Browsing by Subject "ECOSYSTEMS"

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  • Fernandez-Prieto, D.; Kesselmeier, J.; Ellis, M.; Marconcini, M.; Reissell, A.; Suni, T. (2013)
  • Raerinne, Jani (2018)
    In addition to their core explanatory and predictive assumptions, scientific models include simplifying assumptions, which function as idealizations, approximations, and abstractions. There are methods to investigate whether simplifying assumptions bias the results of models, such as robustness analyses. However, the equally important issue - the focus of this paper - has received less attention, namely, what are the methodological and epistemic strengths and limitations associated with different simplifying assumptions. I concentrate on one type of simplifying assumption, the use of mega parameters as abstractions in ecological models. First, I argue that there are two kinds of mega parameters qua abstractions, sufficient parameters and aggregative parameters, which have gone unnoticed in the literature. The two are associated with different heuristics, holism and reductionism, which many view as incompatible. Second, I will provide a different analysis of abstractions and the associated heuristics than previous authors. Reductionism and holism and the accompanying abstractions have different methodological and epistemic functions, strengths, and limitations, and the heuristics should be viewed as providing complementary research perspectives of cognitively limited beings. This is then, third, used as a premise to argue for epistemic and methodological pluralism in theoretical ecology. Finally, the presented taxonomy of abstractions is used to comment on the current debate whether mechanistic accounts of explanation are compatible with the use of abstractions. This debate has suffered from an abstract discussion of abstractions. With a better taxonomy of abstractions the debate can be resolved.
  • Arroyo-Mora, J. Pablo; Kalacska, Margaret; Soffer, Raymond J.; Moore, Tim R.; Roulet, Nigel T.; Juutinen, Sari; Ifimov, Gabriela; Leblanc, George; Inamdar, Deep (2018)
    Peatlands cover a large area in Canada and globally (12% and 3% of the landmass, respectively). These ecosystems play an important role in climate regulation through the sequestration of carbon dioxide from, and the release of methane to, the atmosphere. Monitoring approaches, required to understand the response of peatlands to climate change at large spatial scales, are challenged by their unique vegetation characteristics, intrinsic hydrological complexity, and rapid changes over short periods of time (e.g., seasonality). In this study, we demonstrate the use of multitemporal, high spatial resolution (1 m(2)) hyperspectral airborne imagery (Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) and Shortwave Airborne Spectrographic Imager (SASI) sensors) for assessing maximum instantaneous gross photosynthesis (PGmax) in hummocks, and gravimetric water content (GWC) and carbon uptake efficiency in hollows, at the Mer Bleue ombrotrophic bog. We applied empirical models (i.e., in situ data and spectral indices) and we derived spatial and temporal trends for the aforementioned variables. Our findings revealed the distribution of hummocks (51.2%), hollows (12.7%), and tree cover (33.6%), which is the first high spatial resolution map of this nature at Mer Bleue. For hummocks, we found growing season PGmax values between 8 mu mol m(-2) s(-1) and 12. tmol m(-2) s(-1) were predominant (86.3% of the total area). For hollows, our results revealed, for the first time, the spatial heterogeneity and seasonal trends for gravimetric water content and carbon uptake efficiency for the whole bog.
  • Gao, Y.; Markkanen, T.; Thum, T.; Aurela, M.; Lohila, A.; Mammarella, I.; Kämäräinen, M.; Hagemann, S.; Aalto, T. (2016)
    Droughts can have an impact on forest functioning and production, and even lead to tree mortality. However, drought is an elusive phenomenon that is difficult to quantify and define universally. In this study, we assessed the performance of a set of indicators that have been used to describe drought conditions in the summer months (June, July, August) over a 30-year period (1981-2010) in Finland. Those indicators include the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), the Soil Moisture Index (SMI), and the Soil Moisture Anomaly (SMA). Herein, regional soil moisture was produced by the land surface model JSBACH of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Earth System Model (MPI-ESM). Results show that the buffering effect of soil moisture and the associated soil moisture memory can impact on the onset and duration of drought as indicated by the SMI and SMA, while the SPI and SPEI are directly controlled by meteorological conditions. In particular, we investigated whether the SMI, SMA and SPEI are able to indicate the Extreme Drought affecting Forest health (EDF), which we defined according to the extreme drought that caused severe forest damages in Finland in 2006. The EDF thresholds for the aforementioned indicators are suggested, based on the reported statistics of forest damages in Finland in 2006. SMI was found to be the best indicator in capturing the spatial extent of forest damage induced by the extreme drought in 2006. In addition, through the application of the EDF thresholds over the summer months of the 30-year study period, the SPEI and SMA tended to show more frequent EDF events and a higher fraction of influenced area than SMI. This is because the SPEI and SMA are standardized indicators that show the degree of anomalies from statistical means over the aggregation period of climate conditions and soil moisture, respectively. However, in boreal forests in Finland, the high initial soil moisture or existence of peat often prevent the EDFs indicated by the SPEI and SMA to produce very low soil moisture that could be indicated as EDFs by the SMI. Therefore, we consider SMI is more appropriate for indicating EDFs in boreal forests. The selected EDF thresholds for those indicators could be calibrated when there are more forest health observation data available. Furthermore, in the context of future climate scenarios, assessments of EDF risks in northern areas should, in addition to climate data, rely on a land surface model capable of reliable prediction of soil moisture.
