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Interactions between local and global drivers determine long-term trends in boreal forest understorey vegetation

Hedwall, Per-Ola and Uria Diez, Jaime and Brunet, Jörg and Gustafsson, Lena and Axelsson, Anna-Lena and Strengbom, Joachim (2021). Interactions between local and global drivers determine long-term trends in boreal forest understorey vegetation. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 30 , 1765-1780
[Research article]

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Abstract

Aim Global change effects on forest ecosystems are increasingly claimed to be context dependent, indicated by interactions between global and local environmental drivers. Most examples of such context dependencies originate from temperate systems, while limited research comes from the boreal biome. Here we set out to test if interactions between climate warming, nitrogen deposition, land-use change resulting in increasing forest density, and soil pH drive long-term changes in understorey vegetation in boreal forests. Location Sweden. Time period 1953-2012. Major taxa studied Vascular plants. Methods We used long-term (50 years) National Forest Inventory data on forest understorey vegetation in Sweden to model the combined effects of climate warming, nitrogen deposition, increase in forest density (tree basal area), and soil pH. Results Our results identify increasing temperature, nitrogen deposition and denser, shadier forest conditions as the main drivers of understorey vegetation changes during this time period. More importantly, we found that these effects varied with local conditions, that is, that the change towards a more nitrophilic understorey vegetation was more pronounced at low than high soil pH. Forest density was an important modulator of nitrogen deposition and temperature increase, with effects generally decreasing with density. Decreased cover of ericaceous dwarf shrubs was driven by both forest density and nitrogen deposition, with a stronger effect at low than at high pH. Main conclusions Our results highlight that to understand forest ecosystems' response to global change, and to make adequate management decisions to mitigate the effects of global change, we need to understand how changes in local environmental factors (forest density and soil pH) interact with global-scale drivers (nitrogen deposition and climate warming). Neglecting such interactions will lead to incorrect estimations of effects. In our case, we would for example, have underestimated the eutrophication effects on acid soils, which constitute a considerable part of the boreal biome.

Authors/Creators:Hedwall, Per-Ola and Uria Diez, Jaime and Brunet, Jörg and Gustafsson, Lena and Axelsson, Anna-Lena and Strengbom, Joachim
Title:Interactions between local and global drivers determine long-term trends in boreal forest understorey vegetation
Series Name/Journal:Global Ecology and Biogeography
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:30
Page range:1765-1780
Number of Pages:16
ISSN:1466-822X
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Climate Research
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Keywords:air pollution, environmental change, forest floor vegetation, forestry, interacting drivers, long-term data
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112976
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112976
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/geb.13324
Web of Science (WoS)000669314700001
ID Code:25484
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology

(S) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:22 Sep 2021 13:25
Metadata Last Modified:22 Sep 2021 13:31

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