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Can community structure track sea-level rise? Stress and competitive controls in tidal wetlands

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dc.contributor.author Schile, Lisa M. en
dc.contributor.author Callaway, John C. en
dc.contributor.author Suding, Katharine N. en
dc.contributor.author Kelly, N. M. en
dc.date.accessioned 2017-04-12T11:27:20Z
dc.date.available 2017-04-12T11:27:20Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.citation Schile, Lisa M., Callaway, John C., Suding, Katharine N., and Kelly, N. M. 2017. "<a href="https%3A%2F%2Frepository.si.edu%2Fhandle%2F10088%2F32014">Can community structure track sea-level rise? Stress and competitive controls in tidal wetlands</a>." <em>Ecology and Evolution</em>. 7 (4):1276&ndash;1285. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2758">https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2758</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 2045-7758
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10088/32014
dc.description.abstract Climate change impacts, such as accelerated sea-level rise, will affect stress gradients, yet impacts on competition/stress tolerance trade-offs and shifts in distributions are unclear. Ecosystems with strong stress gradients, such as estuaries, allow for space-for-time substitutions of stress factors and can give insight into future climate-related shifts in both resource and nonresource stresses. We tested the stress gradient hypothesis and examined the effect of increased inundation stress and biotic interactions on growth and survival of two congeneric wetland sedges, Schoenoplectus acutus and Schoenoplectus americanus. We simulated sea-level rise across existing marsh elevations and those not currently found to reflect potential future sea-level rise conditions in two tidal wetlands differing in salinity. Plants were grown individually and together at five tidal elevations, the lowest simulating an 80-cm increase in sea level, and harvested to assess differences in biomass after one growing season. Inundation time, salinity, sulfides, and redox potential were measured concurrently. As predicted, increasing inundation reduced biomass of the species commonly found at higher marsh elevations, with little effect on the species found along channel margins. The presence of neighbors reduced total biomass of both species, particularly at the highest elevation; facilitation did not occur at any elevation. Contrary to predictions, we documented the competitive superiority of the stress tolerator under increased inundation, which was not predicted by the stress gradient hypothesis. Multifactor manipulation experiments addressing plant response to accelerated climate change are integral to creating a more realistic, valuable, and needed assessment of potential ecosystem response. Our results point to the important and unpredicted synergies between physical stressors, which are predicted to increase in intensity with climate change, and competitive forces on biomass as stresses increase. en
dc.relation.ispartof Ecology and Evolution en
dc.title Can community structure track sea-level rise? Stress and competitive controls in tidal wetlands en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 142204
dc.identifier.doi 10.1002/ece3.2758
rft.jtitle Ecology and Evolution
rft.volume 7
rft.issue 4
rft.spage 1276
rft.epage 1285
dc.description.SIUnit SERC en
dc.description.SIUnit Peer-reviewed en
dc.citation.spage 1276
dc.citation.epage 1285

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