Aboveground community and species-specific plant biomass from the Jena Experiment (Dominance Experiment, year 2004)


This data set contains aboveground community plant biomass (Sown plant community, Weed plant community, Dead plant material, and Unidentified plant material; all measured in biomass as dry weight) and species-specific biomass from the sown species of the dominance experiment plots of a large grassland biodiversity experiment (the Jena Experiment; see further details below). In the dominance experiment, 206 grassland plots of 3.5 x 3.5 m were established from a pool of 9 plant species that can be dominant in semi-natural grassland communities of the study region. In May 2002, varying numbers of plant species from this species pool were sown into the plots to create a gradient of plant species richness (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 9 species). Plots were maintained by bi-annual weeding and mowing. Aboveground community biomass was harvested twice in May and August 2004 on all experimental plots of the dominance experiment. This was done by clipping the vegetation at 3 cm above ground in two rectangles of 0.2 x 0.5 m per experimental plot. The location of these rectangles was assigned by random selection of coordinates within the central area of the plots (excluding an outer edge of 50cm). The positions of the rectangles within plots were identical for all plots. The harvested biomass was sorted into categories: individual species for the sown plant species, weed plant species (species not sown at the particular plot), detached dead plant material, and remaining plant material that could not be assigned to any category. All biomass was dried to constant weight (70°C, >= 48 h) and weighed. Sown plant community biomass was calculated as the sum of the biomass of the individual sown species. The mean of both samples per plot and the individual measurements are provided in the data file. Overall, analyses of the community biomass data have identified species richness and the presence of particular species as an important driver of a positive biodiversity-productivity relationship

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