • D. M. Richardson
  • R. M. Cowling
  • W. J. Bond
  • W. D. Stock
  • G. W. Davis
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 109)

Abstract

Natural landscapes do not satisfy human requirements for food and fibre, and are being transformed at an increasing rate to make way for intensive agriculture, forestry and other activities. This wave of transformation has increased the rate of reduction in biological diversity at all scales, from genes to landscapes. Other agents of change, including global warming, threaten to accelerate this impoverishment. It has been suggested that this magnitude of loss of biodiversity could threaten the continued functioning of certain vital processes that provide the biophysical foundation for human life. The reasoning behind this prediction is that “biotic” effects could influence the functioning of ecosystems via “ecological” effects. Biotic effects include reductions in the numbers of phenotypes and genotypes per species, species per genus, individuals per population, populations per community and communities per landscape. Ecological effects include reduced variation in age structure and levels of sharing of resources between taxa, fewer taxa in pathways, and fewer pathways for resource transfer (Lamont 1992).

Keywords

Small Mammal Growth Form Ecosystem Function Cape Floristic Region Indigenous Forest 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. M. Richardson
  • R. M. Cowling
  • W. J. Bond
  • W. D. Stock
  • G. W. Davis

There are no affiliations available

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