There are several possible mechanisms, most of which are related to the way the plants interact with each other and with other species, e.g. insects, microbes, and fungi. On the one hand, there can be negative feedback effects that are aggravated in low-diverse communities, e.g., the accumulation of specific pathogens and herbivores, and the over-use of specific of resources. On the other hand, highly diverse communities make more complementary use of resources and can evoke positive feedback effects, such as co-adaptation developing between plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). AMF live in symbiosis with roots of the vast majority of today’s plant species, mobilizing and transferring mineral nutrients from the soil in exchange with carbon from the plants.
Scientists involved in this project
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- Biotic interactions, community assembly, and eco-evolutionary dynamics as drivers of long-term biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships
Eisenhauer, Nico; Bonkowski, Michael; Brose, Ulrich; Buscot, François; Durka, Walter; Ebeling, Anne; Fischer, Markus; Gleixner, Gerd; Heintz-Buschart, Anna; Hines, Jes; Jesch, Annette; Lange, Markus; Meyer, Sebastian; Roscher, Christiane; Scheu, Stefan; Schielzeth, Holger; Schloter, Michael; Schulz, Stefanie; Unsicker, Sybille; van Dam, Nicole M; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang; Wirth, Christian; Wolf, Jochen; Schmid, Bernhard (2019). Research Ideas and Outcomes: The Open Science Journal, 5:e47042. https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-180629