Lichens facilitate seedling recruitment in alpine heath

Kristin O. Nystuen, Kristine Sundsdal, Øystein H. Opedal, Håkon Holien, G. Richard Strimbeck, Bente J. Graae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Abstract Questions How do mat thickness, physical structure and allelopathic properties of terricolous mat-forming lichens affect recruitment of vascular plants in dwarf-shrub and lichen heath vegetation?. Location The mountains of Dovrefjell, central Norway. Methods In autumn, seeds of ten vascular plant species were collected and sown in a common garden experiment with mats of six lichen species and bare-soil controls as experimental treatments. We recorded growing season soil temperature and moisture, and seedling recruitment and growth after one year. The effect of lichen secondary compounds on germination was tested in a growth chamber experiment and compared to the lichen-plant interactions detected under field conditions. Results The lichen mats buffered extreme soil temperatures and soil drying in dry weather, with soils below the thickest mats (Cladonia stellaris and C. rangiferina) experiencing the lowest temperature fluctuations. Seedling recruitment and seedling growth in the field and seed germination in the lab were species-specific. Seedling recruitment rates were overall higher within lichen mats than on bare soil, but the c. 6.5 cm thick mats of C. stellaris reduced recruitment of many species. The lab experiment suggested no overall strong effect of lichen allelopathy on seed germination, and effects on seed germination were only moderately correlated with the lichen-plant interactions observed for seedling recruitment in the field. Conclusions In harsh environments like alpine dwarf-shrub and lichen heaths, the presence of lichens and the resulting amelioration of the microclimate seems more important for vascular plant recruitment than are allelopathic effects often reported in lab experiments. We might therefore expect most terricolous lichens, depending on the plant species in focus, to facilitate rather than hamper the early stages of plant recruitment into lichen-dominated arctic-alpine heath vegetation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Vegetation Science
Volume0
Issue numberja
ISSN1100-9233
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • Alectoria
  • Cetraria
  • Cladonia heath
  • Flavocetraria
  • Ground lichen
  • Lichen secondary metabolites
  • Lichen-plant interaction
  • Microclimate
  • Seedling emergence
  • Soil moisture
  • Stereocaulon
  • Tundra
  • Vascular plant colonization
  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

Cite this

Nystuen, K. O., Sundsdal, K., Opedal, Ø. H., Holien, H., Strimbeck, G. R., & Graae, B. J. (2019). Lichens facilitate seedling recruitment in alpine heath. Journal of Vegetation Science, 0(ja). https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.12773
Nystuen, Kristin O. ; Sundsdal, Kristine ; Opedal, Øystein H. ; Holien, Håkon ; Strimbeck, G. Richard ; Graae, Bente J. / Lichens facilitate seedling recruitment in alpine heath. In: Journal of Vegetation Science. 2019 ; Vol. 0, No. ja.
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title = "Lichens facilitate seedling recruitment in alpine heath",
abstract = "Abstract Questions How do mat thickness, physical structure and allelopathic properties of terricolous mat-forming lichens affect recruitment of vascular plants in dwarf-shrub and lichen heath vegetation?. Location The mountains of Dovrefjell, central Norway. Methods In autumn, seeds of ten vascular plant species were collected and sown in a common garden experiment with mats of six lichen species and bare-soil controls as experimental treatments. We recorded growing season soil temperature and moisture, and seedling recruitment and growth after one year. The effect of lichen secondary compounds on germination was tested in a growth chamber experiment and compared to the lichen-plant interactions detected under field conditions. Results The lichen mats buffered extreme soil temperatures and soil drying in dry weather, with soils below the thickest mats (Cladonia stellaris and C. rangiferina) experiencing the lowest temperature fluctuations. Seedling recruitment and seedling growth in the field and seed germination in the lab were species-specific. Seedling recruitment rates were overall higher within lichen mats than on bare soil, but the c. 6.5 cm thick mats of C. stellaris reduced recruitment of many species. The lab experiment suggested no overall strong effect of lichen allelopathy on seed germination, and effects on seed germination were only moderately correlated with the lichen-plant interactions observed for seedling recruitment in the field. Conclusions In harsh environments like alpine dwarf-shrub and lichen heaths, the presence of lichens and the resulting amelioration of the microclimate seems more important for vascular plant recruitment than are allelopathic effects often reported in lab experiments. We might therefore expect most terricolous lichens, depending on the plant species in focus, to facilitate rather than hamper the early stages of plant recruitment into lichen-dominated arctic-alpine heath vegetation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.",
keywords = "Alectoria, Cetraria, Cladonia heath, Flavocetraria, Ground lichen, Lichen secondary metabolites, Lichen-plant interaction, Microclimate, Seedling emergence, Soil moisture, Stereocaulon, Tundra, Vascular plant colonization, 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology",
author = "Nystuen, {Kristin O.} and Kristine Sundsdal and Opedal, {{\O}ystein H.} and H{\aa}kon Holien and Strimbeck, {G. Richard} and Graae, {Bente J.}",
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Nystuen, KO, Sundsdal, K, Opedal, ØH, Holien, H, Strimbeck, GR & Graae, BJ 2019, 'Lichens facilitate seedling recruitment in alpine heath' Journal of Vegetation Science, vol. 0, no. ja. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.12773

Lichens facilitate seedling recruitment in alpine heath. / Nystuen, Kristin O.; Sundsdal, Kristine; Opedal, Øystein H.; Holien, Håkon; Strimbeck, G. Richard; Graae, Bente J.

