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Ecosystems 

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Social-Ecological Functional Types: Connecting People and Ecosystems in the Argentine Chaco
09. Juli 2019
Abstract Sustainability science recognizes the importance of the integrated assessment of the ecological and social systems in land-use planning. However, most studies so far have been conceptual rather than empirical. We developed a framework to characterize the social-ecological systems heterogeneity according to its functioning through the identification of social–ecological functional types (SEFT). The SEFT framework builds on the plant, ecosystem and agent functional type approaches, taking a step forward to integrate the dimensions of social–ecological systems...
Tipping Points in the Mangrove March: Characterization of Biogeochemical Cycling Along the Mangrove–Salt Marsh Ecotone
09. Juli 2019
Abstract Coastal wetland vegetation communities can respond to sea level rise via the encroachment of more salt- and inundation-tolerant species into existing vegetation communities. Black mangroves (Avicennia germinans L.) are encroaching on saltgrass (Distichlis spicata L.) within the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in east central Florida (USA). Nine soil cores collected along three transects captured the transitions of both perceived abiotic drivers (salinity and inundation) and vegetation communities during both high- and low-water seasons to investigate...
Leaf Nutrients and Macroinvertebrates Control Litter Mixing Effects on Decomposition in Temperate Streams
25. Juni 2019
Abstract Plant litter decomposition is an essential ecosystem function in temperate streams. Both riparian vegetation and decomposer communities are major determinants of the decomposition efficiency and the interactions occurring within litter mixtures. However, the extent to which such litter mixture interactions are affected by combined shifts in litter traits and decomposer community is not well understood. We used leaf litter from 10 European tree species in order to study litter decomposition and litter mixture effects occurring in two-species litter mixtures in a...
Asian Cities are Greening While Some North American Cities are Browning: Long-Term Greenspace Patterns in 16 Cities of the Pan-Pacific Region
25. Juni 2019
Abstract Pan-Pacific cities are home to nearly 55% of the world’s urban residents. As the fastest growing urban centers in the world, their growth comes with increasing demand for urban amenities such as greenspace. Yet, our understanding of greenspace trends within and among pan-Pacific cities is limited due to a lack of consistent long-term land cover data necessary for transnational comparisons. We tracked and compared greenspace patterns in 16 major pan-Pacific cities over 28 years. We asked: (1) How do long-term trends in greenspace heterogeneity differ among...
Thirty-Year Repeat Measures of Mangrove Above- and Below-Ground Biomass Reveals Unexpectedly High Carbon Sequestration
13. Juni 2019
Abstract Mangrove ecosystems store large quantities of organic carbon for long periods of time. This study explores organic carbon stock change through the first comparative study of radiometric analysis and repeat field measures over a multi-decadal period in a mangrove system. Examining one tall gallery forest of Avicennia marina, and an adjacent interior scrub mangrove of mixed Avicennia marina and Aegiceras corniculatum, radiometric analysis estimated a soil organic carbon accumulation rate of 4.3 ± 0.6 Mg C ha−1 y−1 in the tall gallery forest and...
The Shifting Role of mRUE for Regulating Ecosystem Production
13. Juni 2019
Abstract To create a comprehensive view of ecosystem resource use, we integrated parallel resource use efficiency observations into a multiple-resource use efficiency (mRUE) framework using a dynamic factor analysis model. Results from 56 site-years of eddy covariance data and mRUE factors for a site in the US Midwest show temporal dynamics and coherence (using Pearson’s R) among resources are associated with interannual variation in precipitation. Loading factors are derived from mRUE observations and quantify how strongly data are connected to the underlying ecosystem...
Involving Stakeholders’ Knowledge in Co-designing Social Valuations of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Implications for Decision-Making
12. Juni 2019
ABSTRACT We contribute to addressing two gaps that reduce the utility of ecosystem sciences for decision-making: lack of standard methods for using stakeholders’ knowledge to co-design ecosystem services science research, and absence of commensurable social valuation metrics that allow effective value comparisons. In two phases, we used co-designed instruments to conduct social valuation of biodiversity, and provisioning, cultural and regulating services. First, we conducted eight participatory fora, where experts and non-experts identified ecosystem aspects to which...
Bridging the Gap Between Salmon Spawner Abundance and Marine Nutrient Assimilation by Juvenile Salmon: Seasonal Cycles and Landscape Effects at the Watershed Scale
08. Juni 2019
Abstract Anadromous Pacific salmon are semelparous, and resource subsidies from spawning adults (marine-derived nutrients, or MDN) benefit juvenile salmonids rearing in freshwater. However, it remains unclear how MDN assimilation relates to spawner abundance within a watershed. To address this, we examined seasonal, watershed-scale patterns of MDN assimilation in rearing coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and Chinook (O. tshawytscha) salmon and compared it with spawner biomass and landscape features in a western Alaska watershed with contrasting structural complexity in two...
Land–Ocean Connectivity Through Subsidies of Terrestrially Derived Organic Matter to a Nearshore Marine Consumer
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Land–ocean coupling in the form of riverine inputs of terrestrial matter can constitute an energetic subsidy to food webs in nearshore coastal areas. In regions with distinctly seasonal rainfall patterns, the strength and spatial footprint of any terrestrial signal in receiving marine food webs is predicted to mirror seasonal changes in fluvial forcing. Here, we test this prediction in a subtropical bay by isotopically (δ13C and δ15N) characterizing the main primary producers and reconstructing (using a Bayesian stable isotope mixing model) their...
