Soil chemical legacies trigger species-specific and context-dependent root responses in later arriving plants

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Soil legacies play an important role for the creation of priority effects. However, we still poorly understand to what extent the metabolome found in the soil solution of a plant community is conditioned by its species composition and whether soil chemical legacies affect subsequent species during assembly. To test these hypotheses, we collected soil solutions from forb or grass communities and evaluated how the metabolome of these soil solutions affected the growth, biomass allocation and functional traits of a forb (Dianthus deltoides) and a grass species (Festuca rubra). Results showed that the metabolomes found in the soil solutions of forb and grass communities differed in composition and chemical diversity. While soil chemical legacies did not have any effect on F. rubra, root foraging by D. deltoides decreased when plants received the soil solution from a grass or a forb community. Structural equation modelling showed that reduced soil exploration by D. deltoides arose via either a root growth‐dependent pathway (forb metabolome) or a root trait‐dependent pathway (grass metabolome). Reduced root foraging was not connected to a decrease in total N uptake. Our findings reveal that soil chemical legacies can create belowground priority effects by affecting root foraging in later arriving plants.
ZeitschriftPlant, Cell and Environment
Seiten (von - bis)1215-1230
Anzahl der Seiten16
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 04.2021