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Title: Effect of genotypic richness, drought and mycorrhizal associations on productivity and functional traits of a dominant C4 grass

While the relationship between genetic diversity and plant productivity has been established for many species, it is unclear whether environmental conditions and biotic associations alter the nature of the relationship. To address this, we investigated the interactive effects of genotypic diversity, drought and mycorrhizal association on plant productivity and plant traits. Our mesocosm study was set up at the Konza Prairie Biological Research Station, located in the south of Manhattan, Kansas. Andropogon gerardii, the focal species for our study, was planted in two levels of genotypic richness treatment: monoculture or three-genotype polyculture. A rainout shelter was constructed over half of the experimental area to impose a drought and Thiophanate-methyl fungicide was used to suppress arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in selected pots within each genotypic richness and drought treatment. Genotypic richness and mycorrhizal association did not affect above-ground biomass of A. gerardii. Drought differentially affected the above-ground biomass, the number of flowers and bolts of A. gerardii genotypes, and the biomass and the functional traits also differed for monoculture versus polyculture. Our results suggest that drought and genotypic richness can have variable outcomes for different genotypes of a plant species.

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Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Hui, Dafeng
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Plant Ecology
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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