Species richness effects on grassland recovery from drought depend on community productivity in a multisite experiment

Kreyling, Juergen; Dengler, Jürgen; Walter, Julia; Velev, Nikolay; Ugurlu, Emin; Sopotlieva, Desislava; Ransijn, Johannes; Picon-Cochard, Catherine; Nijs, Ivan; Hernandez, Pauline; Güler, Behlül; von Gillhaussen, Philipp; De Boeck, Hans J.; Bloor, Juliette M.G.; Berwaers, Sigi; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Arfin Khan, Mohammed A.S.; Apostolova, Iva; Altan, Yasin; Zeiter, Michaela; ... (2017). Species richness effects on grassland recovery from drought depend on community productivity in a multisite experiment. Ecology Letters, 20(11), pp. 1405-1413. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing 10.1111/ele.12848

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Biodiversity can buffer ecosystem functioning against extreme climatic events, but few experiments have explicitly tested this. Here, we present the first multisite biodiversity × drought manipulation experiment to examine drought resistance and recovery at five temperate and Mediterranean grassland sites. Aboveground biomass production declined by 30% due to experimental drought (standardised local extremity by rainfall exclusion for 72–98 consecutive days). Species richness did not affect resistance but promoted recovery. Recovery was only positively affected by species richness in low-productive communities, with most diverse communities even showing overcompensation. This positive diversity effect could be linked to asynchrony of species responses. Our results suggest that a more context-dependent view considering the nature of the climatic disturbance as well as the productivity of the studied system will help identify under which circumstances biodiversity promotes drought resistance or recovery. Stability of biomass production can generally be expected to decrease with biodiversity loss and climate change.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Library Plant Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Zeiter, Michaela and Stampfli, Andreas

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1461-023X

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

07 Nov 2017 15:22

Last Modified:

07 Nov 2017 15:22

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/ele.12848

PubMed ID:

28941071

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Asynchrony; diversity–stability relationship; resilience; insurance hypothesis; extreme event ecology; coordinated distributed experiment

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.106729

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/106729

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