By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Ecology, Environment & Conservation -- Investigators publish new report on Ecology and Evolution. According to news originating from Paris, France , by VerticalNews correspondents, research stated, "The majority of species in ecosystems are rare, but the ecosystem consequences of losing rare species are poorly known. To understand how rare species may influence ecosystem functioning, this study quantifies the contribution of species based on their relative level of rarity to community functional diversity using a trait-based approach." Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Natural History Museum , "Given that rarity can be defined in several different ways, we use four different definitions of rarity: abundance (mean and maximum), geographic range, and habitat specificity. We find that rarer species contribute to functional diversity when rarity is defined by maximum abundance, geographic range, and habitat specificity. However, rarer species are functionally redundant when rarity is defined by mean abundance. Furthermore, when using abundance-weighted analyses, we find that rare species typically contribute significantly less to functional diversity than common species due to their low abundances. These results suggest that rare species have the potential to play an important role in ecosystem functioning, either by offering novel contributions to functional diversity or via functional redundancy depending on how rare species are defined. Yet, these contributions are likely to be greatest if the abundance of rare species increases due to environmental change." According to the news editors, the research concluded: "We argue that given the paucity of data on rare species, understanding the contribution of rare species to community functional diversity is an important first step to understanding the potential role of rare species in ecosystem functioning." For more information on this research see: The importance of rare species: a trait-based assessment of rare species contributions to functional diversity and possible ecosystem function in tall-grass prairies. Ecology and Evolution , 2014;4(1):104-112. Ecology and Evolution can be contacted at: Wiley-Blackwell, 111 River St , Hoboken 07030-5774, NJ, USA. (Wiley-Blackwell - www.wiley.com/ ; Ecology and Evolution - onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/ (ISSN)2045-7758) The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from M. Jain , Museum Natl Hist Nat, F-75231 Paris, France . Additional authors for this research include D.F.B. Flynn , C.M. Prager , G.M. Hart , C.M. DeVan , F.S. Ahrestani , M.I. Palmer , D.E. Bunker , J.M.H. Knops , C.F. Jouseau and S. Naeem . Keywords for this news article include: Paris, France , Europe , Ecology and Evolution Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC
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