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Natural Land Cover in Agricultural Catchments Alters Flood Effects on DOM Composition and Decreases Nutrient Levels in Streams
Abstract A shift in natural hydrologic patterns, such as increases in the frequency, and changes in the magnitude of flood events are expected with climate change. A better understanding of how land use and hydrological patterns interact to affect solute levels in aquatic systems is needed so we can better navigate expected climatic changes. Here we analyzed spatiotemporal event-based data from 21 predominantly agricultural catchments with varying contributions of natural land cover. We studied the effect of hydrological events on stream dissolved phosphorus and nitrogen...
The Effect of Land-Use Change on Soil CH 4 and N 2 O Fluxes: A Global Meta-Analysis
Abstract Land-use change is a prominent feature of the Anthropocene. Transitions between natural and human-managed ecosystems affect biogeochemical cycles in many ways, but soil processes are among the least understood. We used a global meta-analysis (62 studies, 1670 paired comparisons) to examine effects of land conversion on soil–atmosphere fluxes of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from upland soils, and determine soil and environmental factors driving these effects. Conversion from a natural ecosystem to any anthropogenic land use increased soil CH4 and N2O...
Long-Term Nitrogen Addition Does Not Increase Soil Carbon Storage or Cycling Across Eight Temperate Forest and Grassland Sites on a Sandy Outwash Plain
Abstract Experimental nitrogen (N) deposition generally inhibits decomposition and promotes carbon (C) accumulation in soils, but with substantial variation among studies. Differences in ecosystem properties could help explain this variability: N could have distinct effects on decomposition and soil C due to differences in vegetation characteristics (that is, root C inputs and chemistry) that influence microbial biomass or soil properties like pH that can affect organic matter stabilization. We used a 12-year N addition experiment to determine effects of sustained N...
Belowground Biomass Response to Nutrient Enrichment Depends on Light Limitation Across Globally Distributed Grasslands
Abstract Anthropogenic activities are increasing nutrient inputs to ecosystems worldwide, with consequences for global carbon and nutrient cycles. Recent meta-analyses show that aboveground primary production is often co-limited by multiple nutrients; however, little is known about how root production responds to changes in nutrient availability. At twenty-nine grassland sites on four continents, we quantified shallow root biomass responses to nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium plus micronutrient enrichment and compared below- and aboveground responses. We...
Effects of Duration, Frequency, and Severity of the Non-flow Period on Stream Biofilm Metabolism
Abstract Temporary streams make up the majority of river networks in many regions around the world. Although they are known to have non-flow periods, it is uncertain in what ways the temporal components of the non-flow period affect stream ecosystems. We analyzed how duration and frequency of the non-flow period influence the biofilm metabolism of 33 Mediterranean streams in NE Iberian Peninsula. Selected streams ranged from perennial to ephemeral, and their hydrology was characterized during a period of 150 days before the sampling. Cobbles were collected from the...
Effects of Epixylic Vegetation Removal on the Dynamics of the Microbial Community Composition in Decaying Logs in an Alpine Forest
Abstract Epixylic vegetation may be important in dead wood decay by altering the microenvironment and, thereby, microbial communities in logs. However, the interaction between epixylic vegetation and dead wood microbial communities remains poorly known. Therefore, repeated experimental epixylic (bryophyte-dominated) vegetation removal (ERM) from logs of the fir Abies faxoniana across a wide range of decay classes (I–V) was conducted on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. The dynamics of the microbial community were separately measured in heartwood, sapwood and bark using the...
Spiraling Down Hillslopes: Nutrient Uptake from Water Tracks in a Warming Arctic
Abstract Hydrologic flowpaths might propagate biogeochemical signals among connected ecosystems or alter and dampen signals because of reactions or retention occurring during transport. In the Arctic, experimentally warmed terrestrial tundra releases inorganic nitrogen (N), but the fate of this newly released N remains unclear. Nitrogen could be passively transported downslope in flowing water, or retained when flowpaths intercept N-limited ecosystems. We applied nutrient spiraling theory to simultaneously measure reaction and transport of ammonium (NH4+) and phosphate...
Biotic and Abiotic Drivers of Topsoil Organic Carbon Concentration in Drylands Have Similar Effects at Regional and Global Scales
Abstract Drylands contain 25% of the world’s soil organic carbon (SOC), which is controlled by many factors, both abiotic and biotic. Thus, understanding how these factors control SOC concentration can help to design more sustainable land-use practices in drylands aiming to foster and preserve SOC storage, something particularly important to fight ongoing global warming. We use two independent, large-scale databases with contrasting geographic coverage (236 sites in global drylands and 185 sites in Patagonia, Argentina) to evaluate the relative importance of abiotic...
Reduced Rainfall Increases Metabolic Rates in Upper Mixed Layers of Tropical Lakes
Abstract Ecosystem-level metabolism is a good sentinel for human and natural disturbances in freshwater systems, responding from local changes (for example, land use) to regional and global changes (for example, climate). Despite the increasing understanding of metabolic processes in tropical lakes, our knowledge on how morphometric and catchment characteristics affect metabolic responses to those changes in tropical lakes is still very scarce. We investigated how metabolic rates in the upper mixed layer of twelve Brazilian tropical lakes responded to reduced rainfall...
Boreal Forest Floor Greenhouse Gas Emissions Across a Pleurozium schreberi -Dominated, Wildfire-Disturbed Chronosequence
26. Februar 2019
Abstract The boreal forest is a globally critical biome for carbon cycling. Its forests are shaped by wildfire events that affect ecosystem properties and climate feedbacks including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Improved understanding of boreal forest floor processes is needed to predict the impacts of anticipated increases in fire frequency, severity, and extent. In this study, we examined relationships between time since last wildfire (TSF), forest floor soil properties, and GHG emissions (CO2, CH4, N2O) along a Pleurozium schreberi-dominated chronosequence in mid...
