Plant Diversity ›› 2024, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (02): 256-264.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2023.04.003

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Reproductive height determines the loss of clonal grasses with nitrogen enrichment in a temperate grassland

Xu Chena,b, Haining Lua,b, Zhengru Rena,b, Yuqiu Zhanga,b, Ruoxuan Liua,b, Yunhai Zhanga,b, Xingguo Hana,b   

  1. a. State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China;
    b. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2023-01-19 Revised:2023-04-19 Online:2024-03-25 Published:2024-04-07
  • Contact: Yunhai Zhang,
  • Supported by:
    This study was supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 32071603 and 32122055) and the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA26020101).

Abstract: Tall clonal grasses commonly display competitive advantages with nitrogen (N) enrichment. However, it is currently unknown whether the height is derived from the vegetative or reproductive module. Moreover, it is unclear whether the height of the vegetative or reproductive system regulates the probability of extinction and colonization, and determines species diversity. In this study, the impacts on clonal grasses were studied in a field experiment employing two frequencies (twice a year vs. monthly) crossing with nine N addition rates in a temperate grassland, China. We found that the N addition decreased species frequency and increased extinction probability, but did not change the species colonization probability. A low frequency of N addition decreased species frequency and colonization probability, but increased extinction probability. Moreover, we found that species reproductive height was the best index to predict the extinction probability of clonal grasses in N-enriched conditions. The low frequency of N addition may overestimate the negative effect from N deposition on clonal grass diversity, suggesting that a higher frequency of N addition is more suitable in assessing the ecological effects of N deposition. Overall, this study illustrates that reproductive height was associated with the clonal species extinction probability under N-enriched environment.

Key words: ANPP, Biodiversity, Clonal grass, Colonization, Extinction, Nitrogen addition frequency