The great feeding-frenzy: Species-rich food webs produce biomass more efficiently
Researchers have discovered a feedback in complex food webs: species-rich ecosystems favor large, heavy animals. Even though this increases the amount of plants consumed, the plant biomass remains approximately at the same level as in species-poor ecosystems. This is due to the fact that in species-rich ecosystems, plant communities develop whose growth is more energetically efficient. The extent of biomass production in species-rich ecosystems is more stable and thereby predictable whereas the loss of species leads to unpredictable deficiencies, which would have to be compensated by humans, according to a new paper.