Multidimensional responses of grassland stability to eutrophication

Qingqing Chen, Shaopeng Wang*, Elizabeth T. Borer, Jonathan D. Bakker, Eric W. Seabloom, W. Stanley Harpole, Nico Eisenhauer, Ylva Lekberg, Yvonne M. Buckley, Jane A. Catford, Christiane Roscher, Ian Donohue, Sally A. Power, Pedro Daleo, Anne Ebeling, Johannes M.H. Knops, Jason P. Martina, Anu Eskelinen, John W. Morgan, Anita C. RischMaria C. Caldeira, Miguel N. Bugalho, Risto Virtanen, Isabel C. Barrio, Yujie Niu, Anke Jentsch, Carly J. Stevens, Daniel S. Gruner, Andrew S. MacDougall, Juan Alberti, Yann Hautier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Eutrophication usually impacts grassland biodiversity, community composition, and biomass production, but its impact on the stability of these community aspects is unclear. One challenge is that stability has many facets that can be tightly correlated (low dimensionality) or highly disparate (high dimensionality). Using standardized experiments in 55 grassland sites from a globally distributed experiment (NutNet), we quantify the effects of nutrient addition on five facets of stability (temporal invariability, resistance during dry and wet growing seasons, recovery after dry and wet growing seasons), measured on three community aspects (aboveground biomass, community composition, and species richness). Nutrient addition reduces the temporal invariability and resistance of species richness and community composition during dry and wet growing seasons, but does not affect those of biomass. Different stability measures are largely uncorrelated under both ambient and eutrophic conditions, indicating consistently high dimensionality. Harnessing the dimensionality of ecological stability provides insights for predicting grassland responses to global environmental change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6375
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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