Evolution; Plant ecology; Community assembly; Plant-soil feedbacks; Biodiversity; Ecosystem functioning
Zuppinger-Dingley D. FlynnD.F.B. De DeynG.B. Petermann J.S. Schmid B., Zuppinger-Dingley D. FlynnD.F.B. De DeynG.B. Petermann J.S. Schmid B. (2016), Plant selection and soil legacy enhance long-term biodiversity effects, in Ecology
, 97(4), 918-928.
LipowskyaA. Roscher C. Schumacher J. Michalskic S.G. Gubsche M., Buchmann N. Schulze E.-D. Schmid B., LipowskyaA. Roscher C. Schumacher J. Michalskic S.G. Gubsche M., Buchmann N. Schulze E.-D. Schmid B. (2015), Plasticity of functional traits of forb species in response to biodiversity, in Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
, 17, 66-77.
Zuppinger-Dingley D. Flynn D.F.B. Brandl H. Schmid B., Zuppinger-Dingley D. Flynn D.F.B. Brandl H. Schmid B. (2015), Selection in monoculture vs. mixture alters plant metabolic fingerprints, in Journal of Plant Ecology
, 8(5), 549-557.
Roscher C. Schumacher J. Gerighausen U. Schmid B., Roscher C. Schumacher J. Gerighausen U. Schmid B. (2014), Different Assembly Processes Drive Shifts in Species and Functional Composition in Experimental Grasslands Varying in Sown Diversity and Community History, in PLoS ONE
, 9(7), 1-12.
Wang X.-Y. Miao Y. Yu S. Chen X.-Y. Schmid B., Wang X.-Y. Miao Y. Yu S. Chen X.-Y. Schmid B. (2014), Genotypic diversity of an invasive plant species promotes litter decomposition and associated processes, in Oecologia
, 174, 993-1005.
Zuppinger-Dingley D. Schmid B. Petermann J.S. Yadav V. De DeynG.B. FlynnD.F.B., Zuppinger-Dingley D. Schmid B. Petermann J.S. Yadav V. De DeynG.B. FlynnD.F.B. (2014), Selection for niche differentiation in plant communities increases biodiversity effects, in Nature
, 515, 108-111.
Roscher C. Fergus A.J.F. Petermann J.S. Buchmann N. Schmid B. Schulze E.-D., Roscher C. Fergus A.J.F. Petermann J.S. Buchmann N. Schmid B. Schulze E.-D. (2013), What happens to the sown species if a biodiversity experiment is not weeded?, in Basic and Applied Ecology
, 14, 187-198.
This project continues work in two large-scale experiments, a "Community History" experiment established within the long-running grassland biodiversity Jena Experiment in Germany, and the BEF-China forest biodiversity experiment in subtropical China. Both of these have involved substantial start-up investments on which the proposed work can now capitalize. In Subproject A (Community History) I propose two novel tests of the mechanisms underlying plant and soil community history effects, which we have observed during the previous phase. For the plant community history work, I will use competition between plants grown from seeds collected before and after over a decade of history in particular biotic environments. For the soil community history work, I will test how plants have adapted to soil microbial pathogens and mutualists in these communities. In Subproject B (BEF-China) I will test whether phenotypic plasticity among tree species grown across a diversity gradient contributes to complementarity between species. This test is a counterpart to the grassland work, with the focus on how similar genotypes express a different range of traits depending on the biotic environment, rather than focusing on the selection of particular genotypes by the environment.The Community History experiment in Jena was set up during the previous phase of the current project and involved an intensive effort to sterilize 30 tons of soil, an unprecedented scale for plant-soil feedback experiments. Our results demonstrate that soil history plays a major role in determining the shape of the relationship between the diversity of plant species and the functioning of this ecosystem. Given the increasing recognition of the value of assessing long-term dynamics, it is crucial to continue the work by testing the mechanisms of how plant-soil feedbacks affect biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships beyond the initial establishment phase. In addition, the Community History experiment involved the collection of seed material from plants maintained in particular species compositions for 8 years in the field. Our initial results show that even this relatively short time period was sufficient to observe adaptation to the biotic environment. Such microevolutionary processes present novel explanations for how species integrate in communities, and we suspect that these processes will become increasingly important over time.The BEF-China project is the product of a long-term and ambitious collaboration between European and Chinese scientists since 2008, involving the planting of nearly half a million individual trees and shrubs. The opportunities provided by this research platform are numerous, in particular with the diversity gradient allowing for the genotypic identification and phenotype measurement of particular individuals over time, and the assessment of the consequences of such variation for community assembly and ecosystem functioning.Taken together, this project will contribute to a new understanding of how species interact in communities and the consequences of species loss. Our emphasis is on how community history acts to select for individuals adapted to a particular biotic environment, including above-belowground interactions (Subproject A) and how community history determines the degree of plasticity in the phenotypes of those species (Subproject B). These results will lead to better predictions of how ecosystems will respond to changes in species composition, particularly the loss of species diversity, under current and future environmental change.