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Influence of plant community composition on biomass production in planted grasslands.

Henschell MA, Webster CR, Flaspohler DJ, Fortin CR - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: While plant community composition and diversity varied significantly by planting type, biomass yield did not vary significantly among planting types (ANOVA; P >0.05).Biomass yield was positively correlated with plant community evenness, richness, C4 grass cover, and floristic quality index, but negatively correlated with plant species diversity in our multi-season multiple linear mixed effects models.Our results suggest that promoting the establishment of fields with high species evenness and floristic quality may increase biomass yield, while simultaneously supporting biodiversity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
United States energy policy mandates increased use of renewable fuels. Restoring grasslands could contribute to a portion of this requirement through biomass harvest for bioenergy use. We investigated which plant community characteristics are associated with differences in biomass yield from a range of realistic native prairie plantings (n = 11; i.e., conservation planting, restoration, and wildlife cover). Our primary goal was to understand whether patterns in plant community composition and the Floristic Quality Index (FQI) were related to productivity as evidenced by dormant season biomass yield. FQI is an objective measure of how closely a plant community represents that of a pre-European settlement community. Our research was conducted in planted fields of native tallgrass prairie species, and provided a gradient in floristic quality index, species richness, species diversity, and species evenness in south-central Wisconsin during 2008 and 2009. We used a network of 15 randomly located 1 m2 plots within each field to characterize the plant community and estimate biomass yield by clipping the plots at the end of each growing season. While plant community composition and diversity varied significantly by planting type, biomass yield did not vary significantly among planting types (ANOVA; P >0.05). Biomass yield was positively correlated with plant community evenness, richness, C4 grass cover, and floristic quality index, but negatively correlated with plant species diversity in our multi-season multiple linear mixed effects models. Concordantly, plots with biomass yield in the lowest quartile (biomass yield < 3500 kh/ha) had 8% lower plant community evenness and 9% lower FQI scores than those in the upper quartile (biomass yield > 5800 kh/ha). Our results suggest that promoting the establishment of fields with high species evenness and floristic quality may increase biomass yield, while simultaneously supporting biodiversity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Variable plots for the model average for 2008 data.The regression line for multiple regression is displayed as the intercept and slope for the indicated predictor variable with the mean of all other variables held constant. Coefficients for each model are listed in Table 4. Log-transformed variables have been back-transformed. (A) The relationship between the percent of C4 grass cover within 1 m2 plots and biomass yield (kg/ha). (B) The relationship between species evenness within 1 m2 plots and biomass yield (kg/ha).
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pone.0125758.g003: Variable plots for the model average for 2008 data.The regression line for multiple regression is displayed as the intercept and slope for the indicated predictor variable with the mean of all other variables held constant. Coefficients for each model are listed in Table 4. Log-transformed variables have been back-transformed. (A) The relationship between the percent of C4 grass cover within 1 m2 plots and biomass yield (kg/ha). (B) The relationship between species evenness within 1 m2 plots and biomass yield (kg/ha).

Mentions: Because of the relatively few models with ΔBIC < 4, our model averaging results closely followed the results from individual models. The model average for 2008 contained C4 grass cover and E′, both of which were positively associated with biomass yield (Table 4, Fig 3). All five predictor variables were found in the model average for 2009 and 2008 + 2009 (Table 4, Figs 4 and 5). C4 grass cover, FQI, S, and E' were positively associated with biomass yield, while H' was consistently negatively associated with biomass yield in the 2009 and 2008 + 2009 model average (Table 4, Figs 4 and 5).


Influence of plant community composition on biomass production in planted grasslands.

Henschell MA, Webster CR, Flaspohler DJ, Fortin CR - PLoS ONE (2015)

Variable plots for the model average for 2008 data.The regression line for multiple regression is displayed as the intercept and slope for the indicated predictor variable with the mean of all other variables held constant. Coefficients for each model are listed in Table 4. Log-transformed variables have been back-transformed. (A) The relationship between the percent of C4 grass cover within 1 m2 plots and biomass yield (kg/ha). (B) The relationship between species evenness within 1 m2 plots and biomass yield (kg/ha).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4446319&req=5

pone.0125758.g003: Variable plots for the model average for 2008 data.The regression line for multiple regression is displayed as the intercept and slope for the indicated predictor variable with the mean of all other variables held constant. Coefficients for each model are listed in Table 4. Log-transformed variables have been back-transformed. (A) The relationship between the percent of C4 grass cover within 1 m2 plots and biomass yield (kg/ha). (B) The relationship between species evenness within 1 m2 plots and biomass yield (kg/ha).
Mentions: Because of the relatively few models with ΔBIC < 4, our model averaging results closely followed the results from individual models. The model average for 2008 contained C4 grass cover and E′, both of which were positively associated with biomass yield (Table 4, Fig 3). All five predictor variables were found in the model average for 2009 and 2008 + 2009 (Table 4, Figs 4 and 5). C4 grass cover, FQI, S, and E' were positively associated with biomass yield, while H' was consistently negatively associated with biomass yield in the 2009 and 2008 + 2009 model average (Table 4, Figs 4 and 5).

Bottom Line: While plant community composition and diversity varied significantly by planting type, biomass yield did not vary significantly among planting types (ANOVA; P >0.05).Biomass yield was positively correlated with plant community evenness, richness, C4 grass cover, and floristic quality index, but negatively correlated with plant species diversity in our multi-season multiple linear mixed effects models.Our results suggest that promoting the establishment of fields with high species evenness and floristic quality may increase biomass yield, while simultaneously supporting biodiversity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
United States energy policy mandates increased use of renewable fuels. Restoring grasslands could contribute to a portion of this requirement through biomass harvest for bioenergy use. We investigated which plant community characteristics are associated with differences in biomass yield from a range of realistic native prairie plantings (n = 11; i.e., conservation planting, restoration, and wildlife cover). Our primary goal was to understand whether patterns in plant community composition and the Floristic Quality Index (FQI) were related to productivity as evidenced by dormant season biomass yield. FQI is an objective measure of how closely a plant community represents that of a pre-European settlement community. Our research was conducted in planted fields of native tallgrass prairie species, and provided a gradient in floristic quality index, species richness, species diversity, and species evenness in south-central Wisconsin during 2008 and 2009. We used a network of 15 randomly located 1 m2 plots within each field to characterize the plant community and estimate biomass yield by clipping the plots at the end of each growing season. While plant community composition and diversity varied significantly by planting type, biomass yield did not vary significantly among planting types (ANOVA; P >0.05). Biomass yield was positively correlated with plant community evenness, richness, C4 grass cover, and floristic quality index, but negatively correlated with plant species diversity in our multi-season multiple linear mixed effects models. Concordantly, plots with biomass yield in the lowest quartile (biomass yield < 3500 kh/ha) had 8% lower plant community evenness and 9% lower FQI scores than those in the upper quartile (biomass yield > 5800 kh/ha). Our results suggest that promoting the establishment of fields with high species evenness and floristic quality may increase biomass yield, while simultaneously supporting biodiversity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus