Species dampens effects of extreme weather.
The study involved more than three dozen researchers from the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Ireland, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Japan. Combining results across the 46 study sites, the researchers found that the higher the plant biodiversity, the lower the variability in productivity during wet or dry climate events. Overall, productivity of communities with only one or two species changed an average of 50 percent during events, while those with 16 to 32 species changed only half that much. Biodiversity did not, however, seem to strongly influence how quickly a site returned to normal productivity after wet or dry events.