Research Article

Impacts of Biodiversity Loss on Ocean Ecosystem Services

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Science  03 Nov 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5800, pp. 787-790
DOI: 10.1126/science.1132294

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  1. Fig. 1.

    Marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in controlled experiments. Shown are response ratios [ln(high/low diversity) ±95% confidence interval (CI)] of ecosystem processes to experimental manipulations of species diversity of (A) primary producers (plants and algae), and (B) consumers (herbivores and predators). Increased diversity significantly enhanced all examined ecosystem functions (0.05 > P > 0.0001). The number of studies is given in parentheses. (C) Genetic diversity increased the recovery of seagrass ecosystems after overgrazing (solid circles) and climatic extremes (open circles). (D) Diet diversity enhanced reproductive capacity in zooplankton over both the average- and best-performing monocultures.

  2. Fig. 2.

    Regional loss of species diversity and ecosystem services in coastal oceans. (A) Trends of collapse (circles, >90% decline) and extinction (triangles, 100% decline) of species over the past 1000 years. Means and standard errors are shown (n = 12 regions in Europe, North America, and Australia). (B) Percentage of collapsed (circles) and extinct (triangles) fisheries in relation to regional fish species richness. Significant linear regression lines are depicted (P < 0.01). (C to E) Relative losses or gains in (C) biodiversity, (D) ecosystem services, and (E) risks that are associated with the loss of services. The number of studies is given in parentheses; error bars indicate standard errors.

  3. Fig. 3.

    Global loss of species from LMEs. (A) Trajectories of collapsed fish and invertebrate taxa over the past 50 years (diamonds, collapses by year; triangles, cumulative collapses). Data are shown for all (black), species-poor (<500 species, blue), and species-rich (>500 species, red) LMEs. Regression lines are best-fit power models corrected for temporal autocorrelation. (B) Map of all 64 LMEs, color-coded according to their total fish species richness. (C) Proportion of collapsed fish and invertebrate taxa, (D) average productivity of noncollapsed taxa (in percent of maximum catch), and (E) average recovery of catches (in percent of maximum catch) 15 years after a collapse in relation to LME total fish species richness. (F) Number of fished taxa as a function of total species richness. (G) Coefficient of variation in total catch and (H) total catch per year as a function of the number of fished taxa per LME.

  4. Fig. 4.

    Recovery of diversity and ecosystem services in marine protected areas and fisheries closures. Shown are the response ratios (inside versus outside the reserve or before and after protection ±95% CI) of (A) species diversity and (B to D) ecosystem services that correspond to fisheries productivity, ecosystem stability, and tourism revenue, respectively. Positive values identify increases in the reserve relative to the control; error bars not intersecting zero indicate statistical significance (P < 0.05). Solid circles represent unweighted averages; open circles are weighted by sample size (see supporting online methods for details). The number of studies is shown in parentheses. CPUE, catch per unit of effort.