Why does fertilization take 14 years to decrease plant diversity in a LTER Abandoned Crop Field?

Dickson, T.L. and K.L. Gross

Presented at the All Scientist Meeting (2012-03-15 to 2012-03-16 )

Increased nitrogen deposition is one of the most important factors driving terrestrial extinctions (Sala et al. 2000). Although fertilization generally causes declines in plant species richness, these declines often do not occur immediately after fertilization begins (Huberty et al. 1998). Time lags in effects of fertilization on richness provide an opportunity to examine the factors that covary over time with species richness. We test the hypothesis that fertilization will increase the dominance / biomass of certain species groups over time, to the detriment of all other species.

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