Plant species richness negatively affects root decomposition in grasslands
Hongmei Chen, Liesje Mommer, Jasper van Ruijven, Hans de Kroon, Christine Fischer, Arthur Gessler, Anke Hildebrandt, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Christian Wirth and Alexandra Weigelt
Version of Record online: 13 SEP 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12650
With three decomposition experiments, Chen et al. demonstrate that root decomposition decreases with increasing plant diversity and that changes in both root substrate quality and soil environmental conditions contribute to this negative effect of plant divers. This study promotes the mechanistic understanding of increased soil carbon accumulation in more diverse grassland plant communities.