Depth-based differentiation in nitrogen uptake between graminoids and shrubs in an Arctic tundra plant community

Peng Wang, Juul Limpens, Ake Nauta, Corine van Huissteden, Sophie Quirina van Rijssel, Liesje Mommer, Hans de Kroon, Trofim C. Maximov, Monique M.P.D. Heijmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Questions: The rapid climate warming in tundra ecosystems can increase nutrient availability in the soil, which may initiate shifts in vegetation composition. The direction in which the vegetation shifts will co-determine whether Arctic warming is mitigated or accelerated, making the understanding of successional trajectories urgent. One of the key factors influencing the competitive relationships between plant species is their access to nutrients, depending on the depth where they take up most nutrients. However, nutrient uptake at different soil depths by tundra plant species that differ in rooting depth is unclear. Location: Kytalyk Nature Reserve, northeast Siberia, Russia. Methods: We injected 15N to 5 cm, 15 cm and the thaw front of the soil in a moist tussock tundra. The absorption of 15N by grasses, sedges, deciduous shrubs and evergreen shrubs from the three depths was compared. Results: The results clearly show a vertical differentiation of N uptake by these plant functional types, corresponding to their rooting strategy. Shallow-rooting dwarf shrubs were more capable of absorbing nutrients from the upper soil than from deeper soil. Deep-rooting grasses and sedges were more capable of absorbing nutrients from deeper soil than the dwarf shrubs. The natural 15N abundances in control plants also indicate that graminoids can absorb more nutrients from the deeper soil than dwarf shrubs. Conclusions: Our results show that graminoids and shrubs in the Arctic differ in their N uptake strategies, with graminoids profiting from nutrients released at the thaw front, while shrubs mainly forage in upper soil layers. Our results suggest that tundra vegetation will become graminoid-dominated as permafrost thaw progresses and nutrient availability increases in the deep soil.
LanguageEnglish
Pages34-41
JournalJournal of Vegetation Science
Volume29
Issue number1
Early online date2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Fingerprint

tundra
plant community
plant communities
shrub
shrubs
uptake mechanisms
rooting
nitrogen
nutrient
soil
nutrients
nutrient availability
Cyperaceae
vegetation
warming
Arctic region
grass
grasses
nutrient uptake
graminoids

Keywords

  • N
  • Arctic tundra
  • Dwarf shrubs
  • Graminoids
  • Niche differentiation
  • Nutrient uptake
  • Plant functional types
  • Rooting depth
  • Soil depth

Cite this

@article{82007efc0b2d42b39a86efc4bb60f24d,
title = "Depth-based differentiation in nitrogen uptake between graminoids and shrubs in an Arctic tundra plant community",
abstract = "Questions: The rapid climate warming in tundra ecosystems can increase nutrient availability in the soil, which may initiate shifts in vegetation composition. The direction in which the vegetation shifts will co-determine whether Arctic warming is mitigated or accelerated, making the understanding of successional trajectories urgent. One of the key factors influencing the competitive relationships between plant species is their access to nutrients, depending on the depth where they take up most nutrients. However, nutrient uptake at different soil depths by tundra plant species that differ in rooting depth is unclear. Location: Kytalyk Nature Reserve, northeast Siberia, Russia. Methods: We injected 15N to 5 cm, 15 cm and the thaw front of the soil in a moist tussock tundra. The absorption of 15N by grasses, sedges, deciduous shrubs and evergreen shrubs from the three depths was compared. Results: The results clearly show a vertical differentiation of N uptake by these plant functional types, corresponding to their rooting strategy. Shallow-rooting dwarf shrubs were more capable of absorbing nutrients from the upper soil than from deeper soil. Deep-rooting grasses and sedges were more capable of absorbing nutrients from deeper soil than the dwarf shrubs. The natural 15N abundances in control plants also indicate that graminoids can absorb more nutrients from the deeper soil than dwarf shrubs. Conclusions: Our results show that graminoids and shrubs in the Arctic differ in their N uptake strategies, with graminoids profiting from nutrients released at the thaw front, while shrubs mainly forage in upper soil layers. Our results suggest that tundra vegetation will become graminoid-dominated as permafrost thaw progresses and nutrient availability increases in the deep soil.",
keywords = "N, Arctic tundra, Dwarf shrubs, Graminoids, Niche differentiation, Nutrient uptake, Plant functional types, Rooting depth, Soil depth",
author = "Peng Wang and Juul Limpens and Ake Nauta and {van Huissteden}, Corine and {van Rijssel}, {Sophie Quirina} and Liesje Mommer and {de Kroon}, Hans and Maximov, {Trofim C.} and Heijmans, {Monique M.P.D.}",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1111/jvs.12593",
language = "English",
volume = "29",
pages = "34--41",
journal = "Journal of Vegetation Science",
issn = "1100-9233",
publisher = "Wiley",
number = "1",

}

Depth-based differentiation in nitrogen uptake between graminoids and shrubs in an Arctic tundra plant community. / Wang, Peng; Limpens, Juul; Nauta, Ake; van Huissteden, Corine; van Rijssel, Sophie Quirina; Mommer, Liesje; de Kroon, Hans; Maximov, Trofim C.; Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.

