Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes

Forest Isbell, Dylan Craven, John Connolly, Michel Loreau, Bernhard Schmid, Carl Beierkuhnlein, T. Martijn Bezemer, Catherine Bonin, Helge Bruelheide, Enrica De Luca, Anne Ebeling, John N. Griffin, Qinfeng Guo, Yann Hautier, Andy Hector, Anke Jentsch, Jürgen Kreyling, Vojtêch Lanta, Pete Manning, Sebastian T. Meyer & 17 others Akira S. Mori, Shahid Naeem, Pascal A. Niklaus, H. Wayne Polley, Peter B. Reich, Christiane Roscher, Eric W. Seabloom, Melinda D. Smith, Madhav P. Thakur, David Tilman, Benjamin F. Tracy, Wim H. Van Der Putten, Jasper Van Ruijven, Alexandra Weigelt, Wolfgang W. Weisser, Brian Wilsey, Nico Eisenhauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

275 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of depauperate communities. However, subsequent experimental tests produced mixed results. Here we use data from 46 experiments that manipulated grassland plant diversity to test whether biodiversity provides resistance during and resilience after climate events. We show that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance for a broad range of climate events, including wet or dry, moderate or extreme, and brief or prolonged events. Across all studies and climate events, the productivity of low-diversity communities with one or two species changed by approximately 50% during climate events, whereas that of high-diversity communities with 16-32 species was more resistant, changing by only approximately 25%. By a year after each climate event, ecosystem productivity had often fully recovered, or overshot, normal levels of productivity in both high- and low-diversity communities, leading to no detectable dependence of ecosystem resilience on biodiversity. Our results suggest that biodiversity mainly stabilizes ecosystem productivity, and productivity-dependent ecosystem services, by increasing resistance to climate events. Anthropogenic environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss thus seem likely to decrease ecosystem stability, and restoration of biodiversity to increase it, mainly by changing the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-577
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume526
Issue number7574
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 22 2015

Fingerprint

Biodiversity
Climate
Ecosystem
Droughts
Buffers

Cite this

Isbell, F., Craven, D., Connolly, J., Loreau, M., Schmid, B., Beierkuhnlein, C., ... Eisenhauer, N. (2015). Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes. Nature, 526(7574), 574-577. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature15374

Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes. / Isbell, Forest; Craven, Dylan; Connolly, John; Loreau, Michel; Schmid, Bernhard; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bezemer, T. Martijn; Bonin, Catherine; Bruelheide, Helge; De Luca, Enrica; Ebeling, Anne; Griffin, John N.; Guo, Qinfeng; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtêch; Manning, Pete; Meyer, Sebastian T.; Mori, Akira S.; Naeem, Shahid; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Polley, H. Wayne; Reich, Peter B.; Roscher, Christiane; Seabloom, Eric W.; Smith, Melinda D.; Thakur, Madhav P.; Tilman, David; Tracy, Benjamin F.; Van Der Putten, Wim H.; Van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Wilsey, Brian; Eisenhauer, Nico.

In: Nature, Vol. 526, No. 7574, 22.10.2015, p. 574-577.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Isbell, F, Craven, D, Connolly, J, Loreau, M, Schmid, B, Beierkuhnlein, C, Bezemer, TM, Bonin, C, Bruelheide, H, De Luca, E, Ebeling, A, Griffin, JN, Guo, Q, Hautier, Y, Hector, A, Jentsch, A, Kreyling, J, Lanta, V, Manning, P, Meyer, ST, Mori, AS, Naeem, S, Niklaus, PA, Polley, HW, Reich, PB, Roscher, C, Seabloom, EW, Smith, MD, Thakur, MP, Tilman, D, Tracy, BF, Van Der Putten, WH, Van Ruijven, J, Weigelt, A, Weisser, WW, Wilsey, B & Eisenhauer, N 2015, 'Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes', Nature, vol. 526, no. 7574, pp. 574-577. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature15374
Isbell F, Craven D, Connolly J, Loreau M, Schmid B, Beierkuhnlein C et al. Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes. Nature. 2015 Oct 22;526(7574):574-577. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature15374
Isbell, Forest ; Craven, Dylan ; Connolly, John ; Loreau, Michel ; Schmid, Bernhard ; Beierkuhnlein, Carl ; Bezemer, T. Martijn ; Bonin, Catherine ; Bruelheide, Helge ; De Luca, Enrica ; Ebeling, Anne ; Griffin, John N. ; Guo, Qinfeng ; Hautier, Yann ; Hector, Andy ; Jentsch, Anke ; Kreyling, Jürgen ; Lanta, Vojtêch ; Manning, Pete ; Meyer, Sebastian T. ; Mori, Akira S. ; Naeem, Shahid ; Niklaus, Pascal A. ; Polley, H. Wayne ; Reich, Peter B. ; Roscher, Christiane ; Seabloom, Eric W. ; Smith, Melinda D. ; Thakur, Madhav P. ; Tilman, David ; Tracy, Benjamin F. ; Van Der Putten, Wim H. ; Van Ruijven, Jasper ; Weigelt, Alexandra ; Weisser, Wolfgang W. ; Wilsey, Brian ; Eisenhauer, Nico. / Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes. In: Nature. 2015 ; Vol. 526, No. 7574. pp. 574-577.
@article{cc8a5dd5958d4cadbf626f9f8a5a074a,
title = "Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes",
abstract = "It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of depauperate communities. However, subsequent experimental tests produced mixed results. Here we use data from 46 experiments that manipulated grassland plant diversity to test whether biodiversity provides resistance during and resilience after climate events. We show that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance for a broad range of climate events, including wet or dry, moderate or extreme, and brief or prolonged events. Across all studies and climate events, the productivity of low-diversity communities with one or two species changed by approximately 50{\%} during climate events, whereas that of high-diversity communities with 16-32 species was more resistant, changing by only approximately 25{\%}. By a year after each climate event, ecosystem productivity had often fully recovered, or overshot, normal levels of productivity in both high- and low-diversity communities, leading to no detectable dependence of ecosystem resilience on biodiversity. Our results suggest that biodiversity mainly stabilizes ecosystem productivity, and productivity-dependent ecosystem services, by increasing resistance to climate events. Anthropogenic environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss thus seem likely to decrease ecosystem stability, and restoration of biodiversity to increase it, mainly by changing the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate events.",
author = "Forest Isbell and Dylan Craven and John Connolly and Michel Loreau and Bernhard Schmid and Carl Beierkuhnlein and Bezemer, {T. Martijn} and Catherine Bonin and Helge Bruelheide and {De Luca}, Enrica and Anne Ebeling and Griffin, {John N.} and Qinfeng Guo and Yann Hautier and Andy Hector and Anke Jentsch and J{\"u}rgen Kreyling and Vojt{\^e}ch Lanta and Pete Manning and Meyer, {Sebastian T.} and Mori, {Akira S.} and Shahid Naeem and Niklaus, {Pascal A.} and Polley, {H. Wayne} and Reich, {Peter B.} and Christiane Roscher and Seabloom, {Eric W.} and Smith, {Melinda D.} and Thakur, {Madhav P.} and David Tilman and Tracy, {Benjamin F.} and {Van Der Putten}, {Wim H.} and {Van Ruijven}, Jasper and Alexandra Weigelt and Weisser, {Wolfgang W.} and Brian Wilsey and Nico Eisenhauer",
year = "2015",
month = "10",
day = "22",
doi = "10.1038/nature15374",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "526",
pages = "574--577",
journal = "Nature",
issn = "0028-0836",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "7574",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes

