Hacket-Pain A., Ascoli D., Berretti R., Mencuccini M., Motta R., Nola P., Piussi P., Ruffinatto F., Vacchiano G. (2019) Temperature and masting control Norway spruce growth, but with high individual tree variability. Forest Ecology and Management. 438: 142-150.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2019.02.014
Tree growth and reproduction are subject to trade-offs in resource allocation. At the same time, they are both influenced by climate. In this study, we combined long records of reproductive effort at the individual- (29 years), population- (41 years) and regional (up to 53 years) scale, and tree ring chronologies, to investigate the effects of climate and reproductive allocation on radial growth in an Alpine Norway spruce forest. Seed and cone production was highly variable between years (mean individual CV = 1.39, population CV = 1.19), but showed high reproductive synchrony between individuals (mean inter-tree correlation = 0.72). No long-term trend in reproductive effort was detected over four decades of observations. At the stand scale, cone production was dominated by a small number of individuals (“super-producers”), who remained dominant over three decades. Individual tree growth responded positively to summer temperature, but the response to cone production varied between individual trees. Consequently, we found some evidence that mast years were associated with a divergence in growth between high and low cone producing individuals, and a decline in within-population growth synchrony. At the population level we found limited evidence of a relationship between growth and reproduction. Radial growth was lower than average in some mast years, but not in others. This was partly explained by summer temperature during the year of growth, with growth reductions restricted to mast years that coincided with colder than average summers. Regional mast records and tree ring chronologies provided some support to indicate that our results were consistent in other spruce stands, although the effect of mast years on growth appeared to vary between sites. Tree ring variation at the individual and population level, and between-tree growth synchrony are influenced by masting, and consequently dendrochronologists should consider both the occurrence of masting and the individual differences in reproductive effort when interpreting tree ring datasets. Our results also indicate that tree ring chronologies contain information to facilitate reconstruction of mast events, which will help address outstanding questions regarding the future response of masting to climate change. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
Happe A.-K., Alins G., Blüthgen N., Boreux V., Bosch J., García D., Hambäck P.A., Klein A.-M., Martínez-Sastre R., Miñarro M., Müller A.-K., Porcel M., Rodrigo A., Roquer-Beni L., Samnegård U., Tasin M., Mody K. (2019) Predatory arthropods in apple orchards across Europe: Responses to agricultural management, adjacent habitat, landscape composition and country. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 273: 141-150.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.12.012
Local agri-environmental schemes, including hedgerows, flowering strips, organic management, and a landscape rich in semi-natural habitat patches, are assumed to enhance the presence of beneficial arthropods and their contribution to biological control in fruit crops. We studied the influence of local factors (orchard management and adjacent habitats) and of landscape composition on the abundance and community composition of predatory arthropods in apple orchards in three European countries. To elucidate how local and landscape factors influence natural enemy effectiveness in apple production systems, we calculated community energy use as a proxy for the communities’ predation potential based on biomass and metabolic rates of predatory arthropods. Predator communities were assessed by standardised beating samples taken from apple trees in 86 orchards in Germany, Spain and Sweden. Orchard management included integrated production (IP; i.e. the reduced and targeted application of synthetic agrochemicals), and organic management practices in all three countries. Predator communities differed between management types and countries. Several groups, including beetles (Coleoptera), predatory bugs (Heteroptera), flies (Diptera) and spiders (Araneae) benefited from organic management depending on country. Woody habitat and IP supported harvestmen (Opiliones). In both IP and organic orchards we detected aversive influences of a high-quality surrounding landscape on some predator groups: for example, high covers of woody habitat reduced earwig abundances in German orchards but enhanced their abundance in Sweden, and high natural plant species richness tended to reduce predatory bug abundance in Sweden and IP orchards in Spain. We conclude that predatory arthropod communities and influences of local and landscape factors are strongly shaped by orchard management, and that the influence of management differs between countries. Our results indicate that organic management improves the living conditions for effective predator communities. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
Harjung A., Ejarque E., Battin T., Butturini A., Sabater F., Stadler M., Schelker J. (2019) Experimental evidence reveals impact of drought periods on dissolved organic matter quality and ecosystem metabolism in subalpine streams. Limnology and Oceanography. 64: 46-60.LinkDoi: 10.1002/lno.11018
