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Jussi T. Eronen
Group Leader
University of Helsinki


Jason J. Head
Group Leader
University of Cambridge


A. Michelle Lawing
Group Leader
Texas A&M University


Johannes Müller
Museum für Naturkunde


Gregory P. Dietl
Steering Group
Paleontological Research Institute (PRI)


Mikael Fortelius
Steering Group
University of Helsinki


P. David Polly
Steering Group
Indiana University


Christoph Scheidegger
Steering Group
Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL


Nils Chr. Stenseth
Steering Group
University of Oslo



Ecosystem Services and Functional Traits

Biological conservation efforts are increasingly focusing on the preservation and restoration of ecosystem services, the benefits that humans receive from the natural functioning of healthy ecosystems (MA). A lot of work has been conducted over the last decade to create land use planning tools that display variation over space in ecosystem service provision. What seems to be missing is the time component. Traits have been recently highlighted as a potential contribution to ecosystem service assessment. One of the advantages of trait based analysis is that most ecosystem services can be provided by more than one type of organism. Therefore, it is useful to consider traits, rather than taxonomy. Thus, trait analysis is well-placed to fill this data gap by providing the range of variability and to guide the forecasting of the trait responses to changing environmental conditions. We will examine the utility of trait analysis to supplement existing knowledge on the role of plants and animals in ecosystem service. In particular, we will identify the key palaeotraits that allow us to translate palaeodata into conservation management.


Project Participants

Paleontological Research Institute (PRI)

ARONIA Research Institute

Oxford University