WorldWideScience

Sample records for arctic tundra final

  1. Tundra Rehabilitation in Alaska's Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn, L. A.

    2012-12-01

    Oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic has been conducted for more than 40 years, resulting in over 3,640 ha of gravel fill placed for roads, pads, and airstrips to support the industry. Likewise, tundra disturbance from burying power lines and by tundra vehicle travel are also common. Rehabilitation of disturbed sites began around 2002, with well over 150 ha that has been previously treated or is currently being rehabilitated. Two primary goals of rehabilitation efforts have been 1) revegetation by indigenous species, and 2) limiting thermokarst. Early efforts were concerned that removing gravel and having exposed bare ground would lead to extensive subsidence and eolian erosion. Native grass cultivars (e.g. Poa glauca, Arctagrostis latifolia, and Festuca rubra) were seeded to create vegetation cover quickly with the expectation that these grasses would survive only temporarily. The root masses and leaf litter were also expected to trap indigenous seed to enhance natural recolonization by indigenous plants. Due to the remote location of these sites, many of which are only accessible by helicopter, most are visited only two to three times following cultivation treatments, providing a limited data pool. At many sites, the total live seeded grass cover declined about 15% over the first 5¬-6 years (from around 30% to 15% cover), while total live indigenous vascular cover increased from no or trace cover to an average of 10% cover in that time. Cover of indigenous vascular plants at sites that were not seeded with native grass cultivars averaged just less than 10% after 10 years, showing no appreciable difference between the two approaches. Final surface elevations at the sites affect local hydrology and soil moisture. Other factors that influence the success of vegetation cover are proximity to the Arctic coast (salt effects), depth of remaining gravel, and changes in characteristics of the near-surface soil. Further development of rehabilitation techniques and the

  2. Tundra vegetation effects on pan-Arctic albedo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loranty, Michael M; Goetz, Scott J; Beck, Pieter S A

    2011-01-01

    Recent field experiments in tundra ecosystems describe how increased shrub cover reduces winter albedo, and how subsequent changes in surface net radiation lead to altered rates of snowmelt. These findings imply that tundra vegetation change will alter regional energy budgets, but to date the effects have not been documented at regional or greater scales. Using satellite observations and a pan-Arctic vegetation map, we examined the effects of shrub vegetation on albedo across the terrestrial Arctic. We included vegetation classes dominated by low shrubs, dwarf shrubs, tussock-dominated graminoid tundra, and non-tussock graminoid tundra. Each class was further stratified by bioclimate subzones. Low-shrub tundra had higher normalized difference vegetation index values and earlier albedo decline in spring than dwarf-shrub tundra, but for tussock tundra, spring albedo declined earlier than for low-shrub tundra. Our results illustrate how relatively small changes in vegetation properties result in differences in albedo dynamics, regardless of shrub growth, that may lead to differences in net radiation upwards of 50 W m -2 at weekly time scales. Further, our findings imply that changes to the terrestrial Arctic energy budget during this important seasonal transition are under way regardless of whether recent satellite observed productivity trends are the result of shrub expansion. We conclude that a better understanding of changes in vegetation productivity and distribution in Arctic tundra is essential for accurately quantifying and predicting carbon and energy fluxes and associated climate feedbacks.

  3. Tundra uptake of atmospheric elemental mercury drives Arctic mercury pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obrist, Daniel; Agnan, Yannick; Jiskra, Martin; Olson, Christine L; Colegrove, Dominique P; Hueber, Jacques; Moore, Christopher W; Sonke, Jeroen E; Helmig, Detlev

    2017-07-12

    Anthropogenic activities have led to large-scale mercury (Hg) pollution in the Arctic. It has been suggested that sea-salt-induced chemical cycling of Hg (through 'atmospheric mercury depletion events', or AMDEs) and wet deposition via precipitation are sources of Hg to the Arctic in its oxidized form (Hg(ii)). However, there is little evidence for the occurrence of AMDEs outside of coastal regions, and their importance to net Hg deposition has been questioned. Furthermore, wet-deposition measurements in the Arctic showed some of the lowest levels of Hg deposition via precipitation worldwide, raising questions as to the sources of high Arctic Hg loading. Here we present a comprehensive Hg-deposition mass-balance study, and show that most of the Hg (about 70%) in the interior Arctic tundra is derived from gaseous elemental Hg (Hg(0)) deposition, with only minor contributions from the deposition of Hg(ii) via precipitation or AMDEs. We find that deposition of Hg(0)-the form ubiquitously present in the global atmosphere-occurs throughout the year, and that it is enhanced in summer through the uptake of Hg(0) by vegetation. Tundra uptake of gaseous Hg(0) leads to high soil Hg concentrations, with Hg masses greatly exceeding the levels found in temperate soils. Our concurrent Hg stable isotope measurements in the atmosphere, snowpack, vegetation and soils support our finding that Hg(0) dominates as a source to the tundra. Hg concentration and stable isotope data from an inland-to-coastal transect show high soil Hg concentrations consistently derived from Hg(0), suggesting that the Arctic tundra might be a globally important Hg sink. We suggest that the high tundra soil Hg concentrations might also explain why Arctic rivers annually transport large amounts of Hg to the Arctic Ocean.

  4. Arctic Tundra Greening and Browning at Circumpolar and Regional Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, H. E.; Bhatt, U. S.; Walker, D. A.; Raynolds, M. K.; Yang, X.

    2017-12-01

    Remote sensing data have historically been used to assess the dynamics of arctic tundra vegetation. Until recently the scientific literature has largely described the "greening" of the Arctic; from a remote sensing perspective, an increase in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), or a similar satellite-based vegetation index. Vegetation increases have been heterogeneous throughout the Arctic, and were reported to be up to 25% in certain areas over a 30-year timespan. However, more recently, arctic tundra vegetation dynamics have gotten more complex, with observations of more widespread tundra "browning" being reported. We used a combination of remote sensing data, including the Global Inventory Monitoring and Modeling System (GIMMS), as well as higher spatial resolution Landsat data, to evaluate the spatio-temporal patterns of arctic tundra vegetation dynamics (greening and browning) at circumpolar and regional scales over the past 3-4 decades. At the circumpolar scale, we focus on the spatial heterogeneity (by tundra subzone and continent) of tundra browning over the past 5-15 years, followed by a more recent recovery (greening since 2015). Landsat time series allow us to evaluate the landscape-scale heterogeneity of tundra greening and browning for northern Alaska and the Yamal Peninsula in northwestern Siberia, Russia. Multi-dataset analyses reveal that tundra greening and browning (i.e. increases or decreases in the NDVI respectively) are generated by different sets of processes. Tundra greening is largely a result of either climate warming, lengthening of the growing season, or responses to disturbances, such as fires, landslides, and freeze-thaw processes. Browning on the other hand tends to be more event-driven, such as the shorter-term decline in vegetation due to fire, insect defoliation, consumption by larger herbivores, or extreme weather events (e.g. winter warming or early summer frost damage). Browning can also be caused by local or

  5. Carbon loss from an unprecedented Arctic tundra wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelle C. Mack; M. Syndonia Bret-Harte; Teresa N. Hollingsworth; Randi R. Jandt; Edward A.G. Schuur; Gaius R. Shaver; David L. Verbyla

    2011-01-01

    Arctic tundra soils store large amounts of carbon (C) in organic soil layers hundreds to thousands of years old that insulate, and in some cases maintain, permafrost soils. Fire has been largely absent from most of this biome since the early Holocene epoch, but its frequency and extent are increasing, probably in response to climate warming. The effect of fires on the...

  6. Cold season emissions dominate the Arctic tundra methane budget

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zona, Donatella; Gioli, Beniamino; Commane, Róisín; Lindaas, Jakob; Wofsy, Steven C.; Miller, Charles E.; Dinardo, Steven J.; Dengel, Sigrid; Sweeney, Colm; Karion, Anna; Chang, Rachel Y.-W.; Henderson, John M.; Murphy, Patrick C.; Goodrich, Jordan P.; Moreaux, Virginie; Liljedahl, Anna; Watts, Jennifer D.; Kimball, John S.; Lipson, David A.; Oechel, Walter C.

    2016-01-01

    Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are major global sources of methane (CH4); hence, it is important to understand the seasonal and climatic controls on CH4 emissions from these systems. Here, we report year-round CH4 emissions from Alaskan Arctic tundra eddy flux sites and regional fluxes derived from aircraft data. We find that emissions during the cold season (September to May) account for ≥50% of the annual CH4 flux, with the highest emissions from noninundated upland tundra. A major fraction of cold season emissions occur during the "zero curtain" period, when subsurface soil temperatures are poised near 0 °C. The zero curtain may persist longer than the growing season, and CH4 emissions are enhanced when the duration is extended by a deep thawed layer as can occur with thick snow cover. Regional scale fluxes of CH4 derived from aircraft data demonstrate the large spatial extent of late season CH4 emissions. Scaled to the circumpolar Arctic, cold season fluxes from tundra total 12 ± 5 (95% confidence interval) Tg CH4 y-1, ∼25% of global emissions from extratropical wetlands, or ∼6% of total global wetland methane emissions. The dominance of late-season emissions, sensitivity to soil environmental conditions, and importance of dry tundra are not currently simulated in most global climate models. Because Arctic warming disproportionally impacts the cold season, our results suggest that higher cold-season CH4 emissions will result from observed and predicted increases in snow thickness, active layer depth, and soil temperature, representing important positive feedbacks on climate warming.

  7. [Nitrogen bio-cycle in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain and its comparison with arctic tundra].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Jing; Zhao, Jing-zhu; Deng, Hong-bing; Wu, Gang; Hao, Ying-jie; Shang, Wen-yan

    2005-03-01

    The nitrogen bio-cycle was discussed in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain through compartment model. The alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain was compared with Arctic tundra by the common ratio of genus and species in this paper. It was found that the 89.3% of genus and 58.6% of species was the common between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra while 95.5% of lichen genus and 58.7% lichen species, 82.1% of moss genus and 76.3% of moss species, 93.1% of vascular bundle genus and 40.5% of vascular bundle species were the common, respectively, which made vegetation type or community to be similar between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra. The total storage of nitrogen was 65220.6 t in the vegetation-plant system of Changbai Mountain, of which soil pool amounted to 99.3%. The nitrogen storage of each compartment was as follows: the vegetation pool, litterfall pool and soil pool were 237.4 t, 145.3 t and 64837.9 t respectively. The transferable amounts of nitrogen were 131.7 t x a(-1), 58 t/a and 73.7 t x a(-1) in the aboveground plant, belowground root system and litterfall of alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain.

  8. 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

  9. Patterned-ground facilitates shrub expansion in Low Arctic tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E; Walker, Donald A; Matyshak, Georgiy; Ermokhina, Ksenia

    2013-01-01

    Recent expansion of tall shrubs in Low Arctic tundra is widely seen as a response to climate warming, but shrubification is not occurring as a simple function of regional climate trends. We show that establishment of tall alder (Alnus) is strongly facilitated by small, widely distributed cryogenic disturbances associated with patterned-ground landscapes. We identified expanding and newly established shrub stands at two northwest Siberian sites and observed that virtually all new shrubs occurred on bare microsites (‘circles’) that were disturbed by frost-heave. Frost-heave associated with circles is a widespread, annual phenomenon that maintains mosaics of mineral seedbeds with warm soils and few competitors that are immediately available to shrubs during favorable climatic periods. Circle facilitation of alder recruitment also plausibly explains the development of shrublands in which alders are regularly spaced. We conclude that alder abundance and extent have increased rapidly in the northwest Siberian Low Arctic since at least the mid-20th century, despite a lack of summer warming in recent decades. Our results are consistent with findings in the North American Arctic which emphasize that the responsiveness of Low Arctic landscapes to climate change is largely determined by the frequency and extent of disturbance processes that create mineral-rich seedbeds favorable for tall shrub recruitment. Northwest Siberia has high potential for continued expansion of tall shrubs and concomitant changes to ecosystem function, due to the widespread distribution of patterned-ground landscapes. (letter)

  10. Trends in NDVI and tundra community composition in the Arctic of NE Alaska between 1984 and 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert R. Pattison; Janet C. Jorgenson; Martha K. Raynolds; Jeffery M. Welker

    2015-01-01

    As Arctic ecosystems experience increases in surface air temperatures, plot-level analyses of tundra vegetation composition suggest that there are important changes occurring in tundra communities that are typified by increases in shrubs and declines in non-vascular species. At the same time analyses of NDVI indicate that the Arctic tundra is greening. Few studies have...

  11. Dynamics of aboveground phytomass of the circumpolar Arctic tundra during the past three decades

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. (letter)

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz Skrzypek

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. Hybrid image classification technique for land-cover mapping in the Arctic tundra, North Slope, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhuri, Debasish

    used as an input to a Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) classifier. The result from the MLP classifier was compared to the previous classified map and for the pixels where there was a disagreement for the class allocations, the class having a higher kappa value was assigned to the pixel in the final classified map. The results were compared to standard classification techniques: simple unsupervised clustering technique and supervised classification with Feature Analyst. The results indicated higher classification accuracy (75.6%, with kappa value of .6840) for the proposed hybrid classification method than the standard classification techniques: unsupervised clustering technique (68.3%, with kappa value of 0.5904) and supervised classification with Feature Analyst (62.44%, with kappa value of 0.5418). The results were statistically significant at 95% confidence level. Keywords: Arctic tundra, hybrid classification, artificial neural network

  15. Can antibrowsing defense regulate the spread of woody vegetation in arctic tundra?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, John P.; Joly, Kyle; Chapin, F. Stuart; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Kielland, Knut

    2014-01-01

    Global climate warming is projected to promote the increase of woody plants, especially shrubs, in arctic tundra. Many factors may affect the extent of this increase, including browsing by mammals. We hypothesize that across the Arctic the effect of browsing will vary because of regional variation in antibrowsing chemical defense. Using birch (Betula) as a case study, we propose that browsing is unlikely to retard birch expansion in the region extending eastward from the Lena River in central Siberia across Beringia and the continental tundra of central and eastern Canada where the more effectively defended resin birches predominate. Browsing is more likely to retard birch expansion in tundra west of the Lena to Fennoscandia, Iceland, Greenland and South Baffin Island where the less effectively defended non-resin birches predominate. Evidence from the literature supports this hypothesis. We further suggest that the effect of warming on the supply of plant-available nitrogen will not significantly change either this pan-Arctic pattern of variation in antibrowsing defense or the resultant effect that browsing has on birch expansion in tundra. However, within central and east Beringia warming-caused increases in plant-available nitrogen combined with wildfire could initiate amplifying feedback loops that could accelerate shrubification of tundra by the more effectively defended resin birches. This accelerated shrubification of tundra by resin birch, if extensive, could reduce the food supply of caribou causing population declines. We conclude with a brief discussion of modeling methods that show promise in projecting invasion of tundra by woody plants.

  16. Airborne Spectral Measurements of Surface-Atmosphere Anisotropy for Arctic Sea Ice and Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, G. Thomas; Tsay, Si-Chee; King, Michael D.; Li, Jason Y.; Soulen, Peter F.

    1999-01-01

    Angular distributions of spectral reflectance for four common arctic surfaces: snow-covered sea ice, melt-season sea ice, snow-covered tundra, and tundra shortly after snowmelt were measured using an aircraft based, high angular resolution (1-degree) multispectral radiometer. Results indicate bidirectional reflectance is higher for snow-covered sea ice than melt-season sea ice at all wavelengths between 0.47 and 2.3 pm, with the difference increasing with wavelength. Bidirectional reflectance of snow-covered tundra is higher than for snow-free tundra for measurements less than 1.64 pm, with the difference decreasing with wavelength. Bidirectional reflectance patterns of all measured surfaces show maximum reflectance in the forward scattering direction of the principal plane, with identifiable specular reflection for the melt-season sea ice and snow-free tundra cases. The snow-free tundra had the most significant backscatter, and the melt-season sea ice the least. For sea ice, bidirectional reflectance changes due to snowmelt were more significant than differences among the different types of melt-season sea ice. Also the spectral-hemispherical (plane) albedo of each measured arctic surface was computed. Comparing measured nadir reflectance to albedo for sea ice and snow-covered tundra shows albedo underestimated 5-40%, with the largest bias at wavelengths beyond 1 pm. For snow-free tundra, nadir reflectance underestimates plane albedo by about 30-50%.

  17. Arctic Tundra Soils: A Microbial Feast That Shrubs Will Cease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machmuller, M.; Calderon, F.; Cotrufo, M. F.; Lynch, L.; Paul, E. A.; Wallenstein, M. D.

    2016-12-01

    Rapid climate warming may already be driving rapid decomposition of the vast stocks of carbon in Arctic tundra soils. However, stimulated decomposition may also release nitrogen and support increased plant productivity, potentially counteracting soil carbon losses. At the same time, these two processes interact, with plant derived carbon potentially fueling soil microbes to attack soil organic matter (SOM) to acquire nitrogen- a process known as priming. Thus, differences in the physiology, stoichiometry and microbial interactions among plant species could affect climate-carbon feedbacks. To reconcile these interactive mechanisms, we examined how vegetation type (Betula nana and Eriophorum vaginatum) and fertilization (short-term and long-term) influenced the decomposition of native SOM after labile carbon and nutrient addition. We hypothesized that labile carbon inputs would stimulate the loss of native SOM, but the magnitude of this effect would be indirectly related to soil nitrogen concentrations (e.g. SOM priming would be highest in N-limited soils). We added isotopically enriched (13C) glucose and ammonium nitrate to soils under shrub (B. nana) and tussock (E. vaginatum) vegetation. We found that nitrogen additions stimulated priming only in tussock soils, characterized by lower nutrient concentrations and microbial biomass (p20yrs. Rather, we found that long-term fertilization shifted SOM chemistry towards a greater abundance of recalcitrant SOM, lower microbial biomass, and decreased SOM respiration (p<0.05). Our results suggest that, in the short-term, the magnitude of SOM priming is dependent on vegetation and soil nitrogen concentrations, but this effect may not persist if shrubs increase in abundance under climate warming. Therefore, including nitrogen as a control on SOM decomposition and priming is critical to accurately model the effects of climate change on arctic carbon storage.

  18. Predicting Changes in Arctic Tundra Vegetation: Towards an Understanding of Plant Trait Uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Serbin, S.; Carman, T.; Iversen, C. M.; Salmon, V.; Helene, G.; McGuire, A. D.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic tundra plant communities are currently undergoing unprecedented changes in both composition and distribution under a warming climate. Predicting how these dynamics may play out in the future is important since these vegetation shifts impact both biogeochemical and biogeophysical processes. More precise estimates of these future vegetation shifts is a key challenge due to both a scarcity of data with which to parameterize vegetation models, particularly in the Arctic, as well as a limited understanding of the importance of each of the model parameters and how they may vary over space and time. Here, we incorporate newly available field data from arctic Alaska into a dynamic vegetation model specifically developed to take into account a particularly wide array of plant species as well as the permafrost soils of the arctic tundra (the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model with Dynamic Vegetation and Dynamic Organic Soil, Terrestrial Ecosystem Model; DVM-DOS-TEM). We integrate the model within the Predicative Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn), an open-source integrated ecological bioinformatics toolbox that facilitates the flows of information into and out of process models and model-data integration. We use PEcAn to evaluate the plant functional traits that contribute most to model variability based on a sensitivity analysis. We perform this analysis for the dominant types of tundra in arctic Alaska, including heath, shrub, tussock and wet sedge tundra. The results from this analysis will help inform future data collection in arctic tundra and reduce model uncertainty, thereby improving our ability to simulate Arctic vegetation structure and function in response to global change.

  19. 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

  20. NDVI as a predictor of canopy arthropod biomass in the Alaskan arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet, Shannan K; Asmus, Ashley; Rich, Matthew E; Wingfield, John; Gough, Laura; Boelman, Natalie T

    2015-04-01

    The physical and biological responses to rapid arctic warming are proving acute, and as such, there is a need to monitor, understand, and predict ecological responses over large spatial and temporal scales. The use of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) acquired from airborne and satellite sensors addresses this need, as it is widely used as a tool for detecting and quantifying spatial and temporal dynamics of tundra vegetation cover, productivity, and phenology. Such extensive use of the NDVI to quantify vegetation characteristics suggests that it may be similarly applied to characterizing primary and secondary consumer communities. Here, we develop empirical models to predict canopy arthropod biomass with canopy-level measurements of the NDVI both across and within distinct tundra vegetation communities over four growing seasons in the Arctic Foothills region of the Brooks Range, Alaska, USA. When canopy arthropod biomass is predicted with the NDVI across all four growing seasons, our overall model that includes all four vegetation communities explains 63% of the variance in canopy arthropod biomass, whereas our models specific to each of the four vegetation communities explain 74% (moist tussock tundra), 82% (erect shrub tundra), 84% (riparian shrub tundra), and 87% (dwarf shrub tundra) of the observed variation in canopy arthropod biomass. Our field-based study suggests that measurements of the NDVI made from air- and spaceborne sensors may be able to quantify spatial and temporal variation in canopy arthropod biomass at landscape to regional scales.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kolk, van der Henk-Jan; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Huissteden, van J.; Pullens, J.W.M.; Berendse, F.

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. Plant functional type affects nitrogen use efficiency in high-Arctic tundra

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Oulehle, F.; Rowe, E. C.; Myška, Oldřich; Chuman, T.; Evans, C.D.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 94, mar (2016), s. 19-28 ISSN 0038-0717 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Arctic * Nitrogen * Isotope * Mineralization * Nitrification * Tundra Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.857, year: 2016

  3. Tundra landform and vegetation productivity trend maps for the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Mark J.; Nitze, Ingmar; Grosse, Guido; McGuire, A. David

    2018-01-01

    Arctic tundra landscapes are composed of a complex mosaic of patterned ground features, varying in soil moisture, vegetation composition, and surface hydrology over small spatial scales (10–100 m). The importance of microtopography and associated geomorphic landforms in influencing ecosystem structure and function is well founded, however, spatial data products describing local to regional scale distribution of patterned ground or polygonal tundra geomorphology are largely unavailable. Thus, our understanding of local impacts on regional scale processes (e.g., carbon dynamics) may be limited. We produced two key spatiotemporal datasets spanning the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska (~60,000 km2) to evaluate climate-geomorphological controls on arctic tundra productivity change, using (1) a novel 30 m classification of polygonal tundra geomorphology and (2) decadal-trends in surface greenness using the Landsat archive (1999–2014). These datasets can be easily integrated and adapted in an array of local to regional applications such as (1) upscaling plot-level measurements (e.g., carbon/energy fluxes), (2) mapping of soils, vegetation, or permafrost, and/or (3) initializing ecosystem biogeochemistry, hydrology, and/or habitat modeling.

  4. InSAR detects increase in surface subsidence caused by an Arctic tundra fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lin; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Schaefer, Kevin M.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Zebker, Howard A.; Williams, Christopher A.; Rogan, John; Zhang, Tingjun

    2014-01-01

    Wildfire is a major disturbance in the Arctic tundra and boreal forests, having a significant impact on soil hydrology, carbon cycling, and permafrost dynamics. This study explores the use of the microwave Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technique to map and quantify ground surface subsidence caused by the Anaktuvuk River fire on the North Slope of Alaska. We detected an increase of up to 8 cm of thaw-season ground subsidence after the fire, which is due to a combination of thickened active layer and permafrost thaw subsidence. Our results illustrate the effectiveness and potential of using InSAR to quantify fire impacts on the Arctic tundra, especially in regions underlain by ice-rich permafrost. Our study also suggests that surface subsidence is a more comprehensive indicator of fire impacts on ice-rich permafrost terrain than changes in active layer thickness alone.

  5. [The processes of methane formation and oxidation in the soils of the Russian arctic tundra].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berestovskaia, Iu Iu; Rusanov, I I; Vasil'eva, L V; Pimenov, N V

    2005-01-01

    Methane emission from the following types of tundra soils was studied: coarse humic gleyey loamy cryo soil, peaty gley soil, and peaty gleyey midloamy cryo soil of the arctic tundra. All the soils studied were found to be potential sources of atmospheric methane. The highest values of methane emission were recorded in August at a soil temperature of 8-10 degrees C. Flooded parcels were the sources of atmospheric methane throughout the observation period. The rates of methane production and oxidation in tundra soils of various types at 5 and 15 degrees C were studied by the radioisotope method. Methane oxidation was found to occur in bog water, in the green part of peat moss, and in all the soil horizons studied. Methane formation was recorded in the horizons of peat, in clay with plant roots, and in peaty moss dust of the bogey parcels. At both temperatures, the methane oxidation rate exceeded the rate of methane formation in all the horizons of the mossy-lichen tundra and of the bumpy sinkhole complex. Methanogenesis prevailed only in a sedge-peat moss bog at 15 degrees C. Enrichment bacterial cultures oxidizing methane at 5 and 15 degrees C were obtained. Different types of methanotrophic bacteria were shown to be responsible for methane oxidation under these conditions. A representative of type I methylotrophs oxidized methane at 5 degrees C, and Methylocella tundrae, a psychroactive representative of an acidophilic methanotrophic genus Methylocella, at 15 degrees C.

  6. Contrasting above- and belowground organic matter decomposition and carbon and nitrogen dynamics in response to warming in High Arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blok, Daan; Faucherre, Samuel; Banyasz, Imre; Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Elberling, Bo

    2017-12-13

    Tundra regions are projected to warm rapidly during the coming decades. The tundra biome holds the largest terrestrial carbon pool, largely contained in frozen permafrost soils. With warming, these permafrost soils may thaw and become available for microbial decomposition, potentially providing a positive feedback to global warming. Warming may directly stimulate microbial metabolism but may also indirectly stimulate organic matter turnover through increased plant productivity by soil priming from root exudates and accelerated litter turnover rates. Here, we assess the impacts of experimental warming on turnover rates of leaf litter, active layer soil and thawed permafrost sediment in two high-arctic tundra heath sites in NE-Greenland, either dominated by evergreen or deciduous shrubs. We incubated shrub leaf litter on the surface of control and warmed plots for 1 and 2 years. Active layer soil was collected from the plots to assess the effects of 8 years of field warming on soil carbon stocks. Finally, we incubated open cores filled with newly thawed permafrost soil for 2 years in the active layer of the same plots. After field incubation, we measured basal respiration rates of recovered thawed permafrost cores in the lab. Warming significantly reduced litter mass loss by 26% after 1 year incubation, but differences in litter mass loss among treatments disappeared after 2 years incubation. Warming also reduced litter nitrogen mineralization and decreased the litter carbon to nitrogen ratio. Active layer soil carbon stocks were reduced 15% by warming, while soil dissolved nitrogen was reduced by half in warmed plots. Warming had a positive legacy effect on carbon turnover rates in thawed permafrost cores, with 10% higher respiration rates measured in cores from warmed plots. These results demonstrate that warming may have contrasting effects on above- and belowground tundra carbon turnover, possibly governed by microbial resource availability. © 2017 John

  7. Seasonal patterns in soil N availability in the arctic tundra in response to accelerated snowmelt and warming

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

    Arctic soils contain large stocks of carbon (C) and may act as a significant CO2 source in response to climate warming. However, nitrogen (N) availability limits both plant growth and decomposition in many Arctic sites, and may thus be a key constraint on climate-carbon feedbacks. While current models of tundra ecosystems and their responses to climate change assume that N limits plant growth and C limits decomposition, there is strong evidence to the contrary showing that N can also limit decomposition. For example, the production of both new microbial biomass and enzymes that degrade organic matter appear to be limited by N during the summer. N availability is strongly seasonal: we have previously observed relatively high availability early in the growing season followed by a pronounced crash in tussock tundra soils. To investigate the drivers of N availability throughout the season, we used a field manipulation of tussock tundra growing season length (~4 days acceleration of snowmelt) and air temperature (open top chambers) and a laboratory soil N addition in both early and late season. Nutrient availability throughout the field season was measured at high temporal resolution (25 measurements from soil thaw through early plant senescence). Results from a laboratory experiment in which N was added to early season and late season soils suggests that soil respiration is in fact N limited at both times of the season, though this limitation is temperature dependent with effects most pronounced at 10°C. High-resolution measurements of nutrients in the soil solution and extractable N throughout the season showed that although a nutrient crash in N can be observed mid-season, N availability can still fluctuate later in the season. Finally, effects of the extended growing season and increased air temperature have so far had few effects on soil nutrient N dynamics throughout the summer growing season, suggesting either an insensitivity of N availability to these

  8. Reduced arctic tundra productivity linked with landform and climate change interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Mark J.; Nitze, Ingmar; Grosse, Guido; Martin, Philip; McGuire, A. David

    2018-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems have experienced unprecedented change associated with climate warming over recent decades. Across the Pan-Arctic, vegetation productivity and surface greenness have trended positively over the period of satellite observation. However, since 2011 these trends have slowed considerably, showing signs of browning in many regions. It is unclear what factors are driving this change and which regions/landforms will be most sensitive to future browning. Here we provide evidence linking decadal patterns in arctic greening and browning with regional climate change and local permafrost-driven landscape heterogeneity. We analyzed the spatial variability of decadal-scale trends in surface greenness across the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska (~60,000 km²) using the Landsat archive (1999–2014), in combination with novel 30 m classifications of polygonal tundra and regional watersheds, finding landscape heterogeneity and regional climate change to be the most important factors controlling historical greenness trends. Browning was linked to increased temperature and precipitation, with the exception of young landforms (developed following lake drainage), which will likely continue to green. Spatiotemporal model forecasting suggests carbon uptake potential to be reduced in response to warmer and/or wetter climatic conditions, potentially increasing the net loss of carbon to the atmosphere, at a greater degree than previously expected.

  9. 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.

  10. Revisiting factors controlling methane emissions from high-Arctic tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastepanov, M.; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Tagesson, Håkan Torbern

    2013-01-01

    The northern latitudes are experiencing disproportionate warming relative to the mid-latitudes, and there is growing concern about feedbacks between this warming and methane production and release from high-latitude soils. Studies of methane emissions carried out in the Arctic, particularly those...

  11. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

    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 "1"5N labelling experiment. In 2010, we simulated N depositions at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2 g N m"−"2 yr"−"1, applied as "1"5NH_4"1"5NO_3 in Svalbard (79"°N), during the summer. Separate applications of "1"5NO_3"− and "1"5NH_4"+ were also made to determine the importance of N form in their retention. More than 95% of the total "1"5N 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 "1"5N 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 "1"5NO_3"− than "1"5NH_4"+, 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. - Highlights: • High Arctic tundra demonstrated a

  13. 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.

  14. Revisiting factors controlling methane emissions from high-Arctic tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastepanov, M.; Sigsgaard, C.; Tagesson, T.

    2013-01-01

    controlling methane emission, i.e. temperature and water table position. Late in the growing season CH4 emissions were found to be very similar between the study years (except the extremely dry 2010) despite large differences in climatic factors (temperature and water table). Late-season bursts of CH4...... short-term control factors (temperature and water table). Our findings suggest the importance of multiyear studies with a continued focus on shoulder seasons in Arctic ecosystems....

  15. The effects of climate changes on soil methane oxidation in a dry Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Imperio, Ludovica

    2014-05-01

    The effects of climate changes on soil methane oxidation in a dry Arctic tundra. Ludovica D'Imperio1, Anders Michelsen1, Christian J. Jørgensen1, Bo Elberling1 1Center for Permafrost (CENPERM), Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark At Northern latitudes climatic changes are predicted to be most pronounced resulting in increasing active layer depth and changes in growing season length, vegetation cover and nutrient cycling. As a consequence of increased temperature, large stocks of carbon stored in the permafrost-affected soils could become available for microbial transformations and under anoxic conditions result in increasing methane production affecting net methane (CH4) budget. Arctic tundra soils also serves as an important sink of atmospheric CH4 by microbial oxidation under aerobic conditions. While several process studies have documented the mechanisms behind both production and emissions of CH4 in arctic ecosystems, an important knowledge gap exists with respect to the in situ dynamics of microbial-driven uptake of CH4 in arctic dry lands which may be enhanced as a consequence of global warming and thereby counterbalancing CH4 emissions from Arctic wetlands. In-situ methane measurements were made in a dry Arctic tundra in Disko Island, Western Greenland, during the summer 2013 to assess the role of seasonal and inter-annual variations in temperatures and snow cover. The experimental set-up included snow fences installed in 2012, allowed investigations of the emissions of GHGs from soil under increased winter snow deposition and ambient field conditions. The soil fluxes of CH4 and CO2 were measured using closed chambers in manipulated plots with increased summer temperatures and shrub removal with or without increased winter precipitation. At the control plots, the averaged seasonal CH4 oxidation rates ranged between -0.05 mg CH4 m-2 hr-1 (end of August) and -0.32 mg CH4 m-2 hr-1 (end of June). In the

  16. Understanding Pan-Arctic Tundra Vegetation Change Through Long-term Remotely Sensed Data

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    The goal of this paper is to present an analysis of the seasonality of tundra vegetation variability and change using long-term remotely sensed data as well as ground based measurements and reanalyses. An increase of Pan-Arctic tundra vegetation greenness has been documented using the remotely sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Coherent variability between NDVI, springtime coastal sea ice (passive microwave) and land surface temperatures (AVHRR) has also been established. Satellite based snow and cloud cover data sets are being incorporated into this analysis. The Arctic tundra is divided into domains based on Treshnikov divisions that are modified based on floristic provinces. There is notable heterogeneity in Pan-Arctic vegetation and climate trends, which necessitates a regional analysis. This study uses remotely sensed weekly 25-km sea ice concentration, weekly surface temperature, and bi-weekly NDVI from 1982 to 2010. The GIMMS NDVI3g data has been corrected for biases during the spring and fall, with special focus on the Arctic. Trends of Maximum NDVI (MaxNDVI), Time Integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI), Summer Warmth Index (SWI, sum of degree months above freezing during May-August), and open water area are calculated for the Pan Arctic. Remotely sensed snow data trends suggest varying patterns throughout the Arctic and may in part explain the heterogeneous MaxNDVI trends. Standard climate data (station, reanalysis, and model data) and ground observations are used in the analysis to provide additional support for hypothesized mechanisms. Overall, we find that trends over the 30-year record are changing as evidenced by the following examples from recent years. The sea ice decline has increased in Eurasia and slowed in North America. The weekly AVHRR landsurface temperatures reveal that there has been summer cooling over Eurasia and that the warming over North America has slowed. The MaxNDVI rates of change have diverged between N. America and Eurasia

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of disturbance on ecosystem dynamics of tundra and riparian vegetation: A project in the R4D program. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1995-12-31

    Models were proposed as research tools to test the basic understanding of the structure and function of arctic ecosystems, as a means for providing initial management assessments of potential response to energy-related development, and as a vehicle for extrapolation of research results to other arctic sites and landscapes. This final summary report reviews progress made on models at a variety of scales from nutrient uptake by individual roots to nutrient availability within arctic landscapes, and examines potentials and critical limitations of these models for providing insight on patch and landscape level function in tundra regions.

  19. CO2 dynamics of tundra ponds in the low-Arctic, Northwest Territories, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buell, Mary-Claire

    Extensive research has gone into measuring changes to the carbon storage capacity of Arctic terrestrial environments as well as large water bodies in order to determine a carbon budget for many regions across the Arctic. Inland Arctic waters such as small lakes and ponds are often excluded from these carbon budgets, however a handful of studies have demonstrated that they can often be significant sources of carbon to the atmosphere. This study investigated the CO2 cycling of tundra ponds in the Daring Lake area, Northwest Territories, Canada (64°52'N, 111°35'W), to determine the role ponds have in the local carbon cycle. Floating chambers, nondispersive infrared (NDIR) sensors and headspace samples were used to estimate carbon fluxes from four selected local ponds. Multiple environmental, chemical and meteorological parameters were also monitored for the duration of the study, which took place during the snow free season of 2013. Average CO2 emissions for the two-month growing season ranged from approximately -0.0035 g CO2-C m-2 d -1 to 0.12 g CO2-C m-2 d-1. The losses of CO2 from the water bodies in the Daring Lake area were approximately 2-7% of the CO2 uptake over vegetated terrestrial tundra during the same two-month period. Results from this study indicated that the production of CO2 in tundra ponds was positively influenced by both increases in air temperature, and the delivery of carbon from their catchments. The relationship found between temperature and carbon emissions suggests that warming Arctic temperatures have the potential to increase carbon emissions from ponds in the future. The findings in this study did not include ebullition gas emissions nor plant mediated transport, therefore these findings are likely underestimates of the total carbon emissions from water bodies in the Daring Lake area. This study emphasizes the need for more research on inland waters in order to improve our understanding of the total impact these waters may have on the

  20. Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziming Yang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Microbial decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC in thawing Arctic permafrost is important in determining greenhouse gas feedbacks of tundra ecosystems to climate. However, the changes in microbial community structure during SOC decomposition are poorly known. Here we examine these changes using frozen soils from Barrow, Alaska, USA, in anoxic microcosm incubation at −2 and 8°C for 122 days. The functional gene array GeoChip was used to determine microbial community structure and the functional genes associated with SOC degradation, methanogenesis, and Fe(III reduction. Results show that soil incubation after 122 days at 8°C significantly decreased functional gene abundance (P < 0.05 associated with SOC degradation, fermentation, methanogenesis, and iron cycling, particularly in organic-rich soil. These observations correspond well with decreases in labile SOC content (e.g., reducing sugar and ethanol, methane and CO2 production, and Fe(III reduction. In contrast, the community functional structure was largely unchanged in the −2°C incubation. Soil type (i.e., organic vs. mineral and the availability of labile SOC were among the most significant factors impacting microbial community structure. These results demonstrate the important roles of microbial community in SOC degradation and support previous findings that SOC in organic-rich Arctic tundra is highly vulnerable to microbial degradation under warming.

  1. Does NDVI reflect variation in the structural attributes associated with increasing shrub dominance in arctic tundra?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boelman, Natalie T; Gough, Laura; McLaren, Jennie R; Greaves, Heather

    2011-01-01

    This study explores relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and structural characteristics associated with deciduous shrub dominance in arctic tundra. Our structural measures of shrub dominance are stature, branch abundance, aerial per cent woody stem cover (deciduous and evergreen species), and per cent deciduous shrub canopy cover. All measurements were taken across a suite of transects that together represent a gradient of deciduous shrub height. The transects include tussock tundra shrub and riparian shrub tundra communities located in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, in northern Alaska. Plot-level NDVI measurements were made in 2010 during the snow-free period prior to deciduous shrub leaf-out (early June, NDVI pre-leaf ), at the point in the growing season when canopy NDVI has reached half of its maximum growing season value (mid-June, NDVI demi-leaf ) and during the period of maximum leaf-out (late July, NDVI peak-leaf ). We found that: (1) NDVI pre-leaf is best suited to capturing variation in the per cent woody stem cover, maximum shrub height, and branch abundance, particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy; (2) NDVI peak-leaf is best suited to capturing variation in deciduous canopy cover; and (3) NDVI demi-leaf does not capture variability in any of our measures of shrub dominance. These findings suggest that in situ NDVI measurements made prior to deciduous canopy leaf-out could be used to identify small differences in maximum shrub height, woody stem cover, and branch abundance (particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy). Because shrubs are increasing in size and regional extent in several regions of the Arctic, investigation into spectrally based tools for monitoring these changes are worthwhile as they provide a first step towards development of remotely sensed techniques for quantifying associated changes in regional carbon cycling, albedo, radiative energy balance, and wildlife

  2. Influence of iron redox cycling on organo-mineral associations in arctic tundra soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herndon, E.; AlBashaireh, A.; Duroe, K.; Singer, D. M.

    2016-12-01

    Geochemical interactions between soil organic matter and minerals influence decomposition in many environments but remain poorly understood in arctic tundra systems. In tundra soils that are periodically to persistently saturated, the accumulation of iron oxyhydroxides and organo-iron precipitates at redox interfaces may inhibit decomposition by binding organic molecules and protecting them from microbial degradation. Here, we couple synchrotron-source spectroscopic techniques with chemical sequential extractions and physical density fractionations to evaluate the spatial distribution and speciation of Fe-bearing phases and associated organic matter in organic and mineral horizons of the seasonally thawed active layer in tundra soils from northern Alaska. Mineral-associated organic matter comprised 63 ± 9% of soil organic carbon stored in the active layer of ice wedge polygons. Ferrous iron produced in anoxic mineral horizons diffused upwards and precipitated as poorly-crystalline oxyhydroxides and organic-bound Fe(III) in the organic horizons. Ferrihydrite and goethite were present as coatings on mineral grains and plant debris and in aggregates with clays and particulate organic matter. Organic matter released through acid-dissolution of iron oxides may represent a small pool of readily-degradable organic molecules temporarily stabilized by sorption to iron oxyhydroxide surfaces, while larger quantities of particulate organic carbon and humic-like substances may be physically protected from decomposition by Fe-oxide coatings and aggregation. We conclude that formation of poorly-crystalline and crystalline iron oxides at redox interfaces contributes to mineral protection of organic matter through sorption, aggregation, and co-precipitation reactions. Further study of organo-mineral associations is necessary to determine the net impact of mineral-stabilization on carbon storage in rapidly warming arctic ecosystems.

  3. 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.

  4. Soil nutrients, landscape age, and Sphagno-Eriophoretum vaginati plant communities in Arctic moist-acidic Tundra landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joel Mercado-Diaz; William Gould; Grizelle Gonzalez

    2014-01-01

    Most research exploring the relationship between soil chemistry and vegetation in Alaskan Arctic tundra landscapes has focused on describing differences in soil elemental concentrations (e.g. C, N and P) of areas with contrasting vegetation types or landscape age. In this work we assess the effect of landscape age on physico-chemical parameters in organic and mineral...

  5. Depth-based differentiation in nitrogen uptake between graminoids and shrubs in an Arctic tundra plant community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Peng; Limpens, Juul; Nauta, Ake; Huissteden, van Corine; Rijssel, van Sophie Quirina; Mommer, Liesje; Kroon, de Hans; Maximov, Trofim C.; Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.

    2018-01-01

    Questions: The rapid climate warming in tundra ecosystems can increase nutrient availability in the soil, which may initiate shifts in vegetation composition. The direction in which the vegetation shifts will co-determine whether Arctic warming is mitigated or accelerated, making the understanding

  6. Characteristics of summer-time energy exchange in a high Arctic tundra heath 2000–2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magnus Lund

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Global warming will bring about changes in surface energy balance of Arctic ecosystems, which will have implications for ecosystem structure and functioning, as well as for climate system feedback mechanisms. In this study, we present a unique, long-term (2000–2010 record of summer-time energy balance components (net radiation, R n; sensible heat flux, H; latent heat flux, LE; and soil heat flux, G from a high Arctic tundra heath in Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland. This area has been subjected to strong summer-time warming with increasing active layer depths (ALD during the last decades. We observe high energy partitioning into H, low partitioning into LE and high Bowen ratio (β=H/LE compared with other Arctic sites, associated with local climatic conditions dominated by onshore winds, slender vegetation with low transpiration activity and relatively dry soils. Surface saturation vapour pressure deficit (D s was found to be an important variable controlling within-year surface energy partitioning. Throughout the study period, we observe increasing H/R n and LE/R n and decreasing G/R n and β, related to increasing ALD and decreasing soil wetness. Thus, changes in summer-time surface energy balance partitioning in Arctic ecosystems may be of importance for the climate system.

  7. Circumpolar arctic tundra biomass and productivity dynamics in response to projected climate change and herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qin; Epstein, Howard; Engstrom, Ryan; Walker, Donald

    2017-09-01

    Satellite remote sensing data have indicated a general 'greening' trend in the arctic tundra biome. However, the observed changes based on remote sensing are the result of multiple environmental drivers, and the effects of individual controls such as warming, herbivory, and other disturbances on changes in vegetation biomass, community structure, and ecosystem function remain unclear. We apply ArcVeg, an arctic tundra vegetation dynamics model, to estimate potential changes in vegetation biomass and net primary production (NPP) at the plant community and functional type levels. ArcVeg is driven by soil nitrogen output from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model, existing densities of Rangifer populations, and projected summer temperature changes by the NCAR CCSM4.0 general circulation model across the Arctic. We quantified the changes in aboveground biomass and NPP resulting from (i) observed herbivory only; (ii) projected climate change only; and (iii) coupled effects of projected climate change and herbivory. We evaluated model outputs of the absolute and relative differences in biomass and NPP by country, bioclimate subzone, and floristic province. Estimated potential biomass increases resulting from temperature increase only are approximately 5% greater than the biomass modeled due to coupled warming and herbivory. Such potential increases are greater in areas currently occupied by large or dense Rangifer herds such as the Nenets-occupied regions in Russia (27% greater vegetation increase without herbivores). In addition, herbivory modulates shifts in plant community structure caused by warming. Plant functional types such as shrubs and mosses were affected to a greater degree than other functional types by either warming or herbivory or coupled effects of the two. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Influence of iron redox cycling on organo-mineral associations in Arctic tundra soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herndon, Elizabeth; AlBashaireh, Amineh; Singer, David; Roy Chowdhury, Taniya; Gu, Baohua; Graham, David

    2017-06-01

    Arctic tundra stores large quantities of soil organic matter under varying redox conditions. As the climate warms, these carbon reservoirs are susceptible to increased rates of decomposition and release to the atmosphere as the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Geochemical interactions between soil organic matter and minerals influence decomposition in many environments but remain poorly understood in Arctic tundra systems and are not considered in decomposition models. The accumulation of iron (Fe) oxyhydroxides and organo-iron precipitates at redox interfaces may be particularly important for carbon cycling given that ferric iron [Fe(III)] species can enhance decomposition by serving as terminal electron acceptors in anoxic soils or inhibit microbial decomposition by binding organic molecules. Here, we examine chemical properties of solid-phase Fe and organic matter in organic and mineral horizons within the seasonally thawed active layer of Arctic tundra on the North Slope of Alaska. Spectroscopic techniques, including micro-X-ray fluorescence (μXRF) mapping, micro-X-ray absorption near-edge structure (μXANES) spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), were coupled with chemical sequential extractions and physical density fractionations to evaluate the spatial distribution and speciation of Fe-bearing phases and associated organic matter in soils. Organic horizons were enriched in poorly crystalline and crystalline iron oxides, and approximately 60% of total Fe stored in organic horizons was calculated to derive from upward translocation from anoxic mineral horizons. Ferrihydrite and goethite were present as coatings on mineral grains and plant debris, and in aggregates with clays and particulate organic matter. Minor amounts of ferrous iron [Fe(II)] were present in iron sulfides (i.e., pyrite and greigite) in mineral horizon soils and iron phosphates (vivianite) in organic horizons. Concentrations of organic

  9. Simulating the effects of soil organic nitrogen and grazing on arctic tundra vegetation dynamics on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu Qin; Epstein, Howard [Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (United States); Walker, Donald [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775 (United States)

    2009-10-15

    Sustainability of tundra vegetation under changing climate on the Yamal Peninsula, northwestern Siberia, home to the world's largest area of reindeer husbandry, is of crucial importance to the local native community. An integrated investigation is needed for better understanding of the effects of soils, climate change and grazing on tundra vegetation in the Yamal region. In this study we applied a nutrient-based plant community model-ArcVeg-to evaluate how two factors (soil organic nitrogen (SON) levels and grazing) interact to affect tundra responses to climate warming across a latitudinal climatic gradient on the Yamal Peninsula. Model simulations were driven by field-collected soil data and expected grazing patterns along the Yamal Arctic Transect (YAT), within bioclimate subzones C (high arctic), D (northern low arctic) and E (southern low arctic). Plant biomass and NPP (net primary productivity) were significantly increased with warmer bioclimate subzones, greater soil nutrient levels and temporal climate warming, while they declined with higher grazing frequency. Temporal climate warming of 2 deg. C caused an increase of 665 g m{sup -2} in total biomass at the high SON site in subzone E, but only 298 g m{sup -2} at the low SON site. When grazing frequency was also increased, total biomass increased by only 369 g m{sup -2} at the high SON site in contrast to 184 g m{sup -2} at the low SON site in subzone E. Our results suggest that high SON can support greater plant biomass and plant responses to climate warming, while low SON and grazing may limit plant response to climate change. In addition to the first order factors (SON, bioclimate subzones, grazing and temporal climate warming), interactions among these significantly affect plant biomass and productivity in the arctic tundra and should not be ignored in regional scale studies.

  10. Simulating the effects of soil organic nitrogen and grazing on arctic tundra vegetation dynamics on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Qin; Epstein, Howard; Walker, Donald

    2009-01-01

    Sustainability of tundra vegetation under changing climate on the Yamal Peninsula, northwestern Siberia, home to the world's largest area of reindeer husbandry, is of crucial importance to the local native community. An integrated investigation is needed for better understanding of the effects of soils, climate change and grazing on tundra vegetation in the Yamal region. In this study we applied a nutrient-based plant community model-ArcVeg-to evaluate how two factors (soil organic nitrogen (SON) levels and grazing) interact to affect tundra responses to climate warming across a latitudinal climatic gradient on the Yamal Peninsula. Model simulations were driven by field-collected soil data and expected grazing patterns along the Yamal Arctic Transect (YAT), within bioclimate subzones C (high arctic), D (northern low arctic) and E (southern low arctic). Plant biomass and NPP (net primary productivity) were significantly increased with warmer bioclimate subzones, greater soil nutrient levels and temporal climate warming, while they declined with higher grazing frequency. Temporal climate warming of 2 deg. C caused an increase of 665 g m -2 in total biomass at the high SON site in subzone E, but only 298 g m -2 at the low SON site. When grazing frequency was also increased, total biomass increased by only 369 g m -2 at the high SON site in contrast to 184 g m -2 at the low SON site in subzone E. Our results suggest that high SON can support greater plant biomass and plant responses to climate warming, while low SON and grazing may limit plant response to climate change. In addition to the first order factors (SON, bioclimate subzones, grazing and temporal climate warming), interactions among these significantly affect plant biomass and productivity in the arctic tundra and should not be ignored in regional scale studies.

  11. Extreme nitrogen deposition can change methane oxidation rate in moist acidic tundra soil in Arctic regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J.; Kim, J.; Kang, H.

    2017-12-01

    Recently, extreme nitrogen(N) deposition events are observed in Arctic regions where over 90% of the annual N deposition occurred in just a few days. Since Arctic ecosystems are typically N-limited, input of extremely high amount of N could substantially affect ecosystem processes. CH4 is a potent greenhouse gas that has 25 times greater global warming potential than CO2 over a 100-year time frame. Ammonium is known as an inhibitor of methane oxidation and nitrate also shows inhibitory effect on it in temperate ecosystems. However, effects of N addition on Arctic ecosystems are still elusive. We conducted a lab-scale incubation experiment with moist acidic tundra (MAT) soil from Council, Alaska to investigate the effect of extreme N deposition events on methane oxidation. Zero point five % methane was added to the head space to determine the potential methane oxidation rate of MAT soil. Three treatments (NH4NO3-AN, (NH4)2SO4-AS, KNO3-PN) were used to compare effects of ammonium, nitrate and salts. All treatments were added in 3 levels: 10μg N gd.w-1(10), 50μg N gd.w-1(50) and 100μg N gd.w-1(100). AN10 and AN50 increased methane oxidation rate 1.7, 6% respectively. However, AN100 shows -8.5% of inhibitory effect. In AS added samples, all 3 concentrations (AN10, AN50, AN100) stimulated methane oxidation rate with 4.7, 8.9, 4%, respectively. On the contrary, PN50 (-9%) and PN100 (-59.5%) exhibited a significant inhibitory effect. We also analyzed the microbial gene abundance and community structures of methane oxidizing bacteria using a DNA-based fingerprinting method (T-RFLP) Our study results suggest that NH4+ can stimulate methane oxidation in Arctic MAT soil, while NO3- can inhibit methane oxidation significantly.

  12. Does NDVI reflect variation in the structural attributes associated with increasing shrub dominance in arctic tundra?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boelman, Natalie T [Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964 (United States); Gough, Laura; McLaren, Jennie R [Department of Biology, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019 (United States); Greaves, Heather, E-mail: nboelman@ldeo.columbia.edu [Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, 321 Richardson Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331 (United States)

    2011-07-15

    This study explores relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and structural characteristics associated with deciduous shrub dominance in arctic tundra. Our structural measures of shrub dominance are stature, branch abundance, aerial per cent woody stem cover (deciduous and evergreen species), and per cent deciduous shrub canopy cover. All measurements were taken across a suite of transects that together represent a gradient of deciduous shrub height. The transects include tussock tundra shrub and riparian shrub tundra communities located in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, in northern Alaska. Plot-level NDVI measurements were made in 2010 during the snow-free period prior to deciduous shrub leaf-out (early June, NDVI{sub pre-leaf}), at the point in the growing season when canopy NDVI has reached half of its maximum growing season value (mid-June, NDVI{sub demi-leaf}) and during the period of maximum leaf-out (late July, NDVI{sub peak-leaf}). We found that: (1) NDVI{sub pre-leaf} is best suited to capturing variation in the per cent woody stem cover, maximum shrub height, and branch abundance, particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy; (2) NDVI{sub peak-leaf} is best suited to capturing variation in deciduous canopy cover; and (3) NDVI{sub demi-leaf} does not capture variability in any of our measures of shrub dominance. These findings suggest that in situ NDVI measurements made prior to deciduous canopy leaf-out could be used to identify small differences in maximum shrub height, woody stem cover, and branch abundance (particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy). Because shrubs are increasing in size and regional extent in several regions of the Arctic, investigation into spectrally based tools for monitoring these changes are worthwhile as they provide a first step towards development of remotely sensed techniques for quantifying associated changes in regional carbon cycling, albedo, radiative

  13. Response of a tundra ecosytem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO2-induced climate change. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO 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 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 2 exchange. In addition, net CO 2 flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO 2 exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar arctic, while cold-season CO 2 flux measurements were carried out during the 1993-94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO 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 2 exchange, were carried out during the 1993-94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH 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 2 ) plots using a portable gas-exchange system and cuvette. The sample design allowed frequent measurements of net CO 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 2 exchange. In situ experiments provided a direct means for testing hypotheses

  14. 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

  15. Improving understanding of controls on spatial variability in methane fluxes in Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Scott J.; Sloan, Victoria; Phoenix, Gareth; Wagner, Robert; Oechel, Walter; Zona, Donatella

    2015-04-01

    The Arctic is experiencing rapid climate change relative to the rest of the globe, and this increase in temperature has feedback effects across hydrological and thermal regimes, plant community distribution and carbon stocks within tundra soils. Arctic wetlands account for a significant amount of methane emissions from natural ecosystems to the atmosphere and with further permafrost degradation under a warming climate, these emissions are expected to increase. Methane (CH4) is an extremely important component of the global carbon cycle with a global warming potential 28.5 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100 year time scale (IPCC, 2013). In order to validate carbon cycle models, modelling methane at broader landscape scales is needed. To date direct measurements of methane have been sporadic in time and space which, while capturing some key controls on the spatial heterogeneity, make it difficult to accurately upscale methane emissions to the landscape and regional scales. This study investigates what is controlling the spatial heterogeneity of methane fluxes across Arctic tundra. We combined over 300 portable chamber observations from 13 micro-topographic positions (with multiple vegetation types) across three locations spanning a 300km latitudinal gradient in Northern Alaska from Barrow to Ivotuk with synchronous measurements of environmental (soil temperature, soil moisture, water table, active layer thaw depth, pH) and vegetation (plant community composition, height, sedge tiller counts) variables to evaluate key controls on methane fluxes. To assess the diurnal variation in CH4 fluxes, we also performed automated chamber measurements in one study site (Barrow) location. Multiple statistical approaches (regression tree and multiple linear regression) were used to identify key controlling variables and their interactions. Methane emissions across all sites ranged from -0.08 to 15.3 mg C-CH4 m-2 hr-1. As expected, soil moisture was the main control

  16. 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.

