Multiple Global Change Effects on Californian Grasslands

General description of the project

The effects of anthropogenic climate change on plant communities are likely to depend on biotic and environmental context, and interact with other global change factors. Growing evidence suggests that multiple resources simultaneously control plant communities. Climate change effects may therefore depend on other growth limiting factors, such as soil nutrients, which can naturally vary between habitats and increase due to anthropogenic nutrient enrichment. We test the impact of multiple global changes on plant communities in a naturally heterogeneous grassland system in California. We also investigate the impacts of climate change and nutrient enrichment on plant-soil interactions, ecosystem functioning and seed bank.

Main ongoing approaches

  1. We investigate how the rainfall and nutrient addition affect soil seed bank and whether soil seed bank can help in recovery from global changes. Main collaborators: Dr. Jennifer Gremer, Elise Elwood, Dr. Susan Harrison
  2. Using multiple ecosystem functions, pools and stoichiometry variables both above- and belowground, we examine whether resource-adding global changes can trigger whole ecosystem shifts along slow-fast cycling gradient. Main collaborators: Dr. Yann Hautier, Dr. Stan Harpole, Dr. Risto Virtanen, Dr. Susan Harrison, Dr. Kelly Gravuer

Some earlier publications

  • Eskelinen, A. & Harrison, S. 2015. Resource co-limitation governs plant community responses to altered precipitation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112: 13009 – 13014.
  • Gravuer, K., Eskelinen, A. 2017. Nutrient and rainfall additions shift phylogenetically estimated traits of soil microbial communities. Frontiers in Microbiology 8, art 1271.
  • Eskelinen, A. & Harrison, S. 2014. Exotic plant invasions under enhanced rainfall are constrained by soil nutrients and competition. Ecology 95: 682-692.
  • Eskelinen, A. & Harrison, S. 2015. Erosion of beta diversity under interacting global change impacts in a semiarid grassland. Journal of Ecology 103: 397 – 407.
  • Virtanen, R., Eskelinen, A., Harrison, S. 2016. Comparing the responses of bryophytes and short-statured vascular plants to climate shifts and eutrophication. Functional Ecology 31: 946 – 954.
  • Eskelinen, A. & Harrison, S. 2015. Biotic context and soil properties modulate native plant responses to enhanced rainfall. Annals of Botany 116: 963 – 973.