Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities

Kevin R. Wilcox, Andrew T. Tredennick, Sally E. Koerner, Emily Grman, Lauren M. Hallett, Meghan L. Avolio, Kimberly J. La Pierre, Gregory R. Houseman, Forest Isbell, David Samuel Johnson, Juha M. Alatalo, Andrew H. Baldwin, Edward W. Bork, Elizabeth H. Boughton, William D. Bowman, Andrea J. Britton, James F. Cahill, Scott L. Collins, Guozhen Du, Anu EskelinenLaura Gough, Anke Jentsch, Christel Kern, Kari Klanderud, Alan K. Knapp, Juergen Kreyling, Yiqi Luo, Jennie R. McLaren, Patrick Megonigal, Vladimir Onipchenko, Janet Prevéy, Jodi N. Price, Clare H. Robinson, Osvaldo Sala, Melinda D. Smith, Nadejda A. Soudzilovskaia, Lara Souza, David Tilman, Shannon R. White, Zhuwen Xu, Laura Yahdjian, Qiang Yu, Pengfei Zhang, Yunhai Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Temporal stability of ecosystem functioning increases the predictability and reliability of ecosystem services, and understanding the drivers of stability across spatial scales is important for land management and policy decisions. We used species-level abundance data from 62 plant communities across five continents to assess mechanisms of temporal stability across spatial scales. We assessed how asynchrony (i.e. different units responding dissimilarly through time) of species and local communities stabilised metacommunity ecosystem function. Asynchrony of species increased stability of local communities, and asynchrony among local communities enhanced metacommunity stability by a wide range of magnitudes (1–315%); this range was positively correlated with the size of the metacommunity. Additionally, asynchronous responses among local communities were linked with species’ populations fluctuating asynchronously across space, perhaps stemming from physical and/or competitive differences among local communities. Accordingly, we suggest spatial heterogeneity should be a major focus for maintaining the stability of ecosystem services at larger spatial scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1534-1545
Number of pages12
JournalEcology Letters
Volume20
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

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ecosystem function
ecosystem services
land policy
ecosystems
land management
ecosystem service
plant communities
plant community
ecosystem

Keywords

  • Alpha diversity
  • alpha variability
  • beta diversity
  • biodiversity
  • CoRRE data base
  • patchiness
  • plant communities
  • primary productivity
  • species synchrony

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Wilcox, K. R., Tredennick, A. T., Koerner, S. E., Grman, E., Hallett, L. M., Avolio, M. L., ... Zhang, Y. (2017). Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities. Ecology Letters, 20(12), 1534-1545. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12861

Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities. / Wilcox, Kevin R.; Tredennick, Andrew T.; Koerner, Sally E.; Grman, Emily; Hallett, Lauren M.; Avolio, Meghan L.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Houseman, Gregory R.; Isbell, Forest; Johnson, David Samuel; Alatalo, Juha M.; Baldwin, Andrew H.; Bork, Edward W.; Boughton, Elizabeth H.; Bowman, William D.; Britton, Andrea J.; Cahill, James F.; Collins, Scott L.; Du, Guozhen; Eskelinen, Anu; Gough, Laura; Jentsch, Anke; Kern, Christel; Klanderud, Kari; Knapp, Alan K.; Kreyling, Juergen; Luo, Yiqi; McLaren, Jennie R.; Megonigal, Patrick; Onipchenko, Vladimir; Prevéy, Janet; Price, Jodi N.; Robinson, Clare H.; Sala, Osvaldo; Smith, Melinda D.; Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A.; Souza, Lara; Tilman, David; White, Shannon R.; Xu, Zhuwen; Yahdjian, Laura; Yu, Qiang; Zhang, Pengfei; Zhang, Yunhai.

