Browsing by Subject "sedge"

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  • Korrensalo, Aino; Kettunen, Laura; Laiho, Raija; Alekseychik, Pavel; Vesala, Timo; Mammarella, Ivan; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina (2018)
    Question: Peatlands are globally important for carbon storage due to the imbalance between plant biomass production and decomposition. Distribution of both live standing biomass (BM, dry mass g/m(2)) and biomass production (BMP, dry mass gm(-2) growing season(-1)) are known to be dependent on the water table (WT). However, the relations of BM and BMP to WT variation are poorly known. Here we investigated, how the above- and below-ground BM and BMP of three different plant functional types (PFTs), dwarf shrubs, sedges and Sphagnum mosses, relate to natural WT variation within an ombrotrophic boreal bog. In addition, we estimated ecosystem-level BMP and compared that with ecosystem net primary production (NPP) derived from eddy covariance (EC) measurements. Location: Siikaneva bog, Ruovesi, Finland. Methods: We quantified above- and below-ground BM and BMP of PFTs along the WT gradient, divided into six plant community types. Plant community scale BM and BMP were up-scaled to the ecosystem level. NPP was derived from EC measurements using a literature-based ratio of heterotrophic respiration to total ecosystem respiration. Results: BM varied from 211 to 979 g/m(2) among the plant community types, decreasing gradually from dry to wet community types. In contrast, BMP was similar between plant community types (162-216 g/m(2)), except on nearly vegetation-free bare peat surfaces where it was low (38 g/m(2)). Vascular plant BM turnover rate (BMP:BM, per year) varied from 0.14 to 0.30 among the plant community types, being highest in sedge-dominated hollows. On average 56% of the vascular BM was produced below ground. Mosses, when present, produced on average 31% of the total BM, ranging from 16% to 53% depending on community type. EC-derived NPP was higher than measured BMP due to underestimation of certain components. Conclusions: We found that the diversity of PFTs decreases the spatial variability in productivity of a boreal bog ecosystem. The observed even distribution of BMP resulted from different WT optima and BMP:BM of dwarf shrubs, sedges and Sphagnum species. These differences in biomass turnover rate and species responses to environmental conditions may provide a resilience mechanism for bog ecosystems in changing conditions.
  • Matkala, Laura (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Boreal peatlands contain approximately one third of the global soil carbon and are considered net sinks of atmospheric CO2. Water level position is one of the main regulators of CO2 fluxes in northern peatlands because it controls both the thickness of the aerobic layer in peat and plant communities. However, little is known about the role of different plant functional groups and their possible interaction with changing water level in boreal peatlands with regard to CO2 cycling. Climate change may also accelerate changes in hydrological conditions, changing both aerobic conditions and plant communities. To help answer these questions, this study was conducted at a mesocosm facility in Northern Michigan where the aim was to experimentally study the effects of water levels, plant functional groups (sedges, shrubs and mosses) and the possible interaction of these on the CO2 cycle of a boreal peatland ecosystem. The results indicate that Ericaceous shrubs are important in the boreal peatland CO2 cycle. The removal of these plants decreased ecosystem respiration, gross ecosystem production and net ecosystem exchange rates, whereas removing sedges did not show any significant differences in the flux rates. The water level did not significantly affect the flux rates. The amount of aboveground sedge biomass was higher in the low water level sedge treatment plots compared to the high water level sedge plots, possibly because the lowered water level and the removal of Ericaceae released nutrients for sedges to use up.