PLANT ECOLOGY

Plants, soils, and climate

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Science  11 Oct 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6462, pp. 197
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6462.197-a

The perennial herb Plantago lanceolata

CREDIT: AVALON/PICTURE NATURE/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

Environmental change is rarely straightforward in its consequences for natural communities, because of the complexity of spatial and temporal interspecific interactions. Rasmussen et al. experimentally studied the effects of temperature and moisture variation on the growth patterns of a perennial herb (Plantago lanceolata) and its associated soil microbial community. They used a reciprocal multifactorial design, using plants and soil communities from three different habitats in Sweden. Although warming and increased moisture had a generally positive effect on plant growth, the strength of the response depended on the origin of the plants, as did the responses of root-associated fungi. Thus, climate change may be expected to produce complex patterns of variation in plant-soil interactions, which may be difficult to predict.

J. Ecol. 10.1111/1365-2745.13292 (2019).

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