20.01.2015 | iDiv, Research, Experimental Interaction Ecology

Diverse plant communities: Flooding increases resource availability and productivity

The natural world is increasingly being defined by change. Within the next 100 years, rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations will continue to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. Simultaneously, human activities are reducing global biodiversity, with current extinction rates at ~1,000 × what they were before the human domination of the Earth’s ecosystems. The co–occurrence of these trends may be of particular concern, as greater biological diversity could help ecosystems resist change during large perturbations. Researchers from the universities in Jena and Munich in cooperation with iDiv scientists used data from the 200–year flood event in 2013 to show that when a disturbance is associated with an increase in resource availability, the opposite may occur. The flooding was associated with increases in productivity and decreases in stability, particularly in the highest diversity communities.

To the study on nature.com

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