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Human activities' fingerprint on multitrophic biodiversity and ecosystem functions across a major river catchment in China


Li, Feilong; Altermatt, Florian; Yang, Jianghua; An, Shuqing; Li, Aimin; Zhang, Xiaowei (2020). Human activities' fingerprint on multitrophic biodiversity and ecosystem functions across a major river catchment in China. Global Change Biology, 26(12):6867-6879.

Abstract

Human-induced global change dramatically alters individual aspects of river biodiversity, such as taxonomic, phylogenetic or functional diversity, and is predicted to lead to losses of associated ecosystem functions. Understanding these losses and dependencies are critical to human well-being. Until now, however, most studies have only looked either at individual organismal groups or single functions, and little is known on the effect of human activities on multitrophic biodiversity and on ecosystem multifunctionality in riverine ecosystem. Here we profiled biodiversity from bacteria to invertebrates based on environmental DNA (hereafter, ‘eDNA’) samples across a major river catchment in China, and analysed their dependencies with multiple ecosystem functions, especially linked to C/N/P-cycling. Firstly, we found a spatial cross-taxon congruence pattern of communities' structure in the network of the Shaying river, which was related to strong environmental filtering due to human land use. Secondly, human land use explained the decline of multitrophic and multifaceted biodiversity and ecosystem functions, but increased functional redundancy in the riverine ecosystem. Thirdly, biodiversity and ecosystem function relationships at an integrative level showed a concave-up (non-saturating) shape. Finally, structural equation modeling suggested that land use affects ecosystem functions through biodiversity-mediated pathways, including biodiversity loss and altered community interdependence in multitrophic groups. Our study highlights the value of a complete and inclusive assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem functions for an integrated land-use management of riverine ecosystems.

Abstract

Human-induced global change dramatically alters individual aspects of river biodiversity, such as taxonomic, phylogenetic or functional diversity, and is predicted to lead to losses of associated ecosystem functions. Understanding these losses and dependencies are critical to human well-being. Until now, however, most studies have only looked either at individual organismal groups or single functions, and little is known on the effect of human activities on multitrophic biodiversity and on ecosystem multifunctionality in riverine ecosystem. Here we profiled biodiversity from bacteria to invertebrates based on environmental DNA (hereafter, ‘eDNA’) samples across a major river catchment in China, and analysed their dependencies with multiple ecosystem functions, especially linked to C/N/P-cycling. Firstly, we found a spatial cross-taxon congruence pattern of communities' structure in the network of the Shaying river, which was related to strong environmental filtering due to human land use. Secondly, human land use explained the decline of multitrophic and multifaceted biodiversity and ecosystem functions, but increased functional redundancy in the riverine ecosystem. Thirdly, biodiversity and ecosystem function relationships at an integrative level showed a concave-up (non-saturating) shape. Finally, structural equation modeling suggested that land use affects ecosystem functions through biodiversity-mediated pathways, including biodiversity loss and altered community interdependence in multitrophic groups. Our study highlights the value of a complete and inclusive assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem functions for an integrated land-use management of riverine ecosystems.

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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)
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Global and Planetary Change
Physical Sciences > Environmental Chemistry
Physical Sciences > Ecology
Physical Sciences > General Environmental Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:biodiversity, ecosystem functions, functional diversity, land use, phylogenetic diversity, river networks, taxonomic diversity
Language:English
Date:1 December 2020
Deposited On:26 Feb 2021 15:24
Last Modified:24 Feb 2024 02:48
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1354-1013
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15357
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID31003A_173074
  • : Project TitleRiverDNA: uncovering fundamental biodiversity in riverine systems using environmental DNA
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPP00P3_179089
  • : Project TitleBridging biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: a meta-ecosystem perspective
  • : FunderURPP-GCB
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project TitleURPP Global Change and Biodiversity