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Ecology: diversity and stability in plant communities.


The relationship between species diversity and ecosystem stability is controversial. Tilman et al. analyse biomass patterns over a decade in a grassland experiment with artificial plant communities, and provide evidence for a positive relationship between the number of plant species and the temporal stability of the ecosystem. Here we use data from a long-term biodiversity experiment with plant communities that were not controlled by weeding in order to show that diverse systems can be both stable and unstable.