DIVERSUS: Functional biodiversity effects on ecosystem processes, ecosystem services and sustainability in the Americas: an interdisciplinary approach (CRN 2015)

1) Land-use change can dramatically change biodiversity, with strong impacts on ecosystem properties and the various services they provide to society (photo Zayra Ramos).
2) People’s livelihoods depend on the continued provision of ecosystem services. Science cannot ignore the resulting conflicts between decision on use and conservation of ecosystems if it is to be relevant (photos: Daniel Cáceres, Georgina Conti, Fabien Quétier & Esteban Tapella).

Project information

Sandra M. Díaz (sdiaz@efn.uncor.edu)
Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal (Argentina)



This research continued in SGP-CRA 2015, with the same title

Executive summary Investigators Students

Executive summary

The provision of ecosystem services is vulnerable to land cover change (LCC). Changing land-use patterns and practices affect the properties and biodiversity of ecosystems. This has implications for the delivery of ecosystem services. Ecological studies of land use change and its impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem properties must be integrated with an understanding of the multiple contributions of ecosystems to human well-being. This is a major challenge for science. The DiverSus Collaborative Research Network concentrates on this challenge by developing and testing a new interdisciplinary framework to analyze and compare field studies of land use change from the tropics to the tundra. Comparisons, focus on (1) functional biodiversity as a bridge between land-use patterns and ecosystem properties; and (2) ecosystem services as the key conceptual link between ecosystem properties and the livelihoods of social actors who benefit from them.



Construct a network of scientists to address links between LCC, changes in functional biodiversity, ecosystem responses and those ecosystem services that people use towards their livelihoods

Develop the first comparison of the effects of land-use change on functional biodiversity and establish how this can modify ecosystem properties

Examine links between functional biodiversity, ecosystem properties and ecosystem services as perceived by different stakeholder groups

Develop a conceptual framework and a set of empirical tools and recommendations, available to a wide community of scientists, managers, and society to be used in land-use decisions that take into account ecosystem services and potentially conflicting interests of different stakeholders


First Results

Measure functional biodiversity (by assessing species composition and measuring the functional trait values of dominant species)

Characterize ecosystem properties including C sequestration and nutrient cycling under contrasting land-uses in case studies in Alaska, Costa Rica, Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina

Develop statistical tools to analyze the effects of functional diversity on ecosystem properties

Identify ecosystem services through social surveys and describe stakeholder livelihoods (in Argentina) and the economics of ecosystem services (in Costa Rica)

Develop and apply an integrative framework to link land-use change to stakeholder livelihoods in all case studies

Project investigators

Sandra M. Díaz – sdiaz@efn.uncor.eduInstituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal (Argentina)


Alexandre Adalardo de Oliveira (Universidade de São Paulo & INPA, Brazil), Syndonia Bret-Harte (University of Alaska at Fairbanks, USA), Daniel Cáceres (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina), Fernando Casanoves (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), Costa Rica), Bryan Finegan (CATIE, Costa Rica), Carlos Murillo (CINPE, Costa Rica), Lourens Poorter (IBIF, Bolivia & Univ. of Wageningen, NL)
Project Site
List of publications
Updated 2/2010
f-Diversity Software page
Pdf File


Adelaneide Gomes-Lima, Master, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.
Adina Chain-Guadarrama, PHD, CATIE, Mexico.
Aidé García-Vargas, Master, CATIE, Mexico.
Albert Chan Dzul, Master, CATIE, Mexico.
Amira Apaza Quevedo, PHD, Universidade de São Paulo, Bolivia.
Anibal Cuchietti, PHD, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
Beatriz Salgado, Master, CATIE, Colombia.
Berta Martín-López, PHD, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Spain.
Carolina Furey, Undergraduate, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
Daniela Tamburini, PHD, Argentina.
Diane Huebner, Master, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA.
Diego Bermeo, Master, CATIE, Ecuador.
Eleni Marinidou, Post PHD, CATIE, Mexico.
Elise Suronen, Undergraduate, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA.
Esteban Kowaljow, Post PHD, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
Esteban Tapella, Post PHD, Universidad Nacional de San Juan, Argentina.
Fabien Quétier, Post PHD, IMBIV-CONICET, Francia.
Fausto Bolom-Tom, PHD, CATIE, Mexico.
Felicitas Silvetti, PHD, Argentina.
Fernando Fernández Méndez, Master, CATIE, Colombia.
Florence Baptist, Post PHD, Université Joseph Fourier, Francia.
Georgina Conti, PHD, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
Gisela Langidey, Undergraduate, Instituto Boliviano de Investigación Forestal, Bolivia.
Imole McDonald, Master, Instituto Boliviano de Investigación Forestal, Guyana.
Ines Geovana Carreño, PHD, Instituto Boliviano de Investigación Forestal, Bolivia.
Janett Juarez, Undergraduate, Instituto Boliviano de Investigación Forestal, Bolivia.
Jimena Esquivel-Sheik, PHD, CATIE, Colombia.
José Texeira Santos Neto, Master, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.
Koert Geffen, Master, Instituto Boliviano de Investigación Forestal, Germany.
Laura Hoyos, PHD, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
Leda Lorenzo, Post PHD, Universidade de São Paulo, Spain.
Lorena Ashworth, Other, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
Lucas Enrico, Post PHD, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
Maartje Bakker, Master, Instituto Boliviano de Investigación Forestal, Germany.
Marcel Carita Vaz, Master, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.
María Eugenia Ferrero, PHD, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
María Eugenia Periago, PHD, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
Maria Laura Bernaschini, Undergraduate, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
María Laura Moreno, PHD, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
María Lucrecia Lipoma, Undergraduate, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
María Poca, Undergraduate, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
María Victoria Vaieretti, Post PHD, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
María Lixmania Pitacuar Meneses, Master, CATIE, Ecuador.
Mark Burton, Undergraduate, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA.
Pablo Rodríguez-Bilella, Other, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina.
Pedro Jaureguiberry, PHD, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
Rafael Sanchez-Mesa, Master, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, Colombia.
Sandro Aquino, Master, CATIE, Peru.
Sarah Trainor, Post PHD, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA.
Tania Malin-Villar, Undergraduate, IMBIV-CONICET, Argentina.
Tanner Williamson, Undergraduate, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA.
Tracy Rogers, Undergraduate, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA.
Vailson Sousa, Undergraduate, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.