Browsing by Subject "VEGETATION"

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  • Oksanen, Otto; Zliobaite, Indre; Saarinen, Juha; Lawing, A. Michelle; Fortelius, Mikael (2019)
    Aim The links between geo- and biodiversity, postulated by Humboldt, can now be made quantitative. Species are adapted to their environments and interact with their environments by having pertinent functional traits. We aim to improve global ecometric models using functional traits for estimating palaeoclimate and apply models to Pleistocene fauna for palaeoclimate interpretation. Location Global at present day, Pleistocene of Europe for fossil data analysis. Taxa Artiodactyla, Perissodactyla, Proboscidea and Primates. Methods We quantify functional traits of large mammal communities and develop statistical models linking trait distributions to local climate at present day. We apply these models to the fossil record, survey functional traits, and quantitatively estimate climates of the past. This approach to analysing functional relationships between faunal communities and their environments is called ecometrics. Results and main conclusions Here, we present new global ecometric models for estimating mean annual and minimum temperature from dental traits of present day mammalian communities. We also present refined models for predicting net primary productivity. Using dental ecometric models, we produce palaeoclimate estimates for 50 Pleistocene fossil localities in Europe and show that the estimates are consistent with trends derived from other proxies, especially for minimum temperatures, which we hypothesize to be ecologically limiting. Our new temperature models allow us to trace the distribution of freezing and non-freezing ecosystems in the recent past, opening new perspectives on the evolution of cold-adaptive biota as the Pleistocene cooling progressed.
  • Kuusinen, Nea; Juola, Jussi; Karki, Bijay; Stenroos, Soili; Rautiainen, Miina (2020)
    Lichens dominate a significant part of the Earth's land surface, and are valuable bioindicators of various environmental changes. In the northern hemisphere, the largest lichen biomass is in the woodlands and heathlands of the boreal zone and in tundra. Despite the global coverage of lichens, there has been only limited research on their spectral properties in the context of remote sensing of the environment. In this paper, we report spectral properties of 12 common boreal lichen species. Measurements of reflectance spectra were made in laboratory conditions with a standard spectrometer (350-2500 nm) and a novel mobile hyperspectral camera (400-1000 nm) which was used in a multiangular setting. Our results show that interspecific differences in reflectance spectra were the most pronounced in the ultraviolet and visible spectral range, and that dry samples always had higher reflectance than fresh (moist) samples in the shortwave infrared region. All study species had higher reflectance in the backward scattering direction compared to nadir or forward scattering directions. Our results also reveal, for the first time, that there is large intraspecific variation in reflectance of lichen species. This emphasizes the importance of measuring several replicates of each species when analyzing lichen spectra. In addition, we used the data in a spectral clustering analysis to study the spectral similarity between samples and species, and how these similarities could be linked to different physical traits or phylogenetic closeness of the species. Overall, our results suggest that spectra of some lichen species with large ground coverage can be used for species identification from high spatial resolution remote sensing imagery. On the other hand, for lichen species growing as small assemblages, mobile hyperspectral cameras may offer a solution for in-situ species identification. The spectral library collected in this study is available in the SPECCHIO Spectral Information System.
  • Amara, Edward; Adhikari, Hari; Heiskanen, Janne; Siljander, Mika; Munyao, Martha; Omondi, Patrick; Pellikka, Petri (2020)
    Savannahs provide valuable ecosystem services and contribute to continental and global carbon budgets. In addition, savannahs exhibit multiple land uses, e.g., wildlife conservation, pastoralism, and crop farming. Despite their importance, the effect of land use on woody aboveground biomass (AGB) in savannahs is understudied. Furthermore, fences used to reduce human-wildlife conflicts may affect AGB patterns. We assessed AGB densities and patterns, and the effect of land use and fences on AGB in a multi-use savannah landscape in southeastern Kenya. AGB was assessed with field survey and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data, and a land cover map was developed using Sentinel-2 satellite images in Google Earth Engine. The highest woody AGB was found in riverine forest in a conservation area and in bushland outside the conservation area. The highest mean AGB density occurred in the non-conservation area with mixed bushland and cropland (8.9 Mg center dot ha(-1)), while the lowest AGB density (2.6 Mg center dot ha(-1)) occurred in overgrazed grassland in the conservation area. The largest differences in AGB distributions were observed in the fenced boundaries between the conservation and other land-use types. Our results provide evidence that conservation and fences can create sharp AGB transitions and lead to reduced AGB stocks, which is a vital role of savannahs as part of carbon sequestration.
