Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Ecol Evol. 2011 Mar;26(3):124-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2010.12.004. Epub 2010 Dec 31.

Dark diversity: shedding light on absent species.

Author information

1
Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Lai 40, Tartu 51005, Estonia. meelis.partel@ut.ee

Abstract

Ecological theory and nature conservation have traditionally relied solely on observed local diversity. In this review, we recommend including those species that are absent from an ecosystem but which belong to its species pool; that is, all species in the region that can potentially inhabit those particular ecological conditions. We call the set of absent species 'dark diversity'. Relating local and dark diversities enables biodiversity comparisons between regions, ecosystems and taxonomic groups, and the evaluation of the roles of local and regional processes in ecological communities. Dark diversity can also be used to counteract biodiversity loss and to estimate the restoration potential of ecosystems. We illustrate the dark diversity concept by globally mapping plant dark diversity and the local:dark diversity ratio.

Comment in

PMID:
21195505
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2010.12.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center