Nature2014-06-18 3:23 PM

植物凋落物多样性在生态系统功能中所起作用 Consequences of biodiversity loss for litter decomposition across biomes

论文摘要 

人们已经非常清楚生物多样性对初级生产力等生态系统功能有一个积极影响,但它对植物凋落物的多样性和分解植物凋落物的生物的多样性的影响却不是很清楚。Stephan H?ttenschwiler及同事对从亚北极到热带、包括水生生态系统和陆地生态系统在内的五个地点所进行的并行操纵实验中的凋落物多样性进行了研究。在全部所研究的生态系统中,他们发现,降低凋落物的多样性或食碎屑生物(无脊椎动物和分解凋落物的微生物)的多样性,会降低凋落物碳和氮的循环速度和分解速度。生物多样性降低所造成的分解速度降低产生的效应之一是,限制给初级生产者的氮供应。虽然这些效应总体上是积极的,但它们比普遍报告的对初级生产的效应要弱,因而向当前关于生物多样性与生态系统过程之间关系的普遍性的观点提出了挑战,这种观点是基于对植物生产力的评估。

Abstract 

The decomposition of dead organic matter is a major determinant of carbon and nutrient cycling in ecosystems, and of carbon fluxes between the biosphere and the atmosphere. Decomposition is driven by a vast diversity of organisms that are structured in complex food webs. Identifying the mechanisms underlying the effects of biodiversity on decomposition is critical given the rapid loss of species worldwide and the effects of this loss on human well-being. Yet despite comprehensive syntheses of studies on how biodiversity affects litter decomposition, key questions remain, including when, where and how biodiversity has a role and whether general patterns and mechanisms occur across ecosystems and different functional types of organism. Here, in field experiments across five terrestrial and aquatic locations, ranging from the subarctic to the tropics, we show that reducing the functional diversity of decomposer organisms and plant litter types slowed the cycling of litter carbon and nitrogen. Moreover, we found evidence of nitrogen transfer from the litter of nitrogen-fixing plants to that of rapidly decomposing plants, but not between other plant functional types, highlighting that specific interactions in litter mixtures control carbon and nitrogen cycling during decomposition. The emergence of this general mechanism and the coherence of patterns across contrasting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems suggest that biodiversity loss has consistent consequences for litter decomposition and the cycling of major elements on broad spatial scales.

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