One potential mechanism for maintaining biodiversity is negative feedback between a species and its specific enemies, allowing rival species to thrive in the vicinity in preference to individuals of the species in question. The effect of soil biota has often been overlooked in the past, with more attention being paid to factors such as above-ground herbivory and resource partitioning. But a series of shadehouse and field experiments now shows that in a tropical forest, it is the soil biota that is the main cause of this feedback, and that this effect is sufficient to explain the diversity. [Letter p. 752; News & Views p. 698 | Nature Video »]
- (News & Views p698, doi: 10.1038/466698a)
- Negative plant–soil feedback predicts tree-species relative abundance in a tropical forest (Letter p752, doi: 10.1038/nature09273)
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