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Sample records for alpine tundra

  1. Carbon cycling of alpine tundra ecosystems on Changbai Mountain and its comparison with arctic tundra

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DAI; Limin(代力民); WU; Gang(吴钢); ZHAO; Jingzhu(赵景柱); KONG; Hongmei(孔红梅); SHAO; Guofan(邵国凡); DENG; Hongbing(邓红兵)

    2002-01-01

    The alpine tundra on Changbai Mountain was formed as a left-over ‘island' in higher elevations after the glacier retrieved from the mid-latitude of Northern Hemisphere to the Arctic during the fourth ice age. The alpine tundra on Changbai Mountain also represents the best-reserved tundra ecosystems and the highest biodiversity in northeast Eurasia. This paper examines the quantity of carbon assimilation, litters, respiration rate of soil, and storage of organic carbon within the alpine tundra ecosystems on Changbai Mountain. The annual net storage of organic carbon was 2092 t/a, the total storage of organic carbon was 33457 t, the annual net storage of organic carbon in soil was 1054 t/a, the total organic carbon storage was 316203 t, and the annual respiration rate of soil was 92.9% and was 0.52 times more than that of the Arctic. The tundra-soil ecosystems in alpine Changbai Mountain had 456081 t of carbon storage, of which, organic carbon accounted for 76.7% whereas the mineral carbon accounted for 23.3%.

  2. Snowmelt runoff from northern alpine tundra hillslopes: major processes and methods of simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. L. Quinton

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available In northern alpine tundra, large slope gradients, late-lying snow drifts and shallow soils overlying impermeable substrates all contribute to large hillslope runoff volumes during the spring freshet. Understanding the processes and pathways of hillslope runoff in this environment is, therefore, critical to understanding the water cycle within northern alpine tundra ecosystems. This study: (a presents the results of a field study on runoff from a sub-alpine tundra hillslope with a large snow drift during the spring melt period; (b identifies the major runoff processes that must be represented in simulations of snowmelt runoff from sub-alpine tundra hillslopes; (c describes how these processes can be represented in a numerical simulation model; and d compares field measurements with modelled output to validate or refute the conceptual understanding of runoff generation embodied in the process simulations. The study was conducted at Granger Creek catchment, 15 km south of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, on a north-facing slope below a late-lying snow drift. For the freshet period, the major processes to be represented in a runoff model include the rate of meltwater release from the late-lying snowdrift, the elevation and thickness of the saturated layer, the magnitude of the soil permeability and its variation with depth. The daily cycle of net all-wave radiation was observed to drive the diurnal pulses of melt water from the drift; this, in turn, was found to control the daily pulses of flow through the hillslope subsurface and in the stream channel. The computed rate of frost table lowering fell within the observed values; however, there was wide variation among the measured frost table depths. Spatial variability in frost table depth would result in spatial variabilities in saturated layer depth and thickness, which would, in turn, produce variations in subsurface flow rates over the slope, including preferential flowpaths. Keywords

  3. Alpine forest-tundra ecotone response to temperature change, Sayan Mountains, Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kharuk, V.; Jon, R.; Im, S.

    2007-12-01

    Models of climate change predict shifts of vegetation zones. Tree response to climate trends is most likely observable in the forest-tundra ecotone, where temperature mainly limits tree growth. There is evidence of vegetation change on the northern treeline However, observations on alpine tree line response are controversial. In this NEESPI related study we show that during the past three decades in the forest-tundra ecotone of the Sayan Mountains, Siberia, there was an increase in forest stand crown closure, regeneration propagation into the alpine tundra, and transformation of prostrate Siberian pine and fir into arboreal forms. We found that these changes occurred since the mid 1980s, and strongly correlates with positive temperature (and to a lesser extent, precipitation) trends. Improving climate for forest growth( i.e., warmer temperatures and increased precipitation) provides competitive advantages to Siberian pine in the alpine forest-tundra ecotone, as well as in areas typically dominated by larch, where it has been found to be forming a secondary canopy layer. Substitution of deciduous conifer, larch, for evergreen conifers, decreases albedo and provides positive feedback for temperature increase.

  4. Alpine forest-tundra ecotone response to temperature change,Sayan Mountains, Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranson, K Jon; Kharuk, Vyetcheslav I.

    2007-01-01

    Models of climate change predict shifts of vegetation zones. Tree response to climate trends is most likely observable in the forest-tundra ecotone, where temperature mainly limits tree growth. There is evidence of vegetation change on the northern treeline However, observations on alpine tree line response are controversial. In this NEESPI related study we show that during the past three decades in the forest-tundra ecotone of the Sayan Mountains, Siberia, there was an increase in forest stand crown closure, regeneration propagation into the alpine tundra, and transformation of prostrate Siberian pine and fir into arboreal forms. We found that these changes occurred since the mid 1980s, and strongly correlates with positive temperature (and to a lesser extent, precipitation) trends. Improving climate for forest growth( i.e., warmer temperatures and increased precipitation) provides competitive advantages to Siberian pine in the alpine forest-tundra ecotone, as well as in areas typically dominated by larch, where it has been found to be forming a secondary canopy layer. Substitution of deciduous conifer, larch, for evergreen conifers, decreases albedo and provides positive feedback for temperature increase.

  5. Microbial diversity in alpine tundra soils correlates with snow cover dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinger, Lucie; Shahnavaz, Bahar; Baptist, Florence; Geremia, Roberto A; Choler, Philippe

    2009-07-01

    The temporal and spatial snow cover dynamics is the primary factor controlling the plant communities' composition and biogeochemical cycles in arctic and alpine tundra. However, the relationships between the distribution of snow and the diversity of soil microbial communities remain largely unexplored. Over a period of 2 years, we monitored soil microbial communities at three sites, including contiguous alpine meadows of late and early snowmelt locations (LSM and ESM, respectively). Bacterial and fungal communities were characterized by using molecular fingerprinting and cloning/sequencing of microbial ribosomal DNA extracted from the soil. Herein, we show that the spatial and temporal distribution of snow strongly correlates with microbial community composition. High seasonal contrast in ESM is associated with marked seasonal shifts for bacterial communities; whereas less contrasted seasons because of long-lasting snowpack in LSM is associated with increased fungal diversity. Finally, our results indicate that, similar to plant communities, microbial communities exhibit important shifts in composition at two extremes of the snow cover gradient. However, winter conditions lead to the convergence of microbial communities independently of snow cover presence. This study provides new insights into the distribution of microbial communities in alpine tundra in relation to snow cover dynamics, and may be helpful in predicting the future of microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles in arctic and alpine tundra in the context of a warmer climate.

  6. Wet meadow ecosystems contribute the majority of overwinter soil respiration from snow-scoured alpine tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, John F.; Blanken, Peter D.; Williams, Mark W.

    2016-04-01

    We measured soil respiration across a soil moisture gradient ranging from dry to wet snow-scoured alpine tundra soils throughout three winters and two summers. In the absence of snow accumulation, soil moisture variability was principally determined by the combination of mesotopographical hydrological focusing and shallow subsurface permeability, which resulted in a patchwork of comingled ecosystem types along a single alpine ridge. To constrain the subsequent carbon cycling variability, we compared three measures of effective diffusivity and three methods to calculate gradient method soil respiration from four typical vegetation communities. Overwinter soil respiration was primarily restricted to wet meadow locations, and a conservative estimate of the rate of overwinter soil respiration from snow-scoured wet meadow tundra was 69-90% of the maximum carbon dioxide (CO2) respired by seasonally snow-covered soils within this same catchment. This was attributed to higher overwinter soil temperatures at wet meadow locations relative to fellfield, dry meadow, and moist meadow communities, which supported liquid water and heterotrophic respiration throughout the winter. These results were corroborated by eddy covariance-based measurements that demonstrated an average of 272 g C m-2 overwinter carbon loss during the study period. As a result, we updated a conceptual model of soil respiration versus snow cover to express the potential for soil respiration variability from snow-scoured alpine tundra.

  7. Response of rhizosphere soil microbial to Deyeuxia angustifolia encroaching in two different vegetation communities in alpine tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lin; Xing, Ming; Lv, Jiangwei; Wang, Xiaolong; Chen, Xia

    2017-02-01

    Deyeuxia angustifolia (Komarov) Y. L Chang is an herb species originating from the birch forests in the Changbai Mountain. Recently, this species has been found encroaching into large areas in the western slopes of the alpine tundra in the Changbai Mountain, threatening the tundra ecosystem. In this study, we systematically assessed the response of the rhizosphere soil microbial to D. angustifolia encroaching in alpine tundra by conducting experiments for two vegetation types (shrubs and herbs) by real-time PCR and Illumina Miseq sequencing methods. The treatments consisted of D. angustifolia sites (DA), native sites (NS, NH) and encroaching sites (ES, EH). Our results show that (1) Rhizosphere soil properties of the alpine tundra were significantly impacted by D. angustifolia encroaching; microbial nutrient cycling and soil bacterial communities were shaped to be suitable for D. angustifolia growth; (2) The two vegetation community rhizosphere soils responded differently to D. angustifolia encroaching; (3) By encroaching into both vegetation communities, D. angustifolia could effectively replace the native species by establishing positive plant-soil feedback. The strong adaptation and assimilative capacity contributed to D. angustifolia encroaching in the alpine tundra. Our research indicates that D. angustifolia significantly impacts the rhizosphere soil microbial of the alpine tundra.

  8. Nitrogen deposition but not climate warming promotes Deyeuxia angustifolia encroachment in alpine tundra of the Changbai Mountains, Northeast China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Shengwei; Jin, Yinghua; Xu, Jiawei; Wu, Zhengfang; He, Hongshi; Du, Haibo; Wang, Lei

    2016-02-15

    Vegetation in the alpine tundra area of the Changbai Mountains, one of two alpine tundra areas in China, has undergone great changes in recent decades. The aggressive herb species Deyeuxia angustifolia (Komarov) Y. L. Chang, a narrow-leaf small reed, was currently encroaching upon the alpine landscape and threatening tundra biota. The alpine tundra of the Changbai Mountains has been experiencing a warmer climate and receiving a high load of atmospheric nitrogen deposition. In this study, we aimed to assess the respective roles of climate warming and atmospheric nitrogen deposition in promoting the upward encroachment of D. angustifolia. We conducted experiments for three years to examine the response of D. angustifolia and a native alpine shrub, Rhododendron chrysanthum, to the conditions in which temperature and nitrogen were increased. Treatments consisting of temperature increase, nitrogen addition, temperature increase combined with nitrogen addition, and controls were conducted on the D. angustifolia communities with three encroachment levels (low, medium, and high levels). Results showed that 1) D. angustifolia grew in response to added nutrients but did not grow well when temperature increased. R. chrysanthum showed negligible responses to the simulated environmental changes. 2) Compared to R. chrysanthum, D. angustifolia could effectively occupy the above-ground space by increasing tillers and growing rapidly by efficiently using nitrogen. The difference in nitrogen uptake abilities between the two species contributed to expansion of D. angustifolia. 3) D. angustifolia encroachment could deeply change the biodiversity of tundra vegetation and may eventually result in the replacement of native biota, especially with nitrogen addition. Our research indicated that nutrient perturbation may be more important than temperature perturbation in promoting D. angustifolia encroachment upon the nutrient- and species-poor alpine tundra ecosystem in the Changbai

  9. Impacts of twenty years of experimental warming on soil carbon, nitrogen, moisture and soil across alpine/subarctic tundra communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    M. Alatalo, Juha; K. Jägerbrand, Annika; Juhanson, Jaanis

    2017-01-01

    High-altitude and alpine areas are predicted to experience rapid and substantial increases in future temperature, which may have serious impacts on soil carbon, nutrient and soil fauna. Here we report the impact of 20 years of experimental warming on soil properties and soil mites in three...... contrasting plant communities in alpine/subarctic Sweden. Long-term warming decreased juvenile oribatid mite density, but had no effect on adult oribatids density, total mite density, any major mite group or the most common species. Long-term warming also caused loss of nitrogen, carbon and moisture from...... be important for buffering mites from global warming. The results indicated that juvenile mites may be more vulnerable to global warming than adult stages. Importantly, the results also indicated that global warming may cause carbon and nitrogen losses in alpine and tundra mineral soils and that its effects...

  10. Distinct soil bacterial communities along a small-scale elevational gradient in alpine tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Congcong eShen

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The elevational diversity pattern for microorganisms has received great attention recently but is still understudied, and phylogenetic relatedness is rarely studied for microbial elevational distributions. Using a bar-coded pyrosequencing technique, we examined the biodiversity patterns for soil bacterial communities of tundra ecosystem along 2000–2500 m elevations on Changbai Mountain in China. Bacterial taxonomic richness displayed a linear decreasing trend with increasing elevation. Phylogenetic diversity and mean nearest taxon distance (MNTD exhibited a unimodal pattern with elevation. Bacterial communities were more phylogenetically clustered than expected by chance at all elevations based on the standardized effect size of MNTD metric. The bacterial communities differed dramatically among elevations, and the community composition was significantly correlated with soil total carbon, total nitrogen, C:N ratio, and dissolved organic carbon. Multiple ordinary least squares regression analysis showed that the observed biodiversity patterns strongly correlated with soil total carbon and C:N ratio. Taken together, this is the first time that a significant bacterial diversity pattern has been observed across a small-scale elevational gradient. Our results indicated that soil carbon and nitrogen contents were the critical environmental factors affecting bacterial elevational distribution in Changbai Mountain tundra. This suggested that ecological niche-based environmental filtering processes related to soil carbon and nitrogen contents could play a dominant role in structuring bacterial communities along the elevational gradient.

  11. Biomass distributions in dwarf tree, krummholz, and tundra vegetation in the alpine treeline ecotone

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Alpine treeline ecotones are expected to respond to climate change with shifts in biomass patterns and carbon dynamics; however, the nature of these shifts and the current structure of carbon storage at treeline remain poorly understood. Biomass at treeline sites in Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana was measured in different aboveground carbon pools. Notably large proportions of biomass were recorded in compartments of dead material (~64% in upright tree cover, ~82% in krummholz). The stor...

  12. The effects of chronic nitrogen fertilization on alpine tundra soil microbial communities: implications for carbon and nitrogen cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemergut, Diana R; Townsend, Alan R; Sattin, Sarah R; Freeman, Kristen R; Fierer, Noah; Neff, Jason C; Bowman, William D; Schadt, Christopher W; Weintraub, Michael N; Schmidt, Steven K

    2008-11-01

    Many studies have shown that changes in nitrogen (N) availability affect primary productivity in a variety of terrestrial systems, but less is known about the effects of the changing N cycle on soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. We used a variety of techniques to examine the effects of chronic N amendments on SOM chemistry and microbial community structure and function in an alpine tundra soil. We collected surface soil (0-5 cm) samples from five control and five long-term N-amended plots established and maintained at the Niwot Ridge Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) site. Samples were bulked by treatment and all analyses were conducted on composite samples. The fungal community shifted in response to N amendments, with a decrease in the relative abundance of basidiomycetes. Bacterial community composition also shifted in the fertilized soil, with increases in the relative abundance of sequences related to the Bacteroidetes and Gemmatimonadetes, and decreases in the relative abundance of the Verrucomicrobia. We did not uncover any bacterial sequences that were closely related to known nitrifiers in either soil, but sequences related to archaeal nitrifiers were found in control soils. The ratio of fungi to bacteria did not change in the N-amended soils, but the ratio of archaea to bacteria dropped from 20% to less than 1% in the N-amended plots. Comparisons of aliphatic and aromatic carbon compounds, two broad categories of soil carbon compounds, revealed no between treatment differences. However, G-lignins were found in higher relative abundance in the fertilized soils, while proteins were detected in lower relative abundance. Finally, the activities of two soil enzymes involved in N cycling changed in response to chronic N amendments. These results suggest that chronic N fertilization induces significant shifts in soil carbon dynamics that correspond to shifts in microbial community structure and function.

  13. Establishing a missing link: warm summers and winter snow cover promote shrub expansion into alpine tundra in Scandinavia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallinger, Martin; Manthey, Michael; Wilmking, Martin

    2010-06-01

    *Shrub expansion in alpine and arctic areas is a process with possibly profound implications for ecosystem functioning. The recent shrub expansion has been mainly documented by remote sensing techniques, but the drivers for this process largely remain hypotheses. *Here, we outline a dendrochronological method, adapted to shrubs, to address these hypotheses and then present a mechanism for the current shrub expansion by linking recent climate change to shrub growth performance in northern Sweden. *A pronounced increase in radial and vertical growth during recent decades along an elevational gradient from treeline to shrubline indicates an ongoing shrub expansion. Age distribution of the shrub population indicates the new colonization of shrubs at high elevations. *Shrub growth is correlated with warm summers and winter snow cover and suggests the potential for large-scale ecosystem changes if climate change continues as projected.

  14. Changes in the alpine forest-tundra ecotone commensurate with recent warming in southcentral Alaska: Evidence from orthophotos and field plots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dial, Roman J.; Berg, Edward E.; Timm, Katriina; McMahon, Alissa; Geck, Jason

    2007-12-01

    The complex response of the forest-tundra ecotone (FT) to climate change may not generalize well geographically. We document FT changes in a nonpermafrost region of southcentral Alaska during a known warming period. Using 1951 and 1996 orthophotos overlain on digital elevation models across 800 km2 of the west Kenai Mountains, we identified cover classes and topography for 978 random points and the highest closed-canopy conifer patches along 205 random altitudinal gradients. Results show 29% of FT area increased in woodiness, with closed-canopy forest expanding 14%/decade and shrubs 4%/decade; unvegetated areas decreased 17.4%/decade and tundra 5%/decade. Area of open woodland remained constant but changed location. Timberline, estimated using both the 205 altitudinal gradients and the upper quartile elevations of closed-canopy forest among the 978 points, rose very little. Tree line, identified using upper quartiles of open woodland, rose ˜50 m on cool, northerly aspects, but not on other aspects. Dendrochronology on high-elevation seedlings showed a congruence between decadal recruitment and regional changes in climate from 1945 to 2005. Patterns observed in the climatic FT of the Kenai Mountains corroborate other studies that show regional and landscape specificity of the structural response of FT to climate change. FT shifted upwards on cooler, presumably more mesic aspects near seed sources; however, on warm aspects the density of shrubs and trees increased, but FT did not rise. If current conditions continue for the next 50-100 years, the Kenai FT will markedly change to a far woodier landscape with less tundra and more closed-canopy forest.

  15. IMPACT OF CRITICAL ANION SOIL SOLUTION CONCENTRATION ON ALUMINUM ACTIVITY IN ALPINE TUNDRA SOIL Andrew Evans, Jr.1 , Michael B. Jacobs2, and Jason R. Janke1, (1) Metropolitan State University of Denver, Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, (2) Dept. of Chemistry, Denver, CO, United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, A.

    2015-12-01

    Soil solution anionic composition can impact both plant and microbial activity in alpine tundra soils by altering biochemical cycling within the soil, either through base cation leaching, or shifts in aluminum controlling solid phases. Although anions play a critical role in the aqueous speciation of metals, relatively few high altitude field studies have examined their impact on aluminum controlling solid phases and aluminum speciation in soil water. For this study, thirty sampling sites were selected on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO, and sampled during July, the middle of the growing season. Sampling elevations ranged from approximately 3560 - 3710 m. Soil samples were collected to a depth of 15.24 cm, and the anions were extracted using a 2:1 D.I. water to soil ratio. Filtered extracts were analyzed using IC and ICP-MS. Soil solution NO3- concentrations were significantly higher for sampling locations east of Iceberg Pass (EIBP) (mean = 86.94 ± 119.8 mg/L) compared to locations west of Iceberg Pass (WIBP) (mean 1.481 ± 2.444 mg/L). Both F- and PO43- soil solution concentrations, 0.533 and 0.440 mg/L, respectively, were substantially lower, for sampling sites located EIBP, while locations WIBP averaged 0.773 and 0.829 mg/L respectively, for F- and PO43-. Sulfate concentration averaged 3.869 ± 3.059 mg/L for locations EIBP, and 3.891 ± 3.1970 for locations WIBP. Geochemical modeling of Al3+ in the soil solution indicated that a suite of aluminum hydroxyl sulfate minerals controlled Al3+ activity in the alpine tundra soil, with shifts between controlling solid phases occurring in the presence of elevated F- concentrations.

  16. How to preserve the tundra in a warming climate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Käyhkö, Jukka

    2014-05-01

    The warming climate of the polar regions may change much of the current arctic-alpine tundra to forest or dense scrubland. This modification requires adaptation by traditional livelihoods such as reindeer herding, which relies on diverse, seasonal pasturelands. Vegetation change may also trigger positive warming feedbacks, where more abundant forest-scrub vegetation will decrease the global albedo. NCoE Tundra team investigates the complex climate-animal-plant interaction of the tundra ecosystem and aim to unravel the capability of herbivorous mammals to control the expansion of woody vegetation. Our interdisciplinary approach involves several work packages, whose results will be summarised in the presentation. In the ecological WPs, we study the dynamics of the natural food chains involving small herbivorous and the impacts of reindeer on the vegetation and the population dynamics of those arctic-alpine plants, which are most likely to become threatened in a warmer climate. Our study demonstrates the potential of a relatively sparse reindeer stocks (2-5 heads per km2) together with natural populations of arvicoline rodents to prevent the expansion of erect woody plants at the arctic-alpine timberline. In the climatic WPs we study the impact of grazing-dependent vegetation differences on the fraction of solar energy converted to heat. In the socio-economic WPs, we study the conditions for maintaining the economic and cultural viability of reindeer herding while managing the land use so that the arctic-alpine biota would be preserved.

  17. Soil nitrogen dynamics and productivity of snowpack Sanguisorba sitchensis community in alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain, China%长白山高山苔原雪斑大白花地榆群落土壤氮素动态与生产力的关系

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐倩倩; 刘琪璟; 张国春

    2011-01-01

    Aims Snowpack plant communities in alpine tundra are active in comparison with surrounding vegetation, despite the short growing season due to thick snow cover. Our objective was to understand the growth mechanism of snowpack communities.Methods The nutrient dynamics and primary productivity of snowpack Sanguisorba sitchensis community in alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain was investigated in different seasons.Important findings Soil temperature under snowpack during winter was warmer than snow-free areas, and the minimum temperature was significantly higher. Litter decomposition and nitrogen mineralization under snowpack were active even in winter, and nitrogen content was high with rapid mineralization. Annual net primary productivity was 4 046 kg·hm-2·a-1. The unique hydro-thermo conditions, nutrient cycling features and high leaf area index were key factors maintaining community structure and primary productivity.%在高山苔原冬季积雪覆盖的群落生长季短,但明显比周围群落生长茂盛.为了说明雪斑地段群落生长机理,对长白山苔原雪斑土壤氮素动态以及大白花地榆(Sanguisorba sitchensis)群落生产力进行了连续测定.雪斑群落土壤冬季相对温暖,最低日平均温度-1.4℃,裸露地段-16.9℃,全年水分条件充足;积雪期凋落物分解和氮矿化均在进行,土壤具有很高的氮素含量及矿化速率.大白花地榆地上部分净初级生产力为4 046 kg·hm·a.正是独特的水热条件和养分条件,以及具有很大的叶面积同化器官,高山苔原雪斑地段的大白花地榆群落才得以维持生存并表现出很高的生产力水平.

  18. Tundra in the rain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Keuper, Frida; Parmentier, Frans-Jan; Blok, Daan

    2012-01-01

    increments) and Arctagrostis latifolia (leaf size and specific leaf area), but none were observed at the Swedish site. Total biomass production did not increase at either of the study sites. This study corroborates studies in other tundra vegetation types and shows that despite regional differences...... tundra (northeast Siberia) and a dry Sphagnum fuscum-dominated bog (northern Sweden). Positive responses to approximately doubled ambient precipitation (an increase of 200 mm year-1) were observed at the Siberian site, for B. nana (30 % larger length increments), Salix pulchra (leaf size and length...... at the plant level, total tundra plant productivity is, at least at the short or medium term, largely irresponsive to experimentally increased summer precipitation....

  19. Seasonal dynamics in soil microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen and microbial quantity in a forest-alpine tundra ecotone, Eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China%青藏高原东缘高山森林-苔原交错带土壤微生物生物量碳、氮和可培养微生物数量的季节动态

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘洋; 张健; 闫帮国; 黄旭; 徐振锋; 吴福忠

    2012-01-01

    为了了解青藏高原东缘高山森林-苔原交错带土壤微生物的特征和季节变化,研究了米亚罗鹧鸪山原始针叶林、林线、树线、密灌丛、疏灌丛和高山草甸土壤微生物生物量碳(MBC)、氮(MBN)和可培养微生物数量的季节动态.结果表明,植被类型和季节动态对MBC、MBN和微生物数量都有显著影响.不同时期的微生物在各植被类型间分布有差异,植物生长季初期和生长季中期,树线以上群落的MBC高于树线下的群落,而到生长季未期恰恰相反,暗针叶林、林线和树线的MBC显著升高,各植被之间MBC的差异减小;微生物数量基本上也是以树线为界,树线以下群落土壤微生物数量显著低于树线以上群落,其中密灌丛的细菌数量最高;可培养微生物数量为生长季末期>生长季初期>生长季中期.生长季末期真菌数量显著增加,且MBC/MBN最高.统计分析表明,MBN与细菌、真菌、放线菌数量存在显著的相关关系,而MBC仅与真菌数量存在显著相关关系(p<0.05).植物生长季末期大量的凋落物输入和雪被覆盖可能是微生物季节变异的外在因素,而土壤微生物和高山植物对有效氮的竞争可能是微生物季节变异的内在因素.植物生长季初期对氮的吸收和土壤微生物在植物生长季末期对氮的固定加强了高山生态系统对氮的利用.气候变暖可能会延长高山植物的生长季,增加高山土壤微生物生物量,加速土壤有机质的分解,进而改变高山土壤碳的固存速率.%Aims The forest-alpine tundra ecotone is one of the most conspicuous climate-driven ecological boundaries. However, dynamics of soil microbial biomass and quantity during different stages of the growing season in the ecotone remain unclear. Our objective was to understand the temporal and spatial variations of microbial biomass and quantity to explore the main drivers in the ecotone. Methods We collected soil

  20. Legumes affect alpine tundra community composition via multiple biotic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soudzilovskaia, N.A.; Aksenova, A.A.; Makarov, M.I.; Onipchenko, V.G.; Logvinenko, O.A.; Braak, ter C.J.F.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.

    2012-01-01

    The soil engineering function of legumes in natural ecosystems is paramount but associated solely with soil nitrogen (N) subsidies, ignoring concomitant biotic interactions such as competitive or inhibitory effects and exchange between mycorrhizas and rhizobia. We aim to (1) disentangle legume effec

  1. Preliminary Observations of Water and Carbon Dioxide Fluxes Across an Alpine Treeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanken, P. D.; Williams, M.; Monson, R.; Burns, S.; Chowanski, K.; Ackerman, T.; Knowles, J.; Bailey, A.

    2007-12-01

    Several studies have shown that alpine treeline (timberline) is especially sensitive to environmental changes, and is therefore a strong "early-warning" indicator of regional climate change. Many of these changes may be induced by factors including local land use changes, and understanding the difference and dynamics of water and carbon dioxide fluxes across the alpine treeline is important to help understand and assess regional climate change. Preliminary observations of water and carbon dioxide fluxes from a recently installed eddy covariance tower situated over alpine tundra are compared to fluxes measured over adjacent subalpine forest. During June-July 2007, the carbon dioxide, latent heat, and sensible heat half-hour fluxes over the tundra were 69%, 50%, and 44% less than over the forest, respectively. The evaporative fraction, however, was similar for both sites, and the cumulative carbon uptake was only 40% less at the tundra site compared to the forest site. Describing the differences and dynamics of fluxes across the alpine treeline is the first step towards understanding how changes in land use are/will affect the alpine environment.

  2. An integrated geographic information system approach for modeling the suitability of conifer habitat in an alpine environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Stephen J.

    1998-01-01

    Alpine periglacial environments within the forest-alpine tundra ecotone (FATE) may be among the first to reflect changes in habitat characteristics as a consequence of climatic change. Previous FATE studies used Integrated Geographic Information System (IGIS) techniques to collect and model biophysical data but lacked the necessary detail to model the micro-scale patterns and compositions of habitat within alpine periglacial environments. This paper describes several promising data collection, integration, and cartographic modeling techniques used in an IGIS approach to model alpine periglacial environments in Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana, USA. High-resolution (I X I m) multi-spectral remote sensing data and differentially corrected Global Positioning System (DGPS) data were integrated with other biophysical data using a raster-based IGIS approach. Biophysical factors, hypothesized to influence the pattern and composition of the FATE and the alpine tundra ecosystem, were derived from the high-resolution remote sensing data, in-situ GPS data, high-resolution models of digital elevation, and other thematic data using image processing techniques and cartographic modeling. Suitability models of conifer habitat were created using indices generated from the IGIS database. This IGIS approach identified suitable conifer habitat within the FATE and permitted the modeling of micro-scale periglacial features and alpine tundra communities that are absent from traditional approaches of landscape-scale (30 X 30 m) modeling.

  3. Alpine dams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Marnezy

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Les barrages-réservoirs de montagne ont été réalisés initialement dans les Alpes pour répondre à la demande d’énergie en période hivernale. Une certaine diversification des usages de l’eau s’est ensuite progressivement développée, en relation avec le développement touristique des collectivités locales. Aujourd’hui, la participation des ouvrages d’Électricité De France à la production de neige de culture représente une nouvelle étape. Dans les régions où les aménagements hydroélectriques sont nombreux, les besoins en eau pour la production de neige peuvent être résolus par prélèvements à partir des adductions EDF. Les gestionnaires de stations échappent ainsi aux inconvénients liés à la construction et à la gestion des « retenues collinaires ». Cette évolution, qui concerne déjà quelques régions alpines comme la haute Maurienne ou le Beaufortin, apparaît comme une forme renouvelée d’intégration territoriale de la ressource en eau.Mountain reservoirs were initially built in the Alps to meet energy needs in the winter. A certain diversification in the uses of water then gradually developed, related to tourism development in the local communities. Today, the use of facilities belonging to EDF (French Electricity Authority to provide water for winter resorts to make artificial snow represents a new phase. By taking water from EDF resources to supply snow-making equipment, resort managers are thus able to avoid the problems related to the construction and management of small headwater dams. This new orientation in the use of mountain water resources already affects a number of alpine regions such as the Upper Maurienne valley and Beaufortain massif and represents a renewed form of the territorial integration of water resources.

  4. Analysis of nitrogen saturation potential in Rocky Mountain tundra and forest: implications for aquatic systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Jill S.; Ojima, Dennis S.; Holland, Elisabeth A.; Parton, William J.

    1994-01-01

    We employed grass and forest versions of the CENTURY model under a range of N deposition values (0.02–1.60 g N m−2 y−1) to explore the possibility that high observed lake and stream N was due to terrestrial N saturation of alpine tundra and subalpine forest in Loch Vale Watershed, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Model results suggest that N is limiting to subalpine forest productivity, but that excess leachate from alpine tundra is sufficient to account for the current observed stream N. Tundra leachate, combined with N leached from exposed rock surfaces, produce high N loads in aquatic ecosystems above treeline in the Colorado Front Range. A combination of terrestrial leaching, large N inputs from snowmelt, high watershed gradients, rapid hydrologic flushing and lake turnover times, and possibly other nutrient limitations of aquatic organisms constrain high elevation lakes and streams from assimilating even small increases in atmospheric N. CENTURY model simulations further suggest that, while increased N deposition will worsen the situation, nitrogen saturation is an ongoing phenomenon.

  5. Abiotic and biotic controls of spatial pattern at alpine treeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Xiao, Ningchuan; Alftine, K.J.; Bekker, Mathew; Butler, David R.; Brown, Daniel G.; Cairns, David M.; Fagre, Daniel; Walsh, Stephen J.

    2000-01-01

    At alpine treeline, trees and krummholz forms affect the environment in ways that increase their growth and reproduction. We assess the way in which these positive feedbacks combine in spatial patterns to alter the environment in the neighborhood of existing plants. The research is significant because areas of alpine tundra are susceptible to encroachment by woody species as climate changes. Moreover, understanding the general processes of plant invasion is important. The importance of spatial pattern has been recognized, but the spatial pattern of positive feedbacks per se has not been explored in depth. We present a linked set of models of vegetation change at an alpine forest-tundra ecotone. Our aim is to create models that are as simple as possible in order to test specific hypotheses. We present results from a model of the resource averaging hypothesis and the positive feedback switch hypothesis of treelines. We compare the patterns generated by the models to patterns observed in fine scale remotely sensed data.

  6. Plants in alpine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germino, Matthew J.

    2014-01-01

    Alpine and subalpine plant species are of special interest in ecology and ecophysiology because they represent life at the climate limit and changes in their relative abundances can be a bellwether for climate-change impacts. Perennial life forms dominate alpine plant communities, and their form and function reflect various avoidance, tolerance, or resistance strategies to interactions of cold temperature, radiation, wind, and desiccation stresses that prevail in the short growing seasons common (but not ubiquitous) in alpine areas. Plant microclimate is typically uncoupled from the harsh climate of the alpine, often leading to substantially warmer plant temperatures than air temperatures recorded by weather stations. Low atmospheric pressure is the most pervasive, fundamental, and unifying factor for alpine environments, but the resulting decrease in partial pressure of CO2 does not significantly limit carbon gain by alpine plants. Factors such as tree islands and topographic features create strong heterogeneous mosaics of microclimate and snow cover that are reflected in plant community composition. Factors affecting tree establishment and growth and formation of treeline are key to understanding alpine ecology. Carbohydrate and other carbon storage, rapid development in a short growing season, and physiological function at low temperature are prevailing attributes of alpine plants. A major contemporary research theme asks whether chilling at alpine-treeline affects the ability of trees to assimilate the growth resources and particularly carbon needed for growth or whether the growth itself is limited by the alpine environment. Alpine areas tend to be among the best conserved, globally, yet they are increasingly showing response to a range of anthropogenic impacts, such as atmospheric deposition.

  7. Arctic shrubification mediates the impacts of warming climate on changes to tundra vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mod, Heidi K.; Luoto, Miska

    2016-12-01

    Climate change has been observed to expand distributions of woody plants in many areas of arctic and alpine environments—a phenomenon called shrubification. New spatial arrangements of shrubs cause further changes in vegetation via changing dynamics of biotic interactions. However, the mediating influence of shrubification is rarely acknowledged in predictions of tundra vegetation change. Here, we examine possible warming-induced landscape-level vegetation changes in a high-latitude environment using species distribution modelling (SDM), specifically concentrating on the impacts of shrubification on ambient vegetation. First, we produced estimates of current shrub and tree cover and forecasts of their expansion under climate change scenarios to be incorporated to SDMs of 116 vascular plants. Second, the predictions of vegetation change based on the models including only abiotic predictors and the models including abiotic, shrub and tree predictors were compared in a representative test area. Based on our model predictions, abundance of woody plants will expand, thus decreasing predicted species richness, amplifying species turnover and increasing the local extinction risk for ambient vegetation. However, the spatial variation demonstrated in our predictions highlights that tundra vegetation can be expected to show a wide variety of different responses to the combined effects of warming and shrubification, depending on the original plant species pool and environmental conditions. We conclude that realistic forecasts of the future require acknowledging the role of shrubification in warming-induced tundra vegetation change.

  8. Koyukuk NWR tundra/trumpeter swan survey

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A tundra/trumpeter swan survey was conducted on the Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge from 14 August to 23 August 1984. Twenty-four six mile square plots were...

  9. International Tundra Experiment ITEX Manual Second Edition

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Nonforest plots of Long Term Ecological Monitoring sites follow protocols developed for the International Tundra Experiment Walker et al. 1993, Walker 1996.

  10. Aspects of the grammar of Tundra Yukaghir

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Schmalz

    2013-01-01

    The present thesis is an attempt at a grammatical description of Tundra Yukaghir (TY), based on a variety of primary data including those collected by the author during three field trips from 2009 till 2012. TY is a highly endangered minority language spoken in north-eastern Russia. It has slightly

  11. Stochastic daily modeling of arctic tundra ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erler, A.; Epstein, H. E.; Frazier, J.

    2011-12-01

    ArcVeg is a dynamic vegetation model that has simulated interannual variability of production and abundance of arctic tundra plant types in previous studies. In order to address the effects of changing seasonality on tundra plant community composition and productivity, we have uniquely adapted the model to operate on the daily timescale. Each section of the model-weather generation, nitrogen mineralization, and plant growth dynamics-are driven by daily fluctuations in simulated temperature conditions. These simulation dynamics are achieved by calibrating stochastic iterative loops and mathematical functions with raw field data. Air temperature is the fundamental driver in the model, parameterized by climate data collected in the field across numerous arctic tundra sites, and key daily statistics are extracted (mean and standard deviation of temperature for each day of the year). Nitrogen mineralization is calculated as an exponential function from the simulated temperature. The seasonality of plant growth is driven by the availability of nitrogen and constrained by historical patterns and dynamics of the remotely sensed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), as they pertain to the seasonal onset of growth. Here we describe the methods used for daily weather generation, nitrogen mineralization, and the daily competition among twelve plant functional types for nitrogen and subsequent growth. This still rather simple approach to vegetation dynamics has the capacity to generate complex relationships between seasonal patterns of temperature and arctic tundra vegetation community structure and function.

  12. Landsat-based Analysis of Mountain Forest-tundra Ecotone Response to Climate Trends in Sayan Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kharuk, Viatcheslav I.; Im, Sergey T.; Ranson, K. Jon

    2007-01-01

    observations of temperatures Siberia has shown a several degree warming over the past 30 years. It is expected that forest will respond to warming at high latitudes through increased tree growth and northward or upward slope migration. migration. Tree response to climate trends is most likely observable in the forest-tundra ecotone, where temperature mainly limits tree growth. Making repeated satellite observations over several decades provides an opportunity to track vegetation response to climate change. Based on Landsat data of the Sayan Mountains, Siberia, there was an increase in forest stand crown closure and an upward tree-line shift in the of the forest-tundra ecotone during the last quarter of the 2oth century,. On-ground observations, supporting these results, also showed regeneration of Siberian pine in the alpine tundra, and the transformation of prostrate Siberian pine and fir into arboreal (upright) forms. During this time period sparse stands transformed into closed stands, with existing closed stands increasing in area at a rate of approx. 1 %/yr, and advancing their upper border at a vertical rate of approx. 1.0 m/yr. In addition, the vertical rate of regeneration propagation is approx. 5 m/yr. It was also found that these changes correlated positively with temperature trends

  13. The unseen iceberg: plant roots in arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iversen, Colleen M; Sloan, Victoria L; Sullivan, Patrick F; Euskirchen, Eugenie S; McGuire, A David; Norby, Richard J; Walker, Anthony P; Warren, Jeffrey M; Wullschleger, Stan D

    2015-01-01

    Plant roots play a critical role in ecosystem function in arctic tundra, but root dynamics in these ecosystems are poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we synthesized available literature on tundra roots, including their distribution, dynamics and contribution to ecosystem carbon and nutrient fluxes, and highlighted key aspects of their representation in terrestrial biosphere models. Across all tundra ecosystems, belowground plant biomass exceeded aboveground biomass, with the exception of polar desert tundra. Roots were shallowly distributed in the thin layer of soil that thaws annually, and were often found in surface organic soil horizons. Root traits - including distribution, chemistry, anatomy and resource partitioning - play an important role in controlling plant species competition, and therefore ecosystem carbon and nutrient fluxes, under changing climatic conditions, but have only been quantified for a small fraction of tundra plants. Further, the annual production and mortality of fine roots are key components of ecosystem processes in tundra, but extant data are sparse. Tundra root traits and dynamics should be the focus of future research efforts. Better representation of the dynamics and characteristics of tundra roots will improve the utility of models for the evaluation of the responses of tundra ecosystems to changing environmental conditions.

  14. The unseen iceberg: Plant roots in arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, Colleen M.; Sloan, Victoria L.; Sullivan, Patrick F.; Euskirchen, E.S.; McGuire, Anthony; Norby, Richard J.; Walker, Anthony P.; Warren, Jeffrey M.; Wullschleger, Stan D.

    2015-01-01

    Plant roots play a critical role in ecosystem function in arctic tundra, but root dynamics in these ecosystems are poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we synthesized available literature on tundra roots, including their distribution, dynamics and contribution to ecosystem carbon and nutrient fluxes, and highlighted key aspects of their representation in terrestrial biosphere models. Across all tundra ecosystems, belowground plant biomass exceeded aboveground biomass, with the exception of polar desert tundra. Roots were shallowly distributed in the thin layer of soil that thaws annually, and were often found in surface organic soil horizons. Root traits – including distribution, chemistry, anatomy and resource partitioning – play an important role in controlling plant species competition, and therefore ecosystem carbon and nutrient fluxes, under changing climatic conditions, but have only been quantified for a small fraction of tundra plants. Further, the annual production and mortality of fine roots are key components of ecosystem processes in tundra, but extant data are sparse. Tundra root traits and dynamics should be the focus of future research efforts. Better representation of the dynamics and characteristics of tundra roots will improve the utility of models for the evaluation of the responses of tundra ecosystems to changing environmental conditions.

  15. Consequences for selected high-elevation butterflies and moths from the spread of Pinus mugo into the alpine zone in the High Sudetes Mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karolína Bílá

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Due to changes in the global climate, isolated alpine sites have become one of the most vulnerable habitats worldwide. The indigenous fauna in these habitats is threatened by an invasive species, dwarf pine (Pinus mugo, which is highly competitive and could be important in determining the composition of the invertebrate community. In this study, the association of species richness and abundance of butterflies with the extent of Pinus mugo cover at individual alpine sites was determined. Butterflies at alpine sites in the High Sudetes Mountains (Mts. were sampled using Moericke yellow water traps. The results of a Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA indicated that at a local scale the area of alpine habitats is the main limiting factor for native species of alpine butterflies. Butterfly assemblages are associated with distance to the tree-line with the optimum situated in the lower forest zone. In addition the CCA revealed that biotic factors (i.e. Pinus mugo and alpine tundra vegetation accounted for a significant amount of the variability in species data. Regionally, the CCA identified that the species composition of butterflies and moths is associated with presence and origin of Pinus mugo. Our study provides evidence that the structure of the Lepidopteran fauna that formed during the postglacial period and also the present composition of species assemblages is associated with the presence of Pinus mugo. With global warming, Pinus mugo has the potential to spread further into alpine areas and negatively affect the local species communities.

  16. Consequences for selected high-elevation butterflies and moths from the spread of Pinus mugo into the alpine zone in the High Sudetes Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bílá, Karolína; Šipoš, Jan; Kindlmann, Pavel; Kuras, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Due to changes in the global climate, isolated alpine sites have become one of the most vulnerable habitats worldwide. The indigenous fauna in these habitats is threatened by an invasive species, dwarf pine (Pinus mugo), which is highly competitive and could be important in determining the composition of the invertebrate community. In this study, the association of species richness and abundance of butterflies with the extent of Pinus mugo cover at individual alpine sites was determined. Butterflies at alpine sites in the High Sudetes Mountains (Mts.) were sampled using Moericke yellow water traps. The results of a Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) indicated that at a local scale the area of alpine habitats is the main limiting factor for native species of alpine butterflies. Butterfly assemblages are associated with distance to the tree-line with the optimum situated in the lower forest zone. In addition the CCA revealed that biotic factors (i.e. Pinus mugo and alpine tundra vegetation) accounted for a significant amount of the variability in species data. Regionally, the CCA identified that the species composition of butterflies and moths is associated with presence and origin of Pinus mugo. Our study provides evidence that the structure of the Lepidopteran fauna that formed during the postglacial period and also the present composition of species assemblages is associated with the presence of Pinus mugo. With global warming, Pinus mugo has the potential to spread further into alpine areas and negatively affect the local species communities.

  17. Semenic Mountains’ alpine skiing area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petru BANIAȘ

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The present paper presents, after a short history of alpine skiing which describes apparition, necessity, utility and universality of skiing during time, a comparative study referring to the alpine skiing domain in the Semenic Mountains area. In the paper are also presented general notions about alpine skiing methodology together with an ample description of the plateau area form Semenic Mountains, describing localization and touristic potential. Based on the SWOT analysis made for each slope, was realized a complex analysis of the entire skiing domain, an analysis which includes technical, financial, climatic and environmental aspects, along with an analysis of the marketing policy applied for the specific zone.

  18. Recent Arctic tundra fire initiates widespread thermokarst development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Benjamin M.; Grosse, Guido; Arp, Christopher D.; Miller, Eric K.; Liu, Lingli; Hayes, Daniel J.; Larsen, Christopher F.

    2015-01-01

    Fire-induced permafrost degradation is well documented in boreal forests, but the role of fires in initiating thermokarst development in Arctic tundra is less well understood. Here we show that Arctic tundra fires may induce widespread thaw subsidence of permafrost terrain in the first seven years following the disturbance. Quantitative analysis of airborne LiDAR data acquired two and seven years post-fire, detected permafrost thaw subsidence across 34% of the burned tundra area studied, compared to less than 1% in similar undisturbed, ice-rich tundra terrain units. The variability in thermokarst development appears to be influenced by the interaction of tundra fire burn severity and near-surface, ground-ice content. Subsidence was greatest in severely burned, ice-rich upland terrain (yedoma), accounting for ~50% of the detected subsidence, despite representing only 30% of the fire disturbed study area. Microtopography increased by 340% in this terrain unit as a result of ice wedge degradation. Increases in the frequency, magnitude, and severity of tundra fires will contribute to future thermokarst development and associated landscape change in Arctic tundra regions.

  19. Evidence and Implications of Frequent Fires in Ancient Shrub Tundra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Higuera, P E; Brubaker, L B; Anderson, P M; Brown, T A; Kennedy, A T; Hu, F S

    2008-03-06

    Understanding feedbacks between terrestrial and atmospheric systems is vital for predicting the consequences of global change, particularly in the rapidly changing Arctic. Fire is a key process in this context, but the consequences of altered fire regimes in tundra ecosystems are rarely considered, largely because tundra fires occur infrequently on the modern landscape. We present paleoecological data that indicate frequent tundra fires in northcentral Alaska between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago. Charcoal and pollen from lake sediments reveal that ancient birchdominated shrub tundra burned as often as modern boreal forests in the region, every 144 years on average (+/- 90 s.d.; n = 44). Although paleoclimate interpretations and data from modern tundra fires suggest that increased burning was aided by low effective moisture, vegetation cover clearly played a critical role in facilitating the paleo-fires by creating an abundance of fine fuels. These records suggest that greater fire activity will likely accompany temperature-related increases in shrub-dominated tundra predicted for the 21st century and beyond. Increased tundra burning will have broad impacts on physical and biological systems as well as land-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic, including the potential to release stored organic carbon to the atmosphere.

  20. U.S. Tundra Biome-International Biological Program. U.S. Tundra Biome Publication List.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-09-01

    4040) /Bib 33-4561/ Rastorfer, J.R., H.J. Webster and D.K. Smith (1973) Floristic and ecologic studies of bryophytes of selected habitats at...al., Eds). Stockholm: IBP Tundra Biome Steering Committee, pp. 375-378. (1799) /Bib 29-3367/ Flock, J.W. (1978) Lichen- bryophyte distribution along a...1973) Natural oil seeps at Cape Simpson, Alaska: Localized influences on terrestrial habitat . Proceedings of the Symposium on the Impact of Soil

  1. Complete genome sequence of Granulicella mallensis type strain MP5ACTX8(T), an acidobacterium from tundra soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rawat, Suman R. [Rutgers University; Mannisto, Minna [Finnish Forest Research Institute, Parkano, Finland; Starovoytov, Valentin [Rutgers University; Goodwin, Lynne A. [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Nolan, Matt [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Hauser, Loren John [ORNL; Land, Miriam L [ORNL; Davenport, Karen W. [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Woyke, Tanja [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Haggblom, Max [Rutgers University

    2013-01-01

    Granulicella mallensis MP5ACTX8(T) is a novel species of the genus Granulicella in subdivision 1 of Acidobacteria. G. mallensis is of ecological interest being a member of the dominant soil bacterial community active at low temperatures and nutrient limiting conditions in Arctic alpine tundra. G. mallensis is a cold-adapted acidophile and a versatile heterotroph that hydrolyzes a suite of sugars and complex polysaccharides. Genome analysis revealed metabolic versatility with genes involved in metabolism and transport of carbohydrates. These include gene modules encoding the carbohydrate-active enzyme (CAZyme) family involved in breakdown, utilization and biosynthesis of diverse structural and storage polysaccharides including plant based carbon polymers. The genome of Granulicella mallensis MP5ACTX8(T) consists of a single replicon of 6,237,577 base pairs (bp) with 4,907 protein-coding genes and 53 RNA

  2. Stem secondary growth of tundra shrubs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Leblans, Niki; Michelsen, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Our knowledge of stem secondary growth of arctic shrubs (a key component of tundra net primary production, NPP) is very limited. Here, we investigated the impact of the physical elements of the environment on shrub secondary growth by comparing annual growth rates of model species from similar...... habitats at contrasting altitude, microtopography, latitude, geographical location, and soil type, in both the sub- and High Arctic. We found that secondary growth has a modest sensitivity to the environment but with large differences among species. For example, the evergreen Cassiope tetragona is affected...... by altitude, microtopography, and latitude, whereas the evergreen Empetrum hermaphroditum has rather constant secondary growth in all environments. Deciduous species seem to be most affected by microtopography. Furthermore, the impact of the environment on secondary growth differed from the impact on primary...

  3. Review of SOP's for Prodcutivity Surveys for EP tundra swans

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report reviews the SOPs for productivity surveys of tundra swans to identify areas of improvement. An average of 18,700 swans has been surveyed in the Atlantic...

  4. Les barrages alpins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Marnezy

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Les barrages-réservoirs de montagne ont été réalisés initialement dans les Alpes pour répondre à la demande d’énergie en période hivernale. Une certaine diversification des usages de l’eau s’est ensuite progressivement développée, en relation avec le développement touristique des collectivités locales. Aujourd’hui, la participation des ouvrages d’Électricité De France à la production de neige de culture représente une nouvelle étape. Dans les régions où les aménagements hydroélectriques sont nombreux, les besoins en eau pour la production de neige peuvent être résolus par prélèvements à partir des adductions EDF. Les gestionnaires de stations échappent ainsi aux inconvénients liés à la construction et à la gestion des « retenues collinaires ». Cette évolution, qui concerne déjà quelques régions alpines comme la haute Maurienne ou le Beaufortin, apparaît comme une forme renouvelée d’intégration territoriale de la ressource en eau.Mountain reservoirs were initially built in the Alps to meet energy needs in the winter. A certain diversification in the uses of water then gradually developed, related to tourism development in the local communities. Today, the use of facilities belonging to EDF (French Electricity Authority to provide water for winter resorts to make artificial snow represents a new phase. By taking water from EDF resources to supply snow-making equipment, resort managers are thus able to avoid the problems related to the construction and management of small headwater dams. This new orientation in the use of mountain water resources already affects a number of alpine regions such as the Upper Maurienne valley and Beaufortain massif and represents a renewed form of the territorial integration of water resources.

  5. Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Elmendorf, Sarah C.; Beck, Pieter S.A.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid climate warming in the tundra biome has been linked to increasing shrub dominance1–4. Shrub expansion can modify climate by altering surface albedo, energy and water balance, and permafrost2,5–8, yet the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. Dendroecological data consisting...... be incorporated into Earth system models to improve future projections of climate change impacts across the tundra biome....

  6. Design of alpine skis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordt, Alison Audrey

    Models were developed to calculate the mechanical properties and the turning characteristics of alpine skis. The skis considered are constructed of layers of materials which may include wood, foam, metal, plastics, and fiber reinforced composites. The ski may be manufactured with or without camber and sidecut. The first model, and the corresponding SKI-MECH computer code, yields the mass, the bending and torsional stiffness distributions along the length, the flex, the twist, the natural frequencies, and the pressure distribution along the base of the ski. The second model, and the corresponding SKI-TURN code, simulates the motion of a skier of given height, weight, and skill level going down a smooth slope while executing a constant radius turn. The computer code provides the time it requires the skier to complete the turn. Both the SKI-MECH and SKI-TURN codes were verified by comparing the outputs of these codes to laboratory data and to data generated by skiers executing turns on a hill. The results of the model and the data are in good agreement lending confidence to the models and the computer codes. Numerical results are also presented which illustrate the usefulness of the computer codes for assessing the performance of skis and shed light on the role sidecut plays in affecting an efficient turn.

  7. Responses of alpine biodiversity to climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Yang Liu; Jian Zhang; Wanqin Yang

    2009-01-01

    The alpine belt is the temperature-driven treeless region between the timberline and the snowline. Alpine belts are ideal sites for monitoring climate change because species in mountain habitats are especially sensitive to climate change. Global warming is shifting the distribution of alpine biodiversity and is leading to glacial retreat, implying that alterations in alpine biodiversity are indicators of climate change. Therefore, more attention has been given to changes in species compositio...

  8. Isoprene emissions from a tundra ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Potosnak

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Whole-system fluxes of isoprene from a~moist acidic tundra ecosystem and leaf-level emission rates of isoprene from a common species (Salix pulchra in that same ecosystem were measured during three separate field campaigns. The field campaigns were conducted during the summers of 2005, 2010 and 2011 and took place at the Toolik Field Station (68.6° N, 149.6° W on the north slope of the Brooks Range in Alaska, USA. The maximum rate of whole-system isoprene flux measured was over 1.2 mg C m−2 h−1 with an air temperature of 22 ° C and a PAR level over 1500 μmol m−2 s−1. Leaf-level isoprene emission rates for S. pulchra averaged 12.4 nmol m−2 s−1 (27.4 μg C gdw−1 h−1 extrapolated to standard conditions (PAR = 1000 μmol m−2 s−1 and leaf temperature = 30° C. Leaf-level isoprene emission rates were well characterized by the Guenther algorithm for temperature, but less so for light. Chamber measurements from a nearby moist acidic tundra ecosystem with less S. pulchra emitted significant amounts of isoprene, but at lower rates (0.45 mg C m−2 h−1. Comparison of our results to predictions from a global model found broad agreement, but a detailed analysis revealed some significant discrepancies. An atmospheric chemistry box model predicts that the observed isoprene emissions have a significant impact on Arctic atmospheric chemistry, including the hydroxyl radical (OH. Our results support the prediction that isoprene emissions from Arctic ecosystems will increase with global climate change.

  9. La recherche alpine aujourd’hui

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Jacques Brun

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Alpine research benefits from several international coordination networks, only one of which – ISCAR (the International Scientific Committee on Research in the Alps – works solely in the Alpine arc. The creation of ISCAR is a consequence of the input and involvement of various Alpine partners around the Alpine Convention. Alpine research now aims to promote an integrated vision of Alpine territories focusing on creating and maintaining spatial and temporal networks of sustainable relationships between humans and the other components of the ecosphere. It combines resource usage with conservation of the biological and cultural diversity that makes up the Alpine identity. This article aims to show: (1 how international Alpine research coordination is organised; (2 the role played by the Alpine Convention as a framework of reference for specifically Alpine research; and (3 the role that the ISCAR international commit-tee and the Interreg “Alpine Space” programmes play in uniting research around territorial challenges relating to biodiversity conservation and territorial development.La recherche sur les Alpes bénéficie de plusieurs réseaux de coordination internationaux dont un seul, le comité international recherche alpine (ISCAR, se consacre exclusivement à l’arc alpin. La création de l’ISCAR est une retombée de la mobilisation des divers partenaires alpins autour de la mise en place de la Convention alpine. Aujourd’hui, la recherche alpine vise à promouvoir une vision intégrée des territoires centrée sur la création et le maintien d’un réseau spatial et temporel de relations durables entre les hommes et les autres composantes de l’écosphère. Elle associe étroitement la mise en valeur des ressources et la conservation des diversités biologiques et culturelles qui constituent l’identité alpine. Cet article a pour ambition de montrer : (1 comment s’organise la coordination internationale des recherches sur les

  10. Vegetation shifts observed in arctic tundra 17 years after fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Kirsten; Rocha, Adrian V.; van de Weg, Martine Janet; Shaver, Gaius

    2012-01-01

    With anticipated climate change, tundra fires are expected to occur more frequently in the future, but data on the long-term effects of fire on tundra vegetation composition are scarce. This study addresses changes in vegetation structure that have persisted for 17 years after a tundra fire on the North Slope of Alaska. Fire-related shifts in vegetation composition were assessed from remote-sensing imagery and ground observations of the burn scar and an adjacent control site. Early-season remotely sensed imagery from the burn scar exhibits a low vegetation index compared with the control site, whereas the late-season signal is slightly higher. The range and maximum vegetation index are greater in the burn scar, although the mean annual values do not differ among the sites. Ground observations revealed a greater abundance of moss in the unburned site, which may account for the high early growing season normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) anomaly relative to the burn. The abundance of graminoid species and an absence of Betula nana in the post-fire tundra sites may also be responsible for the spectral differences observed in the remotely sensed imagery. The partial replacement of tundra by graminoid-dominated ecosystems has been predicted by the ALFRESCO model of disturbance, climate and vegetation succession.

  11. Plant community and soil chemistry responses to long-term nitrogen inputs drive changes in alpine bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Xia; Knelman, Joseph E; Gasarch, Eve; Wang, Deli; Nemergut, Diana R; Seastedt, Timothy R

    2016-06-01

    Bacterial community composition and diversity was studied in alpine tundra soils across a plant species and moisture gradient in 20 y-old experimental plots with four nutrient addition regimes (control, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) or both nutrients). Different bacterial communities inhabited different alpine meadows, reflecting differences in moisture, nutrients and plant species. Bacterial community alpha-diversity metrics were strongly correlated with plant richness and the production of forbs. After meadow type, N addition proved the strongest determinant of bacterial community structure. Structural Equation Modeling demonstrated that tundra bacterial community responses to N addition occur via changes in plant community composition and soil pH resulting from N inputs, thus disentangling the influence of direct (resource availability) vs. indirect (changes in plant community structure and soil pH) N effects that have remained unexplored in past work examining bacterial responses to long-term N inputs in these vulnerable environments. Across meadow types, the relative influence of these indirect N effects on bacterial community structure varied. In explicitly evaluating the relative importance of direct and indirect effects of long-term N addition on bacterial communities, this study provides new mechanistic understandings of the interaction between plant and microbial community responses to N inputs amidst environmental change.

  12. Alpine Skiing in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez-Gimenez, Antonio; Fernandez-Rio, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Many students settle indoors in the winter. However, this does not mean that winter should be a period of time with no physical activity. Several snow activities could be practiced during those months, such as ice-skating, ice-hockey, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, or snowboarding. In order to counteract the tendency for…

  13. Disturbance and Recovery of Arctic Alaskan Tundra Terrain. A Review of Recent Investigations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-07-01

    always considerably along the coastal plain according to available, possibly in the seed bank. Bryophyte - local substrate and temperature regime, and...Anthropogenic disturbances ......................................... 14 Toward an ecological understanding of disturbance and recovery in arctic tundra...major topic the basic research on tundra ecology . Studies of of scientific research in northern Alaska for the the response of arctic tundra to human

  14. Alpine treeline of western North America: Linking organism-to-landscape dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Butler, David R.; Fagre, Daniel B.; Walsh, Stephen J; Tomback, Diana F.; Daniels, Lori D.; Resler, Lynn M.; Smith, William K.; Weiss, Daniel J.; Peterson, David L.; Bunn, Andrew G.; Hiemstra, Christopher A.; Liptzin, Daniel; Bourgeron, Patrick S.; Shen, Zehao; Millar, Constance I.

    2007-01-01

    Although the ecological dynamics of the alpine treeline ecotone are influenced by climate, it is an imperfect indicator of climate change. Mechanistic processes that shape the ecotone—seed rain, seed germination, seedling establishment and subsequent tree growth form, or, conversely tree dieback—depend on microsite patterns. Growth forms affect wind and snow, and so develop positive and negative feedback loops that create these microsites. As a result, complex landscape patterns are generated at multiple spatial scales. Although these mechanistic processes are fundamentally the same for all forest-tundra ecotones across western North America, factors such as prior climate, underlying geology and geomorphology, and genetic constraints of dominant tree species lead to geographic differences in the responses of particular ecotones to climate change.

  15. Carbon dioxide and methane dynamics in Russian tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansson, Paul Torbjörn; Kiepe, Isabell; Herbst, Mathias

    Russia. The area is situated at 67°N in the European part of northeast Russia within the Pechora basin. The Russian tundra region is an area which has recently been subject to many speculations in relation to climatic change effects and greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange but still little scientific ev...

  16. [The gene pool of native inhabitants of the Samburg tundra].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osipova, L P; Posukh, O L; Ivakin, E A; Kriukov, Iu A; Karafet, T M

    1996-06-01

    This study continues a series of investigations of the gene pool of native Siberian ethnic groups. In a population of Tundra Nentsi (Northern Samoyeds) and a group of Komi-Zyryans (Finno-Ugrian) (Samburg settlement, Tyumenskaya oblast, Yamalo-Nenetskii Autonomous okrug), gene markers of the following genetic systems were studied: blood groups (ABO, MNSs, Rhesus, Kell, Duffy, and P), erythrocyte acid phosphatase (AcP), phosphoglucomutase 1 (PGM 1), haptoglobin (Hp), and transferrin (Tf). The population of Samburg Tundra Nentsi was shown to have a close genetic relationship with the "core" of the Forest Nentsi population. In Northern Samoyeds, three carriers of the rare allele K (blood group Kell) were found for the first time. It is suggested that this allele was transferred into the population of Tundra Nentsi from Komi. Samburg Tundra Nentsi are found to have the maximum frequency of the allele PGM 1 (Posphoglucomutase 1) among aboriginal populations of northern Asia. Analysis of original data and the literature revealed a significant genetic distance between the Komi and Northern Samoyed populations. It was shown that Samburg Komi occupy an intermediate position between the clusters of Nenets populations and Finno-Ugrians (Komi) living in Komi Republic.

  17. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elmendorf, S.C.; Henry, G.H.R.; Bjorkman, A.D.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of tundra vegetation to climate warming is critical to forecasting future biodiversity and vegetation feedbacks to climate. In situ warming experiments accelerate climate change on a small scale to forecast responses of local plant communities. Limitations of this ap...

  18. Paenibacillus tundrae sp. nov. and Paenibacillus xylanexedens sp. nov., Psychrotolerant, Xylan-Degrading, Bacteria from Alaskan Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Psychrotolerant, xylan-degrading, strains of bacteria were isolated from soil beneath moist non-acidic and acidic tundra in northern Alaska. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that each strain belonged to the genus Paenibacillus. The highest levels of 16S rRNA gene sim...

  19. The effect of topography on arctic-alpine aboveground biomass and NDVI patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riihimäki, Henri; Heiskanen, Janne; Luoto, Miska

    2017-04-01

    Topography is a key factor affecting numerous environmental phenomena, including Arctic and alpine aboveground biomass (AGB) distribution. Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is a source of topographic information which can be linked to local growing conditions. Here, we investigated the effect of DEM derived variables, namely elevation, topographic position, radiation and wetness on AGB and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in a Fennoscandian forest-alpine tundra ecotone. Boosted regression trees were used to derive non-parametric response curves and relative influences of the explanatory variables. Elevation and potential incoming solar radiation were the most important explanatory variables for both AGB and NDVI. In the NDVI models, the response curves were smooth compared with AGB models. This might be caused by large contribution of field and shrub layer to NDVI, especially at the treeline. Furthermore, radiation and elevation had a significant interaction, showing that the highest NDVI and biomass values are found from low-elevation, high-radiation sites, typically on the south-southwest facing valley slopes. Topographic wetness had minor influence on AGB and NDVI. Topographic position had generally weak effects on AGB and NDVI, although protected topographic position seemed to be more favorable below the treeline. The explanatory power of the topographic variables, particularly elevation and radiation demonstrates that DEM-derived land surface parameters can be used for exploring biomass distribution resulting from landform control on local growing conditions.

  20. Herbivory Network: An international, collaborative effort to study herbivory in Arctic and alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrio, I. C.; Hik, D. S.; Jónsdóttir, I. S.; Bueno, C. G.; Mörsdorf, M. A.; Ravolainen, V. T.

    2016-09-01

    Plant-herbivore interactions are central to the functioning of tundra ecosystems, but their outcomes vary over space and time. Accurate forecasting of ecosystem responses to ongoing environmental changes requires a better understanding of the processes responsible for this heterogeneity. To effectively address this complexity at a global scale, coordinated research efforts, including multi-site comparisons within and across disciplines, are needed. The Herbivory Network was established as a forum for researchers from Arctic and alpine regions to collaboratively investigate the multifunctional role of herbivores in these changing ecosystems. One of the priorities is to integrate sites, methodologies, and metrics used in previous work, to develop a set of common protocols and design long-term geographically-balanced, coordinated experiments. The implementation of these collaborative research efforts will also improve our understanding of traditional human-managed systems that encompass significant portions of the sub-Arctic and alpine areas worldwide. A deeper understanding of the role of herbivory in these systems under ongoing environmental changes will guide appropriate adaptive strategies to preserve their natural values and related ecosystem services.

  1. Diversification of Nitrogen Sources in Various Tundra Vegetation Types in the High Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skrzypek, Grzegorz; Wojtuń, Bronisław; Richter, Dorota; Jakubas, Dariusz; Wojczulanis-Jakubas, Katarzyna; Samecka-Cymerman, Aleksandra

    2015-01-01

    Low nitrogen availability in the high Arctic represents a major constraint for plant growth, which limits the tundra capacity for carbon retention and determines tundra vegetation types. The limited terrestrial nitrogen (N) pool in the tundra is augmented significantly by nesting seabirds, such as the planktivorous Little Auk (Alle alle). Therefore, N delivered by these birds may significantly influence the N cycling in the tundra locally and the carbon budget more globally. Moreover, should these birds experience substantial negative environmental pressure associated with climate change, this will adversely influence the tundra N-budget. Hence, assessment of bird-originated N-input to the tundra is important for understanding biological cycles in polar regions. This study analyzed the stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources in the High Arctic and in numerous plants that access different N-pools in ten tundra vegetation types in an experimental catchment in Hornsund (Svalbard). The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by birds, ranged from 0-21% in Patterned-ground tundra to 100% in Ornithocoprophilous tundra. The total N-pool utilized by tundra plants in the studied catchment was built in 36% by birds, 38% by atmospheric deposition, and 26% by atmospheric N2-fixation. The stable nitrogen isotope mixing mass balance, in contrast to direct methods that measure actual deposition, indicates the ratio between the actual N-loads acquired by plants from different N-sources. Our results enhance our understanding of the importance of different N-sources in the Arctic tundra and the used methodological approach can be applied elsewhere.

  2. Changes in the Alpine environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Schoeneich

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available L’évolution de l’environnement alpin au XXIe siècle sera conditionnée par le changement climatique. Celui-ci pourrait conduire à des climats inconnus à ce jour dans les Alpes, avec comme conséquence une crise environnementale majeure et durable. Face à ces défis, les financements de recherche restent insuffisants pour la recherche appliquée aux milieux de montagne. Les financements nationaux privilégient souvent la recherche polaire au détriment des hautes altitudes, alors que les financements de type Interreg prennent insuffisamment en compte les besoins de recherche fondamentale, préalable nécessaire à l’élaboration de scénarios. Une évolution se dessine depuis deux ou trois ans vers des projets en réseau à l’échelle alpine. Le présent article fait le point sur les principaux enjeux qui attendent la recherche environnementale alpine et sur la capacité des programmes de recherche à répondre aux besoins. La première partie sur les changements climatiques est fondée sur les rapports récents : rapport de synthèse IPCC 2007 (IPCC 2007, rapport IPCC sur l’Europe (Alcamo et al. 2007, rapport de synthèse du programme ClimChAlp (Prudent-Richard et al., 2008. On y trouvera des bibliographies complètes et circonstanciées. La deuxième partie se base sur une analyse des appels d’offres récents ou en cours, et des projets soumis et financés.The way the Alpine environment will evolve in the 21st century depends upon climate change. This could lead to climates never before seen in the Alps, resulting in a major and lasting environmental crisis. In the face of these challenges, funding is still insufficient for specialised research on mountain environments. State funding often prioritises polar research at the expense of high altitude areas, whereas funding schemes from bodies such as Interreg do not sufficiently address the need for fundamental research, which is nevertheless a necessary first step prior to

  3. Anurans in a Subarctic Tundra Landscape Near Cape Churchill, Manitoba

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiter, M.E.; Boal, C.W.; Andersen, D.E.

    2008-01-01

    Distribution, abundance, and habitat relationships of anurans inhabiting subarctic regions are poorly understood, and anuran monitoring protocols developed for temperate regions may not be applicable across large roadless areas of northern landscapes. In addition, arctic and subarctic regions of North America are predicted to experience changes in climate and, in some areas, are experiencing habitat alteration due to high rates of herbivory by breeding and migrating waterfowl. To better understand subarctic anuran abundance, distribution, and habitat associations, we conducted anuran calling surveys in the Cape Churchill region of Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada, in 2004 and 2005. We conducted surveys along ~l-km transects distributed across three landscape types (coastal tundra, interior sedge meadow-tundra, and boreal forest-tundra interface) to estimate densities and probabilities of detection of Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata) and Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus). We detected a Wood Frog or Boreal Chorus Frog on 22 (87%) of 26 transects surveyed, but probability of detection varied between years and species and among landscape types. Estimated densities of both species increased from the coastal zone inland toward the boreal forest edge. Our results suggest anurans occur across all three landscape types in our study area, but that species-specific spatial patterns exist in their abundances. Considerations for both spatial and temporal variation in abundance and detection probability need to be incorporated into surveys and monitoring programs for subarctic anurans.

  4. Environmental factors influencing soil testate amoebae in herbaceous and shrubby vegetation along an altitudinal gradient in subarctic tundra (Abisko, Sweden).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsyganov, Andrey N; Milbau, Ann; Beyens, Louis

    2013-05-01

    Shifts in community composition of soil protozoa in response to climate change may substantially influence microbial activity and thereby decomposition processes. However, effects of climate and vegetation on soil protozoa remain poorly understood. We studied the distribution of soil testate amoebae in herbaceous and shrubby vegetation along an altitudinal gradient (from below the treeline at 500 m to the mid-alpine region at 900 m a.s.l.) in subarctic tundra. To explain patterns in abundance, species diversity and assemblage composition of testate amoebae, a data set of microclimate and soil chemical characteristics was collected. Both elevation and vegetation influenced the assemblage composition of testate amoebae. The variation was regulated by interactive effects of summer soil moisture, winter soil temperature, soil pH and nitrate ion concentrations. Besides, soil moisture regulated non-linear patterns in species richness across the gradient. This is the first study showing the effects of winter soil temperatures on species composition of soil protozoa. The effects could be explained by specific adaptations of testate amoebae such as frost-resistant cysts allowing them to survive low winter temperatures. We conclude that the microclimate and soil chemical characteristics are the main drivers of changes in protozoan assemblage composition in response to elevation and vegetation.

