Surrounding species diversity improves subtropical seedlings’ carbon dynamics

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Salmon , Y , Li , X , Yang , B , Ma , K , Siegwolf , R T W & Schmid , B 2018 , ' Surrounding species diversity improves subtropical seedlings’ carbon dynamics ' , Ecology and Evolution , vol. 8 , no. 14 , pp. 7055-7067 . https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4225

Title: Surrounding species diversity improves subtropical seedlings’ carbon dynamics
Author: Salmon, Yann; Li, Xuefei; Yang, Bo; Ma, Keping; Siegwolf, Rolf T. W.; Schmid, Bernhard
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR)
University of Helsinki, Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR)
Date: 2018-07
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: Ecology and Evolution
ISSN: 2045-7758
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/239798
Abstract: Increasing biodiversity has been linked to higher primary productivity in terrestrial ecosystems. However, the underlying ecophysiological mechanisms remain poorly understood. We investigated the effects of surrounding species richness (monoculture, two- and four-species mixtures) on the ecophysiology of Lithocarpus glaber seedlings in experimental plots in subtropical China. A natural rain event isotopically labelled both the water uptaken by the L.glaber seedlings and the carbon in new photoassimilates through changes of photosynthetic discrimination. We followed the labelled carbon (C) and oxygen (O) in the plant-soil-atmosphere continuum. We measured gas-exchange variables (C assimilation, transpiration and above- and belowground respiration) and C-13 in leaf biomass, phloem, soil microbial biomass, leaf- and soil-respired CO2 as well as O-18 in leaf and xylem water. The C-13 signal in phloem and respired CO2 in L.glaber in monoculture lagged behind those in species mixture, showing a slower transport of new photoassimilates to and through the phloem in monoculture. Furthermore, leaf-water O-18 enrichment above the xylem water in L.glaber increased after the rain in lower diversity plots suggesting a lower ability to compensate for increased transpiration. Lithocarpus glaber in monoculture showed higher C assimilation rate and water-use efficiency. However, these increased C resources did not translate in higher growth of L.glaber in monoculture suggesting the existence of larger nongrowth-related C sinks in monoculture. These ecophysiological responses of L.glaber, in agreement with current understanding of phloem transport are consistent with a stronger competition for water resources in monoculture than in species mixtures. Therefore, increasing species diversity in the close vicinity of the studied plants appears to alleviate physiological stress induced by water competition and to counterbalance the negative effects of interspecific competition on assimilation rates for L.glaber by allowing a higher fraction of the C assimilated to be allocated to growth in species mixture than in monoculture.
Subject: 1172 Environmental sciences
C-13
O-18
biodiversity
competition
photosynthesis
respiration
stable isotope
water
WATER-USE EFFICIENCY
DARK RESPIRED CO2
ISOTOPE COMPOSITION
ORGANIC-MATTER
BIODIVERSITY EXPERIMENTS
FOREST ECOSYSTEMS
DIEL VARIATIONS
PLANT ECOLOGY
TIME-LAG
SOIL
C-13
O-18
biodiversity
competition
photosynthesis
respiration
stable isotope
water
WATER-USE EFFICIENCY
DARK RESPIRED CO2
ISOTOPE COMPOSITION
ORGANIC-MATTER
BIODIVERSITY EXPERIMENTS
FOREST ECOSYSTEMS
DIEL VARIATIONS
PLANT ECOLOGY
TIME-LAG
SOIL
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