Vegetation responses to altered nutrient pools on seismic lines

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Kimberly Kleinke, Scott J. Davidson , Maria Strack

Publication Date:

Seismic lines decades old remain in early stages of succession, especially those through peatlands, with restoration often being unsuccessful. P. mariana is a target species for restoration but has poor establishment and survival on the lines while graminoids and shrubs such as R. groenlandicum colonize the lines. P. mariana needles, R. groenlandicum leaves, and peat were sampled from restored seismic lines and surrounding natural areas near Cold Lake, Alberta. Plant and peat were analyzed for total carbon (TC), nitrogen (TN) and phosphorus (TP), δ13C, and δ15N. Vegetation surveys were also conducted. Although peat TN increased on the lines, the heavier peat δ15N on the lines indicated a change and potential loss in available N. Foliar TN for both plant species was unchanged. However, the two plant species showed different foliar δ15N responses on the lines to changing peat TN and δ15N, which would suggest either different N acquiring strategies or different N sources. Additionally, TP for R. groenlandicum increased on the lines despite peat TP remaining unchanged. Both plant species showed the same foliar δ13C response with lighter foliar δ13C on older lines and heavier δ13C on newer lines. R. groenlandicum may be more effectively colonizing seismic lines due to adaptations allowing for more competitive nutrient uptake.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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