The influence of balanced and imbalanced resource supply on biodiversity-functioning relationship across ecosystems.

Published

Journal Article

Numerous studies show that increasing species richness leads to higher ecosystem productivity. This effect is often attributed to more efficient portioning of multiple resources in communities with higher numbers of competing species, indicating the role of resource supply and stoichiometry for biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. Here, we merged theory on ecological stoichiometry with a framework of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning to understand how resource use transfers into primary production. We applied a structural equation model to define patterns of diversity-productivity relationships with respect to available resources. Meta-analysis was used to summarize the findings across ecosystem types ranging from aquatic ecosystems to grasslands and forests. As hypothesized, resource supply increased realized productivity and richness, but we found significant differences between ecosystems and study types. Increased richness was associated with increased productivity, although this effect was not seen in experiments. More even communities had lower productivity, indicating that biomass production is often maintained by a few dominant species, and reduced dominance generally reduced ecosystem productivity. This synthesis, which integrates observational and experimental studies in a variety of ecosystems and geographical regions, exposes common patterns and differences in biodiversity-functioning relationships, and increases the mechanistic understanding of changes in ecosystems productivity.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Lewandowska, AM; Biermann, A; Borer, ET; Cebrián-Piqueras, MA; Declerck, SAJ; De Meester, L; Van Donk, E; Gamfeldt, L; Gruner, DS; Hagenah, N; Harpole, WS; Kirkman, KP; Klausmeier, CA; Kleyer, M; Knops, JMH; Lemmens, P; Lind, EM; Litchman, E; Mantilla-Contreras, J; Martens, K; Meier, S; Minden, V; Moore, JL; Venterink, HO; Seabloom, EW; Sommer, U; Striebel, M; Trenkamp, A; Trinogga, J; Urabe, J; Vyverman, W; Van de Waal, DB; Widdicombe, CE; Hillebrand, H

Published Date

  • May 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 371 / 1694

PubMed ID

  • 27114584

Pubmed Central ID

  • 27114584

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-2970

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0962-8436

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1098/rstb.2015.0283

Language

  • eng