Global study: Wild megafauna shape ecosystem properties

# · ✸ 43 · 💬 0 · 14 days ago · phys.org · wglb · 📷
One of the key findings of the studies is that megafauna promote ecosystem diversity by increasing the structural variability in the vegetation. "The positive impact on variability in vegetation structure is particularly noteworthy, given that environmental heterogeneity is known as a universal driver of biodiversity. While our study mostly looked at the impact of megafauna on small scales, our findings suggest that they promote biodiversity even on the landscape level," says Aarhus University Ph.D. student Jonas Trepel, who led the study. Importance of ecosystem biodiversity in responding to global change. The identified general importance of large herbivores for ecosystem functioning implies that important functions are missing due to the loss of wild megafauna. Given the important functions that large animals have on ecosystems and their biodiversity, the researchers conclude that it is crucial to not just protect the few remaining megafauna species, but also to reestablish megafauna populations as part of restoration efforts to achieve positive outcomes for Earth's biosphere, not least under the increasingly unprecedented global environmental conditions. More information: Meta-analysis shows that wild large herbivores shape ecosystem properties and promote spatial heterogeneity, Nature Ecology & Evolution. Citation: Global study: Wild megafauna shape ecosystem properties retrieved 11 February 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2024-02-global-wild-megafauna-ecosystem-properties.
Global study: Wild megafauna shape ecosystem properties



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