The Biodiversity–Ecosystem Functioning Experiment China (BEF-China) platform has been jointly set up by Chinese, German and Swiss researchers since 2008. BEF-China aims at explaining effects of species loss on ecosystem variables and at deciphering the underlying processes. A wide range of scientists contribute to the BEF-China projects , involving groups focusing on multiple diversity dimensions, multiple ecosystem components and multiple ecosystem functions. The dimensions of biodiversity include species diversity, functional diversity and genetic diversity; the components of ecosystems include plants, animals and microorganisms; and the functions of ecosystems include productivity, nutrient cycling, decomposition, multi-trophic interactions, resistance to soil erosion and other stress-resistance abilities.
Although the exceptional role of forests for human well-being is undisputed and widely acknowledged (Watson et al. 2018), a global do...
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