A link between plant diversity, elevated CO2 and soil nitrate View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2001-05

AUTHORS

Pascal A. Niklaus, E. Kandeler, P.W. Leadley, B. Schmid, D. Tscherko, C. Körner

ABSTRACT

Interactive effects of reductions in plant species diversity and increases in atmospheric CO2 were investigated in a long-term study in nutrient-poor calcareous grassland. Throughout the experiment, soil nitrate was persistently increased at low plant species diversity, and CO2 enrichment reduced soil [NO3-] at all levels of plant species diversity. In our study, soil [NO3-] was unrelated to root length density, microbial biomass N, community legume contents, and experimental plant communities differed only little in total N pools. However, potential nitrification revealed exactly the same treatment effects as soil [NO3-], providing circumstantial evidence that nitrification rates drove the observed changes in [NO3-]. One possible explanation for plant diversity effects on nitrification lies in spatial and temporal interspecific differences in plant N uptake, which would more often allow accumulation of NH4+ in part of the soil profile at low diversity than in more species-rich plant communities. Consequently, nitrification rates and soil [NO3-] would increase. Elevated CO2 increased soil water contents, which may have improved NO3- diffusion to the root surface thereby reducing soil [NO3-]. Higher soil moisture at elevated CO2 might also reduce nitrification rates due to less aerobic conditions. The accordance of the diversity effect on soil [NO3-] with previous experiments suggests that increased soil [NO3-] at low species diversity is a fairly general phenomenon, although the mechanisms causing high [NO3-] may vary. In contrast, experimental evidence for effects of CO2 enrichment on soil [NO3-] is ambiguous, and the antagonistic interaction of plant species reductions and elevated CO2 we have observed is thus probably less universal. More... »

PAGES

540-548

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s004420000612

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s004420000612

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1021735831

PUBMED

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28547492


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