University of Oulu

Cappelli, Seraina L., Pichon, Noémie A., Mannall, Tosca, and Allan, Eric. 2022. “ Partitioning the Effects of Plant Diversity on Ecosystem Functions at Different Trophic Levels.” Ecological Monographs 92( 3): e1521.

Partitioning the effects of plant diversity on ecosystem functions at different trophic levels

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Author: Cappelli, Seraina L.1,2; Pichon, Noémie A.1,3; Mannall, Tosca1;
Organizations: 1Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
2Research Centre for Ecological Change, Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
3Department of Ecology and Genetics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-11-23


Biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning can be partitioned into complementarity effects, driven by many species, and selection effects, driven by few. Selection effects occur through interspecific abundance shifts (dominance) and intraspecific shifts in functioning. Complementarity and selection effects are often calculated for biomass, but very rarely for secondary productivity, that is, energy transfer to higher trophic levels. We calculated diversity effects for three functions: aboveground biomass, insect herbivory and pathogen infection, the latter two as proxies for energy transfer to higher trophic levels, in a grassland experiment (PaNDiv) manipulating species richness, functional composition, nitrogen enrichment, and fungicide treatment. Complementarity effects were, on average, positive and selection effects negative for biomass production and pathogen infection and multiple species contributed to diversity effects in mixtures. Diversity effects were, on average, less pronounced for herbivory. Diversity effects for the three functions were not correlated, because different species drove the different effects. Benefits (and costs) from growing in diverse communities, be it reduced herbivore or pathogen damage or increased productivity either due to abundance increases or increased productivity per area were distributed across different plant species, leading to highly variable contributions of single species to effects of diversity on different functions. These results show that different underlying ecological mechanisms can result in similar overall diversity effects across functions.

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Series: Ecological monographs
ISSN: 0012-9615
ISSN-E: 1557-7015
ISSN-L: 0012-9615
Volume: 92
Issue: 3
Article number: e1521
DOI: 10.1002/ecm.1521
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: The project was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (Award31003A_160212).
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Ecological Monographs published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Ecological Society of America. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.