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Linking the influence and dependence of people on biodiversity across scales

Nature volume 546, pages 6572 (01 June 2017) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Biodiversity enhances many of nature's benefits to people, including the regulation of climate and the production of wood in forests, livestock forage in grasslands and fish in aquatic ecosystems. Yet people are now driving the sixth mass extinction event in Earth's history. Human dependence and influence on biodiversity have mainly been studied separately and at contrasting scales of space and time, but new multiscale knowledge is beginning to link these relationships. Biodiversity loss substantially diminishes several ecosystem services by altering ecosystem functioning and stability, especially at the large temporal and spatial scales that are most relevant for policy and conservation.

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Acknowledgements

F.I. acknowledges support from the US National Science Foundation (award number 1234162). A.G. is supported by a Killam Research Fellowship and a Canada Research Chair. M.L. is grateful for funding from the Laboratoires d'Excellence programme (Project TULIP, grant ANR-10-LABX-41) and an Advanced Grant (BIOSTASES project, grant agreement number 666971), funded by the European Research Council under Horizon 2020, the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. S.D. acknowledges support from Fondo para la Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (FONCyT), Secretaría de Investigación, Ciencia y Técnica (SECyT) at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) of Argentina. D.W. acknowledges support from the EU BiodivERsA Forecasting Future Invasions and their Impacts (FFII) programme and the Swedish Research Council.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA.

    • Forest Isbell
    •  & Jane Cowles
  2. Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1B1, Canada.

    • Andrew Gonzalez
  3. Centre for Biodiversity Theory and Modelling, Theoretical and Experimental Ecology Station, CNRS and Paul Sabatier University, 09200 Moulis, France.

    • Michel Loreau
  4. Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal (IMBIV–CONICET) and FCEFyN, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Casilla de Correo 495, 5000 Córdoba, Argentina.

    • Sandra Díaz
  5. Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3RB, UK.

    • Andy Hector
    •  & Lindsay A. Turnbull
  6. Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.

    • Georgina M. Mace
  7. Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 901 83, Umeå, Sweden.

    • David A. Wardle
  8. Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University, 639798, Singapore.

    • David A. Wardle
  9. Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada.

    • Mary I. O'Connor
    •  & Patrick L. Thompson
  10. Biodiversity Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada.

    • Mary I. O'Connor
    •  & Patrick L. Thompson
  11. Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, Washington DC 20013-7012, USA.

    • J. Emmett Duffy
  12. Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Secretariat, United Nations Campus, Bonn 53113, Germany.

    • Anne Larigauderie

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Forest Isbell.

Reviewer Information Nature thanks L. Gamfeldt, A. Kinzig and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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