  • Korpela, Ilkka (2017)
    Forest inventories comprise observations, models and sampling. Airborne LiDAR has established its role in providing observations of canopy geometry and topography. These data are input for estimation of important forest properties to support forestry-related decision-making. A major deficiency in forest remote sensing is tree species identification. This study examines the option of using multi-footprint airborne LiDAR data. Features of such sensor design exist in recently introduced multispectral laser scanners. The first objective was to acquire radiometrically normalized, multi-footprint (11, 22, 44 and 59 cm) waveform (WF) data that characterize 1064nm backscatter reflectance on the interval scale. The second objective was to analyze and validate the data quality in order to draw the correct conclusions about the effect of footprint size on WFs from natural and man-made targets. The experiment was carried out in Finland. Footprint variation was generated by acquiring data at different flying heights and by adjusting the transmitted power. The LiDAR campaign was successful and the data were of sufficient quality, except for a 1 dB trend due to the atmosphere. Significant findings were made conceming the magnitude of atmospheric losses, the linearity of the amplitude scale and the bandwidth characteristics of the receiver, the stability of the transmitter, the precision of the amplitude data and the transmission losses in canopies and power lines, as well as the response of WF attributes to footprint size in forest canopies. Multi-footprint data are a promising approach although the tree species-specific signatures were weak. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Zhang-Turpeinen, Huizhong; Kivimäenpää, Minna; Berninger, Frank; Köster, Kajar; Zhao, Peng; Zhou, Xuan; Pumpanen, Jukka (2021)
    The amplification of global warming in the Northern regions results in a higher probability of wildfires in boreal forests. On the forest floor, wildfires have long-term effects on vegetation composition as well as soil and its microbial communities. A large variety of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) such as isoprene, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes have been observed to be emitted from soil and understory vegetation of boreal forest floor. Ultimately, the fire-induced changes in the forest floor affect its BVOC fluxes, and the recovery of the forest floor determines the quantity and quality of BVOC fluxes. However, the effects of wildfires on forest floor BVOC fluxes are rarely studied. Here we conducted a study of the impacts of post-fire succession on forest floor BVOC fluxes along a 158-year fire chronosequence in boreal Scots pine stands near the northern timberline in north-eastern Finland throughout a growing season. We determined the forest floor BVOC fluxes and investigated how the environmental and ground vegetation characteristics, soil respiration rates, and soil microbial and fungal biomass are associated with the BVOC fluxes during the post-fire succession. The forest floor was a source of diverse BVOCs. Monoterpenes (MTs) were the largest group of emitted BVOCs. We observed forest age-related differences in the forest floor BVOC fluxes along the fire chronosequence. The forest floor BVOC fluxes decreased with the reduction in ground vegetation coverage resulted from wildfire, and the decreased fluxes were also connected to a decrease in microbial activity as a result of the loss of plant roots and soil organic matter. The increase in BVOC fluxes was associated with the recovery of aboveground plant coverage and soils. Our results suggested taking into consideration the implications of BVOC flux variations on the atmospheric chemistry and climate feedbacks.
