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Different plant traits affect two pathways of riparian nitrogen removal in a restored freshwater wetland

dc.contributor.author Richardson, Curtis J
dc.contributor.author Sutton-Grier, AE
dc.contributor.author Wright, Justin Prouty
dc.date.accessioned 2017-11-01T15:59:00Z
dc.date.available 2017-11-01T15:59:00Z
dc.date.issued 2013-01-01
dc.identifier.issn 0032-079X
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10161/15716
dc.description.abstract Background & aims: Plants may have dissimilar effects on ecosystem processes because they possess different attributes. Given increasing biodiversity losses, it is important to understand which plant traits are key drivers of ecosystem functions. To address this question, we studied the response of two ecosystem functions that remove nitrogen (N) from wetland soils, the accumulation of N in plant biomass and denitrification potential (DNP), to variation in plant trait composition. Methods: Our experiment manipulated plant composition in a riparian wetland. We determined relative importance of plant traits and environmental variables as predictors of each ecosystem function. Results: We demonstrate that Water Use Efficiency (WUE) had a strong negative effect on biomass N. Root porosity and belowground biomass were negatively correlated with DNP. Trait ordination indicated that WUE was largely orthogonal to traits that maximized DNP. Conclusions: These results indicate that plant species with different trait values are required to maintain multiple ecosystem functions, and provide a more mechanistic, trait-based link between the recent findings that higher biodiversity is necessary for multi-functionality. While we selected plant traits based on ecological theory, several of the plant traits were not good predictors of each ecosystem function suggesting the ecological theory linking traits to function is incomplete and requires strengthening. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
dc.relation.ispartof Plant and Soil
dc.relation.isversionof 10.1007/s11104-011-1113-3
dc.title Different plant traits affect two pathways of riparian nitrogen removal in a restored freshwater wetland
dc.type Journal article
pubs.begin-page 41
pubs.end-page 57
pubs.issue 1-2
pubs.organisational-group Biology
pubs.organisational-group Duke
pubs.organisational-group Environmental Sciences and Policy
pubs.organisational-group Marine Science and Conservation
pubs.organisational-group Nicholas School of the Environment
pubs.organisational-group Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
pubs.publication-status Published
pubs.volume 365


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