Data from: Experimental demonstration of the importance of keystone communities for maintaining metacommunity biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

Xian Yang, Jiaqi Tan, Kevin Harry Sun & Lin Jiang
As local communities within a metacommunity may differ considerably in their contributions to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, it has been suggested that conservation priority should be given to disproportionately important local communities (i.e., keystone communities). However, we know little about what characterizes a keystone community. Using laboratory protist microcosms as the model system, we examined how the environmental uniqueness and location of a local community affect its contributions to the metacommunities. We found that the...
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