Biotic and abiotic plant-soil feedback depends on nitrogen-acquisition strategy and shifts during long-term ecosystem development

Guochen Kenny Png, Hans Lambers, Paul Kardol, Benjamin L. Turner, David A. Wardle, Etienne Laliberte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

1. Feedback between plants and soil is an important driver of plant community structure, but it remains unclear whether plant-soil feedback (PSF): (i) reflects changes in biotic or abiotic properties, (ii) depends on environmental context in terms of soil nutrient availability, and (iii) varies among plant functional groups. As soil nutrient availability strongly affects plant distribution and performance, soil chemical properties and plant nutrient-acquisition strategies might serve as important drivers of PSF.

2. We used soils from young and old stages of a long-term soil chronosequence to represent sites where productivity is limited by nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability, respectively. We grew three N-fixing and three non-N-fixing plant species in soils conditioned by co-occurring conspecific or heterospecific species from each of these two stages. In addition, three soil treatments were used to distinguish biotic and abiotic effects on plant performance, allowing measurements of overall, biotic, and abiotic PSF.

3. In young, N-poor soils, non-N-fixing plants grew better in soils from N-fixing plants than in their own soils (i.e., negative PSF). However, this difference was not only associated with improved abiotic conditions in soils from N-fixing plants but also with changes in soil biota.

4. By contrast, no significant PSF was observed for N-fixing plants grown in young soils. Moreover, we did not observe any significant PSF for either N-fixing or non-N-fixing plants growing in old, P-impoverished soils.

5. Synthesis. The direction and strength of plant-soil feedback (PSF) varied among N-acquisition strategies and soils differing in nutrient availability, with stronger plant-soil feedback in younger, N-poor soils compared to older, P-impoverished soils. Our results highlight the importance of considering soil nutrient availability, plant-mediated abiotic and biotic soil properties, and plant nutrient-acquisition strategies when studying plant-soil feedback, thereby advancing our mechanistic understanding of plant-soil feedback during long-term ecosystem development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-153
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Ecology
Volume107
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Cite this

@article{312edbafbb0b44e3a44197e169aeaa29,
title = "Biotic and abiotic plant-soil feedback depends on nitrogen-acquisition strategy and shifts during long-term ecosystem development",
abstract = "1. Feedback between plants and soil is an important driver of plant community structure, but it remains unclear whether plant-soil feedback (PSF): (i) reflects changes in biotic or abiotic properties, (ii) depends on environmental context in terms of soil nutrient availability, and (iii) varies among plant functional groups. As soil nutrient availability strongly affects plant distribution and performance, soil chemical properties and plant nutrient-acquisition strategies might serve as important drivers of PSF.2. We used soils from young and old stages of a long-term soil chronosequence to represent sites where productivity is limited by nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability, respectively. We grew three N-fixing and three non-N-fixing plant species in soils conditioned by co-occurring conspecific or heterospecific species from each of these two stages. In addition, three soil treatments were used to distinguish biotic and abiotic effects on plant performance, allowing measurements of overall, biotic, and abiotic PSF.3. In young, N-poor soils, non-N-fixing plants grew better in soils from N-fixing plants than in their own soils (i.e., negative PSF). However, this difference was not only associated with improved abiotic conditions in soils from N-fixing plants but also with changes in soil biota.4. By contrast, no significant PSF was observed for N-fixing plants grown in young soils. Moreover, we did not observe any significant PSF for either N-fixing or non-N-fixing plants growing in old, P-impoverished soils.5. Synthesis. The direction and strength of plant-soil feedback (PSF) varied among N-acquisition strategies and soils differing in nutrient availability, with stronger plant-soil feedback in younger, N-poor soils compared to older, P-impoverished soils. Our results highlight the importance of considering soil nutrient availability, plant-mediated abiotic and biotic soil properties, and plant nutrient-acquisition strategies when studying plant-soil feedback, thereby advancing our mechanistic understanding of plant-soil feedback during long-term ecosystem development.",
keywords = "chronosequence, ecosystem retrogression, Fabaceae, long-term ecosystem development, nutrient-acquisition strategies, plant functional traits, plant-soil (below-ground) interactions, plant-soil feedback, NUTRIENT LIMITATION, COMMUNITY STRUCTURE, FUNCTIONAL-GROUP, SUCCESSION, PHOSPHORUS, BIODIVERSITY, COEXISTENCE, MECHANISMS, DIVERSITY, PATHOGENS",
author = "Png, {Guochen Kenny} and Hans Lambers and Paul Kardol and Turner, {Benjamin L.} and Wardle, {David A.} and Etienne Laliberte",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1111/1365-2745.13048",
language = "English",
volume = "107",
pages = "142--153",
journal = "Journal of Ecology",
issn = "0022-0477",
publisher = "John Wiley & Sons",
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}

Biotic and abiotic plant-soil feedback depends on nitrogen-acquisition strategy and shifts during long-term ecosystem development. / Png, Guochen Kenny; Lambers, Hans; Kardol, Paul; Turner, Benjamin L.; Wardle, David A.; Laliberte, Etienne.

