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The acid taste of climate change : 20th century acidification is re-emerging during a climatic extreme event

Title data

Schweiger, Andreas ; Audorff, Volker ; Beierkuhnlein, Carl:
The acid taste of climate change : 20th century acidification is re-emerging during a climatic extreme event.
In: Ecosphere. Vol. 6 (2015) Issue 6 . - Article 94.
ISSN 2150-8925
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1890/ES15-00032.1

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Abstract in another language

The current state of an ecosystem results from the complex interaction of abiotic and biotic drivers jointly influenced by their dynamics and the legacy of a systems’ history. Negative synergies between emerging climatically extreme events and past environmental impacts are expected to shift ecological communities to alternative stable states or towards hysteretic successional trajectories. However, knowledge on mutual effects of environmental stressors is scarce especially for not experimentally controlled, natural ecosystems.We investigated the effect of a prolonged drought and heat wave occurred during 2003 on the short-term vegetation responses of forest springs, a waterlogged type of ecosystem which is highly abundant in Central European siliceous mountains. These landscapes experienced strong impairment by 20th century atmospheric acidification. For different levels of acidification, we investigated plant community composition and water chemistry of 57 springs before (1996) during (2003) and after (2004-2006) the summer of 2003 and quantified ecological resilience and elasticity related to this extreme event for single plant species and species assemblages of whole communities.The extreme dry and hot summer 2003 significantly decreased discharge, increased water temperature and affected water chemistry of the investigated springs. Ecological resilience and elasticity against the climatic extreme event differed significantly between communities dependent on their previous impact by acidification. Springs which were less affected by acidification performed higher resilience and elasticity than strongly acidified springs.Our study shows that strong negative synergies between emerging climatic extreme events and past environmental impairments occur on landscape scale. Hitherto, such interactions between climate change, hydrochemistry, and the responses of ecosystems have been neglected.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER128613
Keywords: climate change modelling; crenal habitats; ecosystem stability; extreme weather events; heat spell; insurance hypothesis; summer drought; response diversity; tipping point
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography > Chair Biogeography - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2016 06:32
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2017 11:22
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/33812