UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

A trait-based experimental approach to understand the mechanisms underlying biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships


Ebeling, Anne; Pompe, Sven; Baade, Jussi; Eisenhauer, Nico; Hillebrand, Helmut; Proulx, Raphael; Roscher, Christiane; Schmid, Bernhard; Wirth, Christian; Weisser, Wolfgang W (2014). A trait-based experimental approach to understand the mechanisms underlying biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. Basic and Applied Ecology, 15(3):229-240.

Abstract

Plant functional characteristics may drive plant species richness effects on ecosystem processes. Consequently, the focus of biodiversity–ecosystem functioning (BEF) experiments has expanded from the manipulation of plant species richness to manipulating functional trait composition. Involving ecophysiological plant traits in the experimental design might allow for a better understanding of how species loss alters ecosystem processes. Here we provide the theoretical background, design and first results of the ‘Trait-Based Biodiversity Experiment’ (TBE), established in 2010 that directly manipulates the trait composition of experimental plant communities.

Analysis of six plant traits related to resource acquisition and use were analyzed using principal component analysis of 60 grassland species. The resulting two main axes describe gradients in functional similarity, and were used as the basis for designing plant communities with different functional and species diversity levels. Using such an approach allowed us to manipulate different levels of complementarity in spatial and temporal plant resource acquisition. In contrast to previous biodiversity experiments, the TBE is designed according to more realistic scenarios of non-random species loss along orthogonal axes of species trait dissimilarities. This allows us to tease apart the relative importance of selection and complementarity effects on multiple ecosystem processes, and to mechanistically study the consequences of plant community simplification.

Plant functional characteristics may drive plant species richness effects on ecosystem processes. Consequently, the focus of biodiversity–ecosystem functioning (BEF) experiments has expanded from the manipulation of plant species richness to manipulating functional trait composition. Involving ecophysiological plant traits in the experimental design might allow for a better understanding of how species loss alters ecosystem processes. Here we provide the theoretical background, design and first results of the ‘Trait-Based Biodiversity Experiment’ (TBE), established in 2010 that directly manipulates the trait composition of experimental plant communities.

Analysis of six plant traits related to resource acquisition and use were analyzed using principal component analysis of 60 grassland species. The resulting two main axes describe gradients in functional similarity, and were used as the basis for designing plant communities with different functional and species diversity levels. Using such an approach allowed us to manipulate different levels of complementarity in spatial and temporal plant resource acquisition. In contrast to previous biodiversity experiments, the TBE is designed according to more realistic scenarios of non-random species loss along orthogonal axes of species trait dissimilarities. This allows us to tease apart the relative importance of selection and complementarity effects on multiple ecosystem processes, and to mechanistically study the consequences of plant community simplification.

Citations

12 citations in Web of Science®
10 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

48 downloads since deposited on 04 Feb 2015
25 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Functional diversity; Species richness; Plant traits; Jena Experiment; Selection effect; Complementarity effect; Redundancy; Plant shoot biomass
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:04 Feb 2015 09:43
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:47
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1439-1791
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2014.02.003
Official URL:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1439179114000218
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-104453

Download

[img]
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 710kB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations