Ecology and Evolution Seminar Series

Monday, May 23, 2016 at 10.30 am

Venue: Dasheri Auditorium, NCBS

As part of the Ecology and Evolution Seminar series, the second research talk is by:

Speaker:  Professor Shahid Naeem
Professor of Ecology
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B)
Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability
Deputy Editor, Science Advances
University of Columbai, NY, USA

Host: Dr. Deepa Agashe


The multiple dimensions of biodiversity loss: Examples from a temperate forest, Alaskan tundra, and the avifauna of the Solomon Islands.


Biodiversity is a multidimensional construct, but it is rarely treated as such.  Most often, we use the single metric of species richness to quantify biodiversity loss though it is well known that functional, phylogenetic, and other dimensions of biodiversity can be equally important.  We use structural equation modeling to explore how the loss of diversity in multiple dimensions provides novel insights into the way ecosystems function.  We provide three examples; (1) the consequences of herbivory on understory vegetation in a hardwood forest, (2) the consequences of nitrogen enrichment on arctic tundra vegetation, and (3) the consequences of biogeography on the fragility of bird communities in the Solomon Islands. These studies support the argument that the well documented, often adverse consequences of biodiversity loss on ecosystem functions and services are likely to be more complex than prevailing unidimensional studies have proven.