Biodiversity and plant competition

Patterns of species diversity have long been of interest to ecologists.  One promising general model for the prediction of herbaceous plant diversity is the standing crop/species richness relationship (‘hump-backed model’) first proposed by Grime (1973), which states that species richness reaches a maximum at intermediate standing crop.  Many studies have found patterns consistent with the ‘hump-backed model’ but others have not.  The purpose of our study is to investigate spatial scale and its effect on the relationship between species richness and plant biomass.  We investigate the general applicability of the ‘hump-backed model’ by expanding our database to include herbaceous plant communities from temperate grasslands worldwide. We also study patterns in alpha, beta and gamma diversity as it relates to plant biomass and spatial scale.

Research supported byNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Partners: Martin Zobel – Estonia; Anna-Maria Csergo – Romania; Jason Pither/John Klironomos/Dave Ensing – Canada; Norbert Hoelzel – Russia/Kazakhstan; Marcelo Sternberg/Ofer Cohen – Israel; JC Cahill – Canada; Jake Goheen/Robert Pringle/Todd Palmer – East Africa; Edward Bork/Cameron Carlyle – Canada; Bryan Foster – USA; Ruijun Long/Zhanhuan Shang – China; Hugh Henry – Canada; Bazartseren Boldgiv – Mongolia; Elsa Cleland – USA; John Morgan – Australia; Carl Beierkuhnlein/Reinhold Stahlmann/Samuel Hoffmann – Germany; Bastow Wilson – New Zealand; Shu-ichi Sugiyama – Japan; Allesandra Fidelis – Brazil; Gerhard Overbeck/Valério Pillar/Carlos Nabinger – Brazil; Sandra Diaz – Argentina; Pete Manning – UK; Randy Mitchell/Heath Garris – USA; Camilla Wellstein/+ colleagues – Italy; Sandor Bartha/Szilárd Szentes – Hungary; Mária Höhn – Hungary; Mohammad Hassan Jouri – Iran; Gretel van Rooyen – South Africa; Kamal Naseri/M. Mesdaghi – Iran; Anke Jentsch – Germany

Past students: Amanda Schmidt (MSc)

Website:  HerbDivNet

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Grid in Tibetan Plateau, China
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Grid in BC, Canada