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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Oecologia, 2012, Vol.169(4), pp.1105-1115
    Description: The phenomenon of overyielding in species-diverse plant communities is mainly attributed to complementary resource use. Vertical niche differentiation belowground might be one potential mechanism for such complementarity. However, most studies that have analysed the diversity/productivity relationship and belowground niche differentiation have done so for fully occupied sites, not very young tree communities that are in the process of occupying belowground space. Here we used a 5–6 year old forest diversity experiment to analyse how fine-root (〈2 mm) production in ingrowth cores (0–30 cm) was influenced by tree species identity, as well as the species diversity and richness of tree neighbourhoods. Fine-root production during the first growing season after the installation of ingrowth cores increased slightly with tree species diversity, and four-species combinations produced on average 94.8% more fine-root biomass than monocultures. During the second growing season, fine-root mortality increased with tree species diversity, indicating an increased fine-root turnover in species-rich communities. The initial overyielding was attributable to the response to mixing by the dominant species, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Picea abies , which produced more fine roots in mixtures than could be expected from monocultures. In species-rich neighbourhoods, P. abies allocated more fine roots to the upper soil layer (0–15 cm), whereas P. menziesii produced more fine roots in the deeper layer (15–30 cm) than in species-poor neighbourhoods. Our results indicate that, although there may be no lasting overyielding in the fine-root production of species-diverse tree communities, increasing species diversity can lead to substantial changes in the production, vertical distribution, and turnover of fine roots of individual species.
    Keywords: Species diversity ; Species richness ; Fine roots ; Overyielding ; Vertical niche differentiation ; BIOTREE
    ISSN: 0029-8549
    E-ISSN: 1432-1939
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Forest Ecology and Management, Feb 1, 2012, Vol.265, p.191(10)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2011.10.033 Byline: Pifeng Lei (a)(b), Michael Scherer-Lorenzen (c), Jurgen Bauhus (a) Keywords: Fine root morphology; Tree species richness; Niche complementarity; Morphological plasticity; Size-asymmetric competition Abstract: a* The tree species richness were experimentally controlled and sufficiently replicated. a* Overall soil exploitation was not significantly affected by species richness. a* Belowground competition is size-asymmetric. a* Belowground competition from other species did not affect fine-root morphology. a* Dominant species benefits more from species admixing. Author Affiliation: (a) Institute of Silviculture, Faculty of Forest and Environmental Sciences, University of Freiburg, Germany (b) Faculty of Life Science and Technology, Central South University of Forestry and Technology, China (c) Faculty of Biology, Geobotany, University of Freiburg, Germany Article History: Received 24 August 2011; Revised 23 October 2011; Accepted 26 October 2011
    Keywords: Universities And Colleges
    ISSN: 0378-1127
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 3
    In: Ecology, November 2012, Vol.93(11), pp.2386-2396
    Description: Recent biodiversity–ecosystem functioning experiments in temperate grasslands have shown that productivity positively correlates with plant species richness. Resource partitioning (in particular, nitrogen [N] partitioning) has been proposed as one possible mechanism to explain this pattern. There is evidence for interspecific differences in chemical form, soil depth, and timing of N uptake. However, it has rarely been tested whether such differences result in increased N exploitation at the plant community level. Using N‐labeled litter that was mixed into different soil layers, we tested whether eight common grasses and forbs grown in communities of one, two, or four species differ with respect to the proportions of N taken up from different soil depths (N niche), and how this affects the total N uptake of plant communities. We calculated proportional similarity between species (niche overlap) with regard to N uptake from the labeled soil layers; we further calculated an a priori measure of community N uptake based on species N uptake in monoculture (community niche). Interestingly, however, plant community N uptake was not affected by species richness, possibly because community‐level N uptake was determined by (diversity‐independent) soil N mineralization rates. We nevertheless observed a positive effect of species richness on productivity due to increased aboveground biomass : N ratios. This may indicate increased competition for light, resulting in increased amounts of comparably N‐poor stem tissue. However, community N content and biomass were positively correlated with the community niche, a measure which is strongly linked to species composition. Thus, our results suggest that the studied species are generalists rather than specialists regarding N uptake depth, and that species composition was more important than species richness in determining community N uptake. Overall, N partitioning may be a less important driver of positive biodiversity–productivity effects in temperate grasslands than previously assumed.
