Extinction and ecosystem function in the marine benthos

Martin Solan, Bradley J. Cardinale, Amy L. Downing, Katharina A.M. Engelhardt, Jennifer L. Ruesink, Diane S. Srivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

609 Scopus citations


Rapid changes in biodiversity are occurring globally, yet the ecological impacts of diversity loss are poorly understood. Here we use data from marine invertebrate communities to parameterize models that predict how extinctions will affect sediment bioturbation, a process vital to the persistence of aquatic communities. We show that species extinction is generally expected to reduce bioturbation, but the magnitude of reduction depends on how the functional traits of individual species covary with their risk of extinction. As a result, the particular cause of extinction and the order in which species are lost ultimately govern the ecosystem-level consequences of biodiversity loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1177-1180
Number of pages4
Issue number5699
StatePublished - Nov 12 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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