Smith, S. Lan, Vallina, Sergio M. and Merico, Agostino ORCID: (2016) Phytoplankton size-diversity mediates an emergent trade-off in ecosystem functioning for rare versus frequent disturbances. Scientific Reports, 6 (1). p. 34170. DOI

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Biodiversity is known to be an important determinant of ecosystem-level functions and processes. Although theories have been proposed to explain the generally positive relationship between, for example, biodiversity and productivity, it remains unclear which mechanisms underlie the observed variations in Biodiversity-Ecosystem Function (BEF) relationships. Using a continuous trait-distribution model for a phytoplankton community of gleaners competing with opportunists, and subjecting it to differing frequencies of disturbance, we find that species selection tends to enhance temporal species complementarity, which is maximised at high disturbance frequency and intermediate functional diversity. This leads to the emergence of a trade-off whereby increasing diversity tends to enhance short-term adaptive capacity under frequent disturbance while diminishing long-term productivity under infrequent disturbance. BEF relationships therefore depend on both disturbance frequency and the timescale of observation.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Integrated Modelling > Systems Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2019 10:52
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 13:29

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