Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1002/ece3.6675
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Scale-dependent impact of land management on above- and belowground biodiversity
Author Slabbert, E.L.; Schweiger, O.; Wubet, T. ORCID logo ; Kautzner, A.; Baessler, C.; Auge, H. ORCID logo ; Roscher, C.; Knight, T.M.
Source Titel Ecology and Evolution
Year 2020
Department BZF; iDiv; PHYDIV
Volume 10
Issue 18
Page From 10139
Page To 10149
Language englisch
Data and Software links
Keywords above‐ and belowground taxonomic groups; biodiversity; grassland management; rarefaction curve; scale‐dependent responses; spatial aggregation; species‐abundance distribution
  1. Land management is known to have consequences for biodiversity; however, our synthetic understanding of its effects is limited due to highly variable results across studies, which vary in the focal taxa and spatial grain considered, as well as the response variables reported. Such synthetic knowledge is necessary for management of agroecosystems for high diversity and function.
  2. To fill this knowledge gap, we investigated the importance of scale‐dependent effects of land management (LM) (pastures vs. meadows), on plant and soil microbe diversity (fungi and bacteria) across 5 study sites in Central Germany. Analyses included diversity partitioning of species richness and related biodiversity components (i.e., density of individuals, species‐abundance distribution, and spatial aggregation) at two spatial grains (α‐ and γ‐scale, 1 m2 and 16 km2, respectively).
  3. Our results show scale‐dependent patterns in response to LM to be the norm rather than the exception and highlight the importance of measuring species richness and its underlying components at multiple spatial grains.
  4. Our outcomes provide new insight to the complexity of scale‐dependent responses within and across taxonomic groups. They suggest that, despite close associations between taxa, LM responses are not easily extrapolated across multiple spatial grains and taxa. Responses of biodiversity to LM are often driven by changes to evenness and spatial aggregation, rather than by changes in individual density. High‐site specificity of LM effects might be due to a variety of context‐specific factors, such as historic land management, identity of grazers, and grazing regime.
  5. Synthesis and applications: Our results suggest that links between taxa are not necessarily strong enough to allow for generalization of biodiversity patterns. These findings highlight the importance of considering multiple taxa and spatial grains when investigating LM responses, while promoting management practices that do the same and are tailored to local and regional conditions.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Slabbert, E.L., Schweiger, O., Wubet, T., Kautzner, A., Baessler, C., Auge, H., Roscher, C., Knight, T.M. (2020):
Scale-dependent impact of land management on above- and belowground biodiversity
Ecol. Evol. 10 (18), 10139 - 10149 10.1002/ece3.6675