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Climate change impacts upon plants and soils along environmental gradients

insights from Swedish subarctic tundra and boreal forests

De Long, Jonathan R. (2016). Climate change impacts upon plants and soils along environmental gradients. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Umeå : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2016:15
ISBN 978-91-576-8532-2
eISBN 978-91-576-8533-9
[Doctoral thesis]

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Climate change is altering ecosystems worldwide. Despite advances in our understanding of the effects of increasing temperature, little is known about how increased temperatures will impact upon plants and soils across environmental gradients. This thesis investigated soil legacies and plant defense along a subarctic tundra elevational gradient as well as soil microbial and nematode community and litter decomposition responses to interactions between plant functional group removal and warming along a post-fire successional chronosequence in boreal forest. In subarctic tundra, soil legacies were strongly temperature-driven, but these effects varied between vegetation types, with plants grown in meadow vegetation showing a strong unidirectional decline in growth when grown in soils from increasing elevation and plants grown in heath soils showing no response to elevation. Positive legacy effects were observed in soils from the lowest (i.e., warmest) elevation and these effects were primarily the result of soil abiotic, as opposed to biotic, effects. Subarctic plant defense was reduced by nitrogen (N) fertilization, while phosphorous (P) fertilization had few effects. Nitrogen fertilization reduced plant defense most at the lowest elevation. Along a boreal forest successional gradient, warming and plant functional group removal favored bacteria in the youngest forests. In contrast, the nematode community was impaired by plant functional group removal, but was not responsive to warming or successional stage. Litter decomposition was strongly influenced by understory plant functional groups. Mosses increased litter mass loss and reduced P loss, while shrubs decreased litter mass loss and immobilized more litter P; warming and successional stage were less significant drivers. Taken together, these results demonstrate that above- and belowground responses to temperature can vary considerably in subarctic tundra and boreal forest ecosystems. Therefore, the work presented in this thesis highlights the importance of considering environmental context (i.e., changes associated with increasing elevation/succession) when making predictions about how global climate change will affect plant and soil-mediated ecosystem processes.

Authors/Creators:De Long, Jonathan R.
Title:Climate change impacts upon plants and soils along environmental gradients
Subtitle:insights from Swedish subarctic tundra and boreal forests
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2016
Depositing date:15 February 2016
Number of Pages:54
IDe Long, J. R., Kardol, P., Sundqvist, M. K., Veen, G. F. (Ciska), and Wardle, D. A. (2015) Plant growth response to direct and indirect temperature effects varies by vegetation type and elevation in a subarctic tundra. Oikos 124, 772-783. DOI: 10.1111/oik.01764
IIDe Long, J. R., Sundqvist, M. K., Gundale, M. J., Giesler, R. and Wardle, D. A. (2015) Effects of elevation and nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization on place defence compounds in subarctic tundra heath vegetation. Functional Ecology (in press) DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12493
IIIDe Long, J. R., Dorrepaal, E., Kardol, P., Nilsson, M. –C., Teuber, L. M., and Wardle, D. A. (2016) Contrasting responses of soil microbial and nematode communities to warming and plant functional group removal along a post-fire boreal forest successional gradient. Ecosystems (in press) DOI: 10.1007/s10021-015-9935-0.
IVDe Long, J. R., Dorrepaal, E., Kardol, P., Nilsson, M. –C., Teuber, L. M., and Wardle, D. A. Plant functional groups and litter species identity are stronger drives of litter decomposition than warming along a boreal forest post-fire successional gradient. Submitted manuscript.
Place of Publication:Umeå
Publisher:Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8532-2
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8533-9
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:F Plant production > F40 Plant ecology
P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
P Natural resources > P34 Soil biology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 107 Other Natural Sciences > Other Natural Sciences
Agrovoc terms:boreal forests, climate change, tundra, plant soil relations, decomposition, degradation, plant defense reactions, plant communities, forest fires, ecological succession, soil microorganisms
Keywords:boreal forest, climate change, decomposition, elevational gradient, plant defense, plant functional group removal, plant-soil interactions, post-fire succession, soil community, soil legacy, subarctic tundra
Permanent URL:
ID Code:13061
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
External funders:Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
Deposited By: Mr Jonathan Richard De Long
Deposited On:15 Feb 2016 11:00
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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