  5. Site-level model intercomparison of high latitude and high altitude soil thermal dynamics in tundra and barren landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ekici

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Modelling soil thermal dynamics at high latitudes and altitudes requires representations of specific physical processes such as snow insulation, soil freezing/thawing, as well as subsurface conditions like soil water/ice content and soil texture type. We have compared six different land models (JSBACH, ORCHIDEE, JULES, COUP, HYBRID8, LPJ-GUESS at four different sites with distinct cold region landscape types (i.e. Schilthorn-Alpine, Bayelva-high Arctic, Samoylov-wet polygonal tundra, Nuuk-non permafrost Arctic to quantify the importance of physical processes in capturing observed temperature dynamics in soils. This work shows how a range of models can represent distinct soil temperature regimes in permafrost and non-permafrost soils. Snow insulation is of major importance for estimating topsoil conditions and must be combined with accurate subsoil temperature dynamics to correctly estimate active layer thicknesses. Analyses show that land models need more realistic surface processes (such as detailed snow dynamics and moss cover with changing thickness/wetness as well as better representations of subsoil thermal dynamics (i.e. soil heat transfer mechanism and correct parameterization of heat conductivity/capacities.

  6. Controls on Soil Respiration in a High Elevation Alpine System and the Implications For Soil Carbon Storage in a Changing Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schliemann, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    The alpine ecosystem is a dynamic network of heterogeneous soil and vegetation patches. Microsite characteristics are controlled by site geomorphology, underlying bedrock, and landscape position. These microsite characteristics create a complex mosaic of soil moisture and temperature regimes across the landscape. To investigate the relative influences of soil moisture and soil temperature on soil respiration in these varied microsites, 12 study sites were established in June of 2015 in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Sites were distributed across 3 plots with distinct vegetation and soil regimes: 1) Conifer forest at the upper limit of the tree line 2) Tundra characterized by shallow soil and minimal vegetation consisting of herbs and lichen 3) Tundra characterized by organic-rich, deep soil and abundant vegetation consisting of grasses and sedges. Soil respiration, soil temperature, and soil moisture were measured weekly throughout the snow-free period of 2015. Soil moisture was negatively correlated with soil respiration and soil temperature was positively correlated with soil respiration across the study sites (p <0.001). Soil respiration rates were significantly different from one another in all plots and were highest in the forest plot (maximum 9.6 μmol/ m2/sec) and much lower in the two tundra plots (< 4.5 μmol/ m2/sec) (p < 0.001). These data suggest that as the alpine climate warms, an increase in soil temperature and a longer snow-free period may result in an overall increase in the rate of soil respiration, which could alter the soil carbon pool. In addition, as temperatures rise, the tree line may migrate to a higher elevation. The results of this study suggest that with such a movement, the soil respiration rate will also increase. However the net change in soil organic matter in the newly established forest would not only depend on the soil respiration rate, but on the overall capacity of the new forest soil to retain carbon, especially

  7. Alaska North Slope Tundra Travel Model and Validation Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harry R. Bader; Jacynthe Guimond

    2006-03-01

    The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Mining, Land, and Water manages cross-country travel, typically associated with hydrocarbon exploration and development, on Alaska's arctic North Slope. This project is intended to provide natural resource managers with objective, quantitative data to assist decision making regarding opening of the tundra to cross-country travel. DNR designed standardized, controlled field trials, with baseline data, to investigate the relationships present between winter exploration vehicle treatments and the independent variables of ground hardness, snow depth, and snow slab thickness, as they relate to the dependent variables of active layer depth, soil moisture, and photosynthetically active radiation (a proxy for plant disturbance). Changes in the dependent variables were used as indicators of tundra disturbance. Two main tundra community types were studied: Coastal Plain (wet graminoid/moist sedge shrub) and Foothills (tussock). DNR constructed four models to address physical soil properties: two models for each main community type, one predicting change in depth of active layer and a second predicting change in soil moisture. DNR also investigated the limited potential management utility in using soil temperature, the amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) absorbed by plants, and changes in microphotography as tools for the identification of disturbance in the field. DNR operated under the assumption that changes in the abiotic factors of active layer depth and soil moisture drive alteration in tundra vegetation structure and composition. Statistically significant differences in depth of active layer, soil moisture at a 15 cm depth, soil temperature at a 15 cm depth, and the absorption of photosynthetically active radiation were found among treatment cells and among treatment types. The models were unable to thoroughly investigate the interacting role between snow depth and disturbance due to a

  8. Erosion by an Alpine glacier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Frédéric; Beyssac, Olivier; Brughelli, Mattia; Lane, Stuart N; Leprince, Sébastien; Adatte, Thierry; Lin, Jiao Y Y; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; Cox, Simon C

    2015-10-09

    Assessing the impact of glaciation on Earth's surface requires understanding glacial erosion processes. Developing erosion theories is challenging because of the complex nature of the erosion processes and the difficulty of examining the ice/bedrock interface of contemporary glaciers. We demonstrate that the glacial erosion rate is proportional to the ice-sliding velocity squared, by quantifying spatial variations in ice-sliding velocity and the erosion rate of a fast-flowing Alpine glacier. The nonlinear behavior implies a high erosion sensitivity to small variations in topographic slope and precipitation. A nonlinear rate law suggests that abrasion may dominate over other erosion processes in fast-flowing glaciers. It may also explain the wide range of observed glacial erosion rates and, in part, the impact of glaciation on mountainous landscapes during the past few million years.

  9. Survey of Disturbance to Alpine Tundra in Atigun Gorge from Snow-Vehicle Traffic in November 2003

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Snow vehicles operated by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company Alyeska traveled from the Dalton Highway into Atigun Gorge in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in...

  10. POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE ON ALPINE TUNDRA ECOSYSTEMS IN THE FRONT RANGE OF COLORADO. (R827449)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  11. Dynamics of Aboveground Phytomass of the Circumpolar Arctic Tundra During the Past Three Decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Howard E.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Walker, Donald A.; Bhatt, Uma S.; Tucker, Compton J.; Pinzon, Jorge E.

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have evaluated the dynamics of Arctic tundra vegetation throughout the past few decades, using remotely sensed proxies of vegetation, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). While extremely useful, these coarse-scale satellite-derived measurements give us minimal information with regard to how these changes are being expressed on the ground, in terms of tundra structure and function. In this analysis, we used a strong regression model between NDVI and aboveground tundra phytomass, developed from extensive field-harvested measurements of vegetation biomass, to estimate the biomass dynamics of the circumpolar Arctic tundra over the period of continuous satellite records (1982-2010). We found that the southernmost tundra subzones (C-E) dominate the increases in biomass, ranging from 20 to 26%, although there was a high degree of heterogeneity across regions, floristic provinces, and vegetation types. The estimated increase in carbon of the aboveground live vegetation of 0.40 Pg C over the past three decades is substantial, although quite small relative to anthropogenic C emissions. However, a 19.8% average increase in aboveground biomass has major implications for nearly all aspects of tundra ecosystems including hydrology, active layer depths, permafrost regimes, wildlife and human use of Arctic landscapes. While spatially extensive on-the-ground measurements of tundra biomass were conducted in the development of this analysis, validation is still impossible without more repeated, long-term monitoring of Arctic tundra biomass in the field.

  12. Shrubs in the cold : interactions between vegetation, permafrost and climate in Siberian tundra

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blok, D.

    2011-01-01

    The Arctic is experiencing strong increases in air temperature during the last decades. High-latitude tundra regions are very responsive to changes in temperature and may cause a shift in tundra vegetation composition towards greater dominance of deciduous shrubs. With increasing deciduous shrub cov

  13. The Cooling Capacity of Mosses: Controls on Water and Energy Fluxes in a Siberian Tundra Site

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blok, D.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Schaepman-Strub, G.; Ruijven, van J.; Parmentier, F.J.W.; Maximov, T.C.; Berendse, F.

    2011-01-01

    Arctic tundra vegetation composition is expected to undergo rapid changes during the coming decades because of changes in climate. Higher air temperatures generally favor growth of deciduous shrubs, often at the cost of moss growth. Mosses are considered to be very important to critical tundra ecosy

  14. Tundra in the rain: differential vegetation responses to three years of experimentally doubled summer precipitation in Siberian shrub and Swedish bog tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keuper, Frida; Parmentier, Frans-Jan W; Blok, Daan; van Bodegom, Peter M; Dorrepaal, Ellen; van Hal, Jurgen R; van Logtestijn, Richard S P; Aerts, Rien

    2012-01-01

    Precipitation amounts and patterns at high latitude sites have been predicted to change as a result of global climatic changes. We addressed vegetation responses to three years of experimentally increased summer precipitation in two previously unaddressed tundra types: Betula nana-dominated shrub tundra (northeast Siberia) and a dry Sphagnum fuscum-dominated bog (northern Sweden). Positive responses to approximately doubled ambient precipitation (an increase of 200 mm year(-1)) were observed at the Siberian site, for B. nana (30 % larger length increments), Salix pulchra (leaf size and length increments) and Arctagrostis latifolia (leaf size and specific leaf area), but none were observed at the Swedish site. Total biomass production did not increase at either of the study sites. This study corroborates studies in other tundra vegetation types and shows that despite regional differences at the plant level, total tundra plant productivity is, at least at the short or medium term, largely irresponsive to experimentally increased summer precipitation.

  15. Estimating Forest Carbon Stock in Alpine and Arctic Ecotones of the Urals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Usoltsev

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on measured carbon stocks in the forests of two tree line ecotones of the Ural region where climate change might improve growing conditions. The first is an alpine ecotone that is represented by an altitudinal gradient of the spruce-dominated forests on the Western slope of the Tylaiskii Kamen Mountain (Western part of the Konzhakovskii-Tylaiskii-Serebryanskii Mountain system, 59°30′N, 59°00′E, at the alpine timber line that has risen from 864 to 960 m above sea level in the course of the last 100 years. The second is an arctic ecotone in larch-dominated forests at the lower course of the Pur river (67°N, 78°E, at the transition zone between closed floodplain forests and open or island-like communities of upland forests on tundra permafrost. According to our results, there are large differences in the carbon of the aboveground biomass of both ecotones across environmental gradients. In the alpine tree line ecotone, a 19-fold drop of the carbon stocks was detected between the lower and higher altitudinal levels. In the arctic ecotone the aboveground biomass carbon stock of forests of similar densities (1300 to 1700 trees per ha was 7 times as much in the river flood bed, and 5 times as much in mature, dense forests as the low density forests at higher elevations. Twelve regression equations describing dependencies of the aboveground tree biomass (stems, branches, foliage, total aboveground part upon stem diameter of the tree are proposed, which can be used to estimating the biological productivity (carbon of spruce and larch forests on Tylaiskii Kamen Mountain and the lower Pur river and on surrounding areas on the base of traditional forest mensuration have been proposed. In order to reduce the labor intensity of a coming determination of forest biomass the average values of density and dry matter content in the biomass fractions are given that were obtained by taking our sample trees.The results can be useful in

  16. Alpine radar conversion for LAWR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savina, M.; Burlando, P.

    2012-04-01

    The Local Area Weather Radar (LAWR) is a ship-born weather radar system operating in X-band developed by the DHI Group to detect precipitation in urban areas. To date more than thirty units are installed in different settings around the world. A LAWR was also deployed in the Alps, at 3883 m a.s.l. on the Kl. Matterhorn (Valais, Switzerland). This was the highest LAWR of the world and it led to the development of an Alpine LAWR system that, besides featuring important technological improvements needed to withstand the severe Alpine conditions, required the development of a new Alpine Radar COnversion Model (ARCOM), which is the main focus of this contribution. The LAWR system is equipped with the original FURUNO fan-beam slotted antenna and the original logarithmic receiver, which limits the radar observations to the video signal (L) withour providing the reflectivity (Z). The beam is 0.95 deg wide and 20 deg high. It can detect precipitation to a max range of 60 km. In order to account for the limited availability of raw signal and information and the specific mountain set-up, the conversion model had to be developed differently from the state-of-the-art radar conversion technique used for this class of radars. In particular, the ARCOM is based on a model used to simulate a spatial dependent factor, hereafter called ACF, which is in turn function of parameters that take in account climatological conditions, also used in other conversion methods, but additionally accounting for local radar beam features and for orographic forcings such as the effective sampling power (sP), which is modelled by means of antenna pattern, geometric ground clutter and their interaction. The result is a conversion factor formulated to account for a range correction that is based on the increase of the sampling volume, partial beam blocking and local climatological conditions. The importance of the latter in this study is double with respect to the standard conversion technique for this

  17. Decadal changes of phenological patterns over Arctic tundra biome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, G. J.; Epstein, H. E.; Walker, D. A.; Wang, H.

    2008-12-01

    The northern high latitudes have experienced a continuous and accelerated trend of warming during the past 30 years, with most recent decade ranks the warmest years since 1850. Warmer springs are especially evident throughout the Arctic. Meanwhile, Arctic sea ice declined rapidly to unprecedented low extents in all months, with late summer experiences the most significant declining. Warming in the north is also evident from observations of early melting of snow and reducing snow cover. Now a key question is: in the warmth limited northern biome, what will happen to the phenological patterns of tundra vegetation as the global climate warms and seasonality of air temperature, sea ice, and snow cover shift? To answer the question we examined the onset of vegetation greenness, senescence of greenness, length of growing season, and dates of peak greenness along Arctic bioclimate gradients (subzones) to see how they change over years. Here, we combine multi-scale sub-pixel analysis and remote sensing time-series analysis to investigate recent decadal changes in vegetation phenology along spatial gradients of summer temperature and vegetation in the Arctic. The datasets used here are AVHRR 15-day 8 km time series, AVHRR 8-day 1 km dataset, and MODIS 8-day 500m Collection 5 dataset. There were detectable changes in phenological pattern over tundra biome in past two decades. Increases of vegetation greenness were observed in most of the summer periods in low arctic and mid-summer in high arctic. Peak greenness appeared earlier in high arctic and declined slower after peak in low arctic. Generally, tundra plants were having longer and stronger photosynthesis activities, and therefore increased annual vegetation productivities. Field studies have observed early growth and enhanced peak growth of many deciduous shrub species in tundra plant communities. These changes in seasonality are very likely to alter surface albedo and heat budget, modify plant photosynthesis

  18. Frost resistance in alpine woody plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-01-01

    This report provides a brief review of key findings related to frost resistance in alpine woody plant species, summarizes data on their frost resistance, highlights the importance of freeze avoidance mechanisms, and indicates areas of future research. Freezing temperatures are possible throughout the whole growing period in the alpine life zone. Frost severity, comprised of both intensity and duration, becomes greater with increasing elevation and, there is also a greater probability, that small statured woody plants, may be insulated by snow cover. Several frost survival mechanisms have evolved in woody alpine plants in response to these environmental conditions. Examples of tolerance to extracellular freezing and freeze dehydration, life cycles that allow species to escape frost, and freeze avoidance mechanisms can all be found. Despite their specific adaption to the alpine environment, frost damage can occur in spring, while all alpine woody plants have a low risk of frost damage in winter. Experimental evidence indicates that premature deacclimation in Pinus cembra in the spring, and a limited ability of many species of alpine woody shrubs to rapidly reacclimate when they lose snow cover, resulting in reduced levels of frost resistance in the spring, may be particularly critical under the projected changes in climate. In this review, frost resistance and specific frost survival mechanisms of different organs (leaves, stems, vegetative and reproductive over-wintering buds, flowers, and fruits) and tissues are compared. The seasonal dynamics of frost resistance of leaves of trees, as opposed to woody shrubs, is also discussed. The ability of some tissues and organs to avoid freezing by supercooling, as visualized by high resolution infrared thermography, are also provided. Collectively, the report provides a review of the complex and diverse ways that woody plants survive in the frost dominated environment of the alpine life zone.

  19. Alpine Groundwater - Pristine Aquifers Under Threat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, P.; Lange, A.

    2014-12-01

    Glacier and permafrost retreat are prominent climate change indicators. However, the characteristics of climate and hydrology in mountain areas remain poorly understood relative to lowland areas. Specifically, not much is known about alpine groundwater, its recharge and water quality variations, as these remote reservoirs are rarely monitored. As global temperatures rise, glaciers and permafrost will continue to retreat forming new sediment deposits and changing infiltration conditions in high alpine terrain. Climate change impacts the hydro-chemical composition of alpine waters, accelerates weathering processes, and potentially triggers mobilization of pollutants. Accordingly, we monitored groundwater quantity and quality parameters of an alpine porous aquifer near the Tiefenbach glacier in the Gotthard Massif in Switzerland. The goal of this research was to assess quality and seasonal storage dynamics of groundwater above the timberline (2000 m). To translate hydrological science into an ecosystem service context, we focused on four attributes: Water quantity: observations of groundwater level fluctuations combined with analysis of contributing water sources based on stable isotope analysis to give a quantitative understanding of origin and amount of water, Water quality: groundwater level, groundwater temperature and electrical conductivity were used as proxies for sampling of hydro-chemical parameters with automated water samplers during primary groundwater recharge periods (snowmelt and rainfall events), Location: Alpine terrain above the timberline, especially recharge into/out of an alpine porous aquifer at a pro-glacial floodplain and Date of annual melt (albedo effect) and timing of flow (snow- and icemelt from May to September) and groundwater recharge during the growing season. The study found that the summer groundwater temperatures depend on the date of annual melt and are more sensitive to climate forcing than lowland groundwater temperatures

  20. Sorting out non-sorted circles: Effects of winter climate change on the Collembola community of cryoturbated subarctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krab, Eveline; Monteux, Sylvain; Becher, Marina; Blume-Werry, Gesche; Keuper, Frida; Klaminder, Jonatan; Kobayashi, Makoto; Lundin, Erik J.; Milbau, Ann; Roennefarth, Jonas; Teuber, Laurenz Michael; Weedon, James; Dorrepaal, Ellen

    2015-04-01

    Non-sorted circles (NSC) are a common type of cryoturbated (frost-disturbed) soil in the arctic and store large amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC) by the burial of organic matter. They appear as sparsely vegetated areas surrounded by denser tundra vegetation, creating patterned ground. Snowfall in the arctic is expected to increase, which will modify freezing intensity and freeze-thaw cycles in soils, thereby impacting on SOC dynamics. Vegetation, soil fauna and microorganisms, important drivers of carbon turnover, may benefit directly from the altered winter conditions and the resulting reduction in cryoturbation, but may also impact each other through trophic cascading. We investigated how Collembola, important decomposer soil fauna in high latitude ecosystems, are affected by increased winter insulation and vegetation cover. We subjected NSC in North-Swedish subarctic alpine tundra to two years of increased thermal insulation (snow fences or fiber cloth) in winter and spring, increasing soil temperatures and strongly reducing freeze-thaw frequency. From these NSC we sampled the Collembola community in: (i) the non-vegetated center, (ii) sparsely vegetated parts in the center and (iii) the vegetated domain surrounding NSC. To link changes in Collembola density and community composition to SOC dynamics, we included measurements of decomposer activity, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total extractable nitrogen (TN). We observed differences in Collembola density, community composition and soil fauna activity between the sampling points in the NSC. Specifically Collembola diversity increased with the presence of vegetation and density was higher in the vegetated outer domains. Increased winter insulation did not affect diversity but seemed to negatively affect density and decomposer activity in the vegetated outer domains. Interestingly, SOM distribution over NSC changed with snow addition (also to a lesser extent with fleece insulation) towards less SOM in the

  1. Vacant niche in alpine habitat: the case of an introduced population of the butterfly Erebia epiphron in the Krkonoše Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cizek, Oldrich; Bakesová, Andrea; Kuras, Tomas; Benes, Jiri; Konvicka, Martin

    2003-04-01

    A vacant niche in alpine habitats of the Krkonoše Mts. (Western Sudetes, Czech Republic) was colonised by a non-native butterfly Erebia epiphron (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae, Satyrinae) as a result of artificial introduction of 50 females in 1932 and 1933. The species established a large population occupying an entire area above the timberline on one of parallel ridges (East) of the mountains, but it has not yet colonised the parallel Western ridge, which is almost identical in area, altitude and vegetation. We compared altitudinal distribution and adult habitats of the alien species and of its native congener, E. euryale. Distribution of both species was significantly affected by altitude, but habitat type predicted butterfly numbers better than altitude in regression models. The introduced species was sympatric with the native one near the timberline, but its altitudinal optimum was higher, within tundra grasslands, where the native E. euryale did not occur. Peak adult emergence of E. euryale was later than in E. epiphron and followed identical pattern in allopatry. The failure of E. epiphron to colonise the Western ridge is attributable to its incapability to disperse across wooded areas. The Krkonoše alpine communities are unsaturated with species, which is striking in comparison with native butterfly fauna of lower Hrubý Jeseník Mts. We interpret this by a past encroachment of alpine grasslands in the Krkonoše Mts. by the dwarf pine Pinus mugo.

  2. Succession Stages of Tundra Plant Communities Following Wildfire Disturbance in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breen, A. L.; Hollingsworth, T. N.; Mack, M. C.; Jones, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid climate change is affecting climate-sensitive disturbance regimes throughout the world. In particular, the impacts of climate change on Arctic disturbance regimes are poorly understood because landscape-scale disturbances are infrequent or occur in remote localities. Wildfire in Arctic Alaska is presently limited by ignition source and favorable burn weather. With rapid climate change, a lengthening growing season, and subsequent increase in plant biomass and productivity, wildfire frequency and annual area burned in tundra ecosystems is expected to increase over the next century. Yet, post-fire tundra vegetation succession is inadequately characterized except at a few point locations. We identify succession stages of tussock tundra communities following wildfire using a chronosequence of 65 relevés in 10 tundra fire scars (1971-2011) and nearby unburned tundra from sites on the Seward Peninsula and northern foothills of the Brooks Range. We used the Braun-Blanquét approach to classify plant communities, and applied nonmetric multidimentional scaling (NMDS) to identify ecological gradients underlying community differentiation. The ordination revealed a clear differentiation between unburned and burned tundra communities. Ecological gradients, reflected by ordination axes, correspond to fire history (e.g., time since last fire, number of times burned, burn severity) and a complex productivity gradient. Post-fire species richness is less than unburned tundra; primarily reflected as a decrease in lichen species and turnover of bryophyte species immediately post-fire. Species richness of grasses increases post-fire and is greatest in communities that burned more than once in the past 30 years. Shrub cover and total aboveground biomass are greatest in repeat burn sites. We review and discuss our results focusing on the implications of a changing tundra fire regime, its effect on vegetation succession trajectories, and subsequent rates of carbon sequestration and

  3. Modelling photochemistry in alpine valleys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Brulfert

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Road traffic is a serious problem in the Chamonix Valley, France: traffic, noise and above all air pollution worry the inhabitants. The big fire in the Mont-Blanc tunnel made it possible, in the framework of the POVA project (POllution in Alpine Valleys, to undertake measurement campaigns with and without heavy-vehicle traffic through the Chamonix and Maurienne valleys, towards Italy (before and after the tunnel re-opening. Modelling is one of the aspects of POVA and should make it possible to explain the processes leading to episodes of atmospheric pollution, both in summer and in winter. Atmospheric prediction model ARPS 4.5.2 (Advanced Regional Prediction System, developed at the CAPS (Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms of the University of Oklahoma, enables to resolve the dynamics above a complex terrain. This model is coupled to the TAPOM 1.5.2 atmospheric chemistry (Transport and Air POllution Model code developed at the Air and Soil Pollution Laboratory of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The numerical codes MM5 and CHIMERE are used to compute large scale boundary forcing. This paper focuses on modelling Chamonix valley using 300-m grid cells to calculate the dynamics and the reactive chemistry which makes possible to accurately represent the dynamics in the Chamonix valley (slope and valley winds and to process chemistry at fine scale. The summer 2003 intensive campaign was used to validate the model and to study chemistry. NOy according to O3 reduction demonstrates a VOC controlled regime, different from the NOx controlled regime expected and observed in the nearby city of Grenoble.

  4. Modelling photochemistry in alpine valleys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Brulfert

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Road traffic is a serious problem in the Chamonix Valley, France: traffic, noise and above all air pollution worry the inhabitants. The big fire in the Mont-Blanc tunnel made it possible, in the framework of the POVA project (POllution in Alpine Valleys, to undertake measurement campaigns with and without heavy-vehicle traffic through the valley, towards Italy (before and after the tunnel re-opening. Modelling in POVA should make it possible to explain the processes leading to episodes of atmospheric pollution, both in summer and in winter.

    Atmospheric prediction model ARPS 4.5.2 (Advanced Regional Prediction System, developed at the CAPS (Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms of the University of Oklahoma, enables to resolve the dynamics above a complex terrain.

    This model is coupled to the TAPOM 1.5.2 atmospheric chemistry (Transport and Air POllution Model code developed at the Air and Soil Pollution Laboratory of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

    The numerical codes MM5 and CHIMERE are used to compute large scale boundary forcing.

    Using 300-m grid cells to calculate the dynamics and the reactive chemistry makes possible to accurately represent the dynamics in the valley (slope and valley winds and to process chemistry at fine scale.

    Validation of campaign days allows to study chemistry indicators in the valley. NOy according to O3 reduction demonstrates a VOC controlled regime, different from the NOx controlled regime expected and observed in the nearby city of Grenoble.

  5. Climate Variations and Alaska Tundra Vegetation Productivity Declines in Spring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, U. S.; Walker, D. A.; Bieniek, P.; Raynolds, M. K.; Epstein, H. E.; Comiso, J. C.; Pinzon, J. E.; Tucker, C. J.

    2015-12-01

    While sea ice has continued to decline, vegetation productivity increases have declined particularly during spring in Alaska as well as many parts of the Arctic tundra. To understand the processes behind these features we investigate spring climate variations that includes temperature, circulation patterns, and snow cover to determine how these may be contributing to spring browning. This study employs remotely sensed weekly 25-km sea ice concentration, weekly surface temperature, and bi-weekly NDVI from 1982 to 2014. Maximum NDVI (MaxNDVI, Maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), Time Integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI), Summer Warmth Index (SWI, sum of degree months above freezing during May-August), atmospheric reanalysis data, dynamically downscaled climate data, meteorological station data, and snow water equivalent (GlobSnow, assimilated snow data set). We analyzed the data for the full period (1982-2014) and for two sub-periods (1982-1998 and 1999-2014), which were chosen based on the declining Alaska SWI since 1998. MaxNDVI has increased from 1982-2014 over most of the Arctic but has declined from 1999 to 2014 southwest Alaska. TI-NDVI has trends that are similar to those for MaxNDVI for the full period but display widespread declines over the 1999-2014 period. Therefore, as the MaxNDVI has continued to increase overall for the Arctic, TI-NDVI has been declining since 1999 and these declines are particularly noteworthy during spring in Alaska. Spring declines in Alaska have been linked to increased spring snow cover that can delay greenup (Bieniek et al. 2015) but recent ground observations suggest that after an initial warming and greening, late season freezing temperature are damaging the plants. The late season freezing temperature hypothesis will be explored with meteorological climate/weather data sets for Alaska tundra regions. References P.A. Bieniek, US Bhatt, DA Walker, MK Raynolds, JC Comiso, HE Epstein, JE Pinzon, CJ Tucker, RL Thoman, H Tran, N M

  6. BRDF characteristics of tundra vegetation communities in Yamal, Western Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchhorn, Marcel; Heim, Birgit; Walker, Donald A. Skip; Epstein, Howard; Leibman, Marina

    2013-04-01

    Satellite data from platforms with pointing capabilities (CHRIS/Proba, RapidEye) or from sensors with wide swath (AVHRR, MODIS, MERIS) is influenced by the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF). This effect can cause significant changes in the measured spectral surface reflectance depending on the solar illumination geometry and sensor viewing conditions. The Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP), a German hyperspectral mission with expected launch in 2016, will provide high spectral resolution observations with a ground sampling distance of 30 meters. Since the EnMAP sensor has pointing capabilities, both spectral and directional reflection characteristics need to be taken into account for the algorithms development for vegetation parameters. The 'hyperspectral method development for Arctic VEGetation biomes' (hy-Arc-VEG) project is part of the national preparation program for the EnMAP mission. Within the EnMAP projcect hy-Arc-VEG we developed a portable field spectro-goniometer, named ManTIS (Manual Transportable Instrument for Spherical BRDF observations), for the in-situ measurements of anisotropic effects of tundra surfaces (national and international patent pending - DE 102011117713.6). The goniometer was designed for field use in difficult as well as challenging terrain and climate. It is therefore of low weight, without electrical devices and weatherproof. It can be disassembled and packed into small boxes for transport. The current off-nadir viewing capacity is matched to the EnMAP sensor configuration (up to 30°). We carried out spectral field and goniometer measurements on the joint YAMAL 2011 expedition (RU-US-DE) organized by the Earth-Cryosphere Institute (ECI) in August 2011 on the Yamal Peninsula, northwestern Siberia, Russia. The field goniometer measurements (conducted under varying sun zenith angles) as well as field spectro-radiometrical measurements were carried out at the NASA Yamal Land Cover/Land Use Change

  7. Tundra Disturbance and Recovery Nine Years After Winter Seismic Exploration in Northern Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Seismic exploration was conducted during the winters of 1984 and 1985 on the coastal plain tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. In 1986, 1989, and...

  8. Terrestrial bird populations and habitat use on coastal plain tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report covers terrestrial bird populations and habitat use on the coastal plain tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Bird census plots were monitored....

  9. Pacific Flyway management plan for the Western Population of tundra swans

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of this plan is to establish guidelines for the cooperative management of the Western Population (WP) of tundra swans (Cygnus c. columbianus). This...

  10. Tundra swan populations, productivity, and local movements on Selawik National Wildlife Refuge, northwest Alaska, 1985

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report summarizes the monitoring of populations and production of tundra swans on Selawik National Wildlife Refuge in 1985 as part of a long-term study. Radio...

  11. Spatiotemporal variability in surface energy balance across tundra, snow and ice in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Magnus; Stiegler, Christian; Abermann, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    The surface energy balance (SEB) is essential for understanding the coupled cryosphere–atmosphere system in the Arctic. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability in SEB across tundra, snow and ice. During the snow-free period, the main energy sink for ice sites is surface melt....... For tundra, energy is used for sensible and latent heat flux and soil heat flux leading to permafrost thaw. Longer snow-free period increases melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers and may promote tundra permafrost thaw. During winter, clouds have a warming effect across surface types whereas during...... summer clouds have a cooling effect over tundra and a warming effect over ice, reflecting the spatial variation in albedo. The complex interactions between factors affecting SEB across surface types remain a challenge for understanding current and future conditions. Extended monitoring activities coupled...

  12. Spatiotemporal variability in surface energy balance across tundra, snow and ice in Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, Magnus; Stiegler, Christian; Abermann, Jakob; Citterio, Michele; Hansen, Birger U; van As, Dirk

    2017-02-01

    The surface energy balance (SEB) is essential for understanding the coupled cryosphere-atmosphere system in the Arctic. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability in SEB across tundra, snow and ice. During the snow-free period, the main energy sink for ice sites is surface melt. For tundra, energy is used for sensible and latent heat flux and soil heat flux leading to permafrost thaw. Longer snow-free period increases melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers and may promote tundra permafrost thaw. During winter, clouds have a warming effect across surface types whereas during summer clouds have a cooling effect over tundra and a warming effect over ice, reflecting the spatial variation in albedo. The complex interactions between factors affecting SEB across surface types remain a challenge for understanding current and future conditions. Extended monitoring activities coupled with modelling efforts are essential for assessing the impact of warming in the Arctic.

  13. Dynamics of the recovery of damaged tundra vegetation. Annual progress report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amundsen, C.C.

    1976-01-01

    A study, begun in 1971, continues to document the environmental factors which affect the recovery of damaged tundra landscapes. A measurement technique was developed on Amchitka Island to allow the rapid acquisition of data on species presence and frequency across areas disturbed at various times and in various ways. Samples across all examples of aspect, slope steepness and exposure are taken. Studies now include Adak Island and the Point Barrow area. We have concluded that there was no directional secondary succession on the Aleutian tundra, although there was vigorous recovery on organic soils. Our study led to recommendations which resulted in less intensive reclamation management at a considerable financial saving and without further biological perturbation. Because of the increasing activity on tundra landscapes, for energy extraction, transportation or production, military or other reasons, we have expanded our sampling to other tundra areas where landscape disruption is occurring or is predicted.

  14. Transformation of nitrogen compounds in the tundra soils of Northern Fennoscandia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslov, M. N.; Makarov, M. I.

    2016-07-01

    The transformation of organic nitrogen compounds in the soils of tundra ecosystems of Northern Fennoscandia has been studied under laboratory and natural conditions. Tundra soils contain significant reserves of total nitrogen, but they are poor in its extractable mineral and organic forms. The potential rates of the net mineralization and net immobilization of nitrogen by microorganisms vary among the soils and depend on the C: N ratio in the extractable organic matter and microbial biomass of soil. Under natural conditions, the rate of nitrogen net mineralization is lower than the potential rate determined under laboratory conditions by 6-25 times. The incubation of tundra soils in the presence of plants does not result in the accumulation of mineral nitrogen compounds either in the soil or in microbial biomass. This confirms the high competitive capacity of plants under conditions of limited nitrogen availability in tundra ecosystems.

  15. Fourfold higher tundra volatile emissions due to arctic summer warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindwall, Frida; Schollert, Michelle; Michelsen, Anders; Blok, Daan; Rinnan, Riikka

    2016-03-01

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), which are mainly emitted by vegetation, may create either positive or negative climate forcing feedbacks. In the Subarctic, BVOC emissions are highly responsive to temperature, but the effects of climatic warming on BVOC emissions have not been assessed in more extreme arctic ecosystems. The Arctic undergoes rapid climate change, with air temperatures increasing at twice the rate of the global mean. Also, the amount of winter precipitation is projected to increase in large areas of the Arctic, and it is unknown how winter snow depth affects BVOC emissions during summer. Here we examine the responses of BVOC emissions to experimental summer warming and winter snow addition—each treatment alone and in combination—in an arctic heath during two growing seasons. We observed a 280% increase relative to ambient in BVOC emissions in response to a 4°C summer warming. Snow addition had minor effects on growing season BVOC emissions after one winter but decreased BVOC emissions after the second winter. We also examined differences between canopy and air temperatures and found that the tundra canopy surface was on average 7.7°C and maximum 21.6°C warmer than air. This large difference suggests that the tundra surface temperature is an important driver for emissions of BVOCs, which are temperature dependent. Our results demonstrate a strong response of BVOC emissions to increasing temperatures in the Arctic, suggesting that emission rates will increase with climate warming and thereby feed back to regional climate change.

  16. Monitoring Alpine Transportation Infrastructures Using Space Techniues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strozzi, Tazio; Caduff, Rafael; Wegmuller, Urs; Brandstaetter, Michael; Kuhtreiber, Norbert

    2013-12-01

    Integration of satellite SAR interferometry, terrestrial radar interferometry and GPS is considered for the monitoring of ground motion along Alpine transportation infrastructures. We present results related to large-scale surveys in Switzerland along the Gotthard railway with satellite SAR interferometry and to a local monitoring of an active rockfall above the Pyhrn motorway in Austria using terrestrial radar interferometry and GPS.

  17. The Alpine loop of the tethys zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bemmelen, R.W. van

    1969-01-01

    The Alpine loop in Europe results from semi-autochthonous crustal movements which are restricted to the mobile Tethys zone. Its evolution cannot be explained by a uniform northward drift and push of the African continent; it has to be sought, in the first place, in geodynamic processes occurring in

  18. Belowground plant biomass allocation in tundra ecosystems and its relationship with temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Peng; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; Mommer, Liesje; van Ruijven, Jasper; Maximov, Trofim C.; Berendse, Frank

    2016-05-01

    Climate warming is known to increase the aboveground productivity of tundra ecosystems. Recently, belowground biomass is receiving more attention, but the effects of climate warming on belowground productivity remain unclear. Enhanced understanding of the belowground component of the tundra is important in the context of climate warming, since most carbon is sequestered belowground in these ecosystems. In this study we synthesized published tundra belowground biomass data from 36 field studies spanning a mean annual temperature (MAT) gradient from -20 °C to 0 °C across the tundra biome, and determined the relationships between different plant biomass pools and MAT. Our results show that the plant community biomass-temperature relationships are significantly different between above and belowground. Aboveground biomass clearly increased with MAT, whereas total belowground biomass and fine root biomass did not show a significant increase over the broad MAT gradient. Our results suggest that biomass allocation of tundra vegetation shifts towards aboveground in warmer conditions, which could impact on the carbon cycling in tundra ecosystems through altered litter input and distribution in the soil, as well as possible changes in root turnover.

  19. Relationship of cyanobacterial and algal assemblages with vegetation in the high Arctic tundra (West Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richter Dorota

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the results of a study of cyanobacteria and green algae assemblages occurring in various tundra types determined on the basis of mosses and vascular plants and habitat conditions. The research was carried out during summer in the years 2009-2013 on the north sea-coast of Hornsund fjord (West Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago. 58 sites were studied in various tundra types differing in composition of vascular plants, mosses and in trophy and humidity. 141 cyanobacteria and green algae were noted in the research area in total. Cyanobacteria and green algae flora is a significant element of many tundra types and sometimes even dominate there. Despite its importance, it has not been hitherto taken into account in the description and classification of tundra. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the legitimacy of using phycoflora in supplementing the descriptions of hitherto described tundra and distinguishing new tundra types. Numeric hierarchical-accumulative classification (MVSP 3.1 software methods were used to analyze the cyanobacterial and algal assemblages and their co-relations with particular tundra types. The analysis determined dominant and distinctive species in the communities in concordance with ecologically diverse types of tundra. The results show the importance of these organisms in the composition of the vegetation of tundra types and their role in the ecosystems of this part of the Arctic.

  20. Can lemmings control the expansion of woody plants on tundra?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja; Olofsson, Johan; Virtanen, Risto; Hoset, Katrine; Tuomi, Maria; Kyrö, Kukka

    2013-04-01

    The ongoing expansion of woody vegetation in the arctic, due to global warming, creates a positive feed back loop. Increasing abundance of woody plants reduces surface albedo both directly and via speeding up snow melt. Thus a successively greater fraction of incoming solar radiation is absorbed and converted to heat. Browsing mammals - both big and small - can prevent this by consuming woody plants. However, the grazer/browser community of many tundra areas is dominated by brown/Norwegian lemmings (Lemmus spp.) which eat graminoids and mosses and cannot use woody plants as forage. It would seem a priori likely that in such areas, mammalian herbivores speed up the expansion of woody plants by improving the chances of their seedlings to get established. We studied the impact of lemmings on woody plants by constructing lemming proof exclosures within piece high-altitude tundra at Joatkanjávri, northernmost Norway. The exclosures were constructed in 1998, during a period of low lemming densities, in snow-beds, where Norwegian lemmings (L. lemmus) were the only ecologically significant herbivorous mammals. (Reindeer migrate through the area in May, when snow-beds are inaccessible for them; during the fall migration, the area represents a dead end and is therefore avoided.) We chose pairs of maximally similar vegetation patches of 0.5 by 0.5 m and randomly assigned one of each pair to become an exclosure while the other plot was left open. The initial state of the vegetation was documented by the point frequency method. In 2008, after the 2007 lemming outbreak, the same documentation was repeated; thereafter the plots were harvested, the vegetation was sorted to species, oven dried and weighed. Exclusion of lemmings resulted to pronounced increase in community level plant biomass. Evergreen woody plants were especially favored by the exclusion of lemming: their above-ground biomass in exclosures was 14 times as great as their biomass on open reference plots. The

  1. Speciation in arctic and alpine diploid plants

    OpenAIRE

    Gustafsson, A Lovisa S

    2013-01-01

    The main objectives of this thesis are to study patterns and processes of plant speciation in arctic and alpine diploid plants. Cryptic species are here referred to as morphologically similar individuals belonging to the same taxonomic species but that are unable to produce fertile offspring (i.e. 'sibling' species). The arctic flora is considered as one of the most species-poor floras of the world, and the latitudinal gradient with decreasing diversity from low to high latitudes is likely...

  2. Stability of alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai- Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Huakun; ZHOU Li; ZHAO Xinquan; LIU Wei; LI Yingnian; GU Song; ZHOU Xinmin

    2006-01-01

    The meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is considered to be sensitive to climate change. An understanding of the alpine meadow ecosystem is therefore important for predicting the response of ecosystems to climate change. In this study, we use the coefficients of variation (Cv) and stability (E) obtained from the Haibei Alpine Meadow Ecosystem Research Station to characterize the ecosystem stability. The results suggest that the net primary production of the alpine meadow ecosystem was more stable (Cv = 13.18%) than annual precipitation (Cv = 16.55%) and annual mean air temperature (Cv = 28.82%). The net primary production was insensitive to either the precipitation (E = 0.0782) or air temperature (E = 0.1113). In summary, the alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai- Tibetan Plateau is much stable. Comparison of alpine meadow ecosystem stability with other five natural grassland ecosystems in Israel and southern African indicates that the alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is the most stable ecosystem. The alpine meadow ecosystem with relatively simple structure has high stability, which indicates that community stability is not only correlated with biodiversity and community complicity but also with environmental stability. An average oscillation cycles of 3―4 years existed in annual precipitation, annual mean air temperature, net primary production and the population size of consumers at the Haibei natural ecosystem. The high stability of the alpine meadow ecosystem may be resulting also from the adaptation of the ecosystem to the alpine environment.

  3. Soil Fauna Affects Dissolved Carbon and Nitrogen in Foliar Litter in Alpine Forest and Alpine Meadow.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shu Liao

    Full Text Available Dissolved organic carbon (DOC and total dissolved nitrogen (TDN are generally considered important active biogeochemical pools of total carbon and nitrogen. Many studies have documented the contributions of soil fauna to litter decomposition, but the effects of the soil fauna on labile substances (i.e., DOC and TDN in litter during early decomposition are not completely clear. Therefore, a field litterbag experiment was carried out from 13th November 2013 to 23rd October 2014 in an alpine forest and an alpine meadow located on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Litterbags with different mesh sizes were used to provide access to or prohibit the access of the soil fauna, and the concentrations of DOC and TDN in the foliar litter were measured during the winter (the onset of freezing, deep freezing and thawing stage and the growing season (early and late. After one year of field incubation, the concentration of DOC in the litter significantly decreased, whereas the TDN concentration in the litter increased. Similar dynamic patterns were detected under the effects of the soil fauna on both DOC and TDN in the litter between the alpine forest and the alpine meadow. The soil fauna showed greater positive effects on decreasing DOC concentration in the litter in the winter than in the growing season. In contrast, the dynamics of TND in the litter were related to seasonal changes in environmental factors, rather than the soil fauna. In addition, the soil fauna promoted a decrease in litter DOC/TDN ratio in both the alpine forest and the alpine meadow throughout the first year of decomposition, except for in the late growing season. These results suggest that the soil fauna can promote decreases in DOC and TDN concentrations in litter, contributing to early litter decomposition in these cold biomes.

  4. What Does Matter?: Idols and Icons in the Nenets Tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laur Vallikivi

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines a mission encounter in the Nenets reindeer herders’ tundra. In post-Soviet Arctic Russia, Pentecostal and Baptist missionaries of Russian and Ukrainian origin have been fighting against idolatry and trying to persuade the Nenets to burn their sacred images or khekhe’’. They claim that among the indigenous Siberians idolatry exists in its quintessential or prototypical form, as it is described in the Bible. I shall suggest that this encounter takes place in a gap, in which the Nenets and Protestant have different understandings of language and materiality. Missionaries rely simultaneously on the ‘modern’ ideology of signification and the ‘non-modern’ magic of the material. They argue that idols, which are ‘nothing’ according to the scriptures, dangerously bind the ‘pagans’’ minds. For reindeer herders, for whom sacred items occupy an important place in the family wellbeing, the main issue is how to sever the link with the spirits without doing any damage.

  5. Below-ground carbon transfer among Betula nana may increase with warming in Arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deslippe, Julie R; Simard, Suzanne W

    2011-11-01

    • Shrubs are expanding in Arctic tundra, but the role of mycorrhizal fungi in this process is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that mycorrhizal networks are involved in interplant carbon (C) transfer within a tundra plant community. • Here, we installed below-ground treatments to control for C transfer pathways and conducted a (13)CO(2)-pulse-chase labelling experiment to examine C transfer among and within plant species. • We showed that mycorrhizal networks exist in tundra, and facilitate below-ground transfer of C among Betula nana individuals, but not between or within the other tundra species examined. Total C transfer among conspecific B. nana pairs was 10.7 ± 2.4% of photosynthesis, with the majority of C transferred through rhizomes or root grafts (5.2 ± 5.3%) and mycorrhizal network pathways (4.1 ± 3.3%) and very little through soil pathways (1.4 ± 0.35%). • Below-ground C transfer was of sufficient magnitude to potentially alter plant interactions in Arctic tundra, increasing the competitive ability and mono-dominance of B. nana. C transfer was significantly positively related to ambient temperatures, suggesting that it may act as a positive feedback to ecosystem change as climate warms.

  6. Carbon and nutrient responses to fire and climate warming in Alaskan arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Y.; Rastetter, E. B.; Shaver, G. R.; Rocha, A. V.; Kwiatkowski, B.; Pearce, A.; Zhuang, Q.; Mishra, U.

    2015-12-01

    Fire frequency has dramatically increased in the tundra of northern Alaska, which has major implications for the carbon budget of the region and the functioning of these ecosystems that support important wildlife species. We applied the Multiple Element Limitation (MEL) model to investigate both the short- and long-term post-fire succession of plant and soil carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus fluxes and stocks along a burn severity gradient in the 2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire scar in northern Alaska. We compared the patterns of biomass and soil carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus recoveries with different burn severities and warming intensities. Modeling results indicated that the early regrowth of post-fire tundra vegetation was limited primarily by its canopy photosynthetic potential, rather than nutrient availability. The long-term recovery of C balance from fire disturbance is mainly determined by the internal redistribution of nutrients among ecosystem components, rather than the supply of nutrients from external sources (e.g., nitrogen deposition and fixation, phosphorus weathering). Soil organic matter is the principal source of plant-available nutrients and determines the spatial variation of vegetation biomass across the North Slope of Alaska. Across the North Slope of Alaska, we examined the effects of changes in N and P cycles on tundra C budgets under climate warming. Our results indicate that the ongoing climate warming in Arctic enhances mineralization and leads to a net transfer of nutrient from soil organic matter to vegetation, thereby stimulating tundra plant growth and increased C sequestration in the tundra ecosystems.

  7. How Will the Tundra-Taiga Interface Respond to Climate Change?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skre, Oddvar [Norwegian Forest Research Inst., Fana (Norway); Baxter, Bob [Univ. of Durham (United Kingdom). School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Crawford, Robert M.M. [Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom); Callaghan, Terry V. [Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom). Sheffield Centre for Arctic Ecology; Fedorkov, Aleksey [Russian Academy of Sciences, Syktyvkar (Russian Federation). Inst. of Biology

    2002-08-01

    The intuitive and logical answer to the question of how the tundra-taiga interface will react to global warming is that it should move north and this is mirrored by many models of potential treeline migration. Northward movement may be the eventual outcome if climatic warming persists over centuries or millennia. However, closer examination of the tundra-taiga interface across its circumpolar extent reveals a more complex situation. The regional climatic history of the tundra-taiga interface is highly varied, and consequently it is to be expected that the forest tundra boundary zone will respond differently to climate change depending on local variations in climate, evolutionary history, soil development, and hydrology. Investigations reveal considerable stability at present in the position of the treeline and while there may be a long-term advance northwards there are oceanic regions where climatic warming may result in a retreat southwards due to increased bog development. Reinforcing this trend is an increasing human impact, particularly in the forest tundra of Russia, which forces the limit of the forested areas southwards. Local variations will therefore require continued observation and research, as they will be of considerable importance economically as well as for ecology and conservation.

  8. How will the tundra-taiga interface respond to climate change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skre, Oddvar; Baxter, Robert; Crawford, Robert M M; Callaghan, Terry V; Fedorkov, Alexey

    2002-08-01

    The intuitive and logical answer to the question of how the tundra-taiga interface will react to global warming is that it should move north and this is mirrored by many models of potential treeline migration. Northward movement may be the eventual outcome if climatic warming persists over centuries or millennia. However, closer examination of the tundra-taiga interface across its circumpolar extent reveals a more complex situation. The regional climatic history of the tundra-taiga interface is highly varied, and consequently it is to be expected that the forest tundra boundary zone will respond differently to climate change depending on local variations in climate, evolutionary history, soil development, and hydrology. Investigations reveal considerable stability at present in the position of the treeline and while there may be a long-term advance northwards there are oceanic regions where climatic warming may result in a retreat southwards due to increased bog development. Reinforcing this trend is an increasing human impact, particularly in the forest tundra of Russia, which forces the limit of the forested areas southwards. Local variations will therefore require continued observation and research, as they will be of considerable importance economically as well as for ecology and conservation.

  9. Variation in bird's originating nitrogen availability limits High Arctic tundra development over last 2000 year (Hornsund, Svalbard)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skrzypek, Grzegorz; Wojtuń, Bronisław; Hua, Quan; Richter, Dorota; Jakubas, Dariusz; Wojczulanis-Jakubas, Katarzyna; Samecka-Cymerman, Aleksandra

    2016-04-01

    Arctic and subarctic regions play important roles in the global carbon balance. However, nitrogen (N) deficiency is a major constraint for organic carbon sequestration in the High Arctic. Hence, the identification of the relative contributions from different N-sources is critical for understanding the constraints that limit tundra growth. The stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources and numerous plants were analyzed in ten tundra types (including those influenced by seabirds) in the Fuglebekken catchment (Hornsund, Svalbard, 77°N 15°E). The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by seabirds' feces (from planktivorous colonially breeding little auks Alle alle), ranged from 0-21% in Patterned-ground tundra to 100% in Ornithocoprophilous tundra. The total N-pool utilized by tundra plants in the studied catchment originated from birds (36%), atmospheric deposition (38%), and N2-fixation (26%). The results clearly show that N-pool in the tundra is significantly supplemented by nesting seabirds. Thus, if they experienced climate change induced substantial negative environmental pressure, it would adversely influence the tundra N-budget (Skrzypek et al. 2015). The growth rates and the sediment thickness (PLoS ONE 10(9): e0136536.

  10. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem to a methane source

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nauta, Ake L.; Heijmans, Monique P.D.; Blok, Daan;

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average1. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming2,3. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed rapidly4......, including expansion of woody vegetation5,6, in response to changing climate conditions. How such vegetation changes contribute to stabilization or destabilization of the permafrost is unknown. Here we present six years of field observations in a shrub removal experiment at a Siberian tundra site. Removing...... the shrub part of the vegetation initiated thawing of ice-rich permafrost, resulting in collapse of the originally elevated shrub patches into waterlogged depressions within five years. This thaw pond development shifted the plots from a methane sink into a methane source. The results of our field...

  11. Potential Arctic tundra vegetation shifts in response to changing temperature, precipitation and permafrost thaw

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Kolk, Henk-Jan; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; van Huissteden, Jacobus; Pullens, Jeroen W. M.; Berendse, Frank

    2016-11-01

    Over the past decades, vegetation and climate have changed significantly in the Arctic. Deciduous shrub cover is often assumed to expand in tundra landscapes, but more frequent abrupt permafrost thaw resulting in formation of thaw ponds could lead to vegetation shifts towards graminoid-dominated wetland. Which factors drive vegetation changes in the tundra ecosystem are still not sufficiently clear. In this study, the dynamic tundra vegetation model, NUCOM-tundra (NUtrient and COMpetition), was used to evaluate the consequences of climate change scenarios of warming and increasing precipitation for future tundra vegetation change. The model includes three plant functional types (moss, graminoids and shrubs), carbon and nitrogen cycling, water and permafrost dynamics and a simple thaw pond module. Climate scenario simulations were performed for 16 combinations of temperature and precipitation increases in five vegetation types representing a gradient from dry shrub-dominated to moist mixed and wet graminoid-dominated sites. Vegetation composition dynamics in currently mixed vegetation sites were dependent on both temperature and precipitation changes, with warming favouring shrub dominance and increased precipitation favouring graminoid abundance. Climate change simulations based on greenhouse gas emission scenarios in which temperature and precipitation increases were combined showed increases in biomass of both graminoids and shrubs, with graminoids increasing in abundance. The simulations suggest that shrub growth can be limited by very wet soil conditions and low nutrient supply, whereas graminoids have the advantage of being able to grow in a wide range of soil moisture conditions and have access to nutrients in deeper soil layers. Abrupt permafrost thaw initiating thaw pond formation led to complete domination of graminoids. However, due to increased drainage, shrubs could profit from such changes in adjacent areas. Both climate and thaw pond formation

  12. Modeling the spatiotemporal variability in subsurface thermal regimes across a low-relief polygonal tundra landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Jitendra; Collier, Nathan; Bisht, Gautam; Mills, Richard T.; Thornton, Peter E.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Romanovsky, Vladimir

    2016-09-01

    Vast carbon stocks stored in permafrost soils of Arctic tundra are under risk of release to the atmosphere under warming climate scenarios. Ice-wedge polygons in the low-gradient polygonal tundra create a complex mosaic of microtopographic features. This microtopography plays a critical role in regulating the fine-scale variability in thermal and hydrological regimes in the polygonal tundra landscape underlain by continuous permafrost. Modeling of thermal regimes of this sensitive ecosystem is essential for understanding the landscape behavior under the current as well as changing climate. We present here an end-to-end effort for high-resolution numerical modeling of thermal hydrology at real-world field sites, utilizing the best available data to characterize and parameterize the models. We develop approaches to model the thermal hydrology of polygonal tundra and apply them at four study sites near Barrow, Alaska, spanning across low to transitional to high-centered polygons, representing a broad polygonal tundra landscape. A multiphase subsurface thermal hydrology model (PFLOTRAN) was developed and applied to study the thermal regimes at four sites. Using a high-resolution lidar digital elevation model (DEM), microtopographic features of the landscape were characterized and represented in the high-resolution model mesh. The best available soil data from field observations and literature were utilized to represent the complex heterogeneous subsurface in the numerical model. Simulation results demonstrate the ability of the developed modeling approach to capture - without recourse to model calibration - several aspects of the complex thermal regimes across the sites, and provide insights into the critical role of polygonal tundra microtopography in regulating the thermal dynamics of the carbon-rich permafrost soils. Areas of significant disagreement between model results and observations highlight the importance of field-based observations of soil thermal and

  13. Effects of temperature seasonality on tundra vegetation productivity using a daily vegetation dynamics model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, H. E.; Erler, A.; Frazier, J.; Bhatt, U. S.

    2011-12-01

    Changes in the seasonality of air temperature will elicit interacting effects on the dynamics of snow cover, nutrient availability, vegetation growth, and other ecosystem properties and processes in arctic tundra. Simulation models often do not have the fine temporal resolution necessary to develop theory and propose hypotheses for the effects of daily and weekly timescale changes on ecosystem dynamics. We therefore developed a daily version of an arctic tundra vegetation dynamics model (ArcVeg) to simulate how changes in the seasonality of air temperatures influences the dynamics of vegetation growth and carbon sequestration across regions of arctic tundra. High temporal-resolution air and soil temperature data collected from field sites across the five arctic tundra bioclimate subzones were used to develop a daily weather generator operable for sites throughout the arctic tundra. Empirical relationships between temperature and soil nitrogen were used to generate daily dynamics of soil nitrogen availability, which drive the daily uptake of nitrogen and growth among twelve tundra plant functional types. Seasonal dynamics of the remotely sensed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and remotely sensed land surface temperature from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) GIMMS 3g dataset were used to investigate constraints on the start of the growing season, although there was no indication of any spatially consistent temperature or day-length controls on greening onset. Because of the exponential nature of the relationship between soil temperature and nitrogen mineralization, temperature changes during the peak of the growing season had greater effects on vegetation productivity than changes earlier in the growing season. However, early season changes in temperature had a greater effect on the relative productivities of different plant functional types, with potential influences on species composition.

  14. Shrub Abundance Mapping in Arctic Tundra with Misr

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duchesne, R.; Chopping, M. J.; Wang, Z.; Schaaf, C.; Tape, K. D.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last 60 years an increase in shrub abundance has been observed in the Arctic tundra in connection with a rapid surface warming trend. Rapid shrub expansion may have consequences in terms of ecosystem structure and function, albedo, and feedbacks to climate; however, its rate is not yet known. The goal of this research effort is thus to map large scale changes in Arctic tundra vegetation by exploiting the structural signal in moderate resolution satellite remote sensing images from NASA's Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), mapped onto a 250m Albers Conic Equal Area grid. We present here large area shrub mapping supported by reference data collated using extensive field inventory data and high resolution panchromatic imagery. MISR Level 1B2 Terrain radiance scenes from the Terra satellite from 15 June-31 July, 2000 - 2010 were converted to surface bidirectional reflectance factors (BRF) using MISR Toolkit routines and the MISR 1 km LAND product BRFs. The red band data in all available cameras were used to invert the RossThick-LiSparse-Reciprocal BRDF model to retrieve kernel weights, model-fitting RMSE, and Weights of Determination. The reference database was constructed using aerial survey, three field campaigns (field inventory for shrub count, cover, mean radius and height), and high resolution imagery. Tall shrub number, mean crown radius, cover, and mean height estimates were obtained from QuickBird and GeoEye panchromatic image chips using the CANAPI algorithm, and calibrated using field-based estimates, thus extending the database to over eight hundred locations. Tall shrub fractional cover maps for the North Slope of Alaska were constructed using the bootstrap forest machine learning algorithm that exploits the surface information provided by MISR. The reference database was divided into two datasets for training and validation. The model derived used a set of 19 independent variables(the three kernel weights, ratios and interaction terms

  15. Digital necrobacillosis in Norwegian wild tundra reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handeland, K; Boye, M; Bergsjø, B; Bondal, H; Isaksen, K; Agerholm, J S

    2010-07-01

    Outbreaks of digital necrobacillosis in Norwegian wild tundra reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) are described. The outbreaks occurred in late summer and autumn 2007 and 2008, subsequent to periods with an unusually high number of days with precipitation and high air temperature. Lesions were generally restricted to one foot and the disease incidence was highest in calves. Single limbs from 20 animals and six whole carcasses were submitted for laboratory examination. Gross lesions were characterized by swelling of the fetlock to coronary band area and cutaneous sinus tracts with sparse discharge of pus. Subcutaneous tissue was inflamed and oedematous with focal necrosis. Tendons, tendon sheaths, joints and periosteum of the digital bones were often affected. Animals shot during winter showed severe chronic periostitis and osteomyelitis and necrotizing deforming arthritis. Microscopically, skin lesions were characterized by deep ulcers with centrally located necrotic tissue, bordered by a zone of oedema and intense inflammation with granulation tissue and fibrosis. Necrosis, suppurative inflammation and oedema were found in the synovial membranes, tendons and tendon sheaths. Digital bone lesions were characterized by necrosis, fibrosis and extensive bone proliferation. Vasculitis and thrombosis were common in all lesions. Elongate filamentous gram-negative bacteria in necrotic lesions from all animals were identified as Fusobacterium necrophorum by fluorescence in-situ hybridization. F. necrophorum was cultured from the foot lesions of six animals. Five of these isolates were examined by 16S rRNA sequencing. The sequences were identical and differed from all other strains listed in GenBank. These results are consistent with circulation of a reindeer-adapted pathogenic strain of F. necrophorum in the wild reindeer population, causing outbreaks of digital necrobacillosis following warm and humid summers.

  16. Metagenomics reveals pervasive bacterial populations and reduced community diversity across the Alaska tundra ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Robert Johnston

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available How soil microbial communities contrast with respect to taxonomic and functional composition within and between ecosystems remains an unresolved question that is central to predicting how global anthropogenic change will affect soil functioning and services. In particular, it remains unclear how small-scale observations of soil communities based on the typical volume sampled (1-2 grams are generalizable to ecosystem-scale responses and processes. This is especially relevant for remote, northern latitude soils, which are challenging to sample and are also thought to be more vulnerable to climate change compared to temperate soils. Here, we employed well-replicated shotgun metagenome and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to characterize community composition and metabolic potential in Alaskan tundra soils, combining our own datasets with those publically available from distant tundra and temperate grassland and agriculture habitats. We found that the abundance of many taxa and metabolic functions differed substantially between tundra soil metagenomes relative to those from temperate soils, and that a high degree of OTU-sharing exists between tundra locations. Tundra soils were an order of magnitude less complex than their temperate counterparts, allowing for near-complete coverage of microbial community richness (~92% breadth by sequencing, and the recovery of twenty-seven high-quality, almost complete (>80% completeness population bins. These population bins, collectively, made up to ~10% of the metagenomic datasets, and represented diverse taxonomic groups and metabolic lifestyles tuned toward sulfur cycling, hydrogen metabolism, methanotrophy, and organic matter oxidation. Several population bins, including members of Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria, were also present in geographically distant (~100-530 km apart tundra habitats (full genome representation and up to 99.6% genome-derived average nucleotide identity. Collectively

  17. Characterizing streamflow generation in Alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiogna, Gabriele; Cano Paoli, Karina; Bellin, Alberto

    2016-04-01

    Developing effective hydrological models for streamflow generation in Alpine catchments is challenging due to the inherent complexity of the intertwined processes controlling water transfer from hillslopes to streams and along the river network. With water discharge as the sole observational variable it is impossible to differentiate between different streamflow sources, and modelling activity is often limited to simplified phenomenological rainfall-runoff models. This study focuses on quantifying streamflow sources at different temporal scales and the associated uncertainty by using natural tracer data (electrical conductivity, oxygen and hydrogen stable isotopes ratios) as observational variables supplementing streamflow measurements. We determine the spatial and temporal hydrological behavior and the mean residence time of water in the Vermigliana catchment, North-Eastern Italy and we separate contributions to streamflow originating from Presena and Presanella glaciers, both exerting a strong control on the hydrologic budget of the study site. Furthermore, we identify a seasonal control on the effect of storm events. The catchment responded rapidly to precipitation events in early autumn, it was unaffected by precipitation events in early spring, while runoff generation was enhanced by snow melting in late autumn. Air temperature is identified as the main controlling parameter, in addition to precipitation. Two-component mixing analysis showed that the relative contribution of new water, which can contribute up to 75% of total streamflow, is very rapid. Only two hours time-lag was observed between the beginning of the precipitation event and the emergence of a significant contribution of new water. These results evidence the relevance of mixing between pre-event and event water in the Vermigliana catchment, and in similar high elevation Alpine catchments. This study provides new insights on the dynamics of streamflow generation in Alpine catchments and a

  18. 3D cartography of the Alpine Arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vouillamoz, N.; Sue, C.; Champagnac, J. D.; Calcagno, P.

    2012-04-01

    We present a 3D cartography of the alpine arc, a highly non-cylindrical mountain belt, built using the 3D GeoModeller of the BRGM (French geological survey). The model allows to handle the large-scale 3D structure of seventeen major crustal units of the belt (from the lower crust to the sedimentary cover nappes), and two main discontinuities (the Insubric line and the Crustal Penninic Front). It provides a unique document to better understand their structural relationships and to produce new sections. The study area comprises the western alpine arc, from the Jura to the Northwest, up to the Bergell granite intrusion and the Lepontine Dome to the East, and is limited to the South by the Ligurian basin. The model is limited vertically 10 km above sea level at the top, and the moho interface at the bottom. We discarded the structural relationships between the Alps sensus stricto and the surrounding geodynamic systems such as the Rhine graben or the connection with the Apennines. The 3D-model is based on the global integration of various data such as the DEM of the Alps, the moho isobaths, the simplified geological and tectonic maps of the belt, the crustal cross-sections ECORS-CROP and NFP-20, and complementary cross-sections specifically built to precise local complexities. The database has first been integrated in a GIS-project to prepare their implementation in the GeoModeller, by homogenizing the different spatial referencing systems. The global model is finally interpolated from all these data, using the potential field method. The final document is a new tri-dimentional cartography that would be used as input for further alpine studies.

  19. The Balearic Islands in the Alpine Orogeny

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bourrouilh, R.

    2016-10-01

    The place of the Balearic Islands in the Alpine orogeny is examined using detailed sedimentology studies, stratigraphical studies from the Lower Devonian (Lochkovian) to modern times and a careful tectonic review of sedimentary formations from the Western Mediterranean. Despite being considered as the ultimate end of the north-eastern termination of the Betic Cordillera, the history of the Balearic archipelago seems to be closer to the tectonic opening of the Gulf of Valencia and to the Corsica-Sardinia rotation, and thus to the tectonic history of the Western Mediterranean Sea, than to the tectonics of the Betic Cordillera which appear as its symmetrical image with respect to this opening. (Author)

  20. The Blazing Arctic? Linkages of Tundra Fire Regimes to Climatic Change and Implications for Carbon Cycling (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, F.; Higuera, P. E.; Walsh, J. E.; Chapman, W.; Duffy, P.; Brubaker, L.; Chipman, M. L.

    2010-12-01

    Among the major challenges in anticipating Arctic changes are “surprises” stemming from changes in system components that have remained relatively stable in the historic record. Tundra burning is potentially one such component. We conducted charcoal analysis of lake sediments from several tundra regions to evaluate the uniqueness of recent tundra fires, and examined potential climatic controls of Alaskan tundra fires from CE 1950-2009. A striking example of tundra burning is the 2007 Anaktuvuk River (AR) Fire, an unusually large fire in the tundra of the Alaskan Arctic. This fire doubled the area burned north of 68 oN in that region since record keeping began in 1950. Analysis of lake-sediment cores reveals peak values of charcoal accumulation corresponding to the AR Fire in 2007, with no evidence of other fire events in that area throughout the past five millennia. However, a number of tundra fires, including one as large as the AR Fire, have occurred over the past 60 years in western Alaska, where average summer temperatures are substantially higher than the AR area. In addition, charcoal analysis of lake sediments from interior and northwestern Alaska suggests that during certain periods of the Late Glacial and Holocene, tundra fire frequencies were as high as those of the modern boreal forests. These records along with the AR and historic fires demonstrate that tundra ecosystems support diverse fire regimes and can burn frequently. Reconciling these dramatic differences in tundra fire regimes requires knowledge of climate-fire relationships. Atmospheric reanalysis suggests that the AR Fire was favored by exceptionally warm/dry weather conditions in summer and early autumn. Boosted regression tree modeling shows that warm, dry summer conditions can explain up to 95% of the inter-annual variability in tundra area burned throughout Alaska over the past 60 years and that the response of tundra burning to climatic warming is non-linear. Additionally, tundra area

  1. Chilling- and Freezing-Induced Alterations in Cytosine Methylation and Its Association with the Cold Tolerance of an Alpine Subnival Plant, Chorispora bungeana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Song

    Full Text Available Chilling (0-18°C and freezing (<0°C are two distinct types of cold stresses. Epigenetic regulation can play an important role in plant adaptation to abiotic stresses. However, it is not yet clear whether and how epigenetic modification (i.e., DNA methylation mediates the adaptation to cold stresses in nature (e.g., in alpine regions. Especially, whether the adaptation to chilling and freezing is involved in differential epigenetic regulations in plants is largely unknown. Chorispora bungeana is an alpine subnival plant that is distributed in the freeze-thaw tundra in Asia, where chilling and freezing frequently fluctuate daily (24 h. To disentangle how C. bungeana copes with these intricate cold stresses through epigenetic modifications, plants of C. bungeana were treated at 4°C (chilling and -4°C (freezing over five periods of time (0-24 h. Methylation-sensitive amplified fragment-length polymorphism markers were used to investigate the variation in DNA methylation of C. bungeana in response to chilling and freezing. It was found that the alterations in DNA methylation of C. bungeana largely occurred over the period of chilling and freezing. Moreover, chilling and freezing appeared to gradually induce distinct DNA methylation variations, as the treatment went on (e.g., after 12 h. Forty-three cold-induced polymorphic fragments were randomly selected and further analyzed, and three of the cloned fragments were homologous to genes encoding alcohol dehydrogenase, UDP-glucosyltransferase and polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein. These candidate genes verified the existence of different expressive patterns between chilling and freezing. Our results showed that C. bungeana responded to cold stresses rapidly through the alterations of DNA methylation, and that chilling and freezing induced different DNA methylation changes. Therefore, we conclude that epigenetic modifications can potentially serve as a rapid and flexible mechanism for C. bungeana

  2. Metabolic Profiling of Alpine and Ecuadorian Lichens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittermeier, Verena K; Schmitt, Nicola; Volk, Lukas P M; Suárez, Juan Pablo; Beck, Andreas; Eisenreich, Wolfgang

    2015-10-01

    Non-targeted ¹H-NMR methods were used to determine metabolite profiles from crude extracts of Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens collected from their natural habitats. In control experiments, the robustness of metabolite detection and quantification was estimated using replicate measurements of Stereocaulon alpinum extracts. The deviations in the overall metabolite fingerprints were low when analyzing S. alpinum collections from different locations or during different annual and seasonal periods. In contrast, metabolite profiles observed from extracts of different Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens clearly revealed genus- and species-specific profiles. The discriminating functions determining cluster formation in principle component analysis (PCA) were due to differences in the amounts of genus-specific compounds such as sticticin from the Sticta species, but also in the amounts of ubiquitous metabolites, such as sugar alcohols or trehalose. However, varying concentrations of these metabolites from the same lichen species e.g., due to different environmental conditions appeared of minor relevance for the overall cluster formation in PCA. The metabolic clusters matched phylogenetic analyses using nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences of lichen mycobionts, as exemplified for the genus Sticta. It can be concluded that NMR-based non-targeted metabolic profiling is a useful tool in the chemo-taxonomy of lichens. The same approach could also facilitate the discovery of novel lichen metabolites on a rapid and systematical basis.

  3. Metabolic Profiling of Alpine and Ecuadorian Lichens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verena K. Mittermeier

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Non-targeted 1H-NMR methods were used to determine metabolite profiles from crude extracts of Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens collected from their natural habitats. In control experiments, the robustness of metabolite detection and quantification was estimated using replicate measurements of Stereocaulon alpinum extracts. The deviations in the overall metabolite fingerprints were low when analyzing S. alpinum collections from different locations or during different annual and seasonal periods. In contrast, metabolite profiles observed from extracts of different Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens clearly revealed genus- and species-specific profiles. The discriminating functions determining cluster formation in principle component analysis (PCA were due to differences in the amounts of genus-specific compounds such as sticticin from the Sticta species, but also in the amounts of ubiquitous metabolites, such as sugar alcohols or trehalose. However, varying concentrations of these metabolites from the same lichen species e.g., due to different environmental conditions appeared of minor relevance for the overall cluster formation in PCA. The metabolic clusters matched phylogenetic analyses using nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS sequences of lichen mycobionts, as exemplified for the genus Sticta. It can be concluded that NMR-based non-targeted metabolic profiling is a useful tool in the chemo-taxonomy of lichens. The same approach could also facilitate the discovery of novel lichen metabolites on a rapid and systematical basis.

  4. Responses Of Subalpine Conifer Seedling Germination And Survival To Soil Microclimate In The Alpine Treeline Warming Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castanha, C.; Moyes, A. B.; Torn, M. S.; Germino, M. J.; Kueppers, L. M.

    2011-12-01

    At Niwot Ridge, Colorado, we used common gardens and climate manipulations to investigate potential subalpine tree species range shifts due to climate change. In Fall 2009 we harvested seed from local populations of limber pine and Englemann spruce, which we sowed in 3 experimental sites spanning an elevation gradient from lower subalpine forest (3080m asl), to the upper subalpine treeline ecotone (3400m asl), to the alpine tundra (3550m asl). In October we turned on overhead infrared heaters designed to increase growing season surface soil temperature by 4-5°C, and following snowmelt in 2010 we crossed this heating treatment with manual watering, adding 3mm of water each week. Here we report on the species, site, and treatment effects on seedling emergence and survival as mediated by snowmelt date, soil temperature, and soil moisture. Depending on the site and plot, heating accelerated germination by 1 to 4 weeks. Germination degree days (heat accumulation required for seed germination) were greater for pine than for spruce and greater in drier plots. Seedling survival was explained by date of emergence, with older seedlings more likely to survive the season. Survival was also explained by drought degree days -- the number of days below critical soil moisture thresholds compounded by high temperature -- with lower thresholds for spruce than for pine. Our preliminary results indicate that a warmer environment will stimulate germination for both species, but that, survival - especially for spruce - will be critically modulated by summer soil moisture.

  5. Influence of BRDF on NDVI and biomass estimations of Alaska Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchhorn, Marcel; Raynolds, Martha K.; Walker, Donald A.

    2016-12-01

    Satellites provide the only practical source of data for estimating biomass of large and remote areas such as the Alaskan Arctic. Researchers have found that the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) correlates well with biomass sampled on the ground. However, errors in NDVI and biomass estimates due to bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) effects are not well reported in the literature. Sun-sensor-object geometries and sensor band-width affect the BRDF, and formulas relating NDVI to ground-sampled biomass vary between projects. We examined the effects of these different variables on five studies that estimated above-ground tundra biomass of two common arctic vegetation types that dominate the Alaska tundra, moist acidic tussock tundra (MAT) and moist non-acidic tundra (MNT). We found that biomass estimates were up to 33% (excluding extremes) more sensitive than NDVI to BRDF effects. Variation between the sensors resulted in differences in NDVI of under 3% over all viewing geometries, and wider bands were more stable in their biomass estimates than narrow bands. MAT was more sensitive than MNT to BRDF effects due to irregularities in surface reflectance created by the tussocks. Finally, we found that studies that sampled only a narrow range of biomass and NDVI produced equations that were more difficult to correct for BRDF effects.

  6. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation: heterogeneity over space and time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmendorf, Sarah C; Henry, Gregory H R; Hollister, Robert D; Björk, Robert G; Bjorkman, Anne D; Callaghan, Terry V; Collier, Laura Siegwart; Cooper, Elisabeth J; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Day, Thomas A; Fosaa, Anna Maria; Gould, William A; Grétarsdóttir, Járngerður; Harte, John; Hermanutz, Luise; Hik, David S; Hofgaard, Annika; Jarrad, Frith; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg Svala; Keuper, Frida; Klanderud, Kari; Klein, Julia A; Koh, Saewan; Kudo, Gaku; Lang, Simone I; Loewen, Val; May, Jeremy L; Mercado, Joel; Michelsen, Anders; Molau, Ulf; Myers-Smith, Isla H; Oberbauer, Steven F; Pieper, Sara; Post, Eric; Rixen, Christian; Robinson, Clare H; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Shaver, Gaius R; Stenström, Anna; Tolvanen, Anne; Totland, Orjan; Troxler, Tiffany; Wahren, Carl-Henrik; Webber, Patrick J; Welker, Jeffery M; Wookey, Philip A

    2012-02-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of tundra vegetation to climate warming is critical to forecasting future biodiversity and vegetation feedbacks to climate. In situ warming experiments accelerate climate change on a small scale to forecast responses of local plant communities. Limitations of this approach include the apparent site-specificity of results and uncertainty about the power of short-term studies to anticipate longer term change. We address these issues with a synthesis of 61 experimental warming studies, of up to 20 years duration, in tundra sites worldwide. The response of plant groups to warming often differed with ambient summer temperature, soil moisture and experimental duration. Shrubs increased with warming only where ambient temperature was high, whereas graminoids increased primarily in the coldest study sites. Linear increases in effect size over time were frequently observed. There was little indication of saturating or accelerating effects, as would be predicted if negative or positive vegetation feedbacks were common. These results indicate that tundra vegetation exhibits strong regional variation in response to warming, and that in vulnerable regions, cumulative effects of long-term warming on tundra vegetation - and associated ecosystem consequences - have the potential to be much greater than we have observed to date.

  7. Belowground plant biomass allocation in tundra ecosystems and its relationship with temperature

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peng, Wang; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Mommer, L.; Ruijven, van J.; Maximov, Trofim C.; Berendse, F.

    2016-01-01

    Climatewarming is known to increase the aboveground productivity of tundra ecosystems.
    Recently, belowground biomass is receiving more attention, but the effects of climate warming on
    belowground productivity remain unclear. Enhanced understanding of the belowground component
    of the tund

  8. Blood lead concentrations in Alaskan tundra swans: linking breeding and wintering areas with satellite telemetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ely, Craig R.; Franson, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) like many waterfowl species are susceptible to lead (Pb) poisoning, and Pb-induced mortality has been reported from many areas of their wintering range. Little is known however about Pb levels throughout the annual cycle of tundra swans, especially during summer when birds are on remote northern breeding areas where they are less likely to be exposed to anthropogenic sources of Pb. Our objective was to document summer Pb levels in tundra swans throughout their breeding range in Alaska to determine if there were population-specific differences in blood Pb concentrations that might pose a threat to swans and to humans that may consume them. We measured blood Pb concentrations in tundra swans at five locations in Alaska, representing birds that winter in both the Pacific Flyway and Atlantic Flyway. We also marked swans at each location with satellite transmitters and coded neck bands, to identify staging and wintering sites and determine if winter site use correlated with summer Pb concentrations. Blood Pb levels were generally low ( Blood Pb levels varied significantly across the five breeding areas, with highest concentrations in birds on the North Slope of Alaska (wintering in the Atlantic Flyway), and lowest in birds from the lower Alaska Peninsula that rarely migrate south for winter.

  9. Importance of Marine-Derived Nutrients Supplied by Planktivorous Seabirds to High Arctic Tundra Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwolicki, Adrian; Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, Katarzyna; Richard, Pierre; Stempniewicz, Lech

    2016-01-01

    We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic) that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important of the studied environmental factors influencing the tundra plant community. We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem. We also recorded a strong correlation between the δ15N values of soil and of the tissues of vascular plants and mosses, but not of lichens. The relationship between soil δ15N values and vascular plant cover was linear. In the case of mosses, the percentage ground cover reached maximum around a soil δ 15N value of 8‰, as did plant community diversity. This soil δ15N value clearly separated the occurrence of plants with low nitrogen tolerance (e.g. Salix polaris) from those predominating on high N content soils (e.g. Cerastium arcticum, Poa alpina). Large colonies of planktivorous little auks have a great influence on Arctic tundra vegetation, either through enhancing plant abundance or in shaping plant community composition at a local scale. PMID:27149113

  10. First Record of Setaria Tundra in Danish Roe Deer (Capreolus Capreolus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Enemark, Heidi L.; Harslund, Jakob le Fèvre; Oksanen, A.;

    2011-01-01

    considered harmless inhabitants of the abdominal cavity of ungulates causing only focal areas of mild chronic peritonitis. However, in recent years S. tundra has been associated with an emerging epidemic disease resulting in severe morbidity and mortality for both reindeer and moose in Finland. The Danish...

  11. Fungi benefit from two decades of increased nutrient availability in tundra heath soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Bååth, Erland

    2013-01-01

    of complex organic compounds such as vanillin, while warming has had no such effects. Furthermore, the NLFA-to-PLFA ratio for (13)C-incorporation from acetate increased in warmed plots but not in fertilized ones. Thus, fertilization cannot be used as a proxy for effects on warming in arctic tundra soils...

  12. Estimation and extrapolation of soil properties in the Siberian tundra, using field spectroscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bartholomeus, H.; Schaepman-Strub, G.; Blok, D.; Udaltsov, S.; Sofronov, R.

    2010-01-01

    The Siberian tundra is a complex and sensitive ecosystem. Predicted global warming will be highest in the Arctic and will severely affect permafrost environments. Due to its large spatial extent and large stocks of soil organic carbon, changes to the carbon fluxes in the Arctic will have significant

  13. Roadheading tests in rock using an Alpine AM-75 miner

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morales, G.; Claveria, R.

    1988-02-01

    ENDESA, the National Electricity Company, concluded an agreement with Voest-Alpine to test, over a period of six months, an AM-75 Alpine miner for roadheading work, in rock, at Oportuna colliery in Andorra, Teruel. ENDESA received assistance from OCICARBON in carrying out this project and Geocontrol was the company responsible for monitoring the progress of the project. This article describes the features of the Voest-Alpine machine, the nature of the ground being excavated and operation monitoring. It then analyses the results obtained in the trials.

  14. Surface energy exchanges along a tundra-forest transition and feedbacks to climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beringer, J.; Chapin, F. S.; Thompson, Catharine Copass; McGuire, A.D.

    2005-01-01

    Surface energy exchanges were measured in a sequence of five sites representing the major vegetation types in the transition from arctic tundra to forest. This is the major transition in vegetation structure in northern high latitudes. We examined the influence of vegetation structure on the rates of sensible heating and evapotranspiration to assess the potential feedbacks to climate if high-latitude warming were to change the distribution of these vegetation types. Measurements were made at Council on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, at representative tundra, low shrub, tall shrub, woodland (treeline), and boreal forest sites. Structural differences across the transition from tundra to forest included an increase in the leaf area index (LAI) from 0.52 to 2.76, an increase in canopy height from 0.1 to 6.1 m, and a general increase in canopy complexity. These changes in vegetation structure resulted in a decrease in albedo from 0.19 to 0.10 as well as changes to the partitioning of energy at the surface. Bulk surface resistance to water vapor flux remained virtually constant across sites, apparently because the combined soil and moss evaporation decreased while transpiration increased along the transect from tundra to forest. In general, sites became relatively warmer and drier along the transect with the convective fluxes being increasingly dominated by sensible heating, as evident by an increasing Bowen ratio from 0.94 to 1.22. The difference in growing season average daily sensible heating between tundra and forest was 21 W m-2. Fluxes changed non-linearly along the transition, with both shrubs and trees substantially enhancing heat transfer to the atmosphere. These changes in vegetation structure that increase sensible heating could feed back to enhance warming at local to regional scales. The magnitude of these vegetation effects on potential high-latitude warming is two to three times greater than suggested by previous modeling studies. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All

  15. Increasing alpine transit traffic through Switzerland will considerably enhance high altitude alpine pollutant levels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prevot, A.S.H.; Dommen, J.; Furger, M.; Graber, W.K. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1999-08-01

    Within the EU-Project VOTALP (Vertical Ozone Transports in the Alps), we have shown that deep alpine valleys like the Mesolcina Valley very efficiently transport air out of the polluted valley up to altitudes between 2000 and near 4000 m asl (above sea level). Pollutants emitted in these valleys are very efficiently transported up to high altitudes. (author) 2 figs., 1 tab., 2 refs.

  16. Encounters between Alpine ibex, Alpine chamois and domestic sheep in the Swiss Alps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Pierre Ryser-Degiorgis

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Information regarding spatio-temporal relationships and encounters of sympatric domestic sheep, Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex and Alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra in the Swiss Alps were systematically registered to evaluate the possibility of an interspecific transmission of infectious agents on pastures. Observations were performed in alpine regions of four Swiss cantons during the 1997 and 1998 mountain summer grazing season. In the main study area, Val Chamuera (canton of Grisons, a consistent reduction in the number of ibexes was observed after the arrival of sheep on the pasture. Some ibexes remained for a longer time in the area, but in general, ibexes and sheep did not use the same compartments of the area simultaneously. However, a salt lick for sheep attracted the ibexes, and several encounters were recorded in the compartments close to this salt lick. Several encounters registered in other areas of the Swiss Alps also occurred in the neighbourhood of a salt lick; however, in other cases different species were attracted by rich pastures. The study indicates that encounters (0-50 m between free-ranging individuals of different Caprinae species, domestic and wild, are not uncommon events in the Alps. Therefore, encounters can be considered to be a predisposing factor for interspecific transmission of infectious agents such as Mycoplasma conjunctivae, causing keratoconjunctivitis in chamois, ibex, domestic sheep and goats.

  17. Sustainable use of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate (SUSALPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zistl-Schlingmann, Marcus; Beck, Robert; Brandhuber, Robert; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Garcia Franco, Noelia; von Gillhaußen, Phillip; Jentsch, Anke; Kiese, Ralf; Krämer, Alexander; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid; Köllner, Thomas; Poppenborg, Patrick; Schloter, Michael; Schulz, Stefanie; Wiesmeier, Martin; Wolf, Benjamin; Dannenmann, Michael

    2016-04-01

    The development of ecologically as well as economically sustainable management options for the carbon- and nitrogen rich alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate poses a grand scientific and socio- economical challenge. The transdisciplinary SUSALPS project starting in 2016 aims to essentially improve the knowledge on the functionality of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils using both natural-scientific/ technical and socio economical approaches. The project is building on existing infrastructure of German grassland-ecosystem-research like the pre-alpine TERENO (Terrestrial ecosystem observation network observatory) observatory sites, the EVENT and SIGNAL sites as well as long term LfL (Bayerische Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft) sites, plus a new additional high elevation (1400m a.s.l) site in the Bavarian Alps. The site setup along the elevational gradient on the edge of the Alps (1400 m to 300 m) is used for space-for-time climate change experiments which are combined with extensive and intensive management treatments. A key focus of SUSALPS will be the characterization of combined climate change/management effects on carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry. Hence, we will evaluate the influence of different management options and current and future climate changes on the soil microbiome and associated biogeochemical processes in the plant-soil-system, on nitrogen use efficiency, on biosphere-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases as well as on leaching of environmentally relevant compounds. For this purpose, we simulate the predicted climate change in the region by translocation of large lysimeters (1m2, 1.4m depth; TERENO lysimeters, translocated in 2011) for measurements of biosphere-atmosphere hydrosphere exchange of environmentally relevant C and N compounds as well as by newly transferred smaller plant-soil-mesocosms used for destructive biogeochemical process studies. By closely linking this experimental work with biogeochemical and

  18. The relationship between soil physical properties and alpine plant diversity on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Tang

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Through a large-scale research, we examined the heterogeneity of soil properties and plant diversity, as well as their relationships across alpine grassland types on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The soil pH and EC value increased with the constant deepening of the soil in all the three alpine grassland types which in order of absolute value in every soil layer were alpine desert steppe, alpine steppe and alpine meadow. Among the three grassland types, the alpine meadow possessed the highest SM but the lowest SBD. For plant diversity, alpine meadow was the highest, alpine desert steppe ranked the second and alpine steppe was the last. SM and SBD were the highest influential soil physical properties to species richness, but with opposite effects.

  19. The onset of alpine pastoral systems in the Eastern Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oeggl, Klaus; Festi, Daniela; Putzer, Andreas

    2015-04-01

    Since the discovery of the Neolithic glacier mummy "Ötzi" in the nival belt of the main Alpine ridge, the onset of alpine pasture is matter of a highly controversial debate both in archaeology and in palaeo-ecology of the Eastern Alps. The implication is that his sojourn in the high-altitudes of the Alps is considered to be connected with pastoral nomadism. Regrettably any archaeological evidence for the existence of such Neolithic alpine pastoral systems is missing up to now and the assumption is based on palynological data only. However, also the palynological record is ambiguous, because pasture indicators in the alpine regions react positive on grazing as well as on fertilization induced by a higher runoff of precipitation. Thus alpine pasture indicators reflect both grazing pressure and climatic change. Anyhow, alpine pastoral systems are a common practice in Alpine animal husbandry, but from an economic point of view such a seasonal vertical transhumance is costly. There are three main reasons for its practice: i) climatic, ii) economic (mainly in connection with population pressure or mining activities), and iii) cultural ideology. In this study we tested the above mentioned reasons in an interdisciplinary study on the beginning of pastoral activities in high altitudes in the central part of the Eastern Alps. This is conducted by palynological analyses of peat deposits situated in the vicinity of the timberline (1600 - 2400 m a.s.l.) combined with archaeological surveys. The investigated sites are located in traditional Alpine transhumance regions and aligned on a transect through the central part of the Eastern Alps. The studies reveal that grazing pressure is reflected since the Bronze Age, which is corroborated by archaeological findings in the vicinity of the investigated sites.

  20. Central planning, market and subsistence from a tundra perspective: Field experience with reindeer herders in the Kola Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dessislav Sabev

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper is based on field experience in the tundra camp of a reindeer-herding brigade with mixed ethnic background (Komi, Sami, Nenets, Russians belonging to the ex-Sovkhoz of Krasnoschelie. Its purpose is to situate the new critical issues facing the reindeer-herding collectives after the economic collapse in Russia in 1998. My main argument is that the increasing economic isolation of the tundra periphery forces the herders to redefine their relationship with both the centre(s and the other tundra actors. Reindeer herding on the Kola Peninsula is analysed in relation to its heterogeneous economic system defined by the old Sovkhoz-like management and the new Western buyer of reindeer meat. Furthermore, the social environment in the herding territories has changed since the deterioration of the central planning economy, implying new renewable resources' users. After massive loss of jobs, militaries, miners and geologists came into the tundra for substantial hunting and fishing and so became actors in the local informal economy. Finally, tundra-located herders and hunters seem to be somewhere unified by a discourse against the town-based administrative power and economic actors such as mining industry. Therefore herders have to deal with both an old administrative system in the agrocentre and new realities in the tundra. Based on a case study of herding/hunting activities in a tundra camp, the paper analyses the social relationships between the different actors in the post-Soviet Kola tundra and express their quest for solutions.

  1. Long-term recovery patterns of arctic tundra after winter seismic exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorgenson, Janet C; Ver Hoef, Jay M; Jorgenson, M T

    2010-01-01

    In response to the increasing global demand for energy, oil exploration and development are expanding into frontier areas of the Arctic, where slow-growing tundra vegetation and the underlying permafrost soils are very sensitive to disturbance. The creation of vehicle trails on the tundra from seismic exploration for oil has accelerated in the past decade, and the cumulative impact represents a geographic footprint that covers a greater extent of Alaska's North Slope tundra than all other direct human impacts combined. Seismic exploration for oil and gas was conducted on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, USA, in the winters of 1984 and 1985. This study documents recovery of vegetation and permafrost soils over a two-decade period after vehicle traffic on snow-covered tundra. Paired permanent vegetation plots (disturbed vs. reference) were monitored six times from 1984 to 2002. Data were collected on percent vegetative cover by plant species and on soil and ground ice characteristics. We developed Bayesian hierarchical models, with temporally and spatially autocorrelated errors, to analyze the effects of vegetation type and initial disturbance levels on recovery patterns of the different plant growth forms as well as soil thaw depth. Plant community composition was altered on the trails by species-specific responses to initial disturbance and subsequent changes in substrate. Long-term changes included increased cover of graminoids and decreased cover of evergreen shrubs and mosses. Trails with low levels of initial disturbance usually improved well over time, whereas those with medium to high levels of initial disturbance recovered slowly. Trails on ice-poor, gravel substrates of riparian areas recovered better than those on ice-rich loamy soils of the uplands, even after severe initial damage. Recovery to pre-disturbance communities was not possible where trail subsidence occurred due to thawing of ground ice. Previous studies of

  2. Efficacy of different treatment regimes against setariosis (Setaria tundra, Nematoda: Filarioidea and associated peritonitis in reindeer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nieminen Mauri

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background When a severe peritonitis outbreak in semi-domesticated reindeer was noticed in 2003 in Finland, the concerned industry urged immediate preventive actions in order to avoid detrimental effects of S. tundra and further economical losses. A research programme was swiftly initiated to study S. tundra and its impact on the health and wellbeing of reindeer. Methods The ultimate aim of this study was to test the efficacy of different treatment regimes against S. tundra and associated peritonitis in reindeer. The timing of the trials was planned to be compatible with the annual rhythm of the reindeer management; (1 the treatment of calves in midsummer, during routine calf ear marking, with ivermectin injection prophylaxis and deltamethrin pour-on solution as a repellent against insect vectors, (2 the treatment of infected calves in early autumn with ivermectin injection, and (3 ivermectin treatment of breeding reindeer in winter. The results were assessed using the post mortem inspection data and S. tundra detection. Finally, to evaluate on the population level the influence of the annual (late autumn-winter ivermectin treatment of breeding reindeer on the transmission dynamics of S. tundra, a questionnaire survey was conducted. Results In autumn, ivermectin treatment was efficient against peritonitis and in midsummer had a slight negative impact on the degree of peritonitis and positive on the fat layer, but deltamethrin had none. Ivermectin was efficient against adult S. tundra and its smf. All the reindeer herding cooperatives answered the questionnaire and it appeared that antiparasitic treatment of reindeer population was intense during the study period, when 64–90% of the animals were treated. In the southern part of the Finnish reindeer husbandry area, oral administration of ivermectin was commonly used. Conclusion Autumn, and to a lesser degree summer, treatment of reindeer calves with injectable ivermectin resulted in

  3. Alpine crustal shear zones and pre-Alpine basement terranes in the Romanian Carpathians and Apuseni Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panã, Dinu; Erdmer, Phillippe

    1994-09-01

    The Carpathian orocline formed by complex suturing of small continental fragments to the East European (and Moesian) plate. Remnants of continental fragments belong to three pre-Alpine lithotectonic assemblages: a "greenstone-granite" association and two gneissic assem blages. During Alpine collision, pieces of crust were repeatedly fragmented and welded to accommodate heterogeneous strain along the irregular East European plate boundary. Shallow structural levels of Alpine tectonic discontinuities in which the locus of most intense strain migrated over time are now exposed as wide retrograde greenschist grade belts. Repeated, mainly transpressive deformation resulted in early ductile fabrics being overprinted by local brittle shear strain. Igneous intrusion accompanied different phases of tectonic activity. The age of shearing initiation is probably late Paleozoic, and the configuration of the zones and their Alpine internal structures are consistent with the geometry of the Carpathian arc.

  4. 'Hearing' alpine plants growing after snowmelt: ultrasonic snow sensors provide long-term series of alpine plant phenology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitasse, Yann; Rebetez, Martine; Filippa, Gianluca; Cremonese, Edoardo; Klein, Geoffrey; Rixen, Christian

    2017-02-01

    In alpine environments, the growing season is severely constrained by low temperature and snow. Here, we aim at determining the climatic factors that best explain the interannual variation in spring growth onset of alpine plants, and at examining whether photoperiod might limit their phenological response during exceptionally warm springs and early snowmelts. We analysed 17 years of data (1998-2014) from 35 automatic weather stations located in subalpine and alpine zones ranging from 1560 to 2450 m asl in the Swiss Alps. These stations are equipped with ultrasonic sensors for snow depth measurements that are also able to detect plant growth in spring and summer, giving a unique opportunity to analyse snow and climate effects on alpine plant phenology. Our analysis showed high phenological variation among years, with one exceptionally early and late spring, namely 2011 and 2013. Overall, the timing of snowmelt and the beginning of plant growth were tightly linked irrespective of the elevation of the station. Snowmelt date was the best predictor of plant growth onset with air temperature after snowmelt modulating the plants' development rate. This multiple series of alpine plant phenology suggests that currently alpine plants are directly tracking climate change with no major photoperiod limitation.

  5. `Hearing' alpine plants growing after snowmelt: ultrasonic snow sensors provide long-term series of alpine plant phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitasse, Yann; Rebetez, Martine; Filippa, Gianluca; Cremonese, Edoardo; Klein, Geoffrey; Rixen, Christian

    2016-08-01

    In alpine environments, the growing season is severely constrained by low temperature and snow. Here, we aim at determining the climatic factors that best explain the interannual variation in spring growth onset of alpine plants, and at examining whether photoperiod might limit their phenological response during exceptionally warm springs and early snowmelts. We analysed 17 years of data (1998-2014) from 35 automatic weather stations located in subalpine and alpine zones ranging from 1560 to 2450 m asl in the Swiss Alps. These stations are equipped with ultrasonic sensors for snow depth measurements that are also able to detect plant growth in spring and summer, giving a unique opportunity to analyse snow and climate effects on alpine plant phenology. Our analysis showed high phenological variation among years, with one exceptionally early and late spring, namely 2011 and 2013. Overall, the timing of snowmelt and the beginning of plant growth were tightly linked irrespective of the elevation of the station. Snowmelt date was the best predictor of plant growth onset with air temperature after snowmelt modulating the plants' development rate. This multiple series of alpine plant phenology suggests that currently alpine plants are directly tracking climate change with no major photoperiod limitation.

  6. `Hearing' alpine plants growing after snowmelt: ultrasonic snow sensors provide long-term series of alpine plant phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitasse, Yann; Rebetez, Martine; Filippa, Gianluca; Cremonese, Edoardo; Klein, Geoffrey; Rixen, Christian

    2017-02-01

    In alpine environments, the growing season is severely constrained by low temperature and snow. Here, we aim at determining the climatic factors that best explain the interannual variation in spring growth onset of alpine plants, and at examining whether photoperiod might limit their phenological response during exceptionally warm springs and early snowmelts. We analysed 17 years of data (1998-2014) from 35 automatic weather stations located in subalpine and alpine zones ranging from 1560 to 2450 m asl in the Swiss Alps. These stations are equipped with ultrasonic sensors for snow depth measurements that are also able to detect plant growth in spring and summer, giving a unique opportunity to analyse snow and climate effects on alpine plant phenology. Our analysis showed high phenological variation among years, with one exceptionally early and late spring, namely 2011 and 2013. Overall, the timing of snowmelt and the beginning of plant growth were tightly linked irrespective of the elevation of the station. Snowmelt date was the best predictor of plant growth onset with air temperature after snowmelt modulating the plants' development rate. This multiple series of alpine plant phenology suggests that currently alpine plants are directly tracking climate change with no major photoperiod limitation.

  7. Alaska tundra vegetation trends and their links to the large-scale climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieniek, P. A.; Bhatt, U. S.; Walker, D. A.; Raynolds, M. K.; Comiso, J. C.

    2011-12-01

    The arctic Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI) data set (a measure of vegetation photosynthetic capacity) has been used to document coherent temporal relationships between near-coastal sea ice, summer tundra land surface temperatures, and vegetation productivity throughout the Arctic (Bhatt et al. 2010). Land warming over North America has displayed larger trends (+30%) when compared to Eurasia (+16%) since 1982. In the tundra of northern Alaska the greatest change was found in absolute maximum NDVI along the Beaufort Sea coast (+14%). In contrast, tundra areas in southwest Alaska along the Bering Sea have seen a decline (-4%). Greenup date in these regions has been occurring as much as 1-4 days earlier per decade, but trends are mixed. Winter snow water equivalent (SWE) has only increased slightly (+0.1 mm/yr) in the Arctic region of Alaska since 1987 (R. Muskett, personal communication). These findings suggest that there have been changes in the seasonal climate in Alaska during the NDVI record. The tundra trends are further investigated by evaluating remotely sensed sea ice, surface air temperature, SWE, daily snow cover, and NDVI3g. While the snow data has a relatively short record (1999-2010), notable trends can be observed in snow melt, occurring as much 15 days earlier per decade in northern Alaska. Unfortunately, other snow data sets have been found to be problematic and could not be used to extend our analysis. This highlights the need for a long-term pan-arctic snow data set that is suitable for climate analysis. Possible climate drivers are also investigated. Results show that the summer tundra, in terms of NDVI and summer warmth index (SWI), has few direct links with the large-scale climate. However, the sea ice concentration along the coast of the tundra regions has strong preseason links to the large-scale climate. This suggests that the large-scale climate influences the sea ice concentration which then affects the NDVI and SWI. Three tundra regions

  8. The modeled effects of fire on carbon balance and vegetation abundance in Alaskan tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietze, M. C.; Davidson, C. D.; Kelly, R.; Higuera, P. E.; Hu, F.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic climate is warming at a rate disproportionately faster than the rest of the world. Changes have been observed within the tundra that are attributed to this trend, including active layer thickening, shrub land expansion, and increases in fire frequency. Whether tundra remains a global net sink of carbon could depend upon the effects of fire on vegetation, specifically concerning the speed at which vegetation reestablishes, the stimulation of growth after fire, and the changes that occur in species composition during succession. While rapid regeneration of graminoid vegetation favors the spread of this functional type in early succession, late succession appears to favor shrub vegetation at abundances greater than those observed before fire. Possible reasons for this latter observation include changes in albedo, soil insulation, and soil moisture regimes. Here we investigate the course of succession after fire disturbance within tundra ecosystems, and the mechanisms involved. A series of simulated burn experiments were conducted on the burn site left by the 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire to access the behavior of the Ecosystem Demography model v2.2 (ED2) in the simulation of fire on the tundra. The land surface sub-model within ED is modified to improve simulate permafrost through the effects of an increased soil-column depth, a peat texture class, and the effects of wind compaction and depth hoar on snow density. Parameterization is conducted through Bayesian techniques used to constrain parameter distributions based upon data from a literature survey, field measurements at Toolik Lake, Alaska, and a data assimilation over three datasets. At each step, priority was assigned to measurements that could constrain parameters that account for the greatest explained variance in model output as determined through sensitivity analysis. Following parameterization, a series of simulations were performed to gauge the suitability of the model in predicting carbon balance and

  9. Mapping Arctic Tundra Vegetation Communities Using Field Spectroscopy and Multispectral Satellite Data in North Alaska, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott J. Davidson

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic is currently undergoing intense changes in climate; vegetation composition and productivity are expected to respond to such changes. To understand the impacts of climate change on the function of Arctic tundra ecosystems within the global carbon cycle, it is crucial to improve the understanding of vegetation distribution and heterogeneity at multiple scales. Information detailing the fine-scale spatial distribution of tundra communities provided by high resolution vegetation mapping, is needed to understand the relative contributions of and relationships between single vegetation community measurements of greenhouse gas fluxes (e.g., ~1 m chamber flux and those encompassing multiple vegetation communities (e.g., ~300 m eddy covariance measurements. The objectives of this study were: (1 to determine whether dominant Arctic tundra vegetation communities found in different locations are spectrally distinct and distinguishable using field spectroscopy methods; and (2 to test which combination of raw reflectance and vegetation indices retrieved from field and satellite data resulted in accurate vegetation maps and whether these were transferable across locations to develop a systematic method to map dominant vegetation communities within larger eddy covariance tower footprints distributed along a 300 km transect in northern Alaska. We showed vegetation community separability primarily in the 450–510 nm, 630–690 nm and 705–745 nm regions of the spectrum with the field spectroscopy data. This is line with the different traits of these arctic tundra communities, with the drier, often non-vascular plant dominated communities having much higher reflectance in the 450–510 nm and 630–690 nm regions due to the lack of photosynthetic material, whereas the low reflectance values of the vascular plant dominated communities highlight the strong light absorption found here. High classification accuracies of 92% to 96% were achieved using

  10. Carbon dioxide exchange in three tundra sites show a dissimilar response to environmental variables

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mbufong, Herbert Njuabe; Lund, Magnus; Christensen, Torben Røjle

    2015-01-01

    variability. An improved understanding of the control of ancillary variables on net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) will improve the accuracy with which CO2 exchange seasonality in Arctic tundra ecosystems is modelled. Fluxes were measured with the eddy...... Lake. Growing season NEE correlated mainly to cumulative radiation and temperature-related variables at Zackenberg, while at Daring Lake the same variables showed significant correlations with the partitioned fluxes (GPP and Re). Stordalen was temperature dependent during the growing season. This study...... emphasizes the inherent need for a standardized year round measurement and analytical routine of CO2 fluxes and ancillary variables, and investigations into the interconnectedness of ancillary variables in the Arctic tundra....

  11. Experimentally substantiated equations of the interrelations between the agrochemical characteristics of tundra soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasil'Evskaya, V. D.; Grigor'ev, V. Ya.; Pogozhev, E. Yu.; Pogozheva, E. A.

    2011-01-01

    The detailed analysis of the results obtained in the course of experimental studying of the tundra soils in Western and Central Siberia and in the European part of Russia has revealed the general regularities of the variability and the relationships between the agrochemical and other properties of the soils. On the basis of these data, the calculated methods for the assessment of a complex of agrochemical properties of natural and disturbed tundra soils under different moisture and thermal conditions were elaborated. Among the properties analyzed, the following are important for plant growth: the acidity and the content of humus, organic carbon, total nitrogen, mobile phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. The relationships between the soil agro-chemical properties and the plant productivity allowed applying them for the quantitative evaluation of the environmental threat of the soil-plant cover's degradation because of different predominantly mechanical disturbances.

  12. Tundra photosynthesis captured by satellite-observed solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luus, K. A.; Commane, R.; Parazoo, N. C.; Benmergui, J.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Frankenberg, C.; Joiner, J.; Lindaas, J.; Miller, C. E.; Oechel, W. C.; Zona, D.; Wofsy, S.; Lin, J. C.

    2017-02-01

    Accurately quantifying the timing and magnitude of respiration and photosynthesis by high-latitude ecosystems is important for understanding how a warming climate influences global carbon cycling. Data-driven estimates of photosynthesis across Arctic regions often rely on satellite-derived enhanced vegetation index (EVI); we find that satellite observations of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) provide a more direct proxy for photosynthesis. We model Alaskan tundra CO2 cycling (2012-2014) according to temperature and shortwave radiation and alternately input EVI or SIF to prescribe the annual seasonal cycle of photosynthesis. We find that EVI-based seasonality indicates spring "green-up" to occur 9 days prior to SIF-based estimates, and that SIF-based estimates agree with aircraft and tower measurements of CO2. Adopting SIF, instead of EVI, for modeling the seasonal cycle of tundra photosynthesis can result in more accurate estimates of growing season duration and net carbon uptake by arctic vegetation.

  13. Ecological networks in the Alpine Arc

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Scheurer

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available In response to decreasing biodiversity and new phenomena such as climate change, the number of initiatives aimed at creating ecological networks is increasing. Research and activities based on the theme of ecological connectivity are generating a completely new perception of methods of protecting the natural environment: there is a shift from a conservationist approach to natural systems to one that is more functional. The place and role of protected areas within their regions are being redefined. Such areas are now situated in a wider territorial context and new cooperative arrangements are encouraged with local actors. The alpine approach adopted in establishing a transalpine ecological network, illustrated by several examples, underlines the importance of both an international framework for such activities and the need to extend them to include not only the classic actors in the protection of the natural environment, but also other sectors that until now have seldom been involved.Face au constat d’une perte accrue de biodiversité et de phénomènes nouveaux, tels le changement climatique, les initiatives de mise en place de réseaux écologiques se multiplient. Les réflexions et les actions conduites autour de la thématique de la connectivité écologique font naître une perception complètement nouvelle des pratiques de la protection de la nature : un changement d’une conception patrimoniale conservatrice vers une approche plus fonctionnelle des systèmes naturels. La place et le rôle des espaces protégés au sein de leur région sont redéfinis, les situant  dans un contexte territorial plus large et engendrant de nouvelles collaborations entre acteurs locaux. L’approche alpine pour la réalisation d’un réseau écologique transalpin, illustrée par différents exemples, souligne l’importance d’un cadre international pour ces démarches et d’une ouverture sur l’ensemble du territoire impliquant en plus des acteurs

  14. Bird communities of the arctic shrub tundra of Yamal: habitat specialists and generalists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasiliy Sokolov

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The ratio of habitat generalists to specialists in birds has been suggested as a good indicator of ecosystem changes due to e.g. climate change and other anthropogenic perturbations. Most studies focusing on this functional component of biodiversity originate, however, from temperate regions. The Eurasian Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by domestic reindeer and growing human activity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we monitored bird communities in a tundra landscape harbouring shrub and open habitats in order to analyse bird habitat relationships and quantify habitat specialization. We used ordination methods to analyse habitat associations and estimated the proportions of specialists in each of the main habitats. Correspondence Analysis identified three main bird communities, inhabiting upland, lowland and dense willow shrubs. We documented a stable structure of communities despite large multiannual variations of bird density (from 90 to 175 pairs/km(2. Willow shrub thickets were a hotspot for bird density, but not for species richness. The thickets hosted many specialized species whose main distribution area was south of the tundra. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: If current arctic changes result in a shrubification of the landscape as many studies suggested, we would expect an increase in the overall bird abundance together with an increase of local specialists, since they are associated with willow thickets. The majority of these species have a southern origin and their increase in abundance would represent a strengthening of the boreal component in the southern tundra, perhaps at the expense of species typical of the subarctic zone, which appear to be generalists within this zone.

  15. Distribution patterns of typical enzyme activities in tundra soils on the Fildes Peninsula of maritime Antarctica

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DING Wei; WANG Qing; ZHU Renbin; MA Dawei

    2015-01-01

    Soil enzyme activities can be used as indicators of microbial activity and soil fertility. In this paper, the activities of invertase (IA), phosphatase (PA) and urease (UA) were investigated in tundra soils collected from marine animal colonies, areas of human activity and background areas on Fildes Peninsula, maritime Antarctica. Soil enzyme activities were in the range of 1.0–82.7 mg·kg-1·h-1 for IA, 0.2–8.2 mg·kg-1·h-1 for PA and 0.2–39.8 mg·kg-1·h-1 for UA. The spatial distribution patterns for soil enzyme activities corresponded strongly with marine animal activity and human activity. Significantly higher soil IA and PA activities occurred in penguin colony soils, whereas seal colony soils showed higher UA activity. Statistical analysis indicated that soil IA activity was controlled by the levels of soil nutrients (TOC, TN and TP), PA activity was closely related with TP, and UA activity was affected by the soil pH. Overall, the deposition amount of penguin guano or seal excreta could impact the distribution of enzyme activity in Antarctic tundra soils. Multiple stepwise regression models were established between the enzyme activities, soil physicochemical properties and heavy metals Cu and Zn ([IA]=0.7[TP]–0.2[Cu]+22.3[TN]+15.1, [PA]=0.3[TP]+0.03[Mc]+0.2, [UA]=16.7[pH]–0.5[Cu]+ 0.4[Zn]–72.6). These models could be used to predict enzyme activities in the tundra soils, which could be helpful to study the effects of marine animal activity and environmental change on tundra ecosystems in maritime Antarctica.

  16. Soil bacterial community composition altered by increased nutrient availability in Arctic tundra soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akihiro eKoyama

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The pool of soil organic carbon (SOC in the Arctic is disproportionally large compared to those in other biomes. This large quantity of SOC accumulated over millennia due to slow rates of decomposition relative to net primary productivity. Decomposition is constrained by low temperatures and nutrient concentrations, which limit soil microbial activity. We investigated how nutrients limit bacterial and fungal biomass and community composition in organic and mineral soils within moist acidic tussock tundra ecosystems. We sampled two experimental arrays of moist acidic tussock tundra that included fertilized and non-fertilized control plots. One array included plots that had been fertilized annually since 1989 and the other since 2006. Fertilization significantly altered overall bacterial community composition and reduced evenness, to a greater degree in organic than mineral soils, and in the 1989 compared to the 2006 site. The relative abundance of copiotrophic α-proteobacteria and β-proteobacteria was higher in fertilized than control soils, and oligotrophic Acidobacteria were less abundant in fertilized than control soils at the 1989 site. Fungal community composition was less sensitive to increased nutrient availability, and fungal responses to fertilization were not consistent between soil horizons and sites. We detected two ectomycorrhizal genera, Russula and Cortinarius spp., associated with shrubs. Their relative abundance was not affected by fertilization despite increased dominance of their host plants in the fertilized plots. Our results indicate that fertilization, which has been commonly used to simulate warming in Arctic tundra, has limited applicability for investigating fungal dynamics under warming.

  17. Remote sensing of vegetation and land-cover change in Arctic Tundra Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stow, D.A.; Hope, A.; McGuire, D.; Verbyla, D.; Gamon, J.; Huemmrich, F.; Houston, S.; Racine, C.; Sturm, M.; Tape, K.; Hinzman, L.; Yoshikawa, K.; Tweedie, C.; Noyle, B.; Silapaswan, C.; Douglas, D.; Griffith, B.; Jia, G.; Epstein, H.; Walker, D.; Daeschner, S.; Petersen, A.; Zhou, L.; Myneni, R.

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to review research conducted over the past decade on the application of multi-temporal remote sensing for monitoring changes of Arctic tundra lands. Emphasis is placed on results from the National Science Foundation Land-Air-Ice Interactions (LAII) program and on optical remote sensing techniques. Case studies demonstrate that ground-level sensors on stationary or moving track platforms and wide-swath imaging sensors on polar orbiting satellites are particularly useful for capturing optical remote sensing data at sufficient frequency to study tundra vegetation dynamics and changes for the cloud prone Arctic. Less frequent imaging with high spatial resolution instruments on aircraft and lower orbiting satellites enable more detailed analyses of land cover change and calibration/validation of coarser resolution observations. The strongest signals of ecosystem change detected thus far appear to correspond to expansion of tundra shrubs and changes in the amount and extent of thaw lakes and ponds. Changes in shrub cover and extent have been documented by modern repeat imaging that matches archived historical aerial photography. NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) time series provide a 20-year record for determining changes in greenness that relates to photosynthetic activity, net primary production, and growing season length. The strong contrast between land materials and surface waters enables changes in lake and pond extent to be readily measured and monitored. ?? 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Summertime surface O3 behavior and deposition to tundra in the Alaskan Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Dam, Brie; Helmig, Detlev; Doskey, Paul V.; Oltmans, Samuel J.

    2016-07-01

    Atmospheric turbulence quantities, boundary layer ozone (O3) levels, and O3 deposition to the tundra surface were investigated at Toolik Lake, AK, during the 2011 summer season. Beginning immediately after snowmelt, a diurnal cycle of O3 in the atmospheric surface layer developed with daytime O3 maxima, and minima during low-light hours, resulting in a mean amplitude of 13 ppbv. This diurnal O3 cycle is far larger than observed at other high Arctic locations during the snow-free season. During the snow-free months of June, July, and August, O3 deposition velocities were ˜3 to 5 times faster than during May, when snow covered the ground most of the month. The overall mean O3 deposition velocity between June and August was 0.10 cm s-1. The month of June had the highest diurnal variation, with a median O3 deposition velocity of 0.2 cm s-1 during the daytime and 0.08 cm s-1 during low-light conditions. These values are slightly lower than previously reported summertime deposition velocities in northern latitudes over tundra or fen. O3 loss during low-light periods was attributed to a combination of surface deposition to the tundra and stable boundary layer conditions. We also hypothesize that emissions of reactive biogenic volatile organic compounds into the shallow boundary layer may contribute to nighttime O3 loss.

  19. Multisensor NDVI-Based Monitoring of the Tundra-Taiga Interface (Mealy Mountains, Labrador, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather Ward

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of a series of five normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI images produced information about a Labrador (Canada portion of the tundra-taiga interface. The twenty-five year observation period ranges from 1983 to 2008. The series composed of Landsat, SPOT and ASTER images, provided insight into regional scale characteristics of the tundra-taiga interface that is usually monitored from coarse resolution images. The image set was analyzed by considering an ordinal classification of the NDVI to account for the cumulative effect of differences of near-infrared spectral resolutions, the temperature anomalies, and atmospheric conditions. An increasing trend of the median values in the low, intermediate and high NDVI classes is clearly marked while accounting for variations attributed to cross-sensor radiometry, phenology and atmospheric disturbances. An encroachment of the forest on the tundra for the whole study area was estimated at 0 to 60 m, depending on the period of observation, as calculated by the difference between the median retreat and advance of an estimated location of the tree line. In small sections, advances and retreats of up to 320 m are reported for the most recent four- and seven-year periods of observations.

  20. Tundra soil carbon is vulnerable to rapid microbial decomposition under climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Kai; M. Yuan, Mengting; J. Shi, Zhou; Qin, Yujia; Deng, Ye; Cheng, Lei; Wu, Liyou; He, Zhili; van Nostrand, Joy D.; Bracho, Rosvel; Natali, Susan; Schuur, Edward. A. G.; Luo, Chengwei; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T.; Wang, Qiong; Cole, James R.; Tiedje, James M.; Luo, Yiqi; Zhou, Jizhong

    2016-06-01

    Microbial decomposition of soil carbon in high-latitude tundra underlain with permafrost is one of the most important, but poorly understood, potential positive feedbacks of greenhouse gas emissions from terrestrial ecosystems into the atmosphere in a warmer world. Using integrated metagenomic technologies, we showed that the microbial functional community structure in the active layer of tundra soil was significantly altered after only 1.5 years of warming, a rapid response demonstrating the high sensitivity of this ecosystem to warming. The abundances of microbial functional genes involved in both aerobic and anaerobic carbon decomposition were also markedly increased by this short-term warming. Consistent with this, ecosystem respiration (Reco) increased up to 38%. In addition, warming enhanced genes involved in nutrient cycling, which very likely contributed to an observed increase (30%) in gross primary productivity (GPP). However, the GPP increase did not offset the extra Reco, resulting in significantly more net carbon loss in warmed plots compared with control plots. Altogether, our results demonstrate the vulnerability of active-layer soil carbon in this permafrost-based tundra ecosystem to climate warming and the importance of microbial communities in mediating such vulnerability.

  1. Environmental controls on alpine cirque size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delmas, Magali; Gunnell, Yanni; Calvet, Marc

    2014-02-01

    Pleistocene alpine cirques are emblematic landforms of mountain scenery, yet their deceptively simple template conceals complex controlling variables. This comparative study presents a new database of 1071 cirques, the largest of its kind, located in the French eastern Pyrenees. It is embedded in a review of previous work on cirque morphometry and thus provides a perspective on a global scale. First-order cirque attributes of length, width, and amplitude were measured; and their power as predictors of climatic and lithological variables and as proxies for the duration of glacier activity was tested using ANOVA, simple and multiple linear regression, and their various post-hoc tests. Conventional variables such as cirque aspect, floor elevation, and exposure with respect to regional precipitation-bearing weather systems are shown to present some consistency in spatial patterns determined by solar radiation, the morning-afternoon effect, and wind-blown snow accumulation in the lee of ridgetops. This confirms in greater detail the previously encountered links between landforms and climate. A special focus on the influence of bedrock lithology, a previously neglected nonclimatic variable, highlights the potential for spurious relations in the use of cirque size as a proxy of past environmental conditions. Cirques are showcased as complex landforms resulting from the combination of many climatic and nonclimatic variables that remain difficult to rank by order of importance. Apart from a few statistically weak trends, several combinations of different factors in different proportions are shown to produce similar morphometric outcomes, suggesting a case of equifinality in landform development.

  2. Fungal Biodiversity in the Alpine Tarfala Valley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Coleine

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological soil crusts (BSCs are distributed worldwide in all semiarid and arid lands, where they play a determinant role in element cycling and soil development. Although much work has concentrated on BSC microbial communities, free-living fungi have been hitherto largely overlooked. The aim of this study was to examine the fungal biodiversity, by cultural-dependent and cultural-independent approaches, in thirteen samples of Arctic BSCs collected at different sites in the Alpine Tarfala Valley, located on the slopes of Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in northern Scandinavia. Isolated fungi were identified by both microscopic observation and molecular approaches. Data revealed that the fungal assemblage composition was homogeneous among the BSCs analyzed, with low biodiversity and the presence of a few dominant species; the majority of fungi isolated belonged to the Ascomycota, and Cryptococcus gilvescens and Pezoloma ericae were the most frequently-recorded species. Ecological considerations for the species involved and the implication of our findings for future fungal research in BSCs are put forward.

  3. Human behaviour towards climatic change during the 4th millennium BC in the Swiss Alpine forelands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karg, Sabine

    Human behaviour towards climatic change during the 4th millennium BC in the Swiss Alpine forelands.......Human behaviour towards climatic change during the 4th millennium BC in the Swiss Alpine forelands....

  4. Immune responses to Mycoplasma conjunctivae in alpine ibex, alpine chamois, and domestic sheep in Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degiorgis, M P; Abdo, E M; Nicolet, J; Frey, J; Mayer, D; Giacometti, M

    2000-04-01

    The humoral immune response of three alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra), two alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex) and three domestic sheep naturally affected with infectious keratoconjunctivitis (IKC), and four ibex and two sheep experimentally infected with Mycoplasma conjunctivae was analysed. In addition, the local immune response to M. conjunctivae was analysed using conjunctival washes from chamois and sheep. Immunoblot analysis of sera using whole cell antigens of M. conjunctivae revealed the major immunogenic proteins which had molecular masses of 175, 83, 68, 60, 50, 42, 36, and 33 kDa. Major antigens were found at 83, 68, 60, and 42 kDa in both sera and conjunctival washes from naturally infected animals of all three Caprinae species. In experimentally infected animals, antibodies to the 68 and 60 kDa antigens were dominant. Naturally infected animals showed much stronger immune reactions than those experimentally infected, and specific antibodies appeared 2 to 4 wk after experimental infection. To evaluate possible cross-reactions, whole cell antigen of M. conjunctivae was analysed by immunoblot against hyperimmune sera of closely related Mycoplasma spp. Antibodies to the 175, 73, 68, 60, and 33 kDa antigens appeared to be specific to M. conjunctivae. Cross-reactions mainly with 83, 50, and 42 kDa antigens were detected, in particular with M. ovipneumoniae and M. bovoculi hyperimmune sera, but also with antisera against M. capricolum capricolum and M. putrefaciens.

  5. Changing Climate Sensitivity in Response to Forest-Tundra Snow Albedo Feedback during the mid to late Pliocene Cooling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paiewonsky, P.

    2015-12-01

    The forest-tundra snow albedo feedback is an important feedback in Earth's climate system, especially due to its potential role in modulating glacial cycles. Until now, little research has been done on how the strength of this feedback might vary with the background climate state. Over the last 4 million years, I hypothesize that the feedback has been generally weaker under warm Northern Hemispheric conditions when tundra has been primarily confined to the high Arctic and forest has extended to most of the Arctic coastline than under cooler Northern Hemispheric conditions in which the forest-tundra boundary has generally lain to the south, extending across the interiors of the large continental land masses. To test the hypothesis of the weakened/strengthened feedback, I used an Earth System Model of Intermediate Complexity that consists of a dynamic terrestrial vegetation model coupled to a climate model. A set of time-slice experiments with different orbital and greenhouse gas concentrations were analyzed. In one set of experiments, the feedback gain with respect to annual average top-of-atmosphere net short wave radiation due to vegetation was 1.42 for modern conditions but only 1.14 for the mid-Pliocene. Additionally, we compared experiments with different shortwave-radiation parameterizations, which differed in the amount of shortwave energy flux reaching the surface (and subsequently affecting vegetative biomass). These techniques allowed us to isolate the mechanisms responsible for the varying strength of the forest-tundra snow albedo feedback. The results also show that many factors affect the strength of feedback. In this presentation I will concentrate on the availability of land for conversion of forest to tundra (and vice versa), cloud cover near the forest-tundra boundary, and the integrated surface insolation contrast between tundra and forest during the snow-covered season.

  6. Nitrogen accumulation and partitioning in a High Arctic tundra ecosystem from extreme atmospheric N deposition events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choudhary, Sonal, E-mail: S.Choudhary@sheffield.ac.uk [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Management School, University of Sheffield, Conduit Road, Sheffield S10 1FL (United Kingdom); Blaud, Aimeric [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Osborn, A. Mark [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, PO Box 71, Bundoora, VIC 3083 (Australia); Press, Malcolm C. [School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, M15 6BH (United Kingdom); Phoenix, Gareth K. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)

    2016-06-01

    Arctic ecosystems are threatened by pollution from recently detected extreme atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition events in which up to 90% of the annual N deposition can occur in just a few days. We undertook the first assessment of the fate of N from extreme deposition in High Arctic tundra and are presenting the results from the whole ecosystem {sup 15}N labelling experiment. In 2010, we simulated N depositions at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2 g N m{sup −2} yr{sup −1}, applied as {sup 15}NH{sub 4}{sup 15}NO{sub 3} in Svalbard (79{sup °}N), during the summer. Separate applications of {sup 15}NO{sub 3}{sup −} and {sup 15}NH{sub 4}{sup +} were also made to determine the importance of N form in their retention. More than 95% of the total {sup 15}N applied was recovered after one growing season (~ 90% after two), demonstrating a considerable capacity of Arctic tundra to retain N from these deposition events. Important sinks for the deposited N, regardless of its application rate or form, were non-vascular plants > vascular plants > organic soil > litter > mineral soil, suggesting that non-vascular plants could be the primary component of this ecosystem to undergo measurable changes due to N enrichment from extreme deposition events. Substantial retention of N by soil microbial biomass (70% and 39% of {sup 15}N in organic and mineral horizon, respectively) during the initial partitioning demonstrated their capacity to act as effective buffers for N leaching. Between the two N forms, vascular plants (Salix polaris) in particular showed difference in their N recovery, incorporating four times greater {sup 15}NO{sub 3}{sup −} than {sup 15}NH{sub 4}{sup +}, suggesting deposition rich in nitrate will impact them more. Overall, these findings show that despite the deposition rates being extreme in statistical terms, biologically they do not exceed the capacity of tundra to sequester pollutant N during the growing season. Therefore, current and future extreme events

  7. Transient thermal effects in Alpine permafrost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Noetzli

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available In high mountain areas, permafrost is important because it influences the occurrence of natural hazards, because it has to be considered in construction practices, and because it is sensitive to climate change. The assessment of its distribution and evolution is challenging because of highly variable conditions at and below the surface, steep topography and varying climatic conditions. This paper presents a systematic investigation of effects of topography and climate variability that are important for subsurface temperatures in Alpine bedrock permafrost. We studied the effects of both, past and projected future ground surface temperature variations on the basis of numerical experimentation with simplified mountain topography in order to demonstrate the principal effects. The modeling approach applied combines a distributed surface energy balance model and a three-dimensional subsurface heat conduction scheme. Results show that the past climate variations that essentially influence present-day permafrost temperatures at depth of the idealized mountains are the last glacial period and the major fluctuations in the past millennium. Transient effects from projected future warming, however, are likely larger than those from past climate conditions because larger temperature changes at the surface occur in shorter time periods. We further demonstrate the accelerating influence of multi-lateral warming in steep and complex topography for a temperature signal entering the subsurface as compared to the situation in flat areas. The effects of varying and uncertain material properties (i.e., thermal properties, porosity, and freezing characteristics on the subsurface temperature field were examined in sensitivity studies. A considerable influence of latent heat due to water in low-porosity bedrock was only shown for simulations over time periods of decades to centuries. At the end, the model was applied to the topographic setting of the Matterhorn

  8. Guided Waves within the Alpine Fault, central Westland, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eccles, J. D.; Gulley, A. K.; Boese, C. M.; Malin, P.; Townend, J.; Sutherland, R.

    2013-12-01

    Fault Zone Guided waves (FZGWs), seismic energy trapped within the low-velocity ';damage zone', have been observed for the first time within the Alpine Fault of New Zealand. This major transpressional fault accommodates up to 75% of relative motion between the Australian and Pacific plates. Two three-component, 2 Hz, borehole seismometers were installed as part of the first phase of the Deep Fault Drilling Project (DFDP-1) which drilled two shallow (101 m and 151 m) boreholes into the central Alpine Fault principal slip zone at Gaunt Creek, central Westland. These seismometers, part of the DFDP-1 borehole observatory, were installed within the mylonitic cataclasites of the hanging wall and the granitic cataclasite sequence of the footwall, within 20 m of what are thought to be the principal slip surfaces. Seismic data quality is high, revealing high rates of local microseismic activity with approximately fifty proximal events (P-S times array also reveals the strong structural control on incident seismic energy. Recent deployments of borehole and surface seismic networks to observe microseismic activity show somewhat diffuse patterns of seismicity and retain ambiguity as to the location and character of the Alpine Fault principal slip zone at depth. The locations of the events that generated FZGWs indicate the location and connectivity of the main Alpine Fault zone, which is segmented at a catchment scale at the surface. Initial modelling of the FZGWs also gives an estimate of fault zone properties at depth. Paleoseismic evidence indicates the Alpine Fault, capable of producing Mw > 8, is late in its seismic cycle and, despite previously appearing relatively aseismic on timescales of instrumentation, the observation of Fault Zone Guided Waves confirms that episodic, low magnitude seismic activity actually occurs on the main Alpine Fault zone (or strongly linked faults) both as single events and microseismic swarms.

  9. Estimating Temperature Fields from MODIS Land Surface Temperature and Air Temperature Observations in a Sub-Arctic Alpine Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott N. Williamson

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Spatially continuous satellite infrared temperature measurements are essential for understanding the consequences and drivers of change, at local and regional scales, especially in northern and alpine environments dominated by a complex cryosphere where in situ observations are scarce. We describe two methods for producing daily temperature fields using MODIS “clear-sky” day-time Land Surface Temperatures (LST. The Interpolated Curve Mean Daily Surface Temperature (ICM method, interpolates single daytime Terra LST values to daily means using the coincident diurnal air temperature curves. The second method calculates daily mean LST from daily maximum and minimum LST (MMM values from MODIS Aqua and Terra. These ICM and MMM models were compared to daily mean air temperatures recorded between April and October at seven locations in southwest Yukon, Canada, covering characteristic alpine land cover types (tundra, barren, glacier at elevations between 1,408 m and 2,319 m. Both methods for producing mean daily surface temperatures have advantages and disadvantages. ICM signals are strongly correlated with air temperature (R2 = 0.72 to 0.86, but have relatively large variability (RMSE = 4.09 to 4.90 K, while MMM values had a stronger correlation to air temperature (R2 = 0.90 and smaller variability (RMSE = 2.67 K. Finally, when comparing 8-day LST averages, aggregated from the MMM method, to air temperature, we found a high correlation (R2 = 0.84 with less variability (RMSE = 1.54 K. Where the trend was less steep and the y-intercept increased by 1.6 °C compared to the daily correlations. This effect is likely a consequence of LST temperature averages being differentially affected by cloud cover over warm and cold surfaces. We conclude that satellite infrared skin temperature (e.g., MODIS LST, which is often aggregated into multi-day composites to mitigate data reductions caused by cloud cover, changes in its relationship to air temperature

  10. Photochemistry and aerosol in alpine region: mixing and transport; Photochimie et aerosol en region alpine: melange et transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chaxel, E

    2006-11-15

    The Alpine arc deeply interacts with general circulation of atmosphere. By studying configurations in summer and winter over various Alpine areas, this work explains how mixing and transport of airborne pollutants happen, both gaseous and particulate matter, from their emission sources to free troposphere. Using observational results and a comprehensive Eulerian modelling system, one focuses on mechanisms of pollution by ozone in summer and by particulate matter and benzene in winter. After having validated the modelling system using datasets from field experiments POVA, GRENOPHOT and ESCOMPTE, it is applied on two periods with principal interest in the Grenoble area: one is the heat-wave August 2003 and the other is a long episode of thermal inversion in February 2005. Uncertainties are also calculated. One finishes by applying the modelling chain to understand how a stratospheric intrusion following a tropopause fold affected the Alpine region in July 2004. (author)

  11. The role of summer precipitation and summer temperature in establishment and growth of dwarf shrub Betula nana in northeast Siberian tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique M P D; Berendse, Frank;

    2016-01-01

    It is widely believed that deciduous tundra-shrub dominance is increasing in the pan-Arctic region, mainly due to rising temperature. We sampled dwarf birch (Betula nana L.) at a northeastern Siberian tundra site and used dendrochronological methods to explore the relationship between climatic...

  12. The 'Alpine Windharvest' project - Overview; Projekt Alpine Windharvest - Schlussbericht

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaffner, B.; Kunz, S. [Suisse Eole, Meteotest, Berne (Switzerland)

    2005-07-01

    This short introduction forms part of a final report for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) that presents the results of a project carried out by the Swiss wind-energy organisation 'Suisse Eole' and the meteorology specialists of the company METEOTEST. The project investigated the use of digital relief-analysis and formed part of a European wind-energy project that investigated the technical, legal and socio-economical aspects of the use of wind energy. The work-package 7 included the identification of wind-energy areas using comparative Geographic Information System (GIS) methods. An overview is provided of the wind-energy potential in the whole of the alpine region and five areas in which measurements are to be made, including GIS analyses, are defined.

  13. Vertical distribution of the alpine lepidoptera in the Carpathians and in the Balkan peninsula in relation to the zonation of the vegetation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varga, Z. S.

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available The vertical distribution of arctic-alpine, alpine and Balkanic oreal species is discussed in connection with the vertical zonation of the vegetation, climatic conditions, substrate, type of alpine vegetation and co-occurrences of related species. Arctic-alpine species have mostly a Eurasian distribution and occur in the Arctic and in the alpine and subnival zones of the Central and Southern European high mountains with expressed glacial morphology and alpine vegetation. Alpine species are mostly European species and they are connected to the alpine and subnival zones of Central and South European high mountains. Balkanic oreal species are mostly southeast European species which in some cases occur locally in the southern parts of the Alps and Carpathians. Balkanic oreal species are most numerous at the timberline, preferred habitats being grasslands in the upper subalpine belts. The more diverse habitats of limestone mountains are usually home to a higher number of alpine (s. l. species than that of the mountains consisting of acidic rocks. The apparent petrophily of several alpine and tundro-alpine species correlates with their sheltering behaviour. The vertical distribution of butterflies is probably influenced also by the competition of closely related species. Closely related species often show some types of habitat partitioning. Data on species numbers and vertical distribution of species are presented in the tables 1-4.

    [de]
    Die vertikale Verbreitung der arktisch-alpinen, alpinen und balkanischen Orealarten wird hier im Zusammenhang mit den vertikalen Stufenfolgen der Vegetation, den klimatischen Verhdltnissen, den geologischen und geomorphologischen Bedingungen, den Vegetationstypen und dem Vorkommen der verwandten Arten behandelt. Die arktisch-alpinen Arten haben meist eine eurasiatische Verbreitung, und sie kommen sowohl in derArktis und in den alpinen-subnivalen Stufen der mittel- und südeuropaischen Hochgebirge vor. Die

  14. Partitioning of organic carbon in European Russian tundra and taiga ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterwoud, M. R.; Temminghoff, E. J. M.; van der Zee, S. E. A. T. M.

    2009-04-01

    Sorption of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) on mineral phases is an important process for carbon preservation and element cycling in soils. Sorption of DOC to active minerals results in its fractionation because hydrophobic compounds (humic and fulvic acids) will be preferentially sorbed. Binding of cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, Al3+, Fe3+) by the DOC reduces the negative charge and thus its water solubility. At low pH and high cation concentrations, cations may cause coagulation of DOC. The sorption and/or coagulation are important factors in relation to DOC transport. Little is known about DOC partitioning between the soil solid and solution phases of arctic ecosystems. As a consequence of future warming arctic ecosystem will shift from surface water dominated to groundwater dominated systems. In general, permafrost affected soils with shallow active layers, having lateral flow towards the stream with only short contact time to mineral layers, lead to higher hydrophobic (humic and fulvic acid) DOC concentrations in streams compared to permafrost free soils where a larger share of hydrophilic DOC is expected to be discharged into streams. Changes in the delivery of DOC, nutrients and major ions to arctic rivers may have important consequences for primary production and carbon cycling. The partitioning of DOC is a fundamental process needed for modelling current and future stream water quality and solute transport. Therefore, the objective of this study is to determine the sorption and consequent fractionation of DOC in arctic ecosystems. During fieldwork carried out in the summer of 2007 and 2008 in the Russian Komi Republic, we collected soil, soil solution and surface water samples in both a forested taiga and a permafrost affected tundra catchment. The liquid samples were analysed for total organic carbon and inorganic cations. A rapid batch procedure was used for determining the humic-, fulvic- and hydrophilic acid fractions. Using the chemical speciation model

  15. Constraining predictions of tundra permafrost and vegetation through model-data feedbacks and data-assimilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, C. D.; Dietze, M.

    2011-12-01

    Arctic climate is warming at a rate disproportionate to the rest of the world, and recent interest has emerged in using terrestrial biosphere models to understand and predict the response of tundra ecosystems to such warming. Of particular interest are the potential feedbacks between permafrost melting, plant community dynamics, and biogeochemical cycles. Here, we report on efforts to calibrate and validate version 2 of the Ecosystem Demography model (ED2) for the Alaskan tundra and on the use of model analyses to motivate targeted field measurements. ED2 is a terrestrial biosphere model unique in its ability to scale physiological and plant community dynamics to regional levels. We began by assessing the ability of ED2's land surface model to capture permafrost thermodynamics and hydrology. Simulations at Barrow and Toolik Lake, Alaska bore several incongruities with observed data, with soil temperatures significantly higher and soil moisture lower than observed. Modifications were made to increase the soil column depth and to simulate the effect of wind compaction on snow density, and in turn, the insulation of winter soils. In addition to these changes, a new soil class was created to represent unique characteristics within the organic horizon of tundra soils. Together these changes significantly improved permafrost dynamics without substantially altering dynamics in the temperate region. To capture tundra vegetation dynamics, tundra species were classified into three plant functional types (graminoid, deciduous shrub, evergreen shrub). ED2 was then iteratively calibrated for the tundra using the Predictive Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn), a scientific workflow and ecoinformatics toolbox developed to aid model parameterization and analysis. Initial parameter estimates were derived from a formal Bayesian meta-analysis of compiled plant trait data. Sensitivity analyses and variance decomposition demonstrated that model uncertainties were driven by the minimum

  16. Nitrogen accumulation and partitioning in a High Arctic tundra ecosystem from extreme atmospheric N deposition events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhary, Sonal; Blaud, Aimeric; Osborn, A Mark; Press, Malcolm C; Phoenix, Gareth K

    2016-06-01

    Arctic ecosystems are threatened by pollution from recently detected extreme atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition events in which up to 90% of the annual N deposition can occur in just a few days. We undertook the first assessment of the fate of N from extreme deposition in High Arctic tundra and are presenting the results from the whole ecosystem (15)N labelling experiment. In 2010, we simulated N depositions at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2 g Nm(-2)yr(-1), applied as (15)NH4(15)NO3 in Svalbard (79(°)N), during the summer. Separate applications of (15)NO3(-) and (15)NH4(+) were also made to determine the importance of N form in their retention. More than 95% of the total (15)N applied was recovered after one growing season (~90% after two), demonstrating a considerable capacity of Arctic tundra to retain N from these deposition events. Important sinks for the deposited N, regardless of its application rate or form, were non-vascular plants>vascular plants>organic soil>litter>mineral soil, suggesting that non-vascular plants could be the primary component of this ecosystem to undergo measurable changes due to N enrichment from extreme deposition events. Substantial retention of N by soil microbial biomass (70% and 39% of (15)N in organic and mineral horizon, respectively) during the initial partitioning demonstrated their capacity to act as effective buffers for N leaching. Between the two N forms, vascular plants (Salix polaris) in particular showed difference in their N recovery, incorporating four times greater (15)NO3(-) than (15)NH4(+), suggesting deposition rich in nitrate will impact them more. Overall, these findings show that despite the deposition rates being extreme in statistical terms, biologically they do not exceed the capacity of tundra to sequester pollutant N during the growing season. Therefore, current and future extreme events may represent a major source of eutrophication.

  17. Tall shrub and tree expansion in Siberian tundra ecotones since the 1960s.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E

    2014-04-01

    Circumpolar expansion of tall shrubs and trees into Arctic tundra is widely thought to be occurring as a result of recent climate warming, but little quantitative evidence exists for northern Siberia, which encompasses the world's largest forest-tundra ecotonal belt. We quantified changes in tall shrub and tree canopy cover in 11, widely distributed Siberian ecotonal landscapes by comparing very high-resolution photography from the Cold War-era 'Gambit' and 'Corona' satellite surveillance systems (1965-1969) with modern imagery. We also analyzed within-landscape patterns of vegetation change to evaluate the susceptibility of different landscape components to tall shrub and tree increase. The total cover of tall shrubs and trees increased in nine of 11 ecotones. In northwest Siberia, alder (Alnus) shrubland cover increased 5.3-25.9% in five ecotones. In Taymyr and Yakutia, larch (Larix) cover increased 3.0-6.7% within three ecotones, but declined 16.8% at a fourth ecotone due to thaw of ice-rich permafrost. In Chukotka, the total cover of alder and dwarf pine (Pinus) increased 6.1% within one ecotone and was little changed at a second ecotone. Within most landscapes, shrub and tree increase was linked to specific geomorphic settings, especially those with active disturbance regimes such as permafrost patterned-ground, floodplains, and colluvial hillslopes. Mean summer temperatures increased at most ecotones since the mid-1960s, but rates of shrub and tree canopy cover expansion were not strongly correlated with temperature trends and were better correlated with mean annual precipitation. We conclude that shrub and tree cover is increasing in tundra ecotones across most of northern Siberia, but rates of increase vary widely regionally and at the landscape scale. Our results indicate that extensive changes can occur within decades in moist, shrub-dominated ecotones, as in northwest Siberia, while changes are likely to occur much more slowly in the highly continental

  18. Root traits explain observed tundra vegetation nitrogen uptake patterns: Implications for trait-based land models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Qing; Iversen, Colleen M.; Riley, William J.; Slette, Ingrid J.; Vander Stel, Holly M.

    2016-12-01

    Ongoing climate warming will likely perturb vertical distributions of nitrogen availability in tundra soils through enhancing nitrogen mineralization and releasing previously inaccessible nitrogen from frozen permafrost soil. However, arctic tundra responses to such changes are uncertain, because of a lack of vertically explicit nitrogen tracer experiments and untested hypotheses of root nitrogen uptake under the stress of microbial competition implemented in land models. We conducted a vertically explicit 15N tracer experiment for three dominant tundra species to quantify plant N uptake profiles. Then we applied a nutrient competition model (N-COM), which is being integrated into the ACME Land Model, to explain the observations. Observations using an 15N tracer showed that plant N uptake profiles were not consistently related to root biomass density profiles, which challenges the prevailing hypothesis that root density always exerts first-order control on N uptake. By considering essential root traits (e.g., biomass distribution and nutrient uptake kinetics) with an appropriate plant-microbe nutrient competition framework, our model reasonably reproduced the observed patterns of plant N uptake. In addition, we show that previously applied nutrient competition hypotheses in Earth System Land Models fail to explain the diverse plant N uptake profiles we observed. Our results cast doubt on current climate-scale model predictions of arctic plant responses to elevated nitrogen supply under a changing climate and highlight the importance of considering essential root traits in large-scale land models. Finally, we provided suggestions and a short synthesis of data availability for future trait-based land model development.

  19. Lead toxicosis in tundra swans near a mining and smelting complex in northern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blus, L.J.; Henny, C.J.; Hoffman, D.J.; Grove, R.A.

    1991-01-01

    Die-offs of waterfowl have occurred in the Coeur d`Alene River system in northern Idaho since at least the early 1900`s. We investigated causes of mortality and lead and cadmium contamination of 46 tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) from 1987 to 1989; an additional 22 swans found dead in 1990 were not examined. We necropsied 43 of the 46 birds found from 1987 to 1989; 38 of these were from the Coeur d`Alene River system, which has been contaminated with mining and smelting wastes for a century, and the other 5 were from a nearby, relatively uncontaminated area. Of the 36 livers of swans from the contaminated area that were analyzed, 32 contained lethal levels of lead (6 to 40 micrograms/g, wet weight) and all birds exhibited several symptoms of lead poisoning, notably enlarged gall bladders containing viscous, darkgreen bile. Only 13% of the lead-poisoned birds (10% when data were included from other studies of swans in the area) contained shot, compared to 95% of lead-poisoning swans in studies outside northern Idaho. Lead concentrations in blood samples from 16 apparently healthy swans (0.5 to 2.3 micrograms/g, and 4 leadpoisoned birds found moribund (1.3 to 9.6 micrograms/g) indicating that tundra swans accumulated high levels of lead from ingestion of sediment that contained up to 8,700 micrograms/g of lead and plants that contained up to 400 micrograms/g. The swans spend only a few weeks in the area staging during the spring migration. The five tundra swans from the uncontaminated area had low levels of lead and essentially no symptoms of lead poisoning.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  20. Net ecosystem exchange over heterogeneous Arctic tundra: Scaling between chamber and eddy covariance measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Andrew M.; Huntley, Brian; Lloyd, Colin R.; Williams, Mathew; Baxter, Robert

    2008-06-01

    Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was estimated for an area of tundra near Abisko using both eddy covariance (EC) data and chamber measurements. This area of tundra is heterogeneous with six principal elements forming a landscape mosaic. Chamber measurements in patches of the individual mosaic elements were used to model NEE as a function of irradiance and temperature. The area around the EC mast was mapped, and a footprint model was used to simulate the varying source fraction attributable to each mosaic element. Various upscaling approaches were used to estimate NEE for comparison with NEE calculated from the EC observations. The results showed that EC measurements made for such a heterogeneous site are robust to the variations in NEE between mosaic elements that also vary substantially in their source fractions. However, they also revealed a large (˜60%) bias in the absolute magnitude of the cumulative negative NEE for a 40-day study period simulated by various upscaling approaches when compared to the value calculated from the EC observations. The magnitude of this bias, if applied to estimates for the entire tundra region, is substantial in relation to other components of the global carbon budget. Various hypotheses to account for this bias are discussed and, where possible, evaluated. A need is identified for more systematic sampling strategies when performing chamber measurements in order to assess the extent to which subjectivity of chamber location may account for much of the observed bias. If this is the origin of the bias, then upscaling approaches using chamber measurements may generally overestimate CO2 uptake.

