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Jack-of-all-trades effects drive biodiversity–ecosystem multifunctionality relationships in European forests

van der Plas F, Manning P, Allan E, Scherer-Lorenzen M, Verheyen K, Wirth C, Zavala MA, Hector A, Ampoorter E, Baeten L, Barbaro L, Bauhus J, Benavides R, Bussotti F & Joly F (2016) Jack-of-all-trades effects drive biodiversity–ecosystem multifunctionality relationships in European forests, Nature Communications, 7, Art. No.: 11109.

Additional co-authors: Monique Carnol, Bastien Castagneyrol, Yohan Charbonnier, David Coomes, Andrea Coppi, Cristina C. Bastias, Seid Muhie Dawud, Hans De Wandeler, Timo Domisch, Leena Finer, Arthur Gessler, Andre Granier, Charlotte Grossiord, Virginie Guyot, Stephan Hattenschwiler, Herve Jactel, Bogdan Jaroszewicz, Tommaso Jucker, Julia Koricheva, Harriet Milligan, Sandra Muller, Bart Muys, Diem Nguyen, Martina Pollastrini, Karsten Raulund-Rasmussen, Federico Selvi, Jan Stenlid, Fernando Valladares, Lars Vesterdal, Dawid Zielınski & Markus Fischer

There is considerable evidence that biodiversity promotes multiple ecosystem functions (multifunctionality), thus ensuring the delivery of ecosystem services important for human well-being. However, the mechanisms underlying this relationship are poorly understood, especially in natural ecosystems. We develop a novel approach to partition biodiversity effects on multifunctionality into three mechanisms and apply this to European forest data. We show that throughout Europe, tree diversity is positively related with multifunctionality when moderate levels of functioning are required, but negatively when very high function levels are desired. For two well-known mechanisms, ‘complementarity’ and ‘selection’, we detect only minor effects on multifunctionality. Instead a third, so far overlooked mechanism, the ‘jack-of-all-trades’ effect, caused by the averaging of individual species effects on function, drives observed patterns. Simulations demonstrate that jack-of-all-trades effects occur whenever species effects on different functions are not perfectly correlated, meaning they may contribute to diversity–multifunctionality relationships in many of the world’s ecosystems.

Authorsvan der Plas Fons, Manning Pete, Allan Eric, Scherer-Lorenzen Michael, Verheyen Kris, Wirth Christian, Zavala Miguel A, Hector Andy, Ampoorter Evy, Baeten Lander, Barbaro Luc, Bauhus Jurgen, Benavides Raquel, Bussotti Filippo, Joly Francois-Xavier
Publication date24/03/2016
Publication date online24/03/2016
Date accepted by journal24/03/2016
PublisherNature Publishing Group
ISSN 2041-1723

Nature Communications: Volume 7 (2016)

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