Addition of multiple limiting resources reduces grassland diversity

W. Stanley Harpole, Lauren L. Sullivan, Eric M. Lind, Jennifer Firn, Peter B. Adler, Elizabeth T. Borer, Jonathan Chase, Philip A. Fay, Yann Hautier, Helmut Hillebrand, Andrew S. MacDougall, Eric W. Seabloom, Ryan Williams, Jonathan D. Bakker, Marc W. Cadotte, Enrique J. Chaneton, Chengjin Chu, Elsa E. Cleland, Carla D'Antonio, Kendi F. Davies & 13 others Daniel S. Gruner, Nicole Hagenah, Kevin Kirkman, Johannes M H Knops, Kimberly J. La Pierre, Rebecca L. McCulley, Joslin L. Moore, John W. Morgan, Suzanne M. Prober, Anita C. Risch, Martin Schuetz, Carly J. Stevens, Peter D. Wragg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 9 Citations

Abstract

Niche dimensionality provides a general theoretical explanation for biodiversity-more niches, defined by more limiting factors, allow for more ways that species can coexist. Because plant species compete for the same set of limiting resources, theory predicts that addition of a limiting resource eliminates potential trade-offs, reducing the number of species that can coexist. Multiple nutrient limitation of plant production is common and therefore fertilization may reduce diversity by reducing the number or dimensionality of belowground limiting factors. At the same time, nutrient addition, by increasing biomass, should ultimately shift competition from belowground nutrients towards a one-dimensional competitive trade-off for light. Here we show that plant species diversity decreased when a greater number of limiting nutrients were added across 45 grassland sites from a multi-continent experimental network. The number of added nutrients predicted diversity loss, even after controlling for effects of plant biomass, and even where biomass production was not nutrient-limited. We found that elevated resource supply reduced niche dimensionality and diversity and increased both productivity and compositional turnover. Our results point to the importance of understanding dimensionality in ecological systems that are undergoing diversity loss in response to multiple global change factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-96
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume537
Issue number7618
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 24 2016

Fingerprint

Food
Grassland
Biomass
Biodiversity
Fertilization
Ecosystem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • General

MeSH PubMed subject areas

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Cite this

Addition of multiple limiting resources reduces grassland diversity. / Harpole, W. Stanley; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Lind, Eric M.; Firn, Jennifer; Adler, Peter B.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Chase, Jonathan; Fay, Philip A.; Hautier, Yann; Hillebrand, Helmut; MacDougall, Andrew S.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Williams, Ryan; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Cadotte, Marc W.; Chaneton, Enrique J.; Chu, Chengjin; Cleland, Elsa E.; D'Antonio, Carla; Davies, Kendi F.; Gruner, Daniel S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Kirkman, Kevin; Knops, Johannes M H; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John W.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Stevens, Carly J.; Wragg, Peter D.

In: Nature, Vol. 537, No. 7618, 24.08.2016, p. 93-96.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harpole, WS, Sullivan, LL, Lind, EM, Firn, J, Adler, PB, Borer, ET, Chase, J, Fay, PA, Hautier, Y, Hillebrand, H, MacDougall, AS, Seabloom, EW, Williams, R, Bakker, JD, Cadotte, MW, Chaneton, EJ, Chu, C, Cleland, EE, D'Antonio, C, Davies, KF, Gruner, DS, Hagenah, N, Kirkman, K, Knops, JMH, La Pierre, KJ, McCulley, RL, Moore, JL, Morgan, JW, Prober, SM, Risch, AC, Schuetz, M, Stevens, CJ & Wragg, PD 2016, 'Addition of multiple limiting resources reduces grassland diversity' Nature, vol 537, no. 7618, pp. 93-96. DOI: 10.1038/nature19324
Harpole WS, Sullivan LL, Lind EM, Firn J, Adler PB, Borer ET et al. Addition of multiple limiting resources reduces grassland diversity. Nature. 2016 Aug 24;537(7618):93-96. Available from, DOI: 10.1038/nature19324

Harpole, W. Stanley; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Lind, Eric M.; Firn, Jennifer; Adler, Peter B.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Chase, Jonathan; Fay, Philip A.; Hautier, Yann; Hillebrand, Helmut; MacDougall, Andrew S.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Williams, Ryan; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Cadotte, Marc W.; Chaneton, Enrique J.; Chu, Chengjin; Cleland, Elsa E.; D'Antonio, Carla; Davies, Kendi F.; Gruner, Daniel S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Kirkman, Kevin; Knops, Johannes M H; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John W.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Stevens, Carly J.; Wragg, Peter D. / Addition of multiple limiting resources reduces grassland diversity.

