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Early snowmelt by an extreme warming event affects understory more than overstory trees in Japanese temperate forests

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Title: Early snowmelt by an extreme warming event affects understory more than overstory trees in Japanese temperate forests
Authors: Makoto, Kobayashi Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Templer, Pamela H. Browse this author
Katayama, Ayumi Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Seki, Osamu Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Takagi, Kentaro Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Keywords: aboveground-belowground linkage
ecosystem function
nitrogen cycle
plant-plant interaction
winter climate change
winter ecology
Issue Date: Jul-2022
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Journal Title: Ecosphere
Volume: 13
Issue: 7
Start Page: e4182
Publisher DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.4182
Abstract: The occurrence of extreme warm events and early snowmelt is predicted to increase in high-latitude ecosystems, even during periods of time when there is no coincident reduction in total precipitation. However, because extreme events like these occur unpredictably, little is known about how advancing snowmelt by a single extreme warm event, without a reduction in precipitation amount, influences overstory trees and understory vegetation simultaneously in an ecosystem. We conducted a warming experiment (four 20 x 20 m plots) in temperate forests of Japan to determine the effects of earlier snowmelt on both understory dwarf bamboo plants and overstory birch trees. Our experimental treatment advanced snowmelt by about 10 days and increased soil temperatures that were associated with increased rates of soil nitrogen (N) mineralization and nitrification. Furthermore, these changes led to lower C:N ratios of leaves together with the greater growth of understory bamboo vegetation, with no changes in leaf C:N or growth rates of overstory birch trees. Together, our results demonstrate that advancing snowmelt by an extreme warm event in temperate forests is likely to affect N cycling and will benefit understory vegetation without a commensurate change in overstory vegetation, likely due to the increase in available soil N. These results also demonstrate that with the projected increase in the frequency of extreme warm events and advanced snowmelt, understory vegetation is likely to benefit more than overstory trees in Japanese temperate forests with heavy snow.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:北方生物圏フィールド科学センター (Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

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