Regional and local patterns in plant species richness with respect to resource availability
Article first published online: 23 APR 2003
Volume 100, Issue 3, pages 417–428, March 2003
How to Cite
Cornwell, W. K. and Grubb, P. J. (2003), Regional and local patterns in plant species richness with respect to resource availability. Oikos, 100: 417–428. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0706.2003.11697.x
- Issue published online: 23 APR 2003
- Article first published online: 23 APR 2003
- Manuscript Accepted 15 July 2002
The hump-shaped relationship between plant species richness and productivity is a well-established and important paradigm. While plot-based species richness patterns on local scales have received much attention, little is currently known about species-based patterns on a regional scale. Using Ellenberg's indicator values for 1802 plant species in central Europe, we assess the patterns in regional species richness with respect to light, water, and mineral nutrient availability – three variables that strongly influence productivity. The results of this analysis are compared to those of published studies on smaller scales leading to the following conclusions:
- 1On a regional scale in central Europe there is a hump-shaped relationship between soil nutrient supply and plant species richness within a given biome.
- 2The peak in species richness for grasslands and wetlands occurs on nutrient-poor soils, while the peak for forests is on nutrient-rich soils.
- 3Gradients in plant productivity controlled by different variables (i.e. water, nutrients, or disturbance) have dissimilar effects on plant species richness.