The biodiversity withinan ecosystem is an important aspect of the understanding the value ofecosystems. Species in rich communities are rare and many endangered speciesoccur mainly in communities of rich species. After many years, it is still hardto explain why some plants are locatedin this ecosystem and are able to adapt, while others regulation ofbiodiversity is still misunderstood. The role of biodiversity in ecosystemfunction is even more obscure and species richness could have important impactson other ecosystems properties and functions.
A relationship betweenbiodiversity and the function of an ecosystem can be measured by the condition of the environment and community compositions. This can be shown by observing the plants and animals resources and the decomposingof organic material into the plantssoil. A study called the BEF experimentstudied the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Sciencetist objective on thisexperiment was to try to look for a resolution on how the variety of differentbreed of plants were able to come together and create a functioning ecosystem.Recent studies before the experiment had strong evidence that ecosystems environmentalfunctions depend on the biodiversity of that ecosystem to perform multiplefunctions.” The effects of biodiversity loss are rapidly seen when multiplefunctions are monitored over longer periods of time and across multiplehabitats, which reflects the ability of more diverse communities to stabilizeprocesses across multiple environmental conditions.”( Biodiversity, Pg 3). The result of this experiment became thatbiodiversity effects in a ecosystemsdoes increase over time and that changingthe biodiversity of the ecosystem can have a big impact.
This issue with this experiment however, wasthat because of the experiment was done in a controlled environment , theresults seemed to be unrealistic and left researchers with still no clear cut answerif biodiversity and ecosystem functioning depend upon one another. The importance ofbiodiversity for ecosystem processesFrom the last experiment,It was clear that research has found that there is an importance ofbiodiversity for a functioning ecosystem, but we do not know how much of animpact it has. Enormous efforts have been put forth to try to draw valid conclusions on whether plantdiversity influences ecosystem functioning.
Rapid loss of species has led ecologist to investigate importance ofbiodiversity for the functioning on an ecosystem. Scientist and Ecologist fordecades have been aware that plant communities may have a big impact on therate of which a ecosystem excels. This assumption is made for both rich andpoor plant communities. This is becausespecies traits have enabled them to respond to their environment is oftenlinked to the trait influence ecosystemfunctioning. Scientist are now using experiments in which the diversity of theecosystem varies in random planet of the ecosystem to try to get a morerealistic answer to attempt to answer how plant biodiversity influences ecosystem functioning? The point ofthis experiment was to observe if species were lost in both rich and poor environmentsas a cause of ecosystem functioning, thus using more of the biodiversity of the species for ecosystem functioning. ” Despite limitation,this single experimental approach for studying how biodiversity loss affectsecosystems has often been advocated and implements at the expense of othersapproaches: this limits understanding of how species losses and gains operatein concert to influence ecosystems”( Ecosystems, Pg 3). This conclude tosciencetist that yes biodiversity is linked to ecosystem functioning, howeverit broad to conclude because these experiments do mimic actions of a real ecosystems when species are loss or their arenew species are introduced. The importance ofbiodiversity with other ecosystems is still unclear.
Primary productivity incertain ecosystems have shown loss of plants species. Most this evidence isstill not big enough to make assumption true because biodiversity-ecosystemfunctioning patterns remain challenging.This is because the factors that change in these relations is still poorlymisunderstood. Another experimentresearchers did was studying a forest to try to get more clarity on thisdebated on the linkage of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. A forest with26 different ecosystem functions in Europe was measured by the gradient of itstree species richness.
They concluded that ” Despite considerable variation inspecies richness effects across the continent, we found a tendency forstronger B-EF relations in drierclimates as well as in areas with longer growing seasons and more functionallydivers tree species”(Trees, Par 2). This can be looked at as true because drierplants have been known to receive less water but more sun. So these types ofplant rely on the underground nutrients they receive through their roots to aidin there photosynthesis so they become less dependent on water and more on deadorganic material. Effects of dead organic material is a crucial process drivingC and N cycles and ultimately productivity in a ecosystem.
Regulation of plant richnessRelationship between speciesrichness and nutrients availability is important since nutrient availability isunintentionally by environmental problems. This type of richness is not onlysubjected to just natural plants, but agriculture as well. The agroecosystemplant diversification has show to enhcane ecological pest regulation. Thisthus, increasing the richness of the soil properties and plant community composition. Plants have twotypes of rochness; Low- stratum and highstratum. Lower stratum plant species are relative to the abundance of promoteddiversity of organic inputs which affect more of soil composition andmicroorganisms. High stratum plants do not have as much richness as low stratumplant species because their richness has direct connection to the soil where arehigh stratum get theirs last because they are on tree tops or the highest levelof vegetation. The soil community iscomplex and diverse with an estimated amount of billions of microorganisms thatmake up the entire ecosystem.
Researchers have still not found a ” complete”understanding to this hidden biodiversity underneath the soil, but there hasbeen more research efforts being made to answer how these organism survive andlive. Agricultural practices likedrainage, can conserve many of the richness of the ecosystem. It is believedthat soil biodiversity can be used as a key to inquire about how bad plantcommunities adapt to the global change. Plant species release soil-bornechemicals help release all excessive chemicals out of the soils as like a drain.This then acts as a natural borne recycle for soil communities to keep richnessfresh and new. These spatial patterns of soil recycling reshape the biodiversity of environmentalfactors and give regulation the ecosystem functions and structure. Howeverthere is data that suggest that this type of soil recycling varies across biomes. ” Clearrelationships between latitude andspecies richness do not exist below ground as they do for many taxa above ground.
This lack of coupling suggestthat patterns of aboveground and belowground diversity are governed bydifferent mechanisms which are also scale dependent”(Belowground pg 2). Alsosoil is affected by factors of climate, pH and nutrient content. As a result ofthese factors soil abiotic properties and nutrient content are not evenlydistributed in the space of the soil making the below ground compositions veryfragmentary. Highest species richness isfound at intermediate level of biomass production and set by the availabilityof the most limiting nutrient. Richness depends upon biomass production, aboveground vegetation, and the identity of limiting nutrients.
The concept ofrichness in a community immediately gets tied to the opinion that a largerdiversity of species enhance stability. This is not entirely true rather therichness is defined in how the ecosystem is able to sustain all of the vastdiversity. The effects of environmental impacts on biodiversity and ecosystemfunctioning is much stronger than the diversity impacts ecosystem functioningfrom different species.
Researchers havebeen trying to understand how changes in species number and compositioninfluence the ecosystem functioning. Sofar the understanding is that there is limited information that can eithersupport or unsupport the claim that more biodiversity correlates directly toincreasing or decreasing the richness of a ecosystem; and how it functions. Wecan use evidence from palaeoecological microfossils which could give moreclarity.
Microfossil records from deep sea are particular good evidence foreither side of the argument. These organism are useful as fossil records due totheir high abundance in large spatial and temporal coverage. Because of thisthere has been increasing attention being place on the palaeoecological recordsto give a guideline on integration across the ecology of the ecosystems and how they function. Naturalconservation in agricultural and urban landscapesNaturalconservation in agricultural landscapes focuses on the examination of natureconservation efforts on ecosystems. These conservation efforts have different effects depending on thesetting. Investigatingwhat primary factors control species richness in different diversities may helpresearchers understand why many natureconservation efforts fail.
Conductedfield experiments have tested the hypothesis that regulation of herbivorouspest in urban landscapes can be enhanced with forbs that provide floralresources for adult natural enemies. This is called for poor regulation of herbivorous pest because natural prey and outbreaks by human cropping systems which have causeecological imbalances. The difference with urban landscapes compared to agricultural landscapes is that theyare more prone to outbreak of herbivorous pest , compared to a lesserdisturbance in urban landscapes that have a stable environment for safety of natural enemies.
In this study researchers evaluated potentialfor conservation of the pest; abagworm, and which environmentagricultural or urban are more affectedin their landscapes by this animal. The bag worm was then attacked by parasites in bothenvironments and the observation was where there bagworm would go for shelterof these pesticide sprayings. This supported the researchers hypothesis that “parasitism rates of bagworm were 71% higher i shrubs that were surrounded by flowering forbs than inshrubs that like flowers”( Pesticides , part 2). This shows that because of thelandscapes in agricultural setting because they have more vegetation in regardsto shading of pedals on plants, they are more prone receiving animals like thisbecause they have flowering heads. Sothere are many aspects that can give readers a bias opinion on whether or notbiodiversity has a direct effect on ecosystem functioning.
It has been shown inthis essay that there is research that you can conclude the biodiversity doeshave a large impact on the stability of that particular area. This can alsobecome a problem because, areas with more diversity can make the also not haveany benefit on the ecosystem and make the ecosystem more complexed.