What plant functional traits can reduce nitrous oxide emissions from intensively managed grasslands?
Abalos Rodriguez, Diego ; Groenigen, Jan Willem van; Deyn, Gerlinde B. De - \ 2018
Global Change Biology 24 (2018)1. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. e248 - e258.
Functional traits - Grassland - Nitrogen - Nitrous oxide - Plant traits - Plant-microbe interactions
Plant species exert a dominant control over the nitrogen (N) cycle of natural and managed grasslands. Although in intensively managed systems that receive large external N inputs the emission of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) is a crucial component of this cycle, a mechanistic relationship between plant species and N2O emissions has not yet been established. Here we use a plant functional trait approach to study the relation between plant species strategies and N2O emissions from soils. Compared to species with conservative strategies, species with acquisitive strategies have higher N uptake when there is ample N in the soil, but also trigger N mineralization when soil N is limiting. Therefore, we hypothesized that (1) compared to conservative species, species with acquisitive traits reduce N2O emissions after a high N addition; and (2) species with conservative traits have lower N2O emissions than acquisitive plants if there is no high N addition. This was tested in a greenhouse experiment using monocultures of six grass species with differing above- and below-ground traits, growing across a gradient of soil N availability. We found that acquisitive species reduced N2O emissions at all levels of N availability, produced higher biomass and showed larger N uptake. As such, acquisitive species had 87% lower N2O emissions per unit of N uptake than conservative species (p < .05). Structural equation modelling revealed that specific leaf area and root length density were key traits regulating the effects of plants on N2O emission and biomass productivity. These results provide the first framework to understand the mechanisms through which plants modulate N2O emissions, pointing the way to develop productive grasslands that contribute optimally to climate change mitigation.
Priorities for research in soil ecology
Eisenhauer, Nico ; Antunes, Pedro M. ; Bennett, Alison E. ; Birkhofer, Klaus ; Bissett, Andrew ; Bowker, Matthew A. ; Caruso, Tancredi ; Chen, Baodong ; Coleman, David C. ; Boer, Wietse de; Ruiter, Peter de; DeLuca, Thomas H. ; Frati, Francesco ; Griffiths, Bryan S. ; Hart, Miranda M. ; Hättenschwiler, Stephan ; Haimi, Jari ; Heethoff, Michael ; Kaneko, Nobuhiro ; Kelly, Laura C. ; Leinaas, Hans Petter ; Lindo, Zoë ; Macdonald, Catriona ; Rillig, Matthias C. ; Ruess, Liliane ; Scheu, Stefan ; Schmidt, Olaf ; Seastedt, Timothy R. ; Straalen, Nico M. van; Tiunov, Alexei V. ; Zimmer, Martin ; Powell, Jeff R. - \ 2017
Pedobiologia 63 (2017). - ISSN 0031-4056 - p. 1 - 7.
Aboveground-belowground interactions - Biodiversity–ecosystem functioning - Biogeography - Chemical ecology - Climate change - Ecosystem services - Global change - Microbial ecology - Novel environments - Plant-microbe interactions - Soil biodiversity - Soil food web - Soil management - Soil processes
The ecological interactions that occur in and with soil are of consequence in many ecosystems on the planet. These interactions provide numerous essential ecosystem services, and the sustainable management of soils has attracted increasing scientific and public attention. Although soil ecology emerged as an independent field of research many decades ago, and we have gained important insights into the functioning of soils, there still are fundamental aspects that need to be better understood to ensure that the ecosystem services that soils provide are not lost and that soils can be used in a sustainable way. In this perspectives paper, we highlight some of the major knowledge gaps that should be prioritized in soil ecological research. These research priorities were compiled based on an online survey of 32 editors of Pedobiologia – Journal of Soil Ecology. These editors work at universities and research centers in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. The questions were categorized into four themes: (1) soil biodiversity and biogeography, (2) interactions and the functioning of ecosystems, (3) global change and soil management, and (4) new directions. The respondents identified priorities that may be achievable in the near future, as well as several that are currently achievable but remain open. While some of the identified barriers to progress were technological in nature, many respondents cited a need for substantial leadership and goodwill among members of the soil ecology research community, including the need for multi-institutional partnerships, and had substantial concerns regarding the loss of taxonomic expertise.
The apoplast as battleground for plant-microbe interactions
Du, Yu ; Stegmann, Martin ; Misas Villamil, Johana C. - \ 2016
New Phytologist 209 (2016)1. - ISSN 0028-646X - p. 34 - 38.
Apoplast apoplastic immunity - New phytologist workshop - Plant cell biology - Plant-microbe interactions