Furthermore, these different mechanisms have different consequences for ecosystem functioning when species are lost due to long term persistent biodiversity decline. 2017) for each individual data set. In more productive soils in temperate regions, vertical resource partitioning has not been observed (Ravenek et al. B. Schmid was supported by the University of Zurich Research Priority Program on Global Change and Biodiversity (URPP GCB). Instead, plants appeared to invest biomass in only a few height layers rather than across the entire available space (see also Bachmann et al. Across a gradient of plant species richness, we expect that species will differ in their spatial resource uptake to decrease interspecific competition in vertical space (Schoener 1970). However, studies investigating spatial resource partitioning in grasslands provide inconsistent evidence. Yet, the mechanisms driving these often‐positive biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships are not well understood. 2018). For each dependent variable (total community biomass, total community resource uptake, community inverse CV, Levins B, community center of gravity, or proportional similarity), we ran up to five analysis sets of our total meta‐data set: (1) all functions analysis set (above‐ and belowground biomass and resource uptake) used only for ecosystem functioning; (2) all biomass analysis set (above‐ and belowground); (3) aboveground‐biomass only analysis set; (4) belowground biomass only analysis set; and (5) resource uptake only analysis set. What is morphological resource partitioning. a … (2) Is there evidence of spatial resource partitioning as indicated by resource tracer uptake and biomass allocation above‐ and belowground? Resource uptake rates vary within plant root systems and may therefore deviate from biomass distributions (Hodge 2004, Chen et al. That is, if an experiment used a blocked experimental design, block was a random effect in the model. In terms of resource tracer uptake, we found that neither decreased species’ Levins B (resource uptake only set, rz = 0.258, P = 0.357) nor decreased species’ proportional similarity (resource uptake only set, rz = 0.058, P = 0.463) predicted enhanced ecosystem functioning. We require that all of these three conditions (increase in community biomass production or resource uptake with increasing species richness, evidence of spatial resource partitioning [Fig. 1994, Fargione and Tilman 2005, Lorentzen et al. The authors would like to thank Alyssa Hallett for the illustrations contained in this manuscript. 2013), a site where nutrients and perhaps water appear to be strongly limited due to the high sand content of soils in this region. Spatial resource partitioning occurs if species differ in where they acquire resources and can happen both above- and belowground. Further financial support came from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle‐Jena‐Leipzig, funded by DFG (FZT 118). 2004, Göransson et al. However, this effect may not be driven by diversity per se but rather by density. J. van Ruijven, Y. Bai, C. Beierkuhnlein, A. Ebeling, N. Eisenhauer, C. Guimaraes‐Steinicke, F. Isbell, A. Milcu, C. Neßhöver, P. Reich, C. Roscher, B. Schmid, L. Sauheitl, D. Tilman, M. Scherer‐Lorenzen and S. von Felten provided data and provided detailed feedback on manuscript drafts. In this case rather than geographically excluding each other the two shark … Instead, different mechanisms, including resource partitioning in time, biotic feedbacks between plants and their environment may be at work in different places, at different times and in different plant communities. (3) Is evidence of spatial resource partitioning correlated with increased biomass production or community resource uptake? 2003). 2016, Bachmann et al. Similarly, asymmetric competition is driven by changes in density with high‐density communities experiencing much higher amounts of asymmetric competition (Weiner 1990, Schwinning and Weiner 1998, DeMalach et al. 1), and (3) if this evidence of spatial resource partitioning is positively correlated with community biomass production or resource uptake. S1). 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