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Stability Increases with Diversity in Plant Communities: Empirical Evidence from the 1988 Yellowstone Drought

D. A. Frank and S. J. McNaughton
Oikos
Vol. 62, No. 3 (Dec., 1991), pp. 360-362
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3545501
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3545501
Page Count: 3
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Stability Increases with Diversity in Plant Communities: Empirical Evidence from the 1988 Yellowstone Drought
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Abstract

The idea that the species diversity of ecological communities contributes to stability is among ecology's most venerable hypotheses, but there are few data on how those properties are associated in nature. We document for the first time that stability of plant community species composition increases with diversity. Resistance to drought-induced species composition change and plant community diversity were positively related in grasslands of Yellowstone National Park. Community diversity was due principally to the spatial heterogeneity of the community, pattern diversity, thus suggesting pattern diversity as a potential factor involved in ecological stability.

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