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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.


Doc
Soil moisture fluctuations and plant diversity: testing the hydrological niche trade-off hypothesis
Kolodziej V. (2016): Soil moisture fluctuations and plant diversity: testing the hydrological niche trade-off hypothesis. Bachelor thesis, University Freiburg

Scientific assistants

Prof. Dr. Carsten Dormann
Project manager
Prof. Dr. Carsten Dormann
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Jun Prof. Dr. Anke Hildebrandt
Project manager
Jun Prof. Dr. Anke Hildebrandt
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