Glasshouse vs field experiments: do they yield ecologically similar results for assessing N impacts on peat mosses

J. Limpens, G. Granath, U. Gunnarsson, H. Rydin, R. Aerts, M.M.P.D. Heijmans, M.R. Hoosbeek, M.P.C.P. Paulissen, A.J.G. Breeuwer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

• Peat bogs have accumulated more atmospheric carbon (C) than any other terrestrial ecosystem today. Most of this C is associated with peat moss (Sphagnum) litter. Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition can decrease Sphagnum production, compromising the C sequestration capacity of peat bogs. The mechanisms underlying the reduced production are uncertain, necessitating multifactorial experiments. • We investigated whether glasshouse experiments are reliable proxies for field experiments for assessing interactions between N deposition and environment as controls on Sphagnum N concentration and production. We performed a meta-analysis over 115 glasshouse experiments and 107 field experiments. • We found that glasshouse and field experiments gave similar qualitative and quantitative estimates of changes in Sphagnum N concentration in response to N application. However, glasshouse-based estimates of changes in production – even qualitative assessments – diverged from field experiments owing to a stronger N effect on production response in absence of vascular plants in the glasshouse, and a weaker N effect on production response in presence of vascular plants compared to field experiments. • Thus, although we need glasshouse experiments to study how interacting environmental factors affect the response of Sphagnum to increased N deposition, we need field experiments to properly quantify these effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-418
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume195
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Sphagnopsida
Sphagnum
greenhouses
Wetlands
peatlands
vascular plants
Blood Vessels
Soil
Proxy
meta-analysis
Ecosystem
Meta-Analysis
Nitrogen
Carbon
environmental factors
carbon
nitrogen

Keywords

  • nitrogen deposition
  • sphagnum mosses
  • metaanalysis
  • peatlands
  • carbon
  • scale
  • responses
  • ecology
  • cycle

Cite this

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abstract = "• Peat bogs have accumulated more atmospheric carbon (C) than any other terrestrial ecosystem today. Most of this C is associated with peat moss (Sphagnum) litter. Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition can decrease Sphagnum production, compromising the C sequestration capacity of peat bogs. The mechanisms underlying the reduced production are uncertain, necessitating multifactorial experiments. • We investigated whether glasshouse experiments are reliable proxies for field experiments for assessing interactions between N deposition and environment as controls on Sphagnum N concentration and production. We performed a meta-analysis over 115 glasshouse experiments and 107 field experiments. • We found that glasshouse and field experiments gave similar qualitative and quantitative estimates of changes in Sphagnum N concentration in response to N application. However, glasshouse-based estimates of changes in production – even qualitative assessments – diverged from field experiments owing to a stronger N effect on production response in absence of vascular plants in the glasshouse, and a weaker N effect on production response in presence of vascular plants compared to field experiments. • Thus, although we need glasshouse experiments to study how interacting environmental factors affect the response of Sphagnum to increased N deposition, we need field experiments to properly quantify these effects.",
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Glasshouse vs field experiments: do they yield ecologically similar results for assessing N impacts on peat mosses. / Limpens, J.; Granath, G.; Gunnarsson, U.; Rydin, H.; Aerts, R.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Hoosbeek, M.R.; Paulissen, M.P.C.P.; Breeuwer, A.J.G.

In: New Phytologist, Vol. 195, No. 2, 2012, p. 408-418.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Glasshouse vs field experiments: do they yield ecologically similar results for assessing N impacts on peat mosses

AU - Limpens, J.

AU - Granath, G.

AU - Gunnarsson, U.

AU - Rydin, H.

AU - Aerts, R.

AU - Heijmans, M.M.P.D.

AU - Hoosbeek, M.R.

AU - Paulissen, M.P.C.P.

AU - Breeuwer, A.J.G.

PY - 2012

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N2 - • Peat bogs have accumulated more atmospheric carbon (C) than any other terrestrial ecosystem today. Most of this C is associated with peat moss (Sphagnum) litter. Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition can decrease Sphagnum production, compromising the C sequestration capacity of peat bogs. The mechanisms underlying the reduced production are uncertain, necessitating multifactorial experiments. • We investigated whether glasshouse experiments are reliable proxies for field experiments for assessing interactions between N deposition and environment as controls on Sphagnum N concentration and production. We performed a meta-analysis over 115 glasshouse experiments and 107 field experiments. • We found that glasshouse and field experiments gave similar qualitative and quantitative estimates of changes in Sphagnum N concentration in response to N application. However, glasshouse-based estimates of changes in production – even qualitative assessments – diverged from field experiments owing to a stronger N effect on production response in absence of vascular plants in the glasshouse, and a weaker N effect on production response in presence of vascular plants compared to field experiments. • Thus, although we need glasshouse experiments to study how interacting environmental factors affect the response of Sphagnum to increased N deposition, we need field experiments to properly quantify these effects.

AB - • Peat bogs have accumulated more atmospheric carbon (C) than any other terrestrial ecosystem today. Most of this C is associated with peat moss (Sphagnum) litter. Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition can decrease Sphagnum production, compromising the C sequestration capacity of peat bogs. The mechanisms underlying the reduced production are uncertain, necessitating multifactorial experiments. • We investigated whether glasshouse experiments are reliable proxies for field experiments for assessing interactions between N deposition and environment as controls on Sphagnum N concentration and production. We performed a meta-analysis over 115 glasshouse experiments and 107 field experiments. • We found that glasshouse and field experiments gave similar qualitative and quantitative estimates of changes in Sphagnum N concentration in response to N application. However, glasshouse-based estimates of changes in production – even qualitative assessments – diverged from field experiments owing to a stronger N effect on production response in absence of vascular plants in the glasshouse, and a weaker N effect on production response in presence of vascular plants compared to field experiments. • Thus, although we need glasshouse experiments to study how interacting environmental factors affect the response of Sphagnum to increased N deposition, we need field experiments to properly quantify these effects.

KW - nitrogen deposition

KW - sphagnum mosses

KW - metaanalysis

KW - peatlands

KW - carbon

KW - scale

KW - responses

KW - ecology

KW - cycle

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DO - 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04157.x

M3 - Article

VL - 195

SP - 408

EP - 418

JO - New Phytologist

JF - New Phytologist

SN - 0028-646X

IS - 2

ER -