Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DRYFUN (Linking plant functional diversity to ecosystem multifunctionality in arid systems worldwilde)
Reporting period: 2015-10-01 to 2017-09-30
My results highlight the importance of plant diversity for the functioning of global drylands. This basic result can have important implication in a context of global environmental change for the human being. My results premise the ability of plant diversity to maintain a high level of ecosystem functioning (i.e. to optimize the overall functioning) of ecosystems highly threatened by desertification. Further, these results can be used to assess the functional consequences of biodiversity loss on dryland ecosystems, to pilot diversity prioritization related to targeted ecosystem functions, and to guide management efforts aimed at maintaining key ecosystem service linked to productivity and soil fertility.
1) Following the working plan (Milestone 1), the applicant has successfully established the detailed and standardized protocol of trait measurements. The protocol of the DRYFUN project has been directly connected to the BIODESERT consortium (ERC Confirmatory Grant led by FT Maestre), and being one of the main task of the BIODESERT. The applicant is part of the steering and publication committees. The protocol has been sent to research groups of the 29 countries involved in the BIODESERT project.
2) The applicant assessed the importance of climate and soil conditions on the functional diversity in drylands. This work fulfills the objective (i) of the DRYFUN project (Milestone 7). The work has been accepted in Journal of Ecology (IF: 5.52).
3) The applicant takes part of a project to assess the effect of indirect interactions on plant functional diversity in global drylands. This work will fulfill the objective (i) of the DRYFUN project (Milestone 7). The work has been submitted to Journal of Ecology (IF: 5.52).
4) The applicant has used the existing data of functional diversity from the BIOCOM project. He assessed the importance of within-species functional diversity in drylands, and its response to abiotic processes. This work fulfills the objective (ii) of the DRYFUN project (Milestone 8). The work has been accepted in Journal of Ecology (IF: 5.52).
5) The applicant assessed the effect of functional diversity on multiple ecosystem functions in global drylands. This work fulfills the objective (iii) of the DRYFUN project (Milestone 10). The work has been accepted in Nature Ecology and Evolution (part of the Nature group).
6) The applicant was part of a project to assess the effect of plant functional and soil fungal diversities on the fertility of global drylands. This work fulfills the objective (iii) of the DRYFUN project (Milestone 10). The work has been accepted in Journal of Ecology (IF: 5.52).
7) The applicant assessed the effect of ecological and biogeograpical factors on the phylogenetic structure of plant communities in the arid Trans-Himalayas. This work fulfills the objective (iv) of the DRYFUN project (Milestone 11). The work has just been accepted in Perspective in Plant Ecology Evolution and Systematics (IF: 3.12).
8) The applicant is now assessing the effect taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversities on ecosystem functioning in global drylands. This work is ongoing and will fulfill the objective (iv) of the DRYFUN project (Milestone 11). The work will be submitted to PNAS.
9) The applicant also took part of two beside-projects. The first project aimed at providing guidelines in the calculation and use of trait data for accurately measuring the functional diversity of multiple organisms. The second project aimed at testing the processes involved in the assembly of grasslands by evaluating the niche occupancy through the use of plant functional traits. These two projects have been accepted in PlosOne (IF: 3.06) and Journal of Ecology (IF: 5.52).
10) The applicant joined 3 international congresses. He joined the Ecosummit congress in 2016 where he was invited to chair the session ""dryland ecology"", the SFE congress in 2016, and the MEDECOS meeting in 2017. These works fulfill the Milestones 5 and 9.
11) The applicant provided disseminations: a website that will serve for the ongoing new trait dataset of global drylands, press release on the public websites of the INRA and of the CNRS. All data he used are released in the public repository Figshare.