Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning COSMOS Global Change Biology

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning COSMOS Global Change Biology

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning COSMOS Global Change Biology 1 July 2009 Overview Biodiversity What is it? How is it changing over time?

Ecosystem Functioning What is it? How is it related to biodiversity? What is it? Biodiversity

Number, variety, variability of living organisms Diversity within and among organisms Genetic, species, ecosystem level Why does it matter Biophilia Food and drug production Ecosystem functioning:

Nutrient cycling / waste disposal / C storage Soil formation Climate regulation Global Biodiversity: # of plant species per 104 km2 <10 0 100-200 10001500 200-500 5001000

15002000 2000- 3000 30004000 40005000 >500 0 Biodiversity is decreasing with human population growth http://www.msu.edu/course/isb/202/ebertmay/predicting_change/ Global Distribution of Original and Remaining Forests

Biodiversity Hotspots (n=34) Criteria: 1. contain 0.5% or 1500 plant species as endemics 2. has lost >70% of its primary vegetation Result: 2.3% of total land surface Contain >50% of plant species Causes and Consequences of Changing Biodiversity Chapin et al. (2000), Nature Ecosystem

Function Relationships between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning Biodiversity Niche Partitioning: resource use increases with species # Low Resource 1 [e.g. Cellulose]

High Niche Space Sp 3 Sp 1 Sp 4 Sp 5 Sp

2 Low Sp 7 Sp 6 High Resource 2 [e.g. Lignin] Function Biodiversity and Ecosystem

Function # Species Tilman (2000) What links biodiversity and function? 1. Sampling Effect: Physical High diversity plots more likely to contain high yield species 2. Complementarity : Biological Differences in resource use enable overyielding Facilitation and inhibition may also occur

Decomposition Rate Sampling Effect 1 2 # Isolates Decomposition Rate Complimentarity: Dt E

Expected yield ( E ) : E pi M i i 1 2 # Isolates Proportional deviation ( Dt ) : O E Dt O Hypotheses

Total decomposition will increase with species number Cellulose and lignin degrading enzyme activities will increase with species number cellulose Tota l lignin 16 fungal isolates

Experimental design Treatments: 1, 2, 4, or 8 isolates, random and unique combinations Substrate: Aspen litter + sand Responses: CO2 release: total decomposition BG (-Glucosidase): cellulose degrading enzymeGlucosidase): cellulose degrading enzyme PPO (Polyphenol Oxidase): lignin degrading enzyme (mg C g-Glucosidase): cellulose degrading enzyme1 litter) CO2 release

CO2 release increases with species number 30 20 10 0 0 2 4 6 Species Number 8

(mol g-Glucosidase): cellulose degrading enzyme1 litter) -glucosidase activity Cellulase activity increases with species number 4 3 2 1

0 0 2 4 6 Species Number 8 (mol g-Glucosidase): cellulose degrading enzyme1 litter) Polyphenol Oxidase activity Species number had

no effect on lignin degradation 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 2 4

6 Species Number 8 Three species increased BG; CO2 & PPO not affected Species Present (mol g-Glucosidase): cellulose degrading enzyme1 litter) -glucosidase activity 8 6

Species Absent ** 4 * * 2 0 Ascomycete

Flammulina populicola Trametes versicolor *P<0.05, **P<0.00 1 Consequences for C Storage? Short term, but not long term pools may be affected

Increased Nitrogen Availabilit y Reduced Decompose r Species -Glucosidase): cellulose degrading enzyme Decompositio n Summary

Litter and cellulose decomposition declines at low species number Lignin decomposition not affected Lignin is the most important carbon pool on decade to century timescales

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