The Cardinale paper begins by explaining the importance of biodiversity in our ecosystem. Biodiversity is the “variety of life, including variation among genes, species and functional traits.” Having biodiversity simply allows for more functions and services of the ecosystem to exist and benefit us humans and the environment that surrounds us. The authors then go onto state that humans are “dismantling the Earth’s ecosystems” by lessening biodiversity. The authors list six explicit reasons why we need biodiversity in our ecosystems in order to maximize the potential benefits.
1. Less biodiversity = less efficiency of basic ecological functions (capture resources, produce biomass, decompose, etc.)
2. More biodiversity = more stability of ecosystem over time
3. Less biodiversity = greater acceleration of change of environment
4. More biodiversity = more productivity
5. Less diversity among trophic levels changes the ecosystem more radically than less diversity within trophic levels.
6. Less biodiversity can lead to extinction of organisms and can affect the functions of the ecosystem.
Simply looking at these consensus statements, one can agree that biodiversity plays a fairly major role in regulating the balance of these ecosystems. It gives a more than marginal benefit to the functions and services that an ecosystem provides and should be preserved.
There is decades of research that went into concluding some of the effects and concerns dealing with biodiversity loss, BEF, and BES. With most of the basic research done already, it allows for scientists to try and delve deeper and attempt to understand more about how humans are affecting the surrounding ecosystems. Learning more allows for people who don’t care as much about biodiversity, BEF and BES to create a cost benefit analysis in their heads to better understand. Normal folk can think if the marginal cost of maintaining biodiversity outweighs the marginal benefit that these ecosystems incur for our society. If more people feel that the benefit is higher then they can begin to take steps to mitigate any damages and ameliorate the situation as best as possible. The decades of research and research to come, play a large role in shaping the public opinion surrounding these concepts in order to protect nature and human society from biodiversity loss and the effects generated from it.