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: 3.45). 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.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
80 Views
  • [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. · 3.45 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the past several years, we have witnessed an increased interest in understanding the structure and function of the indigenous microbiota that inhabits the human body. It is hoped that this will yield novel insight into the role of these complex microbial communities in human health and disease. What is less appreciated is that this recent activity owes a great deal to the pioneering efforts of microbial ecologists who have been studying communities in non-host-associated environments. Interactions between environmental microbiologists and human microbiota researchers have already contributed to advances in our understanding of the human microbiome. We review the work that has led to these recent advances and illustrate some of the possible future directions for continued collaboration between these groups of researchers. We discuss how the application of ecological theory to the human-associated microbiota can lead us past descriptions of community structure and toward an understanding of the functions of the human microbiota. Such an approach may lead to a shift in the prevention and treatment of human diseases that involves conservation or restoration of the normal community structure and function of the host-associated microbiota.
    Microbiology and molecular biology reviews: MMBR 09/2010; 74(3):453-76. · 12.59 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background and aims Legumes are important components of grassland mixtures due to their ability to sustain high yields with moderate nitrogen inputs. This study investigates nitrogen relationships in mixtures of Trifolium pratense and grasses into which a deep-rooted forb was included, and particularly whether these realtionships differ when the forb is a legume or a non-legume species. Methods A field experiment in which mixtures of T. pratense, Phleum pratense, Lolium perenne, and Medicago sativa or Cichorium intybus, and monocropped stands of all species was established in 2007 and harvested in 2008 and 2009. The experiment received a total input of 100 kg ha−1 N yearly. Yield and botanical composition were determined in seven harvests. Species were analysed for 15N abundance, and N2 fixation and N transfer were calculated. Soil samples were analysed twice for inorganic N. Results Non-legumes benefitted from the presence of legumes in terms of N concentration, and the yield of mixtures exceeded that of monocropped non-legumes but not monocropped legumes. The mixture containing M. sativa did not yield more DM or N than did the mixture containing C. intybus. A total of 17.08 kg N ha−1 was transferred from T. pratense to the non-legumes in the mixture in which it was the sole legume species. Conclusions It is concluded that there was a synergy effect in species mixtures, but the effect did not differ between the two deep-rooted species.
    Plant and Soil 08/2013; 370:567-581. · 3.24 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
26 Downloads
Available from
May 30, 2014