Subalpine streams are predicted to experience lower summer discharge following climate change and water extractions. In this study, we aimed to understand how drought periods impact dissolved organic matter (DOM) processing and ecosystem metabolism of subalpine streams. We mimicked a gradient of drought conditions in stream-side flumes and evaluated implications of drought on DOM composition, gross primary production, and ecosystem respiration. Our experiment demonstrated a production and release of DOM from biofilms and leaf litter decomposition at low discharges, increasing dissolved organic carbon concentrations in stream water by up to 50%. Absorbance and fluorescence properties suggested that the released DOM was labile for microbial degradation. Dissolved organic carbon mass balances revealed a high contribution of internal processes to the carbon budget during low flow conditions. The flumes with low discharge were transient sinks of atmospheric CO2 during the first 2 weeks of drought. After this autotrophic phase, the metabolic balance of these flumes turned heterotrophic, suggesting a nutrient limitation for primary production, while respiration remained high. Overall our experimental findings suggest that droughts in subalpine streams will enhance internal carbon cycling by transiently increasing primary production and more permanently respiration as the drought persists. We propose that the duration of a drought period combined with inorganic nutrient availability are key variables that determine if more carbon is respired in situ or exported downstream. © 2018 The Authors. Limnology and Oceanography published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.
Harjung A., Perujo N., Butturini A., Romaní A.M., Sabater F. (2019) Responses of microbial activity in hyporheic pore water to biogeochemical changes in a drying headwater stream. Freshwater Biology. 64: 735-749.LinkDoi: 10.1111/fwb.13258
Microbial heterotrophic activity is a major driver of nutrient and organic matter processing in the hyporheic zone of headwater streams. Additionally, the hyporheic zone might provide refuge for microbes when surface flow ceases during drought events. We investigated chemical (organic and inorganic nutrients) and microbiological parameters (bacterial cell concentration, live–dead ratios, and extracellular enzyme activities) of surface and interstitial pore water in a period of progressive surface-hyporheic disconnection due to summer drying. The special situation of the chosen study reach, where groundwater mixing is impeded by the bedrock forming a natural channel filled with sediment, allowed as to study the transformation of these parameters along hyporheic flow paths. The chemical composition of the hyporheic pore water reflected the connectivity with the surface water, as expressed in the availability of nitrate and oxygen. Conversely, microbiological parameters in all hyporheic locations were different from the surface waters, suggesting that the microbial activity in the water changes rapidly once the water enters the hyporheic zone. This feature was principally manifested in higher live–dead ratios and lower leucine aminopeptidase (an activity related to nitrogen acquisition) in the hyporheic pore waters. Overall, bacterial cell concentration and extracellular enzyme activities increased along hyporheic flow paths, with a congruent decrease in inorganic nutrients and dissolved organic matter quantity and apparent molecular size. Our findings show two important functions of the hyporheic zone during drought: (1) deeper (−50 cm) water-saturated layers can act as a refuge for microbial activity; and (2) the hyporheic zone shows high rates of carbon and nitrogen turnover when water residence times are longer during drought. These rates might be even enhanced by an increase in living microbes in the remaining moist locations of the hyporheic zone. © 2019 The Authors. Freshwater Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Hermoso V., Morán-Ordóñez A., Canessa S., Brotons L. (2019) A dynamic strategy for EU conservation. Science. 363: 592-593.LinkDoi: 10.1126/science.aaw3615
[No abstract available]
Herrando S., Titeux N., Brotons L., Anton M., Ubach A., Villero D., García-Barros E., Munguira M.L., Godinho C., Stefanescu C. (2019) Contrasting impacts of precipitation on Mediterranean birds and butterflies. Scientific Reports. 9: 0-0.LinkDoi: 10.1038/s41598-019-42171-4
The climatic preferences of the species determine to a large extent their response to climate change. Temperature preferences have been shown to play a key role in driving trends in animal populations. However, the relative importance of temperature and precipitation preferences is still poorly understood, particularly in systems where ecological processes are strongly constrained by the amount and timing of rainfall. In this study, we estimated the role played by temperature and precipitation preferences in determining population trends for birds and butterflies in a Mediterranean area. Trends were derived from long-term biodiversity monitoring data and temperature and precipitation preferences were estimated from species distribution data at three different geographical scales. We show that population trends were first and foremost related to precipitation preferences both in birds and in butterflies. Temperature preferences had a weaker effect on population trends, and were significant only in birds. The effect of precipitation on population trends operated in opposite directions in the two groups of species: butterfly species from arid environments and bird species from humid habitats are decreasing most. Our results indicate that, although commonly neglected, water availability is likely an important driver of animal population change in the Mediterranean region, with highly contrasting impacts among taxonomical groups. © 2019, The Author(s).
