The supply of multiple ecosystem services requires biodiversity across spatial scales

Gaëtane Le Provost, Noëlle V. Schenk, Caterina Penone, Jan Thiele, Catrin Westphal, Eric Allan, Manfred Ayasse, Nico Blüthgen, Runa S. Boeddinghaus, Andrea Larissa Boesing, Ralph Bolliger, Verena Busch, Markus Fischer, Martin M. Gossner, Norbert Hölzel, Kirsten Jung, Ellen Kandeler, Valentin H. Klaus, Till Kleinebecker, Sophia LeimerSven Marhan, Kathryn Morris, Sandra Müller, Felix Neff, Margot Neyret, Yvonne Oelmann, David J. Perović, Sophie Peter, Daniel Prati, Matthias C. Rillig, Hugo Saiz, Deborah Schäfer, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael Schloter, Ingo Schöning, Marion Schrumpf, Juliane Steckel, Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, Marco Tschapka, Juliane Vogt, Christiane Weiner, Wolfgang Weisser, Konstans Wells, Michael Werner, Wolfgang Wilcke, Peter Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The impact of local biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning is well established, but the role of larger-scale biodiversity dynamics in the delivery of ecosystem services remains poorly understood. Here we address this gap using a comprehensive dataset describing the supply of 16 cultural, regulating and provisioning ecosystem services in 150 European agricultural grassland plots, and detailed multi-scale data on land use and plant diversity. After controlling for land-use and abiotic factors, we show that both plot-level and surrounding plant diversity play an important role in the supply of cultural and aboveground regulating ecosystem services. In contrast, provisioning and belowground regulating ecosystem services are more strongly driven by field-level management and abiotic factors. Structural equation models revealed that surrounding plant diversity promotes ecosystem services both directly, probably by fostering the spill-over of ecosystem service providers from surrounding areas, and indirectly, by maintaining plot-level diversity. By influencing the ecosystem services that local stakeholders prioritized, biodiversity at different scales was also shown to positively influence a wide range of stakeholder groups. These results provide a comprehensive picture of which ecosystem services rely most strongly on biodiversity, and the respective scales of biodiversity that drive these services. This key information is required for the upscaling of biodiversity–ecosystem service relationships, and the informed management of biodiversity within agricultural landscapes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-249
Number of pages14
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


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