  1. Short-term herbivory has long-term consequences in warmed and ambient high Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Chelsea J.; Cutting, Helen; Alatalo, Juha; Cooper, Elisabeth

    2017-02-01

    Climate change is occurring across the world, with effects varying by ecosystem and region but already occurring quickly in high-latitude and high-altitude regions. Biotic interactions are important in determining ecosystem response to such changes, but few studies have been long-term in nature, especially in the High Arctic. Mesic tundra plots on Svalbard, Norway, were subjected to grazing at two different intensities by captive Barnacle geese from 2003–2005, in a factorial design with warming by Open Top Chambers. Warming manipulations were continued through 2014, when we measured vegetation structure and composition as well as growth and reproduction of three dominant species in the mesic meadow. Significantly more dead vascular plant material was found in warmed compared to ambient plots, regardless of grazing history, but in contrast to many short-term experiments no difference in the amount of living material was found. This has strong implications for nutrient and carbon cycling and could feed back into community productivity. Dominant species showed increased flowering in warmed plots, especially in those plots where grazing had been applied. However, this added sexual reproduction did not translate to substantial shifts in vegetative cover. Forbs and rushes increased slightly in warmed plots regardless of grazing, while the dominant shrub, Salix polaris, generally declined with effects dependent on grazing, and the evergreen shrub Dryas octopetala declined with previous intensive grazing. There were no treatment effects on community diversity or evenness. Thus despite no changes in total live abundance, a typical short-term response to environmental conditions, we found pronounced changes in dead biomass indicating that tundra ecosystem processes respond to medium- to long-term changes in conditions caused by 12 seasons of summer warming. We suggest that while high arctic tundra plant communities are fairly resistant to current levels of climate warming

  2. Radiation budget and soil heat fluxes in different Arctic tundra vegetation types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juszak, Inge; Iturrate Garcia, Maitane; Gastellu-Etchegorry, Jean-Philippe; Schaepman, Michael E.; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela

    2016-04-01

    While solar radiation is one of the primary energy sources for warming and thawing permafrost soil, the amount of shortwave radiation reaching the soil is reduced by vegetation shading. Climate change has led to greening, shrub expansion and encroachment in many Arctic tundra regions and further changes are anticipated. These vegetation changes feed back to the atmosphere and permafrost as they modify the surface energy budget. However, canopy transmittance of solar radiation has rarely been measured or modelled for a variety of tundra vegetation types. We assessed the radiation budget of the most common vegetation types at the Kytalyk field site in North-East Siberia (70.8°N, 147.5°E) with field measurements and 3D radiative transfer modelling and linked it to soil heat fluxes. Our results show that Arctic tundra vegetation types differ in canopy albedo and transmittance as well as in soil heat flux and active layer thickness. Tussock sedges transmitted on average 56% of the incoming light and dwarf shrubs 27%. For wet sedges we found that the litter layer was very important as it reduced the average transmittance to only 6%. Model output indicated that both, albedo and transmittance, also depend on the spatial aggregation of vegetation types. We found that permafrost thaw was more strongly related to soil properties than to canopy shading. The presented radiative transfer model allows quantifying effects of the vegetation layer on the surface radiation budget in permafrost areas. The parametrised model can account for diverse vegetation types and variation of properties within types. Our results highlight small scale radiation budget and permafrost thaw variability which are indicated and partly caused by vegetation. As changes in species composition and biomass increase can influence thaw rates, small scale patterns should be considered in assessments of climate-vegetation-permafrost feedbacks.

  3. Permafrost aggradation in recently deglaciated alpine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leopold, Matthias; Dusik, Jana; Stocker-Waldhuber, Martin; Völkel, Jörg; Becht, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Permafrost degradation is of major interest in the present discussion about alpine climate change and natural hazard prevention. Glacial retreat since the Little Ice Age (LIA) is followed by destabilisation of the surrounding mountains due to melting permafrost in bedrock and sediments. Glacial retreat also exposes huge areas of lateral and ground moraines. Areas of formerly temperate glaciers experience colder temperatures only since their ice cover has melted and basal meltwater no longer heats the ground. With a huge pore volume in the sediment body, water supply during the melt season and large daily temperature variations in high mountains, distinct freeze and thaw processes start and generate periglacial forms like patterned ground in the direct glacier forefield. Those geomorphic features are precursors for possible permafrost aggradation in proglacial areas. The work presented is part of the joint project PROSA (High-resolution measurements of morphodynamics in rapidly changing PROglacial Systems of the Alps) that aims in the quantification of a sediment budget for the upper Kaunertal valley, Austrian Central Alps. In this sense and to find out about erosion causing prerequisites and processes, permafrost and ground ice occurrence, as well as sediment thickness is measured by i.a. application of geophysical measurements, multitemporal airborne and terrestrial LiDAR, as well as aerial photographs. In this case study we examine the spatial and temporal settings for permafrost aggradation in a recently deglaciated cirque, belonging to the catchment area of the Gepatschferner glacier using electric resistivity tomography (ERT) and basal temperature of the winterly snowcover (BTS) measurements to detect the state of the permafrost, multitemporal aerial photographs dating back to 1953 to reproduce recent deglaciation of the cirque and multitemporal airborne LiDAR data to gain information about surface elevation changes. The northeast facing cirque is situated in

  4. Inverse distributed hydrological modelling of alpine catchments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Kunstmann

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Even in physically based distributed hydrological models, various remaining parameters must be estimated for each sub-catchment. This can involve tremendous effort, especially when the number of sub-catchments is large and the applied hydrological model is computationally expensive. Automatic parameter estimation tools can significantly facilitate the calibration process. Hence, we combined the nonlinear parameter estimation tool PEST with the distributed hydrological model WaSiM. PEST is based on the Gauss-Marquardt-Levenberg method, a gradient-based nonlinear parameter estimation algorithm. WaSiM is a fully distributed hydrological model using physically based algorithms for most of the process descriptions.

    WaSiM was applied to the alpine/prealpine Ammer River catchment (southern Germany, 710 km2 in a 100×100 m2 horizontal resolution. The catchment is heterogeneous in terms of geology, pedology and land use and shows a complex orography (the difference of elevation is around 1600 m. Using the developed PEST-WaSiM interface, the hydrological model was calibrated by comparing simulated and observed runoff at eight gauges for the hydrologic year 1997 and validated for the hydrologic year 1993. For each sub-catchment four parameters had to be calibrated: the recession constants of direct runoff and interflow, the drainage density, and the hydraulic conductivity of the uppermost aquifer. Additionally, five snowmelt specific parameters were adjusted for the entire catchment. Altogether, 37 parameters had to be calibrated. Additional a priori information (e.g. from flood hydrograph analysis narrowed the parameter space of the solutions and improved the non-uniqueness of the fitted values. A reasonable quality of fit was achieved. Discrepancies between modelled and observed runoff were also due to the small number of meteorological stations and corresponding interpolation artefacts in the orographically complex

  5. Drought tolerance in the alpine dandelion, Taraxacum ceratophorum (Asteraceae), its exotic congener T. officinale, and interspecific hybrids under natural and experimental conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brock, Marcus T; Galen, Candace

    2005-08-01

    We compared water relations and adaptations to drought stress in native and invasive exotic dandelions, Taraxacum ceratophorum and T. officinale. Photosynthesis (A), transpiration (E), and water use efficiency (WUE; carbon gained/water lost) were measured for the two species under extreme drought in the alpine tundra of Colorado, USA. We also subjected both species and F(1) hybrids to a dry-down experiment to determine how relative physiological performance varied with water availability. Photosynthesis and transpiration in the field were low and did not differ between Taraxacum congeners; however, native T. ceratophorum had higher WUE than T. officinale. After 6 days of greenhouse drought, photosynthesis and transpiration were reduced in T. officinale compared to T. ceratophorum. Taraxacum ceratophorum maintained high WUE under control and drought treatments. Conversely, WUE in T. officinale was highly plastic between watered (low WUE) and dry-down (high WUE) treatments. Hybrids did not exhibit heterosis; instead, they were similar to T. officinale in A and E and intermediate to the parental species in WUE. Overall, results suggest that native dandelions are more drought tolerant than invasive congeners or their hybrids, but have less plasticity in WUE. Arid habitats and occasional drought in mesic sites may provide native dandelions with refugia from negative interactions with invasives.

  6. Asticcacaulis benevestitus sp. nov., a psychrotolerant, dimorphic, prosthecate bacterium from tundra wetland soil.

    OpenAIRE

    Vasilyeva, Lina V; Omelchenko, Marina V.; Berestovskaya, Yulia Y; Lysenko, Anatolii M; Abraham, Wolf-Rainer; Dedysh, Svetlana N.; Zavarzin, George A

    2006-01-01

    A Gram-negative, aerobic, heterotrophic, non-pigmented, dimorphic prosthecate bacterium was isolated from tundra wetland soil and designated strain Z-0023(T). Cells of this strain had a dimorphic life cycle and developed a non-adhesive stalk at a site not coincident with the centre of the cell pole, a characteristic typical of representatives of the genus Asticcacaulis. A highly distinctive feature of cells of strain Z-0023(T) was the presence of a conical, bell-shaped sheath when grown at lo...

  7. Seasonal variability of leaf area index and foliar nitrogen in contrasting dry-mesic tundras

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Michelsen, Anders; Lemeur, Raoul;

    2009-01-01

    Assimilation and exchange of carbon for arctic ecosystems depend strongly on leaf area index (LAI) and total foliar nitrogen (TFN). For dry-mesic tundras, the seasonality of these characteristics is unexplored. We addressed this knowledge gap by measuring variations of LAI and TFN at five...... contrasting subarctic heaths during the growing season 2007, from about 2 weeks after bud burst until about 2 weeks before senescence. The communities generally showed an early season LAI and TFN increase, owing to leaf development of deciduous shrubs, and limited variations later on, owing to concurrent leaf...

  8. Phenological dynamics of arctic tundra vegetation and its implications on satellite imagery interpretation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juutinen, Sari; Aurela, Mika; Mikola, Juha; Räsänen, Aleksi; Virtanen, Tarmo

    2016-04-01

    Remote sensing is a key methodology when monitoring the responses of arctic ecosystems to climatic warming. The short growing season and rapid vegetation development, however, set demands to the timing of image acquisition in the arctic. We used multispectral very high spatial resolution satellite images to study the effect of vegetation phenology on the spectral reflectance and image interpretation in the low arctic tundra in coastal Siberia (Tiksi, 71°35'39"N, 128°53'17"E). The study site mainly consists of peatlands, tussock, dwarf shrub, and grass tundra, and stony areas with some lichen and shrub patches. We tested the hypotheses that (1) plant phenology is responsive to the interannual weather variation and (2) the phenological state of vegetation has an impact on satellite image interpretation and the ability to distinguish between the plant communities. We used an empirical transfer function with temperature sums as drivers to reconstruct daily leaf area index (LAI) for the different plant communities for years 2005, and 2010-2014 based on measured LAI development in summer 2014. Satellite images, taken during growing seasons, were acquired for two years having late and early spring, and short and long growing season, respectively. LAI dynamics showed considerable interannual variation due to weather variation, and particularly the relative contribution of graminoid dominated communities was sensitive to these phenology shifts. We have also analyzed the differences in the reflectance values between the two satellite images taking account the LAI dynamics. These results will increase our understanding of the pitfalls that may arise from the timing of image acquisition when interpreting the vegetation structure in a heterogeneous tundra landscape. Very high spatial resolution multispectral images are available at reasonable cost, but not in high temporal resolution, which may lead to compromises when matching ground truth and the imagery. On the other hand

  9. Soil Organic Matter in Forest Ecosystems of the Forest-tundra zone of Central Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhortova, Liudmila

    2010-05-01

    Our study was conducted on 17 forest sample plots in the forest-tundra zone of Central Siberia, Krasnoyarsk region, Russia. They were covered by larch/feather moss/shrub and larch/grass forest types growing on cryozems and podburs (Cryosols). The investigation was aimed at estimating soil organic matter storage and structure in forest ecosystems growing along the northern tree line. Such ecosystems have low rates of exchange processes and biological productivity. Estimating soil carbon in these forest types is important for a deeper understanding of their role in biogeochemical cycles and forecasting consequences of climate changes. Soil organic matter was divided into pools by biodegradation resistance level and, hence, different roles of these pools in biological cycles. The soil organic matter was divided into an easily mineralizable (LMOM) fraction, which includes labile (insoluble) (LOM) and mobile (soluble) (MOM) organic compounds, and a stable organic matter fraction that is humus substances bound with soil matrix. The forest-tundra soil carbon was found to total 30.9 to 125.9 tons/ha. Plant residues were the main part of the soil easily mineralizable organic matter and contained from 13.3 to 62.4% of this carbon. Plant residue carbon was mainly allocated on the soil surface, in the forest litter. Plant residues in the soil (dead roots + other "mortmass") were calculated to contribute 10-30% of the plant residues carbon, or 2.5-15.1% of the total soil carbon. Soil surface and in-soil dead plant material included 60-95% of heavily decomposed residues that made up a forest litter fermentation subhorizon and an "other mortmass" fraction of the root detritus. Mobile organic matter (substances dissolved in water and 0.1N NaOH) of plant residues was found to allocate 15-25% of carbon. In soil humus, MOM contribution ranged 14 to 64%. Easily mineralizable organic matter carbon appeared to generally dominate forest-tundra soil carbon pool. It was measured to

  10. Doubled volatile organic compound emissions from subarctic tundra under simulated climate warming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faubert, Patrick; Tiiva, Paivi; Rinnan, Åsmund;

    2010-01-01

    the globe. We assess the effects of climatic warming on non-methane BVOC emissions from a subarctic heath. • We performed ecosystem-based chamber measurements and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses of the BVOCs collected on adsorbent over two growing seasons at a wet subarctic tundra......• Biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions from arctic ecosystems are important in view of their role in global atmospheric chemistry and unknown feedbacks to global warming. These cold ecosystems are hotspots of climate warming, which will be more severe here than averaged over...

  11. Arctic Tundra Vegetation Functional Types Based on Photosynthetic Physiology and Optical Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huemmrich, Karl Fred; Gamon, John A.; Tweedie, Craig E.; Campbell, Petya K. Entcheva; Landis, David R.; Middleton, Elizabeth M.

    2013-01-01

    Non-vascular plants (lichens and mosses) are significant components of tundra landscapes and may respond to climate change differently from vascular plants affecting ecosystem carbon balance. Remote sensing provides critical tools for monitoring plant cover types, as optical signals provide a way to scale from plot measurements to regional estimates of biophysical properties, for which spatial-temporal patterns may be analyzed. Gas exchange measurements were collected for pure patches of key vegetation functional types (lichens, mosses, and vascular plants) in sedge tundra at Barrow, AK. These functional types were found to have three significantly different values of light use efficiency (LUE) with values of 0.013 plus or minus 0.0002, 0.0018 plus or minus 0.0002, and 0.0012 plus or minus 0.0001 mol C mol (exp -1) absorbed quanta for vascular plants, mosses and lichens, respectively. Discriminant analysis of the spectra reflectance of these patches identified five spectral bands that separated each of these vegetation functional types as well as nongreen material (bare soil, standing water, and dead leaves). These results were tested along a 100 m transect where midsummer spectral reflectance and vegetation coverage were measured at one meter intervals. Along the transect, area-averaged canopy LUE estimated from coverage fractions of the three functional types varied widely, even over short distances. The patch-level statistical discriminant functions applied to in situ hyperspectral reflectance data collected along the transect successfully unmixed cover fractions of the vegetation functional types. The unmixing functions, developed from the transect data, were applied to 30 m spatial resolution Earth Observing-1 Hyperion imaging spectrometer data to examine variability in distribution of the vegetation functional types for an area near Barrow, AK. Spatial variability of LUE was derived from the observed functional type distributions. Across this landscape, a

  12. Australian Alps: Kosciuszko, Alpine and Namadgi National Parks (Second Edition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Porter

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Reviewed: Australian Alps: Kosciuszko, Alpine and Namadgi National Parks (Second Edition By Deidre Slattery. Clayton South, Australia: CSIRO Publishing, 2015. xvii + 302 pp. AU$ 45.00, US$ 35.95. ISBN 978-1-486-30171-3.

  13. Hydrological significance of soil frost for pre-alpine areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stähli, Manfred

    2017-03-01

    Soil frost can have a substantial impact on water flows at the soil surface and-potentially-alter the dynamics of catchment runoff. While these findings are mainly based on studies from alpine and Northern-latitude areas (including permafrost areas), little is known about the significance of soil frost for hydrology in pre-alpine areas, i.e. the region at the transition from central European lowlands to high-alpine areas. Here I synthesize soil temperature data and soil frost observations from ten sites in Switzerland to assess the occurrence of soil frost and to determine its impact on catchment runoff. In addition, a well-established numerical model was used to reconstruct the presence of soil frost in two first-order catchments for single runoff events and winters. The data clearly demonstrates that shallow soil frost has formed regularly in this altitudinal range over the past decade. The presence of a frozen soil surface was found to be highly variable among the sites under study and did not significantly correlate with altitude or forest density. For the first-order catchments, it was not possible to relate important flood peaks or increased runoff coefficients to winter situations with substantial soil frost. Thus, the present analysis suggests that although soil frost is widespread and regularly occurring at this altitudinal range, it has no significant impact on winter runoff in pre-alpine watersheds.

  14. Vegetation structure and temperature regimes of tropical alpine treelines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bader, M.; Rietkerk, M.; Bregt, A.K.

    2007-01-01

    Alpine treeline ecotones can be gradual transitions, abrupt boundaries, or patchy mosaics, and these different patterns may indicate important processes and dynamic properties. We present observed spatial patterns of a wide range of tropical treelines and try to explain these patterns. Treelines wer

  15. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Dan E; Pedrini, Paolo; Brambilla, Mattia; Rolando, Antonio; Girardello, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds). For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community.

  16. Alpine Skiing With total knee ArthroPlasty (ASWAP)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, M.; Pötzelsberger, B.; Scheiber, P.;

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the effect of alpine skiing for 12 weeks on skeletal muscle characteristics and biomarkers of glucose homeostasis and cardiovascular risk factors. Twenty-three patients with a total knee arthroplasty (TKA) were studied 2.9 ± 0.9 years (mean ± SD) after the operation. Fourteen...

  17. Des broussailles dans les prairies alpines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Camacho

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Landscape closing due to the decline in agricultural activity is considered to be a major problem in the Alps. Abondance Valley provides a good example of this phenomenon and is also representative of a paradox commonly found in the Northern French Alps: the mountainsides and alpine pastures are still used, whereas they are becoming increasingly afforested. Environmental conditions play a major role in the localisation of agricultural land uses, but they are not sufficient to explain why pastures still in use are being invaded by shrub. Even if cutting makes it possible to effectively control the encroachment by woody species, this is not true for uncut pastures where grazing is not able to keep up with grass production. This situation is repeated every year and is the likely cause of the colonisation by woody species. To ensure their forage system and to simplify their work, farmers tend to establish grazing units that are oversized in relation to the needs of their animals. They implement compensatory practices that consist of mechanical maintenance as a complement to grazing to limit the dynamics of woody species. These labour-intensive practices are not used on all of the pastures. The analysis of farmers’ practices by agronomists is therefore a useful complement to studies of physical and socio-economic environments, at the level of the grazed field as well as at that of the valley as a whole.La dégradation des paysages par suite du recul de l’activité agricole est considérée comme un enjeu majeur dans les Alpes. La vallée d’Abondance illustre bien ce phénomène de fermeture de l’espace mais elle est en outre représentative d’un paradoxe assez répandu dans les Alpes du nord françaises : les versants et les alpages sont encore exploités et pourtant ils se boisent progressivement. Les conditions de milieux jouent un rôle majeur sur la localisation des usages agricoles de l'espace, mais elles ne peuvent pas suffire pour

  18. Pan-Arctic ice-wedge degradation in warming permafrost and its influence on tundra hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liljedahl, Anna K.; Boike, Julia; Daanen, Ronald P.; Fedorov, Alexander N.; Frost, Gerald V.; Grosse, Guido; Hinzman, Larry D.; Iijma, Yoshihiro; Jorgenson, Janet C.; Matveyeva, Nadya; Necsoiu, Marius; Raynolds, Martha K.; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Schulla, Jörg; Tape, Ken D.; Walker, Donald A.; Wilson, Cathy J.; Yabuki, Hironori; Zona, Donatella

    2016-04-01

    Ice wedges are common features of the subsurface in permafrost regions. They develop by repeated frost cracking and ice vein growth over hundreds to thousands of years. Ice-wedge formation causes the archetypal polygonal patterns seen in tundra across the Arctic landscape. Here we use field and remote sensing observations to document polygon succession due to ice-wedge degradation and trough development in ten Arctic localities over sub-decadal timescales. Initial thaw drains polygon centres and forms disconnected troughs that hold isolated ponds. Continued ice-wedge melting leads to increased trough connectivity and an overall draining of the landscape. We find that melting at the tops of ice wedges over recent decades and subsequent decimetre-scale ground subsidence is a widespread Arctic phenomenon. Although permafrost temperatures have been increasing gradually, we find that ice-wedge degradation is occurring on sub-decadal timescales. Our hydrological model simulations show that advanced ice-wedge degradation can significantly alter the water balance of lowland tundra by reducing inundation and increasing runoff, in particular due to changes in snow distribution as troughs form. We predict that ice-wedge degradation and the hydrological changes associated with the resulting differential ground subsidence will expand and amplify in rapidly warming permafrost regions.

  19. Asticcacaulis benevestitus sp. nov., a psychrotolerant, dimorphic, prosthecate bacterium from tundra wetland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasilyeva, Lina V; Omelchenko, Marina V; Berestovskaya, Yulia Y; Lysenko, Anatolii M; Abraham, Wolf-Rainer; Dedysh, Svetlana N; Zavarzin, George A

    2006-09-01

    A Gram-negative, aerobic, heterotrophic, non-pigmented, dimorphic prosthecate bacterium was isolated from tundra wetland soil and designated strain Z-0023(T). Cells of this strain had a dimorphic life cycle and developed a non-adhesive stalk at a site not coincident with the centre of the cell pole, a characteristic typical of representatives of the genus Asticcacaulis. A highly distinctive feature of cells of strain Z-0023(T) was the presence of a conical, bell-shaped sheath when grown at low temperature. This prosthecate bacterium was a psychrotolerant, moderately acidophilic organism capable of growth between 4 and 28 degrees Celsius (optimum 15-20 degrees Celsius) and between pH 4.5 and 8.0 (optimum 5.6-6.0). The major phospholipid fatty acid was 18 : 1omega7c and the major phospholipids were phosphatidylglycerols. The G+C content of the DNA was 60.4 mol%. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity, strain Z-0023(T) was most closely related to Asticcacaulis biprosthecium (98 % similarity), Asticcacaulis taihuensis (98 %) and Asticcacaulis excentricus (95 %). However, low levels of DNA-DNA relatedness to these organisms and a number of distinctive features of the tundra wetland isolate indicated that it represented a novel species of the genus Asticcacaulis, for which the name Asticcacaulis benevestitus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is Z-0023(T) (=DSM 16100(T)=ATCC BAA-896(T)).

  20. Russian Arctic warming and ‘greening’ are closely tracked by tundra shrub willows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, B. C.; Macias Fauria, M.; Zetterberg, P.

    2009-12-01

    Growth in arctic vegetation is generally expected to increase under a warming climate, particularly among deciduous shrubs. We analyzed annual ring growth for an abundant and nearly circumpolar erect willow (Salix lanata L.) from the coastal zone of the northwest Russian Arctic (Nenets Autonomous Okrug). The resulting chronology is strongly related to summer temperature for the period 1942-2005. Remarkably high correlations occur at long distances (>1600 km) across the tundra and taiga zones of West Siberia and Eastern Europe. We also found a clear relationship with photosynthetic activity for upland vegetation at a regional scale for the period 1981-2005, confirming a parallel ‘greening’ trend reported for similarly warming North American portions of the tundra biome. The standardized growth curve suggests a significant increase in shrub willow growth over the last six decades. These findings are in line with field and remote sensing studies that have assigned a strong shrub component to the reported greening signal since the early 1980s. Furthermore, the growth trend agrees with qualitative observations by nomadic Nenets reindeer herders of recent increases in willow size in the region. The quality of the chronology as a climate proxy is exceptional. Given its wide geographic distribution and the ready preservation of wood in permafrost, S. lanata L. has great potential for extended temperature reconstructions in remote areas across the Arctic.

  1. Sea ice, rain-on-snow and tundra reindeer nomadism in Arctic Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Bruce C; Kumpula, Timo; Meschtyb, Nina; Laptander, Roza; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Zetterberg, Pentti; Verdonen, Mariana; Skarin, Anna; Kim, Kwang-Yul; Boisvert, Linette N; Stroeve, Julienne C; Bartsch, Annett

    2016-11-01

    Sea ice loss is accelerating in the Barents and Kara Seas (BKS). Assessing potential linkages between sea ice retreat/thinning and the region's ancient and unique social-ecological systems is a pressing task. Tundra nomadism remains a vitally important livelihood for indigenous Nenets and their large reindeer herds. Warming summer air temperatures have been linked to more frequent and sustained summer high-pressure systems over West Siberia, Russia, but not to sea ice retreat. At the same time, autumn/winter rain-on-snow (ROS) events have become more frequent and intense. Here, we review evidence for autumn atmospheric warming and precipitation increases over Arctic coastal lands in proximity to BKS ice loss. Two major ROS events during November 2006 and 2013 led to massive winter reindeer mortality episodes on the Yamal Peninsula. Fieldwork with migratory herders has revealed that the ecological and socio-economic impacts from the catastrophic 2013 event will unfold for years to come. The suggested link between sea ice loss, more frequent and intense ROS events and high reindeer mortality has serious implications for the future of tundra Nenets nomadism.

  2. Modelling the spatial pattern of ground thaw in a small basin in the arctic tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Endrizzi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In the arctic tundra the ground is normally composed by a relatively thin organic soil layer, overlying mineral sediment. Subsurface water drainage generally occurs in the organic layer for its high hydraulic conductivity. However, the organic layer shows significant decrease of hydraulic conductivity with depth. The position and the topography of the frost table, which here acts as a relatively impermeable surface, are therefore crucial in determining the hillslope drainage rate. This work aims at understanding how the topography of the ground surface affects the spatial variability of the depth of thaw in a 1 km2 low-elevation arctic tundra basin with a fine resolution model that fully couples energy and water flow processes. The simulations indicate that the spatial patterns of ground thaw are not dominated by slope and aspect, but are instead entirely controlled by the spatial distribution of soil moisture, which is determined by subsurface flow patterns. Measured thaw depths have a similar range of variability to the simulated values for each stage of active layer development, although the model slightly overestimated the depth of thaw.

  3. Prevalence, transmission, and genetic diversity of blood parasites infecting tundra-nesting geese in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Andy M.; Reed, John A.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Fondell, Tom F.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.; Terenzi, John; Ely, Craig R.

    2014-01-01

    A total of 842 blood samples collected from five species of tundra-nesting geese in Alaska was screened for haemosporidian parasites using molecular techniques. Parasites of the generaLeucocytozoon Danilewsky, 1890, Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890, and Plasmodium Marchiafava and Celli, 1885 were detected in 169 (20%), 3 (parasites and assess variation relative to species, age, sex, geographic area, year, and decade. Species, age, and decade were identified as important in explaining differences in prevalence of Leucocytozoonparasites. Leucocytozoon parasites were detected in goslings sampled along the Arctic Coastal Plain using both historic and contemporary samples, which provided support for transmission in the North American Arctic. In contrast, lack of detection of Haemoproteus and Plasmodiumparasites in goslings (n = 238) provided evidence to suggest that the transmission of parasites of these genera may not occur among waterfowl using tundra habitats in Alaska, or alternatively, may only occur at low levels. Five haemosporidian genetic lineages shared among different species of geese sampled from two geographic areas were indicative of interspecies parasite transmission and supported broad parasite or vector distributions. However, identicalLeucocytozoon and Haemoproteus lineages on public databases were limited to waterfowl hosts suggesting constraints in the range of parasite hosts.

  4. Mobile Phone Revolution in the Tundra? Technological Change among Russian Reindeer Nomads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian M. Stammler

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available This contribution looks at the influence of technological change thatnomads in the Russian North have undergone, using as examples two crucial innovations: the snowmobile and the mobile phone. I argue that the snowmobile did not have the same revolutionary impact on the Russian tundra as it did in Fennoscandia, for reasons connected to long distances, infrastructure, spare parts, availability of fuel, priorities of Soviet transport policy as well as the convenience of previously used practices of herd control using ‘sitting transport’. Different from that, I argue that mobile phones have the potential for a greater penetration into nomadic societies. Because they encourage equality rather than stratification, they are low maintenance; they are small enough to be embedded into existing social contexts. Connecting not only neighbours but the whole world, in principle, mobile phones may entail a significant socio-cultural change. The article presents first fieldwork evidence of such change among tundra nomads and relates this to existing theoretical studies on how mobile communication changes societies. Attention is paid to the particularities of a mobile type of communication introduced in mobile communities, that is, among nomads. In doing so, I explore similarities and differences in how technological change influences sedentary and nomadic societies.

  5. Bacterial community structure and soil properties of a subarctic tundra soil in Council, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hye Min; Jung, Ji Young; Yergeau, Etienne; Hwang, Chung Yeon; Hinzman, Larry; Nam, Sungjin; Hong, Soon Gyu; Kim, Ok-Sun; Chun, Jongsik; Lee, Yoo Kyung

    2014-08-01

    The subarctic region is highly responsive and vulnerable to climate change. Understanding the structure of subarctic soil microbial communities is essential for predicting the response of the subarctic soil environment to climate change. To determine the composition of the bacterial community and its relationship with soil properties, we investigated the bacterial community structure and properties of surface soil from the moist acidic tussock tundra in Council, Alaska. We collected 70 soil samples with 25-m intervals between sampling points from 0-10 cm to 10-20 cm depths. The bacterial community was analyzed by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes, and the following soil properties were analyzed: soil moisture content (MC), pH, total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), and inorganic nitrogen (NH4+ and NO3-). The community compositions of the two different depths showed that Alphaproteobacteria decreased with soil depth. Among the soil properties measured, soil pH was the most significant factor correlating with bacterial community in both upper and lower-layer soils. Bacterial community similarity based on jackknifed unweighted unifrac distance showed greater similarity across horizontal layers than through the vertical depth. This study showed that soil depth and pH were the most important soil properties determining bacterial community structure of the subarctic tundra soil in Council, Alaska.

  6. 100% Retention of Snowpack Derived Nitrogen Over 10 Years in High Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhary, S.; Tye, A. M.; Young, S. D.; West, H. M.; Phoenix, G. K.

    2013-12-01

    Tundra ecosystems are susceptible to atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition, increasing as a result of anthropogenic activities as well as climate change. Depositions that get accumulated within the snowpack during winter months are released in spring during snowmelt, providing a periodic input of reactive N in the melt water to such nutrient limited ecosystems. Identifying ecosystem N retention and allocation and how this change over time is important to understanding the long-term consequences of such N depositions to these ecosystems. We reanalysed 10 years later an atmospheric N deposition study established in Svalbard that in 2001 used 15N isotope tracers to determine the fate of N released from melting snowpack. Applications of 15N (99 atom%) at 0.1 and 0.5 g N m-2 were made immediately after snowmelt in 2001 as either Na15NO3 or 15NH4Cl. These applications were approximately 1 × and 5 × the yearly atmospheric deposition rates. In both the previous short-term (one week to two years after 15N tracer application) and our long-term re-sampling (10 years after 15N tracer application), ~67% of the total applied 15N was retained in the ecosystem, irrespective of the N forms or N dose. This meant the tundra had 100% long-term N retention after initial partitioning, suggesting a highly conservative N cycling. Bryophytes, followed by the organic soil horizon and then the microbial biomass formed the greatest short-term 15N sink. Maximum changes in 15N retention from the short- to long-term were observed in the microbial 15N pools, with ~75% of the 15N in soil located in its biomass during the initial partitioning (July 2001) decreasing to ~17% 10 years later. This indicates significant microbial N turnover mostly into stable humus N. In contrast, vascular plants, particularly Salix polaris, showed significant increases (~60%) in their 15N retention after 10 years, indicating a high capacity for acting as a long-term N sink in this tundra ecosystem. Because the largest

  7. THE HYDRAULIC CHARACTERISTICS AND GEOCHEMISTRY OF HYPORHEIC AND PARAFLUVIAL ZONES IN ARCTIC TUNDRA STREAMS, NORTH SLOPE, ALASKA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sodium bromide and Rhodamine WT were used as conservative tracers to examine the hydrologic characteristics of seven tundra streams in Arctic Alaska, during the summers of 1994-1996. Continuous tracer additions were conducted in seven rivers ranging from 1st to 5th order with sam...

  8. Structural complexity and land-surface energy exchange along a gradient from arctic tundra to boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, C.; Beringer, J.; Chapin, F. S.; McGuire, A.D.

    2004-01-01

    Question: Current climate changes in the Alaskan Arctic, which are characterized by increases in temperature and length of growing season, could alter vegetation structure, especially through increases in shrub cover or the movement of treeline. These changes in vegetation structure have consequences for the climate system. What is the relationship between structural complexity and partitioning of surface energy along a gradient from tundra through shrub tundra to closed canopy forest? Location: Arctic tundra-boreal forest transition in the Alaskan Arctic. Methods: Along this gradient of increasing canopy complexity, we measured key vegetation characteristics, including community composition, biomass, cover, height, leaf area index and stem area index. We relate these vegetation characteristics to albedo and the partitioning of net radiation into ground, latent, and sensible heating fluxes. Results: Canopy complexity increased along the sequence from tundra to forest due to the addition of new plant functional types. This led to non-linear changes in biomass, cover, and height in the understory. The increased canopy complexity resulted in reduced ground heat fluxes, relatively conserved latent heat fluxes and increased sensible heat fluxes. The localized warming associated with increased sensible heating over more complex canopies may amplify regional warming, causing further vegetation change in the Alaskan Arctic.

  9. Innovation in the plural of the alpine cre-actors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andréa Finger-Stich

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The capacity to innovate for a sustainable development of alpine territories cannot depend only on economic, legal and political conditions defined by the State at national and international levels. It depends also on local conditions that situate historically and geographically the actors in a continuity of social and ecological relationships. This approach highlights the collective – thus organisational – dimensions of the innovation process, including the imagination, the development, the implementation and even the diffusion of a new practice. Our point of view is that for contributing to the sustainable development of the Alps, innovations need to change the ecological, political, social and cultural relationships engaging the actors in these territories. This change affects as much the object territory as the subject actor of the territory. This is why innovating in the Alps means also innovating the Alps and the alpine actors (Cosalp, 2008. Based on a research about local people’s participation in the management of alpine communal forests, the article shows the importance of local interactions involving actors of diverse occupation, gender, age and origins1.La capacité d’innovation pour un développement durable des territoires alpins ne peut dépendre uniquement de conditions économiques, légales et politiques définies par les Etats aux échelles nationale et internationale. Elle dépend aussi de conditions locales, qui situent historiquement et géographiquement les acteurs dans une continuité de relations sociales et écologiques. Cette perspective accentue l’importance de la dimension collective, donc organisationnelle, du processus d’innovation, allant de l’imagination, puis au développement, à la réalisation – voire la diffusion – d’une nouvelle pratique. Le point de vue de cet article est qu’une innovation, pour contribuer au développement durable des Alpes, doit changer les relations

  10. Above and below ground carbon stocks in northeast Siberia tundra ecosystems: a comparison between disturbed and undisturbed areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, L. R.; Pena, H., III; Curasi, S. R.; Ramos, E.; Loranty, M. M.; Alexander, H. D.; Natali, S.

    2014-12-01

    Changes in arctic tundra vegetation have the potential to alter the regional carbon (C) budget, with feedback implications for global climate. A number of studies have documented both widespread increases in productivity as well as shifts in the dominant vegetation. In particular, shrubs have been replacing other vegetation, such as graminoids, in response to changes in their environment. Shrub expansion is thought to be facilitated by exposure of mineral soil and increased nutrient availability, which are often associated with disturbance. Such disturbances can be naturally occurring, typically associated with permafrost degradation or with direct anthropogenic causes such as infrastructure development. Mechanical disturbance associated with human development is not uncommon in tundra and will likely become more frequent as warming makes the Arctic more hospitable for resource extraction and other human activities. As such, this type of disturbance will become an increasingly important component of tundra C balance. Both increased productivity and shrub expansion have clear impacts on ecosystem C cycling through increased C uptake and aboveground (AG) storage. What is less clear, however, are the concurrent changes in belowground (BG) C storage. Here we inventoried AG and BG C stocks in disturbed and undisturbed tundra ecosystems to determine the effects of disturbance on tundra C balance. We measured differences in plant functional type, AG and BG biomass, soil C, and specific leaf area (SLA) for the dominant shrub (Salix) in 2 tundra ecosystems in northern Siberia—an undisturbed moist acidic tundra and an adjacent ecosystem that was used as a road ~50 years ago. Deciduous shrubs and grasses dominated both ecosystems, but biomass for both functional types was higher in the disturbed area. SLA was also higher inside the disturbance. Conversely, nonvascular plants and evergreen shrubs were less abundant in the disturbed area. BG plant biomass was substantially

  11. How spatial variation in areal extent and configuration of labile vegetation states affect the riparian bird community in Arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henden, John-André; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Ims, Rolf A; Langeland, Knut

    2013-01-01

    The Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by large herbivores and growing human activity. Thickets of tall shrubs represent a conspicuous vegetation state in northern and temperate ecosystems, where it serves important ecological functions, including habitat for wildlife. Thickets are however labile, as tall shrubs respond rapidly to both abiotic and biotic environmental drivers. Our aim was to assess how large-scale spatial variation in willow thicket areal extent, configuration and habitat structure affected bird abundance, occupancy rates and species richness so as to provide an empirical basis for predicting the outcome of environmental change for riparian tundra bird communities. Based on a 4-year count data series, obtained through a large-scale study design in low arctic tundra in northern Norway, statistical hierarchical community models were deployed to assess relations between habitat configuration and bird species occupancy and community richness. We found that species abundance, occupancy and richness were greatly affected by willow areal extent and configuration, habitat features likely to be affected by intense ungulate browsing as well as climate warming. In sum, total species richness was maximized in large and tall willow patches of small to intermediate degree of fragmentation. These community effects were mainly driven by responses in the occupancy rates of species depending on tall willows for foraging and breeding, while species favouring other vegetation states were not affected. In light of the predicted climate driven willow shrub encroachment in riparian tundra habitats, our study predicts that many bird species would increase in abundance, and that the bird community as a whole could become enriched. Conversely, in tundra regions where overabundance of large herbivores leads to decreased areal extent, reduced height and increased fragmentation of willow thickets

  12. The growth of shrubs on high Arctic tundra at Bylot Island: impact on snow physical properties and permafrost thermal regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domine, Florent; Barrere, Mathieu; Morin, Samuel

    2016-12-01

    With climate warming, shrubs have been observed to grow on Arctic tundra. Their presence is known to increase snow height and is expected to increase the thermal insulating effect of the snowpack. An important consequence would be the warming of the ground, which will accelerate permafrost thaw, providing an important positive feedback to warming. At Bylot Island (73° N, 80° W) in the Canadian high Arctic where bushes of willows (Salix richardsonii Hook) are growing, we have observed the snow stratigraphy and measured the vertical profiles of snow density, thermal conductivity and specific surface area (SSA) in over 20 sites of high Arctic tundra and in willow bushes 20 to 40 cm high. We find that shrubs increase snow height, but only up to their own height. In shrubs, snow density, thermal conductivity and SSA are all significantly lower than on herb tundra. In shrubs, depth hoar which has a low thermal conductivity was observed to grow up to shrub height, while on herb tundra, depth hoar only developed to 5 to 10 cm high. The thermal resistance of the snowpack was in general higher in shrubs than on herb tundra. More signs of melting were observed in shrubs, presumably because stems absorb radiation and provide hotspots that initiate melting. When melting was extensive, thermal conductivity was increased and thermal resistance was reduced, counteracting the observed effect of shrubs in the absence of melting. Simulations of the effect of shrubs on snow properties and on the ground thermal regime were made with the Crocus snow physics model and the ISBA (Interactions between Soil-Biosphere-Atmosphere) land surface scheme, driven by in situ and reanalysis meteorological data. These simulations did not take into account the summer impact of shrubs. They predict that the ground at 5 cm depth at Bylot Island during the 2014-2015 winter would be up to 13 °C warmer in the presence of shrubs. Such warming may however be mitigated by summer effects.

  13. How spatial variation in areal extent and configuration of labile vegetation states affect the riparian bird community in Arctic tundra.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John-André Henden

    Full Text Available The Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by large herbivores and growing human activity. Thickets of tall shrubs represent a conspicuous vegetation state in northern and temperate ecosystems, where it serves important ecological functions, including habitat for wildlife. Thickets are however labile, as tall shrubs respond rapidly to both abiotic and biotic environmental drivers. Our aim was to assess how large-scale spatial variation in willow thicket areal extent, configuration and habitat structure affected bird abundance, occupancy rates and species richness so as to provide an empirical basis for predicting the outcome of environmental change for riparian tundra bird communities. Based on a 4-year count data series, obtained through a large-scale study design in low arctic tundra in northern Norway, statistical hierarchical community models were deployed to assess relations between habitat configuration and bird species occupancy and community richness. We found that species abundance, occupancy and richness were greatly affected by willow areal extent and configuration, habitat features likely to be affected by intense ungulate browsing as well as climate warming. In sum, total species richness was maximized in large and tall willow patches of small to intermediate degree of fragmentation. These community effects were mainly driven by responses in the occupancy rates of species depending on tall willows for foraging and breeding, while species favouring other vegetation states were not affected. In light of the predicted climate driven willow shrub encroachment in riparian tundra habitats, our study predicts that many bird species would increase in abundance, and that the bird community as a whole could become enriched. Conversely, in tundra regions where overabundance of large herbivores leads to decreased areal extent, reduced height and increased fragmentation

  14. Migration of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) Wintering in Japan Using Satellite Tracking: Identification of the Eastern Palearctic Flyway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wenbo; Doko, Tomoko; Fujita, Go; Hijikata, Naoya; Tokita, Ken-Ichi; Uchida, Kiyoshi; Konishi, Kan; Hiraoka, Emiko; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi

    2016-02-01

    Migration through the Eastern Palearctic (EP) flyway by tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) has not been thoroughly documented. We satellite-tracked the migration of 16 tundra swans that winter in Japan. The objectives of this study were 1) to show the migration pattern of the EP flyway of tundra swans; 2) to compare this pattern with the migration pattern of whooper swans; and 3) to identify stopover sites that are important for these swans' conservation. Tundra swans were captured at Kutcharo Lake, Hokkaido, in 2009-2012 and satellite-tracked. A new method called the "MATCHED (Migratory Analytical Time Change Easy Detection) method" was developed. Based on median, the spring migration began on 18 April and ended on 27 May. Autumn migration began on 9 September and ended on 2 November. The median duration of the spring and autumn migrations were 48 and 50 days, respectively. The mean duration at one stopover site was 5.5 days and 6.8 days for the spring and autumn migrations, respectively. The number of stopover sites was 3.0 and 2.5 for the spring and autumn migrations, respectively. The mean travel distances for the spring and autumn migrations were 6471 and 6331 km, respectively. Seven migration routes passing Sakhalin, the Amur River, and/or Kamchatka were identified. There were 15, 32, and eight wintering, stopover, and breeding sites, respectively. The migration routes and staging areas of tundra swans partially overlap with those of whooper swans, whose migration patterns have been previously documented. The migration patterns of these two swan species that winter in Japan confirm the importance of the Amur River, Udyl' Lake, Shchastya Bay, Aniva Bay, zaliv Chayvo Lake, zal Piltun Lake, zaliv Baykal Lake, Kolyma River, Buyunda River, Sen-kyuyel' Lake, and northern coastal areas of the Sea of Okhotsk.

  15. MILK COAGULATION PROPERTIES OF CATTLE BREEDS REARED IN ALPINE AREA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulio Visentin

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to apply mid-infrared spectroscopy prediction models developed for milk coagulation properties (MCP to a spectral dataset of 123,240 records collected over a 2-year period in the Alpine area, and to investigate sources of variation of the predicted MCP. Mixed linear models included fixed effects of breed, month and year of sampling, days in milk, parity, and the interactions between the main effects. Random effects were herd nested within breed, cow nested within breed, and the residual. All fixed effects were significant (P<0.05 in explaining the variation of MCP. In particular, milk clotting characteristics varied significantly among breeds, and local Alpine Grey breed exhibited the most favourable processing characteristics. Milk coagulation properties varied across lactation and were at their worst after the peak.

  16. Use of remote sensing for hydrological parameterisation of Alpine catchments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Bach

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Physically-based water balance models require a realistic parameterisation of land surface characteristics of a catchment. Alpine areas are very complex with strong topographically-induced gradients of environmental conditions, which makes the hydrological parameterisation of Alpine catchments difficult. Within a few kilometres the water balance of a region (mountain peak or valley can differ completely. Hence, remote sensing is invaluable for retrieving hydrologically relevant land surface parameters. The assimilation of the retrieved information into the water balance model PROMET is demonstrated for the Toce basin in Piemonte/Northern Italy. In addition to land use, albedos and leaf area indices were derived from LANDSAT-TM imagery. Runoff, modelled by a water balance approach, agreed well with observations without calibration of the hydrological model. Keywords: PROMET, fuzzy logic based land use classification, albedo, leaf area index

  17. Impact of climatic change on alpine ecosystems: inference and prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigel G. Yoccoz

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Alpine ecosystems will be greatly impacted by climatic change, but other factors, such as land use and invasive species, are likely to play an important role too. Climate can influence ecosystems at several levels. We describe some of them, stressing methodological approaches and available data. Climate can modify species phenology, such as flowering date of plants and hatching date in insects. It can also change directly population demography (survival, reproduction, dispersal, and therefore species distribution. Finally it can effect interactions among species – snow cover for example can affect the success of some predators. One characteristic of alpine ecosystems is the presence of snow cover, but surprisingly the role played by snow is relatively poorly known, mainly for logistical reasons. Even if we have made important progress regarding the development of predictive models, particularly so for distribution of alpine plants, we still need to set up observational and experimental networks which properly take into account the variability of alpine ecosystems and of their interactions with climate.Les écosystèmes alpins vont être grandement influencés par les changements climatiques à venir, mais d’autres facteurs, tels que l’utilisation des terres ou les espèces invasives, pourront aussi jouer un rôle important. Le climat peut influencer les écosystèmes à différents niveaux, et nous en décrivons certains, en mettant l’accent sur les méthodes utilisées et les données disponibles. Le climat peut d’abord modifier la phénologie des espèces, comme la date de floraison des plantes ou la date d’éclosion des insectes. Il peut ensuite affecter directement la démographie des espèces (survie, reproduction, dispersion et donc à terme leur répartition. Il peut enfin agir sur les interactions entre espèces – le couvert neigeux par exemple modifie le succès de certains prédateurs. Une caractéristique des

  18. Hydrologic response to valley-scale structure in alpine headwaters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weekes, Anne A.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Montgomery, David R.; Woodward, Andrea; Bolton, Susan M.

    2015-01-01

    Few systematic studies of valley-scale geomorphic drivers of streamflow regimes in complex alpine headwaters have compared response between catchments. As a result, little guidance is available for regional-scale hydrological research and monitoring efforts that include assessments of ecosystem function. Physical parameters such as slope, elevation range, drainage area and bedrock geology are often used to stratify differences in streamflow response between sampling sites within an ecoregion. However, these metrics do not take into account geomorphic controls on streamflow specific to glaciated mountain headwaters. The coarse-grained nature of depositional features in alpine catchments suggests that these landforms have little water storage capacity because hillslope runoff moves rapidly just beneath the rock mantle before emerging in fluvial networks. However, recent studies show that a range of depositional features, including talus slopes, protalus ramparts and 'rock-ice' features may have more storage capacity than previously thought.

  19. Ameloblastic fibroma in an alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scaglione, F E; Iussich, S; Grande, D; Carpignano, M; Chiappino, L; Sereno, A; Ferroglio, E; Bollo, E

    2015-04-01

    Spontaneous odontogenic tumors are neoplasms characterized by a mixed odontogenic ectomesenchymal and odontogenic epithelial origin; they are rare in both humans and animals. A 3-year-old male Alpine Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) was found dead in north-west Italy, and was referred for the necropsy to the Department of Veterinary Sciences of the University of Turin (Italy). At the external examination a 10 × 8 cm, exophytic, red-pink, smooth, firm and ulcerated mass was observed on the inferior lip. Histologically the tumor was characterized by spindle shaped cells arranged in bundles in an abundant hyaline matrix. Multifocal and rare chords of odontogenic epithelium mixed with rare melanocytes that penetrate the neoplasia were visible. Immunohistochemistry showed a clear cytokeratin positivity of epithelial clusters. Macroscopical, histological and immunohistochemical findings were consistent with a diagnosis of locally infiltrative ameloblastic fibroma. To our best knowledge, this is the first report of this tumor in a wild ungulate and in Alpine Chamois.

  20. Deep Fault Drilling Project—Alpine Fault, New Zealand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rupert Sutherland

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The Alpine Fault, South Island, New Zealand, constitutes a globally significant natural laboratory for research into how active plate-bounding continental faults work and, in particular, how rocks exposed at the surface today relate to deep-seated processes of tectonic deformation, seismogenesis, and mineralization. The along-strike homogeneity of the hanging wall, rapid rate of dextral-reverse slip on an inclined fault plane, and relatively shallow depths to mechanical and chemical transitions make the Alpine Fault and the broader South Island plate boundary an important international site for multi-disciplinary research and a realistic target for an ambitious long-term program of scientific drilling investigations.

  1. Alpine treeline and timberline dynamics during the Holocene in the Northern Romanian Carpathians

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    High altitude environments (treeline and alpine communities) are particularly sensitive to climate changes, disturbances and land-use changes due to their limited tolerance and adaptability range, habitat fragmentation and habitat restriction. The current and future climate warming is anticipated to shift the tree- and timberlines upwards thus affecting alpine plant communities and causing land-cover change and fragmentation of alpine habitats. An upslope movement of some trees, shrubs and co...

  2. Alpine Lithosphere and Upper Mantle Passive Seismic Monitoring

    OpenAIRE

    Brückl, Ewald; Hausmann, Helmut; Behm, Michael; Lippitsch, Regina; Mitterbauer, Ulrike; Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics Vienna University of Technology (Hrsg.)

    2008-01-01

    The project ALPASS is a passive seismic monitoring project aiming to reveal upper mantle, lower lithosphere, and asthenosphere beneath the wider Eastern Alpine region, including the Bohemian Massive, the Carpathians, the Pannonian Basin, and the Dinarides. A 3D seismic model which will provide crustal corrections to the seismic travel times has been generated in this area down to the Moho and the uppermost mantle from data of former projects CELEBRATION 2000 and ALP 2002. ALPASS will yield in...

  3. On a possible mechanism of Alpine debris flows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. E. SCHEIDEGGER

    1974-06-01

    Full Text Available The phenomenology and previous mechanical theories of Alpine debris flows are reviewed. A new model for the mechanics of such debris flows is proposed which is based on the notion of dispersive pressure occurring in shear flows introduced by Bagnold. It is shown that the values of the dynamical variables required by this model are of the order of magnitude of those observed in nature.

  4. Detecting Code-Switching in a Multilingual Alpine Heritage Corpus

    OpenAIRE

    Volk, Martin; Clematide, Simon

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes experiments in detecting and annotating code-switching in a large multilingual diachronic corpus of Swiss Alpine texts. The texts are in English, French, German, Italian, Romansh and Swiss German. Because of the multilingual authors (mountaineers, scientists) and the assumed multilingual readers, the texts contain numerous code-switching elements. When building and annotating the corpus, we faced issues of language identification on the sentence and sub-sentential level. ...

  5. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan E. Chamberlain

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds. For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community.

  6. What are the main climate drivers for shrub growth in Northeastern Siberian tundra?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Blok

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Deciduous shrubs are expected to rapidly expand in the Arctic during the coming decades due to climate warming. A transition towards more shrub-dominated tundra may have large implications for the regional surface energy balance, permafrost stability and carbon storage capacity, with consequences for the global climate system. However, little information is available on the natural long-term shrub growth response to climatic variability. Our aim was to determine the climate factor and time period that are most important to annual shrub growth in our research site in NE-Siberia. Therefore, we determined annual radial growth rates in Salix pulchra and Betula nana shrubs by measuring ring widths. We constructed shrub ring width chronologies and compared growth rates to regional climate and remotely sensed greenness data. Early summer temperature was the most important factor influencing ring width of S. pulchra (Pearson's r=0.73, p<0.001 and B. nana (Pearson's r=0.46, p<0.001. No effect of winter precipitation on shrub growth was observed. In contrast, summer precipitation of the previous year correlated positively with B. nana ring width (r=0.42, p<0.01, suggesting that wet summers facilitate shrub growth in the following growing season. S. pulchra ring width correlated positively with peak summer NDVI, despite the small coverage of S. pulchra shrubs (<5% surface cover in our research area. We provide the first climate-growth study on shrubs for Northeast Siberia, the largest tundra region in the world. We show that two deciduous shrub species with markedly different growth forms have a similar growth response to changes in climate. The obtained shrub growth response to climate variability in the past increases our understanding of the mechanisms underlying current shrub expansion, which is required to predict future climate-driven tundra vegetation shifts.

  7. What are the main climate drivers for shrub growth in Northeastern Siberian tundra?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Blok

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Deciduous shrubs are expected to rapidly expand in the Arctic during the coming decades due to climate warming. A transition towards more shrub-dominated tundra may have large implications for the regional surface energy balance, permafrost stability and carbon storage capacity, with consequences for the global climate system. However, little information is available on the natural long-term shrub growth response to climatic variability. Our aim was to determine the climate factor and time period that are most important to annual shrub growth in our research site in NE-Siberia. Therefore, we determined annual radial growth rates in Salix pulchra and Betula nana shrubs by measuring ring widths. We constructed shrub ring width chronologies and compared growth rates to regional climate and remotely sensed greenness data. Early summer temperature was the most important factor influencing ring width of S. pulchra (Pearson's r = 0.73, p < 0.001 and B. nana (Pearson's r = 0.46, p < 0.001. No effect of winter precipitation on shrub growth was observed. In contrast, summer precipitation of the previous year correlated positively with B. nana ring width (Pearson's r = 0.42, p < 0.01, suggesting that wet summers facilitate shrub growth in the following growing season. S. pulchra ring width correlated positively with peak summer NDVI, despite the small coverage of S. pulchra shrubs (< 5 % surface cover in our research area. We provide the first climate-growth study on shrubs for Northeast Siberia, the largest tundra region in the world. We show that two deciduous shrub species with markedly different growth forms have a similar growth response to changes in climate. The obtained shrub growth response to climate variability in the past increases our understanding of the mechanisms underlying current shrub expansion, which is required to predict future climate

  8. How is climate warming altering the carbon cycle of a tundra ecosystem in the Siberian Arctic?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belelli Marchesini, Luca; (Ko) van Huissteden, Jacobus; van der Molen, Michiel; Parmentier, Frans-Jan W.; Maximov, Trofim; Budishchev, Artem; Gallagher, Angela; (Han) Dolman, Albertus J.

    2015-04-01

    Climate has been warming over the the Arctic region with the strongest anomalies taking place in autumn and winter for the period 2000-2010, particularly in northern Eurasia. The quantification of the impact on climate warming on the degradation of permafrost and the associated potential release to the atmosphere of carbon stocked in the soil under the form of greenhouse gases, thus further increasing the radiative forcing of the atmosphere, is currently a matter of scientific debate. The positive trend in primary productivity in the last decades inferred by vegetation indexes (NDVI) and confirmed by observations on the enhanced growth of shrub vegetation represents indeed a contrasting process that, if prevalent could offset GHG emissions or even strengthen the carbon sink over the Arctic tundra. At the site of Kytalyk, in north-eastern Siberia, net fluxes of CO2 at ecosystem scale (NEE) have been monitored by eddy covariance technique since 2003. While presenting the results of the seasonal (snow free period) and inter-annual variability of NEE, conceived as the interplay between meteorological drivers and ecosystem responses, we test the role of climate as the main source of NEE variability in the last decade using a data oriented statistical approach. The impact of the timing and duration of the snow free period on the seasonal carbon budget is also considered. Finally, by including the results of continuous micrometeorological observations of methane fluxes taken during summer 2012, corroborated with seasonal CH4 budgets from two previous shorter campaigns (2008, 2009), as well as an experimentally determined estimate of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) flux, we provide an assessment of the carbon budget and its stability over time. The examined tundra ecosystem was found to sequester CO2 during the snow free season with relatively small inter-annual variability (-97.9±12.1gC m-2) during the last decade and without any evident trend despite the carbon uptake

  9. Potential methane production rates and its carbon isotopic composition from ornithogenic tundra soils in coastal Antarctic

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    BAO Tao; ZHU Renbin; BAI Bo; XU Hua

    2016-01-01

    Methane (CH4) is one of important greenhouse gases with chemical activity. The determination of isotopic compositions for CH4 emitted from the soils helps us to understand its production mechanisms. CH4 isotope measurements have been conducted for different types of global terrestrial ecosystems. However, no isotopic data of CH4 have been reported from Antarctic tundra soils. In this paper, ornithogenic soil profiles were collected from four penguin colonies, and potential CH4 production rates and its13C ratio (δ13C) were investigated based upon laboratory incubation experiments. The mean CH4 production rates are highly variable in these soil proifles, ranging from 0.7 to 20.3 μg CH4−C kg−1∙h−1. These ornithogenic soils had high potential production rates of CH4 under ambient air incubation or under N2 incubation, indicating the importance of potential CH4 emissions from penguin colonies. Most of the soil samples had higher δ13C-CH4 under N2 incubation (−39.28%~−43.53%) than under the ambient air incubation (−42.81%~−57.19%). Highly anaerobic conditions were conducive to the production of CH4 enriched in13C, and acetic acid reduction under N2 incubation might be a predominant source for soil CH4production. Overall theδ13C-CH4 showed a signiifcant negative correlation with CH4 production rates in ornithogenic tundra soils under N2 incubation (R2=0.41,p<0.01) or under the ambient air incubation (R2=0.50,p<0.01). Potential CH4 production from ornithogenic soils showed a signiifcant positive correlation with total phosphorus (TP) and NH4+−N contents, pH and soil moisture (Mc), but the δ13C-CH4 showed a signiifcant negative correlation with TP and NH4+−N contents, pH and Mc, indicating that the deposition amount of penguin guano increased potential CH4 production rates from tundra soils, but decreased the δ13C-CH4. The CH4 emissions from the ornithogenic soils affect carbon isotopic compositions of atmospheric CH4in coastal Antarctica.

  10. Energy fluxes in a high Arctic tundra heath subjected to strong climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, M.; Hansen, B. U.; Pedersen, S. H.; Stiegler, C.; Tamstorf, M. P.

    2012-12-01

    During recent decades the observed warming in the Arctic has been almost twice as large as the global average. The implications of such strong warming on surface energy balance, regulating permafrost thaw, hydrology, soil stability and carbon mineralization, need to be assessed. In Zackenberg, northeast Greenland, measurements of energy balance components in various environments have been performed since late 90's, coordinated by Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations. During 1996-2009, mean annual temperature in the area has increased by ca. 0.15 °C yr-1; while maximum thaw depth has increased by 1.4-1.8 cm yr-1. Eddy covariance measurements of energy fluxes have been performed in a Cassiope heath plant community, a commonly occurring tundra ecosystem type in circumpolar middle and high Arctic areas, in Zackenberg allowing for detailed investigations of relationships between energy fluxes and meteorological and soil physical characteristics. As the available data set spans more than a decade, possible trends in energy flux components resulting from warming related changes such as earlier snow melt, increased active layer depth and higher temperatures can be investigated. This presentation will focus on the mid-summer period from which eddy covariance measurements are available. The summer-time energy partitioning at the Zackenberg tundra heath site will be characterized using ratios of sensible, latent and ground heat flux to net radiation and Bowen ratio, whereas the surface characteristics will be described using surface resistance, McNaughton and Jarvis Ω value and Priestley-Taylor α coefficient. Furthermore, we aim to estimate the full year, all energy balance components for the tundra heath site using Snow Model (Liston and Elder 2006) for the dark winter period during which no eddy covariance measurements are available. The snow cover duration in the area is a major regulator of the energy partitioning. Early results point towards high summer

  11. Changes in alpine plant growth under future climate conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Rammig

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Alpine shrub- and grasslands are shaped by extreme climatic conditions such as a long-lasting snow cover and a short vegetation period. Such ecosystems are expected to be highly sensitive to global environmental change. Prolonged growing seasons and shifts in temperature and precipitation are likely to affect plant phenology and growth. In a unique experiment, climatology and plant growth was monitored for almost a decade at 17 snow meteorological stations in different alpine regions along the Swiss Alps. Regression analyses revealed highly significant correlations between mean air temperature in May/June and snow melt out, onset of plant growth, and plant height. These correlations were used to project plant growth phenology for future climate conditions based on the gridded output of a set of regional climate models runs. Melt out and onset of growth were projected to occur on average 17 days earlier by the end of the century than in the control period from 1971–2000 under the future climate conditions of the low resolution climate model ensemble. Plant height and biomass production were expected to increase by 77% and 45%, respectively. The earlier melt out and onset of growth will probably cause a considerable shift towards higher growing plants and thus increased biomass. Our results represent the first quantitative and spatially explicit estimates of climate change impacts on future growing season length and the respective productivity of alpine plant communities in the Swiss Alps.

  12. Numerical simulation of a turning alpine ski during recreational skiing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirano, Y; Tada, N

    1996-09-01

    While downhill snow skiing, recreational alpine skiers enjoy making turning motions with their skis. These motions are mainly induced by skidding, while turning by alpine ski racers is made by carving a trace in the snow. In the present study we treat the turning motions by recreational alpine skiers. This "skidding" turning motion is made possible by centripetal forces acting on the ski and skier dynamic motion systems, with these forces arising due to the skier placing the ski's longitudinal axis at an angle that is inclined away from the velocity vector and edging the ski into the snow. When snow is soft, the edged ski creates a snow impacting force, whereas a snow cutting force occurs when it is hard. Here, we calculate the former force using a three-dimensional water jet analogy, while the latter one using conventional metal cutting theory, after which the corresponding equations of motion for each system are derived and numerically solved. This methodology enables simulating the curvilinear and rotational motion of the ski and skier systems. Resultant simulations quantitatively show for the first time that the resultant radius of curvature of a ski track while downhill skiing is strongly dependent on the location of the ski boot on the ski's longitudinal axis and also on its side-cut (midlength taper).

  13. Effects of eccentric cycle ergometry in alpine skiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, M; Lüthy, F; Kroell, J; Müller, E; Hoppeler, H; Vogt, M

    2010-08-01

    Eccentric cycling, where the goal is to resist the pedals, which are driven by a motor, increases muscle strength and size in untrained subjects. We hypothesized that it could also be beneficial for athletes, particularly in alpine skiing, which involves predominantly eccentric contractions at longer muscle lengths. We investigated the effects of replacing part of regular weight training with eccentric cycling in junior male alpine skiers using a matched-pair design. Control subjects ( N=7) executed 1-h weight sessions 3 times per week, which included 4-5 sets of 4 leg exercises. The eccentric group ( N=8) performed only 3 sets, followed by continuous sessions on the eccentric ergometer for the remaining 20 min. After 6 weeks, lean thigh mass increased significantly only in the eccentric group. There was a groupxtime effect on squat-jump height favouring the eccentric group, which also experienced a 6.5% improvement in countermovement-jump height. The ability to finely modulate muscle force during variable eccentric cycling improved 50% (p=0.004) only in the eccentric group. Although eccentric cycling did not significantly enhance isometric leg strength, we believe it is beneficial for alpine skiers because it provides an efficient means for hypertrophy while closely mimicking the type of muscle actions encountered while skiing.

  14. Comparison modeling for alpine vegetation distribution in an arid area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jihua; Lai, Liming; Guan, Tianyu; Cai, Wetao; Gao, Nannan; Zhang, Xiaolong; Yang, Dawen; Cong, Zhentao; Zheng, Yuanrun

    2016-07-01

    Mapping and modeling vegetation distribution are fundamental topics in vegetation ecology. With the rise of powerful new statistical techniques and GIS tools, the development of predictive vegetation distribution models has increased rapidly. However, modeling alpine vegetation with high accuracy in arid areas is still a challenge because of the complexity and heterogeneity of the environment. Here, we used a set of 70 variables from ASTER GDEM, WorldClim, and Landsat-8 OLI (land surface albedo and spectral vegetation indices) data with decision tree (DT), maximum likelihood classification (MLC), and random forest (RF) models to discriminate the eight vegetation groups and 19 vegetation formations in the upper reaches of the Heihe River Basin in the Qilian Mountains, northwest China. The combination of variables clearly discriminated vegetation groups but failed to discriminate vegetation formations. Different variable combinations performed differently in each type of model, but the most consistently important parameter in alpine vegetation modeling was elevation. The best RF model was more accurate for vegetation modeling compared with the DT and MLC models for this alpine region, with an overall accuracy of 75 % and a kappa coefficient of 0.64 verified against field point data and an overall accuracy of 65 % and a kappa of 0.52 verified against vegetation map data. The accuracy of regional vegetation modeling differed depending on the variable combinations and models, resulting in different classifications for specific vegetation groups.

  15. Tourism and Water: Themes of the Alpine Convention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imhof, R.

    2012-04-01

    1) The contribution reflects the personal opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the point of view of the Permanent Secretariat. The Alpine Convention is a multilateral framework treaty signed in 1991 by the eight states of the Alpine bow as well as the European Community. Its main objectives are the sustainable development of the Alpine territory and the safeguarding of the interests of the people living within it, embracing the environmental, social and economic dimensions in the broadest sense. In order to achieve its objectives, over the years the Framework Convention has been equipped with a large number of thematic protocols, e.g. on tourism. The overall objective of the Protocol on Tourism, which first came into force in 2002, is to contribute to sustainable development in the Alpine region within the existing institutional framework, by encouraging environmentally-friendly tourism through specific measures and recommendations which take the interests of both the local population and tourists into account. The provisions of the Protocol on Tourism primarily concern tourism management and controlling tourist flows, structural developments such as ski lifts and ski slopes, accommodation and the balanced development of economically weak areas. Guidelines, development plans, sectoral plans have to be adopted at the appropriate territorial level in order to enable to assess the impact of tourism development on, inter alia, water. This extends also to ski slopes developments. For example the production of artificial snow production may be authorized only if the location's hydrological, climatic and ecological conditions allow. Water is listed among the twelve themes in relation to which the Contracting Parties are supposed to take measures and coordinate their policies (Article 2 of the Framework Convention). The Alpine Convention aims to preserve and re-establish healthy water systems, especially keeping waters clean and protecting the natural

  16. Alpine biodiversity and assisted migration: The case of the American pika (Ochotona princeps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkening, Jennifer L.; Ray, Chris; Ramsay, Nathan G.; Klingler, Kelly

    2015-01-01

    Alpine mammals are predicted to be among the species most threatened by climate change, due to the projected loss and further fragmentation of alpine habitats. As temperature or precipitation regimes change, alpine mammals may also be faced with insurmountable barriers to dispersal. The slow rate or inability to adjust to rapidly shifting environmental conditions may cause isolated alpine species to become locally extirpated, resulting in reduced biodiversity. One proposed method for mitigating the impacts of alpine species loss is assisted migration. This method, which involves translocating a species to an area with more favourable climate and habitat characteristics, has become the subject of debate and controversy in the conservation community. The uncertainty associated with climate change projections, coupled with the thermal sensitivity of many alpine mammals, makes it difficult to a priori assess the efficacy of this technique as a conservation management tool. Here we present the American pika (Ochotona princeps) as a case study. American pikas inhabit rocky areas throughout the western US, and populations in some mountainous areas have become locally extirpated in recent years. We review known climatic and habitat requirements for this species, and also propose protocols designed to reliably identify favourable relocation areas. We present data related to the physiological constraints of this species and outline specific requirements which must be addressed for translocation of viable populations, including wildlife disease and genetic considerations. Finally, we discuss potential impacts on other alpine species and alpine communities, and overall implications for conserving alpine biodiversity in a changing climate.

  17. The 'Guetsch' Alpine wind power test site; Alpine Test Site Guetsch. Handbuch und Fachtagung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cattin, R.

    2008-12-15

    This final report for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) takes a look at the influence of icing-up on the operation of wind turbines in mountainous areas. Within the Swiss research project 'Alpine Test Site Guetsch', extensive icing studies were carried out at the Guetsch site near Andermatt, Switzerland. This document deals with the following subjects: Information about ice formation on structures, in particular with respect to wind turbines, standards and international research activities, wind measurements under icing-up conditions, estimation of the frequency of icing-up conditions, effects of icing-up on wind turbines, ice detection, measures available for de-icing and anti-icing as well as ice throw. A list of factors to be taken into account by the planners and operators of wind turbines in alpine environments is presented.

  18. Increased ectomycorrhizal fungal abundance after long-term fertilization and warming of two arctic tundra ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Karina Engelbrecht; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven Evert;

    2006-01-01

    the response in EM fungal abundance to long-term warming and fertilization in two arctic ecosystems with contrasting responses of the EM shrub Betula nana. •  Ergosterol was used as a biomarker for living fungal biomass in roots and organic soil and ingrowth bags were used to estimate EM mycelial production....... We measured 15N and 13C natural abundance to identify the EM-saprotrophic divide in fungal sporocarps and to validate the EM origin of mycelia in the ingrowth bags. •  Fungal biomass in soil and EM mycelial production increased with fertilization at both tundra sites, and with warming at one site....... This was caused partly by increased dominance of EM plants and partly by stimulation of EM mycelial growth. •  We conclude that cycling of carbon and nitrogen through EM fungi will increase when strongly nutrient-limited arctic ecosystems are exposed to a warmer and more nutrient-rich environment. This has...

