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Max Planck Institut for Biogeochemistry

Intensive agriculture leads to homogeneous grassland communities
November 30, 2016

Intensive land use of a meadow (Photo by Oliver Mohr,
Meadows and pastures that are intensively managed will not only loose biodiversity but also become homogeneous with respect to their species composition.

When grassland is intensively fertilized, mowed and grazed, species number reduces on the long run. At the same time species diversity changes in a way that the same species remain, independently from the regional factors such as climate, geology, and topography.

The study, published online in Nature, takes into account 150 grasslands from the Biodiversity Exploratories with more than 4,000 species evaluated from single-celled organisms to vertebrates.

Markus Lange, scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, is one of the 300 researchers contributing to this long term study. He investigates effects of land use on biodiversity in open land and has shifted his focus over the years from soil dwelling arthropods to plant diversity and soil organic matter dynamics.

Further information is given by the press release of the Technical University Munich and the original publication:
Martin M. Gossner et all: Land-use intensification causes multitrophic homogenization of grassland communities, Nature 2016.
DOI: doi:10.1038/nature20575

Dr. Markus Lange
Phone: +49 3641 - 57 6168

Press Release of the Technical University Munich
Biodiversity Exploratories
Webpage Markus Lange

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