Biodiversity enhances ecosystem multifunctionality across trophic levels and habitats

Jonathan S. Lefcheck, Jarrett E. K. Byrnes, Forest Isbell, Lars Gamfeldt, John N. Griffin, Nico Eisenhauer, Marc J. S. Hensel, Andy Hector, Bradley J. Cardinale, J. Emmett Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

183 Citations (Scopus)

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.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6936
Number of pages1
JournalNature Communications
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

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biological diversity
habitats
Biodiversity
ecosystems
Ecosystems
Ecosystem
Herbivory
tradeoffs
manipulators
Databases

Bibliographical note

Supplementary information available for this article at http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150424/ncomms7936/suppinfo/ncomms7936_S1.html

Cite this

Lefcheck, J. S., Byrnes, J. E. K., Isbell, F., Gamfeldt, L., Griffin, J. N., Eisenhauer, N., ... Duffy, J. E. (2015). Biodiversity enhances ecosystem multifunctionality across trophic levels and habitats. Nature Communications, 6, 6936. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms7936

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

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 6, 2015, p. 6936.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lefcheck, JS, Byrnes, JEK, Isbell, F, Gamfeldt, L, Griffin, JN, Eisenhauer, N, Hensel, MJS, Hector, A, Cardinale, BJ & Duffy, JE 2015, 'Biodiversity enhances ecosystem multifunctionality across trophic levels and habitats', Nature Communications, vol. 6, pp. 6936. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms7936
Lefcheck, Jonathan S. ; Byrnes, Jarrett E. K. ; Isbell, Forest ; Gamfeldt, Lars ; Griffin, John N. ; Eisenhauer, Nico ; Hensel, Marc J. S. ; Hector, Andy ; Cardinale, Bradley J. ; Duffy, J. Emmett. / Biodiversity enhances ecosystem multifunctionality across trophic levels and habitats. In: Nature Communications. 2015 ; Vol. 6. pp. 6936.
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