Claudia Stein, Scott Mangan, David Fike, Michael Tobin (University of Houston-Downtown)
Does phylogenetic diversity, like species diversity, positively affect ecosystem function? Are plant-soil microbe interactions the driving force underlying positive diversity-ecosystem function relationships? How does drought affect plant-soil microbe interactions and what are the consequences for ecosystem functioning? These questions are the focus of experimental prairie communities established in by the Mangab lab in 2014 to test the hypothesis that plant-microbial interactions are the driving force underlying positive diversity-ecosystem function relationships, and that this relationship depends on the evolutionary relatedness of plant species comprising the community.