  • Elands, B.H.M.; Vierikko, K.; Andersson, E.; Fischer, L.K.; Gonçalves, P.; Haase, D.; Kowarik, I.; Luz, A.C.; Niemelä, J.; Santos-Reis, M.; Wiersum, K.F. (2019)
    Biocultural diversity is an evolving perspective for studying the interrelatedness between people and their natural environment, not only in ecoregional hotspots and cultural landscapes, but also in urban green spaces. Developed in the 1990s in order to denote the diversity of life in all its manifestations. biological, cultural and linguistic. co-evolving within complex socio-ecological systems such as cities, biocultural diversity was identified in the GREEN SURGE project as a response to recent challenges cities face. Most important challenges are the loss of nature and degradation of ecosystems in and around cities as well as an alienation of urban residents from and loss of interaction with nature. The notion of biocultural diversity is dynamic in nature and takes local values and practices of relating to biodiversity of different cultural groups as a starting point for sustainable living with biodiversity. The issue is not only how to preserve or restore biocultural practices and values, but also how to modify, adapt and create biocultural diversity in ways that resonate with urban transformations. As future societies will largely diverge from today's societies, the cultural perspective on living with (urban) nature needs careful reconsideration. Biocultural diversity is not conceived as a definite concept providing prescriptions of what to see and study, but as a reflexive and sensitising concept that can be used to assess the different values and knowledge of people that reflect how they live with biodiversity. This short communication paper introduces a conceptual framework for studying the multi-dimensional features of biocultural diversity in cities along the three key dimensions of materialized, lived and stewardship, being departure points from which biocultural diversity can be studied.
  • Abbott, Benjamin W.; Jones, Jeremy B.; Schuur, Edward A. G.; Chapin, F. Stuart; Bowden, William B.; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia; Epstein, Howard E.; Flannigan, Michael D.; Harms, Tamara K.; Hollingsworth, Teresa N.; Mack, Michelle C.; McGuire, A. David; Natali, Susan M.; Rocha, Adrian V.; Tank, Suzanne E.; Turetsky, Merritt R.; Vonk, Jorien E.; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Aiken, George R.; Alexander, Heather D.; Amon, Rainer M. W.; Benscoter, Brian W.; Bergeron, Yves; Bishop, Kevin; Blarquez, Olivier; Bond-Lamberty, Ben; Breen, Amy L.; Buffam, Ishi; Cai, Yihua; Carcaillet, Christopher; Carey, Sean K.; Chen, Jing M.; Chen, Han Y. H.; Christensen, Torben R.; Cooper, Lee W.; Cornelissen, J. Hans C.; de Groot, William J.; DeLuca, Thomas H.; Dorrepaal, Ellen; Fetcher, Ned; Finlay, Jacques C.; Forbes, Bruce C.; French, Nancy H. F.; Gauthier, Sylvie; Girardin, Martin P.; Goetz, Scott J.; Goldammer, Johann G.; Gough, Laura; Grogan, Paul; Guo, Laodong; Higuera, Philip E.; Hinzman, Larry; Hu, Feng Sheng; Hugelius, Gustaf; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Jandt, Randi; Johnstone, Jill F.; Karlsson, Jan; Kasischke, Eric S.; Kattner, Gerhard; Kelly, Ryan; Keuper, Frida; Kling, George W.; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Kouki, Jari; Kuhry, Peter; Laudon, Hjalmar; Laurion, Isabelle; Macdonald, Robie W.; Mann, Paul J.; Martikainen, Pertti J.; McClelland, James W.; Molau, Ulf; Oberbauer, Steven F.; Olefeldt, David; Pare, David; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Payette, Serge; Peng, Changhui; Pokrovsky, Oleg S.; Rastetter, Edward B.; Raymond, Peter A.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Rein, Guillermo; Reynolds, James F.; Robards, Martin; Rogers, Brendan M.; Schaedel, Christina; Schaefer, Kevin; Schmidt, Inger K.; Shvidenko, Anatoly; Sky, Jasper; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Starr, Gregory; Striegl, Robert G.; Teisserenc, Roman; Tranvik, Lars J.; Virtanen, Tarmo; Welker, Jeffrey M.; Zimov, Sergei (2016)