In: Journal of Vegetation Science, Vol. 0, No. ja, 28.05.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Lichens facilitate seedling recruitment in alpine heath

AU - Nystuen, Kristin O.

AU - Sundsdal, Kristine

AU - Opedal, Øystein H.

AU - Holien, Håkon

AU - Strimbeck, G. Richard

AU - Graae, Bente J.

PY - 2019/5/28

Y1 - 2019/5/28

N2 - Abstract Questions How do mat thickness, physical structure and allelopathic properties of terricolous mat-forming lichens affect recruitment of vascular plants in dwarf-shrub and lichen heath vegetation?. Location The mountains of Dovrefjell, central Norway. Methods In autumn, seeds of ten vascular plant species were collected and sown in a common garden experiment with mats of six lichen species and bare-soil controls as experimental treatments. We recorded growing season soil temperature and moisture, and seedling recruitment and growth after one year. The effect of lichen secondary compounds on germination was tested in a growth chamber experiment and compared to the lichen-plant interactions detected under field conditions. Results The lichen mats buffered extreme soil temperatures and soil drying in dry weather, with soils below the thickest mats (Cladonia stellaris and C. rangiferina) experiencing the lowest temperature fluctuations. Seedling recruitment and seedling growth in the field and seed germination in the lab were species-specific. Seedling recruitment rates were overall higher within lichen mats than on bare soil, but the c. 6.5 cm thick mats of C. stellaris reduced recruitment of many species. The lab experiment suggested no overall strong effect of lichen allelopathy on seed germination, and effects on seed germination were only moderately correlated with the lichen-plant interactions observed for seedling recruitment in the field. Conclusions In harsh environments like alpine dwarf-shrub and lichen heaths, the presence of lichens and the resulting amelioration of the microclimate seems more important for vascular plant recruitment than are allelopathic effects often reported in lab experiments. We might therefore expect most terricolous lichens, depending on the plant species in focus, to facilitate rather than hamper the early stages of plant recruitment into lichen-dominated arctic-alpine heath vegetation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

AB - Abstract Questions How do mat thickness, physical structure and allelopathic properties of terricolous mat-forming lichens affect recruitment of vascular plants in dwarf-shrub and lichen heath vegetation?. Location The mountains of Dovrefjell, central Norway. Methods In autumn, seeds of ten vascular plant species were collected and sown in a common garden experiment with mats of six lichen species and bare-soil controls as experimental treatments. We recorded growing season soil temperature and moisture, and seedling recruitment and growth after one year. The effect of lichen secondary compounds on germination was tested in a growth chamber experiment and compared to the lichen-plant interactions detected under field conditions. Results The lichen mats buffered extreme soil temperatures and soil drying in dry weather, with soils below the thickest mats (Cladonia stellaris and C. rangiferina) experiencing the lowest temperature fluctuations. Seedling recruitment and seedling growth in the field and seed germination in the lab were species-specific. Seedling recruitment rates were overall higher within lichen mats than on bare soil, but the c. 6.5 cm thick mats of C. stellaris reduced recruitment of many species. The lab experiment suggested no overall strong effect of lichen allelopathy on seed germination, and effects on seed germination were only moderately correlated with the lichen-plant interactions observed for seedling recruitment in the field. Conclusions In harsh environments like alpine dwarf-shrub and lichen heaths, the presence of lichens and the resulting amelioration of the microclimate seems more important for vascular plant recruitment than are allelopathic effects often reported in lab experiments. We might therefore expect most terricolous lichens, depending on the plant species in focus, to facilitate rather than hamper the early stages of plant recruitment into lichen-dominated arctic-alpine heath vegetation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

KW - Alectoria

KW - Cetraria

KW - Cladonia heath

KW - Flavocetraria

KW - Ground lichen

KW - Lichen secondary metabolites

KW - Lichen-plant interaction

KW - Microclimate

KW - Seedling emergence

KW - Soil moisture

KW - Stereocaulon

KW - Tundra

KW - Vascular plant colonization

KW - 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

U2 - 10.1111/jvs.12773

DO - 10.1111/jvs.12773

M3 - Article

VL - 0

JO - Journal of Vegetation Science

JF - Journal of Vegetation Science

SN - 1100-9233

IS - ja

ER -