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Modeling rates of life form cover change in burned and unburned alpine heathland subject to experimental warming

Camac, James S., Williams, Richard J., Wahren, Carl-Henrik, Jarrad, Frith, Hoffmann, Ary A. and Vesk, Peter V. (2015). Modeling rates of life form cover change in burned and unburned alpine heathland subject to experimental warming. Oecologia,178(2):615-628.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Altmetric Score Altmetric Score is 6
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IRMA ID 84376995xPUB337
Title Modeling rates of life form cover change in burned and unburned alpine heathland subject to experimental warming
Author Camac, James S.
Williams, Richard J.
Wahren, Carl-Henrik
Jarrad, Frith
Hoffmann, Ary A.
Vesk, Peter V.
Journal Name Oecologia
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 178
Issue Number 2
ISSN 1432-1939   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84929956392
Start Page 615
End Page 628
Total Pages 14
Field of Research ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Elevated global temperatures are expected to alter vegetation dynamics by interacting with physiological processes, biotic relationships and disturbance regimes. However, few studies have explicitly modeled the effects of these interactions on rates of vegetation change, despite such information being critical to forecasting temporal patterns in vegetation dynamics. In this study, we build and parameterize rate-change models for three dominant alpine life forms using data from a 7-year warming experiment. These models allowed us to examine how the interactions between experimental warming, the abundance of bare ground (a measure of past disturbance) and neighboring life forms (a measure of life form interaction) affect rates of cover change in alpine shrubs, graminoids and forbs. We show that experimental warming altered rates of life form cover change by reducing the negative effects of neighboring life forms and positive effects of bare ground. Furthermore, we show that our models can predict the observed direction and rate of life form cover change at burned and unburned long-term monitoring sites. Model simulations revealed that warming in unburned vegetation is expected to result in increased forb and shrub cover and decreased graminoid cover. In contrast, in burned vegetation, warming is predicted to slow post-fire regeneration in both graminoids and forbs and facilitate rapid expansion in shrub cover. These findings illustrate the applicability of modeling rates of vegetation change using experimental data. Our results also highlight the need to account for both disturbance and the abundance of other life forms when examining and forecasting vegetation dynamics under climatic change.
Keywords Bayesian
Fire
Open-top chamber
Plant-climate interactions
Vegetation dynamics
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-015-3261-2   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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