Crawford , Kerri Margaret , Rudgers, Jennifer .
Effects of plant species diversity and genetic diversity on aboveground and belowground processes.
Biodiversity is a critical element of community properties and ecosystem processes. Both plant species richness and genetic diversity positively affect processes ranging from primary production, ecosystem stability, and the maintenance of diversity. In nature, it is likely that species diversity and genetic diversity interactively affect how communities are structured and ecosystems function. However, their relative contributions and potential interactive effects have been rarely documented. A potentially important (but relatively unexplored) consequence of declining plant diversity is the alteration of soil microbial community structure and function. Soil microbes are important drivers of ecosystem functions and can be important determinants of plant community structure. Here, we report results from a common garden experiment conducted in a coastal freshwater dune habitat at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Empire, MI. We manipulated plant species diversity (0, 1, 3, or 6 species) and genetic diversity (0, 1, 3, or 6 populations) within a dominant, dune-building species (Ammophila breviligulata) to address how both levels of diversity simultaneously influence aboveground and belowground properties and processes. Preliminary results suggest that plant diversity influences a wide range of responses. Plant species diversity and genetic diversity synergistically influence aboveground biomass production but no effects of plant diversity on belowground biomass were detected. Soil nematode abundance doubled with both increasing species diversity and genetic diversity, although there were no interactions between the two levels of diversity. Furthermore, there is a strong trend for diversity to interactively influence arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal spore abuandance. Soil physical properties were also affected. Potassium was generally lost from experimental communities during 2009 to 2010. However, there was a significant species diversity by genetic diversity interaction such that in plots with high levels of genetic diversity, potassium was not lost, but instead increased with increasing species diversity. These results suggest that interactions between levels of diversity are an important aspect of how diversity structures communities and mediates ecosystem processes.
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1 - Rice University, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 6100 Main Street, MS - 170, Houston, TX, 77005, USA
soil nutrients .
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM