Canadian Forest Service Publications

Environmental and biotic controls on bryophyte productivity along forest to peatland ecotones. 2007. Bauer, I.E.; Tirlea, D.; Bhatti, J.S.; Errington, R.C. Canadian Journal of Botany 85(5): 463-475.

Year: 2007

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 27397

Language: English

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Bryophyte growth and production can be critical measurements in quantifying carbon input into peatlands. For any species, total biomass produced in a given year is determined by three main factors: abundance of the species, bulk density, and annual (length) increment. We examined the relationship of these parameters to environmental factors (water table depth, tree canopy cover) and biotic interactions (presence of other species) in seven common peatland bryophytes. Correlations suggest that bulk density changed in response to environmental variation in Sphagnum angustifolium (C. Jens. ex Russ.) C. Jens. in Tolf, Sphagnum fuscum (Schimp.) Klinggr., and Aulacomnium palustre (Hedw.) Schwaegr., and it remained constant in Pleurozium schreberi (Brid.) Mitt., Hylocomium splendens (Hedw.) Schimp. in B.S.G., Tomenthypnum nitens (Hedw.) Loeske, and Hamatocaulis vernicosus (Mitt.) Hedenäs. Length increment was dependent on water table depth in S. angustifolium, P. schreberi, and Hamatocaulis vernicosus, and changed with canopy cover in H. splendens at one of two sites examined. Overall, our results suggest that (i) in some species, changes in bulk density are likely to be an important component of changes in productivity in response to environmental variation; (ii) local vigour tends to increase with abundance, but may not do so in all cases; and (iii) phenomena such as biotic interactions and environmental extremes may lead to non-linearity of productivity responses to environmental change.