because of the resources produced by the environment, like nutrients that cycle through plants and animals, purified water and air, food, shelter and other "services," as Wu refers to them. Grasslands ecosystems are particularly important, he said, because about 30 percent of the world population lives in arid or semi-arid environments comparable to the grasslands.
Once researchers have a better understanding of the relationships between species in these environments, efforts then can be taken to implement the findings into public policy and land management.
"Biodiversity is the basis for essential natural services," Wu said. "It's crucial to understand the structure and functionality of our ecosystems so we can manage and sustain them. One of the most important aspects of this is establishing the integrity of biodiversity."
In addition to Elser and Naeem, Wu will be assisted by U.S. and Chinese graduate students, as well as collaborators in the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and the Institute of Botany in Chengdu.
"Biodiversity is the most important ecological question today," Wu said. "We are embracing the idea of global engagement in sustainability, and with this project we could potentially collaborate with researchers from all over the world."
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Contact: Skip Derra
Arizona State University
. Gilbert Foundation and American Fed for Aging Research award grants on Alzheimers disease2
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. New grants bolster efforts to generate faster and cheaper tools for DNA sequencing4
. $9M grant awarded to University of Cincinnati for bipolar disorder research5
. $9 million EPSCoR grant to foster integrated research6
. UT and Atom Sciences Collaborate on NIH grant to develop test for major african disease7
. VIB scientist receives major research grant8
. New amfAR research grants to optimize HIV treatment9
. Wright State scientist receives grant to help clean up polluted American harbors10
. Ancient Etruscans were immigrants from Anatolia, or what is now Turkey11
. UCR biologist receives $1.75 million grant to study plant-threatening bacteria