First preprint out!

A first COCOS-related preprint is out on EcoEvoRXiv!

Using 11 years of data on grasslands biomass and vegetation composition, we investigated how different biodiversity facets (taxonomic and functional diversity) and plant community’s dominant composition (i.e., slow- vs. fast- growing communities) relate to biomass resistance and recovery under extreme drought. We tested this while also accounting for the effect of land use on plant biomass production (vegetation plots used in our study were located along a gradient of land-use intensity), and considering different drought time-scales.

The key message of the paper is: plant communities dominated by fast-growing species recover biomass after severe drought better, whereas taxonomically and functionally diverse communities seem to resist extreme drought better. This pattern came out stronger when focusing on short-term drought, i.e. occurring in a 3-month period preceding the peak of biomass production. In the paper, we interpret these results in light of biodiversity-related mechanisms of ecosystem stability: the dominant species effect may explain why fast-communities recover biomass better after extreme drought, while insurance effect may explain species and functionally rich communities show higher resistance to extreme drought.

The preprint can be found here