  17. Shrub growth and expansion in the Arctic tundra: an assessment of controlling factors using an evidence-based approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Andrew C.; Jeffers, Elizabeth S.; Petrokofsky, Gillian; Myers-Smith, Isla; Macias-Fauria, Marc

    2017-08-01

    Woody shrubs have increased in biomass and expanded into new areas throughout the Pan-Arctic tundra biome in recent decades, which has been linked to a biome-wide observed increase in productivity. Experimental, observational, and socio-ecological research suggests that air temperature—and to a lesser degree precipitation—trends have been the predominant drivers of this change. However, a progressive decoupling of these drivers from Arctic vegetation productivity has been reported, and since 2010, vegetation productivity has also been declining. We created a protocol to (a) identify the suite of controls that may be operating on shrub growth and expansion, and (b) characterise the evidence base for controls on Arctic shrub growth and expansion. We found evidence for a suite of 23 proximal controls that operate directly on shrub growth and expansion; the evidence base focused predominantly on just four controls (air temperature, soil moisture, herbivory, and snow dynamics). 65% of evidence was generated in the warmest tundra climes, while 24% was from only one of 28 floristic sectors. Temporal limitations beyond 10 years existed for most controls, while the use of space-for-time approaches was high, with 14% of the evidence derived via experimental approaches. The findings suggest the current evidence base is not sufficiently robust or comprehensive at present to answer key questions of Pan-Arctic shrub change. We suggest future directions that could strengthen the evidence, and lead to an understanding of the key mechanisms driving changes in Arctic shrub environments.

  18. Microbial Iron Oxidation in the Arctic Tundra and Its Implications for Biogeochemical Cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Jarrod J.; Benes, Joshua; Bowden, William B.

    2015-01-01

    The role that neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria play in the Arctic tundra is unknown. This study surveyed chemosynthetic iron-oxidizing communities at the North Slope of Alaska near Toolik Field Station (TFS) at Toolik Lake (lat 68.63, long −149.60). Microbial iron mats were common in submerged habitats with stationary or slowly flowing water, and their greatest areal extent is in coating plant stems and sediments in wet sedge meadows. Some Fe-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) produce easily recognized sheath or stalk morphotypes that were present and dominant in all the mats we observed. The cool water temperatures (9 to 11°C) and reduced pH (5.0 to 6.6) at all sites kinetically favor microbial iron oxidation. A microbial survey of five sites based on 16S rRNA genes found a predominance of Proteobacteria, with Betaproteobacteria and members of the family Comamonadaceae being the most prevalent operational taxonomic units (OTUs). In relative abundance, clades of lithotrophic FeOB composed 5 to 10% of the communities. OTUs related to cyanobacteria and chloroplasts accounted for 3 to 25% of the communities. Oxygen profiles showed evidence for oxygenic photosynthesis at the surface of some mats, indicating the coexistence of photosynthetic and FeOB populations. The relative abundance of OTUs belonging to putative Fe-reducing bacteria (FeRB) averaged around 11% in the sampled iron mats. Mats incubated anaerobically with 10 mM acetate rapidly initiated Fe reduction, indicating that active iron cycling is likely. The prevalence of iron mats on the tundra might impact the carbon cycle through lithoautotrophic chemosynthesis, anaerobic respiration of organic carbon coupled to iron reduction, and the suppression of methanogenesis, and it potentially influences phosphorus dynamics through the adsorption of phosphorus to iron oxides. PMID:26386054

  19. Exchange of CO2 in Arctic tundra: impacts of meteorological variations and biological disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Blanco, Efrén; Lund, Magnus; Williams, Mathew; Tamstorf, Mikkel P.; Westergaard-Nielsen, Andreas; Exbrayat, Jean-François; Hansen, Birger U.; Christensen, Torben R.

    2017-10-01

    An improvement in our process-based understanding of carbon (C) exchange in the Arctic and its climate sensitivity is critically needed for understanding the response of tundra ecosystems to a changing climate. In this context, we analysed the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 in West Greenland tundra (64° N) across eight snow-free periods in 8 consecutive years, and characterized the key processes of net ecosystem exchange and its two main modulating components: gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco). Overall, the ecosystem acted as a consistent sink of CO2, accumulating -30 g C m-2 on average (range of -17 to -41 g C m-2) during the years 2008-2015, except 2011 (source of 41 g C m-2), which was associated with a major pest outbreak. The results do not reveal a marked meteorological effect on the net CO2 uptake despite the high interannual variability in the timing of snowmelt and the start and duration of the growing season. The ranges in annual GPP (-182 to -316 g C m-2) and Reco (144 to 279 g C m-2) were > 5 fold larger than the range in NEE. Gross fluxes were also more variable (coefficients of variation are 3.6 and 4.1 % respectively) than for NEE (0.7 %). GPP and Reco were sensitive to insolation and temperature, and there was a tendency towards larger GPP and Reco during warmer and wetter years. The relative lack of sensitivity of NEE to meteorology was a result of the correlated response of GPP and Reco. During the snow-free season of the anomalous year of 2011, a biological disturbance related to a larvae outbreak reduced GPP more strongly than Reco. With continued warming temperatures and longer growing seasons, tundra systems will increase rates of C cycling. However, shifts in sink strength will likely be triggered by factors such as biological disturbances, events that will challenge our forecasting of C states.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Tundra shrubification and tree-line advance amplify arctic climate warming: results from an individual-based dynamic vegetation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenxin; Miller, Paul A.; Smith, Benjamin; Wania, Rita; Koenigk, Torben; Döscher, Ralf

    2013-09-01

    One major challenge to the improvement of regional climate scenarios for the northern high latitudes is to understand land surface feedbacks associated with vegetation shifts and ecosystem biogeochemical cycling. We employed a customized, Arctic version of the individual-based dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESS to simulate the dynamics of upland and wetland ecosystems under a regional climate model-downscaled future climate projection for the Arctic and Subarctic. The simulated vegetation distribution (1961-1990) agreed well with a composite map of actual arctic vegetation. In the future (2051-2080), a poleward advance of the forest-tundra boundary, an expansion of tall shrub tundra, and a dominance shift from deciduous to evergreen boreal conifer forest over northern Eurasia were simulated. Ecosystems continued to sink carbon for the next few decades, although the size of these sinks diminished by the late 21st century. Hot spots of increased CH4 emission were identified in the peatlands near Hudson Bay and western Siberia. In terms of their net impact on regional climate forcing, positive feedbacks associated with the negative effects of tree-line, shrub cover and forest phenology changes on snow-season albedo, as well as the larger sources of CH4, may potentially dominate over negative feedbacks due to increased carbon sequestration and increased latent heat flux.

  3. Tundra shrubification and tree-line advance amplify arctic climate warming: results from an individual-based dynamic vegetation model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Wenxin; Miller, Paul A; Smith, Benjamin; Wania, Rita; Koenigk, Torben; Döscher, Ralf

    2013-01-01

    One major challenge to the improvement of regional climate scenarios for the northern high latitudes is to understand land surface feedbacks associated with vegetation shifts and ecosystem biogeochemical cycling. We employed a customized, Arctic version of the individual-based dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESS to simulate the dynamics of upland and wetland ecosystems under a regional climate model–downscaled future climate projection for the Arctic and Subarctic. The simulated vegetation distribution (1961–1990) agreed well with a composite map of actual arctic vegetation. In the future (2051–2080), a poleward advance of the forest–tundra boundary, an expansion of tall shrub tundra, and a dominance shift from deciduous to evergreen boreal conifer forest over northern Eurasia were simulated. Ecosystems continued to sink carbon for the next few decades, although the size of these sinks diminished by the late 21st century. Hot spots of increased CH 4 emission were identified in the peatlands near Hudson Bay and western Siberia. In terms of their net impact on regional climate forcing, positive feedbacks associated with the negative effects of tree-line, shrub cover and forest phenology changes on snow-season albedo, as well as the larger sources of CH 4 , may potentially dominate over negative feedbacks due to increased carbon sequestration and increased latent heat flux. (letter)

  4. Spatial variation and linkages of soil and vegetation in the Siberian Arctic tundra - coupling field observations with remote sensing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikola, Juha; Virtanen, Tarmo; Linkosalmi, Maiju; Vähä, Emmi; Nyman, Johanna; Postanogova, Olga; Räsänen, Aleksi; Kotze, D. Johan; Laurila, Tuomas; Juutinen, Sari; Kondratyev, Vladimir; Aurela, Mika

    2018-05-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems will play a key role in future climate change due to intensifying permafrost thawing, plant growth and ecosystem carbon exchange, but monitoring these changes may be challenging due to the heterogeneity of Arctic landscapes. We examined spatial variation and linkages of soil and plant attributes in a site of Siberian Arctic tundra in Tiksi, northeast Russia, and evaluated possibilities to capture this variation by remote sensing for the benefit of carbon exchange measurements and landscape extrapolation. We distinguished nine land cover types (LCTs) and to characterize them, sampled 92 study plots for plant and soil attributes in 2014. Moreover, to test if variation in plant and soil attributes can be detected using remote sensing, we produced a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and topographical parameters for each study plot using three very high spatial resolution multispectral satellite images. We found that soils ranged from mineral soils in bare soil and lichen tundra LCTs to soils of high percentage of organic matter (OM) in graminoid tundra, bog, dry fen and wet fen. OM content of the top soil was on average 14 g dm-3 in bare soil and lichen tundra and 89 g dm-3 in other LCTs. Total moss biomass varied from 0 to 820 g m-2, total vascular shoot mass from 7 to 112 g m-2 and vascular leaf area index (LAI) from 0.04 to 0.95 among LCTs. In late summer, soil temperatures at 15 cm depth were on average 14 °C in bare soil and lichen tundra, and varied from 5 to 9 °C in other LCTs. On average, depth of the biologically active, unfrozen soil layer doubled from early July to mid-August. When contrasted across study plots, moss biomass was positively associated with soil OM % and OM content and negatively associated with soil temperature, explaining 14-34 % of variation. Vascular shoot mass and LAI were also positively associated with soil OM content, and LAI with active layer depth, but only explained 6-15 % of variation. NDVI

  5. Biogeochemical controls on microbial CH4 and CO2 production in Arctic polygon tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, J.

    2016-12-01

    Accurately simulating methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from high latitude soils is critically important for reducing uncertainties in soil carbon-climate feedback predictions. The signature polygonal ground of Arctic tundra generates high level of heterogeneity in soil thermal regime, hydrology and oxygen availability, which limits the application of current land surface models with simple moisture response functions. We synthesized CH4 and CO2 production measurements from soil microcosm experiments across a wet-to dry permafrost degradation gradient from low-centered (LCP) to flat-centered (FCP), and high-centered polygons (HCP) to evaluate the relative importance of biogeochemical processes and their response to warming. More degraded polygon (HCP) showed much less carbon loss as CO2 or CH4, while the total CO2 production from FCP is comparable to that from LCP. Maximum CH4 production from the active layer of LCP was nearly 10 times that of permafrost and FCP. Multivariate analyses identifies gravimetric water content and organic carbon content as key predictors for CH4 production, and iron reduction as a key regulator of pH. The synthesized data are used to validate the geochemical model PHREEQC with extended anaerobic organic substrate turnover, fermentation, iron reduction, and methanogenesis reactions. Sensitivity analyses demonstrate that better representations of anaerobic processes and their pH dependency could significantly improve estimates of CH4 and CO2 production. The synthesized data suggest local decreases in CH4 production along the polygon degradation gradient, which is consistent with previous surface flux measurements. Methane oxidation occurring through the soil column of degraded polygons contributes to their low CH4 emissions as well.

  6. 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.

  7. Is pollen morphology of Salix polaris affected by enhanced UV-B irradiation? Results from a field experiment in high Arctic tundra

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yeloff, Dan; Blokker, Peter; Boelen, Peter; Rozema, Jelte

    2008-01-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that the thickness of the pollen wall will increase in response to enhanced UV-B irradiation, by examining, the effect of enhanced UV-B irradiance on the pollen morphology of Sali-v polaris Wahlem. grown in a Field experiment on the Arctic tundra of Svalbard.

  8. Light-stress avoidance mechanisms in a Sphagnum-dominated wet coastal Arctic tundra ecosystem in Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zona, D; Oechel, Walter C; Richards, James H; Hastings, Steven; Kopetz, Irene; Ikawa, Hiroki; Oberbauer, Steven

    2011-03-01

    The Arctic experiences a high-radiation environment in the summer with 24-hour daylight for more than two months. Damage to plants and ecosystem metabolism can be muted by overcast conditions common in much of the Arctic. However, with climate change, extreme dry years and clearer skies could lead to the risk of increased photoxidation and photoinhibition in Arctic primary producers. Mosses, which often exceed the NPP of vascular plants in Arctic areas, are often understudied. As a result, the effect of specific environmental factors, including light, on these growth forms is poorly understood. Here, we investigated net ecosystem exchange (NEE) at the ecosystem scale, net Sphagnum CO2 exchange (NSE), and photoinhibition to better understand the impact of light on carbon exchange from a moss-dominated coastal tundra ecosystem during the summer season 2006. Sphagnum photosynthesis showed photoinhibition early in the season coupled with low ecosystem NEE. However, later in the season, Sphagnum maintained a significant CO2 uptake, probably for the development of subsurface moss layers protected from strong radiation. We suggest that the compact canopy structure of Sphagnum reduces light penetration to the subsurface layers of the moss mat and thereby protects the active photosynthetic tissues from damage. This stress avoidance mechanism allowed Sphagnum to constitute a significant percentage (up to 60%) of the ecosystem net daytime CO2 uptake at the end of the growing season despite the high levels of radiation experienced.

  9. Influence of human development and predators on nest survival of tundra birds, Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebezeit, J R; Kendall, S J; Brown, S; Johnson, C B; Martin, P; McDonald, T L; Payer, D C; Rea, C L; Streever, B; Wildman, A M; Zack, S

    2009-09-01

    Nest predation may influence population dynamics of birds on the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of Alaska, USA. Anthropogenic development on the ACP is increasing, which may attract nest predators by providing artificial sources of food, perches, den sites, and nest sites. Enhanced populations or concentrations of human-subsidized predators may reduce nest survival for tundra-nesting birds. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that nest survival decreases in proximity to human infrastructure. We monitored 1257 nests of 13 shorebird species and 619 nests of four passerine species at seven sites on the ACP from 2002 to 2005. Study sites were chosen to represent a range of distances to infrastructure from 100 m to 80 km. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to evaluate the effects of background (i.e., natural) factors and infrastructure on nest survival. We documented high spatial and temporal variability in nest survival, and site and year were both included in the best background model. We did not detect an effect of human infrastructure on nest survival for shorebirds as a group. In contrast, we found evidence that risk of predation for passerine nests increased within 5 km of infrastructure. This finding provides quantitative evidence of a relationship between infrastructure and nest survival for breeding passerines on the ACP. A posteriori finer-scale analyses (within oil field sites and individual species) suggested that Red and Red-necked Phalaropes combined (Phalaropus fulicarius, P. lobatus) had lower productivity closer to infrastructure and in areas with higher abundance of subsidized predators. However, we did not detect such a relationship between infrastructure and nest survival for Semipalmated and Pectoral Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla, C. melanotos), the two most abundant shorebirds. High variability in environmental conditions, nest survival, and predator numbers between sites and years may have contributed to these inconsistent results

  10. Temperature response of respiration across heterogeneous microtopography in the Arctic tundra, Utqiaġvik, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkman, E.; Zona, D.; Tang, Y.; Gioli, B.; Lipson, D.; Oechel, W. C.

    2017-12-01

    The response of ecosystem respiration to warming in the Arctic is not well constrained, partly due to the presence of ice-wedge polygons in continuous permafrost areas. These formations lead to substantial variation in vegetation, soil moisture, water table, and active layer depth over the meter scale that can drive respiratory carbon loss. Accurate calculations of in-situ temperature sensitivities (Q10) are vital for the prediction of future Arctic emissions, and while the eddy covariance technique has commonly been used to determine the diurnal and season patterns of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2, the lack of suitable dark periods in the Arctic summer has limited our ability to estimate and interpret ecosystem respiration. To therefore improve our understanding of and define controls on ecosystem respiration, we directly compared CO2 fluxes measured from automated chambers across the main local polygonised landscape forms (high and low centers, polygon rims, and polygon troughs) to estimates from an adjacent eddy covariance tower. Low-centered polygons and polygon troughs had the greatest cumulative respiration rates, and ecosystem type appeared to be the most important explanatory variable for these rates. Despite the difference in absolute respiration rates, Q10 was surprisingly similar across all microtopographic features, despite contrasting water levels and vegetation types. Conversely, Q10 varied temporally, with higher values during the early and late summer and lower values during the peak growing season. Finally, good agreement was found between chamber and tower based Q10 estimates during the peak growing season. Overall, this study suggests that it is possible to simplify estimates of the temperature sensitivity of respiration across heterogeneous landscapes, but that seasonal changes in Q10 should be incorporated into current and future model simulations.

  11. The Response of Tundra to Biophysical Changes Ten Years Following the Anaktuvuk River Fire, Arctic Foothills, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, B. M.; Miller, E. A.; Jandt, R.; Baughman, C. A.

    2017-12-01

    Ten years following a large and severe wildfire in the arctic foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska, tundra is experiencing rapid biophysical changes. Plant communities are responding to primary disturbance by fire but also to ground-ice melt, terrain subsidence, and apparent increase in soil drainage or evapotranspiration.The Anaktuvuk River Fire burned about 104,000 ha in 2007, spreading over broad ranges in soils, topography, hydrography, and permafrost features. Fourteen marked transects were measured between 2008-2011 and again in 2017 for cover of ground-layer vegetation, tall shrub abundance, thaw depth, and soil properties. A complementary set of 11 reference transects surrounding the burn was also sampled.We observed much higher rates of thermokarst inside the burn than out. Even low severity burn areas experienced noticeable thaw subsidence. Mean annual ground temperature at 1 m depth has warmed 1.5°C relative to unburned tundra. In cases ice wedge troughs have deepened by more than 1 m in areas underlain by yedoma soils. Troughs were characterized by cracking soil and slumping tussocks, often into ponded water. Troughs and degraded ice features appear to be draining adjacent polygon centers leading to a general drying of the tundra. Tussockgrasses inside the burn continue to grow and flower vigorously, suggesting a continued flush of soil nutrients. Post-fire accumulation of organic material is generally fire greatly accelerates this succession. Records and observations suggest that lightning and ignitions are becoming more frequent north of the Brooks Range.Our monitoring of this burn over the last ten years reveals a story much more complicated than our team can tell, inviting involvement of other disciplines, particularly hydrology, soil and landform science, remote sensing, and wildlife and subsistence resource management.

  12. The effect of nutrient deposition on bacterial communities in Arctic tundra soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbara J. Campbell; Shawn W. Polson; Thomas E. Hanson; Michelle C. Mack; Edward A.G. Schuur

    2010-01-01

    The microbial communities of high-latitude ecosystems are expected to experience rapid changes over the next century due to climate warming and increased deposition of reactive nitrogen, changes that will likely affect microbial community structure and function. In moist acidic tundra (MAT) soils on the North Slope of the Brooks Range, Alaska, substantial losses of C...

  13. Apparent Contradiction: Psychrotolerant Bacteria from Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Arctic Tundra Soils That Degrade Diterpenoids Synthesized by Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zhongtang; Stewart, Gordon R.; Mohn, William W.

    2000-01-01

    Resin acids are tricyclic terpenoids occurring naturally in trees. We investigated the occurrence of resin acid-degrading bacteria on the Arctic tundra near the northern coast of Ellesmere Island (82°N, 62°W). According to most-probable-number assays, resin acid degraders were abundant (103 to 104 propagules/g of soil) in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, but they were undetectable (soil) in pristine soils from the nearby tundra. Plate counts indicated that the contaminated and the pristine soils had similar populations of heterotrophs (106 to 107 propagules/g of soil). Eleven resin acid-degrading bacteria belonging to four phylogenetically distinct groups were enriched and isolated from the contaminated soils, and representative isolates of each group were further characterized. Strains DhA-91, IpA-92, and IpA-93 are members of the genus Pseudomonas. Strain DhA-95 is a member of the genus Sphingomonas. All four strains are psychrotolerant, with growth temperature ranges of 4°C to 30°C (DhA-91 and DhA-95) or 4°C to 22°C (IpA-92 and IpA-93) and with optimum temperatures of 15 to 22°C. Strains DhA-91 and DhA-95 grew on the abietanes, dehydroabietic and abietic acids, but not on the pimaranes, isopimaric and pimaric acids. Strains IpA-92 and IpA-93 grew on the pimaranes but not the abietanes. All four strains grew on either aliphatic or aromatic hydrocarbons, which is unusual for described resin acid degraders. Eleven mesophilic resin acid degraders did not use hydrocarbons, with the exception of two Mycobacterium sp. strains that used aliphatic hydrocarbons. We conclude that hydrocarbon contamination in Arctic tundra soil indirectly selected for resin acid degraders, selecting for hydrocarbon degraders that coincidentally use resin acids. Psychrotolerant resin acid degraders are likely important in the global carbon cycle and may have applications in biotreatment of pulp and paper mill effluents. PMID:11097882

  14. Challenges in modelling isoprene and monoterpene emission dynamics of Arctic plants: a case study from a subarctic tundra heath

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Jing; Schurgers, Guy; Valolahti, Hanna; Faubert, Patrick; Tiiva, Päivi; Michelsen, Anders; Rinnan, Riikka

    2016-12-01

    The Arctic is warming at twice the global average speed, and the warming-induced increases in biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emissions from Arctic plants are expected to be drastic. The current global models' estimations of minimal BVOC emissions from the Arctic are based on very few observations and have been challenged increasingly by field data. This study applied a dynamic ecosystem model, LPJ-GUESS, as a platform to investigate short-term and long-term BVOC emission responses to Arctic climate warming. Field observations in a subarctic tundra heath with long-term (13-year) warming treatments were extensively used for parameterizing and evaluating BVOC-related processes (photosynthesis, emission responses to temperature and vegetation composition). We propose an adjusted temperature (T) response curve for Arctic plants with much stronger T sensitivity than the commonly used algorithms for large-scale modelling. The simulated emission responses to 2 °C warming between the adjusted and original T response curves were evaluated against the observed warming responses (WRs) at short-term scales. Moreover, the model responses to warming by 4 and 8 °C were also investigated as a sensitivity test. The model showed reasonable agreement to the observed vegetation CO2 fluxes in the main growing season as well as day-to-day variability of isoprene and monoterpene emissions. The observed relatively high WRs were better captured by the adjusted T response curve than by the common one. During 1999-2012, the modelled annual mean isoprene and monoterpene emissions were 20 and 8 mg C m-2 yr-1, with an increase by 55 and 57 % for 2 °C summertime warming, respectively. Warming by 4 and 8 °C for the same period further elevated isoprene emission for all years, but the impacts on monoterpene emissions levelled off during the last few years. At hour-day scale, the WRs seem to be strongly impacted by canopy air T, while at the day-year scale, the WRs are a combined

  15. RECONSTRUCTION AND ANALYSIS OF HISTORICAL CHANGES IN CARBON STORAGE IN ARCTIC TUNDRA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surface air temperature in arctic regions has increased since pre-industrial times, raising concerns that warmer and possibly drier conditions have increased soil decomposition rates, thereby stimulating the release to the atmosphere of the large stores of carbon (C) in arctic so...

  16. Environmental and vegetation controls on the spatial variability of CH4 emission from wet-sedge and tussock tundra ecosystems in the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEwing, Katherine Rose; Fisher, James Paul; Zona, Donatella

    Despite multiple studies investigating the environmental controls on CH 4 fluxes from arctic tundra ecosystems, the high spatial variability of CH 4 emissions is not fully understood. This makes the upscaling of CH 4 fluxes from plot to regional scale, particularly challenging. The goal of this study is to refine our knowledge of the spatial variability and controls on CH 4 emission from tundra ecosystems. CH 4 fluxes were measured in four sites across a variety of wet-sedge and tussock tundra ecosystems in Alaska using chambers and a Los Gatos CO 2 and CH 4 gas analyser. All sites were found to be sources of CH 4 , with northern sites (in Barrow) showing similar CH 4 emission rates to the southernmost site (ca. 300 km south, Ivotuk). Gross primary productivity (GPP), water level and soil temperature were the most important environmental controls on CH 4 emission. Greater vascular plant cover was linked with higher CH 4 emission, but this increased emission with increased vascular plant cover was much higher (86 %) in the drier sites, than the wettest sites (30 %), suggesting that transport and/or substrate availability were crucial limiting factors for CH 4 emission in these tundra ecosystems. Overall, this study provides an increased understanding of the fine scale spatial controls on CH 4 flux, in particular the key role that plant cover and GPP play in enhancing CH 4 emissions from tundra soils.

  17. Arctic tundra shrub invasion and soot deposition: Consequences for spring snowmelt and near-surface air temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strack, John E.; Pielke, Roger A.; Liston, Glen E.

    2007-12-01

    Invasive shrubs and soot pollution both have the potential to alter the surface energy balance and timing of snow melt in the Arctic. Shrubs reduce the amount of snow lost to sublimation on the tundra during the winter leading to a deeper end-of-winter snowpack. The shrubs also enhance the absorption of energy by the snowpack during the melt season by converting incoming solar radiation to longwave radiation and sensible heat. Soot deposition lowers the albedo of the snow, allowing it to more effectively absorb incoming solar radiation and thus melt faster. This study uses the Colorado State University Regional Atmospheric Modeling System version 4.4 (CSU-RAMS 4.4), equipped with an enhanced snow model, to investigate the effects of shrub encroachment and soot deposition on the atmosphere and snowpack in the Kuparuk Basin of Alaska during the May-June melt period. The results of the simulations suggest that a complete invasion of the tundra by shrubs leads to a 2.2°C warming of 3 m air temperatures and a 108 m increase in boundary layer depth during the melt period. The snow-free date also occurred 11 d earlier despite having a larger initial snowpack. The results also show that a decrease in the snow albedo of 0.1, owing to soot pollution, caused the snow-free date to occur 5 d earlier. The soot pollution caused a 1.0°C warming of 3 m air temperatures and a 25 m average deepening of the boundary layer.

  18. Arctic Tundra Flux Study in the Kuparuk River Basin (Alaska), 1994-1996

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ABSTRACT: CO2 and water vapor fluxes and ecosystem characteristics were measured at 24 sites along a 317-km transect from the Arctic coast to the latitudinal...

  19. 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

  20. Shifting the Arctic Carbon Balance: Effects of a Long-Term Fertilization Experiment and Anomalously Warm Temperatures on Net Ecosystem Exchange in the Alaskan Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    The arctic is warming at an accelerated rate relative to the globe. Among the predicted consequences of warming temperatures in the arctic are increased gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (ER), and nutrient availability. The net effect of these changes on the carbon (C) cycle and resulting C balance and feedback to climate change remain unclear. Historically the Arctic has been a C sink, but evidence from recent years suggests some regions in the Arctic are becoming C sources. To predict the role of the Arctic in global C cycling, the mechanisms affecting arctic C balances need to be better resolved. We measured net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in a long-term, multi-level, fertilization experiment at Toolik Lake, AK during an anomalously warm summer. We modeled NEE, ER, and GPP using a Bayesian network model. The best-fit model included Q10 temperature functions and linear fertilization functions for both ER and GPP. ER was more strongly affected by temperature and GPP was driven more by fertilization level. As a result, fertilization increased the C sink capacity, but only at moderate and low temperatures. At high temperatures (>28 °C) the NEE modeled for the highest level of fertilization was not significantly different from zero. In contrast, at ambient nutrient levels modeled NEE was significantly below zero (net uptake) until 35 °C, when it becomes neutral. Regardless of the level of fertilization, NEE never decreased with warming. Temperature in low ranges (5-15°C) had no net effect on NEE, whereas NEE began to increase exponentially with temperature after a threshold of 15°C until becoming a net source to the atmosphere at 37°C. Our results indicate that the C sink strength of tundra ecosystems can be increased with small increases in nutrient availability, but that large increase in nutrient availability can switch tundra ecosystems into C sources under warm conditions. Warming temperatures in tundra ecosystems will only decrease C

  1. Analysis on inter-annual variability of CO2 exchange in Arctic tundra: a model-data approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Blanco, E.; Lund, M.; Christensen, T. R.; Smallman, T. L.; Slevin, D.; Westergaard-Nielsen, A.; Tamstorf, M. P.; Williams, M.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are exposed to rapid changes triggered by the climate variability, thus there is a growing concern about how the carbon (C) exchange balance will respond to climate change. There is a lack of knowledge about the mechanisms that drive the interactions between photosynthesis and ecological respiration with changes in C stocks in the Arctic tundra across full annual cycles. The reduction of uncertainties can be addressed through process-based modelling efforts. Here, we report the independent predictions of net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) calculated from the soil-plant-atmosphere (SPA) model across eight years. The model products are validated with observational data obtained from the Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM) program in West Greenland tundra (64° N). Overall, the model results explain 71%, 73% and 51% of the variance in NEE, GPP and Reco respectively using data on meteorology and local vegetation and soil structure. The estimated leaf area index (LAI) is able to explain 80% of the plant greenness variation, which was used as a plant phenology proxy. The full annual cumulated NEE during the 2008-2015 period was -0.13 g C m-2 on average (range -30.6 to 34.1 g C m-2), while GPP was -214.6 g C m-2 (-126.2 to -332.8 g C m-2) and Reco was 214.4 g C m-2 (213.9 to 302.2 g C m-2). We found that the model supports the main finding from our previous analysis on flux responses to meteorological variations and biological disturbance. Here, large inter-annual variations in GPP and Reco are also compensatory, and so NEE remains stable across climatically diverse snow-free seasons. Further, we note evidence that leaf maintenance and root growth respiration are highly correlated with GPP (R2 = 0.92 and 0.83, p < 0.001), concluding that these relations likely drive the insensitivity of NEE. Interestingly, the model quantifies the contribution of the larvae outbreak occurred in 2011 in about 27

  2. Invertebrate communities of Arctic tundra ponds as related to proximity to drill site reserve pits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Byron, E.; Williams, N.; Hoffman, R.; Elder, B.

    1994-01-01

    Aquatic invertebrate communities were assessed for diversity and abundance in North Slope tundra ponds of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska during the summer of 1992 as part of an evaluation of potential effects of exposure to petroleum drill site reserve pits (previously used for storing drill site wastes). The invertebrate communities of these shallow, tundra ponds provide abundant food for migratory, aquatic birds that use this area during the summer breeding season. The study was designed to compare abundance and diversity estimates of invertebrates in ponds surrounding the drill sites that differed in distance (and presumed exposure) to drill site reserve pits. The pits, themselves, were not sampled as part of this study. Invertebrate abundance and diversity estimates, assessed as standard biological criteria, were evaluated relative to water chemistry of the ponds, distance to the gravel pads or reserve pits, and pond morphometry. The results indicated the importance of pond morphometry in determining the structure of the invertebrate community. Shallow, exposed ponds tended to be dominated by different invertebrate communities than deeper, narrow ponds at the margins of frost polygons. In contrast, pond chemistry and relative exposure to drill sites were not predictive of invertebrate abundance or diversity

  3. Humidification of the Arctic: Effects of more open ocean water on land temperatures and tundra productivity along continental and maritime bioclimate transects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, U. S.; Walker, D. A.; Raynolds, M. K.; Epstein, H. E.

    2017-12-01

    Amplified Arctic warming linked to declining sea-ice extent led to generally enhanced productivity of the tundra biome during the period 1982-2008. After about 2002, coinciding with a recent precipitous decline in sea ice, large areas of the Arctic began showing reversals of previous positive productivity trends. To better understand these recent vegetation productivity declines and whether they are associated with differences in a general humidification of portions of the Arctic, we focus analysis on two transects with ground information: the more continental North America Arctic Transect (NAAT) and the more maritime Eurasia Arctic Transect (EAT). We compare ground information with satellite-derived trends in open water, summer terrestrial temperatures, and vegetation greenness and changes in continentality of the two transects, as indicated by the differences in the annual maximum and minimum mean monthly temperatures. Areas adjacent to perennial sea ice along in the northern parts of the NAAT exhibit climates with positive trends in summer warmth, but negative greening trends, possibly due to soil drying. Southern parts of the NAAT in the vicinity of more open water show positive greenness trends. Along the EAT, cooling midsummer conditions and reduced greenness appear to be caused by cloudier conditions, and possibly later snow melt during the period of maximum potential photosynthesis. Ground-based environmental and vegetation data indicate that biomass, particularly moss biomass is much greater along the more maritime EAT, indicating a buffering effect of the vegetation that will act to damp productivity as humidification of the Arctic proceeds. This multi-scale analysis is one step in the direction of understanding the drivers of tundra vegetation productivity in the Arctic.

  4. 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

    . 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...... 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...

  5. 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)

  6. [Methanotrophs of the psychrophilic microbial community of the Russian Arctic tundra].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berestovskaia, Iu Iu; Vasil'eva, L V; Chestnykh, O V; Zavarzin, G A

    2002-01-01

    In tundra, at a low temperature, there exists a slowly developing methanotrophic community. Methane-oxidizing bacteria are associated with plants growing at high humidity, such as sedge and sphagnum; no methonotrophs were found in polytrichous and aulacomnious mosses and lichens, typical of more arid areas. The methanotrophic bacterial community inhabits definite soil horizons, from moss dust to peat formed from it. Potential ability of the methanotrophic community to oxidize methane at 5 degrees C enhances with the depth of the soil profile in spite of the decreasing soil temperature. The methanotrophic community was found to gradually adapt to various temperatures due to the presence of different methane-oxidizing bacteria in its composition. Depending on the temperature and pH, different methanotrophs occupy different econiches. Within a temperature range from 5 to 15 degrees C, three morphologically distinct groups of methanotrophs could be distinguished. At pH 5-7 and 5-15 degrees C, forms morphologically similar to Methylobacter psychrophilus predominated, whereas at the acidic pH 4-6 and 10-15 degrees C, bipolar cells typical of Methylocella palustris were mostly found. The third group of methanotrophic bacteria growing at pH 5-7 and 5-10 degrees C was represented by a novel methanotroph whole large coccoid cells had a thick mucous capsule.

  7. Towards lidar-based mapping of tree age at the Arctic forest tundra ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, J.; Maguire, A.; Oelkers, R.; Andreu-Hayles, L.; Boelman, N.; D'Arrigo, R.; Griffin, K. L.; Jennewein, J. S.; Hiers, E.; Meddens, A. J.; Russell, M.; Vierling, L. A.; Eitel, J.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change may cause spatial shifts in the forest-tundra ecotone (FTE). To improve our ability to study these spatial shifts, information on tree demography along the FTE is needed. The objective of this study was to assess the suitability of lidar derived tree heights as a surrogate for tree age. We calculated individual tree age from 48 tree cores collected at basal height from white spruce (Picea glauca) within the FTE in northern Alaska. Tree height was obtained from terrestrial lidar scans (= 3 m), yielding strong predictive relationships between height and age (R2 = 0.86, RMSE 12.21 years, and R2 = 0.93, RMSE = 25.16 years, respectively). The slope coefficient for small and large tree models (16.83 and 12.98 years/m, respectively) indicate that small trees grow 1.3 times faster than large trees at these FTE study sites. Although a strong, predictive relationship between age and height is uncommon in light-limited forest environments, our findings suggest that the sparseness of trees within the FTE may explain the strong tree height-age relationships found herein. Further analysis of 36 additional tree cores recently collected within the FTE near Inuvik, Canada will be performed. Our preliminary analysis suggests that lidar derived tree height could be a reliable proxy for tree age at the FTE, thereby establishing a new technique for scaling tree structure and demographics across larger portions of this sensitive ecotone.

  8. 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, Joy 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.

  9. Deeper snow alters soil nutrient availability and leaf nutrient status in high Arctic tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Semenchuk, Philipp R.; Elberling, Bo; Amtorp, Cecilie

    2015-01-01

    season. Changing nutrient availability may be reflected in plant N and chlorophyll content and lead to increased photosynthetic capacity, plant growth, and ultimately carbon (C) assimilation by plants. In this study, we increased snow depth and thereby cold-season soil temperatures in high Arctic...... Svalbard in two vegetation types spanning three moisture regimes. We measured growing-season availability of ammonium (NH4 (+)), nitrate (NO3 (-)), total dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (TON) in soil; C, N, delta N-15 and chlorophyll content in Salix polaris leaves; and leaf sizes of Salix...

  10. Soil fauna communities and microbial respiration in high Arctic tundra soils at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise I.; Holmstrup, Martin; Maraldo, Kristine

    2006-01-01

    The soil fauna communities were described for three dominant vegetation types in a high arctic site at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland. Soil samples were extracted to quantify the densities of mites, collembolans, enchytraeids, diptera larvae, nematodes and protozoa. Rates of microbial respiration...... densities (naked amoeba and heterotrophic flagellates) were equal. Respiration rate of unamended soil was similar in soil from the three plots. However, a higher respiration rate increase in carbon + nutrient amended soil and the higher densities of soil fauna (with the exception of mites and protozoa...

  11. Spatial variation and linkages of soil and vegetation in the Siberian Arctic tundra – coupling field observations with remote sensing data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Mikola

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Arctic tundra ecosystems will play a key role in future climate change due to intensifying permafrost thawing, plant growth and ecosystem carbon exchange, but monitoring these changes may be challenging due to the heterogeneity of Arctic landscapes. We examined spatial variation and linkages of soil and plant attributes in a site of Siberian Arctic tundra in Tiksi, northeast Russia, and evaluated possibilities to capture this variation by remote sensing for the benefit of carbon exchange measurements and landscape extrapolation. We distinguished nine land cover types (LCTs and to characterize them, sampled 92 study plots for plant and soil attributes in 2014. Moreover, to test if variation in plant and soil attributes can be detected using remote sensing, we produced a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI and topographical parameters for each study plot using three very high spatial resolution multispectral satellite images. We found that soils ranged from mineral soils in bare soil and lichen tundra LCTs to soils of high percentage of organic matter (OM in graminoid tundra, bog, dry fen and wet fen. OM content of the top soil was on average 14 g dm−3 in bare soil and lichen tundra and 89 g dm−3 in other LCTs. Total moss biomass varied from 0 to 820 g m−2, total vascular shoot mass from 7 to 112 g m−2 and vascular leaf area index (LAI from 0.04 to 0.95 among LCTs. In late summer, soil temperatures at 15 cm depth were on average 14 °C in bare soil and lichen tundra, and varied from 5 to 9 °C in other LCTs. On average, depth of the biologically active, unfrozen soil layer doubled from early July to mid-August. When contrasted across study plots, moss biomass was positively associated with soil OM % and OM content and negatively associated with soil temperature, explaining 14–34 % of variation. Vascular shoot mass and LAI were also positively associated with soil OM content, and LAI with active layer

  12. Regional Quantitative Cover Mapping of Tundra Plant Functional Types in Arctic Alaska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J. Macander

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystem maps are foundational tools that support multi-disciplinary study design and applications including wildlife habitat assessment, monitoring and Earth-system modeling. Here, we present continuous-field cover maps for tundra plant functional types (PFTs across ~125,000 km2 of Alaska’s North Slope at 30-m resolution. To develop maps, we collected a field-based training dataset using a point-intercept sampling method at 225 plots spanning bioclimatic and geomorphic gradients. We stratified vegetation by nine PFTs (e.g., low deciduous shrub, dwarf evergreen shrub, sedge, lichen and summarized measurements of the PFTs, open water, bare ground and litter using the cover metrics total cover (areal cover including the understory and top cover (uppermost canopy or ground cover. We then developed 73 spectral predictors derived from Landsat satellite observations (surface reflectance composites for ~15-day periods from May–August and five gridded environmental predictors (e.g., summer temperature, climatological snow-free date to model cover of PFTs using the random forest data-mining algorithm. Model performance tended to be best for canopy-forming PFTs, particularly deciduous shrubs. Our assessment of predictor importance indicated that models for low-statured PFTs were improved through the use of seasonal composites from early and late in the growing season, particularly when similar PFTs were aggregated together (e.g., total deciduous shrub, herbaceous. Continuous-field maps have many advantages over traditional thematic maps, and the methods described here are well-suited to support periodic map updates in tandem with future field and Landsat observations.

  13. Coupled Monitoring and Inverse Modeling to Investigate Surface - Subsurface Hydrological and Thermal Dynamics in the Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, A. P.; Dafflon, B.; Hubbard, S. S.; Bisht, G.; Peterson, J.; Ulrich, C.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Kneafsey, T. J.; Wu, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Quantitative characterization of the soil surface-subsurface hydrological and thermal processes is essential as they are primary factors that control the biogeochemical processes, ecological landscapes and greenhouse gas fluxes. In the Artic region, the surface-subsurface hydrological and thermal regimes co-interact and are both largely influenced by soil texture and soil organic content. In this study, we present a coupled inversion scheme that jointly inverts hydrological, thermal and geophysical data to estimate the vertical profiles of clay, sand and organic contents. Within this inversion scheme, the Community Land Model (CLM4.5) serves as a forward model to simulate the land-surface energy balance and subsurface hydrological-thermal processes. Soil electrical conductivity (from electrical resistivity tomography), temperature and water content are linked together via petrophysical and geophysical models. Particularly, the inversion scheme accounts for the influences of the soil organic and mineral content on both of the hydrological-thermal dynamics and the petrophysical relationship. We applied the inversion scheme to the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) intensive site in Barrow, AK, which is characterized by polygonal-shaped arctic tundra. The monitoring system autonomously provides a suite of above-ground measurements (e.g., precipitation, air temperature, wind speed, short-long wave radiation, canopy greenness and eddy covariance) as well as below-ground measurements (soil moisture, soil temperature, thaw layer thickness, snow thickness and soil electrical conductivity), which complement other periodic, manually collected measurements. The preliminary results indicate that the model can well reproduce the spatiotemporal dynamics of the soil temperature, and therefore, accurately predict the active layer thickness. The hydrological and thermal dynamics are closely linked to the polygon types and polygon features. The results also enable the

  14. Paleolimnologic and modeling perspectives on the physical and ecological sensitivity of Arctic tundra lakes to temperature changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniels, W.; Russel, J.; Giblin, A. E.; Longo, W. M.; Morrill, C.; Holland-Stergar, P.; Rose, R.; Huang, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Temperatures are warming rapidly across the Arctic, with the potential to substantially alter freshwater ecosystem structure and functioning. Some important processes, such as allochthonous loading or carbon burial, may respond too slowly to observe in modern monitoring efforts, and therefore require alternative approaches to accurately assess. Here we analyze the physical and ecological sensitivity of Alaska tundra lakes to climate change through the lenses of paleolimnology and lake thermal modeling. We compare a 10,000 year long record of biomarker-inferred temperature change (leaf wax hydrogen isotopes) to independent indicators of lake primary production (chlorophyll a), algal community structure (diatom assemblages), and allochthonous inputs (XRF chemistry) from Lake E5 and Upper Capsule Lake near the Toolik Field Station in Alaska (69 °N, 150 °W). Temperatures varied on the order of 2-5 °C over the last 10,000 years, and warmed 1-2 °C during the post-industrial period. Shifts in diatom communities in both lakes reflect increased lake stratification and lake pH during warmer intervals of the Holocene. While lake stratification is a direct response to temperature, we propose that the pH response is due to a combination of two factors. First, an increase in the length of the ice-free season promotes ventilation of respired CO2 out of the lakes. Thermal modeling suggests that lake ice coverage changes by approximately 6-8 days/°C, and so we expect that ice-cover changed by as much as 3-4 weeks throughout the Holocene. Secondarily, sediment core calcium concentrations suggest increased base cation and alkalinity inputs during warmer periods, most likely due to the thermal-induced deepening of the soil active layer and enhanced carbonate rock weathering. Carbon and chlorophyll concentrations appear negatively correlated with temperature over most the Holocene, attributable to the temperature effect on organic matter respiration, although periods of enhanced

  15. Soil fauna communities and microbial respiration in high Arctic tundra soils at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise I.; Holmstrup, Martin; Maraldo, Kristine

    2006-01-01

    The soil fauna communities were described for three dominant vegetation types in a high arctic site at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland. Soil samples were extracted to quantify the densities of mites, collembolans, enchytraeids, diptera larvae, nematodes and protozoa. Rates of microbial respiration...... densities (naked amoeba and heterotrophic flagellates) were equal. Respiration rate of unamended soil was similar in soil from the three plots. However, a higher respiration rate increase in carbon + nutrient amended soil and the higher densities of soil fauna (with the exception of mites and protozoa...... were also assessed. Collembolans were found in highest densities in dry heath soil, about 130,000 individuals m-2, more than twice as high as in mesic heath soils. Enchytraeids, diptera larvae and nematodes were also more abundant in the dry heath soil than in mesic heath soils, whereas protozoan...

  16. Carbon dioxide exchange of the Arctic tundra in the northern part of European Russia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiepe, Isabell; Johansson, Paul Torbjörn; Friborg, Thomas

    Northern Russia has been subject to many speculations in relation to climatic change effects and greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange but still little scientific evidence is available for this region. There is low abundance of continuous Arctic GHG exchange measurements deploying eddy covariance technique...... 70 cm in the hummocky areas. The climate is continental with a mean annual air temperature (1995-2007) of about -9.4 °C (Vorkuta). To determine the greenhouse balance of this area the eddy covariance technique was used in the late period of the growing season of 2007. In this study we focus...... on the transition period at the end of the growth season, which is a part of the year when predicted changes in temperature is likely to have the most pronounced effects on the exchange of GHGs. The net ecosystem CO2 exchange reflects two important influences on the opposed fluxes, gross photosynthesis...

  17. Effect of Freeze-Thaw Cycles on Soil Nitrogen Reactive Transport in a Polygonal Arctic Tundra Ecosystem at Barrow AK Using 3-D Coupled ALM-PFLOTRAN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, F.; Wang, G.; Painter, S. L.; Tang, G.; Xu, X.; Kumar, J.; Bisht, G.; Hammond, G. E.; Mills, R. T.; Thornton, P. E.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2017-12-01

    In Arctic tundra ecosystem soil freezing-thawing is one of dominant physical processes through which biogeochemical (e.g., carbon and nitrogen) cycles are tightly coupled. Besides hydraulic transport, freezing-thawing can cause pore water movement and aqueous species gradients, which are additional mechanisms for soil nitrogen (N) reactive-transport in Tundra ecosystem. In this study, we have fully coupled an in-development ESM(i.e., Advanced Climate Model for Energy, ACME)'s Land Model (ALM) aboveground processes with a state-of-the-art massively parallel 3-D subsurface thermal-hydrology and reactive transport code, PFLOTRAN. The resulting coupled ALM-PFLOTRAN model is a Land Surface Model (LSM) capable of resolving 3-D soil thermal-hydrological-biogeochemical cycles. This specific version of PFLOTRAN has incorporated CLM-CN Converging Trophic Cascade (CTC) model and a full and simple but robust soil N cycle. It includes absorption-desorption for soil NH4+ and gas dissolving-degasing process as well. It also implements thermal-hydrology mode codes with three newly-modified freezing-thawing algorithms which can greatly improve computing performance in regarding to numerical stiffness at freezing-point. Here we tested the model in fully 3-D coupled mode at the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment-Arctic (NGEE-Arctic) field intensive study site at the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO), AK. The simulations show that: (1) synchronous coupling of soil thermal-hydrology and biogeochemistry in 3-D can greatly impact ecosystem dynamics across polygonal tundra landscape; and (2) freezing-thawing cycles can add more complexity to the system, resulting in greater mobility of soil N vertically and laterally, depending upon local micro-topography. As a preliminary experiment, the model is also implemented for Pan-Arctic region in 1-D column mode (i.e. no lateral connection), showing significant differences compared to stand-alone ALM. The developed ALM-PFLOTRAN coupling

  18. pH controls over methanogenesis and iron reduction along soil depth profile in Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, J.; Gu, B.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Graham, D. E.

    2017-12-01

    Increasing soil temperature in the Arctic is expected to accelerate rates of soil organic matter decomposition. However, the magnitude of this impact is uncertain due to the many physical, chemical, and biological processes that control the decomposition pathways. Varying soil redox conditions present a key control over pathways of organic matter decomposition by diverting the flow of reductants among different electron accepting processes and further driving acid-base reactions that alter soil pH. In this study we investigated the pH controls over anaerobic carbon mineralization, methanogenesis, Fe(III) reduction and the interplay between these processes across a range of pH and redox conditions. pH manipulation experiments were conducted by incubating soils representing organic, mineral, cryoturbated transitional layers and permafrost. In the experiments we sought to understand (1) if methanogenesis or Fe(III) reduction had similar pH optima; (2) if this pH response also occurs at `upstream' fermentation process; and (3) if pH alters organo-mineral association or organic matter sorption and desorption and its availability for microbial degradation. Our preliminary results suggest that the common bell-shaped pH response curve provides a good fit for both Fe(III) reduction and methanogenesis, with optimum pH at 6.0-7.0. Exceptions to this were found in transitional layer where methanogenesis rates positively correlated with increasing pH, with maximum rates measured at pH 8.5. It is likely that the transitional layer harbors distinct groups of methanogens that prefer a high pH. Variations in the optimum pH of Fe(III) reduction and methanogenesis may play a significant role in regulating organic matter decomposition pathways and thus greenhouse gas production in thawing soils. These results support biogeochemical modeling efforts to accurately simulate organic matter decomposition under changing redox and pH conditions.

  19. Soil Carbon Inputs and Ecosystem Respiration: a Field Priming Experiment in Arctic Coastal Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn, L. S.; Zhu, B.; Bimueller, C.; Curtis, J. B.; Chafe, O.; Bill, M.; Abramoff, R. Z.; Torn, M. S.

    2016-12-01

    In Arctic ecosystems, climate change is expected to influence soil carbon stocks through changes in both plant carbon inputs and organic matter decomposition. This study addresses the potential for a priming effect, an interaction between these changes in which root-derived carbon inputs alter SOM decomposition rates via microbial biomass increases, co-metabolism of substrates, induced nitrogen limitation, or other possible mechanisms. The priming effect has been observed in numerous laboratory and greenhouse experiments, and is increasingly included in ecosystem models. Few studies, however, have evaluated the priming effect with in situ field manipulations. In a two-year field experiment in Barrow, Alaska, we tested for a priming effect under natural environmental variability. In September 2014 and August 2015, we added 6.1g of 13C-labeled glucose to 25cm diameter mesocosms, 15cm below the soil surface in the mineral soil layer. Over the following month, we quantified effects on the rate and temperature sensitivity of native (non-glucose) ecosystem respiration and GPP. Following the 2014 treatment, soil samples were collected at 1 and 3 weeks for microbial biomass carbon and 13C/12C analysis, and ion exchange membranes were buried for one week to assess nitrate and ammonium availability. In contrast with many laboratory incubation studies using soils from a broad range of ecosystems, we observed no significant priming effect. In spite of a clear signal of 13C-glucose decomposition in respired CO2 and microbial biomass, we detected no treatment effect on background ecosystem respiration or total microbial biomass carbon. Our findings suggest that glucose taken up by microbes was not used for production of additional SOM-decomposing enzymes, possibly due to stoichiometric limitations on enzyme production. To best inform models representing complex and dynamic ecosystems, this study calls for further research relating theory, laboratory findings, and field

  20. Stratospheric ozone depletion: high arctic tundra plant species from Svalbard are not affected by enhanced UV-B after 7 years of UV-B supplementation in the field.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozema, J.; Boelen, P.; Blokker, P.; Callaghan, T.V.; Solheim, B.; Zielke, M.

    2006-01-01

    The response of tundra plants to enhanced UV-B radiation simulating 15 and 30% ozone depletion was studied at two high arctic sites (Isdammen and Adventdalen, 78° N, Svalbard).The set-up of the UV-B supplementation systems is described, consisting of large and small UV lamp arrays, installed in 1996

  1. Diagnosis of the hydrology of a small Arctic basin at the tundra-taiga transition using a physically based hydrological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krogh, Sebastian A.; Pomeroy, John W.; Marsh, Philip

    2017-07-01

    A better understanding of cold regions hydrological processes and regimes in transitional environments is critical for predicting future Arctic freshwater fluxes under climate and vegetation change. A physically based hydrological model using the Cold Regions Hydrological Model platform was created for a small Arctic basin in the tundra-taiga transition region. The model represents snow redistribution and sublimation by wind and vegetation, snowmelt energy budget, evapotranspiration, subsurface flow through organic terrain, infiltration to frozen soils, freezing and thawing of soils, permafrost and streamflow routing. The model was used to reconstruct the basin water cycle over 28 years to understand and quantify the mass fluxes controlling its hydrological regime. Model structure and parameters were set from the current understanding of Arctic hydrology, remote sensing, field research in the basin and region, and calibration against streamflow observations. Calibration was restricted to subsurface hydraulic and storage parameters. Multi-objective evaluation of the model using observed streamflow, snow accumulation and ground freeze/thaw state showed adequate simulation. Significant spatial variability in the winter mass fluxes was found between tundra, shrubs and forested sites, particularly due to the substantial blowing snow redistribution and sublimation from the wind-swept upper basin, as well as sublimation of canopy intercepted snow from the forest (about 17% of snowfall). At the basin scale, the model showed that evapotranspiration is the largest loss of water (47%), followed by streamflow (39%) and sublimation (14%). The models streamflow performance sensitivity to a set of parameter was analysed, as well as the mean annual mass balance uncertainty associated with these parameters.

