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How can biodiversity-ecosystem function research (BEF) be used to inform ecosystem managers and policy-makers?

Ecosystem researchers currently do different types of BEF research. How can these studies be used in policymaking? A recent analysis with involvement of Prof. Nina Buchmann from ETH Zurich and member of PSC came up with recommendations:

  • In one type of BEF studies, the researchers highly control species composition on a very small spatial scale. These studies are best able to provide general insights into mechanisms and to inform the management of species-poor and highly managed systems such as croplands, plantations, and the restoration of heavily degraded ecosystems.
  • Small-scale observational studies, and species removal and addition studies allow for direct predictions of the impacts of species loss in specific semi-natural ecosystems.
  • Large-scale uncontrolled studies may best inform landscape-scale management and national-scale policy.

Source: Loos, J., Barnes, A. D., Batáry, P., Bianchi, F. J. J. A, Buchmann, N. et al. (2019). Chapter Ten – Transferring biodiversity-ecosystem function research to the management of“real-world” ecosystems. Advances in Ecological Research, 61: 323-356. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.aecr.2019.06.009

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