In this project we investigate the effects of global change induced disturbances on plant productivity-species richness (P-SR) relationships along productivity and successional gradients in a semiarid grassland-shrubland ecosystem. The relationship between productivity and species richness is a focal issue in community ecology, and despite its long history it remains controversial leading to competing theories and conflicting predictions. However, changing productivity in ecosystems due to climate change and decreasing species richness makes crucially important to determine the underlying causal mechanisms that drive P-SR relationships. Semiarid and arid ecosystems are especially sensitive to the amount and distribution of precipitation which is the most important limiting factor of their productivity. Precipitation manipulation experiments that create a controlled productivity gradient provide an appropriate toolkit to assess changes in P-SR relationship in natural plant communities, yet few studies to date used this setting. In addition, disturbances affect productivity and species richness in a complex way, and responses may depend on the disturbance history of the vegetation. To test potential interactions, we study the effects of controlled changes in precipitation regime and disturbance in combination. Furthermore, our research aims at investigating temporal changes of P-SR relationship in a long-term post-fire study. Results will contribute to the understanding of complex relationships among environmental factors, productivity, and species richness. Our project builds on ongoing long-term monitoring studies and field experiments, and analyses productivity and species richness data of these large datasets collected for other purposes.
A produktivitás-fajgazdagság összefüggés megváltozása bolygatások hatására
(NKFI PD128385, 2018 - 2021, running project)
Coordinator or leader of the project:
Coordinator or leader institution of the project:
MTA ÖK ÖBI
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