Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Community and species-specific responses of plant traits to 23 years of experimental warming across subarctic tundra plant communities


Baruah, Gaurav; Molau, Ulf; Bai, Yang; Alatalo, Juha M (2017). Community and species-specific responses of plant traits to 23 years of experimental warming across subarctic tundra plant communities. Scientific Reports, 7(1):2571.

Abstract

To improve understanding of how global warming may affect competitive interactions among plants, information on the responses of plant functional traits across species to long-term warming is needed. Here we report the effect of 23 years of experimental warming on plant traits across four different alpine subarctic plant communities: tussock tundra, Dryas heath, dry heath and wet meadow. Open-top chambers (OTCs) were used to passively warm the vegetation by 1.5–3 °C. Changes in leaf width, leaf length and plant height of 22 vascular plant species were measured. Long-term warming significantly affected all plant traits. Overall, plant species were taller, with longer and wider leaves, compared with control plots, indicating an increase in biomass in warmed plots, with 13 species having significant increases in at least one trait and only three species having negative responses. The response varied among species and plant community in which the species was sampled, indicating community-warming interactions. Thus, plant trait responses are both species- and community-specific. Importantly, we show that there is likely to be great variation between plant species in their ability to maintain positive growth responses over the longer term, which might cause shifts in their relative competitive ability.

Abstract

To improve understanding of how global warming may affect competitive interactions among plants, information on the responses of plant functional traits across species to long-term warming is needed. Here we report the effect of 23 years of experimental warming on plant traits across four different alpine subarctic plant communities: tussock tundra, Dryas heath, dry heath and wet meadow. Open-top chambers (OTCs) were used to passively warm the vegetation by 1.5–3 °C. Changes in leaf width, leaf length and plant height of 22 vascular plant species were measured. Long-term warming significantly affected all plant traits. Overall, plant species were taller, with longer and wider leaves, compared with control plots, indicating an increase in biomass in warmed plots, with 13 species having significant increases in at least one trait and only three species having negative responses. The response varied among species and plant community in which the species was sampled, indicating community-warming interactions. Thus, plant trait responses are both species- and community-specific. Importantly, we show that there is likely to be great variation between plant species in their ability to maintain positive growth responses over the longer term, which might cause shifts in their relative competitive ability.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Downloads

4 downloads since deposited on 22 Feb 2018
4 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:22 Feb 2018 14:57
Last Modified:29 Mar 2018 04:54
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-02595-2

Download

Download PDF  'Community and species-specific responses of plant traits to 23 years of experimental warming across subarctic tundra plant communities'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 3MB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)