PhD-Project: The role of plant functional traits and trait variation for community assembly and productivity in semi-natural and experimentally manipulated grasslands
Biodiversity-Ecosystem functioning research provided new insights of how changing biodiversity can affect ecosystem processes. These relationships were mainly investigated in artificially assembled plant communities of large biodiversity experiments. Although manipulative field experiments have the advantage to extract the causality of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships, considerable debate exists about the applicability of conclusions drawn from biodiversity experiments with artificially established plant communities to natural ecosystems.
This project aims to identify the biotic mechanisms by which plant functional characteristics and their within- and between-species variation are related to community assembly and processes at the community level in semi-natural grasslands. The research sites are extensively managed semi-natural grasslands under different environmental conditions in the floodplain of the river Saale and adjacent slopes near Jena (Thuringia, Germany), where we investigate species abundances, plant functional traits and biomass production. The data recorded in this project will be used together with plant biomass, species abundance and trait data collected previously within the Jena Experiment for comparisons of semi-natural and experimentally established grasslands.
Buchmann T, Roscher C (2015): Dominants vs. subordinates in semi-natural grasslands, 28th Conference of the Plant Population Biology Section of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Tübingen.
Buchmann T, Roscher C (2014):The role of plant functional traits and trait variation for community assembly and productivity in semi-natural grasslands, 44th Annual Conference of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Hildesheim.