University Of Tasmania
152750-Determinants of community compositional change are equally affected by global change.pdf (449.5 kB)

Determinants of community compositional change are equally affected by global change

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 12:44 authored by Avolio, ML, Komatsu, KJ, Collins, SL, Grman, E, Koerner, SE, Tredennick, AT, Wilcox, KR, Baer, S, Boughton, EH, Britton, AJ, Foster, B, Gough, L, Mark HovendenMark Hovenden, Isbell, F, Jentsch, A, Johnson, DS, Knapp, AK, Kreyling, J, Langley, JA, Lortie, C, McCulley, RL, McLaren, JR, Reich, PB, Seabloom, EW, Smith, MD, Suding, KN, Suttle, KB, Tognetti, PM
Global change is impacting plant community composition, but the mechanisms underlying these changes are unclear. Using a dataset of 58 global change experiments, we tested the five fundamental mechanisms of community change: changes in evenness and richness, reordering, species gains and losses. We found 71% of communities were impacted by global change treatments, and 88% of communities that were exposed to two or more global change drivers were impacted. Further, all mechanisms of change were equally likely to be affected by global change treatments species losses and changes in richness were just as common as species gains and reordering. We also found no evidence of a progression of community changes, for example, reordering and changes in evenness did not precede species gains and losses. We demonstrate that all processes underlying plant community composition changes are equally affected by treatments and often occur simultaneously, necessitating a wholistic approach to quantifying community changes.


Publication title

Ecology Letters










School of Natural Sciences


Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Place of publication

9600 Garsington Rd, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox4 2Dg

Rights statement

© The Author(s) 2021. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License ( This license allows re-users to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences