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

Journal article
Authors A. M. Lewandowska
A. Biermann
E. T. Borer
M. A. Cebrian-Piqueras
S. A. J. Declerck
L. De Meester
E. Van Donk
Lars Gamfeldt
D. S. Gruner
N. Hagenah
W. S. Harpole
K. P. Kirkman
C. A. Klausmeier
M. Kleyer
J. M. H. Knops
P. Lemmens
E. M. Lind
E. Litchman
J. Mantilla-Contreras
K. Martens
S. Meier
V. Minden
J. L. Moore
H. O. Venterink
E. W. Seabloom
U. Sommer
M. Striebel
A. Trenkamp
J. Trinogga
J. Urabe
W. Vyverman
D. B. Van de Waal
C. E. Widdicombe
H. Hillebrand
Published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences
Volume 371
Issue 1694
ISSN 0962-8436
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of marine sciences
Language en
Keywords biodiversity-ecosystem functioning, stoichiometry, evenness, richness, productivity, nutrient network, plant-species richness, productivity relationship, community structure, producer diversity, vice-versa, north-sea, competition, metaanalysis, nutrients, evenness, Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics, ates of america, v104, p10904, iences, v371
Subject categories Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


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 ecosystern 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 pattems and differences in biodiversity functioning relationships, and increases the mechanistic understanding of changes in ecosystems productivity.

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