Ecological Research

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 593–606

Winter climate change in plant–soil systems: summary of recent findings and future perspectives

  • Kobayashi Makoto
  • Takuya Kajimoto
  • Lina Koyama
  • Gaku Kudo
  • Hideaki Shibata
  • Yosuke Yanai
  • J. H. C. Cornelissen
Special Feature Winter Climate Change

DOI: 10.1007/s11284-013-1115-0

Cite this article as:
Makoto, K., Kajimoto, T., Koyama, L. et al. Ecol Res (2014) 29: 593. doi:10.1007/s11284-013-1115-0

Abstract

The winter climate is changing in many parts of the world, and it is predicted that winter climate change will modify the structure and function of plant–soil systems. An understanding of these changes and their consequences in terrestrial ecosystems requires knowledge of the linkage between above- and below-ground components as well as the species interactions found in plant–soil systems, which have important implications for biogeochemical cycles. However, winter climate-change studies have focused on only a part of the ecosystem or ecological process. We summarize here recent findings related to the effects of winter climate and its changes on soil nitrogen (N) dynamics, greenhouse gas (N2O) emissions from the soil, N use by individual plants, vegetation development, and interactions between vegetation and pollinators to generate an integrative understanding of the response of the plant–soil system to winter climate change. This review indicates that the net effects on plants, soil microbes, pollinators, and the associated biogeochemical cycles are balanced among several processes and are highly variable depending on the context, such as the target species/functional group, original winter condition of the habitat, and type of climate change. The consequences of winter climate change for species interactions among plants, associated animals, and biogeochemical cycles are largely unknown. For further research, a large-scale comparative study to measure ecosystem-level functions is important, especially in less-cold ecosystems.

Keywords

NitrogenSpecies interactionContext dependenceComparative study designWinter–summer relationshipEcosystem service

Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kobayashi Makoto
    • 1
    • 8
  • Takuya Kajimoto
    • 2
  • Lina Koyama
    • 3
  • Gaku Kudo
    • 4
  • Hideaki Shibata
    • 5
  • Yosuke Yanai
    • 6
  • J. H. C. Cornelissen
    • 7
  1. 1.Graduate School of Environment and Information SciencesYokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Forestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of InformaticsKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Faculty of Environmental Earth ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  5. 5.Field Science Center for Northern BiosphereHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  6. 6.NARO Institute of Vegetable and Tea ScienceTsukubaJapan
  7. 7.System Ecology, Department of Ecological Science, Faculty of Earth and Life SciencesVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  8. 8.Nakagawa Experimental Forest, Field Science Center for Northern BiosphereHokkaido UniversityOtoineppuJapan