Data from: Mowing exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability under nitrogen enrichment in a temperate grassland
Zhang, Yunhai et al. (2018), Data from: Mowing exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability under nitrogen enrichment in a temperate grassland, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.sq15g
Summary: 1. Global reactive nitrogen (N) is projected to further increase in the coming years. Previous studies have demonstrated that N enrichment weakens the temporal stability of ecosystem primary productivity through decreased biodiversity and species asynchrony. Mowing is a globally common practice in grasslands; and infrequent mowing can maintain or increase plant diversity under N enrichment conditions. However, it is unclear how infrequent mowing affects ecosystem stability in the face of N enrichment. 2. By independently manipulating the frequency (twice vs. monthly additions yr–1) and rate (i.e., 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 50 g N m–2 yr–1) of NH4NO3 inputs and mowing (unmown vs. mown) over three years (2011–2013) in a temperate grassland of northern China, we aimed to examine the interactive effects of N enrichment and mowing on ecosystem stability. 3. The results show that mowing maintained a positive relationship between species richness and ecosystem stability despite N addition but that it exacerbated the negative effects of N addition on ecosystem stability. Mowing increased mean primary productivity and plant species richness, but it also increased the synchrony of population fluctuations and the variability of primary productivity under N enrichment, thereby contributing to a decline in ecosystem stability. 4. Thus, our study reveals that infrequent mowing can buffer the negative effects of N enrichment on biodiversity to some extent and further increase primary productivity but it exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability with N enrichment, thereby threatening local and/or semiarid regional food security.