Ecological stoichiometry is a theoretical framework allowing the prediction of competitive and trophic interactions based on the balance between resource supply and resource needs of interacting species. Our subproject will analyze the relationship between plant diversity and the ecological stoichiometry of multiple ecosystem processes and trophic interactions. We will test
- whether plant diversity enhances the uptake and thus content of multiple elements on the community level, and
- whether differential stoichiometry will change consumption patterns by insect herbivores. In the trait-based experiment, we will address stoichiometry of elements on a species-specific basis,
- asking whether plant diversity alters the resource content and ratios of plant species depending on their traits and the traits of their co-occurring species.
- We will test whether higher coverage of the resource use traits increases resource use efficiency for multiple elements, and
- whether plant stoichiometry responds plastically to the competitive environment.