Session: Vital Connections in Ecology: Multi-Trophic Interactions and Ecosystem Function - LB 20
Species richness promotes ecosystem carbon storage: Evidence from biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments
Thursday, August 5, 2021
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Shan Xu, Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Nico Eisenhauer, Institute of Biology, Leipzig University, Olga Ferlian, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, Leipzig, Germany and Jinlong Zhang, Flora Conservation Department, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden
Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Background/Question/Methods Plant diversity has a strong impact on a plethora of ecosystem functions and services, especially ecosystem carbon (C) storage. However, the potential context-dependency of biodiversity effects across ecosystem types, environmental conditions and carbon pools remains largely unknown. In this study, we performed a meta-analysis by collecting data from 95 biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) studies across 60 sites to explore the effects of plant diversity on different C pools, including aboveground and belowground plant biomass, soil microbial biomass C and soil C content across different ecosystem types.
Results/Conclusions The results showed that ecosystem C storage was significantly enhanced by plant diversity, with stronger effects on aboveground biomass than on soil C content. Moreover, the response magnitudes of ecosystem C storage increased with the level of species richness and experimental duration across all ecosystems. The effects of plant diversity were more pronounced in grasslands than in forests. Furthermore, the effects of plant diversity on belowground plant biomass increased with aridity index in grasslands and forests, suggesting that climate change might modulate biodiversity effects, which are stronger under wetter conditions but weaker under more arid conditions. Taken together, these results provide novel insights into the important role of plant diversity in ecosystem C storage across critical C pools, ecosystem types and environmental contexts.