||A graphical null model for scaling biodiversity‐ecosystem functioning relationships
||Barry, K.E.; Pinter, G.A.; Strini, J.W.; Yang, K.; Lauko, I.G.; Schnitzer, S.A.; Clark, A.T.; Cowles, J.; Mori, A.S.; Williams, L.; Reich, P.B.; Wright, A.J.
||Journal of Ecology
||T5 Future Landscapes
|Data and Software links
||grasslands; productivity; species richness‐area relationship; statistical scaling; upscaling
- Global biodiversity is declining at rates faster than at
any other point in human history. Experimental manipulations at small
spatial scales have demonstrated that communities with fewer species
consistently produce less biomass than higher diversity communities.
Understanding the consequences of the global extinction crisis for
ecosystem functioning requires understanding how local experimental
results are likely to change with increasing spatial and temporal scales
and from experiments to naturally assembled systems.
- Scaling across time and space in a changing world
requires baseline predictions. Here, we provide a graphical null model
for area scaling of biodiversity‐ecosystem functioning relationships
using observed macroecological patterns: the species area curve and the
biomass area curve. We use species‐area and biomass‐area curves to
predict how species richness – biomass relationships are likely to
change with increasing sampling extent. We then validate these
predictions with data from two naturally assembled ecosystems: a
Minnesota savanna and a Panamanian tropical dry forest.
- Our graphical null model predicts that
biodiversity‐ecosystem functioning relationships are scale dependent.
However, we note two important caveats. First, our results indicate an
apparent contradiction between predictions based on measurements in
biodiversity‐ecosystem functioning experiments and from scaling theory.
When ecosystem functioning is measured as per unit area (e.g., biomass m‐2),
as is common in biodiversity‐ecosystem functioning experiments, the
slope of the biodiversity ecosystem functioning relationship should
decrease with increasing scale. Alternatively, when ecosystem
functioning is not measured per unit area (e.g., summed total
biomass), as is common in scaling studies, the slope of the
biodiversity‐ecosystem functioning relationship should increase with
increasing spatial scale. Second, the underlying macroecological
patterns of biodiversity experiments are predictably different from some
naturally assembled systems. These differences between the underlying
patterns of experiments and naturally assembled systems may enable us to
better understand when patterns from biodiversity‐ecosystem functioning
experiments will be valid in naturally assembled systems.
- This paper provides a simple graphical null model that
can be extended to any relationship between biodiversity and any
ecosystem functioning across space or time. Further, these predictions
provide crucial insights into how and when we may be able to extend
results from small scale biodiversity experiments to naturally assembled
regional and global ecosystems where biodiversity is changing.
|Persistent UFZ Identifier
|Barry, K.E., Pinter, G.A., Strini, J.W., Yang, K., Lauko, I.G., Schnitzer, S.A., Clark, A.T., Cowles, J., Mori, A.S., Williams, L., Reich, P.B., Wright, A.J. (2021):
A graphical null model for scaling biodiversity‐ecosystem functioning relationships
J. Ecol. 109 (3), 1549 - 1560