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Global change effects on plant communities are magnified by time and the number of global change factors imposed

Komatsu, KJ, Avolio, ML, Lemoine, NP, Isbell, F, Grman, E, Houseman, GR, Koerner, SE, Johnson, DS, Wilcox, KR, Alatalo, JM, Anderson, JP, Aerts, R, Baer, SG, Baldwin, AH, Bates, J, Beierkuhnlein, C, Belote, RT, Blair, J, Bloor, JMG, Bohlen, PJ, Bork, EW, Boughton, EH, Bowman, WD, Britton, AJ, Cahill, JF, Chaneton, E, Chiariello, NR, Cheng, J, Collins, SL, Cornelissen, JHC, Du, G, Eskelinen, A, Firn, J, Foster, B, Gough, L, Gross, K, Hallett, LM, Han, X, Harmens, H, Hovenden, MJ ORCID: 0000-0001-7208-9700, Jagerbrand, A, Jentsch, A, Kern, C, Klanderud, K, Knapp, AK, Kreyling, J, Li, W, Luo, Y, McCulley, RL, McLaren, JR, Megonigal, JP, Morgan, JW, Onipchenko, V, Pennings, SC, Prevey, JS, Price, JN, Reich, PB, Robinson, CH, Russell, FL, Sala, OE, Seabloom, EW, Smith, MD, Soudzilovskaia, NA, Souza, L, Suding, K, Suttle, KB, Svejcar, T, Tilman, D, Tognetti, P, Turkington, R, White, S, Xu, Z, Yahdjian, L, Yu, Q, Zhang, P and Zhang, Y 2019 , 'Global change effects on plant communities are magnified by time and the number of global change factors imposed' , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 116, no. 36 , 17867–17873 , doi: 10.1073/pnas.1819027116.

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Abstract

Global change drivers (GCDs) are expected to alter community structure and consequently, the services that ecosystems provide. Yet, few experimental investigations have examined effects of GCDs on plant community structure across multiple ecosystem types, and those that do exist present conflicting patterns. In an unprecedented global synthesis of over 100 experiments that manipulated factors linked to GCDs, we show that herbaceous plant community responses depend on experimental manipulation length and number of factors manipulated. We found that plant communities are fairly resistant to experimentally manipulated GCDs in the short term (<10 y). In contrast, long-term (≥10 y) experiments show increasing community divergence of treatments from control conditions. Surprisingly, these community responses occurred with similar frequency across the GCD types manipulated in our database. However, community responses were more common when 3 or more GCDs were simultaneously manipulated, suggesting the emergence of additive or synergistic effects of multiple drivers, particularly over long time periods. In half of the cases, GCD manipulations caused a difference in community composition without a corresponding species richness difference, indicating that species reordering or replacement is an important mechanism of community responses to GCDs and should be given greater consideration when examining consequences of GCDs for the biodiversity–ecosystem function relationship. Human activities are currently driving unparalleled global changes worldwide. Our analyses provide the most comprehensive evidence to date that these human activities may have widespread impacts on plant community composition globally, which will increase in frequency over time and be greater in areas where communities face multiple GCDs simultaneously.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Komatsu, KJ and Avolio, ML and Lemoine, NP and Isbell, F and Grman, E and Houseman, GR and Koerner, SE and Johnson, DS and Wilcox, KR and Alatalo, JM and Anderson, JP and Aerts, R and Baer, SG and Baldwin, AH and Bates, J and Beierkuhnlein, C and Belote, RT and Blair, J and Bloor, JMG and Bohlen, PJ and Bork, EW and Boughton, EH and Bowman, WD and Britton, AJ and Cahill, JF and Chaneton, E and Chiariello, NR and Cheng, J and Collins, SL and Cornelissen, JHC and Du, G and Eskelinen, A and Firn, J and Foster, B and Gough, L and Gross, K and Hallett, LM and Han, X and Harmens, H and Hovenden, MJ and Jagerbrand, A and Jentsch, A and Kern, C and Klanderud, K and Knapp, AK and Kreyling, J and Li, W and Luo, Y and McCulley, RL and McLaren, JR and Megonigal, JP and Morgan, JW and Onipchenko, V and Pennings, SC and Prevey, JS and Price, JN and Reich, PB and Robinson, CH and Russell, FL and Sala, OE and Seabloom, EW and Smith, MD and Soudzilovskaia, NA and Souza, L and Suding, K and Suttle, KB and Svejcar, T and Tilman, D and Tognetti, P and Turkington, R and White, S and Xu, Z and Yahdjian, L and Yu, Q and Zhang, P and Zhang, Y
Keywords: community composition, global change experiments, herbaceous plants, species richness
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 0027-8424
DOI / ID Number: 10.1073/pnas.1819027116
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Copyright © 2019 the authors

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