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Dryad

Data from: Explaining productivity variation in response to nitrogen addition and warming requires intraspecific variability

Cite this dataset

Zhang, Li et al. (2022). Data from: Explaining productivity variation in response to nitrogen addition and warming requires intraspecific variability [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.np5hqbzwc

Abstract

1. Recent studies have shown that intraspecific trait variability is an important source of total trait variation. However, the contribution of intraspecific variability to ecosystem functions in the face of global change remains unknown.

2. We measured plant height, leaf area, specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content and leaf thickness of 26 species at individual or leaf level and aboveground net primary productivity in 48 subplots subjected to 8 years of nitrogen addition and warming in a Tibetan alpine meadow. We split community weighted mean (CWM) and Rao’s quadratic entropy (Rao) of individuals’ traits within a given community into “fixed value” (only caused by interspecific difference of traits) and intraspecific variability (only caused by intraspecific difference), respectively, using a variance partitioning method.

3. We found that productivity showed a humped back response to nitrogen addition: it was highest at intermediate levels of nitrogen fertilization. The response trend was mediated by the changes of plant functional structure. Productivity was positive with fixed Rao of plant height and intraspecific variability of leaf area, i.e. community having higher fixed variability of plant height and individuals producing bigger leaf area can increase productivity via niche complementary and dominance effect. Warming reduced productivity directly and marginally decreased individuals’ leaf area which suppresses productivity indirectly.

4. Our research suggests the non-negligible role of plant intraspecific trait variability in maintaining ecosystem functions, especially in the face of global change.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31830009

Nanjing Forestry University, Award: 163100030

Hainan University, Award: RZ2000009932

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31770518