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Ecosystems 

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Long-Term Impact of Liming on Soil C and N in a Fertile Spruce Forest Ecosystem
28. September 2020
Abstract Liming can counteract acidification in forest soils, but the effects on soil C and N pools and fluxes over long periods are less well understood. Replicated plots in an acidic and N-rich 40-year-old Norway spruce (Picea abies) forest in SW Sweden (Hasslöv) were treated with 0, 3.45 and 8.75 Mg ha−1 of dolomitic lime (D0, D2 and D3) in 1984. Between 1984 and 2016, soil organic C to 30 cm depth increased by 28 Mg ha−1 (30% increase) in D0 and decreased by 9 Mg ha−1 (9.4% decrease) in D3. The change in D2 was not significant (+ 2 Mg ha−1). Soil N...
Stable Isotopes Clearly Track Mangrove Inputs and Food Web Changes Along a Reforestation Gradient
24. September 2020
Abstract Despite worldwide efforts to restore degraded mangrove forests in the past decades, defining and tracking restoration success remains a major challenge. In this study, we used a multi-isotope approach to trace ecosystem responses to forest clearing and replanting in a tropical mangrove forest reserve at Matang, Malaysia. We measured δ2H or δD deuterium, δ13C and δ15N (HCN isotopes) in common macroinvertebrate consumers (barnacles, prawns, gastropods, and crabs) across a 70-year chronosequence of mangroves. Functional food web recovery was indicated by a...
The Influence of Leaf Type on Carbon and Nitrogen Assimilation by Aquatic Invertebrate Communities: A New Perspective on Trophic Efficiency
21. September 2020
Abstract Despite abounding evidence that leaf litter traits can predict decomposition rate, the way these traits influence trophic efficiency and element transfer to higher trophic levels is not resolved. Here, we used litter labeled with 13C and 15N stable isotopes to trace fluxes of litter C and N from four leaf types to freshwater invertebrate communities. We measured absolute (mg C or N) and relative assimilation (percentage of litter C or N incorporated into invertebrate biomass relative to C and N lost during decomposition). Four patterns emerged: (1) Invertebrate...
Changes in Chemical and Microbial Soil Parameters Following 8 Years of Deadwood Decay: An Experiment with Logs of 13 Tree Species in 30 Forests
21. September 2020
Abstract Deadwood may alter the chemical and microbial properties of forest soils. However, it is unclear how downed deadwood (logs) of different tree species affect nutrients, microbial activity and biomass in different forest soils and regions. We investigated the effect of logs on underlying soils after 8 years of decomposition in an experiment consisting of 13 log tree species replicated at 30 forest sites across three German regions with distinct climate and geology. Soils beneath logs were compared to soils without recognizable influence of deadwood (control) 8 m...
Contrasting Impacts of Cultivated Exotics on the Functional Diversity of Domestic Gardens in Three Regions with Different Aridity
19. September 2020
Abstract Cultivated exotic plants are often introduced for their aesthetic value and today comprise a substantial fraction of the flora of urban domestic gardens. Yet, their relative contribution to the functional diversity of domestic gardens and how it changes across different climate zones is insufficiently understood. Here, we investigated whether the effects of cultivated exotics on functional diversity of three plant traits related to plant aesthetics (that is, plant showiness, plant height, and leaf area) varied in suburban domestic gardens in three regions...
Mangrove Encroachment Alters Decomposition Rate in Saltmarsh Through Changes in Litter Quality
19. September 2020
Abstract Global climate change is driving the expansion of mangroves into saltmarsh habitat, which may alter the rate and magnitude of organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling due to differences in the structural complexity, litter quality, and other ecophysiological traits of foundation species. This work quantified and compared aboveground litter decomposition of the range-expanding mangrove, Avicennia germinans, and resident saltmarsh cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora, and decomposition of a standard substrate belowground, in the saltmarsh and...
An Integrative Ecological Drought Framework to Span Plant Stress to Ecosystem Transformation
19. September 2020
Abstract Droughts have increased globally in the twenty-first century and are expected to become more extreme and widespread in the future. Assessments of how drought affects plants and ecosystems lack consistency in scope and methodology, confounding efforts to mechanistically interpret structural and functional impacts and predict future transformations under climate change. To promote integration among studies, we identify water deficit conditions that are ecologically meaningful, clarify the stages in which ecological drought progresses, and consider approaches to...
Mechanisms of Persistent High Primary Production During the Growing Season in the Chukchi Sea
18. September 2020
Abstract Persistent high primary production during the growing season in the Chukchi Sea (Arctic Ocean) plays a key role in maintaining an efficient biological carbon pump and diverse Arctic ecosystem. We used a three-dimensional ocean–sea ice–biogeochemical model to simulate monthly averaged net primary production from 1998 to 2015. The results show that the growing season in the Chukchi Sea lasts more than 150 days, with an annual net primary production of 30.85 ± 3.67 Tg C y−1. The mechanisms for maintaining high primary production differ in the southern...
Warming and Wrack Supply Will Accelerate CO 2 Emission and Nutrients Release on Antarctic Sedimentary Shores: A Case Study on a Volcanic Island
16. September 2020
Abstract The shifts in soil metabolism as a response to warming and wrack subsidies on Antarctic sedimentary shores have not been studied to date. With this aim, macroalgal deposits, as well as inorganic nutrients and CO2 emission were quantified along the shores of Port Foster, on Deception Island, Antarctic Peninsula. The results indicated a positive relationship between the amount of wrack supplies and sediment metabolism, measured both as CO2 emission through the sediment surface and as amount of inorganic nutrients released to the interstitial pore water. The effect...
Patterns of Seasonal Stability of Lake Phytoplankton Mediated by Resource and Grazer Control During Two Decades of Re-oligotrophication
15. September 2020
Abstract Human-induced changes in external nutrient loading affect the phytoplankton community and abundance directly by changing the amount of nutrients available, but also indirectly through changes in the zooplankton (that is, grazer) community structure, mediated in part by changes in the fish community structure and biomass. Such shifts affect the species dynamics and community succession of lake phytoplankton communities, and they may ultimately influence community stability. However, the relative importance of different biotic mechanisms influencing the community...
Land-Use Legacies and Climate Change as a Double Challenge to Oak Forest Resilience: Mismatches of Geographical and Ecological Rear Edges
03. September 2020
Abstract Global change challenges ecosystems in xeric locations transformed by intensive human use. Resilience to drought of relict Mediterranean Quercus pyrenaica populations in the southern Iberian Peninsula was analyzed in relation to historical records of land use, combining dendroecological growth of adult trees and greenness (EVI) as proxies for secondary and primary growth. The growth trends reflected a strong influence of old land-use legacies (firewood removal) in the current forest structure. Trees were highly sensitive to moisture availability, but both primary...
Retraction Note to: Structured Decision-Making Identifies Effective Strategies and Potential Barriers for Ecosystem-Based Management of a Range-Extending Species in a Global Marine Hotspot
02. September 2020
The authors are retracting this article [1] because of confidentiality reasons. The article has been removed to protect the privacy of an individual. All authors agree to this retraction.
Inter-seasonal Nitrogen Loss with Drought Depends on Fertilizer Management in a Seminatural Australian Grassland
01. September 2020
Abstract Drought can increase nitrogen (N) loss due to enhanced asynchronicity between N release through mineralization and plant N uptake. Organic amendments of N could potentially mitigate this loss where the N is more slowly released and made available at times when plants need it. Drought (ambient vs. reduced precipitation implemented with rainout shelters) and fertilizer addition (compost vs. mineral fertilizer) were used to examine the changes in mineralization, plant uptake, and loss of N during dry and wet periods in a grassland of Australia. Both gross N...
Mercury Bioaccumulation in Lacustrine Fish Populations Along a Climatic Gradient in Northern Ontario, Canada
01. September 2020
Abstract Climate change is predicted to alter many processes in boreal aquatic ecosystems, including mercury (Hg) bioaccumulation in fish. We investigated current patterns in fish Hg across a climatic gradient in northern Ontario, Canada, to assess the possible influence of further climate change. Cohabiting populations of walleye (a piscivore) and white sucker (a benthivore) were sampled from lakes spanning over 9.0° of latitude (45° 24′ N–54° 20′ N). Latitudinal trends were evident in climatic conditions, as well as several other ecosystem characteristics...
Disturbances and Climate Drive Structure, Stability, and Growth in Mixed Temperate Old-growth Rainforests in the Caucasus
01. September 2020
Abstract The Colchic rainforest of the Western Caucasus is one of the few temperate rainforests dominated by broadleaf deciduous trees. Understanding natural dynamics of broadleaf-dominated temperate rainforests is essential for their conservation and management. Here, we investigate for the first time the structure, natural disturbance, and recruitment dynamics of a mixed Colchic old-growth rainforest, dominated by Fagus orientalis and Picea orientalis. We used forest inventories and dendrochronological analysis of tree growth in five 30-m-radius plots to quantify...
Cell Size Decrease and Altered Size Structure of Phytoplankton Constrain Ecosystem Functioning in the Middle Danube River Over Multiple Decades
01. September 2020
Abstract Reduced body size is among the universal ecological responses to global warming. Our knowledge on how altered body size affects ecosystem functioning in ectothermic aquatic organisms is still limited. We analysed trends in the cell size structure of phytoplankton in the middle Danube River over a 34-year period at multiple levels: (1) average cell size of assemblages (ACS), (2) within the centric diatom community and (3) in the dominant centric diatom taxon: Stephanodiscus. We asked whether global warming and human impacts affected the average cell size of...
When the Source of Flooding Matters: Divergent Responses in Carbon Fluxes in an Alaskan Rich Fen to Two Types of Inundation
01. September 2020
Abstract The extent of groundwater-influenced rich fens is increasing across northern regions as permafrost thaws. The increase in the extent of these fens, which store large amounts of carbon in deep organic deposits, is coupled to increases in rainfall and runoff. We examine interannual variations in carbon and water fluxes at a rich fen in interior Alaska that included early (May–June) and mid-late (July–September) dry and wet periods, with early season wet periods coincident with runoff from snowmelt and later season wet periods coincident with inundation from...
High Potential Nitrate Removal by Urban Accidental Wetlands in a Desert City: Limitations and Spatiotemporal Patterns
01. September 2020
Abstract Urban areas are typically considered to be net exporters of reactive nitrogen. As a result, much effort has gone into creating or restoring areas supporting microbial denitrification, which permanently removes nitrate from urban ecosystems. However, denitrification is a facultative process, with complex spatiotemporal drivers and limitations, making it difficult to predict where or when denitrification will occur. This is particularly true in urban systems, where drivers and limitations can differ greatly from those of native systems. In this study, we examine...
Strong Legacy Effects of Prior Burn Severity on Forest Resilience to a High-Severity Fire
01. September 2020
Abstract Legacy effects from one disturbance may influence successional pathways by amplifying or buffering forest regeneration after the next disturbance. We assessed vegetation and tree regeneration in non-serotinous Sierra lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. murrayana) stands after a 1984 wildfire which burned with variable severity and again after a high-severity subsequent fire in 2012. The legacy effects of the 1984 fire were amplified; seedlings and saplings were abundant in areas initially burned at low severity (1267 stems ha−1) despite high reburn severity...
Early Goose Arrival Increases Soil Nitrogen Availability More Than an Advancing Spring in Coastal Western Alaska
01. September 2020
Abstract An understudied aspect of climate change-induced phenological mismatch is its effect on ecosystem functioning, such as nitrogen (N) cycling. Migratory herbivore arrival time may alter N inputs and plant–herbivore feedbacks, whereas earlier springs are predicted to increase N cycling rates through warmer temperatures. However, the relative importance of these shifts in timing and how they interact to affect N cycling are largely unknown. We conducted a 3-year factorial experiment in coastal western Alaska that simulated different timings of Pacific black brant...