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Direct and Indirect Drivers of Moss Community Structure, Function, and Associated Microfauna Across a Successional Gradient

Jonsson, Micael; Kardol, Paul; Gundale, Michael J.; Bansal, Sheel; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Metcalfe, Dan LU and Wardle, David A. (2015) In Ecosystems 18(1). p.154-169
Abstract
Relative to vascular plants, little is known about what factors control bryophyte communities or how they respond to successional and environmental changes. Bryophytes are abundant in boreal forests, thus changes in moss community composition and functional traits (for example, moisture and nutrient content; rates of photosynthesis and respiration) may have important consequences for ecosystem processes and microfaunal communities. Through synthesis of previous work and new analyses integrating new and published data from a long-term successional gradient in the boreal forest of northern Sweden, we provide a comprehensive view of the biotic factors (for example, vascular plant productivity, species composition, and diversity) and abiotic... (More)
Relative to vascular plants, little is known about what factors control bryophyte communities or how they respond to successional and environmental changes. Bryophytes are abundant in boreal forests, thus changes in moss community composition and functional traits (for example, moisture and nutrient content; rates of photosynthesis and respiration) may have important consequences for ecosystem processes and microfaunal communities. Through synthesis of previous work and new analyses integrating new and published data from a long-term successional gradient in the boreal forest of northern Sweden, we provide a comprehensive view of the biotic factors (for example, vascular plant productivity, species composition, and diversity) and abiotic factors (for example, soil fertility and light transmission) that impact the moss community. Our results show that different aspects of the moss community (that is, composition, functional traits, moss-driven processes, and associated invertebrate fauna) respond to different sets of environmental variables, and that these are not always the same variables as those that influence the vascular plant community. Measures of moss community composition and functional traits were primarily influenced by vascular plant community composition and productivity. This suggests that successional shifts in abiotic variables, such as soil nutrient levels, indirectly affect the moss community via their influence on vascular plant community characteristics, whereas direct abiotic effects are less important. Among the moss-driven processes, moss litter decomposition and moss productivity were mainly influenced by biotic variables (notably the community characteristics of both vascular plants and mosses), whereas moss functional traits (primarily specific leaf area and tissue nutrient concentrations) also were important in explaining moss di-nitrogen-fixation rates. In contrast, both abiotic and biotic variables were important drivers of moss microfaunal community structure. Taken together, our results show which abiotic and biotic factors impact mosses and their associated organisms, and thus highlight that multiple interacting factors need to be considered to understand how moss communities, associated food webs, and the ecosystem processes they influence will respond to environmental change. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
boreal forest, bryophytes, feather mosses, island ecosystems, nematodes, nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria
in
Ecosystems
volume
18
issue
1
pages
154 - 169
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000349434400012
  • scopus:84925515410
ISSN
1432-9840
DOI
10.1007/s10021-014-9819-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e7ce92c1-32d3-4cd4-8a0c-785213d1e5ea (old id 5180090)
date added to LUP
2015-03-31 07:27:24
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:39:28
@article{e7ce92c1-32d3-4cd4-8a0c-785213d1e5ea,
  abstract     = {Relative to vascular plants, little is known about what factors control bryophyte communities or how they respond to successional and environmental changes. Bryophytes are abundant in boreal forests, thus changes in moss community composition and functional traits (for example, moisture and nutrient content; rates of photosynthesis and respiration) may have important consequences for ecosystem processes and microfaunal communities. Through synthesis of previous work and new analyses integrating new and published data from a long-term successional gradient in the boreal forest of northern Sweden, we provide a comprehensive view of the biotic factors (for example, vascular plant productivity, species composition, and diversity) and abiotic factors (for example, soil fertility and light transmission) that impact the moss community. Our results show that different aspects of the moss community (that is, composition, functional traits, moss-driven processes, and associated invertebrate fauna) respond to different sets of environmental variables, and that these are not always the same variables as those that influence the vascular plant community. Measures of moss community composition and functional traits were primarily influenced by vascular plant community composition and productivity. This suggests that successional shifts in abiotic variables, such as soil nutrient levels, indirectly affect the moss community via their influence on vascular plant community characteristics, whereas direct abiotic effects are less important. Among the moss-driven processes, moss litter decomposition and moss productivity were mainly influenced by biotic variables (notably the community characteristics of both vascular plants and mosses), whereas moss functional traits (primarily specific leaf area and tissue nutrient concentrations) also were important in explaining moss di-nitrogen-fixation rates. In contrast, both abiotic and biotic variables were important drivers of moss microfaunal community structure. Taken together, our results show which abiotic and biotic factors impact mosses and their associated organisms, and thus highlight that multiple interacting factors need to be considered to understand how moss communities, associated food webs, and the ecosystem processes they influence will respond to environmental change.},
  author       = {Jonsson, Micael and Kardol, Paul and Gundale, Michael J. and Bansal, Sheel and Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte and Metcalfe, Dan and Wardle, David A.},
  issn         = {1432-9840},
  keyword      = {boreal forest,bryophytes,feather mosses,island ecosystems,nematodes,nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {154--169},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Ecosystems},
  title        = {Direct and Indirect Drivers of Moss Community Structure, Function, and Associated Microfauna Across a Successional Gradient},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10021-014-9819-8},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2015},
}