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Vegetation composition promotes carbon and nitrogen storage in model grassland communities of contrasting soil fertility

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Vegetation composition promotes carbon and nitrogen storage in model grassland communities of contrasting soil fertility. / De Deyn, Gerlinde; Quirk, Helen; Yi, Zou; Oakley, Simon; Ostle, Nick; Bardgett, Richard.

In: Journal of Ecology, Vol. 97, No. 5, 09.2009, p. 864-875.

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@article{d4183fef2ae54334929e0e214f6ef6ec,
title = "Vegetation composition promotes carbon and nitrogen storage in model grassland communities of contrasting soil fertility",
abstract = "1. The benefits of plant functional group and plant species diversity for sustaining primary productivity have been extensively studied. However, few studies have simultaneously explored potential benefits of plant species and functional group richness and composition for the delivery of other ecosystem services and their dependency on resource availability.2. Here, we investigated in soils of different fertility the effects of plant species and functional group richness and composition on carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stocks in vegetation, soil and soil microbes and on CO2 exchange and the loss of C and N from soil through leaching. We established plant communities from a pool of six mesotrophic grassland species belonging to one of three functional groups (C3 grasses, forbs and legumes) in two soils of contrasting fertility. We varied species richness using one, two, three or six species and one, two or three functional groups.3. After 2 years, vegetation C and N and soil microbial biomass were greater in the more fertile soil and increased significantly with greater numbers of plant species and functional group richness. The positive effect of plant diversity on vegetation C and N coincided with reduced loss of water and N through leaching, which was especially governed by forbs, and increased rates of net ecosystem CO2 exchange.4. Soil C and N pools were not affected by the number of plant species or functional group richness per se after 2 years, but were enhanced by the presence and biomass of the legumes Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium repens.5.  Synthesis. Collectively, our findings indicate that changes in plant species and functional group richness influence the storage and loss of both C and N in model grassland communities but that these responses are related to the presence and biomass of certain plant species, notably N fixers and forbs. Our results therefore suggest that the co-occurrence of species from specific functional groups is crucial for the maintenance of multifunctionality with respect to C and N storage in grasslands.",
keywords = "biodiversity, ecosystem functioning , functional groups , grassland , legume , nitrogen fixer , soil C sequestration , soil N loss",
author = "{De Deyn}, Gerlinde and Helen Quirk and Zou Yi and Simon Oakley and Nick Ostle and Richard Bardgett",
year = "2009",
month = sep,
doi = "10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01536.x",
language = "English",
volume = "97",
pages = "864--875",
journal = "Journal of Ecology",
issn = "0022-0477",
publisher = "Blackwell-Wiley",
number = "5",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Vegetation composition promotes carbon and nitrogen storage in model grassland communities of contrasting soil fertility

AU - De Deyn, Gerlinde

AU - Quirk, Helen

AU - Yi, Zou

AU - Oakley, Simon

AU - Ostle, Nick

AU - Bardgett, Richard

PY - 2009/9

Y1 - 2009/9

N2 - 1. The benefits of plant functional group and plant species diversity for sustaining primary productivity have been extensively studied. However, few studies have simultaneously explored potential benefits of plant species and functional group richness and composition for the delivery of other ecosystem services and their dependency on resource availability.2. Here, we investigated in soils of different fertility the effects of plant species and functional group richness and composition on carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stocks in vegetation, soil and soil microbes and on CO2 exchange and the loss of C and N from soil through leaching. We established plant communities from a pool of six mesotrophic grassland species belonging to one of three functional groups (C3 grasses, forbs and legumes) in two soils of contrasting fertility. We varied species richness using one, two, three or six species and one, two or three functional groups.3. After 2 years, vegetation C and N and soil microbial biomass were greater in the more fertile soil and increased significantly with greater numbers of plant species and functional group richness. The positive effect of plant diversity on vegetation C and N coincided with reduced loss of water and N through leaching, which was especially governed by forbs, and increased rates of net ecosystem CO2 exchange.4. Soil C and N pools were not affected by the number of plant species or functional group richness per se after 2 years, but were enhanced by the presence and biomass of the legumes Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium repens.5.  Synthesis. Collectively, our findings indicate that changes in plant species and functional group richness influence the storage and loss of both C and N in model grassland communities but that these responses are related to the presence and biomass of certain plant species, notably N fixers and forbs. Our results therefore suggest that the co-occurrence of species from specific functional groups is crucial for the maintenance of multifunctionality with respect to C and N storage in grasslands.

AB - 1. The benefits of plant functional group and plant species diversity for sustaining primary productivity have been extensively studied. However, few studies have simultaneously explored potential benefits of plant species and functional group richness and composition for the delivery of other ecosystem services and their dependency on resource availability.2. Here, we investigated in soils of different fertility the effects of plant species and functional group richness and composition on carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stocks in vegetation, soil and soil microbes and on CO2 exchange and the loss of C and N from soil through leaching. We established plant communities from a pool of six mesotrophic grassland species belonging to one of three functional groups (C3 grasses, forbs and legumes) in two soils of contrasting fertility. We varied species richness using one, two, three or six species and one, two or three functional groups.3. After 2 years, vegetation C and N and soil microbial biomass were greater in the more fertile soil and increased significantly with greater numbers of plant species and functional group richness. The positive effect of plant diversity on vegetation C and N coincided with reduced loss of water and N through leaching, which was especially governed by forbs, and increased rates of net ecosystem CO2 exchange.4. Soil C and N pools were not affected by the number of plant species or functional group richness per se after 2 years, but were enhanced by the presence and biomass of the legumes Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium repens.5.  Synthesis. Collectively, our findings indicate that changes in plant species and functional group richness influence the storage and loss of both C and N in model grassland communities but that these responses are related to the presence and biomass of certain plant species, notably N fixers and forbs. Our results therefore suggest that the co-occurrence of species from specific functional groups is crucial for the maintenance of multifunctionality with respect to C and N storage in grasslands.

KW - biodiversity

KW - ecosystem functioning

KW - functional groups

KW - grassland

KW - legume

KW - nitrogen fixer

KW - soil C sequestration

KW - soil N loss

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=68849086442&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01536.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01536.x

M3 - Journal article

AN - SCOPUS:68849086442

VL - 97

SP - 864

EP - 875

JO - Journal of Ecology

JF - Journal of Ecology

SN - 0022-0477

IS - 5

ER -