N-15 natural abundance during early and late succession in a middle-European dry acidic grassland

Beyschlag W, Hanisch S, Friedrich S, Jentsch A, Werner C (2009)
PLANT BIOLOGY 11(5): 713-724.

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Abstract
delta N-15 and total nitrogen content of above- and belowground tissues of 13 plant species from two successional stages (open pioneer community and ruderal grass stage) of a dry acidic grassland in Southern Germany were analysed, in order to evaluate whether resource use partitioning by niche separation and N input by N-2-fixing legumes are potential determinants for species coexistence and successional changes. Within each stage, plants from plots with different legume cover were compared. Soil inorganic N content, total plant biomass and delta N-15 values of bulk plant material were significantly lower in the pioneer stage than in the ruderal grass community. The observed delta N-15 differences were rather species- than site-specific. Within both stages, there were also species-specific differences in isotopic composition between above- and belowground plant dry matter. Species-specific delta N-15 signatures may theoretically be explained by (i) isotopic fractionation during microbial-mediated soil N transformations; (ii) isotopic fractionation during plant N uptake or fractionation during plant-mycorrhiza transfer processes; (iii) differences in metabolic pathways and isotopic fractionation within the plant; or (iv) partitioning of available N resources (or pools) among plant groups or differential use of the same resources by different species, which seems to be the most probable route in the present case. A significant influence of N-2-fixing legumes on the N balance of the surrounding plant community was not detectable. This was confirmed by the results of an independent in situ removal experiment, showing that after 3 years there were no measurable differences in the frequency distribution between plots with and without N-2-fixing legumes.
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Beyschlag W, Hanisch S, Friedrich S, Jentsch A, Werner C. N-15 natural abundance during early and late succession in a middle-European dry acidic grassland. PLANT BIOLOGY. 2009;11(5):713-724.
Beyschlag, W., Hanisch, S., Friedrich, S., Jentsch, A., & Werner, C. (2009). N-15 natural abundance during early and late succession in a middle-European dry acidic grassland. PLANT BIOLOGY, 11(5), 713-724.
Beyschlag, W., Hanisch, S., Friedrich, S., Jentsch, A., and Werner, C. (2009). N-15 natural abundance during early and late succession in a middle-European dry acidic grassland. PLANT BIOLOGY 11, 713-724.
Beyschlag, W., et al., 2009. N-15 natural abundance during early and late succession in a middle-European dry acidic grassland. PLANT BIOLOGY, 11(5), p 713-724.
W. Beyschlag, et al., “N-15 natural abundance during early and late succession in a middle-European dry acidic grassland”, PLANT BIOLOGY, vol. 11, 2009, pp. 713-724.
Beyschlag, W., Hanisch, S., Friedrich, S., Jentsch, A., Werner, C.: N-15 natural abundance during early and late succession in a middle-European dry acidic grassland. PLANT BIOLOGY. 11, 713-724 (2009).
Beyschlag, Wolfram, Hanisch, S., Friedrich, S., Jentsch, A., and Werner, Christiane. “N-15 natural abundance during early and late succession in a middle-European dry acidic grassland”. PLANT BIOLOGY 11.5 (2009): 713-724.
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Evidence from the real world: ¹⁵N natural abundances reveal enhanced nitrogen use at high plant diversity in Central European grasslands
Kleinebecker T, Holzel N, Prati D, Schmitt B, Fischer M, Klaus VH, Jones R., J. Ecol. 102(2), 2014
PMID: IND500732180

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