Publication
Title
Whole-system responses of experimental plant communities to climate extremes imposed in different seasons
Author
Abstract
Discrete climate events such as heat waves and droughts can have a disproportionate impact on ecosystems relative to the temporal scale over which they occur. Research oriented towards (extreme) events rather than (gradual) trends is therefore urgently needed. Here, we imposed heat waves and droughts (50-yr return time) in a full factorial design on experimental plant communities in spring, summer or autumn. Droughts were created by removing the controlled water table (rainout shelters prevented precipitation), while heat waves were imposed with infrared heaters. Measurements of whole-system CO2 exchange, growth and biomass production revealed multiple interactions between treatments and the season in which they occurred. Heat waves had only small and transient effects, with infrared imaging showing little heat stress because of transpirational cooling. If heat waves were combined with drought, negative effects observed in single factor drought treatments were exacerbated through intensified soil drying, and heat stress in summer. Plant recovery from stress differed, affecting the biomass yield. In conclusion, the timing of extreme events is critical regarding their impact, and synergisms between heat waves and drought aggravate the negative effects of these extremes on plant growth and functioning.
Language
English
Source (journal)
New phytologist. - Oxford
Publication
Oxford : 2011
ISSN
0028-646X
Volume/pages
189:3(2011), p. 806-817
ISI
000286146000017
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 18.01.2011
Last edited 03.11.2017
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