Grassland ecology

Grassland ecology is the study of all aspects of the ecology of grasslands, which are regions dominated by grass species but containing other non-woody plants and, in the case of savannahs, some trees as well. Grasslands occur naturally in many biomes and are also maintained in other areas by livestock grazing.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Most studies of plant–soil feedbacks and associated traits look at remotely-related species. Here the authors look at congeners, and show that nematode-driven plant–soil feedbacks depend on root chemical and morphological traits, independent of phylogenetic distance.

    • Rutger A. Wilschut
    • , Wim H. van der Putten
    • , Paolina Garbeva
    • , Paula Harkes
    • , Wouter Konings
    • , Purva Kulkarni
    • , Henk Martens
    •  & Stefan Geisen
  • Research | | open

    Here, Schuldt et al. collate data from two long-term grassland and forest biodiversity experiments to ask how plant diversity facets affect the diversity of higher trophic levels. The results show that positive effects of plant diversity on consumer diversity are mediated by plant structural and functional diversity, and vary across ecosystems and trophic levels.

    • Andreas Schuldt
    • , Anne Ebeling
    • , Matthias Kunz
    • , Michael Staab
    • , Claudia Guimarães-Steinicke
    • , Dörte Bachmann
    • , Nina Buchmann
    • , Walter Durka
    • , Andreas Fichtner
    • , Felix Fornoff
    • , Werner Härdtle
    • , Lionel R. Hertzog
    • , Alexandra-Maria Klein
    • , Christiane Roscher
    • , Jörg Schaller
    • , Goddert von Oheimb
    • , Alexandra Weigelt
    • , Wolfgang Weisser
    • , Christian Wirth
    • , Jiayong Zhang
    • , Helge Bruelheide
    •  & Nico Eisenhauer
  • Research | | open

    Plant diversity affects ecosystem function in myriad ways, but the effect on food webs has received less investigation. Here, the authors use high-resolution food web data from a grassland diversity experiment to show that apparent and exploitative competition motifs increase with plant diversity.

    • Darren P. Giling
    • , Anne Ebeling
    • , Nico Eisenhauer
    • , Sebastian T. Meyer
    • , Christiane Roscher
    • , Michael Rzanny
    • , Winfried Voigt
    • , Wolfgang W. Weisser
    •  & Jes Hines
  • Research |

    Rising CO2 levels have been thought to potentially increase plant growth due to improved fertilization, but such a general effect is spatially and temporally affected by precipitation. Grassland experiments show constraints and increases in the fertilization effect due to seasonal-based precipitation, inferring that any potential plant growth could be mitigated by natural rainfall changes.

    • Mark J. Hovenden
    • , Sebastian Leuzinger
    • , Paul C. D. Newton
    • , Andrew Fletcher
    • , Simone Fatichi
    • , Andreas Lüscher
    • , Peter B. Reich
    • , Louise C. Andresen
    • , Claus Beier
    • , Dana M. Blumenthal
    • , Nona R. Chiariello
    • , Jeffrey S. Dukes
    • , Juliane Kellner
    • , Kirsten Hofmockel
    • , Pascal A. Niklaus
    • , Jian Song
    • , Shiqiang Wan
    • , Aimée T. Classen
    •  & J. Adam Langley
    Nature Plants 5, 167-173

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