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Data from: Restoration and management for plant diversity enhances the rate of belowground ecosystem recovery

Citation

Klopf, Ryan P.; Baer, Sara G.; Bach, Elizabeth M.; Six, Johan (2017), Data from: Restoration and management for plant diversity enhances the rate of belowground ecosystem recovery, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hp1ct

Abstract

The positive relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem functioning has been criticized for its applicability at large scales and in less controlled environments that are relevant to land management. To inform this gap between ecological theory and application, we compared recovery rates of belowground properties using two chronosequences consisting of continuously cultivated and independently restored fields with contrasting diversity management strategies: grasslands restored with high plant richness and managed for diversity with frequent burning (n=20) and grasslands restored with fewer species that were infrequently burned (n=15). Restoration and management for plant diversity resulted in 250% higher plant richness. Greater recovery of roots and more predictable recovery of the active microbial biomass across the high diversity management strategy chronosequence corresponded with faster recovery of soil structure. The high diversity grasslands also had greater nutrient conservation indicated by lower available inorganic nitrogen. Thus, mesic grasslands restored with more species and managed for high plant diversity with frequent burning enhances the rate of belowground ecosystem recovery from long-term disturbance at a scale relevant to conservation practices on the landscape.

Usage Notes

Location

USA
Illinois