Plants are less negatively affected by flooding when growing in species-rich plant communities

Alexandra J. Wright, Hans de Kroon, Eric J.W. Visser, Tina Buchmann, Anne Ebeling, Nico Eisenhauer, Christine Fischer, Anke Hildebrandt, Janneke Ravenek, Christiane Roscher, Alexandra Weigelt, Wolfgang Weisser, Laurentius A.C.J. Voesenek, Liesje Mommer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Flooding is expected to increase in frequency and severity in the future. The ecological consequences of flooding are the combined result of species-specific plant traits and ecological context. However, the majority of past flooding research has focused on individual model species under highly controlled conditions. An early summer flooding event in a grassland biodiversity experiment in Jena, Germany, provided the opportunity to assess flooding responses of 60 grassland species in monocultures and 16-species mixtures. We examined plant biomass, species-specific traits (plant height, specific leaf area (SLA), root aerenchyma, starch content) and soil porosity. We found that, on average, plant species were less negatively affected by the flood when grown in higher-diversity plots in July 2013. By September 2013, grasses were unaffected by the flood regardless of plant diversity, and legumes were severely negatively affected regardless of plant diversity. Plants with greater SLA and more root aerenchyma performed better in September. Soil porosity was higher in higher-diversity plots and had a positive effect on plant performance. As floods become more frequent and severe in the future, growing flood-sensitive plants in higher-diversity communities and in soil with greater soil aeration may attenuate the most negative effects of flooding.

LanguageEnglish
Pages645-656
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume213
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

plant communities
Soil
Porosity
porosity
soil
leaf area
grasslands
Biodiversity
aeration
Poaceae
Fabaceae
Starch
Biomass
environmental impact
Germany
legumes
starch
biodiversity
grasses
summer

Keywords

  • aerenchyma
  • diversity
  • flooding traits
  • grasses
  • legumes
  • plant functional groups
  • soil air porosity
  • specific leaf area (SLA)

Cite this

Wright, Alexandra J. ; de Kroon, Hans ; Visser, Eric J.W. ; Buchmann, Tina ; Ebeling, Anne ; Eisenhauer, Nico ; Fischer, Christine ; Hildebrandt, Anke ; Ravenek, Janneke ; Roscher, Christiane ; Weigelt, Alexandra ; Weisser, Wolfgang ; Voesenek, Laurentius A.C.J. ; Mommer, Liesje. / Plants are less negatively affected by flooding when growing in species-rich plant communities. In: New Phytologist. 2017 ; Vol. 213, No. 2. pp. 645-656.
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abstract = "Flooding is expected to increase in frequency and severity in the future. The ecological consequences of flooding are the combined result of species-specific plant traits and ecological context. However, the majority of past flooding research has focused on individual model species under highly controlled conditions. An early summer flooding event in a grassland biodiversity experiment in Jena, Germany, provided the opportunity to assess flooding responses of 60 grassland species in monocultures and 16-species mixtures. We examined plant biomass, species-specific traits (plant height, specific leaf area (SLA), root aerenchyma, starch content) and soil porosity. We found that, on average, plant species were less negatively affected by the flood when grown in higher-diversity plots in July 2013. By September 2013, grasses were unaffected by the flood regardless of plant diversity, and legumes were severely negatively affected regardless of plant diversity. Plants with greater SLA and more root aerenchyma performed better in September. Soil porosity was higher in higher-diversity plots and had a positive effect on plant performance. As floods become more frequent and severe in the future, growing flood-sensitive plants in higher-diversity communities and in soil with greater soil aeration may attenuate the most negative effects of flooding.",
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author = "Wright, {Alexandra J.} and {de Kroon}, Hans and Visser, {Eric J.W.} and Tina Buchmann and Anne Ebeling and Nico Eisenhauer and Christine Fischer and Anke Hildebrandt and Janneke Ravenek and Christiane Roscher and Alexandra Weigelt and Wolfgang Weisser and Voesenek, {Laurentius A.C.J.} and Liesje Mommer",
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Wright, AJ, de Kroon, H, Visser, EJW, Buchmann, T, Ebeling, A, Eisenhauer, N, Fischer, C, Hildebrandt, A, Ravenek, J, Roscher, C, Weigelt, A, Weisser, W, Voesenek, LACJ & Mommer, L 2017, 'Plants are less negatively affected by flooding when growing in species-rich plant communities', New Phytologist, vol. 213, no. 2, pp. 645-656. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.14185

Plants are less negatively affected by flooding when growing in species-rich plant communities. / Wright, Alexandra J.; de Kroon, Hans; Visser, Eric J.W.; Buchmann, Tina; Ebeling, Anne; Eisenhauer, Nico; Fischer, Christine; Hildebrandt, Anke; Ravenek, Janneke; Roscher, Christiane; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang; Voesenek, Laurentius A.C.J.; Mommer, Liesje.

In: New Phytologist, Vol. 213, No. 2, 2017, p. 645-656.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Plants are less negatively affected by flooding when growing in species-rich plant communities

AU - Wright, Alexandra J.

AU - de Kroon, Hans

AU - Visser, Eric J.W.

AU - Buchmann, Tina

AU - Ebeling, Anne

AU - Eisenhauer, Nico

AU - Fischer, Christine

AU - Hildebrandt, Anke

AU - Ravenek, Janneke

AU - Roscher, Christiane

AU - Weigelt, Alexandra

AU - Weisser, Wolfgang

AU - Voesenek, Laurentius A.C.J.

AU - Mommer, Liesje

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KW - diversity

KW - flooding traits

KW - grasses

KW - legumes

KW - plant functional groups

KW - soil air porosity

KW - specific leaf area (SLA)

U2 - 10.1111/nph.14185

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