Phylogenetic, functional, and taxonomic richness have both positive and negative effects on ecosystem multifunctionality

Yoann Le Bagousse-Pinguet*, Santiago Soliveres, Nicolas Gross, Rubén Torices, Miguel Berdugo, Fernando T. Maestre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

207 Scopus citations

Abstract

Biodiversity encompasses multiple attributes such as the richness and abundance of species (taxonomic diversity), the presence of different evolutionary lineages (phylogenetic diversity), and the variety of growth forms and resource use strategies (functional diversity). These biodiversity attributes do not necessarily relate to each other and may have contrasting effects on ecosystem functioning. However, how they simultaneously influence the provision of multiple ecosystem functions related to carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycling (multifunctionality) remains unknown. We evaluated the effects of the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional attributes of dominant (mass ratio effects) and subordinate (richness effect) plant species on the multifunctionality of 123 drylands from six continents. Our results highlight the importance of the phylogenetic and functional attributes of subordinate species as key drivers of multifunctionality. In addition to a higher taxonomic richness, we found that simultaneously increasing the richness of early diverging lineages and the functional redundancy between species increased multifunctionality. In contrast, the richness of most recent evolutionary lineages and the functional and phylogenetic attributes of dominant plant species (mass ratio effects) were weakly correlated with multifunctionality. However, they were important drivers of individual nutrient cycles. By identifying which biodiversity attributes contribute the most to multifunctionality, our results can guide restoration efforts aiming to maximize either multifunctionality or particular nutrient cycles, a critical step to combat dryland desertification worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8419-8424
Number of pages6
JournalPROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Volume116
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Functional diversity
  • Mass-ratio hypothesis
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Phylogenetic diversity
  • Taxonomic diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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