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Diversity-dependent temporal divergence of ecosystem functioning in experimental ecosystems

An Author Correction to this article was published on 08 August 2019

This article has been updated


The effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning generally increase over time, but the underlying processes remain unclear. Using 26 long-term grassland and forest experimental ecosystems, we demonstrate that biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships strengthen mainly by greater increases in functioning in high-diversity communities in grasslands and forests. In grasslands, biodiversity effects also strengthen due to decreases in functioning in low-diversity communities. Contrasting trends across grasslands are associated with differences in soil characteristics.

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Fig. 1: Ecosystem functioning in grassland and forest experimental ecosystems.
Fig. 2: Influence of soil characteristics on temporal divergence in grasslands.

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  • 08 August 2019

    An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.


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This study was supported by the German Research Foundation through the Emmy Noether research group (Ei 862/2), a European Research Council starting grant (grant agreement 677232) provided to N.E. and financial support from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig (FZT 118). The Jena Experiment is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (FOR 1451). Support for BioCON came from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) Long-Term Ecological Research (DEB-9411972, DEB-0080382, DEB-0620652 and DEB-1234162), Biocomplexity Coupled Biogeochemical Cycles (DEB-0322057), Long-Term Research in Environmental Biology (DEB-0716587, DEB-1242531) and Ecosystem Sciences (NSF DEB- 1120064) Programs; as well as the US Department of Energy Programs for Ecosystem Research (DE-FG02-96ER62291) and National Institute for Climatic Change Research (DE-FC02-06ER64158). N.R.G.-R. thanks D. Binkley, A. Weigelt and E. De Luca for contributing data, S. Bilodeau-Gauthier for support with the database and P. Keil for help with data analysis.

Author information




N.E. conceived the idea. N.E. and N.R.G.-R. developed the idea. A.H., B.W., C.Palmborg, C.Potvin, C.R., D.I.F., D.P., D.T., F.M., H.A., H.E.E., J.J.E., J.J., J.K., J.A.P., J.v.R. and P.B.R. contributed experimental data. N.R.G.-R. assembled the data. N.R.G.-R. and D.C. analysed the data with input from F.I., J.K. and A.H. N.R.G.-R. wrote the paper with substantial input from all authors.

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Correspondence to Nathaly R. Guerrero-Ramírez.

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Guerrero-Ramírez, N.R., Craven, D., Reich, P.B. et al. Diversity-dependent temporal divergence of ecosystem functioning in experimental ecosystems. Nat Ecol Evol 1, 1639–1642 (2017).

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