Research NewsEcology

Exploring Biodiversity's Benefits

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  23 Aug 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5278, pp. 1045-1046
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5278.1045


Providence, Rhode Island—In a puzzle dating back to the time of Darwin, ecologists have wondered about diversity's effect on an ecosystem's health. Does it make ecosystems more productive and stable, as some think, or are less diverse ecosystems better off? Recently, however, results produced both in field studies and in mathematical models have been tilting the balance toward the former view. The findings have implications for the management of forests, grazing lands, and other ecosystems.