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Initial community evenness favours functionality under selective stress

Lieven Wittebolle UGent, Massimo Marzorati UGent, Lieven Clement UGent, Annalisa Balloi, Daniele Daffonchio, Kim Heylen UGent, Paul De Vos UGent, Willy Verstraete UGent and Nico Boon UGent (2009) NATURE. 458(7238). p.623-626
abstract
Owing to the present global biodiversity crisis, the biodiversity-stability relationship and the effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning have become major topics in ecology(1-3). Biodiversity is a complex term that includes taxonomic, functional, spatial and temporal aspects of organismic diversity, with species richness (the number of species) and evenness (the relative abundance of species) considered among the most important measures(4,5). With few exceptions (see, for example, ref. 6), the majority of studies of biodiversity-functioning and biodiversity-stability theory have predominantly examined richness(7-11). Here we show, using microbial microcosms, that initial community evenness is a key factor in preserving the functional stability of an ecosystem. Using experimental manipulations of both richness and initial evenness in microcosms with denitrifying bacterial communities, we found that the stability of the net ecosystem denitrification in the face of salinity stress was strongly influenced by the initial evenness of the community. Therefore, when communities are highly uneven, or there is extreme dominance by one or a few species, their functioning is less resistant to environmental stress. Further unravelling how evenness influences ecosystem processes in natural and humanized environments constitutes a major future conceptual challenge.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
SYSTEMS, PRODUCTIVITY, ECOLOGY, BIODIVERSITY, CURRENT KNOWLEDGE, DIVERSITY, SPECIES RICHNESS, REDUNDANCY, STABILITY
journal title
NATURE
Nature
volume
458
issue
7238
pages
623 - 626
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000264796200039
JCR category
MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES
JCR impact factor
34.48 (2009)
JCR rank
1/48 (2009)
JCR quartile
1 (2009)
ISSN
0028-0836
DOI
10.1038/nature07840
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
527444
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-527444
date created
2009-03-22 23:50:52
date last changed
2012-10-26 14:49:22
@article{527444,
  abstract     = {Owing to the present global biodiversity crisis, the biodiversity-stability relationship and the effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning have become major topics in ecology(1-3). Biodiversity is a complex term that includes taxonomic, functional, spatial and temporal aspects of organismic diversity, with species richness (the number of species) and evenness (the relative abundance of species) considered among the most important measures(4,5). With few exceptions (see, for example, ref. 6), the majority of studies of biodiversity-functioning and biodiversity-stability theory have predominantly examined richness(7-11). Here we show, using microbial microcosms, that initial community evenness is a key factor in preserving the functional stability of an ecosystem. Using experimental manipulations of both richness and initial evenness in microcosms with denitrifying bacterial communities, we found that the stability of the net ecosystem denitrification in the face of salinity stress was strongly influenced by the initial evenness of the community. Therefore, when communities are highly uneven, or there is extreme dominance by one or a few species, their functioning is less resistant to environmental stress. Further unravelling how evenness influences ecosystem processes in natural and humanized environments constitutes a major future conceptual challenge.},
  author       = {Wittebolle, Lieven and Marzorati, Massimo and Clement, Lieven and Balloi, Annalisa and Daffonchio, Daniele and Heylen, Kim and De Vos, Paul and Verstraete, Willy and Boon, Nico},
  issn         = {0028-0836},
  journal      = {NATURE},
  keyword      = {SYSTEMS,PRODUCTIVITY,ECOLOGY,BIODIVERSITY,CURRENT KNOWLEDGE,DIVERSITY,SPECIES RICHNESS,REDUNDANCY,STABILITY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7238},
  pages        = {623--626},
  title        = {Initial community evenness favours functionality under selective stress},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature07840},
  volume       = {458},
  year         = {2009},
}

Chicago
Wittebolle, Lieven, Massimo Marzorati, Lieven Clement, Annalisa Balloi, Daniele Daffonchio, Kim Heylen, Paul De Vos, Willy Verstraete, and Nico Boon. 2009. “Initial Community Evenness Favours Functionality Under Selective Stress.” Nature 458 (7238): 623–626.
APA
Wittebolle, L., Marzorati, M., Clement, L., Balloi, A., Daffonchio, D., Heylen, K., De Vos, P., et al. (2009). Initial community evenness favours functionality under selective stress. NATURE, 458(7238), 623–626.
Vancouver
1.
Wittebolle L, Marzorati M, Clement L, Balloi A, Daffonchio D, Heylen K, et al. Initial community evenness favours functionality under selective stress. NATURE. 2009;458(7238):623–6.
MLA
Wittebolle, Lieven, Massimo Marzorati, Lieven Clement, et al. “Initial Community Evenness Favours Functionality Under Selective Stress.” NATURE 458.7238 (2009): 623–626. Print.