Dwarf shrubs are stronger competitors than graminoid species at high nutrient supply in peat bogs

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16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Climate warming is likely to increase nutrient mineralization rates in bog ecosystems which may change the plant species composition. We examined the competitive relationships between two graminoid species, Eriophorum vaginatum and Rhynchospora alba, and two ericoid species, Calluna vulgaris and Vaccinium oxycoccus, at different nutrient supply rates. In a greenhouse, the plants were grown in monocultures and mixtures at four nutrient treatments: control, high N, high P, and high N + P. The results show that the ericoids responded more strongly to the nutrient treatments than the graminoids. The dwarf shrubs showed higher growth rates and reduced root:shoot ratio at high N + P supply. When grown in mixture the ericoids increased their growth, while graminoids decreased in biomass or showed signs of nutrient limitation compared to their monoculture plants. This suggests that under increased nutrient availability, bogs are more likely to turn into dwarf shrub dominated ecosystems and not grassland
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
JournalPlant Ecology
Volume204
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • alaskan tussock tundra
  • nitrogen deposition
  • vascular plants
  • n deposition
  • growth forms
  • fertilization
  • vegetation
  • responses
  • sphagnum
  • availability

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