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

MPG-Autoren
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62464

Lipowsky,  Annett
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62444

Kolle,  Olaf
Service Facility Field Measurements & Instrumentation, O. Kolle, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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

Schulze,  Ernst-Detlef
Emeritus Group, Prof. E.-D. Schulze, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Roscher, C., Schumacher, J., Lipowsky, A., Gubsche, M., Weigelt, A., Pompe, S., et al. (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, 139-149. doi:10.1016/j.ppees.2013.02.004.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-D656-A
Zusammenfassung
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.