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Reindeer grazing has contrasting effect on species traits in Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. and Bistorta vivipara (L.) Gray
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4384-5014
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2013 (English)In: Acta Oecologica, ISSN 1146-609X, E-ISSN 1873-6238, Vol. 53, p. 33-37Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

That reindeer grazing can have large effects on plant communities is well known, but how reindeer grazing affects plant traits and plant carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) allocation has not been studied to the same extent. This study was conducted in a sub-arctic dry heath in northern Sweden. 17-year-old reindeer exclosures were used to test whether reindeer grazing affects the C:N ratio (a plant quality index), and the delta C-13 and delta N-15 (indicators of changes in C and N dynamics) as well as the C and N content of above- and below ground parts of the evergreen dwarf shrub Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. and the perennial forb Bistorta vivipara (L) Gray. A lower C:N ratio was found in B. vivipara compared to V. vitis-idaea suggesting a higher grazing pressure on that species. We found that grazing reduced the total C content, by 26%, and increased the delta N-15, by 1 parts per thousand, in the leaves of B. vivipara, while no changes were observed in V. vitis-idaea. Fine roots of B. vivipara had higher delta C-13 (1 parts per thousand) and delta N-15 (2.5 parts per thousand) than the leaves, while such differences were not found in V. vitis-idaea. The results also highlight the importance of analysing both above- and belowground plant parts when interpreting natural variations in delta C-13 and delta N-15. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 53, p. 33-37
Keywords [en]
Biomass allocation, Carbon, Grazing, Nitrogen, Stabile isotopes, Tundra
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-32926DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2013.08.006ISI: 000327806600004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-32926DiVA, id: diva2:683310
Funder
Formas, 214-2010-1411
Note

Funding Agency: Strategic research area BECC (Biodiversity and Ecosystems in a Changing Climate) (se även Forskningsfinansiär)

Available from: 2014-01-03 Created: 2014-01-03 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Ekblad, Alf

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