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The extent of functional redundancy changes as species' roles shift in different environments
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research–UFZ, Germany.
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Number of Authors: 6
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 112, no 48, 14888-14893 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Assessing the ecological impacts of environmental change requires knowledge of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The exact nature of this relationship can differ considerably between ecosystems, with consequences for the efficacy of species diversity as a buffer against environmental change. Using a microbial model system, we show that the relationship can vary depending on environmental conditions. Shapes suggesting functional redundancy in one environment can change, suggesting functional differences in another environment. We find that this change is due to shifting species roles and interactions. Species that are functionally redundant in one environment may become pivotal in another. Thus, caution is advised in drawing conclusions about functional redundancy based on a single environmental situation. It also implies that species richness is important because it provides a pool of species with potentially relevant traits. These species may turn out to be essential performers or partners in new interspecific interactions after environmental change. Therefore, our results challenge the generality of functional redundancy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 112, no 48, 14888-14893 p.
Keyword [en]
biodiversity-ecosystem functioning, functional redundancy, environmental change, microbial model system, species interactions
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124709DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1505587112ISI: 000365988900051PubMedID: 26578806OAI: diva2:898400
Available from: 2016-01-28 Created: 2016-01-04 Last updated: 2016-01-28Bibliographically approved

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Fetzer, Ingo
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