This study illustrates the importance of biodiversity for maintaining ecosystem stability. It tests the hypothesis that “other drivers of global environmental change may have biodiversity-mediated effects on ecosystem functioning – that changes in biodiversity resulting from anthropogenic drivers may be an intermediate cause of subsequent changes in ecosystem functioning” [Hautier 2015: 337]. Researchers found that “changes in plant diversity in response to anthropogenic drivers, including N, CO2, fire, herbivory, and water, were positively associated with changes in temporal stability of productivity,” and that “this positive association was independent of the nature of the driver” [Hautier 2015: 338]. In other words, the experimental interventions (N, CO2, fire, etc.) affected biodiversity, which in turn affected ecosystem stability; the interventions didn’t affect ecosystem stability directly, but only through changes in biodiversity as an intermediary.
For example, whether a 30% change in plant diversity … resulted from elevated N, CO2, or water or from herbivore exclusion, fire suppression, or direct manipulation of plant diversity, stability tended to decrease in parallel by 8%… This conclusion is supported by analyses showing that there was no remaining effect of anthropogenic drivers on changes in stability after biodiversity-mediated effects were taken into account [Hautier 2016: 338].
Hautier, Yann, et al, 2015, Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity, Science 348: 6232, sciencemag.org, http://science.sciencemag.org/content/348/6232/336.
 Herbivory is the consumption of plants.