Mechanisms of Positive Biodiversity-Production Relationships: Insights Provided by δ13C Analysis in Experimental Mediterranean Grassland Plots
We investigated the role of water use in a Mediterranean grassland, in which diversity was experimentally manipulated, and a positive relationship was observed between plant species richness and productivity. Soil moisture patterns and stable carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) in leaves indicated greater water use by plants growing in species-rich mixtures compared to monocultures. These results suggest that complementarity or facilitation may be the mechanism responsible for the positive relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem processes.
Caldeira MC, Ryel RJ, Hector A, Lawton JH, Pereira JS (2001) Mechanisms of positive biodiversity-production relationships: insights provided by 13C analysis in experimental Mediterranean grassland plots. Ecology Letters 4:439-443.