Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 9, 2004
Publication Date: December 28, 2005
Citation: Sanderson, M.A. 2005. Plant species diversity: Management implications for temperate pasture production. In: Bhatti, J., Lal, R., Price, M., Apps, M., editors. Climate Change and Managed Ecosystems. Boca Raton, FL:CRC Press. p. 149-161. Technical Abstract: Biodiversity refers to the broad array of genetic material, species, and ecosystems that make up the natural world including their variability and interactions. Conservation of the earth's biodiversity has important implications to ecosystem functions (habitat, biological, or system properties or processes of ecosystems) and the goods and services humans derive from them. Some ecological research indicates that increased plant biodiversity benefits ecosystem functions such as primary productivity, nutrient retention, and resistance to weed invasions in experimental grasslands. These results and concepts have been extrapolated to management of forage and pastureland. It is not clear, however, whether the results and concepts of basic ecological biodiversity studies apply to managed forage and grazing lands. Pasture management in temperate regions is moving beyond the traditional concerns of optimizing the quality and quantity of herbage for animal production. New challenges in pasture management include such cross-cutting issues as sustainability, reducing inputs of fertilizers and pesticides, soil protection, C sequestration, resistance to invasion by alien plants and insects, and the aesthetic value of the landscape. It is within this context that increased biodiversity may play an important role.