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Linking Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services: From Expert Opinion to Prediction & Application

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Award Year: 
2012
Principal Investigator: 
Bradley Cardinale, University of Michigan
Edward Barbier, University of Wyoming
Associated Program: 

One of the most prominent forms of environmental change in the modern era is the rapid loss in the diversity of genes, species, and biological traits in ecosystems. A consequence of this loss of biodiversity is that natural and managed ecosystems are less efficient in capturing biologically essential resources, which leads to a decline in ecosystem productivity and stability. Many have suggested that this loss of biodiversity may also compromise the goods and services that ecosystems provide to humanity, but direct evidence for this claim is scarce. This is in part due to a lack of clear, quantitative relationships that link biodiversity to services of direct value to society. This Venture team of ecologists and economists will work on a critical component needed for determining the consequences of biodiversity loss: the development of quantitative syntheses assessing the value of genes, species, and biological traits. The group will develop predictive models describing how changes in biodiversity influence five ecosystem services with quantifiable economic value.

Participants: 
Heidi Albers, Oregon State University
Amy Ando, University of Illinois–Urbana–Champaign
Edward Barbier, University of Wyoming
Bradley Cardinale, University of Michigan
David Finnoff, University of Wyoming
Richard Horan, Michigan State University
Bethany Hoye, University of Colorado
Deborah Letourneau, UC–Santa Cruz
Anita Narwani, University of Michigan
Alain Paquette, Universite du Quebec a Montreal
Peter Reich, University of Minnesota