Towards a standardized Rapid Ecosystem Function Assessment (REFA)

  • Meyer S
  • Koch C
  • Weisser W
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Quantifying ecosystem functioning is important for both fundamental and applied ecological research. However, there is currently a gap between the data available and the data needed to address topical questions, such as the drivers of functioning in different ecosystems under global change or the best management to sustain provisioning of ecosystem functions and services. Here, we identify a set of important functions and propose a Rapid Ecosystem Function Assessment (REFA). The proposed methods were specifically selected to be low-tech, easy to use, repeatable, and cost efficient. Thus, REFA enables standardized and comparable measurements of proxies for these functions that can be used at a large scale within and across studies. Adopting REFA can help to close the identified ecosystem functioning data gap.

Author-supplied keywords

  • BEF
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • Ecosystem services
  • Element cycles
  • Management
  • Trophic interactions

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