Plant community productivity tends to increase as species richness increases, but the mechanisms behind this biodiversity-productivity relationship are not fully understood. Plant-soil feedbacks (PSF) are a compelling potential mechanism of the biodiversity-productivity relationship because they can explain patterns of both underyielding and overyielding in diverse plant communities. To test the role of plant-soil feedbacks in the biodiversity-productivity relationship we measured all possible plant-soil feedbacks for sixteen species, and used the measured plant-soil feedbacks to predict plant community biomass production. We compared the predicted plant community biomass production to observed biomass production in a paired biodiversity-productivity experiment.
Author ORCID Identifier
Andrew Kulmatiski http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9977-5508
Jeanette Norton https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6596-8691
Leslie E. Forero https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9577-8725
Josephine Grenzer https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2223-0566
NSF, Division of Environmental Biology (DEB)
Utah State University
NSF, Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) 1354129
Quantifying plant-soil feedback effects in classic diversity-productivity experiments
Cedar Creek Plant-Soil Feedback Greenhouse Experiment: The greenhouse experiment was implemented at the Utah State University Crop Physiology Lab in Logan, UT. Soil from an area adjacent to Experiment 120 at Cedar Creek was dried in a 31° C room, and shipped to Logan, UT. A 6:1 mixture of loamy sand and sphagnum peat from Miller Companies, LLC in Hyrum UT was steam sterilized, and inoculated with 10% field soil. 2,720 1-L pots were planted with four seedlings, and then thinned down two seedlings after a one-month period. Plants were grown for a 6 month period, then killed by clipping. 2,466 pots had growth in phase I, and all other pots were discarded. Pots that realized growth were replanted with either the same (“self” treatment) or a different (“other” treatment) species, and grown for a 6 month period. At the end of the experiment, aboveground biomass was clipped, dried, and weighed.
Cedar Creek Biodiversity-Productivity Greenhouse Experiment: The greenhouse experiment was implemented at the Utah State University Crop Physiology Lab in Logan, UT. Soil from an area adjacent to Experiment 120 at Cedar Creek was dried in a 31° C room, and shipped to Logan, UT. A 6:1 mixture of loamy sand and sphagnum peat from Miller Companies, LLC in Hyrum UT was steam sterilized, and inoculated with 10% field soil. 190 12-L pots were planted with a total of sixteen seedlings with a species-richness level of either 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16 species. Plants were grown for an 8 month period, then killed by clipping. Clipped aboveground biomass was sorted to species, dried, and weighted.
Forero, Leslie E., "Mechanisms of Overyielding and Coexistence in Diverse Tallgrass Prairie Communities" (2021). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 8018.
Additional Location: 45.404189, -93.186820
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Kulmatiski, A., Norton, J., Forero, L., & Grenzer, J. (2022). Plant-soil Feedbacks Help Explain Plant Community Productivity [Data set]. Utah State University. https://doi.org/10.26078/C9SZ-M139
Additional FilesBiodiversityProductivity_Greenhouse2017.csv (16 kB)
PlantSoilFeedback_Greenhouse2017.csv (90 kB)
DigitalCommons_PSF_README.txt (7 kB)