Title: The use of open-top chambers in forests for evaluating warming effects on herbaceous understorey plants
Authors: De Frenne, Pieter ×
De Schrijver, An
Graae, Bente
Gruwez, Robert
Tack, Wesley
Vandelook, Filip
Hermy, Martin
Verheyen, Kris #
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Ecological Society of Japan
Series Title: Ecological Research vol:25 issue:1 pages:163-171
Abstract: Open-top chambers (OTCs) are widely used
experimental warming devices in open-field ecosystems
such as tundra and alpine heath. However, knowledge of
their performance in temperate deciduous forest ecosystems
is largely lacking. The application of OTCs in forests
might become important in the future since the effects of
climate warming on growth, reproduction, and future
distribution of understorey forest herbs have rarely been
investigated. Therefore, polycarbonateOTCs coveredwith
(OTCs+GF) and without permeable polypropylene
GardenFleece (OTCsGF) were installed in a temperate
deciduous forest to create an experimental warming gradient.
Short-term responses in phenology, growth, and
reproduction of amodel understorey forest herb (Anemone
nemorosa L.) to OTC installation were determined. In a
second growing season, an in-depth study of multiple
abiotic conditions inside OTCsGF was performed. Both
OTCs+GF and OTCsGF raised air and soil temperature
in a realistic manner (ca. +0.4C to+1.15C), but
OTCsGF only in the leafless period (up to +1.5C
monthly average soil temperature). The early flowering
forest herb A. nemorosa also showed a clear phenotypic
response to OTC installation. Based on these facts and the
large ecological drawbacks associated with OTCs+GF
(mostly in connection with a higher relative air humidity
and a lower light quantity) and very modest abiotic changes
in OTCsGF, we encourage the use of OTCsGF in
deciduous forest ecosystems for evaluating climatewarming
effects on early flowering understorey forest
herbs. There is also a potential to use this warmingmethod
on later flowering species, but this needs further research.
ISSN: 0912-3814
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Plant Systematics and Ecology Section - miscellaneous
Division Forest, Nature and Landscape Research
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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