Ecosystems

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

List of Papers (Total 153)

Combined Grazing and Drought Stress Alter the Outcome of Nurse: Beneficiary Interactions in a Semi-arid Ecosystem

Positive interspecific plant–plant interactions in (semi-)arid ecosystems are crucial for supporting ecosystem diversity and stability, but how interactions respond to grazing combined with temporal variation in drought is poorly understood. In a semi-arid area in south-eastern Spain (Murcia region), we planted 1280 saplings of the palatable shrub Anthyllis cytisoides...

Suspended Dead Wood Decomposes Slowly in the Tropics, with Microbial Decay Greater than Termite Decay

Coarse woody debris (CWD) is an important pool of carbon in forest ecosystems and is present in all strata as fallen, standing or suspended CWD. However, there are relatively few decomposition studies of CWD in tropical forests compared with temperate forests, and research on suspended CWD in particular has largely not been attempted. Termites are important decomposers in...

Distinguishing Rapid and Slow C Cycling Feedbacks to Grazing in Sub-arctic Tundra

Large grazers are known to affect ecosystem functioning even to the degree where ecosystems transition to another vegetation state. Alongside the vegetation change, several features of ecosystem functioning, such as ecosystem carbon sink capacity and soil carbon mineralisation rates, may be altered. It has remained largely uninvestigated how the grazing effects on carbon cycling...

Landscape Evolution of a Fluvial Sediment-Rich Avicennia marina Mangrove Forest: Insights from Seasonal and Inter-annual Surface-Elevation Dynamics

Mangrove forests are vulnerable to accelerated sea-level rise associated with climate warming because they occupy a relatively narrow zone on the mid-to-upper-intertidal flats. The fate of these ecosystems largely depends on their capacity to accrete sediment at a rate sufficient to maintain their elevation relative to sea level. We investigated the role of biophysical processes...

Ant and Earthworm Bioturbation in Cold-Temperate Ecosystems

In temperate ecosystems, earthworms and ants are the most important organisms for bioturbation. Little is known about how these groups contribute to bioturbation in different environments and to what extent overall bioturbation depends on their diversity. We developed a formula that allows quantification of annual earthworm bioturbation, thereby taking differences between...

Herbivore Effects on Ecosystem Process Rates in a Low-Productive System

Mammalian herbivores shape the structure and function of many nutrient-limited or low-productive terrestrial ecosystems through modification of plant communities and plant–soil feedbacks. In the tundra biome, mammalian herbivores may both accelerate and decelerate plant biomass growth, microbial activity and nutrient cycling, that is, ecosystem process rates. Selective foraging...

Burrowing Crabs Weaken Mutualism Between Foundation Species

Foundation species often interact with each other and co-create habitat upon which other species depend. Whether the presence of these facilitated species feeds back to mediate the growth and resilience of the foundation species themselves, and influence the strength of their interactions, remains poorly understood. In a 16-month field experiment in a southeastern US salt marsh...

Evidence for the Role of Subterranean Termites (Reticulitermes spp.) in Temperate Forest Soil Nutrient Cycling

Termites are ecosystem engineers in tropical systems, constructing visible biogenic structures (mounds) that influence soil characteristics, decomposition, nutrient cycling, vegetative growth, and biodiversity. Subterranean termites (Reticulitermes spp.) likely influence nutrient cycling within their endemic range in the temperate Holarctic through the translocation of elements...

Vertical Redistribution of Soil Organic Carbon Pools After Twenty Years of Nitrogen Addition in Two Temperate Coniferous Forests

Nitrogen (N) inputs from atmospheric deposition can increase soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in temperate and boreal forests, thereby mitigating the adverse effects of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on global climate. However, direct evidence of N-induced SOC sequestration from low-dose, long-term N addition experiments (that is, addition of < 50 kg N ha−1 y−1 for > 10 years) is...

Impact of the Urbanisation Process in the Availability of Ecosystem Services in a Tropical Ecotone Area

Urbanisation has been a main cause of land use land cover (LULC) change worldwide, often with irreparable consequences to the provision of ecosystem services. Despite an increase in quantitative assessments of ecosystem service values (ESV) related to LULC changes, data are scarce for ecotones, such as the agreste in northeast Brazil (a transitional area between the Atlantic...

Wolves and Tree Logs: Landscape-Scale and Fine-Scale Risk Factors Interactively Influence Tree Regeneration

Large carnivores can reduce ungulate numbers by predation and via induced risk effects alter ungulate behavior, indirectly affecting lower trophic levels. However, predator-induced risk effects probably act at different spatial scales, which have often been ignored in trophic cascade studies. We studied how a fine-scale risk factor (distance from tree logs) affects ungulate...

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...

Decline in Ecosystem δ13C and Mid-Successional Nitrogen Loss in a Two-Century Postglacial Chronosequence

Uncertainty about controls on long-term carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) balance, turnover, and isotopic composition currently limits our ability to predict ecosystem response to disturbance and landscape change. We used a two-century, postglacial chronosequence in Glacier Bay, Alaska, to explore the influence of C and N dynamics on soil and leaf stable isotopes. C dynamics were...

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...