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Direct and interaction-mediated effects of environmental changes on peatland bryophytes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
2011 (English)In: Oecologia, ISSN 0029-8549, E-ISSN 1432-1939, Vol. 166, no 2, 555-563 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ecosystem processes of northern peatlands are largely governed by the vitality and species composition in the bryophyte layer, and may be affected by global warming and eutrophication. In a factorial experiment in northeast China, we tested the effects of raised levels of nitrogen (0, 1 and 2 g m(-2) year(-1)), phosphorus (0, 0.1 and 0.2 g m(-2) year(-1)) and temperature (ambient and +3A degrees C) on Polytrichum strictum, Sphagnum magellanicum and S. palustre, to see if the effects could be altered by inter-specific interactions. In all species, growth declined with nitrogen addition and increased with phosphorus addition, but only P. strictum responded to raised temperature with increased production of side-shoots (branching). In Sphagnum, growth and branching changed in the same direction, but in Polytrichum, the two responses were uncoupled: with nitrogen addition there was a decrease in growth (smaller than in Sphagnum) but an increase in branching; with phosphorus addition growth increased but branching was unaffected. There were no two-way interactions among the P, N and T treatments. With increasing temperature, our results indicate that S. palustre should decrease relative to P. strictum (Polytrichum increased its branching and had a negative neighbor effect on S. palustre). With a slight increase in phosphorus availability, the increase in length growth and production of side-shoots in P. strictum and S. magellanicum may give them a competitive superiority over S. palustre. The negative response in Sphagnum to nitrogen could favor the expansion of vascular plants, but P. strictum may endure thanks to its increased branching.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 166, no 2, 555-563 p.
Keyword [en]
Branching, Inter-specific interaction, Polytrichum, Sphagnum, Warming
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Ecological Botany
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-143270DOI: 10.1007/s00442-010-1880-1ISI: 000290587600024OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-143270DiVA: diva2:389944
Available from: 2011-01-20 Created: 2011-01-20 Last updated: 2013-12-09Bibliographically approved

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