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Drought responses of Arrhenatherum elatius grown in plant assemblages of varying species richness

Title data

Otieno, Dennis O. ; Kreyling, Jürgen ; Purcell, Andrew ; Herold, Nadine ; Grant, Kerstin ; Tenhunen, John ; Beierkuhnlein, Carl ; Jentsch, Anke:
Drought responses of Arrhenatherum elatius grown in plant assemblages of varying species richness.
In: Acta Oecologica. Vol. 39 (2012) . - pp. 11-17.
ISSN 1873-6238
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2011.10.002

Abstract in another language

Evidence exists that plant community diversity influences productivity of individual members and their resistance and resilience during and after perturbations. We simulated drought within the long-term EVENT experimental site in the Ecological-Botanical Garden, University of Bayreuth to understand how Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) responds to water stress when grown in three different plant assemblages. The set-up consisted of five replications for each factorial combination of drought and plant assemblages differing in functional diversity. Leaf water potential (ΨL), leaf gas exchange, natural 13C, plant biomass and cover were measured. Imposed drought had different effects on A. elatius, depending on plant assemblage composition. Severe water stress was however, avoided by slowing down the rate of decline in ΨL, and this response was modified by community composition. High ΨL was associated with high stomatal conductance and leaf photosynthesis. Biomass production of A. elatius increased due to drought stress only in the least diverse assemblage, likely due to increased tillering and competitive advantage against neighbours in the drought treated plants. Our results indicate that beneficial traits among plant species in a community may be responsible for the enhanced capacity to survive drought stress. Resistance to drought may, therefore, not be linked to species richness, but rather to the nature of interaction that exists between the community members.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER102613
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography > Chair Biogeography - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Disturbance Ecology
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2015 15:42
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2018 11:09
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/11669