Brief Communications Arising

Nature 446, E6-E7 (29 March 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature05749; Received 15 June 2006; Accepted 27 February 2007; Published online 28 March 2007

Ecology: Diversity and stability in plant communities

T. Martijn Bezemer1,2,3 & Wim H. van der Putten1,2

Arising from: D. Tilman, P. B. Reich & J. M. H. Knops Nature 441, 629–632 (2006); Tilman et al. reply

The relationship between species diversity and ecosystem stability is controversial1, 2. Tilman et al.3 analyse biomass patterns over a decade in a grassland experiment with artificial plant communities, and provide evidence for a positive relationship between the number of plant species and the temporal stability of the ecosystem. Here we use data from a long-term biodiversity experiment with plant communities that were not controlled by weeding4 in order to show that diverse systems can be both stable and unstable.

  1. Department of Multitrophic Interactions, Netherlands Institute of Ecology, PO Box 40, 666, PO Box 406 ZG Heteren, the Netherlands
  2. Laboratory of Nematology, Wageningen University and Research Centre, PO Box 8123, 6700 ES Wageningen, the Netherlands
  3. Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University and Research Centre, PO Box 8031 6700 EH Wageningen, the Netherlands

Correspondence to: T. Martijn Bezemer1,2,3 Email:


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