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Fine-scale dynamics and community stability in boreal peatlands

revisiting a fen and a bog in Sweden after 50 years

Pedrotti, E. and Rydin, H. and Ingmar, T. and Hytteborn, Håkan and Turunen, P. and Granath, Gustaf (2014). Fine-scale dynamics and community stability in boreal peatlands. Ecosphere. 5:10, 1-24
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES14-00202.1

Abstract

Multi-decadal studies of community and ecosystemdynamics are rare; however, this time frame is most relevant for assessing the impact of anthropogenic influences and climate change on ecosystems. For this reason, we investigated changes in vegetation and microtopography over 52 years in two contrasting mire ecosystems, one ombrotrophic (bog) and one minerotrophic (fen), representing different successional stages and contrasting hydrological settings. In both peatlands, floristic composition was recorded in the same permanent plots (n = 55-56, 0.25 m(2)) in both 1960 and 2012 and microtopography was mapped over a large area (ca. 2500 m(2)) that encompassed these same plots. We quantified and compared the community-level changes and internal spatial dynamics, tested associations between pH/microtopography and community/species change, and examined how the area and location of hummock microforms had changed over time. The bog exhibited little site level change in vegetation, where few species changed significantly in cover and plot frequency. However, detailed analyses revealed some large within-plot changes over time in the bog, illustrating that bogs can be highly dynamic systems at a fine scale. In contrast, the rich fen experienced a clear directional change; specifically, bryophyte abundance decreased by 70% and brown mosses were almost extinct. Although pH had decreased over time at the rich fen, this decrease at the plot-level was not associated with the decline of brown moss abundance. The microtopographic structure did not change substantially at the bog where similar to 70% was covered by lawn/hummocks; however, in the rich fen hummocks expanded (from 10% to 16% cover) and moved or expanded down slope. Our study suggests, that at the site-level, the bog ecosystem was more resistant to environmental changes over time compared to the rich fen, as evidenced by shifts in vegetation and microtopography. The contrasting scales of vegetation dynamics observed within a bog (i.e., within-plot changes vs. site-level) indicate that plant-environment feedbacks contribute to the peatland level stability. While in rich fens, internal feedbacks may be weaker and the ecosystem's vegetation and microtopographic structure are vulnerable to shifting hydrological fluxes.

Authors/Creators:Pedrotti, E. and Rydin, H. and Ingmar, T. and Hytteborn, Håkan and Turunen, P. and Granath, Gustaf
Title:Fine-scale dynamics and community stability in boreal peatlands
Subtitle:revisiting a fen and a bog in Sweden after 50 years
Series/Journal:Ecosphere (2150-8925)
Year of publishing :2014
Volume:5
Number:10
Page range:1-24
Number of Pages:24
Publisher:Ecological Society of America
ISSN:2150-8925
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:F Plant production > F40 Plant ecology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Botany
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Agrovoc terms:Biodiversity, Boreal forests, Peatlands, Sphagnum
Keywords:beta diversity, boreal, microtopography, peatland development, plant population and community dynamics, Sphagnum, succession, vegetation change
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-2370
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-2370
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000345097200011
DOI10.1890/ES14-00202.1
ID Code:11778
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:05 Feb 2015 08:41
Metadata Last Modified:25 Feb 2016 07:09

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