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    Testing the effects of diversity on ecosystem multifunctionality using a multivariate model

    Dooley, Aine and Isbell, Forest and Kirwan, Laura and Connolly, John and Finn, John Anthony and Brophy, Caroline (2015) Testing the effects of diversity on ecosystem multifunctionality using a multivariate model. Ecology Letters, 18 (11). pp. 1242-1251. ISSN 1461-023X

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    Most ecosystems provide multiple services, thus the impact of biodiversity losses on ecosystem functions may be considerably underestimated by studies that only address single functions. We propose a multivariate modelling framework for quantifying the relationship between biodiversity and multiple ecosystem functions (multifunctionality). Our framework consolidates the strengths of previous approaches to analysing ecosystem multifunctionality and contributes several advances. It simultaneously assesses the drivers of multifunctionality, such as species relative abundances, richness, evenness and other manipulated treatments. It also tests the relative importance of these drivers across functions, incorporates correlations among functions and identifies conditions where all functions perform well and where trade‐offs occur among functions. We illustrate our framework using data from three ecosystem functions (sown biomass, weed suppression and nitrogen yield) in a four‐species grassland experiment. We found high variability in performance across the functions in monocultures, but as community diversity increased, performance increased and variability across functions decreased.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This work was supported by the Science Foundation Ireland, Grant Number 09/RFP/EOB2546. AD was supported by the Science Foundation Ireland, Short Term Travel Fellowship Grant Number 09/RFP/EOB2546 – STTF 11 to spend 2 months working with FI at the University of Minnesota.
    Keywords: Biodiversity; Diversity-Interactions model; ecosystem function; evenness; multifunctionality; multivariate; species interaction; species richness; trade-offs;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Mathematics and Statistics
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > Hamilton Institute
    Item ID: 9970
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr. Caroline Brophy
    Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2018 16:08
    Journal or Publication Title: Ecology Letters
    Publisher: Wiley
    Refereed: Yes
    Funders: Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)

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