sTability - Plant diversity effects on ecosystem resistance to and recovery from perturbations

First meeting: 21.-23.10.2013

Nico Eisenhauer
Forest Isbell

Working group postdoc:
Dylan Craven

iDiv member:
Christian Wirth

Project summary:
Biodiversity is thought to insure ecosystem functioning in a changing world. There is considerable theoretical and empirical evidence that declines in diversity could decrease average levels of ecosystem functioning and increase the temporal variability of productivity. Yet it remains unclear whether plant diversity also buffers ecosystems from perturbations, such as altered climate or biogeochemical cycles. To comprehensively test this hypothesis, we will synthesize data from many biodiversity studies to investigate whether ecosystem functioning changes less (higher resistance) and recovers more quickly (higher resilience) from perturbations in high- than in lowdiversity plant communities. We will consider perturbations that were either observed, such as extreme climatic events like drought, or that were experimentally imposed, such as manipulations of nutrients, water, carbon dioxide, or herbivores. We will further distinguish between the effects of press and pulse perturbations; between species- and community-level responses; between taxonomic and functional diversity; and between perturbations that increase or decrease abundances. For example, we will test whether community productivity decreases less in highthan in low-diversity communities during a drought, or under a precipitation removal treatment that was crossed with a diversity treatment. We will also synthesize and extend theory to predict the conditions under which diversity enhances or reduces resistance and resilience.

John Connolly (University College Dublin), Dylan Craven (FSU Jena), Anne Ebeling (FSU Jena), Nico Eisenhauer (FSU Jena), John Griffin (Swansea University Wales), Nathaly Guerrero Ramirez (FSU Jena), Yann Hautier (University of Minnesota), Andrew Hector (University of Oxford), Jessica Hines (FSU Jena), Forest Isbell (University of Minnesota), Michel Loreau (Station d’Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS), Pete Manning (University of Bern), Sebastian Meyer (TU München), Akira Mori (Yokohama National University), Kevin Mueller (U.S. Department of Agriculture / Agriculural Research Service), Shahid Naeem (Columbia University), Christiane Roscher (UFZ, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research), Eric Seabloom (University of Minnesota), Madhav Thakur (FSU Jena), Jasper van Ruijven (University of Wageningen), Wolfgang Weisser (TU München), Brian Wilsey (Iowa State University), Alexandra Weigelt (Leipzig University)

Meeting report

Second meeting: 06.-10.10.2014

John Connolly (University College Dublin); Dylan Craven (iDiv); Anne Ebeling (University Jena); Nico Eisenhauer (iDiv); John Griffin (Swansea University); Stan Harpole (iDiv); Yann Hautier (University of Oxford); Jessica Hines (iDiv); Forest Isbell (University of Georgia); Anke Jentsch (University Bayreuth); Peter Manning (University Bern); Sebastian Meyer (University München); Will Pearse (University of Minnesota); Christiane Roscher (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ); Melinda Smith (Colorado State University); Jasper van Ruijven (Wageningen University)

Meeting report

writing retreat, iDiv: 03.-06.11.2015

Nico Eisenhauer; Jes Hines; Dylan Craven; William Pearse; Nathan Lemoine; Peter Manning; Christiane Roscher


Isbell F. et al. (2015) "Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes." Nature advance online publication (7574): 574-577. see here

Eisenhauer N., Forest I., Craven D. et al. (2016) "Plant diversity effects on grassland productivity are robust to both nutrient enrichment and drought." The Royal Society. see here

Craven D. , Eisenhauer N. et al. (2018) "Multiple facets of biodiversity drive the diversity–stability relationship." Nature Ecology & Evolution. see here

Wang, S. et al. (2021) "Biotic homogenization destabilizes ecosystem functioning by decreasing spatial asynchrony." Ecology 102(6):e03332. see here

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