IGN 13-5 - Do nutrients modify ecosystem stability in response to precipitation variability?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
C123, Oregon Convention Center
Philip A. Fay1, Laura Yahdjian2, Laureano A. Gherardi3, Elizabeth T. Borer4, Stan W. Harpole5, Eric M. Lind6, Osvaldo E. Sala7 and Eric W. Seabloom4, (1)Grassland, Soil & Water Research Laboratory, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Temple, TX, (2)IFEVA, Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires, CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina, (3)School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, (4)Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN, (5)German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, (6)Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, (7)School of Life Sciences and School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Climate change will likely increase precipitation variability, making drought and deluge more common. Structural and functional diversity is critical to stabilize ecosystems against precipitation variability. Diversity is higher when more niches are defined by more limiting factors. How does precipitation variability alter the number of niches defined by multiple nutrient limitation? What are the resulting impacts on ecosystem function when limiting nutrients are added? Answers to these questions provided by a global nutrient addition experiment in grasslands will identify key mechanisms conferring stability in response to precipitation variability, and potentially identify thresholds in the ability grasslands to maintain ecosystem services.