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More salt, please: global patterns, responses and impacts of foliar sodium in grasslands
Ecology Letters
  • E. T. Borer, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • E. M. Lind, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • J. Firn, Queensland University of Technology
  • E. W. Seabloom, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • T. M. Anderson, Wake Forest University
  • E. S. Bakker, Netherlands Institute of Ecology
  • L. A. Biederman, Iowa State University
  • K. J. La Pierre, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
  • A. S. MacDougall, University of Guelph
  • J. L. Moore, Monash University
  • A. C. Risch, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research
  • M. Schutz, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research
  • C. J. Stevens, Lancaster University
Document Type
Article
Publication Version
Published Version
Publication Date
1-1-2019
DOI
10.1111/ele.13270
Abstract

Sodium is unique among abundant elemental nutrients, because most plant species do not require it for growth or development, whereas animals physiologically require sodium. Foliar sodium influences consumption rates by animals and can structure herbivores across landscapes. We quantified foliar sodium in 201 locally abundant, herbaceous species representing 32 families and, at 26 sites on four continents, experimentally manipulated vertebrate herbivores and elemental nutrients to determine their effect on foliar sodium. Foliar sodium varied taxonomically and geographically, spanning five orders of magnitude. Site‐level foliar sodium increased most strongly with site aridity and soil sodium; nutrient addition weakened the relationship between aridity and mean foliar sodium. Within sites, high sodium plants declined in abundance with fertilisation, whereas low sodium plants increased. Herbivory provided an explanation: herbivores selectively reduced high nutrient, high sodium plants. Thus, interactions among climate, nutrients and the resulting nutritional value for herbivores determine foliar sodium biogeography in herbaceous‐dominated systems.

Comments

This article is published as Borer, E. T., E. M. Lind, J. Firn, E. W. Seabloom, T. M. Anderson, E. S. Bakker, L. Biederman et al. "More salt, please: global patterns, responses and impacts of foliar sodium in grasslands." Ecology Letters (2019). doi: 10.1111/ele.13270.

Rights
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
Language
en
File Format
application/pdf
Citation Information
E. T. Borer, E. M. Lind, J. Firn, E. W. Seabloom, et al.. "More salt, please: global patterns, responses and impacts of foliar sodium in grasslands" Ecology Letters (2019)
Available at: http://0-works.bepress.com.library.simmons.edu/lori_biederman/22/