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2021

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023

Agronomy and Crop Sciences

Underyielding

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Mechanisms Of Overyielding And Coexistence In Diverse Tallgrass Prairie Communities, Leslie E. Forero May 2021

Mechanisms Of Overyielding And Coexistence In Diverse Tallgrass Prairie Communities, Leslie E. Forero

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023

Plants compete for the same basic nutrient and water resources. According to the competitive exclusion principle, when a substantial overlap in resource pools exists, the best competitor for resources should drive all other species to extinction. The ability for plants to coexist in violation of the competitive exclusion principle is the “biodiversity paradox”. Coexistence is actually beneficial for plants: as species diversity increases, you typically see increases in plant biomass production (known as the biodiversity-productivity relationship). The mechanisms behind coexistence and the biodiversity-productivity relationship remain an ecological mystery. One hypothesis is that plants obtain water and nutrients from different places …