  • Heinaro, Einari; Tanhuanpaa, Topi; Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Holopainen, Markus; Vastaranta, Mikko (2021)
    Fallen trees decompose on the forest floor and create habitats for many species. Thus, mapping fallen trees allows identifying the most valuable areas regarding biodiversity, especially in boreal forests, enabling well-focused conservation and restoration actions. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) is capable of characterizing forests and the underlying topography. However, its potential for detecting and characterizing fallen trees under varying boreal forest conditions is not yet well understood. ALS-based fallen tree detection methods could improve our understanding regarding the spatiotemporal characteristics of dead wood over large landscapes. We developed and tested an automatic method for mapping individual fallen trees from an ALS point cloud with a point density of 15 points/m2. The presented method detects fallen trees using iterative Hough line detection and delineates the trees around the detected lines using region growing. Furthermore, we conducted a detailed evaluation of how the performance of ALS-based fallen tree detection is impacted by characteristics of fallen trees and the structure of vegetation around them. The results of this study showed that large fallen trees can be detected with a high accuracy in old-growth forests. In contrast, the detection of fallen trees in young managed stands proved challenging. The presented method was able to detect 78% of the largest fallen trees (diameter at breast height, DBH > 300 mm), whereas 30% of all trees with a DBH over 100 mm were detected. The performance of the detection method was positively correlated with both the size of fallen trees and the size of living trees surrounding them. In contrast, the performance was negatively correlated with the amount of undergrowth, ground vegetation, and the state of decay of fallen trees. Especially undergrowth and ground vegetation impacted the performance negatively, as they covered some of the fallen trees and lead to false fallen tree detections. Based on the results of this study, ALS-based collection of fallen tree information should be focused on old-growth forests and mature managed forests, at least with the current operative point densities.
  • Erlandsson, Rasmus; Bjerke, Jarle W.; Finne, Eirik A.; Myneni, Ranga B.; Piao, Shilong; Wang, Xuhui; Virtanen, Tarmo; Rasanen, Aleksi; Kumpula, Timo; Kolari, Tiina H. M.; Tahvanainen, Teemu; Tommervik, Hans (2022)
    Although generally given little attention in vegetation studies, ground-dwelling (terricolous) lichens are major contributors to overall carbon and nitrogen cycling, albedo, biodiversity and biomass in many high-latitude ecosystems. Changes in biomass of mat-forming pale lichens have the potential to affect vegetation, fauna, climate and human activities including reindeer husbandry. Lichens have a complex spectral signature and terricolous lichens have limited growth height, often growing in mixtures with taller vegetation. This has, so far, prevented the development of remote sensing techniques to accurately assess lichen biomass, which would be a powerful tool in ecosystem and ecological research and rangeland management. We present a Landsat based remote sensing model developed using deep neural networks, trained with 8914 field records of lichen volume collected for > 20 years. In contrast to earlier proposed machine learning and regression methods for lichens, our model exploited the ability of neural networks to handle mixed spatial resolution input. We trained candidate models using input of 1 x 1 (30 x 30 m) and 3 x 3 Landsat pixels based on 7 reflective bands and 3 indices, combined with a 10 m spatial resolution digital elevation model. We normalised elevation data locally for each plot to remove the region-specific variation, while maintaining informative local variation in topography. The final model predicted lichen volume in an evaluation set (n = 159) reaching an R2 of 0.57. NDVI and elevation were the most important predictors, followed by the green band. Even with moderate tree cover density, the model was efficient, offering a considerable improvement compared to earlier methods based on specific reflectance. The model was in principle trained on data from Scandinavia, but when applied to sites in North America and Russia, the predictions of the model corresponded well with our visual interpretations of lichen abundance. We also accurately quantified a recent historic (35 years) change in lichen abundance in northern Norway. This new method enables further spatial and temporal studies of variation and changes in lichen biomass related to multiple research questions as well as rangeland management and economic and cultural ecosystem services. Combined with information on changes in drivers such as climate, land use and management, and air pollution, our model can be used to provide accurate estimates of ecosystem changes and to improve vegetation-climate models by including pale lichens.
