Ecosystems

http://link.springer.com/journal/10021

List of Papers (Total 140)

Climatic Suitability Derived from Species Distribution Models Captures Community Responses to an Extreme Drought Episode

The differential responses of co-occurring species in rich communities to climate change—particularly to drought episodes—have been fairly unexplored. Species distribution models (SDMs) are used to assess changes in species suitability under environmental shifts, but whether they can portray population and community responses is largely undetermined, especially in relation to...

Multiple Feedbacks Contribute to a Centennial Legacy of Reindeer on Tundra Vegetation

Historical contingency is the impact of past events, like the timing and order of species arrival, on community assembly, and can sometimes result in alternative stable states of ecological communities. Large herbivores, wild and domestic, can cause profound changes in the structure and functioning of plant communities and therefore probably influence historical contingency...

Allochthonous Organic Matter Supports Benthic but Not Pelagic Food Webs in Shallow Coastal Ecosystems

Rivers transport large amounts of allochthonous organic matter (OM) to the ocean every year, but there are still fundamental gaps in how allochthonous OM is processed in the marine environment. Here, we estimated the relative contribution of allochthonous OM (allochthony) to the biomass of benthic and pelagic consumers in a shallow coastal ecosystem in the northern Baltic Sea. We...

Enhancing Soil Organic Matter as a Route to the Ecological Intensification of European Arable Systems

Soil organic matter (SOM) is declining in most agricultural ecosystems, impacting multiple ecosystem services including erosion and flood prevention, climate and greenhouse gas regulation as well as other services that underpin crop production, such as nutrient cycling and pest control. Ecological intensification aims to enhance crop productivity by including regulating and...

Biotic and Abiotic Drivers of Peatland Growth and Microtopography: A Model Demonstration

Peatlands are important carbon reserves in terrestrial ecosystems. The microtopography of a peatland area has a strong influence on its carbon balance, determining carbon fluxes at a range of spatial scales. These patterned surfaces are very sensitive to changing climatic conditions. There are open research questions concerning the stability, behaviour and transformation of these...

Effects of Terrestrial Organic Matter on Aquatic Primary Production as Mediated by Pelagic–Benthic Resource Fluxes

Flows of energy and matter across habitat boundaries can be major determinants of the functioning of recipient ecosystems. It is currently debated whether terrestrial dissolved organic matter (tDOM) is a resource subsidy or a resource subtraction in recipient lakes. We present data from a long-term field experiment in which pelagic phosphorus concentration and whole-ecosystem...

Drivers of Sediment Accumulation and Nutrient Burial in Coastal Stormwater Detention Ponds, South Carolina, USA

Stormwater detention ponds are widely utilized as control structures to manage runoff during storm events. These ponds also represent biogeochemical hotspots, where carbon (C) and nutrients can be processed and buried in sediments. This study quantified C and nutrient [nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)] sources and burial rates in 14 stormwater detention ponds representative of...

Phosphorus Availability Determines the Response of Tundra Ecosystem Carbon Stocks to Nitrogen Enrichment

Northern permafrost soils contain important carbon stocks. Here we report the long-term response of carbon stocks in high Arctic dwarf shrub tundra to short-term, low-level nutrient enrichment. Twenty years after experimental nitrogen addition, carbon stocks in vegetation and organic soil had almost halved. In contrast, where phosphorus was added with nitrogen, carbon storage...

Large Plankton Enhance Heterotrophy Under Experimental Warming in a Temperate Coastal Ecosystem

Microbes are key players in oceanic carbon fluxes. Temperate ecosystems are seasonally variable and thus suitable for testing the effect of warming on microbial carbon fluxes at contrasting oceanographic conditions. In four experiments conducted in February, April, August and October 2013 in coastal NE Atlantic waters, we monitored microbial plankton stocks and daily rates of...

Analyzing the Effects of Growing Season Length on the Net Ecosystem Production of an Alpine Grassland Using Model–Data Fusion

Alpine ecosystems are, similar to arctic ecosystems, characterized by a very long snow season. Previous studies investigating arctic or alpine ecosystems have shown that winter CO2 effluxes can dominate the annual balance and that the timing and duration of the snow cover plays a crucial role for plant growth and phenology and might also influence the growing season ecosystem CO2...

Current Practices in Reporting Uncertainty in Ecosystem Ecology

Ecosystem budgets of water and elements can be difficult to estimate and are often unreplicated, making it challenging to provide confidence in estimates of ecosystem pools and fluxes. We conducted a survey to learn about current practices in reporting uncertainties in precipitation, streamflow, soils, and vegetation. Uncertainty derives from natural variation, which is commonly...

Land Use Alters the Drought Responses of Productivity and CO2 Fluxes in Mountain Grassland

Climate extremes and land-use changes can have major impacts on the carbon cycle of ecosystems. Their combined effects have rarely been tested. We studied whether and how the abandonment of traditionally managed mountain grassland changes the resilience of carbon dynamics to drought. In an in situ common garden experiment located in a subalpine meadow in the Austrian Central Alps...

