Diversity and productivity in a long-term grassland experiment

David Tilman, Peter B Reich, J. Knops, D. Wedin, T. Mielke, Clarence Lehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1772 Scopus citations


Plant diversity and niche complementarity had progressively stronger effects on ecosystem functioning during a 7-year experiment, with 16-species plots attaining 2.7 times greater biomass than monocultures, Diversity effects were neither transients nor explained solely by a few productive or unviable species. Rather, many higher-diversity plots outperformed the best monoculture, These results help resolve debate over biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, show effects at higher than expected diversity levels, and demonstrate, for these ecosystems, that even the best-chosen monocultures cannot achieve greater productivity or carbon stores than higher-diversity sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-845
Number of pages3
Issue number5543
StatePublished - Oct 26 2001


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