Biodiversity: Net primary productivity relationships are eliminated by invasive species dominance

Brian Wilsey, Leanne Martin, Xia Xu, Forest Isbell, H. Wayne Polley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Experiments often find that net primary productivity (NPP) increases with species richness when native species are considered. However, relationships may be altered by exotic (non-native) species, which are hypothesized to reduce richness but increase productivity (i.e., ‘invasion-diversity-productivity paradox’). We compared richness-NPP relationships using a comparison of exotic versus native-dominated sites across the central USA, and two experiments under common environments. Aboveground NPP was measured using peak biomass clipping in all three studies, and belowground NPP was measured in one study with root ingrowth cores using root-free soil. In all studies, there was a significantly positive relationship between NPP and richness across native species-dominated sites and plots, but no relationship across exotic-dominated ones. These results indicate that relationships between NPP and richness depend on whether native or exotic species are dominant, and that exotic species are ‘breaking the rules', altering richness-productivity and richness-C stock relationships after invasion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14342
JournalEcology letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • belowground productivity
  • biodiversity-ecosystem function
  • grasslands
  • invasion-diversity-productivity paradox
  • invasive species
  • latitude
  • net primary productivity
  • rooting depth
  • tallgrass prairie

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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