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Single introductions of soil biota and plants generate long-term legacies in soil and plant community assembly

Wubs, E. R. J., van der Putten, W. H., Mortimer, S. R., Korthals, G. W., Duyts, H., Wagenaar, R. and Bezemer, T. M. (2019) Single introductions of soil biota and plants generate long-term legacies in soil and plant community assembly. Ecology Letters, 22 (7). pp. 1145-1151. ISSN 1461-0248

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/ele.13271

Abstract/Summary

Recent demonstrations of the role of plant-soil biota interactions have challenged the conventional view that vegetation changes are mainly driven by changing abiotic conditions. However, while this concept has been validated under natural conditions, our understanding of the long-term consequences of plant- soil interactions for above-belowground community assembly is restricted to mathematical and conceptual model projections. Here, we demonstrate experimentally that one-time additions of soil biota and plant seeds alter soil-borne nematode and plant community composition in semi-natural grassland for 20 years. Over time, aboveground and belowground community composition became increasingly correlated, suggesting an increasing connectedness of soil biota and plants. We conclude that the initial composition of not only plant communities, but also soil communities has a long-lasting impact on the trajectory of community assembly.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:84526
Uncontrolled Keywords:community assembly, plant-soil biota interactions, nature restoration, soil legacy, whole-soil inoculation
Publisher:Wiley

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