+ Site Statistics
References:
52,572,879
Abstracts:
28,705,754
PMIDs:
27,750,366
DOIs:
25,464,004
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Competition and herbivory in establishing grassland communities: Implications for plant biomass, species diversity and soil microbial activity



Competition and herbivory in establishing grassland communities: Implications for plant biomass, species diversity and soil microbial activity



Oikos 80(3): 470-480



The two main biotic factors affecting grassland plant species are herbivory and competition. We investigated the significance of both these factors in establishing grassland communities through manipulation experiments conducted in both winter and summer in glasshouse conditions. Manipulations consisted of addition of aboveground and below-ground herbivores, reduction of herbivory through use of an insecticide, and varying of competitive pressure by removing either dicotyledonous or monocotyledonous seedlings as they appeared. In the winter experiment, the total biomass of dicotyledonous plants was reduced by both above-ground and belowground herbivory, while monocotyledonous plant biomass was unaffected. However, in the summer experiment, only those treatments in which competition was manipulated had any detectable effect. This suggests that the relative importance of competition and herbivory can vary considerably. The above-ground herbivory treatment sometimes stimulated and sometimes reduced plant species diversity, and sometimes also induced significantly higher dicotyledonous species diversity than the root herbivory treatment. Those treatments in which competitive pressure was manipulated had no detectable effects on diversity. There were many strong effects detected when plant species were considered individually, with different species responding to different treatments, and with all treatments affecting at least some species. Different species therefore respond quite differently to competition and herbivory. None of the treatments affected soil microbial activity or active soil microbial biomass in the winter experiment, although active biomass was significantly positively correlated with dicotyledonous plant biomass. In the summer experiment, soil activity was positively affected by monocotyledonous plants, while active biomass was the same in all treatments except for the treatment with all plants removed, where biomass was less. None of the soil biotic variables showed any relationship with plant species richness. Our study shows that competition and herbivory can both exert important influences at both the community and ecosystem levels of resolution.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 008365377

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.2307/3546620


Related references

Synergistic effects of grassland plant species on soil microbial biomass and activity: Implications for ecosystem-level effects of enriched plant diversity. Functional Ecology 10(3): 410-416, 1996

Effects of elevated CO-2 on plant nitrogen uptake, microbial biomass and microbial activity A field study in artificially established calcareous grassland communities of differing plant diversity. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 76(2 SUPPL PART 2): 196-197, 1995

Synergistic Effects of Grassland Plant Spcies on Soil Microbial Biomass and Activity: Implications for Ecosystem-Level Effects of Enriched Plant Diversity. Functional Ecology 10(3): 410-416, 1996

Rapid effects of plant species diversity and identity on soil microbial communities in experimental grassland ecosystems. Soil biology and biochemistry 38(8): 2336-2343, 2006

Impact of ozone on plant competition and structural diversity of rhizosphere microbial communities in grassland mesocosms. Phyton Horn 42(3): 7-12, 2002

Species-specific effects of plant invasions on activity, biomass, and composition of soil microbial communities. Biology and Fertility of Soils 52(6): 841-852, 2016

No consistent effects of plant diversity on root biomass, soil biota and soil abiotic conditions in temperate grassland communities. Applied Soil Ecology ember; 24(1): 101-111, 2003

Transgressive overyielding of soil microbial biomass in a grassland plant diversity gradient. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 60: 122-124, 2013

Biotic and abiotic properties mediating plant diversity effects on soil microbial communities in an experimental grassland. Plos One 9(5): E96182, 2015

Positive effects of plant diversity on soil microbial biomass and activity are associated with more root biomass production. Journal of Plant Interactions 12(1): 533-541, 2017

Fertilization and litter effects on the functional group biomass, species diversity of plants, microbial biomass, and enzyme activity of two alpine meadow communities. Plant and Soil 331(1-2): 377-389, 2010

Interactions among grassland plant species, microbial communities, and soil processes. Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union 83(47, Suppl, 2002

Effects of plant biomass, plant diversity, and water content on bacterial communities in soil lysimeters: implications for the determinants of bacterial diversity. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 73(21): 6916-6929, 2007

Plant presence and species combination, but not diversity, influence denitrifier activity and the composition of nirK-type denitrifier communities in grassland soil. Fems Microbiology Ecology 70(3): 377-387, 2010

Medium-term fertilization of grassland plant communities masks plant species-linked effects on soil microbial community structure. Plant and Soil 344(1-2): 187-196, 2011