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Trends Ecol Evol. 2018 Mar;33(3):186-197. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2017.12.007. Epub 2018 Jan 8.

Energy Flux: The Link between Multitrophic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning.

Author information

1
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig, Germany; Institute of Biology, Leipzig University, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig, Germany; Institute of Landscape Ecology, University of Münster, Heisenbergstrasse 2, 48149 Münster, Germany. Electronic address: andrew.barnes@idiv.de.
2
Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Bern, Altenbergrain 21, 3013 Bern, Switzerland.
3
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, East Boothbay, ME, 04544, USA.
4
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig, Germany; Institute of Biology, Leipzig University, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
5
Institute of Landscape Ecology, University of Münster, Heisenbergstrasse 2, 48149 Münster, Germany.
6
Department of Zoology and Biodiversity Research Centre, Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada.
7
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Biometris, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands.
8
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig, Germany; Institute of Ecology, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Dornburger-Str. 159, 07743 Jena, Germany.

Abstract

Relating biodiversity to ecosystem functioning in natural communities has become a paramount challenge as links between trophic complexity and multiple ecosystem functions become increasingly apparent. Yet, there is still no generalised approach to address such complexity in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) studies. Energy flux dynamics in ecological networks provide the theoretical underpinning of multitrophic BEF relationships. Accordingly, we propose the quantification of energy fluxes in food webs as a powerful, universal tool for understanding ecosystem functioning in multitrophic systems spanning different ecological scales. Although the concept of energy flux in food webs is not novel, its application to BEF research remains virtually untapped, providing a framework to foster new discoveries into the determinants of ecosystem functioning in complex systems.

KEYWORDS:

ecological stoichiometry; ecosystem multifunctionality; food web; interaction network; metabolic theory; trophic cascade

PMID:
29325921
PMCID:
PMC6181201
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2017.12.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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