Limited evidence for spatial resource partitioning across temperate grassland biodiversity experiments

Kathryn E. Barry*, Jasper van Ruijven, Liesje Mommer, Yongfei Bai, Carl Beierkuhnlein, Nina Buchmann, Hans de Kroon, Anne Ebeling, Nico Eisenhauer, Claudia Guimarães-Steinicke, Anke Hildebrandt, Forest Isbell, Alexandru Milcu, Carsten Neßhöver, Peter B. Reich, Christiane Roscher, Leopold Sauheitl, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Bernhard Schmid, David Tilman & 2 others Stefanie von Felten, Alexandra Weigelt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Locally, plant species richness supports many ecosystem functions. Yet, the mechanisms driving these often-positive biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships are not well understood. Spatial resource partitioning across vertical resource gradients is one of the main hypothesized causes for enhanced ecosystem functioning in more biodiverse grasslands. Spatial resource partitioning occurs if species differ in where they acquire resources and can happen both above- and belowground. However, studies investigating spatial resource partitioning in grasslands provide inconsistent evidence. We present the results of a meta-analysis of 21 data sets from experimental species-richness gradients in grasslands. We test the hypothesis that increasing spatial resource partitioning along vertical resource gradients enhances ecosystem functioning in diverse grassland plant communities above- and belowground. To test this hypothesis, we asked three questions. (1) Does species richness enhance biomass production or community resource uptake across sites? (2) Is there evidence of spatial resource partitioning as indicated by resource tracer uptake and biomass allocation above- and belowground? (3) Is evidence of spatial resource partitioning correlated with increased biomass production or community resource uptake? Although plant species richness enhanced community nitrogen and potassium uptake and biomass production above- and belowground, we found that plant communities did not meet our criteria for spatial resource partitioning, though they did invest in significantly more aboveground biomass in higher canopy layers in mixture relative to monoculture. Furthermore, the extent of spatial resource partitioning across studies was not positively correlated with either biomass production or community resource uptake. Our results suggest that spatial resource partitioning across vertical resource gradients alone does not offer a general explanation for enhanced ecosystem functioning in more diverse temperate grasslands.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02905
JournalEcology
Volume101
Issue number1
Early online date27 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Fingerprint

niche partitioning
grasslands
grassland
biodiversity
biomass production
uptake mechanisms
species diversity
resource
ecosystems
experiment
plant communities
species richness
biomass
dry matter partitioning
meta-analysis
ecosystem
plant community
aboveground biomass
belowground production
tracer techniques

Keywords

  • grassland
  • niche complementarity
  • niche partitioning
  • productivity
  • resource uptake
  • resources
  • standing root biomass

Cite this

Barry, Kathryn E. ; van Ruijven, Jasper ; Mommer, Liesje ; Bai, Yongfei ; Beierkuhnlein, Carl ; Buchmann, Nina ; de Kroon, Hans ; Ebeling, Anne ; Eisenhauer, Nico ; Guimarães-Steinicke, Claudia ; Hildebrandt, Anke ; Isbell, Forest ; Milcu, Alexandru ; Neßhöver, Carsten ; Reich, Peter B. ; Roscher, Christiane ; Sauheitl, Leopold ; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael ; Schmid, Bernhard ; Tilman, David ; von Felten, Stefanie ; Weigelt, Alexandra. / Limited evidence for spatial resource partitioning across temperate grassland biodiversity experiments. In: Ecology. 2020 ; Vol. 101, No. 1.
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abstract = "Locally, plant species richness supports many ecosystem functions. Yet, the mechanisms driving these often-positive biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships are not well understood. Spatial resource partitioning across vertical resource gradients is one of the main hypothesized causes for enhanced ecosystem functioning in more biodiverse grasslands. Spatial resource partitioning occurs if species differ in where they acquire resources and can happen both above- and belowground. However, studies investigating spatial resource partitioning in grasslands provide inconsistent evidence. We present the results of a meta-analysis of 21 data sets from experimental species-richness gradients in grasslands. We test the hypothesis that increasing spatial resource partitioning along vertical resource gradients enhances ecosystem functioning in diverse grassland plant communities above- and belowground. To test this hypothesis, we asked three questions. (1) Does species richness enhance biomass production or community resource uptake across sites? (2) Is there evidence of spatial resource partitioning as indicated by resource tracer uptake and biomass allocation above- and belowground? (3) Is evidence of spatial resource partitioning correlated with increased biomass production or community resource uptake? Although plant species richness enhanced community nitrogen and potassium uptake and biomass production above- and belowground, we found that plant communities did not meet our criteria for spatial resource partitioning, though they did invest in significantly more aboveground biomass in higher canopy layers in mixture relative to monoculture. Furthermore, the extent of spatial resource partitioning across studies was not positively correlated with either biomass production or community resource uptake. Our results suggest that spatial resource partitioning across vertical resource gradients alone does not offer a general explanation for enhanced ecosystem functioning in more diverse temperate grasslands.",
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author = "Barry, {Kathryn E.} and {van Ruijven}, Jasper and Liesje Mommer and Yongfei Bai and Carl Beierkuhnlein and Nina Buchmann and {de Kroon}, Hans and Anne Ebeling and Nico Eisenhauer and Claudia Guimar{\~a}es-Steinicke and Anke Hildebrandt and Forest Isbell and Alexandru Milcu and Carsten Ne{\ss}h{\"o}ver and Reich, {Peter B.} and Christiane Roscher and Leopold Sauheitl and Michael Scherer-Lorenzen and Bernhard Schmid and David Tilman and {von Felten}, Stefanie and Alexandra Weigelt",
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Barry, KE, van Ruijven, J, Mommer, L, Bai, Y, Beierkuhnlein, C, Buchmann, N, de Kroon, H, Ebeling, A, Eisenhauer, N, Guimarães-Steinicke, C, Hildebrandt, A, Isbell, F, Milcu, A, Neßhöver, C, Reich, PB, Roscher, C, Sauheitl, L, Scherer-Lorenzen, M, Schmid, B, Tilman, D, von Felten, S & Weigelt, A 2020, 'Limited evidence for spatial resource partitioning across temperate grassland biodiversity experiments', Ecology, vol. 101, no. 1, e02905. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2905