  19. [Wood transformation in dead-standing trees in the forest-tundra of Central Siberia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhortova, L V; Kirdianov, A V; Myglan, V S; Guggenberger, G

    2009-01-01

    Changes in the composition of wood organic matter in dead-standing spruce and larch trees depending on the period after their death have been studied in the north of Central Siberia. The period after tree death has been estimated by means of cross-dating. The results show that changes in the composition of wood organic matter in 63% of cases are contingent on tree species. Wood decomposition in dead-standing trees is accompanied by an increase in the contents of alkali-soluble organic compounds. Lignin oxidation in larch begins approximately 80 years after tree death, whereas its transformation in spruce begins not earlier than after 100 years. In the forest-tundra of Central Siberia, the rate of wood organic matter transformation in dead-standing trees is one to two orders of magnitude lower than in fallen wood, which accounts for their role as a long-term store of carbon and mineral elements in these ecosystems.

  20. Development of Antarctic herb tundra vegetation near Arctowski station, King George Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozeretska, I. A.; Parnikoza, I. Yu.; Mustafa, O.; Tyschenko, O. V.; Korsun, S. G.; Convey, P.

    2010-01-01

    We studied the development of the Antarctic herb tundra vegetation formation in relation to the history of deglaciation across a range of habitats near H. Arctowski Research Station (King George Island, South Shetland Islands). Across the three identified environmental zones (coastal, intermediate, periglacial), we quantified the total vegetation cover, cover of the two indigenous flowering plants and bryophytes, age structure and reproductive features of the two flowering plants, and species diversity of mosses and liverworts. Analysis of these data supported the recognition of the three environmental zones; however, there were few indications of systematic differences in biological features of the two higher plants across the three zones, generally supporting the view that these, and the grass Deschampsia antarctica in particular, are effective primary colonists of recently deglaciated ground in this region.

  1. Fungi benefit from two decades of increased nutrient availability in tundra heath soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Bååth, Erland

    2013-01-01

    is a predicted long-term consequence of climatic warming and mimicked by fertilization, both increase soil microbial biomass. However, while fertilization increased the relative abundance of fungi, warming caused only a minimal shift in the microbial community composition based on the phospholipid fatty acid......If microbial degradation of carbon substrates in arctic soil is stimulated by climatic warming, this would be a significant positive feedback on global change. With data from a climate change experiment in Northern Sweden we show that warming and enhanced soil nutrient availability, which...... of complex organic compounds such as vanillin, while warming has had no such effects. Furthermore, the NLFA-to-PLFA ratio for (13)C-incorporation from acetate increased in warmed plots but not in fertilized ones. Thus, fertilization cannot be used as a proxy for effects on warming in arctic tundra soils...

  2. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus Surveillance for Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge: Raw data

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Example of raw data submitted from the National Wildlife Health Center of test results from oral-pharyngeal and cloacal swabs collected on Tundra Swans and Wood...

  3. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus Surveillance for Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge: Raw data

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Example of raw data submitted to the National Wildlife Health Center of test results from oral-pharyngeal and cloacal swabs collected on Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks...

  4. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus Surveillance for Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge: Batch 324NC Summary

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Batch summaries from the National Wildlife Health Center of test results from oral-pharyngeal and cloacal swabs collected on Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks on Pocosin...

  5. Object-Based Mapping of the Circumpolar Taiga-Tundra Ecotone with MODIS Tree Cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranson, K. J.; Montesano, P. M.; Nelson, R.

    2011-01-01

    The circumpolar taiga tundra ecotone was delineated using an image-segmentation-based mapping approach with multi-annual MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields (VCF) tree cover data. Circumpolar tree canopy cover (TCC) throughout the ecotone was derived by averaging MODIS VCF data from 2000 to 2005 and adjusting the averaged values using linear equations relating MODIS TCC to Quickbird-derived tree cover estimates. The adjustment helped mitigate VCF's overestimation of tree cover in lightly forested regions. An image segmentation procedure was used to group pixels representing similar tree cover into polygonal features (segmentation objects) that form the map of the transition zone. Each polygon represents an area much larger than the 500 m MODIS pixel and characterizes the patterns of sparse forest patches on a regional scale. Those polygons near the boreal/tundra interface with either (1) mean adjusted TCC values from5 to 20%, or (2) mean adjusted TCC values greater than 5% but with a standard deviation less than 5% were used to identify the ecotone. Comparisons of the adjusted average tree cover data were made with (1) two existing tree line definitions aggregated for each 1 degree longitudinal interval in North America and Eurasia, (2) Landsat-derived Canadian proportion of forest cover for Canada, and (3) with canopy cover estimates extracted from airborne profiling lidar data that transected 1238 of the TCC polygons. The adjusted TCC from MODIS VCF shows, on average, less than 12% TCC for all but one regional zone at the intersection with independently delineated tree lines. Adjusted values track closely with Canadian proportion of forest cover data in areas of low tree cover. A comparison of the 1238 TCC polygons with profiling lidar measurements yielded an overall accuracy of 67.7%.

  6. Arctic biodiversity: Increasing richness accompanies shrinking refugia for a cold-associated tundra fauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, Andrew; Waltari, Eric; Malaney, Jason L.; Payer, David C.; Cook, J.A.; Talbot, Sandra

    2015-01-01

    As ancestral biodiversity responded dynamically to late-Quaternary climate changes, so are extant organisms responding to the warming trajectory of the Anthropocene. Ecological predictive modeling, statistical hypothesis tests, and genetic signatures of demographic change can provide a powerful integrated toolset for investigating these biodiversity responses to climate change, and relative resiliency across different communities. Within the biotic province of Beringia, we analyzed specimen localities and DNA sequences from 28 mammal species associated with boreal forest and Arctic tundra biomes to assess both historical distributional and evolutionary responses and then forecasted future changes based on statistical assessments of past and present trajectories, and quantified distributional and demographic changes in relation to major management regions within the study area. We addressed three sets of hypotheses associated with aspects of methodological, biological, and socio-political importance by asking (1) what is the consistency among implications of predicted changes based on the results of both ecological and evolutionary analyses; (2) what are the ecological and evolutionary implications of climate change considering either total regional diversity or distinct communities associated with major biomes; and (3) are there differences in management implications across regions? Our results indicate increasing Arctic richness through time that highlights a potential state shift across the Arctic landscape. However, within distinct ecological communities, we found a predicted decline in the range and effective population size of tundra species into several discrete refugial areas. Consistency in results based on a combination of both ecological and evolutionary approaches demonstrates increased statistical confidence by applying cross-discipline comparative analyses to conservation of biodiversity, particularly considering variable management regimes that seek

  7. Age-specific survival of tundra swans on the lower Alaska Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meixell, Brandt W.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Conn, Paul B.; Dau, Christian P.; Sarvis, John E.; Sowl, Kristine M.

    2013-01-01

    The population of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) breeding on the lower Alaska Peninsula represents the southern extremity of the species' range and is uniquely nonmigratory. We used data on recaptures, resightings, and recoveries of neck-collared Tundra Swans on the lower Alaska Peninsula to estimate collar loss, annual apparent survival, and other demographic parameters for the years 1978–1989. Annual collar loss was greater for adult males fitted with either the thinner collar type (0.34) or the thicker collar type (0.15) than for other age/sex classes (thinner: 0.10, thicker: 0.04). The apparent mean probability of survival of adults (0.61) was higher than that of immatures (0.41) and for both age classes varied considerably by year (adult range: 0.44–0.95, immature range: 0.25–0.90). To assess effects of permanent emigration by age and breeding class, we analyzed post hoc the encounter histories of swans known to breed in our study area. The apparent mean survival of known breeders (0.65) was generally higher than that of the entire marked sample but still varied considerably by year (range 0.26–1.00) and indicated that permanent emigration of breeding swans was likely. We suggest that reductions in apparent survival probability were influenced primarily by high and variable rates of permanent emigration and that immigration by swans from elsewhere may be important in sustaining a breeding population at and near Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

  8. Mercury dynamics of an arctic tundra ecosystem in northern Alaska: a mass balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obrist, D.; Helmig, D.; Agnan, Y.; Hedge, C.; Moore, C. W.; Paxton, D.; Hueber, J.

    2015-12-01

    To constrain the mercury (Hg) mass balance of a tundra ecosystem, we measured atmospheric mercury (Hg) concentrations and surface-atmosphere exchange at Toolik Field Station (68° 38' N) beginning September 2014. We also conducted automated measurements of gaseous Hg in soil pores and snow interstitial air to quantify gas exchange between soils, snow, and the atmosphere; and characterized wet and dry deposition and plant-derived Hg inputs. Results show that atmospheric Hg concentrations peak in winter, decrease in spring, and show summertime minima. Oxidized atmospheric Hg was below detection limits (0.05 ng m-3) indicating no significant dry deposition. Summertime minima of atmospheric Hg concentrations were associated with depositional fluxes of gaseous Hg (up to 2.8 ng m-2 hr-1; measured by a gradient method) that emerged after complete snowmelt. In contrast, gaseous Hg fluxes were below detection limits when snowpack was present; this was supported by in situ snowpack measurements and in contrast to commonly observed gaseous emissions from temperate snowpacks. The cumulative annual gaseous deposition flux of mercury was 12 µg m-2, in similar range as plant-derived inputs (17 µg m-2 yr-1) which we consider the major reason for observed gaseous Hg sink. Wet deposition was extremely low (<1 µg m-2 yr-1) compared to other sites. Hg concentrations in plants and soils are similar to levels found at temperate sites, but terrestrial pool sizes are large in comparison ranging around 400 g ha-1. The results suggest that: atmospheric Hg exposure is low at this site; that deposition is dominated by plant-derived deposition; and that significant Hg pools accumulate in tundra soils, likely driven by strong retention and low re-emissions after deposition. The high Hg soil pool sizes and key role of plant-productivity for Hg deposition may indicate a high sensitivity to climate change, in particular to permafrost soil thawing and increased growing season length.

  9. Isotopic insights into methane production, oxidation, and emissions in Arctic polygon tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn, Lydia J S; Conrad, Mark E; Bill, Markus; Torn, Margaret S

    2016-10-01

    Arctic wetlands are currently net sources of atmospheric CH4 . Due to their complex biogeochemical controls and high spatial and temporal variability, current net CH4 emissions and gross CH4 processes have been difficult to quantify, and their predicted responses to climate change remain uncertain. We investigated CH4 production, oxidation, and surface emissions in Arctic polygon tundra, across a wet-to-dry permafrost degradation gradient from low-centered (intact) to flat- and high-centered (degraded) polygons. From 3 microtopographic positions (polygon centers, rims, and troughs) along the permafrost degradation gradient, we measured surface CH4 and CO2 fluxes, concentrations and stable isotope compositions of CH4 and DIC at three depths in the soil, and soil moisture and temperature. More degraded sites had lower CH4 emissions, a different primary methanogenic pathway, and greater CH4 oxidation than did intact permafrost sites, to a greater degree than soil moisture or temperature could explain. Surface CH4 flux decreased from 64 nmol m(-2)  s(-1) in intact polygons to 7 nmol m(-2)  s(-1) in degraded polygons, and stable isotope signatures of CH4 and DIC showed that acetate cleavage dominated CH4 production in low-centered polygons, while CO2 reduction was the primary pathway in degraded polygons. We see evidence that differences in water flow and vegetation between intact and degraded polygons contributed to these observations. In contrast to many previous studies, these findings document a mechanism whereby permafrost degradation can lead to local decreases in tundra CH4 emissions.

  10. Nitrogen availability increases in a tundra ecosystem during five years of experimental permafrost thaw.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmon, Verity G; Soucy, Patrick; Mauritz, Marguerite; Celis, Gerardo; Natali, Susan M; Mack, Michelle C; Schuur, Edward A G

    2016-05-01

    Perennially frozen soil in high latitude ecosystems (permafrost) currently stores 1330-1580 Pg of carbon (C). As these ecosystems warm, the thaw and decomposition of permafrost is expected to release large amounts of C to the atmosphere. Fortunately, losses from the permafrost C pool will be partially offset by increased plant productivity. The degree to which plants are able to sequester C, however, will be determined by changing nitrogen (N) availability in these thawing soil profiles. N availability currently limits plant productivity in tundra ecosystems but plant access to N is expected improve as decomposition increases in speed and extends to deeper soil horizons. To evaluate the relationship between permafrost thaw and N availability, we monitored N cycling during 5 years of experimentally induced permafrost thaw at the Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research (CiPEHR) project. Inorganic N availability increased significantly in response to deeper thaw and greater soil moisture induced by Soil warming. This treatment also prompted a 23% increase in aboveground biomass and a 49% increase in foliar N pools. The sedge Eriophorum vaginatum responded most strongly to warming: this species explained 91% of the change in aboveground biomass during the 5 year period. Air warming had little impact when applied alone, but when applied in combination with Soil warming, growing season soil inorganic N availability was significantly reduced. These results demonstrate that there is a strong positive relationship between the depth of permafrost thaw and N availability in tundra ecosystems but that this relationship can be diminished by interactions between increased thaw, warmer air temperatures, and higher levels of soil moisture. Within 5 years of permafrost thaw, plants actively incorporate newly available N into biomass but C storage in live vascular plant biomass is unlikely to be greater than losses from deep soil C pools.

  11. Longer thaw seasons increase nitrogen availability for leaching during fall in tundra soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treat, Claire C.; Wollheim, Wilfred M.; Varner, Ruth K.; Bowden, William B.

    2016-06-01

    Climate change has resulted in warmer soil temperatures, earlier spring thaw and later fall freeze-up, resulting in warmer soil temperatures and thawing of permafrost in tundra regions. While these changes in temperature metrics tend to lengthen the growing season for plants, light levels, especially in the fall, will continue to limit plant growth and nutrient uptake. We conducted a laboratory experiment using intact soil cores with and without vegetation from a tundra peatland to measure the effects of late freeze and early spring thaw on carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange, methane (CH4) emissions, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (N) leaching from soils. We compared soil C exchange and N production with a 30 day longer seasonal thaw during a simulated annual cycle from spring thaw through freeze-up and thaw. Across all cores, fall N leaching accounted for ˜33% of total annual N loss despite significant increases in microbial biomass during this period. Nitrate ({{{{NO}}}3}-) leaching was highest during the fall (5.33 ± 1.45 mg N m-2 d-1) following plant senescence and lowest during the summer (0.43 ± 0.22 mg N m-2 d-1). In the late freeze and early thaw treatment, we found 25% higher total annual ecosystem respiration but no significant change in CH4 emissions or DOC loss due to high variability among samples. The late freeze period magnified N leaching and likely was derived from root turnover and microbial mineralization of soil organic matter coupled with little demand from plants or microbes. Large N leaching during the fall will affect N cycling in low-lying areas and streams and may alter terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem nitrogen budgets in the arctic.

  12. Shrub encroachment in Arctic tundra: Betula nana effects on above- and below-ground litter decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaren, Jennie R; Buckeridge, Kate M; van de Weg, Martine J; Shaver, Gaius R; Schimel, Joshua P; Gough, Laura

    2017-03-06

    Rapid arctic vegetation change as a result of global warming includes an increase in the cover and biomass of deciduous shrubs. Increases in shrub abundance will result in a proportional increase of shrub litter in the litter community, potentially affecting carbon turnover rates in arctic ecosystems. We investigated the effects of leaf and root litter of a deciduous shrub, Betula nana, on decomposition, by examining species-specific decomposition patterns, as well as effects of Betula litter on the decomposition of other species. We conducted a two-year decomposition experiment in moist acidic tundra in northern Alaska, where we decomposed three tundra species (Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Rhododendron palustre, and Eriophorum vaginatum) alone and in combination with Betula litter. Decomposition patterns for leaf and root litter were determined using three different measures of decomposition (mass loss, respiration, extracellular enzyme activity). We report faster decomposition of Betula leaf litter compared to other species, with support for species differences coming from all three measures of decomposition. Mixing effects were less consistent among the measures, with negative mixing effects shown only for mass loss. In contrast, there were few species differences or mixing effects for root decomposition. Overall, we attribute longer-term litter mass loss patterns in to patterns created by early decomposition processes in the first winter. We note numerous differences for species patterns between leaf and root decomposition, indicating that conclusions from leaf litter experiments should not be extrapolated to below-ground decomposition. The high decomposition rates of Betula leaf litter aboveground, and relatively similar decomposition rates of multiple species below, suggest a potential for increases in turnover in the fast-decomposing carbon pool of leaves and fine roots as the dominance of deciduous shrubs in the Arctic increases, but this outcome may be tempered

  13. The importance of willow thickets for ptarmigan and hares in shrub tundra: the more the better?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrich, Dorothée; Henden, John-André; Ims, Rolf Anker; Doronina, Lilyia O; Killengren, Siw Turid; Lecomte, Nicolas; Pokrovsky, Ivan G; Skogstad, Gunnhild; Sokolov, Alexander A; Sokolov, Vasily A; Yoccoz, Nigel Gilles

    2012-01-01

    In patchy habitats, the relationship between animal abundance and cover of a preferred habitat may change with the availability of that habitat, resulting in a functional response in habitat use. Here, we investigate the relationship of two specialized herbivores, willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) and mountain hare (Lepus timidus), to willows (Salix spp.) in three regions of the shrub tundra zone-northern Norway, northern European Russia and western Siberia. Shrub tundra is a naturally patchy habitat where willow thickets represent a major structural element and are important for herbivores both as food and shelter. Habitat use was quantified using feces counts in a hierarchical spatial design and related to several measures of willow thicket configuration. We document a functional response in the use of willow thickets by ptarmigan, but not by hares. For hares, whose range extends into forested regions, occurrence increased overall with willow cover. The occurrence of willow ptarmigan showed a strong positive relationship to willow cover and a negative relationship to thicket fragmentation in the region with lowest willow cover at landscape scale, where willow growth may be limited by reindeer browsing. In regions with higher cover, in contrast, such relationships were not observed. Differences in predator communities among the regions may contribute to the observed pattern, enhancing the need for cover where willow thickets are scarce. Such region-specific relationships reflecting regional characteristics of the ecosystem highlight the importance of large-scale investigations to understand the relationships of habitat availability and use, which is a critical issue considering that habitat availability changes quickly with climate change and human impact.

  14. Could 4 degrees warming change Arctic tundra from carbon sink to carbon source?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torn, M. S.; Abramoff, R. Z.; Chafe, O.; Curtis, J. B.; Smith, L. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2015-12-01

    We have set up a controlled, active warming experiment in permafrost tundra on the North Slope of Alaska. The aim of this micro-warming experiment is to investigate the direct effect of soil warming on microbial decomposition of soil organic matter. We are testing the feasibility of small, short-term, in situ warming that can be run off batteries for distributed deployment and that preserves plant-soil relations and natural variability in wind, temperature, and precipitation. Based on preliminary results, the approach looks promising. One resistance heater cable per plot (25 cm diameter plots) was inserted vertically to 50 cm, spanning the full active layer (maximum thaw depth was 40 cm in 2014). Heaters were turned on August 1, 2015, and heated plots reached the 4ºC warming target within 1-3 days. We are measuring soil microclimate, thaw depth, CO2 and CH4 fluxes, and 14CO2, and microbial composition, as part of the DOE Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic). Ecosystem respiration increased immediately in the heated plots, and net ecosystem exchange under clear chambers changed from net uptake to net CO2 source in two of the four plots. CH4 flux shifted toward reduced net emissions or greater net uptake in all plots. These rapid responses demonstrate direct changes in decomposition without complications from microbial acclimation, altered community structure or changes in substrate availability. However, future Arctic tundra carbon balance will depend on both short term and long term microbial responses, as well as the links between warming, decomposition, nitrogen mineralization, and plant growth. Thus, we envision that distributed micro-warming plots could be combined with new approaches to aboveground passive warming being developed in NGEE, gradient studies, and modeling.

  15. Impacts of permafrost changes on alpine ecosystem in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG; Genxu; LI; Yuanshou

    2006-01-01

    Alpine cold ecosystem with permafrost environment is quite sensitive to climatic changes and the changes in permafrost can significantly affect the alpine ecosystem. The vegetation coverage,grassland biomass and soil nutrient and texture are selected to indicate the regime of alpine cold ecosystems in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The interactions between alpine ecosystem and permafrost were investigated with the depth of active layer, permafrost thickness and mean annual ground temperature (MAGTs). Based on the statistics model of GPTR for MAGTs and annual air temperatures, an analysis method was developed to analyze the impacts of permafrost changes on the alpine ecosystems. Under the climate change and human engineering activities, the permafrost change and its impacts on alpine ecosystems in the permafrost region between the Kunlun Mountains and the Tanggula Range of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are studied in this paper. The results showed that the permafrost changes have a different influence on different alpine ecosystems. With the increase in the thickness of active layer, the vegetation cover and biomass of the alpine cold meadow exhibit a significant conic reduction, the soil organic matter content of the alpine cold meadow ecosystem shows an exponential decrease, and the surface soil materials become coarse and gravelly. The alpine cold steppe ecosystem, however, seems to have a relatively weak relation to the permafrost environment.Those relationships resulted in the fact that the distribution area of alpine cold meadow decreased by 7.98% and alpine cold swamp decreased by 28.11% under the permafrost environment degradation during recent 15 years. In the future 50 years the alpine cold meadow ecosystems in different geomorphologic units may have different responses to the changes of the permafrost under different climate warming conditions, among them the alpine cold meadow and swamp ecosystem located in the Iow mountain and plateau area will have a relatively

  16. Isolated fracture of the fibular shaft due to alpine skiing; a specific injury

    OpenAIRE

    Yıldız, Atıl Atilla, Ozkan Kose, Ferhat Guler, H

    2013-01-01

    Although musculoskeletal injuries of lower leg due to alpine skiing is well known and widely reported, an acute isolated fibula fracture as a specific ski injury has not been reported in the relevant literature. Herein, we present a case of isolated fibula fracture which is missed at initial admission, and discuss the mechanism of injury and relationship with alpine skiing equipment.

  17. A simple spatial model exploring positive feedbacks at tropical alpine treelines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bader, M.; Rietkerk, M.; Bregt, A.K.

    2008-01-01

    Climate change could cause alpine treelines to shift in altitude or to change their spatial pattern, but little is known about the drivers of treeline dynamics and patterning. The position and patterns of tropical alpine treelines are generally attributed to land use, especially burning. Species int

  18. Experimental modeling of the influence of the rise in average summer temperatures on carbon circulation in tundra ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkhatov, Yu. V.; Tikhomirov, A. A.; Ushakova, S. A.; Shikhov, V. N.; Bartsev, S. I.; Degermendzhi, A. G.

    2016-11-01

    A sealed vegetation chamber was designed and constructed for physical simulation of climate conditions in the Subarctic zone during the spring-summer time. The small laboratory tundra-simulating ecosystem (TSE) was created for comparative evaluation of the rates of soil respiration and of the total balance of carbon fluxes in tundra ecosystems. The test experiment was performed to study the TSE response to a temperature rise in air and soil by 2°C in terms of the intensity of the CO2 flux. It was shown that this increase in temperature would cause a pronounced shift in the balance of CO2 production and utilization in the ecosystem from near-zero values to a stable generation of 24 μmol/h of CO2 per 1 kg of dry biomass.

  19. Quantification of DOC concentrations in relation with soil properties of soils in tundra and taiga of Northern European Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. R. Oosterwoud

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Potential mobilization and transport of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC in subarctic river basins towards the oceans is enormous, because 23–48% of the worlds Soil Organic Carbon (SOC is stored in northern regions. As climate changes, the amount and composition of DOC exported from these basins are expected to change. The transfer of organic carbon between soils and rivers results in fractionation of organic carbon compounds. The aim of this research is to determine the DOC concentrations, its fractions, i.e. humic (HA, fulvic (FA, and hydrophilic (HY acids, and soil characteristics that influence the DOC sorptive properties of different soil types within a tundra and taiga catchment of Northern European Russia. DOC in taiga and tundra soil profiles (soil solution consisted only of HY and FA, where HY became more abundant with increasing depth. Adsorption of DOC on mineral phases is the key geochemical process for release and removal of DOC from potentially soluble carbon pool. We found that adsorbed organic carbon may desorb easily and can release DOC quickly, without being dependent on mineralization and degradation. Although Extractable Organic Carbon (EOC comprise only a small part of SOC, it is a significant buffering pool for DOC. We found that about 80–90% of released EOC was previously adsorbed. Fractionation of EOC is also influenced by the fact that predominantly HA and FA adsorbed to soil and therefore also are the main compounds released when desorbed. Flowpaths vary between taiga and tundra and through seasons, which likely affects DOC concentration found in streams. As climate changes, also flowpaths of water through soils may change, especially in tundra caused by thawing soils. Therefore, adsorptive properties of thawing soils exert a major control on DOC leaching to rivers. To better understand the process of DOC ad- and de-sorption in soils, process based soil chemical modelling, which could bring more insight in solution

  20. Microbial biodiversity in Alpine Permo-Triassic rock salt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radax, C.; Wieland, H.; Pfaffenhuemer, M.; Leuko, S.; Rittmann, S.; Weidler, G.; Gruber, C.; Stan-Lotter, H.

    2003-04-01

    Alpine Permo-Triassic rock salt (age 200-250 million years) was shown several times to contain living extremely halophilic Archaea. These organisms might stem from ancient populations that became entrapped and persisted in the rock salt since then. For this reason, rock salt is considered a promising model system for the search for bacterial extraterrestrial life. In our studies on biodiversity in Alpine rock salt, we employed both culture-dependent and culture-independent, PCR-based methods. The latter approach indicated the presence of at least 12 distinct sequence types (phylotypes) in our samples, all of which belonged to the extremely halophilic Archaea. None of the recovered sequences was identical to sequences from databases, suggesting the avoidance of contaminants during experimental procedures. Two phylotypes could be assigned to taxonomically described members of this family; the remaining ten phylotypes appeared only remotely related to known genera of the extremely halophilic Archaea. In contrast, attempts to isolate organisms from the same sample on 15 different growth media so far yielded only two groups of isolates that could be differentiated based on their 16S rRNA genes. One group was very similar to Halococcus strains that we frequently isolated from Alpine rock salt; the other group was closely correlated to one of our novel phylotypes. Analyses of whole cell protein patterns allowed to further differentiate the latter group into two different subgroups that could not be distinguished at the molecular level. These results show that both culture-dependent and culture-independent strategies have to be applied in order to obtain a more complete view of microbial biodiversity in Permo-Triassic rock salt: culture-independent methods yield information on the gross microbial diversity in rock salt, whereas subtle differences can currently only be registered between cultivated strains.

  1. Protection of large alpine infrastructures against natural hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robl, Jörg; Scheikl, Manfred; Hergarten, Stefan

    2013-04-01

    Large infrastructures in alpine domains are threatened by a variety of natural hazards like debris flows, rock falls and snow avalanches. Especially linear infrastructure including roads, railway lines, pipe lines and power lines passes through the entire mountain range and the impact of natural hazards can be expected along a distance over hundreds of kilometers. New infrastructure projects like storage power plants or ski resorts including access roads are often located in remote alpine domains without any historical record of hazardous events. Mitigation strategies against natural hazards require a detailed analysis on the exposure of the infrastructure to natural hazards. Following conventional concepts extensive mapping and documentation of surface processes over hundreds to several thousand km² of steep alpine domain is essential but can be hardly performed. We present a case study from the Austrian Alps to demonstrate the ability of a multi-level concept to describe the impact of natural hazards on infrastructure by an iterative process. This includes new state of the art numerical models, modern field work and GIS-analysis with an increasing level of refinement at each stage. A set of new numerical models for rock falls, debris flows and snow avalanches was designed to operate with information from field in different qualities and spatial resolutions. Our analysis starts with simple and fast cellular automata for rockfalls and debrisflows to show the exposure of the infrastructure to natural hazards in huge domains and detects "high risk areas" that are investigated in more detail in field in the next refinement level. Finally, sophisticated 2D- depth averaged fluid dynamic models for all kinds of rapid mass movements are applied to support the development of protection structures.

  2. 3D cartographic modeling of the Alpine arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vouillamoz, Naomi; Sue, Christian; Champagnac, Jean-Daniel; Calcagno, Philippe

    2012-12-01

    We built a 3D cartography of the Alpine arc, a highly non-cylindrical mountain belt, using the 3D GeoModeller of the BRGM (French geological survey). The model allows to handle the large-scale 3D structure of seventeen major crustal units of the belt (from the lower crust to the sedimentary cover nappes), and two main discontinuities (the Insubric Line and the Crustal Penninic Front). It provides a unique document to better understand their structural relationships and to produce new sections. The study area comprises the western Alpine arc, from the Jura to the Northwest, up to the Bergell granite intrusion and the Lepontine Dome to the East, and is limited to the South by the Ligurian basin. The model is limited vertically 10 km above sea level at the top, and the moho interface at the bottom. We discarded the structural relationships between the Alps sensus stricto and the surrounding geodynamic systems such as the Rhine graben or the connection with the Apennines. The 3D-model is based on the global integration of various data such as the DEM of the Alps, the moho isobaths, the simplified geological and tectonic maps of the belt, the crustal cross-sections ECORS-CROP and NFP-20, and complementary cross-sections specifically built to precise local complexities. The database has first been integrated in a GIS-project to prepare their implementation in the GeoModeller, by homogenizing the different spatial referencing systems. The global model is finally interpolated from all these data, using the potential field method. The final document is a new tri-dimensional cartography that would be used as input for further alpine studies.

  3. Dynamics and structure of the Alpine Fold Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahle, H. G.

    1985-01-01

    The structure and present-day dynamics of the Alps interms of geodesy and gravimetry are discusssed. A strong correlation of precise leveling and isostatic gravity along the central Alpine chain, especially in Canton Graubunden, East Switzerland are shown. It is assumed that the uplift is partly controlled by isostatic rebound effects. Field observations indicate that these phenomena are still active in the Alps. The study of the uplift processes by applying a number of geodetic and gravimetric measuring techniques, such as the determination of nonperiodic secular variations of gravity, of the deflections of the vertical and tilt changes monitored by hydrostatic leveling is proposed.

  4. Alpine glacial topography and the rate of rock column uplift

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Vivi Kathrine; Egholm, D.L.; Nielsen, S.B.

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigates the influence of alpine glacial erosion on the morphology and relief distribution of mountain regions associated with varying rock column uplift rates. We take a global approach and analyse the surface area distribution of all mountain regions affected by glacial....... On the basis of this decay, the analysed mountain regions fall within three distinct groupsprimarily reflecting variations in average values of rock columnuplift rates.Mountain ranges affected by rapid rock column uplift display high above-snowline relief and large decay lengths, whereas inactive orogens have...

  5. Protective equipment for emergency rescue in alpine-cold region

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ma Tian; Feng Xinxing; Wang Qizhi; Hao Limin

    2013-01-01

    Alpine-cold regions are characterized as hypoxia,strong wind,heavy rain,cold climate,huge temperature difference between day and night,and vertical climate.All these make it difficult for an emergency rescue when a natural disaster such as earthquake happens.Based on the characteristics of emergency rescue in alpinecold region,several multifunctional protective equipments have been developed by the Quartermaster Equipment Institute of General Logistics Department (GLD) of the Chinese People' s Liberation Army (CPLA).These equipments are lightweight,durable and environment adaptable.

  6. MIDDLE TRIASSIC SPIRIFEROID MENTZELIIDS (BRACHIOPODA FROM ALPINE AND MEDITERRANEAN AREAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MAURIZIO GAETANI

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Ten species of mentzelioid spiriferids from several Middle Triassic localities of Alpine and Mediterranean areas are analysed both for external and internal characters. The genera Mentzelia, Paramentzelia, Koeveskallina, and the new genus Dagyssia are referred to the subfamily Mentzeliinae, whilst Tethyspira and the new genus Ptychomentzelia are referred to the subfamily Tethyspirinae. In addition, a new species (Ptychomentzelia ritensis is described. The superfamily Mentzelioidea Dagys, 1974 is retained as a viable container of the whole group here discussed, previously split in the second edition of the Treatise in two different superfamilies.

  7. Acidobacteria dominate the active bacterial communities of Arctic tundra with widely divergent winter-time snow accumulation and soil temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Männistö, Minna K; Kurhela, Emilia; Tiirola, Marja; Häggblom, Max M

    2013-04-01

    The timing and extent of snow cover is a major controller of soil temperature and hence winter-time microbial activity and plant diversity in Arctic tundra ecosystems. To understand how snow dynamics shape the bacterial communities, we analyzed the bacterial community composition of windswept and snow-accumulating shrub-dominated tundra heaths of northern Finland using DNA- and RNA-based 16S rRNA gene community fingerprinting (terminal restriction fragment polymorphism) and clone library analysis. Members of the Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria dominated the bacterial communities of both windswept and snow-accumulating habitats with the most abundant phylotypes corresponding to subdivision (SD) 1 and 2 Acidobacteria in both the DNA- and RNA-derived community profiles. However, different phylotypes within Acidobacteria were found to dominate at different sampling dates and in the DNA- vs. RNA-based community profiles. The results suggest that different species within SD1 and SD2 Acidobacteria respond to environmental conditions differently and highlight the wide functional diversity of these organisms even within the SD level. The acidic tundra soils dominated by ericoid shrubs appear to select for diverse stress-tolerant Acidobacteria that are able to compete in the nutrient poor, phenolic-rich soils. Overall, these communities seem stable and relatively insensitive to the predicted changes in the winter-time snow cover.

  8. Net Primary Production and Carbon Stocks for Subarctic Mesic-Dry Tundras with Contrasting Microtopography, Altitude, and Dominant Species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Michelsen, Anders; Demey, A;

    2009-01-01

    production was obtained from average species growth rates, previously assessed at the sites. Results showed that aboveground vascular NPP (15-270 g m-2), annual NPP (214-282 g m-2 or 102-137 g C m-2) and vegetation biomass (330-2450 g m-2) varied greatly among communities. Vegetation dominated by Empetrum......Mesic-dry tundras are widespread in the Arctic but detailed assessments of net primary production (NPP) and ecosystem carbon (C) stocks are lacking. We addressed this lack of knowledge by determining the seasonal dynamics of aboveground vascular NPP, annual NPP, and whole-ecosystem C stocks in five...... of the vegetation production occurred aboveground (85%). Ecosystem C and N stocks were 2100-8200 g C m-2 and 80-330 g N m-2, respectively, stored mainly in the soil turf and in the fine organic soil. Such stocks are comparable to the C and N stocks of moister tundra types, such as tussock tundra....

  9. Divergent hydrological responses to 20th century climate change in shallow tundra ponds, western Hudson Bay Lowlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Brent B.; Light, Erin M.; Macrae, Merrin L.; Hall, Roland I.; Eichel, Kaleigh; Jasechko, Scott; White, Jerry; Fishback, LeeAnn; Edwards, Thomas W. D.

    2011-12-01

    The hydrological fate of shallow tundra lakes and ponds under conditions of continued warming remains uncertain, but has important implications for wildlife habitat and biogeochemical cycling. Observations of unprecedented pond desiccation, in particular, signify catastrophic loss of aquatic habitat in some Arctic locations. Shallow tundra ponds are a ubiquitous feature in the western Hudson Bay Lowlands (HBL), a region that has undergone intense warming over the past ˜50 years. But it remains unknown how hydrological processes in these ponds have responded. Here, we use cellulose-inferred pond water oxygen isotope records from sediment cores, informed by monitoring of modern pond water isotope compositions during the 2009 and 2010 ice-free seasons, to reconstruct hydrological conditions of four shallow tundra ponds in the western HBL over the past three centuries. Following an interval of relative hydrological stability during the early part of the records, results reveal widely differing hydrological responses to 20th century climate change among the study sites, which is largely dependent on hydrological connectivity of the basins within their respective surrounding peatlands. These findings suggest the 20th century has been characterized by an increasingly dynamic landscape that has variably influenced surface water balance - a factor that is likely to play a key role in determining the future water balance of ponds in this region.

  10. Drivers of post-fire successional trajectories in arctic tundra: the importance of physical and biophysical interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, A. V.; Jiang, Y.; Rastetter, E. B.; Drysdale, J.; Kremers, K.; Shaver, G. R.

    2013-12-01

    Fires in arctic tundra are rare with return intervals in the hundreds to thousands of years, but these events have large implications for carbon and energy fluxes in an environmentally changing and sensitive ecosystem. Permafrost degradation, species composition shifts, and ecosystem function alterations are just a few of the potential consequences of fire that could feedback on future climate change. Here we describe remote sensing, eddy covariance, thaw depth, and biomass measurements along an arctic tundra chronosequence to understand long-term post-fire carbon and energy budgets. Historical remote sensing and fire perimeter data were used to choose sites that were representative of a 0-6, 18, and 36 year old fire scar, which were paired with a representative nearby unburned control. Fires caused successional changes to carbon and energy budgets through changes to the soil thermal regime, caused by decreased organic layer from combustion, and shifts from tussock to grass and shrub dominated systems. Measurements and modeling with the Multiple Element Limitation (MEL) model indicate that nutrients played a key role in these shifts and that these dynamics change are controlled by biophysical conditions immediately after fire (i.e. residual organic layer depth) and climate during early succession. Results highlight the importance of initial conditions in determining the successional trajectory of arctic tundra and yield important insights on how these systems will respond to future climate change.

  11. Long-term mountain tundra composition's responses to grazing pressure in the context of environmental changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saccone, Patrick; Pyykkonen, Tuija; Eskelinen, Anu; Virtanen, Risto

    2013-04-01

    Strong changes in northern tundra in response to climate changes are expected and in particular an increasing shrubiness. However, global changes contain not only warming or shifts in snow-cover but also changes in land-use, e.g. for arctic low productive ecosystems changes in grazing pressure. Grazing could also represent an important driver of future Arctic tundra communities. However, the relative importance of biotic and abiotic drivers of plant communities' composition remains largely unknown, in particular because short-term experiments provided to conflicting evidences. Here, we present the results from a long-term (23 years) experiment set up in 1989 at Kilpisjärvi in the north-western Finnish Lapland. The experiment consisted in the transplantation of twenty 40x50 cm blocks of Vaccinium myrtillus heath including 5-10 cm thick soil layer from a 660 m.a.s.l. dry slope to a snowbed 150m higher in elevation containing dry and wet sites. We considered the transplantation at higher altitude in snowbed conditions an increase in harsher conditions (shorter growing season, lower productivity). Half of the transplanted blocks were protected from herbivores and the percentage cover of each plant species was estimated in mid-august 2012 from a central 12.5 x12.5 cm area in each block. Our results showed that the dominance of the shrub V. myrtillus was strongly reduced as response to transplantation to snowbed. Consequently the competitive pressure also decreased and allowed an increase of the species richness. Soil moisture differences between installation locations induced divergence in plant communities' composition allowing the increase in abundance of subordinate species as bryophytes and graminoids in wet and dry sites respectively. Excluding herbivory, some species assumed high dominance reducing the community diversity. In the wet exclosures, quarter of the surface was covered by a moss and V. myrtillus co-dominated. The strongest changes occurred in dry

  12. The Changing Seasonality of Tundra Nutrient Cycling: Implications for Arctic Ecosystem Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weintraub, M. N.; Steltzer, H.; Sullivan, P.; Schimel, J.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Segal, A. D.

    2011-12-01

    Arctic soils contain large stores of carbon (C) and may act as a significant CO2 source with warming. However, the key to understanding tundra soil processes is nitrogen (N), as both plant growth and decomposition are N limited. However, current models of tundra ecosystems assume that while N limits plant growth, C limits decomposition. In addition, N availability is strongly seasonal with relatively high concentrations early in the growing season followed by a pronounced crash. We need to understand the controls on this seasonality to predict responses to climate change, but there are multiple questions that need answers: 1) What causes the seasonality in N? 2) Does microbial activity switch seasonally between C and N limitation? 3) How will a lengthening of the growing season alter overall ecosystem C and N dynamics, as a result of differential extension of the periods before and after the nutrient crash? We hypothesized that microbial activity is C limited early in the growing season, when N availability is higher and root exudate C is unavailable, and that microbial activity becomes N limited in response to plant N uptake and immobilization stimulated by root C. To address these questions we are conducting an accelerated snow-melt X warming field experiment in an Alaskan moist acidic arctic tundra community, and following plant and soil dynamics. Changes in the timing of C and N interactions in the different treatments will enable us to develop an enhanced mechanistic understanding of why the nutrient crash occurs and what the implications are for a lengthening of the arctic growing season. In 2010 we successfully accelerated snowmelt by 4 days. Both earlier snowmelt and warming accelerated early season plant life history events, with a few exceptions. However, responses to the combined treatment could not always be predicted from single factor effects. End of season life history events occurred later in response to the treatments, again with a few exceptions

  13. Increasing shrub abundance and N addition in Arctic tundra affect leaf and root litter decomposition differently

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaren, J.; van de Weg, M. J.; Shaver, G. R.; Gough, L.

    2013-12-01

    Changes in global climate have resulted in a ';greening' of the Arctic as the abundance of deciduous shrub species increases. Consequently, not only the living plant community, but also the litter composition changes, which in turn can affect carbon turnover patterns in the Arctic. We examined effects of changing litter composition (both root and leaf litter) on decomposition rates with a litter bag study, and specifically focused on the impact of deciduous shrub Betula nana litter on litter decomposition from two evergreen shrubs (Ledum palustre, and Vaccinium vitis-idaea) and one graminoid (Eriophorum vaginatum) species. Additionally, we investigated how decomposition was affected by nutrient availability by placing the litterbags in an ambient and a fertilized moist acidic tundra environment. Measurements were carried out seasonally over 2 years (after snow melt, mid-growing season, end growing season). We measured litter mass loss over time, as well as the respiration rates (standardized for temperature and moisture) and temperature sensitivity of litter respiration at the time of harvesting the litter bags. For leaves, Betula litter decomposed faster than the other three species, with Eriophorum leaves decomposing the slowest. This pattern was observed for both mass loss and litter respiration rates, although the differences in respiration became smaller over time. Surprisingly, combining Betula with any other species resulted in slower overall weight loss rates than would be predicted based on monoculture weight loss rates. This contrasted with litter respiration at the time of sampling, which showed a positive mixing effect of adding Betula leaf liter to the other species. Apparently, during the first winter months (September - May) Betula litter decomposition is negatively affected by mixing the species and this legacy can still be observed in the total mass loss results later in the year. For root litter there were fewer effects of species identity on root

  14. MODIS Tree Cover Validation for the Circumpolar Taiga-Tundra Transition Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montesano, P. M.; Nelson, R.; Sun, G.; Margolis, H.; Kerber, A.; Ranson, K. J.

    2009-01-01

    A validation of the 2005 500m MODIS vegetation continuous fields (VCF) tree cover product in the circumpolar taiga-tundra ecotone was performed using high resolution Quickbird imagery. Assessing the VCF's performance near the northern limits of the boreal forest can help quantify the accuracy of the product within this vegetation transition area. The circumpolar region was divided into longitudinal zones and validation sites were selected in areas of varying tree cover where Quickbird imagery is available in Google Earth. Each site was linked to the corresponding VCF pixel and overlaid with a regular dot grid within the VCF pixel's boundary to estimate percent tree crown cover in the area. Percent tree crown cover was estimated using Quickbird imagery for 396 sites throughout the circumpolar region and related to the VCF's estimates of canopy cover for 2000-2005. Regression results of VCF inter-annual comparisons (2000-2005) and VCF-Quickbird image-interpreted estimates indicate that: (1) Pixel-level, inter-annual comparisons of VCF estimates of percent canopy cover were linearly related (mean R(sup 2) = 0.77) and exhibited an average root mean square error (RMSE) of 10.1 % and an average root mean square difference (RMSD) of 7.3%. (2) A comparison of image-interpreted percent tree crown cover estimates based on dot counts on Quickbird color images by two different interpreters were more variable (R(sup 2) = 0.73, RMSE = 14.8%, RMSD = 18.7%) than VCF inter-annual comparisons. (3) Across the circumpolar boreal region, 2005 VCF-Quickbird comparisons were linearly related, with an R(sup 2) = 0.57, a RMSE = 13.4% and a RMSD = 21.3%, with a tendency to over-estimate areas of low percent tree cover and anomalous VCF results in Scandinavia. The relationship of the VCF estimates and ground reference indicate to potential users that the VCF's tree cover values for individual pixels, particularly those below 20% tree cover, may not be precise enough to monitor 500m pixel

  15. Long-term Nutrient Fertilization Increases CO2 Loss in Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, L. M.; Natali, S.; Rastetter, E. B.; Shaver, G. R.; Risk, D. A.; Loranty, M. M.; Jastrow, J. D.

    2015-12-01

    As anthropogenic climate change warms the Arctic, organic carbon (C) trapped in permafrost is at an increased risk of being released to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2). At the same time, higher rates of decomposition may increase nutrient availability and enhance plant growth, leading to an uptake of C that may offset respiratory losses. Arctic tundra ecosystems are highly nitrogen (N) limited, and the indirect effects of warming on nutrient availability will be the most likely outcome of increased temperature on plant productivity. This study aims to understand the effects of nutrient addition on arctic CO2 and H2O exchange in a tundra ecosystem at Toolik Lake Field Station, Alaska. The nutrient addition experiment, which began in 2006, is comprised of 7 fertilization treatments: 0.5, 1, 2, 5, and 10 g m-2 of N as NO3- and NH4+ (1:1) with 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5 g m-2 of phosphorus as PO43-; 5 g m-2 of N as NO3-; 5 g m-2 of N as NH4+, and one control plot. Plot-level CO2 and H2O exchange was measured at 5 light levels 7 times over a four-week period in June and July 2015. We measured ecosystem CO2 and H2O exchange using a rectangular plexiglass chamber (0.49 m2) that was connected to an infrared gas analyzer (LI-840). Other ecosystem variables measured include thaw depth, soil moisture and temperature, and normalized difference vegetation index. After 10 years of nutrient addition, fertilization significantly altered ecosystem C cycling. Soil respiration was greatest in the highest fertilization treatment (2.97 μmol m-2 s-1), increasing linearly with nutrient level at a rate of 0.133 μmol m-2 s-1 per g m-2 of N added (R2=0.914). Net CO2 uptake was greatest under highest fertilization (-2.06 μmol m-2 s-1), decreasing linearly with nutrient addition at a rate of -0.068 μmol m-2 s-1 per g m-2 of N added (R2=0.687). These results suggest that as nutrients become more available under a warmer climate, plant productivity increases may not offset respiratory

  16. Contrasting radiation and soil heat fluxes in Arctic shrub and wet sedge tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juszak, Inge; Eugster, Werner; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela

    2016-07-01

    Vegetation changes, such as shrub encroachment and wetland expansion, have been observed in many Arctic tundra regions. These changes feed back to permafrost and climate. Permafrost can be protected by soil shading through vegetation as it reduces the amount of solar energy available for thawing. Regional climate can be affected by a reduction in surface albedo as more energy is available for atmospheric and soil heating. Here, we compared the shortwave radiation budget of two common Arctic tundra vegetation types dominated by dwarf shrubs (Betula nana) and wet sedges (Eriophorum angustifolium) in North-East Siberia. We measured time series of the shortwave and longwave radiation budget above the canopy and transmitted radiation below the canopy. Additionally, we quantified soil temperature and heat flux as well as active layer thickness. The mean growing season albedo of dwarf shrubs was 0.15 ± 0.01, for sedges it was higher (0.17 ± 0.02). Dwarf shrub transmittance was 0.36 ± 0.07 on average, and sedge transmittance was 0.28 ± 0.08. The standing dead leaves contributed strongly to the soil shading of wet sedges. Despite a lower albedo and less soil shading, the soil below dwarf shrubs conducted less heat resulting in a 17 cm shallower active layer as compared to sedges. This result was supported by additional, spatially distributed measurements of both vegetation types. Clouds were a major influencing factor for albedo and transmittance, particularly in sedge vegetation. Cloud cover reduced the albedo by 0.01 in dwarf shrubs and by 0.03 in sedges, while transmittance was increased by 0.08 and 0.10 in dwarf shrubs and sedges, respectively. Our results suggest that the observed deeper active layer below wet sedges is not primarily a result of the summer canopy radiation budget. Soil properties, such as soil albedo, moisture, and thermal conductivity, may be more influential, at least in our comparison between dwarf shrub vegetation on relatively dry patches and

  17. Consequences of artic ground squirrels on soil carbon loss from Siberian tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golden, N. A.; Natali, S.; Zimov, N.

    2014-12-01

    A large pool of organic carbon (C) has been accumulating in the Arctic for thousands of years. Much of this C has been frozen in permafrost and unavailable for microbial decomposition. As the climate warms and permafrost thaws, the fate of this large C pool will be driven not only by climatic conditions, but also by ecosystem changes brought about by arctic animal populations. In this project we studied arctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus parryii), which are widely-distributed throughout the Arctic. These social mammals create subterranean burrows that mix soil layers, increase aeration, alter soil moisture and temperature, and redistribute soil nutrients, all of which may impact microbial decomposition. We examined the effects of arctic ground squirrel activity on soil C mineralization in dry heath tundra underlain by continuous permafrost in the Kolyma River watershed in northeast Siberia, Russia. Vegetation cover was greatly reduced on the ground squirrel burrows (80% of ground un-vegetated), compared to undisturbed sites (35% of ground un-vegetated). Soils from ground squirrel burrows were also significantly dryer and warmer. To examine effects of ground squirrel activity on microbial respiration, we conducted an 8-day incubation of soil fromburrows and from adjacent undisturbed tundra. In addition, we assessed the impact of nutrient addition by including treatments with low and high levels of nitrogen addition. Microbial respiration (per gram soil) was three-fold higher in incubated soils from the undisturbed sites compared to soils collected from the burrows. The lower rates of respiration from the disturbed soils may have been a result of lower carbon quality or low soil moisture. High nitrogen addition significantly increased respiration in the undisturbed soils, but not in the disturbed burrow soils, which suggests that microbial respiration in the burrow soils was not primarily limited by nitrogen. These results demonstrate the importance of wildlife

  18. Above- and belowground responses of Arctic tundra ecosystems to altered soil nutrients and mammalian herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, Laura; Moore, John C; Shaver, Gauis R; Simpson, Rodney T; Johnson, David R

    2012-07-01

    Theory and observation indicate that changes in the rate of primary production can alter the balance between the bottom-up influences of plants and resources and the top-down regulation of herbivores and predators on ecosystem structure and function. The exploitation ecosystem hypothesis (EEH) posited that as aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) increases, the additional biomass should support higher trophic levels. We developed an extension of EEH to include the impacts of increases in ANPP on belowground consumers in a similar manner as aboveground, but indirectly through changes in the allocation of photosynthate to roots. We tested our predictions for plants aboveground and for phytophagous nematodes and their predators belowground in two common arctic tundra plant communities subjected to 11 years of increased soil nutrient availability and/or exclusion of mammalian herbivores. The less productive dry heath (DH) community met the predictions of EEH aboveground, with the greatest ANPP and plant biomass in the fertilized plots protected from herbivory. A palatable grass increased in fertilized plots while dwarf evergreen shrubs and lichens declined. Belowground, phytophagous nematodes also responded as predicted, achieving greater biomass in the higher ANPP plots, whereas predator biomass tended to be lower in those same plots (although not significantly). In the higher productivity moist acidic tussock (MAT) community, aboveground responses were quite different. Herbivores stimulated ANPP and biomass in both ambient and enriched soil nutrient plots; maximum ANPP occurred in fertilized plots exposed to herbivory. Fertilized plots became dominated by dwarf birch (a deciduous shrub) and cloudberry (a perennial forb); under ambient conditions these two species coexist with sedges, evergreen dwarf shrubs, and Sphagnum mosses. Phytophagous nematodes did not respond significantly to changes in ANPP, although predator biomass was greatest in control plots. The

  19. Sea Ice, Hydrocarbon Extraction, Rain-on-Snow and Tundra Reindeer Nomadism in Arctic Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, B. C.; Kumpula, T.; Meschtyb, N.; Laptander, R.; Macias-Fauria, M.; Zetterberg, P.; Verdonen, M.

    2015-12-01

    It is assumed that retreating sea ice in the Eurasian Arctic will accelerate hydrocarbon development and associated tanker traffic along Russia's Northern Sea Route. However, oil and gas extraction along the Kara and Barents Sea coasts will likely keep developing rapidly regardless of whether the Northwest Eurasian climate continues to warm. Less certain are the real and potential linkages to regional biota and social-ecological systems. Reindeer nomadism continues to be a vitally important livelihood for indigenous tundra Nenets and their large herds of semi-domestic reindeer. Warming summer air temperatures over the NW Russian Arctic have been linked to increases in tundra productivity, longer growing seasons, and accelerated growth of tall deciduous shrubs. These temperature increases have, in turn, been linked to more frequent and sustained summer high-pressure systems over West Siberia, but not to sea ice retreat. At the same time, winters have been warming and rain-on-snow (ROS) events have become more frequent and intense, leading to record-breaking winter and spring mortality of reindeer. What is driving this increase in ROS frequency and intensity is not clear. Recent modelling and simulation have found statistically significant near-surface atmospheric warming and precipitation increases during autumn and winter over Arctic coastal lands in proximity to regions of sea-ice loss. During the winter of 2013-14 an extensive and lasting ROS event led to the starvation of 61,000 reindeer out of a population of ca. 300,000 animals on Yamal Peninsula, West Siberia. Historically, this is the region's largest recorded mortality episode. More than a year later, participatory fieldwork with nomadic herders during spring-summer 2015 revealed that the ecological and socio-economic impacts from this extreme event will unfold for years to come. There is an urgent need to understand whether and how ongoing Barents and Kara Sea ice retreat may affect the region's ancient

  20. In Review (Geology): Alpine Landscape Evolution Dominated by Cirque Retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oskin, Michael; Burbank, Doug

    2005-01-01

    Despite the abundance in alpine terrain of glacially dissected landscapes, the magnitude and geometry of glacial erosion can rarely be defined. In the eastern Kyrgyz Range, a widespread unconformity exhumed as a geomorphic surface provides a regional datum with which to calibrate erosion. As tectonically driven surface uplift has progressively pushed this surface into the zone of ice accumulation, glacial erosion has overprinted the landscape. With as little as 500 m of incision into rocks underlying the unconformity, distinctive glacial valleys display their deepest incision adjacent to cirque headwalls. The expansion of north-facing glacial cirques at the expense of south-facing valleys has driven the drainage divide southwards at rates up to 2 to 3 times the rate of valley incision. Existing ice-flux-based glacial erosion rules incompletely model expansion of glacial valleys via cirque retreat into the low-gradient unconformity remnants. Local processes that either directly sap cirque headwalls or inhibit erosion down-glacier appear to control, at least initially, alpine landscape evolution.

  1. Estimation of Alpine Skier Posture Using Machine Learning Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bojan Nemec

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available High precision Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS measurements are becoming more and more popular in alpine skiing due to the relatively undemanding setup and excellent performance. However, GNSS provides only single-point measurements that are defined with the antenna placed typically behind the skier’s neck. A key issue is how to estimate other more relevant parameters of the skier’s body, like the center of mass (COM and ski trajectories. Previously, these parameters were estimated by modeling the skier’s body with an inverted-pendulum model that oversimplified the skier’s body. In this study, we propose two machine learning methods that overcome this shortcoming and estimate COM and skis trajectories based on a more faithful approximation of the skier’s body with nine degrees-of-freedom. The first method utilizes a well-established approach of artificial neural networks, while the second method is based on a state-of-the-art statistical generalization method. Both methods were evaluated using the reference measurements obtained on a typical giant slalom course and compared with the inverted-pendulum method. Our results outperform the results of commonly used inverted-pendulum methods and demonstrate the applicability of machine learning techniques in biomechanical measurements of alpine skiing.

  2. Treeline proximity alters an alpine plant-herbivore interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illerbrun, Kurt; Roland, Jens

    2011-05-01

    Rising treeline threatens the size and contiguity of alpine meadows worldwide. As trees encroach into previously open habitat, the movement and population dynamics of above-treeline alpine species may be disrupted. This process is well documented in studies of the Rocky Mountain apollo butterfly (Parnassius smintheus). However, subtler consequences of treeline rise remain poorly understood. In this study, we examine whether treeline proximity affects feeding behaviour of P. smintheus larvae, due to altered habitat affecting the distribution and availability of their host plant, lance-leaved stonecrop (Sedum lanceolatum). Understanding differential larval exploitation of food resources in relation to the treeline is an important step in predicting the consequences of continued treeline rise. Parnassius smintheus larvae feed more intensively on S. lanceolatum away from the treeline despite the relative paucity of hosts in these areas, and despite higher fitness penalties associated with the plant's herbivory-induced chemical defenses. Sedum lanceolatum growing near the treeline is less attractive, and therefore represents a less significant resource for P. smintheus larvae than its abundance might imply. If treeline rise continues, we suggest that this pattern of altered resource exploitation may represent a mechanism by which larvae are adversely affected even while adult movement among and within meadows appears sufficient for maintaining population health, and total host availability seems ample.

  3. Project SHARE Sustainable Hydropower in Alpine Rivers Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammoliti Mochet, Andrea

    2010-05-01

    SHARE - Sustainable Hydropower in Alpine Rivers Ecosystems is a running project early approved and co funded by the European regional development fund in the context of the European Territorial Cooperation Alpine Space programme 2007 - 2013: the project is formally ongoing from August 2009 and it will end July 2012. Hydropower is the most important renewable resource for electricity production in alpine areas: it has advantages for the global CO2 balance but creates serious environmental impacts. RES-e Directives require renewable electricity enhance but, at the same time, the Water Framework Directive obliges member States to reach or maintain a water bodies "good" ecological status, intrinsically limiting the hydropower exploitation. Administrators daily face an increasing demand of water abstraction but lack reliable tools to rigorously evaluate their effects on mountain rivers and the social and economical outputs on longer time scale. The project intends to develop, test and promote a decision support system to merge on an unprejudiced base, river ecosystems and hydropower requirements. This approach will be led using existing scientific tools, adjustable to transnational, national and local normative and carried on by permanent panel of administrators and stakeholders. Scientific knowledge related to HP & river management will be "translated" by the communication tools and spent as a concrete added value to build a decision support system. In particular, the Multicriteria Analysis (MCA) will be applied to assess different management alternatives where a single-criterion approach (such as cost-benefit analysis) falls short, especially where environmental, technical, economic and social criteria can't be quantified by monetary values. All the existing monitoring databases will be used and harmonized with new information collected during the Pilot case studies. At the same time, all information collected will be available to end users and actors of related

  4. Évolution de l’environnement alpin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Schoeneich

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available L’évolution de l’environnement alpin au XXIe siècle sera conditionnée par le changement climatique. Celui-ci pourrait conduire à des climats inconnus à ce jour dans les Alpes, avec comme conséquence une crise environnementale majeure et durable. Face à ces défis, les financements de recherche restent insuffisants pour la recherche appliquée aux milieux de montagne. Les financements nationaux privilégient souvent la recherche polaire au détriment des hautes altitudes, alors que les financements de type Interreg prennent insuffisamment en compte les besoins de recherche fondamentale, préalable nécessaire à l’élaboration de scénarios. Une évolution se dessine depuis deux ou trois ans vers des projets en réseau à l’échelle alpine. Le présent article fait le point sur les principaux enjeux qui attendent la recherche environnementale alpine et sur la capacité des programmes de recherche à répondre aux besoins. La première partie sur les changements climatiques est fondée sur les rapports récents : rapport de synthèse IPCC 2007 (IPCC 2007, rapport IPCC sur l’Europe (Alcamo et al. 2007, rapport de synthèse du programme ClimChAlp (Prudent-Richard et al., 2008. On y trouvera des bibliographies complètes et circonstanciées. La deuxième partie se base sur une analyse des appels d’offres récents ou en cours, et des projets soumis et financés.The way the Alpine environment will evolve in the 21st century depends upon climate change. This could lead to climates never before seen in the Alps, resulting in a major and lasting environmental crisis. In the face of these challenges, funding is still insufficient for specialised research on mountain environments. State funding often prioritises polar research at the expense of high altitude areas, whereas funding schemes from bodies such as Interreg do not sufficiently address the need for fundamental research, which is nevertheless a necessary first step prior to

  5. Differences in Sensation Seeking Between Alpine Skiers, Snowboarders and Ski Tourers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Kopp, Mirjam Wolf, Gerhard Ruedl, Martin Burtscher

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite different injury rates and injury patterns previous personality related research in the field of downhill winter sports did not subdivide between different alpine slope users. In this study, we tried to find out whether the personality trait sensation seeking differs between skiers, snowboarders and ski tourers. In a cross-sectional survey 1185 persons (726 alpine skiers, 321 snowboarders and 138 ski tourers comparable in age and sex were electronically questioned with the sensation seeking scale (SSS-V comprising the four factors thrill and adventure seeking, experiences seeking, disinhibition and boredom susceptibility. Kruskal-Wallis Tests revealed a significantly higher total score of the SSS-V for snowboarders in comparison to alpine skiers and ski tourers (H(2 = 41.5, p < 0.001. Ski tourers and snowboarders scored significantly higher in the dimensions “thrill- and adventure-seeking” and “experience-seeking” than alpine skiers. Furthermore, snowboarders showed higher scores in “disinhibition” related to alpine skiers and ski tourers and “boredom susceptibility” compared to alpine skiers. Data show differences in the personality trait sensation seeking in people practising different winter sports. As snowboarders showed higher SS-scores compared to alpine skiers and ski tourers prevention and information programs might benefit from a selective approach focusing on special characteristics of the respective group.

  6. Backscatter from ice growing on shallow tundra lakes near Barrow, Alaska, winter 1991-1992

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffries, M. O.; Wakabayashi, H.; Weeks, W. F.; Morris, K.

    1993-01-01

    The timing of freeze-up and break-up of Arctic lake ice is a potentially useful environmental indicator that could be monitored using SAR. In order to do this, it is important to understand how the properties and structure of the ice during its growth and decay affect radar backscatter and thus lake ice SAR signatures. The availability of radiometrically and geometrically calibrated digital SAR data time series from the Alaska SAR Facility has made it possible for the first time to quantify lake ice backscatter intensity (sigma(sup o)) variations. This has been done for ice growing on shallow tundra lakes near Barrow, NW Alaska, from initial growth in September 1991 until thawing and decay in June 1992. Field and laboratory observations and measurements of the lake ice were made in late April 1992. The field investigations of the coastal lakes near Barrow confirmed previous findings that, (1) ice frozen to the lake bottom had a dark signature in SAR images, indicating weak backscatter, while, (2) ice that was floating had a bright signature, indicating strong backscatter. At all sites, regardless of whether the ice was grounded or floating, there was a layer of clear, inclusion-free ice overlaying a layer of ice with dense concentrations of vertically oriented tubular bubbles. At some sites, there was a third layer of porous, snow-ice overlaying the clear ice.

  7. Plant response to climate change along the forest-tundra ecotone in northeastern Siberia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berner, Logan T; Beck, Pieter S A; Bunn, Andrew G; Goetz, Scott J

    2013-11-01

    Russia's boreal (taiga) biome will likely contract sharply and shift northward in response to 21st century climatic change, yet few studies have examined plant response to climatic variability along the northern margin. We quantified climate dynamics, trends in plant growth, and growth-climate relationships across the tundra shrublands and Cajander larch (Larix cajanderi Mayr.) woodlands of the Kolyma river basin (657 000 km(2) ) in northeastern Siberia using satellite-derived normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI), tree ring-width measurements, and climate data. Mean summer temperatures (Ts ) increased 1.0 °C from 1938 to 2009, though there was no trend (P > 0.05) in growing year precipitation or climate moisture index (CMIgy ). Mean summer NDVI (NDVIs ) increased significantly from 1982 to 2010 across 20% of the watershed, primarily in cold, shrub-dominated areas. NDVIs positively correlated (P  0.05), which significantly correlated with NDVIs (r = 0.44, P moisture availability and, furthermore, that warming enhanced growth. Impacts of future climatic change on forests near treeline in Arctic Russia will likely be influenced by shifts in both temperature and moisture, which implies that projections of future forest distribution and productivity in this area should take into account the interactions of energy and moisture limitations.

  8. Pentecostals and Charismatic Protestants in the Republic of Komi and Nenets Tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Art Leete

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Between 2010 and 2012, an extended team of scholars studied contemporary Protestant groups in Russia. The project was labelled Center for the Study of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements in Russia1 (CSPCMR and was led by Aleksandr Panchenko from the European University in Saint Petersburg and Patrick Plattet from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Besides Russia and the USA, scholars from Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, and Estonia were involved in this collaborative research effort. The host institution of the project was the European University in St. Petersburg. The aim of the project was to analyse the Protestant-charismatic (P/c Christianity in various regions of post-Soviet Russia. The project proceeded from the notions concerned with global effects of the rapid extension of P/c Christianity in the contemporary world. In the anthropology of Pentecostalism, problems of continuity and change, globalisation and indigenisation, preservation of pre-Pentecostal ontologies, creating the new morality and approaches to economy and politics have been discussed (Coleman 2000; Robbins 2004a, 2004b. The Estonian team’s specific task was to analyse contemporary Protestant missions and churches in the north-eastern corner of European Russia, in the Republic of Komi and the European Nenets tundra.

  9. Short-term Climate Characteristics at Ny-(A)lesund over the Arctic Tundra Area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    Based on the Germany Koldwey Station's 1994-2003 conventional observation hourly data, this paper conducts a statistical analysis on the short-term climate characteristics for an arctic tundra region (Ny-(A)lesund island) where our first arctic expedition station (Huanghe Station) was located. Affected by the North Atlantic warming current, this area has a humid temperate climate, and the air temperature at Ny-(A)lesund rose above 0 ℃ even during deep winter season during our research period. The wind speed in this area was low and appeared most at southeast direction. We find that the temperature at Ny-(A)lesund rose in the faster rate (0.68 ℃/10 a) than those at the whole Arctic area. Compared with the floating ices where our expedition conducted in the Arctic, Ny-(A)lesund was warmer and more humid and had lower wind speed. Comparison of the near surface air temperature derived by NCEP/NCAR reanalysis to the conventional measurements conducted at the Koldwey site in Ny-(A)lesund area shows a good agreement for winter season and a significant difference for summer season.

  10. Calibration and Validation of Landsat Tree Cover in the Taiga−Tundra Ecotone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Mannix Montesano

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring current forest characteristics in the taiga−tundra ecotone (TTE at multiple scales is critical for understanding its vulnerability to structural changes. A 30 m spatial resolution Landsat-based tree canopy cover map has been calibrated and validated in the TTE with reference tree cover data from airborne LiDAR and high resolution spaceborne images across the full range of boreal forest tree cover. This domain-specific calibration model used estimates of forest height to determine reference forest cover that best matched Landsat estimates. The model removed the systematic under-estimation of tree canopy cover >80% and indicated that Landsat estimates of tree canopy cover more closely matched canopies at least 2 m in height rather than 5 m. The validation improved estimates of uncertainty in tree canopy cover in discontinuous TTE forests for three temporal epochs (2000, 2005, and 2010 by reducing systematic errors, leading to increases in tree canopy cover uncertainty. Average pixel-level uncertainties in tree canopy cover were 29.0%, 27.1% and 31.1% for the 2000, 2005 and 2010 epochs, respectively. Maps from these calibrated data improve the uncertainty associated with Landsat tree canopy cover estimates in the discontinuous forests of the circumpolar TTE.

  11. Forest patch height uncertainty from spaceborne data in the taiga-tundra ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montesano, P. M.; Sun, G.; Ranson, J.; Dubayah, R.

    2014-12-01

    In the taiga-tundra ecotone (TTE), vegetation structure change can be subtle and site-dependent, yet occur across broad scales. Recent remote sensing studies have highlighted the degree to which vegetation structure in the TTE can be characterized with spaceborne remote sensing at the plot-scale. These studies demonstrate the fundamental uncertainty of space-based local-scale vertical structure measurements that are available across broad scales and provide the opportunity to understand regional variation in detailed vegetation characteristics. Patch-scale analyses of vegetation structure provide a means to examine vertical structure and horizontal patch form, their association with landscape characteristics, and a basis for examining the variation of change in patch characteristics across sites. In this study we delineate forest patches in study sites along the TTE in northern Siberia with high resolution (0.5 - 3m) spaceborne imagery (HRSI) and attribute patches with tree cover and spectral data from Landsat 7, backscatter power from ALOS PALSAR and canopy height data based on a HRSI-derived digital surface model and ICESat-GLAS ground elevation. We examine the uncertainty of forest patch height from this suite of spaceborne medium and high resolution optical, radar, and LiDAR data. Results demonstrate the potential and limits of spaceborne estimates of patch-scale forest height whose differences are often small, biophysically relevant, and subject to variable rates of change across the broad-scale of the circumpolar TTE.

  12. Changes in microbial communities along redox gradients in polygonized Arctic wet tundra soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipson, David A.; Raab, Theodore K.; Parker , Melanie; Kelley , Scott T.; Brislawn, Colin J.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2015-08-01

    Summary This study investigated how microbial community structure and diversity varied with depth and topography in ice wedge polygons of wet tundra of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska and what soil variables explain these patterns. We observed strong changes in community structure and diversity with depth, and more subtle changes between areas of high and low topography, with the largest differences apparent near the soil surface. These patterns are most strongly correlated with redox gradients (measured using the ratio of reduced Fe to total Fe in acid extracts as a proxy): conditions grew more reducing with depth and were most oxidized in shallow regions of polygon rims. Organic matter and pH also changed with depth and topography but were less effective predictors of the microbial community structure and relative abundance of specific taxa. Of all other measured variables, lactic acid concentration was the best, in combination with redox, for describing the microbial community. We conclude that redox conditions are the dominant force in shaping microbial communities in this landscape. Oxygen and other electron acceptors allowed for the greatest diversity of microbes: at depth the community was reduced to a simpler core of anaerobes,

  13. Changes in microbial communities along redox gradients in polygonized Arctic wet tundra soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipson, David A.; Raab, Theodore K.; Parker , Melanie; Kelley , Scott T.; Brislawn, Colin J.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2015-07-21

    This study investigated how microbial community structure and diversity varied with depth and topography in ice wedge polygons of wet tundra of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska, and what soil variables explain these patterns. We observed strong changes in community structure and diversity with depth, and more subtle changes between areas of high and low topography, with the largest differences apparent near the soil surface. These patterns are most strongly correlated with redox gradients (measured using the ratio of reduced Fe to total Fe in acid extracts as a proxy): conditions grew more reducing with depth and were most oxidized in shallow regions of polygon rims. Organic matter and pH also changed with depth and topography, but were less effective predictors of the microbial community structure and relative abundance of specific taxa. Of all other measured variables, lactic acid concentration was the best, in combination with redox, for describing the microbial community. We conclude that redox conditions are the dominant force in shaping microbial communities in this landscape. Oxygen and other electron acceptors allowed for the greatest diversity of microbes: at depth the community was reduced to a simpler core of anaerobes, dominated by fermenters (Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes).

  14. Organic matter composition and stabilization in a polygonal tundra soil of the Lena Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Höfle

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated soil organic matter (OM composition of differently stabilized soil OM fractions in the active layer of a polygonal tundra soil in the Lena Delta, Russia, by applying density and particle size fractionation combined with qualitative OM analysis using solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and lipid analysis combined with 14C analysis. Bulk soil OM was mainly composed of plant-derived, little-decomposed material with surprisingly high and strongly increasing apparent 14C ages with active layer depth suggesting slow microbial OM transformation in cold climate. Most soil organic carbon was stored in clay and fine-silt fractions (n-alkane and n-fatty acid compounds and low alkyl/O-alkyl C ratios. Organo-mineral associations, which are suggested to be a key mechanism of OM stabilization in temperate soils, seem to be less important in the active layer as the mainly plant-derived clay- and fine-silt-sized OM was surprisingly "young", with 14C contents similar to the bulk soil values. Furthermore, these fractions contained less organic carbon compared to density fractionated OM occluded in soil aggregates – a further important OM stabilization mechanism in temperate soils restricting accessibility of microorganisms. This process seems to be important at greater active layer depth where particulate OM, occluded in soil aggregates, was "older" than free particulate OM.

