Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Amber C. Churchill; Merritt R. Turetsky; A. David McGuire; Teresa N. Hollingsworth
    Date: 2015
    Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 45(2): 185-193.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (437.68 KB)

    Description

    Northern peatlands represent a long-term net sink for atmospheric CO2, but these ecosystems can shift from net carbon (C) sinks to sources based on changing climate and environmental conditions. In particular, changes in water availability associated with climate control peatland vegetation and carbon uptake processes. We examined the influence of changing hydrology on plant species abundance and ecosystem primary production in an Alaskan fen by manipulating the water table in field treatments to mimic either sustained flooding (raised water table) or drought (lowered water table) conditions for 6 years. We found that water table treatments altered plant species abundance by increasing sedge and grass cover in the raised water table treatment and reducing moss cover while increasing vascular green area in the lowered water table treatment. Gross primary productivity was lower in the lowered treatment than in the other plots, although there were no differences in total biomass or vascular net primary productivity among the treatments. Overall, our results indicate that vegetation abundance was more sensitive to variation in water table than total biomass and vascular biomass accrual. Finally, in our experimental peatland, drought had stronger consequences for change in vegetation abundance and ecosystem function than sustained flooding.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Churchill, Amber C.; Turetsky, Merritt R.; McGuire, A. David; Hollingsworth, Teresa N. 2015. Response of plant community structure and primary productivity to experimental drought and flooding in an Alaskan fen. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 45(2): 185-193.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    primary productivity, peatland, hydrologic manipulation, drying, flooding, carbon, vegetation

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/49075