USGS contributes to assessment of Biodiversity Loss and its Impact on Humanity
Marking 20 years since the “Rio Earth Summit,” a diverse team of the world’s experts on the contributions of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning released a synthesis report in Nature Magazine on June 7, 2012. Led by Bradley Cardinale of the University Michigan and contributed to by James Grace of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center, the assessment team worked hard to hammer out a consensus statement based on the review of over 600 ecological studies conducted over the past two decades. The motivation for achieving a consensus statement was the substantial controversy that has surrounded this topic regarding methodology and inference. Publication of this review article is timely, as international leaders gathered in Rio de Janeiro June 20 – 22, 2012, for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as the Rio+20 Conference.