Climate warming promotes species diversity, but with greater taxonomic redundancy, in complex environments

Madhav P. Thakur, David Tilman, Oliver Purschke, Marcel Ciobanu, Jane Cowles, Forest Isbell, Peter D. Wragg, Nico Eisenhauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Climate warming is predicted to alter species interactions, which could potentially lead to extinction events. However, there is an ongoing debatewhether the effects ofwarming on biodiversitymay bemoderated by biodiversity itself.We tested warming effects on soil nematodes, one of themost diverse and abundantmetazoans in terrestrial ecosystems, along a gradient of environmental complexity created by a gradient of plant species richness. Warming increased nematode species diversity in complex (16-species mixtures) plant communities (by ∼36%) but decreased it in simple (monocultures) plant communities (by ∼39%) compared to ambient temperature. Further, warming led to higher levels of taxonomic relatedness in nematode communities across all levels of plant species richness. Our results highlight both the need for maintaining species-rich plant communities to help offset detrimental warming effects and the inability of species-rich plant communities to maintain nematode taxonomic distinctness when warming occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1700866
JournalScience Advances
Volume3
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 5 2017

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