Biodiv Sci ›› 2009, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (2): 117-126.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2009.08273

• Special Issue • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A literature review on biotic homogenization

Guangmei Wang1*, Jingcheng Yang2**, Chuangdao Jiang3 , Hongtao Zhao2, Zhidong Zhang1   

  1. 1 Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research for Sustainable Development, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai, Shan-dong 264003
    2 Beijing Museum of Natural History, Beijing 100050
    3 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2008-10-28 Revised:2009-02-19 Online:2009-03-20 Published:2009-03-20

Abstract: Biotic homogenization is the process whereby the genetic, taxonomic and functional similarity of two or more biotas increases over time. As a new research agenda for conservation biogeography, biotic ho-mogenization has become a rapidly emerging topic of interest in ecology and evolution over the past decade. However, research on this topic is rare in China. Herein, we introduce the development of the concept of bi-otic homogenization, and then discuss methods to quantify its three components (genetic, taxonomic, and functional homogenization), and their driving mechanisms. Species invasions and extinctions are the root cause of biotic homogenization, whilst other habitat alterations that facilitate these two processes, such as en-vironment degradation and disturbance, urbanization, and habitat homogenization, also influence biotic ho-mogenization. Biotic homogenization was tempo-spatial-scale dependant. The homogenization degree dif-fered between various ecosystems and taxa, as well as in different regions. We also reviewed ecological and evolutionary consequences and effects on human dimension (economics and biodiversity conservation) due to biotic homogenization. Considering the distinctness of China’s biodiversity, we suggest that it is time to strengthen research on biotic homogenization in China. In our view, the most fundamental need is to estab-lish open, reliable databases to foster biotic homogenization research. We hope this review will stimulate bi-otic homogenization research in China.