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A diversity of plants helps stabilize ecosystems

As people search for ways to help Earth’s biosphere withstand the impacts of climate change, they might turn to a relatively little-appreciated phenomenon: how plant diversity stabilizes ecosystems in the face of stress.

This isn’t a brand-new idea. Various small-scale studies suggest that a greater variety of plants increases the likelihood that when rising temperatures or rainfall fluctuations harm some species, others may continue to thrive, thus keeping ecosystem productivity on an even keel.