Article

Biodiversity effects on yield and unsown species invasion in a temperate forage ecosystem.

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Production Ecology, Box 7043, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.
Annals of Botany (Impact Factor: 3.3). 02/2009; 103(6):913-21. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcp008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Current agricultural practices are based on growing monocultures or binary mixtures over large areas, with a resultant impoverishing effect on biodiversity at several trophic levels. The effects of increasing the biodiversity of a sward mixture on dry matter yield and unsown species invasion were studied.
A field experiment involving four grassland species [two grasses--perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata)--and two legumes--red clover (Trifolium pratense) and white clover (Trifolium repens)], grown in monocultures and mixtures in accordance with a simplex design, was carried out. The legumes were included either as single varieties or as one of two broad genetic-base composites. The experiment was harvested three times a year over three years; dry matter yield and yield of unsown species were determined at each harvest. Yields of individual species and interactions between all species present were estimated through a statistical modelling approach.
Species diversity produced a strong positive yield effect that resulted in transgressive over-yielding in the second and third years. Using broad genetic-base composites of the legumes had a small impact on yield and species interactions. Invasion by unsown species was strongly reduced by species diversity, but species identity was also important. Cocksfoot and white clover (with the exception of one broad genetic-base composite) reduced invasion, while red clover was the most invaded species.
The results show that it is possible to increase, and stabilize, the yield of a grassland crop and reduce invasion by unsown species by increasing its species diversity.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: B. E. Frankow-Lindberg, Jun 19, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
128 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: * The development of models of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function (BEF) has advanced rapidly over the last 20 years, incorporating insights gained through extensive experimental work. We propose Generalised Diversity-Interactions models that include many of the features of existing models and have several novel features. Generalised Diversity-Interactions models characterise the contribution of two species to ecosystem function as being proportional to the product of their relative abundances raised to the power of a coefficient θ. * A value of θ < 1 corresponds to a stronger than expected contribution of species' pairs to ecosystem functioning, particularly at low relative abundance of species. * Varying the value of θ has profound consequences for community-level properties of BEF relationships, including: (i) saturation properties of the BEF relationship; (ii) the stability of ecosystem function across communities; (iii) the likelihood of transgressive overyielding. * For low values of θ, loss of species can have a much greater impact on ecosystem functioning than loss of community evenness. * Generalised Diversity-Interactions models serve to unify the modelling of BEF relationships as they include several other current models as special cases. * Generalised Diversity-Interactions models were applied to seven data sets and three functions: total biomass (five grassland experiments), community respiration (one bacterial experiment) and nitrate leaching (one earthworm experiment). They described all the nonrandom structure in the data in six experiments, and most of it in the seventh experiment and so fit as well or better than competing BEF models for these data. They were significantly better than Diversity-Interactions models in five experiments. * Synthesis. We show that Generalized Diversity-Interactions models quantitatively integrate several methods that separately address effects of species richness, evenness and composition on ecosystem function. They describe empirical data at least as well as alternative models and improve the ability to quantitatively test among several theoretical and practical hypotheses about the effects of biodiversity levels on ecosystem function. They improve our understanding of important aspects of the relationship between biodiversity (evenness and richness) and ecosystem function (BEF), which include saturation, effects of species loss, the stability of ecosystem function and the incidence of transgressive overyielding.
    Journal of Ecology 03/2013; 101:344-355. DOI:10.1111/1365-2745.12052 · 5.69 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Backgound and Aims Extending the cultivation of forage legume species into regions where they are close to the margin of their natural distribution requires knowledge of population responses to environmental stresses. This study was conducted at three north European sites (Iceland, Sweden and the UK) using AFLP markers to analyse changes in genetic structure over time in two population types of red and white clover (Trifolium pratense and T. repens, respectively): (1) standard commercial varieties; (2) wide genetic base (WGB) composite populations constructed from many commercial varieties plus unselected material obtained from germplasm collections. Methods At each site populations were grown in field plots, then randomly sampled after 3-5 years to obtain survivor populations. AFLP markers were used to calculate genetic differentiation within and between original and survivor populations. Key Results No consistent changes in average genetic diversity were observed between original and survivor populations. In both species the original varieties were always genetically distinct from each other. Significant genetic shift was observed in the white clover 'Ramona' grown in Sweden. The WGB original populations were more genetically similar. However, genetic differentiation occurred between original and survivor WGB germplasm in both species, particularly in Sweden. Regression of climatic data with genetic differentiation showed that low autumn temperature was the best predictor. Within the set of cold sites the highest level of genetic shift in populations was observed in Sweden. Conclusions The results suggest that changes in population structure can occur within a short time span in forage legumes, resulting in the rapid formation of distinct survivor populations in environmentally challenging sites.
    Annals of Botany 03/2012; 110(6):1341-50. DOI:10.1093/aob/mcs058 · 3.30 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Species richness of plant communities has been demonstrated to provide resistance to invasion by unsown species, though the relationship with resource availability varies between studies. The present work involved five grassland species grown in monocultures and in four-species mixtures sown in accordance with a simplex design. The species used represented different functional groups (i.e. grasses, legumes and non-N(2)-fixing species), each of which differed internally in terms of competitiveness. I hypothesized that sown diversity would negatively affect invader performance by decreasing the availability of light and soil nitrogen (N) for invading species, and that functional composition of the sown diversity would affect the functional composition of the invading flora. The experimental plots were harvested for two years, and were fertilized with 100 kg N ha(-1) each year. The number of unsown species (classified into four functional groups) invading each plot and their proportion of the biomass harvested were recorded. The penetration of incoming light through the canopy, the apparent N uptake by the sown species from the soil, and the mineral N content in the soil were measured. I found that diverse communities captured more resources both above- and belowground, and the number of invading species and their biomass production were smaller in mixed than in monoculture plots. However, the sampling effect of one grass was also strong. These results suggest that increased resource use in diverse communities can reduce invasion.
    Oecologia 12/2011; 169(3):793-802. DOI:10.1007/s00442-011-2230-7 · 3.25 Impact Factor