Scale dependence of the diversity-stability relationship in a temperate grassland.
Zhang Yunhai,He Nianpeng,Loreau Michel,Pan Qingmin,Han Xingguo
The Journal of ecology
A positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem stability has been reported in many ecosystems; however, it has yet to be determined whether and how spatial scale affects this relationship. Here, for the first time, we assessed the effects of alpha, beta and gamma diversity on ecosystem stability and the scale dependence of the slope of the diversity-stability relationship.By employing a long-term (33 years) dataset from a temperate grassland, northern China, we calculated the all possible spatial scales with the complete combination from the basic 1-m plots.Species richness was positively associated with ecosystem stability through species asynchrony and overyielding at all spatial scales (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 m). Both alpha and beta diversity were positively associated with gamma stability.Moreover, the slope of the diversity-area relationship was significantly higher than that of the stability-area relationship, resulting in a decline of the slope of the diversity-stability relationship with increasing area. With the positive species diversity effect on ecosystem stability from small to large spatial scales, our findings demonstrate the need to maintain a high biodiversity and biotic heterogeneity as insurance against the risks incurred by ecosystems in the face of global environmental changes.
Community composition, structure and productivity in response to nitrogen and phosphorus additions in a temperate meadow.
Zhao Yinan,Yang Bing,Li Mingxin,Xiao Runqi,Rao Keyun,Wang Jiaqi,Zhang Tao,Guo Jixun
The Science of the total environment
Global nitrogen (N) enrichment likely alters plant community composition and increases productivity, consequently affecting ecosystem stability. Meanwhile, the effects of N addition on plant community composition and productivity are often influenced by phosphorus (P) nutrition, as the effects of N and P addition and interactions between N and P on plant community structure and productivity are still not well understood. An in situ experiment with N and P addition was conducted in a temperate meadow in northeastern China from 2013 to 2016. The responses of plant community composition, structure, functional group cover, richness and productivity to N and P additions were examined. N addition significantly reduced species richness and diversity but increased aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) during the four-study-year period. P addition exerted no significant impact on species richness, diversity or ANPP but reduced cover of grasses and increased legume cover. Under N plus P addition, P addition alleviated the negative effects of N addition on community structure by increasing species richness and covers of legume and forbs. N and P additions significantly altered plant community structure and productivity in the functional groups. N addition significantly increased the cover of gramineous and reduced the cover of legume, P addition significantly increased legume cover. Our observations revealed that soil nutrient availability regulates plant community structure and ANPP in response to nutrient enrichment caused by anthropogenic activities in the temperate meadow. Our results highlight that the negative influence of N deposition on plant community composition might be alleviated by P input in the future.
Differential roles of species richness versus species asynchrony in regulating community stability along a precipitation gradient.
Chi Yonggang,Xu Zhuwen,Zhou Lei,Yang Qingpeng,Zheng Shuxia,Li Shao-Peng
Ecology and evolution
Plant community may provide products and services to humans. However, patterns and drivers of community stability along a precipitation gradient remain unclear. A regional-scale transect survey was conducted over a 3-year period from 2013 to 2015, along a precipitation gradient from 275 to 555 mm and spanning 440 km in length from west to east in a temperate semiarid grassland of northern China, a central part of the Eurasian steppe. Our study provided regional-scale evidence that the community stability increased with increasing precipitation in the semiarid ecosystem. The patterns of community stability along a precipitation gradient were ascribed to community composition and community dynamics, such as species richness and species asynchrony, rather than the abiotic effect of precipitation. Species richness regulated the temporal mean () of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), while species asynchrony regulated the temporal standard deviation () of ANPP, which in turn contributed to community stability. Our findings highlight the crucial role of community composition and community dynamics in regulating community stability under climate change.
Linking leaf traits to the temporal stability of above- and belowground productivity under global change and land use scenarios in a semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia.
Xu Fengwei,Li Jianjun,Wu Liji,Su Jishuai,Wang Yang,Chen Dima,Bai Yongfei
The Science of the total environment
The biotic drivers for the temporal stability of aboveground net productivity (ANPP) in natural ecosystems are well understood. However, knowledge gaps still exist regarding the relative importance of biotic and abiotic drivers regulating the temporal stability of aboveground productivity (ANPP), belowground net productivity (BNPP), and community net productivity (NPP) under global change and land use scenarios. Thus, in this study, we aimed to study the effects of increased water and nitrogen availability on temporal stability of ANPP, BNPP, and NPP and underlying mechanisms at sites with different long-term grazing histories in typical grasslands of the Inner Mongolia. The results suggested that resource addition affected the ANPP stability, but it did not change the stability of BNPP and NPP, which were all mediated by grazing histories. Most importantly, our study further indicated that species asynchrony, primarily contributed to the stability of ANPP and NPP by weakening their variation, and species asynchrony was regulated directly by plant diversity-related variables and indirectly by soil variables which were affected by resource addition and grazing history. In addition, an increase of ANPP stimulated under resource addition was a secondary contributor to ANPP stability. Specifically, the community-weighted mean of specific leaf area (CWM SLA) regulated the ANPP stability indirectly by promoting species asynchrony, while functional diversity of leaf area and SLA both directly controlled the BNPP stability. Findings of our study demonstrate that different mechanisms drove temporal stability of above- and belowground productivity. Our study has important implications for maintaining the temporal stability of community productivity and for establishing sustainable management practices of semi-arid grasslands under global change and land use scenarios.