Colorado mountains
From Long-Term Data to Understanding: Toward a Predictive Ecology
2015 LTER ASM Estes Park, CO - August 30 - September 2, 2015

Using plant-soil feedbacks to predict plant biomass in diversity experiments

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Leslie Forero
Andrew Kulmatiski
Karen Beard
Justin Heavilin
Josephine Grenzer
Nicole Nolan

Plants are capable of creating soils that produce feedbacks upon plant growth, but the role of plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) on plant growth in communities remains unclear.  We developed a full-factorial two-phase greenhouse PSF experiment and used growth and plant-soil feedback information to predict biomass for 155 different plant communities using five different plant growth models.  Models that incorporated plant-soil feedback information improved all five models by 10-23%.