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The global decline in biodiversity has generated concern over the consequences for ecosystem functioning and services. Although ecosystem functions driven by soil microorganisms such as plant productivity, decomposition, and nutrient cycling are of particular importance, interrelationships between plant diversity and soil microorganisms are poorly(More)
Biodiversity is rapidly declining, and this may negatively affect ecosystem processes, including economically important ecosystem services. Previous studies have shown that biodiversity has positive effects on organisms and processes across trophic levels. However, only a few studies have so far incorporated an explicit food-web perspective. In an(More)
Soil aggregate stability depends on plant community properties, such as functional group composition, diversity and biomass production. However, little is known about the relative importance of these drivers and the role of soil organisms in mediating plant community effects. We studied soil aggregate stability in an experimental grassland plant diversity(More)
BACKGROUND One of the most significant consequences of contemporary global change is the rapid decline of biodiversity in many ecosystems. Knowledge of the consequences of biodiversity loss in terrestrial ecosystems is largely restricted to single ecosystem functions. Impacts of key plant functional groups on soil biota are considered to be more important(More)
Plant diversity strongly influences ecosystem functions and services, such as soil carbon storage. However, the mechanisms underlying the positive plant diversity effects on soil carbon storage are poorly understood. We explored this relationship using long-term data from a grassland biodiversity experiment (The Jena Experiment) and radiocarbon ((14)C)(More)
Plant diversity drives changes in the soil microbial community which may result in alterations in ecosystem functions. However, the governing factors between the composition of soil microbial communities and plant diversity are not well understood. We investigated the impact of plant diversity (plant species richness and functional group richness) and plant(More)
We investigated effects of plant species richness in experimental grassland plots on annual above- and belowground biomass production estimated from repeated harvests and ingrowth cores, respectively. Aboveground and total biomass production increased with increasing plant species richness while belowground production remained constant. Root to shoot(More)
Recent studies assessing the role of biological diversity for ecosystem functioning indicate that the diversity of functional traits and the evolutionary history of species in a community, not the number of taxonomic units, ultimately drives the biodiversity--ecosystem-function relationship. Here, we simultaneously assessed the importance of plant(More)
This study aimed to measure the effect of plant diversity on N uptake in grasslands and to assess the mechanisms contributing to diversity effects. Annual N uptake into above- and belowground organs and soil nitrate pools were measured in the Jena experiment on a floodplain soil with mixtures of 2–16 species and 1–4 functional groups, and monocultures. In(More)
In order to predict which ecosystem functions are most at risk from biodiversity loss, meta-analyses have generalised results from biodiversity experiments over different sites and ecosystem types. In contrast, comparing the strength of biodiversity effects across a large number of ecosystem processes measured in a single experiment permits more direct(More)