Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1111/nph.18503
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Microbial drivers of plant richness and productivity in a grassland restoration experiment along a gradient of land-use intensity
Author Abrahão, A.; Marhan, S.; Boeddinghaus, R.S.; Nawaz, A.; Wubet, T. ORCID logo ; Hölzel, N.; Klaus, V.H.; Kleinebecker, T.; Freitag, M.; Hamer, U.; Oliveira, R.S.; Lambers, H.; Kandeler, E.
Source Titel New Phytologist
Year 2022
Department BZF; iDiv
Volume 236
Issue 5
Page From 1936
Page To 1950
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Keywords Above-belowground interactions; Biodiversity and ecosystem functions; Grassland renewal; Nutrient cycling; Microbial biomass; Plant-soil feedbacks; Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs); Temperate grassland
  • Plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) underlying grassland plant richness and productivity are typically coupled with nutrient availability; however, we lack understanding of how restoration measures to increase plant diversity might affect PSFs. We examined the roles of sward disturbance, seed addition and land-use intensity (LUI) on PSFs.
  • We conducted a disturbance and seed addition experiment in ten grasslands along a LUI gradient and characterized plant biomass and richness, soil microbial biomass, community composition and enzyme activities.
  • Greater plant biomass at high LUI was related to a decrease in the fungal to bacterial ratios, indicating highly productive grasslands to be dominated by bacteria. Lower enzyme activity per microbial biomass at high plant species richness indicated a slower C cycling. The relative abundance of fungal saprotrophs decreased, while pathogens increased with LUI and disturbance. Both fungal guilds were negatively associated with plant richness, indicating the mechanisms underlying PSFs depended on LUI.
  • We show that LUI and disturbance affect fungal functional composition, which may feedback on plant species richness by impeding the establishment of pathogen-sensitive species. Therefore, we highlight the need to integrate LUI including its effects on PSFs when planning for practices that aim to optimize plant diversity and productivity.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Abrahão, A., Marhan, S., Boeddinghaus, R.S., Nawaz, A., Wubet, T., Hölzel, N., Klaus, V.H., Kleinebecker, T., Freitag, M., Hamer, U., Oliveira, R.S., Lambers, H., Kandeler, E. (2022):
Microbial drivers of plant richness and productivity in a grassland restoration experiment along a gradient of land-use intensity
New Phytol. 236 (5), 1936 - 1950 10.1111/nph.18503