In: Journal of Ecology, Vol. 107, No. 1, 01.2019, p. 142-153.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Biotic and abiotic plant-soil feedback depends on nitrogen-acquisition strategy and shifts during long-term ecosystem development

AU - Png, Guochen Kenny

AU - Lambers, Hans

AU - Kardol, Paul

AU - Turner, Benjamin L.

AU - Wardle, David A.

AU - Laliberte, Etienne

PY - 2019/1

Y1 - 2019/1

N2 - 1. Feedback between plants and soil is an important driver of plant community structure, but it remains unclear whether plant-soil feedback (PSF): (i) reflects changes in biotic or abiotic properties, (ii) depends on environmental context in terms of soil nutrient availability, and (iii) varies among plant functional groups. As soil nutrient availability strongly affects plant distribution and performance, soil chemical properties and plant nutrient-acquisition strategies might serve as important drivers of PSF.2. We used soils from young and old stages of a long-term soil chronosequence to represent sites where productivity is limited by nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability, respectively. We grew three N-fixing and three non-N-fixing plant species in soils conditioned by co-occurring conspecific or heterospecific species from each of these two stages. In addition, three soil treatments were used to distinguish biotic and abiotic effects on plant performance, allowing measurements of overall, biotic, and abiotic PSF.3. In young, N-poor soils, non-N-fixing plants grew better in soils from N-fixing plants than in their own soils (i.e., negative PSF). However, this difference was not only associated with improved abiotic conditions in soils from N-fixing plants but also with changes in soil biota.4. By contrast, no significant PSF was observed for N-fixing plants grown in young soils. Moreover, we did not observe any significant PSF for either N-fixing or non-N-fixing plants growing in old, P-impoverished soils.5. Synthesis. The direction and strength of plant-soil feedback (PSF) varied among N-acquisition strategies and soils differing in nutrient availability, with stronger plant-soil feedback in younger, N-poor soils compared to older, P-impoverished soils. Our results highlight the importance of considering soil nutrient availability, plant-mediated abiotic and biotic soil properties, and plant nutrient-acquisition strategies when studying plant-soil feedback, thereby advancing our mechanistic understanding of plant-soil feedback during long-term ecosystem development.

AB - 1. Feedback between plants and soil is an important driver of plant community structure, but it remains unclear whether plant-soil feedback (PSF): (i) reflects changes in biotic or abiotic properties, (ii) depends on environmental context in terms of soil nutrient availability, and (iii) varies among plant functional groups. As soil nutrient availability strongly affects plant distribution and performance, soil chemical properties and plant nutrient-acquisition strategies might serve as important drivers of PSF.2. We used soils from young and old stages of a long-term soil chronosequence to represent sites where productivity is limited by nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability, respectively. We grew three N-fixing and three non-N-fixing plant species in soils conditioned by co-occurring conspecific or heterospecific species from each of these two stages. In addition, three soil treatments were used to distinguish biotic and abiotic effects on plant performance, allowing measurements of overall, biotic, and abiotic PSF.3. In young, N-poor soils, non-N-fixing plants grew better in soils from N-fixing plants than in their own soils (i.e., negative PSF). However, this difference was not only associated with improved abiotic conditions in soils from N-fixing plants but also with changes in soil biota.4. By contrast, no significant PSF was observed for N-fixing plants grown in young soils. Moreover, we did not observe any significant PSF for either N-fixing or non-N-fixing plants growing in old, P-impoverished soils.5. Synthesis. The direction and strength of plant-soil feedback (PSF) varied among N-acquisition strategies and soils differing in nutrient availability, with stronger plant-soil feedback in younger, N-poor soils compared to older, P-impoverished soils. Our results highlight the importance of considering soil nutrient availability, plant-mediated abiotic and biotic soil properties, and plant nutrient-acquisition strategies when studying plant-soil feedback, thereby advancing our mechanistic understanding of plant-soil feedback during long-term ecosystem development.

KW - chronosequence

KW - ecosystem retrogression

KW - Fabaceae

KW - long-term ecosystem development

KW - nutrient-acquisition strategies

KW - plant functional traits

KW - plant-soil (below-ground) interactions

KW - plant-soil feedback

KW - NUTRIENT LIMITATION

KW - COMMUNITY STRUCTURE

KW - FUNCTIONAL-GROUP

KW - SUCCESSION

KW - PHOSPHORUS

KW - BIODIVERSITY

KW - COEXISTENCE

KW - MECHANISMS

KW - DIVERSITY

KW - PATHOGENS

U2 - 10.1111/1365-2745.13048

DO - 10.1111/1365-2745.13048

M3 - Article

VL - 107

SP - 142

EP - 153

JO - Journal of Ecology

JF - Journal of Ecology

SN - 0022-0477

IS - 1

ER -