Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Multifunctionality of biocrusts is positively predicted by network topologies consistent with interspecies facilitation

Citation

Li, Hua et al. (2020), Multifunctionality of biocrusts is positively predicted by network topologies consistent with interspecies facilitation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.51qq0b4

Abstract

The potential of biodiversity loss to impair the delivery of ecosystem services has motived ecologists to better understand the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Although increasing evidence underlines the collective contribution of different biodiversity components on the simultaneous performance of multiple functions (multifunctionality), we know little about the trade-offs between individual diversity effects and the extent to which they determine multifunctionality differentially. Here, at a sub-continental scale of 62 dryland sites, we show in phototrophic microbiota of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) that, while richness alone is unable to guarantee the maxima of multifunctional performance, interspecies facilitation and compositional identity are particularly stronger but often neglected predictors. The inconsistent effects of different biodiversity components imply that soil multifunctionality can be lost despite certain species remaining present. Moreover, we reveal a significant empirical association between species functional importance and its topological feature in co-occurrence networks, indicating a functional signal of species interaction. Nevertheless, abundant species tend to isolate and merely interact within small topological structures, but rare species were tightly connected in complicated network modules. Our findings suggest that abundant and rare species of soil phototrophs exhibit distinct functional relevance. These results give a comprehensive view of how soil constructive species drive multifunctionality in biocrusts and ultimately promote a deeper understanding of the consequences of biodiversity loss in real-world ecosystems.

Usage Notes