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Scale dependence of the diversity–stability relationship in a temperate grassland
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Zhang YH*, He NP*, Loreau M, Pan QM, Han XG*
PubYear : 2018
Volume : 106  Issue : 3
Publication Name : Journal of Ecology
Page number : 1277-1285
Abstract : 

  1. A positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem stability has been reported in many ecosystems; however, it has yet to be determined whether and how spatial scale affects this relationship. Here, for the first time, we assessed the effects of alpha, beta and gamma diversity on ecosystem stability and the scale dependence of the slope of the diversity–stability relationship.
  2. By employing a longterm (33 years) dataset from a temperate grassland, northern China, we calculated the all possible spatial scales with the complete combination from the basic 1m2 plots.
  3. Species richness was positively associated with ecosystem stability through species asynchrony and overyielding at all spatial scales (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 m2). Both alpha and beta diversity were positively associated with gamma stability.
  4. Moreover, the slope of the diversity–area relationship was significantly higher than that of the stability–area relationship, resulting in a decline of the slope of the diversity–stability relationship with increasing area.
  5. Synthesis. With the positive species diversity effect on ecosystem stability from small to large spatial scales, our findings demonstrate the need to maintain a high biodiversity and biotic heterogeneity as insurance against the risks incurred by ecosystems in the face of global environmental changes.

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