The study examined over 6,200 species from eight taxonomic groups, including insects, birds, and flowering plants.
The worldwide loss of species is sufficiently documented. However, local biodiversity trends in Europe sometimes differ considerably from global patterns, an international research team with the participation of the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Landscape and Landscape Research WSL points out. In particular, the composition of species communities has changed considerably locally. The study, which appears today in the scientific journal “Nature Communications”, has implications for the development of effective conservation strategies.
The global trend seems to be clear: For years, the species diversity among almost all groups of animals and plants has decreased at an alarming rate. “However, at the regional level the picture is more complex – here, local factors such as the loss of rare species and the establishment of new species play a significant role in the overall results,” explains Prof. Dr. Peter Haase, Head of the Department of River Ecology and Conservation at the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt, and he continues, “Ecosystem functions – and the associated benefits for humans – are always related to the respective local diversity and abundance of species, and they cannot easily be scaled ‘upward.’ Therefore, it is essential for us to know the different biodiversity trends in each ecosystem to be able to implement sustainable protection measures.”
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