  • Halme, Eelis; Ihalainen, Olli; Korpela, Ilkka; Mõttus, Matti (2022)
    The retrieval of forest variables from optical remote sensing data using physically-based models is an ill-posed problem and does not make full use of the high spatial resolution imagery that is becoming available globally. A possible solution to this is to use prior information about the retrieved variables, which constrains the possible solutions and reduces uncertainty in forest variable estimation. Therefore, we tried to quantify physically-based parameters that could be retrieved using the second-order statistics of measured and simulated very-high-resolution (pixel size less than 1 m) images of Finnish boreal forests. These forests have a well-defined structure and are usually not closed, i.e. the reflected signal has a considerable contribution from a green forest floor. We retrieved the second-order statistics using variograms and Fourier amplitude spectra. We found, in line with previous studies, that the range of variograms correlates well (r = 0.83) with the mean crown diameter for spatially homogeneous forest patches, and it can be used to estimate crown diameters with reasonable accuracy (RMSE = 0.42 m). We present a novel approach, which uses the Fourier amplitude spectrum to study the spatial structure of a forest. The approach provided encouraging results with the measured data: despite the lower accuracy (RMSE = 0.67 m) compared with variograms, we found that it could also be used to estimate mean crown diameters for heterogeneous forest areas. The Fourier amplitude spectrum approach did not work with the simulated images. Our results highlight the possibility to obtain further information from very-high-resolution images of forests to solve the ill-posed problem of forest variable estimation from optical remote sensing data using physically-based models.
  • Yu, Xiaowei; Litkey, Paula; Hyyppa, Juha; Holopainen, Markus; Vastaranta, Mikko (2014)
  • Hurskainen, Pekka; Adhikari, Hari; Siljander, Mika; Pellikka, Petri; Hemp, Andreas (2019)
    Classifying land use/land cover (LULC) with sufficient accuracy in heterogeneous landscapes is challenging using only satellite imagery. To improve classification accuracy inclusion of features from auxiliary geospatial datasets in classification models is applied since 1980s. However, the method is mostly limited to pixel-based classifications, and the coverage, accuracy and resolution of free and open-access auxiliary datasets have been poor until recent years. We evaluated how recent global coverage open-access geospatial datasets improve object-based LULC classification accuracy compared to using only spectral and texture features from satellite images. We applied feature sets topography, population, soil, canopy cover, distance to watercourses and spectral-temporal metrics from Landsat-8 time series on the southern foothills and savanna of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, where the landscape is characterized by heterogeneous and fragmented mosaic of disturbed savanna vegetation, croplands, and settlements. The classification was based on image objects (groups of spectrally similar pixels) derived from segmentation of four Formosat-2 scenes with 8m spatial resolution using 1370 ground reference points for training, validation, and for defining 17 LULC classes. We built six Random Forest classification models with different sets of object features in each. The baseline model having only spectral and texture features was compared with five other models supplemented with auxiliary features. Inclusion of auxiliary features significantly improved classification overall accuracy (OA). The baseline model gave a median OA of 60.7%, but auxiliary features in other models increased median OA between 6.1 and 16.5 percentage points. The best OA was achieved with a model including all features of which elevation was the most important auxiliary feature followed by Enhanced Vegetation Index temporal range and slope degree. Applying object-based classification to geospatial information on topography, soil, settlement patterns and vegetation phenology, the discriminatory potential of challenging LULC classes can be significantly improved. We demonstrated this for the first time, and the technique shows good potential for improving LULC mapping across a multitude of fragmented landscapes worldwide.
  • Oksuz, Duygu P.; Palmeirim, Jorge M.; Correia, Ricardo A. (2021)
    Wood-pastures are socio-ecological systems covering vast areas in Europe. Although used for grazing and production of various forest goods, wood-pastures harbour a rich biodiversity and are usually considered as High Nature Value Farmlands. However, socio-economic pressures are driving the transformation of these valuable landscapes from multi-functional, heterogeneous habitats to homogeneous areas through either intensification or land abandonment. We investigated how changes in management intensity influence the taxonomic diversity, functional diversity and functional composition of birds in these landscapes using generalized linear models. In contrast to taxonomic diversity, functional diversity decreased significantly towards shrub-dominated and less heterogeneous areas related to the abandonment of grazing and/or understory management practices. Grassland and generalist species, and associated guilds such as granivores, ground-nesters and ground-foragers are almost absent less managed areas. On the other hand, shrub-dominated areas favour forest species, particularly understory/canopy foragers and arboreal nesters, although the forest guild is still well-represented in actively managed, heterogeneous areas. Our results indicate the abandonment of wood-pasture management affects the prevalence of grassland and generalist species, leading to functional diversity loss and potentially reduced ecosystem functioning. We suggest non-intensive, active management is needed to maintain habitat heterogeneity and canopy openness, enhancing trait diversity in wood-pastures.
