Varying land use intensity increases “multidiversity”

Sometimes doing science “right” pays off. While stalking potentially receptive editors for an upcoming submission to PLOS, I found this recently published PNAS paper:

Interannual variation in land-use intensity enhances grassland multidiversity

Skimming through, there appear to be several points of interest. They invent an index called “multidiversity” to allow them to compare diversity across a range of taxonomic groups by weighting species richness by maximum observed richness (in essence, statistical gerrymandering to avoid having everything run by microbes). They also look at temporal (interannual) variation in management intensity, something that I think we rarely consider. Their finding that diversity benefits from temporal heterogeneity provides an interesting framework for considering bioenergy grassland management.