Macroevolution of Ecoystem Services

Full Title

Macroevolution of ecosystem services from trees


This Venture examines the macroevolution of ecosystem services that the Earth’s trees provide. The more ecosystem and environmental services we consider, the more species and evolutionary lineages will be found critical to human well-being. Using a range of computational approaches and bridging the fields of economics, ecology, evolution, and ethnobotany, Venture participants are synthesizing data to economic valuation of the ecosystem services of trees in North American and globally. They are doing so in the context of time-calibrated genetic relationships to understand where in the “tree-of-life” ecosystem services from trees are concentrated, when in Earth’s history the traits associated with those services arose, and how frequently traits linked to specific services evolved. This work will inform discussions about trade-offs between providing for human needs and preserving the planet’s biodiversity and the extent to which the human population and its well-being can be maintained in the face of declining biodiversity.

Project Type
Team Synthesis Project
Principal Investigators
Jeannine Cavender-Bares, University of Minnesota
Stephen Polasky, University of Minnesota
Erik Nelson, Bowdoin College
Jose Eduardo Meireles, University of Minnesota
Jesse Lasky, Columbia University
Daniela Miteva, The Nature Conservancy and University of Minnesota
David Nowak, U.S. Forest Service
Will Pearse, University of Minnesota
Matthew Helmus, VU University
Amy Zanne, George Washington University
Christopher Mihiar, U.S. Forest Service
Nicholas Muller, Carnegie Mellon University
Nathan Kraft, University of Maryland

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