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Multitrophic diversity and biotic associations influence subalpine forest ecosystem multifunctionality


Luo, Ya-Huang et al. (2022), Multitrophic diversity and biotic associations influence subalpine forest ecosystem multifunctionality, Dryad, Dataset,


Biodiversity across multiple trophic levels is required to maintain multiple ecosystem functions. Yet, it remains unclear how multitrophic diversity and species interactions regulate ecosystem multifunctionality. Here, combining data from nine different trophic groups (including trees, shrubs, herbs, leaf mites, small mammals, bacteria, pathogenic fungi, saprophytic fungi and symbiotic fungi) and 13 ecosystem functions related to supporting, provisioning and regulating services, we used a multitrophic perspective to evaluate the effects of elevation, diversity and network complexity on scale-dependent subalpine forest multifunctionality. Our results demonstrate that elevation and soil pH significantly modified species composition and richness across multitrophic groups and influenced multiple functions simultaneously. We provide evidence that species richness across multiple trophic groups had stronger effects on multifunctionality than species richness at any single trophic level. Moreover, biotic associations, indicating the complexity of trophic networks, were positively associated with multifunctionality. The relative effects of diversity on multifunctionality increased at the scale of the larger community compared to a scale accounting for neighbouring interactions. Our results highlight the paramount importance of scale- and context- dependent multitrophic diversity and interactions for a better understanding of mountain ecosystem multifunctionality in a changing world.


Data was collected at both neighbourhood scale and community scale.

Usage Notes

The nine groups from different trophic levels, 13 important ecosystem functions, and abiotic variables were collected at both neighbourhood and community scale.