Functional and phylogenetic relationships link predators to plant diversity via trophic and non-trophic pathways

2023 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Chen, Jing-Ting, Wang, Ming-Qiang, Li Y, Chesters D, Luo A, Zhang W, et al. ​Functional and phylogenetic relationships link predators to plant diversity via trophic and non-trophic pathways​. ​​Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences. ​2023;​290​(1990). ​doi:10.1098/rspb.2022.1658. 

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Chen, Jing-Ting; Wang, Ming-Qiang; Li, Yi; Chesters, Douglas; Luo, Arong; Zhang, Wei; Guo, Peng-Fei; Guo, Shi-Kun; Zhou, Qing-Song; Ma, Ke-Ping; Zhu, Chao-Dong; Schuldt, Andres
Human-induced biodiversity loss negatively affects ecosystem function, but the interactive effects of biodiversity change across trophic levels remain insufficiently understood. We sampled arboreal spiders and lepidopteran larvae across seasons in 2 years in a subtropical tree diversity experiment, and then disentangled the links between tree diversity and arthropod predator diversity by deconstructing the pathways among multiple components of diversity (taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional) with structural equation models. We found that herbivores were major mediators of plant species richness effects on abundance, species richness, functional and phylogenetic diversity of predators, while phylogenetic, functional and structural diversity of trees were also important mediators of this process. However, the strength and direction differed between functional, structural and phylogenetic diversity effects, indicating different underlying mechanisms for predator community assembly. Abundance and multiple diversity components of predators were consistently affected by tree functional diversity, indicating that the variation in structure and environment caused by plant functional composition might play key roles in predator community assembly. Our study highlights the importance of an integrated approach based on multiple biodiversity components in understanding the consequences of biodiversity loss in multitrophic communities.
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Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 
Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Burckhardt-Institut ; Abteilung Waldnaturschutz 
National Natural Science Foundation of China 501100001809
National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars 501100014219
Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Science
International Research Training Group TreeDì
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences 501100011332
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft 501100001659
Key Laboratory of the Zoological Systematics and Evolution of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
National Science & Technology Fundamental Resources Investigation Program of China



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