    As the permafrost region warms, its large organic carbon pool will be increasingly vulnerable to decomposition, combustion, and hydrologic export. Models predict that some portion of this release will be offset by increased production of Arctic and boreal biomass; however, the lack of robust estimates of net carbon balance increases the risk of further overshooting international emissions targets. Precise empirical or model-based assessments of the critical factors driving carbon balance are unlikely in the near future, so to address this gap, we present estimates from 98 permafrost-region experts of the response of biomass, wildfire, and hydrologic carbon flux to climate change. Results suggest that contrary to model projections, total permafrost-region biomass could decrease due to water stress and disturbance, factors that are not adequately incorporated in current models. Assessments indicate that end-of-the-century organic carbon release from Arctic rivers and collapsing coastlines could increase by 75% while carbon loss via burning could increase four-fold. Experts identified water balance, shifts in vegetation community, and permafrost degradation as the key sources of uncertainty in predicting future system response. In combination with previous findings, results suggest the permafrost region will become a carbon source to the atmosphere by 2100 regardless of warming scenario but that 65%-85% of permafrost carbon release can still be avoided if human emissions are actively reduced.
  • Li, Xuefei; Wahlroos, Outi Marjatta; Haapanala, Sami; Pumpanen, Jukka; Vasander, Harri; Ojala, Anne; Vesala, Timo; Mammarella, Ivan (2020)
    Many wetlands have been drained due to urbanization, agriculture, forestry or other purposes, which has resulted in a loss of their ecosystem services. To protect receiving waters and to achieve services such as flood control and storm water quality mitigation, new wetlands are created in urbanized areas. However, our knowledge of greenhouse gas exchange in newly created wetlands in urban areas is currently limited. In this paper we present measurements carried out at a created urban wetland in Southern Finland in the boreal climate. We conducted measurements of ecosystem CO2 flux and CH4 flux (FCH4) at the created storm water wetland Gateway in Nummela, Vihti, Southern Finland, using the eddy covariance (EC) technique. The measurements were commenced the fourth year after construction and lasted for 1 full year and two subsequent growing seasons. Besides ecosystemscale fluxes measured by the EC tower, the diffusive CO2 and CH4 fluxes from the open-water areas (FwCO(2) and FwCH(4), respectively) were modelled based on measurements of CO2 and CH4 concentration in the water. Fluxes from the vegetated areas were estimated by applying a simple mixing model using the above-mentioned fluxes and the footprintweighted fractional area. The half-hourly footprint-weighted contribution of diffusive fluxes from open water ranged from 0% to 25.5% in 2013. The annual net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of the studied wetland was 8.0 g C-CO2 m(-2) yr(-1), with the 95% confidence interval between 18:9 and 34.9 g C-CO2 m(-2) yr(-1), and FCH4 was 3.9 g C-CH4 m(-2) yr(-1), with the 95% confidence interval between 3.75 and 4.07 g C-CH4 m(-2) yr(-1). The ecosystem sequestered CO2 during summer months (June-August), while the rest of the year it was a CO2 source. CH4 displayed strong seasonal dynamics, higher in summer and lower in winter, with a sporadic emission episode in the end of May 2013. Both CH4 and CO2 fluxes, especially those obtained from vegetated areas, exhibited strong diurnal cycles during summer with synchronized peaks around noon. The annual FwCO(2) was 297.5 g C-CO2 m(-2) yr(-1) and FwCH(4) was 1.73 g C-CH4 m(-2) yr(-1). The peak diffusive CH4 flux was 137.6 nmol C-CH4 m(-2) s(-1), which was synchronized with the FCH4. Overall, during the monitored time period, the established storm water wetland had a climate-warming effect with 0.263 kgCO(2)-eqm(-2) yr(-1) of which 89% was contributed by CH4. The radiative forcing of the open-water areas exceeded that of the vegetation areas (1.194 and 0.111 kgCO(2)-eqm(-2) yr(-1), respectively), which implies that, when considering solely the climate impact of a created wetland over a 100-year horizon, it would be more beneficial to design and establish wetlands with large patches of emergent vegetation and to limit the areas of open water to the minimum necessitated by other desired ecosystem services.
