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Heterogenous soil resource distribution and plant responses - from individual-plant growth to ecosystem functioning

Huber-Sannwald, E, RB Jackson
Progress in Botany, K Esser, U Lüttge, JW Kadereit, W Beyschlag (eds).
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A major interest in ecology has long been the study of the relationship between heterogeneous resource availability and the distribution of organisms. Such studies have examined the interactions of resource heterogeneity with the growth and distribution of individuals, species coexistence and species diversity. They have also examined resource influences on community dynamics and ecosystem processes (Grime 1979; Tilman 1988; Vandermeer 1988; Schlesinger et al. 1990; Hobbie 1992; Wormald 1992; Lawton 1994; Giller et al. 1997; Wardle et al. 1999). Results of removal experiments on community structure and ecosystem productivity show that the change to either a more productive or less productive system largely depends on the relative partitioning of local resource use in the system and the associated dynamics of the niche structure (Lawton and Brown 1993; Begon et al. 1996; Hooper and Vitousek 1997, 1998; Hooper 1998; Wardle et al. 1999).