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Research article2016Peer reviewedOpen access

Plant diversity effects on grassland productivity are robust to both nutrient enrichment and drought

Craven, Dylan; Palmborg, Cecilia; Eisenhauer, Nico

Abstract

Global change drivers are rapidly altering resource availability and biodiversity. While there is consensus that greater biodiversity increases the functioning of ecosystems, the extent to which biodiversity buffers ecosystem productivity in response to changes in resource availability remains unclear. We use data from 16 grassland experiments across North America and Europe that manipulated plant species richness and one of two essential resources-soil nutrients or water-to assess the direction and strength of the interaction between plant diversity and resource alteration on above-ground productivity and net biodiversity, complementarity, and selection effects. Despite strong increases in productivity with nutrient addition and decreases in productivity with drought, we found that resource alterations did not alter biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. Our results suggest that these relationships are largely determined by increases in cornplementarity effects along plant species richness gradients. Although nutrient addition reduced complementarity effects at high diversity, this appears to be due to high biomass in monocultures under nutrient enrichment. Our results indicate that diversity and the complementarity of species are important regulators of grassland ecosystem productivity, regardless of changes in other drivers of ecosystem function.

Keywords

plant diversity; global change drivers; resource amendment; resource reduction; soil nutrients; drought

Published in

Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences
2016, Volume: 371, number: 1694, article number: 20150277
Publisher: ROYAL SOC

      SLU Authors

    • Palmborg, Cecilia

      • Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Ecology

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0277

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/76266