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Experimental removal of a dominant species at two levels of soil fertility

Experimental removal of a dominant species at two levels of soil fertility

Canadian Journal of Botany 67(12): 3470-3477

Fertilization of the soil in herbaceous plant communities has been observed to lead to an increase in productivity but a decline in species richness and diversity. We tested the hypothesis that the decline in diversity is due to increased competition from a dominant species by removing the dominant species, Dactylis glomerata L., from an old field community with and without fertilization. Fertilization without the removal of Dactylis resulted in a steep decline in species numbers and in species diversity. The removal of Dactylis when fertilizer was added prevented the decline in species richness. Removal of this dominant species led to an increase in species diversity, an increase in either the frequency or the abundance of almost half of the common species in the system, and increase in the combined biomass of uncommon species. The response to the removal of Dactylis was greater at higher than at low soil fertility for most but not all variables.

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Accession: 001831930

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1139/b89-424

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