Choi, R.T., Petit Bon, M., Leffler, A.J., Kelsey, K.C., Welker, J.M. & Beard, K.H. (2022) Short-term effects of experimental goose grazing and warming differ in three low-Arctic coastal wetland plant communities. Journal of Vegetation Science, 33, e13139. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.13139
Short-term effects of experimental goose grazing and warming differ in three low-Arctic coastal wetland plant communities
|Author:||Choi, Ryan T.1; Petit Bon, Matteo1; Leffler, A. Joshua2;|
1Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University and the Ecology Center, Logan, Utah, USA
2Department of Natural Resource Management, South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota, USA
3Geography and Environmental Science Department, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA
4Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alaska-Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska, USA
5Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6UArctic, University of the Arctic, Rovaniemi, Finland
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2022092760276
John Wiley & Sons,
|Publish Date:|| 2023-06-11
Question: Understanding the sensitivity and magnitude of plant community responses in tundra wetlands to herbivory and warming is pressing as these ecosystems are increasingly threatened by changes in grazing pressure and higher temperatures. Here, we ask to what extent different low-Arctic coastal wetland plant communities are affected by short-term goose grazing and warming, and whether these communities differ in their responses.
Location: Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska.
Methods: We conducted an experiment where we simulated goose grazing by clipping the vegetation and summer warming by using open-top chambers in three plant communities along a 6-km coastal–inland gradient. We assessed plant community compositional changes following two years of treatments.
Results: Grazing had stronger effects than warming on both plant functional group and species composition. Overall, grazing decreased the abundance of grasses and sedges and increased the abundance of forbs, whereas warming only caused a decrease in forb abundance. However, plant communities and functional groups, both within and across communities, varied widely in their responses to treatments. Grazing decreased grass abundance (−25%) and increased forb abundance (+44%) in the two more coastal communities, and reduced sedge abundance (−22%) only in the most inland community. Warming only decreased forb abundance (−18%) in the most coastal community, which overall was the most responsive to treatments.
Conclusions: We show that short-term goose grazing predominates over short-term summer warming in eliciting compositional changes in three different low-Arctic coastal wetland plant communities. Yet, responses varied among communities and the same functional groups could respond differently across them, highlighting the importance of investigating the effects of biotic and abiotic drivers in different contexts. By showing that tundra wetland plant communities can differ in their immediate sensitivity to goose grazing and, though to a lesser extent, warming, our findings have implications for the functioning of these rapidly changing high-latitude ecosystems.
Journal of vegetation science
|Type of Publication:||
A1 Journal article – refereed
|Field of Science:||
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
This study was funded by grants (i) to KHB from the National Science Foundation (NSF) (ARC-1304523; ARC-1932889; ANS-2113641) and approved by the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station as journal paper #9418; (ii) to RTC from the NSF (DGE-1633756), Utah State University Ecology Center, and University of Colorado Boulder J. W. Marr Award; (iii) to JMW and AJL from the NSF (ARC-1304879); (iv) to AJL from the NSF (ANS-2113691), South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station; (v) to KCK from the NSF (ANS-2113750).
© 2022 International Association for Vegetation Science. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Choi, R.T., Petit Bon, M., Leffler, A.J., Kelsey, K.C., Welker, J.M. & Beard, K.H. (2022) Short-term effects of experimental goose grazing and warming differ in three low-Arctic coastal wetland plant communities. Journal of Vegetation Science, 33, e13139, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.13139. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.