White et al. - 2023 - Multifunctional redundancy Impossible or undetected.pdf (1.94 MB)
Multifunctional redundancy: Impossible or undetected?
journal contributionposted on 2023-11-03, 05:31 authored by Bridget E White, Mark HovendenMark Hovenden, Leon BarmutaLeon Barmuta
The diversity-functioning relationship is a pillar of ecology. Two significant concepts have emerged from this relationship: redundancy, the asymptotic relationship between diversity and functioning, and multifunctionality, a monotonic relationship between diversity and multiple functions occurring simultaneously. However, multifunctional redundancy, an asymptotic relationship between diversity and multiple functions occurring simultaneously, is rarely detected in research. Here we assess whether this lack of detection is due to its true rarity, or due to systematic research error. We discuss how inconsistencies in the use of terms such as 'function' lead to mismatched research. We consider the different techniques used to calculate multifunctionality and point out a rarely considered issue: how determining a function's maximum rate affects multifunctionality metrics. Lastly, we critique how a lack of consideration of multitrophic, spatiotemporal, interactions and community assembly processes in designed experiments significantly reduces the likelihood of detecting multifunctional redundancy. Multifunctionality research up to this stage has made significant contributions to our understanding of the diversity-functioning relationship, and we believe that multifunctional redundancy is detectable with the use of appropriate methodologies.
Publication titleECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION
Article numberARTN e10409
Department/SchoolBiological Sciences, Office of the School of Natural Sciences