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Drivers of inter-year variability of plant production and decomposers across contrasting island ecosystems

Wardle, David A. and Jonsson, Micael and Kalela-Brundin, Maarit and Lagerström, Anna and Yeates, Gregor and Bardgett, Richard and Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte (2012). Drivers of inter-year variability of plant production and decomposers across contrasting island ecosystems. Ecology. 93:3, 521-531
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/11-0930.1

Abstract

Despite the likely importance of inter-year dynamics of plant production and consumer biota for driving community- and ecosystem-level processes, very few studies have explored how and why these dynamics vary across contrasting ecosystems. We utilized a well characterized system of 30 lake islands in the boreal forest zone of northern Sweden across which soil fertility and productivity vary considerably, with larger islands being more fertile and productive than smaller ones. In this system we assessed the inter-year dynamics of several measures of plant production and the soil microbial community (primary consumers in the decomposer food web) for each of 9 years, and soil microfaunal groups (secondary and tertiary consumers) for each of 6 of those years. We found that for measures of plant production and each of the three consumer trophic levels, inter-year dynamics were strongly affected by island size. Further, many variables were strongly affected by island size (and thus bottom-up regulation by soil fertility and resources) for some years but none in others, most likely due to inter-year variation in climatic conditions. For each of the plant and microbial variables for which we had 9 years of data, we also determined the inter-year coefficient of variation (CV), an inverse measure of stability. We found that CVs of some measures of plant productivity were greater on large islands while those of other measures were greater on smaller islands; CVs of microbial variables were unresponsive to island7 size. We also found that the effects of island size on the temporal dynamics of some variables were related to inter-year variability of macroclimatic variables. As such, our results show that the inter year dynamics of both plant productivity and decomposer biota across each of three trophic levels, as well as the inter-year stability of plant productivity, differs greatly across contrasting ecosystems, with potentially important but largely overlooked implications for community and ecosystem
processes.

Authors/Creators:Wardle, David A. and Jonsson, Micael and Kalela-Brundin, Maarit and Lagerström, Anna and Yeates, Gregor and Bardgett, Richard and Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte
Title:Drivers of inter-year variability of plant production and decomposers across contrasting island ecosystems
Series/Journal:Ecology (0012-9658)
Year of publishing :2012
Volume:93
Number:3
Page range:521-531
Publisher:Ecological Society of America
ISSN:0012-9658
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:K Forestry > K01 Forestry - General aspects
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Soil Science
Keywords:biodiversity, stability, succession
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-889
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-889
ID Code:9457
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: Professor David Wardle
Deposited On:28 Feb 2013 09:49
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:55

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