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  • 1.
    Graae, BJ
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Verheyen, K
    Kolb, A
    Van Der Veken, S
    Heinken, T
    Chabrerie, O
    Diekmann, M
    Valtinat, K
    Zindel, R
    Karlsson, E
    Ström, Lotta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Decocq, G
    Hermy, M
    Baskin, CC
    Germination requirements and seed mass of slow- and fast-colonizing temperate forest herbs along a latitudinal gradient2009In: Ecoscience, ISSN 1195-6860, Vol. 16, p. 248-257Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Predictions on displacement of suitable habitats due to climate change suggest that plant species with poor colonization ability may be unable to move fast enough to match forecasted climate-induced changes in habitat distribution. However, studies on early Holocene plant migration show fast migration of many plant species that are poor colonizers today We hypothesize that warmer temperatures during the early Holocene yielded higher seed quality, contributing to explaining the fast migration. We studied how the 3 seed quality variables, seed mass, germinability, and requirements for break of seed dormancy, vary for seeds of 11 forest herb species with varying colonization capacity collected along a 1400-km latitudinal gradient. Within species, seed mass showed a positive correlation with latitude, whereas germinability was more positively correlated with temperature (growing degree hours obtained at time of seed collection). Only slow-colonizing species increased germinability with temperature, whereas only fast-colonizing species increased germinability with latitude. These interactions were only detectable when analyzing germinability of the seeds, even though this trait and seed mass were correlated. The requirement for dormancy break did not correlate with latitude or temperature. The results indicate that seed development of slow colonizers may be favoured by a warmer climate, which in turn may be important for their migration capacity.

  • 2.
    Jansson, Roland
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Ström, Lotta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Nilsson, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Smaller future floods imply less habitat for riparian plants along a boreal river2019In: Ecological Applications, ISSN 1051-0761, E-ISSN 1939-5582, Vol. 29, no 8, article id e01977Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Climate-change projections suggest large changes in riverine flow regime, which will likely alter riparian communities. In northern Europe, forecasts propose lower annual spring flood peaks and higher winter flows, resulting in narrower riparian zones. To estimate the impact of climate change on habitat extent of riparian plants, we developed a framework estimating the sensitivity and exposure of individual species to streamflow change, and surveyed five reaches along the free-flowing Vindel River in northern Sweden. We modeled the hydrologic niche of riparian plant species based on the probability of occurrence along gradients of flood frequency and duration and used predicted future water-level fluctuations (based on climate models and IPCC emission scenarios) to calculate changes in flow-related habitat availability of individual species. Despite projected increases in runoff, we predict most species to decrease in riparian elevational extent by on average 12-29% until the end of the century, depending on scenario. Species growing in the upper, spring-flood-controlled part of the riparian zone will likely lose most habitat, with the largest reductions in species with narrow ranges of inundation duration tolerance (decreases of up to 54%). In contrast, the elevational extent of most amphibious species is predicted to increase, but conditions creating isoetid vegetation will become rarer or disappear: isoetid vegetation is presently found in areas where ice formed in the fall settles on the riverbank during the winter as water levels subside. Higher winter flows will make these conditions rare. We argue that our framework is useful to project the effects of hydrologic change caused by climate change as well as other stressors such as flow regulation also in other regions. With few rivers remaining unaffected by dams and other human stressors, these results call for monitoring to detect species declines. Management to alleviate species losses might include mitigation of habitat degradation from land-use activities, more environmentally friendly flow schemes, and more intensive management options such as mowing riparian meadows no longer regularly maintained by recurrent floods.

  • 3.
    Nilsson, Christer
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Jansson, Roland
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Kuglerova, Lenka
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Lind, Lovisa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Ström, Lotta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Boreal riparian vegetation under climate change2013In: Ecosystems (New York. Print), ISSN 1432-9840, E-ISSN 1435-0629, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 401-410Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Riparian zones in boreal areas such as humid landscapes on minerogenic soils are characterized by diverse, productive, and dynamic vegetation which will rapidly react to climate change. Climate-change models predict that in most parts of the boreal region these zones will be affected by various combinations of increased temperature, less seasonal variation in runoff, increased average discharge, changes in groundwater supply, and a more dynamic ice regime. Increasing temperatures will favor invasion of exotic species whereas species losses are likely to be minor. The hydrologic changes will cause a narrowing of the riparian zone and, therefore, locally reduce species richness whereas effects on primary production are more difficult to predict. More shifts between freezing and thawing during winter will lead to increased dynamics of ice formation and ice disturbance, potentially fostering a more dynamic and species-rich riparian vegetation. Restoration measures that increase water retention and shade, and that reduce habitats for exotic plant species adjacent to rivers can be applied especially in streams and rivers that have been channelized or deprived of their riparian forest to reduce the effects of climate change on riparian ecosystems.

  • 4.
    Ström, Lotta
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Hylander, Kristoffer
    Botaniska institutionen, Stockholms universitet.
    Dynesius, Mats
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Different long-term and short-term responses of land snails to clear-cutting of boreal stream-side forests.2009In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, E-ISSN 1873-2917, Vol. 142, p. 1580-1587Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Effects of clear-cutting on biodiversity have mainly been studied in the short-term, although knowledge of longer term effects are often more important for managers of forest biodiversity. We assessed relatively long-term effects of clear-cutting on litter dwelling land snails, a group with slow active dispersal and considered to be intolerant to microclimate changes. In a pair wise design we compared snail abundance, species density, and species composition between 13 old seminatural stream-side stands and 13 matched young stands developed 40–60 years after clear-cutting. Using a standardized semi-quantitative method, we identified all snail specimens in a 1.5 l subsample of a pooled litter sample collected from small patches within a 20 × 5 m plot in each stream-side stand. From the young stands a mean of 135 shells and 9.5 species was extracted which was significantly higher than the 58.1 shells and 6.9 species found in old forests. Only two of the 16 species encountered showed a stronger affinity to old than to young forests. In short-term studies of boreal stream-side forests land snail abundance is reduced by clear-cutting. Our results indicate that this decline is transient for most species and within a few decades replaced by an increase. We suggest that local survival in moist stream-side refugia makes the land snails able to benefit from the higher pH and more abundant non-conifer litter in young than in old boreal forests. Our results highlight the importance of longer term studies as a basis for management guidelines for biodiversity conservation.

  • 5.
    Ström, Lotta
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Jansson, Roland
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Nilsson, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Johansson, Mats E
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Xiong, Shaojun
    Hydrologic effects on riparian vegetation in a boreal river: an experiment testing climate change predictions2011In: Global Change Biology, ISSN 1354-1013, E-ISSN 1365-2486, Vol. 17, no 1, p. 254-267Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Climate change is expected to alter the magnitude and variation of flow in streams and rivers, hence providing new conditions for riverine communities. We evaluated plant ecological responses to climate change by transplanting turfs of riparian vegetation to new elevations in the riparian zone, thus simulating expected changes in water-level variation, and monitored the results over 6 years. Turfs moved to higher elevations decreased in biomass and increased in species richness, whereas turfs transplanted to lower elevations gained biomass but lost species. Transplanted plant communities responded slowly to the new hydrologic conditions. After 6 years, biomass of transplanted turfs was statistically indistinguishable from target level controls, but species richness and species composition of transplants were intermediate between original and target levels. By using projections of future stream flow according to IPCC climate change scenarios, we predict likely changes to riparian vegetation in boreal rivers. Climate-driven hydrologic changes are predicted to result in narrower riparian zones along the studied Vindel River in northern Sweden towards the end of the 21st century. Present riparian plant communities are projected to be replaced by terrestrial communities at high elevations as a result of lower-magnitude spring floods, and by amphibious or aquatic communities at low elevations as a result of higher autumn and winter flows. Changes to riparian vegetation may be larger in other boreal climate regions: snow melt fed spring floods are predicted to disappear in southern parts of the boreal zone, which would result in considerable loss of riparian habitat. Our study emphasizes the importance of long-term ecological field experiments given that plant communities often respond slowly and in a nonlinear fashion to external pressures.

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