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  How do earthworms, soil texture and plant composition affect infiltration along an experimental plant diversity gradient in grassland?

Fischer, C., Roscher, C., Jensen, B., Eisenhauer, N., Baade, J., Attinger, S., et al. (2014). How do earthworms, soil texture and plant composition affect infiltration along an experimental plant diversity gradient in grassland? PLoS One, 9(6): e98987. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098987.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0019-BABB-4 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-0570-8
Genre: Journal Article

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0098987 (Publisher version)
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 Creators:
Fischer, Christine1, Author              
Roscher, Christiane, Author
Jensen, Britta, Author
Eisenhauer, Nico, Author
Baade, Jussi, Author
Attinger, Sabine, Author
Scheu, Stefan, Author
Weisser, Wolfgang W., Author
Schumacher, Jens, Author
Hildebrandt, Antje2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society, ou_1497752              
2FSU Jena Research Group Ecohydrology, Dr. A. Hildebrandt, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry , Max Planck Society, ou_2253648              

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 Abstract: Background: Infiltration is a key process in determining the water balance, but so far effects of earthworms, soil texture, plant species diversity and their interaction on infiltration capacity have not been studied. Methodology/Principal Findings: We measured infiltration capacity in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density nested in plots of different plant species (1, 4, and 16 species) and plant functional group richness and composition (1 to 4 groups; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs). In summer, earthworm presence significantly increased infiltration, whereas in fall effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration were due to plant-mediated changes in earthworm biomass. Effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration even reversed effects of texture. We propose two pathways: (i) direct, probably by modifying the pore spectrum and (ii) indirect, by enhancing or suppressing earthworm biomass, which in turn influenced infiltration capacity due to change in burrowing activity of earthworms. Conclusions/Significance: Overall, the results suggest that spatial and temporal variations in soil hydraulic properties can be explained by biotic processes, especially the presence of certain plant functional groups affecting earthworm biomass, while soil texture had no significant effect. Therefore biotic parameters should be taken into account in hydrological applications.

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 Dates: 2014-05-092014-06-112014
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: Other: BGC2054
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098987
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Title: PLoS One
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 9 (6) Sequence Number: e98987 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1932-6203
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1000000000277850