Contrasting biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in phylogenetic and functional diversity

2016 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Contrasting biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in phylogenetic and functional diversity​
Steudel, B.; Hallmann, C.; Lorenz, M.; Abrahamczyk, S.; Prinz, K.; Herrfurth, C. & Feussner, I. et al.​ (2016) 
New Phytologist212(2) pp. 409​-420​.​ DOI: 

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Steudel, Bastian; Hallmann, Christine; Lorenz, Maike; Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Prinz, Kathleen; Herrfurth, Cornelia; Feussner, Ivo; Martini, Johannes W. R.; Kessler, Michael
It is well known that ecosystem functioning is positively influenced by biodiversity. Most biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments have measured biodiversity based on species richness or phylogenetic relationships. However, theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that ecosystem functioning should be more closely related to functional diversity than to species richness. We applied different metrics of biodiversity in an artificial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment using 64 species of green microalgae in combinations of two to 16 species. We found that phylogenetic and functional diversity were positively correlated with biomass overyield, driven by their strong correlation with species richness. At low species richness, no significant correlation between overyield and functional and phylogenetic diversity was found. However, at high species richness (16 species), we found a positive relationship of overyield with functional diversity and a negative relationship with phylogenetic diversity. We show that negative phylogenetic diversity-ecosystem functioning relationships can result from interspecific growth inhibition. The opposing performances of facilitation (functional diversity) and inhibition (phylogenetic diversity) we observed at the 16 species level suggest that phylogenetic diversity is not always a good proxy for functional diversity and that results from experiments with low species numbers may underestimate negative species interactions.
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New Phytologist 
1469-8137; 0028-646X



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