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Biodiversity at multiple trophic levels is needed for ecosystem multifunctionality

Soliveres, Santiago; Van Der Plas, Fons; Manning, Peter; Prati, Daniel; Gossner, Martin M.; Renner, Swen C.; Alt, Fabian; Arndt, Hartmut; Baumgartner, Vanessa and Binkenstein, Julia, et al. (2016) In Nature 536(7617). p.456-459
Abstract

Many experiments have shown that loss of biodiversity reduces the capacity of ecosystems to provide the multiple services on which humans depend. However, experiments necessarily simplify the complexity of natural ecosystems and will normally control for other important drivers of ecosystem functioning, such as the environment or land use. In addition, existing studies typically focus on the diversity of single trophic groups, neglecting the fact that biodiversity loss occurs across many taxa and that the functional effects of any trophic group may depend on the abundance and diversity of others. Here we report analysis of the relationships between the species richness and abundance of nine trophic groups, including 4,600 above- and... (More)

Many experiments have shown that loss of biodiversity reduces the capacity of ecosystems to provide the multiple services on which humans depend. However, experiments necessarily simplify the complexity of natural ecosystems and will normally control for other important drivers of ecosystem functioning, such as the environment or land use. In addition, existing studies typically focus on the diversity of single trophic groups, neglecting the fact that biodiversity loss occurs across many taxa and that the functional effects of any trophic group may depend on the abundance and diversity of others. Here we report analysis of the relationships between the species richness and abundance of nine trophic groups, including 4,600 above- and below-ground taxa, and 14 ecosystem services and functions and with their simultaneous provision (or multifunctionality) in 150 grasslands. We show that high species richness in multiple trophic groups (multitrophic richness) had stronger positive effects on ecosystem services than richness in any individual trophic group; this includes plant species richness, the most widely used measure of biodiversity. On average, three trophic groups influenced each ecosystem service, with each trophic group influencing at least one service. Multitrophic richness was particularly beneficial for 'regulating' and 'cultural' services, and for multifunctionality, whereas a change in the total abundance of species or biomass in multiple trophic groups (the multitrophic abundance) positively affected supporting services. Multitrophic richness and abundance drove ecosystem functioning as strongly as abiotic conditions and land-use intensity, extending previous experimental results to real-world ecosystems. Primary producers, herbivorous insects and microbial decomposers seem to be particularly important drivers of ecosystem functioning, as shown by the strong and frequent positive associations of their richness or abundance with multiple ecosystem services. Our results show that multitrophic richness and abundance support ecosystem functioning, and demonstrate that a focus on single groups has led to researchers to greatly underestimate the functional importance of biodiversity.

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536
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7617
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  • scopus:84984992159
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0028-0836
DOI
10.1038/nature19092
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English
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79725f07-3f95-4f38-99bb-293cae52e004
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2016-10-11 09:49:05
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2017-05-21 04:54:24
@article{79725f07-3f95-4f38-99bb-293cae52e004,
  abstract     = {<p>Many experiments have shown that loss of biodiversity reduces the capacity of ecosystems to provide the multiple services on which humans depend. However, experiments necessarily simplify the complexity of natural ecosystems and will normally control for other important drivers of ecosystem functioning, such as the environment or land use. In addition, existing studies typically focus on the diversity of single trophic groups, neglecting the fact that biodiversity loss occurs across many taxa and that the functional effects of any trophic group may depend on the abundance and diversity of others. Here we report analysis of the relationships between the species richness and abundance of nine trophic groups, including 4,600 above- and below-ground taxa, and 14 ecosystem services and functions and with their simultaneous provision (or multifunctionality) in 150 grasslands. We show that high species richness in multiple trophic groups (multitrophic richness) had stronger positive effects on ecosystem services than richness in any individual trophic group; this includes plant species richness, the most widely used measure of biodiversity. On average, three trophic groups influenced each ecosystem service, with each trophic group influencing at least one service. Multitrophic richness was particularly beneficial for 'regulating' and 'cultural' services, and for multifunctionality, whereas a change in the total abundance of species or biomass in multiple trophic groups (the multitrophic abundance) positively affected supporting services. Multitrophic richness and abundance drove ecosystem functioning as strongly as abiotic conditions and land-use intensity, extending previous experimental results to real-world ecosystems. Primary producers, herbivorous insects and microbial decomposers seem to be particularly important drivers of ecosystem functioning, as shown by the strong and frequent positive associations of their richness or abundance with multiple ecosystem services. Our results show that multitrophic richness and abundance support ecosystem functioning, and demonstrate that a focus on single groups has led to researchers to greatly underestimate the functional importance of biodiversity.</p>},
  author       = {Soliveres, Santiago and Van Der Plas, Fons and Manning, Peter and Prati, Daniel and Gossner, Martin M. and Renner, Swen C. and Alt, Fabian and Arndt, Hartmut and Baumgartner, Vanessa and Binkenstein, Julia and Birkhofer, Klaus and Blaser, Stefan and Blüthgen, Nico and Boch, Steffen and Böhm, Stefan and Börschig, Carmen and Buscot, Francois and Diekötter, Tim and Heinze, Johannes and Hölzel, Norbert and Jung, Kirsten and Klaus, Valentin H. and Kleinebecker, Till and Klemmer, Sandra and Krauss, Jochen and Lange, Markus and Morris, E. Kathryn and Müller, Jörg and Oelmann, Yvonne and Overmann, Jörg and Pašalić, Esther and Rillig, Matthias C. and Schaefer, H. Martin and Schloter, Michael and Schmitt, Barbara and Schöning, Ingo and Schrumpf, Marion and Sikorski, Johannes and Socher, Stephanie A. and Solly, Emily F. and Sonnemann, Ilja and Sorkau, Elisabeth and Steckel, Juliane and Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf and Stempfhuber, Barbara and Tschapka, Marco and Türke, Manfred and Venter, Paul C. and Weiner, Christiane N. and Weisser, Wolfgang W. and Werner, Michael and Westphal, Catrin and Wilcke, Wolfgang and Wolters, Volkmar and Wubet, Tesfaye and Wurst, Susanne and Fischer, Markus and Allan, Eric},
  issn         = {0028-0836},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  number       = {7617},
  pages        = {456--459},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Nature},
  title        = {Biodiversity at multiple trophic levels is needed for ecosystem multifunctionality},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature19092},
  volume       = {536},
  year         = {2016},
}