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      Impact of Temperature and Nutrients on Carbon: Nutrient Tissue Stoichiometry of Submerged Aquatic Plants: An Experiment and Meta-Analysis

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          Human activity is currently changing our environment rapidly, with predicted temperature increases of 1–5°C over the coming century and increased nitrogen and phosphorus inputs in aquatic ecosystems. In the shallow parts of these ecosystems, submerged aquatic plants enhance water clarity by resource competition with phytoplankton, provide habitat, and serve as a food source for other organisms. The carbon:nutrient stoichiometry of submerged aquatic plants can be affected by changes in both temperature and nutrient availability. We hypothesized that elevated temperature leads to higher carbon:nutrient ratios through enhanced nutrient-use efficiency, while nutrient addition leads to lower carbon:nutrient ratios by the luxurious uptake of nutrients. We addressed these hypotheses with an experimental and a meta-analytical approach. We performed a full-factorial microcosm experiment with the freshwater plant Elodea nuttallii grown at 10, 15, 20, and 25°C on sediment consisting of pond soil/sand mixtures with 100, 50, 25, and 12.5% pond soil. To address the effect of climatic warming and nutrient addition on the carbon:nutrient stoichiometry of submerged freshwater and marine plants we performed a meta-analysis on experimental studies that elevated temperature and/or added nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus). In the microcosm experiment, C:N ratios of Elodea nuttallii decreased with increasing temperature, and this effect was most pronounced at intermediate nutrient availability. Furthermore, higher nutrient availability led to decreased aboveground C:P ratios. In the meta-analysis, nutrient addition led to a 25, 22, and 16% reduction in aboveground C:N and C:P ratios and belowground C:N ratios, accompanied with increased N content. No consistent effect of elevated temperature on plant stoichiometry could be observed, as very few studies were found on this topic and contrasting results were reported. We conclude that while nutrient addition consistently leads to decreased carbon:nutrient ratios, elevated temperature does not change submerged aquatic plant carbon:nutrient stoichiometry in a consistent manner. This effect is rather dependent on nutrient availability and may be species-specific. As changes in the carbon:nutrient stoichiometry of submerged aquatic plants can impact the transfer of energy to higher trophic levels, these results suggest that eutrophication may enhance plant consumption and decomposition, which could in turn have consequences for carbon sequestration.

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          Simultaneous inference is a common problem in many areas of application. If multiple null hypotheses are tested simultaneously, the probability of rejecting erroneously at least one of them increases beyond the pre-specified significance level. Simultaneous inference procedures have to be used which adjust for multiplicity and thus control the overall type I error rate. In this paper we describe simultaneous inference procedures in general parametric models, where the experimental questions are specified through a linear combination of elemental model parameters. The framework described here is quite general and extends the canonical theory of multiple comparison procedures in ANOVA models to linear regression problems, generalized linear models, linear mixed effects models, the Cox model, robust linear models, etc. Several examples using a variety of different statistical models illustrate the breadth of the results. For the analyses we use the R add-on package multcomp, which provides a convenient interface to the general approach adopted here. Copyright 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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                Author and article information

                Front Plant Sci
                Front Plant Sci
                Front. Plant Sci.
                Frontiers in Plant Science
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                04 May 2017
                : 8
                1Department of Aquatic Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology Wageningen, Netherlands
                2Department of Biology, Utrecht University Utrecht, Netherlands
                Author notes

                Edited by: James Joseph Elser, University of Montana, USA

                Reviewed by: Evelyn Elaine Gaiser, Florida International University, USA; Paul Frost, Trent University, Canada

                *Correspondence: Mandy Velthuis m.velthuis@

                This article was submitted to Functional Plant Ecology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Plant Science

                Copyright © 2017 Velthuis, van Deelen, van Donk, Zhang and Bakker.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 1, Equations: 2, References: 57, Pages: 11, Words: 7781
                Plant Science
                Original Research


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