Biodiversity-Ecosystem Function (BEF) Theory and Wetland Restoration

  • James Doherty
  • Joy Zedler
Living reference work entry


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 restorationists to apply BEF theory by establishing more diverse biotic communities to increase ecosystem function.


Ecosystem Function Wetland Restoration Emergent Macrophyte Complementarity Effect Wetland Experiment 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of Wisconsinn, MadisonMadisonUSA

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