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Functional diversity enhances the resistance of ecosystem multifunctionality to aridity in Mediterranean drylands / Enrique Valencia, Fernando T. Maestre, Yoann Le Bagousse-Pinguet, José Luis Quero, Riin Tamme, Luca Borger, Miguel García-Gómez, Nicolas Gross

New Phytologist, Volume: 206, Issue: 2, Pages: 660 - 671

Swansea University Author: Luca Borger

DOI (Published version): 10.1111/nph.13268

Abstract

1. We used a functional trait-based approach to assess the impacts of aridity and shrub encroachment on the functional structure of Mediterranean dryland communities (functional diversity (FD) and community-weighted mean trait values (CWM)), and to evaluate how these functional attributes ultimately...

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Published in: New Phytologist
Published: 2015
Online Access: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nph.13268/abstract
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa20625
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Abstract: 1. We used a functional trait-based approach to assess the impacts of aridity and shrub encroachment on the functional structure of Mediterranean dryland communities (functional diversity (FD) and community-weighted mean trait values (CWM)), and to evaluate how these functional attributes ultimately affect multifunctionality (i.e. the provision of several ecosystem functions simultaneously).2. Shrub encroachment (the increase in the abundance/cover of shrubs) is a major land cover change that is taking place in grasslands worldwide. Studies conducted on drylands have reported positive or negative impacts of shrub encroachment depending on the functions and the traits of the sprouting or nonsprouting shrub species considered.3. FD and CWM were equally important as drivers of multifunctionality responses to both aridity and shrub encroachment. Size traits (e.g. vegetative height or lateral spread) and leaf traits (e.g. specific leaf area and leaf dry matter content) captured the effect of shrub encroachment on multifunctionality with a relative high accuracy (r2 = 0.63). FD also improved the resistance of multifunctionality along the aridity gradient studied.4. Maintaining and enhancing FD in plant communities may help to buffer negative effects of ongoing global environmental change on dryland multifunctionality.
Keywords: aridity, drylands, functional biogeography, functional diversity (FD), global change, multifunctionality, shrub encroachment, traits
College: College of Science
Issue: 2
Start Page: 660
End Page: 671