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Nitrogen fixation in mixed Hylocomium splendens moss communities
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Umeå, Sweden.
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Umeå, Sweden. (The Wilderness Society Ecology and Economics Research Department 503 West Mendenhall Bozeman MT 59715 USA)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC).
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0536-903X
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2009 (English)In: Oecologia, ISSN 0029-8549, E-ISSN 1432-1939, Vol. 160, no 2, 309-319 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The pleurocarpus feather moss, Hylocomium splendens, is one of two co-dominant moss species in boreal forest ecosystems and one of the most common mosses on earth, yet little is known regarding its capacity to host cyanobacterial associates and thus contribute total ecosystem N. In these studies, we evaluated the N-fixation potential of the H. splendens-cyanobacteria association and contrasted the N-fixation activity with that of the putative N-fixing moss-cyanobacteria association of Pleurozium schreberi. Studies were conducted to: quantify N-fixation in H. splendens and P. schreberi in sites ranging from southern to northern Fennoscandia; assess N and P availability as drivers of N-fixation rates; contrast season-long N-fixation rates for both mosses; and characterize the cyanobacteria that colonize shoots of H. splendens. Nitrogen-fixation rates were generally low at southern latitudes and higher at northern latitudes (64-69 degrees N) potentially related to anthropogenic N deposition across this gradient. Nitrogen fixation in H. splendens appeared to be less sensitive to N deposition than P. schreberi. The season-long assessment of N-fixation rates at a mixed feather moss site in northern Sweden showed that H. splendens fixed a substantial quantity of N, but about 50% less total N compared to the contribution from P. schreberi. In total, both species provided 1.6 kg fixed N ha(-1) year(-1). Interestingly, H. splendens demonstrated somewhat higher N-fixation rates at high fertility sites compared to P. schreberi. Nostoc spp. and Stigonema spp. were the primary cyanobacteria found to colonize H. splendens and P. schreberi. These results suggest that H. splendens with associated Nostoc or Stigonema communities contributes a significant quantity of N to boreal forest ecosystems, but the contribution is subordinate to that of P. schreberi at northern latitudes. Epiphytic cyanobacteria are likely a key factor determining the co-dominant presence of these two feather mosses across the boreal biome.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2009. Vol. 160, no 2, 309-319 p.
Keyword [en]
Feather moss, Nitrogen, Boreal ecosystems, Pleurozium schreberi
National Category
Ecology Botany
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-20885DOI: 10.1007/s00442-009-1299-8PubMedID: 19252932OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-20885DiVA: diva2:209813
Available from: 2009-03-27 Created: 2009-03-27 Last updated: 2015-04-29Bibliographically approved

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Gentili, FrancescoSellstedt, Anita

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