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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Numerous biodiversity–ecosystem functioning (BEF) experiments have shown that plant community productivity typically increases with species diversity. In these studies, diversity is generally quantified using metrics of taxonomic, phylogenetic, or functional differences among community members. Research has also shown that the relationships between species diversity and functioning depends on the spatial scale considered, primarily because larger areas may contain different ecosystem types and span gradients in environmental conditions, which result in a turnover of the species set present locally. A fact that has received little attention, however, is that ecological systems are hierarchically structured, from genes to individuals to communities to entire landscapes, and that additional biological variation occurs at levels of organization above and below those typically considered in BEF research. Here, we present cases of diversity effects at different hierarchical levels of organization and compare these to the species‐diversity effects traditionally studied. We argue that when this evidence is combined across levels, a general framework emerges that allows the transfer of insights and concepts between traditionally disparate disciplines. Such a framework presents an important step towards a better understanding of the functional importance of diversity in complex, real‐world systems. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  3. Biodiversity changes, such as decline in species richness and biotic homogenization, can have grave consequences for ecosystem functionality. Careful investigation of biodiversity–ecosystem multifunctionality linkages with due consideration of conceptual and technical challenges is required to make the knowledge practically useful in managing social–ecological systems. In this paper, we introduced different methods to assess perspectives regarding the issue of diversity‐multifunctionality, including a possible multifunctional redundancy/uniqueness, and the influences of the number and identity of functions on multifunctionality. In particular, we aimed to align methods with detecting the mechanisms underpinning diversity‐multifunctional relationships that are free from statistical biases. Based on a set of novel methods that excluded analytical biases resulting from differences in the number and identities of multiple functions considered, we found that a substantial portion of species disproportionately supported ecosystem functions and that the diversity effects on multifunctionality were more markedly observed when more functions were considered. These results jointly emphasize that individual species are, to some extent, both functionally unique as well as redundant, highlighting the complexity and necessity for managed assemblages to retain high levels of diversity. We also observed that the relative magnitude of uniqueness or redundancy can differ between species and functions and therefore should be defined in a multifunctional context. We further found that only a small subset of species was identified as significantly less important, especially at low levels of multifunctionality. Taken together, given the low level of multifunctional redundancy we identified, we stress that unraveling the hierarchical roles of biodiversity at different levels, such as individual species and their assemblages, should be a high research priority, in both theory and practice. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  5. Abstract

    Experiments often find that net primary productivity (NPP) increases with species richness when native species are considered. However, relationships may be altered by exotic (non‐native) species, which are hypothesized to reduce richness but increase productivity (i.e., ‘invasion‐diversity‐productivity paradox’). We compared richness‐NPP relationships using a comparison of exotic versus native‐dominated sites across the central USA, and two experiments under common environments. Aboveground NPP was measured using peak biomass clipping in all three studies, and belowground NPP was measured in one study with root ingrowth cores using root‐free soil. In all studies, there was a significantly positive relationship between NPP and richness across native species‐dominated sites and plots, but no relationship across exotic‐dominated ones. These results indicate that relationships between NPP and richness depend on whether native or exotic species are dominant, and that exotic species are ‘breaking the rules', altering richness‐productivity and richness‐C stock relationships after invasion.

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  6. null (Ed.)
  7. Abstract Global biodiversity and ecosystem service models typically operate independently. Ecosystem service projections may therefore be overly optimistic because they do not always account for the role of biodiversity in maintaining ecological functions. We review models used in recent global model intercomparison projects and develop a novel model integration framework to more fully account for the role of biodiversity in ecosystem function, a key gap for linking biodiversity changes to ecosystem services. We propose two integration pathways. The first uses empirical data on biodiversity–ecosystem function relationships to bridge biodiversity and ecosystem function models and could currently be implemented globally for systems and taxa with sufficient data. We also propose a trait-based approach involving greater incorporation of biodiversity into ecosystem function models. Pursuing both approaches will provide greater insight into biodiversity and ecosystem services projections. Integrating biodiversity, ecosystem function, and ecosystem service modeling will enhance policy development to meet global sustainability goals. 
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  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  9. null (Ed.)