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Globally, plant-soil feedbacks are weak predictors of plant abundance

Reinhart, Kurt O. and Bauer, Jonathan T. and McCarthy-Neumann, Sarah and MacDougall, Andrew S. and Hierro, Jose L. and Chiuffo, Mariana C. and Mangan, Scott A. and Heinze, Johannes and Bergmann, Joana and Joshi, Jasmin and Duncan, Richard P. and Diez, Jeff M. and Kardol, Paul and Rutten, Gemma and Fischer, Markus and van der Putten, Wim H. and Bezemer, Thiemo Martijn and Klironomos, John (2021). Globally, plant-soil feedbacks are weak predictors of plant abundance. Ecology and Evolution. 11 , 1756-1768
[Research article]

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Abstract

Plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) have been shown to strongly affect plant performance under controlled conditions, and PSFs are thought to have far reaching consequences for plant population dynamics and the structuring of plant communities. However, thus far the relationship between PSF and plant species abundance in the field is not consistent. Here, we synthesize PSF experiments from tropical forests to semiarid grasslands, and test for a positive relationship between plant abundance in the field and PSFs estimated from controlled bioassays. We meta-analyzed results from 22 PSF experiments and found an overall positive correlation (0.12 <= r over bar <= 0.32) between plant abundance in the field and PSFs across plant functional types (herbaceous and woody plants) but also variation by plant functional type. Thus, our analysis provides quantitative support that plant abundance has a general albeit weak positive relationship with PSFs across ecosystems. Overall, our results suggest that harmful soil biota tend to accumulate around and disproportionately impact species that are rare. However, data for the herbaceous species, which are most common in the literature, had no significant abundance-PSFs relationship. Therefore, we conclude that further work is needed within and across biomes, succession stages and plant types, both under controlled and field conditions, while separating PSF effects from other drivers (e.g., herbivory, competition, disturbance) of plant abundance to tease apart the role of soil biota in causing patterns of plant rarity versus commonness.

Authors/Creators:Reinhart, Kurt O. and Bauer, Jonathan T. and McCarthy-Neumann, Sarah and MacDougall, Andrew S. and Hierro, Jose L. and Chiuffo, Mariana C. and Mangan, Scott A. and Heinze, Johannes and Bergmann, Joana and Joshi, Jasmin and Duncan, Richard P. and Diez, Jeff M. and Kardol, Paul and Rutten, Gemma and Fischer, Markus and van der Putten, Wim H. and Bezemer, Thiemo Martijn and Klironomos, John
Title:Globally, plant-soil feedbacks are weak predictors of plant abundance
Series Name/Journal:Ecology and Evolution
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:11
Page range:1756-1768
Number of Pages:13
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:2045-7758
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:community composition, meta-analysis, plant abundance, plant dominance, plant rarity, plant-soil feedbacks, soil biota, species coexistence
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-110677
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-110677
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1002/ece3.7167
Web of Science (WoS)000612226300001
ID Code:22439
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:19 Feb 2021 14:43
Metadata Last Modified:19 Feb 2021 14:51

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