Species loss due to nutrient addition increases with spatial scale in global grasslands

TitleSpecies loss due to nutrient addition increases with spatial scale in global grasslands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsSeabloom, EW, Batzer, E, Chase, JM, W. Harpole, S, Adler, PB, Bagchi, S, Bakker, JD, Barrio, IC, Biederman, L, Boughton, EH, Bugalho, MN, Caldeira, MC, Catford, JA, Daleo, P, Eisenhauer, N, Eskelinen, A, Haider, S, Hallett, LM, Jónsdóttir, ISvala, Kimmel, K, Kuhlman, M, MacDougall, A, Molina, CD, Moore, JL, Morgan, JW, Muthukrishnan, R, Ohlert, T, Risch, AC, Roscher, C, Schütz, M, Sonnier, G, Tognetti, PM, Virtanen, R, Wilfahrt, PA, Borer, ET
Secondary AuthorsHaddad, N
JournalEcology Letters
Pagination2100 - 2112

The effects of altered nutrient supplies and herbivore density on species diversity vary with spatial scale, because coexistence mechanisms are scale dependent. This scale dependence may alter the shape of the species–area relationship (SAR), which can be described by changes in species richness (S) as a power function of the sample area (A): S = cAz, where c and z are constants. We analysed the effects of experimental manipulations of nutrient supply and herbivore density on species richness across a range of scales (0.01–75 m2) at 30 grasslands in 10 countries. We found that nutrient addition reduced the number of species that could co-occur locally, indicated by the SAR intercepts (log c), but did not affect the SAR slopes (z). As a result, proportional species loss due to nutrient enrichment was largely unchanged across sampling scales, whereas total species loss increased over threefold across our range of sampling scales.