Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

Adler, P.B. and Seabloom, E. and Borer, E.T. and Hillebrand, H. and Hautier, Y. and Hector, A. and Harpole, W.S. and O'Halloran, L.R. and Grace, J.B. and Anderson, T.M. and Bakker, J.D. and Biederman, L.A. and Brown, C.S. and Buckley, Y. and Calabrese, L. and Chu, C.J. and Cleland, E.E. and Collins, S.L. and Cottingham, K.L. and Crawley, Michael J. and Damschen, E.I. and Davies, K.F. and DeCrappeo, N.M. and Fay, P.A. and Firn, J. and Frater, P. and E.I., Gasarch and Gruner, D. and Hagenah, N. and HilleRisLambers, J. and Humphryes, H. and Jin, V.L. and Kay, A. and Kirkham, K.P. and Klein, J.A. and Knops, J. and La Pierre, K.J. and Lambrinos, J. and Li, W. and MacDougall, A.S. and McCulley, R. and Melbourne, B.A. and Mitchell, C.E. and Moore, J. and Morgan, J. and Mortenson, B. and Orrock, J. and Prober, S. and Pyke, D.A. and Risch, A. and Schuetz, M. and Smith, M.D. and Stevens, Carly and Sullivan, L. L. and Wang, G. and Wragg, P. and Wright, J and Yang, J.H. (2011) Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness. Science, 333 (6050). pp. 1750-1753. ISSN 0036-8075

Full text not available from this repository.


For more than 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating local diversity. The original view, which is still widely accepted, holds that the relationship is hump-shaped, with richness first rising and then declining with increasing productivity. Although recent meta-analyses questioned the generality of hump-shaped patterns, these syntheses have been criticized for failing to account for methodological differences among studies. We addressed such concerns by conducting standardized sampling in 48 herbaceous-dominated plant communities on five continents. We found no clear relationship between productivity and fine-scale (meters−2) richness within sites, within regions, or across the globe. Ecologists should focus on fresh, mechanistic approaches to understanding the multivariate links between productivity and richness.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
10 May 2012 15:43
Last Modified:
15 Sep 2023 00:00