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Publication Type J
Authors Kuijper, DPJ; Bakker, JP
Author Full Name Kuijper, D. P. J.; Bakker, J. P.
Title Below- and above-ground vertebrate herbivory and abiotic factors alternate in shaping salt-marsh plant communities
Source JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY
Language English
Document Type Article
Author Keywords Arvicola terrestris; Atriplex littoralis; Atriplex portulacoides; Elytrigia atherica; Fossorial herbivore; Sediment input
Keywords Plus ARVICOLA-TERRESTRIS-SCHERMAN; DANISH-WADDEN SEA; WATER VOLE; PRODUCTIVITY GRADIENT; BRENT GEESE; VEGETATION SUCCESSION; TOP-DOWN; RESOURCE CONTROL; FOSSORIAL FORM; BURROW SYSTEM
Abstract Small vertebrate herbivores retard vegetation succession in young stages of barrier-island salt-marsh succession. They cannot do so at later successional stages due to increasing soil productivity by the sedimentation of nitrogen containing clay. At later, productive stages of succession, grazing by livestock can reduce the dominance of late succession perennial plant species. As an exception, the vegetation at the island of Langli in the Danish Wadden Sea has a low dominance of late successional species (Elytrigia atherica and Atriplex portulacoides) despite decades without livestock grazing. We manipulated both above- (hares and geese) and below-ground herbivory (water vole), and applied nitrogen fertilization to test their role in controlling vegetation succession. Additionally, we measured surface elevation change to test whether sediment inputs are low. Below-ground herbivores and fertilization affected vegetation composition but their effects were highly variable between years. Below-ground herbivory decreased the dominance of E. atherica at the high marsh. N-fertilization interacted with below-ground herbivory to slow down the increase of A. portulacoides at the low marsh. Nitrogen was not limiting the speed of succession. The effects of herbivory and fertilization were overruled by the onetime event of high sediment accumulation in 2007 which created favorable conditions for the annual plant species Atriplex littoralis. Its invasion in all plots, irrespective of treatment, caused the late successional perennials E. atherica to be outcompeted at the high marsh, and slowed down the increase of A. portulacoides at the low marsh. The study showed that herbivory and abiotic factors alternated in shaping long-term vegetation dynamics, which could be a common feature of dynamic ecosystems. (c) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Author Address [Kuijper, D. P. J.] Polish Acad Sci, Mammal Res Inst, PL-17230 Bialowieza, Poland; [Kuijper, D. P. J.; Bakker, J. P.] Univ Groningen, Community & Conservat Ecol Grp, NL-9700 CC Groningen, Netherlands
Reprint Address Kuijper, DPJ (reprint author), Polish Acad Sci, Mammal Res Inst, Ul Waszkiewicza 1, PL-17230 Bialowieza, Poland.
E-mail Address dkuijper@zbs.bialowieza.pl
Funding Agency and Grant Number Nederlanse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek [NWO-ALW 80535045]; Schure-Beijerinck-Popping Fonds [SBK/JK-2006, SBK/JK-2007, SBK/JK-2008, SBK/JK-2009]; EU Marie Curie Transfer of Knowledge Fellowship under the Sixth Framework Programme [MTKD-CT-2005-029957]; Marie Curie European Reintegration Grant under the Seventh Framework Programme [PERG06-GA-2009-256444]
Funding Text We thank Jesper Madsen for introducing us to this island and supporting the start of the study. The Oksbol State Forestry District gave permission to work at Langli and greatly supported by providing transport for materials at the start and end of the experiment. Especially, we thank Ole Knudsen and Bjarne Slaikjaer for their support during the years. We are grateful to Christophe Brochard, Niels Bunnefeld, Arjan Drost,Cas Eikenaar, Roos Veeneklaas, Geeske Zaanen who helped with erecting the exclosures during a very cold week in March 2001. We thank all the participants of the Coastal Ecology Expeditions 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009 (University of Groningen) that helped with collecting data, logistics, and for breaking down the exclosures in 2009. Special thanks go to Hein Kuijper and Tineke Kuijper who were the most faithful companions of DPJK during his annual trips to Langli. This research was financially supported by a grant from the
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Cited Reference Count 69
Times Cited 1
Total Times Cited Count (WoS, BCI, and CSCD) 1
Publisher ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Publisher City AMSTERDAM
Publisher Address PO BOX 211, 1000 AE AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
ISSN 0022-0981
29-Character Source Abbreviation J EXP MAR BIOL ECOL
ISO Source Abbreviation J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol.
Publication Date NOV 30
Year Published 2012
Volume 432
Beginning Page 17
Ending Page 28
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1016/j.jembe.2012.07.003
Page Count 12
Web of Science Category Ecology; Marine & Freshwater Biology
Subject Category Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Marine & Freshwater Biology
Document Delivery Number 015FJ
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000309431500003
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