Environmental conditions influence the plant functional diversity effect on potential denitrification.
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Global biodiversity loss has prompted research on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning. Few studies have examined how plant diversity impacts belowground processes; even fewer have examined how varying resource levels can influence the effect of plant diversity on microbial activity. In a field experiment in a restored wetland, we examined the role of plant trait diversity (or functional diversity, (FD)) and its interactions with natural levels of variability of soil properties, on a microbial process, denitrification potential (DNP). We demonstrated that FD significantly affected microbial DNP through its interactions with soil conditions; increasing FD led to increased DNP but mainly at higher levels of soil resources. Our results suggest that the effect of species diversity on ecosystem functioning may depend on environmental factors such as resource availability. Future biodiversity experiments should examine how natural levels of environmental variability impact the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning.
Metabolic Networks and Pathways
Plant Physiological Phenomena
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1371/journal.pone.0016584
Publication InfoMcGill, BM; Richardson, Curtis J; Sutton-Grier, AE; & Wright, Justin Prouty (2011). Environmental conditions influence the plant functional diversity effect on potential denitrification. PLoS One, 6(2). pp. e16584. 10.1371/journal.pone.0016584. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/15721.
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John O. Blackburn Professor
Curtis J. Richardson is Professor of Resource Ecology and founding Director of the Duke University Wetland Center in the Nicholas School of the Environment. Dr. Richardson earned his degrees from the State University of New York and the University of Tennessee. His research interests in applied ecology focus on long-term ecosystem response to large-scale perturbations such as climate change, toxic materials, trace metals, flooding, or nutrient additions. He has specific interests in phosphor
Associate Professor of Biology
My research focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of patterns of biological diversity across the planet. I am particularly interested in two broad questions: 1)How does the modification of the environment by organisms affect community structure and ecosystem function? and 2) what aspects of biodiversity matter most in the regulation of ecosystem function? While much of my research has focused on wetland plant communities, I am willing to study any organism and work in any ecosys
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