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Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation

Overview of attention for article published in Nature, March 2014
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (77th percentile)

Mentioned by

11 news outlets
2 blogs
2 policy sources
86 tweeters
1 Facebook page
1 Google+ user
1 Q&A thread


381 Dimensions

Readers on

706 Mendeley
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Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation
Published in
Nature, March 2014
DOI 10.1038/nature13144
Pubmed ID

Elizabeth T. Borer, Eric W. Seabloom, Daniel S. Gruner, W. Stanley Harpole, Helmut Hillebrand, Eric M. Lind, Peter B. Adler, Juan Alberti, T. Michael Anderson, Jonathan D. Bakker, Lori Biederman, Dana Blumenthal, Cynthia S. Brown, Lars A. Brudvig, Yvonne M. Buckley, Marc Cadotte, Chengjin Chu, Elsa E. Cleland, Michael J. Crawley, Pedro Daleo, Ellen I. Damschen, Kendi F. Davies, Nicole M. DeCrappeo, Guozhen Du, Jennifer Firn, Yann Hautier, Robert W. Heckman, Andy Hector, Janneke HilleRisLambers, Oscar Iribarne, Julia A. Klein, Johannes M. H. Knops, Kimberly J. La Pierre, Andrew D. B. Leakey, Wei Li, Andrew S. MacDougall, Rebecca L. McCulley, Brett A. Melbourne, Charles E. Mitchell, Joslin L. Moore, Brent Mortensen, Lydia R. O'Halloran, John L. Orrock, Jesús Pascual, Suzanne M. Prober, David A. Pyke, Anita C. Risch, Martin Schuetz, Melinda D. Smith, Carly J. Stevens, Lauren L. Sullivan, Ryan J. Williams, Peter D. Wragg, Justin P. Wright, Louie H. Yang


Human alterations to nutrient cycles and herbivore communities are affecting global biodiversity dramatically. Ecological theory predicts these changes should be strongly counteractive: nutrient addition drives plant species loss through intensified competition for light, whereas herbivores prevent competitive exclusion by increasing ground-level light, particularly in productive systems. Here we use experimental data spanning a globally relevant range of conditions to test the hypothesis that herbaceous plant species losses caused by eutrophication may be offset by increased light availability due to herbivory. This experiment, replicated in 40 grasslands on 6 continents, demonstrates that nutrients and herbivores can serve as counteracting forces to control local plant diversity through light limitation, independent of site productivity, soil nitrogen, herbivore type and climate. Nutrient addition consistently reduced local diversity through light limitation, and herbivory rescued diversity at sites where it alleviated light limitation. Thus, species loss from anthropogenic eutrophication can be ameliorated in grasslands where herbivory increases ground-level light.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 86 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 706 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 8 1%
Germany 6 <1%
Argentina 5 <1%
Switzerland 4 <1%
Japan 3 <1%
Chile 2 <1%
Spain 2 <1%
Sweden 2 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Other 11 2%
Unknown 662 94%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 184 26%
Researcher 138 20%
Student > Master 89 13%
Student > Bachelor 73 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 38 5%
Other 127 18%
Unknown 57 8%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 372 53%
Environmental Science 187 26%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 18 3%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 16 2%
Arts and Humanities 5 <1%
Other 31 4%
Unknown 77 11%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 154. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 28 January 2019.
All research outputs
of 16,266,822 outputs
Outputs from Nature
of 76,744 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 190,721 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nature
of 903 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 16,266,822 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 76,744 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 87.7. This one has done well, scoring higher than 86% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 190,721 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 903 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 77% of its contemporaries.