Effects of Bark Beetle Disturbance on Soil Nutrient Retention and Lake Chemistry in Glacial Catchment
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Forest ecosystems worldwide are subjected to human-induced stressors, including eutrophication and acidification, and to natural disturbances (for example, insect infestation, windstorms, fires). The occurrence of the later is expected to increase due to the ongoing climate change. These multi-stressor forcings modify ecosystem biogeochemistry, including the retention of limiting nutrients, with implications for terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity. Here we present whole ecosystem nutrient (N, Ca, Mg, K) mass balances in the forested catchment of Plešné Lake...
Litter Decomposition in Yellowstone Grasslands: The Roles of Large Herbivores, Litter Quality, and Climate
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Plant litter decomposition is a key process that influences carbon and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Litter decomposition is controlled by a number of factors such as temperature, moisture, litter quality, and the composition of soil microbial communities. Large herbivores can affect litter decomposition by modifying each of these factors. The goal of this study was to examine the contribution of herbivores in determining decomposition rates across an ecosystem with a steep climatic gradient. We examined the effect of migratory grazing ungulates...
Spatial Variability of Organic Carbon, CaCO 3 and Nutrient Burial Rates Spanning a Mangrove Productivity Gradient in the Coastal Everglades
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Mangrove wetlands are some of the most important locations of organic carbon (OC) sequestration and storage in the world on a per area basis. The high stocks of soil OC are driven by generally high burial rates and efficient preservation of organic material over past millennia of relatively slow and consistent sea level rise. Although the global average rate of OC burial in mangrove wetlands is relatively high, the range in the literature varies by up to two orders of magnitude. The objective of this research was to measure burial rates of OC, CaCO3, and...
Disentangling Climate and Disturbance Effects on Regional Vegetation Greening Trends
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Productivity of northern latitude forests is an important driver of the terrestrial carbon cycle and is already responding to climate change. Studies of the satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for northern latitudes indicate recent changes in plant productivity. These detected greening and browning trends are often attributed to a lengthening of the growing season from warming temperatures. Yet, disturbance-recovery dynamics are strong drivers of productivity and can mask direct effects of climate change. Here, we analyze 1-km...
Long-term Nutrient Fertilization Increased Soil Carbon Storage in California Grasslands
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Elevated nutrient deposition often increases primary productivity in terrestrial ecosystems and thus has the potential to increase the flux of carbon (C) into soils. An important step toward greater understanding of nutrient effects on C storage involves assessing effects on different fractions of the soil C pool across a range of soil types. We quantified the combined effects of 8 years of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and micronutrient fertilization on the C storage in bulk soil and in density fractions at four grassland sites in California...
Plant Production Responses to Precipitation Differ Along an Elevation Gradient and Are Enhanced Under Extremes
01. Juni 2019
Abstract The sensitivity of plant production to precipitation underlies the functioning of ecosystems. Studies that relate long-term mean annual precipitation and production across multiple sites (spatial relationship) or examine interannual linkages within a site (temporal relationship) can reveal biophysical controls over ecosystem function but have limited ability to infer responses to extreme changes in precipitation that may become more common under climate change. To overcome limitations of using a single approach, we integrated satellite- and ground-based...
Drainage Ratio as a Strong Predictor of Allochthonous Carbon Budget in Hemiboreal Lakes
01. Juni 2019
Abstract We assessed the allochthonous organic carbon (OC) budgets for thirteen hemiboreal lakes using a simple equilibrium model coupled with a Bayesian framework for estimating parameter distribution and uncertainty. Model inputs consisted of hydrological, bathymetric and chemical data that are easily measurable at the lake and basin scale. Among the model outputs were mean OC loads (5–123 g m−2 y−1), exports (1.10−3–108 g m−2 y−1), mineralization (3–12 g m−2 y−1), and sedimentation (2–6 g m−2 y−1). “Active” lake-catchment...
Broad-Scale Patterns of Soil Carbon (C) Pools and Fluxes Across Semiarid Ecosystems are Linked to Climate and Soil Texture
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Dryland (semiarid and arid) ecosystems are responsible for most of the interannual variation in atmospheric CO2 concentrations and contain a considerable fraction of the globe’s soil carbon (C) stock. Despite their important contribution to the global land C sink, we have a poor mechanistic understanding of the processes that drive C cycling patterns in drylands. In this study in eastern Utah, we examined the natural variation of soil C pools and fluxes along semiorthogonal gradients of climate and soil texture in order to determine the pertinent...
Estimating Ecosystem Metabolism to Entire River Networks
01. Juni 2019
Abstract River ecosystem metabolism (REM) is a promising cost-effective measure of ecosystem functioning, as it integrates many different ecosystem processes and is affected by both rapid (primary productivity) and slow (organic matter decomposition) energy channels of the riverine food web. We estimated REM in 41 river reaches in Deva-Cares catchment (northern Spain) during the summer period. We used oxygen mass-balance techniques in which primary production and ecosystem respiration were calculated from oxygen concentration daily curves. Then, we used recently...
Herbivore Effects on Ecosystem Process Rates in a Low-Productive System
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Mammalian herbivores shape the structure and function of many nutrient-limited or low-productive terrestrial ecosystems through modification of plant communities and plant–soil feedbacks. In the tundra biome, mammalian herbivores may both accelerate and decelerate plant biomass growth, microbial activity and nutrient cycling, that is, ecosystem process rates. Selective foraging and associated declines of palatable species are known to be major drivers of plant–soil feedbacks. However, declines in dominant plants of low palatability often linked with high...
Context-Dependency of Agricultural Legacies in Temperate Forest Soils
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Anthropogenic activities have affected forests for centuries, leading to persistent legacies. Observations of agricultural legacies on forest soil properties have been site specific and contrasting. Sites and regions vary along gradients in intrinsic soil characteristics, phosphorus (P) management and nitrogen (N) deposition which could affect the magnitude of soil property responses to past cultivation. A single investigation along these gradients could reconcile contradictions and elucidate context-dependency in agricultural legacies. We analysed soil from 24...