Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: October 2012

8 - Responses of a Biological Crust Moss to Increased Monsoon Precipitation and Nitrogen Deposition in the Mojave Desert

Summary

Introduction

Global climate change in the Mojave Desert will likely result in a greater intensity of summer (monsoon) rain events and greater N deposition. The nitrogen cycle has already been significantly altered by human activities to the extent that anthropogenically released N now equals natural terrestrial biological fixation (Vitousek et al. 1997; Galloway 1998). Because most bryophytes receive the bulk of their nutrients from direct atmospheric deposition (Bates 2000), this influx of N can affect the productivity of individual species and thus may alter bryophyte community structure and function. In addition to N deposition, global change models for the southwestern USA predict significant increases in summer precipitation in the northern Mojave Desert (Taylor & Penner 1994; Higgins & Shi 2001). The interaction between increased N deposition and an increased monsoon effect on bryophytes in the arid southwestern USA is largely unknown. Although growth rates of desert bryophytes are relatively low compared with bryophytes in more mesic ecosystems, the contribution of biological soil crusts (a community of cyanobacteria, mosses, lichens, algae, and fungi) to the global cycling of trace gases can be significant in regard to global budgets (Zaady et al. 2000).

Most field studies have found a rapid negative effect of N fertilization on the growth and productivity of mosses, with nutrient uptake a function of desiccation regime, temperature, and light. For several bryophyte species, high experimental N deposition rates decreased biomass production except in a widely tolerant species of Sphagnum (Jauhiainen et al. 1998).

