Experimental warming altered plant functional traits and their coordination in a permafrost ecosystem

作  者:Wei B, Zhang DY, Wang GQ, Liu Y, Li QL, Zheng ZH, Yang GB, Peng YF, Niu KC, Yang YH*
刊物名称:New Phytologist
卷:  期:  页码:DOI: 10.1111/nph.19115


Knowledge about changes in plant functional traits is valuable for the mechanistic understanding of warming effects on ecosystem functions. However, observations have tended to focus on aboveground plant traits, and there is little information about changes in belowground plant traits or the coordination of above- and belowground traits under climate warming, particularly in permafrost ecosystems.

Based on a 7-yr field warming experiment, we measured 26 above- and belowground plant traits of four dominant species, and explored community functional composition and trait networks in response to experimental warming in a permafrost ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau.

Experimental warming shifted community-level functional traits toward more acquisitive values, with earlier green-up, greater plant height, larger leaves, higher photosynthetic resource-use efficiency, thinner roots, and greater specific root length and root nutrient concentrations. However, warming had a negligible effect in terms of functional diversity. In addition, warming shifted hub traits which have the highest centrality in the network from specific root area to leaf area.

These results demonstrate that above- and belowground traits exhibit consistent adaptive strategies, with more acquisitive traits in warmer environments. Such changes could provide an adaptive advantage for plants in response to environmental change.