Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

Adler, P.B., Seabloom, E.W., Borer, E.T., Hillebrand, H., Hautier, Y., Hector, A., Harpole, W.S., O'Halloran, L.R., Grace, J.B., Anderson, T.M., Bakker, J.D., Biederman, L.A., Brown, C.S., Buckley, Y.M., Calabrese, L.B., Chu, C.-J., Cleland, E.E., Collins, S.L., Cottingham, K.L., Crawley, M.J., Damschen, E.I., Davies, K.F., DeCrappeo, N.M., Fay, P.A., Firn, J., Frater, P., Gasarch, E.I., Gruner, D.S., Hagenah, N., Hille Ris Lambers, J., Humphries, H., Jin, V.L., Kay, A.D., Kirkman, K.P., Klein, J.A., Knops, J.M.H., La Pierre, K.J., Lambrinos, J.G., Li, W., MacDougall, A.S., McCulley, R. L., Melbourne, B.A., Mitchell, C.E., Moore, J.L., Morgan, J.W., Mortensen, B., Orrock, J.L., Prober, S.M., Pyke, D.A., Risch, A.C., Schuetz, M., Smith, M.D., Stevens, C.J., Sullivan, L.L., Wang, G., Wragg, P.D., Wright, J.P., & Yang, L.H. (2011) Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness. Science, 333(6050), pp. 1750-1753.

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For more than 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating local diversity. The original view, which is still widely accepted, holds that the relationship is hump-shaped, with richness first rising and then declining with increasing productivity. Although recent meta-analyses questioned the generality of hump-shaped patterns, these syntheses have been criticized for failing to account for methodological differences among studies. We addressed such concerns by conducting standardized sampling in 48 herbaceous-dominated plant communities on five continents. We found no clear relationship between productivity and fine-scale (meters−2) richness within sites, within regions, or across the globe. Ecologists should focus on fresh, mechanistic approaches to understanding the multivariate links between productivity and richness.

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ID Code: 81342
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Articles free to read on journal website after if you register
DOI: 10.1126/science.1204498
ISSN: 1095-9203
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 02 Feb 2015 01:41
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2015 03:56

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