  • Peltomaa, Elina; Ojala, Anne; Holopainen, Anna-Liisa; Salonen, Kalevi (2013)
  • Portillo-Estrada, Miguel; Pihlatie, Mari; Korhonen, Janne F. J.; Levula, Janne; Frumau, Arnoud K. F.; Ibrom, Andreas; Lembrechts, Jonas J.; Morillas, Lourdes; Horvath, Laszlo; Jones, Stephanie K.; Niinemets, Uelo (2016)
    Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling under future climate change is associated with large uncertainties in litter decomposition and the turnover of soil C and N. In addition, future conditions (especially altered precipitation regimes and warming) are expected to result in changes in vegetation composition, and accordingly in litter species and chemical composition, but it is unclear how such changes could potentially alter litter decomposition. Litter transplantation experiments were carried out across six European sites (four forests and two grasslands) spanning a large geographical and climatic gradient (5.6-11.4 degrees C in annual temperature 511-878mm in precipitation) to gain insight into the climatic controls on litter decomposition as well as the effect of litter origin and species. The decomposition k rates were overall higher in warmer and wetter sites than in colder and drier sites, and positively correlated with the litter total specific leaf area. Also, litter N content increased as less litter mass remained and decay went further. Surprisingly, this study demonstrates that climatic controls on litter decomposition are quantitatively more important than species or site of origin. Cumulative climatic variables, precipitation, soil water content and air temperature (ignoring days with air temperatures below zero degrees Celsius), were appropriate to predict the litter remaining mass during decomposition (M-r). M-r and cumulative air temperature were found to be the best predictors for litter carbon and nitrogen remaining during the decomposition. Using mean annual air temperature, precipitation, soil water content and litter total specific leaf area as parameters we were able to predict the annual decomposition rate (k) accurately.
  • Ge, Jielin; Berg, Björn; Xie, Zongqiang (2019)
    Abstract Evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved tree species can coexist across the globe and constitute different broad-leaved forests along large-scale geographical and climatic gradients. A better understanding of climatic influence on the distribution of mixed evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved forest is of fundamental importance when assessing this mixed forest's resilience and predicting potential dynamics of broad-leaved forests under future climate change. Here, we quantified the horizontal distribution of this mixed forest in mountains in relation to climate seasonality by compiling vegetation information from the earlier records and our own field sampling on major subtropical mountains of China. We found that the probability of occurrence of this forest in subtropical mountains was positively associated with the latitude but not the longitude. The occurrence probability of this forest was observed at high-temperature but not precipitation seasonality mountains. Temperature seasonality was five times more important than precipitation seasonality in explaining the total variation of occurrence of this mixed forest. For its distribution, our results shed light on that temperature seasonality was generally a more powerful predictor than precipitation seasonality for montane mixed forest distribution. Collectively, this study clearly underscores the important role of temperature seasonality, a previously not quantified climatic variable, in the occurrence of this mixed forest along geographical gradients and hence yields useful insight into our understanding of climate?vegetation relationships and climate change vulnerability assessment in a changing climate.
