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Above-ground and below-ground plant responses to fertilization in two subarctic ecosystems

Veen, G. F. (Ciska); Sundqvist, Maja K.; Metcalfe, Dan LU and Wilson, Scott D. (2015) In Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 47(4). p.693-702
Abstract
Soil nutrient supply is likely to change in the Arctic due to altered process rates associated with climate change. Here, we compare the responses of herbaceous tundra and birch forest understory to fertilization, considering both above-and below-ground responses. We added nitrogen and phosphorus to plots in both vegetation types for three years near Abisko, northern Sweden, and measured the effect on above-and below-ground plant community properties and soil characteristics. Fertilization increased ground-layer shoot mass, the cover of grasses, and tended to enhance total root length below-ground, while it reduced the cover of low statured deciduous dwarf-shrubs. The only statistically significant interaction between vegetation type and... (More)
Soil nutrient supply is likely to change in the Arctic due to altered process rates associated with climate change. Here, we compare the responses of herbaceous tundra and birch forest understory to fertilization, considering both above-and below-ground responses. We added nitrogen and phosphorus to plots in both vegetation types for three years near Abisko, northern Sweden, and measured the effect on above-and below-ground plant community properties and soil characteristics. Fertilization increased ground-layer shoot mass, the cover of grasses, and tended to enhance total root length below-ground, while it reduced the cover of low statured deciduous dwarf-shrubs. The only statistically significant interaction between vegetation type and fertilization was for grass cover, which increased twofold in forest understory but sixfold in tundra following fertilization. The lack of interactions for other variables suggests that the ground layers in these contrasting vegetation types have similar responses to fertilization. The nutrient-driven increase in grass cover and species-specific differences in productivity and root characters may alter ecosystem dynamics and C cycling in the long-term, but our study indicates that the response of birch forest understory and tundra vegetation may be consistent. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research
volume
47
issue
4
pages
693 - 702
publisher
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
external identifiers
  • wos:000363863300009
  • scopus:84946027416
ISSN
1938-4246
DOI
10.1657/AAAR0014-085
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
195938d2-6d08-41eb-92ca-ab4e006f14bb (old id 8398192)
date added to LUP
2015-12-21 08:51:55
date last changed
2017-02-19 03:08:31
@article{195938d2-6d08-41eb-92ca-ab4e006f14bb,
  abstract     = {Soil nutrient supply is likely to change in the Arctic due to altered process rates associated with climate change. Here, we compare the responses of herbaceous tundra and birch forest understory to fertilization, considering both above-and below-ground responses. We added nitrogen and phosphorus to plots in both vegetation types for three years near Abisko, northern Sweden, and measured the effect on above-and below-ground plant community properties and soil characteristics. Fertilization increased ground-layer shoot mass, the cover of grasses, and tended to enhance total root length below-ground, while it reduced the cover of low statured deciduous dwarf-shrubs. The only statistically significant interaction between vegetation type and fertilization was for grass cover, which increased twofold in forest understory but sixfold in tundra following fertilization. The lack of interactions for other variables suggests that the ground layers in these contrasting vegetation types have similar responses to fertilization. The nutrient-driven increase in grass cover and species-specific differences in productivity and root characters may alter ecosystem dynamics and C cycling in the long-term, but our study indicates that the response of birch forest understory and tundra vegetation may be consistent.},
  author       = {Veen, G. F. (Ciska) and Sundqvist, Maja K. and Metcalfe, Dan and Wilson, Scott D.},
  issn         = {1938-4246},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {693--702},
  publisher    = {Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research},
  series       = {Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research},
  title        = {Above-ground and below-ground plant responses to fertilization in two subarctic ecosystems},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1657/AAAR0014-085},
  volume       = {47},
  year         = {2015},
}