Data from: Global signal of top-down control of terrestrial plant communities by herbivores

Shihong Jia, Xugao Wang, Zuoqiang Yuan, Fei Lin, Ji Ye, Zhanqing Hao & Matthew Scott Luskin
The theory of “top-down” ecological regulation predicts that herbivory suppresses plant abundance, biomass, and survival but increases diversity through the disproportionate consumption of dominant species, which inhibits competitive exclusion. To date, these outcomes have been clear in aquatic ecosystems but not on land. We explicate this discrepancy using a meta-analysis of experimental results from 123 native animal exclusions in natural terrestrial ecosystems (623 pairwise comparisons). Consistent with top-down predictions, we found that herbivores significantly reduced...
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