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Plant diversity has been shown to increase community biomass in experimental communities, but the mechanisms resulting in such positive biodiversity effects have remained largely unknown. We used a large-scale six-year biodiversity experiment near Jena, Germany, to examine how aboveground community biomass in grasslands is affected by different components(More)
BACKGROUND The different hypotheses proposed to explain positive species richness-productivity relationships, i.e. selection effect and complementarity effect, imply that plant functional characteristics are at the core of a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity effects. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS We used two community-wide measures of plant(More)
The diversity-stability hypothesis states that current losses of biodiversity can impair the ability of an ecosystem to dampen the effect of environmental perturbations on its functioning. Using data from a long-term and comprehensive biodiversity experiment, we quantified the temporal stability of 42 variables characterizing twelve ecological functions in(More)
1. The effects of the anecic earthworm Lumbricus terrestris L. on plant seedling recruitment and spatial aggregation were investigated in a microcosm glasshouse experiment by varying plant seed size (small and large); functional groups (grasses, legumes, herbs); plant species diversity (1, 3, 6); and plant functional group diversity (1, 3). 2. Generally,(More)
BACKGROUND Infiltration is a key process in determining the water balance, but so far effects of earthworms, soil texture, plant species diversity and their interaction on infiltration capacity have not been studied. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS We measured infiltration capacity in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density nested in plots of(More)
Contrasting hypotheses exist about the relationship between plant species diversity and genetic diversity. However, experimental data of species diversity effects on genetic differentiation among populations are lacking. To address this, Lolium perenne was sown with an equal number of seeds in 78 experimental grasslands (Jena Experiment) varying in species(More)
BACKGROUND The prevalence of different biotic processes (limiting similarity, weaker competitor exclusion) and historical contingency due to priority effects are in the focus of ongoing discussions about community assembly and non-random functional trait distributions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS We experimentally manipulated assembly history in a(More)
Numerous experiments, mostly performed in particular environments, have shown positive diversity-productivity relationships. Although the complementary use of resources is discussed as an important mechanism explaining diversity effects, less is known about how resource availability controls the strength of diversity effects and how this response depends on(More)
Niche differentiation, assumed to be a key mechanism of species coexistence, requires that species differ in their functional traits. So far it remains unclear to which extent trait plasticity leads to niche shifts of species at higher plant diversity, thereby increasing or decreasing niche overlap between species. To analyse this question it is convenient(More)
Functional traits are often used as species-specific mean trait values in comparative plant ecology or trait-based predictions of ecosystem processes, assuming that interspecific differences are greater than intraspecific trait variation and that trait-based ranking of species is consistent across environments. Although this assumption is increasingly(More)