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Flowering in the Rich Fen Species Eriophorum latifolium Depends on Climate and Reproduction in the Previous Year

Abstract

In this long-term study, we identify the climate variables most important to flowering density in Eriophorum latifolium in boreal rich fen vegetation, and assess their relative importance. We analysed time-series data (1982–2008) of flowering density in 126 permanent plots in an oceanic and a continental area in Norway, and developed an autoregressive model where the density of flowering plants was determined by the cost of previous flowering, climate during the same year as flowering, and climate during the year prior to flowering. The cost of reproduction was the most influential of the factors affecting flowering. Our results suggest that dry conditions during the previous summer affected flowering negatively in the oceanic population, but had no effect in the continental population. We attribute this to differences in hydrology, with steeply sloping fens in the oceanic area, and gently sloping, spring-fed fens in the continental area. Furthermore, flowering increased with the length of the previous growing season (oceanic population), decreased with the amount of precipitation during the previous spring (continental population), and increased with temperature in spring the same year (both populations). We conclude that climate conditions during the previous year are more important than climate conditions during the year of flowering.

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Acknowledgements

Many have contributed to the collection of the data used in this paper, and we mention Dag-Inge Øien especially. We would also like to thank Håkan Rydin, Kristian Hassel and three anonymous reviewers for comments and suggestions. This study is part of a PhD project that was funded by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The paper is a contribution to the research project “Mires and Climate” in the Polish-Norwegian research programme.

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Lyngstad, A., Moen, A. & Pedersen, B. Flowering in the Rich Fen Species Eriophorum latifolium Depends on Climate and Reproduction in the Previous Year. Wetlands 37, 1–13 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157-016-0794-z

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Keywords

  • Boreal region
  • Long-term study
  • Mire
  • Peatland
  • Time-series
  • Weather