Restoration of tropical riparian forests is challenging, since these ecosystems are the most diverse, dynamic, and complex physical and biological terrestrial habitats. This study tested whether biodiversity can predict ecosystem functions in a human-impacted tropical riparian forest.
We explored the effects of several biodiversity components (taxonomic or functional groups) on different ecosystem functions associated with restored riparian forests
Overall, 49% of the biodiversity components showed positive effects on ecosystem functions, each component to a different degree. In general, our results showed that both taxonomic and functional biodiversity had strong effects on ecosystem functions indicating that floral and faunal biodiversity enhanced the multifunctionality of these restored riparian tropical forests.
These findings indicate that in restored riparian forests, recovery of biodiversity is followed by improvement in important ecosystem functions that are the basis for successful restoration. Future research and policy for restoration programs must focus on restoring elementary faunal and floral components of biodiversity in order to promote ecosystem multifunctionality.
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