Species loss due to nutrient addition increases with spatial scale in global grasslands

Eric W. Seabloom, Evan Batzer, Jonathan M. Chase, W. Stanley Harpole, Peter B. Adler, Sumanta Bagchi, Jonathan D. Bakker, Isabel C. Barrio, Lori Biederman, Elizabeth H. Boughton, Miguel N. Bugalho, Maria C. Caldeira, Jane A. Catford, Pedro Daleo, Nico Eisenhauer, Anu Eskelinen, Sylvia Haider, Lauren M. Hallett, Ingibjörg Svala Jónsdóttir, Kaitlin KimmelMarirose Kuhlman, Andrew MacDougall, Cecilia D. Molina, Joslin L. Moore, John W. Morgan, Ranjan Muthukrishnan, Timothy Ohlert, Anita C. Risch, Christiane Roscher, Martin Schütz, Grégory Sonnier, Pedro M. Tognetti, Risto Virtanen, Peter A. Wilfahrt, Elizabeth T. Borer

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract

The effects of altered nutrient supplies and herbivore density on species diversity vary with spatial scale, because coexistence mechanisms are scale dependent. This scale dependence may alter the shape of the species–area relationship (SAR), which can be described by changes in species richness (S) as a power function of the sample area (A): S = cAz, where c and z are constants. We analysed the effects of experimental manipulations of nutrient supply and herbivore density on species richness across a range of scales (0.01–75 m2) at 30 grasslands in 10 countries. We found that nutrient addition reduced the number of species that could co-occur locally, indicated by the SAR intercepts (log c), but did not affect the SAR slopes (z). As a result, proportional species loss due to nutrient enrichment was largely unchanged across sampling scales, whereas total species loss increased over threefold across our range of sampling scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2100-2112
Number of pages13
JournalEcology letters
Volume24
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was generated using data from the Nutrient Network ( http://www.nutnet.org ) experiment, funded at the site scale by individual researchers. Coordination and data management have been supported by funding to E. Borer and E. Seabloom from the National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network (NSF‐DEB‐1042132) and Long Term Ecological Research (NSF‐DEB‐1234162 & DEB‐1831944 to Cedar Creek LTER) programs and the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment (DG‐0001‐13). We also thank the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute for hosting project data and the Institute on the Environment for hosting Network meetings.

Funding Information:
This work was generated using data from the Nutrient Network (http://www.nutnet.org) experiment, funded at the site scale by individual researchers. Coordination and data management have been supported by funding to E. Borer and E. Seabloom from the National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network (NSF-DEB-1042132) and Long Term Ecological Research (NSF-DEB-1234162 & DEB-1831944 to Cedar Creek LTER) programs and the University of Minnesota?s Institute on the Environment (DG-0001-13). We also thank the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute for hosting project data and the Institute on the Environment for hosting Network meetings.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • biodiversity
  • community ecology
  • grasslands
  • herbivores
  • nutrients

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Letter

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