Estamos trabajando para incorporar este artículo al repositorio
Consulte el artículo en la página del editor
Consulte la política de Acceso Abierto del editor


Several experiments have shown that aboveground net primary productivity increases with plant species richness. The main mechanism proposed to explain this relationship is niche complementarity, which is determined by differences in plant traits that affect resource use. We combined field and laboratory experiments using the most abundant species of the Patagonian steppe to identify which are the traits that determine niche complementarity in this ecosystem. We estimated traits that affect carbon, water, microclimate, and nitrogen dynamics. The most important traits distinguishing among species, from the standpoint of their effects on ecosystem functioning, were potential soil nitrification, rooting depth, and soil thermal amplitude. Additionally, we explored the relationship between trait diversity and aboveground net primary production (ANPP) using a manipulative field experiment. ANPP and the fraction of ANPP accounted for by trait diversity increased with number of traits. The effect of trait diversity decreased as the number of traits increased. Here, the use of traits gave us a mechanistic understanding of niche complementarity in the Patagonian steppe. © 2012 by the Ecological Society of America.


Documento: Artículo
Título:Effects of plant species traits on ecosystem processes: Experiments in the Patagonian steppe
Autor:Flombaum, P.; Sala, O.E.
Filiación:Centro de Investigaciones Del Mar y la Atmósfera, Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y Los Océanos, Pabellón II Piso 2, C1428EGA Buenos Aires, Argentina
Instituto Franco-Argentino Sobre Estudios de Clima y Sus Impactos, CONICET/FCEN-UBA/UMI, Ciudad Universitaria, Pabellón II Piso 2, C1428EGA Buenos Aires, Argentina
School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501, United States
School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501, United States
Palabras clave:Aboveground net primary production (ANPP); Niche complementarity; Rooting depth; Soil nitrification; Soil thermal amplitude; Trait diversity; nitrogen; abundance; complementarity; experimental study; net primary production; nitrification; resource use; rooting; species richness; steppe; Argentina; article; classification; ecosystem; plant; plant root; soil; species difference; temperature; Argentina; Ecosystem; Nitrogen; Plant Roots; Plants; Soil; Species Specificity; Temperature; Patagonia
Página de inicio:227
Página de fin:234
Título revista:Ecology
Título revista abreviado:Ecology
CAS:nitrogen, 7727-37-9; Nitrogen, 7727-37-9; Soil