  2. Exclusion of brown lemmings reduces vascular plant cover and biomass in Arctic coastal tundra: resampling of a 50 + year herbivore exclosure experiment near Barrow, Alaska

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, D R; Lara, M J; Tweedie, C E; Shaver, G R; Batzli, G O; Shaw, J D

    2011-01-01

    To determine the role lemmings play in structuring plant communities and their contribution to the 'greening of the Arctic', we measured plant cover and biomass in 50 + year old lemming exclosures and control plots in the coastal tundra near Barrow, Alaska. The response of plant functional types to herbivore exclusion varied among land cover types. In general, the abundance of lichens and bryophytes increased with the exclusion of lemmings, whereas graminoids decreased, although the magnitude of these responses varied among land cover types. These results suggest that sustained lemming activity promotes a higher biomass of vascular plant functional types than would be expected without their presence and highlights the importance of considering herbivory when interpreting patterns of greening in the Arctic. In light of the rapid environmental change ongoing in the Arctic and the potential regional to global implications of this change, further exploration regarding the long-term influence of arvicoline rodents on ecosystem function (e.g. carbon and energy balance) should be considered a research priority.

  3. Recognition and characterization of networks of water bodies in the Arctic ice-wedge polygonal tundra using high-resolution satellite imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skurikhin, A. N.; Gangodagamage, C.; Rowland, J. C.; Wilson, C. J.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic lowland landscapes underlain by permafrost are often characterized by polygon-like patterns such as ice-wedge polygons outlined by networks of ice wedges and complemented with polygon rims, troughs, shallow ponds and thermokarst lakes. Polygonal patterns and corresponding features are relatively easy to recognize in high spatial resolution satellite imagery by a human, but their automated recognition is challenging due to the variability in their spectral appearance, the irregularity of individual trough spacing and orientation within the patterns, and a lack of unique spectral response attributable to troughs with widths commonly between 1 m and 2 m. Accurate identification of fine scale elements of ice-wedge polygonal tundra is important as their imprecise recognition may bias estimates of water, heat and carbon fluxes in large-scale climate models. Our focus is on the problem of identification of Arctic polygonal tundra fine-scale landscape elements (as small as 1 m - 2 m width). The challenge of the considered problem is that while large water bodies (e.g. lakes and rivers) can be recognized based on spectral response, reliable recognition of troughs is more difficult. Troughs do not have unique spectral signature, their appearance is noisy (edges are not strong), their width is small, and they often form connected networks with ponds and lakes, and thus they have overlapping spectral response with other water bodies and surrounding non-water bodies. We present a semi-automated approach to identify and classify Arctic polygonal tundra landscape components across the range of spatial scales, such as troughs, ponds, river- and lake-like objects, using high spatial resolution satellite imagery. The novelty of the approach lies in: (1) the combined use of segmentation and shape-based classification to identify a broad range of water bodies, including troughs, and (2) the use of high-resolution WorldView-2 satellite imagery (with resolution of 0.6 m) for this

  4. Digging Deeper: Development and evaluation of an untargeted metabolomics approach to identify biogeochemical hotspots with depth and by vegetation type in Arctic tundra soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladd, M.; Wullschleger, S.; Hettich, R.

    2017-12-01

    Elucidating the chemical composition of low molecular weight (LMW) dissolved organic matter (DOM), and monitoring how this bioavailable pool varies over space and time, is critical to understanding the controlling mechanisms that underlie carbon release and storage in Arctic systems. Due to analytical challenges however, relatively little is known about how this complex mixture of small molecules varies with soil depth or how it may be influenced by vegetation. In this study, we evaluated an untargeted metabolomics approach for the characterization of LMW DOM in water extracts, and applied this approach in soil cores (10-cm diam., 30-cm depth), obtained near Barrow, Alaska (71° 16' N) from the organic-rich active layer where the aboveground vegetation was primarily either Carex aquatilis or Eriophorum angustifolium, two species commonly found in tundra systems. We hypothesized that by using a discovery-based approach, spatial patterns of chemical diversity could be identified, enabling the detection of biogeochemical hotspots across scales. LMW DOM profiles from triplicate water extracts were characterized using dual-separation, nano-liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to an electrospray Orbitrap mass spectrometer in positive and negative ion modes. Both LC separations—reversed-phase and hydrophilic interaction chromatography—were achieved with gradient elutions in 15 minutes. Using a precursor and fragment mass measurement accuracy of nutrients) impact carbon fluxes in the Arctic at the landscape-scale.

  5. Warming Effects on Enzyme Activities are Predominant in Sub-surface Soils of an Arctic Tundra Ecosystem over 6-Year Field Manipulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, H.; Seo, J.; Kim, M.; Jung, J. Y.; Lee, Y. K.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are of great importance because they store a large amount of carbon as un-decomposed organic matter. Global climate change is expected to affect enzyme activities and heterotrophic respiration in Arctic soils, which may accelerate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission through positive biological feedbacks. Unlike laboratory-based incubation experiments, field measurements often show different warming effects on decomposition of organic carbon and releases of GHGs. In the present study, we conducted a field-based warming experiment in Cambridge Bay, Canada (69°07'48″N, 105°03'36″W) by employing passive chambers during growing seasons over 6 years. A suite of enzyme activities (ß-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, N-acetylglucosaminidase, leucine aminopeptidase and phenol oxidase), microbial community structure (NGS), microbial abundances (gene copy numbers of bacteria and fungi), and soil chemical properties have been monitored in two depths (0-5 cm and 5-10 cm) of tundra soils, which were exposed to four different treatments (`control', `warming-only', `water-addition only', and both `warming and water-addition'). Phenol oxidase activity increased substantially, and bacterial community structure and abundance changed in the early stage (after 1 year's warming manipulation), but these changes disappeared afterwards. Most hydrolases were enhanced in surface soils by `water-addition only' over the period. However, the long-term effects of warming appeared in sub-surface soils where both `warming only' and `warming and water addition' increased hydrolase activities. Overall results of this study indicate that the warming effects on enzyme activities in surface soils are only short-term (phenol oxidase) or masked by water-limitation (hydrolases). However, hydrolases activities in sub-surface soils are more strongly enhanced than surface soils by warming, probably due to the lack of water limitation. Meanwhile, negative correlations between hydrolase

  6. The role of deep nitrogen and dynamic rooting profiles on vegetation dynamics and productivity in response to permafrost thaw and climate change in Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, R. E.; Helene, G.; Taylor, D. L.; McGuire, A. D.; Mack, M. C.

    2017-12-01

    The release of permafrost-derived nitrogen (N) has the potential to fertilize tundra vegetation, modulating plant competition, stimulating productivity, and offsetting carbon losses from thawing permafrost. Dynamic rooting, mycorrhizal interactions, and coupling of N availability and root N uptake have been identified as gaps in ecosystem models. As a first step towards understanding whether Arctic plants can access deep permafrost-derived N, we characterized rooting profiles and quantified acquisition of 15N tracer applied at the permafrost boundary by moist acidic tundra plants subjected to almost three decades of warming at Toolik Lake, Alaska. In the ambient control plots the vegetation biomass is distributed between five plant functional types (PFTs): sedges, evergreen and deciduous shrubs, mosses and in lower abundance, forbs. The warming treatment has resulted in the increase of deciduous shrub biomass and the loss of sedges, evergreen shrubs, and mosses. We harvested roots by depth increment down to the top of the permafrost. Roots were classified by size class and PFT. The average thaw depth in the warmed plots was 58.3 cm ± 6.4 S.E., close to 18 cm deeper than the average thaw depth in the ambient plots (40.8 cm ± 1.8 S.E.). Across treatments the deepest rooting species was Rubus chamaemorus (ambient 40.8 cm ± 1.8 S.E., warmed 50.3 cm ± 9.8 S.E.), a non-mycorrhizal forb, followed by Eriophorum vaginatum, a non-mycorrhizal sedge. Ectomycorrhizal deciduous and ericoid mycorrhizal evergreen shrubs were rooted at more shallow depths. Deeply rooted non-mycorrhizal species had the greatest uptake of 15N tracer within 24 hours across treatments. Tracer uptake was greatest for roots of E. vaginatum in ambient plots and R. chamaemorus in warmed plots. Root profiles were integrated into a process-based ecosystem model coupled with a dynamic vegetation model. Functions modeling dynamic rooting profile relative to thaw depth were implemented for each PFT. The

  7. Disappearing Arctic tundra ponds: Fine-scale analysis of surface hydrology in drained thaw lake basins over a 65 year period (1948-2013)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andresen, Christian G.; Lougheed, Vanessa L.

    2015-03-01

    Long-term fine-scale dynamics of surface hydrology in Arctic tundra ponds (less than 1 ha) are largely unknown; however, these small water bodies may contribute substantially to carbon fluxes, energy balance, and biodiversity in the Arctic system. Change in pond area and abundance across the upper Barrow Peninsula, Alaska, was assessed by comparing historic aerial imagery (1948) and modern submeter resolution satellite imagery (2002, 2008, and 2010). This was complemented by photogrammetric analysis of low-altitude kite-borne imagery in combination with field observations (2010-2013) of pond water and thaw depth transects in seven ponds of the International Biological Program historic research site. Over 2800 ponds in 22 drained thaw lake basins (DTLB) with different geological ages were analyzed. We observed a net decrease of 30.3% in area and 17.1% in number of ponds over the 62 year period. The inclusion of field observations of pond areas in 1972 from a historic research site confirms the linear downward trend in area. Pond area and number were dependent on the age of DTLB; however, changes through time were independent of DTLB age, with potential long-term implications for the hypothesized geomorphologic landscape succession of the thaw lake cycle. These losses were coincident with increases in air temperature, active layer, and density and cover of aquatic emergent plants in ponds. Increased evaporation due to warmer and longer summers, permafrost degradation, and transpiration from encroaching aquatic emergent macrophytes are likely the factors contributing to the decline in surface area and number of ponds.

  8. Mathematical Modelling of Arctic Polygonal Tundra with Ecosys: 1. Microtopography Determines How Active Layer Depths Respond to Changes in Temperature and Precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, R. F.; Mekonnen, Z. A.; Riley, W. J.; Wainwright, H. M.; Graham, D.; Torn, M. S.

    2017-12-01

    Microtopographic variation that develops among features (troughs, rims, and centers) within polygonal landforms of coastal arctic tundra strongly affects movement of surface water and snow and thereby affects soil water contents (θ) and active layer depth (ALD). Spatial variation in ALD among these features may exceed interannual variation in ALD caused by changes in climate and so needs to be represented in projections of changes in arctic ALD. In this study, increases in near-surface θ with decreasing surface elevation among polygon features at the Barrow Experimental Observatory (BEO) were modeled from topographic effects on redistribution of surface water and snow and from lateral water exchange with a subsurface water table during a model run from 1981 to 2015. These increases in θ caused increases in thermal conductivity that in turn caused increases in soil heat fluxes and hence in ALD of up to 15 cm with lower versus higher surface elevation which were consistent with increases measured at BEO. The modeled effects of θ caused interannual variation in maximum ALD that compared well with measurements from 1985 to 2015 at the Barrow Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) site (R2 = 0.61, RMSE = 0.03 m). For higher polygon features, interannual variation in ALD was more closely associated with annual precipitation than mean annual temperature, indicating that soil wetting from increases in precipitation may hasten permafrost degradation beyond that caused by soil warming from increases in air temperature. This degradation may be more rapid if increases in precipitation cause sustained wetting in higher features.

  9. Using Mid Infrared Spectroscopy to Predict the Decomposability of Soil Organic Matter Stored in Arctic Tundra Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    The large amounts of organic matter stored in permafrost-region soils are preserved in a relatively undecomposed state by the cold and wet environmental conditions limiting decomposer activity. With pending climate changes and the potential for warming of Arctic soils, there is a need to better unde...

  10. 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

  11. Coupled Land Surface-Subsurface Hydrogeophysical Inverse Modeling to Estimate Soil Organic Carbon Content in an Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, A. P.; Dafflon, B.; Hubbard, S.

    2017-12-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) is crucial for predicting carbon climate feedbacks in the vulnerable organic-rich Arctic region. However, it is challenging to achieve this property due to the general limitations of conventional core sampling and analysis methods. In this study, we develop an inversion scheme that uses single or multiple datasets, including soil liquid water content, temperature and ERT data, to estimate the vertical profile of SOC content. Our approach relies on the fact that SOC content strongly influences soil hydrological-thermal parameters, and therefore, indirectly controls the spatiotemporal dynamics of soil liquid water content, temperature and their correlated electrical resistivity. The scheme includes several advantages. First, this is the first time SOC content is estimated by using a coupled hydrogeophysical inversion. Second, by using the Community Land Model, we can account for the land surface dynamics (evapotranspiration, snow accumulation and melting) and ice/liquid phase transition. Third, we combine a deterministic and an adaptive Markov chain Monte Carlo optimization algorithm to better estimate the posterior distributions of desired model parameters. Finally, the simulated subsurface variables are explicitly linked to soil electrical resistivity via petrophysical and geophysical models. We validate the developed scheme using synthetic experiments. The results show that compared to inversion of single dataset, joint inversion of these datasets significantly reduces parameter uncertainty. The joint inversion approach is able to estimate SOC content within the shallow active layer with high reliability. Next, we apply the scheme to estimate OC content along an intensive ERT transect in Barrow, Alaska using multiple datasets acquired in the 2013-2015 period. The preliminary results show a good agreement between modeled and measured soil temperature, thaw layer thickness and electrical resistivity. The accuracy of estimated SOC content

  12. The need for a tundra treatment protocol

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filler, D.M.

    2000-01-01

    Support services formed an integral part of the oil and natural gas industry in the Arctic. These services include the road transportation of petroleum fuels to supply pipeline pump station generators, work camps, fleet vehicles and others. At times, spill response in the tundra proves to be harmful to the environment. An incident occurred in November 1997. A tanker truck was hauling arctic-grade diesel fuel on Alaska's North Slope when it rolled over at a river crossing, spilling 20,800 liters on the frozen tundra. The in situ burning that followed polluted the subsurface soil-water matrix within the river basin. It was difficult to distinguish between petroleum pollutant and biogenic hydrocarbon contributions in the tundra. A tundra treatment manual was then developed for the proper management of land-based fuel and oil spills in the Arctic. This manual takes into account the sensitive environment of the region. 14 refs., 4 figs

  13. Deepened winter snow increases stem growth and alters stem δ13C and δ15N in evergreen dwarf shrub Cassiope tetragona in high-arctic Svalbard tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blok, Daan; Michelsen, Anders; Elberling, Bo; Weijers, Stef; Löffler, Jörg; Welker, Jeffrey M; Cooper, Elisabeth J

    2015-01-01

    Deeper winter snow is hypothesized to favor shrub growth and may partly explain the shrub expansion observed in many parts of the arctic during the last decades, potentially triggering biophysical feedbacks including regional warming and permafrost thawing. We experimentally tested the effects of winter snow depth on shrub growth and ecophysiology by measuring stem length and stem hydrogen (δ 2 H), carbon (δ 13 C), nitrogen (δ 15 N) and oxygen (δ 18 O) isotopic composition of the circumarctic evergreen dwarf shrub Cassiope tetragona growing in high-arctic Svalbard, Norway. Measurements were carried out on C. tetragona individuals sampled from three tundra sites, each representing a distinct moisture regime (dry heath, meadow, moist meadow). Individuals were sampled along gradients of experimentally manipulated winter snow depths in a six-year old snow fence experiment: in ambient (c. 20 cm), medium (c. 100 cm), and deep snow (c. 150 cm) plots. The deep-snow treatment consistently and significantly increased C. tetragona growth during the 2008–2011 manipulation period compared to growth in ambient-snow plots. Stem δ 15 N and stem N concentration values were significantly higher in deep-snow individuals compared to individuals growing in ambient-snow plots during the course of the experiment, suggesting that soil N-availability was increased in deep-snow plots as a result of increased soil winter N mineralization. Although inter-annual growing season-precipitation δ 2 H and stem δ 2 H records closely matched, snow depth did not change stem δ 2 H or δ 18 O, suggesting that water source usage by C. tetragona was unaltered. Instead, the deep insulating snowpack may have protected C. tetragona shrubs against frost damage, potentially compensating the detrimental effects of a shortened growing season and associated phenological delay on growth. Our findings suggest that an increase in winter precipitation in the High Arctic, as predicted by climate models, has

  14. Plant community composition and species richness in the High Arctic tundra: from the present to the future

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nabe-Nielsen, Jacob; Normand, Signe; Hui, Francis K.C.

    2017-01-01

    of these conditions is limited due to the scarcity of studies, especially in the High Arctic. 2. We investigated variations in vascular plant community composition and species richness based on 288 plots distributed on three sites along a coast-inland gradient in Northeast Greenland using a stratified random design......1. Arctic plant communities are altered by climate changes. The magnitude of these alterations depends on whether species distributions are determined by macroclimatic conditions, by factors related to local topography, or by biotic interactions. Our current understanding of the relative importance....... We used an information theoretic approach to determine whether variations in species richness were best explained by macroclimate, by factors related to local topography (including soil water) or by plant-plant interactions. Latent variable models were used to explain patterns in plant community...

  15. Short-Term Impacts of the Air Temperature on Greening and Senescence in Alaskan Arctic Plant Tundra Habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy L. May

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Climate change is warming the temperatures and lengthening the Arctic growing season with potentially important effects on plant phenology. The ability of plant species to acclimate to changing climatic conditions will dictate the level to which their spatial coverage and habitat-type dominance is different in the future. While the effect of changes in temperature on phenology and species composition have been observed at the plot and at the regional scale, a systematic assessment at medium spatial scales using new noninvasive sensor techniques has not been performed yet. At four sites across the North Slope of Alaska, changes in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI signal were observed by Mobile Instrumented Sensor Platforms (MISP that are suspended over 50 m transects spanning local moisture gradients. The rates of greening (measured in June and senescence (measured in August in response to the air temperature was estimated by changes in NDVI measured as the difference between the NDVI on a specific date and three days later. In June, graminoid- and shrub-dominated habitats showed the greatest rates of NDVI increase in response to the high air temperatures, while forb- and lichen-dominated habitats were less responsive. In August, the NDVI was more responsive to variations in the daily average temperature than spring greening at all sites. For graminoid- and shrub-dominated habitats, we observed a delayed decrease of the NDVI, reflecting a prolonged growing season, in response to high August temperatures. Consequently, the annual C assimilation capacity of these habitats is increased, which in turn may be partially responsible for shrub expansion and further increases in net summer CO2 fixation. Strong interannual differences highlight that long-term and noninvasive measurements of such complex feedback mechanisms in arctic ecosystems are critical to fully articulate the net effects of climate variability and climate change on

  16. Circumpolar Arctic vegetation: a hierarchic review and roadmap toward an internationally consistent approach to survey, archive and classify tundra plot data

    Science.gov (United States)

    D A Walker; F J A Daniels; I Alsos; U S Bhatt; A L Breen; M Buchhorn; H Bultmann; L A Druckenmiller; M E Edwards; D Ehrich; H E Epstein; William Gould; R A Ims; H Meltofte; M K Raynolds; J Sibik; S S Talbot; P J Webber

    2016-01-01

    Satellite-derived remote-sensing products are providing a modern circumpolar perspective of Arctic vegetation and its changes, but this new view is dependent on a long heritage of ground-based observations in the Arctic. Several products of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna are key to our current understanding.Wereview aspects of the PanArctic Flora, the...

  17. TUNDRA IN A CHANGING CLIMATE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terry Callaghan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Both palaeogeographical reconstructions and general circulation models indicate that global warming is especially strongly manifested in high latitudes. Under a 2°C increase in mean global temperature, almost the entire modern tundra zone would become potentially suitable for tree growth. Nevertheless, palaeobotanic data cannot be applied directly to estimating vegetation response to the global warming expected in the 21st century, as they characterize a quasi-equilibrium state of ecosystems, which takes several centuries to be achieved. Low migration rates of trees, damage caused by fires and insects, processes of soil drying or paludification, and influence of herbivorous animals and human activities may slow down considerably forest spread in tundra. Climate warming will probably cause a decline in the populations of Arctic species and expansion of ranges of some southern animal species into the Arctic.

  18. Where do the treeless tundra areas of northern highlands fit in the global biome system: toward an ecologically natural subdivision of the tundra biome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virtanen, Risto; Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja; Cohen, Juval; Forbes, Bruce C; Johansen, Bernt; Käyhkö, Jukka; Olofsson, Johan; Pulliainen, Jouni; Tømmervik, Hans

    2016-01-01

    According to some treatises, arctic and alpine sub-biomes are ecologically similar, whereas others find them highly dissimilar. Most peculiarly, large areas of northern tundra highlands fall outside of the two recent subdivisions of the tundra biome. We seek an ecologically natural resolution to this long-standing and far-reaching problem. We studied broad-scale patterns in climate and vegetation along the gradient from Siberian tundra via northernmost Fennoscandia to the alpine habitats of European middle-latitude mountains, as well as explored those patterns within Fennoscandian tundra based on climate-vegetation patterns obtained from a fine-scale vegetation map. Our analyses reveal that ecologically meaningful January-February snow and thermal conditions differ between different types of tundra. High precipitation and mild winter temperatures prevail on middle-latitude mountains, low precipitation and usually cold winters prevail on high-latitude tundra, and Scandinavian mountains show intermediate conditions. Similarly, heath-like plant communities differ clearly between middle latitude mountains (alpine) and high-latitude tundra vegetation, including its altitudinal extension on Scandinavian mountains. Conversely, high abundance of snowbeds and large differences in the composition of dwarf shrub heaths distinguish the Scandinavian mountain tundra from its counterparts in Russia and the north Fennoscandian inland. The European tundra areas fall into three ecologically rather homogeneous categories: the arctic tundra, the oroarctic tundra of northern heights and mountains, and the genuinely alpine tundra of middle-latitude mountains. Attempts to divide the tundra into two sub-biomes have resulted in major discrepancies and confusions, as the oroarctic areas are included in the arctic tundra in some biogeographic maps and in the alpine tundra in others. Our analyses based on climate and vegetation criteria thus seem to resolve the long-standing biome

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nauta, A.L.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Blok, D.; Limpens, J.; Elberling, B.; Gallagher, A.; Li, B.; Petrov, R.E.; Maximov, T.C.; Huissteden, van J.; Berendse, F.

    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

  20. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem into methane source

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nauta, A.L.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Blok, D.; Limpens, J.; Elberling, B.; Gallagher, A.; Li, B.; Petrov, R.E.; Maximov, T.C.; van Huissteden, J.; Berendse, F.

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed rapidly,

  1. Fire-severity effects on plant-fungal interactions after a novel tundra wildfire disturbance: implications for arctic shrub and tree migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecca E. Hewitt; Teresa N. Hollingsworth; F. Stuart Chapin III; D. Lee Taylor

    2016-01-01

    Background: Vegetation change in high latitude tundra ecosystems is expected to accelerate due to increased wildfire activity. High-severity fires increase the availability of mineral soil seedbeds, which facilitates recruitment, yet fire also alters soil microbial composition, which could significantly impact seedling establishment.

  2. Seasonal evolution of the effective thermal conductivity of the snow and the soil in high Arctic herb tundra at Bylot Island, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domine, Florent; Barrere, Mathieu; Sarrazin, Denis

    2016-11-01

    The values of the snow and soil thermal conductivity, ksnow and ksoil, strongly impact the thermal regime of the ground in the Arctic, but very few data are available to test model predictions for these variables. We have monitored ksnow and ksoil using heated needle probes at Bylot Island in the Canadian High Arctic (73° N, 80° W) between July 2013 and July 2015. Few ksnow data were obtained during the 2013-2014 winter, because little snow was present. During the 2014-2015 winter ksnow monitoring at 2, 12 and 22 cm heights and field observations show that a depth hoar layer with ksnow around 0.02 W m-1 K-1 rapidly formed. At 12 and 22 cm, wind slabs with ksnow around 0.2 to 0.3 W m-1 K-1 formed. The monitoring of ksoil at 10 cm depth shows that in thawed soil ksoil was around 0.7 W m-1 K-1, while in frozen soil it was around 1.9 W m-1 K-1. The transition between both values took place within a few days, with faster thawing than freezing and a hysteresis effect evidenced in the thermal conductivity-liquid water content relationship. The fast transitions suggest that the use of a bimodal distribution of ksoil for modelling may be an interesting option that deserves further testing. Simulations of ksnow using the snow physics model Crocus were performed. Contrary to observations, Crocus predicts high ksnow values at the base of the snowpack (0.12-0.27 W m-1 K-1) and low ones in its upper parts (0.02-0.12 W m-1 K-1). We diagnose that this is because Crocus does not describe the large upward water vapour fluxes caused by the temperature gradient in the snow and soil. These fluxes produce mass transfer between the soil and lower snow layers to the upper snow layers and the atmosphere. Finally, we discuss the importance of the structure and properties of the Arctic snowpack on subnivean life, as species such as lemmings live under the snow most of the year and must travel in the lower snow layer in search of food.

  3. Vectors and transmission dynamics for Setaria tundra (Filarioidea; Onchocercidae, a parasite of reindeer in Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuusela Jussi

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent studies have revealed expansion by an array of Filarioid nematodes' into the northern boreal region of Finland. The vector-borne nematode, Setaria tundra, caused a serious disease outbreak in the Finnish reindeer population in 2003–05. The main aim of this study was to understand the outbreak dynamics and the rapid expansion of S. tundra in the sub arctic. We describe the vectors of S. tundra, and its development in vectors, for the first time. Finally we discuss the results in the context of the host-parasite ecology of S. tundra in Finland Results Development of S. tundra to the infective stage occurs in mosquitoes, (genera Aedes and Anopheles. We consider Aedes spp. the most important vectors. The prevalence of S. tundra naturally infected mosquitoes from Finland varied from 0.5 to 2.5%. The rate of development in mosquitoes was temperature-dependent. Infective larvae were present approximately 14 days after a blood meal in mosquitoes maintained at room temperature (mean 21 C, but did not develop in mosquitoes maintained outside for 22 days at a mean temperature of 14.1 C. The third-stage (infective larvae were elongated (mean length 1411 μm (SD 207, and width 28 μm (SD 2. The anterior end was blunt, and bore two liplike structures, the posterior end slight tapering with a prominent terminal papilla. Infective larvae were distributed anteriorly in the insect's body, the highest abundance being 70 larvae in one mosquito. A questionnaire survey revealed that the peak activity of Culicidae in the reindeer herding areas of Finland was from the middle of June to the end of July and that warm summer weather was associated with reindeer flocking behaviour on mosquito-rich wetlands. Conclusion In the present work, S. tundra vectors and larval development were identified and described for the first time. Aedes spp. mosquitoes likely serve as the most important and competent vectors for S. tundra in Finland. Warm summers

  4. Has prey availability for Arctic birds advanced with climate change? Hindcasting the abundance of tundra arthropods using weather and seasonal variations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tulp, I.; Schekkerman, H.

    2008-01-01

    Of all climatic zones on earth, Arctic areas have experienced the greatest climate change in recent decades. Predicted changes, including a continuing rise in temperature and precipitation and a reduction in snow cover, are expected to have a large impact on Arctic life. Large numbers of birds breed

  5. Has prey availability for Arctic birds advanced with climate change? Hindcasting the abundance of tundra Arthropods using weather and seasonal variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tulp, I.Y.M.; Schekkerman, H.

    2008-01-01

    Of all climatic zones on earth, Arctic areas have experienced the greatest climate change in recent decades. Predicted changes, including a continuing rise in temperature and precipitation and a reduction in snow cover, are expected to have a large impact on Arctic life. Large numbers of birds breed

  6. Monitoring the numbers and productivity of Tundra Swans in relation to potential natural gas development in the Mackenzie River Delta, western Canadian Arctic, 2001-2003

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swystun, H.A. [Northern British Columbia Univ., Prince George, BC (Canada); Hines, J.E. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, ON (Canada); Dawson, R.D. [Northern British Columbia Univ., Prince George, BC (Canada)

    2005-03-01

    A study was conducted in which tundra swans were used as an indicator species to monitor the environmental change and effects of oil and gas development in the Mackenzie Delta. The objectives were to monitor consistent study plots for tundra swans at development and non development sites and to document nesting success and brood survival. Environmental protection and maintenance of harvestable populations of wildlife are part of land claim agreement for two Aboriginal groups with settled land claims in the Mackenzie Delta. This study also evaluated the possible factors such as habitat and climate, which limit the reproductive success of tundra swans. Their nesting biology was examined along with how they use their habitat. Researchers established 48 plots near exploratory well sites, existing camps, sites of recent seismic exploration and gas fields of known importance. Air surveillance was used to count and observe the swans on a yearly basis, along with their nests and offspring. Plots were located both where development is proposed and where development is not likely to occur. The important spring staging, summer moulting and fall staging areas were identified along with spring migration patterns, behaviour and feeding areas. The 3 proposed drilling sites include Niglingtak (Kendall Island Bird Sanctuary), Taglu, and Parsons Lake. The concerns regarding future development in tundra swan habitat include: (1) areas where drilling and pipeline structures are built may prompt swans to move away from their traditional nesting and feeding areas, (2) human activity will increase due to gas drilling and pipeline construction, which may reduce nesting success, (3) wastes associated with construction sites may attract predators and increase predation on nesting birds, (4) increased air traffic would disturb geese and swan hunting areas, and (5) waterfowl habitat could be lost if spring staging, summer moulting and fall staging areas are not considered when planning

  7. M. V. Arctic midbody damage analysis. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1985-03-01

    The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Arctic experienced several damages in the midbody area during the 1983 season. A complete survey of these damages was undertaken and showed that one of these damages was the most extensive and occurred in an ice strengthened area having 24 mm thick shell plating. This was considered to be representative of all other midbody damages and was therefore selected to be analysed in this study. The computer program ADINA was employed in order to carry out the non-linear analysis required into the plasticity and large deformation areas of behaviour. Two finite element models were developed and run. These two models representing an intermediate frame and web frame, were considered sufficient to predict the behaviour of the structure and the associated ice loads and pressures. The objectives of this study were to understand the progression of failure for the typical ice strengthened side shell structure of the ship (this would include a prediction of the first yield and a history of the deflections in the plastic range) and, using the data so determined, predict the most likely pressures and loads which caused the damage. It was concluded that the intermediate frames represent the weakest element of the midbody side structure. It yields first at its flange-web intersection at an ice pressure of 1.13 megapascals (MPa), reaches it fully plastic capacity at 1.75 MPa, and the corresponding shell plating then becomes fully plastic at about 2.25 MPa. The damage investigated corresponds to ice pressure of about 3.65 MPa over an area of 1.85 m/sup 2/. 44 figs., 3 tabs.

  8. Understanding Litter Input Controls on Soil Organic Matter Turnover and Formation are Essential for Improving Carbon-Climate Feedback Predictions for Arctic, Tundra Ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wallenstein, Matthew [Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)

    2017-12-05

    The Arctic region stored vast amounts of carbon (C) in soils over thousands of years because decomposition has been limited by cold, wet conditions. Arctic soils now contain roughly as much C that is contained in all other soils across the globe combined. However, climate warming could unlock this oil C as decomposition accelerates and permafrost thaws. In addition to temperature-driven acceleration of decomposition, several additional processes could either counteract or augment warming-induced SOM losses. For example, increased plant growth under a warmer climate will increase organic matter inputs to soils, which could fuel further soil decomposition by microbes, but will also increase the production of new SOM. Whether Arctic ecosystems store or release carbon in the future depends in part on the balance between these two counteracting processes. By differentiating SOM decomposition and formation and understanding the drivers of these processes, we will better understand how these systems function. We did not find evidence of priming under current conditions, defined as an increase in the decomposition of native SOM stocks. This suggests that decomposition is unlikely to be further accelerated through this mechanism. We did find that decomposition of native SOM did occur when nitrogen was added to these soils, suggesting that nitrogen limits decomposition in these systems. Our results highlight the resilience and extraordinary C storage capacity of these soils, and suggest shrub expansion may partially mitigate C losses from decomposition of old SOM as Arctic soils warm.

  9. 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

  10. Plot-scale evidence of tundra vegetation change and links to recent summer warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah C. Elmendorf; Gregory H.R. Henry; Robert D. Hollister; Robert G. Bjork; Noemie Boulanger-Lapointe; Elisabeth J. Cooper; Johannes H.C. Cornelissen; Thomas A. Day; Ellen Dorrepaal; Tatiana G. Elumeeva; Mike Gill; William A. Gould; John Harte; David S. Hik; Annika Hofgaard; David R. Johnson; Jill F. Johnstone; Ingijorg Svala Jonsdottir; Janet C. Jorgenson; Kari Klanderud; Julia A. Klein; Saewan Koh; Gaku Kudo; Mark Lara; Esther Levesque; Borgthor Magnusson; Jeremy L. May; Joel A. Mercado; Anders Michelsen; Ulf Molau; Isla H. Myers-Smith; Steven F. Oberbauer; Vladimir G. Onipchenko; Christian Rixen; Niels Martin Schmidt; Gaius R. Shaver; Marko J. Spasojevic; Pora Ellen Porhallsdottir; Anne Tolvanen; Tiffany Troxler; Craig E. Tweedie; Sandra Villareal; Carl-Henrik Wahren; Xanthe Walker; Patrick J. Webber; Jeffrey M. Welker; Sonja Wipf

    2012-01-01

    Temperature is increasing at unprecedented rates across most of the tundra biome1. Remote-sensing data indicate that contemporary climate warming has already resulted in increased productivity over much of the Arctic2,3, but plot-based evidence for vegetation transformation is not widespread. We analysed change in tundra vegetation surveyed between 1980 and 2010 in 158...

  11. Deepened winter snow increases stem growth and alters stem δ13C and δ15N in evergreen dwarf shrub Cassiope tetragona in high-arctic Svalbard tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Daan; Weijers, Stef; Welker, Jeffrey M

    2015-01-01

    Deeper winter snow is hypothesized to favor shrub growth and may partly explain the shrub expansion observed in many parts of the arctic during the last decades, potentially triggering biophysical feedbacks including regional warming and permafrost thawing. We experimentally tested the effects...... of winter snow depth on shrub growth and ecophysiology by measuring stem length and stem hydrogen ( δ2H), carbon ( δ13C), nitrogen ( δ15N) and oxygen ( δ18O) isotopic composition of the circumarctic evergreen dwarf shrub Cassiope tetragona growing in high-arctic Svalbard, Norway. Measurements were carried...... closely matched, snow depth did not change stem δ 2 H or δ 18 O, suggesting that water source usage by C. tetragona was unaltered. Instead, the deep insulating snowpack may have protected C. tetragona shrubs against frost damage, potentially compensating the detrimental effects of a shortened growing...

  12. Relationships between declining summer sea ice, increasing temperatures and changing vegetation in the Siberian Arctic tundra from MODIS time series (2000–11)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dutrieux, L P; Bartholomeus, H; Herold, M; Verbesselt, J

    2012-01-01

    The concern about Arctic greening has grown recently as the phenomenon is thought to have significant influence on global climate via atmospheric carbon emissions. Earlier work on Arctic vegetation highlighted the role of summer sea ice decline in the enhanced warming and greening phenomena observed in the region, but did not contain enough details for spatially characterizing the interactions between sea ice, temperature and vegetation photosynthetic absorption. By using 1 km resolution data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) as a primary data source, this study presents detailed maps of vegetation and temperature trends for the Siberian Arctic region, using the time integrated normalized difference vegetation index (TI-NDVI) and summer warmth index (SWI) calculated for the period 2000–11 to represent vegetation greenness and temperature respectively. Spatio-temporal relationships between the two indices and summer sea ice conditions were investigated with transects at eight locations using sea ice concentration data from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I). In addition, the derived vegetation and temperature trends were compared among major Arctic vegetation types and bioclimate subzones. The fine resolution trend map produced confirms the overall greening (+1% yr −1 ) and warming (+0.27% yr −1 ) of the region, reported in previous studies, but also reveals browning areas. The causes of such local decreases in vegetation, while surrounding areas are experiencing the opposite reaction to changing conditions, are still unclear. Overall correlations between sea ice concentration and SWI as well as TI-NDVI decreased in strength with increasing distance from the coast, with a particularly pronounced pattern in the case of SWI. SWI appears to be driving TI-NDVI in many cases, but not systematically, highlighting the presence of limiting factors other than temperature for plant growth in the region. Further unravelling those limiting

  13. Final Technical Report for Project 'Improving the Simulation of Arctic Clouds in CCSM3 (SGER Award)'

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vavrus, Stephen J.

    2008-01-01

    climate model. J. Climate, 21, 5673-5687.). The article also provides a novel synthesis of surface- and satellite-based Arctic cloud observations that show how much the new freezedry parameterization improves the simulated cloud amount in high latitudes (Fig. 3). Freezedry has been incorporated into the CCSM3.5 version, in which it successfully limits the excessive polar clouds, and may be used in CCSM4. Material from this work is also appearing in a synthesis article on future Arctic cloud changes (Vavrus, D. Waliser, J. Francis, and A. Schweiger, 'Simulations of 20th and 21st century Arctic cloud amount in the global climate models assessed in the IPCC AR4', accepted in Climate Dynamics) and was used in a collaborative paper on Arctic cloud-sea ice coupling (Schweiger, A., R. Lindsay, S. Vavrus, and J. Francis, 2008: Relationships between Arctic sea ice and clouds during autumn. J. Climate, 21, 4799-4810.). This research was presented at the 2007 CCSM Annual Workshop, as well as the CCSM's 2007 Atmospheric Model Working Group and Polar Working Group Meetings. The findings were also shown at the 2007 Climate Change Prediction Program's Science Team Meeting. In addition, I served as an instructor at the International Arctic Research Center's (IARC) Summer School on Arctic Climate Modeling in Fairbanks this summer, where I presented on the challenges and techniques used in simulating polar clouds. I also contributed to the development of a new Arctic System Model by attending a workshop in Colorado this summer on this fledgling project. Finally, an outreach activity for the general public has been the development of an interactive web site ( ) that displays Arctic cloud amount in the CMIP3 climate model archive under present and future scenarios. This site allows users to make polar and global maps of a variety of climate variables to investigate the individual and ensemble-mean GCM response to greenhouse warming and the extent to which models adequately represent Arctic

  14. Plant traits and trait-based vegetation modeling in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, C.; Sevanto, S.; Iversen, C. M.; Salmon, V. G.; Rogers, A.; Wullschleger, S.; Wilson, C. J.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic tundra environments are characterized by extremely cold temperatures, strong winds, short growing season and thin, nutrient-poor soil layer impacted by permafrost. To survive in this environment vascular plants have developed traits that simultaneously promote high productivity under favorable environments, and survival in harsh conditions. To improve representation of Arctic tundra vegetation in Earth System Models we surveyed plant trait data bases for key trait parameters that influence modeled ecosystem carbon balance, and compared the traits within plant families occurring in the boreal, temperate and arctic zones. The parameters include photosynthetic carbon uptake efficiency (Vcmax and Jmax), root:shoot ratio, and root and leaf nitrogen content, and we focused on woody shrubs. Our results suggest that root nitrogen content in non-nitrogen fixing tundra shrubs is lower than in representatives of the same families in the boreal or temperate zone. High tissue nitrogen concentrations have been related to high vulnerability to drought. The low root nitrogen concentrations in tundra shrubs may thus be an indication of acclimation to shallow soils, and frequent freezing that has a similar impact on the plant conductive tissue as drought. With current nitrogen availability, nitrogen limitation reduces the benefits of increased temperatures and longer growing seasons to the tundra ecosystem carbon balance. Thawing of permafrost will increase nitrogen availability, and promote plant growth and carbon uptake, but it could also make the shrubs more vulnerable to freeze-thaw cycles, with the overall result of reduced shrub coverage. The final outcome of warming temperatures and thawing of permafrost on tundra shrubs will thus depend on the relative speed of warming and plant acclimation.

  15. Importance of lateral flux and its percolation depth on organic carbon export in Arctic tundra soil: Implications from a soil leaching experiment: Changes of OC in Arctic Soil Leachate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Xiaowen [Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida USA; Hutchings, Jack A. [Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida USA; Bianchi, Thomas S. [Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida USA; Liu, Yina [Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland Washington USA; Arellano, Ana R. [Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida USA; Schuur, Edward A. G. [Center for Ecosystem Science and Society and Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff Arizona USA; Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida USA

    2017-04-01

    Temperature rise in the Arctic is causing deepening of active layers and resulting in the mobilization of deep permafrost dissolved organic matter (DOM). However, the mechanisms of DOM mobilization from Arctic soils, especially upper soil horizons which are drained most frequently through a year, are poorly understood. Here, we conducted a short-term leaching experiment on surface and deep organic active layer soils, from the Yukon River basin, to examine the effects of DOM transport on bulk and molecular characteristics. Our data showed a net release of DOM from surface soils equal to an average of 5% of soil carbon. Conversely, deep soils percolated with surface leachates retained up to 27% of bulk DOM-while releasing fluorescent components (up to 107%), indicating selective release of aromatic components (e.g. lignin, tannin), while retaining non-chromophoric components, as supported by spectrofluorometric and ultra high resolution mass spectroscopic techniques. Our findings highlight the importance of the lateral flux of DOM on ecosystem carbon balance as well as processing of DOM transport through organic active layer soils en route to rivers and streams. This work also suggests the potential role of leachate export as an important mechanism of C losses from Arctic soils, in comparison with the more traditional pathway from soil to atmosphere in a warming Arctic.

  16. Pre-ABoVE: Arctic Alaska Vegetation, Geobotanical, Physiographic Data, 1993-2005

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set provides the spatial distributions of vegetation types, geobotanical characteristics, and physiographic features for the Arctic tundra region of Alaska...

  17. 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

  18. Modeling the Pan-Arctic terrestrial and atmospheric water cycle. Final report; FINAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gutowski, W.J. Jr.

    2001-01-01

    This report describes results of DOE grant DE-FG02-96ER61473 to Iowa State University (ISU). Work on this grant was performed at Iowa State University and at the University of New Hampshire in collaboration with Dr. Charles Vorosmarty and fellow scientists at the University of New Hampshire's (UNH's) Institute for the Study of the Earth, Oceans, and Space, a subcontractor to the project. Research performed for the project included development, calibration and validation of a regional climate model for the pan-Arctic, modeling river networks, extensive hydrologic database development, and analyses of the water cycle, based in part on the assembled databases and models. Details appear in publications produced from the grant

  19. Coupled land surface-subsurface hydrogeophysical inverse modeling to estimate soil organic carbon content and explore associated hydrological and thermal dynamics in the Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phuong Tran, Anh; Dafflon, Baptiste; Hubbard, Susan S.

    2017-09-01

    Quantitative characterization of soil organic carbon (OC) content is essential due to its significant impacts on surface-subsurface hydrological-thermal processes and microbial decomposition of OC, which both in turn are important for predicting carbon-climate feedbacks. While such quantification is particularly important in the vulnerable organic-rich Arctic region, it is challenging to achieve due to the general limitations of conventional core sampling and analysis methods, and to the extremely dynamic nature of hydrological-thermal processes associated with annual freeze-thaw events. In this study, we develop and test an inversion scheme that can flexibly use single or multiple datasets - including soil liquid water content, temperature and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) data - to estimate the vertical distribution of OC content. Our approach relies on the fact that OC content strongly influences soil hydrological-thermal parameters and, therefore, indirectly controls the spatiotemporal dynamics of soil liquid water content, temperature and their correlated electrical resistivity. We employ the Community Land Model to simulate nonisothermal surface-subsurface hydrological dynamics from the bedrock to the top of canopy, with consideration of land surface processes (e.g., solar radiation balance, evapotranspiration, snow accumulation and melting) and ice-liquid water phase transitions. For inversion, we combine a deterministic and an adaptive Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) optimization algorithm to estimate a posteriori distributions of desired model parameters. For hydrological-thermal-to-geophysical variable transformation, the simulated subsurface temperature, liquid water content and ice content are explicitly linked to soil electrical resistivity via petrophysical and geophysical models. We validate the developed scheme using different numerical experiments and evaluate the influence of measurement errors and benefit of joint inversion on the

  20. Coupled land surface–subsurface hydrogeophysical inverse modeling to estimate soil organic carbon content and explore associated hydrological and thermal dynamics in the Arctic tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. P. Tran

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Quantitative characterization of soil organic carbon (OC content is essential due to its significant impacts on surface–subsurface hydrological–thermal processes and microbial decomposition of OC, which both in turn are important for predicting carbon–climate feedbacks. While such quantification is particularly important in the vulnerable organic-rich Arctic region, it is challenging to achieve due to the general limitations of conventional core sampling and analysis methods, and to the extremely dynamic nature of hydrological–thermal processes associated with annual freeze–thaw events. In this study, we develop and test an inversion scheme that can flexibly use single or multiple datasets – including soil liquid water content, temperature and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT data – to estimate the vertical distribution of OC content. Our approach relies on the fact that OC content strongly influences soil hydrological–thermal parameters and, therefore, indirectly controls the spatiotemporal dynamics of soil liquid water content, temperature and their correlated electrical resistivity. We employ the Community Land Model to simulate nonisothermal surface–subsurface hydrological dynamics from the bedrock to the top of canopy, with consideration of land surface processes (e.g., solar radiation balance, evapotranspiration, snow accumulation and melting and ice–liquid water phase transitions. For inversion, we combine a deterministic and an adaptive Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC optimization algorithm to estimate a posteriori distributions of desired model parameters. For hydrological–thermal-to-geophysical variable transformation, the simulated subsurface temperature, liquid water content and ice content are explicitly linked to soil electrical resistivity via petrophysical and geophysical models. We validate the developed scheme using different numerical experiments and evaluate the influence of measurement errors and

  1. Mathematical Modelling of Arctic Polygonal Tundra with Ecosys: 2. Microtopography Determines How CO2 and CH4 Exchange Responds to Changes in Temperature and Precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, R. F.; Mekonnen, Z. A.; Riley, W. J.; Arora, B.; Torn, M. S.

    2017-12-01

    Differences of surface elevation in arctic polygonal landforms cause spatial variation in soil water contents (θ), active layer depths (ALD), and thereby in CO2 and CH4 exchange. Here we test hypotheses in ecosys for topographic controls on CO2 and CH4 exchange in trough, rim, and center features of low- and flat-centered polygons (LCP and FCP) against chamber and eddy covariance (EC) measurements during 2013 at Barrow, Alaska. Larger CO2 influxes and CH4 effluxes were measured with chambers and modeled with ecosys in LCPs than in FCPs and in lower features (troughs) than in higher (rims) within LCPs and FCPs. Spatially aggregated CO2 and CH4 fluxes from ecosys were significantly correlated with EC flux measurements. Lower features were modeled as C sinks (52-56 g C m-2 yr-1) and CH4 sources (4-6 g C m-2 yr-1), and higher features as near C neutral (-2-15 g C m-2 yr-1) and CH4 neutral (0.0-0.1 g C m-2 yr-1). Much of the spatial and temporal variations in CO2 and CH4 fluxes were modeled from topographic effects on water and snow movement and thereby on θ, ALD, and soil O2 concentrations. Model results forced with meteorological data from 1981 to 2015 indicated increasing net primary productivity in higher features and CH4 emissions in some lower and higher features since 2008, attributed mostly to recent rises in precipitation. Small-scale variation in surface elevation causes large spatial variation of greenhouse gas (GHG) exchanges and therefore should be considered in estimates of GHG exchange in polygonal landscapes.

  2. Award Letter: Tundra nesting bird data rescue for the Canning River Delta long-term ecological monitoring site

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — Award letter in response to Alaska Region Inventory and Monitoring 2017 request for proposals. Issued to Arctic NWR for project “Tundra nesting bird data rescue for...

  3. 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...... growth (stem apical growth, stem length, and apical growth of stem plus leaves), in some cases even with opposite responses. Thus caution should be taken when estimating the impact of the environment on shrub growth from apical growth only. Integration of our data set with the (very limited) previously...

  4. Tundra biome research in Alaska: the structure and function of cold-dominated ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, J.; West, G.C.

    1970-11-01

    The objective of the Tundra Biome Program is to acquire a basic understanding of tundra, both alpine and arctic, and taiga. Collectively these are referred to as the cold-dominated ecosystems. The program's broad objectives are threefold: To develop a predictive understanding of how the wet arctic tundra ecosystem operates, particularly as exemplified in the Barrow, Alaska, area; to obtain the necessary data base from the variety of cold-dominated ecosystem types represented in the United States, so that their behavior can be modeled and simulated, and the results compared with similar studies underway in other circumpolar countries; to bring basic environmental knowledge to bear on problems of degradation, maintenance, and restoration of the temperature-sensitive and cold-dominated tundra/taiga ecosystems. (GRA)

  5. 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...

  6. Hg Storage and Mobility in Tundra Soils of Northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, C.; Obrist, D.

    2017-12-01

    Atmospheric mercury (Hg) can be transported over long distances to remote regions such as the Arctic where it can then deposit and temporarily be stored in soils. This research aims to improve the understanding of terrestrial Hg storage and mobility in the arctic tundra, a large receptor area for atmospheric deposition and a major source of Hg to the Arctic Ocean. We aim to characterize spatial Hg pool sizes across various tundra sites and to quantify the mobility of Hg from thawing tundra soils using laboratory mobility experiments. Active layer and permafrost soil samples were collected in the summer of 2014 and 2015 at the Toolik Field Station in northern Alaska (68° 38' N) and along a 200 km transect extending from Toolik to the Arctic Ocean. Soil samples were analyzed for total Hg concentration, bulk density, and major and trace elements. Hg pool sizes were estimated by scaling up Hg soil concentrations using soil bulk density measurements. Mobility of Hg in tundra soils was quantified by shaking soil samples with ultrapure Milli-Q® water as an extracting solution for 24 and 72 hours. Additionally, meltwater samples were collected for analysis when present. The extracted supernatant was analyzed for total Hg, dissolved organic carbon, cations and anions, redox, and ph. Mobility of Hg from soil was calculated using Hg concentrations determined in solid soil samples and in supernatant of soil solution samples. Results of this study show Hg levels in tundra mineral soils that are 2-5 times higher than those observed at temperate sites closer to pollution sources. Most of the soil Hg was located in mineral horizons where Hg mass accounted for 72% of the total soil pool. Soil Hg pool sizes across the tundra sites were highly variable (166 - 1,365 g ha-1; avg. 419 g ha-1) due to the heterogeneity in soil type, bulk density, depth to frozen layer, and soil Hg concentration. Preliminary results from the laboratory experiment show higher mobility of Hg in mineral

  7. Red fox takeover of arctic fox breeding den : an observation from Yamal Peninsula, Russia

    OpenAIRE

    Rodnikova, Anna; Ims, Rolf Anker; Sokolov, Alexander; Skogstad, Gunhild; Sokolov, Vasily; Shtro, Victor; Fuglei, Eva

    2011-01-01

    Here, we report from the first direct observation of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) intrusion on an arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) breeding den from the southern Arctic tundra of Yamal Peninsula, Russia in 2007. At the same time, as a current range retraction of the original inhabitant of the circumpolar tundra zone the arctic fox is going on, the red fox is expanding their range from the south into arctic habitats. Thus, within large parts of the northern tundra areas the two species are sympatric w...

  8. Tundra in the rain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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...

  9. CAR LEADEX Level 1C Artic Sea Ice and Tundra Radiation Measurements (CAR_LEADEX_L1C) at GES DISC

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — CAR LEADEX mission measured bidirectional reflectance functions for four common arctic surfaces: snow covered sea ice, melt season sea ice, snow covered tundra, and...

  10. The footprint of Alaskan tundra fires during the past half-century: implications for surface properties and radiative forcing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rocha, Adrian V; Loranty, Michael M; Higuera, Phil E; Mack, Michelle C; Hu Fengsheng; Jones, Benjamin M; Breen, Amy L; Rastetter, Edward B; Shaver, Gus R; Goetz, Scott J

    2012-01-01

    Recent large and frequent fires above the Alaskan arctic circle have forced a reassessment of the ecological and climatological importance of fire in arctic tundra ecosystems. Here we provide a general overview of the occurrence, distribution, and ecological and climate implications of Alaskan tundra fires over the past half-century using spatially explicit climate, fire, vegetation and remote sensing datasets for Alaska. Our analyses highlight the importance of vegetation biomass and environmental conditions in regulating tundra burning, and demonstrate that most tundra ecosystems are susceptible to burn, providing the environmental conditions are right. Over the past two decades, fire perimeters above the arctic circle have increased in size and importance, especially on the North Slope, indicating that future wildfire projections should account for fire regime changes in these regions. Remote sensing data and a literature review of thaw depths indicate that tundra fires have both positive and negative implications for climatic feedbacks including a decadal increase in albedo radiative forcing immediately after a fire, a stimulation of surface greenness and a persistent long-term (>10 year) increase in thaw depth. In order to address the future impact of tundra fires on climate, a better understanding of the control of tundra fire occurrence as well as the long-term impacts on ecosystem carbon cycling will be required. (letter)

  11. Seasonal snow of arctic Alaska R4D investigations. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benson, C.S.

    1993-02-01

    Seasonal snow is present on the Arctic Slope of Alaska for nine months each year. Its presence or absence determines whether 80% of the solar radiation is reflected or absorbed, respectively. Although life on the Arctic Slope is adapted to, and in some cases dependent upon seasonal snow, little is known about it from a scientific point of view. Its quantity has been grossly underestimated, and knowledge of its distribution and the extent of wind transport and redistribution is very limited. This research project dealt with the amount, regional distribution and physical properties of wind blown snow and its biological role in the R4D area of the Arctic Slope. Physical processes which operate within the snow that were studied included the flux of heat and vapor and the fractionation of stable isotopes through it during fall and winter, and the complex heat and mass transfer within the snow and between snow, its substrate and the overlying atmosphere during the melt period.

  12. 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 contras...