Limited evidence for spatial resource partitioning across temperate grassland biodiversity experiments. / Barry, Kathryn E.; van Ruijven, Jasper; Mommer, Liesje; Bai, Yongfei; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Buchmann, Nina; de Kroon, Hans; Ebeling, Anne; Eisenhauer, Nico; Guimarães-Steinicke, Claudia; Hildebrandt, Anke; Isbell, Forest; Milcu, Alexandru; Neßhöver, Carsten; Reich, Peter B.; Roscher, Christiane; Sauheitl, Leopold; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Schmid, Bernhard; Tilman, David; von Felten, Stefanie; Weigelt, Alexandra.

In: Ecology, Vol. 101, No. 1, e02905, 01.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Limited evidence for spatial resource partitioning across temperate grassland biodiversity experiments

AU - Barry, Kathryn E.

AU - van Ruijven, Jasper

AU - Mommer, Liesje

AU - Bai, Yongfei

AU - Beierkuhnlein, Carl

AU - Buchmann, Nina

AU - de Kroon, Hans

AU - Ebeling, Anne

AU - Eisenhauer, Nico

AU - Guimarães-Steinicke, Claudia

AU - Hildebrandt, Anke

AU - Isbell, Forest

AU - Milcu, Alexandru

AU - Neßhöver, Carsten

AU - Reich, Peter B.

AU - Roscher, Christiane

AU - Sauheitl, Leopold

AU - Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael

AU - Schmid, Bernhard

AU - Tilman, David

AU - von Felten, Stefanie

AU - Weigelt, Alexandra

PY - 2020/1

Y1 - 2020/1

N2 - Locally, plant species richness supports many ecosystem functions. Yet, the mechanisms driving these often-positive biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships are not well understood. Spatial resource partitioning across vertical resource gradients is one of the main hypothesized causes for enhanced ecosystem functioning in more biodiverse grasslands. Spatial resource partitioning occurs if species differ in where they acquire resources and can happen both above- and belowground. However, studies investigating spatial resource partitioning in grasslands provide inconsistent evidence. We present the results of a meta-analysis of 21 data sets from experimental species-richness gradients in grasslands. We test the hypothesis that increasing spatial resource partitioning along vertical resource gradients enhances ecosystem functioning in diverse grassland plant communities above- and belowground. To test this hypothesis, we asked three questions. (1) Does species richness enhance biomass production or community resource uptake across sites? (2) Is there evidence of spatial resource partitioning as indicated by resource tracer uptake and biomass allocation above- and belowground? (3) Is evidence of spatial resource partitioning correlated with increased biomass production or community resource uptake? Although plant species richness enhanced community nitrogen and potassium uptake and biomass production above- and belowground, we found that plant communities did not meet our criteria for spatial resource partitioning, though they did invest in significantly more aboveground biomass in higher canopy layers in mixture relative to monoculture. Furthermore, the extent of spatial resource partitioning across studies was not positively correlated with either biomass production or community resource uptake. Our results suggest that spatial resource partitioning across vertical resource gradients alone does not offer a general explanation for enhanced ecosystem functioning in more diverse temperate grasslands.

AB - Locally, plant species richness supports many ecosystem functions. Yet, the mechanisms driving these often-positive biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships are not well understood. Spatial resource partitioning across vertical resource gradients is one of the main hypothesized causes for enhanced ecosystem functioning in more biodiverse grasslands. Spatial resource partitioning occurs if species differ in where they acquire resources and can happen both above- and belowground. However, studies investigating spatial resource partitioning in grasslands provide inconsistent evidence. We present the results of a meta-analysis of 21 data sets from experimental species-richness gradients in grasslands. We test the hypothesis that increasing spatial resource partitioning along vertical resource gradients enhances ecosystem functioning in diverse grassland plant communities above- and belowground. To test this hypothesis, we asked three questions. (1) Does species richness enhance biomass production or community resource uptake across sites? (2) Is there evidence of spatial resource partitioning as indicated by resource tracer uptake and biomass allocation above- and belowground? (3) Is evidence of spatial resource partitioning correlated with increased biomass production or community resource uptake? Although plant species richness enhanced community nitrogen and potassium uptake and biomass production above- and belowground, we found that plant communities did not meet our criteria for spatial resource partitioning, though they did invest in significantly more aboveground biomass in higher canopy layers in mixture relative to monoculture. Furthermore, the extent of spatial resource partitioning across studies was not positively correlated with either biomass production or community resource uptake. Our results suggest that spatial resource partitioning across vertical resource gradients alone does not offer a general explanation for enhanced ecosystem functioning in more diverse temperate grasslands.

KW - grassland

KW - niche complementarity

KW - niche partitioning

KW - productivity

KW - resource uptake

KW - resources

KW - standing root biomass

U2 - 10.1002/ecy.2905

DO - 10.1002/ecy.2905

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JO - Ecology

JF - Ecology

SN - 0012-9658

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