In: Journal of Vegetation Science, Vol. 29, No. 1, 01.2018, p. 34-41.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Depth-based differentiation in nitrogen uptake between graminoids and shrubs in an Arctic tundra plant community

AU - Wang, Peng

AU - Limpens, Juul

AU - Nauta, Ake

AU - van Huissteden, Corine

AU - van Rijssel, Sophie Quirina

AU - Mommer, Liesje

AU - de Kroon, Hans

AU - Maximov, Trofim C.

AU - Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.

PY - 2018/1

Y1 - 2018/1

N2 - Questions: The rapid climate warming in tundra ecosystems can increase nutrient availability in the soil, which may initiate shifts in vegetation composition. The direction in which the vegetation shifts will co-determine whether Arctic warming is mitigated or accelerated, making the understanding of successional trajectories urgent. One of the key factors influencing the competitive relationships between plant species is their access to nutrients, depending on the depth where they take up most nutrients. However, nutrient uptake at different soil depths by tundra plant species that differ in rooting depth is unclear. Location: Kytalyk Nature Reserve, northeast Siberia, Russia. Methods: We injected 15N to 5 cm, 15 cm and the thaw front of the soil in a moist tussock tundra. The absorption of 15N by grasses, sedges, deciduous shrubs and evergreen shrubs from the three depths was compared. Results: The results clearly show a vertical differentiation of N uptake by these plant functional types, corresponding to their rooting strategy. Shallow-rooting dwarf shrubs were more capable of absorbing nutrients from the upper soil than from deeper soil. Deep-rooting grasses and sedges were more capable of absorbing nutrients from deeper soil than the dwarf shrubs. The natural 15N abundances in control plants also indicate that graminoids can absorb more nutrients from the deeper soil than dwarf shrubs. Conclusions: Our results show that graminoids and shrubs in the Arctic differ in their N uptake strategies, with graminoids profiting from nutrients released at the thaw front, while shrubs mainly forage in upper soil layers. Our results suggest that tundra vegetation will become graminoid-dominated as permafrost thaw progresses and nutrient availability increases in the deep soil.

AB - Questions: The rapid climate warming in tundra ecosystems can increase nutrient availability in the soil, which may initiate shifts in vegetation composition. The direction in which the vegetation shifts will co-determine whether Arctic warming is mitigated or accelerated, making the understanding of successional trajectories urgent. One of the key factors influencing the competitive relationships between plant species is their access to nutrients, depending on the depth where they take up most nutrients. However, nutrient uptake at different soil depths by tundra plant species that differ in rooting depth is unclear. Location: Kytalyk Nature Reserve, northeast Siberia, Russia. Methods: We injected 15N to 5 cm, 15 cm and the thaw front of the soil in a moist tussock tundra. The absorption of 15N by grasses, sedges, deciduous shrubs and evergreen shrubs from the three depths was compared. Results: The results clearly show a vertical differentiation of N uptake by these plant functional types, corresponding to their rooting strategy. Shallow-rooting dwarf shrubs were more capable of absorbing nutrients from the upper soil than from deeper soil. Deep-rooting grasses and sedges were more capable of absorbing nutrients from deeper soil than the dwarf shrubs. The natural 15N abundances in control plants also indicate that graminoids can absorb more nutrients from the deeper soil than dwarf shrubs. Conclusions: Our results show that graminoids and shrubs in the Arctic differ in their N uptake strategies, with graminoids profiting from nutrients released at the thaw front, while shrubs mainly forage in upper soil layers. Our results suggest that tundra vegetation will become graminoid-dominated as permafrost thaw progresses and nutrient availability increases in the deep soil.

KW - N

KW - Arctic tundra

KW - Dwarf shrubs

KW - Graminoids

KW - Niche differentiation

KW - Nutrient uptake

KW - Plant functional types

KW - Rooting depth

KW - Soil depth

U2 - 10.1111/jvs.12593

DO - 10.1111/jvs.12593

M3 - Article

VL - 29

SP - 34

EP - 41

JO - Journal of Vegetation Science

T2 - Journal of Vegetation Science

JF - Journal of Vegetation Science

SN - 1100-9233

IS - 1

ER -