    Keywords: 15 N ; Biodiversity–Ecosystem Functioning ; Niche ; Nitrogen ; Proportional Similarity ; Resource Partitioning ; Rooting Depth ; Species Richness ; Temperate Grassland
    ISSN: 0012-9658
    E-ISSN: 1939-9170
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  • 4
    In: Global Change Biology, September 2013, Vol.19(9), pp.2795-2803
    Description: Human activities are decreasing biodiversity and changing the climate worldwide. Both global change drivers have been shown to affect ecosystem functioning, but they may also act in concert in a non‐additive way. We studied early‐stage litter mass loss rates and soil microbial properties (basal respiration and microbial biomass) during the summer season in response to plant species richness and summer drought in a large grassland biodiversity experiment, the Jena Experiment, Germany. In line with our expectations, decreasing plant diversity and summer drought decreased litter mass loss rates and soil microbial properties. In contrast to our hypotheses, however, this was only true for mass loss of standard litter (wheat straw) used in all plots, and not for plant community‐specific litter mass loss. We found no interactive effects between global change drivers, that is, drought reduced litter mass loss rates and soil microbial properties irrespective of plant diversity. High mass loss rates of plant community‐specific litter and low responsiveness to drought relative to the standard litter indicate that soil microbial communities were adapted to decomposing community‐specific plant litter material including lower susceptibility to dry conditions during summer months. Moreover, higher microbial enzymatic diversity at high plant diversity may have caused elevated mass loss of standard litter. Our results indicate that plant diversity loss and summer drought independently impede soil processes. However, soil decomposer communities may be highly adapted to decomposing plant community‐specific litter material, even in situations of environmental stress. Results of standard litter mass loss moreover suggest that decomposer communities under diverse plant communities are able to cope with a greater variety of plant inputs possibly making them less responsive to biotic changes.
    Keywords: Biodiversity Loss ; Climate Change ; Decomposition ; Drought ; Grassland ; Litter Mass Loss ; Soil Processes ; The Jena Experiment
    ISSN: 1354-1013
    E-ISSN: 1365-2486
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 2012, Vol.7(5), p.e36992
    Description: The degree to which biodiversity may promote the stability of grasslands in the light of climatic variability, such as prolonged summer drought, has attracted considerable interest. Studies so far yielded inconsistent results and in addition, the effect of different grassland management practices on their response to drought remains an open question. We experimentally combined the manipulation of prolonged summer drought (sheltered vs. unsheltered sites), plant species loss (6 levels of 60 down to 1 species) and management intensity (4 levels varying in mowing frequency and amount of fertilizer application). Stability was measured as resistance and resilience of aboveground biomass production in grasslands against decreased summer precipitation, where resistance is the difference between drought treatments directly after drought induction and resilience is the difference between drought treatments in spring of the following year. We hypothesized that (i) management intensification amplifies biomass decrease under drought, (ii) resistance decreases with increasing species richness and with management intensification and (iii) resilience increases with increasing species richness and with management intensification. ; We found that resistance and resilience of grasslands to summer drought are highly dependent on management intensity and partly on species richness. Frequent mowing reduced the resistance of grasslands against drought and increasing species richness decreased resistance in one of our two study years. Resilience was positively related to species richness only under the highest management treatment. We conclude that low mowing frequency is more important for high resistance against drought than species richness. Nevertheless, species richness increased aboveground productivity in all management treatments both under drought and ambient conditions and should therefore be maintained under future climates.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Earth Sciences ; Ecology
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Forest Ecology and Management, 01 September 2014, Vol.327, pp.10-17
    Description: Stand diversification increasingly emerges as a promising means for improving the multi-functionality and sustainability of management in plantation forests. Increasing tree species richness might potentially also benefit natural enemies, which can substantially contribute to sustainable forest management via top-down control of forest pests. However, there is little empirical evidence on how tree species richness affects the diversity and abundance of predators, as the majority of analyses to date have rarely gone beyond comparisons of monocultures and two species mixtures. Here, we analyzed the performance of spiders as important generalist predators in a tree diversity experiment that uses four of the economically most important broadleaved and coniferous tree species in Europe. We tested the extent to which tree species richness and the identity of the planted tree species affect the abundance, biomass, species richness and functional diversity of spiders. Whereas tree species richness in general had no significant effect, tree species identity strongly affected spider biomass and abundance—with a particularly strong negative effect of the non-native Douglas fir ( (Mirb.) Franco). Our results indicate that increasing tree species richness does not necessarily promote characteristics of natural enemy assemblages relevant for pest control in forests and thus not all functions that may be important in a multi-functional management context. Rather, tree species composition and identity will often be of crucial importance in determining forest ecosystem functions and services. The fact that the severe impact of Douglas fir persisted even in diversified tree species mixtures suggests that stand-level predator efficiency can be reduced for tree species growing adjacent to or in mixture with this species. This calls for a more thorough examination of the ecological consequences of the increasing use of this species in forestry across Europe, in particular considering that climate change may increase the potential of pest outbreaks and thus the need for adequate control in the next decades.