AU - Isbell, Forest

AU - Craven, Dylan

AU - Connolly, John

AU - Loreau, Michel

AU - Schmid, Bernhard

AU - Beierkuhnlein, Carl

AU - Bezemer, T. Martijn

AU - Bonin, Catherine

AU - Bruelheide, Helge

AU - De Luca, Enrica

AU - Ebeling, Anne

AU - Griffin, John N.

AU - Guo, Qinfeng

AU - Hautier, Yann

AU - Hector, Andy

AU - Jentsch, Anke

AU - Kreyling, Jürgen

AU - Lanta, Vojtêch

AU - Manning, Pete

AU - Meyer, Sebastian T.

AU - Mori, Akira S.

AU - Naeem, Shahid

AU - Niklaus, Pascal A.

AU - Polley, H. Wayne

AU - Reich, Peter B.

AU - Roscher, Christiane

AU - Seabloom, Eric W.

AU - Smith, Melinda D.

AU - Thakur, Madhav P.

AU - Tilman, David

AU - Tracy, Benjamin F.

AU - Van Der Putten, Wim H.

AU - Van Ruijven, Jasper

AU - Weigelt, Alexandra

AU - Weisser, Wolfgang W.

AU - Wilsey, Brian

AU - Eisenhauer, Nico

PY - 2015/10/22

Y1 - 2015/10/22

N2 - It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of depauperate communities. However, subsequent experimental tests produced mixed results. Here we use data from 46 experiments that manipulated grassland plant diversity to test whether biodiversity provides resistance during and resilience after climate events. We show that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance for a broad range of climate events, including wet or dry, moderate or extreme, and brief or prolonged events. Across all studies and climate events, the productivity of low-diversity communities with one or two species changed by approximately 50% during climate events, whereas that of high-diversity communities with 16-32 species was more resistant, changing by only approximately 25%. By a year after each climate event, ecosystem productivity had often fully recovered, or overshot, normal levels of productivity in both high- and low-diversity communities, leading to no detectable dependence of ecosystem resilience on biodiversity. Our results suggest that biodiversity mainly stabilizes ecosystem productivity, and productivity-dependent ecosystem services, by increasing resistance to climate events. Anthropogenic environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss thus seem likely to decrease ecosystem stability, and restoration of biodiversity to increase it, mainly by changing the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate events.

AB - It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of depauperate communities. However, subsequent experimental tests produced mixed results. Here we use data from 46 experiments that manipulated grassland plant diversity to test whether biodiversity provides resistance during and resilience after climate events. We show that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance for a broad range of climate events, including wet or dry, moderate or extreme, and brief or prolonged events. Across all studies and climate events, the productivity of low-diversity communities with one or two species changed by approximately 50% during climate events, whereas that of high-diversity communities with 16-32 species was more resistant, changing by only approximately 25%. By a year after each climate event, ecosystem productivity had often fully recovered, or overshot, normal levels of productivity in both high- and low-diversity communities, leading to no detectable dependence of ecosystem resilience on biodiversity. Our results suggest that biodiversity mainly stabilizes ecosystem productivity, and productivity-dependent ecosystem services, by increasing resistance to climate events. Anthropogenic environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss thus seem likely to decrease ecosystem stability, and restoration of biodiversity to increase it, mainly by changing the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate events.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84945312520&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84945312520&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/nature15374

DO - 10.1038/nature15374

M3 - Article

VL - 526

SP - 574

EP - 577

JO - Nature

JF - Nature

SN - 0028-0836

IS - 7574

ER -