Testing reliability of short-term responses to predict longer-term responses of bryophytes and lichens to environmental change

Testing reliability of short-term responses to predict longer-term responses of bryophytes and lichens to environmental change

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

Environmental changes are predicted to have severe and rapid impacts on polar and alpine regions. At high latitudes/altitudes, cryptogams such as bryophytes and lichens are of great importance in terms of biomass, carbon/nutrient cycling, cover and ecosystem functioning. This seven-year factorial experiment examined the effects of fertilizing and experimental warming on bryophyte and lichen abundance in an alpine meadow and a heath community in subarctic Sweden. The aim was to determine whether short-term responses (five years) are good predictors of longer-term responses (seven years). Fertilizing and warming had significant negative effects on total and relative abundance of bryophytes and lichens, with the largest and most rapid decline caused by fertilizing and combined fertilizing and warming. Bryophytes decreased most in the alpine meadow community, which was bryophyte-dominated, and lichens decreased most in the heath community, which was lichen-dominated. This was surprising, as the most diverse group in each community was expected to be most resistant to perturbation. Warming alone had a delayed negative impact. Of the 16 species included in statistical analyses, seven were significantly negatively affected. Overall, the impacts of simulated warming on bryophytes and lichens as a whole and on individual species differed in time and magnitude between treatments and plant communities (meadow and heath). This will likely cause changes in the dominance structures over time. These results underscore the importance of longer-term studies to improve the quality of data used in climate change models, as models based on short-term data are poor predictors of long-term responses of bryophytes and lichens.

LATEST NEWS


2018-06-13

International Conference on Electric Road Systems starts today

Electric Road Systems (ERS) is a relatively new concept with many initiatives on the way. To learn from each other and stimulate new collaborations the Swedish Research and Innovation Platform for Electric Roads arranged the first international conference...


2018-05-18

Same survey of road users’ attitudes in 50 countries

At the Road Safety on Five Continents Conference, RS5C, one entire session presented a large survey of road users' attitudes in 38 countries. Results show large differences between countries in many areas, both regarding behavior and attitudes. A new survey...


2018-05-17

Good results with alcohol interlock program according to Swedish study

An alcohol interlock program makes it possible for drink driving offenders to continue their everyday lives. In a Swedish study most of the participants were satisfied with the program and experienced improved health. They also reported drinking alcohol more...


2018-05-16

Traffic safety in the spotlight

Today the Conference Road Safety on Five Continents (RS5C) opened in Jeju Island, South Korea. More than 220 participators have come from all over the world to present findings and learn about traffic safety. Dr. Young Tae Kim, Secretary-General of the...


2018-04-17

VTI will develop simulators for ambulance staff

VTI has initiated a pilot study for paramedics with the Centre for Teaching & Research in Disaster Medicine and Traumatology and Linköping University. The aim is to give ambulance staff the opportunity to practice critical medical tasks in a moving vehicle in...


2018-04-12

Unique electrified road opens in Sweden

The world’s first electrified road recharging the batteries of cars and trucks while driving opened in Sweden. The Swedish Minister for Infrastructure, Tomas Eneroth, was at the formal inauguration of the electrified road on April 11, 2018. VTI is one of 22...