Plant species diversity alters fine root traits for higher resource
AbstractFine root traits are critical to the plant's capacity and efficiency to
uptake water and nutrients. Although plant diversity is decreasing, our
understanding of its effects on fine root traits remains elusive. By
synthesizing 103 studies, we found that the effects of plant mixtures
were highly dependent on species richness in mixtures, stand age, and
soil depth. The positive mixture effects on root biomass increased with
species richness, soil depth, and mean annual temperature. Plant mixture
effects on root length density shifted from negative to positive, from
young to older stands, topsoil to deep soils, and warm to cold climates.
The mixture effects on specific root length shifted from positive to
negative, from two to higher number species mixtures and topsoil to deep
soils, and then negative to positive with increasing stand age. Our
results demonstrate the profound plasticity of root traits in response
to productivity dynamics in plant mixtures.