Aboveground Carbon Storage and Its Links to Stand Structure, Tree Diversity and Floristic Composition in South-Eastern Tanzania

African savannas and dry forests represent a large, but poorly quantified store of biomass carbon and biodiversity. Improving this information is hindered by a lack of recent forest inventories, which are necessary for calibrating earth observation data and for evaluating the relationship between carbon stocks and tree diversity in the context of forest conservation (for example...

Effects of an Experimental Water-level Drawdown on Methane Emissions from a Eutrophic Reservoir

Reservoirs are a globally significant source of methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. However, emission rate estimates may be biased low due to inadequate monitoring during brief periods of elevated emission rates (that is, hot moments). Here we investigate CH4 bubbling (that is, ebullition) during periods of falling water levels in a eutrophic reservoir in the Midwestern USA. We...

Blue Carbon Storage in Tropical Seagrass Meadows Relates to Carbonate Stock Dynamics, Plant–Sediment Processes, and Landscape Context: Insights from the Western Indian Ocean

Globally, seagrass ecosystems are considered major blue carbon sinks and thus indirect contributors to climate change mitigation. Quantitative estimates and multi-scale appraisals of sources that underlie long-term storage of sedimentary carbon are vital for understanding coastal carbon dynamics. Across a tropical–subtropical coastal continuum in the Western Indian Ocean, we...

Fine Root Morphology, Biochemistry and Litter Quality Indices of Fast- and Slow-growing Woody Species in Ethiopian Highland Forest

Fine root turnover of trees is a major C input to soil. However, the quality of litter input is influenced by root morphological traits and tissue chemical composition. In this study, fine roots of ten tropical woody species were collected from an Afromontane forest in the northern highlands of Ethiopia. The fine roots were analysed for root morphological traits and tissue...

From Bacteria to Fish: Ecological Consequences of Seasonal Hypoxia in a Great Lakes Estuary

The occurrence of bottom-water hypoxia is increasing in bodies of water around the world. Hypoxia is of concern due to the way it negatively impacts lakes and estuaries at the whole ecosystem level. During 2015, we examined the influence of hypoxia on the Muskegon Lake ecosystem by collecting surface- and bottom-water nutrient samples, bacterial abundance counts, benthic fish...

Slow Recovery from Local Disturbances as an Indicator for Loss of Ecosystem Resilience

A range of indicators have been proposed for identifying the elevated risk of critical transitions in ecosystems. Most indicators are based on the idea that critical slowing down can be inferred from changes in statistical properties of natural fluctuations and spatial patterns. However, identifying these signals in nature has remained challenging. An alternative approach is to...

Shellfish Reefs Increase Water Storage Capacity on Intertidal Flats Over Extensive Spatial Scales

Ecosystem engineering species can affect their environment at multiple spatial scales, from the local scale up to a significant distance, by indirectly affecting the surrounding habitats. Structural changes in the landscape can have important consequences for ecosystem functioning, for example, by increasing retention of limiting resources in the system. Yet, it remains poorly...

Climate-Induced Changes in Spring Snowmelt Impact Ecosystem Metabolism and Carbon Fluxes in an Alpine Stream Network

Although stream ecosystems are recognized as an important component of the global carbon cycle, the impacts of climate-induced hydrological extremes on carbon fluxes in stream networks remain unclear. Using continuous measurements of ecosystem metabolism, we report on the effects of changes in snowmelt hydrology during the anomalously warm winter 2013/2014 on gross primary...

Mineral-Associated Soil Carbon is Resistant to Drought but Sensitive to Legumes and Microbial Biomass in an Australian Grassland

Drought is predicted to increase in many areas of the world with consequences for soil carbon (C) dynamics. Plant litter, root exudates and microbial biomass can be used as C substrates to form organo-mineral complexes. Drought effects on plants and microbes could potentially compromise these relative stable soil C pools, by reducing plant C inputs and/or microbial activity. We...

Towards an Improved Conceptualization of Riparian Zones in Boreal Forest Headwaters

The boreal ecoregion supports about one-third of the world’s forest. Over 90% of boreal forest streams are found in headwaters, where terrestrial–aquatic interfaces are dominated by organic matter (OM)-rich riparian zones (RZs). Because these transition zones are key features controlling catchment biogeochemistry, appropriate RZ conceptualizations are needed to sustainably manage...

Long-Term Simulated Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition Alters Leaf and Fine Root Decomposition

Atmospheric nitrogen deposition increases forest carbon sequestration across broad parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Slower organic matter decomposition and greater soil carbon accumulation could contribute to this increase in carbon sequestration. We investigated the effects of chronic simulated nitrogen deposition on leaf litter and fine root decomposition at four sugar maple...