Are the functional diversity terms functional?:The hindrances of functional diversity understanding in the Brazilian scientific community

Bastos‐Pereira, Rafaela and Chagas, Tássia Rayane Ferreira and Carvalho, Débora Reis and Rabello, Ananza Mara and Beiroz, Wallace and Tavares, Karla Palmieri and Lima, Karen Cristina Braga and Rabelo, Lucas Mendes and Valenzuela, Silvia and Correa, César M. A. and Pompeu, Paulo Santos and Ribas, Carla Rodrigues (2022) Are the functional diversity terms functional?:The hindrances of functional diversity understanding in the Brazilian scientific community. Ecological Research, 37 (4). pp. 505-521. ISSN 0912-3814

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Abstract

Interest in functional diversity has grown in recent years, indicating that knowledge on ecosystem functions gain importance. However, the incongruent use of terms may lead to misunderstandings and incomparable results. We aimed to review terms used in functional diversity among the Brazilian scientific community to identify if there is a lack of consensus in the terminology used. We applied online surveys to assess how these terms have been used by the Brazilian academics and searched for their definitions in the scientific literature. The definition of “ecological function” by Brazilian academics is like that of the niche, but we only found two articles defining such a term in the literature. Thus, it seems that “ecosystem function” is a more commonly used term outside of Brazil. The definition of “guilds” coincided with that used in the literature, although we still observed a lack of consensus in the latter. For “traits,” “functional group,” and “functional diversity” concepts, we found some discrepancy between the literature and questionnaires. These inconsistencies can be related to the use of different organizational levels for the definition of traits and to the practice of replacing species with functional groups in standard taxonomic diversity metrics, considering them as measurements of functional diversity. The adoption of cohesive terminology is crucial to ensure the comparability of scientific results in the scientific literature. However, finding a consensus in ecology represents a hard task; therefore, we encourage that, at least, researchers make clear which key concepts they adopted in their research to avoid misunderstandings.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Ecological Research
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Bastos-Pereira, R., Chagas, T. R. F., de Carvalho, D. R., Rabello, A. M., Beiroz, W., Tavares, K. P., Lima, K. C. B., Rabelo, L. M., Valenzuela, S., Correa, C. M. A., Pompeu, P. S., & Ribas, C. R. (2022). Are the functional diversity terms functional? The hindrances of functional diversity understanding in the Brazilian scientific community. Ecological Research, 1– 17. https://doi.org/10.1111/1440-1703.12306 which has been published in final form at https://esj-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1440-1703.12306 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1105
Subjects:
ID Code:
170723
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
23 May 2022 10:45
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:20