Patterns and Consequences of Plant Diversity in Managed, Successional, and Natural Areas at the KBS LTER

Gross, K.L.

Presented at the All Scientist Meeting (1998-07-21 to 1998-07-22 )

Understanding the causes and consequences of diversity has been a central question in ecology for decades, and has been the focus of increasing attention (and controversy) among plant ecologists over the past decade. Our past work on the KBS LTER has focused on documenting patterns of plant diversity (species composition and abundance) in the various treatments on the main experimental site. We plan to expand the scope of this work to examine directly the temporal and spatial patterns and consequences of plant diversity in the agronomic treatments, successional and more established communities in the region. These communities represent a broad range of ANPP and a variety of disturbance types and can be used to examine our hypotheses about the linkages between disturance (management), productivity, consumer-microbial diversity and ecosystem function. We plan work in four major areas: 1) the importance of seed banks as reservoirs of plant diversity, 2) the relationship between productivity and diversity in successional communities, 3) scales and patterns of diversity among managed and unmanaged communities, and 4) the consequences of plant diversity in row crop rotations. Summary and preliminary data related to these questions will be presented.Return to Contents

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