Long-term studies are essential to understand the impacts of global changes on the multiple facets of biological diversity. Here, we use distribution data for over 600 species of arthropods collected over 150 years from locations across Italy and test how multiple environmental stressors (climate, land use and human population density) influenced assemblage composition and functionality. By carefully reconstructing the temporal changes in these stressors, we explicitly tested how environmental changes can determine the observed changes in taxonomic and functional diversity. We found that rapid changes in precipitation destabilize the assemblages and maximize colonization and extinction rates, especially when coupled with changes in human population density (for taxonomy) or temperature (for functionality). Higher microclimatic heterogeneity increases the stability of biodiversity by reducing taxonomic and functional loss. Finally, changes in natural habitats increased colonization, influencing taxonomic nestedness and functional replacement. The integration of long-term datasets combining distributions, climate and traits may deepen our understanding of the processes underlying biodiversity responses to global-scale drivers.