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The use of open-top chambers in forests for evaluating warming effects on herbaceous understorey plants
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
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2010 (English)In: Ecological research, ISSN 0912-3814, E-ISSN 1440-1703, Vol. 25, no 1, 163-171 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Open-top chambers (OTCs) are widely used experimental warming devices in open-field ecosystems such as tundra and alpine heath. However, knowledge of their performance in temperate deciduous forest ecosystems is largely lacking. The application of OTCs in forests might become important in the future since the effects of climate warming on growth, reproduction, and future distribution of understorey forest herbs have rarely been investigated. Therefore, polycarbonate OTCs covered with (OTCs+GF) and without permeable polypropylene GardenFleece (OTCs−GF) were installed in a temperate deciduous forest to create an experimental warming gradient. Short-term responses in phenology, growth, and reproduction of a model understorey forest herb (Anemone nemorosa L.) to OTC installation were determined. In a second growing season, an in-depth study of multiple abiotic conditions inside OTCs−GF was performed. Both OTCs+GF and OTCs−GF raised air and soil temperature in a realistic manner (ca. +0.4°C to +1.15°C), but OTCs−GF only in the leafless period (up to +1.5°C monthly average soil temperature). The early flowering forest herb A. nemorosa also showed a clear phenotypic response to OTC installation. Based on these facts and the large ecological drawbacks associated with OTCs+GF (mostly in connection with a higher relative air humidity and a lower light quantity) and very modest abiotic changes in OTCs−GF, we encourage the use of OTCs−GF in deciduous forest ecosystems for evaluating climate-warming effects on early flowering understorey forest herbs. There is also a potential to use this warming method on later flowering species, but this needs further research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 25, no 1, 163-171 p.
Keyword [en]
anemone nemorosa L., climate change, experimental warming, herbaceous forest species, open-top chambers, wood anemone
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33009DOI: 10.1007/s11284-009-0640-3ISI: 000273745200016OAI: diva2:309346
Available from: 2010-04-07 Created: 2010-04-07 Last updated: 2010-04-07Bibliographically approved

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