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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)
Drylands occupy large portions of the Earth, and are a key terrestrial biome from the socio-ecological point of view. In spite of their extent and importance, the impacts of global environmental change on them remain poorly understood. In this introduction, we review some of the main expected impacts of global change in drylands, quantify research efforts(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)
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 biogeochemical cycles of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are interlinked by primary production, respiration and decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems. It has been suggested that the C, N and P cycles could become uncoupled under rapid climate change because of the different degrees of control exerted on the supply of these elements by(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)
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)
Understanding seedling performance across resource gradients is crucial for defining the regeneration niche of plant species under current environmental conditions and for predicting potential changes under a global change scenario. A 2-year field experiment was conducted to determine how seedling survival and growth of two evergreen and two deciduous(More)
Spatial heterogeneity of abiotic factors influences patterns of seedling establishment at different scales. In stress-prone ecosystems such as Mediterranean ones, heterogeneity generated by shrubs has been shown to facilitate the establishment of tree species. However, how this facilitation is affected by spatial scale remains poorly understood. We have(More)