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.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Record number 541446
Title Size-dependent loss of aboveground animals differentially affects grassland ecosystem coupling and functions
Author(s) Risch, A.C.; Ochoa-Hueso, R.; Putten, W.H. van der; Bump, J.K.; Busse, M.D.; Frey, B.; Gwiazdowicz, D.J.; Page-Dumroese, D.S.; Vandegehuchte, M.L.; Zimmermann, S.; Schütz, M.
Source Nature Communications 9 (2018)1. - ISSN 2041-1723
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06105-4
Department(s) EPS
PE&RC
Laboratory of Nematology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Abstract

Increasing evidence suggests that community-level responses to human-induced biodiversity loss start with a decrease of interactions among communities and between them and their abiotic environment. The structural and functional consequences of such interaction losses are poorly understood and have rarely been tested in real-world systems. Here, we analysed how 5 years of progressive, size-selective exclusion of large, medium, and small vertebrates and invertebrates—a realistic scenario of human-induced defaunation—impacts the strength of relationships between above- and belowground communities and their abiotic environment (hereafter ecosystem coupling) and how this relates to ecosystem functionality in grasslands. Exclusion of all vertebrates results in the greatest level of ecosystem coupling, while the additional loss of invertebrates leads to poorly coupled ecosystems. Consumer-driven changes in ecosystem functionality are positively related to changes in ecosystem coupling. Our results highlight the importance of invertebrate communities for maintaining ecological coupling and functioning in an increasingly defaunated world.

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