  15. Net carbon exchange across the Arctic tundra-boreal forest transition in Alaska 1981-2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Catharine Copass; McGuire, A.D.; Clein, J.S.; Chapin, F. S.; Beringer, J.

    2006-01-01

    Shifts in the carbon balance of high-latitude ecosystems could result from differential responses of vegetation and soil processes to changing moisture and temperature regimes and to a lengthening of the growing season. Although shrub expansion and northward movement of treeline should increase carbon inputs, the effects of these vegetation changes on net carbon exchange have not been evaluated. We selected low shrub, tall shrub, and forest tundra sites near treeline in northwestern Alaska, representing the major structural transitions expected in response to warming. In these sites, we measured aboveground net primary production (ANPP) and vegetation and soil carbon and nitrogen pools, and used these data to parameterize the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model. We simulated the response of carbon balance components to air temperature and precipitation trends during 1981-2000. In areas experiencing warmer and dryer conditions, Net Primary Production (NPP) decreased and heterotrophic respiration (R H ) increased, leading to a decrease in Net Ecosystem Production (NEP). In warmer and wetter conditions NPP increased, but the response was exceeded by an increase in R H ; therefore, NEP also decreased. Lastly, in colder and wetter regions, the increase in NPP exceeded a small decline in R H , leading to an increase in NEP. The net effect for the region was a slight gain in ecosystem carbon storage over the 20 year period. This research highlights the potential importance of spatial variability in ecosystem responses to climate change in assessing the response of carbon storage in northern Alaska over the last two decades. ?? Springer 2005.

  16. Site Scale Wetness Classification of Tundra Regions with C-Band SAR Satellite Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widhalm, Barbara; Bartsch, Annett; Siewert, Matthias Benjamin; Gugelius, Gustaf; Elberling, Bo; Leibman, Marina; Dvornikov, Yury; Khomutov, Artem

    2016-08-01

    A representative and consistent wetland map for the circumpolar region is required for a range of applications including modelling of permafrost properties as well as upscaling of carbon pools and fluxes. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data has been shown to be suitable for wetland mapping, especially C- band ASAR GM data (1-km resolution). A circumpolar wetness classification map has been introduced previously [1].With heterogeneity being a major challenge in the Arctic, higher spatial resolution products than GM are essential. In this study we therefore investigate the potential of this approach at site scale using ENVISAT ASAR WS data ( 120 m resolution). These higher resolution ASAR WS maps have been produced for study sites representing different settings throughout the Arctic and compared to high resolution land cover maps and field survey data.It can be shown that a medium resolution C-band SAR based wetness level map can be derived for tundra regions where no scattering due to tree trunks hampers the applied methodology.

  17. Alpine ice cores and ground penetrating radar: combined investigations for glaciological and climatic interpretations of a cold Alpine ice body

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eisen, Olaf; Nixdorf, Uwe [Alfred-Wegener-Inst. fuer Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven (Germany); Keck, Lothar; Wagenbach, Dietmar [Univ. Heidelberg (Germany). Inst. fuer Umweltphysik

    2003-11-01

    Accurate interpretation of ice cores as climate archives requires detailed knowledge of their past and present geophysical environment. Different techniques facilitate the determination and reconstruction of glaciological settings surrounding the drilling location. During the ALPCLIM1 project, two ice cores containing long-term climate information were retrieved from Colle Gnifetti, Swiss-Italian Alps. Here, we investigate the potential of ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys, in conjunction with ice core data, to obtain information about the internal structure of the cold Alpine ice body to improve climatic interpretations. Three drill sites are connected by GPR profiles, running parallel and perpendicular to the flow line, thus yielding a three-dimensional picture of the subsurface and enabling the tracking of internal reflection horizons between the locations. As the observed reflections are of isochronic origin, they permit the transfer of age-depth relations between the ice cores. The accuracy of the GPR results is estimated by comparison of transferred timescales with original core datings, independent information from an older ice core, and, based on glaciological surface data, findings from flow modeling. Our study demonstrates that GPR is a mandatory tool for Alpine ice core studies, as it permits mapping of major transitions in physical-chemical properties, transfer of age-depth relations between sites, correlate signals in core records for interpretation, and establish a detailed picture of the flow regime surrounding the climate archive.

  18. Alpine Windharvest: development of information base regarding potentials and the necessary technical, legal and socio-economic conditions for expanding wind energy in the Alpine Space - Alpine Space wind map - Modeling approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaffner, B.; Remund, J. [Meteotest, Berne (Switzerland)

    2005-07-01

    This report presents describes the development work carried out by the Swiss meteorology specialists of the company METEOTEST as part of a project carried out together with the Swiss wind-energy organisation 'Suisse Eole'. The framework for the project is the EU Interreg IIIB Alpine Space Programme, a European Community Initiative Programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The project investigated the use of digital relief-analysis. The series of reports describes the development and use of a basic information system to aid the investigation of the technical, legal and socio-economical conditions for the use of wind energy in the alpine area. This report discusses two modelling approaches investigated for use in the definition of a wind map for the alpine area. The method chosen and its application are discussed. The various sources of information for input to the model are listed and discussed.

  19. Crossing thresholds: Analysis of hazardous tipping points in alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutzmann, Silke; Sass, Oliver

    2016-04-01

    Steep mountain channels or torrents in small alpine catchments are characterized by high geomorphic activity with sediment dynamics being inherently nonlinear and threshold-mediated. Localized, high intensity rainstorms can drive torrential systems past a tipping point resulting in a sudden onset of hazardous events like (flash-) flooding, heavy bedload transport or debris flows. Such responses exhibit an abrupt switch in the fluvial system's mode (e.g. transport / supply limited). Changes in functional connectivity may persist beyond the tipping point. Torrential hazards cause costly damage in the densely populated Alpine Region. Thus, there is a rising interest in potential effects of climate change on torrential sediment dynamics. Understanding critical conditions close to tipping points is important to reduce uncertainty in predicting sediment fluxes. In this study we aim at (i) establishing threshold precipitation characteristics for the Eastern Alps of Austria. Precipitation is hypothesized to be the main forcing factor of torrential events. (ii) How do thresholds vary in space and time? (iii) The effect of external triggers is strongly mediated by the internal disposition of catchments to respond. Which internal conditions are critical for susceptibility? (iv) Is there a change in magnitude or frequency in the recent past and what can be expected for the future? The 71 km2 catchment of the river Schöttlbach in the East Alpine Region of Styria (Austria) is monitored since a heavy precipitation event resulted in a catastrophic flood in July 2011. Sediment mobilization from slopes as well as within-channel storage and bedload transport are regularly measured using photogrammetric methods and sediment impact sensors. Thus, detailed knowledge exists on magnitude and spatial propagation of sediment waves through the catchment. The associated hydro-meteorological (pre-) conditions can be inferred from a dense station network. Changing bedload transport rates and

  20. South Scandinavian joints and Alpine/Atlantic-ridge tectonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. E. Scheidegger

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available Field observations and studies of the joints and dykes in an area shed light on its younger tectonic development; thus, joint orientations measured in Southern Sweden and in Norway have been statistically studied and compared regarding their tectonic significance with studies from Europe and the mid-Atlantic ridge. The present investigation indicates that the surface joint systems in Sweden agree with those in Europe; they are the result of the intracratonic stress field and the mechanical response associated with the Alpine orogeny. The stress systems in Southern Norway, on the other hand, are the result of the ongoing extensional or wrench-fault tectonism in the Atlantic crust associated with the stresses near the mid-Atlantic ridge, which act normally to the contiguous coastlines from Scandinavia to France, Portugal and North Africa.

  1. Goats on alpine grazing: study on metabolic and hematologic profiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Gaviraghi

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Summering on alpine pastures from June to October has long been the traditional management of goat flocks in the mountain areas of Lombardy. At present most of the 50.000 goats farmed in Lombardy are still summered, even though only a few thousands - belonging to local breed - are regularly milked. For these goats summering appears to be fundamental not only to allow milk production but also to restore body reserves. The increasing interest in commercial goat milk production in Lombardy involves mainly intensive farming with zero or minimum grazing. However, semi-extensive goat milk production, including summering, could respond to social and environmental goals (Citterio et al., 2002 being able to exploit some economic opportunities...

  2. Agriculture causes nitrate fertilization of remote alpine lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hundey, E. J.; Russell, S. D.; Longstaffe, F. J.; Moser, K. A.

    2016-02-01

    Humans have altered Earth's nitrogen cycle so dramatically that reactive nitrogen (Nr) has doubled. This has increased Nr in aquatic ecosystems, which can lead to reduced water quality and ecosystem health. Apportioning sources of Nr to specific ecosystems, however, continues to be challenging, despite this knowledge being critical for mitigation and protection of water resources. Here we use Δ17O, δ18O and δ15N from Uinta Mountain (Utah, USA) snow, inflow and lake nitrate in combination with a Bayesian-based stable isotope mixing model, to show that at least 70% of nitrates in aquatic systems are anthropogenic and arrive via the atmosphere. Moreover, agricultural activities, specifically nitrate- and ammonium-based fertilizer use, are contributing most (~60%) Nr, and data from other North American alpine lakes suggest this is a widespread phenomenon. Our findings offer a pathway towards more effective mitigation, but point to challenges in balancing food production with protection of important water resources.

  3. Decadal changes of weather types in the alpine region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stefanicki, G.; Talkner, P.; Weber, R.O. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-06-01

    The annual occurrence of different weather types of Schuepp`s synoptic classification in the Alpine region has changed since the beginning of its recording 1945. The annual frequency (number of days) of convective types has increased and that of advective types has decreased. In parallel the number of long-lasting convective episodes rose and the number of long-lasting advective episodes lessened. Most of the change took place in winter. The frequencies of different weather types and the annual mean of certain meteorological parameters are significantly correlated. Moreover, there is a strong interdependence between the subclass of high pressure types and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index. (author) 3 figs., 3 refs.

  4. Genetic effects of space hadrons on bacteriophage under Alpine conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yurov, S S; Belkin, V S; Leont'eva, G A; Knjaseva, I N; Mozgovoy, E G; Kuzin, A M; Akoev, I G

    1980-01-01

    A dried film culture of bacteriophage T4Br + was kept in a lead bioblock for 366 days under Alpine conditions at an altitude of 6100 m above sea level to study the genetic effect of space hadrons. In the gelatin-like film under study we discovered some film plots with markedly reduced bacteriophage survival. In such plots, the mutation frequency exceeded the spontaneous background mutation rate 60-100 times. The spectrum of r mutations as classified into standard groups rI, rII and rIII differed from that found for other model radiation systems such as gamma-ray radiation in buffer or nutrient broth, and hadron and HZE particle radiation under space flight conditions. Reversion analysis of 159 rII mutants showed that 54.4% had small and elongated deletions, 23.16% had point mutations, and 22.5% of all the mutants had both small deletion and point mutations.

  5. Experimental Evidence that Fungi are Dominant Microbes in Carbon Content and Growth Response to Added Soluble Organic Carbon in Moss-rich Tundra Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, O Roger; Lee, Jee Min; McGuire, Krista

    2016-05-01

    Global warming significantly affects Arctic tundra, including permafrost thaw and soluble C release that may differentially affect tundra microbial growth. Using laboratory experiments, we report some of the first evidence for the effects of soluble glucose-C enrichment on tundra soil prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) and fungi, with comparisons to microbial eukaryotes. Fungal increase in C-biomass was equivalent to 10% (w/w) of the added glucose-C, and for prokaryote biomass 2% (w/w), the latter comparable to prior published results. The C-gain after 14 d was 1.3 mg/g soil for fungi, and ~200 μg/g for prokaryotes.

  6. Chromosomal evolution of Arvicolinae (Cricetidae, Rodentia). I. The genome homology of tundra vole, field vole, mouse and golden hamster revealed by comparative chromosome painting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitnikova, Natalia A; Romanenko, Svetlana A; O'Brien, Patricia C M; Perelman, Polina L; Fu, Beiyuan; Rubtsova, Nadezhda V; Serdukova, Natalya A; Golenishchev, Feodor N; Trifonov, Vladimir A; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Yang, Fengtang; Graphodatsky, Alexander S

    2007-01-01

    Cross-species chromosome painting has become the mainstay of comparative cytogenetic and chromosome evolution studies. Here we have made a set of chromosomal painting probes for the field vole (Microtus agrestis) by DOP-PCR amplification of flow-sorted chromosomes. Together with painting probes of golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) and mouse (Mus musculus), the field vole probes have been hybridized onto the metaphases of the tundra vole (Microtus oeconomus). A comparative chromosome map between these two voles, golden hamster and mouse has been established based on the results of cross-species chromosome painting and G-banding comparisons. The sets of paints from the field vole, golden hamster and mouse identified a total of 27, 40 and 47 homologous autosomal regions, respectively, in the genome of tundra vole; 16, 41 and 51 fusion/fission rearrangements differentiate the karyotype of the tundra vole from the karyotypes of the field vole, golden hamster and mouse, respectively.

  7. Afro-alpine forest cover change on Mt. Guna (Ethiopia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birhanu, Adugnaw; Frankl, Amaury; Jacob, Miro; Lanckriet, Sil; Hendrickx, Hanne; Nyssen, Jan

    2016-04-01

    High mountain forests, such as the afro-alpine Erica arborea L. forests in Ethiopia, are very important for the livelihood of local communities, in relation to their impacts on the water balance of mountain ecosystems and surrounding agricultural areas. On volcanoes, the dominance of volcanic tuffs on the slopes, as well as that of gelifracts near the top further enhances infiltration, making it recharge areas. Earlier forest cover change studies in the Ethiopian highlands mainly deal with the lower vegetation belts. In this study, 3.37 km² on the western slopes of Mount Guna (one of the dozens of Miocene shield volcanoes that exist on top of the Ethiopian plateau) was mapped. The slope has an elevation between 3200 at its base and 4113 m a.s.l. at the peak. The present forest cover was recorded from high-resolution georeferenced satellite imagery from Google Maps and field data (2015), while historical forest cover was studied from georeferenced aerial photographs of 1982. In addition, key informant interviews were conducted to identify the trend of forest cover change and management practices. Whereas burning of the Erica forest for sake of land clearance (a typical practice on all Ethiopian mountains until the 1980s) most strikingly took place for three consecutive days in 1975, large-scale deforestation resulting from agricultural expansion and livestock pressure continued thereafter. However, between 2000 and 2014, due to active involvement of local and governmental institutions there was a slight regeneration of the vegetation and the Erica forest. Protection and regeneration of the forest was particularly efficient after it was given into custody of an orthodox church established in 1999 at the lower side of the forest. Overall, the study revealed that human and livestock pressures are the strongest drivers of deforestation. Furthermore, the study indicated that integrating the actions of local and governmental institutions is key for the protection of the

  8. Mapping Alpine Vegetation Location Properties by Dense Matching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niederheiser, Robert; Rutzinger, Martin; Lamprecht, Andrea; Steinbauer, Klaus; Winkler, Manuela; Pauli, Harald

    2016-06-01

    Highly accurate 3D micro topographic mapping in mountain research demands for light equipment and low cost solutions. Recent developments in structure from motion and dense matching techniques provide promising tools for such applications. In the following, the feasibility of terrestrial photogrammetry for mapping topographic location properties of sparsely vegetated areas in selected European mountain regions is investigated. Changes in species composition at alpine vegetation locations are indicators of climate change consequences, such as the pronounced rise of average temperatures in mountains compared to the global average. Better understanding of climate change effects on plants demand for investigations on a micro-topographic scale. We use professional and consumer grade digital single-lens reflex cameras mapping 288 plots each 3 x 3 m on 18 summits in the Alps and Mediterranean Mountains within the GLORIA (GLobal Observation Research Initiative in Alpine environments) network. Image matching tests result in accuracies that are in the order of millimetres in the XY-plane and below 0.5 mm in Z-direction at the second image pyramid level. Reconstructing vegetation proves to be a challenge due to its fine and small structured architecture and its permanent movement by wind during image acquisition, which is omnipresent on mountain summits. The produced 3D point clouds are gridded to 6 mm resolution from which topographic parameters such as slope, aspect and roughness are derived. At a later project stage these parameters will be statistically linked to botanical reference data in order to conclude on relations between specific location properties and species compositions.

  9. Mass balance investigation of alpine glaciers through LANDSAT TM data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayr, Klaus J.

    1989-01-01

    An analysis of LANDSAT Thematic Mapper (TM) data of the Pasterze Glacier and the Kleines Fleisskees in the Austrian Alps was undertaken and compared with meteorological data of nearby weather stations. Alpine or valley glaciers can be used to study regional and worldwide climate changes. Alpine glaciers respond relatively fast to a warming or cooling trend in temperature through an advance or a retreat of the terminus. In addition, the mass balance of the glacier is being affected. Last year two TM scenes of the Pasterze Glacier of Aug. 1984 and Aug. 1986 were used to study the difference in reflectance. This year, in addition to the scenes from last year, one MSS scene of Aug. 1976 and a TM scene from 1988 were examined for both the Pasterze Glacier and the Kleines Fleisskees. During the overpass of the LANDSAT on 6 Aug. 1988 ground truthing on the Pasterze Glacier was undertaken. The results indicate that there was considerable more reflectance in 1976 and 1984 than in 1986 and 1988. The climatological data of the weather stations Sonnblick and Rudolfshuette were examined and compared with the results found through the LANDSAT data. There were relations between the meteorological and LANDSAT data: the average temperature over the last 100 years showed an increase of .4 C, the snowfall was declining during the same time period but the overall precipitation did not reveal any significant change over the same period. With the use of an interactive image analysis computer, the LANDSAT scenes were studied. The terminus of the Pasterze Glacier retreated 348 m and the terminus of the Kleines Fleisskees 121 m since 1965. This approach using LANDSAT MSS and TM digital data in conjunction with meteorological data can be effectively used to monitor regional and worldwide climate changes.

  10. Statistical Downscaling Of Local Climate In The Alpine Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaspar, Severin; Philipp, Andreas; Jacobeit, Jucundus

    2016-04-01

    The impact of climate change on the alpine region was disproportional strong in the past decades compared to the surrounding areas, which becomes manifest in a higher increase in surface air temperature. Beside the thermal changes also implications for the hydrological cycle may be expected, acting as a very important factor not only for the ecosystem but also for mankind, in the form of water security or considering economical aspects like winter tourism etc. Therefore, in climate impact studies, it is necessary to focus on variables with high influence on the hydrological cycle, for example temperature, precipitation, wind, humidity and radiation. The aim of this study is to build statistical downscaling models which are able to reproduce temperature and precipitation at the mountainous alpine weather stations Zugspitze and Sonnblick and to further project these models into the future to identify possible changes in the behavior of these climate variables and with that in the hydrological cycle. Beside facing a in general very complex terrain in this high elevated regions, we have the advantage of a more direct atmospheric influence on the meteorology of the exposed weather stations from the large scale circulation. Two nonlinear statistical methods are developed to model the station-data series on a daily basis: On the one hand a conditional classification approach was used and on the other hand a model based on artificial neural networks (ANNs) was built. The latter is in focus of this presentation. One of the important steps of developing a new model approach is to find a reliable predictor setup with e.g. informative predictor variables or adequate location and size of the spatial domain. The question is: Can we include synoptic background knowledge to identify an optimal domain for an ANN approach? The yet developed ANN setups and configurations show promising results in downscaling both, temperature (up to 80 % of explained variance) and precipitation (up

  11. Is snow sublimation important in the alpine water balance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Strasser

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available In alpine terrain, snow sublimation as a component of the winter moisture budget represents a proportion of precipitation which does not contribute to melt. To quantify its amount we analyze the spatial pattern of snow sublimation at the ground, from a canopy and from turbulent suspension during wind-induced snow transport for a high alpine area in the Berchtesgaden National Park (Germany, and we discuss the efficiency of these processes with respect to seasonal snowfall. Therefore, we utilized hourly meteorological recordings from a network of automatic stations, and a distributed simulation framework comprising validated, physically based models. Meteorological data records were spatially distributed over the simulation domain by means of a quasi-physically based interpolation scheme that accounts for topographic influences on the distributed fields. The applied simulation tools were: a detailed model for shortwave and longwave radiative fluxes, a mass and energy balance model for the ground snow cover, a model for the microclimatic conditions within a forest canopy and related snow-vegetation interactions including snow sublimation from the surface of the trees, and a model for the simulation of wind-induced snow transport and related sublimation from suspended snow particles. For each of the sublimation processes, mass rates were quantified and aggregated over an entire winter season. Sublimation from the ground and from most canopy types are spatially relatively homogeneous and sum up to about 100 mm of snow water equivalent (SWE over the winter period. Accumulated seasonal sublimation due to turbulent suspension is small in the valley areas, but can locally, at very wind-exposed mountain ridges, add up to more than 1000 mm of SWE. The fraction of these sublimation losses of winter snowfall is between 10 and 90%.

  12. Micrometeorological processes driving snow ablation in an Alpine catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Mott

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Mountain snow covers typically become patchy over the course of a melting season. The snow pattern during melt is mainly governed by the end of winter snow depth distribution and the local energy balance. The objective of this study is to investigate micrometeorological processes driving snow ablation in an Alpine catchment. For this purpose we combine a meteorological model (ARPS with a fully distributed energy balance model (Alpine3D. Turbulent fluxes above melting snow are further investigated by using data from eddy-correlation systems. We compare modelled snow ablation to measured ablation rates as obtained from a series of Terrestrial Laser Scanning campaigns covering a complete ablation season. The measured ablation rates indicate that the advection of sensible heat causes locally increased ablation rates at the upwind edges of the snow patches. The effect, however, appears to be active over rather short distances except for very strong wind conditions. Neglecting this effect, the model is able to capture the mean ablation rates for early ablation periods but strongly overestimates snow ablation once the fraction of snow coverage is below a critical value. While radiation dominates snow ablation early in the season, the turbulent flux contribution becomes important late in the season. Simulation results indicate that the air temperatures appear to overestimate the local air temperature above snow patches once the snow coverage is below a critical value. Measured turbulent fluxes support these findings by suggesting a stable internal boundary layer close to the snow surface causing a strong decrease of the sensible heat flux towards the snow cover. Thus, the existence of a stable internal boundary layer above a patchy snow cover exerts a dominant control on the timing and magnitude of snow ablation for patchy snow covers.

  13. Close-Range Sensing Techniques in Alpine Terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutzinger, M.; Höfle, B.; Lindenbergh, R.; Oude Elberink, S.; Pirotti, F.; Sailer, R.; Scaioni, M.; Stötter, J.; Wujanz, D.

    2016-06-01

    Early career researchers such as PhD students are a main driving force of scientific research and are for a large part responsible for research innovation. They work on specialized topics within focused research groups that have a limited number of members, but might also have limited capacity in terms of lab equipment. This poses a serious challenge for educating such students as it is difficult to group a sufficient number of them to enable efficient knowledge transfer. To overcome this problem, the Innsbruck Summer School of Alpine Research 2015 on close-range sensing techniques in Alpine terrain was organized in Obergurgl, Austria, by an international team from several universities and research centres. Of the applicants a group of 40 early career researchers were selected with interest in about ten types of specialized surveying tools, i.e. laser scanners, a remotely piloted aircraft system, a thermal camera, a backpack mobile mapping system and different grade photogrammetric equipment. During the one-week summer school, students were grouped according to their personal preference to work with one such type of equipment under guidance of an expert lecturer. All students were required to capture and process field data on a mountain-related theme like landslides or rock glaciers. The work on the assignments lasted the whole week but was interspersed with lectures on selected topics by invited experts. The final task of the summer school participants was to present and defend their results to their peers, lecturers and other colleagues in a symposium-like setting. Here we present the framework and content of this summer school which brought together scientists from close-range sensing and environmental and geosciences.

  14. Pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica O:3 isolated from a hunted wild alpine ibex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joutsen, S; Sarno, E; Fredriksson-Ahomaa, M; Cernela, N; Stephan, R

    2013-03-01

    Occurrence of Yersinia spp. in wild ruminants was studied and the strains were characterized to get more information on the epidemiology of enteropathogenic Yersinia in the wildlife. In total, faecal samples of 77 red deer, 60 chamois, 55 roe deer and 27 alpine ibex were collected during 3 months of the hunting season in 2011. The most frequently identified species was Y. enterocolitica found in 13%, 10%, 4% and 2% of roe deer, red deer, alpine ibex and chamois, respectively. Interestingly, one Y. enterocolitica O:3 strain, isolated from an alpine ibex, carried the important virulence genes located on the virulence plasmid (yadA and virF) and in the chromosome (ail, hreP, myfA and ystA). Most of the Y. enterocolitica strains belonged to biotype 1A of which 14 were ystB positive. Further studies are needed to clarify the importance of alpine ibex as a reservoir of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica.

  15. Mortality rates of the Alpine Chamois : the influence of snow-meteorological factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jonas, T.; Geiger, F.; Jenny, H.

    2008-01-01

    Especially for animals inhabiting alpine areas, winter environmental conditions can be limiting. Cold temperatures, hampered food availability and natural perils are just three of many potential threats that mountain ungulates face in winter. Understanding their sensitivity to climate variability is

  16. EXPLORING THE POTENTIAL OF AERIAL PHOTOGRAMMETRY FOR 3D MODELLING OF HIGH-ALPINE ENVIRONMENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Legat

    2016-03-01

    Based on the very promising results, some general recommendations for aerial photogrammetry processing in high-alpine areas are made to achieve best possible accuracy of the final 3D-, 2.5D- and 2D products.

  17. Alpine treeline and timberline dynamics during the Holocene in the Northern Romanian Carpathians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anca GEANTĂ

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available High altitude environments (treeline and alpine communities are particularly sensitive to climate changes, disturbances and land-use changes due to their limited tolerance and adaptability range, habitat fragmentation and habitat restriction. The current and future climate warming is anticipated to shift the tree- and timberlines upwards thus affecting alpine plant communities and causing land-cover change and fragmentation of alpine habitats. An upslope movement of some trees, shrubs and cold adapted alpine herbs as a response to the current climate warming has already been noted in many montane and subalpine regions.Four Holocene peat and lacustrine sediment sequences located between 1670 and 1918 m a.s.l. (Fig.1, in the Rodna Mountains (Northern Romania, Eastern Carpathians are used with the aim to determine: i the sensitivity of high mountain habitats to climate, fire and land use changes; ii tree- and timberline shifts: and iii the influence of landscape topography on trees and shrubs.

  18. Assessing the spatial variability in peak season CO2 exchange characteristics across the Arctic tundra using a light response curve parameterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. N. Mbufong

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to assess the functional and spatial variability in the response of CO2 exchange to irradiance across the Arctic tundra during peak season using light response curve (LRC parameters. This investigation allows us to better understand the future response of Arctic tundra under climatic change. Data was collected using the micrometeorological eddy covariance technique from 12 circumpolar Arctic tundra sites, in the range of 64–74° N. The LRCs were generated for 14 days with peak net ecosystem exchange (NEE using an NEE -irradiance model. Parameters from LRCs represent site specific traits and characteristics describing: (a NEE at light saturation (Fcsat, (b dark respiration (Rd, (c light use efficiency (α, (d NEE when light is at 1000 μmol m−2 s−1 (Fc1000, (e potential photosynthesis at light saturation (Psat and (f the light compensation point (LCP. Parameterization of LRCs was successful in predicting CO2 flux dynamics across the Arctic tundra. Yet we did not find any trends in LRC parameters across the whole Arctic tundra but there were indications for temperature and latitudinal differences within sub-regions like Russia and Greenland. Together, LAI and July temperature had a high explanatory power of the variance in assimilation parameters (Fcsat, Fc1000 and Psat, thus illustrating the potential for upscaling CO2 exchange for the whole Arctic tundra. Dark respiration was more variable and less correlated to environmental drivers than was assimilation parameters. Thus, indicating the inherent need to include other parameters such as nutrient availability, substrate quantity and quality in flux monitoring activities.

  19. The origin of spheroidal patterns of weathering in the Pados-Tundra mafic-ultramafic complex, Kola Peninsula, Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.Y. Barkov

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available We document a new and unusual occurrence of patterns of protruding spheroidal weathering developed in a dunitic rock of the Pados-Tundra mafic-ultramafic complex of Early Proterozoic age, Kola Peninsula, Russia. It provides an example similar to that reported recently from a mineralized harzburgite in the Monchepluton layered complex in the same region. These patterns are genetically different from common results of “normal spheroidal weathering” sensu stricto. The spheroidally weathered dunite at Pados-Tundra consists of a high-Fo olivine, Ol (Fo 87. 5, which is, in fact, not altered. Accessory grains of aluminous chromite are present. Relief spheroids (1.5 to 4 cm in diameter; up to ~5 vol. % are distributed sparsely and heterogeneously. They are hosted by the olivine matrix and composed of talc, Tlc, and tremolite, Tr, (Mg# = 95-96 formed presumably at the expense of orthopyroxene, Opx, (i.e., pre-existing oikocrysts during a deuteric (autometasomatic alteration. In contrast, oikocrystic Opx (En 86.0 is quite fresh in related spheroids at Monchepluton, in which only minor deuteric alteration (Tlc + Tr are observed. We infer that (1 the ball-shaped morphology of the weathered surface is a reflection of the presence of oikocrysts of Opx, which crystallized after Ol at the magmatic stage; they were entirely replaced by the deuterically induced Tlc + Tr at Pados-Tundra. (2 Differential rates of weathering are implied for rock-forming minerals in these ultramafic rocks, with a higher resistance of Opx vs. Fo-rich Ol, and Tlc + Tr vs. Fo-rich Ol. (3 The ball-like shape of the large spheroids, produced by magmatic processes, may likely represent an additional factor of their higher stability to weathering in the superficial environment. Similar patterns can be expected in other mafic-ultramafic complexes, especially in layered intrusions.

  20. Photosynthesis, plant growth and nitrogen nutrition in Alaskan tussock tundra: Response to experimental warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dynes, E.; Welker, J. M.; Moore, D. J.; Sullivan, P.; Ebbs, L.; Pattison, R.

    2009-12-01

    Temperature is predicted to rise significantly in northern latitudes over the next century. The Arctic tundra is a fragile ecosystem with low rates of photosynthesis and low nutrient mineralisation. Rising temperatures may increase photosynthetic capacity in the short term through direct stimulation of photosynthetic rates and also in the longer term due to enhanced nutrient availability. Different species and plant functional types may have different responses to warming which may have an impact on plant community structure. As part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) to investigate the effects of warming on arctic vegetation, a series of open top chambers (OTCs) have been established at the Toolik Field Station (68°38’N, 149°36’W, elevation 720 m). This study employs 12 plots; 6 control plots and 6 warming plots covered with OTCs which maintain a temperature on average +1.54 °C degrees higher than ambient temperatures. The response of photosynthesis to temperature was measured using an infra-red gas analyzer (IRGA) with a cooling adaptor to manipulate leaf temperature and determine AMAX in two contrasting species, Eriophorum vaginatum (sedge) and Betula nana (shrub). Temperature within the chamber head of the IRGA was manipulated from 10 through 25 °C. We also measured the leaf area index of plots using a Decagon Accupar Ceptometer to provide insights into potential differences in canopy cover. In both OTC and control plots the photosynthetic rate of B. nana was greater than that of E. vaginatum, with the AMAX of B. nana peaking at 20.08°C and E. vaginatum peaking slightly lower at 19.7°C in the control plots. There was no apparent difference in the temperature optimum of photosynthesis of either species when exposed to the warming treatment. Although there was no difference in temperature optimum there were differences in the peak values of AMAX between treatment and control plots. In the case of B. nana, AMAX was higher in the OTCs than in

  1. Response of Tundra Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO{sub 2}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, Walter C.

    1990-09-05

    OAK B188 Response of Tundra Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO{sub 2}. Atmospheric CO{sub 2} is expected to double by the end of the next century. Global mean increases in surface air temperature of 1.5-4.5 C are anticipated with larger increases towards the poles predicted. Changes in CO{sub 2} levels and temperature could have major impacts on ecosystem functioning, including primary productivity, species composition, plant-animal interactions, and carbon storage. Until recently, there has been little direct information on the impact of changes in CO{sub 2} and temperature on native ecosystems. The study described here was undertaken to evaluate the effects of a 50 and 100% increase in atmospheric CO{sub 2}, and a 100% increase in atmospheric CO{sub 2} coupled with a 4 C summer air temperature rise on the structure and function of an arctic tussock tundra ecosystem. The arctic contains large stores of carbon as soil organic matter, much frozen in permafrost and currently not reactive or available for oxidation and release into the atmosphere. About 10-27% of the world's terrestrial carbon occurs in arctic and boreal regions, and carbon is accumulating in these regions at the rate of 0.19 GT y{sup -1}. Mean temperature increases of 11 C and summer temperature increases of 4 C have been suggested. Mean July temperatures on the arctic coastal plain and arctic foothills regions are 4-12 C, and mean annual temperatures are -7 to -13 C (Haugen, 1982). The projected temperature increases represent a substantial elevation above current temperatures which will have major impacts on physical processes such as permafrost development and development of the active layer, and on biological and ecosystem processes such as primary productivity, carbon storage, and species composition. Extreme nutrient and temperature limitation of this ecosystem raised questions of the responsiveness of arctic systems to elevated CO{sub 2}. Complex ecosystem interactions with the effects

  2. Potential changes in arctic seasonality and plant communities may impact tundra soil chemistry and carbon dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, S.; Cooper, E.; Beilman, D.; Filley, T.; Reimer, P.

    2009-04-01

    On the Svalbard archipelago, as in other high Arctic regions, tundra soil organic matter (SOM) is primarily plant detritus that is largely stabilized by cold, moist conditions and low nitrogen availability. However, the resistance of SOM to decomposition is also influenced by the quality of organic matter inputs to soil. Different plant communities are likely to give different qualities to SOM, especially where lignin-rich woody species encroach into otherwise graminoid and bryophyte-dominated regions. Arctic woody plant species are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature, snow cover, and growing season length. In a changing environment, litter chemistry may emerge as an important control on tundra SOM stabilization. In summer 2007, we collected plant material and soil from the highly-organic upper horizon (appx. 0-5 cm) and the mineral-dominated lower horizon (appx. 5-10cm) from four locations in the southwest facing valleys of Svalbard, Norway. The central goal of the ongoing experiment is to determine whether a greater abundance of woody plants could provide a negative feedback to warming impacts on the carbon (C) balance of Arctic soils. Towards this, we used a combination of plant biopolymer analyses (cupric oxide oxidation and quantification of lignin-derived phenols and cutin/suberin-derived aliphatics) and radiocarbon-based estimates of C longevity and mean residence time (MRT) to characterize potential links between plant type and soil C pools. We found that graminoid species regenerate above- and belowground tissue each year, whereas woody species (Cassiope tetragona and Dryas octopetala) regenerated only leaves yearly. In contrast, C within live branches and roots persisted for 15-18 yr on average. Leaves from woody species remained nearly intact in surface litter for up to 20 yr without being incorporated into the upper soil horizon. Leaves from both graminoid and woody species were concentrated in lignin-derived phenols relative to roots, but

  3. Alpine skiing: Effects of mental training program of junior representatives of the Czech republic

    OpenAIRE

    Hana Hřebíčková; Hana Válková; Sigmund Martin

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Qualitative evaluation case study deals with the implementation of mental skills training program conducted with the Czech national junior alpine skiing team over a period of an annual training cycle and evaluation of its effects by one of the members of the team. The concept of the study is based on current findings of sport psychology in the field of mental training in alpine skiing and other sports. The theoretical framework of the study is the socio-cognitive psychologic...

  4. Age of amphibolites associated with alpine peridotites in the Dinaride ophiolite zone, Yugoslavia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanphere, M.A.; Coleman, R.G.; Karamata, S.; Pamic, J.

    1975-01-01

    Amphibolites associated with alpine peridotites in the Central Ophiolite zone in Yugoslavia have K-Ar ages of 160-170 m.y. These amphibolites and associated peridotites underwent deep-seated metamorphism prior to tectonic emplacement into the sedimentary-volcanic assemblage of the Dinarides. The alpine peridotites and associated local rocks of the ophiolite suite are interpreted as Jurassic oceanic crust and upper mantle. ?? 1975.

  5. Rough-legged buzzards, Arctic foxes and red foxes in a tundra ecosystem without rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Pokrovsky

    Full Text Available Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species-rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox - perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013 we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey - altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period - a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers.

  6. Inter-annual Variability in Tundra Phenology Captured with Digital Photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melendez, M.; Vargas, S. A.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2012-12-01

    The need to improve multi-scale phenological monitoring of arctic terrestrial ecosystems has been a persistent research challenge. Although there has been a range of advances in remote sensing capacities over the past decade, these present costly, and sometimes logistically challenging and technically demanding solutions for arctic terrestrial ecosystems. In this poster and undergraduate research project, we demonstrate how seasonal and inter-annual variability in landscape phenology can be derived for multiple tundra ecosystems using a low-cost and low-tech kite aerial photography (KAP) system that has been developed as a contribution to the US Arctic Observing Network. Seasonal landscape phenology was observed over the Networked Info-Mechanical Systems (NIMS) grids (2 x 50 meters) located in Barrow and Atqasuk, Alaska using imagery acquired with KAP and analyzed for a range of greenness indices. Preliminary results showed that the 2G-RB greenness index correlated the best with NDVI values calculated from ground based hyperspectral reflectance measurements. 2012 had the highest 2G-RB greenness index values for both Barrow and Atqasuk sites, which correlated well with NDVI values acquired from ground-based hyperspectral reflectance measurements. Wet vegetation types showed the most interannual variability at the Atqasuk site based on the 2G-RB greenness index while in Barrow the moist vegetation types showed the most interannual variability. These results show that vegetation indices similar to those acquired from hyperspectral remote sensing platforms can be derived using low-cost and low-tech techniques. Further analysis using these same techniques is required in order to link relatively small scale vegetation dynamics measured with KAP with those documented at large scales using satellite imagery.

  7. Recent Declines in Warming and Vegetation Greening Trends over Pan-Arctic Tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor V. Polyakov

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Vegetation productivity trends for the Arctic tundra are updated for the 1982–2011 period and examined in the context of land surface temperatures and coastal sea ice. Understanding mechanistic links between vegetation and climate parameters contributes to model advancements that are necessary for improving climate projections. This study employs remote sensing data: Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS Maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (MaxNDVI, Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I sea-ice concentrations, and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR radiometric surface temperatures. Spring sea ice is declining everywhere except in the Bering Sea, while summer open water area is increasing throughout the Arctic. Summer Warmth Index (SWI—sum of degree months above freezing trends from 1982 to 2011 are positive around Beringia but are negative over Eurasia from the Barents to the Laptev Seas and in parts of northern Canada. Eastern North America continues to show increased summer warmth and a corresponding steady increase in MaxNDVI. Positive MaxNDVI trends from 1982 to 2011 are generally weaker compared to trends from 1982–2008. So to better understand the changing trends, break points in the time series were quantified using the Breakfit algorithm. The most notable break points identify declines in SWI since 2003 in Eurasia and 1998 in Western North America. The Time Integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI, sum of the biweekly growing season values of MaxNDVI has declined since 2005 in Eurasia, consistent with SWI declines. Summer (June–August sea level pressure (slp averages from 1999–2011 were compared to those from 1982–1998 to reveal higher slp over Greenland and the western Arctic and generally lower pressure over the continental Arctic in the recent period. This suggests that the large-scale circulation is likely a key contributor to the cooler temperatures over Eurasia through increased summer cloud

  8. Distribution of global fallouts cesium-137 in taiga and tundra catenae at the Ob River basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semenkov, I. N.; Usacheva, A. A.; Miroshnikov, A. Yu.

    2015-03-01

    The classification of soil catenae at the Ob River basin is developed and applied. This classification reflects the diverse geochemical conditions that led to the formation of certain soil bodies, their combinations and the migration fields of chemical elements. The soil and geochemical diversity of the Ob River basin catenae was analyzed. The vertical and lateral distribution of global fallouts cesium-137 was studied using the example of the four most common catenae types in Western Siberia tundra and taiga. In landscapes of dwarf birches and dark coniferous forests on gleysols, cryosols, podzols, and cryic-stagnosols, the highest 137Cs activity density and specific activity are characteristic of the upper soil layer of over 30% ash, while the moss-grass-shrub cover is characterized by low 137Cs activity density and specific activity. In landscapes of dwarf birches and pine woods on podzols, the maximum specific activity of cesium-137 is typical for moss-grass-shrub cover, while the maximum reserves are concentrated in the upper soil layer of over 30% ash. Bog landscapes and moss-grass-shrub cover are characterized by a minimum activity of 137Cs, and its reserves in soil generally decrease exponentially with depth. The cesium-137 penetration depth increases in oligotrophic histosols from northern to middle taiga landscapes from 10-15 to 40 cm. 137Cs is accumulated in oligotrophic histosols for increases in pH from 3.3 to 4.0 and in concretionary interlayers of pisoplinthic-cryic-histic-stagnosols. Cryogenic movement, on the one hand, leads to burying organic layers enriched in 137Cs and, on the other hand, to deducing specific activity when mixed with low-active material from lower soil layers.

  9. Interference in the tundra predator guild studied using local ecological knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrich, Dorothee; Strømeng, Marita A; Killengreen, Siw T

    2016-04-01

    The decline or recolonization of apex predators such as wolves and lynx, often driven by management decisions, and the expansion of smaller generalist predators such as red foxes, can have important ecosystem impacts. The mesopredator release hypothesis proposes that apex predators control medium-sized predator populations through competition and/or intraguild predation. The decline of apex predators thus leads to an increase in mesopredators, possibly with a negative impact on prey populations. Information about the abundance of mammalian tundra predators, wolf (Canis lupus), wolverine (Gulo gulo), lynx (Lynx lynx), red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) was collected from local active outdoors people during semi-structured interviews in 14 low arctic or sub-arctic settlements in western Eurasia. The perceived abundance of red fox decreased with higher wolf abundance and in more arctic areas, but the negative effect of wolves decreased in more arctic and therefore less productive ecosystems. The perceived abundance of arctic fox increased towards the arctic and in areas with colder winters. Although there was a negative correlation between the two fox species, red fox was not included in the model for perceived arctic fox abundance, which received most support. Our results support the mesopredator release hypothesis regarding the expansion of red foxes in subarctic areas and indicate that top-down control by apex predators is weaker in less productive and more arctic ecosystems. We showed that local ecological knowledge is a valuable source of information about large-scale processes, which are difficult to study through direct biological investigations.

  10. Permafrost collapse alters soil carbon stocks, respiration, CH4 , and N2O in upland tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Benjamin W; Jones, Jeremy B

    2015-12-01

    Release of greenhouse gases from thawing permafrost is potentially the largest terrestrial feedback to climate change and one of the most likely to occur; however, estimates of its strength vary by a factor of thirty. Some of this uncertainty stems from abrupt thaw processes known as thermokarst (permafrost collapse due to ground ice melt), which alter controls on carbon and nitrogen cycling and expose organic matter from meters below the surface. Thermokarst may affect 20-50% of tundra uplands by the end of the century; however, little is known about the effect of different thermokarst morphologies on carbon and nitrogen release. We measured soil organic matter displacement, ecosystem respiration, and soil gas concentrations at 26 upland thermokarst features on the North Slope of Alaska. Features included the three most common upland thermokarst morphologies: active-layer detachment slides, thermo-erosion gullies, and retrogressive thaw slumps. We found that thermokarst morphology interacted with landscape parameters to determine both the initial displacement of organic matter and subsequent carbon and nitrogen cycling. The large proportion of ecosystem carbon exported off-site by slumps and slides resulted in decreased ecosystem respiration postfailure, while gullies removed a smaller portion of ecosystem carbon but strongly increased respiration and N2 O concentration. Elevated N2 O in gully soils persisted through most of the growing season, indicating sustained nitrification and denitrification in disturbed soils, representing a potential noncarbon permafrost climate feedback. While upland thermokarst formation did not substantially alter redox conditions within features, it redistributed organic matter into both oxic and anoxic environments. Across morphologies, residual organic matter cover, and predisturbance respiration explained 83% of the variation in respiration response. Consistent differences between upland thermokarst types may contribute to the

  11. Response of tundra ecosystems to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide. [Annual report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.; Grulke, N.E.

    1988-12-31

    Our past research shows that arctic tussock tundra responds to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} with marked increases in net ecosystem carbon flux and photosynthetic rates. However, at ambient temperatures and nutrient availabilities, homeostatic adjustments result in net ecosystem flux rates dropping to those found a contemporary CO{sub 2} levels within three years. Evidence for ecosystem-level acclimation in the first season of elevated CO{sub 2} exposure was found in 1987. Photosynthetic rates of Eriophorum vaginatum, the dominant species, adjusts to elevated CO{sub 2} within three weeks. Past research also indicates other changes potentially important to ecosystem structure and function. Elevated CO{sub 2} treatment apparently delays senescence and increases the period of positive photosynthetic activity. Recent results from the 1987 field season verify the results obtained in the 1983--1986 field seasons: Elevated CO{sub 2} resulted in increased ecosystem-level flux rates. Regressions fitted to the seasonal flux rates indicate an apparent 10 d extension of positive CO{sub 2} uptake reflecting a delay of the onset of plant dormancy. This delay in senescence could increase the frost sensitivity of the system. Major end points proposed for this research include the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and the interaction of elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} with elevated soil temperature and increased nutrient availability on: (1) Net ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux; (2) Net photosynthetic rates; (3) Patterns and resource controls on homeostatic adjustment in the above processes to elevated CO{sub 2}; (4) Plant-nutrient status, litter quality, and forage quality; (5) Soil-nutrient status; (6) Plant-growth pattern and shoot demography.

  12. Organic matter composition and stabilization in a polygonal tundra soil of the Lena-Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Höfle

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated soil organic matter (OM composition of differently stabilized soil OM fractions in the active layer of a polygonal tundra soil in the Lena-Delta, Russia by applying density and particle-size fractionation combined with qualitative OM analysis using solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and lipid analysis combined with 14C analysis. Bulk soil OM was mainly composed of plant-derived, little decomposed material with surprisingly low and strongly increasing apparent 14C ages with active layer depth suggesting slow microbial OM transformation in cold climate. Most soil organic carbon was stored in clay and fine silt fractions (< 6.3 μm, which were composed of little decomposed plant material indicated by the dominance of long n-alkane and n-fatty acid compounds and low alkyl/O-alkyl C ratios. Organo-mineral associations, which are suggested to be a key mechanism of OM stabilization in temperate soils, seem to be less important in the active layer as the mainly plant-derived clay and fine silt sized OM was surprisingly "young" with 14C contents similar to the bulk soil values. Furthermore these fractions contained less organic carbon compared to density fractionated OM occluded in soil aggregates – a further important OM stabilization mechanism in temperate soils restricting accessibility of microorganisms. This process seems to be important at greater active layer depth where particulate OM, occluded in soil aggregates, was "older" than free particulate OM.

  13. Assessing Seasonal Backscatter Variations with Respect to Uncertainties in Soil Moisture Retrieval in Siberian Tundra Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elin Högström

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of surface hydrology is essential for many applications, including studies that aim to understand permafrost response to changing climate and the associated feedback mechanisms. Advanced remote sensing techniques make it possible to retrieve a range of land-surface variables, including radar retrieved soil moisture (SSM. It has been pointed out before that soil moisture retrieval from satellite data can be challenging at high latitudes, which correspond to remote areas where ground data are scarce and the applicability of satellite data of this type is essential. This study investigates backscatter variability other than associated with changing soil moisture in order to examine the possible impact on soil moisture retrieval. It focuses on issues specific to SSM retrieval in the Arctic, notably variations related to tundra lakes. ENVISAT Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR Wide Swath (WS, 120 m data are used to understand and quantify impacts on Metop (AAdvanced Scatterometer (ASCAT, 25 km soil moisture retrieval during the snow free period. Sites of interest are chosen according to ASAR WS availability, high or low agreement between output from the land surface model ORCHIDEE and ASCAT derived SSM. Backscatter variations are analyzed with respect to the ASCAT footprint area. It can be shown that the low model agreement is related to water fraction in most cases. No difference could be detected between periods with floating ice (in snow off situation and ice free periods at the chosen sites. The mean footprint backscatter is however impacted by partial short term surface roughness change. The water fraction correlates with backscatter deviations (relative to a smooth water surface reference image within the ASCAT footprint areas (R = 0.91

  14. Geomorphological and geochemistry changes in permafrost after the 2002 tundra wildfire in Kougarok, Seward Peninsula, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwahana, Go; Harada, Koichiro; Uchida, Masao; Tsuyuzaki, Shiro; Saito, Kazuyuki; Narita, Kenji; Kushida, Keiji; Hinzman, Larry D.

    2016-09-01

    Geomorphological and thermohydrological changes to tundra, caused by a wildfire in 2002 on the central Seward Peninsula of Alaska, were investigated as a case study for understanding the response from ice-rich permafrost terrain to surface disturbance. Frozen and unfrozen soil samples were collected at burned and unburned areas, and then water isotope geochemistry and cryostratigraphy of the active layer and near-surface permafrost were analyzed to investigate past hydrological and freeze/thaw conditions and how this information could be recorded within the permafrost. The development of thermokarst subsidence due to ice wedge melting after the fire was clear from analyses of historical submeter-resolution remote sensing imagery, long-term monitoring of thermohydrological conditions within the active layer, in situ surveys of microrelief, and geochemical signals recorded in the near-surface permafrost. The resulting polygonal relief coincided with depression lines along an underground ice wedge network, and cumulative subsidence to 2013 was estimated as at least 10.1 to 12.1 cm (0.9-1.1 cm/year 11 year average). Profiles of water geochemistry in the ground indicated mixing or replenishment of older permafrost water with newer meteoric water, as a consequence of the increase in active layer thickness due to wildfire or past thaw event. Our geocryological analysis of cores suggests that permafrost could be used to reconstruct the permafrost degradation history for the study site. Distinct hydrogen and oxygen isotopic compositions above the Global Meteoric Water Line were found for water from these sites where permafrost degradation with geomorphological change and prolonged surface inundation were suggested.

  15. Automatic monitoring of the effective thermal conductivity of snow in a low Arctic shrub tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domine, F.; Barrere, M.; Sarrazin, D.; Morin, S.

    2015-03-01

    The effective thermal conductivity of snow, keff, is a critical variable which determines the temperature gradient in the snowpack and heat exchanges between the ground and the atmosphere through the snow. Its accurate knowledge is therefore required to simulate snow metamorphism, the ground thermal regime, permafrost stability, nutrient recycling and vegetation growth. Yet, few data are available on the seasonal evolution of snow thermal conductivity in the Arctic. We have deployed heated needle probes on low Arctic shrub tundra near Umiujaq, Quebec, (56°34´ N; 76°29´ W) and monitored automatically the evolution of keff for two consecutive winters, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, at 4 heights in the snowpack. Shrubs are 20 cm high dwarf birch. Here, we develop an algorithm for the automatic determination of keff from the heating curves and obtain 404 keff values. We evaluate possible errors and biases associated with the use of the heated needles. The time-evolution of keff is very different for both winters. This is explained by comparing the meteorological conditions in both winters, which induced different conditions for snow metamorphism. In particular, important melting events the second year increased snow hardness, impeding subsequent densification and increase in thermal conductivity. Shrubs are observed to have very important impacts on snow physical evolution: (1) shrubs absorb light and facilitate snow melt under intense radiation; (2) the dense twig network of dwarf birch prevents snow compaction and therefore keff increase; (3) the low density depth hoar that forms within shrubs collapsed in late winter, leaving a void that was not filled by snow.

  16. Automatic monitoring of the effective thermal conductivity of snow in a low-Arctic shrub tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domine, F.; Barrere, M.; Sarrazin, D.; Morin, S.; Arnaud, L.

    2015-06-01

    The effective thermal conductivity of snow, keff, is a critical variable which determines the temperature gradient in the snowpack and heat exchanges between the ground and the atmosphere through the snow. Its accurate knowledge is therefore required to simulate snow metamorphism, the ground thermal regime, permafrost stability, nutrient recycling and vegetation growth. Yet, few data are available on the seasonal evolution of snow thermal conductivity in the Arctic. We have deployed heated needle probes on low-Arctic shrub tundra near Umiujaq, Quebec, (N56°34'; W76°29') and monitored automatically the evolution of keff for two consecutive winters, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, at four heights in the snowpack. Shrubs are 20 cm high dwarf birch. Here, we develop an algorithm for the automatic determination of keff from the heating curves and obtain 404 keff values. We evaluate possible errors and biases associated with the use of the heated needles. The time evolution of keff is very different for both winters. This is explained by comparing the meteorological conditions in both winters, which induced different conditions for snow metamorphism. In particular, important melting events in the second year increased snow hardness, impeding subsequent densification and increase in thermal conductivity. We conclude that shrubs have very important impacts on snow physical evolution: (1) shrubs absorb light and facilitate snow melt under intense radiation; (2) the dense twig network of dwarf birch prevent snow compaction, and therefore keff increase; (3) the low density depth hoar that forms within shrubs collapsed in late winter, leaving a void that was not filled by snow.

  17. The seasonal cycle of the greenhouse gas balance of a continental tundra site in the Indigirka lowlands, NE Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. K. van der Molen

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Carbon dioxide and methane fluxes were measured at a tundra site near Chokurdakh, in the lowlands of the Indigirka river in north-east Siberia. This site is one of the few stations on Russian tundra and it is different from most other tundra flux stations in its continentality. A suite of methods was applied to determine the fluxes of NEE, GPP, Reco and methane, including eddy covariance, chambers and leaf cuvettes. Net carbon dioxide fluxes were unusually high, compared with other tundra sites, with NEE=–92 g C m−2 yr−1, which is composed of an Reco=+141 g C m−2 yr−1 and GPP=–232 g C m−2 yr−1. This large carbon dioxide sink may be explained by the continental climate, that is reflected in low winter soil temperatures (–14°C, reducing the respiration rates, and short, relatively warm summers, stimulating high photosynthesis rates. Interannual variability in GPP was dominated by the frequency of light limitation (Rg <200 W m−2, whereas Reco depends most directly on soil temperature and time in the growing season, which serves as a proxy of the combined effects of active layer depth, leaf area index, soil moisture and substrate availability. The methane flux, in units of global warming potential, was +28 g C-CO2e m−2 yr−1, so that the greenhouse gas balance was –64 g C-CO2e m−2 yr−1. Methane fluxes depended only slightly on soil temperature and were highly sensitive to hydrological conditions and vegetation composition.

  18. The growing season greenhouse gas balance of a continental tundra site in the Indigirka lowlands, NE Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. K. van der Molen

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Carbon dioxide and methane fluxes were measured at a tundra site near Chokurdakh, in the lowlands of the Indigirka river in north-east Siberia. This site is one of the few stations on Russian tundra and it is different from most other tundra flux stations in its continentality. A suite of methods was applied to determine the fluxes of NEE, GPP, Reco and methane, including eddy covariance, chambers and leaf cuvettes. Net carbon dioxide fluxes were high compared with other tundra sites, with NEE=−92 g C m−2 yr−1, which is composed of an Reco=+141 g C m−2 yr−1 and GPP=−232 g C m−2 yr−1. This large carbon dioxide sink may be explained by the continental climate, that is reflected in low winter soil temperatures (−14°C, reducing the respiration rates, and short, relatively warm summers, stimulating high photosynthesis rates. Interannual variability in GPP was dominated by the frequency of light limitation (Rg<200 W m−2, whereas Reco depends most directly on soil temperature and time in the growing season, which serves as a proxy of the combined effects of active layer depth, leaf area index, soil moisture and substrate availability. The methane flux, in units of global warming potential, was +28 g C-CO2e m−2 yr−1, so that the greenhouse gas balance was −64 g C-CO2e m−2 yr−1. Methane fluxes depended only slightly on soil temperature and were highly sensitive to hydrological conditions and vegetation composition.

  19. Invasion of terrestrial enchytraeids into two postglacial tundras: North-eastern Greenland and the Arctic Archipelago of Canada (Enchytraeidae, Oligochaeta)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Bent; Dózsa-Farkas, Klára

    2006-01-01

    that of potential source regions indicating either strong selection or varied dispersal ability. It appears that the Archipelago is influenced mainly from North America and North-eastern Greenland from Europe while the specialized fauna of the ancient Beringian tundra is of minor importance. The two alternative...... scenarios: (a) survival of a prepleistocene fauna in protected refugia within the area or (b) a postglacial re-invasion from outside are discussed, but the available data do not discriminate between these two possibilities. A total of 24 terrestrial enchytraeid taxa are recorded of which 22 are identified...

  20. Is grazing exclusion effective in restoring vegetation in degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet, China?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Yan; Lu, Xuyang

    2015-01-01

    Overgrazing is considered one of the key disturbance factors that results in alpine grassland degradation in Tibet. Grazing exclusion by fencing has been widely used as an approach to restore degraded grasslands in Tibet since 2004. Is the grazing exclusion management strategy effective for the vegetation restoration of degraded alpine grasslands? Three alpine grassland types were selected in Tibet to investigate the effect of grazing exclusion on plant community structure and biomass. Our results showed that species biodiversity indicators, including the Pielou evenness index, the Shannon-Wiener diversity index, and the Simpson dominance index, did not significantly change under grazing exclusion conditions. In contrast, the total vegetation cover, the mean vegetation height of the community, and the aboveground biomass were significantly higher in the grazing exclusion grasslands than in the free grazed grasslands. These results indicated that grazing exclusion is an effective measure for maintaining community stability and improving aboveground vegetation growth in alpine grasslands. However, the statistical analysis showed that the growing season precipitation (GSP) plays a more important role than grazing exclusion in which influence on vegetation in alpine grasslands. In addition, because the results of the present study come from short term (6-8 years) grazing exclusion, it is still uncertain whether these improvements will be continuable if grazing exclusion is continuously implemented. Therefore, the assessments of the ecological effects of the grazing exclusion management strategy on degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet still need long term continued research.

  1. Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Resulting From Tourism Travel in an Alpine Setting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rainer Unger

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Tourism—with its social, economic, and ecological dimensions—can be an important driver of sustainable development of alpine communities. Tourism is essential for local people's incomes and livelihoods, but it can also have a major impact on the local environment, landscape aesthetics, and (mainly through tourist transport global climate change. A project currently underway is developing the Austrian mountain municipality of Alpbach into a role model for competitive and sustainable year-round alpine tourism using an integrated and spatially explicit approach that considers energy demand and supply related to housing, infrastructure, and traffic in the settlement and the skiing area. As the first outcome of the project, this article focuses on the development of the Model of Alpine Tourism and Transportation, a geographic information system–based tool for calculating, in detail, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from travel to a single alpine holiday destination. Analysis results show that it is crucial to incorporate both direct and indirect energy use and emissions as each contributes significantly to the climate impact of travel. The study fills a research gap in carbon impact appraisal studies of tourism transport in the context of alpine tourism at the destination level. Our findings will serve as a baseline for the development of comprehensive policies and agendas promoting the transformation toward sustainable alpine tourism.

  2. Is grazing exclusion effective in restoring vegetation in degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet, China?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Yan

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Overgrazing is considered one of the key disturbance factors that results in alpine grassland degradation in Tibet. Grazing exclusion by fencing has been widely used as an approach to restore degraded grasslands in Tibet since 2004. Is the grazing exclusion management strategy effective for the vegetation restoration of degraded alpine grasslands? Three alpine grassland types were selected in Tibet to investigate the effect of grazing exclusion on plant community structure and biomass. Our results showed that species biodiversity indicators, including the Pielou evenness index, the Shannon–Wiener diversity index, and the Simpson dominance index, did not significantly change under grazing exclusion conditions. In contrast, the total vegetation cover, the mean vegetation height of the community, and the aboveground biomass were significantly higher in the grazing exclusion grasslands than in the free grazed grasslands. These results indicated that grazing exclusion is an effective measure for maintaining community stability and improving aboveground vegetation growth in alpine grasslands. However, the statistical analysis showed that the growing season precipitation (GSP plays a more important role than grazing exclusion in which influence on vegetation in alpine grasslands. In addition, because the results of the present study come from short term (6–8 years grazing exclusion, it is still uncertain whether these improvements will be continuable if grazing exclusion is continuously implemented. Therefore, the assessments of the ecological effects of the grazing exclusion management strategy on degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet still need long term continued research.

  3. Spatially explicit fire-climate history of the boreal forest-tundra (Eastern Canada) over the last 2000 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payette, Serge; Filion, Louise; Delwaide, Ann

    2008-07-12

    Across the boreal forest, fire is the main disturbance factor and driver of ecosystem changes. In this study, we reconstructed a long-term, spatially explicit fire history of a forest-tundra region in northeastern Canada. We hypothesized that current occupation of similar topographic and edaphic sites by tundra and forest was the consequence of cumulative regression with time of forest cover due to compounding fire and climate disturbances. All fires were mapped and dated per 100 year intervals over the last 2,000 years using several fire dating techniques. Past fire occurrences and post-fire regeneration at the northern forest limit indicate 70% reduction of forest cover since 1800 yr BP and nearly complete cessation of forest regeneration since 900 yr BP. Regression of forest cover was particularly important between 1500s-1700s and possibly since 900 yr BP. Although fire frequency was very low over the last 100 years, each fire event was followed by drastic removal of spruce cover. Contrary to widespread belief of northward boreal forest expansion due to recent warming, lack of post-fire recovery during the last centuries, in comparison with active tree regeneration more than 1,000 years ago, indicates that the current climate does not favour such expansion.

  4. Knee injuries and Alpine skiing. Treatment and rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paletta, G A; Warren, R F

    1994-06-01

    Alpine skiing is an increasingly popular recreational sport worldwide. While the overall injury rate has declined and the pattern of injury changed over the years, the incidence of knee injuries has not changed substantially and accounts for 20 to 30% of all alpine skiing injuries. Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries are the most common in skiing, accounting for 15 to 20% of all skiing injuries and 60% of knee injuries in skiers. Tears are commonly isolated, but may occur in association with other ligamentous injuries. Associated meniscal pathology is rare. Isolated MCL injuries are treated nonoperatively with a programme of initial immobilisation, early range-of-motion, and isometric quadriceps strengthening exercises. When full range of motion is achieved, a programme of progressive resistance exercises, isokinetic and closed chain exercises, and functional rehabilitation is instituted. Good results with return to skiing can be expected in most cases. Isolated lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injuries are rare in skiers. There is usually associated cruciate or arcuate ligament complex. Careful physical examination is essential to rule out associated ligament injuries and more complex instability patterns. In the rare case of isolated LCL injury, a similar approach to isolated MCL injury should be instituted. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries have become increasingly common in skiers. This may reflect a true increase in the incidence or an improved awareness and ability to diagnose ACL injury. Physical examination and arthrometric analysis are important in assessing the integrity of the ACL. Radiographic and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evaluation may be helpful in assessing associated meniscal pathology. Treatment of the ACL-deficient knee is usually surgical. However, prior to reconstruction, a programme aimed at reducing effusion and regaining a full, pain-free range of motion is recommended. Surgical reconstruction is usually with the

  5. Lateral groundwater inflows into alluvial aquifers of main alpine valleys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Ulrich

    2015-04-01

    In alpine regions the topography is mainly characterised by deep incised valleys, mountain slopes and ridges. Usually the main valleys contain aquifers in alluvial soft rock. Lateral these aquifers are confined by mountainous hard rock slopes covered by heterogeneous sediments with different thickness. The slopes can be incised by lateral valleys. Numerical models for the main alluvial aquifers ask for lateral hydrogeological boundaries. Usually no flow boundaries or Constant head Boundaries are used, even if the lateral inflows to the main aquifers are rarely known. In this example a data set for a detailed investigated and monitored area is studied to give an answer on the location and the quantification of these lateral subsurface inflows. The study area is a typical main alpine valley with a thick alluvial aquifer (appr. 120m thick), lateral confined by granite, covered at the base of the steep slopes by quaternary sediments (Burger at al. 2012). The study consists of several steps 1.) Analytical calculation of the inflows on the base of investigated and monitored 2d profiles along fault zones (Perello et al 2013) which pinch out in the main valley 2.) Analytical models along typical W-dipping slopes with monitored slope springs 3.) Evaluating temperature and electrical conductivity profiles measured in approx. 30 groundwater wells in the alluvial aquifers and along the slopes to locate main lateral subsurface inflows 4.) Output of a regional model used for the hydrogeological back analyses of the excavation of a tunnel (Baietto et al. 2014) 5.) Output of a local numerical model calibrated with a monitoring dataset and results of a pumping test of big scale (450l/s for 10days) Results of these analyses are shown to locate and quantify the lateral groundwater inflows in the main alluvial aquifer. References Baietto A., Burger U., Perello P. (2014): Hydrogeological modelling applications in tunnel excavations: examples from tunnel excavations in granitic rocks

  6. Drones application on snow and ice surveys in alpine areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Rocca, Leonardo; Bonetti, Luigi; Fioletti, Matteo; Peretti, Giovanni

    2015-04-01

    First results from Climate change are now clear in Europe, and in Italy in particular, with the natural disasters that damaged irreparably the territory and the habitat due to extreme meteorological events. The Directive 2007/60/EC highlight that an "effective natural hazards prevention and mitigation that requires coordination between Member States above all on natural hazards prevention" is necessary. A climate change adaptation strategy is identified on the basis of the guidelines of the European Community program 2007-2013. Following the directives provided in the financial instrument for civil protection "Union Civil Protection Mechanism" under Decision No. 1313/2013 / EU of the European Parliament and Council, a cross-cutting approach that takes into account a large number of implementation tools of EU policies is proposed as climate change adaptation strategy. In last 7 years a network of trans-Alpine area's authorities was created between Italy and Switzerland to define an adaptive strategy on climate change effects on natural enviroment based on non structural remedies. The Interreg IT - CH STRADA Project (STRategie di ADAttamento al cambiamento climatico) was born to join all the non structural remedies to climate change effects caused by snow and avalanches, on mountain sources, extreme hydrological events and to manage all transnational hydrological resources, involving all stakeholders from Italy and Switzerland. The STRADA project involved all civil protection authorities and all research centers in charge of snow, hydrology end civil protection. The Snow - meteorological center of the Regional Agency for Environment Protection (CNM of ARPA Lombardia) and the Civil Protection of Lombardy Region created a research team to develop tools for avalanche prediction and to observe and predict snow cover on Alpine area. With this aim a lot of aerial photo using Drone as been performed in unusual landscape. Results of all surveys were really interesting on a

  7. Micrometeorological processes driving snow ablation in an Alpine catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Mott

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Mountain snow covers typically become patchy over the course of a melting season. The snow pattern during melt is mainly governed by the end of winter snow depth distribution and the local energy balance. The objective of this study is to investigate micro-meteorological processes driving snow ablation in an Alpine catchment. For this purpose we combine a meteorological boundary-layer model (Advanced Regional Prediction System with a fully distributed energy balance model (Alpine3D. Turbulent fluxes above melting snow are further investigated by using data from eddy-correlation systems. We compare modeled snow ablation to measured ablation rates as obtained from a series of Terrestrial Laser Scanning campaigns covering a complete ablation season. The measured ablation rates indicate that the advection of sensible heat causes locally increased ablation rates at the upwind edges of the snow patches. The effect, however, appears to be active over rather short distances of about 4–6 m. Measurements suggest that mean wind velocities of about 5 m s−1 are required for advective heat transport to increase snow ablation over a long fetch distance of about 20 m. Neglecting this effect, the model is able to capture the mean ablation rates for early ablation periods but strongly overestimates snow ablation once the fraction of snow coverage is below a critical value of approximately 0.6. While radiation dominates snow ablation early in the season, the turbulent flux contribution becomes important late in the season. Simulation results indicate that the air temperatures appear to overestimate the local air temperature above snow patches once the snow coverage is low. Measured turbulent fluxes support these findings by suggesting a stable internal boundary layer close to the snow surface causing a strong decrease of the sensible heat flux towards the snow cover. Thus, the existence of a stable internal boundary layer above a patchy snow cover

  8. Differences in Sensation Seeking Between Alpine Skiers, Snowboarders and Ski Tourers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, Martin; Wolf, Mirjam; Ruedl, Gerhard; Burtscher, Martin

    2016-03-01

    Despite different injury rates and injury patterns previous personality related research in the field of downhill winter sports did not subdivide between different alpine slope users. In this study, we tried to find out whether the personality trait sensation seeking differs between skiers, snowboarders and ski tourers. In a cross-sectional survey 1185 persons (726 alpine skiers, 321 snowboarders and 138 ski tourers comparable in age and sex) were electronically questioned with the sensation seeking scale (SSS-V) comprising the four factors thrill and adventure seeking, experiences seeking, disinhibition and boredom susceptibility. Kruskal-Wallis Tests revealed a significantly higher total score of the SSS-V for snowboarders in comparison to alpine skiers and ski tourers (H(2) = 41.5, p Ski tourers and snowboarders scored significantly higher in the dimensions "thrill- and adventure-seeking" and "experience-seeking" than alpine skiers. Furthermore, snowboarders showed higher scores in "disinhibition" related to alpine skiers and ski tourers and "boredom susceptibility" compared to alpine skiers. Data show differences in the personality trait sensation seeking in people practising different winter sports. As snowboarders showed higher SS-scores compared to alpine skiers and ski tourers prevention and information programs might benefit from a selective approach focusing on special characteristics of the respective group. Key pointsIt is the very first research trying to identify differences between different types of winter sport slope usersObtained results show higher sensation seeking scores in snowboardersThese results might stimulate new approaches in educational campaigns to reduce accident rates in winter sports.

  9. Introgression from domestic goat generated variation at the major histocompatibility complex of Alpine ibex.

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    Christine Grossen

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The major histocompatibility complex (MHC is a crucial component of the vertebrate immune system and shows extremely high levels of genetic polymorphism. The extraordinary genetic variation is thought to be ancient polymorphisms maintained by balancing selection. However, introgression from related species was recently proposed as an additional mechanism. Here we provide evidence for introgression at the MHC in Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex. At a usually very polymorphic MHC exon involved in pathogen recognition (DRB exon 2, Alpine ibex carried only two alleles. We found that one of these DRB alleles is identical to a DRB allele of domestic goats (Capra aegagrus hircus. We sequenced 2489 bp of the coding and non-coding regions of the DRB gene and found that Alpine ibex homozygous for the goat-type DRB exon 2 allele showed nearly identical sequences (99.8% to a breed of domestic goats. Using Sanger and RAD sequencing, microsatellite and SNP chip data, we show that the chromosomal region containing the goat-type DRB allele has a signature of recent introgression in Alpine ibex. A region of approximately 750 kb including the DRB locus showed high rates of heterozygosity in individuals carrying one copy of the goat-type DRB allele. These individuals shared SNP alleles both with domestic goats and other Alpine ibex. In a survey of four Alpine ibex populations, we found that the region surrounding the DRB allele shows strong linkage disequilibria, strong sequence clustering and low diversity among haplotypes carrying the goat-type allele. Introgression at the MHC is likely adaptive and introgression critically increased MHC DRB diversity in the genetically impoverished Alpine ibex. Our finding contradicts the long-standing view that genetic variability at the MHC is solely a consequence of ancient trans-species polymorphism. Introgression is likely an underappreciated source of genetic diversity at the MHC and other loci under balancing selection.

