skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Predator contributions to belowground responses to warming

Abstract

Identifying the factors that control soil CO 2 emissions will improve our ability to predict the magnitude of climate change–soil ecosystem feedbacks. Despite the integral role of invertebrates in belowground systems, they are excluded from climate change models. Soil invertebrates have consumptive and nonconsumptive effects on microbes, whose respiration accounts for nearly half of soil CO 2 emissions. By altering the behavior and abundance of invertebrates that interact with microbes, invertebrate predators may have indirect effects on soil respiration. We examined the effects of a generalist arthropod predator on belowground respiration under different warming scenarios. Based on research suggesting invertebrates may mediate soil CO 2 emission responses to warming, we predicted that predator presence would result in increased emissions by negatively affecting these invertebrates. We altered the presence of wolf spiders ( Pardosa spp.) in mesocosms containing a forest floor community. To simulate warming, we placed mesocosms of each treatment in ten open-top warming chambers ranging from 1.5° to 5.5°C above ambient at Harvard Forest, Massachusetts, USA. As expected, CO 2 emissions increased under warming and we found an interactive effect of predator presence and warming, although the effect was not consistent through time. The interaction between predator presence andmore » warming was the inverse of our predictions: Mesocosms with predators had lower respiration at higher levels of warming than those without predators. Carbon dioxide emissions were not significantly associated with microbial biomass. Here, we did not find evidence of consumptive effects of predators on the invertebrate community, suggesting that predator presence mediates response of microbial respiration to warming through nonconsumptive means. In our system, we found a significant interaction between warming and predator presence that warrants further research into mechanism and generality of this pattern to other systems.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Bowling Green State Univ., Bowling Green, OH (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1326709
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-08ER64510
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Ecosphere
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 2150-8925
Publisher:
Ecological Society of America
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; brown food web; carbon; climate change; invertebrate; predator; soil respiration; warming

Citation Formats

Maran, A. M., and Pelini, S. L. Predator contributions to belowground responses to warming. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1457.
Maran, A. M., & Pelini, S. L. Predator contributions to belowground responses to warming. United States. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1457.
Maran, A. M., and Pelini, S. L. 2016. "Predator contributions to belowground responses to warming". United States. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1457.
@article{osti_1326709,
title = {Predator contributions to belowground responses to warming},
author = {Maran, A. M. and Pelini, S. L.},
abstractNote = {Identifying the factors that control soil CO2 emissions will improve our ability to predict the magnitude of climate change–soil ecosystem feedbacks. Despite the integral role of invertebrates in belowground systems, they are excluded from climate change models. Soil invertebrates have consumptive and nonconsumptive effects on microbes, whose respiration accounts for nearly half of soil CO2 emissions. By altering the behavior and abundance of invertebrates that interact with microbes, invertebrate predators may have indirect effects on soil respiration. We examined the effects of a generalist arthropod predator on belowground respiration under different warming scenarios. Based on research suggesting invertebrates may mediate soil CO2 emission responses to warming, we predicted that predator presence would result in increased emissions by negatively affecting these invertebrates. We altered the presence of wolf spiders (Pardosa spp.) in mesocosms containing a forest floor community. To simulate warming, we placed mesocosms of each treatment in ten open-top warming chambers ranging from 1.5° to 5.5°C above ambient at Harvard Forest, Massachusetts, USA. As expected, CO2 emissions increased under warming and we found an interactive effect of predator presence and warming, although the effect was not consistent through time. The interaction between predator presence and warming was the inverse of our predictions: Mesocosms with predators had lower respiration at higher levels of warming than those without predators. Carbon dioxide emissions were not significantly associated with microbial biomass. Here, we did not find evidence of consumptive effects of predators on the invertebrate community, suggesting that predator presence mediates response of microbial respiration to warming through nonconsumptive means. In our system, we found a significant interaction between warming and predator presence that warrants further research into mechanism and generality of this pattern to other systems.},
doi = {10.1002/ecs2.1457},
journal = {Ecosphere},
number = 9,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1002/ecs2.1457