  • Liu, Jinxiu; Heiskanen, Janne; Maeda, Eduardo Eiji; Pellikka, Petri K. E. (2018)
    West African savannas are subject to regular fires, which have impacts on vegetation structure, biodiversity and carbon balance. An efficient and accurate mapping of burned area associated with seasonal fires can greatly benefit decision making in land management. Since coarse resolution burned area products cannot meet the accuracy needed for fire management and climate modelling at local scales, the medium resolution Landsat data is a promising alternative for local scale studies. In this study, we developed an algorithm for continuous monitoring of annual burned areas using Landsat time series. The algorithm is based on burned pixel detection using harmonic model fitting with Landsat time series and breakpoint identification in the time series data. This approach was tested in a savanna area in southern Burkina Faso using 281 images acquired between October 2000 and April 2016. An overall accuracy of 79.2% was obtained with balanced omission and commission errors. This represents a significant improvement in comparison with MODIS burned area product (67.6%), which had more omission errors than commission errors, indicating underestimation of the total burned area. By observing the spatial distribution of burned areas, we found that the Landsat based method misclassified cropland and cloud shadows as burned areas due to the similar spectral response, and MODIS burned area product omitted small and fragmented burned areas. The proposed algorithm is flexible and robust against decreased data availability caused by clouds and Landsat 7 missing lines, therefore having a high potential for being applied in other landscapes in future studies.
  • Junttila, Samuli; Sugano, Junko; Vastaranta, Mikko; Linnakoski, Riikka; Kaartinen, Harri; Kukko, Antero; Holopainen, Markus; Hyyppa, Hannu; Hyyppa, Juha (2018)
    Changing climate is increasing the amount and intensity of forest stress agents, such as drought, pest insects, and pathogens. Leaf water content, measured here in terms of equivalent water thickness (EWT), is an early indicator of tree stress that provides timely information about the health status of forests. Multispectral terrestrial laser scanning (MS-TLS) measures target geometry and reflectance simultaneously, providing spatially explicit reflectance information at several wavelengths. EWT and leaf internal structure affect leaf reflectance in the shortwave infrared region that can be used to predict EWT with MS-TLS. A second wavelength that is sensitive to leaf internal structure but not affected by EWT can be used to normalize leaf internal effects on the shortwave infrared region and improve the prediction of EWT. Here we investigated the relationship between EWT and laser intensity features using multisensor MS-TLS at 690, 905, and 1,550 nm wavelengths with both drought-treated and Endoconidiophora polonica inoculated Norway spruce seedlings to better understand how MS-TLS measurements can explain variation in EWT. In our study, a normalized ratio of two wavelengths at 905 and 1,550 nm and length of seedling explained 91% of the variation (R-2) in EWT as the respective prediction accuracy for EWT was 0.003 g/cm(2) in greenhouse conditions. The relation between EWT and the normalized ratio of 905 and 1,550 nm wavelengths did not seem sensitive to a decreased point density of the MS-TLS data. Based on our results, different EWTs in Norway spruce seedlings show different spectral responses when measured using MS-TLS. These results can be further used when developing EWT monitoring for improving forest health assessments.
