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Silicon-vegetation interaction in multiple ecosystems: a review
Schoelynck, J.; Müller, F.; Vandevenne, F.; Bal, K.; Barão, L.; Smis, A.; Opdekamp, W.; Meire, P.; Struyf, E. (2014). Silicon-vegetation interaction in multiple ecosystems: a review. J. Veg. Sci. 25(1): 301-313. hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jvs.12055
In: Journal of vegetation science. Opulus. ISSN 1100-9233; e-ISSN 1654-1103, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Brackish water; Fresh water; Terrestrial
Author keywords
    Carbon sequestration;Interdisciplinary;Land use;Lowland river;Mountains;Nature management;Tidal wetlands

Authors  Top 
  • Schoelynck, J., more
  • Müller, F.
  • Vandevenne, F., more

Abstract
    QuestionHow does the interaction between silicon (Si) and vegetation affect local and global ecological processes, higher levels of ecological organization, and terrestrial- and watershed-scale Si fluxes?LocationWe selected several ecosystems throughout the world, from river headwaters to estuaries, being examples of (i) terrestrial vegetation, (ii) aquatic and floodplain vegetation, and (iii) tidal wetland vegetation.MethodsWe provide examples of the importance of linking Si use by terrestrial and aquatic vegetation, to larger-scale Si flux consequences towards and through rivers. Cross-disciplinary studies achieve the best understanding of vegetation effects on the global Si cycle, and the role of Si as a plant functional trait.ConclusionSi use by plants has not always received the research attention of other elements. Yet, today the importance of Si for plant functioning is slowly becoming better understood. Silicon is a crucial element for many plant species, being important for decomposition processes, plant competitiveness and stress tolerance. The inclusion by vegetation scientists of Si uptake as a plant functional trait is important to assess links between plant physiology, plant distribution and plant tolerance to environmental changes, but also to understand the role of vegetation on Si fluxes through the watershed. However, lack of knowledge regarding the biological control of the Si cycle hinders accurate quantification. Only a concerted effort bringing scientists together from a broad array of disciplines will provide this new direction for research on vegetation–Si cycling.

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