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sp6 Consumer Community Structure and Ecosystem Functioning

Biodiversity has been shown to affect a wide range of ecosystem functions, but the underlying mechanisms still are debated. Recently, the necessity of a multitrophic perspective has been highlighted to explain biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. Previous research in grassland biodiversity experiments has shown strong bottom-up effects of plant diversity on trophic and non-trophic interactions, resulting in differences in consumer community structure, interaction frequencies, and ecological network topology. However, the consequences of changing consumer community and network structure for ecosystem functioning have remained unexplored. Plants are embedded in a network of multi-trophic interactions, and these interactions likely are important drivers of ecosystem functions. A multitrophic biodiversity–ecosystem functioning perspective may be particularly important when multiple ecosystem functions are considered. This subproject synthesizes existing data from the Jena Experiment and related platforms to explore how plant diversity-driven changes in consumer community and network structure influences (multiple) ecosystem functions.

Principal Investigator:

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Brose
Email / Web
Tel.: +49 341 9733205

Prof. Dr. Nico Eisenhauer
Leipzig University
Email / Web
Tel.: +49.341.97.33200

PD Dr. Christoph Scherber
University of Göttingen
Email / Web
 Tel.: +49.551.39.8807


Dr. Andrew Barnes
Email / Web