Functional Diversity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

397 Scopus citations


Functional diversity refers to those components of biodiversity that influence how an ecosystem operates or functions. The biological diversity, or biodiversity, of a habitat is much broader and includes all the species living in a site, all of the genotypic and phenotypic variation within each species, and all the spatial and temporal variability in the communities and ecosystems that these species form. Functional diversity, which is a subset of this, is measured by the values and range in the values, for the species present in an ecosystem, of those organismal traits that influence one or more aspects of the functioning of an ecosystem. Functional diversity is of ecological importance because it, by definition, is the component of diversity that influences ecosystem dynamics, stability, productivity, nutrient balance, and other aspects of ecosystem functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Biodiversity
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780123847195
ISBN (Print)9780123847201
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2001 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Ecosystem processes
  • Functional diversity
  • Functional group
  • Sampling effect


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