Title: Can complementarity in water use help to explain diversity–productivity relationships in experimental grassland plots?
Authors: Verheyen, Kris ×
Bulteel, Hugo
Palmborg, C
Olivié, Bert
Nijs, I
Raes, Dirk
Muys, Bart #
Issue Date: 28-Feb-2008
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Series Title: Oecologia vol:156 pages:351-361
Abstract: Abstract Positive diversity–productivity relationships
have repeatedly been found in experimental grassland
plots, but mechanistic explanations are still under debate.
We tested whether complementarity for the exploitation of
the soil water resource helps to explain these relationships.
In the dry summer of 2003, evapotranspiration (ET) was
assessed at the Swedish BIODEPTH site using two different
approaches: snapshot measurements of canopy
surface temperature and simulation of time-accumulated
ET by means of a soil water balance model. More diverse
plots were characterized by lower surface temperatures and
higher accumulated ET. Transgressive overyielding tests
revealed that ET in polycultures was higher than in the
best-performing monocultures, but this pattern was
reversed at high degrees of water stress. Our results indicate
that a more complete exploitation of soil water by
more diverse grassland systems is on the one hand likely to
be a driver for their increased biomass production, but on
the other hand causes the more diverse communities to be
affected earlier by drought. Nevertheless, the results also
suggest that productivity may (at least partially) be maintained
under dry conditions due to the higher likelihood of
including drought-tolerant species in the more diverse
ISSN: 0029-8549
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division Forest, Nature and Landscape Research
Division Soil and Water Management
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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