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
References
Bakken, S. (1995). Effects of nitrogen supply and irradiance on growth and nitrogen status in the moss Dicranum majus from differently polluted areas. Journal of Bryology 18: 707–21.
Barker, D. H., Vanier, C., Naumburg, E.et al. (2006). Enhanced monsoon precipitation and nitrogen deposition affect leaf traits and photosynthesis differently in spring and summer in the desert shrub Larrea tridentata. New Phytologist 169: 799–808.
Barker, D. H., Stark, L. R., Zimpfer, J. F., McLetchie, N. D. & Smith, S. D. (2005). Evidence of drought-induced stress on biotic crust moss in the Mojave Desert. Plant, Cell & Environment 28: 939–47.
Bates, J. W. (1997). Effects of intermittent desiccation on nutrient economy and growth of two ecologically contrasted mosses. Annals of Botany 79: 299–309.
Bates, J. W. (2000). Mineral nutrition, substratum ecology, and pollution. In Bryophyte Biology, ed. Shaw, A. J. & Goffinet, B., pp. 248–311. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Belnap, J. & Lange, O. L. (2001). Biological Soil Crusts: Structure, Function, and Management. Ecological Studies Vol. 150. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Belnap, J., Phillips, S. L. & Miller, M. E. (2004). Response of desert biological soil crusts to alterations in precipitation frequency. Oecologia 141: 306–16.
Berendse, F., Breemen, N., Rydin, H.et al. (2001). Raised atmospheric CO2 levels and increased N deposition cause shifts in plant species composition and production in Sphagnum bogs. Global Change Biology 7: 591–8.
Bergamini, A. & Peintinger, M. (2002). Effects of light and nitrogen on morphological plasticity of the moss Calliergonella cuspidata. Oikos 96: 355–63.
Bisang, I. & Ehrlén, J. (2002). Reproductive effort and cost of sexual reproduction in female Dicranum polysetum Sw. Bryologist 105: 384–97.
Bowker, M. A. (2007). Biological soil crust rehabilitation in theory and practice: an underexploited opportunity. Restoration Ecology 15: 13–23.
Bowker, M. A., Stark, L. R., McLetchie, D. N. & Mishler, B. D. (2000). Sex expression, skewed sex ratios, and microhabitat distribution in the dioecious desert moss Syntrichia caninervis (Pottiaceae). American Journal of Botany 87: 517–26.
Bragazza, L., Tahvanainen, T., Kutnar, L.et al. (2004). Nutritional constraints in ombrotrophic Sphagnum plants under increasing atmospheric nitrogen deposition in Europe. New Phytologist 163: 609–16.
Bragazza, L., Limpens, J., Gerdol, R.et al. (2005). Nitrogen concentration and δ15N signature of ombrotrophic Sphagnum mosses at different N deposition levels in Europe. Global Change Biology 11: 106–14.
Chapin, F. S., Shaver, G. R., Giblin, A. E., Nadelhoffer, K. J. & Laundre, J. A. (1995). Responses of arctic tundra to experimental and observed changes in climate. Ecology 76: 694–711.
Heras, J. de las & Herranz, J. M. (1996). The role of bryophytes in the nitrogen dynamics of soils affected by fire in Mediterranean forests (southeastern Spain). Ecoscience 3: 199–204.
Galloway, J. N. (1998). The global nitrogen cycle: changes and consequences. Environmental Pollution 102 (Suppl. 1): 15–24.
Garcia-Pichel, F. & Pringault, O. (2001). Cyanobacteria track water in desert soils. Nature 413: 380–1.
Higgins, R. W. & Shi, W. (2001). Intercomparison of the principal modes of interannual and intraseasonal variability of the North American Monsoon System. Journal of Climate 14: 403–17.
Hoagland, D. & Arnon, D. I. (1938). The water culture method for growing plants without soil. California Agricultural Experiment Station Circular 347: 1–39.
Hunter, R. B. (1994). Status of flora and fauna on the Nevada Test Site, 1994. National Technical Information Service 89: 590–6 (DOE/NV/11432-195 UC-721U.S.). Springfield: Department of Commerce.
Huxman, T. E., Snyder, K. A., Tissue, D.et al. (2004). Precipitation pulses and carbon fluxes in semiarid and arid ecosystems. Oecologia 141: 254–68.
Jägerbrand, A. K., Molau, U. & Alatalo, J. M. (2003). Responses of bryophytes to simulated environmental change at Latnjajaure, northern Sweden. Journal of Bryology 25: 163–8.
Jauhiainen, J., Silvola, J. & Vasander, H. (1998). Effects of increased carbon dioxide and nitrogen supply on mosses. In Bryology for the Twenty-first Century, ed. Bates, J. W., Ashton, N. W. & Duckett, J. G., pp. 343–60. Leeds: British Bryological Society.
Jordan, D. N., Zitzer, S. F., Hendrey, G. R.et al. (1999). Biotic, abiotic and performance aspects of the Nevada Desert Free-air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) Facility. Global Change Biology 5: 659–68.
Li, Y. & Glime, J. M. (1990). Growth and nutrient ecology of two Sphagnum species. Hikobia 10: 445–51.
Limpens, J., Tomassen, H. B. M. & Berendse, F. (2003). Expansion of Sphagnum fallax in bogs: striking the balance between N and P availability. Journal of Bryology 25: 83–90.
Longton, R. E. (1994). Reproductive biology in bryophytes: the challenge and the opportunities. Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory 76: 159–72.
Mishler, B. D. (1988). Reproductive ecology of bryophytes. In Plant Reproductive Ecology: Patterns and Strategies, ed. Doust, J. Lovett & Doust, L. Lovett, pp. 285–306. New York: Oxford University Press.
Mitchell, E. A. D., Buttler, A., Grosvernier, P.et al. (2002). Contrasted effects of increased N and CO2 supply on two keystone species in peatland restoration and implications for global change. Journal of Ecology 90: 529–33.
Oliver, M. J., Velten, J. & Wood, A. J. (2000). Bryophytes as experimental models for the study of environmental stress tolerance: Tortula ruralis and desiccation-tolerance in mosses. Plant Ecology 151: 73–84.
Pearce, I. S. K., Woodin, S. J. & Wal, R. (2003). Physiological and growth responses of the montane bryophyte Racomitrium lanuginosum to atmospheric nitrogen deposition. New Phytologist 160: 145–55.
Press, M. C., Potter, J. A., Burke, M. J. W., Callaghan, T. V. & Lee, J. A. (1998). Responses of a subarctic dwarf shrub heath community to simulated environmental change. Journal of Ecology 86: 315–27.
,SAS (1994). SAS/STAT User's Guide, v. 6, 4th edn, vol. I. Cary, NC: SAS Institute.
Saarnio, S. (1999). Carbon gas (CO2, CH4) exchange in a boreal oligotrophic mire – effects of raised CO2 and NH4NO3 supply. University of Joensuu Publications in Sciences 56: 1–29.
Schonbeck, M. W. & Bewley, J. D. (1981). Responses of the moss Tortula ruralis to desiccation treatments. I. Effects of minimum water content and rates of dehydration and rehydration. Canadian Journal of Botany 59: 2698–706.
Smith, S. D., Monson, R. K. & Anderson, J. E. (1997). Physiological Ecology of North American Desert Plants. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Sonesson, M., Carlsson, B. A., Callaghan, T. V.et al. (2002). Growth of two peat-forming mosses in subarctic mires: species interactions and effects of simulated climate change. Oikos 99: 151–60.
Stark, L. R., McLetchie, D. N. & Mishler, B. D. (2001). Sex expression and sex dimorphism in sporophytic populations of the desert moss Syntrichia caninervis. Plant Ecology 157: 183–96.
Stark, L. R. (2002a). New frontiers in bryology: phenology and its repercussions on the reproductive ecology of mosses. Bryologist 105: 204–18.
Stark, L. R. (2002b). Skipped reproductive cycles and extensive sporophyte abortion in the desert moss Tortula inermis correspond to unusual rainfall patterns. Canadian Journal of Botany 80: 533–42.
Stark, L. R., Mishler, B. D. & McLetchie, D. N. (1998) Sex expression and growth rates in natural populations of the desert soil crustal moss Syntrichia caninervis. Journal of Arid Environments 40: 401–16.
Taylor, K. E. & Penner, J. (1994). Responses of the climate system to atmospheric aerosols and greenhouse gases. Nature 369: 734–7.
Wal, R., Pearce, I. S. K. & Brooker, R. W. (2005). Mosses and the struggle for light in a nitrogen-polluted world. Oecologia 142: 159–68.
Tooren, B. F., Dam, D. & During, H. J. (1990). The relative importance of precipitation and soil as sources of nutrients for Calliergonella cuspidata in a chalk grassland. Functional Ecology 4: 101–7.
Vitousek, P. M., Aber, J. D., Howarth, R. W.et al. (1997). Human alteration of the global nitrogen cycle: sources and consequences. Ecological Applications 7: 737–50.
Zaady, E., Kuhn, U., Wilske, B., Sandoval-Soto, L. & Kesselmeier, J. (2000). Patterns of CO2 exchange in biological soil crusts of successional age. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 32: 959–66.