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Strong microsite control of seedling recruitment in tundra

Graae, Bente J.; Ejrnaes, Rasmus; Lang, Simone I.; Meineri, Eric; Ibarra, Pablo T. and Bruun, Hans Henrik LU (2011) In Oecologia 166(2). p.565-576
Abstract
The inclusion of environmental variation in studies of recruitment is a prerequisite for realistic predictions of the responses of vegetation to a changing environment. We investigated how seedling recruitment is affected by seed availability and microsite quality along a steep environmental gradient in dry tundra. A survey of natural seed rain and seedling density in vegetation was combined with observations of the establishment of 14 species after sowing into intact or disturbed vegetation. Although seed rain density was closely correlated with natural seedling establishment, the experimental seed addition showed that the microsite environment was even more important. For all species, seedling emergence peaked at the productive end of... (More)
The inclusion of environmental variation in studies of recruitment is a prerequisite for realistic predictions of the responses of vegetation to a changing environment. We investigated how seedling recruitment is affected by seed availability and microsite quality along a steep environmental gradient in dry tundra. A survey of natural seed rain and seedling density in vegetation was combined with observations of the establishment of 14 species after sowing into intact or disturbed vegetation. Although seed rain density was closely correlated with natural seedling establishment, the experimental seed addition showed that the microsite environment was even more important. For all species, seedling emergence peaked at the productive end of the gradient, irrespective of the adult niches realized. Disturbance promoted recruitment at all positions along the environmental gradient, not just at high productivity. Early seedling emergence constituted the main temporal bottleneck in recruitment for all species. Surprisingly, winter mortality was highest at what appeared to be the most benign end of the gradient. The results highlight that seedling recruitment patterns are largely determined by the earliest stages in seedling emergence, which again are closely linked to microsite quality. A fuller understanding of microsite effects on recruitment with implications for plant community assembly and vegetation change is provided. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Arctic, Alpine, Invasibility, Microclimate, Seed limitation
in
Oecologia
volume
166
issue
2
pages
565 - 576
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000290587600025
  • scopus:79956045298
ISSN
1432-1939
DOI
10.1007/s00442-010-1878-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
41f98199-9853-4d02-b7ed-833e7d684bab (old id 1986710)
date added to LUP
2011-06-29 11:00:28
date last changed
2017-10-29 04:06:19
@article{41f98199-9853-4d02-b7ed-833e7d684bab,
  abstract     = {The inclusion of environmental variation in studies of recruitment is a prerequisite for realistic predictions of the responses of vegetation to a changing environment. We investigated how seedling recruitment is affected by seed availability and microsite quality along a steep environmental gradient in dry tundra. A survey of natural seed rain and seedling density in vegetation was combined with observations of the establishment of 14 species after sowing into intact or disturbed vegetation. Although seed rain density was closely correlated with natural seedling establishment, the experimental seed addition showed that the microsite environment was even more important. For all species, seedling emergence peaked at the productive end of the gradient, irrespective of the adult niches realized. Disturbance promoted recruitment at all positions along the environmental gradient, not just at high productivity. Early seedling emergence constituted the main temporal bottleneck in recruitment for all species. Surprisingly, winter mortality was highest at what appeared to be the most benign end of the gradient. The results highlight that seedling recruitment patterns are largely determined by the earliest stages in seedling emergence, which again are closely linked to microsite quality. A fuller understanding of microsite effects on recruitment with implications for plant community assembly and vegetation change is provided.},
  author       = {Graae, Bente J. and Ejrnaes, Rasmus and Lang, Simone I. and Meineri, Eric and Ibarra, Pablo T. and Bruun, Hans Henrik},
  issn         = {1432-1939},
  keyword      = {Arctic,Alpine,Invasibility,Microclimate,Seed limitation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {565--576},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Oecologia},
  title        = {Strong microsite control of seedling recruitment in tundra},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-010-1878-8},
  volume       = {166},
  year         = {2011},
}