University of Oulu

Hautier, Y., Zhang, P., Loreau, M. et al. General destabilizing effects of eutrophication on grassland productivity at multiple spatial scales. Nat Commun 11, 5375 (2020).

General destabilizing effects of eutrophication on grassland productivity at multiple spatial scales

Saved in:
Author: Hautier, Yann1; Zhang, Pengfei1,2,3,4; Loreau, Michel5;
Organizations: 1Univ Utrecht, Dept Biol, Ecol & Biodivers Grp, Padualaan 8, NL-3584 CH Utrecht, Netherlands.
2Lanzhou Univ, Sch Life Sci, State Key Lab Grassland & Agroecosyst, Lanzhou 730000, Gansu, Peoples R China.
3Shandong Univ, Inst Ecoenvironm Forens, Jinan 266237, Shandong, Peoples R China.
4Minist Justice Hub Res & Practice Ecoenvironm For, Qingdao 266237, Shandong, Peoples R China.
5CNRS, Ctr Biodivers Theory & Modelling, Theoret & Expt Ecol Stn, 2 Route CNRS, F-09200 Moulis, France.
6Univ Wyoming, Dept Ecosyst Sci & Management, Laramie, WY USA.
7Univ MN, Dept Ecol Evolut & Behav, St Paul, MN 55108 USA.
8Univ Massachusetts, Dept Biol, Boston, MA 02125 USA.
9Univ N Carolina, Dept Biol, Greensboro, NC USA.
10Smithsonian Environm Res Ctr, Edgewater, MD 21037 USA.
11Smithsonian Environm Res Ctr, Tennenbaum Marine Observ Network, MarineGEO, Edgewater, MD 21037 USA.
12Univ Oxford, Dept Plant Sci, Oxford OX1 3RB, England.
13Utah State Univ, Dept Wildland Resources, Logan, UT 84322 USA.
14Utah State Univ, Ecol Ctr, Logan, UT 84322 USA.
15Inst Invest Marinas & Costeras IIMyC, UNMdP CONICET, FCEyN, CC 1260 Correo Cent, B7600WAG, Mar Del Plata, Argentina.
16Univ Toronto, Dept Phys & Environm Sci, Scarborough, ON, Canada.
17Univ Washington, Sch Environm & Forest Sci, Seattle, WA 98195 USA.
18Michigan State Univ, Dept Plant Biol, E Lansing, MI USA.
19Michigan State Univ, Program Ecol Evolutionary Biol & Behav, E Lansing, MI USA.
20Univ Lisbon, Ctr Appl Ecol Prof Baeta Neves CEABN InB10, Sch Agr, Lisbon, Portugal.
21Univ Toronto, Dept Biol Sci, Scarborough, ON, Canada.
22Univ Lisbon, Forest Res Ctr, Sch Agr, Lisbon, Portugal.
23Univ Guelph, Dept Integrat Biol, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
24Imperial Coll London, Life Sci, Silwood Pk, Ascot SL5 7PY, Berks, England.
25Univ New Mexico, Dept Biol, Albuquerque, NM 87131 USA.
26Univ Colorado, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol, 1560 30th St, Boulder, CO 80309 USA.
27German Ctr Integrat Biodivers Res iDiv, Deutsch Pl 5e, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany.
28Univ Leipzig, Inst Biol, Deutsch Pl 5e, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany.
29UFZ, Dept Physiol Divers, Helmholtz Ctr Environm Res, Leipzig, Germany.
30Univ Oulu, Dept Ecol & Genet, Oulu, Finland.
31USDA, Grassland Soil & Water Res Lab, ARS, Temple, TX 76502 USA.
32Univ Toronto, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol, Toronto, ON M5S 3B2, Canada.
33PSL Univ, Ctr Rech Ecol Expt & Predict CEREEP Ecotron IleDe, Dept Biol, CNRS,Ecole Normale Super, St Pierre Les Nemours, France.
34Xian Jiaotong Liverpool Univ, Dept Heatth & Environm Sci, Suzhou 214123, Jiangsu, Peoples R China.
35Univ Kentucky, Plant & Soil Sci, 1405 Vet Dr, Lexington, KY 40546 USA.
36Monash Univ, Sch Biol Sci, Clayton Campus, Clayton, Vic 3800, Australia.
37La Trobe Univ, Dept Ecol Environm & Evolut, Bundoora, Vic 3086, Australia.
38Yokohama Natl Univ, Grad Sch Environm & Informat Sci, 79-7 Tokiwadai, Yokohama, Kanagawa 2408501, Japan.
39UNPA Southern Patagonia Natl Univ, INTA Natl Inst Agr Res, CONICET, Santa Cruz, Argentina.
40Western Sydney Univ, Hawkesbury Inst Environm, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia.
41Charles Sturt Univ, Inst Land Water & Soc, Albury, NSW 2640, Australia.
42Univ Minnesota, Dept Forest Resources, St Paul, MN USA.
43Swiss Fed Inst Forest, Snow & Landscape Res WSL, Zuercherstr 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland.
44UFZ, Physiol Divers, Helmholtz Ctr Environm Res, Permoserstr 15, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany.
45TIFR, Natl Ctr Biol Sci, Ecol & Evolut Grp, Bangalore 560065, Karnataka, India.
46Univ Leeds, Sch Biol, Leeds LS2 9JT, W Yorkshire, England.
47Colorado State Univ, Dept Biol, Ft Collins, CO 80523 USA.
48Colorado State Univ, Grad Degree Program Ecol, Ft Collins, CO 80523 USA.
49Univ Lancaster, Lancaster Environm Ctr, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, England.
50Univ Buenos Aires, IFEVA Fac Agron, CONICET, Av San Martin 4453, Buenos Aires, DF, Argentina.
51Univ Sydney, Sch Life & Environm Sci, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
52Peking Univ, Coll Urban & Environm Sci, Inst Ecol, Beijing 100871, Peoples R China.
53Peking Univ, Key Lab Earth Surface Proc, Minist Educ, Beijing 100871, Peoples R China.
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-03-10


