Data from: Plant species richness belowground: higher richness and new patterns revealed by next generation sequencing

Inga Hiiesalu, Maarja Öpik, Madis Metsis, Liisa Lilje, John Davison, Martti Vasar, Mari Moora, Martin Zobel, Scott D. Wilson & Meelis Pärtel
Variation in plant species richness has been described using only aboveground vegetation. The species richness of roots and rhizomes has never been compared with aboveground richness in natural plant communities. We made direct comparisons of grassland plant richness in identical volumes (0.1x0.1x0.1m) above and below the soil surface, using conventional species identification to measure aboveground richness and 454 sequencing of the chloroplast trnL(UAA) intron to measure belowground richness. Sequencing detected most species expected and only...
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