Prepared by Hong-Wei Yu & Wei-Ming He
Steppes are among the most important grassland types, and a high proportion of steppes have suffered from overgrazing. During the steppe restoration, plant species can often appear and disappear simultaneously. Meanwhile, steppe restoration is usually accompanied by the changes in rainfall and nitrogen availability. Thus, these changes can strongly influence species loss and gain during steppe restoration. Based on five-year experimental data, we found that increases in rainfall and nitrogen enhanced species loss and gain at the same time. Importantly, the rates of species loss and gain were equal, thereby allowing the total number of plant species to sustain stable. This study provides a mechanism explaining how the total number of plant species can maintain unchanged during
This is a plain language summary for the paper of Hong-Wei Yu & Wei-Ming He published in the Journal of Vegetation Science (https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.12698).