Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Roots of stability

A Correction to this article was published on 02 November 2005

The ‘insurance hypothesis’ holds that ecosystem diversity is a good thing because diversity confers overall stability in the face of stressful conditions. Experiments on grassland support that view.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Kahmen, A., Perner, J. & Buchmann, N. Funct. Ecol. 19, 291–298 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. May, R. M. in Theoretical Ecology (ed. May, R. M.) 142–162 (Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, 1976).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Frank, D. A. & McNaughton, S. J. Oikos 62, 360–362 (1991).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Tilman, D. & Downing, J. A. Nature 367, 363–365 (1994).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Loreau, M., Naeem, S. & Inchausti, P. (eds) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning (Oxford Univ. Press, 2002).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Tilman, D., Wedin, D. & Knops, J. Nature 379, 718–720 (1996).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Pfisterer, A. B. & Schmid, B. Nature 416, 84–86 (2002).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Moore, P. Roots of stability. Nature 437, 959–961 (2005).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing