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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Grassland ecosystems cover around 37% of the ice-free land surface on Earth and have critical socioeconomic importance globally. As in many terrestrial ecosystems, biological dinitrogen (N 2 ) fixation represents an essential natural source of nitrogen (N). The ability to fix atmospheric N 2 is limited to diazotrophs, a diverse guild of bacteria and archaea. To elucidate the abiotic (climatic, edaphic), biotic (vegetation), and spatial factors that govern diazotrophic community composition in global grassland soils, amplicon sequencing of the dinitrogenase reductase gene— nifH —was performed on samples from a replicated standardized nutrient [N, phosphorus (P)] addition experiment in 23 grassland sites spanning four continents. Sites harbored distinct and diverse diazotrophic communities, with most of reads assigned to diazotrophic taxa within the Alphaproteobacteria (e.g., Rhizobiales ), Cyanobacteria (e.g., Nostocales ), and Deltaproteobacteria (e.g., Desulforomonadales ) groups. Likely because of the wide range of climatic and edaphic conditions and spatial distance among sampling sites, only a few of the taxa were present at all sites. The best model describing the variation among soil diazotrophic communities at the OTU level combined climate seasonality (temperature in the wettest quarter and precipitation in the warmest quarter) with edaphic (C:N ratio, soil texture) and vegetation factorsmore »(various perennial plant covers). Additionally, spatial variables (geographic distance) correlated with diazotrophic community variation, suggesting an interplay of environmental variables and spatial distance. The diazotrophic communities appeared to be resilient to elevated nutrient levels, as 2–4 years of chronic N and P additions had little effect on the community composition. However, it remains to be seen, whether changes in the community composition occur after exposure to long-term, chronic fertilization regimes.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 28, 2023
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  4. Global change drivers, such as anthropogenic nutrient inputs, are increasing globally. Nutrient deposition simultaneously alters plant biodiversity, species composition and ecosystem processes like aboveground biomass production. These changes are underpinned by species extinction, colonisation and shifting relative abundance. Here, we use the Price equation to quantify and link the contributions of species that are lost, gained or that persist to change in aboveground biomass in 59 experimental grassland sites. Under ambient (control) conditions, compositional and biomass turnover was high, and losses (i.e. local extinctions) were balanced by gains (i.e. colonisation). Under fertilisation, the decline in species richness resulted from increased species loss and decreases in species gained. Biomass increase under fertilisation resulted mostly from species that persist and to a lesser extent from species gained. Drivers of ecological change can interact relatively independently with diversity, composition and ecosystem processes and functions such as aboveground biomass due to the individual contributions of species lost, gained or persisting.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
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  7. Penuelas, Josep (Ed.)
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  8. Thrall, Peter (Ed.)
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  9. Haddad, Nick (Ed.)