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warmXtrophic: plant community responses to direct and herbivore-mediated indirect effects of climate warming across multiple years at KBS LTER, Gull Lake, Michigan and UMBS, Pellston, Michigan

Climate change has both direct and indirect effects on ecological communities. Whereas most climate change ecology experiments manipulate abiotic drivers to measure direct effects of climate on species or communities, fewer quantify the indirect effects through biotic interactions, especially over multiple sites and years. In this factorial experiment we manipulate temperature through open-top chambers, and the level of insect herbivory through insecticide. At two early successional field sites separated by 3 degrees of latitude and 3°C of mean annual temperature (University of Michigan Biological Station, Pellston, MI and Kellogg Biological Station, Hickory Corners, MI), 6 replicate 1-m2 plots per treatment were installed in May 2015. 12 plots per site are at ambient temperature, 12 are warmed with year-round non-UV filtering polycarbonate and wood frame construction OTCs for tall-stature plants (Welshofer et al. 2018 MEE). Insecticide reduces insect herbivory in half the plots (Welshofer et al. 2018 Oecologia). Over the course of the experiment, OTCs warmed the plant communities by 1.9°C-3.0°C on average over the growing season. Each year, through 2021, plant traits and community responses were measured at the species level: plant phenology (green-up, flowering, flowering duration, seed set); plant percent cover (aerial % cover of the 1m2 plot); plant traits (specific leaf area, C and N content), herbivory damage to leaves, and plant species biomass (only in 2021). Further methodological details are found within each response variable metadata. This experiment is ongoing and further data package updates are planned. L0 data is available upon request. R scripts can be found here: The biotic and abiotic community context and relative strengths of direct vs. indirect effects may yield ecological surprises under climate change unless addressed together. Large-scale experiments like this one can improve our ability to understand and forecast ecological responses to climate change, especially how biotic interactions mediate species responses to climate change across biotic and abiotic contexts.
Release Date
Dataset DOI
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POINT (-85.387630462646 42.405872088084)
POINT (-84.68013882637 45.56151937768)
Temporal Coverage
Thursday, January 1, 2015 - 00:00 to Friday, December 31, 2021 - 00:00
Moriah Young
Contact Name
UMBS Data Manager
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Publication Date: 
Thursday, December 21, 2023
Zarnetske, P., K.C. Dobson, M. Hammond, and M.L. Young. 2023. warmXtrophic: plant community responses to direct and herbivore-mediated indirect effects of climate warming across multiple years at Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Ecological Research Si