Hrafnkelsdottir B., Sigurdsson B.D., Oddsdottir E.S., Sverrisson H., Halldorsson G. (2019) Winter survival of Ceramica pisi (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Iceland. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. 21: 219-226.LinkDoi: 10.1111/afe.12323
The broom moth Ceramica pisi, a native species in Iceland, has shown a marked expansion from south Iceland towards the north, concurrent with increasing temperatures. Winter temperatures have increased more than summer temperatures in Iceland and, in the present study, the hypothesis was that the winter warming has facilitated the range shift of C. pisi. Winter survival of pupae in Iceland was studied in the laboratory. Pupae were collected in the autumn of 2012 at five separate locations, then weighed and placed at temperatures from −6 to −18 °C. One month after the sub-zero treatments, the pupae were placed at room temperature and pupal emergence was recorded. No significant effect of sub-zero treatments on the survival of C. pisi pupae was found. The primary hypothesis of the present study was therefore rejected. The major factor affecting low temperature survival of C. pisi pupae, however, was their autumn weight. The response was sigmoid and the 5%, 50% and 95% likelihoods for winter survival were at 157, 274 and 393 mg autumn pupal mass, respectively. This finding indicates that factors other than winter temperature, such as summer available thermal budget for larval growth, may be a limiting factor to the spread of C. pisi in Iceland. © 2019 The Royal Entomological Society
Hu M., Peñuelas J., Sardans J., Huang J., Li D., Tong C. (2019) Effects of nitrogen loading on emission of carbon gases from estuarine tidal marshes with varying salinity. Science of the Total Environment. 667: 648-657.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.429
Estuarine tidal marshes sequester significant quantities of carbon and are suffering from anthropogenic nitrogen (N) enhancement. However, the effects of this N loading on carbon gas emissions from freshwater-oligohaline tidal marshes are unknown. In this paper, we report on our evaluation of the effects of a N gradient (0, 24, 48 and 96 g NH 4 NO 3 –N m −2 y −1 ) on the methane (CH 4 ) and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from freshwater and oligohaline tidal marshes in the Min River estuary, southeast China. On an annual scale, the oligohaline marsh has significantly higher CO 2 emissions, while it has slightly lower CH 4 emissions relative to freshwater marsh. The addition of N increased CH 4 emission from the freshwater marsh and decreased CH 4 emission from the oligohaline marsh, although there was no statistically significant difference in CH 4 emission between either of the two marshes and the control. The addition of 96 g NH 4 NO 3 –N m −2 y −1 significantly increased CO 2 emission from the freshwater marsh, while it did not significantly influence CO 2 emission from the oligohaline marsh. CH 4 and CO 2 emission levels were positively correlated with soil temperature under all conditions. The CH 4 flux resulting from both the control and the addition of N was negatively correlated with porewater SO 4 2− and Cl − concentrations and soil EC in the oligohaline marsh. Overall, N addition significantly increased carbon gas emissions under freshwater conditions while slightly inhibiting carbon gas emissions from the oligohaline marsh. Our findings suggested that even under low salinity conditions, the effects of N loading on CH 4 and CO 2 emissions from freshwater and oligohaline tidal marshes can vary. We propose that the addition of N to estuarine tidal marshes has a significant effect on the carbon cycle and promotes soil carbon loss, phenomena which may be influenced by salinity. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
Huang M., Piao S., Ciais P., Peñuelas J., Wang X., Keenan T.F., Peng S., Berry J.A., Wang K., Mao J., Alkama R., Cescatti A., Cuntz M., De Deurwaerder H., Gao M., He Y., Liu Y., Luo Y., Myneni R.B., Niu S., Shi X., Yuan W., Verbeeck H., Wang T., Wu J., Janssens I.A. (2019) Air temperature optima of vegetation productivity across global biomes. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 3: 772-779.LinkDoi: 10.1038/s41559-019-0838-x
The global distribution of the optimum air temperature for ecosystem-level gross primary productivity (Topteco) is poorly understood, despite its importance for ecosystem carbon uptake under future warming. We provide empirical evidence for the existence of such an optimum, using measurements of in situ eddy covariance and satellite-derived proxies, and report its global distribution. Topteco is consistently lower than the physiological optimum temperature of leaf-level photosynthetic capacity, which typically exceeds 30 °C. The global average Topteco is estimated to be 23 ± 6 °C, with warmer regions having higher Topteco values than colder regions. In tropical forests in particular, Topteco is close to growing-season air temperature and is projected to fall below it under all scenarios of future climate, suggesting a limited safe operating space for these ecosystems under future warming. © 2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.
Hudson A.R., Alfaro-Sanchez R., Babst F., Belmecheri S., Moore D.J.P., Trouet V. (2019) Seasonal and synoptic climatic drivers of tree growth in the Bighorn Mountains, WY, USA (1654–1983 CE). Dendrochronologia. 58: 0-0.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.dendro.2019.125633
In the United States’ (US) Northern Rockies, synoptic pressure systems and atmospheric circulation drive interannual variation in seasonal temperature and precipitation. The radial growth of high-elevation trees in this semi-arid region captures this temperature and precipitation variability and provides long time series to contextualize instrumental-era variability in synoptic-scale climate patterns. Such variability in climate patterns can trigger extreme climate events, such as droughts, floods, and forest fires, which have a damaging impact on human and natural systems. We developed 11 tree-ring width (TRW) chronologies from multiple species and sites to investigate the seasonal climatic drivers of tree growth in the Bighorn Mountains, WY. A principal component analysis of the chronologies identified 54% of shared common variance (1894–2014). Tree growth (expressed by PC1) was driven by multiple seasonal climate variables: previous October and current July temperatures, as well as previous December and current April precipitation, had a positive influence on growth, whereas growth was limited by July precipitation. These seasonal growth-climate relationships corresponded to circulation patterns at higher atmospheric levels over the Bighorn Mountains. Tree growth was enhanced when the winter jet stream was in a northward position, which led to warmer winters, and when the spring jet stream was further south, which led to wetter springs. The second principal component, explaining 19% of the variance, clustered sites by elevation and was strongly related to summer temperature. We leverage this summer temperature signal in our TRW chronologies by combining it with an existing maximum latewood density (MXD) chronology in a nested approach. This allowed us to reconstruct Bighorn Mountains summer (June, July, and August) temperature (BMST) back to 1654, thus extending the instrumental temperature record by 250 years. Our BMST reconstruction explains 39–53% of the variance in regional summer temperature variability. The 1830s were the relatively coolest decade and the 1930s were the warmest decade over the reconstructed period (1654–1983 CE) – which excludes the most recent 3 decades. Our results contextualize recent drivers and trends of climate variability in the US Northern Rockies, which contributes to the information that managers of human and natural systems need in order to prepare for potential future variability. © 2019 Elsevier GmbH
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