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Biodiversity, productivity and the temporal stability of productivity: patterns and processes

Permanent URL:
http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/44702
File:
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Abstract:
Theory predicts that the temporal stability of productivity, measured as the ratio of the mean to the standard deviation of community biomass, increases with species richness and evenness. We used experimental species mixtures of grassland plants to test this hypothesis and identified the mechanisms involved. Additionally, we tested whether biodiversity, productivity and temporal stability were similarly influenced by particular types of species interactions. We found that productivity was less variable among years in plots planted with more species. Temporal stability did not depend on whether the species were planted equally abundant (high evenness) or not (realistically low evenness). Greater richness increased temporal stability by increasing overyielding, asynchrony of species fluctuations and statistical averaging. Species interactions that favoured unproductive species increased both biodiversity and temporal stability. Species interactions that resulted in niche partitioning or facilitation increased both productivity and temporal stability. Thus, species interactions can promote biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Author(s):
Isbell, Forest I. , Polley, H. Wayne , Wilsey, Brian J.
Subject(s):
grasslands , vegetation , species diversity , biomass , temporal variation , ecosystem services , ecological function
Format:
p. 443-451.
Note:
Includes references
Source:
Ecology letters 2009 May, v. 12, no. 5
Language:
English
Publisher:
Oxford, UK : Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Year:
2009
Collection:
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
Rights:
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.