The desire to stop the current dramatic loss of biodiversity has been a major stimulus for many vegetation ecologists to unravel the mechanisms responsible for the coexistence of species. After the Rio Janeiro Convention many ecologists were convinced that nature conservation would gain strong societal support if they could prove that the loss of species would have important negative effects on the ecosystem functions that are relevant to society. I conclude that in order to understand such possible effects, it is necessary to analyse the effects of individual species on those ecosystem processes that we consider to be relevant in the context of specific questions. The great challenge for the near future is to scale the effects of plant species on their local environment up to the level of the whole planet, so that we learn about possible feedbacks that might regulate or destabilize those characteristics of the globe that are essential to our society.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of Vegetation Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
- different rooting depths