Eutrophication is a widespread environmental change that usually reduces the stabilizing effect of plant diversity on productivity in local communities. Whether this effect is scale dependent remains to be elucidated. Here, we determine the relationship between plant diversity and temporal stability of productivity for 243 plant communities from 42 grasslands across the globe and quantify the effect of chronic fertilization on these relationships. Unfertilized local communities with more plant species exhibit greater asynchronous dynamics among species in response to natural environmental fluctuations, resulting in greater local stability (alpha stability). Moreover, neighborhood communities that have greater spatial variation in plant species composition within sites (higher beta diversity) have greater spatial asynchrony of productivity among communities, resulting in greater stability at the larger scale (gamma stability). Importantly, fertilization consistently weakens the contribution of plant diversity to both of these stabilizing mechanisms, thus diminishing the positive effect of biodiversity on stability at differing spatial scales. Our findings suggest that preserving grassland functional stability requires conservation of plant diversity within and among ecological communities.

see all

Series: Nature communications
ISSN: 2041-1723
ISSN-E: 2041-1723
ISSN-L: 2041-1723
Volume: 11
Issue: 1
Article number: 5375
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-19252-4
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union. Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 298935 to Y.H. (with A.H. and E.W.S.). This work was generated using data from the Nutrient Network collaborative experiment, funded at the site scale by individual researchers and coordinated through Research Coordination Network funding from NSF to E.B. and E.W.S. (grant #DEB-0741952). Nitrogen fertilizer was donated to the Nutrient Network by Crop Production Services, Loveland, CO. We acknowledge support from the LTER Network Communications Office and DEB-1545288. M.L. was supported by the TULIP Laboratory of Excellence (ANR-10-LABX-41), and by the BIOSTASES Advanced Grant funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 666971). S.W. was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31988102).
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2020, corrected publication 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit