Nature Ecology & Evolution
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.
Craven, Dylan, et al. "Multiple Facets of Biodiversity Drive the Diversity-Stability Relationship." Nature Ecology & Evolution, vol. 2, no. 10, 2018, pp. 1-34. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0647-7