Carnicer J., Sardans J., Stefanescu C., Ubach A., Bartons M., Asensio D., Penuelas J. (2014) Global biodiversity, stoichiometry and ecosystem function responses to human-induced C-N-P imbalances. Journal of Plant Physiology. : 0-0.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.jplph.2014.07.022
Global change analyses usually consider biodiversity as a global asset that needs to be preserved. Biodiversity is frequently analysed mainly as a response variable affected by diverse environmental drivers. However, recent studies highlight that gradients of biodiversity are associated with gradual changes in the distribution of key dominant functional groups characterized by distinctive traits and stoichiometry, which in turn often define the rates of ecosystem processes and nutrient cycling. Moreover, pervasive links have been reported between biodiversity, food web structure, ecosystem function and species stoichiometry. Here we review current global stoichiometric gradients and how future distributional shifts in key functional groups may in turn influence basic ecosystem functions (production, nutrient cycling, decomposition) and therefore could exert a feedback effect on stoichiometric gradients. The C-N-P stoichiometry of most primary producers (phytoplankton, algae, plants) has been linked to functional trait continua (i.e. to major axes of phenotypic variation observed in inter-specific analyses of multiple traits). In contrast, the C-N-P stoichiometry of higher-level consumers remains less precisely quantified in many taxonomic groups. We show that significant links are observed between trait continua across trophic levels. In spite of recent advances, the future reciprocal feedbacks between key functional groups, biodiversity and ecosystem functions remain largely uncertain. The reported evidence, however, highlights the key role of stoichiometric traits and suggests the need of a progressive shift towards an ecosystemic and stoichiometric perspective in global biodiversity analyses.
Ogaya R., Llusia J., Barbeta A., Asensio D., Liu D., Alessio G.A., Penuelas J. (2014) Foliar CO2 in a holm oak forest subjected to 15 years of climate change simulation. Plant Science. 226: 101-107.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2014.06.010
A long-term experimental drought to simulate future expected climatic conditions for Mediterranean forests, a 15% decrease in soil moisture for the following decades, was conducted in a holm oak forest since 1999. Net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance and leaf water potential were measured from 1999 to 2013 in Quercus ilex and Phillyrea latifolia, two co-dominant species of this forest. These measurements were performed in four plots, two of them received the drought treatment and the two other plots were control plots. The three studied variables decreased with increases in VPD and decreases in soil moisture in both species, but the decrease of leaf water potential during summer drought was larger in P. latifolia, whereas Q. ilex reached higher net photosynthetic rates and stomatal conductance values during rainy periods than P. latifolia. The drought treatment decreased ca. 8% the net photosynthetic rates during the overall studied period in both Q. ilex and P. latifolia, whereas there were just non-significant trends toward a decrease in leaf water potential and stomatal conductance induced by drought treatment. Future drier climate may lead to a decrease in the carbon balance of Mediterranean species, and some shrub species well resistant to drought could gain competitive advantage relative to Q. ilex, currently the dominant species of this forest. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Penuelas J., Asensio D., Tholl D., Wenke K., Rosenkranz M., Piechulla B., Schnitzler J.P. (2014) Biogenic volatile emissions from the soil. Plant, Cell and Environment. 37: 1866-1891.LinkDoi: 10.1111/pce.12340
Volatile compounds are usually associated with an appearance/presence in the atmosphere. Recent advances, however, indicated that the soil is a huge reservoir and source of biogenic volatile organic compounds (bVOCs), which are formed from decomposing litter and dead organic material or are synthesized by underground living organism or organs and tissues of plants. This review summarizes the scarce available data on the exchange of VOCs between soil and atmosphere and the features of the soil and particle structure allowing diffusion of volatiles in the soil, which is the prerequisite for biological VOC-based interactions. In fact, soil may function either as a sink or as a source of bVOCs. Soil VOC emissions to the atmosphere are often 1-2 (0-3) orders of magnitude lower than those from aboveground vegetation. Microorganisms and the plant root system are the major sources for bVOCs. The current methodology to detect belowground volatiles is described as well as the metabolic capabilities resulting in the wealth of microbial and root VOC emissions. Furthermore, VOC profiles are discussed as non-destructive fingerprints for the detection of organisms. In the last chapter, belowground volatile-based bi- and multi-trophic interactions between microorganisms, plants and invertebrates in the soil are discussed. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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