  • Galbrun, Esther; Tang, Hui; Fortelius, Mikael; Zliobaite, Indre (2018)
    As organisms are adapted to their environments, assemblages of taxa can be used to describe environments in the present and in the past. Here, we use a data mining method, namely redescription mining, to discover and analyze patterns of association between large herbivorous mammals and their environments via their functional traits. We focus on functional properties of animal teeth, characterized using a recently developed dental trait scoring scheme. The teeth of herbivorous mammals serve as an interface to obtain energy from food, and are therefore expected to match the types of plant food available in their environment. Hence, dental traits are expected to carry a signal of environmental conditions. We analyze a global compilation of occurrences of large herbivorous mammals and of bioclimatic conditions. We identify common patterns of association between dental traits distributions and bioclimatic conditions and discuss their implications. Each pattern can be considered as a computational biome. Our analysis distinguishes three global zones, which we refer to as the boreal-temperate moist zone, the tropical moist zone and the tropical-subtropical dry zone. The boreal-temperate moist zone is mainly characterized by seasonal cold temperatures, a lack of hypsodonty and a high share of species with obtuse lophs. The tropical moist zone is mainly characterized by high temperatures, high isothermality, abundant precipitation and a high share of species with acute rather than obtuse lophs. Finally, the tropical dry zone is mainly characterized by a high seasonality of temperatures and precipitation, as well as high hypsodonty and horizodonty. We find that the dental traits signature of African rain forests is quite different from the signature of climatically similar sites in North America and Asia, where hypsodont species and species with obtuse lophs are mostly absent. In terms of climate and dental signatures, the African seasonal tropics share many similarities with Central-South Asian sites. Interestingly, the Tibetan plateau is covered both by redescriptions from the tropical-subtropical dry group and by redescriptions from the boreal-temperate moist group, suggesting a combination of features from both zones in its dental traits and climate.
  • Oinonen, Soile; Hyytiäinen, Kari; Ahlvik, Lassi; Laamanen, Maria; Lehtoranta, Virpi; Salojarvi, Joona; Virtanen, Jarno (2016)
    This paper puts forward a framework for probabilistic and holistic cost-effectiveness analysis to provide support in selecting the least-cost set of measures to reach a multidimensional environmental objective. Following the principles of ecosystem-based management, the framework includes a flexible methodology for deriving and populating criteria for effectiveness and costs and analyzing complex ecological-economic trade-offs under uncertainty. The framework is applied in the development of the Finnish Programme of Measures (PoM) for reaching the targets of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The numerical results demonstrate that substantial cost savings can be realized from careful consideration of the costs and multiple effects of management measures. If adopted, the proposed PoM would yield improvements in the state of the Baltic Sea, but the overall objective of the MSFD would not be reached by the target year of 2020; for various environmental and administrative reasons, it would take longer for most measures to take full effect.
  • Neumann, Mathias; Moreno, Adam; Thurnher, Christopher; Mues, Volker; Härkönen, Sanna; Mura, Matteo; Bouriaud, Olivier; Lang, Mait; Cardellini, Giuseppe; Thivolle-Cazat, Alain; Bronisz, Karol; Merganic, Jan; Alberdi, Iciar; Astrup, Rasmus; Mohren, Frits; Zhao, Maosheng; Hasenauer, Hubert (2016)
    Net primary production (NPP) is an important ecological metric for studying forest ecosystems and their carbon sequestration, for assessing the potential supply of food or timber and quantifying the impacts of climate change on ecosystems. The global MODIS NPP dataset using the MOD17 algorithm provides valuable information for monitoring NPP at 1-km resolution. Since coarse-resolution global climate data are used, the global dataset may contain uncertainties for Europe. We used a 1-km daily gridded European climate data set with the MOD17 algorithm to create the regional NPP dataset MODIS EURO. For evaluation of this new dataset, we compare MODIS EURO with terrestrial driven NPP from analyzing and harmonizing forest inventory data (NFI) from 196,434 plots in 12 European countries as well as the global MODIS NPP dataset for the years 2000 to 2012. Comparing these three NPP datasets, we found that the global MODIS NPP dataset differs from NFI NPP by 26%, while MODIS EURO only differs by 7%. MODIS EURO also agrees with NFI NPP across scales (from continental, regional to country) and gradients (elevation, location, tree age, dominant species, etc.). The agreement is particularly good for elevation, dominant species or tree height. This suggests that using improved climate data allows the MOD17 algorithm to provide realistic NPP estimates for Europe. Local discrepancies between MODIS EURO and NFI NPP can be related to differences in stand density due to forest management and the national carbon estimation methods. With this study, we provide a consistent, temporally continuous and spatially explicit productivity dataset for the years 2000 to 2012 on a 1-km resolution, which can be used to assess climate change impacts on ecosystems or the potential biomass supply of the European forests for an increasing bio-based economy. MODIS EURO data are made freely available at
  • Brandão, L. P. M.; Brighenti, L. S.; Staehr, P. A.; Asmala, E.; Massicotte, P.; Tonetta, D.; Barbosa, F. A. R.; Pujoni, D.; Bezerra-Neto, J. F. (2018)
