Biodiversity indicators based on functional diversity
From a perspective of ecosystem functioning, not only species diversity is important, but also the functional diversity within communities, based on functional traits of species (i.e. properties of species that affect their performance or function within ecosystems). A better understanding of how functional diversity across plant communities is influenced by environmental change is a prerequisite for predicting changes in ecosystem functioning and for cost-efficient management strategies. By using traits of known importance to ecosystem functions, shifts in trait composition within communities can be used as indicators (proxies) for changes in ecosystem functions. This will contribute to a fine tuning the ecological basis of nature policy to new scientific insight.
The aims of this project are:
- To quantify the spatial and temporal variation in functional diversity (for a selection of traits);
- To quantify the main environmental drivers for functional diversity;
- To explore the feasibility of diversity indicators on the basis of functional diversity (for applications in nature management and policy, complementary to indicators based on species diversity).
We will use an eco-informatics approach by combining recent trait databases with the Dutch National Vegetation Database, containing over 500.000 geo-referenced site descriptions of species composition and habitat characteristics, this can be done in a way that could not be achieved before.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/15 → 31/12/18|