Browsing by Subject "DWARF SHRUB"

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  • Boulanger-Lapointe, Noemie; Järvinen, Antero; Partanen, Rauni; Herrmann, Thora Martina (2017)
    Annual fluctuations in the abundance of wild berries have repercussions on animals and humans who depend on this important resource. Although studies have tried to disentangle the effect of climate and herbivores on inter-annual berry yield, there are still many uncertainties as to which factors are driving productivity. In this research, we evaluated the effect of climate and predation by rodents and moths on the abundance of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) flowers and berries at the Kilpisjarvi Biological Station in northwest Finnish Lapland. The data were collected from 1973 to 2014 in a forest and an alpine site, both undisturbed by human activities. This dataset is unique due to the length of the sampling period, the availability of flower, berry, and rodent abundance data as well as the undisturbed nature of the habitat. Previous summer temperatures, the abundance of rodents, and the presence of a moth outbreak were complementary factors explaining the abundance of flowers. Herbivores had a larger impact on flower production than climate, but both variables were important to understand reproductive effort. Contrary to results from experimental studies, warmer winters did not significantly influence reproductive success. The abundance of fruits was strongly correlated with pollinator activity; the forest site, with a larger pollinator network, had a higher reproductive success and spring conditions were linked to inter-annual variability in fruit production. Our results illustrate the importance of the location of the population within the species distribution range to understand plant sensitivity to climatic fluctuations with fruit production only influenced by current year summer temperatures at the alpine site. Finally, we observed a general increase in flower and fruit production at the alpine site, which was driven by large yields since the early 1990s. Fruit production at the forest site was comparatively stable throughout the study period.
  • Solanki, Twinkle; Aphalo, Pedro J.; Neimane, Santa; Hartikainen, Saara Maria; Pieristè, Marta; Shapiguzov, Alexey; Porcar Castell, Juan Alberto; Atherton, Jonathan Mark; Heikkilä, Anu; Robson, Thomas Matthew (2019)
    Evergreen plants in boreal biomes undergo seasonal hardening and dehardening adjusting their photosynthetic capacity and photopmtection; acclimating to seasonal changes in temperature and irradiance. Leaf epidermal ultraviolet (UV)-screening by flavonols responds to solar radiation, perceived in part through increased ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation, and is a candidate trait to provide cross-photoprotection. At Hyytiala Forestry Station, central Finland, we examined whether the accumulation of flavonols was higher in leaves of Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. growing above the snowpack compared with those below the snowpack. We found that leaves exposed to colder temperatures and higher solar radiation towards the top of hummocks suffered greater photoinhibition than those at the base of hummocks. Epidermal UV-screening was highest in upper-hummock leaves, particularly during winter when lower leaves were beneath the snowpack. There was also a negative relationship between indices of flavonols and anthocyanins across all leaves suggesting fine-tuning of flavonoid composition for screening vs. antioxidant activity in response to temperature and irradiance. However, the positive correlation between the maximum quantum yield of photosystem II photochemistry (F-v/F-m) and flavonol accumulation in upper hummock leaves during dehardening did not confer on them any greater cross-protection than would be expected from the general relationship of F-v/F-m with temperature and irradiance (throughout the hummocks). Irrespective of timing of snow-melt, photosynthesis fully recovered in all leaves, suggesting that V. vills-idaea has the potential to exploit the continuing trend for longer growing seasons in central Finland without incurring significant impairment from reduced duration of snow cover.