Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 408059
Title Recovery of plant species richness during long-term fertilization of a species rich grassland
Author(s) Pierik, M.; Ruijven, J. van; Bezemer, T.M.; Geerts, R.H.E.M.; Berendse, F.
Source Ecology 92 (2011)7. - ISSN 0012-9658 - p. 1393 - 1398.
Department(s) Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology
Laboratory of Nematology
PPO/PRI AGRO Multifunctioneel Landgebruik
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) current knowledge - biodiversity - competition - ecosystem - ecology - availability - determinants - deposition - soil
Abstract Nutrient enrichment of habitats (eutrophication) is considered to be one of the main causes of plant diversity decline worldwide. Several experiments have shown a rapid loss of species in the first years after fertilization started. However, little is known about changes in species richness in the long term. Here, we use a 50-year-old field experiment with a range of fertilization treatments in grasslands that were mown twice each year in the center of The Netherlands. We show that species richness in all plots initially declined but started to recover after 25 years of continued fertilization. This was also true for the heavily fertilized treatment (NPK). In NPK-fertilized plots, the decline was strongest and associated with a strong divergence of plant trait composition from the control, reflecting a shift to a plant community adapted to nutrient-rich conditions. During the subsequent period of increase in species richness, the trait composition remained stable. These results show that plant species richness can, at least partially, recover after an initial diversity decline caused by fertilization.
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