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Title: Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities

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.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5];  [6]; ORCiD logo [7];  [8];  [9];  [10];  [11];  [12];  [13];  [14];  [15];  [16];  [17]; ORCiD logo [18];  [19];  [20] more »;  [21];  [22];  [23];  [24];  [25];  [26];  [27];  [28];  [7];  [29];  [30];  [31];  [32];  [33];  [25];  [34];  [35];  [36];  [37]; ORCiD logo [38];  [39];  [40];  [19];  [41] « less
  1. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Dept. of Microbiology and Plant Biology
  2. Utah State Univ., Logan, UT (United States). Dept. of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center
  3. Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC (United States). Dept. of Biology
  4. Eastern Michigan Univ., Ypsilanti, MI (United States). Biology Dept.
  5. Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States). Environmental Studies Program and Dept. of Biology
  6. Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States). Morton K. Blaustein Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences
  7. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD (United States)
  8. Wichita State Univ., Wichita, KS (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences
  9. Univ. of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN (United States). Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
  10. Virginia Inst. of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, VA (United States)
  11. Qatar Univ., Doha (Qatar). Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences
  12. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Dept. of Environmental Science and Technology
  13. Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Agriculture/Forestry Center
  14. MacArthur Agroecology Research Center, Lake Placid, FL (United States). Archbold Biological Station
  15. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mountain Research Station
  16. James Hutton Inst., Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen (United States)
  17. Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Biological Sciences
  18. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States). Dept. of Biology
  19. Lanzhou Univ. (China). School of Life Science
  20. Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig (Germany). Dept. of Physiological Diversity; German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena- Leipzig, Leipzig (Germany); Univ. of Oulu, Oulu (Finland). Dept. of Ecology
  21. Towson Univ., Towson, MD (United States)
  22. Univ. of Bayreuth (Germany). Dept. of Disturbance Ecology
  23. US Forest Service, Rhinelander, WI (United States). Northern Research Station
  24. Norwegian Univ. of Life Sciences, Aas (Norway)
  25. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States). Dept. of Biology
  26. Greifswald Univ., Greifswald (Germany). Inst. of Botany and Landscape Ecology, Experimental Plant Ecology
  27. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Dept. of Microbiology and Plant Biology; Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences, Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss); Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China). Dept. for Earth System Science
  28. Univ. of Texas, El Paso, TX (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences
  29. Moscow State Lomonosov Univ., Moscow (Russia). Dept. of Geobotany
  30. USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station, Olympia, WA (United States)
  31. Charles Sturt Univ., Albury, NSW (Australia). Inst. of Land, Water and Society
  32. Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom). School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
  33. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). School of Life Sciences and School of Sustainability
  34. Leiden Univ. (Netherlands). Conservation Biology Dept., Inst. of Environmental Sciences, CML
  35. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Dept. of Microbiology and Plant Biology; Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Oklahoma Biological Survey
  36. Univ. of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN (United States). College of Biological Sciences, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
  37. Government of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Environment and Parks
  38. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Shenyang (China). Inst. of Applied Ecology
  39. Univ. de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires (Argentina). Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientıficas y Tecnicas, Inst. de Investigaciones Fisiologicas y Ecologicas Vinculadas a la Agricultura (IFEVA), Facultad de Agronomıa
  40. Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing (China). National Hulunber Grassland Ecosystem Observation and Research Station/ Inst. of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning
  41. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China). State Key Lab. of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Inst. of Botany; Aarhus Univ., Tjele (Denmark). Dept. of Agroecology
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1499118
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0008339
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Ecology Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1461-023X
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Alpha diversity; alpha variability; beta diversity; biodiversity; CoRRE data base; patchiness; plant communities; primary productivity; species synchrony.

Citation Formats

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 E., Smith, Melinda D., Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A., Souza, Lara, Tilman, David, White, Shannon R., Xu, Zhuwen, Yahdjian, Laura, Yu, Qiang, Zhang, Pengfei, and Zhang, Yunhai. Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi: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 E., 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. United States. doi: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 E., Smith, Melinda D., Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A., Souza, Lara, Tilman, David, White, Shannon R., Xu, Zhuwen, Yahdjian, Laura, Yu, Qiang, Zhang, Pengfei, and Zhang, Yunhai. Tue . "Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities". United States. doi:10.1111/ele.12861. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1499118.
@article{osti_1499118,
title = {Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities},
author = {Wilcox, Kevin R. and Tredennick, Andrew T. and Koerner, Sally E. and Grman, Emily and Hallett, Lauren M. and Avolio, Meghan L. and La Pierre, Kimberly J. and Houseman, Gregory R. and Isbell, Forest and Johnson, David Samuel and Alatalo, Juha M. and Baldwin, Andrew H. and Bork, Edward W. and Boughton, Elizabeth H. and Bowman, William D. and Britton, Andrea J. and Cahill, James F. and Collins, Scott L. and Du, Guozhen and Eskelinen, Anu and Gough, Laura and Jentsch, Anke and Kern, Christel and Klanderud, Kari and Knapp, Alan K. and Kreyling, Juergen and Luo, Yiqi and McLaren, Jennie R. and Megonigal, Patrick and Onipchenko, Vladimir and Prevéy, Janet and Price, Jodi N. and Robinson, Clare H. and Sala, Osvaldo E. and Smith, Melinda D. and Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A. and Souza, Lara and Tilman, David and White, Shannon R. and Xu, Zhuwen and Yahdjian, Laura and Yu, Qiang and Zhang, Pengfei and Zhang, Yunhai},
abstractNote = {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.},
doi = {10.1111/ele.12861},
journal = {Ecology Letters},
number = 12,
volume = 20,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {10}
}

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Cited by: 19 works
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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Conceptual figure showing how stability and synchrony at various spatial scales within a metacommunity combine to determine the stability of ecosystem function (here, productivity). In (a), high synchrony of species within and among local communities results in low stability at the scale of the metacommunity. In (b), speciesmore » remain synchronised within local communities, but the two communities exhibit asynchronous dynamics due to low population synchrony among local patches. This results in relatively high gamma stability. Lastly, in (c), species exhibit asynchronous dynamics within local communities through time, and species-level dynamics are similar across communities (i.e. high population synchrony). This results in relatively high gamma stability. Blue boxes on the right outline stability components and mechanisms, and the hierarchical level at which they operate. Adapted from Mellin et al. (2014).« less

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