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Biotic stability mechanisms in Inner Mongolian grassland


Wang, Yonghui; Niu, Xiaxia; Zhao, Liqing; Liang, Cunzhu; Miao, Bailing; Zhang, Qing; Zhang, Jinghui; Schmid, Bernhard; Ma, Wenhong (2020). Biotic stability mechanisms in Inner Mongolian grassland. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 287(1928):20200675.

Abstract

Biotic mechanisms associated with species diversity are expected to stabilize communities in theoretical and experimental studies but may be difficult to detect in natural communities exposed to large environmental variation. We investigated biotic stability mechanisms in a multi-site study across Inner Mongolian grassland characterized by large spatial variations in species richness and composition and temporal fluctuations in precipitation. We used a new additive-partitioning method to separate species synchrony and population dynamics within communities into different species-abundance groups. Community stability was independent of species richness but was regulated by species synchrony and population dynamics, especially of abundant species. Precipitation fluctuations synchronized population dynamics within communities, reducing their stability. Our results indicate generality of biotic stability mechanisms in natural ecosystems and suggest that for accurate predictions of community stability in changing environments uneven species composition should be considered by partitioning stabilizing mechanisms into different species-abundance groups.

Abstract

Biotic mechanisms associated with species diversity are expected to stabilize communities in theoretical and experimental studies but may be difficult to detect in natural communities exposed to large environmental variation. We investigated biotic stability mechanisms in a multi-site study across Inner Mongolian grassland characterized by large spatial variations in species richness and composition and temporal fluctuations in precipitation. We used a new additive-partitioning method to separate species synchrony and population dynamics within communities into different species-abundance groups. Community stability was independent of species richness but was regulated by species synchrony and population dynamics, especially of abundant species. Precipitation fluctuations synchronized population dynamics within communities, reducing their stability. Our results indicate generality of biotic stability mechanisms in natural ecosystems and suggest that for accurate predictions of community stability in changing environments uneven species composition should be considered by partitioning stabilizing mechanisms into different species-abundance groups.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > General Immunology and Microbiology
Physical Sciences > General Environmental Science
Life Sciences > General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Immunology and Microbiology, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences, General Environmental Science, General Medicine
Language:English
Date:10 June 2020
Deposited On:11 Feb 2021 16:28
Last Modified:12 Feb 2021 21:01
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing
ISSN:0962-8452
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.0675

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