Consistent functional clusters explain the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem productivity in a long-term experiment

Benoît Jaillard, Philippe Deleporte, Forest Isbell, Michel Loreau, Cyrille Violle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Biomass production in ecosystems is a complex process regulated by several facets of biodiversity and species identity, but also species interactions such as competition or complementarity between species. For studying these different facets separately, ecosystem biomass is generally partitioned in two biodiversity effects. The composition effect is a simple, linear effect, and the interaction effect is a more subtle, nonlinear effect. Here we used a clustering approach (1) to separately and comprehensively capture all linear and nonlinear effects induced by both biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning, and (2) to determine the functional composition at the origin of each biodiversity effect. We used data from the long-term Cedar Creek BioDIV experiment carried out over 22 yr, and we partitioned multiplicatively the biomass in composition and interaction effects. Both biodiversity effects were weakly correlated. Our clustering approach accurately explains and predicts each diversity effect over time: each one is modeled by a different functional composition. Even if environmental conditions and the strength of interaction effect strongly varied over time, the functional clusters of species that govern the interaction effect do not change over the 22 yr of the experiment. The functional composition governing the interaction effect is therefore very robust. In contrast, the functional clusters of species that govern the composition effect are less robust and change with environmental conditions. Understanding ecosystem functioning therefore requires that ecological properties are first partitioned by type, then each type of property is analyzed and modeled separately. Approaches without a priori groupings of species, such as functional clustering, appear particularly efficient and robust to unravel the web of species interactions, and identify the role played by species on biodiversity effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere03441
JournalEcology
Volume102
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are very grateful to Dr. Patrick Venail and an anonymous reviewer for their valuable criticisms that greatly contributed to improve the manuscript. The Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve work was supported by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation Long‐Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) including DEB‐0620652 and DEB‐1234162. Further support was provided by the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve and the University of Minnesota. The Cedar Creek biodiversity experiments are supported by the NSF Long‐Term Ecological Research program (NSF DEB‐1831944). ML was supported by the TULIP Laboratory of Excellence (ANR‐10‐LABX‐41). CV was supported by the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB 8

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments ) and EDF in the context of the FREE project, by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Program (DiversiTraits project 221060) and by the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant Project “Ecophysiological and biophysical constraints on domestication in crop plants” (grant ERC‐StG‐2014‐639706‐CONSTRAINTS).

Funding Information:
We are very grateful to Dr. Patrick Venail and an anonymous reviewer for their valuable criticisms that greatly contributed to improve the manuscript. The Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve work was supported by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) including DEB-0620652 and DEB-1234162. Further support was provided by the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve and the University of Minnesota. The Cedar Creek biodiversity experiments are supported by the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research program (NSF DEB-1831944). ML was supported by the TULIP Laboratory of Excellence (ANR-10-LABX-41). CV was supported by the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB8www.fondationbiodiversite.fr) and EDF in the context of the FREE project, by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Program (DiversiTraits project 221060) and by the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant Project ?Ecophysiological and biophysical constraints on domestication in crop plants? (grant ERC-StG-2014-639706-CONSTRAINTS). www.fondationbiodiversite.fr

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the Ecological Society of America

Keywords

  • assembly motif
  • biodiversity–ecosystem functioning
  • combinatorial analysis
  • functional groups
  • species clustering

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

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