Herbaceous plant community dynamics and ecosystem
Principal Investigator: Elsa Cleland
Our experiment at Sierra Foothill is one of more than 70 replicated experiments on 6 continents in the globally-distributed Nutrient Network
One goal of this project is to contribute towards a general understanding of grassland biodiversity and productivity and their dependence on changing environmental factors.
Recent published results include
- Exotic plant species do not generally become more abundant in their invaded ranges compared to their home range;
- Plant biomass does not predict how many species can coexist, challenging a longstanding belief that these should be related;
- The relationship between plant biomass produced over the growing season and what is lost by decomposition depends strongly on environmental factors, with implications for carbon storage; and
- We found evidence for a trade off between plant growth and herbivore defense that may contribute to maintaining grassland biodiversity.
Click HERE to read about this Project