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Referenztyp Zeitschriften
DOI / URL Link
Titel (primär) Inconsistent impacts of decomposer diversity on the stability of aboveground and belowground ecosystem functions
Autor Eisenhauer, N.; Schädler, M.;
Journal / Serie Oecologia
Erscheinungsjahr 2011
Department BZF;
Band/Volume 165
Heft 2
Sprache englisch;
Keywords Above- and belowground interactions; Belowground diversity; Diversity-stability relationship; Ecosystem reliability; Grassland
Abstract The intensive discussion on the importance of biodiversity for the stability of essential processes in ecosystems has prompted a multitude of studies since the middle of the last century. Nevertheless, research has been extremely biased by focusing on the producer level, while studies on the impacts of decomposer diversity on the stability of ecosystem functions are lacking. Here, we investigate the impacts of decomposer diversity on the stability (reliability) of three important aboveground and belowground ecosystem functions: primary productivity (shoot and root biomass), litter decomposition, and herbivore infestation. For this, we analyzed the results of three laboratory experiments manipulating decomposer diversity (1-3 species) in comparison to decomposer-free treatments in terms of variability of the measured variables. Decomposer diversity often significantly but inconsistently affected the stability of all aboveground and belowground ecosystem functions investigated in the present study. While primary productivity was mainly destabilized, litter decomposition and aphid infestation were essentially stabilized by increasing decomposer diversity. However, impacts of decomposer diversity varied between plant community and fertility treatments. There was no general effect of the presence of decomposers on stability and no trend toward weaker effects in fertilized communities and legume communities. This indicates that impacts of decomposers are based on more than effects on nutrient availability. Although inconsistent impacts complicate the estimation of consequences of belowground diversity loss, underpinning mechanisms of the observed patterns are discussed. Impacts of decomposer diversity on the stability of essential ecosystem functions differed between plant communities of varying composition and fertility, implicating that human-induced changes of biodiversity and land-use management might have unpredictable effects on the processes mankind relies on. This study therefore points to the necessity of also considering soil feedback mechanisms in order to gain a comprehensive and holistic understanding of the impacts of current global change phenomena on the stability of essential ecosystem functions.
ID 10741
dauerhafte UFZ-Verlinkung https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=10741
Eisenhauer, N., Schädler, M. (2011):
Inconsistent impacts of decomposer diversity on the stability of aboveground and belowground ecosystem functions
Oecologia 165 (2), 403 - 415