Biodiversity – like having lots of different plants, bugs and wildlife in our pastures, some of which we might not even like – doesn’t always make managing our grazing easy. But before we wish away all that “difference,” here’s a story from the news desk at the Smithsonian Institute describing the important role biodiversity can play to make our pastures and our operations more resilient.
Hundreds of experiments have shown biodiversity fosters healthier, more productive ecosystems. But many experts doubted whether these experiments would hold up in the real world. A Smithsonian and University of Michigan study published today in the journal Nature offers a decisive answer: Biodiversity’s power in the wild does not match that predicted by experiments—it surpasses it.
“Having diversity is not just an aesthetic thing,” said Emmett Duffy, lead author and marine ecologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Md. “It’s really important for having ecosystems that work well—that are productive, that can recycle nutrients, absorb wastes and protect shorelines.”
Source: Kathy Voth, On Pasture, September 25, 2017