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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

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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.

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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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