And Biogeochemistry

H. A. Mooney 1. What Do We I lave and What Are We Losing? 279

Stanford University, 2. Do Species Losses Matter for Biogeochemical Cycling? 279

3. Kinds of Diversity 280

4. Evolution of Functional Diversity 281

5. Cellulose 281

6. Evolution of Polyphenols Compounds 281

7. Build-Up of Carbon and the Evolution of Decomposers 282

8. Analysis of the Role of Diversity and Biogeochemistry 283

9. Summary 283

References 283

The phenomenon that I probe here is the relationship between biodiversity and biogeochemistry. To do this I take an evolutionary as well as an ecological approach. The basic question that I ask is whether one needs to take into account biodiversity in considering global biogeochemical cycles, the most important of which involve both solid and gas phases. Why is this a concern? First, we know that there are strong interactions between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere — what happens with one affects the other (Mooney et al., 1987). We know in a general sense that the chemistry and metabolism of organisms affect both terrestrial and atmospheric processes. The surface of the earth is covered by millions of different species of organisms, some of which have vast ranges and constitute considerable biomass. We know that biodiversity is being altered in major ways on the earth's surface. What are the effects of these modifications on biogeochemistry?

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