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Forskningsartikel2019Vetenskapligt granskad

Effects of plant functional group removal on structure and function of soil communities across contrasting ecosystems

Fanin, Nicolas; Kardol, Paul; Farrell, Mark; Kempel, Anne; Ciobanu, Marcel; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Gundale, Michael J.; Wardle, David A.


Loss of plant diversity has an impact on ecosystems worldwide, but we lack a mechanistic understanding of how this loss may influence below-ground biota and ecosystem functions across contrasting ecosystems in the long term. We used the longest running biodiversity manipulation experiment across contrasting ecosystems in existence to explore the below-ground consequences of 19 years of plant functional group removals for each of 30 contrasting forested lake islands in northern Sweden. We found that, against expectations, the effects of plant removals on the communities of key groups of soil organisms (bacteria, fungi and nematodes), and organic matter quality and soil ecosystem functioning (decomposition and microbial activity) were relatively similar among islands that varied greatly in productivity and soil fertility. This highlights that, in contrast to what has been shown for plant productivity, plant biodiversity loss effects on below-ground functions can be relatively insensitive to environmental context or variation among widely contrasting ecosystems.


Biodiversity; decomposition; ecosystem functioning; metabarcoding; microbial ecology; nematodes; organic matter accumulation; plant-soil interactions

Publicerad i

Ecology Letters
2019, Volym: 22, nummer: 7, sidor: 1095-1103
Utgivare: WILEY