Seasonal water availability predicts the relative abundance of C3 and C4 grasses in Australia

Brett Murphy, David Bowman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Aim: Numerous studies have examined the climatic factors that influence the abundance of C4 species within the grass flora (C4 relative species richness) in various regions throughout the world, but very few have examined the relative abundance of C4 vs. C3 grasses (C4 relative abundance). We sought to determine the climatic factors that influence C4 relative abundance throughout Australia. Location: Australia (including Tasmania). Methods: We measured C4 relative abundance at 168 locations and measured ?13C (the abundance of 13C relative to 12C) of the bone collagen of 779 kangaroos collected throughout Australia, as bone collagen ?13C was assumed to be proportional to the relative abundance of C 4 grasses in the diet. Results: Both C4 relative abundance and kangaroo bone collagen ?13C were found to have a strong positive relationship with seasonal water availability, i.e. the distribution of rainfall in the C4 vs. C3 growing seasons (76% and 69% of deviance explained, respectively). There was clear evidence that seasonal water availability was a better predictor of both C4 relative abundance and bone collagen ?13C than other climate variables such as mean annual temperature and January daily minimum temperature. However, seasonal water availability appeared to be a relatively poor predictor of C4 relative species richness, which was most closely related to January daily minimum temperature (90% of deviance explained). Main conclusions: Our results highlight the relatively poor relationship between C4 relative abundance and C4 relative species richness, and suggest that these two variables may be related to different climatic factors. They also suggest that caution is required when using C4 relative species richness to infer the relative biomass and productivity of C4 grasses on a global scale. � 2006 The Authors Journal compilation � 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)160-169
    Number of pages10
    JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
    Volume16
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Fingerprint

    water availability
    collagen
    relative abundance
    climatic factors
    bones
    grass
    grasses
    species diversity
    Macropodidae
    bone
    species richness
    water
    temperature
    C4 plants
    Tasmania
    flora
    growing season
    climate
    rain
    biomass

    Cite this

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    title = "Seasonal water availability predicts the relative abundance of C3 and C4 grasses in Australia",
    abstract = "Aim: Numerous studies have examined the climatic factors that influence the abundance of C4 species within the grass flora (C4 relative species richness) in various regions throughout the world, but very few have examined the relative abundance of C4 vs. C3 grasses (C4 relative abundance). We sought to determine the climatic factors that influence C4 relative abundance throughout Australia. Location: Australia (including Tasmania). Methods: We measured C4 relative abundance at 168 locations and measured ?13C (the abundance of 13C relative to 12C) of the bone collagen of 779 kangaroos collected throughout Australia, as bone collagen ?13C was assumed to be proportional to the relative abundance of C 4 grasses in the diet. Results: Both C4 relative abundance and kangaroo bone collagen ?13C were found to have a strong positive relationship with seasonal water availability, i.e. the distribution of rainfall in the C4 vs. C3 growing seasons (76{\%} and 69{\%} of deviance explained, respectively). There was clear evidence that seasonal water availability was a better predictor of both C4 relative abundance and bone collagen ?13C than other climate variables such as mean annual temperature and January daily minimum temperature. However, seasonal water availability appeared to be a relatively poor predictor of C4 relative species richness, which was most closely related to January daily minimum temperature (90{\%} of deviance explained). Main conclusions: Our results highlight the relatively poor relationship between C4 relative abundance and C4 relative species richness, and suggest that these two variables may be related to different climatic factors. They also suggest that caution is required when using C4 relative species richness to infer the relative biomass and productivity of C4 grasses on a global scale. � 2006 The Authors Journal compilation � 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.",
    keywords = "abundance, biomass, carbon, climate effect, flora, grass, photosynthesis, productivity, species richness, stable isotope, water availability, Australasia, Australia, Macropodidae, Macropus, Poaceae",
    author = "Brett Murphy and David Bowman",
    year = "2007",
    language = "English",
    volume = "16",
    pages = "160--169",
    journal = "Global Ecology and Biogeography",
    issn = "1466-822X",
    publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
    number = "2",

    }

    Seasonal water availability predicts the relative abundance of C3 and C4 grasses in Australia. / Murphy, Brett; Bowman, David.

