Biogeochemical impacts of climate warming and atmospheric nitrogen deposition in peatlands: an aboveground-belowground perspective

Luca Bragazza1
1 WSL-EPF Lausanne (Switzerland) & University of Ferrara (Italy)

Key Note 4 in Plenary Keynotes

15.07.2014, 14:15-15:00

In terrestrial ecosystems, interactions between aboveground and belowground systems have important consequences for regulating population dynamics, ecosystem structure and ecosystem function. The complexity of possible interactions can change in space and time and can also differ across ecosystems. In addition, the alteration of abiotic conditions, both at local and global scale, can complicate the plant-soil feedback ultimately resulting in a change of the entire ecosystem. Understanding the complexity of the aboveground-belowground interactions in response to human-induced environmental changes can then allow a better prediction of ecosystem responses. In this talk, I will focus on peat-accumulating ecosystems (= peatlands) and, more specifically, how climate change and increasing atmospheric nitrogen deposition can affect plant-soil interactions. By means of some published and unpublished results, I will discuss how climate-induced change of vegetation cover (the aboveground system) can affect the structure and the function of soil microbial community (the belowground system) and how this can further feedback on plants in terms of nutrient acquisition. For what concerns the effect of nitrogen deposition, the talk will focus on the structural and functional changes of soil microbes in response to nitrogen fertilization and how the associated changes of plant litter chemistry can feedback on microbial decomposition.

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last modified 2014-05-14