Reintroducing Environmental Change Drivers in Biodiversity–Ecosystem Functioning Research

Frederik De Laender, Jason R. Rohr, Roman Ashauer, Donald J. Baird, Uta Berger, Nico Eisenhauer, Volker Grimm, Udo Hommen, Lorraine Maltby, Carlos J. Meliàn, Francesco Pomati, Ivo Roessink, Viktoriia Radchuk, Paul J. Van den Brink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For the past 20 years, research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (B-EF) has only implicitly considered the underlying role of environmental change. We illustrate that explicitly reintroducing environmental change drivers in B-EF research is needed to predict the functioning of ecosystems facing changes in biodiversity. Next we show how this reintroduction improves experimental control over community composition and structure, which helps to provide mechanistic insight on how multiple aspects of biodiversity relate to function and how biodiversity and function relate in food webs. We also highlight challenges for the proposed reintroduction and suggest analyses and experiments to better understand how random biodiversity changes, as studied by classic approaches in B-EF research, contribute to the shifts in function that follow environmental change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-915
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • biodiversity
  • environmental change
  • food webs
  • modeling
  • richness
  • traits


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