    In: Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2007, p. 160-169.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Seasonal water availability predicts the relative abundance of C3 and C4 grasses in Australia

    AU - Murphy, Brett

    AU - Bowman, David

    PY - 2007

    Y1 - 2007

    N2 - Aim: Numerous studies have examined the climatic factors that influence the abundance of C4 species within the grass flora (C4 relative species richness) in various regions throughout the world, but very few have examined the relative abundance of C4 vs. C3 grasses (C4 relative abundance). We sought to determine the climatic factors that influence C4 relative abundance throughout Australia. Location: Australia (including Tasmania). Methods: We measured C4 relative abundance at 168 locations and measured ?13C (the abundance of 13C relative to 12C) of the bone collagen of 779 kangaroos collected throughout Australia, as bone collagen ?13C was assumed to be proportional to the relative abundance of C 4 grasses in the diet. Results: Both C4 relative abundance and kangaroo bone collagen ?13C were found to have a strong positive relationship with seasonal water availability, i.e. the distribution of rainfall in the C4 vs. C3 growing seasons (76% and 69% of deviance explained, respectively). There was clear evidence that seasonal water availability was a better predictor of both C4 relative abundance and bone collagen ?13C than other climate variables such as mean annual temperature and January daily minimum temperature. However, seasonal water availability appeared to be a relatively poor predictor of C4 relative species richness, which was most closely related to January daily minimum temperature (90% of deviance explained). Main conclusions: Our results highlight the relatively poor relationship between C4 relative abundance and C4 relative species richness, and suggest that these two variables may be related to different climatic factors. They also suggest that caution is required when using C4 relative species richness to infer the relative biomass and productivity of C4 grasses on a global scale. � 2006 The Authors Journal compilation � 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

    AB - Aim: Numerous studies have examined the climatic factors that influence the abundance of C4 species within the grass flora (C4 relative species richness) in various regions throughout the world, but very few have examined the relative abundance of C4 vs. C3 grasses (C4 relative abundance). We sought to determine the climatic factors that influence C4 relative abundance throughout Australia. Location: Australia (including Tasmania). Methods: We measured C4 relative abundance at 168 locations and measured ?13C (the abundance of 13C relative to 12C) of the bone collagen of 779 kangaroos collected throughout Australia, as bone collagen ?13C was assumed to be proportional to the relative abundance of C 4 grasses in the diet. Results: Both C4 relative abundance and kangaroo bone collagen ?13C were found to have a strong positive relationship with seasonal water availability, i.e. the distribution of rainfall in the C4 vs. C3 growing seasons (76% and 69% of deviance explained, respectively). There was clear evidence that seasonal water availability was a better predictor of both C4 relative abundance and bone collagen ?13C than other climate variables such as mean annual temperature and January daily minimum temperature. However, seasonal water availability appeared to be a relatively poor predictor of C4 relative species richness, which was most closely related to January daily minimum temperature (90% of deviance explained). Main conclusions: Our results highlight the relatively poor relationship between C4 relative abundance and C4 relative species richness, and suggest that these two variables may be related to different climatic factors. They also suggest that caution is required when using C4 relative species richness to infer the relative biomass and productivity of C4 grasses on a global scale. � 2006 The Authors Journal compilation � 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

    KW - abundance

    KW - biomass

    KW - carbon

    KW - climate effect

    KW - flora

    KW - grass

    KW - photosynthesis

    KW - productivity

    KW - species richness

    KW - stable isotope

    KW - water availability

    KW - Australasia

    KW - Australia

    KW - Macropodidae

    KW - Macropus

    KW - Poaceae

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    M3 - Article

    VL - 16

    SP - 160

    EP - 169

    JO - Global Ecology and Biogeography

    JF - Global Ecology and Biogeography

    SN - 1466-822X

    IS - 2

    ER -