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Biodiversity enhances ecosystem multifunctionality across trophic levels and habitats / Jonathan S. Lefcheck; Jarrett E. K. Byrnes; Forest Isbell; Lars Gamfeldt; John Griffin; Nico Eisenhauer; Marc J. S. Hensel; Andy Hector; Bradley J. Cardinale; J. Emmett Duffy

Nature Communications, Volume: 6, Start page: 6936

Swansea University Author: John, Griffin

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DOI (Published version): 10.1038/ncomms7936

Abstract

The importance of biodiversity for the integrated functioning of ecosystems remains unclear because most evidence comes from analyses of biodiversity’s effect on individual functions. Here we show that the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem function become more important as more functions are cons...

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Published in: Nature Communications
Published: 2015
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa23630
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Abstract: The importance of biodiversity for the integrated functioning of ecosystems remains unclear because most evidence comes from analyses of biodiversity’s effect on individual functions. Here we show that the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem function become more important as more functions are considered. We present the first systematic investigation of biodiversity’s effect on ecosystem multifunctionality across multiple taxa, trophic levels and habitats using a comprehensive database of 94 manipulations of species richness. We show that species-rich communities maintained multiple functions at higher levels than depauperate ones. These effects were stronger for herbivore biodiversity than for plant biodiversity, and were remarkably consistent across aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Despite observed tradeoffs, the overall effect of biodiversity on multifunctionality grew stronger as more functions were considered. These results indicate that prior research has underestimated the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning by focusing on individual functions and taxonomic groups.
College: College of Science
Start Page: 6936