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DOI 10.1890/15-1110.1
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Title (Primary) Plant functional diversity increases grassland productivity-related water vapor fluxes: an Ecotron and modeling approach
Author Milcu, A.; Eugster, W.; Bachmann, D.; Guderle, M.; Roscher, C.; Gockele, A.; Landais, D.; Ravel, O.; Gessler, A.; Lange, M.; Ebeling, A.; Weisser, W.W.; Roy, J.; Hildebrandt, A.; Buchmann, N.
Source Titel Ecology
Year 2016
Department BZF; PHYDIV
Volume 97
Issue 8
Page From 2044
Page To 2054
Language englisch
Keywords biodiversity–ecosystem functioning; ecosystem evaporation; ecosystem transpiration; Ecotron; evapotranspiration; functional traits; leaf area index; lysimeter; plant species richness; Shuttleworth and Wallace model; The Jena Experiment
UFZ wide themes RU1
Abstract The impact of species richness and functional diversity of plants on ecosystem water vapor fluxes has been little investigated. To address this knowledge gap, we combined a lysimeter setup in a controlled environment facility (Ecotron) with large ecosystem samples/monoliths originating from a long-term biodiversity experiment (The Jena Experiment) and a modeling approach. Our goals were (1) quantifying the impact of plant species richness (four vs. 16 species) on day- and nighttime ecosystem water vapor fluxes; (2) partitioning ecosystem evapotranspiration into evaporation and plant transpiration using the Shuttleworth and Wallace (SW) energy partitioning model; and (3) identifying the most parsimonious predictors of water vapor fluxes using plant functional-trait-based metrics such as functional diversity and community weighted means. Daytime measured and modeled evapotranspiration were significantly higher in the higher plant diversity treatment, suggesting increased water acquisition. The SW model suggests that, at low plant species richness, a higher proportion of the available energy was diverted to evaporation (a non-productive flux), while, at higher species richness, the proportion of ecosystem transpiration (a productivity-related water flux) increased. While it is well established that LAI controls ecosystem transpiration, here we also identified that the diversity of leaf nitrogen concentration among species in a community is a consistent predictor of ecosystem water vapor fluxes during daytime. The results provide evidence that, at the peak of the growing season, higher leaf area index (LAI) and lower percentage of bare ground at high plant diversity diverts more of the available water to transpiration, a flux closely coupled with photosynthesis and productivity. Higher rates of transpiration presumably contribute to the positive effect of diversity on productivity.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Milcu, A., Eugster, W., Bachmann, D., Guderle, M., Roscher, C., Gockele, A., Landais, D., Ravel, O., Gessler, A., Lange, M., Ebeling, A., Weisser, W.W., Roy, J., Hildebrandt, A., Buchmann, N. (2016):
Plant functional diversity increases grassland productivity-related water vapor fluxes: an Ecotron and modeling approach
Ecology 97 (8), 2044 - 2054 10.1890/15-1110.1