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Trends Ecol Evol. 2008 Aug;23(8):414-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2008.05.003. Epub 2008 Jun 24.

Advancing realism in biodiversity research.

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  • Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, 10th Floor, Schermerhorn Extension, MC5557, 1200 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027, USA. sn2121@columbia.edu


Numerous experimental studies suggest that biodiversity loss is detrimental to ecosystem functions such as production and nutrient cycling. These experiments, however, have been criticized as unrealistic because they use combinations of species that do not resemble what is observed in nature. Bracken et al. take a novel approach, using species combinations observed in the field and computer simulations to explore many other combinations. Their approach represents a significant advance in making biodiversity research more realistic.

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