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Biotic interactions, community assembly, and eco-evolutionary dynamics as drivers of long-term biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships


Eisenhauer, Nico; Bonkowski, Michael; Brose, Ulrich; Buscot, François; Durka, Walter; Ebeling, Anne; Fischer, Markus; Gleixner, Gerd; Heintz-Buschart, Anna; Hines, Jes; Jesch, Annette; Lange, Markus; Meyer, Sebastian; Roscher, Christiane; Scheu, Stefan; Schielzeth, Holger; Schloter, Michael; Schulz, Stefanie; Unsicker, Sybille; van Dam, Nicole M; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang; Wirth, Christian; Wolf, Jochen; Schmid, Bernhard (2019). Biotic interactions, community assembly, and eco-evolutionary dynamics as drivers of long-term biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. Research Ideas and Outcomes: The Open Science Journal, 5:e47042.

Abstract

The functioning and service provisioning of ecosystems in the face of anthropogenic environmental and biodiversity change is a cornerstone of ecological research. The last three decades of biodiversity–ecosystem functioning (BEF) research have provided compelling evidence for the significant positive role of biodiversity in the functioning of many ecosystems. Despite broad consensus of this relationship, the underlying ecological and evolutionary mechanisms have not been well understood. This complicates the transition from a description of patterns to a predictive science. The proposed Research Unit aims at filling this gap of knowledge by applying novel experimental and analytical approaches in one of the longest-running biodiversity experiments in the world: the Jena Experiment. The central aim of the Research Unit is to uncover the mechanisms that determine BEF relationships in the short- and in the long-term. Increasing BEF relationships with time in long-term experiments do not only call for a paradigm shift in the appreciation of the relevance of biodiversity change, they likely are key to understanding the mechanisms of BEF relationships in general. The subprojects of the proposed Research Unit fall into two tightly linked main categories with two research areas each that aim at exploring variation in community assembly processes and resulting differences in biotic interactions as determinants of the long-term BEF relationship. Subprojects under “Microbial community assembly” and “Assembly and functions of animal communities” mostly focus on plant diversity effects on the assembly of communities and their feedback effects on biotic interactions and ecosystem functions. Subprojects under “Mediators of plant-biotic interactions” and “Intraspecific diversity and micro-evolutionary changes” mostly focus on plant diversity effects on plant trait expression and micro-evolutionary adaptation, and subsequent feedback effects on biotic interactions and ecosystem functions. This unification of evolutionary and ecosystem processes requires collaboration across the proposed subprojects in targeted plant and soil history experiments using cutting-edge technology and will produce significant synergies and novel mechanistic insights into BEF relationships. The Research Unit of the Jena Experiment is uniquely positioned in this context by taking an interdisciplinary and integrative approach to capture whole-ecosystem responses to changes in biodiversity and to advance a vibrant research field.

Abstract

The functioning and service provisioning of ecosystems in the face of anthropogenic environmental and biodiversity change is a cornerstone of ecological research. The last three decades of biodiversity–ecosystem functioning (BEF) research have provided compelling evidence for the significant positive role of biodiversity in the functioning of many ecosystems. Despite broad consensus of this relationship, the underlying ecological and evolutionary mechanisms have not been well understood. This complicates the transition from a description of patterns to a predictive science. The proposed Research Unit aims at filling this gap of knowledge by applying novel experimental and analytical approaches in one of the longest-running biodiversity experiments in the world: the Jena Experiment. The central aim of the Research Unit is to uncover the mechanisms that determine BEF relationships in the short- and in the long-term. Increasing BEF relationships with time in long-term experiments do not only call for a paradigm shift in the appreciation of the relevance of biodiversity change, they likely are key to understanding the mechanisms of BEF relationships in general. The subprojects of the proposed Research Unit fall into two tightly linked main categories with two research areas each that aim at exploring variation in community assembly processes and resulting differences in biotic interactions as determinants of the long-term BEF relationship. Subprojects under “Microbial community assembly” and “Assembly and functions of animal communities” mostly focus on plant diversity effects on the assembly of communities and their feedback effects on biotic interactions and ecosystem functions. Subprojects under “Mediators of plant-biotic interactions” and “Intraspecific diversity and micro-evolutionary changes” mostly focus on plant diversity effects on plant trait expression and micro-evolutionary adaptation, and subsequent feedback effects on biotic interactions and ecosystem functions. This unification of evolutionary and ecosystem processes requires collaboration across the proposed subprojects in targeted plant and soil history experiments using cutting-edge technology and will produce significant synergies and novel mechanistic insights into BEF relationships. The Research Unit of the Jena Experiment is uniquely positioned in this context by taking an interdisciplinary and integrative approach to capture whole-ecosystem responses to changes in biodiversity and to advance a vibrant research field.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:4 October 2019
Deposited On:10 Jan 2020 13:17
Last Modified:10 Jan 2020 13:17
Publisher:Pensoft Publishers
ISSN:2367-7163
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3897/rio.5.e47042

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