• A personal note on IGBP and the social sciences

    Humans are an integral component of the Earth system as conceptualised by IGBP. João Morais recalls key milestones in IGBP’s engagement with the social sciences and offers some words of advice for Future Earth.
  • IGBP and Earth observation:
    a co-evolution

    The iconic images of Earth beamed back by the earliest spacecraft helped to galvanise interest in our planet’s environment. The subsequent evolution and development of satellites for Earth observation has been intricately linked with that of IGBP and other global-change research programmes, write Jack Kaye and Cat Downy .

Vive la difference: Plant functional diversity matters to ecosystem processes

Trends in Ecology and Evolution (2001)
Diaz S and Cabido M
Doi: 10.1016/S0169-5347(01)02283-2
Vol 16; Issue 11; pp. 646-655

The links between plant diversity and ecosystem functioning remain highly controversial. There is a growing consensus, however, that functional diversity, or the value and range of species traits, rather than species numbers per se, strongly determines ecosystem functioning. Despite its importance, and the fact that species diversity is often an inadequate surrogate, functional diversity has been studied in relatively few cases. Approaches based on species richness on the one hand, and on functional traits and types on the other, have been extremely productive in recent years, but attempts to connect their findings have been rare. Crossfertilization between these two approaches is a promising way of gaining mechanistic insight into the links between plant diversity and ecosystem processes and contributing to practical management for the conservation of diversity and ecosystem services.

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IGBP closed at the end of 2015. This website is no longer updated.

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