  10. Soil warming increases plant species richness but decreases germination from the alpine soil seed bank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoyle, Gemma L; Venn, Susanna E; Steadman, Kathryn J; Good, Roger B; McAuliffe, Edward J; Williams, Emlyn R; Nicotra, Adrienne B

    2013-05-01

    Global warming is occurring more rapidly above the treeline than at lower elevations and alpine areas are predicted to experience above average warming in the future. Temperature is a primary factor in stimulating seed germination and regulating changes in seed dormancy status. Thus, plant regeneration from seed will be crucial to the persistence, migration and post disturbance recruitment of alpine plants in future climates. Here, we present the first assessment of the impact of soil warming on germination from the persistent alpine soil seed bank. Contrary to expectations, soil warming lead to reduced overall germination from the soil seed bank. However, germination response to soil temperature was species specific such that total species richness actually increased by nine with soil warming. We further explored the system by assessing the prevalence of seed dormancy and germination response to soil disturbance, the frequency of which is predicted to increase under climate change. Seeds of a significant proportion of species demonstrated physiological dormancy mechanisms and germination of several species appeared to be intrinsically linked to soil disturbance. In addition, we found no evidence of subalpine species and little evidence of exotic weed species in the soil, suggesting that the soil seed bank will not facilitate their invasion of the alpine zone. In conclusion, changes in recruitment via the alpine soil seed bank can be expected under climate change, as a result of altered dormancy alleviation and germination cues. Furthermore, the alpine soil seed bank, and the species richness therein, has the potential to help maintain local species diversity, support species range shift and moderate species dominance. Implications for alpine management and areas for further study are also discussed.

  11. Holocene evolution of lakes in the forest-tundra biome of northern Manitoba, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbs, William O.; Edlund, Mark B.; Umbanhowar, Charles E.; Camill, Philip; Lynch, Jason A.; Geiss, Christoph; Stefanova, Vania

    2017-03-01

    The late-Quaternary paleoenvironmental history of the western Hudson Bay region of Subarctic Canada is poorly constrained. Here, we present a regional overview of the post-glacial history of eight lakes which span the forest-tundra biome in northern Manitoba. We show that during the penultimate drainage phase of Lake Agassiz the lake water had an estimated pH of ∼6.0, with abundant quillwort (Isöetes spp.) along the lakeshore and littoral zone and some floating green algae (Botryococcus spp. and Pediastrum sp.). Based on multiple sediment proxies, modern lake ontogeny in the region commenced at ∼7500 cal yrs BP. Pioneering diatom communities were shaped by the turbid, higher alkalinity lake waters which were influenced by base cation weathering of the surrounding till following Lake Agassiz drainage. By ∼7000 cal yrs BP, soil development and Picea spp. establish and the lakes began a slow trajectory of acidification over the remaining Holocene epoch. The natural acidification of the lakes in this region is slow, on the order of several millennia for one pH unit. Each of the study lakes exhibit relatively stable aquatic communities during the Holocene Thermal Maximum, suggesting this period is a poor analogue for modern climatic changes. During the Neoglacial, the beginning of the post-Little Ice Age period represents the most significant climatic event to impact the lakes of N. Manitoba. In the context of regional lake histories, the rate of diatom floristic change in the last 200-300 years is unprecedented, with the exception of post-glacial lake ontogeny in some of the lakes. For nearly the entire history of the lakes in this region, there is a strong linkage between landscape development and the aquatic ecosystems; however this relationship appears to become decoupled or less strong in the post-LIA period. Significant 20th century changes in the aquatic ecosystem cannot be explained wholly by changes in the terrestrial ecosystem, suggesting that future

  12. Detection and Segmentation of Small Trees in the Forest-Tundra Ecotone Using Airborne Laser Scanning

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    Marius Hauglin

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Due to expected climate change and increased focus on forests as a potential carbon sink, it is of interest to map and monitor even marginal forests where trees exist close to their tolerance limits, such as small pioneer trees in the forest-tundra ecotone. Such small trees might indicate tree line migrations and expansion of the forests into treeless areas. Airborne laser scanning (ALS has been suggested and tested as a tool for this purpose and in the present study a novel procedure for identification and segmentation of small trees is proposed. The study was carried out in the Rollag municipality in southeastern Norway, where ALS data and field measurements of individual trees were acquired. The point density of the ALS data was eight points per m2, and the field tree heights ranged from 0.04 to 6.3 m, with a mean of 1.4 m. The proposed method is based on an allometric model relating field-measured tree height to crown diameter, and another model relating field-measured tree height to ALS-derived height. These models are calibrated with local field data. Using these simple models, every positive above-ground height derived from the ALS data can be related to a crown diameter, and by assuming a circular crown shape, this crown diameter can be extended to a crown segment. Applying this model to all ALS echoes with a positive above-ground height value yields an initial map of possible circular crown segments. The final crown segments were then derived by applying a set of simple rules to this initial “map” of segments. The resulting segments were validated by comparison with field-measured crown segments. Overall, 46% of the field-measured trees were successfully detected. The detection rate increased with tree size. For trees with height >3 m the detection rate was 80%. The relatively large detection errors were partly due to the inherent limitations in the ALS data; a substantial fraction of the smaller trees was hit by no or just a few

  13. Impacts of introduced Rangifer on ecosystem processes of maritime tundra on subarctic islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricca, Mark; Miles, A. Keith; Van Vuren, Dirk H.; Eviner, Valerie T.

    2016-01-01

    Introductions of mammalian herbivores to remote islands without predators provide a natural experiment to ask how temporal and spatial variation in herbivory intensity alter feedbacks between plant and soil processes. We investigated ecosystem effects resulting from introductions of Rangifer tarandus (hereafter “Rangifer”) to native mammalian predator- and herbivore-free islands in the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska. We hypothesized that the maritime tundra of these islands would experience either: (1) accelerated ecosystem processes mediated by positive feedbacks between increased graminoid production and rapid nitrogen cycling; or (2) decelerated processes mediated by herbivory that stimulated shrub domination and lowered soil fertility. We measured summer plant and soil properties across three islands representing a chronosequence of elapsed time post-Rangifer introduction (Atka: ~100 yr; Adak: ~50; Kagalaska: ~0), with distinct stages of irruptive population dynamics of Rangifer nested within each island (Atka: irruption, K-overshoot, decline, K-re-equilibration; Adak: irruption, K-overshoot; Kagalaska: initial introduction). We also measured Rangifer spatial use within islands (indexed by pellet group counts) to determine how ecosystem processes responded to spatial variation in herbivory. Vegetation community response to herbivory varied with temporal and spatial scale. When comparing temporal effects using the island chronosequence, increased time since herbivore introduction led to more graminoids and fewer dwarf-shrubs, lichens, and mosses. Slow-growingCladonia lichens that are highly preferred winter forage were decimated on both long-termRangifer-occupied islands. In addition, linear relations between more concentrated Rangifer spatial use and reductions in graminoid and forb biomass within islands added spatial heterogeneity to long-term patterns identified by the chronosequence. These results support, in part, the hypothesis that

  14. The role of summer precipitation and summer temperature in establishment and growth of dwarf shrub Betula nana in northeast Siberian tundra

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bingxi Li,; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Berendse, F.; Blok, D.; Maximov, T.; Sass-Klaassen, U.G.W.

    2016-01-01

    It is widely believed that deciduous tundrashrub
    dominance is increasing in the pan-Arctic region,
    mainly due to rising temperature. We sampled dwarf birch
    (Betula nana L.) at a northeastern Siberian tundra site and
    used dendrochronological methods to explore the relationship
    bet

  15. Can We Model the Scenic Beauty of an Alpine Landscape?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erich Tasser

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available During the last decade, agriculture has lost its importance in many European mountain regions and tourism, which benefits from attractive landscapes, has become a major source of income. Changes in landscape patterns and elements might affect scenic beauty and therefore the socio-economic welfare of a region. Our study aimed at modeling scenic beauty by quantifying the influence of landscape elements and patterns in relationship to distance. Focusing on Alpine landscapes in South and North Tyrol, we used a photographic questionnaire showing different landscape compositions. As mountain landscapes offer long vistas, we related scenic beauty to different distance zones. Our results indicate that the near zone contributes by 64% to the valuation of scenic beauty, the middle zone by 22%, and the far zone by 14%. In contrast to artificial elements, naturalness and diversity increased scenic beauty. Significant differences between different social groups (origin, age, gender, cultural background occurred only between the local population and tourists regarding great landscape changes. Changes towards more homogenous landscapes were perceived negatively, thus political decision makers should support the conservation of the cultural landscape.

  16. Representation of the Alpine snowpack in CMIP5 models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terzago, Silvia; Palazzi, Elisa; von Hardenberg, Jost; Provenzale, Antonello

    2016-04-01

    Global Climate Models (GCMs) still have too coarse spatial resolution to adequately reproduce the small-scale variability of precipitation and snowpack in orographically complex areas but increasingly higher resolutions are currently being introduced for the next generation of models. As a preliminary step a comparative assessment of the performances of the current, state-of-art GCMs in the representation of the snowpack characteristics is needed. Our study investigates how the GCMs participating in the Coupled Models Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) represent the snow water equivalent and snow depth climatology over the Greater Alpine Region (4-19°E, 43-49°N) during the historical period 1980-2005. We compare the CMIP5 model outputs to the available satellite and reanalysis products, including Global Monthly EASE-Grid Snow Water Equivalent Climatology, Climate Forecast System Reanalysis, Modern Era-Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, ERA-Interim/Land and 20th Century reanalyses, highlighting common features and discrepancies. We also explore the models spread in the representation of the snow seasonal cycle and its projected changes for the XXI century in RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, discussing the results in the frame of the latest literature studies. The present analysis aims at providing a comprehensive picture of the current uncertainties in the representation of snowpack by the major gridded snow datasets derived from remote sensing, reanalyses and model simulations, in condition of complex orography.

  17. Microbial diversity in European alpine permafrost and active layers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Beat; Rime, Thomas; Phillips, Marcia; Stierli, Beat; Hajdas, Irka; Widmer, Franco; Hartmann, Martin

    2016-03-01

    Permafrost represents a largely understudied genetic resource. Thawing of permafrost with global warming will not only promote microbial carbon turnover with direct feedback on greenhouse gases, but also unlock an unknown microbial diversity. Pioneering metagenomic efforts have shed light on the permafrost microbiome in polar regions, but temperate mountain permafrost is largely understudied. We applied a unique experimental design coupled to high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal markers to characterize the microbiota at the long-term alpine permafrost study site 'Muot-da-Barba-Peider' in eastern Switzerland with an approximate radiocarbon age of 12 000 years. Compared to the active layers, the permafrost community was more diverse and enriched with members of the superphylum Patescibacteria (OD1, TM7, GN02 and OP11). These understudied phyla with no cultured representatives proposedly feature small streamlined genomes with reduced metabolic capabilities, adaptations to anaerobic fermentative metabolisms and potential ectosymbiotic lifestyles. The permafrost microbiota was also enriched with yeasts and lichenized fungi known to harbour various structural and functional adaptation mechanisms to survive under extreme sub-zero conditions. These data yield an unprecedented view on microbial life in temperate mountain permafrost, which is increasingly important for understanding the biological dynamics of permafrost in order to anticipate potential ecological trajectories in a warming world.

  18. Legacy and emerging contaminants in meltwater of three Alpine glaciers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrario, Claudia; Finizio, Antonio; Villa, Sara

    2017-01-01

    Meltwater samples collected in early and late summer from three Alpine glaciers were analysed to determine the occurrence of POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants: DDTs, HCHs and PCBs) and emerging contaminants (current used pesticides and polycyclic musk fragrances). For legacy POPs, we reconstructed a concentration time series using data from previous surveys in the same areas (starting from 2000). The results suggest a declining tendency of these compounds, probably related to the introduction of international regulations, which has led the strong use reduction and ban of these compounds. Among the analysed current used pesticides the terbuthylazine and chlorpyrifos were found in all the analysed samples. The experimental results were in line with the prediction of the OECD tool screening model, which was applied to estimate the potential of these substances to undergo regional-scale atmospheric transport processes. Temporal and spatial differences in concentrations for these compounds were related to the timing of applications, weather conditions and crop distribution along the adjacent Po River Plain. Despite model predictions, the herbicide pendimethalin was never detected, probably due to the lower use of this compound in the agricultural practices. Conversely, concentrations of polycyclic musk fragrances galaxolide and tonalide were more homogeneous both temporally and spatially, in agreement with their continuous release from emission sources.

  19. Environmental controls on the thermal structure of alpine glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. J. Wilson

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Water entrapped in glacier accumulation zones represents a significant latent heat contribution to the development of thermal structure. It also provides a direct link between glacier environments and thermal regimes. We apply a two-dimensional mechanically-coupled model of heat flow to synthetic glacier geometries in order to explore the environmental controls on flowband thermal structure. We use this model to test the sensitivity of thermal structure to physical and environmental variables and to explore glacier response to potential environmental changes. In different conditions consistent with a warming climate, mean glacier temperature and the volume of temperate ice may either increase or decrease, depending on the competing effects of elevated meltwater production, reduced accumulation zone extent, and thinning firn. For two model reference states that exhibit commonly-observed thermal structures, the volume of temperate ice is shown to decline with warming air temperatures. Mass balance sensitivity plays an important role in determining how the englacial thermal regimes of alpine glaciers will adjust in the future.

  20. Environmental controls on the thermal structure of alpine glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. J. Wilson

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Water entrapped in glacier accumulation zones represents a significant latent heat contribution to the development of thermal structure. It also provides a direct link between glacier environments and thermal regimes. We apply a two-dimensional mechanically-coupled model of heat flow to synthetic glacier geometries in order to explore the environmental controls on flowband thermal structure. We use this model to test the sensitivity of thermal structure to physical and environmental variables and to explore glacier thermal response to environmental changes. In different conditions consistent with a warming climate, mean glacier temperature and the volume of temperate ice may either increase or decrease, depending on the competing effects of elevated meltwater production, reduced accumulation zone extent and thinning firn. For two model reference states that exhibit commonly-observed thermal structures, the fraction of temperate ice is shown to decline with warming air temperatures. Mass balance and aquifer sensitivities play an important role in determining how the englacial thermal regimes of alpine glaciers will adjust in the future.

  1. Water quality of two glacial alpine Italian lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelano, Vincenzo; Zambrotta, Maria; Defilippi, Albino; Torazzo, Annamaria

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to characterize, in a period of one year, two glacial lakes, Alice and Meugliano, located in an alpine reservoir on the basis of physical and chemical features. The two lakes show two periods of mixing: one in the spring and one in the autumn, so can be classified as dimictic lakes. They are characterized by pH, alkalinity, low conductivity and and quite dilute ionic concentrations. With regard to nutrients, most nitrogen occurred in the nitric form in the superficial layers. During the period of thermal stratification, in the anoxic layer NO3- decreases and NH4+ increases, confirming the activity of the anaerobic denitrificant bacteria. Total and soluble phosphorus levels show homogeneity during the cold period at different depths, while with stratification concentrations increase in the hypolimnium and metalimnium. In both lakes there is an inverse correlation between transparency and chlorophyll a. To evaluate the trophic state the conventional criteria of Nurnberg 2 and four lake trophic indices (TSIs) are used. Both evaluations suggest that the two lakes are eutrophic, with worse conditions in Alice. Deviations of the trophic states, based on the relation between TSIs, indicate that factors other than phosphorous limit the algal biomass, and that non-algal particles influence light attenuation

  2. Optimization of the thermal performances of the Alpine Pixel Detector

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Zhan; Di Ciaccio, Lucia

    The ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) detector is the largest detector of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). One of the most important goals of ATLAS was to search for the missing piece of the Standard Model, the Higgs boson that had been found in 2012. In order to keep looking for the unknowns, it is planned to upgrade the LHC. The High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) is a novel configuration of the accelerator, aiming at increasing the luminosity by a factor five or more above the nominal LHC design. In parallel with the accelerator upgrade also the ATLAS will be upgraded to cope with detector aging and to achieve the same or better performance under increased event rate and radiation dose expected at the HL-LHC. This thesis discusses a novel design for the ATLAS Pixel Detector called the "Alpine" layout for the HL-LHC. To support this design, a local support structure is proposed, optimized and tested with an advanced CO2 evaporative cooling system. A numerical program called “CoBra” simulating the twophase heat ...

  3. Karst morphology and groundwater vulnerability of high alpine karst plateaus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plan, Lukas; Decker, Kurt; Faber, Robert; Wagreich, Michael; Grasemann, Bernhard

    2009-07-01

    High alpine karst plateaus are recharge areas for major drinking water resources in the Alps and many other regions. Well-established methods for the vulnerability mapping of groundwater to contamination have not been applied to such areas yet. The paper characterises this karst type and shows that two common vulnerability assessment methods (COP and PI) classify most of the areas with high vulnerability classes. In the test site on the Hochschwab plateau (Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria), overlying layers are mostly absent, not protective or even enhance point recharge, where they have aquiclude character. The COP method classifies 82% of the area as highly or extremely vulnerable. The resulting maps are reasonable, but do not differentiate vulnerabilities to the extent that the results can be used for protective measures. An extension for the upper end of the vulnerability scale is presented that allows identifying ultra vulnerable areas. The proposed enhancement of the conventional approach points out that infiltration conditions are of key importance for vulnerability. The method accounts for karst genetical and hydrologic processes using qualitative and quantitative properties of karst depressions and sinking streams including parameters calculated from digital elevations models. The method is tested on the Hochschwab plateau where 1.7% of the area is delineated as ultra vulnerable. This differentiation could not be reached by the COP and PI methods. The resulting vulnerability map highlights spots of maximum vulnerability and the combination with a hazard map enables protective measures for a manageable area and number of sites.

  4. CHANGES IN QUADRICEPS MUSCLE ACTIVITY DURING SUSTAINED RECREATIONAL ALPINE SKIING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josef Kröll

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available During a day of skiing thousands of repeated contractions take place. Previous research on prolonged recreational alpine skiing show that physiological changes occur and hence some level of fatigue is inevitable. In the present paper the effect of prolonged skiing on the recruitment and coordination of the muscle activity was investigated. Six subjects performed 24 standardized runs. Muscle activity during the first two (PREskiing and the last two (POSTskiing runs was measured from the vastus lateralis (VL and rectus femoris (RF using EMG and quantified using wavelet and principal component analysis. The frequency content of the EMG signal shifted in seven out of eight cases significantly towards lower frequencies with highest effects observed for RF on outside leg. A significant pronounced outside leg loading occurred during POSTskiing and the timing of muscle activity peaks occurred more towards turn completion. Specific EMG frequency changes were observed at certain time points throughout the time windows and not over the whole double turn. It is suggested that general muscular fatigue, where additional specific muscle fibers have to be recruited due to the reduced power output of other fibers did not occur. The EMG frequency decrease and intensity changes for RF and VL are caused by altered timing (coordination within the turn towards a most likely more uncontrolled skiing technique. Hence, these data provide evidence to suggest recreational skiers alter their skiing technique before a potential change in muscle fiber recruitment occurs

  5. Forecasting temperate alpine glacier survival from accumulation zone observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. S. Pelto

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Temperate alpine glacier survival is dependent on the consistent presence of an accumulation zone. Frequent low accumulation area ratio values, below 30%, indicate the lack of a consistent accumulation zone, which leads to substantial thinning of the glacier in the accumulation zone. This thinning is often evident from substantial marginal recession, emergence of new rock outcrops and surface elevation decline in the accumulation zone. In the North Cascades 9 of the 12 examined glaciers exhibit characteristics of substantial accumulation zone thinning; marginal recession or emergent bedrock areas in the accumulation zone. The longitudinal profile thinning factor, f, which is a measure of the ratio of thinning in the accumulation zone to that at the terminus, is above 0.6 for all glaciers exhibiting accumulation zone thinning characteristics. The ratio of accumulation zone thinning to cumulative mass balance is above 0.5 for glacier experiencing substantial accumulation zone thinning. Without a consistent accumulation zone these glaciers are forecast not to survive the current climate or future additional warming. The results vary considerably with adjacent glaciers having a different survival forecast. This emphasizes the danger of extrapolating survival from one glacier to the next.

  6. Forecasting temperate alpine glacier survival from accumulation zone observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. S. Pelto

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available For temperate alpine glaciers survival is dependent on the consistent presence of an accumulation zone. The lack of a consistent and persistent accumulation zone leads to substantial thinning of the glacier in the accumulation zone. Accumulation zone thinning is evident in satellite imagery or field observation based the emergence of new rock outcrops or the recession of the margin of the glacier in the accumulation zone along a substantial portion of its perimeter. In either case the accumulation zone is no longer functioning as an accumulation zone and survival is unlikely. In both the North Cascades and Wind River Range nine of the fifteen glaciers examined are forecast not to survive the current climate or future additional warming. The results vary considerably with adjacent glaciers having a different survival forecast. This emphasizes the danger of extrapolating survival from one glacier to the next. This trait also emphasizes the value of a simple forecasting tool that can be applied to all glaciers. The automated remote sensing based glacier classification schemes developed offer the potential for automating this process based on the changes in the glacier outline.

  7. Remotely sensed vicennial changes of green phytomass, Salix cover, and leaf turnover in a sedge-shrub tundra, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushida, K.; Kim, Y.; Tsuyuzaki, S.; Watanabe, M.; Kadosaki, G.; Sawada, Y.; Ishikawa, M.; Fukuda, M.

    2007-12-01

    We obtained the relationship between spectral indices, green phytomass, Salix - non-Salix ratio, and leaf turnover in a sedge-shrub tundra, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), Alaska based on the field observations of spectral reflectance and phytomass, and we used Landsat TM images acquired in July of 1986, 1994, and 2006 and the time series of NOAA AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) for evaluating the vicennial changes. 51% of Beaufort coastal plain, Alaska was occupied by lowland moist sedge-shrub tundra, lowland wet sedge tundra, riverine moist sedge-shrub tundra, and riverine wet sedge tundra, where willow shrubs and sedges dominate. We set a 50-m × 50-m plot located on the floodplain of Jago River in ANWR. Shrub (Salix lanata L.) and sedge (Carex bigelowii Torr.) dominated in the plot. Ten 0.5-m × 0.5-m quadrates (Salix} quadrates) were set on the Salix cover and ten 0.5-m × 0.5-m quadrates (non-Salix quadrates) were set on the ground that was not covered with Salix lanata. Salix lanata in each of the Salix quadrates was harvested, and the leaf area index (LAI) and the oven-dried weights of the photosynthetic (leaf) and non-photosynthetic parts were measured. After harvesting Salix, other green plants were harvested and the oven-dried weights of the plants were measured. The Salix quadrates were spectrally measured with a spectroradiometer at a wavelength of 350 - 2500 nm before and after harvesting Salix and after harvesting other green plants. Non-Salix quadrates were also spectrally measured with the spectroradiometer. The coefficients of determination (R2) of the green phytomass, Salix - non-Salix ratio, and leaf turnover estimations from the spectral indices were 0.63, 0.57, and 0.79, respectively. These estimations were used for evaluating the vicennial changes using the satellite data.

  8. Europe's battery: The making of the Alpine energy landscape, 1870-1955

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landry, Marc D., II

    This study examines the environmental history of hydropower development in the Alps from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. Analyzing government archival files, associational journals, conference proceedings, and published contemporary material from several Alpine countries, it seeks to determine how and why Europeans modified the Alpine landscape to generate hydropower, and to explore the consequences of these decisions. I argue that during this time period, Europeans thoroughly transformed the Alpine environment, creating what I call "Europe's Battery": a gigantic system for storing hydropower and distributing it on a continental scale. This study shows how nineteenth-century innovations in energy technology contributed to a dramatic shift in the perception of the Alps as a landscape of "white coal." It demonstrates how at the outset of electrification, Europeans modified Alpine waterways on an unprecedented scale in order to tap into the power of flowing Alpine water. I show how after the turn of the twentieth century, Europeans took advantage of the unique mountain environment to store water, first by converting existing lakes into reservoirs. The practice countered what was perceived to be the greatest disadvantage of white coal: its climate-influenced inconstancy. This study shows the importance of war, and especially the First World War, in the forging of the new Alpine landscape. Finally, this study illustrates how from the interwar period to the aftermath of the Second World War, Europeans put the finishing touches on the new Alpine energy landscape by creating large reservoirs behind dams and feeding Alpine hydroelectricity into a burgeoning European electricity grid. By 1955 the Alps had become one of the most important energy landscapes in Europe. This history of the Alpine energy landscape contributes to a number of historiographical fields. It represents an important chapter in the environmental history of one of the world's most

  9. Methane-cycling microorganisms in soils of a high-alpine altitudinal gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Katrin; Pauli, Harald; Praeg, Nadine; Wagner, Andreas O; Illmer, Paul

    2016-03-01

    Methanogens and methanotrophs play unique roles as producers and consumers of the greenhouse gas methane (CH4) in soils, respectively. Here, we aimed to reveal whether and to which extent methane-cyclers occur in high-alpine soils, and to assess their spatial distribution along an altitudinal gradient (2700-3500 m) in the Austrian Alps at sites located within the alpine (2700-2900 m), the alpine-nival (3000-3100 m) and the nival belts (3200-3500 m). Methanococcales and Methanocella spp. were most abundant among all quantified methanogenic guilds, whereas Methanosarcinales were not detected in the studied soil. The detected methanogens seem to be capable of persisting despite a highly oxic low-temperature environment. Methanogenic and methanotrophic activities and abundances of methanotrophs, Methanococcales and Methanocella spp. declined with altitude. Methanogenic and methanotrophic abundances were best explained by mean annual soil temperature and dissolved organic carbon, respectively. Alpine belt soils harbored significantly more methane-cyclers than those of the nival belt, indicating some influence of plant cover. Our results show that methanogens are capable of persisting in high-alpine cold soils and might help to understand future changes of these environments caused by climate warming.

  10. Changes in chloroplast ultrastructure in some high-alpine plants: adaptation to metabolic demands and climate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lütz, C; Engel, L

    2007-01-01

    The cytology of leaf cells from five different high-alpine plants was studied and compared with structures in chloroplasts from the typical high-alpine plant Ranunculus glacialis previously described as having frequent envelope plus stroma protrusions. The plants under investigation ranged from subalpine/alpine Geum montanum through alpine Geum reptans, Poa alpina var. vivipara, and Oxyria digyna to nival Cerastium uniflorum and R. glacialis. The general leaf structure (by light microscopy) and leaf mesophyll cell ultrastructure (by transmission electron microscopy [TEM]) did not show any specialized structures unique to these mountain species. However, chloroplast protrusion formation could be found in G. reptans and, to a greater extent, in O. digyna. The other species exhibited only a low percentage of such chloroplast structural changes. Occurrence of protrusions in samples of G. montanum and O. digyna growing in a mild climate at about 50 m above sea level was drastically reduced. Serial TEM sections of O. digyna cells showed that the protrusions can appear as rather broad and long appendices of plastids, often forming pocketlike structures where mitochondria and microbodies are in close vicinity to the plastid and to each other. It is suggested that some high-alpine plants may form such protrusions to facilitate fast exchange of molecules between cytoplasm and plastid as an adaptation to the short, often unfavorable vegetation period in the Alps, while other species may have developed different types of adaptation that are not expressed in ultrastructural changes of the plastids.

  11. Ungulate herbivory on alpine willow in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeigenfuss, L.C.; Schoenecker, K.A.; Amburg, L.K.V.

    2011-01-01

    In many areas of the Rocky Mountains, elk (Cervus elaphus) migrate from low-elevation mountain valleys during spring to high-elevation subalpine and alpine areas for the summer. Research has focused on the impacts of elk herbivory on winter-range plant communities, particularly on woody species such as willow and aspen; however, little information is available on the effects of elk herbivory on alpine willows. In the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of south central Colorado, select alpine areas appear to receive high levels of summer elk herbivory, while other areas are nearly unbrowsed. In 2005 and 2008, we measured willow height, cover, and utilization on sites that appeared to be used heavily by elk, as well as on sites that appeared to be used lightly, to determine differences between these communities over time. We found less willow cover and shorter willows at sites that received higher levels of browsing compared to those that had lower levels of browsing. Human recreational use was greater at lightly browsed sites than at highly browsed sites. From 2005 to 2008, willow utilization declined, and willow cover and height increased at sites with heavy browsing, likely owing to ownership change of adjacent valley land which led to (1) removal of grazing competition from, cattle at valley locations and (2) increased human use in alpine areas, which displaced elk. We discuss the implications of increased human use and climate change on elk use of these alpine habitats. ?? 2011.

  12. The southernmost Andean Mountain soils: a toposequence from Nothofagus Forest to Sub Antarctic Tundra at Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firme Sá, Mariana M.; Schaefer, Carlos E.; Loureiro, Diego C.; Simas, Felipe N.; Francelino, Marcio R.; Senra, Eduardo O.

    2015-04-01

    Located at the southern tip of the Fuegian Andes Cordilhera, the Martial glacier witnessed a rapid process of retreat in the last century. Up to now little is known about the development and genesis of soils of this region. A toposequence of six soils, ranging from 430-925 m a.s.l, was investigated, with emphasis on genesis, chemical and mineralogical properties. The highest, youngest soil is located just below the Martial Glacier Martial Sur sector, and the lowest soils occur on sloping moraines under Nothofagus pumilio forests. Based on chemical, physical and mineralogical characteristics, the soils were classified according to the Soil taxonomy, being keyed out as Inceptisols and Entisols. Soil parent material of the soil is basically moraines, in which the predominant lithic components dominated by metamorphic rocks, with allochthonous contributions of wind-blown materials (very small fragments of volcanic glass) observed by hand lens in all horizons, except the highest profile under Tundra. In Nothofagus Deciduous Forests at the lowest part of the toposequence, poorly developed Inceptisols occur with Folistic horizons, with mixed "andic" and "spodic" characters, but with a predominance of andosolization (Andic Drystrocryepts). Under Tundra vegetation, Inceptisols are formed under hydromorphism and andosolization processes (Oxiaquic Dystrocrepts and Typic Dystrocrepts). On highland periglacial environments, soils without B horizon with strong evidence of cryoturbation and cryogenesis occur, without present-day permafrost down to 2 meters (Typic Cryorthents and Lithic Haploturbels). The mountain soils of Martial glacier generalize young, stony and rich in organic matter, with the exception of barely vegetated Tundra soils at higher altitudes. The forest soils are more acidic and have higher Al3+activity. All soils are dystrophic, except for the highest profile of the local periglacial environment. The organic carbon amounts are higher in forest soils and

  13. The exchange of carbon dioxide between wet arctic tundra and the atmosphere at the Lena River Delta, Northern Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Kutzbach

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The exchange fluxes of carbon dioxide between wet arctic polygonal tundra and the atmosphere were investigated by the micrometeorological eddy covariance method. The investigation site was situated in the centre of the Lena River Delta in Northern Siberia (72°22' N, 126°30' E. The study region is characterized by a polar and distinctly continental climate, very cold and ice-rich permafrost and its position at the interface between the Eurasian continent and the Arctic Ocean. The soils at the site are characterized by high organic matter content, low nutrient availability and pronounced water logging. The vegetation is dominated by sedges and mosses. The micrometeorological campaigns were performed during the periods July–October 2003 and May–July 2004 which included the period of snow and soil thaw as well as the beginning of soil refreeze. The main CO2 exchange processes, the gross photosynthesis and the ecosystem respiration, were found to be of a generally low intensity. The gross photosynthesis accumulated to –432 g m−2 over the photosynthetically active period (June–September. The contribution of mosses to the gross photosynthesis was estimated to be about 40%. The diurnal trend of the gross photosynthesis was mainly controlled by the incoming photosynthetically active radiation. During midday the photosynthetic apparatus of the canopy was frequently near saturation and represented the limiting factor on gross photosynthesis. The synoptic weather conditions strongly affected the exchange fluxes of CO2 by changes in cloudiness, precipitation and pronounced changes of air temperature. The ecosystem respiration accumulated to +327 g m−2 over the photosynthetically active period, which corresponds to 76% of the CO2 uptake by photosynthesis. However, the ecosystem respiration continued at substantial rates during autumn when photosynthesis had ceased and the soils

  14. Precipitation observation using microwave backhaul links in the alpine and pre-alpine region of Southern Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Chwala

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Measuring rain rates over complex terrain is afflicted with large uncertainties because rain gauges are influenced by orography and weather radars are mostly not able to look into mountain valleys. We apply a new method to estimate near surface rain rates exploiting attenuation data from commercial microwave links in the alpine region of Southern Germany. Received signal level (RSL data is recorded minutely with small data loggers at the towers and then sent to a database server via GSM. Due to the large RSL fluctuations in periods without rain, the determination of attenuation caused by precipitation is not straightforward. To be able to continuously process the RSL data from July 2010 to October 2010, we introduce a new method to detect wet and dry periods using spectral time series analysis. We show the performance and limitations of the method and analyse the derived rain rates compared to rain gauge and weather radar measurements. The resulting correlations differ for different links and reach values of R2 = 0.80 for the link-gauge comparison and R2 = 0.84 for the link-radar comparison.

  15. Precipitation observation using microwave backhaul links in the alpine and pre-alpine region of Southern Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Chwala

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Measuring rain rates over complex terrain is afflicted with large uncertainties, because rain gauges are influenced by orography and weather radars are mostly not able to look into mountain valleys. We apply a new method to estimate near surface rain rates exploiting attenuation data from commercial microwave links in the alpine region of Southern Germany. Received signal level (RSL data are recorded minutely with small data loggers at the towers and then sent to a database server via GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications. Due to the large RSL fluctuations in periods without rain, the determination of attenuation caused by precipitation is not straightforward. To be able to continuously process the RSL data from July 2010 to October 2010, we introduce a new method to detect wet and dry periods using spectral time series analysis. Its performance and limitations are presented, showing that the mean detection error rates of wet and dry periods can be reduced to 10% for all five links. After, the wet/dry classification rain rates are derived from the RSL and compared to rain gauge and weather radar measurements. The resulting correlations differ for different links and reach values of R2 = 0.81 for the link-gauge comparison and R2 = 0.85 for the link-radar comparison.

  16. The ubiquity of alpine plant radiations: from the Andes to the Hengduan Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Colin E; Atchison, Guy W

    2015-07-01

    Alpine plant radiations are compared across the world's major mountain ranges and shown to be overwhelmingly young and fast, largely confined to the Pliocene and Pleistocene, and some of them apparently in the early explosive phase of radiation. Accelerated diversification triggered by island-like ecological opportunities following the final phases of mountain uplift, and in many cases enabled by the key adaptation of perennial habit, provides a general model for alpine plant radiations. Accelerated growth form evolution facilitated by perenniality provides compelling evidence of ecological release and suggests striking parallels between island-like alpine, and especially tropicalpine radiations, and island radiations more generally. These parallels suggest that the world's mountains offer an excellent comparative system for explaining evolutionary radiation.

  17. Dust inputs and bacteria influence dissolved organic matter in clear alpine lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mladenov, N; Sommaruga, R; Morales-Baquero, R; Laurion, I; Camarero, L; Diéguez, M C; Camacho, A; Delgado, A; Torres, O; Chen, Z; Felip, M; Reche, I

    2011-01-01

    Remote lakes are usually unaffected by direct human influence, yet they receive inputs of atmospheric pollutants, dust, and other aerosols, both inorganic and organic. In remote, alpine lakes, these atmospheric inputs may influence the pool of dissolved organic matter, a critical constituent for the biogeochemical functioning of aquatic ecosystems. Here, to assess this influence, we evaluate factors related to aerosol deposition, climate, catchment properties, and microbial constituents in a global dataset of 86 alpine and polar lakes. We show significant latitudinal trends in dissolved organic matter quantity and quality, and uncover new evidence that this geographic pattern is influenced by dust deposition, flux of incident ultraviolet radiation, and bacterial processing. Our results suggest that changes in land use and climate that result in increasing dust flux, ultraviolet radiation, and air temperature may act to shift the optical quality of dissolved organic matter in clear, alpine lakes.

  18. Alpine meteorology: translations of classic contributions by A. Wagner, E. Ekhart, and F. Defant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whiteman, C.D.; Dreiseitl, E. (eds.)

    1984-06-01

    The English translations of four classic research papers in Alpine meteorology, originally published in German and French in the 1930s and 1940s are presented in this report. The papers include: A. Wagner's 1938 paper entitled Theory and Observation of Periodic Mountain Winds; E. Ekhart's 1944 paper entitled Contributions to Alpine Meteorology; E. Ekhart's 1948 paper entitled On the Thermal Structure of the Mountain Atmosphere; and F. Defant's 1949 paper entitled A Theory of Slope Winds, Along with Remarks on the Theory of Mountain Winds and Valley Winds. A short introduction to these translations summarizes four recent Alpine meteorology field experients, emphasizing ongoing research that extends the research of Wagner, Ekhart, and Defant. The four experiments include the Innsbruck Slope Wind Experiment of 1978, the MESOKLIP Experiment of 1979, the DISKUS Experiment of 1980, and the ALPEX/MERKUR Experiment of 1982.

  19. Moisture and temperature controls on nitrification differ among ammonia oxidizer communities from three alpine soil habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborne, Brooke B.; Baron, Jill S.; Wallenstein, Matthew D.

    2016-03-01

    Climate change is altering the timing and magnitude of biogeochemical fluxes in many highelevation ecosystems. The consequent changes in alpine nitrification rates have the potential to influence ecosystem scale responses. In order to better understand how changing temperature and moisture conditions may influence ammonia oxidizers and nitrification activity, we conducted laboratory incubations on soils collected in a Colorado watershed from three alpine habitats (glacial outwash, talus, and meadow). We found that bacteria, not archaea, dominated all ammonia oxidizer communities. Nitrification increased with moisture in all soils and under all temperature treatments. However, temperature was not correlated with nitrification rates in all soils. Site-specific temperature trends suggest the development of generalist ammonia oxidzer communities in soils with greater in situ temperature fluctuations and specialists in soils with more steady temperature regimes. Rapidly increasing temperatures and changing soil moisture conditions could explain recent observations of increased nitrate production in some alpine soils.

  20. Inspection of Alpine glaciers with cosmic-ray muon radiography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishiyama, Ryuichi; Ariga, Akitaka; Ariga, Tomoko; Ereditato, Antonio; Lechmann, Alessandro; Mair, David; Scampoli, Paola; Schlunegger, Fritz; Vladymyrov, Mykhailo

    2016-04-01

    Radiography using cosmic-ray muons represents a challenging method for probing the bedrock topography beneath Alpine glaciers. We present the current status of our feasibility study at Eiger glacier, situated on the western flank of the Eiger in the Jungfrau region, Central Swiss Alps. The muon radiography is a technique that has been recently developed to investigate the internal density profiles of geoscientific targets. It is based on the measurement of the absorption of the cosmic-ray muons inside a material. Because the energy spectrum of cosmic-ray muons and the energy dependence of muon range have been studied well during the past years, the attenuation of the muon flux can be used to derive the column density, i.e. the density integrated along the muon trajectories, of geoscientific targets. This technique has recently been applied for non-invasive inspection of volcanoes, nuclear reactors, seismic faults, caves and etc. The greatest advantage of the method in the field of glacier studies is that it yields a unique solution of the density underneath a glacier without any assumption of physical properties inside the target. Large density contrasts, as expected between glacier ice (˜ 1.0g/cm3) and bedrock (˜ 2.5g/cm3), would allow us to elucidate the shape of the bedrock in high resolution. Accordingly, this technology will provide for the first time information on the bedrock surface beneath a steep and non-accessible Alpine glacier, in a complementary way with respect to other exploration methods (drilling, ground penetrating radar, seismic survey, gravity explorations and etc.). Our first aim is to demonstrate the feasibility of the method through a case study at the Eiger glacier, situated in the Central Swiss Alps. The Eiger glacier straddles the western flank of the Eiger between 3700 and 2300 m above sea level (a.s.l.). The glacier has shortened by about 150 m during the past 30 years in response to the ongoing global warming, causing a concern for

  1. Seasonal variation in soil nitrogen availability across a fertilization chronosequence in moist acidic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaren, J. R.; Gough, L.; Weintraub, M. N.

    2012-12-01

    Changes in global climate may result in altered timing of seasonal events including the timing of the spring-thaw and fall freeze-up. In addition to this changing seasonality, arctic environments are experiencing overall increases in nutrient availability caused by climate warming resulting in alterations of plant species composition, such as the observed increases in the abundance of deciduous shrubs. Changing species composition may have large effects on nutrient dynamics in the surrounding ecosystem because of documented differences in how particular plant species influence soil nutrient availability. Although we have some idea of how plant identity influences soil nutrients, soil biogeochemical processes are strongly seasonal, and we have a poor understanding of how plant identity, or nutrient levels, may influence these seasonal patterns. We examined the responses of moist acidic tundra to experimentally increased soil nutrient availability and the accompanying increase in shrub abundance at the Arctic Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site at Toolik Lake, Alaska. We examined a chrono-sequence of long-term fertilization experiments, composed of experiments fertilized for 5, 15 and 22 years, which has resulted in increasing shrub density with time since fertilization. The fertilized plots receive both nitrogen (N, 10 g/m2/yr) and phosphorus (5 g/m2/yr) annually following snowmelt. In the 2011 growing season we measured variation in soil available N weekly, including measures of ammonium (NH4), nitrate (NO3) and total free amino acids (TFAA). We found that differences between fertilized and control plots depended strongly on both the seasonal timing of measurements, as well as the duration of the fertilization treatment. Early in the growing season fertilization resulted in large increases in available soil N (both NH4 and NO3) across the entire chronosequence. As the season progressed, however, older fertilized plots show evidence of N saturation, where

  2. Timing, Magnitude and Sources of Ecosystem Respiration in High Arctic Tundra of NW Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupascu, M.; Xu, X.; Lett, C.; Maseyk, K. S.; Lindsey, D. S.; Thomas, J. S.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2011-12-01

    High arctic ecosystems with low vegetation density contain significant stocks of organic carbon (C) in the form of soil organic matter that range in age from modern to ancient. How rapidly these C pools can be mineralized and lost to the atmosphere as CO2 (ecosystem respiration, ER) as a consequence of warming and, or changes in precipitation is a major uncertainty in our understanding of current and future arctic biogeochemistry and for predicting future levels of atmospheric CO2. In a 2-year study (2010-2011), we monitored seasonal changes in the magnitude, timing and sources of ER and soil pore space CO2 in the High Arctic of NW Greenland under current and simulated, future climate conditions. Measurements were taken from May to August at a multi-factorial, long-term climate change experiment in prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra on patterned ground with 5 treatments: (T1) +2oC warming, (T2) +4oC warming, (W) +50% summer precipitation, (T2W) +4oC + 50% summer precipitation, and (C) control. ER (using opaque chambers) and soil CO2 concentrations (wells) were monitored daily via infrared spectroscopy (LI-COR 800 & 840). The source of CO2 was inferred from its radiocarbon (14C) content analyzed at the AMS facility in UCI. CO2 was sampled monthly using molecular sieve traps (chambers) or evacuated canisters (wells). Highest rates of ER are observed on vegetated ground with a maximum in mid summer - reflecting a peak in plant productivity and soil temperature. Respiration rates from bare ground remain similar throughout the summer. Additional soil moisture, administered or due to precipitation events, strongly enhances ER from both vegetated and bare ground. Daily ER budget for the sampling period was of 53.1 mmol C m-2 day-1 for the (C) vegetated areas compared to the 60.0 for the (T2), 68.1 for the (T2W) or the 79.9 for the (W) treatment. ER was highly correlated to temperature (eg. C = 0.8; T2W = 0.8) until middle of July, when heavy precipitation started to occur. In

  3. 高山林线形成机制及假说的探讨%Hypotheses of alpine timberline formation mechanism: A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋洪涛; 程颂; 孙守琴

    2009-01-01

    As a sensitive transitional zone between forest and tundra, timberline has always been considered by ecologists to be an ecologically fragile zone, an amplifier of outside interference signals, and a global climate change early warning zone. Since the 1980s, many studies have been made on the effects of global climate change on alpine timberline, mainly addressed the re-lationships of the upper limits of timberline with altitude and latitude, and in particular, the re-sponses of timberline location to global warming. Several hypotheses were proposed to examine the timberline formation of various tree species affected by environmental factors. This paper sum-marized these hypotheses, and discussed some potential studies in the future.%高山林线作为森林向苔原过渡的敏感带,历来被生态学家视为生态脆弱区、外界干扰信号的放大器和全球变化重要的预警区.20世纪80年代开始,许多研究关注全球变化对高山林线的影响,这一阶段针对林线海拔高度、纬度位置之间的关系及对未来热环境的响应研究已成为众多学者研究的焦点之一.众多学者依据自身研究目的、不同树种出现上限的原因、局部上影响林木的因子间的差异,在区域上对高山林线的形成机制的提出了诸多假说.本文针对这些假说进行了综述和探讨,并就其中不足之处提出质疑,提出今后需要深入研究的几个方向.

  4. Spatial distribution of stable water isotopes in alpine snow cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Dietermann

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to analyse and predict the mean stable water isotopic composition of the snow cover at specific geographic locations and altitudes. In addition, the dependence of the isotopic composition of the entire snow cover on altitude was analysed. Snow in four Swiss catchments was sampled at the end of the accumulation period in April 2010 and a second time during snowmelt in May 2010 and analysed for stable isotope composition of 2H and 18O. The sampling was conducted at both south-facing and north-facing slopes at elevation differences of 100 m, for a total altitude difference of approximately 1000 m. The observed variability of isotopic composition of the snow cover was analysed with stepwise multiple linear regression models. The analysis indicated that there is only a limited altitude effect on the isotopic composition when considering all samples. This is due to the high variability of the isotopic composition of the precipitation during the winter months and, in particular in the case of south-facing slopes, an enrichment of heavy isotopes due to intermittent melting processes. This enrichment effect could clearly be observed in the samples which were taken later in the year. A small altitudinal gradient of the isotopic composition could only be observed at some north-facing slopes. However, the dependence of snow depth and the day of the year were significant predictor variables in all models. This study indicates the necessity to further study the variability of water isotopes in the snow cover to increase prediction for isotopic composition of snowmelt and hence increase model performance of residence time models for alpine areas in order to better understand the accumulation processes and the sources of water in the snow cover of high mountains.

  5. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus Surveillance for Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge: Batches 651NC and 670NC Summaries.

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Batch summaries from the National Wildlife Health Center of test results from oral-pharyngeal and cloacal swabs collected on Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks on Pocosin...

  6. A sampling method for tundra swans summering in the Bristol Bay lowlands, northern Alaska Peninsula: A summary of a presentation given at the second Alaska Bird Conference, Juneau, Alaska 3-4 April 1987

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A "census" of tundra swans occurring in the northern Alaska Peninsula was collected over 1984-1985, with supplemental information provided from preliminary surveys...

  7. Seasonal variation of allochthonous and autochthonous energy inputs in an alpine stream

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Fenoglio

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Despite the enormous importance of alpine streams, information about many aspects of their ecology is still insufficient. Alpine lotic systems differ in many environmental characteristics from those lower down, for example because above tree line streams drain catchments where terrestrial vegetation is scarce and allochthonous organic input is expected to be small. The main objectives of this study were to examine seasonal variation of autochthonous and allochthonous energetic inputs and their relationship with macroinvertebrate communities in the Po river, an alpine non-glacial stream (NW Italy. For one year, samplings were monthly performed in a homogeneous 100 m stream reach for discharge, autochthonous energy input (benthic chlorophyll a, allochthonous energy input (coarse particulate organic matter, abundance and structure of benthic macroinvertebrate community. Chlorophyll a concentrations were in the range of what reported for other alpine streams, but presented a time-lag with respect to what has been reported for glacial-fed mountain rivers. CPOM amounts were lower than those in lowland, forested streams of the same area but exhibited an intriguing, different seasonal variability, probably reported for the first time, with a maximum in spring and a minimum in winter. We collected 29,950 macroinvertebrates belonging to 13 families and 10 orders. Benthic communities were essentially dominated by Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Diptera. Scrapers was the most important FFG, but also Shredders were well represented. Relationships between chlorophyll a concentrations, CPOM availability and macroinvertebrate community characteristics were analysed and discussed considering the existence of different top-down or bottom-up regulation mechanisms. This study confirms that benthic algae constitute an essential resource for macroinvertebrates in alpine streams above the tree line but also underlines the importance of terrestrial organic input, a

  8. A comparison between energy transfer and atmospheric turbulent exchanges over alpine meadow and banana plantation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Zhangwei; Ma, Yaoming; Wen, Zhiping; Ma, Weiqiang

    2016-04-01

    Banana plantation and alpine meadow ecosystems in southern China and the Tibetan Plateau are unique in the underlying surfaces they exhibit. In this study, we used eddy covariance and a micrometeorological tower to examine the characteristics of land surface energy exchanges over a banana plantation in southern China and an alpine meadow in the Tibetan Plateau from May 2010 to August 2012. The results showed that the diurnal and seasonal variations in upward shortwave radiation flux and surface soil heat flux were larger over the alpine meadow than over the banana plantation surface. Dominant energy partitioning varied with season. Latent heat flux was the main consumer of net radiation flux in the growing season, whereas sensible heat flux was the main consumer during other periods. The Monin-Obukhov similarity theory was employed for comparative purposes, using sonic anemometer observations of flow over the surfaces of banana plantations in the humid southern China monsoon region and the semi-arid areas of the TP, and was found to be applicable. Over banana plantation and alpine meadow areas, the average surface albedo and surface aerodynamic roughness lengths under neutral atmospheric conditions were ~0.128 and 0.47m, and ~0.223 and 0.01m, respectively. During the measuring period, the mean annual bulk transfer coefficients for momentum and sensible heat were 1.47×10-2 and 7.13×10-3, and 2.91×10-3 and 1.96×10-3, for banana plantation and alpine meadow areas, respectively. This is the first time in Asia that long-term open field measurements have been taken with the specific aim of making comparisons between banana plantation and alpine meadow surfaces.

  9. Permafrost and surface energy balance of a polygonal tundra site in Northern Siberia – Part 2: Winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Langer

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost is largely determined by the surface energy balance. Its vulnerability to degradation due to climate warming depends on complex soil-atmosphere interactions. This article is the second part of a comprehensive surface energy balance study at a polygonal tundra site in Northern Siberia. It comprises two consecutive winter periods from October 2007 to May 2008 and from October 2008 to January 2009. The surface energy balance is obtained by independent measurements of the radiation budget, the sensible heat flux and the ground heat flux, whereas the latent heat flux is inferred from measurements of the atmospheric turbulence characteristics and a model approach. The measurements reveal that the long-wave radiation is the dominant factor in the surface energy balance. The radiative losses are balanced to about 60% by the ground heat flux and almost 40% by the sensible heat fluxes, whereas the contribution of the latent heat flux is found to be relatively small. The main controlling factors of the surface energy budget are the snow cover, the cloudiness and the soil temperature gradient. Significant spatial differences in the surface energy balance are observed between the tundra soils and a small pond. The heat flux released from the subsurface heat storage is by a factor of two increased at the freezing pond during the entire winter period, whereas differences in the radiation budget are only observed at the end of winter. Inter-annual differences in the surface energy balance are related to differences in snow depth, which substantially affect the temperature evolution at the investigated pond. The obtained results demonstrate the importance of the ground heat flux for the soil-atmosphere energy exchange and reveal high spatial and temporal variabilities in the subsurface heat budget during winter.

  10. Spatial and temporal variation of bulk snow properties in northern boreal and tundra environments based on extensive field measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannula, Henna-Reetta; Lemmetyinen, Juha; Kontu, Anna; Derksen, Chris; Pulliainen, Jouni

    2016-08-01

    An extensive in situ data set of snow depth, snow water equivalent (SWE), and snow density collected in support of the European Space Agency (ESA) SnowSAR-2 airborne campaigns in northern Finland during the winter of 2011-2012 is presented (ESA Earth Observation Campaigns data 2000-2016). The suitability of the in situ measurement protocol to provide an accurate reference for the simultaneous airborne SAR (synthetic aperture radar) data products over different land cover types was analysed in the context of spatial scale, sample spacing, and uncertainty. The analysis was executed by applying autocorrelation analysis and root mean square difference (RMSD) error estimations. The results showed overall higher variability for all the three bulk snow parameters over tundra, open bogs and lakes (due to wind processes); however, snow depth tended to vary over shorter distances in forests (due to snow-vegetation interactions). Sample spacing/sample size had a statistically significant effect on the mean snow depth over all land cover types. Analysis executed for 50, 100, and 200 m transects revealed that in most cases less than five samples were adequate to describe the snow depth mean with RMSD < 5 %, but for land cover with high overall variability an indication of increased sample size of 1.5-3 times larger was gained depending on the scale and the desired maximum RMSD. Errors for most of the land cover types reached ˜ 10 % if only three measurements were considered. The collected measurements, which are available via the ESA website upon registration, compose an exceptionally large manually collected snow data set in Scandinavian taiga and tundra environments. This information represents a valuable contribution to the snow research community and can be applied to various snow studies.

  11. Enhanced summer warming reduces fungal decomposer diversity and litter mass loss more strongly in dry than in wet tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Casper T; Haugwitz, Merian S; Priemé, Anders; Nielsen, Cecilie S; Elberling, Bo; Michelsen, Anders; Grogan, Paul; Blok, Daan

    2017-01-01

    Many Arctic regions are currently experiencing substantial summer and winter climate changes. Litter decomposition is a fundamental component of ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycles, with fungi being among the primary decomposers. To assess the impacts of seasonal climatic changes on litter fungal communities and their functioning, Betula glandulosa leaf litter was surface-incubated in two adjacent low Arctic sites with contrasting soil moisture regimes: dry shrub heath and wet sedge tundra at Disko Island, Greenland. At both sites, we investigated the impacts of factorial combinations of enhanced summer warming (using open-top chambers; OTCs) and deepened snow (using snow fences) on surface litter mass loss, chemistry and fungal decomposer communities after approximately 1 year. Enhanced summer warming significantly restricted litter mass loss by 32% in the dry and 17% in the wet site. Litter moisture content was significantly reduced by summer warming in the dry, but not in the wet site. Likewise, fungal total abundance and diversity were reduced by OTC warming at the dry site, while comparatively modest warming effects were observed in the wet site. These results suggest that increased evapotranspiration in the OTC plots lowered litter moisture content to the point where fungal decomposition activities became inhibited. In contrast, snow addition enhanced fungal abundance in both sites but did not significantly affect litter mass loss rates. Across sites, control plots only shared 15% of their fungal phylotypes, suggesting strong local controls on fungal decomposer community composition. Nevertheless, fungal community functioning (litter decomposition) was negatively affected by warming in both sites. We conclude that although buried soil organic matter decomposition is widely expected to increase with future summer warming, surface litter decay and nutrient turnover rates in both xeric and relatively moist tundra are likely to be significantly restricted by

  12. Occurrence of matrix-bound phosphine in polar ornithogenic tundra ecosystems: effects of alkaline phosphatase activity and environmental variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Renbin; Ma, Dawei; Ding, Wei; Bai, Bo; Liu, Yashu; Sun, Jianjun

    2011-09-01

    Phosphine (PH(3)), a reduced phosphorus compound, is a highly toxic and reactive atmospheric trace gas. In this study, a total of ten ornithogenic soil/sediment profiles were collected from tundra ecosystems of east Antarctica and Arctic, and matrix-bound phosphine (MBP), the phosphorus fractions and alkaline phosphatase activity (APA) were analyzed. High MBP concentrations were found in these profiles with the range from 39.59 ng kg(-1) dw to 11.77 μg kg(-1) dw. MBP showed a consistent vertical distribution pattern in almost all the soil profiles, and its concentrations increased at soil surface layers and then decreased with depths. MBP levels in the ornithogenic soils were two to three orders of magnitude lower than those in ornithogenic sediments. The yield of PH(3) as a fraction of total P in all the profiles ranged from 10(-5) to 10(-9) mgPH(3) mg(-1)P with higher mean PH(3) yield in the ornithogenic sediments. The ornithogenic soils showed high concentrations of total phosphorus (TP), organic phosphorus (OP), inorganic phosphorus (IP) and metal elements (Cu, Zn, Mn, Fe, Al and Ca) but low MBP levels, vice versa for the ornithogenic sediments. No correlation had been obtained between MBP concentrations and IP, OP and TP. There existed an exponential correlation (r=0.67, psoil/sediment moisture. MBP concentrations showed a significant positive correlation with APA (r=0.668, psoils/sediments. Our results indicated that MBP is an important gaseous link in the phosphorus biogeochemical cycles of ornithogenic tundra ecosystems in Antarctica and Arctic.

  13. Cultural Resilience of Nenets Social-Ecological Systems in Arctic Russia: A Focus on Reindeer Nomads of the Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, B. C.

    2013-12-01

    Empirical data on resilience in social-ecological systems (SESs) are reviewed from local and regional scale case studies among full-time nomads in the neighbouring Nenets and Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs, Russia. The focus is on critical cultural factors contributing to SES resilience. In particular, this work presents an integrated view of people situated in specific tundra landscapes that face significantly different prospects for adaptation depending on existing or planned infrastructure associated with oil and gas development. Factors contributing to general resilience are compared to those that are adapted to certain spatial and temporal contexts. Environmental factors include ample space and an abundance of resources, such as fish and game (e.g. geese), to augment the diet of not only the migratory herders, but also residents from coastal settlements. In contrast to other regions, such as the Nenets Okrug, Yamal Nenets households consist of intact nuclear families with high retention among youth in the nomadic tundra population. Accepting attitudes toward exogenous drivers such as climate change and industrial development appear to play a significant role in how people react to both extreme weather events and piecemeal confiscation or degradation of territory. Consciousness of their role as responsible stewards of the territories they occupy has likely been a factor in maintaining viable wildlife populations over centuries. Institutions administering reindeer herding have remained flexible, especially on Yamal, and so accommodate decision-making that is sensitive to herders' needs and timetables. This affects factors such as herd demography, mobility and energetics. Resilience is further facilitated within the existing governance regimes by herders' own agency, most recently in the post-Soviet shift to smaller, privately managed herds that can better utilize available pastures in a highly dynamic environment experiencing rapid socio-economic, climate and

  14. Climatically induced interannual variability in aboveground production in forest-tundra and northern taiga of central Siberia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knorre, Anastasia A; Kirdyanov, Alexander V; Vaganov, Eugene A

    2006-02-01

    To investigate the variability of primary production of boreal forest ecosystems under the current climatic changes, we compared the dynamics of annual increments and productivity of the main components of plant community (trees, shrubs, mosses) at three sites in the north of Siberia (Russia). Annual radial growth of trees and shrubs was mostly defined by summer temperature regime (positive correlation), but climatic response of woody plants was species specific and depends on local conditions. Dynamics of annual increments of mosses were opposite to tree growth. The difference in climatic response of the different vegetation components of the forest ecosystems indicates that these components seem to be adapted to use climatic conditions during the short and severe northern summer, and decreasing in annual production of one component is usually combined with the increase of other component productivity. Average productivity in the northern forest ecosystems varies from 0.05 to 0.14 t ha(-1) year(-1) for trees, from 0.05 to 0.18 t ha(-1) year(-1) for shrubs and from 0.54 to 0.66 t ha(-1) year(-1) for mosses. Higher values of tree productivity combined with lower annual moss productivity were found in sites in northern taiga in comparison with forest-tundra. Different tendencies in the productivity of the dominant species from each vegetation level (trees, shrubs, mosses) were indicated for the last 10 years studied (1990-1999): while productivity of mosses is increasing, productivity of trees is decreasing, but there is no obvious trend in the productivity of shrubs. Our results show that in the long term, the main contribution to changes in annual biomass productivity in forest-tundra and northern taiga ecosystems under the predicted climatic changes will be determined by living ground cover.

  15. InSAR Detection and Field Evidence for Thermokarst after a Tundra Wildfire, Using ALOS-PALSAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Go Iwahana

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Thermokarst is the process of ground subsidence caused by either the thawing of ice-rich permafrost or the melting of massive ground ice. The consequences of permafrost degradation associated with thermokarst for surface ecology, landscape evolution, and hydrological processes have been of great scientific interest and social concern. Part of a tundra patch affected by wildfire in northern Alaska (27.5 km2 was investigated here, using remote sensing and in situ surveys to quantify and understand permafrost thaw dynamics after surface disturbances. A two-pass differential InSAR technique using L-band ALOS-PALSAR has been shown capable of capturing thermokarst subsidence triggered by a tundra fire at a spatial resolution of tens of meters, with supporting evidence from field data and optical satellite images. We have introduced a calibration procedure, comparing burned and unburned areas for InSAR subsidence signals, to remove the noise due to seasonal surface movement. In the first year after the fire, an average subsidence rate of 6.2 cm/year (vertical was measured. Subsidence in the burned area continued over the following two years, with decreased rates. The mean rate of subsidence observed in our interferograms (from 24 July 2008 to 14 September 2010 was 3.3 cm/year, a value comparable to that estimated from field surveys at two plots on average (2.2 cm/year for the six years after the fire. These results suggest that this InSAR-measured ground subsidence is caused by the development of thermokarst, a thawing process supported by surface change observations from high-resolution optical images and in situ ground level surveys.

  16. Behavioral patterns of captive alpine musk deer: sex-specific behavior comparisons

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lin LU; Peishi YAN; Xiuxiang MENG; Jinchao FENG; Hongfa XU; Qisen YANG; Zuojian FENG

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to document the behavior of captive alpine musk deer and to determine if daily behavior patterns varied between females and males. From August 2002 to January 2003, focal sampling was used to observe 32 adult captive alpine musk deer (13 female and 19 male) at Xinglongshan Musk Deer Farm (XMDF), Xinglongshan National Nature Reserve, Gansu Province. Results indicated similar behavior patterns for males and females, with only two out of 12 recorded behaviors showing significant sex differences. In comparison to females, males rested for a longer duration and exhibited tail pasting more frequently. This study also provided the first recording of tail pasting by female musk deer.

  17. Effect of Wet Settlement on Mercury in Alpine Soil in Mercury Mining Area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HEJIN-LIN; TANHONG

    1995-01-01

    There is abundance of Mercury mine resurces in the Fanjinshan Mountain,Mining mercury has a long history there,The concentration of geseous Hg produced in smelting He reaches 20-50mg/m3 in the tail gas.Because mercury element is an easily transferring microelement,the paper talks about the effect of mercury in Hg mining in Guizhou Province on alpine soil,analyses Hg content in alpine soil at 2000 m of relative elevation in the Hg mining area,and explores for causes of the Hg pollution.

  18. Winter streamflow analysis in frozen, alpine catchments to quantify groundwater contribution and properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoelzle, Michael; Weiler, Markus

    2016-04-01

    Alpine catchments are often considered as quickly responding systems where streamflow contributions from subsurface storages (groundwater) are mostly negligible due to the steep topography, low permeable bedrock and the absence of well-developed soils. Many studies in high altitude catchments have hence focused on water stored in snowpack and glaciers or on rainfall-runoff processes as the dominant streamflow contributions. Interestingly less effort has been devoted to winter streamflow analysis when melt- or rainfall-driven contributions are switched off due to the frozen state of the catchment. Considering projected changes in the alpine cryosphere (e.g. snow, glacier, permafrost) quantification of groundwater storage and contribution to streamflow is crucial to assess the social and ecological implications for downstream areas (e.g. water temperature, drought propagation). In this study we hypothesize that groundwater is the main streamflow contribution during winter and thus being responsible for the perennial regime of many alpine catchments. The hypothesis is investigated with well-known methods based on recession and breakpoint analysis of the streamflow regimes and temperature data to determine frozen periods. Analyzing nine catchments in Switzerland with mean elevation between 1000 and 2400 m asl, we found that above a mean elevation of 1800 m asl winter recessions are sufficient long and persistent enough to quantify groundwater contribution to streamflow and to characterize the properties of subsurface storage. The results show that groundwater in alpine catchment is the dominant streamflow contribution for nearly half a year and accountable for several hundred millimeter of annual streamflow. In sub-alpine catchments, driven by a mix of snowmelt and rainfall, a clear quantification of groundwater contributions is rather challenging due to discontinuous frozen periods in winter. We found that the inter-annual variability of different streamflow

  19. Distribution and diversity of Arctic-Alpine species in the Balkans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevanovic, Vladimir; Vukojicic, Snezana; Sinzar-Sekulic, Jasmina;

    2009-01-01

    The distributions of 77 Arctic-Alpine species in the Balkans are mapped and the centers of their richness and diversity presented. Within the Dinaric Alps these are Mts Vranica, Durmitor, and Prokletije; in the Scardo-Pindhic mountains, Šarplanina-Rudoka-Korab form a continuous chain; in the Rhod......The distributions of 77 Arctic-Alpine species in the Balkans are mapped and the centers of their richness and diversity presented. Within the Dinaric Alps these are Mts Vranica, Durmitor, and Prokletije; in the Scardo-Pindhic mountains, Šarplanina-Rudoka-Korab form a continuous chain...

  20. Les Nouvelles Traversées Alpines : la “cité-Europe” à l’épreuve de l’acceptabilité alpine ? The New alpine crossings : The “city-Europe” faces up to the alpine acceptability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Sutton

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available La pensée des traversées alpines est indissociable de celle des réseaux urbains alpins et, au-delà, européens. La nouvelle phase de percée des tunnels de base le réaffirme : les “Nouvelles Traversées Alpines” se retrouvent au coeur de l’enjeu de connexion des réseaux ferroviaires européens à grande vitesse. L’invention de la “cité-Europe” passe ainsi par la réinvention d’un pacte alpin autour du dessein de franchissement entre les villes de piedmonts et les communautés montagnardes traversées. Ces dernières ont, en effet, la capacité de bloquer un projet par leur refus. L’exemple du projet Lyon-Turin l’illustre, en contre-point de la réussite du tunnel de base du Lötschberg. La réussite suisse semble tenir à la capacité de conjuguer les inventions technique et sociale du tunnel, ne niant pas la dimension territoriale de cet objet réticulaire.It is impossible to think about the alpine crossings without thinking about the alpine and European urban nets. The construction of the basis tunnels recalls it: the “New Alpine Crossings” are the kernel of the connection issue between the European high-speed railways nets. The invention of a “city-Europe” needs a reinvented pact, between the cities of the plains and the alpine communities, based on the reaffirmation of a common crossing destiny. The alpine communities can thwart the project by refusing it, as the example of the Lyon-Turin project shows, in contrast to the successful Lötschberg basis tunnel. The Swiss success seems to come from the capacity to mix technical and social inventions, replacing the territorial dimension in the reticular fundament.

  1. Microsatellite Markers for the Chameleon Grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis (Orthoptera: Acrididae, an Australian Alpine Specialist

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate D. L. Umbers

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available A set of polymorphic loci was characterised using an enrichment library for the Australian alpine specialist, the chameleon grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis, an atypical grasshopper known for its remarkable temperature-controlled colour change. The number of alleles per locus ranged from three to 20 and observed heterozygosity from 0.16 to 0.76. These are the first microsatellite markers for a non-endangered Australian alpine animal and will inform questions of gene flow across the sky islands of this unique and threatened region.

  2. Microsatellite markers for the Chameleon grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), an Australian Alpine Specialist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umbers, Kate D L; Dennison, Siobhan; Manahan, Czarina A; Blondin, Laurence; Pagés, Christine; Risterucci, Ange-Marie; Chapuis, Marie-Pierre

    2012-01-01

    A set of polymorphic loci was characterised using an enrichment library for the Australian alpine specialist, the chameleon grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis), an atypical grasshopper known for its remarkable temperature-controlled colour change. The number of alleles per locus ranged from three to 20 and observed heterozygosity from 0.16 to 0.76. These are the first microsatellite markers for a non-endangered Australian alpine animal and will inform questions of gene flow across the sky islands of this unique and threatened region.

  3. Spatial and Temporal Variability of Methane Mole Fractions and Exchanges in and Between Soil, Snow, and the Atmosphere in a Tundra System in Northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agnan, Y.; Obrist, D.; Edwards, G. C.; Moore, C.; Hedge, C.; Helmig, D.; Paxton, D.; Jacques, H.

    2015-12-01

    An important global source of atmospheric methane (CH4) is production in tundra soils (an important global source). To place constraints on the potential role that tundra soils play in global CH4 cycling, we have been continuously measuring mole the air space in soils, snow, and the atmosphere as gradient-based surface-atmosphere fluxes for arctic tundra at Toolik Field Station (68° 38' N) starting in October 2014. We have found that atmospheric CH4 mole fractions were, on average, relatively constant during the first 9 months of sampling (averaging 1.93 µmol mol-1), with pronounced diel patterns starting in May and nighttime exceeding daytime mole fractions. However, gradients measured within the soil profile showed high variability in air withdrawn from different locations of these tundra soils (Typic Aquiturbels), with one soil profile indicating a CH4 sink during fall until January; mole fractions were similar to the atmospheric measurements during winter indicating no source or sink (average 1.89 µmol mol-1). A second soil profile 5 m away showed production of CH4 (average 2.48 µmol mol-1, two-times higher than atmospheric levels), even during mid-winter when soil temperatures were below -10 °C. Measurements of CH4 in interstitial snowpack air also exhibited a similar combination of sources and sinks. We used micrometeorological gradient surface flux measurements to confirm that the area was a net source of CH4 in fall, winter, and spring, with emissions averaging 26.6, 25.2, and 16.8 mg m-2 d-1, respectively. In the summer months, we saw strong diel flux patterns with deposition during day and emission at night, corresponding with observed diel variability in CH4 snowpack mole fractions. Our results indicated a high variability of tundra landscape CH4 fluxes, which locally shift from sources to sinks with high temporal variability. CH4 oxidation by methanotrophic bacteria probably occurs in tundra soils, confirming observations in one soil, snowpack, and

  4. Differences in dissolved organic matter lability between alpine glaciers and alpine rock glaciers of the American West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, E.; Fegel, T. S., II; Baron, J.; Boot, C. M.

    2015-12-01

    While alpine glaciers in montane regions represent the largest flux of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from global ice melt no research has examined the bioavailability of DOM melted out of glacial ice in the western continental United States. Furthermore, rock glaciers are an order of magnitude more abundant than ice glaciers in U.S., yet are not included in budgets for perennial ice carbon stores. Our research aims to understand differences in the bioavailability of carbon from ice glaciers and rock glaciers along the Central Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Identical microbial communities were fed standardized amounts of DOM from four different ice glacier-rock glaciers pairs. Using laboratory incubations, paired with mass spectrometry based metabolomics and 16S gene sequencing; we were able to examine functional definitions of DOM lability in glacial ice. We hypothesized that even though DOM quantities are similar in the outputs of both glacial types in our study area, ice glacial DOM would be more bioavailable than DOM from rock glaciers due to higher proportions of byproducts from microbial metabolism than rock glacier DOM, which has higher amounts of "recalcitrant" plant material. Our results show that DOM from ice glaciers is more labile than DOM from geologically and geographically similar paired rock glaciers. Ice glacier DOM represents an important pool of labile carbon to headwater ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains. Metabolomic analysis shows numerous compounds from varying metabolite pathways, including byproducts of nitrification before and after incubation, meaning that, similar to large maritime glaciers in Alaska and Europe, subglacial environments in the mountain ranges of the United States are hotspots for biological activity and processing of organic carbon.

  5. Molecular phylogeography of the Andean alpine plant, Gunnera magellanica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, M.; Fujii, N.; Ito, M.; Asakawa, T.; Nishida, H.; Suyama, C.; Ueda, K.

