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Precipitation regime controls bryosphere carbon cycling similarly across contrasting ecosystems

Grau-Andrés, Roger and Wardle, David and Nilsson Hegethorn, Marie-Charlotte and Kardol, Paul (2021). Precipitation regime controls bryosphere carbon cycling similarly across contrasting ecosystems. Oikos. 130 , 512-524
[Research article]

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Abstract

In arctic and boreal ecosystems, ground bryophytes play an important role in regulating carbon (C) exchange between vast belowground C stores and the atmosphere. Climate is changing particularly fast in these high-latitude regions, but it is unclear how altered precipitation regimes will affect C dynamics in the bryosphere (i.e. the ground moss layer including senesced moss, litter and associated biota) and the closely associated upper humus layer, and how these effects will vary across contrasting environmental conditions. Here, we set up a greenhouse experiment in which mesocosms were assembled containing samples of the bryosphere, dominated by the feather moss Hylocomium splendens, and the upper humus layer, that were collected from across a boreal forest chronosequence in northern Sweden which varies strongly in nutrient availability, productivity and soil biota. We tested the effect of variation in precipitation volume and frequency on CO2 exchange and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) export, and on moss growth. As expected, reduced precipitation volume and frequency lowered net CO2 efflux, DOC export and moss growth. However, by regulating moisture, the lower bryosphere and humus layers often mediated how precipitation volume and frequency interacted to drive C dynamics. For example, less frequent precipitation reduced moss growth only when precipitation volume was low. When volume was high, high moisture content of the humus layer helped avoid moss desiccation. Variation in precipitation regime affected C cycling consistently in samples collected across the chronosequence, despite large environmental variation along the sequence. This suggests that the bryosphere exerts a strong buffering effect on environmental variation at the forest floor, which leads to similar responses of C cycling to external perturbations across highly contrasting ecosystems. As such, our study indicates that projected increases in droughts and ground evapotranspiration in high-latitude regions resulting from climate change will consistently reduce C losses from moss-dominated ecosystems.

Authors/Creators:Grau-Andrés, Roger and Wardle, David and Nilsson Hegethorn, Marie-Charlotte and Kardol, Paul
Title:Precipitation regime controls bryosphere carbon cycling similarly across contrasting ecosystems
Series Name/Journal:Oikos
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:130
Page range:512-524
Number of Pages:13
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:0030-1299
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:boreal forest, context-dependency, dissolved organic carbon, forest succession, moss, net ecosystem exchange
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-110496
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-110496
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/oik.07749
Web of Science (WoS)000612067400001
ID Code:22982
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:07 Apr 2021 11:43
Metadata Last Modified:07 Apr 2021 11:51

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