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Grassland management intensification weakens the associations among the diversities of multiple plant and animal taxa

  • Land-use intensification is a key driver of biodiversity change. However, little is known about how it alters relationships between the diversities of different taxonomic groups, which are often correlated due to shared environmental drivers and trophic interactions. Using data from 150 grassland sites, we examined how land-use intensification (increased fertilization, higher livestock densities, and increased mowing frequency) altered correlations between the species richness of 15 plant, invertebrate, and vertebrate taxa. We found that 54% of pairwise correlations between taxonomic groups were significant and positive among all grasslands, while only one was negative. Higher land-use intensity substantially weakened these correlations(35% decrease in rand 43% fewer significant pairwise correlations at high intensity), a pattern which may emerge as a result of biodiversity declines and the breakdown of specialized relationships in these conditions. Nevertheless, some groups (Coleoptera, Heteroptera, Hymenoptera and Orthoptera) wereLand-use intensification is a key driver of biodiversity change. However, little is known about how it alters relationships between the diversities of different taxonomic groups, which are often correlated due to shared environmental drivers and trophic interactions. Using data from 150 grassland sites, we examined how land-use intensification (increased fertilization, higher livestock densities, and increased mowing frequency) altered correlations between the species richness of 15 plant, invertebrate, and vertebrate taxa. We found that 54% of pairwise correlations between taxonomic groups were significant and positive among all grasslands, while only one was negative. Higher land-use intensity substantially weakened these correlations(35% decrease in rand 43% fewer significant pairwise correlations at high intensity), a pattern which may emerge as a result of biodiversity declines and the breakdown of specialized relationships in these conditions. Nevertheless, some groups (Coleoptera, Heteroptera, Hymenoptera and Orthoptera) were consistently correlated with multidiversity, an aggregate measure of total biodiversity comprised of the standardized diversities of multiple taxa, at both high and lowland-use intensity. The form of intensification was also important; increased fertilization and mowing frequency typically weakened plant-plant and plant-primary consumer correlations, whereas grazing intensification did not. This may reflect decreased habitat heterogeneity under mowing and fertilization and increased habitat heterogeneity under grazing. While these results urge caution in using certain taxonomic groups to monitor impacts of agricultural management on biodiversity, they also suggest that the diversities of some groups are reasonably robust indicators of total biodiversity across a range of conditions.show moreshow less

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Author:Pete Manning, Martin M. Gossner, Oliver Bossdorf, Eric Allan, Yuan-Ye Zhang, Daniel Prati, Nico Blüthgen, Steffen Boch, Stefan Böhm, Carmen Börschig, Norbert Hölzel, Kirsten Jung, Valentin H. Klaus, Alexandra Maria Klein, Till Kleinebecker, Jochen Krauss, Markus Lange, Jörg Müller, Esther Pasalic, Stephanie A. Socher, Marco Tschapka, Manfred Türke, Christiane Weiner, Michael Werner, Sonja Gockel, Andreas Hemp, Swen C. Renner, Konstans Wells, Francois Buscot, Elisabeth K. V. Kalko, Karl Eduard Linsenmair, Wolfgang W. Weisser, Markus Fischer
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1890/14-1307.1
ISSN:0012-9658 (print)
ISSN:1939-9170 (online)
Parent Title (English):Ecology : a publication of the Ecological Society of America
Publisher:Wiley
Place of publication:Washington
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2015
Year of Completion:2015
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:Biodiversity indicators; correlation; fertilization; grassland management; grazing; land-use change; land-use intensity; mowing; multidiversity; multitrophic interactions
Volume:96
Issue:6
Pagenumber:10
First Page:1492
Last Page:1501
Funder:DFG Priority Program 1374 "Infrastructure-Biodiversity Exploratories'
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert