Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 508055
Title The evolutionary legacy of diversification predicts ecosystem function
Author(s) Yguel, Benjamin; Jactel, Hervé; Pearse, Ian S.; Moen, Daniel; Winter, Marten; Hortal, Joaquin; Helmus, Matthew R.; Kühn, Ingolf; Pavoine, Sandrine; Purschke, Oliver; Weiher, Evan; Violle, Cyrille; Ozinga, Wim; Brändle, Martin; Bartish, Igor; Prinzing, Andreas
Source American Naturalist 188 (2016)4. - ISSN 0003-0147 - p. 398 - 410.
Department(s) Alterra - Vegetation, forest and landscape ecology
Unit beheer Alterra
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Community ecology - Evolutionary history - Lineage-throughtime plots - Phylogenetic diversity - Productivity - Species coexistence

Theory suggests that the structure of evolutionary history represented in a species community may affect its functioning, but phylogenetic diversity metrics do not allow for the identification of major differences in this structure. Here we propose a new metric, ELDERness (for Evolutionary Legacy of DivERsity) to estimate evolutionary branching patterns within communities by fitting a polynomial function to lineage-through-time (LTT) plots. We illustrate how real and simulated community branching patterns can be more correctly described by ELDERness and can successfully predict ecosystem functioning. In particular, the evolutionary history of branching patterns can be encapsulated by the parameters of third-order polynomial functions and further measured through only two parameters, the “ELDERness surfaces.” These parameters captured variation in productivity of a grassland community better than existing phylogenetic diversity or diversification metrics and independent of species richness or presence of nitrogen fixers. Specifically, communitieswith small ELDERness surfaces (constant accumulation of lineages through time in LTT plots) were more productive, consistent with increased productivity resulting from complementary lineages combined with niche filling within lineages. Overall, while existing phylogenetic diversity metrics remain useful in many contexts, we suggest that our ELDERness approach better enables testing hypotheses that relate complex patterns of macroevolutionary history represented in local communities to ecosystem functioning.

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