Workd Biodiversity Forum 2022


The frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events, such as heatwaves and droughts, are increasing with climate change, threatening humanity and other life on Earth. Especially, belowground communities and functions are known to be highly sensitive to changes in microclimatic conditions (e.g., temperature and humidity). Yet, vegetation was shown its potential to buffer macroclimatic fluctuations by providing a critical buffering layer between macro- and microclimatic conditions. Moreover, higher vegetation diversity increased primary productivity. Therefore, we would expect vegetation diversity to increase the macroclimate buffering effect, and thus protect belowground communities and functions from microclimatic extremes. Here, we tested the effect of vegetation diversity on macroclimatic buffering across ecosystems at the European scale using the SoilTemp database. Our results show that increasing vegetation diversity increases the buffering of extreme macroclimate temperature events by increasing low temperatures and reducing high temperatures. Therefore, our results suggest that the plant diversity-induced stabilization of ecosystem functions could be mediated by the stabilization of microclimatic conditions.

2022-06-26 — 2022-07-01
Rémy Beugnon
Rémy Beugnon

I am a PosDoc between iDiv, the CEFE and LIM working biodiversity-microclimate-ecosystem functioning nexus.