  13. Thaw pond development and initial vegetation succession in experimental plots at a Siberian lowland tundra site

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.; Blok, Daan; Wang, Peng; Karsanaev, Sergey V.; Maximov, Trofim C.; Huissteden, van Jacobus; Berendse, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Background and aims: Permafrost degradation has the potential to change the Arctic tundra landscape. We observed rapid local thawing of ice-rich permafrost resulting in thaw pond formation, which was triggered by removal of the shrub cover in a field experiment. This study aimed to examine the

  14. Thaw pond development and initial vegetation succession in experimental plots at a Siberian lowland tundra site

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.; Blok, Daan; Wang, Guang-Peng; Karsanaev, Sergey V.; Maximov, Trofim C.; van Huissteden, Jacobus; Berendse, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Background and aims: Permafrost degradation has the potential to change the Arctic tundra landscape. We observed rapid local thawing of ice-rich permafrost resulting in thaw pond formation, which was triggered by removal of the shrub cover in a field experiment. This study aimed to examine the rate

  15. The nature of spatial transitions in the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    H. E. Epstein; J. Beringer; W. A. Gould; A. H. Lloyd; C. D. Thompson; F. S. Chapin III; G. J. Michaelson; C. L. Ping; T. S. Rupp; D. A. Walker

    2004-01-01

    Aim Describe the spatial and temporal properties of transitions in the Arctic and develop a conceptual understanding of the nature of these spatial transitions in the face of directional environmental change. Location Arctic tundra ecosystems of the North Slope of Alaska and the tundraforest region of the Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Methods We synthesize information from...

  16. The major stratospheric final warming in 2016: dispersal of vortex air and termination of Arctic chemical ozone loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. L. Manney

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The 2015/16 Northern Hemisphere winter stratosphere appeared to have the greatest potential yet seen for record Arctic ozone loss. Temperatures in the Arctic lower stratosphere were at record lows from December 2015 through early February 2016, with an unprecedented period of temperatures below ice polar stratospheric cloud thresholds. Trace gas measurements from the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS show that exceptional denitrification and dehydration, as well as extensive chlorine activation, occurred throughout the polar vortex. Ozone decreases in 2015/16 began earlier and proceeded more rapidly than those in 2010/11, a winter that saw unprecedented Arctic ozone loss. However, on 5–6 March 2016 a major final sudden stratospheric warming ("major final warming", MFW began. By mid-March, the mid-stratospheric vortex split after being displaced far off the pole. The resulting offspring vortices decayed rapidly preceding the full breakdown of the vortex by early April. In the lower stratosphere, the period of temperatures low enough for chlorine activation ended nearly a month earlier than that in 2011 because of the MFW. Ozone loss rates were thus kept in check because there was less sunlight during the cold period. Although the winter mean volume of air in which chemical ozone loss could occur was as large as that in 2010/11, observed ozone values did not drop to the persistently low values reached in 2011.We use MLS trace gas measurements, as well as mixing and polar vortex diagnostics based on meteorological fields, to show how the timing and intensity of the MFW and its impact on transport and mixing halted chemical ozone loss. Our detailed characterization of the polar vortex breakdown includes investigations of individual offspring vortices and the origins and fate of air within them. Comparisons of mixing diagnostics with lower-stratospheric N2O and middle-stratospheric CO from MLS (long-lived tracers show rapid vortex erosion and

  17. Methane and Root Dynamics in Arctic Soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Imperio, Ludovica

    on the global climate. We investigated two aspects of arctic ecosystem dynamics which are not well represented in climatic models: i) soil methane (CH4) oxidation in dry heath tundra and barren soils and ii) root dynamics in wetlands. Field measurements were carried out during the growing season in Disko Island...

  18. The Bering Land Bridge: a moisture barrier to the dispersal of steppe-tundra biota?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elias, Scott A.; Crocker, Barnaby

    2008-12-01

    The Bering Land Bridge (BLB) connected the two principal arctic biological refugia, Western and Eastern Beringia, during intervals of lowered sea level in the Pleistocene. Fossil evidence from lowland BLB organic deposits dating to the Last Glaciation indicates that this broad region was dominated by shrub tundra vegetation, and had a mesic climate. The dominant ecosystem in Western Beringia and the interior regions of Eastern Beringia was steppe-tundra, with herbaceous plant communities and arid climate. Although Western and Eastern Beringia shared many species in common during the Late Pleistocene, there were a number of species that were restricted to only one side of the BLB. Among the vertebrate fauna, the woolly rhinoceros was found only to the west of the BLB, North American camels, bonnet-horned musk-oxen and some horse species were found only to the east of the land bridge. These were all steppe-tundra inhabitants, adapted to grazing. The same phenomenon can be seen in the insect faunas of the Western and Eastern Beringia. The steppe-tundra beetle fauna of Western Beringia was dominated by weevils of the genus Stephanocleonus, a group that was virtually absent from Eastern Beringia. The dry-adapted weevils, Lepidophorus lineaticollis and Vitavitus thulius were important members of steppe-tundra communities in Eastern Beringia, but were either absent or rare in Western Beringia. The leaf beetles Chrysolina arctica, C. brunnicornis bermani, and Galeruca interrupta circumdata were typical members of the Pleistocene steppe-tundra communities of Western Beringia, but absent from Eastern Beringia. On the other hand, some steppe tundra-adapted leaf beetles managed to occupy both sides of the BLB, such as Phaedon armoraciae. Much of the BLB remains unstudied, but on biogeographic grounds, it appears that there was some kind of biological filter that blocked the movements of some steppe-tundra plants and animals across the BLB.

  19. 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.

  20. Emissions of biogenic sulfur gases from Alaskan tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Mark E.; Morrison, Michael C.

    1992-01-01

    Results of sulfur emission measurements made in freshwater and marine wetlands in Alaskan tundra during the Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition 2A (ABLE 3A) in July 1988 are presented. The data indicate that this type of tundra emits very small amounts of gaseous sulfur and, when extrapolated globally, accounts for a very small percentage of the global flux of biogenic sulfur to the atmosphere. Sulfur emissions from marine sites are up to 20-fold greater than fluxes from freshwater habitats and are dominated by dimethyl sulfide (DMS). Highest emissions, with a mean of 6.0 nmol/sq m/h, occurred in water-saturated wet meadow areas. In drier upland tundra sites, highest fluxes occurred in areas inhabited by mixed vegetation and labrador tea at 3.0 nmol/sq m/h and lowest fluxes were from lichen-dominated areas at 0.9 nmol/sq m/h. DMS was the dominant gas emitted from all these sites. Emissions of DMS were highest from intertidal soils inhabited by Carex subspathacea.

  1. Inter-annual variability of NDVI in response to long-term warming and fertilization in wet sedge and tussock tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelman, Natalie T; Stieglitz, Marc; Griffin, Kevin L; Shaver, Gaius R

    2005-05-01

    This study explores the relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and aboveground plant biomass for tussock tundra vegetation and compares it to a previously established NDVI-biomass relationship for wet sedge tundra vegetation. In addition, we explore inter-annual variation in NDVI in both these contrasting vegetation communities. All measurements were taken across long-term experimental treatments in wet sedge and tussock tundra communities at the Toolik Lake Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, in northern Alaska. Over 15 years (for wet sedge tundra) and 14 years (for tussock tundra), N and P were applied in factorial experiments (N, P and N+P), air temperature was increased using greenhouses with and without N+P fertilizer, and light intensity was reduced by 50% using shade cloth. during the peak growing seasons of 2001, 2002, and 2003, NDVI measurements were made in both the wet sedge and tussock tundra experimental treatment plots, creating a 3-year time series of inter-annual variation in NDVI. We found that: (1) across all tussock experimental tundra treatments, NDVI is correlated with aboveground plant biomass (r2 = 0.59); (2) NDVI-biomass relationships for tussock and wet sedge tundra communities are community specific, and; (3) NDVI values for tussock tundra communities are typically, but not always, greater than for wet sedge tundra communities across all experimental treatments. We suggest that differences between the response of wet sedge and tussock tundra communities in the same experimental treatments result from the contrasting degree of heterogeneity in species and functional types that characterize each of these Arctic tundra vegetation communities.

  2. Isoprene emissions from a tundra ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Potosnak

    2013-02-01

    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 with published coefficients, but less so for light. Chamber measurements from a nearby moist acidic tundra ecosystem with little S. pulchra emitted significant amounts of isoprene, but at lower rates (0.45 mg C m−2 h−1 suggesting other significant isoprene emitters. 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 a reduction of hydroxyl radical (OH concentrations. Our results support the prediction that isoprene emissions from Arctic ecosystems will increase with global climate change.

  3. Modeling dynamics of tundra plant communities on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia, in response to climate change and grazing pressure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu, Q; Epstein, H E; Frost, G V; Walker, D A; Forbes, B C

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the responses of the arctic tundra biome to a changing climate requires knowledge of the complex interactions among the climate, soils and biological system. This study investigates the individual and interaction effects of climate change and reindeer grazing across a variety of climate zones and soil texture types on tundra vegetation community dynamics using an arctic vegetation model that incorporates the reindeer diet, where grazing is a function of both foliar nitrogen concentration and reindeer forage preference. We found that grazing is important, in addition to the latitudinal climate gradient, in controlling tundra plant community composition, explaining about 13% of the total variance in model simulations for all arctic tundra subzones. The decrease in biomass of lichen, deciduous shrub and graminoid plant functional types caused by grazing is potentially dampened by climate warming. Moss biomass had a nonlinear response to increased grazing intensity, and such responses were stronger when warming was present. Our results suggest that evergreen shrubs may benefit from increased grazing intensity due to their low palatability, yet a growth rate sensitivity analysis suggests that changes in nutrient uptake rates may result in different shrub responses to grazing pressure. Heavy grazing caused plant communities to shift from shrub tundra toward moss, graminoid-dominated tundra in subzones C and D when evergreen shrub growth rates were decreased in the model. The response of moss, lichen and forbs to warming varied across the different subzones. Initial vegetation responses to climate change during transient warming are different from the long term equilibrium responses due to shifts in the controlling mechanisms (nutrient limitation versus competition) within tundra plant communities.

  4. Resistance and resilience of tundra plant communities to disturbance by winter seismic vehicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Felix, N.A.; Raynolds, M.K.; Jorgenson, J.C.; DuBois, K.E.

    1992-01-01

    Effects of winter seismic exploration on arctic tundra were evaluated on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, four to five growing seasons after disturbance. Plant cover, active layer depths, and track depression were measured at plots representing major tundra plant communities and different levels of initial disturbance. Results are compared with the initial effects reported earlier. Little resilience was seen in any vegetation type, with no clearly decreasing trends in community dissimilarity. Active layer depths remained greater on plots in all nonriparian vegetation types, and most plots still had visible trails. Decreases in plant cover persisted on most plots, although a few species showed recovery or increases in cover above predisturbance level. Moist sedge-shrub tundra and dryas terraces had the largest community dissimilarities initially, showing the least resistance to high levels of winter vehicle disturbance. Community dissimilarity continued to increase for five seasons in moist sedge-shrub tundra, with species composition changing to higher sedge cover and lower shrub cover. The resilience amplitude may have been exceeded on four plots which had significant track depression

  5. Herbivore Impact on Tundra Plant Community Dynamics Using Long-term Remote Sensing Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Q.; Engstrom, R.; Shiklomanov, N. I.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic tundra biome is now experiencing dramatic environmental changes accentuated by summer sea-ice decline, permafrost thaw, and shrub expansion. Multi-decadal time-series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, a spectral metric of vegetation productivity) shows an overall "greening" trend across the Arctic tundra biome. Regional trends in climate plausibly explain large-scale patterns of increasing plant productivity, as diminished summer sea-ice extent warms the adjacent land causing tundra vegetation to respond positively (increased photosynthetic aboveground biomass). However, at more local scales, there is a great deal of spatial variability in NDVI trends that likely reflects differences in hydrology and soil conditions, disturbance history, and use by wildlife and humans. Particularly, habitat use by large herbivores, such as reindeer and caribou, has large impacts on vegetation dynamics at local and regional scales, but the role of herbivores in modulating the response of vegetation to warming climate has received little attention. This study investigates regional tundra plant community dynamics within inhabits of different sizes of wild caribou/reindeer herds across the Arctic using GIMMS NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) 3g data product. The Taimyr herd in Russia is one of the largest herds in the world with a population increase from 450,000 in 1975 to about 1 million animals in 2000. The population of the porcupine caribou herd has fluctuated in the past three decades between 100,000 and 180,000. Time-series of the maximum NDVI within the inhabit area of the Taimyr herd has increased about 2% per decade over the past three decades, while within the inhabit area of the Porcupine herd the maximum NDVI has increased about 5% per decade. Our results indicate that the impact of large herbivores can be detected from space and further analyses on seasonal dynamics of vegetation indices and herbivore behavior may provide more

  6. Measurement-based upscaling of pan Arctic net ecosystem exchange: the PANEEx project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mbufong, Herbert Njuabe; Kusbach, Antonin; Lund, Magnus

    2015-01-01

    The high variability in Arctic tundra net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon (C) can be attributed to the high spatial heterogeneity of Arctic tundra due to the complex topography. Current models of C exchange handle the Arctic as either a single or few ecosystems, responding to environmental...... change in the same manner. In this study, we developed and tested a simple NEE model using the Misterlich light response curve (LRC) function with photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) as the main driving variable. Model calibration was carried out with eddy covariance carbon dioxide data from 12...... Arctic tundra sites. The model input parameters (fcsat, Rd and α) were estimated as a function of air temperature (AirT) and leaf area index (LAI) and represent specific characteristics of the NEE-PPFD relationship, including the saturation flux, dark respiration and initial light use efficiency...

  7. Carbon monoxide and methane in the North American Arctic and Subarctic troposphere - July-August 1988

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harriss, R.C.; Sachse, G.W.; Hill, G.F.; Wade, L.; Bartlett, K.B.; Collins, J.E.; Steele, L.P.; Novelli, P.C. (New Hampshire Univ., Durham (United States) NASA, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (United States) Lockheed Engineering Sciences Co., Hampton, VA (United States) Science and Technology Corp., Hampton, VA (United States) Cooperative Inst. for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO (United States))

    1992-10-01

    Enhanced concentrations of CH4 in the unpolluted atmospheric mixed layer over both Arctic and subarctic tundra landscapes are documented here using data from the NASA Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition (ABLE 3A). The CH4 concentration gradients were determined mainly by interactions of biogenic emission from wet tundra and turbulent mixing proceses. The gradient were most frequently associated with intrusion of upper tropospheric or stratospheric air into the midtroposphere, emissions from forest and tundra fires, and long-range transport of enhanced concentration of these gases from unidentified sources. Summertime haze layers exhibited midtropospheric enhancements of CH4 similar to those measured in winter Arctic events. The observations confirm the importance of Arctic and Subarctic wetland environments as a regional source of global atmospheric CH4. 33 refs.

  8. Carbon monoxide and methane in the North American Arctic and Subarctic troposphere - July-August 1988

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harriss, Robert C.; Sachse, Glen W.; Hill, Gerald F.; Wade, Larry; Bartlett, Karen B.; Collins, James E.; Steele, L. P.; Novelli, Paul C.

    1992-01-01

    Enhanced concentrations of CH4 in the unpolluted atmospheric mixed layer over both Arctic and subarctic tundra landscapes are documented here using data from the NASA Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition (ABLE 3A). The CH4 concentration gradients were determined mainly by interactions of biogenic emission from wet tundra and turbulent mixing proceses. The gradient were most frequently associated with intrusion of upper tropospheric or stratospheric air into the midtroposphere, emissions from forest and tundra fires, and long-range transport of enhanced concentration of these gases from unidentified sources. Summertime haze layers exhibited midtropospheric enhancements of CH4 similar to those measured in winter Arctic events. The observations confirm the importance of Arctic and Subarctic wetland environments as a regional source of global atmospheric CH4.

  9. Methane emissions from a high arctic valley: findings and challenges

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastepanov, Mikhail; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Ström, Lena

    2008-01-01

    Wet tundra ecosystems are well-known to be a significant source of atmospheric methane. With the predicted stronger effect of global climate change on arctic terrestrial ecosystems compared to lower-latitudes, there is a special obligation to study the natural diversity and the range of possible...... feedback effects on global climate that could arise from Arctic tundra ecosystems. One of the prime candidates for such a feedback mechanism is a potential change in the emissions of methane. Long-term datasets on methane emissions from high arctic sites are almost non-existing but badly needed...... for analyses of controls on interannual and seasonal variations in emissions. To help fill this gap we initiated a measurement program in a productive high arctic fen in the Zackenberg valley, NE Greenland. Methane flux measurements have been carried out at the same location since 1997. Compared...

  10. Tundra shrub effects on growing season energy and carbon dioxide exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafleur, Peter M.; Humphreys, Elyn R.

    2018-05-01

    Increased shrub cover on the Arctic tundra is expected to impact ecosystem-atmosphere exchanges of carbon and energy resulting in feedbacks to the climate system, yet few direct measurements of shrub tundra-atmosphere exchanges are available to corroborate expectations. Here we present energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes measured using the eddy covariance technique over six growing seasons at three closely located tundra sites in Canada’s Low Arctic. The sites are dominated by the tundra shrub Betula glandulosa, but percent cover varies from 17%–60% and average shrub height ranges from 18–59 cm among sites. The site with greatest percent cover and height had greater snow accumulation, but contrary to some expectations, it had similar late-winter albedo and snow melt dates compared to the other two sites. Immediately after snowmelt latent heat fluxes increased more slowly at this site compared to the others. Yet by the end of the growing season there was little difference in cumulative latent heat flux among the sites, suggesting evapotranspiration was not increased with greater shrub cover. In contrast, lower albedo and less soil thaw contributed to greater summer sensible heat flux at the site with greatest shrub cover, resulting in greater total atmospheric heating. Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 revealed the potential for enhanced carbon cycling rates under greater shrub cover. Spring CO2 emissions were greatest at the site with greatest percent cover of shrubs, as was summer net uptake of CO2. The seasonal net sink for CO2 was ~2 times larger at the site with the greatest shrub cover compared to the site with the least shrub cover. These results largely agree with expectations that the growing season feedback to the atmosphere arising from shrub expansion in the Arctic has the potential to be negative for CO2 fluxes but positive for turbulent energy fluxes.

  11. Limnological characteristics of 56 lakes in the Central Canadian Arctic Treeline Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P. SMOL

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available Measured environmental variables from 56 lakes across the Central Canadian Treeline Region exhibited clear limnological differences among subpolar ecozones, reflecting strong latitudinal changes in biome characteristics (e.g. vegetation, permafrost, climate. Principal Components Analysis (PCA clearly separated forested sites from tundra sites based on distinct differences in limnological characteristics. Increases in major ions and related variables (e.g. dissolved inorganic carbon, DIC were higher in boreal forest sites in comparison to arctic tundra sites. The higher values recorded in the boreal forest lakes may be indirectly related to differences in climatic factors in these zones, such as the degree of permafrost development, higher precipitation and runoff, duration of ice-cover on the lakes, and thicker and better soil development. Similar to trends observed in DIC, substantially higher values for dissolved organic carbon (DOC were measured in boreal forest lakes than in arctic tundra lakes. This was likely due to higher amounts of catchment-derived DOC entering the lakes from coniferous leaf litter sources. Relative to arctic tundra lakes, boreal forest lakes had higher nutrient concentrations, particularly total nitrogen (TN, likely due to warmer conditions, a longer growing season, and higher precipitation, which would enhance nutrient cycling and primary productivity. Results suggest that modern aquatic environments at opposite sides of the central Canadian arctic treeline (i.e. boreal forest and arctic tundra exhibit distinct differences in water chemistry and physical conditions. These limnological trends may provide important information on possible future changes with additional warming.

  12. Identifying Differences in Carbon Exchange among Arctic Ecosystem Types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, M.; Street, L.E.; Wijk, van M.T.; Shaver, G.R.

    2006-01-01

    Our objective was to determine how varied is the response of C cycling to temperature and irradiance in tundra vegetation. We used a large chamber to measure C exchange at 23 locations within a small arctic catchment in Alaska during summer 2003 and 2004. At each location, we determined light

  13. Methods for measuring arctic and alpine shrub growth: A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Myers-Smith, I.H.; Hallinger, M.; Blok, D.; Sass-Klaassen, U.G.W.; Rayback, S.A.

    2015-01-01

    Shrubs have increased in abundance and dominance in arctic and alpine regions in recent decades. This often dramatic change, likely due to climate warming, has the potential to alter both the structure and function of tundra ecosystems. The analysis of shrub growth is improving our understanding of

  14. The Russian-Swedish tundra radioecology expedition 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Persson, B.R.; Holm, E.; Carlsson, K.Aa.; Josefsson, D.; Roos, P.

    1995-01-01

    The expedition investigated the ecology of the anthropogenic radio nuclides 137 Cs, 90 Sr, and 239,240 Pu in the Northern Sea to explain the origin from different sources. It had been shown from an earlier expedition that the levels of 137 Cs are higher in the central Arctic Ocean than further south in Barents Sea. The question was if this was due to inflow from the Atlantic or is due to other origin. The expedition also examined the outflow of 90 Sr from the rivers along the Siberian coast in order to investigate if the permafrost enhances the run-off of radionuclides from tundra. Study of anthropogenic radionuclides in the mixing zone between fresh and salt water at the different river systems along the Siberian coast was of particular interest. Some of the results from the expedition are presented in the present paper. 3 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs

  15. 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...... of multi-decadal time series of annual shrub growth provide an underused resource to explore climate–growth relationships. Here, we analyse circumpolar data from 37 Arctic and alpine sites in 9 countries, including 25 species, and 42,000 annual growth records from 1,821 individuals. Our analyses...... demonstrate that the sensitivity of shrub growth to climate was: (1) heterogeneous, with European sites showing greater summer temperature sensitivity than North American sites, and (2) higher at sites with greater soil moisture and for taller shrubs (for example, alders and willows) growing at their northern...

  16. Incident radiation and the allocation of nitrogen within Arctic plant canopies: implications for predicting gross primary productivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Street, L.E.; Shaver, G.R.; Rastetter, E.B.; Wijk, van M.T.; Kaye, B.A.; Williams, M.

    2012-01-01

    Arctic vegetation is characterized by high spatial variability in plant functional type (PFT) composition and gross primary productivity (P). Despite this variability, the two main drivers of P in sub-Arctic tundra are leaf area index (LT) and total foliar nitrogen (NT). LT and NT have been shown to

  17. Year-round Regional CO2 Fluxes from Boreal and Tundra Ecosystems in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Commane, R.; Lindaas, J.; Benmergui, J. S.; Luus, K. A.; Chang, R. Y. W.; Daube, B. C.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Henderson, J.; Karion, A.; Miller, J. B.; Miller, S. M.; Parazoo, N.; Randerson, J. T.; Sweeney, C.; Tans, P. P.; Thoning, K. W.; Veraverbeke, S.; Miller, C. E.; Wofsy, S. C.

    2016-12-01

    High-latitude ecosystems could release large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere in a warmer climate. We derive temporally and spatially resolved year-round CO2 fluxes in Alaska from a synthesis of airborne and tower CO2 observations in 2012-2014. We find that tundra ecosystems were net sources of atmospheric CO2. We discuss these flux estimates in the context of long-term CO2 measurements at Barrow, AK, to asses the long term trend in carbon fluxes in the Arctic. Many Earth System Models incorrectly simulate net carbon uptake in Alaska presently. Our results imply that annual net emission of CO2 to the atmosphere may have increased markedly in this region of the Arctic in response to warming climate, supporting the view that climate-carbon feedback is strongly positive in the high Arctic.

  18. Detecting Arctic Climate Change Using Koeppen Climate Classification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, M. [Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Oceans, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington (United States); Overland, J.E. [NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, Washington (United States)

    2004-11-01

    Ecological impacts of the recent warming trend in the Arctic are already noted as changes in tree line and a decrease in tundra area with the replacement of ground cover by shrubs in northern Alaska and several locations in northern Eurasia. The potential impact of vegetation changes to feedbacks on the atmospheric climate system is substantial because of the large land area impacted and the multi-year persistence of the vegetation cover. Satellite NDVI estimates beginning in 1981 and the Koeppen climate classification, which relates surface types to monthly mean air temperatures from 1901 onward, track these changes on an Arctic-wide basis. Temperature fields from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis and CRU analysis serve as proxy for vegetation cover over the century. A downward trend in the coverage of tundra group for the first 40 yr of the twentieth century was followed by two increases during 1940s and early 1960s, and then a rapid decrease in the last 20 yr. The decrease of tundra group in the 1920-40 period was localized, mostly over Scandinavia; whereas the decrease since 1990 is primarily pan-Arctic, but largest in NW Canada, and eastern and coastal Siberia. The decrease in inferred tundra coverage from 1980 to 2000 was 1.4 x 106 km{sup 2}, or about a 20% reduction in tundra area based on the CRU analyses. This rate of decrease is confirmed by the NDVI data. These tundra group changes in the last 20 yr are accompanied by increase in the area of both the boreal and temperate groups. During the tundra group decrease in the first half of the century boreal group area also decreased while temperate group area increased. The calculated minimum coverage of tundra group from both the Koeppen classification and NDVI indicates that the impact of warming on the spatial coverage of the tundra group in the 1990s is the strongest in the century, and will have multi-decadal consequences for the Arctic.

  19. The Contribution of Mosses to the Complex Pattern of Diurnal and Seasonal Metabolism the wet Coastal Tundra Ecosystems Near Barrow Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zona, D.; Oechel, W.; Hastings, S.; Oberbauer, S.; Kopetz, I.; Ikawa, H.

    2006-12-01

    Despite the abundance and importance bryophytes in the Alaskan Arctic tundra there is relatively little information on the role of these plants in determining the CO2 fluxes of Arctic tundra and, in particular, the environmental controls and climate change sensitivities of current and future photosynthesis in Arctic mosses. Studies in the tundra biome during the IBP program implicated high light together with high temperature as causes of decreases in photosynthesis in arctic mosses. Several authors have reported midday depression of moss photosynthesis due to high irradiance, even under optimum temperature and fully hydrated conditions. The focus of this study is to understand the role of Sphagnum ssp. mosses of various species, the dominant moss in the Alaska coastal wet Tundra on the total ecosystem carbon exchange throughout the season and in particular soon after snowmelt when the ecosystem is a carbon source. Our hypothesis is that the ecosystem carbon source activity during this critical period may be a result of sensitivity of mosses to light and photoinhibition in the absence of the protective canopy layer of vascular plants. In this study we measured daily courses of photosynthesis and fluorescence in the moss layer and we compare it to the total ecosystem carbon fluxes determined by the eddy covariance technique. The measurements were conducted in wet coastal tundra from June 2006, right after the snow melt, to August 2006 in the Biological Experimental Observatory (BEO) in Barrow, Alaska. The photosynthesis in the moss layer was found to be strongly inhibited when the radiation exceeded 800 ìmol m-2 s-1. Mosses remained fully hydrated throughout the season, precluding drying as a cause of decreased photosynthesis. Dark-adapted fluorescence measurements (Fv/Fm) showed a relatively low value (0.6) right after the snow melt, and remained fairly stable throughout the season. This low value was previously reported as characteristic of photoinhibited

  20. The response of Arctic vegetation to the summer climate: relation between shrub cover, NDVI, surface albedo and temperature

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blok, Daan; Heijmans, Monique M P D; Berendse, Frank [Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology Group, Wageningen University, PO Box 47, 6700 AA, Wageningen (Netherlands); Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela [Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zuerich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zuerich (Switzerland); Bartholomeus, Harm [Centre for Geo-Information, Wageningen University, PO Box 47, 6700 AA, Wageningen (Netherlands); Maximov, Trofim C, E-mail: daan.blok@wur.nl [Biological Problems of the Cryolithozone, Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian Division, 41, Lenin Prospekt, Yakutsk, The Republic of Sakha, Yakutia 677980 (Russian Federation)

    2011-07-15

    Recently observed Arctic greening trends from normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data suggest that shrub growth is increasing in response to increasing summer temperature. An increase in shrub cover is expected to decrease summer albedo and thus positively feed back to climate warming. However, it is unknown how albedo and NDVI are affected by shrub cover and inter-annual variations in the summer climate. Here, we examine the relationship between deciduous shrub fractional cover, NDVI and albedo using field data collected at a tundra site in NE Siberia. Field data showed that NDVI increased and albedo decreased with increasing deciduous shrub cover. We then selected four Arctic tundra study areas and compiled annual growing season maximum NDVI and minimum albedo maps from MODIS satellite data (2000-10) and related these satellite products to tundra vegetation types (shrub, graminoid, barren and wetland tundra) and regional summer temperature. We observed that maximum NDVI was greatest in shrub tundra and that inter-annual variation was negatively related to summer minimum albedo but showed no consistent relationship with summer temperature. Shrub tundra showed higher albedo than wetland and barren tundra in all four study areas. These results suggest that a northwards shift of shrub tundra might not lead to a decrease in summer minimum albedo during the snow-free season when replacing wetland tundra. A fully integrative study is however needed to link results from satellite data with in situ observations across the Arctic to test the effect of increasing shrub cover on summer albedo in different tundra vegetation types.

  1. The response of Arctic vegetation to the summer climate: relation between shrub cover, NDVI, surface albedo and temperature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blok, Daan; Heijmans, Monique M P D; Berendse, Frank; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Bartholomeus, Harm; Maximov, Trofim C

    2011-01-01

    Recently observed Arctic greening trends from normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data suggest that shrub growth is increasing in response to increasing summer temperature. An increase in shrub cover is expected to decrease summer albedo and thus positively feed back to climate warming. However, it is unknown how albedo and NDVI are affected by shrub cover and inter-annual variations in the summer climate. Here, we examine the relationship between deciduous shrub fractional cover, NDVI and albedo using field data collected at a tundra site in NE Siberia. Field data showed that NDVI increased and albedo decreased with increasing deciduous shrub cover. We then selected four Arctic tundra study areas and compiled annual growing season maximum NDVI and minimum albedo maps from MODIS satellite data (2000-10) and related these satellite products to tundra vegetation types (shrub, graminoid, barren and wetland tundra) and regional summer temperature. We observed that maximum NDVI was greatest in shrub tundra and that inter-annual variation was negatively related to summer minimum albedo but showed no consistent relationship with summer temperature. Shrub tundra showed higher albedo than wetland and barren tundra in all four study areas. These results suggest that a northwards shift of shrub tundra might not lead to a decrease in summer minimum albedo during the snow-free season when replacing wetland tundra. A fully integrative study is however needed to link results from satellite data with in situ observations across the Arctic to test the effect of increasing shrub cover on summer albedo in different tundra vegetation types.

  2. Increasing Carbon Loss from Snow-Scoured Alpine Tundra in the Colorado Rocky Mountains: An Indicator of Climate Change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, J. F.; Blanken, P.; Williams, M. W.; Lawrence, C. R.

    2015-12-01

    We used the eddy covariance method to continuously measure the net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide for seven years from a snow-scoured alpine tundra meadow on Niwot Ridge in Colorado, USA that may be underlain by sporadic permafrost. On average, the alpine tundra was a net annual source of 232 g C m-2 to the atmosphere, and the source strength of this ecosystem increased over the length of the seven year period due to both reduced carbon uptake during the growing season and increased respiration throughout the winter. To constrain the contribution of permafrost degradation to observed carbon emissions, we also measured the radiocarbon content of actively cycling, occluded, and mineral soil carbon pools across a meso-scale soil moisture and (possible) permafrost gradient within this meadow, as well as the seasonal radiocarbon content of soil respiration. These data suggest that wintertime soil respiration is limited to patches of wet meadow tundra that may be associated with permafrost. Furthermore, soil respiration from one of these locations indicates preferential turnover of a relatively slow cycling carbon pool during the winter. Given that summer air temperatures and positive degree days have been increasing on Niwot Ridge since the middle of the 20th century, this research suggests that an alpine tundra permafrost-respiration feedback to climate change, similar to that observed in arctic tundra ecosystems, may be currently underway.

  3. Regional and landscape-scale variability of Landsat-observed vegetation dynamics in northwest Siberian tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E; Walker, Donald A

    2014-01-01

    Widespread increases in Arctic tundra productivity have been documented for decades using coarse-scale satellite observations, but finer-scale observations indicate that changes have been very uneven, with a high degree of landscape- and regional-scale heterogeneity. Here we analyze time-series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) observed by Landsat (1984–2012), to assess landscape- and regional-scale variability of tundra vegetation dynamics in the northwest Siberian Low Arctic, a little-studied region with varied soils, landscape histories, and permafrost attributes. We also estimate spatio-temporal rates of land-cover change associated with expansion of tall alder (Alnus) shrublands, by integrating Landsat time-series with very-high-resolution imagery dating to the mid-1960s. We compiled Landsat time-series for eleven widely-distributed landscapes, and performed linear regression of NDVI values on a per-pixel basis. We found positive net NDVI trends (‘greening’) in nine of eleven landscapes. Net greening occurred in alder shrublands in all landscapes, and strong greening tended to correspond to shrublands that developed since the 1960s. Much of the spatial variability of greening within landscapes was linked to landscape physiography and permafrost attributes, while between-landscape variability largely corresponded to differences in surficial geology. We conclude that continued increases in tundra productivity in the region are likely in upland tundra landscapes with fine-textured, cryoturbated soils; these areas currently tend to support discontinuous vegetation cover, but are highly susceptible to rapid increases in vegetation cover, as well as land-cover changes associated with the development of tall shrublands. (paper)

  4. Drivers of seasonality in Arctic carbon dioxide fluxes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mbufong, Herbert Njuabe

    , while there were no discernable drivers of CO2 fluxes in Stordalen, growing season length showed significant controls on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in Zackenberg and with gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) in Daring Lake. This is important considering the recent observations...... compensates for the shorter growing season due to increase snow cover and duration. Other drivers of growing season CO2 fluxes were mainly air temperature, growing degree days and photosynthetic active radiation in a high and a low Arctic tundra ecosystem. Upscaling Arctic tundra NEE based on an acquired...... understanding of the drivers of NEE during this research venture, shows an estimation of reasonable fluxes at three independent sites in low Arctic Alaska. However, this later project is still ongoing and its findings are only preliminary....

  5. Intermittent Flooding of Arctic Lagoon Wet Sedge Areas: an investigation of past and future conditions at Arey Lagoon, Eastern Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbs, A.; Erikson, L. H.; Richmond, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic lagoons and mainland coasts support highly productive ecosystems, where soft substrate and coastal wet sedge fringing the shores act as feeding grounds and nurseries for a variety of marine fish and waterfowl. Much tundra vegetation is intolerant to saltwater flooding, but some vegetation cherished by geese for example, is maintained by flooding one to two times per month. The balance of northern ecosystems such as these may be in jeopardy as the Arctic climate is rapidly changing. In this study, sea level rise and 21st century storms are simulated with a numerical model to evaluate changes in ocean-driven flooding of low-lying tundra and coastal wet sedge that fringe the shores of Arey Lagoon, located in eastern Arctic Alaska. Numerically modeled extreme surge levels are projected to increase from a historical range of 0.5 m - 1.3 m (1976-2010) to 1.0 m - 2.0 m by end-of-century (2011-2100). The maximum storm surge of the projected time-period translates to > 6 km2 of flooded tundra, much of which consists of salt-intolerant vegetation. Monthly flood extents that might be expected to maintain halophytic vegetation were calculated by extracting the maximum monthly water levels of months that had more than 21 days ( 70%) of ice-free conditions. Median monthly water levels are shown to range from 0.46 m in 1981-1990 to 0.91 m by the final decades of the 21st century. The temporal trend is strongly linear (r2 = 0.82). An overlay of these water elevations onto a 10 m resolution elevation model shows that monthly flood extents will increase by 26% by the end of the century compared to the present decade (2011 to 2020) (from 2.86 km2 to 3.60 km2). The rate at which the flood extents are projected to increase will dictate if inland succession of salt-tolerant vegetation will survive. By combining the frequency and magnitude of extreme storm surge events with the progression of modeled monthly inland flood extents, it might be possible to identify areas along this

  6. 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

  7. Changes in tundra pond limnology: re-sampling Alaskan ponds after 40 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lougheed, Vanessa L; Butler, Malcolm G; McEwen, Daniel C; Hobbie, John E

    2011-09-01

    The arctic tundra ponds at the International Biological Program (IBP) site in Barrow, AK, were studied extensively in the 1970s; however, very little aquatic research has been conducted there for over three decades. Due to the rapid climate changes already occurring in northern Alaska, identifying any changes in the ponds' structure and function over the past 30-40 years can help identify any potential climate-related impacts. Current research on the IBP ponds has revealed significant changes in the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of these ponds over time. These changes include increased water temperatures, increased water column nutrient concentrations, the presence of at least one new chironomid species, and increased macrophyte cover. However, we have also observed significant annual variation in many measured variables and caution that this variation must be taken into account when attempting to make statements about longer-term change. The Barrow IBP tundra ponds represent one of the very few locations in the Arctic where long-term data are available on freshwater ecosystem structure and function. Continued monitoring and protection of these invaluable sites is required to help understand the implications of climate change on freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic.

  8. The sign, magnitude and potential drivers of change in surface water extent in Canadian tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Mark L.; Loboda, Tatiana V.

    2018-04-01

    The accelerated rate of warming in the Arctic has considerable implications for all components of ecosystem functioning in the High Northern Latitudes. Changes to hydrological cycle in the Arctic are particularly complex as the observed and projected warming directly impacts permafrost and leads to variable responses in surface water extent which is currently poorly characterized at the regional scale. In this study we take advantage of the 30 plus years of medium resolution (30 m) Landsat data to quantify the spatial patterns of change in the extent of water bodies in the Arctic tundra in Nunavut, Canada. Our results show a divergent pattern of change—growing surface water extent in the north-west and shrinking in the south-east—which is not a function of the overall distribution of surface water in the region. The observed changes cannot be explained by latitudinal stratification, nor is it explained by available temperature and precipitation records. However, the sign of change appears to be consistent within the boundaries of individual watersheds defined by the Canada National Hydro Network based on the random forest analysis. Using land cover maps as a proxy for ecological function we were able to link shrinking tundra water bodies to substrates with shallow soil layers (i.e. bedrock and barren landscapes) with a moderate correlation (R 2 = 0.46, p evaporation as an important driver of surface water decrease in these cases.

  9. Summer in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

    This colorful image of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Beaufort Sea was acquired by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer's nadir (vertical-viewing) camera on August 16, 2000, during Terra orbit 3532. The swirling patterns apparent on the Beaufort Sea are small ice floes driven by turbulent water patterns, or eddies, caused by the interactions of water masses of differing salinity and temperature. By this time of year, all of the seasonal ice which surrounds the north coast of Alaska in winter has broken up, although the perennial pack ice remains further north. The morphology of the perennial ice pack's edge varies in response to the prevailing wind. If the wind is blowing strongly toward the perennial pack (that is, to the north), the ice edge will be more compact. In this image the ice edge is diffuse, and the patterns reflected by the ice floes indicate fairly calm weather.The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (often abbreviated to ANWR) was established by President Eisenhower in 1960, and is the largest wildlife refuge in the United States. Animals of the Refuge include the 130,000-member Porcupine caribou herd, 180 species of birds from four continents, wolves, wolverine, polar and grizzly bears, muskoxen, foxes, and over 40 species of coastal and freshwater fish. Although most of ANWR was designated as wilderness in 1980, the area along the coastal plain was set aside so that the oil and gas reserves beneath the tundra could be studied. Drilling remains a topic of contention, and an energy bill allowing North Slope oil development to extend onto the coastal plain of the Refuge was approved by the US House of Representatives on August 2, 2001.The Refuge encompasses an impressive variety of arctic and subarctic ecosystems, including coastal lagoons, barrier islands, arctic tundra, and mountainous terrain. Of all these, the arctic tundra is the landscape judged most important for wildlife. From the coast inland to an average of 30-60 kilometers

  10. Carbon dioxide in Arctic and subarctic regions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gosink, T. A.; Kelley, J. J.

    1981-03-01

    A three year research project was presented that would define the role of the Arctic ocean, sea ice, tundra, taiga, high latitude ponds and lakes and polar anthropogenic activity on the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. Due to the large physical and geographical differences between the two polar regions, a comparison of CO/sub 2/ source and sink strengths of the two areas was proposed. Research opportunities during the first year, particularly those aboard the Swedish icebreaker, YMER, provided additional confirmatory data about the natural source and sink strengths for carbon dioxide in the Arctic regions. As a result, the hypothesis that these natural sources and sinks are strong enough to significantly affect global atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is considerably strengthened. Based on the available data we calculate that the whole Arctic region is a net annual sink for about 1.1 x 10/sup 15/ g of CO/sub 2/, or the equivalent of about 5% of the annual anthropogenic input into the atmosphere. For the second year of this research effort, research on the seasonal sources and sinks of CO/sub 2/ in the Arctic will be continued. Particular attention will be paid to the seasonal sea ice zones during the freeze and thaw periods, and the tundra-taiga regions, also during the freeze and thaw periods.

  11. 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...

  12. DOE Final Report on Collaborative Research. Quantifying Climate Feedbacks of the Terrestrial Biosphere under Thawing Permafrost Conditions in the Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhuang, Qianlai [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Schlosser, C. Adam [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Melillo, Jerry M. [Marine Biological Lab. (MBL), Woods Hole, MA (United States); Anthony, Katey Walter [Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK (United States); Kicklighter, David [Marine Biological Lab. (MBL), Woods Hole, MA (United States); Gao, Xiang [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)

    2015-11-03

    Our overall goal is to quantify the potential for threshold changes in natural emission rates of trace gases, particularly methane and carbon dioxide, from pan-arctic terrestrial systems under the spectrum of anthropogenically-forced climate warming, and the conditions under which these emissions provide a strong feedback mechanism to global climate warming. This goal is motivated under the premise that polar amplification of global climate warming will induce widespread thaw and degradation of the permafrost, and would thus cause substantial changes to the landscape of wetlands and lakes, especially thermokarst (thaw) lakes, across the Arctic. Through a suite of numerical experiments that encapsulate the fundamental processes governing methane emissions and carbon exchanges – as well as their coupling to the global climate system - we intend to test the following hypothesis in the proposed research: There exists a climate warming threshold beyond which permafrost degradation becomes widespread and stimulates large increases in methane emissions (via thermokarst lakes and poorly-drained wetland areas upon thawing permafrost along with microbial metabolic responses to higher temperatures) and increases in carbon dioxide emissions from well-drained areas. Besides changes in biogeochemistry, this threshold will also influence global energy dynamics through effects on surface albedo, evapotranspiration and water vapor. These changes would outweigh any increased uptake of carbon (e.g. from peatlands and higher plant photosynthesis) and would result in a strong, positive feedback to global climate warming.

  13. Long distance migratory songbirds respond to extremes in arctic seasonality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelman, N.; Asmus, A.; Chmura, H.; Krause, J.; Perez, J. H.; Sweet, S. K.; Gough, L.; Wingfield, J.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic regions are warming rapidly, with extreme weather events increasing in frequency, duration and intensity, as in other regions. Many studies have focused on how shifting seasonality in environmental conditions affect the phenology and productivity of vegetation, while far fewer have examined how arctic fauna responds. We studied two species of long-distance migratory songbirds, Lapland longspurs, Calcarius lapponicus, and White-crowned sparrows, Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii, across seven consecutive breeding seasons in northern Alaskan tundra. We aimed to understand how spring environmental conditions affected breeding cycle phenology, food availability, body condition, stress physiology, and ultimately, reproductive success. Spring temperatures, precipitation, storm frequency, and snow-free dates differed significantly among years, with 2013 characterized by unusually late snow cover, and 2015 and 2016 characterized by unusually early snow-free dates and several late spring snowstorms. In response, we found that relative to other study years, there was a significant delay in breeding cycle phenology for both study species in 2013, while breeding cycle phenology was significantly earlier in 2015 only. For both species, we also found significant variation among years in: the seasonal patterns of arthropod availability during the nesting stage; body condition, and; stress physiology. Finally, we found significant variation in reproductive success of both species across years, and that daily survival rates were decreased by snow storm events. Our findings suggest that arctic-breeding passerine communities may be able to adjust phenology to unpredictable shifts in the timing of spring, but extreme conditions during the incubation and nestling stages are detrimental to reproductive success.

  14. Arctic Newcomers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tonami, Aki

    2013-01-01

    Interest in the Arctic region and its economic potential in Japan, South Korea and Singapore was slow to develop but is now rapidly growing. All three countries have in recent years accelerated their engagement with Arctic states, laying the institutional frameworks needed to better understand...... and influence policies relating to the Arctic. But each country’s approach is quite different, writes Aki Tonami....

  15. Corrosion protection of Arctic offshore structures: Final report. [Effects of temperature and salinity on required cathodic protection current

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sackinger, W.M.; Rogers, J.C.; Feyk, C.; Theuveny, B.

    1985-10-01

    Results are presented for a research program on corrosion prevention for Arctic offshore structures which are in contact with sea ice for a significant portion of the year. The electrical method most adaptable for structure protection involves the injection of impressed current from several remote anodes buried just beneath the sea floor. The electrical resistivity of annual sea ice as a function of temperature and salinity is presented. Details of the interface layers formed between sea ice and steel in the presence of current injection are shown. A computer program was developed to enable the calculation of protective current density into the structure, in the presence of ice rubble and ridges around the structure. The program and the results of an example calculation are given for a caisson- retained island structure. 81 refs., 103 figs., 3 tabs.

  16. Differential Utilization of Carbon Substrates by Bacteria and Fungi in Tundra Soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Bååth, Erland

    2009-01-01

    Little is known about the contribution of bacteria and fungi to decomposition of different carbon compounds in arctic soils, which are an important carbon store and possibly vulnerable to climate warming. Soil samples from a subarctic tundra heath were incubated with 13C-labeled glucose, acetic...... at concentrations low enough not to affect the total amount of PLFA. The label of glucose and acetic acid was rapidly incorporated into the PLFA in a pattern largely corresponding to the fatty acid concentration profile, while glycine and especially starch were mainly taken up by bacteria and not fungi, showing......, the allocation decreased over time, indicating use of the storage products, whereas for vanillin incorporation into fungal NLFA increased during the incubation. In addition to providing information on functioning of the microbial communities in an arctic soil, our study showed that the combination of PLFA...

  17. Cesium-137 inventories in Alaskan Tundra, lake and marine sediments: An indicator of recent organic material transport?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grebmeier, J.M.; Cooper, L.W.; Larsen, I.L.; Solis, C.; Olsen, C.R.

    1993-01-01

    Tundra sampling was accomplished in 1989--1990 at Imnavait Creek, Alaska (68 degree 37' N, 149 degree 17' W). Inventories of 137 Cs (102--162 mBq/cm 2 ) are close to expectations, based upon measured atmospheric deposition for this latitude. Accumulated inventories of 137 Cs in tundra decrease by up to 50% along a transect to Prudhoe Bay (70 degree 13' N, 148 degree 30' W). Atmospheric deposition of 137 Cs decreased with latitude in the Arctic, but declines in deposition would have been relatively small over this distance (200 km). This suggests a recent loss of 137 Cs and possibly associated organic matter from tundra over the northern portions of the transect between Imnavait Creek and Prudhoe Bay. Sediments from Toolik Lake (68 degree 38' N, 149 degree 38' W) showed widely varying 137 Cs inventories, from a low of 22 mBq/cm 2 away from the lake inlet, to a high between 140 to >200 mBq/cm 2 near the main stream inflow. This was indicative of recent accumulation of cesium and possibly organic material associated with it in arctic lakes, although additional sampling is needed

  18. The tundra - a threat to global climate?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roejle Christensen, T.

    1997-01-01

    The tundra biome has an important direct influence on the global climate through its exchange of radiatively active 'greenhouse gases', carbon dioxide and methane. A number of suggestions have been raised as to how a changing climate may alter the natural state of this exchange causing significant feedback effects in a changing climate. This paper provides a brief discussion of three different issues relating to the interaction between tundra and climate. It is concluded that release of methane hydrates, permafrost degradation and major biome changes are processes which in the long term may have important effects on further development of the global climate. (au) 32 refs

  19. Tundra plant above-ground biomass and shrub dominance mapped across the North Slope of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berner, Logan T.; Jantz, Patrick; Tape, Ken D.; Goetz, Scott J.

    2018-03-01

    Arctic tundra is becoming greener and shrubbier due to recent warming. This is impacting climate feedbacks and wildlife, yet the spatial distribution of plant biomass in tundra ecosystems is uncertain. In this study, we mapped plant and shrub above-ground biomass (AGB; kg m-2) and shrub dominance (%; shrub AGB/plant AGB) across the North Slope of Alaska by linking biomass harvests at 28 field sites with 30 m resolution Landsat satellite imagery. We first developed regression models (p plant AGB (r 2 = 0.79) and shrub AGB (r 2 = 0.82) based on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from imagery acquired by Landsat 5 and 7. We then predicted regional plant and shrub AGB by combining these regression models with a regional Landsat NDVI mosaic built from 1721 summer scenes acquired between 2007 and 2016. Our approach employed a Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis that propagated sampling and sensor calibration errors. We estimated that plant AGB averaged 0.74 (0.60, 0.88) kg m-2 (95% CI) and totaled 112 (91, 135) Tg across the region, with shrub AGB accounting for ~43% of regional plant AGB. The new maps capture landscape variation in plant AGB visible in high resolution satellite and aerial imagery, notably shrubby riparian corridors. Modeled shrub AGB was strongly correlated with field measurements of shrub canopy height at 25 sites (rs  = 0.88) and with a regional map of shrub cover (rs  = 0.76). Modeled plant AGB and shrub dominance were higher in shrub tundra than graminoid tundra and increased between areas with the coldest and warmest summer air temperatures, underscoring the fact that future warming has the potential to greatly increase plant AGB and shrub dominance in this region. These new biomass maps provide a unique source of ecological information for a region undergoing rapid environmental change.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Determination of Leaf Area Index, Total Foliar N, and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index for Arctic Ecosystems Dominated by Cassiope tetragona

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, M; Street, LE; Michelsen, Anders

    2009-01-01

    have not been accurately quantified. We address this knowledge gap by (i) direct measurements of LAI and TFN for C. tetragona, and (ii) determining TFN-LAI and LAI–normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) relationships for typical C. tetragona tundras in the subarctic (Sweden) and High Arctic...... leaf N and biomass. The LAI-NDVI and TFN-LAI relationships showed high correlation and can be used to estimate indirectly LAI and TFN. The LAI-NDVI relationship for C. tetragona vegetation differed from a generic LAI-NDVI relationship for arctic tundra, whereas the TFN-LAI relationship did not. Overall...

  3. Goose-mediated nutrient enrichment and planktonic grazer control in arctic freshwater ponds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Geest, G. J.; Hessen, D. O.; Spierenburg, P.; Dahl-Hansen, G. A. P.; Christensen, G.; Faerovig, P. J.; Brehm, M.; Loonen, M. J. J. E.; Van Donk, E.

    A dramatic increase in the breeding population of geese has occurred over the past few decades at Svalbard. This may strongly impact the fragile ecosystems of the Arctic tundra because many of the ultra-oligotrophic freshwater systems experience enrichment from goose feces. We surveyed 21 shallow

  4. Resilience of arctic mycorrhizal fungal communities after wildfire facilitated by resprouting shrubs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecca E. Hewitt; Elizabeth Bent; Teresa N. Hollingsworth; F. Stuart Chapin; D. Lee Taylor

    2013-01-01

    Climate-induced changes in the tundra fire regime are expected to alter shrub abundance and distribution across the Arctic. However, little is known about how fire may indirectly impact shrub performance by altering mycorrhizal symbionts. We used molecular tools, including ARISA and ITS sequencing, to characterize the mycorrhizal communities on resprouting ...

  5. Behavioral interactions of penned red and arctic foxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudzinski, D.R.; Graves, H.B.; Sargeant, A.B.; Storm, G.L.

    1982-01-01

    Expansion of the geographical distribution of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) into the far north tundra region may lead to competition between arctic (Alopex lagopus) and red foxes for space and resources. Behavioral interactions between red and arctic foxes were evaluated during 9 trials conducted in a 4.05-ha enclosure near Woodworth, North Dakota. Each trial consisted of introducing a male-female pair of arctic foxes into the enclosure and allowing them to acclimate for approximately a week before releasing a female red fox into the enclosure, followed by her mate a few days later. In 8 of 9 trials, red foxes were dominant over arctic foxes during encounters. Activity of the arctic foxes decreased upon addition of red foxes. Arctic foxes tried unsuccessfully to defend preferred den, resting, and feeding areas. Even though the outcome of competition between red and arctic foxes in the Arctic is uncertain, the more aggressive red fox can dominate arctic foxes in direct competition for den sites and other limited resources.

  6. Large CO 2 and CH 4 emissions from polygonal tundra during spring thaw in northern Alaska: Spring Pulse Emission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raz-Yaseef, Naama [Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley California USA; Torn, Margaret S. [Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley California USA; Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley California USA; Wu, Yuxin [Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley California USA; Billesbach, Dave P. [Biological Systems Engineering Department, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln Nebraska USA; Liljedahl, Anna K. [Water and Environmental Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks Alaska USA; Kneafsey, Timothy J. [Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley California USA; Romanovsky, Vladimir E. [Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks Alaska USA; Cook, David R. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont Illinois USA; Wullschleger, Stan D. [Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge Tennessee USA

    2017-01-10

    The few prethaw observations of tundra carbon fluxes suggest that there may be large spring releases, but little Is lmown about the scale and underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon. To address these questions, we combined ecosystem eddy flux measurements from two towers near Barrow, Alaska, with mechanistic soil-core thawing experiment During a 2week period prior to snowmelt In 2014, large fluxes were measured, reducing net summer uptake of CO2 by 46% and adding 6% to cumulative CH4 emissions. Emission pulses were linked to unique rain-on-snow events enhancing soli cracking. Controlled laboratory experiment revealed that as surface Ice thaws, an immediate, large pulse of trapped gases Is emitted. These results suggest that the Arctic C02 and CH4 spring pulse is a delayed release of biogenic gas production from the previous fall and that the pulse can be large enough to offset a significant fraction of the moderate Arctic tundra carbon sink.

  7. 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.

  8. Shrub water use dynamics in arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, J.; Young-Robertson, J. M.; Tape, K. D.

