Environmental conditions influence the plant functional diversity effect on potential denitrification.

Published

Journal Article

Global biodiversity loss has prompted research on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning. Few studies have examined how plant diversity impacts belowground processes; even fewer have examined how varying resource levels can influence the effect of plant diversity on microbial activity. In a field experiment in a restored wetland, we examined the role of plant trait diversity (or functional diversity, (FD)) and its interactions with natural levels of variability of soil properties, on a microbial process, denitrification potential (DNP). We demonstrated that FD significantly affected microbial DNP through its interactions with soil conditions; increasing FD led to increased DNP but mainly at higher levels of soil resources. Our results suggest that the effect of species diversity on ecosystem functioning may depend on environmental factors such as resource availability. Future biodiversity experiments should examine how natural levels of environmental variability impact the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sutton-Grier, AE; Wright, JP; McGill, BM; Richardson, C

Published Date

  • February 2, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 2

Start / End Page

  • e16584 -

PubMed ID

  • 21311768

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21311768

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0016584

Language

  • eng