Biodiversity-ecosystem function research and biodiversity futures: Early bird catches the worm or a day late and a dollar short?

Martin Solan, Jasmin A. Godbold, Amy Symstad, Dan F.B. Flynn, Daniel E. Bunker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Scopus citations


Articulating the appropriate interpretation of biodiversity-ecosystem function research is fundamental to providing a tenable solution to the biodiversity crisis, but the gradual dissemination of results and ideology through the literature is inefficient and frustrates timely application of practical solutions. This chapter summarizes the core biodiversity-ecosystem function (BEF) literature then tracks the sequential flow of information to other scientific disciplines and to end users tasked with managing the environment. It examines how effective the BEF community has been in communicating the science and asks whether the discipline runs the risk of being an independent, primarily academic field that does not directly contribute to environmental policy or impending global scale problems. Despite consensus that biodiversity enhances ecosystem function, adoption of BEF principles by policymakers is lagging. If the benefits of our scientific products are to be realized, the information flow from science to policy needs to be more effectively managed and communicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing
Subtitle of host publicationAn Ecological and Economic Perspective
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191720345
ISBN (Print)9780199547951
StatePublished - Jul 30 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


  • Bibliometric review
  • Biodiversity
  • Citation analysis
  • Ecosystem function
  • Information supply


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