    2016-12-01

    In the Arctic tundra, hydrologic processes influence the majority of ecosystem processes, from soil thermal dynamics to energy balance and trace gas exchange to vegetation community distributions. The tundra biome is experiencing a broad spectrum of ecosystem changes spurred by 20th century warming, including deciduous shrub expansion. Deciduous woody vegetation typically has high water use rates compared to evergreen and herbaceous species, and is projected to have a greater impact on energy balance than altered albedo from changes in snowpack. However, the impact of greater shrub cover on water balance has been overlooked. Shrubs have the potential to significantly dry the soil, accessing stored soil moisture in the organic layers, while increasing atmospheric moisture. The goal of this study is to quantify the water use dynamics (sap flux and stem water content) of three common arctic shrub species (Salix alexensis, S. pulchra, Betula nana) over two growing seasons. Stem water content was measured through a novel application of time domain reflectometry (TDR). Maximum sap flow rates varied by species: S. alexensis-600g/hr, S. pulchra-60g/hr, and B. nana-40g/hr. We found daily sap flow rates are highly correlated with atmospheric moisture demand (VPD) and not limited by soil moisture or antecedent precipitation. Stem water content varied between 20% and 60%, was correlated with soil moisture, and showed weak diurnal variation. This is one of the first studies to provide a detailed look at arctic tundra shrub water balance and explore the environmental controls on water flux. Planned future work will expand on these results for estimates of evapotranspiration over larger landscape areas.

  9. 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

    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...... mesic-dry tundras in Northern Sweden with contrasting microtopography, altitude, and dominant species. Those measurements were paralleled by the stock assessments of nitrogen (N), the limiting nutrient. The vascular production was determined by harvest or in situ growing units, whereas the nonvascular...... hermaphroditum is more productive than Cassiope tetragona vegetation. Although the large majority of the apical NPP occurred in early-mid season (85%), production of stems and evergreen leaves proceeded until about 2 weeks before senescence. Most of the vascular vegetation was belowground (80%), whereas most...

  10. Nesting ecology of Arctic loons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Margaret R.

    1979-01-01

    Arctic Loons were studied on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, from the time of their arrival in May to their departure in September, in 1974 and 1975. Pairs arrived on breeding ponds as soon as sufficient meltwater was available to allow their take-off and landing. Loons apparently do not initiate nests immediately after their arrival, even when nest-sites are available. Delayed egg-laying may be dependent on a period of yolk formation. Delaying yolk formation until after arrival on nest ponds is an adaptation by loons to the variable time suitable habitat becomes available for nesting. Predation of eggs by Glaucous Gulls, Long-tailed and Parasitic jaegers and foxes varied in relation to the location of the nest-site, and the availability of alternate prey. Hatching success was the lowest recorded for Arctic Loons (5%) in 1974, when eggs of both loons and Cackling Geese were taken in large numbers by predators. Hatching success increased to 32% in 1975 when an abundance of tundra voles was observed. No loon eggs hatched after the hatching of the Cackling Goose eggs when this alternate prey was no longer available. Nests destroyed by foxes were predominantly along shorelines, and those by gulls and jaegers were predominantly on islands. Nest-site selection by Arctic Loons may reflect an adaptive response to varying selective pressures by their predators.

  11. Changes in Nutrients and Primary Production in Barrow Tundra Ponds Over the Past 40 Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lougheed, V.; Andresen, C.; Hernandez, C.; Miller, N.; Reyes, F.

    2012-12-01

    The Arctic tundra ponds at the International Biological Program (IBP) site in Barrow, Alaska were studied extensively in the 1970's; however, very little research has occurred there since that time. Due to the sensitivity of this region to climate warming, understanding any changes in the ponds' structure and function over the past 40 years can help identify any potential climate-related impacts. The goal of this study was to determine if the structure and function of primary producers had changed through time, and the association between these changes, urban encroachment and nutrient limitation. Nutrient levels, as well as the biomass of aquatic graminoids (Carex aquatilis and Arctophila fulva), phytoplankton and periphyton were determined in the IBP tundra ponds in both 1971-3 and 2010-12, and in 2010-11 from nearby ponds along an anthropogenic disturbance gradient. Uptake of 14C was also used to measure algal primary production in both time periods and nutrient addition experiments were performed to identify the nutrients limiting algal growth. Similar methods were utilized in the past and present studies. Overall, biomass of graminoids, phytoplankton and periphyton was greater in 2010-12 than that observed in the 1970s. This increased biomass was coincident with warmer water temperatures, increased water column nutrients and deeper active layer depth. Biomass of plants and algae was highest in the ponds closest to the village of Barrow, but no effect of urban encroachment was observed at the IBP ponds. Laboratory incubations indicated that nutrient release from thawing permafrost can explain part of these increases in nutrients and has likely contributed to changes in the primary limiting nutrient. Further studies are necessary to better understand the implications of these trends in primary production to nutrient budgets in the Arctic. The Barrow IBP tundra ponds represent one of the very few locations in the Arctic where long-term data are available on

  12. Arctic summertime measurements of ammonia in the near-surface atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moravek, A.; Murphy, J. G.; Wentworth, G.; Croft, B.; Martin, R.

    2016-12-01

    Measurements of gas-phase ammonia (NH3) in the summertime Arctic are rare, despite the impact NH3 can have on new particle formation rates and nitrogen deposition. The presence of NH3 can also increase the ratio of particulate-phase ammonium (NH4+) to non-sea salt sulphate (nss-SO42-) which decreases particle acidity. Known regional sources of NH3in the Arctic summertime include migratory seabird colonies and northern wildfires, whereas the Arctic Ocean is a net sink. In the summer of 2016, high time resolution measurements were collected in the Arctic to improve our understanding of the sources, sinks and impacts of ammonia in this remote region. A four week study was conducted at Alert, Canada (82.5º N, 62.3 º W) from June 23 to July 19, 2016 to examine the magnitude and sources of NH3 and SO42-. The Ambient Ion Monitor-Ion Chromatography system (AIM-IC) provided on-line, hourly averaged measurements of NH3, NH4+, SO42- and Na+. Measurements of NH3 ranged between 50 and 700 pptv (campaign mean of 240 pptv), consistent with previous studies in the summertime Arctic boundary layer. Levels of NH4+ and nss-SO42- were near or below detection limits ( 20 ng m-3) for the majority of the study. Tundra and lake samples were collected to investigate whether these could be important local sources of NH3 at Alert. These surface samples were analyzed for NH4+, pH and temperature and a compensation point (χ) for each sample was calculated to determine if these surface reservoirs can act as net NH3 sources. Precipitation samples were also collected throughout the study to better constrain our understanding of wet NH4+deposition in the summertime Arctic. From mid-July through August, 2016, NH3 was measured continuously using a laser spectroscopy technique onboard the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Amundsen in the eastern Arctic Ocean. Ocean-atmosphere exchange of NH3 was quantified using measurements of sea surface marine NH4+ concentrations. In addition, wet deposition of

  13. Multi-decadal changes in tundra environments and ecosystems: Synthesis of the International Polar Year-Back to the Future Project (IPY-BTF)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Callaghan, Terry V.; Tweedie, Craig E.; Åkerman, Jonas

    2011-01-01

    , and to dramatic increases in shrub and tree density on Herschel Island, and in sub-arctic Sweden. The population of geese tripled at one site in northeast Greenland where biomass in non-grazed plots doubled. A model parameterized using results from a BTF study forecasts substantial declines in all snowbeds...... and increases in shrub tundra on Niwot Ridge, Colorado over the next century. In general, results support and provide improved capacities for validating experimental manipulation, remote sensing, and modeling studies....

  14. Warming of subarctic tundra increases emissions of all three important greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voigt, Carolina; Lamprecht, Richard E; Marushchak, Maija E; Lind, Saara E; Novakovskiy, Alexander; Aurela, Mika; Martikainen, Pertti J; Biasi, Christina

    2017-08-01

    Rapidly rising temperatures in the Arctic might cause a greater release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to the atmosphere. To study the effect of warming on GHG dynamics, we deployed open-top chambers in a subarctic tundra site in Northeast European Russia. We determined carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), methane (CH 4 ), and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) fluxes as well as the concentration of those gases, inorganic nitrogen (N) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) along the soil profile. Studied tundra surfaces ranged from mineral to organic soils and from vegetated to unvegetated areas. As a result of air warming, the seasonal GHG budget of the vegetated tundra surfaces shifted from a GHG sink of -300 to -198 g CO 2 -eq m -2 to a source of 105 to 144 g CO 2 -eq m -2 . At bare peat surfaces, we observed increased release of all three GHGs. While the positive warming response was dominated by CO 2 , we provide here the first in situ evidence of increasing N 2 O emissions from tundra soils with warming. Warming promoted N 2 O release not only from bare peat, previously identified as a strong N 2 O source, but also from the abundant, vegetated peat surfaces that do not emit N 2 O under present climate. At these surfaces, elevated temperatures had an adverse effect on plant growth, resulting in lower plant N uptake and, consequently, better N availability for soil microbes. Although the warming was limited to the soil surface and did not alter thaw depth, it increased concentrations of DOC, CO 2, and CH 4 in the soil down to the permafrost table. This can be attributed to downward DOC leaching, fueling microbial activity at depth. Taken together, our results emphasize the tight linkages between plant and soil processes, and different soil layers, which need to be taken into account when predicting the climate change feedback of the Arctic. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Effects of Unsaturated Microtopography on Nitrate Concentrations in Tundra Ecosystems: Examples from Polygonal Terrain and Degraded Peat Plateaus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heikoop, J. M.; Arendt, C. A.; Newman, B. D.; Charsley-Groffman, L.; Perkins, G.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S.

    2017-12-01

    Under the auspices of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment - Arctic, we have been studying hydrogeochemical signals in Alaskan tundra ecosystems underlain by continuous permafrost (Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO)) and discontinuous permafrost (Seward Peninsula). The Barrow site comprises largely saturated tundra associated with the low gradient Arctic Coastal Plain. Polygonal microtopography, however, can result in slightly raised areas that are unsaturated. In these areas we have previously demonstrated production and accumulation of nitrate, which, based on nitrate isotopic analysis, derives from microbial degradation. Our Seward Peninsula site is located in a much steeper and generally well-drained watershed. In lower-gradient areas at the top and bottom of the watershed, however, the tundra is generally saturated, likely because of the presence of underlying discontinuous permafrost inhibiting infiltration. These settings also contain microtopographic features, though in the form of degraded peat plateaus surrounded by wet graminoid sag ponds. Despite being very different microtopographic features in a very different setting with distinct vegetation, qualitatively similar nitrate accumulation patterns as seen in polygonal terrain were observed. The highest nitrate pore water concentration observed in an unsaturated peat plateau was approximately 5 mg/L, whereas subsurface pore water concentrations in surrounding sag ponds were generally below the limit of detection. Nitrate isotopes indicate this nitrate results from microbial mineralization and nitrification based on comparison to the nitrate isotopic composition of reduced nitrogen sources in the environment and the oxygen isotope composition of site pore water. Nitrate concentrations were most similar to those found in low-center polygon rims and flat-centered polygon centers at the BEO, but were significantly lower than the maximum concentrations seen in the highest and driest polygonal features

  16. Seasonal changes in the radiation balance of subarctic forest and tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lafleur, P.M.; Renzetti, A.V.; Bello, R.

    1993-01-01

    This paper examines the seasonal behavior of the components of the radiation budget of subarctic tundra and open forest near Churchill, Manitoba. Data were collected between late February and August 1990. The presence of the winter snowpack is the most important factor which affects the difference in radiation balances of tundra and forest. Overall, net radiation was about four to five times larger over the forest when snow covered the ground. Albedo differences were primarily responsible for this difference in net radiation; however, somewhat smaller net longwave losses were experienced at the tundra site. The step decrease in albedo from winter to summer (i.e. snow-covered to snow-free conditions) was significant at both sites. The forest albedo decreased by about three-fold while the tundra experienced a seven-fold decrease. Net radiation at both sites increased in direct response to the albedo change. Transmissivity of the atmosphere near Churchill also appeared to change at about the same time as the loss of the snow cover and may be related to changing air masses which bring about the final snow melt

  17. Snow depth manipulation experiments in a dry and a moist tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, M. J.; Czimczik, C. I.; Jung, J. Y.; Kim, M.; Lee, Y. K.; Nam, S.; Wagner, I.

    2017-12-01

    As a result of global warming, precipitation in the Arctic is expected to increase by 25-50% by the end of this century, mostly in the form of snow. However, precipitation patterns vary considerable in space and time, and future precipitation patterns are highly uncertain at local and regional scales. The amount of snowfall (or snow depth) influences a number of ecosystem properties in Arctic ecosystems, such as soil temperature over winter and soil moisture in the following growing season. These modifications then affect rates of carbon-related soil processes and photosynthesis, thus CO2 exchange rates between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. In this study, we investigate the effects of snow depth on the magnitude, sources and temporal dynamics of CO2 fluxes. We installed snow fences in a dry dwarf-shrub (Cambridge Bay, Canada; 69° N, 105° W) and a moist low-shrub (Council, Alaska, USA; 64° N, 165° W) tundra in summer 2017, and established control, and increased and reduced snow depth plots at each snow fence. Summertime CO2 flux rates (net ecosystem exchange, ecosystem respiration, gross primary production) and the fractions of autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration to ecosystem respiration were measured using manual chambers and radiocarbon signatures. Wintertime CO2 flux rates will be measured using soda lime adsorption technique and forced diffusion chambers. Soil temperature and moisture at multiple depths, as well as changes in soil properties and microbial communities will be also observed, to research whether these changes affect CO2 flux rates or patterns. Our study will elucidate how future snow depth and its impact on soil physical and biogeochemical properties influence the magnitude and sources of tundra-atmosphere CO2 exchange in the rapidly warming Arctic.

  18. Arctic Security

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Nils

    2013-01-01

    The inclusion of China, India, Japan, Singapore and Italy as permanent observers in the Arctic Council has increased the international status of this forum significantly. This chapter aims to explain the background for the increased international interest in the Arctic region through an analysis...

  19. Human-animal agency in reindeer management: Sami herders' perspectives on Fennoscandian tundra vegetation dynamics under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, B. C.; Horstkotte, T.; Utsi, T. A.; Larsson-Blind, Å.; Burgess, P.; Käyhkö, J.; Oksanen, L.; Johansen, B.

    2016-12-01

    Many primary livelihoods in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions are increasingly faced with accelerating effects of climate change and resource exploitation. The often close connection between indigenous populations and the dynamics of their respective territories allows them to make detailed observations of how these changes transform the landscapes where they practice their daily activities. Here, we report Sami reindeer herders' observations based on their long-term occupancy and use of contrasting pastoral landscapes in northern Fennoscandia. In particular, we focus on the capacity for various herd management regimes to prevent a potential transformation of open tundra vegetation to shrubland or woodland. Fennoscandian Sami herders did not confirm a substantial, rapid or large-scale transformation of treeless arctic-alpine areas into shrub- and/or woodlands as a consequence of climate change. However, where encroachment of open tundra landscapes has been observed, a range of drivers were deemed responsible. These included abiotic conditions, anthropogenic influences and the direct and indirect effects of reindeer. Mountain birch tree line advances were in some cases associated with reduced or discontinued grazing, depending on the seasonal significance of these particular areas. In the many places where tree line has risen, herding practices have by necessity adapted to these changes. Exploiting the capacity of reindeer grazing/browsing as a conservation tool offers new adaptive strategies of ecosystem management to counteract a potential encroachment of the tundra by woody plants. However, such novel solutions in environmental governance are confronted with difficult trade-offs involved in ecosystem management for ecologically reasonable, economically viable and socially desirable management strategies.

  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. Polygonal tundra geomorphological change in response to warming alters future CO2 and CH4 flux on the Barrow Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Mark J; McGuire, A David; Euskirchen, Eugenie S; Tweedie, Craig E; Hinkel, Kenneth M; Skurikhin, Alexei N; Romanovsky, Vladimir E; Grosse, Guido; Bolton, W Robert; Genet, Helene

    2015-04-01

    The landscape of the Barrow Peninsula in northern Alaska is thought to have formed over centuries to millennia, and is now dominated by ice-wedge polygonal tundra that spans drained thaw-lake basins and interstitial tundra. In nearby tundra regions, studies have identified a rapid increase in thermokarst formation (i.e., pits) over recent decades in response to climate warming, facilitating changes in polygonal tundra geomorphology. We assessed the future impact of 100 years of tundra geomorphic change on peak growing season carbon exchange in response to: (i) landscape succession associated with the thaw-lake cycle; and (ii) low, moderate, and extreme scenarios of thermokarst pit formation (10%, 30%, and 50%) reported for Alaskan arctic tundra sites. We developed a 30 × 30 m resolution tundra geomorphology map (overall accuracy:75%; Kappa:0.69) for our ~1800 km² study area composed of ten classes; drained slope, high center polygon, flat-center polygon, low center polygon, coalescent low center polygon, polygon trough, meadow, ponds, rivers, and lakes, to determine their spatial distribution across the Barrow Peninsula. Land-atmosphere CO2 and CH4 flux data were collected for the summers of 2006-2010 at eighty-two sites near Barrow, across the mapped classes. The developed geomorphic map was used for the regional assessment of carbon flux. Results indicate (i) at present during peak growing season on the Barrow Peninsula, CO2 uptake occurs at -902.3 10(6) gC-CO2 day(-1) (uncertainty using 95% CI is between -438.3 and -1366 10(6) gC-CO2 day(-1)) and CH4 flux at 28.9 10(6) gC-CH4 day(-1) (uncertainty using 95% CI is between 12.9 and 44.9 10(6) gC-CH4 day(-1)), (ii) one century of future landscape change associated with the thaw-lake cycle only slightly alter CO2 and CH4 exchange, while (iii) moderate increases in thermokarst pits would strengthen both CO2 uptake (-166.9 10(6) gC-CO2 day(-1)) and CH4 flux (2.8 10(6) gC-CH4 day(-1)) with geomorphic change from low

  2. Polygonal tundra geomorphological change in response to warming alters future CO2 and CH4 flux on the Barrow Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Mark J.; McGuire, A. David; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Tweedie, Craig E.; Hinkel, Kenneth M.; Skurikhin, Alexei N.; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Grosse, Guido; Bolton, W. Robert; Genet, Helene

    2015-01-01

    The landscape of the Barrow Peninsula in northern Alaska is thought to have formed over centuries to millennia, and is now dominated by ice-wedge polygonal tundra that spans drained thaw-lake basins and interstitial tundra. In nearby tundra regions, studies have identified a rapid increase in thermokarst formation (i.e., pits) over recent decades in response to climate warming, facilitating changes in polygonal tundra geomorphology. We assessed the future impact of 100 years of tundra geomorphic change on peak growing season carbon exchange in response to: (i) landscape succession associated with the thaw-lake cycle; and (ii) low, moderate, and extreme scenarios of thermokarst pit formation (10%, 30%, and 50%) reported for Alaskan arctic tundra sites. We developed a 30 × 30 m resolution tundra geomorphology map (overall accuracy:75%; Kappa:0.69) for our ~1800 km² study area composed of ten classes; drained slope, high center polygon, flat-center polygon, low center polygon, coalescent low center polygon, polygon trough, meadow, ponds, rivers, and lakes, to determine their spatial distribution across the Barrow Peninsula. Land-atmosphere CO2 and CH4 flux data were collected for the summers of 2006–2010 at eighty-two sites near Barrow, across the mapped classes. The developed geomorphic map was used for the regional assessment of carbon flux. Results indicate (i) at present during peak growing season on the Barrow Peninsula, CO2 uptake occurs at -902.3 106gC-CO2 day−1(uncertainty using 95% CI is between −438.3 and −1366 106gC-CO2 day−1) and CH4 flux at 28.9 106gC-CH4 day−1(uncertainty using 95% CI is between 12.9 and 44.9 106gC-CH4 day−1), (ii) one century of future landscape change associated with the thaw-lake cycle only slightly alter CO2 and CH4 exchange, while (iii) moderate increases in thermokarst pits would strengthen both CO2uptake (−166.9 106gC-CO2 day−1) and CH4 flux (2.8 106gC-CH4 day−1) with geomorphic change from

  3. Examining the role of shrub expansion and fire in Arctic plant silica cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, J.; Fetcher, N.; Parker, T.; Rocha, A. V.; Tang, J.

    2017-12-01

    All terrestrial plants accumulate silica (SiO2) to some degree, although the amount varies by species type, functional group, and environmental conditions. Silica improves overall plant fitness, providing protection from a variety of biotic and abiotic stressors. Plant silica uptake serves to retain silica in terrestrial landscapes, influencing silica export rates from terrestrial to marine systems. These export rates are important because silica is often the limiting nutrient for primary production by phytoplankton in coastal waters. Understanding how terrestrial plant processes influence silica export rates to oceanic systems is of interest on the global scale, but nowhere is this issue more important than in the Arctic, where marine diatoms rely on silica for production in large numbers and terrestrial runoff largely influences marine biogeochemistry. Moreover, the rapid rate of change occurring in the Arctic makes understanding plant silica dynamics timely, although knowledge of plant silica cycling in the region is in its infancy. This work specifically examines how shrub expansion, permafrost thaw, and fire regimes influence plant silica behavior in the Alaskan Arctic. We quantified silica accumulation in above and belowground portions of three main tundra types found in the Arctic (wet sedge, moist acidic, moist non-acidic tundra) and scaled these values to estimate how shrub expansion alters plant silica accumulation rates. Results indicate that shrub expansion via warming will increase silica storage in Arctic land plants due to the higher biomass associated with shrub tundra, whereas conversion of tussock to wet sedge tundra via permafrost thaw would produce the opposite effect in the terrestrial plant BSi pool. We also examined silica behavior in plants exposed to fire, finding that post-fire growth results in elevated plant silica uptake. Such changes in the size of the terrestrial vegetation silica reservoir could have direct consequences for the rates

  4. Thaw pond dynamics and carbon emissions in a Siberian lowland tundra landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Huissteden, Ko; Heijmans, Monique; Dean, Josh; Meisel, Ove; Goovaerts, Arne; Parmentier, Frans-Jan; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Belelli Marchesini, Luca; Kononov, Alexander; Maximov, Trofim; Borges, Alberto; Bouillon, Steven

    2017-04-01

    Arctic climate change induces drastic changes in permafrost surface wetness. As a result of thawing ground ice bodies, ice wedge troughs and thaw ponds are formed. Alternatively, ongoing thaw may enhance drainage as a result of increased interconnectedness of thawing ice wedge troughs, as inferred from a model study (Liljedahl et al., 2016, Nature Geoscience, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2674). However, a recent review highlighted the limited predictability of consequences of thawing permafrost on hydrology (Walvoord and Kurylyk, 2016, Vadose Zone J., DOI:10.2136/vzj2016.01.0010). Overall, these changes in tundra wetness modify carbon cycling in the Arctic and in particular the emissions of CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere, providing a possibly positive feedback on climate change. Here we present the results of a combined remote sensing, geomorphological, vegetation and biogechemical study of thaw ponds in Arctic Siberian tundra, at Kytalyk research station near Chokurdakh, Indigirka lowlands. The station is located in an area dominated by Pleistocene ice-rich 'yedoma' sediments and drained thaw lake bottoms of Holocene age. The development of three types of ponds in the Kytalyk area (polygon centre ponds, ice wedge troughs and thaw ponds) has been traced with high resolution satellite and aerial imagery. The remote sensing data show net areal expansion of all types of ponds. Next to formation of new ponds, local vegetation change from dry vegetation types to wet, sedge-dominated vegetation is common. Thawing ice wedges and thaw ponds show an increase in area and number at most studied locations. In particular the area of polygon centre ponds increased strongly between 2010 and 2015, but this is highly sensitive to antecedent precipitation conditions. Despite a nearly 60% increase of the area of thawing ice wedge troughs, there is no evidence of decreasing water surfaces by increasing drainage through connected ice wedge troughs. The number of thaw ponds shows an equilibrium

  5. Annual CO2 budget and seasonal CO2 exchange signals at a high Arctic permafrost site on Spitsbergen, Svalbard archipelago

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luërs, J.; Westermann, Signe; Piel, K.

    2014-01-01

    -lasting snow cover, and several months of darkness. This study presents a complete annual cycle of the CO2 net ecosystem exchange (NEE) dynamics for a high Arctic tundra area at the west coast of Svalbard based on eddy covariance flux measurements. The annual cumulative CO2 budget is close to 0 g C m-2 yr-1...

  6. Biological Chlorine Cycling in Arctic Peat Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zlamal, J. E.; Raab, T. K.; Lipson, D.

    2014-12-01

    Soils of the Arctic tundra near Barrow, Alaska are waterlogged and anoxic throughout most of the profile due to underlying permafrost. Microbial communities in these soils are adapted for the dominant anaerobic conditions and are capable of a surprising diversity of metabolic pathways. Anaerobic respiration in this environment warrants further study, particularly in the realm of electron cycling involving chlorine, which preliminary data suggest may play an important role in arctic anaerobic soil respiration. For decades, Cl was rarely studied outside of the context of solvent-contaminated sites due to the widely held belief that it is an inert element. However, Cl has increasingly become recognized as a metabolic player in microbial communities and soil cycling processes. Organic chlorinated compounds (Clorg) can be made by various organisms and used metabolically by others, such as serving as electron acceptors for microbes performing organohalide respiration. Sequencing our arctic soil samples has uncovered multiple genera of microorganisms capable of participating in many Cl-cycling processes including organohalide respiration, chlorinated hydrocarbon degradation, and perchlorate reduction. Metagenomic analysis of these soils has revealed genes for key enzymes of Cl-related metabolic processes such as dehalogenases and haloperoxidases, and close matches to genomes of known organohalide respiring microorganisms from the Dehalococcoides, Dechloromonas, Carboxydothermus, and Anaeromyxobacter genera. A TOX-100 Chlorine Analyzer was used to quantify total Cl in arctic soils, and these data were examined further to separate levels of inorganic Cl compounds and Clorg. Levels of Clorg increased with soil organic matter content, although total Cl levels lack this trend. X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) was used to provide information on the structure of Clorg in arctic soils, showing great diversity with Cl bound to both aromatic and alkyl groups

  7. Linkages Among Climate, Fire, and Thermoerosion in Alaskan Tundra Over the Past Three Millennia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chipman, M. L.; Hu, F. S.

    2017-12-01

    Amplified Arctic warming may facilitate novel tundra disturbance regimes, as suggested by recent increases in the rate and extent of thermoerosion and fires in some tundra areas. Thermoerosion and wildfire can exacerbate warming by releasing large permafrost carbon stocks, and interactions between disturbance regimes can lead to complex ecosystem feedbacks. We conducted geochemical and charcoal analyses of lake sediments from an Alaskan lake to identify thermoerosion and fire events over the past 3,000 years. Thermoerosion was inferred from lake sediments in the context of modern soil data from retrogressive thaw slumps (RTS). Magnetic susceptibility (MS), Ca:K, and Ca:Sr increased with depth in modern RTS soils and were higher on recently exposed than older slump surfaces. Peaks in bulk density, % CaCO3, Ca:K, Ca:Sr, and MS values in the sediments suggest at least 18 thermoerosion events in the Loon Lake watershed over the past 3,000 years. Charcoal analysis identifies 22 fires over the same period at this site. Temporal variability in these records suggests climate-driven responses of both thermoerosion and fire disturbance regimes, with fewer RTS episodes and fire events during the Little Ice Age than the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Moreover, RTS activity lagged behind catchment fires by 20-30 years (>90% confidence interval), implying that fires facilitated thermoerosion on decadal time scales, possibly because of prolonged active-layer deepening following fire and postfire proliferation of insulative shrub cover. These results highlight the potential for complex interactions between climate, vegetation, and tundra disturbance in response to ongoing warming.

  8. Past Changes in Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems, Climate and UV Radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Callaghan, Terry V. [Abisko Scientific Research Station, Abisko (Sweden); Bjoern, Lars Olof [Lund Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Cell and Organism Biology; Chernov, Yuri [Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russian Federation). A.N. Severtsov Inst. of Evolutionary Morphology and Animal Ecology] (and others)

    2004-11-01

    At the last glacial maximum, vast ice sheets covered many continental areas. The beds of some shallow seas were exposed thereby connecting previously separated landmasses. Although some areas were ice-free and supported a flora and fauna, mean annual temperatures were 10-13 deg C colder than during the Holocene. Within a few millennia of the glacial maximum, deglaciation started, characterized by a series of climatic fluctuations between about 18,000 and 11,400 years ago. Following the general thermal maximum in the Holocene, there has been a modest overall cooling trend, superimposed upon which have been a series of millennial and centennial fluctuations in climate such as the 'Little Ice Age' spanning approximately the late 13th to early 19th centuries. Throughout the climatic fluctuations of the last 150,000 years, Arctic ecosystems and biota have been close to their minimum extent within the most recent 10,000 years. They suffered loss of diversity as a result of extinctions during the most recent large-magnitude rapid global warming at the end of the last glacial stage. Consequently, Arctic ecosystems and biota such as large vertebrates are already under pressure and are particularly vulnerable to current and projected future global warming. Evidence from the past indicates that the treeline will very probably advance, perhaps rapidly, into tundra areas, as it did during the early Holocene, reducing the extent of tundra and increasing the risk of species extinction. Species will very probably extend their ranges northwards, displacing Arctic species as in the past. However, unlike the early Holocene, when lower relative sea level allowed a belt of tundra to persist around at least some parts of the Arctic basin when treelines advanced to the present coast, sea level is very likely to rise in future, further restricting the area of tundra and other treeless Arctic ecosystems. The negative response of current Arctic ecosystems to global climatic

  9. Tundra water budget and implications of precipitation underestimation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liljedahl, Anna K; Hinzman, Larry D; Kane, Douglas L; Oechel, Walter C; Tweedie, Craig E; Zona, Donatella

    2017-08-01

    Difficulties in obtaining accurate precipitation measurements have limited meaningful hydrologic assessment for over a century due to performance challenges of conventional snowfall and rainfall gauges in windy environments. Here, we compare snowfall observations and bias adjusted snowfall to end-of-winter snow accumulation measurements on the ground for 16 years (1999-2014) and assess the implication of precipitation underestimation on the water balance for a low-gradient tundra wetland near Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska (2007-2009). In agreement with other studies, and not accounting for sublimation, conventional snowfall gauges captured 23-56% of end-of-winter snow accumulation. Once snowfall and rainfall are bias adjusted, long-term annual precipitation estimates more than double (from 123 to 274 mm), highlighting the risk of studies using conventional or unadjusted precipitation that dramatically under-represent water balance components. Applying conventional precipitation information to the water balance analysis produced consistent storage deficits (79 to 152 mm) that were all larger than the largest actual deficit (75 mm), which was observed in the unusually low rainfall summer of 2007. Year-to-year variability in adjusted rainfall (±33 mm) was larger than evapotranspiration (±13 mm). Measured interannual variability in partitioning of snow into runoff (29% in 2008 to 68% in 2009) in years with similar end-of-winter snow accumulation (180 and 164 mm, respectively) highlights the importance of the previous summer's rainfall (25 and 60 mm, respectively) on spring runoff production. Incorrect representation of precipitation can therefore have major implications for Arctic water budget descriptions that in turn can alter estimates of carbon and energy fluxes.

  10. The Arctic Circle

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Siobhan

    2016-04-01

    My name is Siobhan McDonald. I am a visual artist living and working in Dublin. My studio is based in The School of Science at University College Dublin where I was Artist in Residence 2013-2015. A fascination with time and the changeable nature of landmass has led to ongoing conversations with scientists and research institutions across the interweaving disciplines of botany, biology and geology. I am developing a body of work following a recent research trip to the North Pole where I studied the disappearing landscape of the Arctic. Prompted by my experience of the Arctic shelf receding, this new work addresses issues of the instability of the earth's materiality. The work is grounded in an investigation of material processes, exploring the dynamic forces that transform matter and energy. This project combines art and science in a fascinating exploration of one of the Earth's last relatively untouched wilderness areas - the High Arctic to bring audiences on journeys to both real and artistically re-imagined Arctic spaces. CRYSTALLINE'S pivotal process is collaboration: with The European Space Agency; curator Helen Carey; palaeontologist Prof. Jenny McElwain, UCD; and with composer Irene Buckley. CRYSTALLINE explores our desire to make corporeal contact with geological phenomena in Polar Regions. From January 2016, in my collaboration with Jenny McElwain, I will focus on the study of plants and atmospheres from the Arctic regions as far back as 400 million years ago, to explore the essential 'nature' that, invisible to the eye, acts as imaginary portholes into other times. This work will be informed by my arctic tracings of sounds and images recorded in the glaciers of this disappearing frozen landscape. In doing so, the urgencies around the tipping of natural balances in this fragile region will be revealed. The final work will emerge from my forthcoming residency at the ESA in spring 2016. Here I will conduct a series of workshops in ESA Madrid to work with

  11. Methylocella tundrae sp. nov., a novel methanotrophic bacterium from acidic tundra peatlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dedysh, Svetlana N; Berestovskaya, Yulia Y; Vasylieva, Lina V; Belova, Svetlana E; Khmelenina, Valentina N; Suzina, Natalia E; Trotsenko, Yuri A; Liesack, Werner; Zavarzin, George A

    2004-01-01

    A novel species, Methylocella tundrae, is proposed for three methanotrophic strains (T4T, TCh1 and TY1) isolated from acidic Sphagnum tundra peatlands. These strains are aerobic, Gram-negative, non-motile, dinitrogen-fixing rods that possess a soluble methane monooxygenase and utilize the serine pathway for carbon assimilation. Strains T4T, TCh1 and TY1 are moderately acidophilic organisms capable of growth between pH 4.2 and 7.5 (optimum 5.5-6.0) and between 5 and 30 degrees C (optimum 15 degrees C). The major phospholipid fatty acid is 18:1omega7c. The DNA G+C content of strain T4T is 63.3 mol%. The three strains possess almost identical 16S rRNA gene sequences and are most closely related to two previously identified species of Methylocella, Methylocella palustris (97% similarity) and Methylocella silvestris (97.5% similarity). DNA-DNA hybridization values of strain T4T with Methylocella palustris KT and Methylocella silvestris BL2T were respectively 27 and 36%. Thus, the tundra strains represent a novel species, for which the name Methylocella tundrae sp. nov. is proposed. Strain T4T (=DSM 15673T=NCIMB 13949T) is the type strain.

  12. Backyard of the Rich North: The Climate Change-related Vicious Circle of the Arctic Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Varis, Olli

    2006-01-01

    The Arctic zone is full of controversies, unknowns, contrasts, and challenges. The following example is enlightening. Saudi Arabia is a country that has been considered to have almost unlimited possibilities because of its enormous oil earnings. The country has US$60 thousand million purchasing power parity oil income each year for its mere 22 million inhabitants. Astonishingly, the Arctic zone's income from oil, gas, and minerals is at least as large as that of Saudi Arabia, modestly estimated, but the Arctic has less than 4 million people. Most money, however, flows away from the tundra, yet social and environmental problems remain there. A part of the side effect of consuming these resources - largely fossil fuels - returns to the Arctic in the form of greenhouse warming and all its consequences. The Arctic zone now warms at approximately double the rate of the world average

  13. Implications of a lightning-rich tundra biome for permafrost carbon and vegetation dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Y.; Veraverbeke, S.; Randerson, J. T.

    2017-12-01

    Lightning is a major ignition source of wildfires in circumpolar boreal forests but rarely occurs in arctic tundra. While theoretical and empirical work suggests that climate change will increase lightning strikes in temperate regions, much less is known about future changes in lightning across terrestrial ecosystems at high northern latitudes. Here we analyzed the spatial and temporal patterns of lightning flash rate (FR) from the satellite observations and surface detection networks. Regression models between the observed FR from the Optical Transient Detector on the MicroLab-1 satellite (later renamed OV-1) and meteorological parameters, including surface temperature (T), convective available potential energy (CAPE), and convective precipitation (CP) from ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) ERA-interim reanalysis, were established and assessed. We found that FR had significant linear correlations with CAPE and CP, and a strong non-linear relationship with T. The statistical model based on T and CP can reproduce most of the spatial and temporal variability in FR in the circumpolar region. By using the regression model and meteorological predictions from 24 earth system models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), we estimated the spatial distribution of FR by the end of the 21st century. Due to increases in surface temperature and convection, modeled FR shows substantial increase in northern biomes, including a 338% change in arctic tundra and a 185% change in regions with permafrost soil carbon reservoirs. These changes highlight a new mechanism by which permafrost carbon is vulnerable to the sustained impacts of climate warming. Increased fire in a warmer and lightning-rich future near the treeline has the potential to accelerate the northward migration of trees, which may further enhance warming and the abundance of lightning strikes.

  14. Photosynthetic response of Eriophorum vaginatum to in situ shrub shading in tussock tundra of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson-Smith, A.; Pattison, R.; Sullivan, P.; Welker, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    Eriophorum vaginatum (Cotton Grass) is an important component of moist acidic tussock tundra, a plant community that appears to be undergoing changes in species composition associated with climate warming. This species is one of the most abundant in the arctic tundra, and provides important forage for caribou in their calving grounds on the Arctic Coastal Plain and along their migratory route through the foothills of Alaska. Recently, remote sensing data, repeat photography and plot-level measurements have indicated that shrub abundance is increasing while Eriophorum abundance is either constant or decreasing. One possible explanation for the reduction of Eriophorum while Betula nana is increasing, is that lower light levels in the taller Betula canopy may be constraining Eriophorum photosynthesis and subsequently reducing plant growth. This study measured the effect of shading on the light response of Eriphorum leaf photosynthesis in four different sites near Toolik Lake Alaska during the summer of 2009. Measurements were taken in: 1) a shrub patch within the drift zone of the ITEX long term snow fence experiment, 2) an LTER shade house (50% shading) built in 1989, 3) water track site 1 and water track site 2 (i.e. control areas with no experimental manipulations) Average photosynthetic rates for Eriophorum at a light level of 800 PAR varied from 3.8 to 10.9 umol m-2 s-1 and were not significantly different in shaded and unshaded areas. This study indicates that shading by shrubs does not appear to be altering the light response of Eriophorum nor does long-term shading by itself eliminate Eriophorum from the community. An alternative explanation for the decline of Eriophorum while Betula increases in abundance under changing climates may be related to plant and soil mineral nutrition, plant water relations or biotic processes involving herbivores.

  15. International student Arctic Field School on Permafrost and urban areas study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suter, L.; Tolmanov, V. A.; Grebenets, V. I.; Streletskiy, D. A.; Shiklomanov, N. I.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic regions are experiencing drastic climatic and environmental changes. These changes are exacerbated in the Russian Arctic, where active resource development resulted in further land cover transformations, especially near large settlements. There is a growing need in multidisciplinary studies of climate and human- induced changes in the Arctic cities. In order to fill this gap, International Arctic Field Course on Permafrostand Northern Studies was organized in July 2017 to the Russian Arctic. The course was organized under the umbrella of the Arctic PIRE project in cooperation between the George Washington University, Moscow State University, and the Russian Center for Arctic Development. The course attracted twenty undergraduate and graduate students from Russia, USA, and EU countries and involved instructors specializing in Arctic system science, geocryology, permafrost engineering, and urban sustainability. The field course was focused on studying typical natural Arctic landscapes of tundra and forest tundra; transformations of natural landscapes in urban and industrial areas around Vorkuta and Salekhard; construction and planning on permafrost and field methods and techniques, including permafrost and soil temperature monitoring, active layer thickness (ALT) measurements, studying of cryogenic processes, stratigraphic and soil investigations, vegetation and microclimate studies. The students were also engaged in a discussion of climatic change and historical development of urban areas on permafrost,and were exposed to examples of both active and passive construction principles while conducting a field survey of permafrost related building deformations. During the course, students collected more than 800 ALT and soil temperature measurements in typical landscapes around Vorkuta and Salekhard to determine effects of soil and vegetation factors on ground thermal regime; surveyed several hundreds of buildings to determine locations with most deformation

  16. 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

  17. The Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petersen, H.; Meltofte, H.; Rysgaard, S.; Rasch, M.; Jonasson, S.; Christensen, T.R.; Friborg, T.; Soegaard, H.; Pedersen, S.A.

    2001-01-01

    Global climate change in the Arctic is a growing concern. Research has already documented pronounced changes, and models predict that increases in temperature from anthropogenic influences could be considerably higher than the global average. The impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems are complex and difficult to predict because of the many interactions within ecosystem, and between many concurrently changing environmental variables. Despite the global consequences of change in the Arctic climate the monitoring of basic abiotic as well as biotic parameters are not adequate to assess the impact of global climate change. The uneven geographical location of present monitoring stations in the Arctic limits the ability to understand the climate system. The impact of previous variations and potential future changes to ecosystems is not well understood and need to be addressed. At this point, there is no consensus of scientific opinion on how much of the current changes that are due to anthropogenic influences or to natural variation. Regardless of the cause, there is a need to investigate and assess current observations and their effects to the Arctic. In this chapter examples from both terrestrial and marine ecosystems from ongoing monitoring and research projects are given. (LN)

  18. Correlated declines in Pacific arctic snow and sea ice cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Robert P.; Douglas, David C.; Belchansky, Gennady I.; Drobot, Sheldon

    2005-01-01

    Simulations of future climate suggest that global warming will reduce Arctic snow and ice cover, resulting in decreased surface albedo (reflectivity). Lowering of the surface albedo leads to further warming by increasing solar absorption at the surface. This phenomenon is referred to as “temperature–albedo feedback.” Anticipation of such a feedback is one reason why scientists look to the Arctic for early indications of global warming. Much of the Arctic has warmed significantly. Northern Hemisphere snow cover has decreased, and sea ice has diminished in area and thickness. As reported in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment in 2004, the trends are considered to be outside the range of natural variability, implicating global warming as an underlying cause. Changing climatic conditions in the high northern latitudes have influenced biogeochemical cycles on a broad scale. Warming has already affected the sea ice, the tundra, the plants, the animals, and the indigenous populations that depend on them. Changing annual cycles of snow and sea ice also affect sources and sinks of important greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane), further complicating feedbacks involving the global budgets of these important constituents. For instance, thawing permafrost increases the extent of tundra wetlands and lakes, releasing greater amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Variable sea ice cover may affect the hemispheric carbon budget by altering the ocean–atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide. There is growing concern that amplification of global warming in the Arctic will have far-reaching effects on lower latitude climate through these feedback mechanisms. Despite the diverse and convincing observational evidence that the Arctic environment is changing, it remains unclear whether these changes are anthropogenically forced or result from natural variations of the climate system. A better understanding of what controls the seasonal distributions of snow and ice

  19. Modeling the Observed Microwave Emission from Shallow Multi-Layer Tundra Snow Using DMRT-ML

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nastaran Saberi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The observed brightness temperatures (Tb at 37 GHz from typical moderate density dry snow in mid-latitudes decreases with increasing snow water equivalent (SWE due to volume scattering of the ground emissions by the overlying snow. At a certain point, however, as SWE increases, the emission from the snowpack offsets the scattering of the sub-nivean emission. In tundra snow, the Tb slope reversal occurs at shallower snow thicknesses. While it has been postulated that the inflection point in the seasonal time series of observed Tb V 37 GHz of tundra snow is controlled by the formation of a thick wind slab layer, the simulation of this effect has yet to be confirmed. Therefore, the Dense Media Radiative Transfer Theory for Multi Layered (DMRT-ML snowpack is used to predict the passive microwave response from airborne observations over shallow, dense, slab-layered tundra snow. Airborne radiometer observations coordinated with ground-based in situ snow measurements were acquired in the Canadian high Arctic near Eureka, NT, in April 2011. The DMRT-ML was parameterized with the in situ snow measurements using a two-layer snowpack and run in two configurations: a depth hoar and a wind slab dominated pack. With these two configurations, the calibrated DMRT-ML successfully predicted the Tb V 37 GHz response (R correlation of 0.83 when compared with the observed airborne Tb footprints containing snow pits measurements. Using this calibrated model, the DMRT-ML was applied to the whole study region. At the satellite observation scale, observations from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observing System (AMSR-E over the study area reflected seasonal differences between Tb V 37 GHz and Tb V 19 GHz that supports the hypothesis of the development of an early season volume scattering depth hoar layer, followed by the growth of the late season emission-dominated wind slab layer. This research highlights the necessity to consider the two

  20. Wind power in Arctic regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lundsager, P.; Ahm, P.; Madsen, B.; Krogsgaard, P.

    1993-07-01

    Arctic or semi-arctic regions are often endowed with wind resources adequate for a viable production of electricity from the wind. Only limited efforts have so far been spent to introduce and to demonstrate the obvious synergy of combining wind power technology with the problems and needs of electricity generation in Arctic regions. Several factors have created a gap preventing the wind power technology carrying its full role in this context, including a certain lack of familiarity with the technology on the part of the end-users, the local utilities and communities, and a lack of commonly agreed techniques to adapt the same technology for Arctic applications on the part of the manufacturers. This report is part of a project that intends to contribute to bridging this gap. The preliminary results of a survey conducted by the project are included in this report, which is a working document for an international seminar held on June 3-4, 1993, at Risoe National Laboratory, Denmark. Following the seminar a final report will be published. It is intended that the final report will serve as a basis for a sustained, international effort to develop the wind power potential of the Arctic and semi-arctic regions. The project is carried out by a project group formed by Risoe, PA Energy and BTM Consult. The project is sponsored by the Danish Energy Agency of the Danish Ministry of Energy through grant no. ENS-51171/93-0008. (au)

  1. Observing Arctic Ecology using Networked Infomechanical Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healey, N. C.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Hollister, R. D.; Tweedie, C. E.; Welker, J. M.; Gould, W. A.

    2012-12-01

    Understanding ecological dynamics is important for investigation into the potential impacts of climate change in the Arctic. Established in the early 1990's, the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) began observational inquiry of plant phenology, plant growth, community composition, and ecosystem properties as part of a greater effort to study changes across the Arctic. Unfortunately, these observations are labor intensive and time consuming, greatly limiting their frequency and spatial coverage. We have expanded the capability of ITEX to analyze ecological phenomenon with improved spatial and temporal resolution through the use of Networked Infomechanical Systems (NIMS) as part of the Arctic Observing Network (AON) program. The systems exhibit customizable infrastructure that supports a high level of versatility in sensor arrays in combination with information technology that allows for adaptable configurations to numerous environmental observation applications. We observe stereo and static time-lapse photography, air and surface temperature, incoming and outgoing long and short wave radiation, net radiation, and hyperspectral reflectance that provides critical information to understanding how vegetation in the Arctic is responding to ambient climate conditions. These measurements are conducted concurrent with ongoing manual measurements using ITEX protocols. Our NIMS travels at a rate of three centimeters per second while suspended on steel cables that are ~1 m from the surface spanning transects ~50 m in length. The transects are located to span soil moisture gradients across a variety of land cover types including dry heath, moist acidic tussock tundra, shrub tundra, wet meadows, dry meadows, and water tracks. We have deployed NIMS at four locations on the North Slope of Alaska, USA associated with 1 km2 ARCSS vegetation study grids including Barrow, Atqasuk, Toolik Lake, and Imnavait Creek. A fifth system has been deployed in Thule, Greenland beginning in

  2. Arctic bioremediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lidell, B.V.; Smallbeck, D.R.; Ramert, P.C.

    1991-01-01

    Cleanup of oil and diesel spills on gravel pads in the Arctic has typically been accomplished by utilizing a water flushing technique to remove the gross contamination or excavating the spill area and placing the material into a lined pit, or a combination of both. Enhancing the biological degradation of hydrocarbon (bioremediation) by adding nutrients to the spill area has been demonstrated to be an effective cleanup tool in more temperate locations. However, this technique has never been considered for restoration in the Arctic because the process of microbial degradation of hydrocarbon in this area is very slow. The short growing season and apparent lack of nutrients in the gravel pads were thought to be detrimental to using bioremediation to cleanup Arctic oil spills. This paper discusses the potential to utilize bioremediation as an effective method to clean up hydrocarbon spills in the northern latitudes

  3. Methods for measuring arctic and alpine shrub growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Myers-Smith, Isla; Hallinger, Martin; Blok, Daan

    2015-01-01

    Shrubs have increased in abundance and dominance in arctic and alpine regions in recent decades. This often dramatic change, likely due to climate warming, has the potential to alter both the structure and function of tundra ecosystems. The analysis of shrub growth is improving our understanding...... of tundra vegetation dynamics and environmental changes. However, dendrochronological methods developed for trees, need to be adapted for the morphology and growth eccentricity of shrubs. Here, we review current and developing methods to measure radial and axial growth, estimate age, and assess growth...... dynamics in relation to environmental variables. Recent advances in sampling methods, analysis and applications have improved our ability to investigate growth and recruitment dynamics of shrubs. However, to extrapolate findings to the biome scale, future dendroecologicalwork will require improved...

  4. Changing Arctic ecosystems: resilience of caribou to climatic shifts in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D.; Adams, Layne G.; Whalen, Mary E.; Pearce, John M.

    2014-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative strives to inform key resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information and forecasts for current and future ecosystem response to a warming climate. Over the past 5 years, a focal area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the North Slope of Alaska. This region has experienced a warming trend over the past 60 years, yet the rate of change has been varied across the North Slope, leading scientists to question the future response and resilience of wildlife populations, such as caribou (Rangifer tarandus), that rely on tundra habitats for forage. Future changes in temperature and precipitation to coastal wet sedge and upland low shrub tundra are expected, with unknown consequences for caribou that rely on these plant communities for food. Understanding how future environmental change may affect caribou migration, nutrition, and reproduction is a focal question being addressed by the USGS CAE research. Results will inform management agencies in Alaska and people that rely on caribou for food.

  5. Arctic bioremediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liddell, B.V.; Smallbeck, D.R.; Ramert, P.C.

    1991-01-01

    Cleanup of oil and diesel spills on gravel pads in the Arctic has typically been accomplished by utilizing a water flushing technique to remove the gross contamination or excavating the spill area and placing the material into a lined pit, or a combination of both. This paper discusses the potential to utilize bioremediation as an effective method to clean up hydrocarbon spills in the northern latitudes. Discussed are the results of a laboratory bioremediation study which simulated microbial degradation of hydrocarbon under arctic conditions

  6. DNA-based and culture-based characterization of a hydrocarbon-degrading consortium enriched from Arctic soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomassin-Lacroix, E. J. M.; Reimer, K. J. [Royal Military College, Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Kingston, On (Canada); Yu, Z.; Mohn, W. W. [British Columbia Univ., Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, Vancouver, BC (Canada); Eriksson, M. [Royal Inst. of Technology, Dept. of Biotechnology, Stockholm (Sweden)

    2001-12-01

    Oil spills are fairly common in polar tundra regions, including remote locations, and are a threat to the relatively fragile ecosystem. Remediation must be done economically and with minimum additional damage. Bioremediation is considered to be the appropriate technology, although its application in polar tundra regions is not well documented. Most studies of hydrocarbon remediation in polar regions have concerned marine oil spills, while a few studies have demonstrated on-site polar tundra soil remediation. A few of these demonstrated the presence of psychrotolerant hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria in polar tundra soils. Because fuels are complex mixtures of hydrocarbons, microbial consortia rather than pure cultures may be the most effective agents in degrading fuels. Despite their potential advantages for bioaugmentation applications, consortia are difficult to characterize and monitor. Molecular methods based on DNA analysis partially address these difficulties. One such approach is to randomly clone rRNA gene (rDNA) fragments and to sequence as a set of clones. The relative abundance of individual sequences in the clone library is related to the relative abundance of the corresponding organism in the community. In this study a psychrotolerant, fuel-degrading consortium was enriched with Arctic tundra soil. The enrichment substrate for the consortium was Jet A-1 fuel, which is very similar to Arctic diesel fuel, a common contaminant in the region. The objectives of the study were to (1) characterize thr consortium by DNA- and culture-based methods, (2) develop quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays for populations of predominant consortium members, and (3) determine the dynamics of those populations during incubation of the consortium. Result showed that is possible to quantitatively monitor members of a microbial consortium, with potential application for bioremediation of Arctic tundra soil. The relative abundance of consortium members was found to vary

  7. 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...

  8. Environmental problems associated with Arctic development especially in Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    West, G. C.

    1976-10-01

    Exploration and extraction of mineral and petroleum resources in the arctic tundra and subarctic taiga regions of the world has potential impacts on the environment, wildlife, and human health and safety. Transportation, especially over low wet-tundra in summer, causes long-term changes in vegetation by reducing insulation to the underlying permafrost. Gravel laid directly on the tundra mat, makes the most suitable permanent road-bed. However this causes problems such as spreading of dust, impoundment of water, behavioral barricading of animals, alteration of river channels, and siltation of streams. Anadromous fishes are a major food alteration of stream channels or siltation of rivers can affect their movement and reproduction. Oil-spills in aquatic systems are harder to control and clean up than terrestrial ones, and recovery of ponds takes several years. The oil-rich outer-continental shelves in the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering Seas, now under exploration for oil, are especially sensitive. They contain unique populations of marine mammals and birds. Human habitation of the Arctic requires transport of food, fuel, and construction materials, and disposal of refuse and wastes which, due to the permafrost-underlain vegetative mat, is difficult. Heating by fossil fuels results in ice-fogs in winter and accumulation of atmospheric pollutants at ground-level during thermal inversions at all seasons. Perhaps the greatest impact is the increased intervention of the human population. Where native people were previously only sparsely settled or nomadic in the tundra, and on coasts where they congregated, now the economic need for resources has resulted in increased pressure overall which will result in fewer habitats for wildlife, destruction of wilderness, and increased access to humans for further exploration and recreation.

  9. Luxury consumption of soil nutrients: a possible competitive strategy in above-ground and below-ground biomass allocation and root morphology for slow-growing arctic vegetation?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijk, van M.T.; Williams, M.; Gough, L.; Hobbie, S.E.; Shaver, G.R.

    2003-01-01

    1 A field-experiment was used to determine how plant species might retain dominance in an arctic ecosystem receiving added nutrients. We both measured and modelled the above-ground and below-ground biomass allocation and root morphology of non-acidic tussock tundra near Toolik Lake, Alaska, after 4

  10. A SCAT manual for Arctic regions and cold climates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Owens, E.H.; Sergy, G.A.