    2015-12-01

    To clarify the evolutionary history of Gunnera magellanica (Gunneraceae), an alpine plant of the Andes mountains, we performed molecular phylogeographic analyses based on the sequences of an internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA and four non-coding regions (trnH-psbA, trnL-trnF, atpB-rbcL, rpl16 intron) of chloroplast DNA. We investigated 3, 4, 4 and 11 populations in, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile, respectively, and detected six ITS genotypes (Types A-F) in G. magellanica. Five genotypes (Types A-E) were observed in the northern Andes population (Ecuador and Bolivia); only one ITS genotype (Type F) was observed in the southern Andes population (Chile and Argentina). Phylogenetic analyses showed that the ITS genotypes of the northern and southern Andes populations form different clades with high bootstrap probability. Furthermore, network analysis, analysis of molecular variance, and spatial analysis of molecular variance showed that there were two major clusters (the northern and southern Andes populations) in this species. Furthermore, in chloroplast DNA analysis, three major clades (northern Andes, Chillan, and southern Andes) were inferred from phylogenetic analyses using four non-coding regions, a finding that was supported by the above three types of analysis. The Chillan clade is the northernmost population in the southern Andes populations. With the exception of the Chillan clade (Chillan population), results of nuclear DNA and chloroplast DNA analyses were consistent. Both markers showed that the northern and southern Andes populations of G. magellanica were genetically different from each other. This type of clear phylogeographical structure was supported by PERMUT analysis according to Pons & Petit (1995, 1996). Moreover, based on our preliminary estimation that is based on the ITS sequences, the northern and southern Andes clades diverged ~0.63-3 million years ago, during a period of upheaval in the Andes. This suggests

  6. Personal UV exposure in high albedo alpine sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Siani

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Mountain sites experience enhanced UV radiation levels due to the concurrent effects of shorter radiation path-length, low aerosol load and high reflectivity of the snow surfaces. This study was encouraged by the possibility to collect original data of personal dose on a specific anatomical site (erythemally effective UV dose on the forehead of two groups of volunteers (ski instructors and skiers in the mountainous areas of Italy (the Alpine site of La Thuile-Les Suches in Valle d'Aosta region. Personal doses were assessed using polysulphone dosimetry. Exposure Ratio (ER, defined as the ratio between the personal dose and the corresponding ambient dose (i.e. erythemally weighted dose received by a horizontal surface during the same exposure period was taken into account. In addition measuring skin colours as biological markers of individual response to UV exposure, was also carried out on the forearm and cheek of each volunteer before and after exposure.

    The median ER, taking into account the whole sample, is 0.60 in winter, with a range of 0.29 to 1.46, and 1.02 in spring, ranging from 0.46 to 1.72. No differences in ERs were found between skiers and instructors in spring while in winter skiers experienced lower values.

    Regarding skin colorimetric parameters the main result was that both skiers and instructors had on average significantly lower values of luminance after exposure i.e.~they became darker. It was found that the use of sunscreen and individual skin photo-type did not produce significant variations in ER across instructor/skier group by day and by seasons (p>0.05. It seems that sunscreen use only at the beginning of the exposure or in a few cases a couple of times during exposure (at difference with the specific instructions sheets, was not sufficient to change significantly skin colorimetric parameters across participants.

    In conclusion UV personal doses on the ski-fields are often

  7. Comparison of subsurface connectivity in Alpine headwater catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuecco, Giulia; Rinderer, Michael; van Meerveld, Ilja; Penna, Daniele; Borga, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Saturation at the soil-bedrock interface or the rise of shallow groundwater into more permeable soil layers results in subsurface stormflow and can lead to hillslope-stream connectivity. Despite the importance of subsurface connectivity for streamflow and streamwater chemistry, the factors controlling its spatial and temporal variability are still poorly understood. This study takes advantage of networks of spatially-distributed piezometers in five small (stream when shallow groundwater was observed in the piezometer and it was connected by the edges to the stream. Weights were given to each piezometer based on Thiessen polygons to determine the area of the catchment that was connected to the stream. For the Swiss pre-alpine catchments the duration that nodes were connected to the stream was significantly correlated to the local and upslope site characteristics, such as the topographic wetness index, local slope and curvature. For the dolomitic catchment with the largest riparian zone, the time that nodes were connected to the stream was correlated with downslope site characteristics, such as the vertical distance to the nearest stream. The temporal changes in the area of the catchment that was connected to the stream reflected the streamflow dynamics for all catchments. Subsurface connectivity increased during rainfall events but there was a short delay compared to streamflow, suggesting that other processes (e.g. direct channel precipitation, runoff from near stream saturated areas) contributed to streamflow at the beginning of the event. Groundwater levels declined later and slower than streamflow, resulting in complex but mainly anti-clockwise hysteretic relations between streamflow and the area that was connected to the stream. Threshold-like relations between maximum connectivity and total stormflow and between maximum connectivity and the sum of total rainfall plus antecedent rainfall were more evident for the dolomitic catchments, where the riparian zone is

  8. The role of summer precipitation and summer temperature in establishment and growth of dwarf shrub Betula nana in northeast Siberian tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique M P D; Berendse, Frank;

    2016-01-01

    It is widely believed that deciduous tundra-shrub dominance is increasing in the pan-Arctic region, mainly due to rising temperature. We sampled dwarf birch (Betula nana L.) at a northeastern Siberian tundra site and used dendrochronological methods to explore the relationship between climatic...... variables and local shrub dominance. We found that establishment of shrub ramets was positively related to summer precipitation, which implies that the current high dominance of B. nana at our study site could be related to high summer precipitation in the period from 1960 to 1990. The results confirmed...... that early summer temperature is most influential to annual growth rates of B. nana. In addition, summer precipitation stimulated shrub growth in years with warm summers, suggesting that B. nana growth may be co-limited by summer moisture supply. The dual controlling role of temperature and summer...

  9. The effects of long-term fertilization on the temporal stability of alpine meadow communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yang, Z.; Ruijven, van J.; Du, G.

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate how plant species’ composition, soil parameters and nutrient concentrations in plant biomass differ between fertilized and control plots 62 years after the last fertilizer application on a sub-alpine grassland. A piece of land called the Grass Garden (GG), fer

  10. Phylogenetic conservatism and climate factors shape flowering phenology in alpine meadows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lanping; Li, Zhikuo; Cadotte, Marc W; Jia, Peng; Chen, Guanguang; Jin, Lanna S; Du, Guozhen

    2016-10-01

    The study of phylogenetic conservatism in alpine plant phenology is critical for predicting climate change impacts; currently we have a poor understanding of how phylogeny and climate factors interactively influence plant phenology. Therefore, we explored the influence of phylogeny and climate factors on flowering phenology in alpine meadows. For two different types of alpine plant communities, we recorded phenological data, including flowering peak, first flower budding, first flowering, first fruiting and the flowering end for 62 species over the course of 5 years (2008-2012). From sequences in two plastid regions, we constructed phylogenetic trees. We used Blomberg's K and Pagel's lambda to assess the phylogenetic signal in phenological traits and species' phenological responses to climate factors. We found a significant phylogenetic signal in the date of all reproductive phenological events and in species' phenological responses to weekly day length and temperature. The number of species in flower was strongly associated with the weekly day lengths and followed by the weekly temperature prior to phenological activity. Based on phylogenetic eigenvector regression (PVR) analysis, we found a highly shared influence of phylogeny and climate factors on alpine species flowering phenology. Our results suggest the phylogenetic conservatism in both flowering and fruiting phenology may depend on the similarity of responses to external environmental cues among close relatives.

  11. Evaluating the Contributions of Atmospheric Deposition of Carbon and Other Nutrients to Nitrification in Alpine Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldani, K. M.; Mladenov, N.; Williams, M. W.

    2013-12-01

    The Colorado Front Range of the Rocky Mountains contains undeveloped, barren soils, yet in this environment there is strong evidence for a microbial role in increased nitrogen (N) export. Barren soils in alpine environments are severely carbon-limited, which is the main energy source for microbial activity and sustenance of life. It has been shown that atmospheric deposition can contain high amounts of organic carbon (C). Atmospheric pollutants, dust events, and biological aerosols, such as bacteria, may be important contributors to the atmospheric organic C load. In this stage of the research we evaluated seasonal trends in the chemical composition and optical spectroscopic (fluorescence and UV-vis absorbance) signatures of snow, wet deposition, and dry deposition in an alpine environment at Niwot Ridge in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to obtain a better understanding of the sources and chemical character of atmospheric deposition. Our results reveal a positive trend between dissolved organic carbon concentrations and calcium, nitrate and sulfate concentrations in wet and dry deposition, which may be derived from such sources as dust and urban air pollution. We also observed the presence of seasonally-variable fluorescent components that may be attributed to fluorescent pigments in bacteria. These results are relevant because atmospheric inputs of carbon and other nutrients may influence nitrification in barren, alpine soils and, ultimately, the export of nitrate to alpine watersheds.

  12. Mercury in Tadpoles Collected from Remote Alpine Sites in the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibians in alpine wetlands of the Sierra Nevada mountains comprise key components of an aquatic-terrestrial food chain, and mercury contamination is a concern because concentrations in fish from this regin exceed thresholds of risk to piscivorous wildlife. Total mercury conc...

  13. Dynamics of natural prokaryotes, viruses and heterotrophic nanoflagellates in alpine karstic groundwater

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    I.C. Wilhartilz; A.K.T Krischner; C.P.D. Brussaard; U.R. Fisher; C. Wieltschnig; H. Stadler; A.H. Farnleitner

    2013-01-01

    Seasonal dynamics of naturally occurring prokaryotes, viruses, and heterotrophic nanoflagellates in two hydro-geologically contrasting alpine karst springs were monitored over three annual cycles. To our knowledge, this study is the first to shed light on the occurrence and possible interrelationshi

  14. Glacial refugia, recolonization patterns and diversification forces in Alpine-endemic Megabunus harvestmen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachter, Gregor A; Papadopoulou, Anna; Muster, Christoph; Arthofer, Wolfgang; Knowles, L Lacey; Steiner, Florian M; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C

    2016-06-01

    The Pleistocene climatic fluctuations had a huge impact on all life forms, and various hypotheses regarding the survival of organisms during glacial periods have been postulated. In the European Alps, evidence has been found in support of refugia outside the ice shield (massifs de refuge) acting as sources for postglacial recolonization of inner-Alpine areas. In contrast, evidence for survival on nunataks, ice-free areas above the glacier, remains scarce. Here, we combine multivariate genetic analyses with ecological niche models (ENMs) through multiple timescales to elucidate the history of Alpine Megabunus harvestmen throughout the ice ages, a genus that comprises eight high-altitude endemics. ENMs suggest two types of refugia throughout the last glacial maximum, inner-Alpine survival on nunataks for four species and peripheral refugia for further four species. In some geographic regions, the patterns of genetic variation are consistent with long-distance dispersal out of massifs de refuge, repeatedly coupled with geographic parthenogenesis. In other regions, long-term persistence in nunataks may dominate the patterns of genetic divergence. Overall, our results suggest that glacial cycles contributed to allopatric diversification in Alpine Megabunus, both within and at the margins of the ice shield. These findings exemplify the power of ENM projections coupled with genetic analyses to identify hypotheses about the position and the number of glacial refugia and thus to evaluate the role of Pleistocene glaciations in driving species-specific responses of recolonization or persistence that may have contributed to observed patterns of biodiversity.

  15. Assessment of Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Analyzing the Impact of Human Trampling on Alpine Swards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlena Kycko

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Tourist traffic has been observed to cause changes in vegetation cover, particularly in alpine areas. These changes can be monitored using remote-sensing methods. This paper presents an analysis of the condition of the dominant sward species surrounding the most frequented alpine tourist trails in the Tatra National Park, one of the most visited natural mountain parks in Poland and a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve. Hyperspectral measurements of interactions between the electromagnetic spectrum and the morphology and physiology of plants were presented. The spectral properties of plants and remote-sensing vegetation indices could be used at a later date for monitoring, for example from the air. The results identified the species' sensitivity and resistance to trampling and allowed an assessment of their physiological condition. Differences were observed in the conditions of trampled and control plants. The alpine swards in the Tatra National Park were assessed as being in good condition, with only small areas located close to the most popular trails showing damage. The proposed method for analyzing the condition of alpine swards could be a useful tool for the future management of protected areas.

  16. Alien Roadside Species More Easily Invade Alpine than Lowland Plant Communities in a Subarctic Mountain Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lembrechts, Jonas J.; Milbau, Ann; Nijs, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment. PMID:24586947

  17. Generic Regional Development Strategies from Local Stakeholders' Scenarios - an Alpine Village Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariane Walz

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The article discusses the participatory elaboration of strategies for sustainable regional development in an Alpine tourist region in Austria to cope with global change effects evolving locally, considering climate change, economic change as well as (local societal change. Local stakeholders in an Alpine village in the Montafon region contributed in workshops to achieve the final results: participant teams conducted system analyses of the regional system to explore key elements of the region. Narrative scenarios described possible positive and negative development trends and indicated the critical issues controlling future development; 3D-images of landscape transition simulations show the consequences of certain development directions. Alternative development directions supported the local stakeholders to elaborate regional development strategies. In the end, the scientist team derived generic strategies for Alpine regions based on the locally developed strategy bundle. The article presents the intention, progress and outcome of the participatory approach and elaborates the potential to derive generic strategies from local ones and discusses the possibly occurring conflicts regarding cross-scale transfers of these local strategies. Overall, tourism was seen as a key element for future regional development, which can on the one hand derogate Alpine regions and is on the other hand threatened by climate change and diminution of landscape attractiveness. The suggested development strategies will help to cope with global change issues mitigating the negative consequences on the local society and environment.

  18. Relationship between alpine tourism demand and hot summer air temperatures associated with climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebetez, M.; Serquet, G.

    2010-09-01

    We quantified the impacts of hot summer air temperatures on tourism in the Swiss Alps by analyzing the relationship between temperature and overnight stays in 40 Alpine resorts. Several temperature and insolation thresholds were tested to detect their relationship to summer tourism. Our results reveal significant correlations between the number of nights spent in mountain resorts and hot temperatures at lower elevations. Alpine resorts nearest to cities are most sensitive to hot temperatures. This is probably because reactions to hot episodes take place on a short-term basis as heat waves remain relatively rare. The correlation in June is stronger compared to the other months, probably because school holidays and the peak domestic tourist demand in summer usually takes place in July and August. Our results suggest that alpine tourist resorts could benefit from hotter temperatures at lower elevations under future climates. Tourists already react on a short-term basis to hot days and spend more nights in hotels in mountain resorts. If heat waves become more regular, it seems likely that tourists choose to stay at alpine resorts more frequently and for longer periods.

  19. Hydrogeology of an alpine rockfall aquifer system and its role in flood attenuation and maintaining baseflow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Lauber

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The frequency and intensity of extreme hydrological events in alpine regions is projected to increase with climate change. The goal of this study was to better understand the functioning of aquifers composed of complex alluvial and rockfall deposits in alpine valleys and to quantify the role of these natural storage spaces in flood attenuation and baseflow maintenance. Geomorphological and hydrogeological mapping, tracer tests, and continuous flow measurements were conducted in the Reintal valley (German Alps, where runoff from a karst spring infiltrates into a series of postglacial alluvial/rockfall aquifers. During high-flow conditions, groundwater velocities of 30 m h−1 were determined along 500 m; hydrograph analyses revealed short lag times (5 h between discharge peaks upstream and downstream from the aquifer series; the maximum discharge ratio downstream (22 and the peak recession coefficient (0.196 d−1 are low compared with other alpine catchments. During low-flow conditions, the underground flow path length increased to 2 km and groundwater velocities decreased to 13 m h−1. Downstream hydrographs revealed a delayed discharge response after 101 h and peaks dampened by a factor of 1.5. These results indicate that alluvial/rockfall aquifers might play an important role in the flow regime and attenuation of floods in alpine regions.

  20. The subalpine and alpine flora of Mount Jaya (New Guinea): status and threats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Utteridge, T.M.A.; Edwards, P.J.

    2009-01-01

    The highest mountains in South-East Asia are in the Sudirman range of Indonesian New Guinea; the highest is Mt Jaya which rises to 4 884 m and is still partly glaciated. The geological history of the region has left it rich in mineral deposits and the alpine area is currently being mined for copper.

  1. Alpins and thibos vectorial astigmatism analyses: proposal of a linear regression model between methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuliano de Oliveira Freitas

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: To determine linear regression models between Alpins descriptive indices and Thibos astigmatic power vectors (APV, assessing the validity and strength of such correlations. METHODS: This case series prospectively assessed 62 eyes of 31 consecutive cataract patients with preoperative corneal astigmatism between 0.75 and 2.50 diopters in both eyes. Patients were randomly assorted among two phacoemulsification groups: one assigned to receive AcrySof®Toric intraocular lens (IOL in both eyes and another assigned to have AcrySof Natural IOL associated with limbal relaxing incisions, also in both eyes. All patients were reevaluated postoperatively at 6 months, when refractive astigmatism analysis was performed using both Alpins and Thibos methods. The ratio between Thibos postoperative APV and preoperative APV (APVratio and its linear regression to Alpins percentage of success of astigmatic surgery, percentage of astigmatism corrected and percentage of astigmatism reduction at the intended axis were assessed. RESULTS: Significant negative correlation between the ratio of post- and preoperative Thibos APVratio and Alpins percentage of success (%Success was found (Spearman's ρ=-0.93; linear regression is given by the following equation: %Success = (-APVratio + 1.00x100. CONCLUSION: The linear regression we found between APVratio and %Success permits a validated mathematical inference concerning the overall success of astigmatic surgery.

  2. Water, Weeds and Autumn Leaves: Learning to Be Drier in the Alpine Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Annette; Grace, Lauri

    2009-01-01

    Our paper explores how and what adults living and working in the Alpine region of Victoria understand and are learning about the changes to water availability, in a time when the response to water availability is subject to extensive debate and policy attention. Interviews for this study were conducted in the towns of Bright and Mount Beauty, with…

  3. Biomass and diversity of dry alpine plant communities along altitudinal gradients in the Himalayas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Namgail, T.; Rawat, G.S.; Mishra, C.; Wieren, van S.E.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    A non-linear relationship between phytodiversity and altitude has widely been reported, but the relationship between phytomass and altitude remains little understood.We examined the phytomass and diversity of vascular plants along altitudinal gradients on the dry alpine rangelands of Ladakh, western

  4. Nitrogen Critical Loads for an Alpine Meadow Ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Ning; Shi, Peili; Song, Minghua; Zhang, Xianzhou; Jiang, Jing; Chai, Xi

    2016-03-01

    Increasing atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has the potential to alter plant diversity and thus the function and stability of terrestrial ecosystems. N-limited alpine ecosystems are expected to be particularly susceptible to increasing N deposition. However, little is known about the critical loads and saturation thresholds of ecosystem responses to increasing N deposition on the Tibetan Plateau, despite its importance to ecosystem management. To evaluate the N critical loads and N saturation thresholds in an alpine ecosystem, in 2010, we treated an alpine meadow with five levels of N addition (0, 10, 20, 40, and 80 kg N ha-1 year-1) and characterized plant and soil responses. The results showed that plant species richness and diversity index did not statistically vary with N addition treatments, but they both changed with years. N addition affected plant cover and aboveground productivity, especially for grasses, and soil chemical features. The N critical loads and saturation thresholds, in terms of plant cover and biomass change at the community level, were 8.8-12.7 and 50 kg N ha-1 year-1 (including the ambient N deposition rate), respectively. However, pronounced changes in soil inorganic N and net N mineralization occurred under the 20 and 40 kg N ha-1 year-1 treatments. Our results indicate that plant community cover and biomass are more sensitive than soil to increasing N inputs. The plant community composition in alpine ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau may change under increasing N deposition in the future.

  5. A deposition record of inorganic ions from a high-alpine glacier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huber, T. [Bern Univ. (Switzerland); Bruetsch, S.; Gaeggeler, H.W.; Schotterer, U.; Schwikowski, M. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-09-01

    The lowest five metres of an ice core from a high-alpine glacier (Colle Gnifetti, Monte Rosa massif, 4450m a.s.l., Switzerland) were analysed for ammonium, calcium, chloride, magnesium, nitrate, potassium, sodium, and sulphate by ion chromatography. (author) 1 fig., 3 refs.

  6. Differences in Motor Imagery Time when Predicting Task Duration in Alpine Skiers and Equestrian Riders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis, Magali; Collet, Christian; Champely, Stephane; Guillot, Aymeric

    2012-01-01

    Athletes' ability to use motor imagery (MI) to predict the speed at which they could perform a motor sequence has received little attention. In this study, 21 alpine skiers and 16 equestrian riders performed MI based on a prediction of actual performance time (a) after the course inspection, (b) before the start, and (c) after the actual…

  7. The importance of nitrogen and carbohydrate storage for plant growth of the alpine herb Veratrum album

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleijn, D.; Treier, U.A.; Müller-Schärer, H.

    2005-01-01

    We examined whether nitrogen (N) and carbohydrates reserves allow Veratrum album, an alpine forb, to start spring growth earlier than the neighbouring vegetation and to survive unpredictable disturbances resulting in loss of above-ground biomass. Seasonal dynamics of plant reserves, soil N availabil

  8. 75 FR 18235 - Paiute Cutthroat Trout Restoration Project, Alpine County, CA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-09

    ... California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG, California Environmental Quality Act lead agency) (collectively... Fish and Wildlife Service Paiute Cutthroat Trout Restoration Project, Alpine County, CA AGENCY: Fish... Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/ Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for public review. We, the Fish...

  9. [Microbial community structure of the alpine meadow under different grazing styles in Naqu prefecture of Tibet].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Lei; Liu, Ying-hui; Li, Yue; Ouyang, Sheng-nan

    2015-08-01

    To clarify the effects of grazing styles on the soil microbial community in the alpine meadow, we explored the changes of soil microbial community structure in the alpine meadow located in Naqu district of Tibet Autonomous Region by analyzing the soil chemical properties and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). The results showed that the contents of soil total organic carbon, total phosphate and nitrate nitrogen under the different grazing styles followed the trend of 7-year rest grazing > free grazing > grazing prohibition. Except for the ratio of fungal PLFAs/bacterial PLFAs, total PLFAs, the bacterial PLFAs, the fungal PLFAs, the gram negative bacterial and the gram positive bacterial PLFAs over the different grazing types were in the order of 7-year rest grazing > 5-year grazing prohibition > 7-year and 9-year grazing prohibition. The principal component analysis (PCA) presented that the first principal component (PC1 = 74.6%) was mainly composed of monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids and branched fatty acids, and the second principal component (PC2 = 13.2%) was mainly composed of saturated fatty acids and some monounsaturated fatty acids. Total PLFAs content was significantly positively correlated with microbial biomass carbon content. Compared with grazing prohibition, fallow grazing was best for the alpine meadow in Naqu district, and free grazing with light intensity was good for the alpine meadow.

  10. Changes in species composition in alpine snowbeds with climate change inferred from small-scale spatial patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Schöb

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Alpine snowbeds are characterised by a very short growing season. However, the length of the snow-free period is increasingly prolonged due to climate change, so that snowbeds become susceptible to invasions from neighbouring alpine meadow communities. We hypothesised that spatial distribution of species generated by plant interactions may indicate whether snowbed species will coexist with or will be out-competed by invading alpine species – spatial aggregation or segregation will point to coexistence or competitive exclusion, respectively. We tested this hypothesis in snowbeds of the Swiss Alps using the variance ratio statistics. We focused on the relationships between dominant snowbed species, subordinate snowbed species, and potentially invading alpine grassland species. Subordinate snowbed species were generally spatially aggregated with each other, but were segregated from alpine grassland species.

    Competition between alpine grassland and subordinate snowbed species may have caused this segregation. Segregation between these species groups increased with earlier snowmelt, suggesting an increasing importance of competition with climate change. Further, a dominant snowbed species (Alchemilla pentaphyllea was spatially aggregated with subordinate snowbed species, while two other dominants (Gnaphalium supinum and Salix herbacea showed aggregated patterns with alpine grassland species. These dominant species are known to show distinct microhabitat preferences suggesting the existence of hidden microhabitats with different susceptibility to invaders.

    These results allow us to suggest that alpine snowbed areas are likely to be reduced as a consequence of climate change and that invading species from nearby alpine grasslands could outcompete subordinate snowbed species. On the other hand, microhabitats dominated by Gnaphalium or Salix seem to be particularly prone to invasions by non

  11. Estimation of surface energy fluxes in the Arctic tundra using the remote sensing thermal-based Two-Source Energy Balance model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristóbal, Jordi; Prakash, Anupma; Anderson, Martha C.; Kustas, William P.; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Kane, Douglas L.

    2017-03-01

    The Arctic has become generally a warmer place over the past decades leading to earlier snow melt, permafrost degradation and changing plant communities. Increases in precipitation and local evaporation in the Arctic, known as the acceleration components of the hydrologic cycle, coupled with land cover changes, have resulted in significant changes in the regional surface energy budget. Quantifying spatiotemporal trends in surface energy flux partitioning is key to forecasting ecological responses to changing climate conditions in the Arctic. An extensive local evaluation of the Two-Source Energy Balance model (TSEB) - a remote-sensing-based model using thermal infrared retrievals of land surface temperature - was performed using tower measurements collected over different tundra types in Alaska in all sky conditions over the full growing season from 2008 to 2012. Based on comparisons with flux tower observations, refinements in the original TSEB net radiation, soil heat flux and canopy transpiration parameterizations were identified for Arctic tundra. In particular, a revised method for estimating soil heat flux based on relationships with soil temperature was developed, resulting in significantly improved performance. These refinements result in mean turbulent flux errors generally less than 50 W m-2 at half-hourly time steps, similar to errors typically reported in surface energy balance modeling studies conducted in more temperate climatic regimes. The MODIS leaf area index (LAI) remote sensing product proved to be useful for estimating energy fluxes in Arctic tundra in the absence of field data on the local biomass amount. Model refinements found in this work at the local scale build toward a regional implementation of the TSEB model over Arctic tundra ecosystems, using thermal satellite remote sensing to assess response of surface fluxes to changing vegetation and climate conditions.

  12. The exchange of energy, water and carbon dioxide between wet arctic tundra and the atmosphere at the Lena River Delta, Northern Siberia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kutzbach, L.

    2006-07-01

    The ecosystem-scale exchange fluxes of energy, water and carbon dioxide between wet arctic tundra and the atmosphere were investigated by the micrometeorological eddy covariance method. The investigation site was the centre of the Lena River Delta in Northern Siberia characterised by a polar and distinctly continental climate, very cold and ice-rich permafrost and its position at the interface between the Eurasian continent and the Arctic Ocean. The measurements were performed on the surface of a Holocene river terrace characterised by wet polygonal tundra. The soils at the site are characterised by high organic matter content, low nutrient availability and pronounced water logging. The vegetation is dominated by sedges and mosses. The fluctuations of the H{sub 2}O and CO{sub 2} concentrations were measured with a closed-path infrared gas analyser. The fast-response eddy covariance measurements were supplemented by a set of slow-response meteorological and soil-meteorological measurements. The combined datasets of the two campaigns 2003 and 2004 were used to characterise the seasonal course of the energy, water and CO{sub 2} fluxes and the underlying processes for the synthetic measurement period May 28..October 21 2004/2003 including the period of snow and soil thawing as well as the beginning of refreezing. The synthetic measurement period 2004/2003 was characterised by a long snow ablation period and a late start of the growing season. On the other hand, the growing season ended also late due to high temperatures and snow-free conditions in September. The cumulative summer energy partitioning was characterised by low net radiation, large ground heat flux, low latent heat flux and very low sensible heat flux compared to other tundra sites. These findings point out the major importance of the very cold permafrost for the summer energy budget of the tundra in Northern Siberia. (orig./SR)

  13. The Role of Explicitly Modeling Bryophytes in Simulating Carbon Exchange and Permafrost Dynamics of an Arctic Coastal Tundra at Barrow, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, F.; Thornton, P. E.; McGuire, A. D.; Oechel, W. C.; Yang, B.; Tweedie, C. E.; Rogers, A.; Norby, R. J.

    2013-12-01

    Bryophyte cover is greater than 50% in many Arctic tundra ecosystems. In regions of the Arctic where shrubs are expanding it is expected that bryophyte cover will be substantially reduced. Such a loss in cover could influence the hydrological, biogeochemical, and permafrost dynamics of Arctic tundra ecosystems. The explicit representation of bryophyte physiological and biophysical processes in large-scale ecological and land surface models is rare, and we hypothesize that the representation of bryophytes has consequences for estimates of the exchange of water, energy, and carbon by these models. This study explicitly represents the effects of bryophyte function and structure on the exchange of carbon (e.g., summer photosynthesis effects) and energy (e.g., summer insulation effects) with the atmosphere in the Community Land Model (CLM-CN). The modified model was evaluated for its ability to simulate C exchange, soil temperature, and soil moisture since the 1970s at Barrow, Alaska through comparison with data from AmeriFlux sites, USDA Soil Climate Networks observation sites at Barrow, and other sources. We also compare the outputs of the CLM-CN simulations with those of the recently developed Dynamical Organic Soil coupled Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (DOS-TEM). Overall, our evaluation indicates that bryophytes are important contributors to land-atmospheric C exchanges in Arctic tundra and that they play an important role to permafrost thermal and hydrological processes which are critical to permafrost stability. Our next step in this study is to examine the climate system effects of explicitly representing bryophyte dynamics in the land surface model. Key Words: Bryophytes, Arctic coastal tundra, Vegetation composition, Net Ecosystem Exchange, Permafrost, Land Surface Model, Terrestrial Ecosystem Model

  14. The use of invertebrates as indicators of environmental change in alpine rivers and lakes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khamis, K.; Hannah, D.M. [School of Geography Earth and Environmental Science, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Brown, L.E. [School of Geography/water@leeds, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9JT (United Kingdom); Tiberti, R. [DSTA, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e dell' Ambiente, University of Pavia, Via Ferrata 9, 27100 Pavia (Italy); Alpine Wildlife Research Centre, Gran Paradiso National Park, Degioz 11, I-1101 Valsavarenche, Aosta (Italy); Milner, A.M., E-mail: a.m.milner@bham.ac.uk [School of Geography Earth and Environmental Science, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK 99775 (United States)

    2014-09-15

    In alpine regions climatic change will alter the balance between water sources (rainfall, ice-melt, snowmelt, and groundwater) for aquatic systems, particularly modifying the relative contributions of meltwater, groundwater and rain to both rivers and lakes. While these changes are expected to have implications for alpine aquatic ecosystems, little is known about potential ecological tipping points and associated indicator taxa. We examined changes in biotic communities along a gradient of glacier influence for two study systems: (1) a stream network in the French Pyrénées; and (2) a network of lakes in the Italian Alps, with the aim of identifying potential indicator taxa (macroinvertebrates and zooplankton) of glacier retreat in these environments. To assess parallels in biotic responses across streams and lakes, both primary data and findings from other publications were synthesised. Using TITAN (Threshold Indicator Taxa ANalysis) changes in community composition of river taxa were identified at thresholds of < 5.1% glacier cover and < 66.6% meltwater contribution. Below these thresholds the loss of cold stenothermic benthic invertebrate taxa, Diamesa spp. and the Pyrenean endemic Rhyacophila angelieri was apparent. Some generalist taxa including Protonemura sp., Perla grandis, Baetis alpinus, Rhithrogena loyolaea and Microspectra sp. increased when glacier cover was < 2.7% and < 52% meltwater. Patterns were not as distinct for the alpine lakes, due to fewer sampling sites; however, Daphnia longispina grp. and the benthic invertebrate groups Plectopera and Planaria were identified as potential indicator taxa. While further work is required to assess potential indicator taxa for alpine lake systems, findings from alpine river systems were consistent between methods for assessing glacier influence (meltwater contribution/glacier cover). Hence, it is clear that TITAN could become a useful management tool, enabling: (i) the identification of taxa particularly

  15. Exploring the Potential of Aerial Photogrammetry for 3d Modelling of High-Alpine Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legat, K.; Moe, K.; Poli, D.; Bollmannb, E.

    2016-03-01

    High-alpine areas are subject to rapid topographic changes, mainly caused by natural processes like glacial retreat and other geomorphological processes, and also due to anthropogenic interventions like construction of slopes and infrastructure in skiing resorts. Consequently, the demand for highly accurate digital terrain models (DTMs) in alpine environments has arisen. Public administrations often have dedicated resources for the regular monitoring of glaciers and natural hazard processes. In case of glaciers, traditional monitoring encompasses in-situ measurements of area and length and the estimation of volume and mass changes. Next to field measurements, data for such monitoring programs can be derived from DTMs and digital ortho photos (DOPs). Skiing resorts, on the other hand, require DTMs as input for planning and - more recently - for RTK-GNSS supported ski-slope grooming. Although different in scope, the demand of both user groups is similar: high-quality and up-to-date terrain data for extended areas often characterised by difficult accessibility and large elevation ranges. Over the last two decades, airborne laser scanning (ALS) has replaced photogrammetric approaches as state-of-the-art technology for the acquisition of high-resolution DTMs also in alpine environments. Reasons include the higher productivity compared to (manual) stereo-photogrammetric measurements, canopy-penetration capability, and limitations of photo measurements on sparsely textured surfaces like snow or ice. Nevertheless, the last few years have shown strong technological advances in the field of aerial camera technology, image processing and photogrammetric software which led to new possibilities for image-based DTM generation even in alpine terrain. At Vermessung AVT, an Austrian-based surveying company, and its subsidiary Terra Messflug, very promising results have been achieved for various projects in high-alpine environments, using images acquired by large-format digital

  16. Deposition of Sulphate and Nitrogen in Alpine Precipitation of the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasiuta, V. L.; Lafreniere, M. J.

    2011-12-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) are the main contributors to acid precipitation which causes regionally persistent ecological problems. Enhanced deposition of reactive N, mainly as nitrate (NO3-) and ammonium (NH4+), also contributes to major ecological problems associated with ecosystem N saturation. Alpine ecosystems, which are generally nutrient poor and exist under extreme climatic conditions, are sensitive to environmental and climatic stressors. Studies in the USA Rocky Mountains and European Alps have shown alpine ecosystems have a particularly sensitivity to enhanced deposition of reactive N and can show ecologically destructive responses at relatively low levels of N deposition. However, evaluation of atmospheric sulphur and nitrogen deposition in mid latitude alpine Western Canada has been initiated only very recently and at only a few locations. There is little comprehension of current atmospheric flux to high altitudes or the importance of contributions from major emission sources This work quantifies the atmospheric deposition of SO42- NH4+ and NO3- to a remote alpine site in the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains by characterizing alpine precipitation. The effect of elevation and aspect on deposition are assessed using sampling sites along elevational transects in the adjacent Haig and Robertson Valleys. Seasonal variations in deposition of SO42- NH4+ and NO3- are evaluated using the autumn, winter, and spring precipitation accumulated in the seasonal snowpack at glacial and fore glacial locations, along with collected bulk summer precipitation. Preliminary results show lower precipitation volumes, which are associated with higher SO42- and NH4+ loads, in the north west facing Robertson Valley than the south east facing Haig Glacier. However trends in deposition of SO42- NH4+ and NO3- with elevation and aspect are inconsistent over the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 snow accumulation seasons, and 2010 bulk summer precipitation seasons that were

  17. Influence of land cover changes on the physical and chemical properties of alpine meadow soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    Taking the alpine cold meadow grassland in the southeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau as an example, this research deals with the characteristics of alpine meadow soil property changes, including soil nutrients, soil physical properties and soil moisture content under different land coverage conditions. With the degradation of grassland vegetation and the decline of vegetation coverage, soil compactness reduces, gravel content increases and bulk density increases. The originally dense root-system layer is gradually denuded, making the soil coarse and gravel. The change of the organic matter contents with the vegetation coverage change in the surface soil layer (0-20 cm) has shown an obvious cubic polynomial curve process. The organic matter contents increase rapidly when land coverage is above 60%, contrarily decreases on a large scale when land coverage is below 30%. Between 30%-60% of land coverage the organic matter contents remain stable. The total N and organic matter contents in soil have shown quite similar change regularity. Following this the mathematic equations are derived to describe such change processes. Moisture content in soil changes sharply with the vegetation coverage change. Soil moisture content change with the vegetation coverage change has shown a quadratic parabola process. Results have shown that organic matter content and the total N content of the alpine meadow soil decrease by 14890 kg/hm2 and 5505 kg/hm2 respectively as the vegetation coverage reduces from 90% to less than 30%. The heavy changes of soil physical and chemical properties with grassland degradation have made the recovery of alpine meadow ecological system impossible. The protection of alpine meadow vegetation is of vital importance to the maintenance of the regional soil environment and the regional ecological system.

  18. Experimental study on soil CO2 emission in the alpine grassland ecosystem on Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Xianzhou; SHI Peili; LIU Yunfen; OUYANG Hua

    2005-01-01

    The Tibetan Plateau, the Roof of the World, is the highest plateau with a mean elevation of 4000 m. It is characterized by high levels of solar radiation, low air temperature and low air pressure compared to other regions around the world. The alpine grassland, a typical ecosystem in the Tibetan Plateau, is distributed across regions over the elevation of 4500 m. Few studies for carbon flux in alpine grassland on the Tibetan Plateau were conducted due to rigorous natural conditions. A study of soil respiration under alpine grassland ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau from October 1999 to October 2001 was conducted at Pangkog County, Tibetan Plateau (31.23°N, 90.01°E, elevation 4800 m). The measurements were taken using a static closed chamber technique, usually every two weeks during the summer and at other times at monthly intervals. The obvious diurnal variation of CO2 emissions from soil with higher emission during daytime and lower emission during nighttime was discovered. Diurnal CO2 flux fluctuated from minimum at 05:00 to maximum at 14:00 in local time. Seasonal CO2 fluxes increased in summer and decreased in winter, representing a great variation of seasonal soil respiration. The mean soil CO2 fluxes in the alpine grassland ecosystem were 21.39 mgCO2 · m-2 · h-1, with an average annual amount of soil respiration of 187.46 gCO2 · m-2 · a-1. Net ecosystem productivity is also estimated, which indicated that the alpine grassland ecosystem is a carbon sink.

  19. Alpine Ecosystems of Northwest Yunnan, China: an Initial Assessment for Conservation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Implementing conservation actions on-the-ground is not a straightforward process,especially when faced with high scientific uncertainty due to limited available information. This is especially acute in regions of the world that harbor many unique species that have not been well studied, such as the alpine zone of the Hengduan Mountains of Northwest Yunnan (NWY), a global biodiversity hotspot and site of The Nature Conservancy's Yunnan Great Rivers Project. We conducted a quantitative, but rapid regional-level assessment of the alpine flora across NWY to provide a broad-based understanding of local and regional patterns of the alpine flora, the first large-scale analysis of alpine biodiversity patterns in this region. Multivariate analyses were used to classify the major plant community types and link community patterns to habitat variables. Our analysis indicated that most species had small distributions and/or small population sizes. Strong patterns emerged with higher diversity in the more northern mountains, but beta diversity was high, averaging only 10% among sites. The ordinations indicated that elevation and geographic location were the dominant environmental gradients underlying the differences in the species composition among communities. The high beta diversity across the alpine of these mountains implies that conservation strategies ultimately will require the protection of large numbers of species over a large geographical area. However, prioritization should be given to areas where potential payoffs are greatest. Sites with high species richness also have a greater number of endemic species, and, by focusing efforts on these sites, conservation investments would be maximized by protecting the greatest number of unique species.

  20. Soil bacterial community and functional shifts in response to altered snowpack in moist acidic tundra of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricketts, Michael P.; Poretsky, Rachel S.; Welker, Jeffrey M.; Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A.

    2016-09-01

    Soil microbial communities play a central role in the cycling of carbon (C) in Arctic tundra ecosystems, which contain a large portion of the global C pool. Climate change predictions for Arctic regions include increased temperature and precipitation (i.e. more snow), resulting in increased winter soil insulation, increased soil temperature and moisture, and shifting plant community composition. We utilized an 18-year snow fence study site designed to examine the effects of increased winter precipitation on Arctic tundra soil bacterial communities within the context of expected ecosystem response to climate change. Soil was collected from three pre-established treatment zones representing varying degrees of snow accumulation, where deep snow ˜ 100 % and intermediate snow ˜ 50 % increased snowpack relative to the control, and low snow ˜ 25 % decreased snowpack relative to the control. Soil physical properties (temperature, moisture, active layer thaw depth) were measured, and samples were analysed for C concentration, nitrogen (N) concentration, and pH. Soil microbial community DNA was extracted and the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced to reveal phylogenetic community differences between samples and determine how soil bacterial communities might respond (structurally and functionally) to changes in winter precipitation and soil chemistry. We analysed relative abundance changes of the six most abundant phyla (ranging from 82 to 96 % of total detected phyla per sample) and found four (Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Chloroflexi) responded to deepened snow. All six phyla correlated with at least one of the soil chemical properties (% C, % N, C : N, pH); however, a single predictor was not identified, suggesting that each bacterial phylum responds differently to soil characteristics. Overall, bacterial community structure (beta diversity) was found to be associated with snow accumulation treatment and all soil chemical properties. Bacterial

  1. Response of a tundra ecosytem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO{sub 2}-induced climate change. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO{sub 2} flux in selected locations of the circumpolar arctic, and to develop the information necessary to predict how these fluxes may be affected by climate change. In fulfillment of these objectives, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured at several sites on the North Slope of Alaska during the 1990-94 growing season (June-August) to determine the local and regional patterns, of seasonal CO{sub 2} exchange. In addition, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO{sub 2} exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar arctic, while cold-season CO{sub 2} flux measurements were carried out during the 1993-94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO{sub 2} efflux not accounted for by the growing season measurements. Manipulations of soil water table depth and surface temperature, which were identified from the extensive measurements as being the most important variables in determining the magnitude and direction of net CO{sub 2} exchange, were carried out during the 1993-94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH{sub 4} flux were also measured at several of the North Slope study sites during the 1990-91 growing seasons. Measurements were made on small (e.g. 0.5 m{sup 2}) plots using a portable gas-exchange system and cuvette. The sample design allowed frequent measurements of net CO{sub 2} exchange and respiration over diurnal and seasonal cycles, and a large spatial extent that incorporated both locally and regionally diverse tundra surface types. Measurements both within and between ecosystem types typically extended over soil water table depth and temperature gradients, allowing for the indirect analysis of the effects of anticipated climate change scenarios on net CO{sub 2} exchange. In situ experiments provided a direct means for testing hypotheses.

  2. Ecohydrological interactions between soil and trees in Alpine apple orchards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penna, Daniele; Scandellari, Francesca; Zanotelli, Damiano; Michael, Engel; Tagliavini, Massimo; Comiti, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    Tracer-based investigations of water exchanges between soil and trees in natural forested catchments are receiving relevant attention in modern ecohydrology. However, the interactions between tree water use and the hydrological cycle in agricultural environments are still poorly understood. In this work, we use stable isotopes of water (2H and 18O) and electric conductivity as tracers to improve our understanding of the functional interrelations between water generating surface runoff and recharging groundwater, and water taken up by apple trees (Malus domestica, cv. 'Pinova') in an Alpine valley in South Tyrol, Northern Italy. From April to October 2015 we monitored two orchards approximately of the same size (roughly 400 m2) and soil texture (silt loam) located in a flat area at different distance from the Adige/Etsch River (50 m vs. 450 m). We have addressed the following questions: i) at which soil depth do apple trees take up water? ii) do apple trees take up water from shallow groundwater? iii) are there differences in the isotopic composition of the water fluxes between the two sites? Samples for isotopic analysis were taken approximately fortnightly from the river, two groundwater wells close to each field, mobile soil water (from suction cups at 25 cm and 50 cm), open area precipitation, throughfall, irrigation and sap (through a portable pressure bomb). Tightly-bound soil water was also cryogenically extracted from samples taken every 10 cm from 60 cm-long soil cores taken at three locations for each field on one occasion in mid-summer. Ancillary measurements were electrical conductivity of all water sources except for sap. In addition to meteorological and discharge data, soil moisture was continuously measured at 10 cm and 50 cm in three locations, and sap flow on three trees, for each field. Preliminary results show that two water pools with distinct isotopic signature exist: i) river water, groundwater and irrigation water show values relatively

  3. Predictive Analysis of Geochemical Controls in an Alpine Stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jochems, A. P.; Sherson, L. R.; Crossey, L. J.; Karlstrom, K. E.

    2010-12-01

    Alpine watersheds are increasingly relied upon for use in the American West, necessitating a more complete understanding of annual hydrologic patterns and geologic influences on water chemistry. The Jemez River is a fifth order stream in central New Mexico that flows from its source in the Jemez Mountains to its confluence with the Rio Grande north of the town of Bernalillo. Designated uses of the Jemez River include domestic water supply, recreation, and agriculture. Geothermal uses are currently being considered as well. The river recharges shallow aquifer waters used by several communities, including tribal lands of the Jemez Pueblo. The hydrogeology of the Jemez system is characterized by geothermal inputs from the Baca hydrothermal system associated with the 1.2Ma Valles caldera, as well as groundwater and surface water interactions. Freshwater input from the Rio Guadalupe and several ephemeral tributaries also influences the water chemistry of the Jemez system. Fifteen sites along a 35 km reach of the river were sampled between 2006 and 2010. Discharge of the Jemez River ranged from 10-876 cfs over the study period. The annual hydrograph is affected by annual snowmelt in the Jemez Mountains as well as surges due to monsoonal rains in July and August. Geochemical data collected over this period include temperature, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen (D.O.), major ions, trace elements, and stable isotopes. Continuous records of temperature, conductivity, pH, D.O. and turbidity data were collected from a water quality sonde installed in March 2010. Geochemical modeling and time series analysis were performed using PHREEQC, Geochemist’s Workbench, and MATLAB. Empirical data collected during this study gave rise to several models describing the hydrology and geochemistry of the Jemez system. Our data suggest that springs are the primary contributors to dissolved load, and that solute loading from geothermal inputs is intensified by low flows observed on

  4. Alpine tectonics and rotation pole evolution of Iberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, Koen

    1990-12-01

    The geological evolution of the Betic Cordilleras and Pyrenees reflects the Cretaceous and Tertiary rotation pole and kinematic evolution of the Iberian and African plates. New constraints on the Alpine tectonic evolution of the Iberian plate are provided by P- T- t data and regionally consistent stretching lineations from the metamorphic parts of the Betic Cordilleras. High-pressure low-temperature metamorphism in the Betic Cordilleras resulted from continent-continent collision which caused subduction to a maximum depth of 37 km. A preliminary 116 ± 10 Ma radiometric age for this event corresponds to the initiation of seafloor spreading to the west of Iberia which lasted until about 80 Ma. Intracontinental thrusting in the Betics between 99 Ma and 83 Ma took place after subduction ended. E-W to ESE-WNW trending stretching lineations indicate the direction of thrusting, which resulted in extensional strains of 200-600%. The timing of thrusting in the Betics coincides with a 95-80 Ma tectonic phase in northern Africa, during which E-W stretching lineations were formed. The stretching lineations are coincident with the 110-80 Ma motion vector of Africa-Iberia with respect to Eurasia. Thrusting in the Betics and deformation in northern Africa was driven by convergence of Africa-Iberia and Eurasia. Cretaceous deformation is further recorded by terrigeneous sedimentation in the Mauritanian Flysch and by the tectosedimentary evolution of the Malaguide Complex. Crustal thinning, magmatism and metamorphism in the Pyrenees during the 110-85 Ma period is governed by a left-lateral strike-slip of Africa-Iberia with respect to Eurasia around the same rotation pole as thrusting in the Betics. During the 80-54 Ma period the rotation pole was situated west of Gibraltar, near the previous active collision zone. This inhibited large-scale overthrusting and related penetrative deformation in northern Africa and the Betic Cordilleras. Deformation was instead transferred to the

  5. Land-atmosphere fluxes of methane and carbon dioxide at Siberian polygonal tundra - new data from 2009 in comparison to data from 2003/04 and 2006.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, Peter; Wille, Christian; Sachs, Torsten; Pfeiffer, Eva-Maria; Kutzbach, Lars

    2010-05-01

    The fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) between wet arctic polygonal tundra and the atmosphere were investigated by the eddy covariance method and empirical modeling. The study site is situated in the Lena River Delta in Northern Siberia (72° 22' N, 126° 30' E) and is characterized by a polar and distinctly continental climate, very cold and ice-rich permafrost, and its position at the interface between the Eurasian continent and the Arctic Ocean. The soils at the site are characterized by high organic matter content, low nutrient availability and pronounced water logging. The vegetation is dominated by sedges and mosses. Flux measurements were performed during one 'synthetic' growing season consisting of the periods July - October 2003 and May - July 2004, one full growing season in 2006 (June - September), and during July - August in 2009. The main carbon exchange processes - gross photosynthesis, ecosystem respiration, and CH4 emissions - were generally found to be of low intensity. Over the 2004/2003 growing season (June - September), these gas fluxes accumulated to -0.43 kg m-2, +0.33 kg m-2, and +2 g m-2, respectively. CH4 emissions from June - September 2006 were 1.96 g m-2 with highest emissions in July (+0.57 g m-2) and August (+0.64 g m-2). Day-to-day variations of photosynthesis were mainly controlled by radiation and hence by the synoptic weather conditions. Variations of ecosystem respiration were best explained by an exponential function of surface temperature, which indicates that plant respiration plays a major role within the tundra carbon balance. The factors controlling CH4 emissions were found to be soil temperature and near-surface atmospheric turbulence. The influence of atmospheric turbulence was attributed to the high coverage of open water surfaces in the tundra. For the 2003- 2004 period, winter fluxes were modeled based on functional relationships found in the measured data. On an annual basis, CH4 emissions accounted for

  6. The role of permafrost and soil water in distribution of alpine grassland and its NDVI dynamics on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaoyun; Yi, Shuhua; Wu, Qingbai; Yang, Kun; Ding, Yongjian

    2016-12-01

    Soil temperature and soil water are two important factors controlling vegetation growth. Climate warming and associated permafrost degradation might change these soil conditions and affect alpine grassland on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. However, our current understanding of the role of soil temperature and water at the plateau scale is inadequate. In this study, we used plateau scale soil water content, frozen soil type, vegetation index and land surface temperature datasets to investigate the spatial distribution, limiting factors of vegetation growth and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) changing trends in two major alpine grasslands, alpine meadow and alpine steppe, in relation to soil temperature and soil water conditions. Our results showed that: 1) alpine meadow is mainly distributed in seasonal frozen soil areas (55.90% of alpine meadow) with a soil water content between 0.15 and 0.25 m3/m3 and alpine steppe is mainly found in seasonal frozen and sub-stable permafrost areas (69.38% of alpine steppe) with a soil water content between 0.05 and 0.20 m3/m3; 2) at the plateau scale, there were 35.6% (more in colder regions) of alpine meadow pixels and 33.6% (more in wetter regions) of alpine steppe pixels having increase NDVI changing trends during 1982-2012, respectively; and the values having decrease NDVI changing trends are 7.3% and 9.7%, respectively; and 3) the vegetation growth of alpine meadow is mainly limited by soil temperature, while that of alpine steppe is limited by both soil temperature and soil water. We also find the limiting factors of temperature or water can only explain models to consider other factors, such as grazing, erosion and soil texture, among others, in addition to soil temperature and water to make proper projections when simulating the responses of vegetation growth to climate warming in alpine grasslands with different hydro-thermal conditions.

  7. Effect of dietary alpine butter rich in conjugated linoleic acid on milk fat composition of lactating sows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Alexandra; Collomb, Marius; Bee, Giuseppe; Bütikofer, Ulrich; Wechsler, Daniel; Eberhard, Pius; Sieber, Robert

    2008-07-01

    Multiparous sows (n 17) were included in a controlled cross-over-study in order to investigate the influence of a natural source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) (alpine butter) on the milk fatty acid composition of lactating sows (as an animal model for lactating women) and on the growth performance of their progeny. The usual fat source of a standard lactation diet was replaced by either CLA-rich alpine butter or margarine (control diet). Compared with the margarine diet, feeding the alpine butter-supplemented diet increased (P 0.05) affected. Growth performance of the progeny was similar for both dietary treatments. In summary, the findings show that adding alpine butter to the diet does not provoke a milk fat depression and does not alter the composition of total SFA, MUFA and PUFA in sow milk but increases its CLA concentration.

  8. Variation of terpenes in milk and cultured cream from Norwegian alpine rangeland-fed and in-door fed cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borge, Grethe Iren A; Sandberg, Ellen; Øyaas, Jorun; Abrahamsen, Roger K

    2016-05-15

    The terpene content of milk and cream made from milk obtained from cows fed indoors, and by early or late grazing, in alpine rangeland farms in Norway, were analysed for three consecutive years. The main terpenes identified and semi-quantified were the monoterpenes β-pinene, α-pinene, α-thujene, camphene, sabinene, δ-3-carene, d-limonene, γ-terpinene, camphor, β-citronellene, and the sesquiterpene β-caryophyllene. The average total terpene content increased five times during the alpine rangeland feeding period. The terpenes α-thujene, sabinene, γ-terpinene and β-citronellene were only detected in milk and cultured cream from the alpine rangeland feeding period and not in samples from the indoors feeding period. These four terpenes could be used, as indicators, to show that milk and cultured cream originate from the alpine rangeland feeding period. The terpenes did not influence the sensorial quality of the milk or the cultured cream.

  9. Phylogeographic patterns in Leccinum sect. Scabra and the status of the arctic/alpine species L. rotundifoliae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, den H.C.; Zuccarello, G.C.; Kuyper, T.W.; Noordeloos, M.E.

    2007-01-01

    We investigated inter- and intraspecific phylogenetic relationships in the ectomycorrhizal fungal genus Leccinum section Scabra. Species of this section are exclusively associated with Betula and occur throughout the Northern Hemisphere. We compared the phylogenetic relationships of arctic, alpine,

  10. The critical factors that affected the distribution of aboveground biomass in the alpine steppe and meadow, Tibetan Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Sun

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Tibetan Plateau – the third pole of the world, with its extremly harsh and fragile ecological environment, is so sensitive to global change that it attracts many scientists' attention. Alpine grassland here is an important component of the global carbon cycle. Many studies have examined links between environmental factors and distribution of biomass, but little showed the critical environmental factors affecting the distribution of biomass. To document the general relationships between the habitat factors and aboveground biomass (AGB in Tibetan Plateau, and to identify the critical factors for the distribution of AGB in the alpine steppe and meadow, the data of AGB and habitat factors from 110 field sites across the widely distributed alpine steppe and meadow of the plateau were compiled and analyzed with the classification and regression tree (CART model, and the generalized additive model (GAM. The results showed that (1 the spatial pattern of AGB in alpine steppe was determined by six major environmental factors: soil organic carbon density of soil 0–30 cm depth (SOC1, longitude, mean annual precipitation (MAP, latitude, clay and soil moisture. As to the alpine meadow, the major factors were altitude, soil moisture, nitrogen, MAP and mean annual temperature (MAT. (2 As to the alpine steppe, increased SOC1, MAP and latitude were associated with increased AGB abundance, but increased longitude resulted in lower abundance of AGB. As to the alpine meadow, the distribution of AGB had strong negative relationships with altitude and soil moisture, but a positive correlation with soil nitrogen content across sites. The results suggested that the combined effects of meteorological factors, topographic factors, and soil factors were more significant for the spatial pattern of AGB in Tibetan Plateau. In addition, our work highlights the importance of further studies to seek effects of slope and aspect in alpine grassland.

  11. Exploring Panarchy in Alpine Grasslands: an Application of Adaptive Cycle Concepts to the Conservation of a Cultural Landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Soane, Ian D.; Rocco Scolozzi; Alessandro Gretter; Klaus Hubacek

    2012-01-01

    This paper explores approaches of applying the panarchy perspective to a case study of natural resource management in the cultural landscape of upland alpine pastures in northern Italy. The close interaction within the cultural landscape between alpine pasture ecology and the management regimes offers a strong fit with the concept of social-ecological systems and provides insights to appropriate and adaptive management of sites of conservation interest. We examine the limited literature avail...

  12. Developing a panarchy model of landscape conservation and management of alpine-mountain grassland in Northern Italy.

    OpenAIRE

    Ian David Soane; Rocco Scolozzi; Beatrice Marelli; Cristina Orsatti; Klaus Hubacek; Alessandro Gretter

    2011-01-01

    This paper explores methods of applying resilience theory to a case study of natural resource management and the cultural landscape of upland and alpine pasture in northern Italy. We identify that the close interaction between alpine pastures and its managers offers a strong fit with the concept of a social-ecological system that maintains the cultural landscape. We first considered a descriptive approach looking historically at socio-economic development in the study area. We explored whethe...

  13. Seasonal variations in carbon dioxide exchange in an alpine wetland meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Zhao

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Alpine wetland meadow could functions as a carbon sink due to it high soil organic content and low decomposition. However, the magnitude and dynamics of carbon stock in alpine wetland ecosystems are not well quantified. Therefore, understanding how environmental variables affect the processes that regulate carbon fluxes in alpine wetland meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is critical. To address this issue, Gross Primary Production (GPP, Ecosystem Respiration (Reco, and Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE were examined in an alpine wetland meadow using the eddy covariance method from October 2003 to December 2006 at the Haibei Research Station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Seasonal patterns of GPP and Reco were closely associated with leaf area index (LAI. The Reco showed a positive exponential to soil temperature and relatively low Reco occurred during the non-growing season after a rain event. This result is inconsistent with the result observed in alpine shrubland meadow. In total, annual GPP were estimated at 575.7, 682.9, and 630.97 g C m−2 in 2004, 2005, and 2006, respectively. Meanwhile, the Reco were equal to 676.8, 726.4, 808.2 g C m−2, and thus the NEE were 101.1, 44.0 and 173.2 g C m−2. These results indicated that the alpine wetland meadow was a moderately source of carbon dioxide (CO2. The observed carbon dioxide fluxes in the alpine wetland meadow were higher than other alpine meadow such as Kobresia humilis meadow and shrubland meadow.

  14. Uncertainty in alpine snow mass balance simulations due to snow model parameterisation and windflow representation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musselman, K. N.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Essery, R.; Leroux, N.

    2013-12-01

    Despite advances in alpine snow modelling there remain two fundamental areas of divergent scientific thought in estimating alpine snow mass balances: i) blowing snow sublimation losses, and ii) wind flow representation. Sublimation calculations have poorly understood humidity feedbacks that vary considerably and mathematical representations of alpine windflow vary in complexity - these differences introduce uncertainty. To better estimate and restrain this uncertainty, a variety of physically based, spatially distributed snowmelt models that consider the physics of wind redistribution and sublimation of blowing snow were evaluated for their ability to simulate seasonal snow distribution and melt patterns in a windy alpine environment in the Canadian Rockies. The primary difference in the snow models was their calculation of blowing snow sublimation losses which ranged from large to small estimates. To examine the uncertainty introduced by windflow calculations on the snow model simulations, each model was forced with output from windflow models of varying computational complexity and physical realism from a terrain-based empirical interpolation of station observations to a simple turbulence model to a computational fluid dynamics model that solves for the Navier-Stokes equations. The high-resolution snow simulations were run over a 1 km2 spatial extent centred on a ridgetop meteorological station within the Marmot Creek Research basin, Alberta, Canada. The three windflow simulations all produced reasonable results compared to wind speeds measured on two opposing slopes (bias better than ×0.3 m s-1; RMSE errors were greatest when forced with output from the empirical wind model and smallest using output from either of the two turbulence models. Simulations with higher blowing snow sublimation rates tended to better match measured SWE at multiple scales, confirming that alpine blowing snow sublimation is an important component of the snow mass balance in this region

  15. L’innovation au pluriel des cré-acteurs alpins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andréa Finger-Stich

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available La capacité d’innovation pour un développement durable des territoires alpins ne peut dépendre uniquement de conditions économiques, légales et politiques définies par les Etats aux échelles nationale et internationale. Elle dépend aussi de conditions locales, qui situent historiquement et géographiquement les acteurs dans une continuité de relations sociales et écologiques. Cette perspective accentue l’importance de la dimension collective, donc organisationnelle, du processus d’innovation, allant de l’imagination, puis au développement, à la réalisation – voire la diffusion – d’une nouvelle pratique. Le point de vue de cet article est qu’une innovation, pour contribuer au développement durable des Alpes, doit changer les relations écologique, politique, sociale et culturelle, qui engagent les acteurs du territoire. Ce changement affecte tant l’objet territoire que le sujet acteur du territoire. C’est pourquoi, innover dans les Alpes revient aussi à innover les Alpes et les acteurs alpins(Cosalp, 2008. Sur la base d’une recherche sur la participation des populations locales dans la gestion de forêts communales alpines, l’article relève l’importance des interactions locales impliquant les acteurs d’occupations, genres, âges et origines divers1.The capacity to innovate for a sustainable development of alpine territories cannot depend only on economic, legal and political conditions defined by the State at national and international levels. It depends also on local conditions that situate historically and geographically the actors in a continuity of social and ecological relationships. This approach highlights the collective - thus organisational - dimensions of the innovation process, including the imagination, the development, the implementation and even the diffusion of a new practice. Our point of view is that for contributing to the sustainable development of the Alps, innovations need to

  16. The relative age effect and the influence on performance in youth alpine ski racing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Lisa; Hildebrandt, Carolin; Raschner, Christian

    2015-03-01

    The relative age effect (RAE), which refers to an over representation of athletes born early in a selection year, recently was proven to be present in alpine skiing. However, it was not made apparent whether the RAE exists as early as at the youngest level of youth ski racing at national level, nor whether the relative age influences racing performance. As a consequence, the purpose of the present study was twofold: first, to examine the extent of the RAE and second, to assess the influence the relative age has on the overall performance at the youngest levels of youth ski racing. The study included the investigation of 1,438 participants of the Austrian Kids Cup and 1,004 participants of the Teenager Cup at the provincial level, as well as 250 finalists of the Kids Cup and 150 finalists of the Teenager Cup at the national level. Chi²-tests revealed a highly significant RAE already at the youngest level of youth ski racing (Kids Cup) at both the provincial and national levels. There are not again favorably selected the relatively older athletes from the first into the second level of youth ski racing (Teenager Cup). Among the athletes of the Kids Cup, the relative age quarter distribution differed highly significantly from the distribution of the total sample with an over representation of relatively older athletes by comparison taking the top three positions. The data revealed that relative age had a highly significant influence on performance. This study demonstrated that the RAE poses a problem as early as the youngest level of youth ski racing, thereby indicating that many young talented kids are discriminated against, diminishing any chance they might have of becoming elite athletes despite their talents and efforts. The RAE influences not only the participation rate in alpine skiing, but also the performances. As a result, changes in the talent development system are imperative. Key pointsThe relative age influences not only the participation in youth ski

  17. Nitrogen transformation in alpine soils of the Northern Caucasus: effect of nitrogen source and low temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makarov, Mikhail; Ermak, Anton; Malysheva, Tatiana; Mulyukova, Olga

    2010-05-01

    The alpine landscape supports a variety of plant communities whose distribution corresponds to their topographic position. Topography controls snow accumulation and hence soil winter temperature, length of growing season and soil water availability. The research was conducted at the Teberda Biosphere Reserve (Northern Caucasus, Russia). The study sites were located at Mt. Malaya Khatipara (43°27'N, 41°42'E) between 2700 and 2750 m a.s.l. The investigated toposequence was representative of the soil and plant community associations in the alpine zone of the Teberda Reserve: the wind-exposed ridges and upper slopes are covered by low-productive alpine lichen heaths; intermediate topographic positions are occupied by the most productive grasslands and meadows; the slope bottom is occupied by low-productive snowbed community. Under intensive snow cover accumulation typical for many alpine ecosystems, the temperature of soil within winter makes nearby 0 °C, while in case of absence or thin snow cover, characteristic for a lichen heath, the temperature can fall to -10 °C. The influence of nitrogen source, low temperatures and soil drying on processes of nitrogen mineralization, nitrification and plant/microbial immobilization was studied in the field and laboratory incubation experiments. 15N labeled ammonium, nitrate, glycine and aspartic acid were injected in situ before growth of aboveground biomass into the soil of lichen heath to investigate how the different nitrogen sources was subsequently utilized and cycled in the ecosystem. We analyzed the distribution of 15N between plants, soil microorganisms and different soil nitrogen compounds during all growing season in order to reveal differences for separate nitrogen sources. We concluded that the soil microorganisms were more efficient than plants in nitrogen uptake (especially amino acids) under natural conditions. In the laboratory, fresh and dry-rewetted soils of different alpine ecosystems were incubated at

  18. The fluid budget of a continental plate boundary fault: Quantification from the Alpine Fault, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzies, Catriona D.; Teagle, Damon A. H.; Niedermann, Samuel; Cox, Simon C.; Craw, Dave; Zimmer, Martin; Cooper, Matthew J.; Erzinger, Jörg

    2016-07-01

    Fluids play a key role in modifying the chemical and physical properties of fault zones, which may prime them for repeated rupture by the generation of high pore fluid pressures and precipitation of commonly weak, secondary minerals. Fluid flow paths, sources and fluxes, and the permeability evolution of fault zones throughout their seismic cycles remain poorly constrained, despite their importance to understanding fault zone behaviour. Here we use geochemical tracers of fluid-rock exchange to determine budgets for meteoric, metamorphic and mantle fluids on a major compressional tectonic plate boundary. The Alpine Fault marks the transpressional Pacific-Australian plate boundary through South Island, New Zealand and appears to fail in regular (329 ± 68 yrs) large earthquakes (Mw ∼ 8) with the most recent event in 1717 AD. Significant convergent motion has formed the Southern Alps and elevated geothermal gradients in the hangingwall, which drive crustal fluid flow. Along the Alpine Fault the Alpine Schist of the Pacific Plate is thrust over radiogenic metasedimentary rocks on the Australian plate. The absence of highly radiogenic (87Sr/86Sr > 0.7200) strontium isotope ratios of hangingwall hot springs and hydrothermal minerals formed at a range of depths in the Alpine Fault damage zone indicates that the fluid flow is restricted to the hangingwall by a cross-fault fluid flow barrier throughout the seismogenic crust. Helium isotope ratios measured in hot springs near to the Alpine Fault (0.15-0.81 RA) indicate the fault is a crustal-scale feature that acts as a conduit for fluids from the mantle. Rock-exchanged oxygen, but meteoric water-like hydrogen isotope signatures of hydrothermal veins indicate that partially rock-exchanged meteoric fluids dominate down to the top of the brittle to ductile transition zone at ∼6 km. Geochemical tracer transport modelling suggests only ∼0.02 to 0.05% of total rainfall west of the Main Divide penetrates to depth, yet this

  19. Anterior cruciate ligament injury/reinjury in alpine ski racing: a narrative review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan MJ

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Matthew J Jordan,1 Per Aagaard,2 Walter Herzog1 1Human Performance Laboratory, The University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; 2Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Muscle Research Cluster (SMRC, University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark Abstract: The purpose of the present review was to: 1 provide an overview of the current understanding on the epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and prevention methods for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL injury in alpine ski racing; and 2 provide an overview of what is known pertaining to ACL reinjury and return to sport after ACL injury in alpine ski racing. Given that most of the scientific studies on ACL injuries in alpine ski racing have been descriptive, and that very few studies contributed higher level scientific evidence, a nonsystematic narrative review was employed. Three scholarly databases were searched for articles on ACL injury or knee injury in alpine ski racing. Studies were classified according to their relevance in relation to epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and return to sport/reinjury prevention. Alpine ski racers (skiers were found to be at high risk for knee injuries, and ACL tears were the most frequent diagnosis. Three primary ACL injury mechanism were identified that involved tibial internal rotation and anteriorly directed shear forces from ski equipment and the environment. While trunk muscle strength imbalance and genetics were found to be predictive of ACL injuries in development-level skiers, there was limited scientific data on ACL injury risk factors among elite skiers. Based on expert opinion, research on injury risk factors should focus on equipment design, course settings/speed, and athlete factors (eg, fitness. While skiers seem to make a successful recovery following ACL injury, there may be persistent neuromuscular deficits. Future research efforts should be directed toward prospective studies on ACL injury/reinjury prevention in both

  20. Response of a tundra ecosystem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO{sub 2}-induced climate change. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO{sub 2} flux in selected locations of the circumpolar arctic, and to develop the information necessary to predict how these fluxes may be affected by climate change. In fulfillment of these objectives, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured at several sites on the North Slope of Alaska during the 1990--94 growing season (June--August) to determine the local and regional patterns of seasonal CO{sub 2} exchange. In addition, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO{sub 2} exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar Arctic, while cold-season CO{sub 2} flux measurements were carried out during the 1993--94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO{sub 2} efflux not accounted for by the growing season measurements. Manipulations of soil water table depth and surface temperature, which were identified from the extensive measurements as being the most important variables in determining the magnitude and direction of net CO{sub 2} exchange, were carried out during the 1993--94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH{sub 4} flux were also measured at several of the North Slope study sites during the 1990--91 growing seasons.

  1. Complete genome sequence of Terriglobus saanensis type strain SP1PR4T, an Acidobacteria from tundra soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rawat, Suman R. [Rutgers University; Mannisto, Minna [Finnish Forest Research Institute, Parkano, Finland; Starovoytov, Valentin [Rutgers University; Goodwin, Lynne A. [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Nolan, Matt [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Hauser, Loren John [ORNL; Land, Miriam L [ORNL; Davenport, Karen W. [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Woyke, Tanja [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Haggblom, Max [Rutgers University

    2012-01-01

    Terriglobus saanensis SP1PR4T is a novel species of the genus Terriglobus. T. saanensis is of ecological interest because it is a representative of the phylum Acidobacteria, which are dominant members of bacterial soil microbiota in Arctic ecosystems. T. saanensis is a cold-adapted acidophile and a versatile heterotroph utilizing a suite of simple sugars and complex polysaccharides. The genome contained an abundance of genes assigned to metabolism and transport of carbohydrates including gene modules encoding for carbohydrate-active enzyme (CAZyme) family involved in breakdown, utilization and biosynthesis of diverse structural and storage polysaccharides. T. saanensis SP1PR4T represents the first member of genus Terriglobus with a completed genome sequence, consisting of a single replicon of 5,095,226 base pairs (bp), 54 RNA genes and 4,279 protein-coding genes. We infer that the physiology and metabolic potential of T. saanensis is adapted to allow for resilience to the nutrient-deficient conditions and fluctuating temperatures of Arctic tundra soils.

  2. Morphology and properties of the soils of permafrost peatlands in the southeast of the Bol'shezemel'skaya tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaverin, D. A.; Pastukhov, A. V.; Lapteva, E. M.; Biasi, C.; Marushchak, M.; Martikainen, P.

    2016-05-01

    The morphology and properties of the soils of permafrost peatlands in the southeast of the Bol'shezemel'skaya tundra are characterized. The soils developing in the areas of barren peat circles differ from oligotrophic permafrost-affected peat soils (Cryic Histosols) of vegetated peat mounds in a number of morphological and physicochemical parameters. The soils of barren circles are characterized by the wellstructured surface horizons, relatively low exchangeable acidity, and higher rates of decomposition and humification of organic matter. It is shown that the development of barren peat circles on tops of peat mounds is favored by the activation of erosional and cryogenic processes in the topsoil. The role of winter wind erosion in the destruction of the upper peat and litter horizons is demonstrated. A comparative analysis of the temperature regime of soils of vegetated peat mounds and barren peat circles