Ecological Research

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 949–957 | Cite as

Negative relationship between diversity and productivity under plant invasion

  • Ai-Ping Wu
  • Jian Liu
  • Fei-Fei He
  • Yan-Hong Wang
  • Xin-Jie Zhang
  • Xiao-Di Duan
  • Yue Liu
  • Zi-Yan Qian
Original Article


The relationship between diversity and productivity of plant community under plant invasion has been not well known up to now. Here, we investigated the relationship between diversity and productivity under plant invasion and studied the response of species level plant mass to species richness in native and invaded communities. A field experiment from 2008 to 2013 and a pot experiment in 2014 were conducted to study the effects of plant invasion on the relationship between diversity and productivity and the response of species level plant mass to species richness in native and invaded communities. The community level biomass was negatively correlated to plant species richness in invaded communities while the same relationship was positive in native communities. The species level plant mass of individual species responded differently to overall plant species richness in the native and invaded communities, namely, most of the species’ plant mass increased in native communities, but decreased in invaded communities with increasing species richness. The complementarity or selection effects might dominate in native communities while competition effects might dominate in invaded communities. Accordingly, the negative relationship between diversity and productivity under plant invasion is highlighted in our experiments.


Diversity Biomass Competition effect Negative relationship Plant invasion 



We thank Yu-Meng Jiang, Bing Jiang, Peng Zhou and Kai Zhou for their sincerely help in the experiment. This study is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 31301725, 41401358 and 31200427), The State Scholarship Found of China Scholarship Council (CSC) (no: 2016-3035).

Author contribution

Wu AP initiated the study and wrote the main manuscript, Zhang XJ, Duan XD, Liu Y and Qian ZY were responsible for the field and pot experiments, Liu J, He FF and Wang YH for data analysis and literature search, and all authors revised the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interests.


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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecology Department, College of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Rural Ecosystem Health in Dongting Lake AreaHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Institute of Environmental Research, Shandong UniversityJinanChina
  3. 3.School of AgricultureYunnan UniversityKunmingChina
  4. 4.School of Forestry and Bio-technologyZhejiang Agriculture and Forestry UniversityHangzhouChina

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