    2004-01-01

    The Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) has been used on many oil spills in a variety of ways to meet a broad range of specific spill conditions. SCAT was created in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound Alaska. Environment Canada developed generic second-generation SCAT protocols to standardize the documentation and description of oiled shorelines. As the SCAT process becomes more widely accepted and used during spill response operations, the need for flexibility and modifications has grown. For that reason, the Arctic SCAT Manual was created to address the need for guidelines, standardized definitions, standardized terminology and forms that can be applied for oiled shorelines or riverbanks in Arctic environments and cold climates. Unique Arctic shoreline types such as tundra cliffs, inundated low-lying tundra and peat shorelines are included in the manual along with a new set of shoreline oiling forms for marine coasts, tidal flats, wetlands, lake shores, riverbanks, and stream banks. A First Responders guide has been included with the manual to help local inhabitants during the initial phases of an oiled shoreline assessment. 5 refs., 2 tabs., 20 figs

  11. Progress report for project modeling Arctic barrier island-lagoon system response to projected Arctic warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erikson, Li H.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Richmond, Bruce M.; Storlazzi, Curt; B.M. Jones,

    2012-01-01

    Changes in Arctic coastal ecosystems in response to global warming may be some of the most severe on the planet. A better understanding and analysis of the rates at which these changes are expected to occur over the coming decades is crucial in order to delineate high-priority areas that are likely to be affected by climate changes. In this study we investigate the likelihood of changes to habitat-supporting barrier island – lagoon systems in response to projected changes in atmospheric and oceanographic forcing associated with Arctic warming. To better understand the relative importance of processes responsible for the current and future coastal landscape, key parameters related to increasing arctic temperatures are investigated and used to establish boundary conditions for models that simulate barrier island migration and inundation of deltaic deposits and low-lying tundra. The modeling effort investigates the dominance and relative importance of physical processes shaping the modern Arctic coastline as well as decadal responses due to projected conditions out to the year 2100.

  12. Fine-scale population genetic structure of arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) in the High Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Sandra; Quiles, Adrien; Lambourdière, Josie; Berteaux, Dominique; Lalis, Aude

    2017-12-01

    The arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) is a circumpolar species inhabiting all accessible Arctic tundra habitats. The species forms a panmictic population over areas connected by sea ice, but recently, kin clustering and population differentiation were detected even in regions where sea ice was present. The purpose of this study was to examine the genetic structure of a population in the High Arctic using a robust panel of highly polymorphic microsatellites. We analyzed the genotypes of 210 individuals from Bylot Island, Nunavut, Canada, using 15 microsatellite loci. No pattern of isolation-by-distance was detected, but a spatial principal component analysis (sPCA) revealed the presence of genetic subdivisions. Overall, the sPCA revealed two spatially distinct genetic clusters corresponding to the northern and southern parts of the study area, plus another subdivision within each of these two clusters. The north-south genetic differentiation partly matched the distribution of a snow goose colony, which could reflect a preference for settling into familiar ecological environments. Secondary clusters may result from higher-order social structures (neighbourhoods) that use landscape features to delimit their borders. The cryptic genetic subdivisions found in our population may highlight ecological processes deserving further investigations in arctic foxes at larger, regional spatial scales.

  13. Relocation of major ions in snow along the tundra-taiga ecotone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pomeroy, J.W.; Marsh, P. (Environment Canada, Saskatoon (Canada)); Lesack, L. (Simon Fraser Univeristy, Burnaby, (Canada))

    1993-01-01

    The chemistry of seasonal snowcovers north of Unuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada was stratified by biophysical landscape. In this region, deposition of ions in winter occurs largely through the redistribution of wind-blown snow with accumulations in forest-edges and valley sides 8 to 12 times that of the open tundra. While dominated by this snow redistribution, the loading of most ions, except for SO[sub 4][sup 2-], does not scale exactly with that of snow, there being several mechanisms by which ion concentrations become relatively enriched or depleted in various landscape units. Vaporisation during temperature-gradient metamorphism in shallow-snow and uptake during either photochemical reactions or gaseous scavenging to well-exposed snow transformed concentrations of NO[sub 3][sup -] by 50%. Dry deposition of aerosols to forested terrain and valley bottoms enriched Cl[sup -], Na[sup +], Mg[sup 2]-[sup +], K[sup +] and Ca[sup 2+] concentrations up to more than two-fold, however scavenging of aerosols to blowing snow particles contributed an additional 40% to the sea-salt enrichment and 20% to the Ca[sup 2+] enrichment in wind-blown treeline forests. It is concluded that central measurements of snow chemistry in the Arctic cannot be reliably extrapolated without reference to changes caused by over-winter physical and chemical metamorphic processes. Associating the physical/chemical changes with readily identifiable Arctic landscape units suggests a simple and robust method for spatial extrapolation. (au) (26 refs.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Bååth, Erland

    2013-01-01

    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 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 (PLFA) and neutral lipid fatty acid (NLFA) profiles. The function of the microbial community was also differently affected, as indicated by stable isotope probing of PLFA and NLFA. We demonstrate that two decades of fertilization have favored fungi relative to bacteria, and increased the turnover 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. Furthermore, the different functional responses suggest that the biomass increase found in both fertilized and warmed plots was mediated via different mechanisms.

  15. Calibration and Validation of Tundra Plant Functional Type Fractional Cover Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macander, M. J.; Nelson, P.; Frost, G. V., Jr.

    2017-12-01

    Fractional cover maps are being developed for selected tundra plant functional types (PFTs) across >500,000 sq. km of arctic Alaska and adjacent Canada at 30 m resolution. Training and validation data include a field-based training dataset based on point-intercept sampling method at hundreds of plots spanning bioclimatic and geomorphic gradients. We also compiled 50 blocks of 1-5 cm resolution RGB image mosaics in Alaska (White Mountains, North Slope, and Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta) and the Yukon Territory. The mosaics and associated surface and canopy height models were developed using a consumer drone and structure from motion processing. We summarized both the in situ measurements and drone imagery to determine cover of two PFTs: Low and Tall Deciduous Shrub, and Light Fruticose/Foliose Lichen. We applied these data to train 2 m (limited extent) and 30 m (wall to wall) maps of PFT fractional cover for shrubs and lichen. Predictors for 2 m models were commercial satellite imagery such as WorldView-2 and Worldview-3, analyzed on the ABoVE Science Cloud. Predictors for 30 m models were primarily reflectance composites and spectral metrics developed from Landsat imagery, using Google Earth Engine. We compared the performance of models developed from the in situ and drone-derived training data and identify best practices to improve the performance and efficiency of arctic PFT fractional cover mapping.

  16. Permafrost collapse shifts alpine tundra to a carbon source but reduces N2O and CH4 release on the northern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, C.

    2017-12-01

    Important unknowns remain about how abrupt permafrost collapse (thermokarst) affects carbon balance and greenhouse gas flux, limiting our ability to predict the magnitude and timing of the permafrost carbon feedback. We measured monthly, growing-season fluxes of CO2, CH4, and N2O at a large thermokarst feature in alpine tundra on the northern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Thermokarst formation disrupted plant growth and soil hydrology, shifting the ecosystem from a growing-season carbon sink to a weak source, but decreasing feature-level CH4 and N2O flux. Temperature-corrected ecosystem respiration from decomposing permafrost soil was 2.7 to 9.5-fold higher than in similar features from Arctic and Boreal regions, suggesting that warmer and dryer conditions on the northern QTP could accelerate carbon decomposition following permafrost collapse. N2O flux was similar to the highest values reported for Arctic ecosystems, and was 60% higher from exposed mineral soil on the feature floor, confirming Arctic observations of coupled nitrification and denitrification in collapsed soils. Q10 values for respiration were typically over 4, suggesting high temperature sensitivity of thawed carbon. Taken together, these results suggest that QTP permafrost carbon in alpine tundra is highly vulnerable to mineralization following thaw, and that N2O production could be an important non-carbon permafrost climate feedback.

  17. Arctic Messages: Arctic Research in the Vocabulary of Poets and Artists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samsel, F.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic Messages is a series of prints created by a multidisciplinary team designed to build understanding and encourage dialogue about the changing Arctic ecosystems and the impacts on global weather patterns. Our team comprised of Arctic researchers, a poet, a visual artist, photographers and visualization experts set out to blend the vocabularies of our disciplines in order to provide entry into the content for diverse audiences. Arctic Messages is one facet of our broader efforts experimenting with mediums of communication able to provide entry to those of us outside scientific of fields. We believe that the scientific understanding of change presented through the languages art will speak to our humanity as well as our intellect. The prints combine poetry, painting, visualization, and photographs, drawn from the Arctic field studies of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments research team at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The artistic team interviewed the scientists, read their papers and poured over their field blogs. The content and concepts are designed to portray the wonder of nature, the complexity of the science and the dedication of the researchers. Smith brings to life the intertwined connection between the research efforts, the ecosystems and the scientist's experience. Breathtaking photography of the research site is accompanied by Samsel's drawings and paintings of the ecosystem relationships and geological formations. Together they provide entry to the variety and wonder of life on the Arctic tundra and that resting quietly in the permafrost below. Our team has experimented with many means of presentation from complex interactive systems to quiet individual works. Here we are presenting a series of prints, each one based on a single thread of the research or the scientist's experience but containing intertwined relationships similar to the ecosystems they represent. Earlier interactive systems, while engaging, were not tuned to those seeking

  18. Changing seasonality of Arctic hydrology disrupts key biotic linkages in Arctic aquatic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deegan, L.; MacKenzie, C.; Peterson, B. J.; Fishscape Project

    2011-12-01

    Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) is an important circumpolar species that provide a model system for understanding the impacts of changing seasonality on arctic ecosystem function. Grayling serve as food for other biota, including lake trout, birds and humans, and act as top-down controls in stream ecosystems. In Arctic tundra streams, grayling spend their summers in streams but are obligated to move back into deep overwintering lakes in the fall. Climatic change that affects the seasonality of river hydrology could have a significant impact on grayling populations: grayling may leave overwintering lakes sooner in the spring and return later in the fall due to a longer open water season, but the migration could be disrupted by drought due to increased variability in discharge. In turn, a shorter overwintering season may impact lake trout dynamics in the lakes, which may rely on the seasonal inputs of stream nutrients in the form of migrating grayling into these oligotrophic lakes. To assess how shifting seasonality of Arctic river hydrology may disrupt key trophic linkages within and between lake and stream components of watersheds on the North Slope of the Brooks Mountain Range, Alaska, we have undertaken new work on grayling and lake trout population and food web dynamics. We use Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags coupled with stream-width antenna units to monitor grayling movement across Arctic tundra watersheds during the summer, and into overwintering habitat in the fall. Results indicate that day length may prime grayling migration readiness, but that flooding events are likely the cue grayling use to initiate migration in to overwintering lakes. Many fish used high discharge events in the stream as an opportunity to move into lakes. Stream and lake derived stable isotopes also indicate that lake trout rely on these seasonally transported inputs of stream nutrients for growth. Thus, changes in the seasonality of river hydrology may have broader

  19. Tundra a boreální lesy Kanady. 3. Sukcese na pingu a rozhraní les-tundra

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rusek, Josef

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 55, č. 3 (2007), s. 121-123 ISSN 0044-4812 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60660521 Keywords : Canadian tundra * boreal forests * succession on a pingo Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  20. Temperature-induced recruitment pulses of Arctic dwarf shrub communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Büntgen, Ulf; Hellmann, L.; Tegel, W.; Normand, S.; Myers-Smith, I.; Kirdyanov, A. V.; Nievergelt, D.; Schweingruber, F. H.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 103, č. 2 (2015), s. 489-501 ISSN 0022-0477 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.20.0248 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : recent climate-change * tree-line * environmental-change * forest limit * northern siberia * pinus-sylvestris * kola-peninsula * carbon-cycle * picea-abies * polar urals * Arctic tundra * cambial activity * climate change * dendroecology * dwarf shrubs * East Greenland * plant longevity * plant population and community dynamics * vegetation dynamics * wood anatomy Subject RIV: DG - Athmosphere Sciences, Meteorology Impact factor: 6.180, year: 2015

  1. Genomics of Arctic cod

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Robert E.; Sage, George K.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Gravley, Megan C.; Menning, Damian; Talbot, Sandra L.

    2017-01-01

    The Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) is an abundant marine fish that plays a vital role in the marine food web. To better understand the population genetic structure and the role of natural selection acting on the maternally-inherited mitochondrial genome (mitogenome), a molecule often associated with adaptations to temperature, we analyzed genetic data collected from 11 biparentally-inherited nuclear microsatellite DNA loci and nucleotide sequence data from from the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cytochrome b (cytb) gene and, for a subset of individuals, the entire mitogenome. In addition, due to potential of species misidentification with morphologically similar Polar cod (Arctogadus glacialis), we used ddRAD-Seq data to determine the level of divergence between species and identify species-specific markers. Based on the findings presented here, Arctic cod across the Pacific Arctic (Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas) comprise a single panmictic population with high genetic diversity compared to other gadids. High genetic diversity was indicated across all 13 protein-coding genes in the mitogenome. In addition, we found moderate levels of genetic diversity in the nuclear microsatellite loci, with highest diversity found in the Chukchi Sea. Our analyses of markers from both marker classes (nuclear microsatellite fragment data and mtDNA cytb sequence data) failed to uncover a signal of microgeographic genetic structure within Arctic cod across the three regions, within the Alaskan Beaufort Sea, or between near-shore or offshore habitats. Further, data from a subset of mitogenomes revealed no genetic differentiation between Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas populations for Arctic cod, Saffron cod (Eleginus gracilis), or Walleye pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus). However, we uncovered significant differences in the distribution of microsatellite alleles between the southern Chukchi and central and eastern Beaufort Sea samples of Arctic cod. Finally, using ddRAD-Seq data, we

  2. The origin of lead in the organic horizon of tundra soils: Atmospheric deposition, plant translocation from the mineral soil or soil mineral mixing?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klaminder, Jonatan, E-mail: jonatan.klaminder@emg.umu.se [Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umea University, 90187 Umea (Sweden); Farmer, John G. [School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JN, Scotland (United Kingdom); MacKenzie, Angus B. [Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, East Kilbride, G75 0QF, Scotland (United Kingdom)

    2011-09-15

    Knowledge of the anthropogenic contribution to lead (Pb) concentrations in surface soils in high latitude ecosystems is central to our understanding of the extent of atmospheric Pb contamination. In this study, we reconstructed fallout of Pb at a remote sub-arctic region by using two ombrotrophic peat cores and assessed the extent to which this airborne Pb is able to explain the isotopic composition ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb ratio) in the O-horizon of tundra soils. In the peat cores, long-range atmospheric fallout appeared to be the main source of Pb as indicated by temporal trends that followed the known European pollution history, i.e. accelerated fallout at the onset of industrialization and peak fallout around the 1960s-70s. The Pb isotopic composition of the O-horizon of podzolic tundra soil ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb = 1.170 {+-} 0.002; mean {+-} SD) overlapped with that of the peat ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb = 1.16 {+-} 0.01) representing a proxy for atmospheric aerosols, but was clearly different from that of the parent soil material ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb = 1.22-1.30). This finding indicated that long-range fallout of atmospheric Pb is the main driver of Pb accumulation in podzolic tundra soil. In O-horizons of tundra soil weakly affected by cryoturbation (cryosols) however, the input of Pb from the underlying mineral soil increased as indicated by {sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb ratios of up to 1.20, a value closer to that of local soil minerals. Nevertheless, atmospheric Pb appeared to be the dominant source in this soil compartment. We conclude that Pb concentrations in the O-horizon of studied tundra soils - despite being much lower than in boreal soils and representative for one of the least exposed sites to atmospheric Pb contaminants in Europe - are mainly controlled by atmospheric inputs from distant anthropogenic sources. - Highlights: {yields} We used Pb isotopic composition to aid interpretation of Pb profiles in tundra soils. {yields} Ombrotrophic peat

  3. The origin of lead in the organic horizon of tundra soils: Atmospheric deposition, plant translocation from the mineral soil or soil mineral mixing?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klaminder, Jonatan; Farmer, John G.; MacKenzie, Angus B.

    2011-01-01

    Knowledge of the anthropogenic contribution to lead (Pb) concentrations in surface soils in high latitude ecosystems is central to our understanding of the extent of atmospheric Pb contamination. In this study, we reconstructed fallout of Pb at a remote sub-arctic region by using two ombrotrophic peat cores and assessed the extent to which this airborne Pb is able to explain the isotopic composition ( 206 Pb/ 207 Pb ratio) in the O-horizon of tundra soils. In the peat cores, long-range atmospheric fallout appeared to be the main source of Pb as indicated by temporal trends that followed the known European pollution history, i.e. accelerated fallout at the onset of industrialization and peak fallout around the 1960s-70s. The Pb isotopic composition of the O-horizon of podzolic tundra soil ( 206 Pb/ 207 Pb = 1.170 ± 0.002; mean ± SD) overlapped with that of the peat ( 206 Pb/ 207 Pb = 1.16 ± 0.01) representing a proxy for atmospheric aerosols, but was clearly different from that of the parent soil material ( 206 Pb/ 207 Pb = 1.22-1.30). This finding indicated that long-range fallout of atmospheric Pb is the main driver of Pb accumulation in podzolic tundra soil. In O-horizons of tundra soil weakly affected by cryoturbation (cryosols) however, the input of Pb from the underlying mineral soil increased as indicated by 206 Pb/ 207 Pb ratios of up to 1.20, a value closer to that of local soil minerals. Nevertheless, atmospheric Pb appeared to be the dominant source in this soil compartment. We conclude that Pb concentrations in the O-horizon of studied tundra soils - despite being much lower than in boreal soils and representative for one of the least exposed sites to atmospheric Pb contaminants in Europe - are mainly controlled by atmospheric inputs from distant anthropogenic sources. - Highlights: → We used Pb isotopic composition to aid interpretation of Pb profiles in tundra soils. → Ombrotrophic peat cores were used as records of atmospheric inputs of Pb.

  4. Decadal changes in tundra land cover on Yamal Peninsula, Northwest Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, B. C.; Kumpula, T.; Macias-Fauria, M.

    2017-12-01

    The Yamal-Nenets Okrug in Russia has experienced significant changes in land use and climate in recent decades. Average year-round air temperatures have increased ca. 2°C since the 1970's, with much - but not all - of the warming taking place in winter. In association with ongoing summer warming, the annual growth of erect deciduous shrubs has been accelerating while growing season seasonality has diminished, characterized by shifts in the spatial patterns of key phenological parameters. We prepared LANDSAT-derived land cover classifications for 1988 and 2014 using change detection analysis, supported by extensive ground truthing bolstered with data from Very High-Resolution (VHR) imagery (e.g. Quickbird-2, Worldview-2/3). Research was conducted within summer reindeer pastures utilized by the Yarsalinksi sovhoz, whose animals are collectively owned, as well as many privately-owned herds. The area represents bioclimatic Subzone D of the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map and covers about 8500 km2. This is a key subzone for several reasons: (1) it includes Bovanenkovo, the first and largest gas deposit on Yamal to be developed; (2) it is a zone of extremely active periglacial processes (e.g. active layer detachment slides, lake drainage and recent methane-mediated craters); and (3) it is characterized by steadily increasing growth of tall willow shrubs (Salix spp.), which comprise an important source of fodder by reindeer migrating through the area in summer. These results are unique as our dataset: (1) covers sizable inland regions lying entirely within the Russian tundra zone; (2) derives from extensive ground truthing; and (3) treats all plant taxonomic groups (vascular, bryophytes, lichens) at the plot scale. Here we present the first such classifications, based on LANDSAT images from 1988 and 2014. We identify 16 classes ranging from bare ground and drained lakes, anthropogenic disturbances, through several wetland types, to various dwarf and erect tundra shrub

  5. Detection of tundra trail damage near Barrow, Alaska using remote imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkel, K. M.; Eisner, W. R.; Kim, C. J.

    2017-09-01

    In the past several decades, the use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) has proliferated in many Arctic communities in North America. One example is the village of Barrow, Alaska. This coastal community has only local roads, so all access to the interior utilizes off-road machines. These 4-wheel vehicles are the primary means of tundra traverse and transport in summer by hunters and berry-pickers, and by village residents accessing summer camps. Traveling cross-country is difficult due to the large number of thermokarst lakes, wetlands, and streams, and tundra trails tend to follow dryer higher ground while avoiding areas of high microrelief such as high-centered ice-wedge polygons. Thus, modern ATV trails tend to follow the margins of drained or partially drained thermokarst lake basins where it is flat and relatively dry, and these trails are heavily used. The deeply-ribbed tires of the heavy and powerful ATVs cause damage by destroying the vegetation and disturbing the underlying organic soil. Exposure of the dark soil enhances summer thaw and leads to local thermokarst of the ice-rich upper permafrost. The damage increases over time as vehicles continue to follow the same track, and sections eventually become unusable; this is especially true where the trail crosses ice-wedge troughs. Deep subsidence in the ponded troughs results in ATV users veering to avoid the wettest area, which leads to a widening of the damaged area. Helicopter surveys, site visits, and collection of ground penetrating radar data were combined with time series analysis of high-resolution aerial and satellite imagery for the period 1955-2014. The analysis reveals that there are 507 km of off-road trails on the Barrow Peninsula. About 50% of the total trail length was developed before 1955 in association with resource extraction, and an additional 40% were formed between 1979 and 2005 by ATVs. Segments of the more modern trail are up to 100 m wide. Damage to the tundra is especially pronounced

  6. Plan to extend Arctic's drilling season with new platforms upsets ecologists

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon

    2003-03-01

    Plans to extend the drilling season in Arctic Alaska beyond the traditional winter months has environmentalists worried about the impact on wildlife and the likelihood that oil and gas production will spread more quickly to remote areas. In the past, drilling was confined to the winter only and the thickness of the ice protected the tundra from damage by the heavy drilling equipment. The recent appearance of lightweight drilling equipment, comprised of components that fit together like Lego pieces, can be transported across the tundra beyond the traditional winter months, with promise of minimal damage, combined with significant savings in time and money. Andarko Petroleum Corporation, the company whose planned extended drilling operations are the cause of ecological concern, also claims increased facility to hunt for energy beyond Prudhoe Bay, Alaska's unofficial hub, in places where ice road construction is difficult. Andarko claims that its patented platform design doubles as a production unit and stands about four metres above the tundra, eliminating the need to build permanent production facilities on top of widely used gravel pads, which can leave long-lasting scars on the land and are expensive to clean up. Besides reducing expenses, the arctic platform is claimed to enable exploratory drilling to occur nearly year around. Environmentalists counter by saying that the Andarko plan will increase noise and air pollution, risks greater damage to the ecosystem in the event of a spill, and represents further intrusion upon plants and animals, including caribou, grizzly bears and migratory birds. They are also concerned that the arctic platform concept will help spread industrial activity on Alaska's North Slope. The first arctic platform is expected to be erected 130 km south of Prudhoe Bay as part of a federally sponsored research project to study the feasibility of extracting gas from ice. Specialists at the Alaska Department of Natural Resources

  7. Arctic Shipping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Carsten Ørts; Grønsedt, Peter; Lindstrøm Graversen, Christian

    This report forms part of the ambitious CBS Maritime research initiative entitled “Competitive Challenges and Strategic Development Potential in Global Maritime Industries” which was launched with the generous support of the Danish Maritime Fund. The competitiveness initiative targets specific ma......, the latter aiming at developing key concepts and building up a basic industry knowledge base for further development of CBS Maritime research and teaching. This report attempts to map the opportunities and challenges for the maritime industry in an increasingly accessible Arctic Ocean...

  8. Belowground Plant Dynamics Across an Arctic Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmon, V. G.; Iversen, C. M.; Breen, A. L.; Thornton, P. E.; Wullschleger, S.

    2017-12-01

    High-latitude ecosystems are made up of a mosaic of different plant communities, all of which are exposed to warming at a rate double that observed in ecosystems at lower latitudes. Arctic regions are an important component of global Earth system models due to the large amounts of soil carbon (C) currently stored in permafrost as well their potential for increased plant C sequestration under warmer conditions. Losses of C from thawing and decomposing permafrost may be offset by increased plant productivity, but plant allocation to belowground structures and acquisition of limiting nutrients remain key sources of uncertainty in these ecosystems. The relationship between belowground plant traits and environmental conditions is not well understood, nor are tradeoffs between above- and belowground plant traits. To address these knowledge gaps, we sampled above- and belowground plant tissues along the Kougarok Hillslope on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska. The vegetation communities sampled included Alder shrubland, willow birch tundra, tussock tundra, dwarf shrub lichen tundra, and non-acidic mountain complex. Within each plant community, aboveground biomass was quantified and specific leaf area, leaf chemistry (%C, %N, %P and δ15N), and wood density were measured. Belowground fine-root biomass and rooting depth distribution were also determined at the community level. Fine roots from shrubs and graminoids were separated so that specific root area, diameter, and chemistry (%C, %N, %P and δ15N) could be assessed for these contrasting plant functional types. Initial findings indicate fine root biomass pools across the widely varying plant communities are constrained by soil depth, regardless of whether the rooting zone is restricted by permafrost or rock. The presence of Alnus viridis subspp. fruticosa, a deciduous shrub that facilitates nitrogen (N) fixation within its root nodules by Frankia bacteria, in Alder shrubland and willow birch tundra communities was associated

  9. Lead poisoning in whooper and tundra swans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakade, Tetsuya; Tomura, Yoshihiro; Jin, Kazuo; Taniyama, Hiroyuki; Yamamoto, Mutsuki; Kikkawa, Aya; Miyagi, Kunitaro; Uchida, Eiji; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko; Mukai, Takeshi; Shirasawa, Masahiko; Yamaguchi, Mamoru

    2005-01-01

    Six weak whooper swans (Cygnus cygnus) and two weak tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) were found at Swamp Miyajima (Hokkaido, Japan) in May 1998. Anorexia, depression, green watery feces, pale conjunctiva, and anemia were observed. Radiographs showed from six to 38 suspected lead pellets in the gizzard. Blood lead concentrations were 2.5-6.7 microg/g (mean+/-SD=4.6+/-1.14 microg/g) on day 1. After blood collection, the birds were treated with calcium disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate (CaEDTA) given intravenously and force fed. Despite treatment, seven birds died the next day. Green, bile-stained livers and pale or green kidneys were observed on necropsy. Microscopically, bile pigment was widespread in the liver and acid-fast intranuclear inclusion bodies were observed in renal tubular epithelium. Lead concentrations in livers and kidneys were 14.0-30.4 microg/g and 30.2-122 microg/g wet weight, respectively. Only one bird survived and this whooper swan continued to be treated with CaEDTA and activated charcoal. No lead shot was observed in the proventriculus and gizzard by radiography on day 64 and the blood lead concentration decreased from 2.9 microg/g to 0.09 microg/g during that same period. After 4 mo of rehabilitation, the whooper swan was returned to the wild. Lead intoxication continues to be a problem at Swamp Miyajima.

  10. Application of fungistatics in soil reduces N uptake by an arctic ericoid shrub (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walker, J.F.; Johnson, L.; Simpson, N.B.; Bill, M.; Jumpponen, A.

    2009-11-01

    In arctic tundra soil N is highly limiting, N mineralization is slow and organic N greatly exceeds inorganic N. We studied the effects of fungistatics (azoxystrobin [Quadris{reg_sign}] or propiconazole [Tilt{reg_sign}]) on the fungi isolated from ericaceous plant roots in vitro. In addition to testing the phytotoxicity of the two fungistatics we also tested their effects on growth and nitrogen uptake of an ericaceous plant (Vaccinium uliginosum) in a closed Petri plate system without root-associated fungi. Finally, to evaluate the fungistatic effects in an in vivo experiment we applied fungistatics and nitrogen isotopes to intact tundra soil cores from Toolik Lake, Alaska, and examined the ammonium-N and glycine-N use by Vaccinium vitis-idaea with and without fungistatics. The experiments on fungal pure cultures showed that Tilt{reg_sign} was more effective in reducing fungal colony growth in vitro than Quadris{reg_sign}, which was highly variable among the fungal strains. Laboratory experiments aiming to test the fungistatic effects on plant performance in vitro showed that neither Quadris{reg_sign} nor Tilt{reg_sign} affected V. uliginosum growth or N uptake. In this experiment V. uliginosum assimilated more than an order of magnitude more ammonium-N than glycine-N. The intact tundra core experiment provided contrasting results. After 10 wk of fungistatic application in the growth chamber V. vitis-idaea leaf %N was 10% lower and the amount of leaf {sup 15}N acquired was reduced from labeled ammonium (33%) and glycine (40%) during the 4 d isotope treatment. In contrast to the in vitro experiment leaf {sup 15}N assimilation from glycine was three times higher than from {sup 15}NH{sub 4} in the treatments that received no-fungistatics. We conclude that the function of the fungal communities is essential to the acquisition of N from organic sources and speculate that N acquisition from inorganic sources is mainly inhibited by competition with complex soil microbial

  11. Measurements and modeling of CO2 concentration and isotopes to improve process-level understanding of Arctic and boreal carbon cycling. Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keeling, Ralph F. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Scripps Inst. of Oceanography

    2017-09-29

    The major goal of this project was to improve understanding of processes that control the exchanges of CO2 between the atmosphere and the land biosphere on decadal and longer time scales. The approach involves measuring the changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration and the isotopes of CO2 (13C/12C and 18O/16O) at background stations and uses these and other datasets to challenge and improve numerical models of the earth system. The project particularly emphasized the use of these data to improve understanding of changes occurring in boreal and arctic ecosystems over the past 50 years and to seek from these data improved understanding of large-scale processes impacting carbon cycling, such as the responses to warming, CO2 fertilization, and disturbance. The project also led to advances in the understanding of changes in water-use efficiency of land ecosystems globally based on trends in 13C/12C. The core element of this project was providing partial support for continuing measurements of CO2 concentrations and isotopes from the Scripps CO2 program, initiated by C. D. Keeling in the 1960s. The measurements included analysis of flasks collected at an array of ten stations distributed from the Arctic to the Antarctic. The project also supported modeling studies and interpretive work to help understand the origins of the large ~50% increase in the amplitude of the atmospheric CO2 cycle detected at high northern latitudes between 1960 and present and to understand the long-term trend in carbon 13C/12C of CO2. The seasonal cycle work was advanced through collaborations with colleagues at MPI Jena and Imperial College

  12. Fate of mercury in the Arctic (FOMA)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skov, H.; Christensen, J.; Asmund, G.

    This report is the final reporting of the project FONA, funded by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency with means from the MIKA/DANCEA funds for Environmental Support to the Arctic Region. The aim of the project is to study the intercompartment mercury transport chain in the arctic area. From...... in the Arctic. The report focus on the surface exchange of mercury, the uptake of abiotic mercury into the biological system, and the bioaccumulation in the first steps of the food web, and the resulting distribution and time trend of mercury in selected animals feeding on various trophic levels...

  13. Arctic transitions in the Land - Atmosphere System (ATLAS): Background, objectives, results, and future directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, A.D.; Sturm, M.; Chapin, F. S.

    2003-01-01

    This paper briefly reviews the background, objectives, and results of the Arctic Transitions in the Land-Atmosphere System (ATLAS) Project to date and provides thoughts on future directions. The key goal of the ATLAS Project is to improve understanding of controls over spatial and temporal variability of terrestrial processes in the Arctic that have potential consequences for the climate system, i.e., processes that affect the exchange of water and energy with the atmosphere, the exchange of radiatively active gases with the atmosphere, and the delivery of freshwater to the Arctic Ocean. Three important conclusions have emerged from research associated with the ATLAS Project. First, associated with the observation that the Alaskan Arctic has warmed significantly in the last 30 years, permafrost is warming, shrubs are expanding, and there has been a temporary release of carbon dioxide from tundra soils. Second, the winter is a more important period of biological activity than previously appreciated. Biotic processes, including shrub expansion and decomposition, affect snow structure and accumulation and affect the annual carbon budget of tundra ecosystems. Third, observed vegetation changes can have a significant positive feedback to regional warming. These vegetation effects are, however, less strong than those exerted by land-ocean heating contrasts and the topographic constraints on air mass movements. The papers of this special section provide additional insights related to these conclusions and to the overall goal of ATLAS.

  14. The effects of boreal forest expansion on the summer Arctic frontal zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liess, Stefan; Snyder, Peter K.; Harding, Keith J. [University of Minnesota, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, Saint Paul, MN (United States)

    2012-05-15

    Over the last 100 years, Arctic warming has resulted in a longer growing season in boreal and tundra ecosystems. This has contributed to a slow northward expansion of the boreal forest and a decrease in the surface albedo. Corresponding changes to the surface and atmospheric energy budgets have contributed to a broad region of warming over areas of boreal forest expansion. In addition, mesoscale and synoptic scale patterns have changed as a result of the excess energy at and near the surface. Previous studies have identified a relationship between the positioning of the boreal forest-tundra ecotone and the Arctic frontal zone in summer. This study examines the climate response to hypothetical boreal forest expansion and its influence on the summer Arctic frontal zone. Using the Weather Research and Forecasting model over the Northern Hemisphere, an experiment was performed to evaluate the atmospheric response to expansion of evergreen and deciduous boreal needleleaf forests into open shrubland along the northern boundary of the existing forest. Results show that the lower surface albedo with forest expansion leads to a local increase in net radiation and an average hemispheric warming of 0.6 C at and near the surface during June with some locations warming by 1-2 C. This warming contributes to changes in the meridional temperature gradient that enhances the Arctic frontal zone and strengthens the summertime jet. This experiment suggests that continued Northern Hemisphere high-latitude warming and boreal forest expansion might contribute to additional climate changes during the summer. (orig.)

  15. 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

  16. 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......, and discuss possible implications of climatic change on this lowland tundra ecosystem. This study have been conducted as a part of the CARBO-North project (2006-2010), a project within the EU 6th framework programme, aiming at quantifying the carbon budget in Northern Russia across temporal and spatial scales....

  17. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D.; Brinkman, Todd J.; Lindgren, Michael A.; Schmidt, Jennifer I.; Rupp, T. Scott; Adams, Layne G.

    2014-01-01

    Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs), and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old) across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (−21%) than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (−11%). Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  18. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David D Gustine

    Full Text Available Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs, and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (-21% than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (-11%. Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  19. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D; Brinkman, Todd J; Lindgren, Michael A; Schmidt, Jennifer I; Rupp, T Scott; Adams, Layne G

    2014-01-01

    Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs), and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old) across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (-21%) than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (-11%). Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  20. Historical and contemporary imagery to assess ecosystem change on the Arctic coastal plain of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tape, Ken D.; Pearce, John M.; Walworth, Dennis; Meixell, Brandt W.; Fondell, Tom F.; Gustine, David D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Ward, David H.

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska is a complex landscape of lakes, streams, and wetlands scattered across low-relief tundra that is underlain by permafrost. This region of the Arctic has experienced a warming trend over the past three decades leading to thawing of on-shore permafrost and the disappearance of sea ice at unprecedented rates. The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) research initiative was developed to investigate and forecast these rapid changes in the physical environment of the Arctic, and the associated changes to wildlife populations, in order to inform key management decisions by the U.S. Department of the Interior and other agencies. Forecasting future wildlife responses to changes in the Arctic can benefit greatly from historical records that inform what changes have already occurred. Several Arctic wildlife and plant species have already responded to climatic and physical changes to the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. Thus, we located historical aerial imagery to improve our understanding of recent habitat changes and the associated response to such changes by wildlife populations.

  1. Are low altitude alpine tundra ecosystems under threat? A case study from the Parc National de la Gaspésie, Québec

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dumais, Catherine; Ropars, Pascale; Denis, Marie-Pier; Dufour-Tremblay, Geneviève; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    According to the 2007 IPCC report, the alpine tundra ecosystems found on low mountains of the northern hemisphere are amongst the most threatened by climate change. A treeline advance or a significant erect shrub expansion could result in increased competition for the arctic-alpine species usually found on mountaintops and eventually lead to their local extinction. The objectives of our study were to identify recent changes in the cover and growth of erect woody vegetation in the alpine tundra of Mont de la Passe, in the Parc National de la Gaspésie (Québec, Canada). The comparison of two orthorectified aerial photos revealed no significant shift of the treeline between 1975 and 2004. During the same period however, shrub species cover increased from 20.2% to 30.4% in the lower alpine zone. Dendrochronological analyses conducted on Betula glandulosa Michx. sampled at three different positions along an altitudinal gradient (low, intermediate and high alpine zone) revealed that the climatic determinants of B. glandulosa radial growth become more complex with increasing altitude. In the lower alpine zone, B. glandulosa radial growth is only significantly associated positively to July temperature. In the intermediate alpine zone, radial growth is associated positively to July temperature but negatively to March temperature. In the high alpine zone, radial growth is positively associated to January, July and August temperature but negatively to March temperature. The positive association between summer temperatures and radial growth suggests that B. glandulosa could potentially benefit from warmer temperatures, a phenomenon that could lead to an increase in its cover over the next few decades. Although alpine tundra vegetation is not threatened in the short-term in the Parc National de la Gaspésie, erect shrub cover, especially B. glandulosa, could likely increase in the near future, threatening the local arctic-alpine flora. (letter)

  2. Spatial and Temporal Variation in Primary Productivity (NDVI) of Coastal Alaskan Tundra: Decreased Vegetation Growth Following Earlier Snowmelt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamon, John A.; Huemmrich, K. Fred; Stone, Robert S.; Tweedie, Craig E.

    2015-01-01

    In the Arctic, earlier snowmelt and longer growing seasons due to warming have been hypothesized to increase vegetation productivity. Using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from both field and satellite measurements as an indicator of vegetation phenology and productivity, we monitored spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation growth for a coastal wet sedge tundra site near Barrow, Alaska over three growing seasons (2000-2002). Contrary to expectation, earlier snowmelt did not lead to increased productivity. Instead, productivity was associated primarily with precipitation and soil moisture, and secondarily with growing degree days, which, during this period, led to reduced growth in years with earlier snowmelt. Additional moisture effects on productivity and species distribution, operating over a longer time scale, were evident in spatial NDVI patterns associated with microtopography. Lower, wetter regions dominated by graminoids were more productive than higher, drier locations having a higher percentage of lichens and mosses, despite the earlier snowmelt at the more elevated sites. These results call into question the oft-stated hypothesis that earlier arctic growing seasons will lead to greater vegetation productivity. Rather, they agree with an emerging body of evidence from recent field studies indicating that early-season, local environmental conditions, notably moisture and temperature, are primary factors determining arctic vegetation productivity. For this coastal arctic site, early growing season conditions are strongly influenced by microtopography, hydrology, and regional sea ice dynamics, and may not be easily predicted from snowmelt date or seasonal average air temperatures alone. Our comparison of field to satellite NDVI also highlights the value of in-situ monitoring of actual vegetation responses using field optical sampling to obtain detailed information on surface conditions not possible from satellite observations alone.

  3. The Arctic Vegetation Type Change retrieved from Spaceborne Observations and its Influence on the Simulation of Permafrost Thawing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Wang, Z.

    2017-12-01

    The vegetation types change in Arctic has been studied using 10 years of MODIS land cover product (MCD12Q1). The shrub expansion is observed in Alaska and Northeast Asia, while shrub fraction decreases in North Canada and Southwest Arctic Eurasia. The total Arctic shrub fraction increases 3% in 10 years. The tundra decreases where the shrub expands, and thrives where the shrub retreats. In order to isolate the influence of the vegetation dynamic on the permafrost thawing, the Arctic terrestrial ecosystem in recent decades will be simulated using the Community Land Model (CLM) with and without the vegetation type changes. The energy and carbon exchange on the land surface will also be simulated and compared. Acknowledgement: This work was supported by the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI, PN17081) and the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2015R1C1A2A01054800).

  4. Shifting Foliar N:P Ratios with Experimental Soil Warming in Tussock Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasinski, B.; Mack, M. C.; Schuur, E.; Mauritz, M.; Walker, X. J.

    2017-12-01

    Warming temperatures in the Arctic and boreal ecosystems are currently driving widespread permafrost thaw. Thermokarst is one form of thaw, in which a deepening active soil layer and associated hydrologic changes can lead to increased nutrient availability and shifts in plant community composition. Individual plant species often differ in their ability to access nutrients and adapt to new environmental conditions. While nitrogen (N) is often the nutrient most limiting to Arctic plant communities, the extent to which plant available phosphorus (P) from previously frozen mineral soil may increase as the active layer deepens is still uncertain. To understand the changing relationship between species' uptake of N and P in a thermokarst environment, we assessed foliar N:P ratios from 2015 in two species, a tussock sedge (Eriophorum vaginatum) and a dwarf shrub (Rubus chamaemorus), at a moist acidic tussock tundra experimental passive soil warming site. The passive soil warming treatment increased active layer depth in warmed plots by 35.4 cm (+/- 1.1 cm), an 80% increase over the control plots. E.vaginatum demonstrated a 16.9% decrease (p=0.012, 95% CI [-27.99%, -5.94%]) in foliar N:P ratios in warmed plots, driven mostly by an increase in foliar phosphorus. Foliar N:P ratios of R.chamaemorus showed no significant change. However, foliar samples of R.chamaemorus were significantly enriched in the isotope 15N in soil warming plots (9.9% increase (p=0.002, 95% CI [4.45%, 15.39%])), while the sedge E.vaginatum was slightly depleted. These results suggest that (1) in environments with thawing mineral soil plant available phosphorus may increase more quickly than nitrogen, and (2) that species' uptake strategies and responses to increasing N and P will vary, which has implications for future ecological shifts in thawing ecosystems.

  5. Identifying Factors Causing Variability in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Fluxes in a Polygonal Tundra Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, B.; Wainwright, H. M.; Vaughn, L. S.; Curtis, J. B.; Torn, M. S.; Dafflon, B.; Hubbard, S. S.

    2017-12-01

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) flux variations in Arctic tundra environments are important to understand because of the vast amount of soil carbon stored in these regions and the potential of these regions to convert from a global carbon sink to a source under warmer conditions. Multiple factors potentially contribute to GHG flux variations observed in these environments, including snowmelt timing, growing season length, active layer thickness, water table variations, and temperature fluctuations. The objectives of this study are to investigate temporal variability in CO2 and CH4 fluxes at Barrow, AK over three successive growing seasons (2012-14) and to determine the factors influencing this variability using a novel entropy-based classification scheme. We analyzed soil, vegetation, and climate parameters as well as GHG fluxes at multiple locations within low-, flat- and high-centered polygons at Barrow, AK as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE) Arctic project. Entropy results indicate that different environmental factors govern variability in GHG fluxes under different spatiotemporal settings. In particular, flat-centered polygons are more likely to become significant sources of CO2 during warm and dry years as opposed to high-centered polygons that contribute considerably to CO2 emissions during cold and wet years. In contrast, the highest CH4 emissions were always associated with low-centered polygons. Temporal variability in CO2 fluxes was primarily associated with factors affecting soil temperature and/or vegetation dynamics during early and late season periods. Temporal variability in CH4 fluxes was primarily associated with changes in vegetation cover and its covariability with primary controls such as seasonal thaw—rather than direct response to changes in soil moisture. Overall, entropy results document which factors became important under different spatiotemporal settings, thus providing clues concerning the manner in which ecosystem

  6. Range Expansion of Moose in Arctic Alaska Linked to Warming and Increased Shrub Habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken D Tape

    Full Text Available Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni and Eurasia (A. a. alces. Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators.

  7. Constraining estimates of methane emissions from Arctic permafrost regions with CARVE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, R. Y.; Karion, A.; Sweeney, C.; Henderson, J.; Mountain, M.; Eluszkiewicz, J.; Luus, K. A.; Lin, J. C.; Dinardo, S.; Miller, C. E.; Wofsy, S. C.

    2013-12-01

    Permafrost in the Arctic contains large carbon pools that are currently non-labile, but can be released to the atmosphere as polar regions warm. In order to predict future climate scenarios, we need to understand the emissions of these greenhouse gases under varying environmental conditions. This study presents in-situ measurements of methane made on board an aircraft during the Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE), which sampled over the permafrost regions of Alaska. Using measurements from May to September 2012, seasonal emission rate estimates of methane from tundra are constrained using the Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport model, a Lagrangian particle dispersion model driven by custom polar-WRF fields. Preliminary results suggest that methane emission rates have not greatly increased since the Arctic Boundary Layer Experiment conducted in southwest Alaska in 1988.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faubert, Patrick; Tiiva, Päivi; Rinnan, Asmund; Michelsen, Anders; Holopainen, Jarmo K; Rinnan, Riikka

    2010-07-01

    *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 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 heath hosting a long-term warming and mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) litter addition experiment. *The relatively low emissions of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes were doubled in response to an air temperature increment of only 1.9-2.5 degrees C, while litter addition had a minor influence. BVOC emissions were seasonal, and warming combined with litter addition triggered emissions of specific compounds. *The unexpectedly high rate of release of BVOCs measured in this conservative warming scenario is far above the estimates produced by the current models, which underlines the importance of a focus on BVOC emissions during climate change. The observed changes have implications for ecological interactions and feedback effects on climate change via impacts on aerosol formation and indirect greenhouse effects.

  9. A Microwave Radiance Assimilation Study for a Tundra Snowpack

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Edward; Durand, Michael; Margulis, Steve; England, Anthony

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies have begun exploring the assimilation of microwave radiances for the modeling and retrieval of snow properties. At a point scale, and for short durations (i week), radiance assimilation (RA) results are encouraging. However, in order to determine how practical RA might be for snow retrievals when applied over longer durations, larger spatial scales, and/or different snow types, we must expand the scope of the tests. In this paper we use coincident microwave radiance measurements and station data from a tundra site on the North Slope of Alaska. The field data are from the 3rd Radio-brightness Energy Balance Experiment (REBEX-3) carried out in 1994-95 by the University of Michigan. This dataset will provide a test of RA over months instead of one week, and for a very different type of snow than previous snow RA studies. We will address the following questions: flow well can a snowpack physical model (SM), forced with local weather, match measured conditions for a tundra snowpack?; How well can a microwave emission model, driven by the snowpack model, match measured microwave brightnesses for a tundra snowpack?; How well does RA increase or decrease the fidelity of estimates of snow depth and temperatures for a tundra snowpack?

  10. Methanogenesis at low temperatures by microflora of tundra wetland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotsyurbenko, O R; Nozhevnikova, A N; Soloviova, T I; Zavarzin, G A

    1996-01-01

    Active methanogenesis from organic matter contained in soil samples from tundra wetland occurred even at 6 degrees C. Methane was the only end product in balanced microbial community with H2/CO2 as a substrate, besides acetate was produced as an intermediate at temperatures below 10 degrees C. The activity of different microbial groups of methanogenic community in the temperature range of 6-28 degrees C was investigated using 5% of tundra soil as inoculum. Anaerobic microflora of tundra wetland fermented different organic compounds with formation of hydrogen, volatile fatty acids (VFA) and alcohols. Methane was produced at the second step. Homoacetogenic and methanogenic bacteria competed for such substrates as hydrogen, formate, carbon monoxide and methanol. Acetogens out competed methanogens in an excess of substrate and low density of microbial population. Kinetic analysis of the results confirmed the prevalence of hydrogen acetogenesis on methanogenesis. Pure culture of acetogenic bacteria was isolated at 6 degrees C. Dilution of tundra soil and supply with the excess of substrate disbalanced the methanoigenic microbial community. It resulted in accumulation of acetate and other VFA. In balanced microbial community obviously autotrophic methanogens keep hydrogen concentration below a threshold for syntrophic degradation of VFA. Accumulation of acetate- and H2/CO2-utilising methanogens should be very important in methanogenic microbial community operating at low temperatures.

  11. Arctic Climate and Atmospheric Planetary Waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Haekkinen, S.; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Analysis of a fifty-year record (1946-1995) of monthly-averaged sea level pressure data provides a link between the phases of planetary-scale sea level pressure waves and Arctic Ocean and ice variability. Results of this analysis show: (1) a breakdown of the dominant wave 1 pattern in the late 1960's, (2) shifts in the mean phase of waves 1 and 2 since this breakdown, (3) an eastward shift in the phases of both waves 1 and 2 during the years of simulated cyclonic Arctic Ocean circulation relative to their phases during the years of anticyclonic circulation, (4) a strong decadal variability of wave phase associated with simulated Arctic Ocean circulation changes. Finally, the Arctic atmospheric circulation patterns that emerge when waves 1 and 2 are in their extreme eastern and western positions suggest an alternative approach for determining significant forcing patterns of sea ice and high-latitude variability.

  12. Effects on the function of Arctic ecosystems in the short- and long-term perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus

    2004-11-01

    Historically, the function of Arctic ecosystems in terms of cycles of nutrients and carbon has led to low levels of primary production and exchanges of energy, water and greenhouse gases have led to low local and regional cooling. Sequestration of carbon from atmospheric CO2, in extensive, cold organic soils and the high albedo from low, snow-covered vegetation have had impacts on regional climate. However, many aspects of the functioning of Arctic ecosystems are sensitive to changes in climate and its impacts on biodiversity. The current Arctic climate results in slow rates of organic matter decomposition. Arctic ecosystems therefore tend to accumulate organic matter and elements despite low inputs. As a result, soil-available elements like nitrogen and phosphorus are key limitations to increases in carbon fixation and further biomass and organic matter accumulation. Climate warming is expected to increase carbon and element turnover, particularly in soils, which may lead to initial losses of elements but eventual, slow recovery. Individual species and species diversity have clear impacts on element inputs and retention in Arctic ecosystems. Effects of increased CO2 and UV-B on whole ecosystems, on the other hand, are likely to be small although effects on plant tissue chemisty, decomposition and nitrogen fixation may become important in the long-term. Cycling of carbon in trace gas form is mainly as CO2 and CH4. Most carbon loss is in the form of CO2, produced by both plants and soil biota. Carbon emissions as methane from wet and moist tundra ecosystems are about 5% of emissions as CO2 and are responsive to warming in the absence of any other changes. Winter processes and vegetation type also affect CH4 emissions as well as exchanges of energy between biosphere and atmosphere. Arctic ecosystems exhibit the largest seasonal changes in energy exchange of any terrestrial ecosystem because of the large changes in albedo from late winter, when snow reflects most

  13. Approaching a Postcolonial Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Lars

    2016-01-01

    This article explores different postcolonially configured approaches to the Arctic. It begins by considering the Arctic as a region, an entity, and how the customary political science informed approaches are delimited by their focus on understanding the Arctic as a region at the service...... of the contemporary neoliberal order. It moves on to explore how different parts of the Arctic are inscribed in a number of sub-Arctic nation-state binds, focusing mainly on Canada and Denmark. The article argues that the postcolonial can be understood as a prism or a methodology that asks pivotal questions to all...... approaches to the Arctic. Yet the postcolonial itself is characterised by limitations, not least in this context its lack of interest in the Arctic, and its bias towards conventional forms of representation in art. The article points to the need to develop a more integrated critique of colonial and neo...

  14. Environment, vegetation and greenness (NDVI) along the North America and Eurasia Arctic transects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walker, D A; Raynolds, M K; Kuss, P; Kade, A N; Epstein, H E; Frost, G V; Kopecky, M A; Daniëls, F J A; Leibman, M O; Moskalenko, N G; Khomutov, A V; Matyshak, G V; Khitun, O V; Forbes, B C; Bhatt, U S; Vonlanthen, C M; Tichý, L

    2012-01-01

    Satellite-based measurements of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI; an index of vegetation greenness and photosynthetic capacity) indicate that tundra environments are generally greening and becoming more productive as climates warm in the Arctic. The greening, however, varies and is even negative in some parts of the Arctic. To help interpret the space-based observations, the International Polar Year (IPY) Greening of the Arctic project conducted ground-based surveys along two >1500 km transects that span all five Arctic bioclimate subzones. Here we summarize the climate, soil, vegetation, biomass, and spectral information collected from the North America Arctic transect (NAAT), which has a more continental climate, and the Eurasia Arctic transect (EAT), which has a more oceanic climate. The transects have broadly similar summer temperature regimes and overall vegetation physiognomy, but strong differences in precipitation, especially winter precipitation, soil texture and pH, disturbance regimes, and plant species composition and structure. The results indicate that summer warmth and NDVI increased more strongly along the more continental transect. (letter)

  15. Climate change and Arctic ecosystems: 2. Modeling, paleodata-model comparisons, and future projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, J.O.; Bigelow, N.H.; Prentice, I.C.; Harrison, S.P.; Bartlein, P.J.; Christensen, T.R.; Cramer, W.; Matveyeva, N.V.; McGuire, A.D.; Murray, D.F.; Razzhivin, V.Y.; Smith, B.; Walker, D.A.; Anderson, P.M.; Andreev, A.A.; Brubaker, L.B.; Edwards, M.E.; Lozhkin, A.V.

    2003-01-01

    Large variations in the composition, structure, and function of Arctic ecosystems are determined by climatic gradients, especially of growing-season warmth, soil moisture, and snow cover. A unified circumpolar classification recognizing five types of tundra was developed. The geographic distributions of vegetation types north of 55??N, including the position of the forest limit and the distributions of the tundra types, could be predicted from climatology using a small set of plant functional types embedded in the biogeochemistry-biogeography model BIOME4. Several palaeoclimate simulations for the last glacial maximum (LGM) and mid-Holocene were used to explore the possibility of simulating past vegetation patterns, which are independently known based on pollen data. The broad outlines of observed changes in vegetation were captured. LGM simulations showed the major reduction of forest, the great extension of graminoid and forb tundra, and the restriction of low- and high-shrub tundra (although not all models produced sufficiently dry conditions to mimic the full observed change). Mid-Holocene simulations reproduced the contrast between northward forest extension in western and central Siberia and stability of the forest limit in Beringia. Projection of the effect of a continued exponential increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, based on a transient ocean-atmosphere simulation including sulfate aerosol effects, suggests a potential for larger changes in Arctic ecosystems during the 21st century than have occurred between mid-Holocene and present. Simulated physiological effects of the CO2 increase (to > 700 ppm) at high latitudes were slight compared with the effects of the change in climate.

  16. Energy partitioning at treeline forest and tundra sites and its sensitivity to climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lafleur, P.M. [Trent Univ., Peterborough, ON (Canada); Rouse, W.R. [McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada)

    1995-12-31

    A study was conducted to examine the inter-annual variability in energy fluxes of treeline tundra and forest and to investigate the sensitivity of forest and tundra energy balances to climatic changes. A five year record of energy balance data from contiguous wetland tundra and subarctic forest sites near Churchill, Manitoba was analyzed. The data included snow free periods only. Wind direction was used as an analogue for changing climatic conditions where onshore winds are cooler and moister than offshore winds. Sensible and latent heat fluxes at both sites varied significantly between onshore and offshore wind regimes. The differences between onshore and offshore fluxes at the tundra site were larger than for the forest. The tundra-to-forest Bowen ratios decreased with increasing vapour pressure deficit and increasing air temperature. Results suggest that energy partitioning in the wetland tundra is more sensitive to climate change than in the treeline forests. 22 refs., 1 tab., 6 figs.

  17. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elmendorf, Sarah C.; Henry, Gregory H.R.; Hollister, Robert 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 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...

