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General destabilizing effects of eutrophication on grassland productivity at multiple spatial scales

journal contribution
posted on 09.11.2020, 00:25 by Y Hautier, P Zhang, M Loreau, KR Wilcox, EW Seabloom, ET Borer, JEK Byrnes, SE Koerner, KJ Komatsu, JS Lefcheck, A Hector, PB Adler, J Alberti, CA Arnillas, JD Bakker, LA Brudvig, MN Bugalho, M Cadotte, MC Caldeira, O Carroll, M Crawley, SL Collins, P Daleo, LE Dee, N Eisenhauer, A Eskelinen, PA Fay, B Gilbert, A Hansar, F Isbell, JMH Knops, AS MacDougall, RL McCulley, JL Moore, John Morgan, AS Mori, PL Peri, ET Pos, SA Power, JN Price, PB Reich, AC Risch, C Roscher, M Sankaran, M Schütz, M Smith, C Stevens, PM Tognetti, R Virtanen, GM Wardle, PA Wilfahrt, S Wang
© 2020, The Author(s). Eutrophication is a widespread environmental change that usually reduces the stabilizing effect of plant diversity on productivity in local communities. Whether this effect is scale dependent remains to be elucidated. Here, we determine the relationship between plant diversity and temporal stability of productivity for 243 plant communities from 42 grasslands across the globe and quantify the effect of chronic fertilization on these relationships. Unfertilized local communities with more plant species exhibit greater asynchronous dynamics among species in response to natural environmental fluctuations, resulting in greater local stability (alpha stability). Moreover, neighborhood communities that have greater spatial variation in plant species composition within sites (higher beta diversity) have greater spatial asynchrony of productivity among communities, resulting in greater stability at the larger scale (gamma stability). Importantly, fertilization consistently weakens the contribution of plant diversity to both of these stabilizing mechanisms, thus diminishing the positive effect of biodiversity on stability at differing spatial scales. Our findings suggest that preserving grassland functional stability requires conservation of plant diversity within and among ecological communities.

History

School

  • School of Life Sciences

Publication Date

23/10/2020

Journal

Nature Communications

Volume

11

Issue

1

Article Number

5375

Pagination

9p.

Publisher

Springer Nature

ISSN

2041-1723

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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