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Citation. Olff, H.; Ritchie, M. E. 1998. Effects of herbivores on grassland plant diversity. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 13:261-265. [1734 LTER]
Summary. The role of herbivores in controlling plant species richness is a critical issue in the conservation and management of grassland biodiversity. Numerous field experiments in grassland plant communities show that herbivores often, but not always, increase plant diversity. Recent work suggests that the mechanisms of these effects involve alteration of local colonization of species from regional species pools or local extinction of species, and recent syntheses and models suggest that herbivore effects on plant diversity should vary across environmental gradients of soil fertility and precipitation.