In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 20, No. 12, 01.12.2017, p. 1534-1545.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Wilcox, KR, Tredennick, AT, Koerner, SE, Grman, E, Hallett, LM, Avolio, ML, La Pierre, KJ, Houseman, GR, Isbell, F, Johnson, DS, Alatalo, JM, Baldwin, AH, Bork, EW, Boughton, EH, Bowman, WD, Britton, AJ, Cahill, JF, Collins, SL, Du, G, Eskelinen, A, Gough, L, Jentsch, A, Kern, C, Klanderud, K, Knapp, AK, Kreyling, J, Luo, Y, McLaren, JR, Megonigal, P, Onipchenko, V, Prevéy, J, Price, JN, Robinson, CH, Sala, O, Smith, MD, Soudzilovskaia, NA, Souza, L, Tilman, D, White, SR, Xu, Z, Yahdjian, L, Yu, Q, Zhang, P & Zhang, Y 2017, 'Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities', Ecology Letters, vol. 20, no. 12, pp. 1534-1545. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12861
Wilcox KR, Tredennick AT, Koerner SE, Grman E, Hallett LM, Avolio ML et al. Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities. Ecology Letters. 2017 Dec 1;20(12):1534-1545. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12861
Wilcox, Kevin R. ; Tredennick, Andrew T. ; Koerner, Sally E. ; Grman, Emily ; Hallett, Lauren M. ; Avolio, Meghan L. ; La Pierre, Kimberly J. ; Houseman, Gregory R. ; Isbell, Forest ; Johnson, David Samuel ; Alatalo, Juha M. ; Baldwin, Andrew H. ; Bork, Edward W. ; Boughton, Elizabeth H. ; Bowman, William D. ; Britton, Andrea J. ; Cahill, James F. ; Collins, Scott L. ; Du, Guozhen ; Eskelinen, Anu ; Gough, Laura ; Jentsch, Anke ; Kern, Christel ; Klanderud, Kari ; Knapp, Alan K. ; Kreyling, Juergen ; Luo, Yiqi ; McLaren, Jennie R. ; Megonigal, Patrick ; Onipchenko, Vladimir ; Prevéy, Janet ; Price, Jodi N. ; Robinson, Clare H. ; Sala, Osvaldo ; Smith, Melinda D. ; Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A. ; Souza, Lara ; Tilman, David ; White, Shannon R. ; Xu, Zhuwen ; Yahdjian, Laura ; Yu, Qiang ; Zhang, Pengfei ; Zhang, Yunhai. / Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities. In: Ecology Letters. 2017 ; Vol. 20, No. 12. pp. 1534-1545.
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abstract = "Temporal stability of ecosystem functioning increases the predictability and reliability of ecosystem services, and understanding the drivers of stability across spatial scales is important for land management and policy decisions. We used species-level abundance data from 62 plant communities across five continents to assess mechanisms of temporal stability across spatial scales. We assessed how asynchrony (i.e. different units responding dissimilarly through time) of species and local communities stabilised metacommunity ecosystem function. Asynchrony of species increased stability of local communities, and asynchrony among local communities enhanced metacommunity stability by a wide range of magnitudes (1–315{\%}); this range was positively correlated with the size of the metacommunity. Additionally, asynchronous responses among local communities were linked with species’ populations fluctuating asynchronously across space, perhaps stemming from physical and/or competitive differences among local communities. Accordingly, we suggest spatial heterogeneity should be a major focus for maintaining the stability of ecosystem services at larger spatial scales.",
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AU - Wilcox, Kevin R.

AU - Tredennick, Andrew T.

AU - Koerner, Sally E.

AU - Grman, Emily

AU - Hallett, Lauren M.

AU - Avolio, Meghan L.

AU - La Pierre, Kimberly J.

AU - Houseman, Gregory R.

AU - Isbell, Forest

AU - Johnson, David Samuel

AU - Alatalo, Juha M.

AU - Baldwin, Andrew H.

AU - Bork, Edward W.

AU - Boughton, Elizabeth H.

AU - Bowman, William D.

AU - Britton, Andrea J.

AU - Cahill, James F.

AU - Collins, Scott L.

AU - Du, Guozhen

AU - Eskelinen, Anu

AU - Gough, Laura

AU - Jentsch, Anke

AU - Kern, Christel

AU - Klanderud, Kari

AU - Knapp, Alan K.

AU - Kreyling, Juergen

AU - Luo, Yiqi

AU - McLaren, Jennie R.

AU - Megonigal, Patrick

AU - Onipchenko, Vladimir

AU - Prevéy, Janet

AU - Price, Jodi N.

AU - Robinson, Clare H.

AU - Sala, Osvaldo

AU - Smith, Melinda D.

AU - Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A.

AU - Souza, Lara

AU - Tilman, David

AU - White, Shannon R.

AU - Xu, Zhuwen

AU - Yahdjian, Laura

AU - Yu, Qiang

AU - Zhang, Pengfei

AU - Zhang, Yunhai

PY - 2017/12/1

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N2 - Temporal stability of ecosystem functioning increases the predictability and reliability of ecosystem services, and understanding the drivers of stability across spatial scales is important for land management and policy decisions. We used species-level abundance data from 62 plant communities across five continents to assess mechanisms of temporal stability across spatial scales. We assessed how asynchrony (i.e. different units responding dissimilarly through time) of species and local communities stabilised metacommunity ecosystem function. Asynchrony of species increased stability of local communities, and asynchrony among local communities enhanced metacommunity stability by a wide range of magnitudes (1–315%); this range was positively correlated with the size of the metacommunity. Additionally, asynchronous responses among local communities were linked with species’ populations fluctuating asynchronously across space, perhaps stemming from physical and/or competitive differences among local communities. Accordingly, we suggest spatial heterogeneity should be a major focus for maintaining the stability of ecosystem services at larger spatial scales.

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KW - alpha variability

KW - beta diversity

KW - biodiversity

KW - CoRRE data base

KW - patchiness

KW - plant communities

KW - primary productivity

KW - species synchrony

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