Title

Extinction and Ecosystem Function in the Marine Benthos

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Publication Title

Science

Volume Number

306

Issue Number

5699

DOI

10.1126/science.1103960

Abstract

Rapid changes in biodiversity are occurring globally, yet the ecological impacts of diversity loss are poorly understood. Here we use data from marine invertebrate communities to parameterize models that predict how extinctions will affect sediment bioturbation, a process vital to the persistence of aquatic communities. We show that species extinction is generally expected to reduce bioturbation, but the magnitude of reduction depends on how the functional traits of individual species covary with their risk of extinction. As a result, the particular cause of extinction and the order in which species are lost ultimately govern the ecosystem-level consequences of biodiversity loss.

ISSN

0036-8075

First Page

1177

Last Page

1180

Link Out URL

https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1103960

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