  • Andersen, Line Holm; Nummi, Petri; Rafn, Jeppe; Frederiksen, Cecilie Majgaard Skak; Kristjansen, Mads Prengel; Lauridsen, Torben Linding; Trojelsgaard, Kristian; Pertoldi, Cino; Bruhn, Dan; Bahrndorff, Simon (2021)
    The succession-driven reed bed habitat hosts a unique flora and fauna including several endangered invertebrate species. Reed beds can be managed through commercial winter harvest, with implications for reed bed conservation. However, the effects of winter harvest on the invertebrate community are not well understood and vary across studies and taxonomic levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of reed harvest on invertebrate communities. Ground-dwelling and aerial invertebrates were continuously sampled for 10 weeks in the largest coherent reed bed of Scandinavia in order to assess how time since last reed harvest (0, 3, and 25years) influences invertebrate biomass, biodiversity and community structure across taxonomic levels. Biomass was measured and all specimens were sorted to order level, and Coleoptera was even sorted to species level. The invertebrate community showed distinct compositional differences across the three reed bed ages. Furthermore, biomass of both aerial and ground-dwelling invertebrates was highest in the age-0 reed bed and lowest in the age-25 reed bed. Generally, biodiversity showed an opposite trend with the highest richness and diversity in the age-25 reed bed. We conclude that it is possible to ensure high insect biomass and diversity by creating a mosaic of reed bed of different ages through small-scale harvest in the largest coherent reed bed in Scandinavia. The youngest red beds support a high invertebrate biomass whereas the oldest reed beds support a high biodiversity. Collectively, this elevate our understanding of reed harvest and the effects it has on the invertebrate communities, and might aid in future reed bed management and restoration.
  • Schafstall, Nick; Whitehouse, Nicki; Kuosmanen, Niina; Svobodova-Svitavska, Helena; Saulnier, Melanie; Chiverrell, Richard C.; Fleischer, Peter; Kunes, Petr; Clear, Jennifer L. (2020)
    Montane biomes are niche environments high in biodiversity with a variety of habitats. Often isolated, these non-continuous remnant ecosystems inhabit narrow ecological zones putting them under threat from changing climatic conditions and anthropogenic pressure. Twelve sediment cores were retrieved from a peat bog in Tatra National Park, Slovakia, and correlated to each other by wiggle-matching geochemical signals derived from micro-XRF scanning, to make a reconstruction of past conditions. A fossil beetle (Coleoptera) record, covering the last 1000 years at 50- to 100-year resolution, gives a new insight into changing flora and fauna in this region. Our findings reveal a diverse beetle community with varied ecological groups inhabiting a range of forest, meadow and synanthropic habitats. Changes in the beetle community were related to changes in the landscape, driven by anthropogenic activities. The first clear evidence for human activity in the area occurs c. 1250 CE and coincides with the arrival of beetle species living on the dung of domesticated animals (e.g. Aphodius spp.). From 1500 CE, human (re)settlement, and activities such as pasturing and charcoal burning, appear to have had a pronounced effect on the beetle community. Local beetle diversity declined steadily towards the present day, likely due to an infilling of the forest hollow leading to a decrease in moisture level. We conclude that beetle communities are directly affected by anthropogenic intensity and land-use change. When aiming to preserve or restore natural forest conditions, recording their past changes in diversity can help guide conservation and restoration. In doing so, it is important to look back beyond the time of significant human impact, and for this, information contained in paleoecological records is irreplaceable.
  • Kokkonen, T. V.; Grimmond, C. S. B.; Christen, A.; Oke, T. R.; Järvi, L. (2018)
    Hydrological cycles of two suburban neighborhoods in Vancouver, BC, during initial urban development and subsequent urban densification (1920-2010) are examined using the Surface Urban Energy and Water Balance Scheme. The two neighborhoods have different surface characteristics (as determined from aerial photographs) which impact the hydrological processes. Unlike previous studies of the effect of urbanization on the local hydrology, densification of already built lots is explored with a focus on the neighborhood scale. Human behavioral changes to irrigation are accounted for in the simulations. Irrigation is the dominant factor, accounting for up to 56% of the water input on an annual basis in the study areas. This may surpass garden needs and go to runoff. Irrigating once a week would provide sufficient water for the garden. Without irrigation, evaporation would have decreased over the 91years at a rate of up to 1.4mm/year and runoff increased at 4.0mm/year with the increase in impervious cover. Similarly without irrigation, the ratio of sensible heat flux to the available energy would have increased over the 91years at a rate of up to 0.003 per year. Urbanization and densification cause an increase in runoff and increase risk of surface flooding. Small daily runoff events with short return periods have increased over the century, whereas the occurrence of heavy daily runoff events (return period>52 days) are not affected. The results can help us to understand the dominant factors in the suburban hydrological cycle and can inform urban planning.