The Spatial Heterogeneity of Vegetation, Hydrology and Water Chemistry in a Peatland with Open-Water Pools
04. Februar 2019
Abstract Ombrotrophic bogs can comprise a mosaic of vegetation patches and open-water pools, with hydrological and biogeochemical connections between pools and the surrounding peat and vegetation. To establish these connections, we studied the spatial heterogeneity of hydrology and water chemistry in two zones of distinct vegetation assemblages in the subboreal Grande plée Bleue peatland, southern Québec, Canada. We show that seasonal water-level fluctuations are greater and organic C, N and P concentrations are higher in the peat pore water of a forested zone than in a...
Combined Grazing and Drought Stress Alter the Outcome of Nurse: Beneficiary Interactions in a Semi-arid Ecosystem
04. Februar 2019
Abstract Positive interspecific plant–plant interactions in (semi-)arid ecosystems are crucial for supporting ecosystem diversity and stability, but how interactions respond to grazing combined with temporal variation in drought is poorly understood. In a semi-arid area in south-eastern Spain (Murcia region), we planted 1280 saplings of the palatable shrub Anthyllis cytisoides (beneficiary) under the canopy of the unpalatable shrub Artemisia herba-alba (nurse) or in open microsites between shrub patches. We applied four grazing treatments (no grazing, low goat grazing...
Optimising Seagrass Conservation for Ecological Functions
04. Februar 2019
Abstract Animals are central to numerous ecological processes that shape the structure and function of ecosystems. It follows that species that are strongly linked to specific functions can represent these functions spatially and hence be useful in conservation planning. Here we test this notion of ‘functional species surrogacy’ for the conservation of seagrass meadows that have been impacted by stressors. We measured algal herbivory and herbivorous fish assemblages across a range of seagrass meadows in the Moreton Bay Marine Park, Queensland, Australia. We determined...
Dead Wood Necromass in a Moist Tropical Forest: Stocks, Fluxes, and Spatiotemporal Variability
04. Februar 2019
Abstract Woody debris (WD) stocks and fluxes are important components of forest carbon budgets and yet remain understudied, particularly in tropical forests. Here we present the most comprehensive assessment of WD stocks and fluxes yet conducted in a tropical forest, including one of the first tropical estimates of suspended WD. We rely on data collected over 8 years in an old-growth moist tropical forest in Panama to quantify spatiotemporal variability and estimate minimum sample sizes for different components. Downed WD constituted the majority of total WD mass (78...
Nitrogen Retention of Terricolous Lichens in a Northern Alberta Jack Pine Forest
31. Januar 2019
Abstract The Athabasca Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada, is one of the largest point sources of nitrogen oxides in Canada. There are concerns that elevated nitrogen (N) deposition will adversely impact forest ecosystems located downwind of emission sources. The role of the forest floor in regulating these potential eutrophication effects was investigated following a 5-year enrichment study in which N was applied as NH4NO3 above the canopy of a jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb) stand in northern Alberta close to Fort McMurray at rates ranging from 5 to 25 kg N ha−1 y−1...
Geographically Structured Growth decline of Rear-Edge Iberian Fagus sylvatica Forests After the 1980s Shift Toward a Warmer Climate
31. Januar 2019
Abstract Warming-related growth decrease on southern Fagus sylvatica forests has been observed in different regions; however, whether it is a generalized fact or not remains unclear. Here we investigate the geographical pattern on growth response of the southwestern European beech forests to the warming climate shift which started in the 1980s. We sampled 15 beech forests (215 trees) across four climatically contrasting regions (Mediterranean, Pyrenean, low- and high-elevation Atlantic areas) near the southern distribution limit of the species in the Iberian Peninsula...
Coastal Wetland Distributions: Delineating Domains of Macroscale Drivers and Local Feedbacks
31. Januar 2019
Abstract How do multiple stable states influence local and macroscale ecological patterns? Understanding how local feedbacks operate within heterogeneous coastal environments is essential to forecasting marsh persistence and loss in response to sea level rise, river impoundment, and other environmental changes. In coastal lagoons, feedbacks between open water, wind erosion, and stabilizing effects from wetland vegetation produce two states: open water with fringing marshes, and marsh-dominated basins. Unknown is whether, how, and at what scales these feedbacks affect...
Disentangling the Influence of Past Fires on Subsequent Fires in Mediterranean Landscapes
30. Januar 2019
Abstract Understanding the interplay between climate, fuel and fire is necessary for developing strategies that minimize the negative impacts of fire on people and ecosystems. Here, we aim to investigate whether past fires limit fire activity by reducing fuel availability (‘fire leverage’) in Catalonia (NE Spain; 32,107 km2), a Mediterranean region encompassing diverse landscapes of agricultural plains and pine–oak mosaics. We built a hierarchical model to assess variations in annual burnt area in relation to weather, past fires and time for a 40-year period...
2018 Reviewer Thank You
24. Januar 2019
Correction to: Vertical Redistribution of Soil Organic Carbon Pools After Twenty Years of Nitrogen Addition in Two Temperate Coniferous Forests
22. Januar 2019
In the article by Forstner et al. (2018), the surnames of co-authors Katharina M. Keiblinger and Patrick Schleppi were misspelled. We apologize and ask readers to cite the corrected version of the article as presented here.