Diversifying livestock promotes multidiversity and multifunctionality in managed grasslands

Ling Wang, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Deli Wang, Forest Isbell, Jun Liu, Chao Feng, Jushan Liu, Zhiwei Zhong, Hui Zhu, Xia Yuan, Qing Chang, Chen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Increasing plant diversity can increase ecosystem functioning, stability, and services in both natural and managed grasslands, but the effects of herbivore diversity, and especially of livestock diversity, remain underexplored. Given that managed grazing is the most extensive land use worldwide, and that land managers can readily change livestock diversity, we experimentally tested how livestock diversification (sheep, cattle, or both) influenced multidiversity (the diversity of plants, insects, soil microbes, and nematodes) and ecosystem multifunctionality (including plant biomass production, plant leaf N and P, above-ground insect abundance, nutrient cycling, soil C stocks, water regulation, and plant-microbe symbiosis) in the world's largest remaining grassland. We also considered the potential dependence of ecosystem multifunctionality on multidiversity. We found that livestock diversification substantially increased ecosystem multifunctionality by increasing multidiversity. The link between multidiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality was always stronger than the link between single diversity components and functions. Our work provides insights into the importance of multitrophic diversity to maintain multifunctionality in managed ecosystems and suggests that diversifying livestock could promote both multidiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality in an increasingly managed world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6187-6192
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume116
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Livestock
Ecosystem
Insects
Soil
Herbivory
Plant Leaves
Symbiosis
Grassland
Biomass
Sheep
Food
Water

Keywords

  • Ecosystem multifunctionality
  • Grassland grazing management
  • Livestock diversity
  • Mixed grazing
  • Multiple trophic diversity

PubMed: MeSH publication types

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

Cite this

Diversifying livestock promotes multidiversity and multifunctionality in managed grasslands. / Wang, Ling; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Wang, Deli; Isbell, Forest; Liu, Jun; Feng, Chao; Liu, Jushan; Zhong, Zhiwei; Zhu, Hui; Yuan, Xia; Chang, Qing; Liu, Chen.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 116, No. 13, 01.01.2019, p. 6187-6192.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wang, L, Delgado-Baquerizo, M, Wang, D, Isbell, F, Liu, J, Feng, C, Liu, J, Zhong, Z, Zhu, H, Yuan, X, Chang, Q & Liu, C 2019, 'Diversifying livestock promotes multidiversity and multifunctionality in managed grasslands', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 116, no. 13, pp. 6187-6192. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1807354116
Wang, Ling ; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel ; Wang, Deli ; Isbell, Forest ; Liu, Jun ; Feng, Chao ; Liu, Jushan ; Zhong, Zhiwei ; Zhu, Hui ; Yuan, Xia ; Chang, Qing ; Liu, Chen. / Diversifying livestock promotes multidiversity and multifunctionality in managed grasslands. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2019 ; Vol. 116, No. 13. pp. 6187-6192.
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