  • Linden, Elin; te Beest, Mariska; Aubreu, Ilka; Moritz, Thomas; Sundqvist, Maja K.; Barrio, Isabel C.; Boike, Julia; Bryant, John P.; Brathen, Kari Anne; Buchwal, Agata; Bueno, C. Guillermo; Currier, Alain; Egelkraut, Dagmar D.; Forbes, Bruce C.; Hallinger, Martin; Heijmans, Monique; Hermanutz, Luise; Hik, David S.; Hofgaard, Annika; Holmgren, Milena; Huebner, Diane C.; Hoye, Toke T.; Jonsdottir, Ingibjorg S.; Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Kissler, Emilie; Kumpula, Timo; Limpens, Juul; Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Normand, Signe; Post, Eric; Rocha, Adrian; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Skarin, Anna; Soininen, Eeva M.; Sokolov, Aleksandr; Sokolova, Natalia; Speed, James D. M.; Street, Lorna; Tananaev, Nikita; Tremblay, Jean-Pierre; Urbanowicz, Christine; Watts, David A.; Zimmermann, Heike; Olofsson, Johan (2022)
    Spatial variation in plant chemical defence towards herbivores can help us understand variation in herbivore top-down control of shrubs in the Arctic and possibly also shrub responses to global warming. Less defended, non-resinous shrubs could be more influenced by herbivores than more defended, resinous shrubs. However, sparse field measurements limit our current understanding of how much of the circum-Arctic variation in defence compounds is explained by taxa or defence functional groups (resinous/non-resinous). We measured circum-Arctic chemical defence and leaf digestibility in resinous (Betula glandulosa, B. nana ssp. exilis) and non-resinous (B. nana ssp. nana, B. pumila) shrub birches to see how they vary among and within taxa and functional groups. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) metabolomic analyses and in vitro leaf digestibility via incubation in cattle rumen fluid, we analysed defence composition and leaf digestibility in 128 samples from 44 tundra locations. We found biogeographical patterns in anti-herbivore defence where mean leaf triterpene concentrations and twig resin gland density were greater in resinous taxa and mean concentrations of condensing tannins were greater in non-resinous taxa. This indicates a biome-wide trade-off between triterpene- or tannin-dominated defences. However, we also found variations in chemical defence composition and resin gland density both within and among functional groups (resinous/non-resinous) and taxa, suggesting these categorisations only partly predict chemical herbivore defence. Complex tannins were the only defence compounds negatively related to in vitro digestibility, identifying this previously neglected tannin group as having a potential key role in birch anti-herbivore defence. We conclude that circum-Arctic variation in birch anti-herbivore defence can be partly derived from biogeographical distributions of birch taxa, although our detailed mapping of plant defence provides more information on this variation and can be used for better predictions of herbivore effects on Arctic vegetation.
  • Sabater, Neus; Vicent, Jorge; Alonso, Luis; Verrelst, Jochem; Middleton, Elizabeth M.; Porcar-Castell, Albert; Moreno, José (2018)
    Estimates of Sun-Induced vegetation chlorophyll Fluorescence (SIF) using remote sensing techniques are commonly determined by exploiting solar and/or telluric absorption features. When SIF is retrieved in the strong oxygen (O) absorption features, atmospheric effects must always be compensated. Whereas correction of atmospheric effects is a standard airborne or satellite data processing step, there is no consensus regarding whether it is required for SIF proximal-sensing measurements nor what is the best strategy to be followed. Thus, by using simulated data, this work provides a comprehensive analysis about how atmospheric effects impact SIF estimations on proximal sensing, regarding: (1) the sensor height above the vegetated canopy; (2) the SIF retrieval technique used, e.g., Fraunhofer Line Discriminator (FLD) family or Spectral Fitting Methods (SFM); and (3) the instrument's spectral resolution. We demonstrate that for proximal-sensing scenarios compensating for atmospheric effects by simply introducing the O transmittance function into the FLD or SFM formulations improves SIF estimations. However, these simplistic corrections still lead to inaccurate SIF estimations due to the multiplication of spectrally convolved atmospheric transfer functions with absorption features. Consequently, a more rigorous oxygen compensation strategy is proposed and assessed by following a classic airborne atmospheric correction scheme adapted to proximal sensing. This approach allows compensating for the O absorption effects and, at the same time, convolving the high spectral resolution data according to the corresponding Instrumental Spectral Response Function (ISRF) through the use of an atmospheric radiative transfer model. Finally, due to the key role of O absorption on the evaluated proximal-sensing SIF retrieval strategies, its dependency on surface pressure (p) and air temperature (T) was also assessed. As an example, we combined simulated spectral data with p and T measurements obtained for a one-year period in the Hyytiala Forestry Field Station in Finland. Of importance hereby is that seasonal dynamics in terms of T and p, if not appropriately considered as part of the retrieval strategy, can result in erroneous SIF seasonal trends that mimic those of known dynamics for temperature-dependent physiological responses of vegetation.
