Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

A functional trait-based approach to understand community assembly and diversity–productivity relationships over 7 years in experimental grasslands


Roscher, Christiane; Schumacher, Jens; Lipowsky, Annett; Gubsch, Marlén; Weigelt, Alexandra; Pompe, Sven; Kolle, Olaf; Buchmann, Nina; Schmid, Bernhard; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef (2013). A functional trait-based approach to understand community assembly and diversity–productivity relationships over 7 years in experimental grasslands. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 15(3):139-149.

Abstract

Several multi-year biodiversity experiments have shown positive species richness–productivity relationships which strengthen over time, but the mechanisms which control productivity are not well understood. We used experimental grasslands (Jena Experiment) with mixtures containing different numbers of species (4, 8, 16 and 60) and plant functional groups (1–4; grasses, legumes, small herbs, tall herbs) to explore patterns of variation in functional trait composition as well as climatic variables as predictors for community biomass production across several years (from 2003 to 2009). Over this time span, high community mean trait values shifted from the dominance of trait values associated with fast growth to trait values suggesting a conservation of growth-related resources and successful reproduction. Increasing between-community convergence in means of several productivity-related traits indicated that environmental filtering and exclusion of competitively weaker species played a role during community assembly. A general trend for increasing functional trait diversity within and convergence among communities suggested niche differentiation through limiting similarity in the longer term and that similar mechanisms operated in communities sown with different diversity. Community biomass production was primarily explained by a few key mean traits (tall growth, large seed mass and leaf nitrogen concentration) and to a smaller extent by functional diversity in nitrogen acquisition strategies, functional richness in multiple traits and functional evenness in light-acquisition traits. Increasing species richness, presence of an exceptionally productive legume species (Onobrychis viciifolia) and climatic variables explained an additional proportion of variation in community biomass. In general, community biomass production decreased through time, but communities with higher functional richness in multiple traits had high productivities over several years. Our results suggest that assembly processes within communities with an artificially maintained species composition maximize functional diversity through niche differentiation and exclusion of weaker competitors, thereby maintaining their potential for high productivity.

Abstract

Several multi-year biodiversity experiments have shown positive species richness–productivity relationships which strengthen over time, but the mechanisms which control productivity are not well understood. We used experimental grasslands (Jena Experiment) with mixtures containing different numbers of species (4, 8, 16 and 60) and plant functional groups (1–4; grasses, legumes, small herbs, tall herbs) to explore patterns of variation in functional trait composition as well as climatic variables as predictors for community biomass production across several years (from 2003 to 2009). Over this time span, high community mean trait values shifted from the dominance of trait values associated with fast growth to trait values suggesting a conservation of growth-related resources and successful reproduction. Increasing between-community convergence in means of several productivity-related traits indicated that environmental filtering and exclusion of competitively weaker species played a role during community assembly. A general trend for increasing functional trait diversity within and convergence among communities suggested niche differentiation through limiting similarity in the longer term and that similar mechanisms operated in communities sown with different diversity. Community biomass production was primarily explained by a few key mean traits (tall growth, large seed mass and leaf nitrogen concentration) and to a smaller extent by functional diversity in nitrogen acquisition strategies, functional richness in multiple traits and functional evenness in light-acquisition traits. Increasing species richness, presence of an exceptionally productive legume species (Onobrychis viciifolia) and climatic variables explained an additional proportion of variation in community biomass. In general, community biomass production decreased through time, but communities with higher functional richness in multiple traits had high productivities over several years. Our results suggest that assembly processes within communities with an artificially maintained species composition maximize functional diversity through niche differentiation and exclusion of weaker competitors, thereby maintaining their potential for high productivity.

Statistics

Citations

22 citations in Web of Science®
23 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

153 downloads since deposited on 28 Oct 2013
32 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not 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:biomass production, community mean traits, environmental filtering, functional diversity, niche differentiation, species identity
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:28 Oct 2013 11:50
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:02
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1433-8319
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ppees.2013.02.004

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 2MB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations