Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2010.00338.x
Title (Primary) Light and nitrogen competition limit Lolium perenne in experimental grasslands of increasing plant diversity
Author Roscher, C.; Kutsch, W.L.; Schulze, E.-D.
Source Titel Plant Biology
Year 2011
Volume 13
Issue 1
Page From 134
Page To 144
Language englisch
Keywords Biodiversity; functional traits; leaf carbohydrates; leaf nitrate; photosynthesis; species performance; stable isotopes
Abstract Positive species richness effects on aboveground community productivity in experimental grasslands have been reported to correlate with variable responses of individual species. So far, it is largely unknown whether more complete use of resources at the community level correlates with resource limitation of particular species and may explain their decreasing performance with increasing plant diversity. Using the subordinate grass species Lolium perenne L. as a model, we monitored populations in 82 experimental grasslands of different plant diversity (Jena Experiment) from year 2 to 6 after establishment, and measured ecophysiological leaf traits related to light and nutrient acquisition and use. Population and plant individual sizes of L. perenne decreased with increasing species richness. A decrease in transmitted light with increasing species richness and legume proportion correlated with increasing specific leaf area (SLA). Despite this morphological adaptation to lower light availability, decreasing foliar d13C signatures with increasing species richness and low variation in leaf gas exchange and chlorophyll concentrations suggested a low capacity of L. perenne for adjustment to canopy shade. Leaf nitrogen concentrations and foliar d15N signatures indicated a better N supply in communities with legumes and a shift in the uptake of different N forms with increasing species richness. Leaf blade nitrate and carbohydrate concentrations as indicators of plants nutritional status supported that light limitation with increasing species richness and legume proportions, combined with a N limitation in communities with increasing proportions of non-legumes, correlated with the decreasing performance of L. perenne in communities of increasing plant diversity.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Roscher, C., Kutsch, W.L., Schulze, E.-D. (2011):
Light and nitrogen competition limit Lolium perenne in experimental grasslands of increasing plant diversity
Plant Biol. 13 (1), 134 - 144 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2010.00338.x