Research output

Linkages between biodiversity attributes and ecosystem services: A systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article


  • Paula Harrison
  • Pam Berry
  • Gill Simpson
  • John Haslett
  • Malgorzata Blicharska
  • Magda Bucur
  • Robert Dunford
  • Benis Egoh
  • Marina Garcia-Llorente
  • Nicoleta Geamǎnǎ
  • Willemien Geertsema

External Organisations

  • Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • European Commission, Joint Research Centre
  • Sociology of Climate Change and Sustainable Development Research Group, Social Analysis Department, University Carlos III
  • Social-Ecological Systems Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Department of Cell Biology, Division of Animal Structure and Function, University of Salzburg
  • Alterra
  • Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University Centre for the Environment
  • Research Center in Systems Ecology, Ecodiversity and Sustainability, University of Bucharest


Original languageEnglish
JournalEcosystem Services
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 27-Jun-2014


A systematic literature review was undertaken to analyse the linkages between different biodiversity attributes and 11 ecosystem services. The majority of relationships between attributes and ecosystem services cited in the 530 studies were positive. For example, the services of water quality regulation, water flow regulation, mass flow regulation and landscape aesthetics were improved by increases in community and habitat area. Functional traits, such as richness and diversity, also displayed a predominantly positive relationship across the services, most commonly discussed for atmospheric regulation, pest regulation and pollination. A number of studies also discussed a positive correlation with stand age, particularly for atmospheric regulation. Species level traits were found to benefit a number of ecosystem services, with species abundance being particularly important for pest regulation, pollination and recreation, and species
richness for timber production and freshwater fishing. Instances of biodiversity negatively affecting the examined ecosystem services were few in number for all ecosystem services, except freshwater provision. The review showed that ecosystem services are generated from numerous interactions occurring in complex systems. However, improving understanding of at least some of the key relationships between biodiversity and service provision will help guide effective management and protection strategies.
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  • Harrison_etal_2014_EcosystemServices

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