Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2021, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (10): 1127-1139.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2020.0116

Special Issue: 生态系统结构与功能

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Ecosystem stability and its relationship with biodiversity

LI Zhou-Yuan1, YE Xiao-Zhou2, WANG Shao-Peng1,*()   

  1. 1Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2020-04-22 Accepted:2020-12-14 Online:2021-10-20 Published:2021-01-05
  • Contact: WANG Shao-Peng
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(31988102);National Key R&D Program of China(2017YFC0503906)


The stability of ecosystems determines whether they can sustainably provide key functions and services in the background of global changes. Ecosystem stability, particularly its relation with biodiversity, is one of the central issues in ecology. Whether biodiversity enhances or impairs ecosystem stability has historically aroused much debate. Based on early reviews and studies on different aspects of stability, here we summarized recent advances from three aspects. Firstly, several recent theoretical studies offered novel insights in understanding the multi- dimensionality of stability and the intrinsic link between different stability measures, and we provided an overview on these new insights. Secondly, we reviewed recent empirical and theoretical studies on biodiversity- stability relationships, including those in the context of multidimensional stability. Thirdly, we introduced the recently developed multi-scale stability framework, which provides new opportunity to understand the scaling of stability and extend diversity-stability relations to a multi-scale context. We ended with a discussion on future research questions and directions.

Key words: stability, biodiversity, over-yielding effect, insurance effect, resistance, resilience, variability, multiscale