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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-397
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-397
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  05 Nov 2020

05 Nov 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Reviews and Syntheses: Impacts of plant silica – herbivore interactions on terrestrial biogeochemical cycling

Bernice C. Hwang1 and Daniel B. Metcalfe1,2 Bernice C. Hwang and Daniel B. Metcalfe
  • 1Lund University, Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Sölvegaten 12, Lund, 223 62, Sweden
  • 2Umeå University, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Linnaeus väg 6, Umeå, 901 87, Sweden

Abstract. Researchers have known for decades that silicon plays a major role in biogeochemical and plant-soil processes in terrestrial systems. Meanwhile, plant biologists continue to uncover a growing list of benefits derived from silicon to combat abiotic and biotic stresses, such as defense against herbivory. Yet despite growing recognition of herbivores as important ecosystem engineers, many major gaps remain in our understanding of how silicon and herbivory interact to shape biogeochemical processes, particularly in natural systems. We review and synthesize 119 available studies directly investigating silicon and herbivory to summarize key trends and highlight research gaps and opportunities. Categorizing studies by multiple ecosystem, plant, and herbivore characteristics, we find substantial evidence for a wide variety of important interactions between plant silicon and herbivory, but highlight the need for more research particularly in non-graminoid dominated vegetation outside of the temperate biome as well as on the potential effects of herbivory on silicon cycling. Continuing to overlook silicon-herbivory dynamics in natural ecosystems limits our understanding of potentially critical animal-plant-soil feedbacks necessary to inform land management decisions and to refine global models of environmental change.

Bernice C. Hwang and Daniel B. Metcalfe

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Bernice C. Hwang and Daniel B. Metcalfe

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Silicon-herbivory articles 1900-2019 Bernice Hwang https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.12026997

Bernice C. Hwang and Daniel B. Metcalfe

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Latest update: 25 Nov 2020
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Short summary
Despite growing recognition of herbivores as important ecosystem engineers, many major gaps remain in our understanding of how silicon and herbivory interact to shape biogeochemical processes. We highlight the need for more research particularly in natural settings as well as on the potential effects of herbivory on terrestrial silicon cycling to understand potentially critical animal-plant-soil feedbacks.
Despite growing recognition of herbivores as important ecosystem engineers, many major gaps...
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