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Berauer, B.J.* ; Wilfahrt, P.A.* ; Arfin-Khan, M.A.S.* ; Eibes, P.* ; Von Heßberg, A.* ; Ingrisch, J.* ; Schloter, M. ; Schuchardt, M.A.* ; Jentsch, A.*

Low resistance of montane and alpine grasslands to abrupt changes in temperature and precipitation regimes.

Arctic Antarc. Alpine Res. 51, 215-231 (2019)
Publ. Version/Full Text Research data DOI
Open Access Gold
Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag
High-elevation ecosystems will experience increasing periods of above-average warmth and altered precipitation changes because of climate change. This causes uncertainties for community properties such as productivity and biodiversity. Increasing temperature may increase productivity by increasing growing season length and metabolic rate or decrease productivity by causing drought stress. Competitive outcomes between species may change with altered climatic conditions, causing shifts in community composition. This study investigates the resistance of aboveground biomass and plant community composition of montane and alpine grassland ecosystems to abruptly altered temperature and precipitation conditions. Intact plant-soil communities were translocated downslope spanning an elevational gradient of 2,090 m in the European Alps. We hypothesize that increasing temperature leads to (1) increased aboveground biomass in the absence of precipitation deficits, (2) decreased species richness, and (3) shifts in plant community composition. After one year of exposure to their new environment, aboveground biomass changes appeared to be dependent on precipitation regimes, whereas species richness declined consistently with changed climatic conditions. No deterministic shift in community composition was found. Abrupt changes in climatic conditions can lead to rapid responses of community properties, indicating that these high-elevation communities may have low initial resistance to future heat waves and droughts.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Alpine ; Climate Manipulation Experiment ; Community Ecology ; Elevational Gradient ; Grasslands ; Resistance
ISSN (print) / ISBN 1523-0430
e-ISSN 1938-4246
Quellenangaben Volume: 51, Issue: 1, Pages: 215-231 Article Number: , Supplement: ,
Publisher University of Colorado
Publishing Place Boulder, Colo.
Reviewing status Peer reviewed