Navigation Links
Fertilization intensifies competition for light and endangers plant diversity
Date:4/30/2009

When grasslands are fertilized their productivity is increased but their plant diversity is diminished. In the last 50 years levels of plant-available nitrogen and phosphorous have doubled worldwide. This additional supply of plant nutrients is predicted to be one of the three most important causes of biodiversity loss this century. The research, under the leadership of Professor Andy Hector from the University of Zurich, shows for the first time the exact mechanisms that lead to the loss of biodiversity from grasslands following fertilization.

Competition Following the 'Winner-takes-all' Principle

Different plant species profit from nutrient addition to different degrees with some species growing much faster than before. Consequently, some understory species are overgrown by their faster growing neighbours, shaded and without access to sufficient sunlight eventually die out. With the help Pascal Niklaus from the ETH Zurich, researchers from the University of Zurich established an ingenious experiment where they added artifical light to the understory of fertilized grasslands. This additional light countered the negative effects of fertilization and prevented the loss of plant diversity. Counter to earlier beliefs, competition for soil nutrients had no influence on changes in grassland diversity.

This study is the first direct experimental proof that competition for light is the main mechanism of plant biodiversity loss after fertilization says Yann Hautier summarizing the results of his PhD work. The addition of nutrients causes competition for the vital sunlight to follow a 'winner-takes-all' principle.

Consequences for Management of Grasslands

Competition for light following eutrophication is one of the main causes of the loss of plant diversity. The results of the work from Hector's research group have implications for sustainable management of grasslands and for the development of conservation policy. Our research shows that it is necessary to control nutrient enrichment if plant diversity is to be conserved in the long term concludes Andy Hector.


'/>"/>

Contact: Prof. Andrew Hector, Institute of Environmental Sciences,UZH
ahector@uwinst.uzh.ch
41-446-354-804
University of Zurich
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Ocean islands fuel productivity and carbon sequestration through natural iron fertilization
2. LOHAFEX: An Indo-German iron fertilization experiment
3. Forest canopies help determine natural fertilization rates
4. In-vitro fertilization improved with 3-D/4-D-guided embryo transfer and new placement target
5. Scientists, policymakers and industry leaders gather to discuss ocean iron fertilization
6. New York, Florida schools win awards at national student competition
7. WWF seeks innovative solutions to bycatch through worldwide competition
8. Leading research agencies announce new international competition: "The digging into data challenge"
9. NTU undergrad is first Singapore champion of an internationally acclaimed engineering competition
10. Study shows competition, not climate change, led to Neanderthal extinction
11. Gender biases in leadership selection during competitions within and between groups
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)...   LegacyXChange, Inc. ... LegacyXChange is excited to release its first ... be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed authentic ... also provide potential shareholders a sense of the value ... industry that is notorious for fraud. The video is ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... , March 23, 2016 ... erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern ... (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein führender ... das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals ... Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... Massachusetts , March 22, 2016 ... facial recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... ), a leading provider of secure digital communications services, ... their biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those ... secure facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with ... in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Md. , June 23, 2016 A person ... from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA ... sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This ... introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: