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Latest Results for Ecosystems
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02. Februar 2023
No Signs of Long-term Greening Trend in Western Mongolian Grasslands
02. Februar 2023
Abstract Trends for increased vegetation greenness based on satellite-derived data have been repeatedly published for the temperate grassland biome (including forest steppes) of eastern Inner Asia since 1982. Although this greening trend has been attenuated or partially reversed by drought in the early twenty-first century, linear increases in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) or other parameters of vegetation greenness are nevertheless evident when the period since 1982 is regarded. However, the question arises whether these trends are part of a long-term...
Contrasting Silicon Dynamics Between Aboveground Vegetation and Soil Along a Secondary Successional Gradient in a Cool-temperate Deciduous Forest
30. Januar 2023
Abstract Silicon is an essential or beneficial element in many organisms. Silicon uptake by vegetation strongly influences terrestrial silicon dynamics; however, little is known about the changes in plant silicon cycling during secondary succession. We hypothesized that the community-weighted mean (CWM) leaf silicon concentration changes along a secondary successional gradient because of turnover of species that differ in silicon uptake. We also hypothesized that the concentration of water-soluble soil silicon should increase with silicon input to the upper soil layer by...
Variability in Tree-ring Width and NDVI Responses to Climate at a Landscape Level
26. Januar 2023
Abstract Inter-annual climatically driven growth variability of above-ground biomass compartments (for example, tree stems and foliage) controls the intensity of carbon sequestration into forest ecosystems. However, understanding the differences between the climatic response of stem and foliage at the landscape level is limited. In this study, we examined the climate-growth response of stem and leaf biomass and their relationship for Pinus sylvestris (PISY) and Picea abies (PCAB) in topographically complex landscapes. We used tree-ring width chronologies and time series...
Structuring Life After Death: Plant Leachates Promote CO2 Uptake by Regulating Microbial Biofilm Interactions in a Northern Peatland Ecosystem
26. Januar 2023
Abstract Shifts in plant functional groups associated with climate change have the potential to influence peatland carbon storage by altering the amount and composition of organic matter available to aquatic microbial biofilms. The goal of this study was to evaluate the potential for plant subsidies to regulate ecosystem carbon flux (CO2) by governing the relative proportion of primary producers (microalgae) and heterotrophic decomposers (heterotrophic bacteria) during aquatic biofilm development in an Alaskan fen. We evaluated biofilm composition and CO2 flux inside...
Fishers' Knowledge Reveals Ecological Interactions Between Fish and Plants in High Diverse Tropical Rivers
18. Januar 2023
Abstract Frugivory and seed dispersal by fish is an important mutualistic interaction in complex and species-rich tropical rivers. The local ecological knowledge (LEK) held by fishers can provide new information on relationships between fishes and plants in less studied rivers. This study aims to investigate the feeding interactions between frugivorous fish and plants through interaction networks based on the fishers' LEK in three rivers in the Brazilian Amazon (Negro, Tapajós and Tocantins). A total of 418 fishers were interviewed in 24 communities (eight in each river...
Impact of Sediment Bioturbation on Microphytobenthic Primary Producers: Importance of Macrobenthic Functional Traits
17. Januar 2023
Abstract Microphytobenthos (MPB) is one of the most important primary producers in coastal and estuarine ecosystems, where it plays a substantial role in many ecological functions. Although the influence of several environmental factors on MPB biomass and productivity is well documented, the effects of macrofaunal bioturbation remain poorly assessed. The purpose of this study was to experimentally quantify the influence of sediment bioturbation processes (that is, sediment reworking and bioirrigation) on biogeochemical fluxes across the sediment–water interface and MPB...
Coastal Forest in Eastern Southern Africa has Savanna Bush-clump Origins
09. Januar 2023
Abstract The extensive coastal forests in eastern southern Africa persist as a putative alternative stable state in an open ecosystem mosaic that includes grassland and savanna. We examine two current hypotheses of the state-transition origins of these forests: (1) facilitation—where light-demanding pioneer cohorts facilitate establishment by species that tolerate shade and whose functional traits align with forest; and (2) nucleation—where tree species of savanna origin establish on fire refugia in grassland, and where forest develops from the coalescence of these...
Plant Traits and Phylogeny Predict Soil Carbon and Nutrient Cycling in Mediterranean Mixed Forests
05. Januar 2023
Abstract Soil functioning is closely linked to the interactions between biological communities with the physical environment. Yet, the impact of plant community attributes on metabolic processes promoting soil nutrient cycling remains largely unknown. We hypothesized that the plant community acts as a regulating agent of nutrient mobilization in soils according to the phylogenetic and morpho-functional traits of plant species of which it is composed. Rhizosphere soils were collected in autumn and spring under 32 tree and shrub species in two Mediterranean mixed forests...
Nitrogen and Phosphorus Uptake Stoichiometry Tracks Supply Ratio During 2-year Whole-Ecosystem Nutrient Additions
22. Dezember 2022
Abstract Nutrient uptake, storage, and release are critical ecosystem functions that affect carbon processing and food web dynamics. Yet, mechanisms controlling when ecosystems are net sinks or sources of nutrients are uncertain. Specifically, how nutrient supply ratios alter rates and ratios of net nutrient uptake and release is unclear. To assess whether net nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) uptake and release are linked to supply N:P, we experimentally enriched five forest streams at different N:P (target molar N:P range 2:1–128:1) for 2 years. We quantified net...
Soil Abiotic Properties Shape Plant Functional Diversity Across Temperate Grassland Plant Communities
16. Dezember 2022
Abstract There is increasing awareness that plant community functional properties can be an important driver of ecosystem functioning. However, major knowledge gaps exist about how environmental factors, especially climate and soil abiotic properties, shape plant functional diversity at a regional scale. Furthermore, at those scales the relationships between plant functional and taxonomic diversity have rarely been considered. Here, we used a large database of plant species and functional trait data from 180 temperate grasslands across England, covering a broad range of...
Climate Effects on Prairie Productivity Partially Ameliorated by Soil Nutrients and Plant Community Responses
16. Dezember 2022
Net primary productivity (NPP) is a key ecosystem function of plant communities. Climate change is expected to affect NPP both directly and indirectly through associated edaphic and plant community factors. Changes in soil nutrients, plant species richness and/or functional group dominance may amplify or counteract direct climatic effects on NPP, and responses may differ above-versus belowground, making it challenging to predict the net effects on NPP. In this study, we manipulated temperature and precipitation at four sites spanning a latitudinal Mediterranean-climate gradient in the...
Pulse, Shunt and Storage: Hydrological Contraction Shapes Processing and Export of Particulate Organic Matter in River Networks
12. Dezember 2022
Abstract Streams and rivers act as landscape-scale bioreactors processing large quantities of terrestrial particulate organic matter (POM). This function is linked to their flow regime, which governs residence times, shapes organic matter reactivity and controls the amount of carbon (C) exported to the atmosphere and coastal oceans. Climate change impacts flow regimes by increasing both flash floods and droughts. Here, we used a modelling approach to explore the consequences of lateral hydrological contraction, that is, the reduction of the wet portion of the streambed...
Herbivores’ Impacts Cascade Through the Brown Food Web in a Dryland
12. Dezember 2022
Abstract Food webs can be conceptualized as being powered by energy derived from living and dead vegetation, respectively. Most food web research has focused on “green food webs” which begin with the consumption of living vegetation by herbivores. However, “brown food webs” which stem from the consumption of senescent vegetation by detritivores are also an important channel of energy transfer. In theory, herbivores have the potential to disrupt brown food webs by consuming plant material before it can senesce and become available for detritivores. Here we...
Nitrogen Addition Increases Freeze Resistance in Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans) Shrubs in a Temperate-Tropical Ecotone
05. Dezember 2022
Abstract Low temperature stress is the primary factor determining the latitudinal limits of tropical plants. As the climate warms, tropical species are migrating poleward, displacing native species and modifying ecosystem structure and function. Changes are particularly evident along latitudinal gradients with the highest velocity of change occurring in wetlands. In coastal wetlands, saltmarshes dominate at latitudes above 30°, whereas mangroves occur mostly in the tropics because most species are intolerant of freezing temperatures, but others, like Avicennia germinans...
The Interplay of the Tree and Stand-Level Processes Mediate Drought-Induced Forest Dieback: Evidence from Complementary Remote Sensing and Tree-Ring Approaches
01. Dezember 2022
Abstract Drought-induced forest dieback can lead to a tipping point in community dominance, but the coupled response at the tree and stand-level response has not been properly addressed. New spatially and temporally integrated monitoring approaches that target different biological organization levels are needed. Here, we compared the temporal responses of dendrochronological and spectral indices from 1984 to 2020 at both tree and stand levels, respectively, of a drought-prone Mediterranean Pinus pinea forest currently suffering strong dieback. We test the influence of...
Three Decades of Changing Nutrient Stoichiometry from Source to Sea on the Swedish West Coast
01. Dezember 2022
Abstract European ecosystems have been subject to extensive shifts in anthropogenic disturbance, primarily through atmospheric deposition, climate change, and land management. These changes have altered the macronutrient composition of aquatic systems, with widespread increases in organic carbon (C), and declines in nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). Less well known is how these disturbances have affected nutrient stoichiometry, which may be a more useful metric to evaluate the health of aquatic ecosystems than individual nutrient concentrations. The Swedish west coast...
Celebrating 25 Years of Ecosystems
01. Dezember 2022
Seeing the System from Above: The Use and Potential of Remote Sensing for Studying Ecosystem Dynamics
01. Dezember 2022
Abstract Remote sensing techniques are increasingly used for studying ecosystem dynamics, delivering spatially explicit information on the properties of Earth over large spatial and multi-decadal temporal extents. Yet, there is still a gap between the more technology-driven development of novel remote sensing techniques and their applications for studying ecosystem dynamics. Here, I review the existing literature to explore how addressing these gaps might enable recent methods to overcome longstanding challenges in ecological research. First, I trace the emergence of...
A Global Synthesis of the Effects of Livestock Activity on Hydrological Processes
01. Dezember 2022
Abstract The livestock sector supports billions of people worldwide, yet when poorly managed, can have substantial negative effects on soils and ecosystem functions. Despite numerous studies and reviews of the effects of livestock activity on hydrological functions, a global synthesis of their effects on different biotic (vegetation, herbivore type) and abiotic (climate, soil, spatial scales) factors remains elusive. This makes it difficult to provide ecologically based advice on how best to manage grazing to minimise environmental damage and maximise hydrological...