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We explore the issues relevant to those types of ecosystems containing new combinations of species that arise through human action, environmental change, and the impacts of the deliberate and inadvertent introduction of species from other regions. Novel ecosystems (also termed 'emerging ecosystems') result when species occur in combinations and relative abundances that have not occurred previously within a given biome. Key characteristics are novelty, in the form of new species combinations and the potential for changes in ecosystem functioning, and human agency, in that these ecosystems are the result of deliberate or inadvertent human action. As more of the Earth becomes transformed by human actions, novel ecosystems increase in importance, but are relatively little studied. Either the degradation or invasion of native or 'wild' ecosystems or the abandonment of intensively managed systems can result in the formation of these novel systems. Important considerations are whether these new systems are persistent and what values they may have. It is likely that it may be very difficult or costly to return such systems to their previous state, and hence consideration needs to be given to developing appropriate management goals and approaches.  相似文献
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Ecosystem nutrient use efficiency–the ratio of net primary productivity to soil nutrient supply–is an integrative measure of ecosystem functioning. High productivity and nutrient retention in natural systems are frequently attributed to high species diversity, even though some single-species systems can be highly productive and effective at resource capture. We investigated the effects of both individual species and life-form diversity on ecosystem nutrient use efficiency using model tropical ecosystems comprised of monocultures of three tree species and polycultures in which each of the tree species was coplanted with species of two additional life forms. Tree species significantly influenced nutrient use efficiency by whole ecosystems in monocultures; however, in polycultures, the additional life forms interacted with the influence exerted by the dominant tree. Furthermore, the presence of the additional life forms significantly increased nutrient uptake and uptake efficiency, but in only two of the three systems and 2 of the 4 years of the study period. These results indicate that the effect of life-form diversity on ecosystem functioning is not constant and that there may be temporal shifts in the influence exerted by different components of the community. Furthermore, although species (and life forms) exerted considerable influence on ecosystem nutrient use efficiency, this efficiency was most closely related to soil nutrient availability. These findings demonstrate that ecosystem nutrient use efficiency is an outcome not only of the characteristics of the species or life forms that comprise the system but also of factors that affect soil nutrient supply. The results argue against the simple upward scaling of nutrient use efficiency from leaves and plants to ecosystems. Received 29 March 2000; accepted 27 April 2001.  相似文献
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Plant or community longevity can strongly influence soil fertility, yet it is seldom among the functional traits considered in studies of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. For 11 years we tracked the influences of plant longevity, life-form richness, and tree species identity on 12 soil chemical properties in model ecosystems on an allophanic Andisol in the humid lowlands of Costa Rica. The design employed three levels of plant longevity: 1 year and 4 years (trees cut without biomass removal and replanted to same species), and uncut; two levels of life-form diversity (tree alone, or tree plus palm plus giant perennial herb); and three eudicot, non-nitrogen (N)-fixing tree species. The site’s Andisol proved remarkably resistant to treatment-induced loss of fertility. Although the magnitude of changes was low, most properties declined during the early phases of plant growth, then stabilized or increased. The greatest declines occurred in stands of shortest life span, where organic matter inputs were low and leaching rates were high. In contrast, massive depositions of organic matter every 4 years sustained or augmented surface-soil cation concentrations, pH, organic carbon (SOC), and extractable phosphorus (P). An increase in diversity from one life form to three led to more SOC and calcium (Ca), whereas potassium (K) decreased due to a species effect: high K uptake by the giant herb. The most notable tree-species effects concerned P: It increased under the species that had the highest litterfall and may facilitate apatite weathering; it decreased under the species of highest tissue-N concentrations. Through its effects on soil exposure and organic matter returns, plant longevity exerted greater influence on more soil properties than either diversity or species identity.  相似文献
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