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Functional traits explain the consistent resistance of biodiversity to plant invasion under nitrogen enrichment

Citation

Li, Shao-peng et al. (2021), Functional traits explain the consistent resistance of biodiversity to plant invasion under nitrogen enrichment, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ghx3ffbqk

Abstract

Elton’s biotic resistance hypothesis, which posits that diverse communities should be more resistant to biological invasions, has received considerable experimental support. However, it remains unclear whether such a negative diversity–invasibility relationship would persist under anthropogenic environmental change. By using the common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) as a model invader, our four-year grassland experiment demonstrated consistently negative relationships between resident species diversity and community invasibility, irrespective of nitrogen addition, a result further supported by a meta-analysis. Importantly, our experiment showed that plant diversity consistently resisted invasion simultaneously through increased resident biomass, increased trait dissimilarity among residents, and increased community weighted means of resource-conservative traits that strongly resist invasion, pointing to the importance of both trait complementarity and sampling effects for invasion resistance even under resource enrichment. Our study provides unique evidence that considering species functional traits can help further our understanding of biotic resistance to biological invasions in a changing environment.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: NSFC31971553

Shanghai Rising-Star Program, Award: 20QA1402900

Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1856318

National Science Foundation, Award: CBET-1833988