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Plant Species' Origin Predicts Dominance and Response to Nutrient Enrichment and Herbivores in Global Grasslands
Nature Communications
  • Eric W. Seabloom, University of Minnesota
  • Elizabeth T. Borer, University of Minnesota
  • Yvonne M. Buckley, University of Queensland, Australia
  • Elsa E. Cleland, University of California - San Diego
  • Kendi F. Davies, University of Colorado - Boulder
  • Jennifer Firn, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • W. Stanley Harpole, Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research – UFZ, Germany
  • Yann Hautier, University of Minnesota
  • Eric M. Lind, University of Minnesota
  • Andrew S. MacDougall, University of Guelph, Canada
  • John L. Orrock, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Suzanne M. Prober, CSIRO Land and Water Flagship, Australia
  • Peter B. Adler, Utah State University
  • T. Michael Anderson, Wake Forest University
  • Jonathan D. Bakker, University of Washington
  • Lori A. Biederman, Iowa State University
  • Dana M. Blumenthal, USDA Agricultural Research Service
  • Cynthia S. Brown, Colorado State University
  • Lars A. Brudvig, Michigan State University
  • Marc Cadotte, University of Toronto - Scarborough
  • Chengjin Chu, Lanzhou University, China
  • Kathryn L. Cottingham, Dartmouth College
  • Michael J. Crawley, Imperial College London, UK
  • Ellen I. Damschen, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Carla M. Dantonio, University of California - Santa Barbara
  • Nicole M. DeCrappeo, U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
  • Guozhen Du, Lanzhou University, China
  • Philip A. Fay, USDA-ARS Grassland Soil and Water Research Lab
  • Paul Frater, Iowa State University
  • Daniel S. Gruner, University of Maryland
  • Nicole Hagenah, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Andy Hector, University of Oxford, UK
  • Helmut Hillebrand, Carl-von-Ossietzky University, Germany
  • Kirsten S. Hofmockel, Iowa State University
  • Hope C. Humphries, University of Colorado - Boulder
  • Virginia L. Jin, USDA-ARS Agroecosystem Management Research Unit
  • Adam Kay, University of St. Thomas
  • Kevin P. Kirkman, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Julia A. Klein, Colorado State University
  • Johannes M. H. Knops, University of Nebraska
  • Kimberly J. La Pierre, University of California - Berkeley
  • Laura Ladwig, University of New Mexico
  • John G. Lambrinos, Oregon State University
  • Qi Li, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  • Wei Li, Iowa State University
  • Robin Marushia, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Rebecca L. McCulley, University of Kentucky
  • Brett A. Melbourne, University of Colorado - Boulder
  • Charles E. Mitchell, University of North Carolina
  • Joslin L. Moore, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • John Morgan, La Trobe University, Canada
  • Brent Mortensen, Iowa State University
  • Lydia R. O'Halloran, Oregon State University
  • David A. Pyke, U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
  • Anita C. Risch, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Switzerland
  • Mahesh Sankaran, National Centre for Biological Sciences, India
  • Martin Schuetz, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Switzerland
  • Anna Simonsen, University of Toronto - St. George
  • Melinda D. Smith, Colorado State University
  • Carly J. Stevens, Lancaster University, UK
  • Lauren Sullivan, Iowa State University
  • Elizabeth Wolkovich, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Peter D. Wragg, University of Minnesota
  • Justin Wright, Duke University
  • Louie Yang, University of California - Davis
Exotic species dominate many communities; however the functional significance of species' biogeographic origin remains highly contentious. This debate is fuelled in part by the lack of globally replicated, systematic data assessing the relationship between species provenance, function and response to perturbations. We examined the abundance of native and exotic plant species at 64 grasslands in 13 countries, and at a subset of the sites we experimentally tested native and exotic species responses to two fundamental drivers of invasion, mineral nutrient supplies and vertebrate herbivory. Exotic species are six times more likely to dominate communities than native species. Furthermore, while experimental nutrient addition increases the cover and richness of exotic species, nutrients decrease native diversity and cover. Native and exotic species also differ in their response to vertebrate consumer exclusion. These results suggest that species origin has functional significance, and that eutrophication will lead to increased exotic dominance in grasslands.
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Published in Nature Communications, v. 6, article 7710, p. 1-8.

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This work was generated using data from the Nutrient Network ( experiment, funded at the site scale by individual researchers. Coordination and data management have been supported by funding to E. Borer and E. Seabloom from the National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network (NSF-DEB-1042132), Long Term Ecological Research (NSF-DEB-1234162 to Cedar Creek LTER) programs and the Institute on the Environment (DG-0001-13).

Citation Information
Eric W. Seabloom, Elizabeth T. Borer, Yvonne M. Buckley, Elsa E. Cleland, et al.. "Plant Species' Origin Predicts Dominance and Response to Nutrient Enrichment and Herbivores in Global Grasslands" Nature Communications Vol. 6 (2015) p. 1 - 8
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