Data from: Interactive effects of climate change and biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning
Pires, Aliny P. F. et al. (2019), Data from: Interactive effects of climate change and biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.58g2t4k
Climate change and biodiversity loss are expected to simultaneously affect ecosystems, however research on how each driver mediates the effect of the other has been limited in scope. The multiple stressor framework emphasizes non-additive effects, but biodiversity may also buffer the effects of climate change, and climate change may alter which mechanisms underlie biodiversity-function relationships. Here, we performed an experiment using tank bromeliad ecosystems to test the various ways that rainfall changes and litter diversity may jointly determine ecological processes. Litter diversity and rainfall changes interactively affected multiple functions, but how depended on the process measured. High litter diversity buffered the effects of altered rainfall on detritivore communities, evidence of insurance against impacts of climate change. Altered rainfall affected the mechanisms by which litter diversity influenced decomposition, reducing the importance of complementary attributes of species (“complementarity effects”), and resulting in an increasing dependence on the maintenance of specific species (“dominance effects”). Finally, altered rainfall conditions prevented litter diversity from fuelling methanogenesis, because such changes in rainfall reduced microbial activity by 58%. Together, these results demonstrate that the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss on ecosystems cannot be understood in isolation and interactions between these stressors can be multifaceted.