In: Nature, Vol. 537, No. 7618, 24.08.2016, p. 93-96.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{68d6268e503d40358a5b8c9221f9d8ba,
title = "Addition of multiple limiting resources reduces grassland diversity",
abstract = "Niche dimensionality provides a general theoretical explanation for biodiversity-more niches, defined by more limiting factors, allow for more ways that species can coexist. Because plant species compete for the same set of limiting resources, theory predicts that addition of a limiting resource eliminates potential trade-offs, reducing the number of species that can coexist. Multiple nutrient limitation of plant production is common and therefore fertilization may reduce diversity by reducing the number or dimensionality of belowground limiting factors. At the same time, nutrient addition, by increasing biomass, should ultimately shift competition from belowground nutrients towards a one-dimensional competitive trade-off for light. Here we show that plant species diversity decreased when a greater number of limiting nutrients were added across 45 grassland sites from a multi-continent experimental network. The number of added nutrients predicted diversity loss, even after controlling for effects of plant biomass, and even where biomass production was not nutrient-limited. We found that elevated resource supply reduced niche dimensionality and diversity and increased both productivity and compositional turnover. Our results point to the importance of understanding dimensionality in ecological systems that are undergoing diversity loss in response to multiple global change factors.",
author = "Harpole, {W. Stanley} and Sullivan, {Lauren L.} and Lind, {Eric M.} and Jennifer Firn and Adler, {Peter B.} and Borer, {Elizabeth T.} and Jonathan Chase and Fay, {Philip A.} and Yann Hautier and Helmut Hillebrand and MacDougall, {Andrew S.} and Seabloom, {Eric W.} and Ryan Williams and Bakker, {Jonathan D.} and Cadotte, {Marc W.} and Chaneton, {Enrique J.} and Chengjin Chu and Cleland, {Elsa E.} and Carla D'Antonio and Davies, {Kendi F.} and Gruner, {Daniel S.} and Nicole Hagenah and Kevin Kirkman and Knops, {Johannes M H} and {La Pierre}, {Kimberly J.} and McCulley, {Rebecca L.} and Moore, {Joslin L.} and Morgan, {John W.} and Prober, {Suzanne M.} and Risch, {Anita C.} and Martin Schuetz and Stevens, {Carly J.} and Wragg, {Peter D.}",
year = "2016",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1038/nature19324",
volume = "537",
pages = "93--96",
journal = "Nature",
issn = "0028-0836",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "7618",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Addition of multiple limiting resources reduces grassland diversity

AU - Harpole,W. Stanley

AU - Sullivan,Lauren L.

AU - Lind,Eric M.

AU - Firn,Jennifer

AU - Adler,Peter B.

AU - Borer,Elizabeth T.

AU - Chase,Jonathan

AU - Fay,Philip A.

AU - Hautier,Yann

AU - Hillebrand,Helmut

AU - MacDougall,Andrew S.

AU - Seabloom,Eric W.

AU - Williams,Ryan

AU - Bakker,Jonathan D.

AU - Cadotte,Marc W.

AU - Chaneton,Enrique J.

AU - Chu,Chengjin

AU - Cleland,Elsa E.

AU - D'Antonio,Carla

AU - Davies,Kendi F.

AU - Gruner,Daniel S.

AU - Hagenah,Nicole

AU - Kirkman,Kevin

AU - Knops,Johannes M H

AU - La Pierre,Kimberly J.

AU - McCulley,Rebecca L.

AU - Moore,Joslin L.

AU - Morgan,John W.

AU - Prober,Suzanne M.

AU - Risch,Anita C.

AU - Schuetz,Martin

AU - Stevens,Carly J.

AU - Wragg,Peter D.

PY - 2016/8/24

Y1 - 2016/8/24

N2 - Niche dimensionality provides a general theoretical explanation for biodiversity-more niches, defined by more limiting factors, allow for more ways that species can coexist. Because plant species compete for the same set of limiting resources, theory predicts that addition of a limiting resource eliminates potential trade-offs, reducing the number of species that can coexist. Multiple nutrient limitation of plant production is common and therefore fertilization may reduce diversity by reducing the number or dimensionality of belowground limiting factors. At the same time, nutrient addition, by increasing biomass, should ultimately shift competition from belowground nutrients towards a one-dimensional competitive trade-off for light. Here we show that plant species diversity decreased when a greater number of limiting nutrients were added across 45 grassland sites from a multi-continent experimental network. The number of added nutrients predicted diversity loss, even after controlling for effects of plant biomass, and even where biomass production was not nutrient-limited. We found that elevated resource supply reduced niche dimensionality and diversity and increased both productivity and compositional turnover. Our results point to the importance of understanding dimensionality in ecological systems that are undergoing diversity loss in response to multiple global change factors.

AB - Niche dimensionality provides a general theoretical explanation for biodiversity-more niches, defined by more limiting factors, allow for more ways that species can coexist. Because plant species compete for the same set of limiting resources, theory predicts that addition of a limiting resource eliminates potential trade-offs, reducing the number of species that can coexist. Multiple nutrient limitation of plant production is common and therefore fertilization may reduce diversity by reducing the number or dimensionality of belowground limiting factors. At the same time, nutrient addition, by increasing biomass, should ultimately shift competition from belowground nutrients towards a one-dimensional competitive trade-off for light. Here we show that plant species diversity decreased when a greater number of limiting nutrients were added across 45 grassland sites from a multi-continent experimental network. The number of added nutrients predicted diversity loss, even after controlling for effects of plant biomass, and even where biomass production was not nutrient-limited. We found that elevated resource supply reduced niche dimensionality and diversity and increased both productivity and compositional turnover. Our results point to the importance of understanding dimensionality in ecological systems that are undergoing diversity loss in response to multiple global change factors.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84984611745&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84984611745&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/nature19324

DO - 10.1038/nature19324

M3 - Article

VL - 537

SP - 93

EP - 96

JO - Nature

T2 - Nature

JF - Nature

SN - 0028-0836

IS - 7618

ER -