The evolutionary legacy of diversification predicts ecosystem function

Benjamin Yguel*, Hervé Jactel, Ian S. Pearse, Daniel Moen, Marten Winter, Joaquin Hortal, Matthew R. Helmus, Ingolf Kühn, Sandrine Pavoine, Oliver Purschke, Evan Weiher, Cyrille Violle, Wim Ozinga, Martin Brändle, Igor Bartish, Andreas Prinzing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Theory suggests that the structure of evolutionary history represented in a species community may affect its functioning, but phylogenetic diversity metrics do not allow for the identification of major differences in this structure. Here we propose a new metric, ELDERness (for Evolutionary Legacy of DivERsity) to estimate evolutionary branching patterns within communities by fitting a polynomial function to lineage-through-time (LTT) plots. We illustrate how real and simulated community branching patterns can be more correctly described by ELDERness and can successfully predict ecosystem functioning. In particular, the evolutionary history of branching patterns can be encapsulated by the parameters of third-order polynomial functions and further measured through only two parameters, the “ELDERness surfaces.” These parameters captured variation in productivity of a grassland community better than existing phylogenetic diversity or diversification metrics and independent of species richness or presence of nitrogen fixers. Specifically, communitieswith small ELDERness surfaces (constant accumulation of lineages through time in LTT plots) were more productive, consistent with increased productivity resulting from complementary lineages combined with niche filling within lineages. Overall, while existing phylogenetic diversity metrics remain useful in many contexts, we suggest that our ELDERness approach better enables testing hypotheses that relate complex patterns of macroevolutionary history represented in local communities to ecosystem functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-410
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume188
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Community ecology
  • Evolutionary history
  • Lineage-throughtime plots
  • Phylogenetic diversity
  • Productivity
  • Species coexistence

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    Yguel, B. (Creator), Jactel, H. (Creator), Pearse, I. S. (Creator), Moen, D. (Creator), de Winter, M. (Creator), Hortal, J. (Creator), Helmus, M. R. (Creator), Kühn, I. (Creator), Pavoine, S. (Creator), Purschke, O. (Creator), Weiher, E. (Creator), Violle, C. (Creator), Ozinga, W. (Creator), Brändle, M. (Creator), Bartish, I. (Creator) & Prinzing, A. (Creator), Wageningen University & Research, 2016

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    Cite this

    Yguel, B., Jactel, H., Pearse, I. S., Moen, D., Winter, M., Hortal, J., Helmus, M. R., Kühn, I., Pavoine, S., Purschke, O., Weiher, E., Violle, C., Ozinga, W., Brändle, M., Bartish, I., & Prinzing, A. (2016). The evolutionary legacy of diversification predicts ecosystem function. American Naturalist, 188(4), 398-410. https://doi.org/10.1086/687964