Dylan Craven, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research
Nico Eisenhauer, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research
William D. Pearse, Utah State UniversityFollow
Yann Hautier, Utrecht University
Christiane Roscher, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ
Forest Isbell, University of Minnesota
Michael Bahn, University of Innsbruck
Carl Beierkuhnlein, University of Bayreuth
Gerhard Bönisch, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
Nina Buchmann, ETH Zurich
Chaeho Byun, Yonsei University
Jane A. Catford, University of Southampton
Bruno E.L. Cerabolini, University of Insubria
J. Hans C. Cornelissen, Vrije Universiteit
Joseph M. Craine, Jonah Ventures
Enrica De Luca, University of Zurich
Anne Ebeling, University of Jena
John N. Griffin, Swansea University
Andy Hector, University of Oxford
Jes Hines, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research
Anke Jentsch, University of Bayreuth
Jens Kattge, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research
Jürgen Kreyling, Greifswald University
Vojtech Lanta, University of South Bohemia
Nathan Lemoine, Colorado State University
Sebastian T. Meyer, Technical University of Munich
Vanessa Minden, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Vladimir Onipchenko, Moscow State University
H. Wayne Polley, Soil & Water Research Laboratory
Peter B. Reich, University of Minnesota
Jasper van Ruijven, Wageningen University
Brandon Schamp, Algoma University
Melinda D. Smith, Colorado State University
Nadejda A. Soudzilovskaia, Leiden University
David Tilman, University of Minnesota
Alexandra Weigelt, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research
Brian Wilsey, Iowa State University
Peter Manning, Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Nature Ecology & Evolution






Springer Nature

Publication Date


First Page


Last Page



A significant body of evidence has demonstrated that biodiversity stabilizes ecosystem functioning over time in grassland ecosystems. However, the relative importance of different facets of biodiversity underlying the diversity–stability relationship remains unclear. Here we used data from 39 biodiversity experiments and structural equation modeling to investigate the roles of species richness, phylogenetic diversity, and both the diversity and community-weighted mean of functional traits representing the ‘fast–slow’ leaf economics spectrum in driving the diversity–stability relationship. We found that high species richness and phylogenetic diversity stabilize biomass production via enhanced asynchrony. Contrary to our hypothesis, low phylogenetic diversity also enhances ecosystem stability directly, albeit weakly. While the diversity of fast–slow functional traits has a weak effect on ecosystem stability, communities dominated by slow species enhance ecosystem stability by increasing mean biomass production relative to the standard deviation of biomass over time. Our results demonstrate that biodiversity influences ecosystem stability via a variety of facets, thus highlighting a more multicausal relationship than has been previously acknowledged.