  • Brown, W.L., Wilson, E.O., Character displacement (1956) Systematic Zoology, 5, pp. 49-64
  • Cardinale, B.J., Biodiversity improves water quality through niche partitioning (2011) Nature, 472, pp. 86-89
  • Chase, J.M., Leibold, M.A., (2003) Ecological Niches: Linking Classical and Contemporary Approaches, , University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Eviner, V.T., Chapin III, F.S., Functional matrix: A conceptual framework for predicting multiple plant effects on ecosystem processes (2003) Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 34, pp. 455-485
  • Fargione, J., Tilman, D., Dybzinski, R., Lambers, J.H.R., Clark, C., Harpole, W.S., Knops, J.M.H., Loreau, M., From selection to complementarity: Shifts in the causes of biodiversity-productivity relationships in a long-term biodiversity experiment (2007) Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 274 (1611), pp. 871-876. , DOI 10.1098/rspb.2006.0351
  • Flombaum, P., Sala, O.E., A non-destructive and rapid method to estimate biomass and aboveground net primary production in arid environments (2007) Journal of Arid Environments, 69 (2), pp. 352-358. , DOI 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2006.09.008, PII S0140196306002886
  • Flombaum, P., Sala, O.E., Higher effect of plant species diversity on productivity in natural than artificial ecosystems (2008) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105 (16), pp. 6087-6090. ,, DOI 10.1073/pnas.0704801105
  • Golluscio, R.A., Sala, O.E., Plant functional types and ecological strategies in Patagonian forbs (1993) Journal of Vegetation Science, 4, pp. 839-846
  • Gonzalez-Polo, M., Austin, A.T., Spatial heterogeneity provides organic matter refuges for soil microbial activity in the Patagonian steppe, Argentina (2009) Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 41, pp. 1348-1351
  • Hector, A., Plant diversity and productivity experiments in European grasslands (1999) Science, 286, pp. 1123-1127
  • Huston, M.A., Hidden treatments in ecological experiments: Re-evaluating the ecosystem function of biodiversity (1997) Oecologia, 110, pp. 449-460
  • Kahmen, A., Renker, C., Unsicker, S.B., Buchmann, N., Niche complementarity for nitrogen: An explanation for the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning relationship? (2006) Ecology, 87, p. 1244
  • Kawecki, T.J., Ebert, D., Conceptual issues in local adaptation (2004) Ecology Letters, 7 (12), pp. 1225-1241. , DOI 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2004.00684.x
  • Lopez, N.I., Austin, A.T., Sala, O.E., Mendez, B.S., Controls on nitrification in a water-limited ecosystem: Experimental inhibition of ammonia-oxidising bacteria in the Patagonian steppe (2003) Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 35 (12), pp. 1609-1613. , DOI 10.1016/j.soilbio.2003.08.005
  • Loreau, M., Hector, A., Partitioning selection and complementarity in biodiversity experiments (2001) Nature, 412 (6842), pp. 72-76. , DOI 10.1038/35083573
  • McKane, R.B., Johnson, L.C., Shaver, G.R., Nadelhoffer, K.J., Rastetter, E.B., Fry, B., Giblin, A.E., Murray, G., Resource-based niches provide a basis for plant species diversity and dominance in arctic tundra (2002) Nature, 415 (6867), pp. 68-71. , DOI 10.1038/415068a
  • McKitrick, M.C., Phylogenetic constraint in evolutionary theory: Has it any explanatory power? (1993) Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 24, pp. 307-330
  • Sala, O.E., Golluscio, R.A., Lauenroth, W.K., Soriano, A., Resource partitioning between shrubs and grasses in the Patagonian steppe (1989) Oecologia, 81 (4), pp. 501-505
  • Schwinning, S., Ehleringer, J.R., Water use trade-offs and optimal adaptations to pulse-driven arid ecosystems (2001) Journal of Ecology, 89 (3), pp. 464-480. , DOI 10.1046/j.1365-2745.2001.00576.x
  • Smith, K.A., Ball, T., Conen, F., Dobbie, K.E., Massheder, J., Rey, A., Exchange of greenhouse gases between soil and atmosphere: Interactions of soil physical factors and biological processes (2003) European Journal of Soil Science, 54 (4), pp. 779-791. , DOI 10.1046/j.1351-0754.2003.0567.x
  • Tilman, D., Knops, J., Wedin, D., Reich, P., Ritchie, M., Siemann, E., The influence of functional diversity and composition on ecosystem processes (1997) Science, 277 (5330), pp. 1300-1302. , DOI 10.1126/science.277.5330.1300
  • Tilman, D., Lehman, C.L., Thomson, K.T., Plant diversity and ecosystem productivity: Theoretical considerations (1997) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 94 (5), pp. 1857-1861. , DOI 10.1073/pnas.94.5.1857
  • Vitousek, P.M., Hooper, D.U., Biological diversity and terrestrial ecosystem biogeochemistry (1993) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function, pp. 3-14. , E. D. Schulze and H. A. Mooney, editors Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany
  • Yahdjian, L.M., Sala, O.E., Austin, A.T., Differential controls of water input on litter decomposition and nitrogen dynamics in the Patagonian steppe (2006) Ecosystems, 9, pp. 128-141


---------- APA ----------
Flombaum, P. & Sala, O.E. (2012) . Effects of plant species traits on ecosystem processes: Experiments in the Patagonian steppe. Ecology, 93(2), 227-234.
---------- CHICAGO ----------
Flombaum, P., Sala, O.E. "Effects of plant species traits on ecosystem processes: Experiments in the Patagonian steppe" . Ecology 93, no. 2 (2012) : 227-234.
---------- MLA ----------
Flombaum, P., Sala, O.E. "Effects of plant species traits on ecosystem processes: Experiments in the Patagonian steppe" . Ecology, vol. 93, no. 2, 2012, pp. 227-234.
---------- VANCOUVER ----------
Flombaum, P., Sala, O.E. Effects of plant species traits on ecosystem processes: Experiments in the Patagonian steppe. Ecology. 2012;93(2):227-234.