Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Kimberly J. Komatsu; Meghan L. Avolio; Nathan P. Lemoine; Forest Isbell; Emily Grman; Gregory R. Houseman; Sally E. Koerner; David S. Johnson; Kevin R. Wilcox; Juha M. Alatalo; John P. Anderson; Rien Aerts; Sara G. Baer; Andrew H. Baldwin; Jonathan Bates; Carl Beierkuhnlein; R. Travis Belote; John Blair; Juliette M. G. Bloor; Patrick J. Bohlen; Edward W. Bork; Elizabeth H. Boughton; William D. Bowman; Andrea J. Britton; James F. Cahill; Enrique Chaneton; Nona R. Chiariello; Jimin Cheng; Scott L. Collins; J. Hans C. Cornelissen; Guozhen Du; Anu Eskelinen; Jennifer Firn; Bryan Foster; Laura Gough; Katherine Gross; Lauren M. Hallett; Xingguo Han; Harry Harmens; Mark J. Hovenden; Annika Jagerbrand; Anke Jentsch; Christel Kern; Kari Klanderud; Alan K. Knapp; Juergen Kreyling; Wei Li; Yiqi Luo; Rebecca L. McCulley; Jennie R. McLaren; J. Patrick Megonigal; John W. Morgan; Vladimir Onipchenko; Steven C. Pennings; Janet S. Prevéy; Jodi N. Price; Peter B. Reich; Clare H. Robinson; F. Leland Russell; Osvaldo E. Sala; Eric W. Seabloom; Melinda D. Smith; Nadejda A. Soudzilovskaia; Lara Souza; Katherine Suding; K. Blake Suttle; Tony Svejcar; David Tilman; Pedro Tognetti; Roy Turkington; Shannon White; Zhuwen Xu; Laura Yahdjian; Qiang Yu; Pengfei Zhang; Yunhai Zhang
    Date: 2019
    Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (952.0 KB)


    Global change drivers (GCDs) are expected to alter community structure and consequently, the services that ecosystems provide. Yet, few experimental investigations have examined effects of GCDs on plant community structure across multiple ecosystem types, and those that do exist present conflicting patterns. In an unprecedented global synthesis of over 100 experiments that manipulated factors linked to GCDs, we show that herbaceous plant community responses depend on experimental manipulation length and number of factors manipulated. We found that plant communities are fairly resistant to experimentally manipulated GCDs in the short term (<10 y). In contrast, long-term (≥10 y) experiments show increasing community divergence of treatments from control conditions. Surprisingly, these community responses occurred with similar frequency across the GCD types manipulated in our database. However, community responses were more common when 3 or more GCDs were simultaneously manipulated, suggesting the emergence of additive or synergistic effects of multiple drivers, particularly over long time periods. In half of the cases, GCD manipulations caused a difference in community composition without a corresponding species richness difference, indicating that species reordering or replacement is an important mechanism of community responses to GCDs and should be given greater consideration when examining consequences of GCDs for the biodiversity–ecosystem function relationship. Human activities are currently driving unparalleled global changes worldwide. Our analyses provide the most comprehensive evidence to date that these human activities may have widespread impacts on plant community composition globally, which will increase in frequency over time and be greater in areas where communities face multiple GCDs simultaneously.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Komatsu, Kimberly J.; Avolio, Meghan L.; Lemoine, Nathan P.; Isbell, Forest; Grman, Emily; Houseman, Gregory R.; Koerner, Sally E.; Johnson, David S.; Wilcox, Kevin R.; Alatalo, Juha M.; Anderson, John P.; Aerts, Rien; Baer, Sara G.; Baldwin, Andrew H.; Bates, Jonathan; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Belote, R. Travis; Blair, John; Bloor, Juliette M. G.; Bohlen, Patrick J.; Bork, Edward W.; Boughton, Elizabeth H.; Bowman, William D.; Britton, Andrea J.; Cahill, James F.; Chaneton, Enrique; Chiariello, Nona R.; Cheng, Jimin; Collins, Scott L.; Cornelissen, J. Hans C.; Du, Guozhen; Eskelinen, Anu; Firn, Jennifer; Foster, Bryan; Gough, Laura; Gross, Katherine; Hallett, Lauren M.; Han, Xingguo; Harmens, Harry; Hovenden, Mark J.; Jagerbrand, Annika; Jentsch, Anke; Kern, Christel; Klanderud, Kari; Knapp, Alan K.; Kreyling, Juergen; Li, Wei; Luo, Yiqi; McCulley, Rebecca L.; McLaren, Jennie R.; Megonigal, J. Patrick; Morgan, John W.; Onipchenko, Vladimir; Pennings, Steven C.; Prevéy, Janet S.; Price, Jodi N.; Reich, Peter B.; Robinson, Clare H.; Russell, F. Leland; Sala, Osvaldo E.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Smith, Melinda D.; Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A.; Souza, Lara; Suding, Katherine; Suttle, K. Blake; Svejcar, Tony; Tilman, David; Tognetti, Pedro; Turkington, Roy; White, Shannon; Xu, Zhuwen; Yahdjian, Laura; Yu, Qiang; Zhang, Pengfei; Zhang, Yunhai. 2019. Global change effects on plant communities are magnified by time and the number of global change factors imposed. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116(36): 17867-17873.


    Google Scholar


    community composition, global change experiments, herbaceous plants, species richness

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page