Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Using plant-soil feedbacks to predict community composition and productivity

Class

Article

College

S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources

Faculty Mentor

Andrew Kulmatiski

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Diverse plant communities often produce twice as much biomass as monocultures. Despite decades of research, this relationship, termed the diversity-productivity (DP) relationship, is unresolved and remains a central problem in ecology. Recent research has suggested soil pathogens may help explain why diverse communities tend to produce more biomass. More specifically, species-specific pathogens spread quickly and are more virulent in monocultures than polycultures. As a result, plant pathogens may explain how plants can be more productive in polyculture than monoculture. However, plants are also known to develop important symbiotic interactions with soil organisms and these interactions should have the opposite effect of soil pathogens: plant symbioses should result in greater growth in monoculture than polyculture. Taken together, the effects of plant-pathogen and plant-symbiont interactions may explain both the general pattern of increasing productivity with diversity and also much of the variation that is commonly observed in diversity-productivity experiments. Here we propose to use measurements of growth patterns due to the net effect of pathogens and symbionts to predict plant growth in diversity-productivity experiments.

Location

Room 101

Start Date

4-12-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

4-12-2018 4:15 PM

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Apr 12th, 3:00 PM Apr 12th, 4:15 PM

Using plant-soil feedbacks to predict community composition and productivity

Room 101

Diverse plant communities often produce twice as much biomass as monocultures. Despite decades of research, this relationship, termed the diversity-productivity (DP) relationship, is unresolved and remains a central problem in ecology. Recent research has suggested soil pathogens may help explain why diverse communities tend to produce more biomass. More specifically, species-specific pathogens spread quickly and are more virulent in monocultures than polycultures. As a result, plant pathogens may explain how plants can be more productive in polyculture than monoculture. However, plants are also known to develop important symbiotic interactions with soil organisms and these interactions should have the opposite effect of soil pathogens: plant symbioses should result in greater growth in monoculture than polyculture. Taken together, the effects of plant-pathogen and plant-symbiont interactions may explain both the general pattern of increasing productivity with diversity and also much of the variation that is commonly observed in diversity-productivity experiments. Here we propose to use measurements of growth patterns due to the net effect of pathogens and symbionts to predict plant growth in diversity-productivity experiments.