The dimensionality of stability depends on disturbance type

Viktoriia Radchuk, Frederik DE LAENDER, Juliano Sarmento Cabral, Isabelle Boulangeat, Michael Crawford, Friedrich Bohn, Jonathan De Raedt, Cédric Scherer, Jens Christian Svenning, Kirsten Thonicke, Frank M. Schurr, Volker Grimm, Stephanie Kramer-Schadt

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Ecosystems respond in various ways to disturbances. Quantifying ecological stability therefore requires inspecting multiple stability properties, such as resistance, recovery, persistence, and invariability. Correlations among these properties can reduce the dimensionality of stability, simplifying the study of environmental effects on ecosystems. A key question is how the kind of disturbance affects these correlations. We here investigated the effect of three disturbance types (random, species-specific, local) applied at four intensity levels, on the dimensionality of stability at the population and community level. We used previously parameterized models that represent five natural communities, varying in species richness and the number of trophic levels. We found that disturbance type but not intensity affected the dimensionality of stability and only at the population level. The dimensionality of stability also varied greatly among species and communities. Therefore, studying stability cannot be simplified to using a single metric and multi-dimensional assessments are still to be recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-684
Number of pages11
JournalEcology Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019
EventECOSUMMIT 2016 - Montpellier, France
Duration: 29 Aug 20161 Sep 2016


  • Community model
  • disturbance intensity
  • disturbance type
  • extinction
  • individual-based model
  • invariability
  • persistence
  • recovery
  • resistance


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  • sDiv postdoc project

    DE LAENDER, F., Van Den Brink, P. J. & Grimm, V.

    1/09/13 → …

    Project: Research

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