Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2023.09.012
Title (Primary) Ecosystem consequences of invertebrate decline
Author Eisenhauer, N.; Ochoa-Hueso, R.; Huang, Y.; Barry, K.E.; Gebler, A.; Guerra, C.A.; Hines, J.; Jochum, M.; Andraczek, K.; Bucher, S.F.; Buscot, F.; Ciobanu, M.; Chen, H.; Junker, R.; Lange, M.; Lehmann, A.; Rillig, M.; Römermann, C.; Ulrich, J.; Weigelt, A.; Schmidt, A.; Türke, M.
Source Titel Current Biology
Year 2023
Department NSF; BOOEK; iDiv
Volume 33
Issue 20
Page From 4538
Page To 4547.e5
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Abstract Human activities cause substantial changes in biodiversity. Despite ongoing concern about the implications of invertebrate decline, few empirical studies have examined the ecosystem consequences of invertebrate biomass loss. Here, we test the responses of six ecosystem services informed by 30 above- and belowground ecosystem variables to three levels of aboveground (i.e. vegetation-associated) invertebrate community biomass (100%, 36%, and 0% of ambient biomass) in experimental grassland mesocosms in a controlled Ecotron facility. In line with recent reports on invertebrate biomass loss over the last decade, our 36% biomass treatment also represented a decrease in invertebrate abundance (-70%) and richness (-44%). Moreover, we simulated the pronounced change in invertebrate biomass and turnover in community composition across the season. We found that the loss of invertebrate biomass decreases ecosystem multifunctionality, including two critical ecosystem services: aboveground pest control and belowground decomposition, while harvested plant biomass increases, likely because less energy was channeled up the food chain. Moreover, communities and ecosystem functions became decoupled with a lower biomass of invertebrates. Our study shows that invertebrate loss threatens the integrity of terrestrial ecosystems by decoupling ecosystem processes and decreasing ecosystem-service supply.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Eisenhauer, N., Ochoa-Hueso, R., Huang, Y., Barry, K.E., Gebler, A., Guerra, C.A., Hines, J., Jochum, M., Andraczek, K., Bucher, S.F., Buscot, F., Ciobanu, M., Chen, H., Junker, R., Lange, M., Lehmann, A., Rillig, M., Römermann, C., Ulrich, J., Weigelt, A., Schmidt, A., Türke, M. (2023):
Ecosystem consequences of invertebrate decline
Curr. Biol. 33 (20), 4538 - 4547.e5 10.1016/j.cub.2023.09.012