Diversity, Taxonomic Versus Functional

John C. Moore, Jedediah F. Brodie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The concept of biodiversity encompasses several dimensions including taxonomic diversity and functional diversity. Taxonomic diversity pertains to the number and relative abundance of species within a community, while functional diversity refers to the various processes underpinning a community's structure and dynamic stability. Traditionally, these two dimensions have been viewed as separate and even competing paradigms in biodiversity research, though deeper examination reveals their interconnectedness. Information gleaned from both taxonomic and functional perspectives can synergize to better estimate biodiversity and elucidate the mechanisms governing community and ecosystem structure. Ecologists often assess functional diversity by scrutinizing traits, but this may not always correlate with actual ecological functions due to the presence of functional redundancy within communities. Recent developments allow the assessment and quantification of how shifts in species abundance impact ecological functions. In particular, Ecological Function Analysis facilitates the integration of ecological functions into conservation strategies, enhancing our ability to make informed decisions in safeguarding our natural ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Biodiversity, Third Edition
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-7
ISBN (Electronic)9780128225622
ISBN (Print)9780323984348
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024


  • Biodiversity
  • Biogeography
  • Ecological function
  • Functional diversity
  • Mutualism
  • Phylogeny
  • Species
  • Stability
  • Taxonomy and Transient dynamics


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