Climate change and climatic events: Community-, functional- and species-level responses of bryophytes and lichens to constant, stepwise, and pulse experimental warming in an alpine tundra

Publisher's full text
Juha M Alatalo
Annika K Jägerbrand
Ulf Molau

We experimentally imposed three different kinds of warming scenarios over 3 years on an alpine meadow community to identify the differential effects of climate warming and extreme climatic events on the abundance and biomass of bryophytes and lichens. Treatments consisted of (a) a constant level of warming with open top chambers (an average temperature increase of 1.87 °C), (b) a yearly stepwise increase of warming (average temperature increases of 1.0; 1.87 and 3.54 °C, consecutively), and (c) a pulse warming, i.e., a single first year pulse event of warming (average temperature increase of 3.54 °C only during the first year). To our knowledge, this is the first climate change study that attempts to distinguish between the effects of constant, stepwise and pulse warming on bryophyte and lichen communities. We hypothesised that pulse warming would have a significant short-term effect compared to the other warming treatments, and that stepwise warming would have a significant mid-term effect compared to the other warming treatments. Acrocarpous bryophytes as a group increased in abundance and biomass to the short-term effect of pulse warming. We found no significant effects of mid-term (third-year) stepwise warming. However, one pleurocarpous bryophyte species, Tomentypnum nitens, generally increased in abundance during the warm year 1997 but decreased in control plots and in response to the stepwise warming treatment. Three years of experimental warming (all treatments as a group) did have a significant impact at the community level, yet changes in abundance did not translate into significant changes in the dominance hierarchies at the functional level (for acrocarpous bryophytes, pleurocarpous bryophytes, Sphagnum or lichens), or in significant changes in other bryophyte or lichen species. The results suggest that bryophytes and lichens, both at the functional group and species level, to a large extent are resistant to the different climate change warming simulations that were applied.

MEET US


7
Dec

Shipping and the environment – research meets reality

Centre for Transport Studies (CTS) in co-operation with Ports of Stockholm invite you to the seminar Shipping and the environment – research meets reality.

LATEST NEWS


2017-10-26

Simulation of cut-in by manually driven vehicles in platooning scenarios

A study in a VTI-driving simulator has showed that a platoon will be able to handle a cut in from a manually driven car. The results of this study have recently been presented at two conferences in Japan.


2017-10-16

ERPUG Forum

The five-year anniversary of European Road Profile Users' Group (ERPUG) Forum will take place at Ramboll head quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark October 19-20, 2017.


2017-09-29

Self-driving buses in Sweden next year?

A self-driving, fossil-free bus. This idea might become reality through a forthcoming collaborative project involving the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), Linköping University and several other participants. The project group aim...


2017-09-29

New climate-proof solutions for hard surfaces in cities

High-density road infrastructure that emphasise maximum durability and minimum maintenance create inflexible systems, which put increased stress on urban trees and lead to increased risk for flooding. Over the past five years, the ‘Climate-proof solutions for...


2017-09-29

VTI is preparing for automated vehicles

Automation of traffic systems will lead to major changes. The European Union’s (EU) CoEXist research project began in June 2017 with the aim of preparing cities and road operators for the introduction of self-driving vehicles. The Swedish National Road and...


2017-07-05

Vehicle Driver Monitoring: sleepiness and cognitive load

To prevent road crashes it is important to understand driver related contributing factors, which have been suggested to be the critical reason in 94 per cent of crashes. The overall aim of the project Vehicle Driver Monitoring has been to advance the...