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Aboveground overyielding in grassland mixtures is associated with reduced biomass partitioning to belowground organs


Bessler, H; Temperton, V M; Roscher, C; Buchmann, N; Schmid, B; Schulze, E D; Weisser, W W; Engels, C (2009). Aboveground overyielding in grassland mixtures is associated with reduced biomass partitioning to belowground organs. Ecology, 90(6):1520-1530.

Abstract

We investigated effects of plant species richness in experimental grassland plots on annual above- and belowground biomass production estimated from repeated harvests and ingrowth cores, respectively. Aboveground and total biomass production increased with increasing plant species richness while belowground production remained constant. Root to shoot biomass production ratios (R/S) in mixtures were lower than expected from monoculture performance of the species present in the mixtures, showing that interactions among species led to reduced biomass partitioning to belowground organs. This change in
partitioning to belowground organs was not confined to mixtures with legumes, but also measured in mixtures without legumes, and correlated with aboveground overyielding in mixtures. It is suggested that species-rich communities invest less in belowground biomass than do monocultures to extract soil resources, thus leading to increased investment into aboveground organs and overyielding.

Abstract

We investigated effects of plant species richness in experimental grassland plots on annual above- and belowground biomass production estimated from repeated harvests and ingrowth cores, respectively. Aboveground and total biomass production increased with increasing plant species richness while belowground production remained constant. Root to shoot biomass production ratios (R/S) in mixtures were lower than expected from monoculture performance of the species present in the mixtures, showing that interactions among species led to reduced biomass partitioning to belowground organs. This change in
partitioning to belowground organs was not confined to mixtures with legumes, but also measured in mixtures without legumes, and correlated with aboveground overyielding in mixtures. It is suggested that species-rich communities invest less in belowground biomass than do monocultures to extract soil resources, thus leading to increased investment into aboveground organs and overyielding.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:aboveground productivity; belowground productivity; biodiversity, grasslands, Jena Experiment, plant functional group identity, plant functional group richness, root/shoot ratio
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:26 Aug 2009 15:11
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:20
Publisher:Ecological Society of America
ISSN:0012-9658
Additional Information:Copyright by the Ecological Society of America
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1890/08-0867.1
PubMed ID:19569367

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