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The effect of temperature on growth and competition between Sphagnum species

The effect of temperature on growth and competition between Sphagnum species
The effect of temperature on growth and competition between Sphagnum species
Peat bogs play a large role in the global sequestration of C, and are often dominated by different Sphagnum species. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how Sphagnum vegetation in peat bogs will respond to global warming. We performed a greenhouse experiment to study the effect of four temperature treatments (11.2, 14.7, 18.0 and 21.4°C) on the growth of four Sphagnum species: S. fuscum and S. balticum from a site in northern Sweden and S. magellanicum and S. cuspidatum from a site in southern Sweden. In addition, three combinations of these species were made to study the effect of temperature on competition. We found that all species increased their height increment and biomass production with an increase in temperature, while bulk densities were lower at higher temperatures. The hollow species S. cuspidatum was the least responsive species, whereas the hummock species S. fuscum increased biomass production 13-fold from the lowest to the highest temperature treatment in monocultures. Nutrient concentrations were higher at higher temperatures, especially N concentrations of S. fuscum and S. balticum increased compared to field values. Competition between S. cuspidatum and S. magellanicum was not influenced by temperature. The mixtures of S. balticum with S. fuscum and S. balticum with S. magellanicum showed that S. balticum was the stronger competitor, but it lost competitive advantage in the highest temperature treatment. These findings suggest that species abundances will shift in response to global warming, particularly at northern sites where hollow species will lose competitive strength relative to hummock species and southern species.
bog, cover change, global warming, greenhouse, species composition
0029-8549
155-167
Breeuwer, Angela
50f6b3a4-6839-4420-bc17-a1b08a81cad5
Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.
b425bd97-3826-40f5-ac93-27609ae32af2
Robroek, Bjorn J.M.
06dcb269-687c-41db-ab73-f61899617f92
Berendse, Frank
93c8d1e5-65ee-45ae-80d0-8e42e08ad007
Breeuwer, Angela
50f6b3a4-6839-4420-bc17-a1b08a81cad5
Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.
b425bd97-3826-40f5-ac93-27609ae32af2
Robroek, Bjorn J.M.
06dcb269-687c-41db-ab73-f61899617f92
Berendse, Frank
93c8d1e5-65ee-45ae-80d0-8e42e08ad007

Breeuwer, Angela, Heijmans, Monique M.P.D., Robroek, Bjorn J.M. and Berendse, Frank (2008) The effect of temperature on growth and competition between Sphagnum species. Oecologia, 156, 155-167. (doi:10.1007/s00442-008-0963-8).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Peat bogs play a large role in the global sequestration of C, and are often dominated by different Sphagnum species. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how Sphagnum vegetation in peat bogs will respond to global warming. We performed a greenhouse experiment to study the effect of four temperature treatments (11.2, 14.7, 18.0 and 21.4°C) on the growth of four Sphagnum species: S. fuscum and S. balticum from a site in northern Sweden and S. magellanicum and S. cuspidatum from a site in southern Sweden. In addition, three combinations of these species were made to study the effect of temperature on competition. We found that all species increased their height increment and biomass production with an increase in temperature, while bulk densities were lower at higher temperatures. The hollow species S. cuspidatum was the least responsive species, whereas the hummock species S. fuscum increased biomass production 13-fold from the lowest to the highest temperature treatment in monocultures. Nutrient concentrations were higher at higher temperatures, especially N concentrations of S. fuscum and S. balticum increased compared to field values. Competition between S. cuspidatum and S. magellanicum was not influenced by temperature. The mixtures of S. balticum with S. fuscum and S. balticum with S. magellanicum showed that S. balticum was the stronger competitor, but it lost competitive advantage in the highest temperature treatment. These findings suggest that species abundances will shift in response to global warming, particularly at northern sites where hollow species will lose competitive strength relative to hummock species and southern species.

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Published date: May 2008
Keywords: bog, cover change, global warming, greenhouse, species composition

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 412460
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/412460
ISSN: 0029-8549
PURE UUID: bf7f19fe-4aa1-4922-a26f-aaa788898ae6
ORCID for Bjorn J.M. Robroek: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6714-0652

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Date deposited: 17 Jul 2017 13:49
Last modified: 09 Jan 2024 17:58

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Contributors

Author: Angela Breeuwer
Author: Monique M.P.D. Heijmans
Author: Bjorn J.M. Robroek ORCID iD
Author: Frank Berendse

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