From selection to complementarity: Shifts in the causes of biodiversity-productivity relationships in a long-term biodiversity experiment

Joseph Fargione, David Tilman, Ray Dybzinski, Janneke Hille Ris Lambers, Chris Clark, W. Stanley Harpole, Johannes M.H. Knops, Peter B Reich, Michel Loreau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

266 Scopus citations

Abstract

In a 10-year (1996-2005) biodiversity experiment, the mechanisms underlying the increasingly positive effect of biodiversity on plant biomass production shifted from sampling to complementarity over time. The effect of diversity on plant biomass was associated primarily with the accumulation of higher total plant nitrogen pools (N g m-2) and secondarily with more efficient N use at higher diversity. The accumulation of N in living plant biomass was significantly increased by the presence of legumes, C4 grasses, and their combined presence. Thus, these results provide clear evidence for the increasing effects of complementarity through time and suggest a mechanism whereby diversity increases complementarity through the increased input and retention of N, a commonly limiting nutrient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-876
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume274
Issue number1611
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 22 2007

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Complementarity effect
  • Nitrogen
  • Sampling effect
  • Selection effect

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