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Nutrient cycling drives plant community trait assembly and ecosystem functioning in a tropical mountain biodiversity hotspot

Dantas de Paula, Mateus; Forrest, Matthew; Langan, Liam; Bendix, Jörg; Homeier, Jürgen; Velescu, Andre 1; Wilcke, Wolfgang 1; Hickler, Thomas
1 Institut für Geographie und Geoökologie (IFGG), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


- Community trait assembly in highly diverse tropical rainforests is still poorly understood. Based on more than a decade of field measurements in a biodiversity hotspot of southern Ecuador, we implemented plant trait variation and improved soil organic matter dynamics in a widely used dynamic vegetation model (the Lund-Potsdam-Jena General Ecosystem Simulator, LPJ-GUESS) to explore the main drivers of community assembly along an elevational gradient.
- In the model used here (LPJ-GUESS-NTD, where NTD stands for nutrient-trait dynamics), each plant individual can possess different trait combinations, and the community trait composition emerges via ecological sorting. Further model developments include plant growth limitation by phosphorous (P) and mycorrhizal nutrient uptake.
- The new model version reproduced the main observed community trait shift and related vegetation processes along the elevational gradient, but only if nutrient limitations to plant growth were activated. In turn, when traits were fixed, low productivity communities emerged due to reduced nutrient-use efficiency. Mycorrhizal nutrient uptake, when deactivated, reduced net primary production (NPP) by 61–72% along the gradient.
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Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000137439
Veröffentlicht am 15.09.2021
DOI: 10.1111/nph.17600
Zitationen: 5
Web of Science
Zitationen: 5
Zitationen: 6
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Geographie und Geoökologie (IFGG)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsmonat/-jahr 10.2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 0028-646X, 1469-8137
KITopen-ID: 1000137439
Erschienen in The new phytologist
Verlag John Wiley and Sons
Band 232
Heft 2
Seiten 551-566
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 06.07.2021
Schlagwörter dynamic vegetation model, mycorrhiza, nutrient cycling, plant community assembly, plant functional traits, tropical montane forests (TMF).
Nachgewiesen in Web of Science
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