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A global synthesis reveals biodiversity loss as a major driver of ecosystem change

A global synthesis reveals biodiversity loss as a major driver of ecosystem change

Pollution scenarios and anthropogenic warming are familiar examples of human-caused stress on the environment.  But human-driven loss of biodiversity itself robs ecosystems of essential players and services, damaging ecosystem function.  Ecoss research examined the effects of various environmental stressors on plant growth and decomposition, two crucial processes in any ecosystem. Measuring the rate of species loss in different ecosystems showed that greater plant species loss was accompanied by an increased negative impact on plant growth and an alteration in decomposition. The effects of biodiversity loss on biomass were similar to the effects from other environmental stressors, including global warming, pollution, and acid rain.

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