From the Literature

Biodiversity change is uncoupled from species richness trends: Consequences for conservation and monitoring
Helmut Hillebrand et al., 2017. Journal of Applied Ecology 55:169–184 (2018 – published online in 2017) Full text available. PDF ” Temporal trends in species richness are insufficient to capture key changes in biodiversity in changing environments. In fact, reductions in environmental quality can lead to transient increases in species richness if immigration or extinction has different temporal dynamics. Thus, biodiversity monitoring programmes need to go beyond analyses of trends in richness in favour of more meaningful assessments of biodiversity change.”

From Influential conservation ecology papers of 2017:

More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas
Caspar A. Hallmann et al., 2017 in Plos One “Our analysis estimates a seasonal decline of 76%, and mid-summer decline of 82% in flying insect biomass over the 27 years of study. We show that this decline is apparent regardless of habitat type, while changes in weather, land use, and habitat characteristics cannot explain this overall decline.”

Soil networks become more connected and take up more carbon as nature restoration progresses
Elly Morriën et al., Nature Communications 8, 2017
In mid- and long-term abandoned field soil, carbon uptake by fungi increases without an increase in fungal biomass or shift in bacterial-to-fungal ratio. The implication of our findings is that during nature restoration the efficiency of nutrient cycling and carbon uptake can increase by a shift in fungal composition and/or fungal activity. Therefore, we propose that relationships between soil food web structure and carbon cycling in soils need to be reconsidered.

Biodiversity effects in the wild are common and as strong as key drivers of productivity
J. Emmett Duffy et al., Nature 549, 261–264 2017 “that biomass production increases with species richness in a wide range of wild taxa and ecosystems. In fact, after controlling for environmental covariates, increases in biomass with biodiversity are stronger in nature than has previously been documented in experiments and comparable to or stronger than the effects of other well-known drivers of productivity, including climate and nutrient availability.”


Loss of habitats and local species extinctions
Science News July 25, 2016, commenting on a study reported in Nature Communications
John M. Halley et al. Dynamics of extinction debt across five taxonomic groups. Nature Communications, 2016; 7: 12283 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12283