More salt, please: global patterns, responses and impacts of foliar sodium in grasslands

E. T. Borer, E. M. Lind, J. Firn, E. W. Seabloom, T. M. Anderson, E. S. Bakker, L. Biederman, K. J. La Pierre, A. S. MacDougall, J. L. Moore, A. C. Risch, M. Schutz, C. J. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterResearchpeer-review

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1136-1144
Number of pages9
JournalEcology Letters
Volume22
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Biogeography
  • herbivory
  • nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, micronutrients
  • Nutrient Network (NutNet)
  • plant taxonomy

Cite this

Borer, E. T., Lind, E. M., Firn, J., Seabloom, E. W., Anderson, T. M., Bakker, E. S., ... Stevens, C. J. (2019). More salt, please: global patterns, responses and impacts of foliar sodium in grasslands. Ecology Letters, 22(7), 1136-1144. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13270
Borer, E. T. ; Lind, E. M. ; Firn, J. ; Seabloom, E. W. ; Anderson, T. M. ; Bakker, E. S. ; Biederman, L. ; La Pierre, K. J. ; MacDougall, A. S. ; Moore, J. L. ; Risch, A. C. ; Schutz, M. ; Stevens, C. J. / More salt, please : global patterns, responses and impacts of foliar sodium in grasslands. In: Ecology Letters. 2019 ; Vol. 22, No. 7. pp. 1136-1144.
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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.",
keywords = "Biogeography, herbivory, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, micronutrients, Nutrient Network (NutNet), plant taxonomy",
author = "Borer, {E. T.} and Lind, {E. M.} and J. Firn and Seabloom, {E. W.} and Anderson, {T. M.} and Bakker, {E. S.} and L. Biederman and {La Pierre}, {K. J.} and MacDougall, {A. S.} and Moore, {J. L.} and Risch, {A. C.} and M. Schutz and Stevens, {C. J.}",
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Borer, ET, Lind, EM, Firn, J, Seabloom, EW, Anderson, TM, Bakker, ES, Biederman, L, La Pierre, KJ, MacDougall, AS, Moore, JL, Risch, AC, Schutz, M & Stevens, CJ 2019, 'More salt, please: global patterns, responses and impacts of foliar sodium in grasslands' Ecology Letters, vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 1136-1144. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13270

More salt, please : global patterns, responses and impacts of foliar sodium in grasslands. / Borer, E. T.; Lind, E. M.; Firn, J.; Seabloom, E. W.; Anderson, T. M.; Bakker, E. S.; Biederman, L.; La Pierre, K. J.; MacDougall, A. S.; Moore, J. L.; Risch, A. C.; Schutz, M.; Stevens, C. J.

In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 22, No. 7, 2019, p. 1136-1144.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - More salt, please

T2 - global patterns, responses and impacts of foliar sodium in grasslands

AU - Borer, E. T.

AU - Lind, E. M.

AU - Firn, J.

AU - Seabloom, E. W.

AU - Anderson, T. M.

AU - Bakker, E. S.

AU - Biederman, L.

AU - La Pierre, K. J.

AU - MacDougall, A. S.

AU - Moore, J. L.

AU - Risch, A. C.

AU - Schutz, M.

AU - Stevens, C. J.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - Biogeography

KW - herbivory

KW - nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, micronutrients

KW - Nutrient Network (NutNet)

KW - plant taxonomy

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U2 - 10.1111/ele.13270

DO - 10.1111/ele.13270

M3 - Letter

VL - 22

SP - 1136

EP - 1144

JO - Ecology Letters

JF - Ecology Letters

SN - 1461-023X

IS - 7

ER -

Borer ET, Lind EM, Firn J, Seabloom EW, Anderson TM, Bakker ES et al. More salt, please: global patterns, responses and impacts of foliar sodium in grasslands. Ecology Letters. 2019;22(7):1136-1144. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13270