Cite as:
Dantas de Paula, M.; Forrest, M.; Langan, L.; Bendix, J.; Homeier, J.; Velescu, A.; Wilcke, W. &amp; Hickler, T. (2021): <b>Nutrient cycling drives plant community trait assembly and ecosystem functioning in a tropical mountain biodiversity hotspot</b>. <i>New Phytologist</i> <b>2021</b>, 1-16.

Resource Description

Title: Nutrient cycling drives plant community trait assembly and ecosystem functioning in a tropical mountain biodiversity hotspot
FOR816dw ID: 436
Publication Date: 2021-08-09
License and Usage Rights:
Resource Owner(s):
Individual: Mateus Dantas de Paula
Individual: Matthew Forrest
Individual: Liam Langan
Individual: Joerg Bendix
Individual: Jürgen Homeier
Individual: Andre Velescu
Individual: Wolfgang Wilcke
Individual: Thomas Hickler
Community trait assembly in highly diverse tropical rainforests is still poorly understood.<br/> Based on more than a decade of field measurements in a biodiversity hotspot of southern<br/> Ecuador, we implemented plant trait variation and improved soil organic matter dynamics in a<br/> widely used dynamic vegetation model (the Lund-Potsdam-Jena General Ecosystem Simulator,<br/> LPJ-GUESS) to explore the main drivers of community assembly along an elevational gradient.<br/> In the model used here (LPJ-GUESS-NTD, where NTD stands for nutrient-trait dynamics),<br/> each plant individual can possess different trait combinations, and the community trait composition<br/> emerges via ecological sorting. Further model developments include plant growth<br/> limitation by phosphorous (P) and mycorrhizal nutrient uptake.<br/> The new model version reproduced the main observed community trait shift and related<br/> vegetation processes along the elevational gradient, but only if nutrient limitations to plant<br/> growth were activated. In turn, when traits were fixed, low productivity communities<br/> emerged due to reduced nutrient-use efficiency. Mycorrhizal nutrient uptake, when deactivated,<br/> reduced net primary production (NPP) by 61–72% along the gradient.<br/> Our results strongly suggest that the elevational temperature gradient drives community<br/> assembly and ecosystem functioning indirectly through its effect on soil nutrient dynamics<br/> and vegetation traits. This illustrates the importance of considering these processes to yield<br/> realistic model predictions.
| South Ecuador | Modeling | LPJ |
Literature type specific fields:
Journal: New Phytologist
Volume: 2021
Page Range: 1-16
Publisher: Wiley Online Library
Metadata Provider:
Individual: Jörg Bendix
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