Abstract Detail

Stress-tolerant mosses: adaptations to life on the edge, from genes to ecosystems

Anenberg, Jasmine [1], Bowker, Matthew [2], Antoninka, Anita [2].

Determining functional roles of soil mosses to improve restoration efforts in western Montana rangelands.

Drylands are increasingly threatened by land-use disturbances, and restoration strategies are needed that take the extreme climatic challenges of these systems into consideration. The incorporation of plant functional traits into a framework for function-based ecosystem restoration has been explored extensively over the last two decades, but there are few studies on non-vascular organisms. Based on previous surveys conducted on retired rangelands in western Montana, the bryophyte diversity, along with other biocrust organisms, is comparable to the diversity of vascular plants. However, we lack the same understanding of their functional roles, which could be key to their restoration. We examined the functional diversity of bryophytes and other biocrusts by selecting 40 sites representative of all combinations of diversity, cover, and composition, accounting for disturbance history and climatic and environmental variation. We then conducted a suite of ecosystem measurements for nutrient cycling, nitrogen fixation, infiltration, and primary production, and used this data to determine the relative importance of cover and diversity on ecosystem function, both individually and collectively. To calculate bryophyte functional diversity, we combined their relative abundances with traits measured on nine of the most ubiquitous species across the study area. As many rangelands face a hotter and drier future, this study can help inform the selection of bryophyte and other biocrust species based on their desired ecosystem function for more targeted restoration efforts.

1 - Northern Arizona University, School of Forestry, 200 East Pine Knoll Drive, Flagstaff, AZ, 86011, United States
2 - Northern Arizona University, School of Forestry, Flagstaff, AZ, United States


Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: C5011
Abstract ID:994
Candidate for Awards:A. J. Sharp Award,Physiological Section Physiological Section Li-COR Prize,Economic Botany Section best student paper,Physiological Section Best Paper Presentation

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