    Keywords: Arthropods ; Biodiversity ; Ecosystem Function ; Herbivore Control ; Identity Effects ; Spiders ; Forestry ; Biology
    ISSN: 0378-1127
    E-ISSN: 1872-7042
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Forest Ecology and Management, Sept 1, 2014, Vol.327, p.10(8)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2014.04.036 Byline: Andreas Schuldt, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen Abstract: acents We test predator performance in a diversity experiment with commercial tree species. acents Tree diversity had no effect, challenging pest control benefits of diversification. acents However, tree species identity strongly affected predator biomass and abundance. acents Negative effects of the non-native Douglas fir persisted even in diversified mixtures. acents Increasing use of this species in forestry requires assessing ecological consequences. Article History: Received 14 March 2014; Revised 23 April 2014; Accepted 25 April 2014
    Keywords: Plantations ; Forest Management
    ISSN: 0378-1127
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 8
    In: Nature, 2011, Vol.477(7363), p.199
    Description: Biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide (1), and there is consensus that this can decrease ecosystem functioning and services (2-7). It remains unclear, though, whether few (8) or many (9) of the species in an ecosystem are needed to sustain the provisioning of ecosystem services. It has been hypothesized that most species would promote ecosystem services if many times, places, functions and environmental changes were considered (9); however, no previous study has considered all of these factors together. Here we show that 84% of the 147 grassland plant species studied in 17 biodiversity experiments promoted ecosystem functioning at least once. Different species promoted ecosystem functioning during different years, at different places, for different functions and under different environmental change scenarios. Furthermore, the species needed to provide one function during multiple years were not the same as those needed to provide multiple functions within one year. Our results indicate that even more species will be needed to maintain ecosystem functioning and services than previously suggested by studies that have either (1) considered only the number of species needed to promote one function under one set of environmental conditions, or (2) separately considered the importance of biodiversity for providing ecosystem functioning across multiple years (10-14), places (15,16), functions (14,17,18) or environmental change scenarios (12,19-22). Therefore, although species may appear functionally redundant when one function is considered under one set of environmental conditions (7), many species are needed to maintain multiple functions at multiple times and places in a changing world.
    Keywords: Ecosystem Services -- Analysis ; Plants (Organisms) -- Physiological Aspects ; Plants (Organisms) -- Research ; Biodiversity -- Research;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 14764687
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 2011, Vol.6(3), p.e17476
    Description: The accelerating rate of change in biodiversity patterns, mediated by ever increasing human pressures and global warming, demands a better understanding of the relationship between the structure of biological communities and ecosystem functioning (BEF). Recent investigations suggest that the functional structure of communities, i.e. the composition and diversity of functional traits, is the main driver of ecological processes. However, the predictive power of BEF research is still low, the integration of all components of functional community structure as predictors is still lacking, and the multifunctionality of ecosystems (i.e. rates of multiple processes) must be considered. Here, using a multiple-processes framework from grassland biodiversity experiments, we show that functional identity of species and functional divergence among species, rather than species diversity per se , together promote the level of ecosystem multifunctionality with a predictive power of 80%. Our results suggest that primary productivity and decomposition rates, two key ecosystem processes upon which the global carbon cycle depends, are primarily sustained by specialist species, i.e. those that hold specialized combinations of traits and perform particular functions. Contrary to studies focusing on single ecosystem functions and considering species richness as the sole measure of biodiversity, we found a linear and non-saturating effect of the functional structure of communities on ecosystem multifunctionality. Thus, sustaining multiple ecological processes would require focusing on trait dominance and on the degree of community specialization, even in species-rich assemblages.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Plant Biology ; Ecology
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Forest Ecology and Management, April 15, Vol.342, p.49(7)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2015.01.014 Byline: Priscilla P. Loiola, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Marco Antonio Batalha Abstract: Display Omitted Article History: Received 30 September 2014; Revised 12 January 2015; Accepted 17 January 2015
    ISSN: 0378-1127
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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