Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Partitioning the effects of plant diversity on ecosystem functions at different trophic levels


Cappelli, Seraina Lisa; Pichon, Noémie Anna; Mannall, Tosca; Allan, Eric (2022), Data from: Partitioning the effects of plant diversity on ecosystem functions at different trophic levels, Dryad, Dataset,


Biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning can be partitioned into complementarity effects, driven by many species, and selection effects, driven by few. Selection effects occur through interspecific abundance shifts (dominance) and intraspecific shifts in functioning. Complementarity and selection effects are often calculated for biomass, but very rarely for secondary productivity, i.e. energy transfer to higher trophic levels. We calculated diversity effects for three functions: aboveground biomass, insect herbivory and pathogen infection, the latter two as proxies for energy transfer to higher trophic levels, in a grassland experiment (PaNDiv) manipulating species richness, functional composition, nitrogen enrichment and fungicide treatment. Complementarity effects were on average positive and selection effects negative for biomass production and pathogen infection and multiple species contributed to diversity effects in mixtures. Diversity effects were on average less pronounced for herbivory. Diversity effects for the three functions were not correlated, because different species drove the different diversity effects. Benefits (and costs) from growing in diverse communities, be it reduced herbivore or pathogen damage or increased productivity either due to abundance increases or increased productivity per area were distributed across different plant species, leading to highly variable contributions of single species to diversity effects on different functions. These results show that different underlying ecological mechanisms can result in similar overall diversity effects across functions.


For full details on data collection see the associated publication.

Usage Notes

Please see the readme file for a description of the datasets included and meta data on the variables.


Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Award: 160212