N/P addition is more likely than N addition alone to promote a transition from moss-dominated to graminoid-dominated tundra in the High-Arctic


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Gignac, C., Rochefort, L., Gauthier, G., Lévesque, E., Maire, V., Deschamps, L., Pouliot, R. et Marchand-Roy, M. (2022). N/P addition is more likely than N addition alone to promote a transition from moss-dominated to graminoid-dominated tundra in the High-Arctic. Atmosphere, 13 (5). Article 676. ISSN 2073-4433 DOI 10.3390/atmos13050676

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Nutrient availability for tundra vegetation could change drastically due to increasing temperatures and frequency of nitrogen deposition in the Arctic. Few studies have simultaneously examined the response of plant communities to these two pressures over a long period. This study aims to assess which driver between increasing nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability through global warming and increasing N availability alone via N deposition is more likely to transform arctic wetland vegetation and whether there is a time lag in this response. An annual fertilization experiment simulating these nutrient inputs was conducted for 17 years in the Canadian High-Arctic to assess the impact on aboveground net primary productivity, floristic composition, and plant nutrient concentration. While the primary productivity of mosses remains unchanged by fertilization after 17 years, productivity of graminoids was increased slightly by N addition (36% increase at the highest dose). In contrast, the primary productivity of graminoids increased strongly with N/P addition (over 227% increase). We noted no difference in graminoid productivity between the 2nd and 5th year of the experiment, but we observed a 203% increase between the 5th and 17th year in the N/P addition treatments. We also noted a 49% decrease in the total moss cover and an 155% increase in the total graminoid cover between the 2nd and 17th year of N/P addition. These results indicate that the impact of warming through increased N/P availability was greater than those of N deposition alone (N addition) and promoted the transition from a moss-dominated tundra to a graminoid-dominated tundra. However, this transition was subject to a time lag of up to 17 years, suggesting that increased productivity of graminoids resulted from a release of nutrients via the decomposition of lower parts of the moss mat. © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: Arctic tundra Community Disturbance Fertilization Global warming Nitrogen deposition Nutrient availability Productivity Time lag Transition Nitrogen Nutrients Photosynthesis Phytoplankton Vegetation Fertilisation N-deposition P availabilities Landforms
Date de dépôt: 01 août 2022 13:42
Dernière modification: 01 août 2022 14:07
Version du document déposé: Version officielle de l'éditeur
URI: https://depot-e.uqtr.ca/id/eprint/10231

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