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Moss-specific changes in nitrogen fixation following two decades of warming, shading, and fertilizer addition
Responsible organisation
2012 (English)In: Plant Ecology, ISSN 1385-0237, E-ISSN 1573-5052, Vol. 213, no 4, p. 695-706Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate warming will induce changes in Arctic ecosystem carbon balance, but besides climate, nitrogen availability is a critical controlling factor of carbon cycling. It is therefore essential to obtain knowledge on the influence of a changing climate on nitrogen fixation, as this process is the main source of new nitrogen to arctic ecosystems. In order to gain information on future nitrogen fixation rates in a changing climate, we studied the effects of two decades of warming with passive greenhouses, shading with sackcloth, and fertilization with NPK fertilizer on nitrogen fixation rates. To expand the knowledge on species-specific responses, we measured nitrogen fixation associated with two moss species: Hylocomium splendens and Aulacomnium turgidum. Our expectations of decreased nitrogen fixation rates in the fertilizer and shading treatments were met. However, contrary to our expectation of increased nitrogen fixation in the warming treatment, we observed either no change (Hylocomium) or a decrease (Aulacomnium) in fixation in the warmed plots. We hypothesize that this could be due to moss-specific responses or to long-term induced effects of the warming. For example, we observed that the soil temperature increase induced by the warming treatment was low and insignificant as vegetation height and total vascular plant cover of the warmed plots increased, and moss cover decreased. Hence, truly long-term studies lasting more than two decades provide insights on changes in key biogeochemical processes, which differ from more transient responses to warming in the Arctic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 213, no 4, p. 695-706
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-8227DOI: 10.1007/s11258-012-0034-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-8227DiVA, id: diva2:1297677
Available from: 2019-03-20 Created: 2019-03-20 Last updated: 2019-03-20

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