Linkages between biodiversity attributes and ecosystem services: A systematic review

P.A. Harrison, P.M. Berry, G. Simpson, J.R. Haslett, M. Blicharska, M. Bucur, R. Dunford, B. Egoh, M. Garcia-llorente, N. Geamănă, W. Geertsema, E. Lommelen, L. Meiresonne, F. Turkelboom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

318 Citations (Scopus)


A systematic literature review was undertaken to analyse the linkages between different biodiversity attributes and 11 ecosystem services. The majority of relationships between attributes and ecosystem services cited in the 530 studies were positive. For example, the services of water quality regulation, water flow regulation, mass flow regulation and landscape aesthetics were improved by increases in community and habitat area. Functional traits, such as richness and diversity, also displayed a predominantly positive relationship across the services, most commonly discussed for atmospheric regulation, pest regulation and pollination. A number of studies also discussed a positive correlation with stand age, particularly for atmospheric regulation. Species level traits were found to benefit a number of ecosystem services, with species abundance being particularly important for pest regulation, pollination and recreation, and species richness for timber production and freshwater fishing. Instances of biodiversity negatively affecting the examined ecosystem services were few in number for all ecosystem services, except freshwater provision. The review showed that ecosystem services are generated from numerous interactions occurring in complex systems. However, improving understanding of at least some of the key relationships between biodiversity and service provision will help guide effective management and protection strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-203
JournalEcosystem Services
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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