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Eco-evolutionary dynamics modulate plant responses to global change depending on plant diversity and species identity

Citation

Dietrich, Peter; Schumacher, Jens; Eisenhauer, Nico; Roscher, Christiane (2022), Eco-evolutionary dynamics modulate plant responses to global change depending on plant diversity and species identity, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gmsbcc2p7

Abstract

Global change has dramatic impacts on grassland diversity. However, little is known about how fast species can adapt to these changes and how this affects their responses to global change. To close this gap, we performed a common garden experiment testing whether plant responses to global change are influenced by the selection history of the plants and the conditioning history of soil at different levels of plant diversity. Therefore, we collected seeds and took soil samples from 14-year old plant communities of a biodiversity experiment. Offspring of plants from low- and high-diversity communities were either grown in their own soil or in soil of a different community, and were either exposed to drought, increased nitrogen input, or a combination of both. Results show that, under nitrogen addition, offspring of plants selected at high diversity produced more biomass than those selected at low diversity, while drought neutralized differences in biomass production. Moreover, under the influence of global change drivers, mainly soil, and to a lesser extent plant history, influenced the expression of plant traits. Our results show that plant diversity modulates plant-soil interactions and growth strategies of plants, which in turn affects plant eco-evolutionary pathways. How this change affects species' response to global change and whether this can cause a feedback loop should be investigated in more detail in future studies.

Funding

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Award: FOR 1451

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Award: FZT 118

Heinrich Böll Stiftung