Save / Share:
  • Identifying the factors that control soil CO 2 emissions will improve our ability to predict the magnitude of climate change–soil ecosystem feedbacks. Despite the integral role of invertebrates in belowground systems, they are excluded from climate change models. Soil invertebrates have consumptive and nonconsumptive effects on microbes, whose respiration accounts for nearly half of soil CO 2 emissions. By altering the behavior and abundance of invertebrates that interact with microbes, invertebrate predators may have indirect effects on soil respiration. We examined the effects of a generalist arthropod predator on belowground respiration under different warming scenarios. Based on research suggesting invertebratesmore » may mediate soil CO 2 emission responses to warming, we predicted that predator presence would result in increased emissions by negatively affecting these invertebrates. We altered the presence of wolf spiders ( Pardosa spp.) in mesocosms containing a forest floor community. To simulate warming, we placed mesocosms of each treatment in ten open-top warming chambers ranging from 1.5° to 5.5°C above ambient at Harvard Forest, Massachusetts, USA. As expected, CO 2 emissions increased under warming and we found an interactive effect of predator presence and warming, although the effect was not consistent through time. The interaction between predator presence and warming was the inverse of our predictions: Mesocosms with predators had lower respiration at higher levels of warming than those without predators. Carbon dioxide emissions were not significantly associated with microbial biomass. Here, we did not find evidence of consumptive effects of predators on the invertebrate community, suggesting that predator presence mediates response of microbial respiration to warming through nonconsumptive means. In our system, we found a significant interaction between warming and predator presence that warrants further research into mechanism and generality of this pattern to other systems.« less
  • Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain due to challenges in consistent measurement and interpretation of fine-root systems. We define fine roots as all roots less than or equal to 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. We demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. In these frameworks, finemore » roots are separated into either individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine root pool. Furthermore, using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally a ca. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. In the future we hope to develop tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi in fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand belowground processes in the terrestrial biosphere.« less
  • Cryptic belowground organisms are difficult to observe and their responses to global changes are not well understood. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that interactions among above- and belowground communities may mediate ecosystem responses to global change. We used grassland mesocosms to manipulate the abundance of one important group of soil organisms, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, and to study community and ecosystem responses to CO2 and N enrichment. After two growing seasons, biomass responses of plant communities were recorded, and soil community responses were measured using microscopy, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) and community-level physiological profiles (CLPP). Ecosystem responses were examinedmore » by measuring net primary production (NPP), evapotranspiration, total soil organic matter (SOM), and extractable mineral N. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the causal relationships among treatments and response variables. We found that while CO2 and N tended to directly impact ecosystem functions (evapotranspiration and NPP, respectively), AM fungi indirectly impacted ecosystem functions by strongly influencing the composition of plant and soil communities. For example, the presence of AM fungi had a strong influence on other root and soil fungi and soil bacteria. We found that the mycotrophic status of the dominant plant species in the mesocosms determined whether the presence of AM fungi increased or decreased NPP. Mycotrophic grasses dominated the mesocosm communities during the first growing season, and thus, the mycorrhizal treatments had the highest NPP. In contrast, non-mycotrophic forbs were dominant during the second growing season and thus, the mycorrhizal treatments had the lowest NPP. The composition of the plant community strongly influenced soil N; and the composition of the soil organisms strongly influenced SOM accumulation in the mesocosms. These results show how linkages between above- and belowground communities can determine ecosystem responses to global change.« less
  • The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an important driver of regional hydroclimate variability through far-reaching teleconnections. Most climate models project an increase in the frequency of extreme El Niño events under increased greenhouse-gas (GHG) forcing. However, it is unclear how other aspects of ENSO and ENSO-driven teleconnections will evolve in the future. Here, we identify in 20th century sea-surface temperature (SST) observations a time-invariant ENSO-like (ENSOL) pattern that is largely uncontaminated by GHG forcing. We use this pattern to investigate the future precipitation (P) response to ENSO-like SST anomalies. Models that better capture observed ENSOL characteristics produce P teleconnection patternsmore » that are in better accord with observations and more stationary in the 21st century. We decompose the future P response to ENSOL into the sum of three terms: (1) the change in P mean state, (2) the historical P response to ENSOL, and (3) a future enhancement in the P response to ENSOL. In many regions, this last term can aggravate the P extremes associated with ENSO variability. This simple decomposition allows us to identify regions likely to experience ENSOL-induced P changes that are without precedent in the current climate.« less