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Adaptive survival mechanisms and growth limitations of small-stature herb species across a plant diversity gradient

MPG-Autoren
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62364

Dassler,  A.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. E.-D. Schulze, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62531

Roscher,  C.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. E.-D. Schulze, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62578

Temperton,  V. M.
Research Group Biodiversity Ecosystem, Dr. N. Buchmann, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62551

Schumacher,  J.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. E.-D. Schulze, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62549

Schulze,  E. D.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. E.-D. Schulze, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Dassler, A., Roscher, C., Temperton, V. M., Schumacher, J., & Schulze, E. D. (2008). Adaptive survival mechanisms and growth limitations of small-stature herb species across a plant diversity gradient. Plant Biology, 10(5), 573-587. doi:10.1111/j.1438-8677.2008.00073.x.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-D647-C
Zusammenfassung
Several biodiversity experiments have shown positive effects of species richness on aboveground biomass production, but highly variable responses of individual species. The well-known fact that the competitive ability of plant species depends on size differences among species, raises the question of effects of community species richness on small-stature subordinate species. We used experimental grasslands differing in species richness (1-60 species) and functional group richness (one to four functional groups) to study biodiversity effects on biomass production and ecophysiological traits of five small-stature herbs (Bellis perennis, Plantago media, Glechoma hederacea, Ranunculus repens and Veronica chamaedrys). We found that ecophysiological adaptations, known as typical shade-tolerance strategies, played an important role with increasing species richness and in relation to a decrease in transmitted light. Specific leaf area and leaf area ratio increased, while area-based leaf nitrogen decreased with increasing community species richness. Community species richness did not affect daily leaf carbohydrate turnover of V. chamaedrys and P. media indicating that these species maintained efficiency of photosynthesis even in low-light environments. This suggests an important possible mechanism of complementarity in such grasslands, whereby smaller species contribute to a better overall efficiency of light use. Nevertheless, these species rarely contributed a large proportion to community biomass production or achieved higher yields in mixtures than expected from monocultures. It seems likely that the allocation to aboveground plant organs to optimise carbon assimilation limited the investment in belowground organs to acquire nutrients and thus hindered these species from increasing their performance in multi-species mixtures. [References: 72]