Global Change Factors (global + change_factor)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The response of heterotrophic activity and carbon cycling to nitrogen additions and warming in two tropical soils

Abstract Nitrogen (N) deposition is projected to increase significantly in tropical regions in the coming decades, where changes in climate are also expected. Additional N and warming each have the potential to alter soil carbon (C) storage via changes in microbial activity and decomposition, but little is known about the combined effects of these global change factors in tropical ecosystems. In this study, we used controlled laboratory incubations of soils from a long-term N fertilization experiment to explore the sensitivity of soil C to increased N in two N-rich tropical forests. We found that fertilization corresponded to significant increases in bulk soil C concentrations, and decreases in C loss via heterotrophic respiration (P< 0.05). The increase in soil C was not uniform among C pools, however. The active soil C pool decomposed faster with fertilization, while slowly cycling C pools had longer turnover times. These changes in soil C cycling with N additions corresponded to the responses of two groups of microbial extracellular enzymes. Smaller active C pools corresponded to increased hydrolytic enzyme activities; longer turnover times of the slowly cycling C pool corresponded to reduced activity of oxidative enzymes, which degrade more complex C compounds, in fertilized soils. Warming increased soil respiration overall, and N fertilization significantly increased the temperature sensitivity of slowly cycling C pools in both forests. In the lower elevation forest, respired CO2 from fertilized cores had significantly higher ,14C values than control soils, indicating losses of relatively older soil C. These results indicate that soil C storage is sensitive to both N deposition and warming in N-rich tropical soils, with interacting effects of these two global change factors. N deposition has the potential to increase total soil C stocks in tropical forests, but the long-term stability of this added C will likely depend on future changes in temperature. [source]

Solar UVB and warming affect decomposition and earthworms in a fen ecosystem in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

Abstract Combined effects of co-occurring global climate changes on ecosystem responses are generally poorly understood. Here, we present results from a 2-year field experiment in a Carex fen ecosystem on the southernmost tip of South America, where we examined the effects of solar ultraviolet B (UVB, 280,315 nm) and warming on above- and belowground plant production, C : N ratios, decomposition rates and earthworm population sizes. Solar UVB radiation was manipulated using transparent plastic filter films to create a near-ambient (90% of ambient UVB) or a reduced solar UVB treatment (15% of ambient UVB). The warming treatment was imposed passively by wrapping the same filter material around the plots resulting in a mean air and soil temperature increase of about 1.2 C. Aboveground plant production was not affected by warming, and marginally reduced at near-ambient UVB only in the second season. Aboveground plant biomass also tended to have a lower C : N ratio under near-ambient UVB and was differently affected at the two temperatures (marginal UVB temperature interaction). Leaf decomposition of one dominant sedge species (Carex curta) tended to be faster at near-ambient UVB than at reduced UVB. Leaf decomposition of a codominant species (Carex decidua) was significantly faster at near-ambient UVB; root decomposition of this species tended to be lower at increased temperature and interacted with UVB. We found, for the first time in a field experiment that epigeic earthworm density and biomass was 36% decreased by warming but remained unaffected by UVB radiation. Our results show that present-day solar UVB radiation and modest warming can adversely affect ecosystem functioning and engineers of this fen. However, results on plant biomass production also showed that treatment manipulations of co-occurring global change factors can be overridden by the local climatic situation in a given study year. [source]

Responses of dryland soil respiration and soil carbon pool size to abrupt vs. gradual and individual vs. combined changes in soil temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric [CO2]: a simulation analysis