  18. Unusually Warm Spring Temperatures Magnify Annual CH4 Losses From Arctic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, J. P.; Oechel, W. C.; Gioli, B.; Murphy, P.; Zona, D.

    2015-12-01

    The relatively fast pace of Northern high latitude warming puts the very large permafrost soil C pool at a higher risk of being lost to the atmosphere as CH4. Estimates for the Arctic tundra's contribution to the global wetland CH4 emissions range from 15-27 TgCH4 y-1 (8-14% of total). However, these estimates are largely based on data from the growing season, or from boreal systems underlain by discontinuous permafrost with different physical, hydrological, and biogeochemical dynamics than continuous permafrost zones. Recent data from a transect of eddy covariance flux towers across the North Slope of Alaska revealed the importance of cold season emissions to the annual CH4 budget, which may not correlate with summer flux patterns. However, understanding of the controls and inter-annual variability in fluxes at these different sites is lacking. Here, we present data from ~3 years at 5 tundra ecosystems along this Arctic transect to show the influence of earlier and deeper spring active layer thaw on timing and magnitude of CH4 fluxes. This year's warm spring led to significantly greater thaw depths and lower water tables than the previous year. Substantial CH4 emissions in 2015 were recorded at the wettest sites >20 days earlier than in the more meteorologically normal previous year. Since the soil remained saturated despite a lowered water table, total spring CH4 emissions more than doubled at these wet sites. At the drier sites, soil moisture declined with water table during the warmer spring, resulting in similar emissions to the previous year. However, deeper thaw depths prolonged fall and early winter emissions during the 'zero-curtain' soil temperature freezing phase, particularly at the drier site. In general, warmer spring temperatures in the Arctic may result in large increases in early season CH4 losses at wet sites and prolonged steady losses at the upland sites, enhancing the feedback between changing climate and tundra CH4 emissions at all sites.

  19. Competition for tracer 15N in tussock tundra ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marion, G.M.; Miller, P.C.; Black, C.H.

    1987-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to assess the roles of plant species, time, and site on competition for tracer 15 N (without carrier) in tussock tundra ecosystems. Six experimental sites were located in northern Alaska. After one year across the experimental sites, the recovery of 15 N by litter (11.3-16.3%) and mosses (5.4-16.4%) was significantly greater than for aboveground vascular plants (2.6-5.0%). 15 N recoveries by tundra vascular plants (2.6-5.0%) were low when compared to forest trees (9-25%) which suggst that competition for nitrogen is particularly severe in these colddominated tundra ecosystems. There were no significant differences among sites in 15 N recoveries by vascular plants, by mosses, or by litter. There was a statistically significant decline in 15 N recovery with time for Vaccinium vitis-idaea and Eriophoum vaginatum between the second and third year. The shallow rooted Vaccinium vitis-ideae was more highly labeled than the deep rooted Eriophorum vaginatum. Nearness to the source of the applied 15 N played a critical role in competition for surface applied nitrogen. (author)

  20. The Arctic Turn

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahbek-Clemmensen, Jon

    2018-01-01

    In October 2006, representatives of the Arctic governments met in Salekhard in northern Siberia for the biennial Arctic Council ministerial meeting to discuss how the council could combat regional climate change, among other issues. While most capitals were represented by their foreign minister......, a few states – Canada, Denmark, and the United States – sent other representatives. There was nothing unusual about the absence of Per Stig Møller, the Danish foreign minister – a Danish foreign minister had only once attended an Arctic Council ministerial meeting (Arctic Council 2016). Møller......’s nonappearance did, however, betray the low status that Arctic affairs had in the halls of government in Copenhagen. Since the end of the Cold War, where Greenland had helped tie Denmark and the US closer together due to its geostrategically important position between North America and the Soviet Union, Arctic...

  1. Collaboration across the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huppert, Verena Gisela; Chuffart, Romain François R.

    2017-01-01

    The Arctic is witnessing the rise of a new paradigm caused by an increase in pan-Arctic collaborations which co-exist with the region’s traditional linkages with the South. Using an analysis of concrete examples of regional collaborations in the Arctic today in the fields of education, health...... and infrastructure, this paper questions whether pan-Arctic collaborations in the Arctic are more viable than North-South collaborations, and explores the reasons behind and the foreseeable consequences of such collaborations. It shows that the newly emerging East-West paradigm operates at the same time...... as the traditional North-South paradigm, with no signs of the East-West paradigm being more viable in the foreseeable future. However, pan-Arctic collaboration, both due to pragmatic reasons and an increased awareness of similarities, is likely to increase in the future. The increased regionalization process...

  2. Recovery of Three Arctic Stream Reaches From Experimental Nutrient Enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, A. C.; Benstead, J. P.; Deegan, L. A.; Peterson, B. J.; Bowden, W. B.; Huryn, A. D.; Slavik, K.; Hershey, A. E.

    2005-05-01

    We examined multi-year patterns in community recovery from experimental low-concentration nutrient (N+P and P only) enrichment in three reaches of two Arctic tundra streams (Kuparuk River and Oksrukuyik Creek) on the North Slope of Alaska (USA). Rates of recovery varied among community components and depended on duration of enrichment (2 to 13 consecutive growing seasons). Biomass and C:P ratio of epilithic algae returned to reference levels rapidly (within 2 years), regardless of enrichment duration. Bryophyte cover, which increased greatly after long-term enrichment (>8 years), recovered to reference levels only after 7 years, when a storm scoured most remnant moss in the recovering reach. Persistence of bryophytes slowed recovery rates of insect taxa that had either been positively (e.g., Ephemerella, most chironomid taxa) or negatively (e.g., Orthocladius rivulorum) affected by this shift in dominant primary producer and its consequence for benthic habitat. Growth of Arctic grayling (adults and young-of-year), the top predator, returned to reference rates within two years. Recovery of these Arctic stream ecosystems from nutrient enrichment was consequently controlled largely by interactions between duration of enrichment and physical disturbance, mediated through physical habitat shifts caused by bryophytes.

  3. Arctic Small Rodents Have Diverse Diets and Flexible Food Selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eeva M Soininen

    Full Text Available The ecology of small rodent food selection is poorly understood, as mammalian herbivore food selection theory has mainly been developed by studying ungulates. Especially, the effect of food availability on food selection in natural habitats where a range of food items are available is unknown. We studied diets and selectivity of grey-sided voles (Myodes rufocanus and tundra voles (Microtus oeconomus, key herbivores in European tundra ecosystems, using DNA metabarcoding, a novel method enabling taxonomically detailed diet studies. In order to cover the range of food availabilities present in the wild, we employed a large-scale study design for sampling data on food availability and vole diets. Both vole species had ingested a range of plant species and selected particularly forbs and grasses. Grey-sided voles also selected ericoid shrubs and tundra voles willows. Availability of a food item rarely affected its utilization directly, although seasonal changes of diets and selection suggest that these are positively correlated with availability. Moreover, diets and selectivity were affected by availability of alternative food items. These results show that the focal sub-arctic voles have diverse diets and flexible food preferences and rarely compensate low availability of a food item with increased searching effort. Diet diversity itself is likely to be an important trait and has previously been underrated owing to methodological constraints. We suggest that the roles of alternative food item availability and search time limitations for small rodent feeding ecology should be investigated.Annotated Checklist of the Panarctic Flora (PAF, Vascular plants. Available at: http://nhm2.uio.no/paf/, accessed 15.6.2012.

  4. Arctic wind energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peltola, E. [Kemijoki Oy (Finland); Holttinen, H.; Marjaniemi, M. [VTT Energy, Espoo (Finland); Tammelin, B. [Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki (Finland)

    1998-12-31

    Arctic wind energy research was aimed at adapting existing wind technologies to suit the arctic climatic conditions in Lapland. Project research work included meteorological measurements, instrument development, development of a blade heating system for wind turbines, load measurements and modelling of ice induced loads on wind turbines, together with the development of operation and maintenance practices in arctic conditions. As a result the basis now exists for technically feasible and economically viable wind energy production in Lapland. New and marketable products, such as blade heating systems for wind turbines and meteorological sensors for arctic conditions, with substantial export potential, have also been developed. (orig.)

  5. Arctic wind energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peltola, E.; Holttinen, H.; Marjaniemi, M.; Tammelin, B.

    1998-01-01

    Arctic wind energy research was aimed at adapting existing wind technologies to suit the arctic climatic conditions in Lapland. Project research work included meteorological measurements, instrument development, development of a blade heating system for wind turbines, load measurements and modelling of ice induced loads on wind turbines, together with the development of operation and maintenance practices in arctic conditions. As a result the basis now exists for technically feasible and economically viable wind energy production in Lapland. New and marketable products, such as blade heating systems for wind turbines and meteorological sensors for arctic conditions, with substantial export potential, have also been developed. (orig.)

  6. White Arctic vs. Blue Arctic: Making Choices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfirman, S. L.; Newton, R.; Schlosser, P.; Pomerance, R.; Tremblay, B.; Murray, M. S.; Gerrard, M.

    2015-12-01

    As the Arctic warms and shifts from icy white to watery blue and resource-rich, tension is arising between the desire to restore and sustain an ice-covered Arctic and stakeholder communities that hope to benefit from an open Arctic Ocean. If emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere continue on their present trend, most of the summer sea ice cover is projected to be gone by mid-century, i.e., by the time that few if any interventions could be in place to restore it. There are many local as well as global reasons for ice restoration, including for example, preserving the Arctic's reflectivity, sustaining critical habitat, and maintaining cultural traditions. However, due to challenges in implementing interventions, it may take decades before summer sea ice would begin to return. This means that future generations would be faced with bringing sea ice back into regions where they have not experienced it before. While there is likely to be interest in taking action to restore ice for the local, regional, and global services it provides, there is also interest in the economic advancement that open access brings. Dealing with these emerging issues and new combinations of stakeholders needs new approaches - yet environmental change in the Arctic is proceeding quickly and will force the issues sooner rather than later. In this contribution we examine challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities related to exploring options for restoring Arctic sea ice and potential pathways for their implementation. Negotiating responses involves international strategic considerations including security and governance, meaning that along with local communities, state decision-makers, and commercial interests, national governments will have to play central roles. While these issues are currently playing out in the Arctic, similar tensions are also emerging in other regions.

  7. 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

  8. Toward a statistical description of methane emissions from arctic wetlands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pirk, Norbert; Mastepanov, Mikhail; López-Blanco, Efrén

    2017-01-01

    , where the hypothesized slow-turnover carbon peaked at a time significantly related to the timing of snowmelt. The temporally wider component from fast-turnover carbon dominated the emissions in W Greenland and Svalbard. Altogether, we found no dependence of the total seasonal CH4 budget to the timing......Methane (CH4) emissions from arctic tundra typically follow relations with soil temperature and water table depth, but these process-based descriptions can be difficult to apply to areas where no measurements exist. We formulated a description of the broader temporal flux pattern in the growing...... season based on two distinct CH4 source components from slow and fast-turnover carbon. We used automatic closed chamber flux measurements from NE Greenland (74°N), W Greenland (64°N), and Svalbard (78°N) to identify and discuss these components. The temporal separation was well-suited in NE Greenland...

  9. Sea-ice induced growth decline in Arctic shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forchhammer, Mads

    2017-08-01

    Measures of increased tundra plant productivity have been associated with the accelerating retreat of the Arctic sea-ice. Emerging studies document opposite effects, advocating for a more complex relationship between the shrinking sea-ice and terrestrial plant productivity. I introduce an autoregressive plant growth model integrating effects of biological and climatic conditions for analysing individual ring-width growth time series. Using 128 specimens of Salix arctica , S. glauca and Betula nana sampled across Greenland to Svalbard, an overall negative effect of the retreating June sea-ice extent was found on the annual growth. The negative effect of the retreating June sea-ice was observed for younger individuals with large annual growth allocations and with little or no trade-off between previous and current year's growth. © 2017 The Author(s).

  10. 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 < 0.05, 1982-2007). Both satellite and tree-ring analyses indicated that plant growth was constrained by both low temperatures and limited 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. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Water balance along a chain of tundra lakes: A 20-year isotopic perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, J. J.; Reid, R.

    2014-11-01

    Stable isotope measurements and isotope mass balance (IMB) calculations are presented in support of an unprecedented 20-year water balance assessment for a tailings pond and a chain of downstream lakes at the Salmita-Tundra mine site, situated near Courageous Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada (65°03‧N; 111°11‧W). The method is shown to provide a comprehensive annual and interannual perspective of water balance fluxes along a chain of lakes during the period 1991-2010, without the need for continuous streamflow gauging, and reveals important lake-order-dependent patterns of land-surface runoff, discharge accumulation, and several key diagnostic ratios, i.e., evaporation/inflow, evaporation/evapotranspiration, land-surface-runoff/precipitation and discharge/ precipitation. Lake evaporation is found to be a significant component of the water balance, accounting for between 26% and 32% of inflow to natural lakes and between 72% and 100% of inflow to mine-tailings ponds. Evaporation/evapotranspiration averages between 7% and 22% and is found to be higher in low-precipitation years, and in watersheds with a higher proportion of lakes. Runoff ratios for land-surface drainages and runoff ratios for watersheds (including lakes) ranged between 14-47% and 20-47%, respectively, and were higher in low precipitation years, in watersheds with a higher proportion of lakes, and in watersheds less affected by mining development. We propose that in general these two runoff ratios will likely converge as lake order increases and as land cover conditions become regionally representative. Notably, the study demonstrates application of IMB, validated with streamflow measurements, to constrain local water balance in a remote low-arctic region. For IMB chain-of-lakes applications, it underlines the importance of accounting for evaporatively-enriched upstream sources to avoid overestimation of evaporation losses.

  12. 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.

  13. PeRL: a circum-Arctic Permafrost Region Pond and Lake database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muster, Sina; Roth, Kurt; Langer, Moritz; Lange, Stephan; Cresto Aleina, Fabio; Bartsch, Annett; Morgenstern, Anne; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin; Sannel, A. Britta K.; Sjöberg, Ylva; Günther, Frank; Andresen, Christian; Veremeeva, Alexandra; Lindgren, Prajna R.; Bouchard, Frédéric; Lara, Mark J.; Fortier, Daniel; Charbonneau, Simon; Virtanen, Tarmo A.; Hugelius, Gustaf; Palmtag, Juri; Siewert, Matthias B.; Riley, William J.; Koven, Charles D.; Boike, Julia

    2017-06-01

    Ponds and lakes are abundant in Arctic permafrost lowlands. They play an important role in Arctic wetland ecosystems by regulating carbon, water, and energy fluxes and providing freshwater habitats. However, ponds, i.e., waterbodies with surface areas smaller than 1. 0 × 104 m2, have not been inventoried on global and regional scales. The Permafrost Region Pond and Lake (PeRL) database presents the results of a circum-Arctic effort to map ponds and lakes from modern (2002-2013) high-resolution aerial and satellite imagery with a resolution of 5 m or better. The database also includes historical imagery from 1948 to 1965 with a resolution of 6 m or better. PeRL includes 69 maps covering a wide range of environmental conditions from tundra to boreal regions and from continuous to discontinuous permafrost zones. Waterbody maps are linked to regional permafrost landscape maps which provide information on permafrost extent, ground ice volume, geology, and lithology. This paper describes waterbody classification and accuracy, and presents statistics of waterbody distribution for each site. Maps of permafrost landscapes in Alaska, Canada, and Russia are used to extrapolate waterbody statistics from the site level to regional landscape units. PeRL presents pond and lake estimates for a total area of 1. 4 × 106 km2 across the Arctic, about 17 % of the Arctic lowland ( pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.868349" target="_blank">https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.868349.

  14. Forest dynamics in a forest-tundra ecotone, Medicine Bow Mountains, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher J. Earle

    1993-01-01

    The alpine timberline in much of western North America is characterized by a structurally complex transition from subalpine forest to alpine tundra, the forest-tundra ecotone. Trees within the ecotone are typically arrayed across the landscape within clumps or "ribbon forests," elongated strips oriented perpendicular to the prevailing winds. This study...

  15. Increased plant productivity in Alaskan tundra as a result of experimental warming of soil and permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.M. Natali; E.A.G. Schuur; R.L. Rubin

    2012-01-01

    The response of northern tundra plant communities to warming temperatures is of critical concern because permafrost ecosystems play a key role in global carbon (C) storage, and climate-induced ecological shifts in the plant community will affect the transfer of carbon-dioxide between biological and atmospheric pools. This study, which focuses on the response of tundra...

  16. Fire behavior, weather, and burn severity of the 2007 Anaktuvuk River tundra fire, North Slope, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin M. Jones; Crystal A. Kolden; Randi Jandt; John T. Abatzoglu; Frank Urban; Christopher D. Arp

    2009-01-01

    In 2007, the Anaktuvuk River Fire (ARF) became the largest recorded tundra fire on the North Slope of Alaska. The ARF burned for nearly three months, consuming more than 100,000 ha. At its peak in early September, the ARF burned at a rate of 7000 ha d-1. The conditions potentially responsible for this large tundra fire include modeled record high...

  17. Arctic circulation regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proshutinsky, Andrey; Dukhovskoy, Dmitry; Timmermans, Mary-Louise; Krishfield, Richard; Bamber, Jonathan L

    2015-10-13

    Between 1948 and 1996, mean annual environmental parameters in the Arctic experienced a well-pronounced decadal variability with two basic circulation patterns: cyclonic and anticyclonic alternating at 5 to 7 year intervals. During cyclonic regimes, low sea-level atmospheric pressure (SLP) dominated over the Arctic Ocean driving sea ice and the upper ocean counterclockwise; the Arctic atmosphere was relatively warm and humid, and freshwater flux from the Arctic Ocean towards the subarctic seas was intensified. By contrast, during anticylonic circulation regimes, high SLP dominated driving sea ice and the upper ocean clockwise. Meanwhile, the atmosphere was cold and dry and the freshwater flux from the Arctic to the subarctic seas was reduced. Since 1997, however, the Arctic system has been under the influence of an anticyclonic circulation regime (17 years) with a set of environmental parameters that are atypical for this regime. We discuss a hypothesis explaining the causes and mechanisms regulating the intensity and duration of Arctic circulation regimes, and speculate how changes in freshwater fluxes from the Arctic Ocean and Greenland impact environmental conditions and interrupt their decadal variability. © 2015 The Authors.

  18. Arctic carbon cycling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christensen, Torben R; Rysgaard, SØREN; Bendtsen, JØRGEN; Else, Brent; Glud, Ronnie N; van Huissteden, J.; Parmentier, F.J.W.; Sachs, Torsten; Vonk, J.E.

    2017-01-01

    The marine Arctic is considered a net carbon sink, with large regional differences in uptake rates. More regional modelling and observational studies are required to reduce the uncertainty among current estimates. Robust projections for how the Arctic Ocean carbon sink may evolve in the future are

  19. ArcticDEM Validation and Accuracy Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candela, S. G.; Howat, I.; Noh, M. J.; Porter, C. C.; Morin, P. J.

    2017-12-01

    ArcticDEM comprises a growing inventory Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) covering all land above 60°N. As of August, 2017, ArcticDEM had openly released 2-m resolution, individual DEM covering over 51 million km2, which includes areas of repeat coverage for change detection, as well as over 15 million km2 of 5-m resolution seamless mosaics. By the end of the project, over 80 million km2 of 2-m DEMs will be produced, averaging four repeats of the 20 million km2 Arctic landmass. ArcticDEM is produced from sub-meter resolution, stereoscopic imagery using open source software (SETSM) on the NCSA Blue Waters supercomputer. These DEMs have known biases of several meters due to errors in the sensor models generated from satellite positioning. These systematic errors are removed through three-dimensional registration to high-precision Lidar or other control datasets. ArcticDEM is registered to seasonally-subsetted ICESat elevations due its global coverage and high report accuracy ( 10 cm). The vertical accuracy of ArcticDEM is then obtained from the statistics of the fit to the ICESat point cloud, which averages -0.01 m ± 0.07 m. ICESat, however, has a relatively coarse measurement footprint ( 70 m) which may impact the precision of the registration. Further, the ICESat data predates the ArcticDEM imagery by a decade, so that temporal changes in the surface may also impact the registration. Finally, biases may exist between different the different sensors in the ArcticDEM constellation. Here we assess the accuracy of ArcticDEM and the ICESat registration through comparison to multiple high-resolution airborne lidar datasets that were acquired within one year of the imagery used in ArcticDEM. We find the ICESat dataset is performing as anticipated, introducing no systematic bias during the coregistration process, and reducing vertical errors to within the uncertainty of the airborne Lidars. Preliminary sensor comparisons show no significant difference post coregistration

  20. Arctic Haze Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mei, Linlu; Xue, Yong

    2013-04-01

    The Arctic atmosphere is perturbed by nature/anthropogenic aerosol sources known as the Arctic haze, was firstly observed in 1956 by J. Murray Mitchell in Alaska (Mitchell, 1956). Pacyna and Shaw (1992) summarized that Arctic haze is a mixture of anthropogenic and natural pollutants from a variety of sources in different geographical areas at altitudes from 2 to 4 or 5 km while the source for layers of polluted air at altitudes below 2.5 km mainly comes from episodic transportation of anthropogenic sources situated closer to the Arctic. Arctic haze of low troposphere was found to be of a very strong seasonal variation characterized by a summer minimum and a winter maximum in Alaskan (Barrie, 1986; Shaw, 1995) and other Arctic region (Xie and Hopke, 1999). An anthropogenic factor dominated by together with metallic species like Pb, Zn, V, As, Sb, In, etc. and nature source such as sea salt factor consisting mainly of Cl, Na, and K (Xie and Hopke, 1999), dust containing Fe, Al and so on (Rahn et al.,1977). Black carbon and soot can also be included during summer time because of the mix of smoke from wildfires. The Arctic air mass is a unique meteorological feature of the troposphere characterized by sub-zero temperatures, little precipitation, stable stratification that prevents strong vertical mixing and low levels of solar radiations (Barrie, 1986), causing less pollutants was scavenged, the major revival pathway for particulates from the atmosphere in Arctic (Shaw, 1981, 1995; Heintzenberg and Larssen, 1983). Due to the special meteorological condition mentioned above, we can conclude that Eurasian is the main contributor of the Arctic pollutants and the strong transport into the Arctic from Eurasia during winter caused by the high pressure of the climatologically persistent Siberian high pressure region (Barrie, 1986). The paper intends to address the atmospheric characteristics of Arctic haze by comparing the clear day and haze day using different dataset

  1. Arctic Sea Level Reconstruction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svendsen, Peter Limkilde

    Reconstruction of historical Arctic sea level is very difficult due to the limited coverage and quality of tide gauge and altimetry data in the area. This thesis addresses many of these issues, and discusses strategies to help achieve a stable and plausible reconstruction of Arctic sea level from...... 1950 to today.The primary record of historical sea level, on the order of several decades to a few centuries, is tide gauges. Tide gauge records from around the world are collected in the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) database, and includes data along the Arctic coasts. A reasonable...... amount of data is available along the Norwegian and Russian coasts since 1950, and most published research on Arctic sea level extends cautiously from these areas. Very little tide gauge data is available elsewhere in the Arctic, and records of a length of several decades,as generally recommended for sea...

  2. Research with Arctic peoples

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Smith, H Sally; Bjerregaard, Peter; Chan, Hing Man

    2006-01-01

    Arctic peoples are spread over eight countries and comprise 3.74 million residents, of whom 9% are indigenous. The Arctic countries include Canada, Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. Although Arctic peoples are very diverse, there are a variety...... of environmental and health issues that are unique to the Arctic regions, and research exploring these issues offers significant opportunities, as well as challenges. On July 28-29, 2004, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research co-sponsored a working group...... entitled "Research with Arctic Peoples: Unique Research Opportunities in Heart, Lung, Blood and Sleep Disorders". The meeting was international in scope with investigators from Greenland, Iceland and Russia, as well as Canada and the United States. Multiple health agencies from Canada and the United States...

  3. Master function for the solid:solution equilibrium of DOC in taiga and tundra soils of N. Russia: experimental and modeling results

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

    The formation and degradation of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) in arctic environments is intensively investigated, in the context of DOC loading of arctic rivers and seas as well as climate change. However, chemical interaction studies are more scarce, in particular those involving modeling. We investigated DOC interactions in N. Russian taiga and tundra soils, and found that water extractable organic carbon (WEOC) comprises only a small fraction of total organic carbon, whereas DOC is again a small fraction of WEOC. The chemical composition of DOC in terms of humic, fulvic, and hydrophilic acids, the concentrations of dominant cations such as Ca and Al, and the solid iron oxide contents appear to differ profoundly for different soil horizons, as well as between taiga and tundra soils. To reconcile these differences, we processed the data with a simple Freundlich model and with advanced LCD (Ligand and Charge Distribution) modeling of DOC interactions. In the LCD modeling, a combination is made of advances such as CD-MUSIC, and Nica-Donnan approaches, that are implemented in the software ORCHESTRA (though adjusted for computational stability by us). To avoid fitting without good foundation, use is made of the generic parameterization of LCD in combination with measured, site-specific chemical data such as concentrations. We observe that the soil samples from both regions, soil types and horizons can be described with a single DOC sorption Freundlich isotherm. More interestingly, for the same set of samples, the LCD modeling enables us to cast DOC sorption into a single Master Function, that takes iron oxide content and Al and Ca concentrations of soil samples into account in a purely predictive way. Based on this Master Function, it is feasible to assess how DOC is sorbed onto the solid surface. In combination with DOC production and degradation models, our results provide a more balanced instrument to address changes in DOC loading to surface waters due to

  4. Digital Necrobacillosis in Norwegian Wild Tundra Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Handeland, K.; Boye, Mette; Bergsjø, B.

    2010-01-01

    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....... 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....

  5. Abundant Pre-Industrial Carbon Emitted by Arctic Inland Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, J.; Van der Velde, Y.; Billett, M. F.; Dinsmore, K. J.; Garnett, M.; Meisel, O.; Dolman, A. J.

    2017-12-01

    Mobilization of carbon (C) derived from soil/sediment organic matter into inland freshwaters constitutes a substantial, but poorly-constrained, component of the global C cycle. Radiocarbon (14C) analysis has proven a valuable tool in tracing the sources and fate of mobilized C, but aquatic 14C studies in permafrost regions rarely detect 'old' C (assimilated from the atmosphere into plants and soil prior to AD1950). This is partly due to a focus on dissolved organic C (DOC) in many Arctic inland water 14C studies to date, now known to be an insensitive method for detecting old C. Crucially, the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) derived from old permafrost C by aquatic systems contributes to a positive climate feedback loop: the 'Permafrost Climate Feedback' (PCF). Here, we measure directly the 14C content and quantify fluxes of aquatic CO2 and CH4, alongside DOC and particulate-OC, in freshwater systems of the Canadian and Siberian Arctic tundra - the first such concurrent 14C measurements from freshwater systems. Aquatic C increased in age significantly over the snow-free season as the active layer deepened (Figure 1). However, 'modern' C (assimilated since AD1950) still dominated aquatic CO2 and CH4 emissions, except where deep ancient (6,000 to 50,000 yBP) C was exposed. Age distribution modeling of these bulk 14C samples indicated that 'pre-industrial' C (assimilated prior to AD1750) comprised 15-30% of aquatic GHGs (Figure 1). Further, we estimate that 15-20% of total CO2 and CH4 emissions were derived from old C previously locked up in permafrost soils and thus contributed to the PCF. These results demonstrate the previously unknown presence of aged C within Arctic headwater GHG emissions that could be equivalent to 7.5-28.2 Tg C yr-1 across the pan-Arctic.

  6. Nest-site selection and nest success of an Arctic-breeding passerine, Smith's Longspur, in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, Heather R.; Kendall, Steve J.; Powell, Abby

    2017-01-01

    Despite changes in shrub cover and weather patterns associated with climate change in the Arctic, little is known about the breeding requirements of most passerines tied to northern regions. We investigated the nesting biology and nest habitat characteristics of Smith's Longspurs (Calcarius pictus) in 2 study areas in the Brooks Range of Alaska, USA. First, we examined variation in nesting phenology in relation to local temperatures. We then characterized nesting habitat and analyzed nest-site selection for a subset of nests (n = 86) in comparison with paired random points. Finally, we estimated the daily survival rate of 257 nests found in 2007–2013 with respect to both habitat characteristics and weather variables. Nest initiation was delayed in years with snow events, heavy rain, and freezing temperatures early in the breeding season. Nests were typically found in open, low-shrub tundra, and never among tall shrubs (mean shrub height at nests = 26.8 ± 6.7 cm). We observed weak nest-site selection patterns. Considering the similarity between nest sites and paired random points, coupled with the unique social mating system of Smith's Longspurs, we suggest that habitat selection may occur at the neighborhood scale and not at the nest-site scale. The best approximating model explaining nest survival suggested a positive relationship with the numbers of days above 21°C that an individual nest experienced; there was little support for models containing habitat variables. The daily nest survival rate was high (0.972–0.982) compared with that of most passerines in forested or grassland habitats, but similar to that of passerines nesting on tundra. Considering their high nesting success and ability to delay nest initiation during inclement weather, Smith's Longspurs may be resilient to predicted changes in weather regimes on the breeding grounds. Thus, the greatest threat to breeding Smith's Longspurs associated with climate change may be the loss of low

  7. Arctic Climate Systems Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ivey, Mark D. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Robinson, David G. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Boslough, Mark B. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Backus, George A. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Peterson, Kara J. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); van Bloemen Waanders, Bart G. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Swiler, Laura Painton [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Desilets, Darin Maurice [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Reinert, Rhonda Karen [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2015-03-01

    This study began with a challenge from program area managers at Sandia National Laboratories to technical staff in the energy, climate, and infrastructure security areas: apply a systems-level perspective to existing science and technology program areas in order to determine technology gaps, identify new technical capabilities at Sandia that could be applied to these areas, and identify opportunities for innovation. The Arctic was selected as one of these areas for systems level analyses, and this report documents the results. In this study, an emphasis was placed on the arctic atmosphere since Sandia has been active in atmospheric research in the Arctic since 1997. This study begins with a discussion of the challenges and benefits of analyzing the Arctic as a system. It goes on to discuss current and future needs of the defense, scientific, energy, and intelligence communities for more comprehensive data products related to the Arctic; assess the current state of atmospheric measurement resources available for the Arctic; and explain how the capabilities at Sandia National Laboratories can be used to address the identified technological, data, and modeling needs of the defense, scientific, energy, and intelligence communities for Arctic support.

  8. Diazotroph Diversity in the Sea Ice, Melt Ponds, and Surface Waters of the Eurasian Basin of the Central Arctic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Turk-Kubo, Kendra A; Buttigieg, Pier L; Rapp, Josephine Z; Krumpen, Thomas; Zehr, Jonathan P; Boetius, Antje

    2016-01-01

    The Eurasian basin of the Central Arctic Ocean is nitrogen limited, but little is known about the presence and role of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Recent studies have indicated the occurrence of diazotrophs in Arctic coastal waters potentially of riverine origin. Here, we investigated the presence of diazotrophs in ice and surface waters of the Central Arctic Ocean in the summer of 2012. We identified diverse communities of putative diazotrophs through targeted analysis of the nifH gene, which encodes the iron protein of the nitrogenase enzyme. We amplified 529 nifH sequences from 26 samples of Arctic melt ponds, sea ice and surface waters. These sequences resolved into 43 clusters at 92% amino acid sequence identity, most of which were non-cyanobacterial phylotypes from sea ice and water samples. One cyanobacterial phylotype related to Nodularia sp. was retrieved from sea ice, suggesting that this important functional group is rare in the Central Arctic Ocean. The diazotrophic community in sea-ice environments appear distinct from other cold-adapted diazotrophic communities, such as those present in the coastal Canadian Arctic, the Arctic tundra and glacial Antarctic lakes. Molecular fingerprinting of nifH and the intergenic spacer region of the rRNA operon revealed differences between the communities from river-influenced Laptev Sea waters and those from ice-related environments pointing toward a marine origin for sea-ice diazotrophs. Our results provide the first record of diazotrophs in the Central Arctic and suggest that microbial nitrogen fixation may occur north of 77°N. To assess the significance of nitrogen fixation for the nitrogen budget of the Arctic Ocean and to identify the active nitrogen fixers, further biogeochemical and molecular biological studies are needed.

  9. Diazotroph diversity in the sea ice, melt ponds and surface waters of the Eurasian Basin of the Central Arctic Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mar Fernández-Méndez

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The Eurasian basin of the Central Arctic Ocean is nitrogen limited, but little is known about the presence and role of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Recent studies have indicated the occurrence of diazotrophs in Arctic coastal waters potentially of riverine origin. Here, we investigated the presence of diazotrophs in ice and surface waters of the Central Arctic Ocean in the summer of 2012. We identified diverse communities of putative diazotrophs through targeted analysis of the nifH gene, which encodes the iron protein of the nitrogenase enzyme. We amplified 529 nifH sequences from 26 samples of Arctic melt ponds, sea ice and surface waters. These sequences resolved into 43 clusters at 92% amino acid sequence identity, most of which were non-cyanobacterial phylotypes from sea ice and water samples. One cyanobacterial phylotype related to Nodularia sp. was retrieved from sea ice, suggesting that this important functional group is rare in the Central Arctic Ocean. The diazotrophic community in sea-ice environments appear distinct from other cold-adapted diazotrophic communities, such as those present in the coastal Canadian Arctic, the Arctic tundra and glacial Antarctic lakes. Molecular fingerprinting of nifH and the intergenic spacer region of the rRNA operon revealed differences between the communities from river-influenced Laptev Sea waters and those from ice-related environments pointing towards a marine origin for sea-ice diazotrophs. Our results provide the first record of diazotrophs in the Central Arctic and suggest that microbial nitrogen fixation may occur north of 77ºN. To assess the significance of nitrogen fixation for the nitrogen budget of the Arctic Ocean and to identify the active nitrogen fixers, further biogeochemical and molecular biological studies are needed.

  10. Chemical characteristics of fulvic acids from Arctic surface waters: Microbial contributions and photochemical transformations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cory, Rose M.; McKnight, Diane M.; Chin, Yu-Ping; Miller, Penney; Jaros, Chris L.

    2007-12-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) originating from the extensive Arctic tundra is an important source of organic material to the Arctic Ocean. Chemical characteristics of whole water dissolved organic matter (DOM) and the fulvic acid fraction of DOM were studied from nine surface waters in the Arctic region of Alaska to gain insight into the extent of microbial and photochemical transformation of this DOM. All the fulvic acids had a strong terrestrial/higher plant signature, with uniformly depleted δ13C values of -28‰, and low fluorescence indices around 1.3. Several of the measured chemical characteristics of the Arctic fulvic acids were related to water residence time, a measure of environmental exposure to sunlight and microbial activity. For example, fulvic acids from Arctic streams had higher aromatic contents, higher specific absorbance values, lower nitrogen content, lower amino acid-like fluorescence and were more depleted in δ15N relative to fulvic acids isolated from lake and coastal surface waters. The differences in the nitrogen signature between the lake and coastal fulvic acids compared to the stream fulvic acids indicated that microbial contributions to the fulvic acid pool increased with increasing water residence time. The photo-lability of the fulvic acids was positively correlated with water residence time, suggesting that the fulvic acids isolated from source waters with larger water residence times (i.e., lakes and coastal waters) have experienced greater photochemical degradation than the stream fulvic acids. In addition, many of the initial differences in fulvic acid chemical characteristics across the gradient of water residence times were consistent with changes observed in fulvic acid photolysis experiments. Taken together, results from this study suggest that photochemical processes predominantly control the chemical character of fulvic acids in Arctic surface waters. Our findings show that hydrologic transport in addition to

  11. Globalising the Arctic Climate:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Corry, Olaf

    2017-01-01

    This chapter uses an object-oriented approach to explore how the Arctic is being constituted as an object of global governance within an emerging ‘global polity’, partly through geoengineering plans and political visions ('imaginaries'). It suggests that governance objects—the socially constructed...... on world politics. The emergence of the Arctic climate as a potential target of governance provides a case in point. The Arctic climate is becoming globalised, pushing it up the political agenda but drawing it away from its local and regional context....

  12. When Winners Become Losers: Predicted Nonlinear Responses of Arctic Birds to Increasing Woody Vegetation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah J Thompson

    Full Text Available Climate change is facilitating rapid changes in the composition and distribution of vegetation at northern latitudes, raising questions about the responses of wildlife that rely on arctic ecosystems. One widely observed change occurring in arctic tundra ecosystems is an increasing dominance of deciduous shrub vegetation. Our goals were to examine the tolerance of arctic-nesting bird species to existing gradients of vegetation along the boreal forest-tundra ecotone, to predict the abundance of species across different heights and densities of shrubs, and to identify species that will be most or least responsive to ongoing expansion of shrubs in tundra ecosystems. We conducted 1,208 point counts on 12 study blocks from 2012-2014 in northwestern Alaska, using repeated surveys to account for imperfect detection of birds. We considered the importance of shrub height, density of low and tall shrubs (i.e. shrubs >0.5 m tall, percent of ground cover attributed to shrubs (including dwarf shrubs <0.5 m tall, and percent of herbaceous plant cover in predicting bird abundance. Among 17 species considered, only gray-cheeked thrush (Catharus minimus abundance was associated with the highest values of all shrub metrics in its top predictive model. All other species either declined in abundance in response to one or more shrub metrics or reached a threshold where further increases in shrubs did not contribute to greater abundance. In many instances the relationship between avian abundance and shrubs was nonlinear, with predicted abundance peaking at moderate values of the covariate, then declining at high values. In particular, a large number of species were responsive to increasing values of average shrub height with six species having highest abundance at near-zero values of shrub height and abundance of four other species decreasing once heights reached moderate values (≤ 33 cm. Our findings suggest that increases in shrub cover and density will negatively

  13. Tundra swan habitat preferences during migration in North Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earnst, Susan L.

    1994-01-01

    I studied tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) habitat preference in North Dakota during autumn migration, 1988-89. Many thousand tundra swans stop in the Prairie Pothole region during autumn migration, but swan resource use has not been quantified. I examined habitat preference in relation to an index of sago pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus) presence, extent of open water, and wetland size. I compared habitat preference derived from counts of all swans to those derived from foraging swans only and cygnets only. Foraging swans preferred wetlands with sago pondweed (P = 0.03); the number of foraging swans per wetland was >4 times higher on wetlands with sago pondweed than on wetlands without sago. In contrast, nonforaging swans did not prefer wetlands with sago pondweed (P = 0.85) but preferred large wetlands (P = 0.02) and those with a high proportion of contiguous open water (P feeding than adults (P = 0.03) and occurred proportionately more often in smaller flocks (P = 0.04), but cygnets and adults had similar habitat preferences.

  14. Post-fire Thermokarst Development Along a Planned Road Corridor in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, B. M.; Grosse, G.; Larsen, C. F.; Hayes, D. J.; Arp, C. D.; Liu, L.; Miller, E.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfire disturbance in northern high latitude regions is an important factor contributing to ecosystem and landscape change. In permafrost influenced terrain, fire may initiate thermokarst development which impacts hydrology, vegetation, wildlife, carbon storage and infrastructure. In this study we differenced two airborne LiDAR datasets that were acquired in the aftermath of the large and severe Anaktuvuk River tundra fire, which in 2007 burned across a proposed road corridor in Arctic Alaska. The 2009 LiDAR dataset was acquired by the Alaska Department of Transportation in preparation for construction of a gravel road that would connect the Dalton Highway with the logistical camp of Umiat. The 2014 LiDAR dataset was acquired by the USGS to quantify potential post-fire thermokarst development over the first seven years following the tundra fire event. By differencing the two 1 m resolution digital terrain models, we measured permafrost thaw subsidence across 34% of the burned tundra area studied, and observed less than 1% in similar, undisturbed tundra terrain units. Ice-rich, yedoma upland terrain was most susceptible to thermokarst development following the disturbance, accounting for 50% of the areal and volumetric change detected, with some locations subsiding more than six meters over the study period. Calculation of rugosity, or surface roughness, in the two datasets showed a doubling in microtopography on average across the burned portion of the study area, with a 340% increase in yedoma upland terrain. An additional LiDAR dataset was acquired in April 2015 to document the role of thermokarst development on enhanced snow accumulation and subsequent snowmelt runoff within the burn area. Our findings will enable future vulnerability assessments of ice-rich permafrost terrain as a result of shifting disturbance regimes. Such assessments are needed to address questions focused on the impact of permafrost degradation on physical, ecological, and socio

  15. Range expansion of moose in arctic Alaska linked to warming and increased shrub habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tape, Ken D.; Gustine, David D.; Reuss, Roger W.; Adams, Layne G.; Clark, Jason A.

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators.

  16. Amino acid production exceeds plant nitrogen demand in Siberian tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, Birgit; Eloy Alves, Ricardo J.; Bárta, Jiři; Čapek, Petr; Gentsch, Norman; Guggenberger, Georg; Hugelius, Gustaf; Knoltsch, Anna; Kuhry, Peter; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Palmtag, Juri; Prommer, Judith; Schnecker, Jörg; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Urich, Tim; Richter, Andreas

    2018-03-01

    Arctic plant productivity is often limited by low soil N availability. This has been attributed to slow breakdown of N-containing polymers in litter and soil organic matter (SOM) into smaller, available units, and to shallow plant rooting constrained by permafrost and high soil moisture. Using 15N pool dilution assays, we here quantified gross amino acid and ammonium production rates in 97 active layer samples from four sites across the Siberian Arctic. We found that amino acid production in organic layers alone exceeded literature-based estimates of maximum plant N uptake 17-fold and therefore reject the hypothesis that arctic plant N limitation results from slow SOM breakdown. High microbial N use efficiency in organic layers rather suggests strong competition of microorganisms and plants in the dominant rooting zone. Deeper horizons showed lower amino acid production rates per volume, but also lower microbial N use efficiency. Permafrost thaw together with soil drainage might facilitate deeper plant rooting and uptake of previously inaccessible subsoil N, and thereby promote plant productivity in arctic ecosystems. We conclude that changes in microbial decomposer activity, microbial N utilization and plant root density with soil depth interactively control N availability for plants in the Arctic.

  17. Arctic Mixed Layer Dynamics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Morison, James

    2003-01-01

    .... Over the years we have sought to understand the heat and mass balance of the mixed layer, marginal ice zone processes, the Arctic internal wave and mixing environment, summer and winter leads, and convection...

  18. Arctic Aerosols and Sources

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Ingeborg Elbæk

    2017-01-01

    Since the Industrial Revolution, the anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases has been increasing, leading to a rise in the global temperature. Particularly in the Arctic, climate change is having serious impact where the average temperature has increased almost twice as much as the global during......, ammonium, black carbon, and trace metals. This PhD dissertation studies Arctic aerosols and their sources, with special focus on black carbon, attempting to increase the knowledge about aerosols’ effect on the climate in an Arctic content. The first part of the dissertation examines the diversity...... of aerosol emissions from an important anthropogenic aerosol source: residential wood combustion. The second part, characterizes the chemical and physical composition of aerosols while investigating sources of aerosols in the Arctic. The main instrument used in this research has been the state...

  19. Live from the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warnick, W. K.; Haines-Stiles, G.; Warburton, J.; Sunwood, K.

    2003-12-01

    For reasons of geography and geophysics, the poles of our planet, the Arctic and Antarctica, are places where climate change appears first: they are global canaries in the mine shaft. But while Antarctica (its penguins and ozone hole, for example) has been relatively well-documented in recent books, TV programs and journalism, the far North has received somewhat less attention. This project builds on and advances what has been done to date to share the people, places, and stories of the North with all Americans through multiple media, over several years. In a collaborative project between the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) and PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, Live from the Arctic will bring the Arctic environment to the public through a series of primetime broadcasts, live and taped programming, interactive virtual field trips, and webcasts. The five-year project will culminate during the 2007-2008 International Polar Year (IPY). Live from the Arctic will: A. Promote global understanding about the value and world -wide significance of the Arctic, B. Bring cutting-edge research to both non-formal and formal education communities, C. Provide opportunities for collaboration between arctic scientists, arctic communities, and the general public. Content will focus on the following four themes. 1. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts on Land (i.e. snow cover; permafrost; glaciers; hydrology; species composition, distribution, and abundance; subsistence harvesting) 2. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts in the Sea (i.e. salinity, temperature, currents, nutrients, sea ice, marine ecosystems (including people, marine mammals and fisheries) 3. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts in the Atmosphere (i.e. precipitation and evaporation; effects on humans and their communities) 4. Global Perspectives (i.e. effects on humans and communities, impacts to rest of the world) In The Earth is Faster Now, a recent collection of comments by members of indigenous arctic peoples, arctic

  20. The future of Arctic benthos: Expansion, invasion, and biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renaud, Paul E.; Sejr, Mikael K.; Bluhm, Bodil A.; Sirenko, Boris; Ellingsen, Ingrid H.

    2015-12-01

    One of the logical predictions for a future Arctic characterized by warmer waters and reduced sea-ice is that new taxa will expand or invade Arctic seafloor habitats. Specific predictions regarding where this will occur and which taxa are most likely to become established or excluded are lacking, however. We synthesize recent studies and conduct new analyses in the context of climate forecasts and a paleontological perspective to make concrete predictions as to relevant mechanisms, regions, and functional traits contributing to future biodiversity changes. Historically, a warmer Arctic is more readily invaded or transited by boreal taxa than it is during cold periods. Oceanography of an ice-free Arctic Ocean, combined with life-history traits of invading taxa and availability of suitable habitat, determine expansion success. It is difficult to generalize as to which taxonomic groups or locations are likely to experience expansion, however, since species-specific, and perhaps population-specific autecologies, will determine success or failure. Several examples of expansion into the Arctic have been noted, and along with the results from the relatively few Arctic biological time-series suggest inflow shelves (Barents and Chukchi Seas), as well as West Greenland and the western Kara Sea, are most likely locations for expansion. Apparent temperature thresholds were identified for characteristic Arctic and boreal benthic fauna suggesting strong potential for range constrictions of Arctic, and expansions of boreal, fauna in the near future. Increasing human activities in the region could speed introductions of boreal fauna and reduce the value of a planktonic dispersal stage. Finally, shelf regions are likely to experience a greater impact, and also one with greater potential consequences, than the deep Arctic basin. Future research strategies should focus on monitoring as well as compiling basic physiological and life-history information of Arctic and boreal taxa, and

  1. New views on changing Arctic vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Robert E.

    2012-03-01

    ). While the USGS archive has been dominated by imagery from the United States, recent efforts by the USGS to repatriate data stored in international archives are adding new historical images to the archive every day. With persistence and the goodwill of collaborating countries, this effort may someday allow analyses similar to that of Fraser et al across broader expanses of the Earth, providing further insights into the mechanisms and manifestations of climate change. References Chapin F S et al 2000 Arctic and boreal ecosystems of western North America as components of the climate system Glob. Change Biol. 6 211-23 Coops N C and Waring R H 2011 A process-based approach to estimate lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl.) distribution in the Pacific Northwest under climate change Clim. Change 105 313-28 de Beurs K M and Henebry G M 2010 A land surface phenology assessment of the northern polar regions using MODIS reflectance time series Can. J. Remote Sens. 36 S87-110 Forbes B C, Fauria M M and Zetterberg P 2010 Russian Arctic warming and 'greening' are closely tracked by tundra shrub willows Glob. Change Biol. 16 1542-54 Fraser R H et al 2011 Detecting long-term changes to vegetation in northern Canada using the Landsat satellite image archive Environ. Res. Lett. 6 045502 Goodwin N R, Magnussen S, Coops N C and Wulder M A 2010 Curve fitting of time-series Landsat imagery for characterizing a mountain pine beetle infestation Int. J. Remote Sens. 31 3263-71 Hais M, Jonášová M, Langhammer J and Kuèera T 2009 Comparison of two types of forest disturbance using multitemporal Landsat TM/ETMC imagery and field vegetation data Remote Sens. Environ. 113 835-45 Hansen M C, Stehman S V and Potapov P V 2010 Quantification of global gross forest cover loss Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. 107 8650-5 Huang C, Goward S N, Masek J G, Thomas N, Zhu Z and Vogelmann J E 2010 An automated approach for reconstructing recent forest disturbance history using dense Landsat time series stacks Remote Sens

  2. Arctic water tracks retain phosphorus and transport ammonium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harms, T.; Cook, C. L.; Wlostowski, A. N.; Godsey, S.; Gooseff, M. N.

    2017-12-01

    Hydrologic flowpaths propagate biogeochemical signals among adjacent ecosystems, but reactions may attenuate signals by retaining, removing, or transforming dissolved and suspended materials. The theory of nutrient spiraling describes these simultaneous reaction and transport processes, but its application has been limited to stream channels. We applied nutrient spiraling theory to water tracks, zero-order channels draining Arctic hillslopes that contain perennially saturated soils and flow at the surface either perennially or in response to precipitation. In the Arctic, experimental warming results in increased availability of nitrogen, the limiting nutrient for hillslope vegetation at the study site, which may be delivered to aquatic ecosystems by water tracks. Increased intensity of rain events, deeper snowpack, earlier snowmelt, and increasing thaw depth resulting from climate change might support increased transport of nutrients, but the reactive capacity of hillslope flowpaths, including sorption and uptake by plants and microbes, could counter transport to regulate solute flux. Characteristics of flowpaths might influence the opportunity for reaction, where slower flowpaths increase the contact time between solutes and soils or roots. We measured nitrogen and phosphorus uptake and transient storage of water tracks through the growing season and found that water tracks retain inorganic phosphorus, but transport ammonium. Nutrient uptake was unrelated to transient storage, suggesting high capacity for nutrient retention by shallow organic soils and vegetation. These observations indicate that increased availability of ammonium, the biogeochemical signal of warming tundra, is propagated by hillslope flowpaths, whereas water tracks attenuate delivery of phosphorus to aquatic ecosystems, where its availability typically limits production.

  3. Terrestrial biosphere models underestimate photosynthetic capacity and CO2 assimilation in the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Alistair; Serbin, Shawn P; Ely, Kim S; Sloan, Victoria L; Wullschleger, Stan D

    2017-12-01

    Terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) are highly sensitive to model representation of photosynthesis, in particular the parameters maximum carboxylation rate and maximum electron transport rate at 25°C (V c,max.25 and J max.25 , respectively). Many TBMs do not include representation of Arctic plants, and those that do rely on understanding and parameterization from temperate species. We measured photosynthetic CO 2 response curves and leaf nitrogen (N) content in species representing the dominant vascular plant functional types found on the coastal tundra near Barrow, Alaska. The activation energies associated with the temperature response functions of V c,max and J max were 17% lower than commonly used values. When scaled to 25°C, V c,max.25 and J max.25 were two- to five-fold higher than the values used to parameterize current TBMs. This high photosynthetic capacity was attributable to a high leaf N content and the high fraction of N invested in Rubisco. Leaf-level modeling demonstrated that current parameterization of TBMs resulted in a two-fold underestimation of the capacity for leaf-level CO 2 assimilation in Arctic vegetation. This study highlights the poor representation of Arctic photosynthesis in TBMs, and provides the critical data necessary to improve our ability to project the response of the Arctic to global environmental change. No claim to original US Government works. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Advancing High Spatial and Spectral Resolution Remote Sensing for Observing Plant Community Response to Environmental Variability and Change in the Alaskan Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas Zesati, Sergio A.

    The Arctic is being impacted by climate change more than any other region on Earth. Impacts to terrestrial ecosystems have the potential to manifest through feedbacks with other components of the Earth System. Of particular concern is the potential for the massive store of soil organic carbon to be released from arctic permafrost to the atmosphere where it could exacerbate greenhouse warming and impact global climate and biogeochemical cycles. Even though substantial gains to our understanding of the changing Arctic have been made, especially over the past decade, linking research results from plot to regional scales remains a challenge due to the lack of adequate low/mid-altitude sampling platforms, logistic constraints, and the lack of cross-scale validation of research methodologies. The prime motivation of this study is to advance observational capacities suitable for documenting multi-scale environmental change in arctic terrestrial landscapes through the development and testing of novel ground-based and low altitude remote sensing methods. Specifically this study addressed the following questions: • How well can low-cost kite aerial photography and advanced computer vision techniques model the microtopographic heterogeneity of changing tundra surfaces? • How does imagery from kite aerial photography and fixed time-lapse digital cameras (pheno-cams) compare in their capacity to monitor plot-level phenological dynamics of arctic vegetation communities? • Can the use of multi-scale digital imaging systems be scaled to improve measurements of ecosystem properties and processes at the landscape level? • How do results from ground-based and low altitude digital remote sensing of the spatiotemporal variability in ecosystem processes compare with those from satellite remote sensing platforms? Key findings from this study suggest that cost-effective alternative digital imaging and remote sensing methods are suitable for monitoring and quantifying plot to

  5. Contemporary Arctic Sea Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazenave, A. A.

    2017-12-01

    During recent decades, the Arctic region has warmed at a rate about twice the rest of the globe. Sea ice melting is increasing and the Greenland ice sheet is losing mass at an accelerated rate. Arctic warming, decrease in the sea ice cover and fresh water input to the Arctic ocean may eventually impact the Arctic sea level. In this presentation, we review our current knowledge of contemporary Arctic sea level changes. Until the beginning of the 1990s, Arctic sea level variations were essentially deduced from tide gauges located along the Russian and Norwegian coastlines. Since then, high inclination satellite altimetry missions have allowed measuring sea level over a large portion of the Arctic Ocean (up to 80 degree north). Measuring sea level in the Arctic by satellite altimetry is challenging because the presence of sea ice cover limits the full capacity of this technique. However adapted processing of raw altimetric measurements significantly increases the number of valid data, hence the data coverage, from which regional sea level variations can be extracted. Over the altimetry era, positive trend patterns are observed over the Beaufort Gyre and along the east coast of Greenland, while negative trends are reported along the Siberian shelf. On average over the Arctic region covered by satellite altimetry, the rate of sea level rise since 1992 is slightly less than the global mea sea level rate (of about 3 mm per year). On the other hand, the interannual variability is quite significant. Space gravimetry data from the GRACE mission and ocean reanalyses provide information on the mass and steric contributions to sea level, hence on the sea level budget. Budget studies show that regional sea level trends over the Beaufort Gyre and along the eastern coast of Greenland, are essentially due to salinity changes. However, in terms of regional average, the net steric component contributes little to the observed sea level trend. The sea level budget in the Arctic

  6. Arctic Rabies – A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prestrud Pål

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available Rabies seems to persist throughout most arctic regions, and the northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland, is the only part of the Arctic where rabies has not been diagnosed in recent time. The arctic fox is the main host, and the same arctic virus variant seems to infect the arctic fox throughout the range of this species. The epidemiology of rabies seems to have certain common characteristics in arctic regions, but main questions such as the maintenance and spread of the disease remains largely unknown. The virus has spread and initiated new epidemics also in other species such as the red fox and the racoon dog. Large land areas and cold climate complicate the control of the disease, but experimental oral vaccination of arctic foxes has been successful. This article summarises the current knowledge and the typical characteristics of arctic rabies including its distribution and epidemiology.