  • Panov, Alexey; Prokushkin, Anatoly; Kubler, Karl Robert; Korets, Mikhail; Urban, Anastasiya; Bondar, Mikhail; Heimann, Martin (2021)
    Atmospheric observations of sources and sinks of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) in the pan-Arctic domain are highly sporadic, limiting our understanding of carbon turnover in this climatically sensitive environment and the fate of enormous carbon reservoirs buried in permafrost. Particular gaps apply to the Arctic latitudes of Siberia, covered by the vast tundra ecosystems underlain by permafrost, where only few atmospheric sites are available. The paper presents the first results of continuous observations of atmospheric CO2 and CH4 dry mole fractions at a newly operated station "DIAMIS" (73.506828 degrees N, 80.519869 degrees E) deployed on the edge of the Dikson settlement on the western coast of the Taimyr Peninsula. Atmospheric mole fractions of CO2, CH4, and H2O are measured by a CRDS analyzer Picarro G2301-f, which is regularly calibrated against WMO-traceable gases. Meteorological records permit screening of trace gas series. Here, we give the scientific rationale of the site, describe the instrumental setup, analyze the local environments, examine the seasonal footprint, and show CO2 and CH4 fluctuations for the daytime mixed atmospheric layer that is representative over a vast Arctic domain (-500-1000 km), capturing both terrestrial and oceanic signals.
  • Liu, Daijun; Zhang, Chao; Ogaya, Roma; Estiarte, Marc; Zhang, Xiwen; Pugh, Thomas A. M.; Penuelas, Josep (2022)
    Increasing water deficits and severe droughts are expected to alter the dynamics of vegetation post-disturbance recovery by decreasing new recruitment and limiting growth in semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems in future. However, which vegetation metrics will be shifted and how they respond over time are not clear, and the experimental evidence is still limited. Here we assessed the impacts of a long-term (20 years) experimental drought (-30% rainfall) on the pathways of vegetation metrics related to species richness, community composition and abundance dynamics for an early-successional Mediterranean shrubland. The results indicate that the pathways of vegetation metrics were differently affected by experimental drought. The abundance of Globularia alypum follows pathway 1 (altered mature state). Simpson diversity and abundance of Erica multiflora follow pathway 2 (delayed succession) while species richness, community abundance and shrub abundance follow pathway 3 (alternative stable state). There were no significances for the resilience to extremely dry years (the ratio between the performance after and before severe events) between control and drought treatment for all vegetation metric. But, their resilience for the metrics (except Simpson diversity) to extremely dry years in 2016-17 were significantly lower than that of 2001 and of 2006-07, possibly caused by the severe water deficits in 2016-17 at mature successional stage. Principal component analysis (PCA) shows that the first two principal components explained 72.3 % of the variance in vegetation metrics. The first axis was mainly related to the changes in community abundance, shrub abundance and species richness while the second axis was related to Simpson diversity and abundance of G. alypum and E. multiflora. Principal component scores along PC1 between control and drought treatment were significantly decreased by long-term experimental drought, but the scores along PC2 were not affected. Further research should focus on successional pathways in more water-deficit conditions in Mediterranean ecosystems and the consequences of changes in vegetation recovery pathways on ecosystem functions such as biomass accumulation and soil properties.