Abstract With the large extent and great amount of soil carbon (C) storage, drylands play an important role in terrestrial C balance and feedbacks to climate change. Yet, how dryland soils respond to gradual and concomitant changes in multiple global change drivers [e.g., temperature (Ts), precipitation (Ppt), and atmospheric [CO2] (CO2)] has rarely been studied. We used a process-based ecosystem model patch arid land simulator to simulate dryland soil respiration (Rs) and C pool size (Cs) changes to abrupt vs. gradual and single vs. combined alterations in Ts, Ppt and CO2 at multiple treatment levels. Results showed that abrupt perturbations generally resulted in larger Rs and had longer differentiated impacts than did gradual perturbations. Rs was stimulated by increases in Ts, Ppt, and CO2 in a nonlinear fashion (e.g., parabolically or asymptotically) but suppressed by Ppt reduction. Warming mainly stimulated heterotrophic Rs (i.e., Rh) whereas Ppt and CO2 influenced autotrophic Rs (i.e., Ra). The combined effects of warming, Ppt, and CO2 were nonadditive of primary single-factor effects as a result of substantial interactions among these factors. Warming amplified the effects of both Ppt addition and CO2 elevation whereas Ppt addition and CO2 elevation counteracted with each other. Precipitation reduction either magnified or suppressed warming and CO2 effects, depending on the magnitude of factor's alteration and the components of Rs (Ra or Rh) being examined. Overall, Ppt had dominant influence on dryland Rs and Cs over Ts and CO2. Increasing Ppt individually or in combination with Ts and CO2 benefited soil C sequestration. We therefore suggested that global change experimental studies for dryland ecosystems should focus more on the effects of precipitation regime changes and the combined effects of Ppt with other global change factors (e.g., Ts, CO2, and N deposition). [source]

Modeled interactive effects of precipitation, temperature, and [CO2] on ecosystem carbon and water dynamics in different climatic zones

Abstract Interactive effects of multiple global change factors on ecosystem processes are complex. It is relatively expensive to explore those interactions in manipulative experiments. We conducted a modeling analysis to identify potentially important interactions and to stimulate hypothesis formulation for experimental research. Four models were used to quantify interactive effects of climate warming (T), altered precipitation amounts [doubled (DP) and halved (HP)] and seasonality (SP, moving precipitation in July and August to January and February to create summer drought), and elevated [CO2] (C) on net primary production (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh), net ecosystem production (NEP), transpiration, and runoff. We examined those responses in seven ecosystems, including forests, grasslands, and heathlands in different climate zones. The modeling analysis showed that none of the three-way interactions among T, C, and altered precipitation was substantial for either carbon or water processes, nor consistent among the seven ecosystems. However, two-way interactive effects on NPP, Rh, and NEP were generally positive (i.e. amplification of one factor's effect by the other factor) between T and C or between T and DP. A negative interaction (i.e. depression of one factor's effect by the other factor) occurred for simulated NPP between T and HP. The interactive effects on runoff were positive between T and HP. Four pairs of two-way interactive effects on plant transpiration were positive and two pairs negative. In addition, wet sites generally had smaller relative changes in NPP, Rh, runoff, and transpiration but larger absolute changes in NEP than dry sites in response to the treatments. The modeling results suggest new hypotheses to be tested in multifactor global change experiments. Likewise, more experimental evidence is needed for the further improvement of ecosystem models in order to adequately simulate complex interactive processes. [source]

Global Change Effects on Plant Chemical Defenses against Insect Herbivores

M. Gabriela Bidart-Bouzat
Abstract This review focuses on individual effects of major global change factors, such as elevated CO2, O3, UV light and temperature, on plant secondary chemistry. These secondary metabolites are well-known for their role in plant defense against insect herbivory. Global change effects on secondary chemicals appear to be plant species-specific and dependent on the chemical type. Even though plant chemical responses induced by these factors are highly variable, there seems to be some specificity in the response to different environmental stressors. For example, even though the production of phenolic compounds is enhanced by both elevated CO2 and UV light levels, the latter appears to primarily increase the concentrations of flavonoids. Likewise, specific phenolic metabolites seem to be induced by O3 but not by other factors, and an increase in volatile organic compounds has been particularly detected under elevated temperature. More information is needed regarding how global change factors influence inducibility of plant chemical defenses as well as how their indirect and direct effects impact insect performance and behavior, herbivory rates and pathogen attack. This knowledge is crucial to better understand how plants and their associated natural enemies will be affected in future changing environments. [source]