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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Lauderdale, Florida » Invasive Plant Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #378563

Research Project: Identification, Evaluation, and Implementation of Biological Control Agents for Invasive Weeds of Southeastern Ecosystems

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Title: Water availability modifies effects of biodiversity and nitrogen addition on plant productivity in long-term experiments in a mesic grassland

Author
item KAZANSKI, CLARE - The Nature Conservancy
item COWLES, JANE - University Of Minnesota
item DYMOND, SALLI - University Of Minnesota
item CLARK, ADAM - Karl Franzens University
item David, Aaron
item JUNGERS, JACOB - University Of Minnesota
item KENDIG, AMY - University Of Florida
item RIGGS, CHARLOTTE - Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources
item TROST, JARED - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item WEI, XIAOJING - University Of Alberta

Submitted to: Ecological Applications
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/14/2021
Publication Date: 4/25/2021
Citation: Kazanski, C., Cowles, J., Dymond, S., Clark, A., David, A.S., Jungers, J., Kendig, A., Riggs, C., Trost, J., Wei, X. 2021. Water availability modifies effects of biodiversity and nitrogen addition on plant productivity in long-term experiments in a mesic grassland. Ecological Applications. https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.2363.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.2363

Interpretive Summary: Plant diversity and nitrogen addition generally increase plant productivity, yet climate induced changes in water availability threaten to upend these established relationships. Using long-term data from three experiments in a mesic grassland in Minnesota, we tested how the effects of species richness and nitrogen addition on community-level plant productivity changed as a function of annual fluctuations in water availability. Our analyses suggest that water availability can magnify the positive effects of both biodiversity and nitrogen addition on productivity. These results suggest that productivity responses to anthropogenic species diversity loss and increasing nitrogen deposition could depend on precipitation regimes, highlighting the importance of testing interactions between multiple global change drivers.

Technical Abstract: Diversity and nitrogen addition have positive relationships with plant productivity, yet climate induced changes in water availability threaten to upend these established relationships. Using long-term data from three experiments in a mesic grassland, we tested how the effects of species richness and nitrogen addition on community-level plant productivity changed as a function of annual fluctuations in water availability using growing season precipitation and the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). While results varied across experiments, our analyses suggest that water availability can magnify the positive effects of both biodiversity and nitrogen addition on productivity. These results suggest that productivity responses to anthropogenic species diversity loss and increasing nitrogen deposition could depend on precipitation regimes, highlighting the importance of testing interactions between multiple global change drivers.