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Title: A systemic overreaction to years versus decades of warming in a subarctic grassland ecosystem

Abstract

Temperature governs most biotic processes, yet we know little about how warming affects whole ecosystems. In this research, we examined the responses of 128 components of a subarctic grassland to either 5–8 or >50 years of soil warming. Warming of >50 years drove the ecosystem to a new steady state possessing a distinct biotic composition and reduced species richness, biomass and soil organic matter. However, the warmed state was preceded by an overreaction to warming, which was related to organism physiology and was evident after 5–8 years. Ignoring this overreaction yielded errors of >100% for 83 variables when predicting their responses to a realistic warming scenario of 1 °C over 50 years, although some, including soil carbon content, remained stable after 5–8 years. This study challenges long-term ecosystem predictions made from short-term observations, and provides a framework for characterization of ecosystem responses to sustained climate change.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [5]; ORCiD logo [6];  [7];  [8]; ORCiD logo [9]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [10];  [11];  [12]; ORCiD logo [13]; ORCiD logo [14]; ORCiD logo [15]; ORCiD logo [16]; ORCiD logo [17]; ORCiD logo [2];  [6] more »;  [4];  [18]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [19]; ORCiD logo [20]; ORCiD logo [2] « less
  1. Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule, Zurich (Switzerland). Inst. for Integrative Biology; Univ. de Lausanne (Switzerland). Dept. of Ecology & Evolution
  2. Univ. of Antwerp, Wilrijk (Belgium). Dept. of Biology
  3. Vrije Univ., Amsterdam (Netherlands). Dept. of Ecological Sciences
  4. Agricultural Univ. of Iceland, Borgarnes (Iceland)
  5. Univ. of Vienna (Austria). Dept. of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science; International Inst. for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenberg (Austria). Ecosystems Services and Management Program
  6. CREAF-CSIC-UAB, Bellaterra (Spain). CSIC Global Ecology Unit; CREAF, Cerdanoyla del Valles (Spain)
  7. Univ. of Antwerp, Wilrijk (Belgium). Dept. of Biology; Agricultural Univ. of Iceland, Borgarnes (Iceland)
  8. Univ. of Innsbruck (Austria). Dept. of Ecology
  9. CREAF-CSIC-UAB, Bellaterra (Spain). CSIC Global Ecology Unit; Univ. of Vic-Central Univ. of Catalonia, Vic (Spain). Aquatic Ecology Group
  10. Univ. of Antwerp, Wilrijk (Belgium). Dept. of Biology; Univ. of Vienna (Austria). Dept. of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science
  11. CREAF-CSIC-UAB, Bellaterra (Spain). CSIC Global Ecology Unit; CREAF, Cerdanoyla del Valles (Spain); Global Change Research Inst., Brno (Czech Republic)
  12. Agricultural Univ. of Iceland, Borgarnes (Iceland); Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, Hella (Iceland)
  13. Univ. of Antwerp, Wilrijk (Belgium). Dept. of Biology; CREAF-CSIC-UAB, Bellaterra (Spain). CSIC Global Ecology Unit; CREAF, Cerdanoyla del Valles (Spain)
  14. Icelandic Forest Research, Reykjavík (Iceland)
  15. Univ. of Tartu (Estonia). Inst. of Ecology and Earth Sciences
  16. Thünen Inst. of Climate-Smart Agriculture, Braunschweig (Germany)
  17. Univ. of Vienna (Austria). Dept. of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science
  18. Univ. of Antwerp, Wilrijk (Belgium). Dept. of Biology; Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Climate and Ecosystem Science Division
  19. Lund Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Biology
  20. Cardinal St. Wyszynski Univ., Warsaw (Poland). Inst. of Ecology & Bioethics
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER); Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF); European Research Council (ERC); Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO); Austrian Science Fund (FWF); European Union (EU); Flanders Research Foundation Aspiration Grant; Spanish Government; Catalan Government; Icelandic Research Fund; JPI Climate Project
OSTI Identifier:
1631625
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; 31003A-176044; ERC-2013-SyG-610028-IMBALANCE-P; FWO-G0F2217N; FWF-I-3237; COFUND-291780; 676108; 11G1613N; CGL2016-79835-P; SGR-2017-1005; PRO2008-SO2-PENUELAS; 163272-053-FORHOT-FOREST; BMWFW-6.020/0008
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Ecology and Evolution
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2397-334X
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; climate-change ecology; ecology; ecosystem ecology

