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International Journal of Ecology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 856869, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/856869
Research Article

Plant Richness-Biomass Relationships in Restored Northern Great Plains Grasslands (USA)

1Range Science Graduate Program, School of Natural Resource Sciences, North Dakota State University, NDSU Dep. 7510, P.O. Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, USA
2Natural Resources Management Interdisciplinary Program, School of Natural Resource Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, USA
3Natural Resources Management Interdisciplinary Program, School of Natural Resource Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, USA

Received 30 November 2010; Revised 4 March 2011; Accepted 25 March 2011

Academic Editor: Shibu Jose

Copyright © 2011 Mario E. Biondini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We investigated plant richness-biomass relationships in tall grass (Field 1, 12 years) and mixed grass (Field 2, 5 years) restoration experiments located in the northern Great Plains grasslands (USA). They were organized as randomized factorial experiments with fertilization rates (N or P) and number of species as factors. Results were as follows: (1) above ground biomass (AGB) increased and year-to-year variability declined with plant species and functional form richness. (2) AGB was higher when the species had various combinations: (a) high relative growth rates, root density, root surface area, N or P uptake rates, and N use efficiency; (b) low root-to-shoot ratio and root plasticity. (3) Biomass stability was positively related to high root surface area in Field 1 and N use efficiency and P uptake rates in Field 2. (4) Invasion of nonseeded species declined with plant species and functional form richness.