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Flowering, seed production and seed mass in a species-rich temperate grassland exposed to FACE and warming


Hovenden, MJ and Wills, KE and Vanderschoor, JK and Chaplin, RE and Williams, AL and Nolan, M and Newton, PCD, Flowering, seed production and seed mass in a species-rich temperate grassland exposed to FACE and warming, Australian Journal of Botany, 55, (8) pp. 780-794. ISSN 0067-1924 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1071/BT07107


Long-term effects of climate change on plant communities must be mediated by reproductive and recruitment responses of component species. From spring 2003 until autumn 2006, we monitored flowering and seed-production responses to free air CO 2 enrichment (FACE) and 2°C warming in a species-rich, nutrient-poor southern temperate grassland, by using the TasFACE experiment. There were no effects of either FACE or warming on the proportion of species flowering in any year. Flowering, seed production and seed mass were not significantly affected by FACE, warming or their interaction in most species. Some species, however, did respond significantly to simulated global changes. These responses generally were not governed by life history, but there were two distinct trends. First, warming increased the proportion of the population that flowered in perennial grasses but not in other species types. Second, flowering and seed production of both perennial woody dicots responded strongly to the interaction of FACE and warming, with Bossiaea prostrata producing most seeds in warmed FACE plots and Hibbertia hirsuta producing the most in unwarmed FACE plots. FACE increased seed mass 4-fold in the perennial C 3 grass Elymus scaber (P < 0.01) but substantially reduced seed mass of the perennial C 3 grass Austrodanthonia caespitosa (P < 0.02) and the perennial forb Hypochaeris radicata (P < 0.02), with the remainder of species unaffected. Our results indicate that warming and elevated CO 2 had little effect on seed production in the temperate grassland ecosystem. The few significant affects there were, however, are likely to have substantial implications for community composition and structure. © CSIRO 2007.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Other biological sciences
Research Field:Global change biology
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Pasture, browse and fodder crops
Objective Field:Pasture, browse and fodder crops not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hovenden, MJ (Professor Mark Hovenden)
UTAS Author:Wills, KE (Dr Karen Wills)
UTAS Author:Vanderschoor, JK (Mrs Jacqueline Vanderschoor)
UTAS Author:Williams, AL (Miss Amity Williams)
UTAS Author:Nolan, M (Ms Michaela Nolan)
ID Code:50239
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:22
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2008-05-17

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