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Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and the buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report here on a global(More)
(180 articles) environmental science (399 articles) ecology Articles on similar topics can be found in the following collections Email alerting service here right-hand corner of the article or click Receive free email alerts when new articles cite this article-sign up in the box at the top Drylands occupy large portions of the Earth, and are a key(More)
Dryland ecosystems account for ca. 27% of global soil organic carbon (C) reserves, yet it is largely unknown how climate change will impact C cycling and storage in these areas. In drylands, soil C concentrates at the surface, making it particularly sensitive to the activity of organisms inhabiting the soil uppermost levels, such as communities dominated by(More)
Understanding the impacts of combined resource supplies on seedlings is critical to enable prediction of establishment growth, and forest dynamics. We investigated the effects of irradiance and water treatments on absolute growth, and relative growth rate (RGR) and its components, for seedlings of four Quercus species differing in leaf habit and with a wide(More)
Here, we investigated the physiological and structural leaf responses of seedlings of two evergreen and two deciduous Quercus species, grown in a glasshouse and subjected to contrasted conditions of light (low, medium and high irradiance) and water (continuous watering vs 2-months drought). The impact of drought on photosynthetic rate was strongest in high(More)
The combined effects of shade and drought on plant performance and the implications for species interactions are highly debated in plant ecology. Empirical evidence for positive and negative effects of shade on the performance of plants under dry conditions supports two contrasting theoretical models about the role of shade under dry conditions: the(More)
Three hypotheses have been proposed to explain the functional relationship between seed mass and seedling performance: the reserve effect (larger seeds retain a larger proportion of reserves after germinating), the metabolic effect (seedlings from larger seeds have slower relative growth rates), and the seedling-size effect (larger seeds produce larger(More)
Growth rates of woody plant species: functional aspects and ecological implications. Plant species widely differ in their growth potential when they are grown under similar conditions. What are the factors related to a high growth potential? In general , a simple variable as the specific leaf area (the ratio between leaf area and leaf dry weight) is(More)
One of the most important changes taking place in drylands worldwide is the increase of the cover and dominance of shrubs in areas formerly devoid of them (shrub encroachment). A large body of research has evaluated the causes and consequences of shrub encroachment for both ecosystem structure and functioning. However, there are virtually no studies(More)
AIM The global spread of woody plants into grasslands is predicted to increase over the coming century. While there is general agreement regarding the anthropogenic causes of this phenomenon, its ecological consequences are less certain. We analyzed how woody vegetation of differing cover affects plant diversity (richness and evenness) and multiple(More)