EEB events: Thursday seminar: Drivers of diversity in plant communities: predicting responses to resource enrichment: Dr. Katherine Gross, Michigan State University
Katherine L. Gross, University Distinguished Professor of Plant Biology and Director, W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University
The relationship between productivity and species richness is one of the most widely documented patterns in ecology and yet the mechanisms determining this pattern are not well understood. Over the past decade, I have been involved in research that has tried to address this question using 1) synthesis of data from nutrient addition experiments from a wide-range of ‘grasslands’ across the USA and 2) experimental studies in low productivity grassland where we have manipulated the heterogeneity of nutrient additions. These analyses have shown that while there is an overall negative impact of nutrient enrichment on species richness in grasslands, the magnitude differs across communities and functional groups. Results from more recent analysis and a long-term field experiment reveal that the presence of species with specific growth form traits, specifically rhizomatous clonal growth and height, may be important in driving the magnitude of species diversity loss in grasslands. Our ongoing goal is to determine why communities and species respond differently to nutrient addition and to use this to develop ways to maintain and conserve native plant diversity in grasslands being used for a variety of ecosystem services.
Host: Inés Ibáñez
Coffee and cookies will be served at 4 p.m.
Location: 1210 Chemistry