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Negative biotic soil-effects enhance biodiversity by restricting potentially dominant plant species in grasslands

  • Interactions between soil microorganisms and plants can play a vital role for plant fitness and therefore also for plant community composition and biodiversity. However, little is known about how biotic plant soil interactions influence the local dominance and abundance of plant species and whether specific taxonomic or functional groups of plants are differentially affected by such biotic soil-effects. In two greenhouse experiments, we tested the biotic soil-effects of 33 grassland species differing in individual size and local abundance. We hypothesized that large plants that are not locally dominant (despite their size-related competitive advantage enabling them to potentially outshade competitors) are most strongly limited by negative biotic soil-effects. We sampled soils at the opposite ends of a gradient in land-use intensity in temperate grasslands to account for putative modulating effects of land-use intensity on biotic soil-effects. As hypothesized, large, but non-dominant species (especially grasses) experienced moreInteractions between soil microorganisms and plants can play a vital role for plant fitness and therefore also for plant community composition and biodiversity. However, little is known about how biotic plant soil interactions influence the local dominance and abundance of plant species and whether specific taxonomic or functional groups of plants are differentially affected by such biotic soil-effects. In two greenhouse experiments, we tested the biotic soil-effects of 33 grassland species differing in individual size and local abundance. We hypothesized that large plants that are not locally dominant (despite their size-related competitive advantage enabling them to potentially outshade competitors) are most strongly limited by negative biotic soil-effects. We sampled soils at the opposite ends of a gradient in land-use intensity in temperate grasslands to account for putative modulating effects of land-use intensity on biotic soil-effects. As hypothesized, large, but non-dominant species (especially grasses) experienced more negative biotic soil-effects compared with small and abundant plant species. Land-use intensity had contrasting effects on grasses and herbs resulting in more negative biotic soil-effects for grasses in less intensively managed grasslands. We conclude that biotic soil-effects contribute to the control of potentially dominant plants and hence enable species coexistence and biodiversity especially in species-rich less intensively managed grasslands.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Johannes Heinze, Joana Bergmann, Matthias C. Rillig, Jasmin Radha JoshiORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ppees.2015.03.002
ISSN:1433-8319 (print)
Parent Title (English):Perspectives in plant ecology, evolution and systematics
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publication:Jena
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2015
Year of Completion:2015
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:Coexistence mechanisms; Grassland diversity; Individual size; Land-use intensity; Local plant-abundance; Plant soil feedbacks
Volume:17
Issue:3
Pagenumber:9
First Page:227
Last Page:235
Funder:Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Priority Programme 1374 "Infrastructure-Biodiversity-Exploratories"; DFG [JO 777/3-1]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert