Natural communities, complex and context-dependent as they like to be, make it hard for ecologists to reach consensus about even the most fundamental questions. But, although a rare case, this IS sometimes possible, and scientist can get together and send out a loud and clear message to the public and decision makers. In a recent article published in Nature, B. Cardinale and collegues (with Diane included!), were able to summarize the evidence from the last 20 years of research on the practical consequences of biodiversity loss. Although we still have information and policy gaps to fill, in a nutshell, less biodiversity translates into less effective ecosystem functioning and services.
Oh stability and diversity, one day we’ll figure you out. This recent study by Miller and terHost looked at bacteria, ciliates, protozoa and rotifers in our Lab’s study organism’s cousins: pitcher plants. Top-down and bottom up forces seem to be switching roles shaping communities as succession takes place. Once agaian, the only constant trend is change!