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    Phylogenetically diverse grasslands are associated with pairwise interspecific processes that increase biomass

    Connolly, John and Cadotte, Marc W. and Brophy, Caroline and Dooley, Aine and Finn, John Anthony and Kirwan, Laura and Roscher, Christiane and Weigelt, Alexandra (2011) Phylogenetically diverse grasslands are associated with pairwise interspecific processes that increase biomass. Ecology, 92 (7). pp. 1385-1392. ISSN 0012-9658

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    Biodiversity is an important determinant of primary productivity in experimental ecosystems. We combine two streams of research on understanding the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem function: quantifying phylogenetic diversity as a predictor of biodiversity effects in species-rich systems and the contribution of pairwise interspecific interactions to ecosystem function. We developed a statistical model that partitions the effect of biodiversity into effects due to community phylogenetic diversity and other community properties (e.g., average pairwise interaction, between- and within-functional-group effects, and so forth). The model provides phylogenetically based species-level explanations of differences in ecosystem response for communities with differing species composition. In two well-known grassland experiments, the model approach provides a parsimonious description of the effects of diversity as being due to the joint effect of the average pairwise statistical interaction and to community phylogenetic diversity. Effects associated with functional groupings of species in communities are largely explained by community phylogenetic diversity. The model approach quantifies a direct link between a measure of the evolutionary diversity of species and their interactive contribution to ecosystem function. It proves a useful tool in developing a mechanistic understanding of variation in ecosystem function.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This work was supported by Science Foundation Ireland, grant number 09/RFP/EOB2546. M. W. Cadotte's research was supported by NSF (grant number DEB‐0553768), the University of California–Santa Barbara, and the State of California, and with funding from NSERC (number 386151). This project was also supported by the Jena Experiment (DFG, FOR 459) and the Swiss initiative, grant IPP‐2008/23.
    Keywords: biodiversity-ecosystem-function; community phylogenetic diversity; diversity-interaction model; ecosystem function; grassland ecosystem; phylogenetic distance; phylogenetic diversity; strength of interaction;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Mathematics and Statistics
    Item ID: 10142
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr. Caroline Brophy
    Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2018 15:03
    Journal or Publication Title: Ecology
    Publisher: Ecological Society of America
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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