Consequences of current biodiversity changes for ecosystems and society
The topic area “Consequences of current biodiversity changes for ecosystems and society” focuses on the environmental implications of changes in biodiversity and community composition, which are described in the chapter “Trends & direct drivers of biodiversity change”.
Biodiversity is the basis of many ecosystem functions and services and enhances stability and resilience, i.e. the adaptability of our ecosystems. In this context, changes in biodiversity have impacts at different spatial and temporal scales. In addition, potential trade-offs between different functions may occur if changes have a positive effect on one ecosystem function but a negative one on another. Given all these factors, it is generally difficult to predict the impact of biodiversity changes on an ecosystem. Biodiversity conservation measures have specific impacts on ecosystem functions and services as well. These measures can be synergistic, but in some cases they can also contradict each other and lead to conflicting goals.
This topic area compiles an overview of the current state of knowledge on these effects and their scale dependencies based on international and “gray” literature relevant Germany.
Furthermore, societal feedback effects are addressed. Long-term adaptation to biodiversity change or loss of experience with rich biodiversity can lead to societal habituation that impedes the necessary transformation of our land use and economic practices.