Variation in plant traits may potentially influence niche segregation at increasing plant diversity. Gubsch et al. investigate above-ground traits associated with light and nitrogen acquisition among 12 species of Poaceae in grasslands of varying plant diversity, and find that species’ identity plays an important role in shaping the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The results suggest that even among closely related species such as grasses different strategies are used to cope with neighbours, and this lack in redundancy in turn may facilitate complementary resource use and coexistence.
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