Biodiversity promotes ecosystem functioning despite environmental change

Pubin Hong, Bernhard Schmid, Frederik De Laender, Nico Eisenhauer, Xingwen Zhang, Haozhen Chen, Dylan Craven, Hans J. De Boeck, Yann Hautier, Owen L. Petchey, Peter B. Reich, Bastian Steudel, Maren Striebel, Madhav P. Thakur, Shaopeng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three decades of research have demonstrated that biodiversity can promote the functioning of ecosystems. Yet, it is unclear whether the positive effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning will persist under various types of global environmental change drivers. We conducted a meta-analysis of 46 factorial experiments manipulating both species richness and the environment to test how global change drivers (i.e. warming, drought, nutrient addition or CO2 enrichment) modulated the effect of biodiversity on multiple ecosystem functions across three taxonomic groups (microbes, phytoplankton and plants). We found that biodiversity increased ecosystem functioning in both ambient and manipulated environments, but often not to the same degree. In particular, biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning were larger in stressful environments induced by global change drivers, indicating that high-diversity communities were more resistant to environmental change. Using a subset of studies, we also found that the positive effects of biodiversity were mainly driven by interspecific complementarity and that these effects increased over time in both ambient and manipulated environments. Our findings support biodiversity conservation as a key strategy for sustainable ecosystem management in the face of global environmental change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-569
Number of pages15
JournalEcology letters
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Julia Koricheva and Maowei Liang for helpful discussions. Comments by three anonymous reviewers and the editor helped to improve the manuscript. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31988102, 32122053, 31870505) and the CAS Interdisciplinary Innovation Team (JCTD‐2018‐06). B.S. was supported by the University Research Priority Program Global Change and Biodiversity of the University of Zurich. F.D.L. received support from the Fund for Scientific Research, FNRS (PDR T.0048.16). N.E. acknowledges support by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research Halle‐Jena‐Leipzig, funded by the German Research Foundation (FZT 118). D.C. acknowledges support by the Chilean Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (Fondecyt No. 1201347). The contribution of P.R. was supported by the U.S. NSF Biological Integration Institutes grant DBI‐2021898.

Funding Information:
We thank Julia Koricheva and Maowei Liang for helpful discussions. Comments by three anonymous reviewers and the editor helped to improve the manuscript. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31988102, 32122053, 31870505) and the CAS Interdisciplinary Innovation Team (JCTD-2018-06). B.S. was supported by the University Research Priority Program Global Change and Biodiversity of the University of Zurich. F.D.L. received support from the Fund for Scientific Research, FNRS (PDR T.0048.16). N.E. acknowledges support by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research Halle-Jena-Leipzig, funded by the German Research Foundation (FZT 118). D.C. acknowledges support by the Chilean Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Cient?fico y Tecnol?gico (Fondecyt No. 1201347). The contribution of P.R. was supported by the U.S. NSF Biological Integration Institutes grant DBI-2021898.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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