Prof. Dr. Carsten F. Dormann
(University of Freiburg)
JunProf. Dr. Anke Hildebrandt
(University of Jena)
Evaluate the importance of fluctuations in soil water content for plant species diversity
H1. Plant species trade-off in their ability to tolerate drought and water logging (as proposed by Silvertown et al. (1999).
H2. Fluctuating soil moisture, not adaptation to local conditions, is driving diversity.
Fluctuations shift optimal conditions between species, allowing coexistence (“storage effect”) and thus higher diversity.
Statistical analysis of the trade-off idea using vegetation and soil moisture data from the Biodiversity Exploratories (grassland and forest) and randomization test-based analysis.
Additionally, we shall carry out a mesocosm experiment as a proof of principle: Manipulations of water level fluctuations will lead to differences in composition and diversity.