Plant community composition steers grassland vegetation via soil legacy effects

R. Heinen (Corresponding author), Emilia Hannula, J. De Long, M.D. Huberty, R. Jongen, A.M. Kielak, K. Steinauer, F. Zhu, T.M. Bezemer

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Abstract

Soil legacy effects are commonly highlighted as drivers of plant community dynamics and species co‐existence. However, experimental evidence for soil legacy effects of conditioning plant communities on responding plant communities under natural conditions is lacking. We conditioned 192 grassland plots using six different plant communities with different ratios of grasses and forbs and for different durations. Soil microbial legacies were evident for soil fungi, but not for soil bacteria, while soil abiotic parameters did not significantly change in response to conditioning. The soil legacies affected the composition of the succeeding vegetation. Plant communities with different ratios of grasses and forbs left soil legacies that negatively affected succeeding plants of the same functional type. We conclude that fungal‐mediated soil legacy effects play a significant role in vegetation assembly of natural plant communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-982
JournalEcology Letters
Volume23
Issue number6
Early online date2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • NIOO
  • Plan_S-Compliant-TA

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    Data from: Plant community composition steers grassland vegetation via soil legacy effects

    Heinen, R. (Creator), Hannula, E. (Creator), De Long, J. (Creator), Huberty, M. (Creator), Jongen, R. (Creator), Kielak, A. (Creator), Steinauer, K. (Creator), Zhu, F. (Creator) & Bezemer, T. M. (Creator), Dryad, 31 Dec 2020

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    Cite this

    Heinen, R., Hannula, E., De Long, J., Huberty, M. D., Jongen, R., Kielak, A. M., Steinauer, K., Zhu, F., & Bezemer, T. M. (2020). Plant community composition steers grassland vegetation via soil legacy effects. Ecology Letters, 23(6), 973-982. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13497