Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function in a coastal wetland
by Fitzgerald, Megan, M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2015, 77; 1572435
Abstract (Summary)

Despite reductions in species diversity, few studies in wetlands investigate the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function (BEF). My research explores the BEF relationship in a recently restored salt marsh in Long Beach, California. I hypothesized that: (1) increasing plant diversity would result in higher primary productivity and decreased recruitment of native salt marsh plants, (2) observed variation in responses would be correlated with species-specific variation in individual demographic parameters, and (3) variation in demographic parameters and resulting ecosystem processes would be correlated with functional traits. I found that while survival over one year was correlated with elevation, overall percent cover and recruit species richness were positively affected by diversity. Performance patterns reveal variation by species in photosynthetic rate, leaf mass per area and chlorophyll a/b ratios. After one year, I found that the overall diversity patterns were driven by selection effect compared to complementarity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Allen, Bengt J., Whitcraft, Christine R.
Commitee: Funk, Jennifer L.
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Biological Sciences
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 54/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Ecology, Conservation, Biological oceanography
Keywords: Biodiversity, Ecosystem function, Functional traits, Plant diversity, Restoration, Wetland
Publication Number: 1572435
ISBN: 9781321466003