    Despite the increasing understanding about differences in carbon cycling between temperate and tropical freshwater systems, our knowledge on the importance of organic matter (OM) pools on light absorption properties in tropical lakes is very scarce. We performed a factorial mesocosm experiment in a tropical lake (Minas Gerais, Brazil) to evaluate the effects of increased concentrations of al-lochthonous and autochthonous OM, and differences in light availability on the light absorption characteristics of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM). Autochthonous OM deriving from phytoplankton (similar to Chl a) was stimulated by addition of nutrients, while OM from degradation of terrestrial leaves increased allochthonous OM, and neutral shading was used to manipulate light availability. Effects of the additions and shading on DOC, Chl a, nutrients, total suspended solid concentrations (TSM) and spectral CDOM absorption were monitored every 3 days. CDOM quality was characterized by spectral indices (S250-450, S275-295, S350-450, S-R and SUVA(254)). Effects of carbon sources and shading on the spectral CDOM absorption was investigated through principal component (PCA) and redundancy (RDA) analyses. The two different OM sources affected CDOM quality very differently and shading had minor effects on OM levels, but significant effects on OM quality, especially in combination with nutrient additions. Spectral indices (S250-450 and S-R) were mostly affected by allochthonous OM addition. The PCA showed that enrichment by allochthonous carbon had a strong effect on the CDOM spectra in the range between 300 and 400 nm, while the increase in autochthonous carbon increased absorption at wavelengths below 350 nm. Our study shows that small inputs of allochthonous OM can have large effects on the spectral light absorption compared to large production of autochthonous OM, with important implications for carbon cycling in tropical lakes.
  • Mõttus, Matti; Aragão, Luiz; Bäck, Jaana; Clemente, Rocío Hernandez; Maeda, Eduardo Eiji; Markiet, Vincent Robert Leon; Nichol, Caroline; Oliveira, Raimundo Cosme; Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia (2019)
    The spectral properties of plant leaves relate to the state of their photosynthetic apparatus and the surrounding environment. An example is the well known photosynthetic downregulation, active on the time scale from minutes to hours, caused by reversible changes in the xanthophyll cycle pigments. These changes affect leaf spectral absorption and are frequently quantified using the photochemical reflectance index (PRI). This index can be used to remotely monitor the photosynthetic status of vegetation, and allows for a global satellite-based measurement of photosynthesis. Such earth observation satellites in near-polar orbits usually cover the same geographical location at the same local solar time at regular intervals. To facilitate the interpretation of these instantaneous remote PRI measurements and upscale them temporally, we measured the daily course of leaf PRI in two evergreen biomes—a European boreal forest and an Amazon rainforest. The daily course of PRI was different for the two locations: At the Amazonian forest, the PRI of Manilkara elata leaves was correlated with the average photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) ( R2=0.59 ) of the 40 minutes preceding the leaf measurement. In the boreal location, the variations in Pinus sylvestris needle PRI were only weakly ( R2=0.27) correlated with mean PPFD of the preceding two hours; for Betula pendula, the correlation was insignificant regardless of the averaging period. The measured daily PRI curves were specific to species and/or environmental conditions. Hence, for a proper interpretation of satellite-measured instantaneous photosynthesis, the scaling of PRI measurements should be supported with information on its correlation with PPFD.
  • Hagner, Marleena; Pasanen, Tiina; Lindqvist, Bengt; Lindqvist, Isa; Tiilikkala, Kari; Penttinen, Olli-Pekka; Setala, Heikki (2010)
  • Majekova, Maria; Paal, Taavi; Plowman, Nichola S.; Bryndova, Michala; Kasari, Liis; Norberg, Anna; Weiss, Matthias; Bishop, Tom R.; Luke, Sarah H.; Sam, Katerina; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Leps, Jan; Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco (2016)
    Functional diversity (FD) is an important component of biodiversity that quantifies the difference in functional traits between organisms. However, FD studies are often limited by the availability of trait data and FD indices are sensitive to data gaps. The distribution of species abundance and trait data, and its transformation, may further affect the accuracy of indices when data is incomplete. Using an existing approach, we simulated the effects of missing trait data by gradually removing data from a plant, an ant and a bird community dataset (12, 59, and 8 plots containing 62, 297 and 238 species respectively). We ranked plots by FD values calculated from full datasets and then from our increasingly incomplete datasets and compared the ranking between the original and virtually reduced datasets to assess the accuracy of FD indices when used on datasets with increasingly missing data. Finally, we tested the accuracy of FD indices with and without data transformation, and the effect of missing trait data per plot or per the whole pool of species. FD indices became less accurate as the amount of missing data increased, with the loss of accuracy depending on the index. But, where transformation improved the normality of the trait data, FD values from incomplete datasets were more accurate than before transformation. The distribution of data and its transformation are therefore as important as data completeness and can even mitigate the effect of missing data. Since the effect of missing trait values pool-wise or plot-wise depends on the data distribution, the method should be decided case by case. Data distribution and data transformation should be given more careful consideration when designing, analysing and interpreting FD studies, especially where trait data are missing. To this end, we provide the R package "traitor" to facilitate assessments of missing trait data.
