Biodiversity showed positive effects on resistance but mixed effects on resilience to climatic extremes in a long-term grassland experiment

Md Lokman Hossain, Jianfeng Li*, Samuel Hoffmann, Carl Beierkuhnlein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the role of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem functioning and stability under increasing frequency and magnitude of climatic extremes has fascinated ecologists for decades. Although growing evidence suggests that biodiversity affects ecosystem productivity and buffers ecosystem against climatic extremes, it remains unclear whether the stability of an ecosystem is caused by its resistance against disturbances or resilience towards perturbations or both. In attempting to explore how species richness affects resistance and resilience of above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) against climatic extremes, we analyzed the grassland ANPP of the long-running (1997–2020) Bayreuth Biodiversity experiment in Germany. We used the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index to identify climatic conditions based on 5- and 7-class classifications of climatic conditions. Mixed-effects models and post-hoc test show that ANPP varied significantly among different intensities (e.g. moderate or extreme) and directions (e.g. dry or wet) of climatic conditions, with the highest ANPP in extreme wet and the lowest in extreme dry conditions. Resistance and resilience of ANPP to climatic extremes in different intensities were examined by linear-mixed effects models and we found that species richness increased ecosystem resistance against all dry and wet climatic extremes, but decreased ecosystem resilience towards all dry climatic extremes. Species richness had no effects on ecosystem resilience towards wet climatic extremes. When the five level of species richness treatment (i.e., 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 species) were considered, the relationships between species richness and resistance and resilience of ANPP under extreme wet and dry conditions remained similar. Our study emphasizes that plant communities with greater species richness need to be maintained to stabilize ecosystem productivity and increase resistance against different climatic extremes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154322
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

User-Defined Keywords

  • Biodiversity-stability relationship
  • Drought
  • Hay meadow
  • Resilience
  • Resistance
  • Species richness


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