Marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: key patterns and processes in nature (39393)

  • Lindegren, Martin (PI)
  • Maureaud, Aurore Amandine (PhD Student)
  • Maginnis, Neil Richard (PhD Student)
  • Plass-Johnson, Jeremiah Grahm (Project Participant)

Project Details


The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, particularly the stability of ecosystems, has been a topic of considerable scientific debate for decades. Although broad consensus has been reached regarding the positive effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning, a number of important scientific challenges remain unanswered. These primarily concern the shape of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationship, its dependence on the environmental conditions and spatial scale at which we observe these factors and the underlying mechanisms contributing to ecosystem functioning. Our current understanding of these issues relies heavily on theoretical and experimental studies, typically conducted on a narrow range of ecosystems (mainly terrestrial), environmental conditions and spatio-temporal scales. Due to a general lack of observational studies, the degree to which mechanistic theory adequately explains the functioning of natural ecosystems is largely unknown, especially in marine ecosystems encompassing a stunning range of biodiversity, highly variable environmental conditions and vast spatio-temporal scales. Improving this knowledge is fundamental to our understanding of the consequences of global biodiversity loss and its likely severe impacts on marine ecosystems and the essential goods and services they provide to societies worldwide. In this project we will use a unique observational data set on marine fish communities, covering a broad range of spatio-temporal scales across a pronounced natural gradient in biodiversity to investigate the key patterns, processes and underlying mechanisms of the BEF relationship in nature.

The project is funded by a Villum Fonden Young Investigator Grant.

Research area: Marine Populations and Ecosystem Dynamics
Research area: Ecosystem based Marine Management
Effective start/end date01/01/201601/12/2021


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