Citation Formats

Walker, Tom W. N., Janssens, Ivan A., Weedon, James T., Sigurdsson, Bjarni D., Richter, Andreas, Peñuelas, Josep, Leblans, Niki I. W., Bahn, Michael, Bartrons, Mireia, De Jonge, Cindy, Fuchslueger, Lucia, Gargallo-Garriga, Albert, Gunnarsdóttir, Gunnhildur E., Marañón-Jiménez, Sara, Oddsdóttir, Edda S., Ostonen, Ivika, Poeplau, Christopher, Prommer, Judith, Radujković, Dajana, Sardans, Jordi, Sigurðsson, Páll, Soong, Jennifer L., Vicca, Sara, Wallander, Håkan, Ilieva-Makulec, Krassimira, and Verbruggen, Erik. A systemic overreaction to years versus decades of warming in a subarctic grassland ecosystem. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-1055-3.
Walker, Tom W. N., Janssens, Ivan A., Weedon, James T., Sigurdsson, Bjarni D., Richter, Andreas, Peñuelas, Josep, Leblans, Niki I. W., Bahn, Michael, Bartrons, Mireia, De Jonge, Cindy, Fuchslueger, Lucia, Gargallo-Garriga, Albert, Gunnarsdóttir, Gunnhildur E., Marañón-Jiménez, Sara, Oddsdóttir, Edda S., Ostonen, Ivika, Poeplau, Christopher, Prommer, Judith, Radujković, Dajana, Sardans, Jordi, Sigurðsson, Páll, Soong, Jennifer L., Vicca, Sara, Wallander, Håkan, Ilieva-Makulec, Krassimira, & Verbruggen, Erik. A systemic overreaction to years versus decades of warming in a subarctic grassland ecosystem. United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-1055-3
Walker, Tom W. N., Janssens, Ivan A., Weedon, James T., Sigurdsson, Bjarni D., Richter, Andreas, Peñuelas, Josep, Leblans, Niki I. W., Bahn, Michael, Bartrons, Mireia, De Jonge, Cindy, Fuchslueger, Lucia, Gargallo-Garriga, Albert, Gunnarsdóttir, Gunnhildur E., Marañón-Jiménez, Sara, Oddsdóttir, Edda S., Ostonen, Ivika, Poeplau, Christopher, Prommer, Judith, Radujković, Dajana, Sardans, Jordi, Sigurðsson, Páll, Soong, Jennifer L., Vicca, Sara, Wallander, Håkan, Ilieva-Makulec, Krassimira, and Verbruggen, Erik. Mon . "A systemic overreaction to years versus decades of warming in a subarctic grassland ecosystem". United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-1055-3. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1631625.
@article{osti_1631625,
title = {A systemic overreaction to years versus decades of warming in a subarctic grassland ecosystem},
author = {Walker, Tom W. N. and Janssens, Ivan A. and Weedon, James T. and Sigurdsson, Bjarni D. and Richter, Andreas and Peñuelas, Josep and Leblans, Niki I. W. and Bahn, Michael and Bartrons, Mireia and De Jonge, Cindy and Fuchslueger, Lucia and Gargallo-Garriga, Albert and Gunnarsdóttir, Gunnhildur E. and Marañón-Jiménez, Sara and Oddsdóttir, Edda S. and Ostonen, Ivika and Poeplau, Christopher and Prommer, Judith and Radujković, Dajana and Sardans, Jordi and Sigurðsson, Páll and Soong, Jennifer L. and Vicca, Sara and Wallander, Håkan and Ilieva-Makulec, Krassimira and Verbruggen, Erik},
abstractNote = {Temperature governs most biotic processes, yet we know little about how warming affects whole ecosystems. In this research, we examined the responses of 128 components of a subarctic grassland to either 5–8 or >50 years of soil warming. Warming of >50 years drove the ecosystem to a new steady state possessing a distinct biotic composition and reduced species richness, biomass and soil organic matter. However, the warmed state was preceded by an overreaction to warming, which was related to organism physiology and was evident after 5–8 years. Ignoring this overreaction yielded errors of >100% for 83 variables when predicting their responses to a realistic warming scenario of 1 °C over 50 years, although some, including soil carbon content, remained stable after 5–8 years. This study challenges long-term ecosystem predictions made from short-term observations, and provides a framework for characterization of ecosystem responses to sustained climate change.},
doi = {10.1038/s41559-019-1055-3},
journal = {Nature Ecology and Evolution},
number = 1,
volume = 4,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {12}
}

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