Assessing the multidimensional complexity of biodiversity using a globally standardized approach

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Camille Fournier de Lauriere , Robert M McElderry , Ian Brettell, Johan van den Hoogen , Daniel Maynard, Carolina Bello Lozano, Lalasia Bialic-Murphy, Camille S Delavaux, Daisy H Dent, Thomas Elliott, Laura G van Galen, Thomas Lauber, Andrea Paz Velez, Gabriel Smith, Leland K Werden, Constantin M Zohner, Thomas W Crowther


Quantifying biodiversity across the globe is critical for transparent reporting and assessment under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Understanding the complexity of biodiversity requires consideration of the variation of life across genetic, species and ecosystem levels. Achieving this in a globally-standardized way remains a key international challenge. Here, we present the Sustainable Ecology and Economic Development (SEED) framework, which includes plants, animals, and microbes and consolidates multiple dimensions of biodiversity (genetic, species, and ecosystems) into a single measure of biocomplexity at a given location relative to a comparable, minimally-disturbed ‘reference’ ecosystem. We demonstrate the utility of the SEED framework and highlight its features using a novel measure of ecosystem structural intactness and the first-generation SEED index. As new information emerges, the SEED framework continuously integrates state-of-the-art datasets and maps to provide up-to-date estimates of local biocomplexity across the planet for decision makers who strive to improve the global state of nature.



Biodiversity, Life Sciences


Biocomplexity, Biodiversity Monitoring, biodiversity intactness, genetic diversity, species diversity, ecosystem diversity


Published: 2023-08-25 17:46

Last Updated: 2023-11-01 09:23

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Open data/code are not available with this preprint.

Conflict of interest statement:
The Restor platform (Restor Eco AG) was founded by and spun out from the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich, and is wholly owned and financed by the Restor Foundation. None of the authors own any shares in Restor. TCW is the President of the Council of the Restor Foundation and a member of Restor’s Science Advisory Council.