Moving species redundancy toward a more predictive framework

Blaine D. Griffen, Daniel Spooner, Amanda C. Spivak, Andrew M. Kramer, Alyson E. Santoro, Noreen E. Kelly

Full Citation: Blaine D. Griffen, Daniel Spooner, Amanda C. Spivak, Andrew M. Kramer, Alyson E. Santoro, Noreen E. Kelly. 2010. Moving species redundancy toward a more predictive framework, p. 30-46. In P.F. Kemp [ed.], Eco-DAS VIII Symposium Proceedings. ASLO. [doi:10.4319/ecodas.2010.978-0-9845591-1-4.30]

ABSTRACT: Human activities are driving rapid changes in species diversity in a wide range of habitats globally. These changes in species diversity raise questions about the ability of altered systems to continue to offer valuable ecosystem services. Maintenance of ecosystem services under changing biodiversity depends largely on the ability of persisting species to fill the functional gaps left by species in decline, and thus on the ecological or functional redundancy of species. Previous work suggests that the concept of species redundancy holds little applied value because, among other reasons, this concept is highly context dependent. Our goal in this chapter is to demonstrate a conceptual framework in which the prevalence and importance of redundancy is examined across example environmental and biological gradients to determine conditions or situations in which redundancy should play a significant role. By exploring general conditions that should elevate the importance or prevalence of redundancy, we hope to demonstrate that this concept can be used predictively, despite its context-dependent nature.