Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Hierarchical reliability in experimental plant assemblages


Flynn, D F B; Schmid, B; He, J S; Wolfe-Bellin, K S; Bazzaz, F A (2008). Hierarchical reliability in experimental plant assemblages. Journal of Plant Ecology, 1(1):59-65.

Abstract

Aims: The mechanism by which species richness affects variation in ecosystem functioning both within and among ecosystems remains a key question at the interface of community and ecosystem ecology. Statistical averaging (the smoothing of average system performance via consideration of additional components) and the insurance effect (reduced variation in system performance by inclusion of asynchronously varying components) predict that more diverse communities should vary less both between replicates and internally. We experimentally tested these theories in small plant assemblages.

Methods: We constructed plant assemblages modeled after old-field plant communities. We varied species richness, species composition and initial densities while holding functional group richness constant in replicate assemblages under glasshouse conditions.

Important findings: The inverse of the coefficient of variation of aboveground biomass production, a proxy measure of reliability, increased with higher diversity when examined at the level of the assemblage (i.e. among-replicate assemblages) but not at the levels of functional group or species. These stabilizing processes were weakest in low-diversity, low-density assemblages. This experiment demonstrates the utility of hierarchical analysis of ecosystem reliability at the assemblage, functional group and species level.

Abstract

Aims: The mechanism by which species richness affects variation in ecosystem functioning both within and among ecosystems remains a key question at the interface of community and ecosystem ecology. Statistical averaging (the smoothing of average system performance via consideration of additional components) and the insurance effect (reduced variation in system performance by inclusion of asynchronously varying components) predict that more diverse communities should vary less both between replicates and internally. We experimentally tested these theories in small plant assemblages.

Methods: We constructed plant assemblages modeled after old-field plant communities. We varied species richness, species composition and initial densities while holding functional group richness constant in replicate assemblages under glasshouse conditions.

Important findings: The inverse of the coefficient of variation of aboveground biomass production, a proxy measure of reliability, increased with higher diversity when examined at the level of the assemblage (i.e. among-replicate assemblages) but not at the levels of functional group or species. These stabilizing processes were weakest in low-diversity, low-density assemblages. This experiment demonstrates the utility of hierarchical analysis of ecosystem reliability at the assemblage, functional group and species level.

Statistics

Altmetrics

Downloads

106 downloads since deposited on 07 May 2008
27 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)
Language:English
Date:March 2008
Deposited On:07 May 2008 10:20
Last Modified:21 Nov 2017 13:26
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1752-9921
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/jpe/rtm004

Download

Download PDF  'Hierarchical reliability in experimental plant assemblages'.
Preview
Filetype: PDF
Size: 221kB
View at publisher