  • Abrego, Nerea; Huotari, Tea; Tack, Ayco J.M; Lindahl, Bjorn D.; Tikhonov, Gleb; Somervuo, Panu Juhani; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Ovaskainen, Otso; Roslin, Tomas (2020)
    How community-level specialization differs among groups of organisms, and changes along environmental gradients, is fundamental to understanding the mechanisms influencing ecological communities. In this paper, we investigate the specialization of root-associated fungi for plant species, asking whether the level of specialization varies with elevation. For this, we applied DNA barcoding based on the ITS region to root samples of five plant species equivalently sampled along an elevational gradient at a high arctic site. To assess whether the level of specialization changed with elevation and whether the observed patterns varied between mycorrhizal and endophytic fungi, we applied a joint species distribution modeling approach. Our results show that host plant specialization is not environmentally constrained in arctic root-associated fungal communities, since there was no evidence for changing specialization with elevation, even if the composition of root-associated fungal communities changed substantially. However, the level of specialization for particular plant species differed among fungal groups, root-associated endophytic fungal communities being highly specialized on particular host species, and mycorrhizal fungi showing almost no signs of specialization. Our results suggest that plant identity affects associated mycorrhizal and endophytic fungi differently, highlighting the need of considering both endophytic and mycorrhizal fungi when studying specialization in root-associated fungal communities.
  • Rödenbeck, C.; Zaehle, S.; Keeling, R.; Heimann, M. (2018)
    Interannual variations in the large-scale net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere were estimated for 1957-2017 from sustained measurements of atmospheric CO2 mixing ratios. As the observations are sparse in the early decades, available records were combined into a 'quasi-homogeneous' dataset based on similarity in their signals, to minimize spurious variations from beginning or ending data records. During El Nino events, CO2 is anomalously released from the tropical band, and a few months later also in the northern extratropical band. This behaviour can approximately be represented by a linear relationship of the NEE anomalies and local air temperature anomalies, with sensitivity coefficients depending on geographical location and season. The apparent climate sensitivity of global total NEE against variations in pan-tropically averaged annual air temperature slowly changed over time during the 1957-2017 period, first increasing (though less strongly than in previous studies) but then decreasing again. However, only part of this change can be attributed to actual changes in local physiological or ecosystem processes, the rest probably arising from shifts in the geographical area of dominating temperature variations. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'The impact of the 2015/2016 El Nino on the terrestrial tropical carbon cycle: patterns, mechanisms and implications'.
  • Silfver, Tarja; Kontro, Merja; Paaso, Ulla; Karvinen, Heini; Keski-Saari, Sarita; Keinanen, Markku; Rousi, Matti; Mikola, Juha (2018)
    Background and aims Differences among plant genotypes can influence ecosystem functioning such as the rate of litter decomposition. Little is known, however, of the strength of genotypic links between litter quality, microbial abundance and litter decomposition within plant populations, or the likelihood that these processes are driven by natural selection. Methods We used 19 Betula pendula genotypes randomly selected from a local population in south-eastern Finland to establish a long-term, 35-month litter decomposition trial on forest ground. We analysed the effect of litter quality (N, phenolics and triterpenoids) of senescent leaves and decomposed litter on microbial abundance and litter mass loss. Results We found that while litter quality and mass loss both had significant genotypic variation, the genotypic variation among silver birch trees in the quantity of bacterial and fungal DNA was marginal. In addition, although the quantity of bacterial DNA at individual tree level was negatively associated with most secondary metabolites of litter and positively with litter N, litter chemistry was not genotypically linked to litter mass loss. Conclusions Contrary to our expectations, these results suggest that natural selection may have limited influence on overall microbial DNA and litter decomposition rate in B. pendula populations by reworking the genetically controlled foliage chemistry of these populations.