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Foliar and soil δ15N values reveal increased nitrogen partitioning among species in diverse grassland communities

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

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

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62384

Gleixner,  Gerd
Molecular Biogeochemistry Group, Dr. G. Gleixner, Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62392

Habekost,  Maike
Molecular Biogeochemistry Group, Dr. G. Gleixner, Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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

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

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

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

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62569

Steinbeiss,  Sibylle
Molecular Biogeochemistry Group, Dr. G. Gleixner, Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Gubsch, M., Roscher, C., Gleixner, G., Habekost, M., Lipowsky, A., Schmid, B., et al. (2011). Foliar and soil δ15N values reveal increased nitrogen partitioning among species in diverse grassland communities. Plant, Cell and Environment, 34, 895-908. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3040.2011.02287.x.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-DBAF-F
Abstract
Plant and soil nitrogen isotope ratios (d15N) were studied in experimental grassland plots of varying species richness. We hypothesized that partitioning of different sources of soil nitrogen among four plant functional groups (legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs) should increase with diversity. Four years after sowing, all soils were depleted in 15N in the top 5 cm whereas in non-legume plots soils were enriched in 15N at 5–25 cm depth. Decreasing foliar d15N and Dd15N (= foliar d15N - soil d15N) values in legumes indicated increasing symbiotic N2 fixation with increasing diversity. In grasses, foliar Dd15N also decreased with increasing diversity suggesting enhanced uptake of N depleted in 15N. Foliar Dd15N values of small and tall herbs were unaffected by diversity. Foliar Dd15N values of grasses were also reduced in plots containing legumes, indicating direct use of legume-derived N depleted in 15N. Increased foliar N concentrations of tall and small herbs in plots containing legumes without reduced foliar d15N indicated that these species obtained additional mineral soil N that was not consumed by legumes. These functional group and species specific shifts in the uptake of different N sources with increasing diversity indicate complementary resource use in diverse communities.