Материал из Антэкология /// Anthecology
Phenological Changes in Alpine Plants in Response to Increased Snowpack, Temperature, and Nitrogen
Modified environmental conditions are driving phenological changes in ecosystems around the world. Many plants have already responded to warmer temperatures by flowering earlier and sustaining longer periods of growth. Changes in other environmental factors, like precipitation and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition, may also influence phenology but have been less studied. Alpine plants may be good predictors of phenological response patterns because environmental changes are amplified in mountain ecosystems and extreme conditions may make alpine plants particularly sensitive to changes in limiting factors like precipitation, temperature, and N. We tested the effects of increased snowpack, temperature, and N on alpine tundra plant phenology, using snow fence, open-top warming chamber, and N fertilization treatments at the Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site. Flowering phenology of three abundant species was recorded during two growing seasons. Treatment responses varied among species and functional types. Forbs responded to warming by flowering earlier and responded to snowpack and N by flowering later; however, when both snow and N were increased simultaneously, phenology was unchanged. Graminoids flowered earlier in response to N addition. Our results demonstrate that changing environmental conditions influence plant phenology, and specifically highlight that N and multiple factor interactions can yield stronger responses than warming alone.