  7. Biodiversity, Distributions and Adaptations of Arctic Species in the Context of Environmental Change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Callaghan, Terry V. [Abisko Scientific Research Station, Abisko (Sweden); Bjoern, Lars Olof [Lund Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Cell and Organism Biology; Chernov, Yuri [Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russian Federation). A.N. Severtsov Inst. of Evolutionary Morphology and Animal Ecology] (and others)

    2004-11-01

    The individual of a species is the basic unit which responds to climate and UV-B changes, and it responds over a wide range of time scales. The diversity of animal, plant and microbial species appears to be low in the Arctic, and decreases from the boreal forests to the polar deserts of the extreme North but primitive species are particularly abundant. This latitudinal decline is associated with an increase in superdominant species that occupy a wide range of habitats. Climate warming is expected to reduce the abundance and restrict the ranges of such species and to affect species at their northern range boundaries more than in the South: some Arctic animal and plant specialists could face extinction. Species most likely to expand into tundra are boreal species that currently exist as outlier populations in the Arctic. Many plant species have characteristics that allow them to survive short snow-free growing seasons, low solar angles, permafrost and low soil temperatures, low nutrient availability and physical disturbance. Many of these characteristics are likely to limit species' responses to climate warming, but mainly because of poor competitive ability compared with potential immigrant species. Terrestrial Arctic animals possess many adaptations that enable them to persist under a wide range of temperatures in the Arctic. Many escape unfavorable weather and resource shortage by winter dormancy or by migration. The biotic environment of Arctic animal species is relatively simple with few enemies, competitors, diseases, parasites and available food resources. Terrestrial Arctic animals are likely to be most vulnerable to warmer and drier summers, climatic changes that interfere with migration routes and staging areas, altered snow conditions and freeze-thaw cycles in winter, climate-induced disruption of the seasonal timing of reproduction and development, and influx of new competitors, predators, parasites and diseases. Arctic microorganisms are also well

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amundsen, C.C.

    1975-01-01

    A study, begun in 1971, has been undertaken to determine the environmental factors which affect the recovery of damaged tundra vegetation. A sampling 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. Attempts were made to sample across all examples of aspect, slope steepness and exposure. The data were analyzed and we concluded that there was no directional secondary succession on the Amchitka tundra, although there was vigorous recovery on organic soils. The study led to recommendations which resulted in a smaller effort than planned to reclaim damaged areas by seeding and fertilizing at a considerable financial saving and without further biological perturbation. Because of the increasing activity on tundra landscape, whether for energy production, or military or other reasons, we are expanding our sampling to other tundra areas. Immediate plans include sampling at Adak Island and Barrow, Alaska. (U.S.)

  9. 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.

  10. Plant nutrient acquisition strategies in tundra species: at which soil depth do species take up their nitrogen?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limpens, Juul; Heijmans, Monique; Nauta, Ake; van Huissteden, Corine; van Rijssel, Sophie

    2016-04-01

    The Arctic is warming at unprecedented rates. Increased thawing of permafrost releases nutrients locked up in the previously frozen soils layers, which may initiate shifts in vegetation composition. The direction in which the vegetation shifts will co-determine whether Arctic warming is mitigated or accelerated, making understanding successional trajectories urgent. One of the key factors influencing the competitive relationships between plant species is their access to nutrients, in particularly nitrogen (N). We assessed the depth at which plant species took up N by performing a 15N tracer study, injecting 15(NH4)2SO4 at three depths (5, 15, 20 cm) into the soil in arctic tundra in north-eastern Siberia in July. In addition we explored plant nutrient acquisition strategy by analyzing natural abundances of 15N in leaves. We found that vascular plants took up 15N at all injection depths, irrespective of species, but also that species showed a clear preference for specific soil layers that coincided with their functional group (graminoids, dwarf shrubs, cryptogams). Graminoids took up most 15N at 20 cm depth nearest to the thaw front, with grasses showing a more pronounced preference than sedges. Dwarf shrubs took up most 15N at 5 cm depth, with deciduous shrubs displaying more preference than evergreens. Cryptogams did not take up any of the supplied 15N . The natural 15N abundances confirmed the pattern of nutrient acquisition from deeper soil layers in graminoids and from shallow soil layers in both deciduous and evergreen dwarf shrubs. Our results prove that graminoids and shrubs differ in their N uptake strategies, with graminoids profiting from nutrients released at the thaw front, whereas shrubs forage in the upper soil layers. The above implies that graminoids, grasses in particular, will have a competitive advantage over shrubs as the thaw front proceeds and/or superficial soil layers dry out. Our results suggest that the vertical distribution of nutrients

  11. Final Report for “Simulating the Arctic Winter Longwave Indirect Effects. A New Parameterization for Frost Flower Aerosol Salt Emissions” (DESC0006679) for 9/15/2011 through 9/14/2015

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Russell, Lynn M. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States); Somerville, Richard C.J. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States); Burrows, Susannah [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Rasch, Phil [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2015-12-12

    Description of the Project: This project has improved the aerosol formulation in a global climate model by using innovative new field and laboratory observations to develop and implement a novel wind-driven sea ice aerosol flux parameterization. This work fills a critical gap in the understanding of clouds, aerosol, and radiation in polar regions by addressing one of the largest missing particle sources in aerosol-climate modeling. Recent measurements of Arctic organic and inorganic aerosol indicate that the largest source of natural aerosol during the Arctic winter is emitted from crystal structures, known as frost flowers, formed on a newly frozen sea ice surface [Shaw et al., 2010]. We have implemented the new parameterization in an updated climate model making it the first capable of investigating how polar natural aerosol-cloud indirect effects relate to this important and previously unrecognized sea ice source. The parameterization is constrained by Arctic ARM in situ cloud and radiation data. The modified climate model has been used to quantify the potential pan-Arctic radiative forcing and aerosol indirect effects due to this missing source. This research supported the work of one postdoc (Li Xu) for two years and contributed to the training and research of an undergraduate student. This research allowed us to establish a collaboration between SIO and PNNL in order to contribute the frost flower parameterization to the new ACME model. One peer-reviewed publications has already resulted from this work, and a manuscript for a second publication has been completed. Additional publications from the PNNL collaboration are expected to follow.

  12. Predicting Potential C Mineralization of Tundra Soils Using Spectroscopy Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    The large amounts of organic matter stored in permafrost-region soils are preserved in a relatively undecomposed state by the cold and wet environmental conditions limiting decomposer activity. With pending climate changes and the potential for warming of Arctic soils, there is a need to better unde...

  13. Shrub expansion may reduce summer permafrost thaw in Siberian tundra

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blok, D.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Schaepman-Strub, G.; Kononov, A.V.; Maximov, T.C.; Berendse, F.

    2010-01-01

    Climate change is expected to cause extensive vegetation changes in the Arctic: deciduous shrubs are already expanding, in response to climate warming. The results from transect studies suggest that increasing shrub cover will impact significantly on the surface energy balance. However, little is

  14. Landsat time series analysis documents beaver migration into permafrost landscapes of arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, B. M.; Tape, K. D.; Nitze, I.; Arp, C. D.; Grosse, G.; Zimmerman, C. E.

    2017-12-01

    Landscape-scale impacts of climate change in the Arctic include increases in growing season length, shrubby vegetation, winter river discharge, snowfall, summer and winter water temperatures, and decreases in river and lake ice thickness. Combined, these changes may have created conditions that are suitable for beaver colonization of low Arctic tundra regions. We developed a semi-automated workflow that analyzes Landsat imagery time series to determine the extent to which beavers may have colonized permafrost landscapes in arctic Alaska since 1999. We tested this approach on the Lower Noatak, Wulik, and Kivalina river watersheds in northwest Alaska and identified 83 locations representing potential beaver activity. Seventy locations indicated wetting trends and 13 indicated drying trends. Verification of each site using high-resolution satellite imagery showed that 80 % of the wetting locations represented beaver activity (damming and pond formation), 11 % were unrelated to beavers, and 9 % could not readily be distinguished as being beaver related or not. For the drying locations, 31 % represented beaver activity (pond drying due to dam abandonment), 62 % were unrelated to beavers, and 7 % were undetermined. Comparison of the beaver activity database with historic aerial photography from ca. 1950 and ca. 1980 indicates that beavers have recently colonized or recolonized riparian corridors in northwest Alaska. Remote sensing time series observations associated with the migration of beavers in permafrost landscapes in arctic Alaska include thermokarst lake expansion and drainage, thaw slump initiation, ice wedge degradation, thermokarst shore fen development, and possibly development of lake and river taliks. Additionally, beaver colonization in the Arctic may alter channel courses, thermal regimes, hyporheic flow, riparian vegetation, and winter ice regimes that could impact ecosystem structure and function in this region. In particular, the combination of beaver

  15. Arctic security and Norway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tamnes, Rolf

    2013-03-01

    Global warming is one of the most serious threats facing mankind. Many regions and countries will be affected, and there will be many losers. The earliest and most intense climatic changes are being experienced in the Arctic region. Arctic average temperature has risen at twice the rate of the global average in the past half century. These changes provide an early indication for the world of the environmental and societal significance of global warming. For that reason, the Arctic presents itself as an important scientific laboratory for improving our understanding of the causes and patterns of climate changes. The rapidly rising temperature threatens the Arctic ecosystem, but the human consequences seem to be far less dramatic there than in many other places in the world. According to the U.S. National Intelligence Council, Russia has the potential to gain the most from increasingly temperate weather, because its petroleum reserves become more accessible and because the opening of an Arctic waterway could provide economic and commercial advantages. Norway might also be fortunate. Some years ago, the Financial Times asked: #Left Double Quotation Mark#What should Norway do about the fact that global warming will make their climate more hospitable and enhance their financial situation, even as it inflicts damage on other parts of the world?#Right Double Quotation Mark#(Author)

  16. Carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from arctic mudboils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, K.S.; Humphreys, E.R.

    2010-01-01

    Carbon-rich ecosystems in the Arctic have large stores of soil carbon. However, small changes in climate have the potential to change the carbon (C) balance. This study examined how changes in ecosystem structure relate to differences in the exchange of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and methane (CH 4 ), between the atmosphere and soil. In particular, it examined low-center mudboils to determine the influence that this distinct form of patterned ground in the Arctic may have on the overall C balance of Tundra ecosystems. The net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide (NEE) was measured along with methane efflux along a 35-m transect intersecting two mudboils in a wet sedge fen in Canada's Southern Arctic during the summer of 2008. Mudboil features revealed significant variations in vegetation, soil temperature and thaw depth, and soil organic matter content along this transect. Variations in NEE were attributed to changes in the amount of vascular vegetation, but CO 2 and CH 4 effluxes were similar among the two mudboil and the sedge fen sampling areas. The study showed that vegetation played a key role in limiting temporal variations in CH 4 effluxes through plant mediated transport in both mudboil and sedge fen sampling areas. The negligible vascular plant colonization in one of the mudboils was likely due to more active frost heave processes. Growth and decomposition of cryptogamic organisms along with inflow of dissolved organic C and warmer soil temperatures may have been the cause of the rather high CO 2 and CH 4 efflux in this mudboil area.

  17. Seasonal and Downslope Changes in the Pore Water Geochemistry of Tundra Soils Near Nome, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philben, M. J.; Zheng, J.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Graham, D. E.; Gu, B.

    2017-12-01

    Thawing permafrost is exposing vast stores of organic matter to decomposition in previously frozen tundra soils. In low-relief and poorly drained areas, the complexity of microbial metabolism under anaerobic conditions complicates the prediction of resulting CO2 and CH4 emissions. To improve this understanding, we investigated the dissolved gas and major ion concentrations and DOM composition in depth profiles of soil pore water collected from the Teller Road site near Nome, AK, as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE)-Arctic. Pathways of anaerobic organic matter degradation were inferred based on two complementary approaches: first, we compared the composition of soil pore waters of saturated areas in the peat plateau and the base of the hillslope, collected early and late in the thaw season (July and September) to assess seasonal changes in the soil solution chemistry. CH4 and low molecular weight organic acids (e.g., acetate, formate, and propionate) were both near or below the detection limit in July but accumulated later in the season. In contrast, SO42- and Fe(III) concentrations were high in July and low in September, while Fe(II) was higher in September. These results suggest SO42- and Fe(III) reduction were the primary pathways for anaerobic respiration early in the thaw season, while methanogenesis increased in September as labile organic acids accumulated. Second, we assessed the change in DOM composition in a transect of piezometers, capturing the degradation of organic matter during transport down a hillslope. The DOC concentration did not change, but SUVA254 declined and the organic acid concentration increased downslope. In addition, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy indicated the ratio of carboxyl to amide and aromatic functional groups increased downslope. These parameters show that although there was no net loss of DOC along the transect, it was transformed to less aromatic and potentially more labile forms. Together, these

  18. Military aspects of Russia's Arctic policy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zysk, Katarzyna

    2013-03-01

    Russia's Arctic policies have a strong bearing on the regional strategic environment for a number of factors. One obvious reason is the geography and the fact that Russia's Arctic shoreline covers nearly half of the latitudinal circle, which gives the country a unique potential to influence future Arctic activities. Second, despite radical changes in the regional security environment after the end of the Cold War, the Arctic and the High North (the European Arctic), in particular has maintained its central role in Russian strategic thinking and defense policy. Russia still has a strong military presence in the region, with a variety of activities and interests, despite weaknesses and problems facing the Russian armed forces. Third, and finally, Russia has enormous petroleum and other natural riches in the Arctic, and the leadership is laying on ambitious plans for development of commercial activities in the region. Understanding Russia's approaches to security is thus clearly important to surrounding Arctic nations and other stakeholders. Russian military activity in the Arctic has tangibly increased in recent years, adding perhaps the most controversial topic in debates on the region's future security. Combined with political assertiveness and rhetorical hostility toward the West, which was a particular feature of Vladimir Putin's second presidential term (2004#En Dash#2008), the intensified presence of the Russian naval and air forces operating in the region has drawn much of the international attention and contributed to the image of Russia as the wild card in the Arctic strategic equation.(Author)

  19. The thin brown line: The crucial role of peat in protecting permafrost in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaglioti, B.; Mann, D. H.; Farquharson, L. M.; Baughman, C. A.; Jones, B. M.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Williams, A. P.; Andreu-Hayles, L.

    2017-12-01

    Ongoing warming threatens to thaw Arctic permafrost and release its stored carbon, which could trigger a permafrost-carbon feedback capable of augmenting global warming. The effects of warming air temperatures on permafrost are complicated by the fact that across much of the Arctic and Subarctic a mat of living plants and decaying litter cover the ground and buffer underlying permafrost from air temperatures. For simplicity here, we refer to this organic mat as "peat". Because this peat modifies heat flow between ground and air, the rate and magnitude of permafrost responses to changing climate - and hence the permafrost-carbon feedback - are partly slaved to the peat layer's slower dynamics. To explore this relationship, we used 14C-age offsets within lake sediments in Alaskan watersheds underlain by yedoma deposits to track the changing responses of permafrost thaw to fluctuating climate as peat accumulated over the last 14,000 years. As the peat layer built up, warming events became less effective at thawing permafrost and releasing ancient carbon. Consistent with this age-offset record, the geological record shows that early in post-glacial times when the peat cover was still thin and limited in extent, warm intervals triggered extensive thermokarst that resulted in rapid aggradation of floodplains. Today in contrast, hillslopes and floodplains remain stable despite rapid warming, probably because of the buffering effects of the extensive peat cover. Another natural experiment is provided by tundra fires like the 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire that removed the peat cover from tundra underlain by continuous permafrost and resulted in widespread thermkarsting. Further support for peat's critical role in protecting permafrost comes from the results of modeling how permafrost temperatures under different peat thicknesses respond to warming air temperature. Although post-industrial warming has not yet surpassed the buffering capacity of 14,000 years of peat buildup in

  20. Arctic species resilience

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, Lars O.; Forchhammer, Mads C.; Jeppesen, Erik

    The peak of biological activities in Arctic ecosystems is characterized by a relative short and intense period between the start of snowmelt until the onset of frost. Recent climate changes have induced larger seasonal variation in both timing of snowmelt as well as changes mean temperatures......, an extensive monitoring program has been conducted in the North Eastern Greenland National Park, the Zackenberg Basic. The objective of the program is to provide long time series of data on the natural innate oscillations and plasticity of a High Arctic ecosystem. With offset in the data provided through...

  1. Simulations of Vegetation Impacts on Arctic Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonfils, C.; Phillips, T. J.; Riley, W. J.; Post, W. M.; Torn, M. S.

    2009-12-01

    Because global warming disproportionately influences high-latitude climate, changes in arctic vegetation are in progress. These land-cover changes include redistribution of local vegetation types as well as northward migration of lower-latitude species in response to the increasing warming. The resulting displacement of low-lying tundra vegetation by shrubs and trees darkens the surface, thus accelerating regional warming. As participants in the U.S. Department of Energy IMPACTS Project, we are investigating the potential for abrupt arctic climatic change resulting from such variations in vegetation, among other mechanisms. To estimate the relative magnitudes of effects to be expected from changes in high-latitude land cover, we are conducting several numerical experiments with the Community Climate System Model (CCSM). These experiments include: 1) A “present-day-climate” control experiment with current atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations and climatological monthly sea surface temperatures and sea ice extents prescribed, and with “standard” CLM plant functional types (PFTs) specified; 2) A “changed-vegetation-type” experiment that is the same as 1), except that the “standard” PFTs are augmented by additional vegetation types (forbs, sedges, shrubs, mosses, and lichens) that are not presently represented in CLM. This experiment will require information on the location, fractional cover, and physiological parameterizations of these new PFTs. 3) A “changed-vegetation-extent experiment” that is the same as 2), except that the spatial extents of selected PFTs (e.g. shrubs or boreal forest PFTs) are shifted northward from their present locations in the CLM. We will report on the atmospheric climate and land-surface feedbacks associated with these vegetation changes, with emphasis on local and regional surface energy and moisture fluxes and near-surface temperature, humidity, and clouds. Acknowledgments This work was performed under the auspices

  2. Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Tom; Payne, J.; Doyle, M.

    The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, established the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) to address the need for coordinated and standardized monitoring of Arctic environments. The CBMP includes an international...... on developing and implementing long-term plans for monitoring the integrity of Arctic biomes: terrestrial, marine, freshwater, and coastal (under development) environments. The CBMP Terrestrial Expert Monitoring Group (CBMP-TEMG) has developed the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan (CBMP......-Terrestrial Plan/the Plan) as the framework for coordinated, long-term Arctic terrestrial biodiversity monitoring. The goal of the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan is to improve the collective ability of Arctic traditional knowledge (TK) holders, northern communities, and scientists to detect, understand and report on long...

  3. Human-induced Arctic moistening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Seung-Ki; Zhang, Xuebin; Zwiers, Francis

    2008-04-25

    The Arctic and northern subpolar regions are critical for climate change. Ice-albedo feedback amplifies warming in the Arctic, and fluctuations of regional fresh water inflow to the Arctic Ocean modulate the deep ocean circulation and thus exert a strong global influence. By comparing observations to simulations from 22 coupled climate models, we find influence from anthropogenic greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosols in the space-time pattern of precipitation change over high-latitude land areas north of 55 degrees N during the second half of the 20th century. The human-induced Arctic moistening is consistent with observed increases in Arctic river discharge and freshening of Arctic water masses. This result provides new evidence that human activity has contributed to Arctic hydrological change.

  4. State of the Arctic Coast 2010: Scientific Review and Outlook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rachold, V.; Forbes, D. L.; Kremer, H.; Lantuit, H.

    2010-12-01

    second examines progress in integrative approaches to monitoring, understanding, and managing change in Arctic coastal systems; the third identifies data gaps and research priorities over the coming decade. The document was prepared by an international writing team, including 15 Lead Authors and 27 Contributing Authors. The draft report was released during the IPY Oslo Conference, 8-12 June 2010, and made available for public comments on the internet. This presentation provides an overview of the final report “State of the Arctic Coast 2010: Scientific Review and Outlook” which will be jointly published by IASC, LOICZ and IPA in early 2011.

  5. Concept Study: Exploration and Production in Environmentally Sensitive Arctic Areas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shirish Patil; Rich Haut; Tom Williams; Yuri Shur; Mikhail Kanevskiy; Cathy Hanks; Michael Lilly

    2008-12-31

    The Alaska North Slope offers one of the best prospects for increasing U.S. domestic oil and gas production. However, this region faces some of the greatest environmental and logistical challenges to oil and gas production in the world. A number of studies have shown that weather patterns in this region are warming, and the number of days the tundra surface is adequately frozen for tundra travel each year has declined. Operators are not allowed to explore in undeveloped areas until the tundra is sufficiently frozen and adequate snow cover is present. Spring breakup then forces rapid evacuation of the area prior to snowmelt. Using the best available methods, exploration in remote arctic areas can take up to three years to identify a commercial discovery, and then years to build the infrastructure to develop and produce. This makes new exploration costly. It also increases the costs of maintaining field infrastructure, pipeline inspections, and environmental restoration efforts. New technologies are needed, or oil and gas resources may never be developed outside limited exploration stepouts from existing infrastructure. Industry has identified certain low-impact technologies suitable for operations, and has made improvements to reduce the footprint and impact on the environment. Additional improvements are needed for exploration and economic field development and end-of-field restoration. One operator-Anadarko Petroleum Corporation-built a prototype platform for drilling wells in the Arctic that is elevated, modular, and mobile. The system was tested while drilling one of the first hydrate exploration wells in Alaska during 2003-2004. This technology was identified as a potentially enabling technology by the ongoing Joint Industry Program (JIP) Environmentally Friendly Drilling (EFD) program. The EFD is headed by Texas A&M University and the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), and is co-funded by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The EFD

  6. Water track distribution and effects on carbon dioxide flux in an eastern Siberian upland tundra landscape

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Curasi, Salvatore R; Loranty, Michael M; Natali, Susan M

    2016-01-01

    Shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems may act as a positive feedback to climate warming, the strength of which depends on its spatial extent. Recent studies have shown that shrub expansion is more likely to occur in areas with high soil moisture and nutrient availability, conditions typically found in sub-surface water channels known as water tracks. Water tracks are 5–15 m wide channels of subsurface water drainage in permafrost landscapes and are characterized by deeper seasonal thaw depth, warmer soil temperatures, and higher soil moisture and nutrient content relative to adjacent tundra. Consequently, enhanced vegetation productivity, and dominance by tall deciduous shrubs, are typical in water tracks. Quantifying the distribution of water tracks may inform investigations of the extent of shrub expansion and associated impacts on tundra ecosystem carbon cycling. Here, we quantify the distribution of water tracks and their contribution to growing season CO 2 dynamics for a Siberian tundra landscape using satellite observations, meteorological data, and field measurements. We find that water tracks occupy 7.4% of the 448 km 2 study area, and account for a slightly larger proportion of growing season carbon uptake relative to surrounding tundra. For areas inside water tracks dominated by shrubs, field observations revealed higher shrub biomass and higher ecosystem respiration and gross primary productivity relative to adjacent upland tundra. Conversely, a comparison of graminoid-dominated areas in water tracks and inter-track tundra revealed that water track locations dominated by graminoids had lower shrub biomass yet increased net uptake of CO 2 . Our results show water tracks are an important component of this landscape. Their distribution will influence ecosystem structural and functional responses to climate, and is therefore of importance for modeling. (letter)

  7. Tundra permafrost thaw causes significant shifts in energy partitioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Stiegler

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost, a key component of the arctic and global climate system, is highly sensitive to climate change. Observed and ongoing permafrost degradation influences arctic hydrology, ecology and biogeochemistry, and models predict that rapid warming is expected to significantly reduce near-surface permafrost and seasonally frozen ground during the 21st century. These changes raise concern of how permafrost thaw affects the exchange of water and energy with the atmosphere. However, associated impacts of permafrost thaw on the surface energy balance and possible feedbacks on the climate system are largely unknown. In this study, we show that in northern subarctic Sweden, permafrost thaw and related degradation of peat plateaus significantly change the surface energy balance of three peatland complexes by enhancing latent heat flux and, to less degree, also ground heat flux at the cost of sensible heat flux. This effect is valid at all radiation levels but more pronounced at higher radiation levels. The observed differences in flux partitioning mainly result from the strong coupling between soil moisture availability, vegetation composition, albedo and surface structure. Our results suggest that ongoing and predicted permafrost degradation in northern subarctic Sweden ultimately result in changes in land–atmosphere coupling due to changes in the partitioning between latent and sensible heat fluxes. This in turn has crucial implications for how predictive climate models for the Arctic are further developed.

  8. Arctic Islands LNG

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hindle, W.

    1977-01-01

    Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Ltd. made a feasibility study of transporting LNG from the High Arctic Islands to a St. Lawrence River Terminal by means of a specially designed and built 125,000 cu m or 165,000 cu m icebreaking LNG tanker. Studies were made of the climatology and of ice conditions, using available statistical data as well as direct surveys in 1974, 1975, and 1976. For on-schedule and unimpeded (unescorted) passage of the LNG carriers at all times of the year, special navigation and communications systems can be made available. Available icebreaking experience, charting for the proposed tanker routes, and tide tables for the Canadian Arctic were surveyed. Preliminary design of a proposed Arctic LNG icebreaker tanker, including containment system, reliquefaction of boiloff, speed, power, number of trips for 345 day/yr operation, and liquefaction and regasification facilities are discussed. The use of a minimum of three Arctic Class 10 ships would enable delivery of volumes of natural gas averaging 11.3 million cu m/day over a period of a year to Canadian markets. The concept appears to be technically feasible with existing basic technology.

  9. Disparities in Arctic Health

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    Life at the top of the globe is drastically different. Harsh climate devoid of sunlight part of the year, pockets of extreme poverty, and lack of physical infrastructure interfere with healthcare and public health services. Learn about the challenges of people in the Arctic and how research and the International Polar Year address them.

  10. Tsunami in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulikov, Evgueni; Medvedev, Igor; Ivaschenko, Alexey

    2017-04-01

    The severity of the climate and sparsely populated coastal regions are the reason why the Russian part of the Arctic Ocean belongs to the least studied areas of the World Ocean. In the same time intensive economic development of the Arctic region, specifically oil and gas industry, require studies of potential thread natural disasters that can cause environmental and technical damage of the coastal and maritime infrastructure of energy industry complex (FEC). Despite the fact that the seismic activity in the Arctic can be attributed to a moderate level, we cannot exclude the occurrence of destructive tsunami waves, directly threatening the FEC. According to the IAEA requirements, in the construction of nuclear power plants it is necessary to take into account the impact of all natural disasters with frequency more than 10-5 per year. Planned accommodation in the polar regions of the Russian floating nuclear power plants certainly requires an adequate risk assessment of the tsunami hazard in the areas of their location. Develop the concept of tsunami hazard assessment would be based on the numerical simulation of different scenarios in which reproduced the hypothetical seismic sources and generated tsunamis. The analysis of available geological, geophysical and seismological data for the period of instrumental observations (1918-2015) shows that the highest earthquake potential within the Arctic region is associated with the underwater Mid-Arctic zone of ocean bottom spreading (interplate boundary between Eurasia and North American plates) as well as with some areas of continental slope within the marginal seas. For the Arctic coast of Russia and the adjacent shelf area, the greatest tsunami danger of seismotectonic origin comes from the earthquakes occurring in the underwater Gakkel Ridge zone, the north-eastern part of the Mid-Arctic zone. In this area, one may expect earthquakes of magnitude Mw ˜ 6.5-7.0 at a rate of 10-2 per year and of magnitude Mw ˜ 7.5 at a

  11. Permafrost response to increasing Arctic shrub abundance depends on the relative influence of shrubs on local soil cooling versus large-scale climate warming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lawrence, David M; Swenson, Sean C

    2011-01-01

    Deciduous shrub abundance is increasing across the Arctic in response to climatic warming. In a recent field manipulation experiment in which shrubs were removed from a plot and compared to a control plot with shrubs, Blok et al (2010 Glob. Change Biol. 16 1296–305) found that shrubs protect the ground through shading, resulting in a ∼ 9% shallower active layer thickness (ALT) under shrubs compared to grassy-tundra, which led them to argue that continued Arctic shrub expansion could mitigate future permafrost thaw. We utilize the Community Land Model (CLM4) coupled to the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM4) to evaluate this hypothesis. CLM4 simulates shallower ALT (∼− 11 cm) under shrubs, consistent with the field manipulation study. However, in an idealized pan-Arctic + 20% shrub area experiment, atmospheric heating, driven mainly by surface albedo changes related to protrusion of shrub stems above the spring snowpack, leads to soil warming and deeper ALT (∼+ 10 cm). Therefore, if climate feedbacks are considered, shrub expansion may actually increase rather than decrease permafrost vulnerability. When we account for blowing-snow redistribution from grassy-tundra to shrubs, shifts in snowpack distribution in low versus high shrub area simulations counter the climate warming impact, resulting in a grid cell mean ALT that is unchanged. These results reinforce the need to consider vegetation dynamics and blowing-snow processes in the permafrost thaw model projections.

  12. Widespread release of old carbon across the Siberian Arctic echoed by its large rivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ö. Gustafsson

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Over decadal-centennial timescales, only a few mechanisms in the carbon-climate system could cause a massive net redistribution of carbon from land and ocean systems to the atmosphere in response to climate warming. The largest such climate-vulnerable carbon pool is the old organic carbon (OC stored in Arctic permafrost (perennially frozen soils. Climate warming, both predicted and now observed to be the strongest globally in the Eurasian Arctic and Alaska, causes thaw-release of old permafrost carbon from local tundra sites. However, a central challenge for the assessment of the general vulnerability of this old OC pool is to deduce any signal integrating its release over larger scales. Here we examine radiocarbon measurements of molecular soil markers exported by the five Great Russian-Arctic Rivers (Ob, Yenisey, Lena, Indigirka and Kolyma, employed as natural integrators of carbon release processes in their watersheds. The signals held in estuarine surface sediments revealed that average radiocarbon ages of n-alkanes increased east-to-west from 6400 yr BP in Kolyma to 11 400 yr BP in Ob. This is consistent with westwards trends of both warmer climate and more degraded organic matter as indicated by the ratio of high molecular weight (HMW n-alkanoic acids to HMW n-alkanes. The dynamics of Siberian permafrost can thus be probed via the molecular-radiocarbon signal as carried by Arctic rivers. Old permafrost carbon is at present vulnerable to mobilization over continental scales. Climate-induced changes in the radiocarbon fingerprint of released permafrost carbon will likely depend on changes in both permafrost coverage and Arctic soil hydraulics.

  13. Economy of the Arctic “Islands”: The Case of Nenets and Chukotka Autonomous Okrugs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Nikolayevich Pelyasov

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The article discusses the economy of Arctic «islands». These territories of the Russian Arctic are unavailable by transport all the year round and have considerable specificity in comparison with the other regions of the Russian and North European Arctic. The authors consider the economy of Arctic «islands» on the example of the Nenets and Chukotka Autonomous Areas. Despite the significant similarity in the economic and social parameters, after careful study, two regions show considerable internal differences. In order to identify dissimilarity, in the comparative analysis, we use the theoretical idea of the Arctic economy as a unity of three sectors — the traditional one, corporate (market one and transfer (state one. Each sector has the key contradictions, structures and its trajectory of evolution. The comparison of traditional sectors reveals significant landscape diversity of Chukotka in comparison with the Nenets tundra. The corporate sector of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug economy is significantly younger than in Chukotka, due to the fact that oil and gas development is relatively new practice for the region. On the other hand, because of the mining development of Chukotka gold, which started in 1960-s, it can be considered as an old industrial region. The level of the profitability of gold production is significantly lower than of the Nenets oil production. Therefore, we propose to include the economy of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug to the rental model, and Chukotka economy to the transfer model. The difference of transfer sectors of two areas is the result of not only the difference in the power of the regional budgets, but also of the urban settlement structure which is centralized in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug and polycentric in Chukotka. It means that the public health and culture in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug are dated generally for the capital of Naryan-Mar, and social facilities in Chukotka are significantly decentralized and

  14. Repeat synoptic sampling reveals drivers of change in carbon and nutrient chemistry of Arctic catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarnetske, J. P.; Abbott, B. W.; Bowden, W. B.; Iannucci, F.; Griffin, N.; Parker, S.; Pinay, G.; Aanderud, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC), nutrients, and other solute concentrations are increasing in rivers across the Arctic. Two hypotheses have been proposed to explain these trends: 1. distributed, top-down permafrost degradation, and 2. discrete, point-source delivery of DOC and nutrients from permafrost collapse features (thermokarst). While long-term monitoring at a single station cannot discriminate between these mechanisms, synoptic sampling of multiple points in the stream network could reveal the spatial structure of solute sources. In this context, we sampled carbon and nutrient chemistry three times over two years in 119 subcatchments of three distinct Arctic catchments (North Slope, Alaska). Subcatchments ranged from 0.1 to 80 km2, and included three distinct types of Arctic landscapes - mountainous, tundra, and glacial-lake catchments. We quantified the stability of spatial patterns in synoptic water chemistry and analyzed high-frequency time series from the catchment outlets across the thaw season to identify source areas for DOC, nutrients, and major ions. We found that variance in solute concentrations between subcatchments collapsed at spatial scales between 1 to 20 km2, indicating a continuum of diffuse- and point-source dynamics, depending on solute and catchment characteristics (e.g. reactivity, topography, vegetation, surficial geology). Spatially-distributed mass balance revealed conservative transport of DOC and nitrogen, and indicates there may be strong in-stream retention of phosphorus, providing a network-scale confirmation of previous reach-scale studies in these Arctic catchments. Overall, we present new approaches to analyzing synoptic data for change detection and quantification of ecohydrological mechanisms in ecosystems in the Arctic and beyond.

  15. 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.

  16. Alaska Tundra Travel Modeling Project and implications for seismic best management practices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schultz, G. [Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources, Anchorage, AK (United States)

    2007-07-01

    Much of the oil and gas exploration in the Alaskan North Slope depends on winter off-road travel to gain access to remote exploration areas. A study was conducted to relate vehicular off-road travel to tundra disturbance. Four types of vehicles were driven on the tundra on specific plots at various times throughout early to mid winter in an effort to determine if travel could occur earlier than current practice without impacting tundra integrity. Variables were measured the summer before travel, at the time of travel and the summers following travel. The results were used to develop a management tool to determine when conditions are adequate to allow winter vehicular off-road travel. It was determined that the soil temperature should be 5 degrees C or colder at a depth of 30 cm, with snow depths of 15 cm in coastal sedge tundra or 23 cm in foothills tussock tundra. This presentation also discussed the implications for managing off-road travel associated with seismic operations and recent changes in the types of vehicles used for these operations. figs.

  17. Potential effects of ultraviolet radiation reduction on tundra nitrous oxide and methane fluxes in maritime Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Tao; Zhu, Renbin; Wang, Pei; Ye, Wenjuan; Ma, Dawei; Xu, Hua

    2018-02-27

    Stratospheric ozone has begun to recover in Antarctica since the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. However, the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on tundra greenhouse gas fluxes are rarely reported for Polar Regions. In the present study, tundra N 2 O and CH 4 fluxes were measured under the simulated reduction of UV radiation in maritime Antarctica over the last three-year summers. Significantly enhanced N 2 O and CH 4 emissions occurred at tundra sites under the simulated reduction of UV radiation. Compared with the ambient normal UV level, a 20% reduction in UV radiation increased tundra emissions by an average of 8 μg N 2 O m -2 h -1 and 93 μg CH 4 m -2 h -1 , whereas a 50% reduction in UV radiation increased their emissions by an average of 17 μg N 2 O m -2 h -1 and 128 μg CH 4 m -2 h -1 . No statistically significant correlation (P > 0.05) was found between N 2 O and CH 4 fluxes and soil temperature, soil moisture, total carbon, total nitrogen, NO 3 - -N and NH 4 + -N contents. Our results confirmed that UV radiation intensity is an important factor affecting tundra N 2 O and CH 4 fluxes in maritime Antarctica. Exclusion of the effects of reduced UV radiation might underestimate their budgets in Polar Regions with the recovery of stratospheric ozone.

  18. Coordination and Convening of the 2016 Arctic Science Summit Week

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hinzman, Larry D. [Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK (United States)

    2016-11-13

    The Arctic Science Summit Week, Arctic Observing Summit, Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials, Model Arctic Council, and International Arctic Assembly were convened on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks with great productivity and satisfaction of the participants. We were pleased to welcome over 1000 participants from 30 different nations and over 130 different institutions. The organization and execution of these meetings was extensive and complex involving more than 250 coordinators, volunteers and contributors from across Alaska. The participants were enthusiastic in their praise of the content and accomplishments of the meeting, but they were equally happy about the genuine welcome offered to our guests by the people of Alaska. Hosting a complex event such as this summit required an army of supporting services and we were blessed to have volunteers from Fairbanks, North Pole, Anchorage and other communities throughout Alaska helping us meet these needs. This truly was an event hosted by the people of Alaska. The significance of these events cannot be overstated. The US and global communities are finally coming to the realization of the important role that the Arctic plays in international politics, economics, and science. The Arctic has experienced tremendous changes in recent years, offering new opportunities that may be addressed through international collaborations, and serious challenges that must be addressed through active investment, adaptation and national and international coordination. Over 10% of the meeting participants were indigenous peoples, from indigenous organizations or hailed from small remote communities. This is still lower than we had hoped, but it is greater participation than similar meetings have experienced in the past. It is through such engagement that we can attack problems related to the changing environment, stagnant economies, and social ills.

  19. Different parts, different stories: climate sensitivity of growth is stronger in root collars vs. stems in tundra shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ropars, Pascale; Angers-Blondin, Sandra; Gagnon, Marianne; Myers-Smith, Isla H; Lévesque, Esther; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2017-08-01

    Shrub densification has been widely reported across the circumpolar arctic and subarctic biomes in recent years. Long-term analyses based on dendrochronological techniques applied to shrubs have linked this phenomenon to climate change. However, the multi-stemmed structure of shrubs makes them difficult to sample and therefore leads to non-uniform sampling protocols among shrub ecologists, who will favor either root collars or stems to conduct dendrochronological analyses. Through a comparative study of the use of root collars and stems of Betula glandulosa, a common North American shrub species, we evaluated the relative sensitivity of each plant part to climate variables and assessed whether this sensitivity is consistent across three different types of environments in northwestern Québec, Canada (terrace, hilltop and snowbed). We found that root collars had greater sensitivity to climate than stems and that these differences were maintained across the three types of environments. Growth at the root collar was best explained by spring precipitation and summer temperature, whereas stem growth showed weak and inconsistent responses to climate variables. Moreover, sensitivity to climate was not consistent among plant parts, as individuals having climate-sensitive root collars did not tend to have climate-sensitive stems. These differences in sensitivity of shrub parts to climate highlight the complexity of resource allocation in multi-stemmed plants. Whereas stem initiation and growth are driven by microenvironmental variables such as light availability and competition, root collars integrate the growth of all plant parts instead, rendering them less affected by mechanisms such as competition and more responsive to signals of global change. Although further investigations are required to determine the degree to which these findings are generalizable across the tundra biome, our results indicate that consistency and caution in the choice of plant parts are a key

  20. Biogenic volatile organic compound emissions along a high arctic soil moisture gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svendsen, Sarah Hagel; Lindwall, Frida; Michelsen, Anders; Rinnan, Riikka

    2016-12-15

    Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) from terrestrial ecosystems are important for the atmospheric chemistry and the formation of secondary organic aerosols, and may therefore influence the climate. Global warming is predicted to change patterns in precipitation and plant species compositions, especially in arctic regions where the temperature increase will be most pronounced. These changes are potentially highly important for the BVOC emissions but studies investigating the effects are lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate the quality and quantity of BVOC emissions from a high arctic soil moisture gradient extending from dry tundra to a wet fen. Ecosystem BVOC emissions were sampled five times in the July-August period using a push-pull enclosure technique, and BVOCs trapped in absorbent cartridges were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Plant species compositions were estimated using the point intercept method. In order to take into account important underlying ecosystem processes, gross ecosystem production, ecosystem respiration and net ecosystem production were measured in connection with chamber-based BVOC measurements. Highest emissions of BVOCs were found from vegetation communities dominated by Salix arctica and Cassiope tetragona, which had emission profiles dominated by isoprene and monoterpenes, respectively. These results show that emissions of BVOCs are highly dependent on the plant cover supported by the varying soil moisture, suggesting that high arctic BVOC emissions may affect the climate differently if soil water content and plant cover change. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. The Effects of Different Scales of Topographic Variation on Shallow Groundwater Flow in an Arctic Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholaides, K. D.; O'Connor, M.; Cardenas, M. B.; Neilson, B. T.; Kling, G. W.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic permafrost degradation is occurring as global temperatures increase. In addition, recent evidence shows the Arctic is shifting from a sink to a source of carbon to the atmosphere. However, the cause of this shift is unclear, as is the role of newly exposed organic soil carbon leaching into groundwater and transported to surface water. This soil carbon may be photo-oxidized to CO2 or microbially respired to CO2 and methane, adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The fate of carbon in permafrost is largely governed by the length of time spent in transport and the surface or subsurface route it follows. However, groundwater flow regimes within shallow active layer aquifers overlying permafrost is poorly understood. We determined to what extent smaller scale topography influences groundwater flow and residence times in arctic tundra. The study focused on Imnavait Creek watershed, a 1st-order drainage on the Alaskan North Slope underlain by continuous permafrost. We used direct measurements of hydraulic conductivities and porosities over a range of depths as well as basin-scale topography to develop vertically-integrated groundwater flow models. By systematically decreasing the amount of topographic detail, we were able to compare the influence of more detailed topography on groundwater flow estimates. Scaling up this model will be a useful tool in understanding how larger basins in permafrost will respond to future climate change and their contributions to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

  2. Local variability in growth and reproduction of Salix arctica in the High Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noémie Boulanger-Lapointe

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are heterogeneous because of the strong influences of microtopography, soil moisture and snow accumulation on vegetation distribution. The interaction between local biotic and abiotic factors and global climate patterns will influence species responses to climate change. Salix arctica (Arctic willow is a structuring species, ubiquitous and widespread, and as such is one of the most important shrub species in the High Arctic. In this study, we measured S. arctica reproductive effort, early establishment, survival and growth in the Zackenberg valley, north-east Greenland. We sampled four plant communities that varied with respect to snow conditions, soil moisture, nutrient content and plant composition. We found large variability in reproductive effort and success with total catkin density ranging from 0.6 to 66 catkins/m2 and seedling density from <1 to 101 seedlings/m2. There were also major differences in crown area increment (4–23 cm2/year and stem radial growth (40–74 µm/year. The snowbed community, which experienced a recent reduction in snow cover, supported young populations with high reproductive effort, establishment and growth. Soil nutrient content and herbivore activity apparently did not strongly constrain plant reproduction and growth, but competition by Cassiope tetragona and low soil moisture may inhibit performance. Our results show that local environmental factors, such as snow accumulation, have a significant impact on tundra plant response to climate change and will affect the understanding of regional vegetation response to climate change.

  3. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Hoset, Katrine S; Olofsson, Johan

    2015-09-01

    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Interdependencies of Arctic land surface processes: A uniquely sensitive environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowling, L. C.

    2007-12-01

    The circumpolar arctic drainage basin is composed of several distinct ecoregions including steppe grassland and cropland, boreal forest and tundra. Land surface hydrology throughout this diverse region shares several unique features such as dramatic seasonal runoff differences controlled by snowmelt and ice break-up; the storage of significant portions of annual precipitation as snow and in lakes and wetlands; and the effects of ephemeral and permanently frozen soils. These arctic land processes are delicately balanced with the climate and are therefore important indicators of change. The litany of recently-detected changes in the Arctic includes changes in snow precipitation, trends and seasonal shifts in river discharge, increases and decreases in the extent of surface water, and warming soil temperatures. Although not unique to the arctic, increasing anthropogenic pressures represent an additional element of change in the form of resource extraction, fire threat and reservoir construction. The interdependence of the physical, biological and social systems mean that changes in primary indicators have large implications for land cover, animal populations and the regional carbon balance, all of which have the potential to feed back and induce further change. In fact, the complex relationships between the hydrological processes that make the Artic unique also render observed historical change difficult to interpret and predict, leading to conflicting explanations. For example, a decrease in snow accumulation may provide less insulation to the underlying soil resulting in greater frost development and increased spring runoff. Similarly, melting permafrost and ground ice may lead to ground subsidence and increased surface saturation and methane production, while more complete thaw may enhance drainage and result in drier soil conditions. The threshold nature of phase change around the freezing point makes the system especially sensitive to change. In addition, spatial

  5. Summary of research and information needs for the management of selected onshore energy minerals: oil shale, tar sands, arctic oil and gas, and uranium. Final report 1982-83

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1983-11-01

    The report assesses research needs for the management, regulation, reclamation, and conservation of oil shale, tar sands, arctic oil and gas, and uranium deposits currently under federal jurisdiction and concludes that additional research is required to achieve the goals of good management, including conservation, protection of life and property, and minimization of environmental degradation. The report recommends (1) establishment of a standing advisory scientific and engineering committee on onshore minerals management research to influence future research directions and implementation; (2) development of a comprehensive library and data center for research results; and (3) encouragement of the operation of demonstration-scale production facilities where they are lacking. More detailed summaries of current knowledge and perceived research needs are to be found in the four interim reports of the committee.

  6. Hematology, plasma chemistry, and bacteriology of wild Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) in Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milani, Juliana F; Wilson, Heather; Ziccardi, Michael; LeFebvre, Rance; Scott, Cheryl

    2012-01-01

    Blood and cloacal swabs were collected from 100 (66 female, 34 male) wild Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) molting in northwestern Alaska, USA, 25-28 July 2008, to establish hematologic and serum chemistry reference values and to isolate enteric Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Plasma biochemistry and hematology values did not vary significantly by sex or age. Tundra swans had high levels of creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, amylase, and alkaline phosphatase compared with some other avian species (values were up to 7 times greater), possibly indicating capture myopathy. However, concentrations were much lower (up to 8 times lower) than in other waterfowl exposed to similar or more intensive capture methods. White blood cell count and hematocrit values were similar to other waterfowl species, and enteric Salmonella spp. and E. coli O157:H7 were not present among birds sampled. Our data provide the first biochemical, hematologic, and bacteriologic reference values for wild Tundra Swans.

  7. Spatio-temporal hotspots of satellite-tracked arctic foxes reveal a large detection range in a mammalian predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Sandra; Bêty, Joël; Berteaux, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    The scale at which animals perceive their environment is a strong fitness determinant, yet few empirical estimates of animal detection ranges exist, especially in mammalian predators. Using daily Argos satellite tracking of 26 adult arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) during a single winter in the High Canadian Arctic, we investigated the detection range of arctic foxes by detecting hotspots of fox activity on the sea ice. While maintaining territories in the tundra, these solitary foragers occasionally used the sea ice where they sometimes formed spatio-temporal hotspots, likely scavenging on marine mammal carcasses. We detected 35 movements by 13 individuals forming five hotspots. Foxes often traveled more than 10 km, and up to 40 km, to reach hotspots, which lasted one-two weeks and could gather up to 12 individuals. The likelihood of a fox joining a hotspot was neither influenced by its distance from the hotspot nor by the distance of its home range to the coast. Observed traveling distances may indicate a high detection range in arctic foxes, and our results suggest their ability to detect food sources on the sea ice from their terrestrial home range. While revealing a wide knowledge gap regarding resource detection abilities in mammalian predators, our study provides estimates of detection range useful for interpreting and modeling animal movements. It also allows a better understanding of foraging behavior and navigation capacity in terrestrial predators.

  8. The Impact of Global Warming on the Carbon Cycle of Arctic Permafrost: An Experimental and Field Based Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Onstott, Tullis C [Princeton University; Pffifner, Susan M; Chourey, Karuna [Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    2014-11-07

    Our results to date indicate that CO2 and CH4 fluxes from organic poor, Arctic cryosols on Axel Heiberg Island are net CH4 sinks and CO2 emitters in contrast to organic-rich peat deposits at sub-Arctic latitudes. This is based upon field observations and a 1.5 year long thawing experiment performed upon one meter long intact cores. The results of the core thawing experiments are in good agreement with field measurements. Metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and metaproteomic analyses indicate that high affinity aerobic methanotrophs belong to the uncultivated USCalpha are present in <1% abundance in these cryosols are are active in the field during the summer and in the core thawing experiments. The methanotrophs are 100 times more abundant than the methanogens. As a result mineral cryosols, which comprise 87% of Arctic tundra, are net methane sinks. Their presence and activity may account for the discrepancies observed between the atmospheric methane concentrations observed in the Arctic predicted by climate models and the observed seasonal fluctuations and decadal trends. This has not been done yet.

  9. Arctic industrial activities compilation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    Most industrial activities in the Beaufort Sea region are directly or indirectly associated with the search for oil and gas. Activities in marine areas include dredging, drilling, seismic and sounding surveys, island/camp maintenance, vessel movements, helicoptor and fixed-wind flights, and ice-breaking. This inventory contains a summary of chemical usage at 119 offshore drilling locations in the Beaufort Sea, Arctic Islands and Davis Straight of the Canadian Arctic between 1973 and 1987. Data are graphically displayed for evaluating patterns of drill waste discharge in the three offshore drilling areas. These displays include a comparison of data obtained from tour sheets and well history records, summaries of drilling mud chemicals used by year, well and oil company, frequency of wells drilled as a function of water depth, and offshore drilling activity by year, company, and platform. 21 refs., 104 figs., 2 tabs

  10. Disparities in Arctic Health

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2008-02-04

    Life at the top of the globe is drastically different. Harsh climate devoid of sunlight part of the year, pockets of extreme poverty, and lack of physical infrastructure interfere with healthcare and public health services. Learn about the challenges of people in the Arctic and how research and the International Polar Year address them.  Created: 2/4/2008 by Emerging Infectious Diseases.   Date Released: 2/20/2008.

  11. Influence of sea ice on Arctic coasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnhart, K. R.; Kay, J. E.; Overeem, I.; Anderson, R. S.

    2017-12-01

    Coasts form the dynamic interface between the terrestrial and oceanic systems. In the Arctic, and in much of the world, the coast is a focal point for population, infrastructure, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. A key difference between Arctic and temperate coasts is the presence of sea ice. Changes in sea ice cover can influence the coast because (1) the length of the sea ice-free season controls the time over which nearshore water can interact with the land, and (2) the location of the sea ice edge controls the fetch over which storm winds can interact with open ocean water, which in turn governs nearshore water level and wave field. We first focus on the interaction of sea ice and ice-rich coasts. We combine satellite records of sea ice with a model for wind-driven storm surge and waves to estimate how changes in the sea ice-free season have impacted the nearshore hydrodynamic environment along Alaska's Beaufort Sea Coast for the period 1979-2012. This region has experienced some of the greatest changes in both sea ice cover and coastal erosion rates in the Arctic: the median length of the open-water season has expanded by 90 percent, while coastal erosion rates have more than doubled from 8.7 to 19 m yr-1. At Drew Point, NW winds increase shoreline water levels that control the incision of a submarine notch, the rate-limiting step of coastal retreat. The maximum water-level setup at Drew Point has increased consistently with increasing fetch. We extend our analysis to the entire Arctic using both satellite-based observations and global coupled climate model output from the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble (CESM-LE) project. This 30-member ensemble employs a 1-degree version of the CESM-CAM5 historical forcing for the period 1920-2005, and RCP 8.5 forcing from 2005-2100. A control model run with constant pre-industrial (1850) forcing characterizes internal variability in a constant climate. Finally, we compare observations and model results to

  12. 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

  13. Arctic-nesting birds find physiological relief in the face of trophic constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinnon, Laura; Nol, Erica; Juillet, Cédric

    2013-01-01

    A climate-induced phenological mismatch between the timing of reproduction and the timing of food resource peaks is one of the key hypothesized effects of climate change on wildlife. Though supported as a mechanism of population decline in birds, few studies have investigated whether the same temperature increases that drive this mismatch have the potential to decrease energetic costs of growth and compensate for the potential negative effects of reduced food availability. We generated independent indices of climate and resource availability and quantified their effects on growth of Dunlin (Calidris alpina) chicks, in the sub-arctic tundra of Churchill, Manitoba during the summers of 2010-2011 and found that when resource availability was below average, above average growth could be maintained in the presence of increasing temperatures. These results provide evidence that chicks may find physiological relief from the trophic constraints hypothesized by climate change studies.

  14. Seasonal thaw settlement at drained thermokarst lake basins, Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lin; Schaefer, Kevin; Gusmeroli, Alessio; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin M.; Zhang, Tinjun; Parsekian, Andrew; Zebker, Howard

    2014-01-01

    Drained thermokarst lake basins (DTLBs) are ubiquitous landforms on Arctic tundra lowland. Their dynamic states are seldom investigated, despite their importance for landscape stability, hydrology, nutrient fluxes, and carbon cycling. Here we report results based on high-resolution Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) measurements using space-borne data for a study area located on the North Slope of Alaska near Prudhoe Bay, where we focus on the seasonal thaw settlement within DTLBs, averaged between 2006 and 2010. The majority (14) of the 18 DTLBs in the study area exhibited seasonal thaw settlement of 3–4 cm. However, four of the DTLBs examined exceeded 4 cm of thaw settlement, with one basin experiencing up to 12 cm. Combining the InSAR observations with the in situ active layer thickness measured using ground penetrating radar and mechanical probing, we calculated thaw strain, an index of thaw settlement strength along a transect across the basin that underwent large thaw settlement. We found thaw strains of 10–35% at the basin center, suggesting the seasonal melting of ground ice as a possible mechanism for the large settlement. These findings emphasize the dynamic nature of permafrost landforms, demonstrate the capability of the InSAR technique to remotely monitor surface deformation of individual DTLBs, and illustrate the combination of ground-based and remote sensing observations to estimate thaw strain. Our study highlights the need for better description of the spatial heterogeneity of landscape-scale processes for regional assessment of surface dynamics on Arctic coastal lowlands.

  15. Biodiversity of arctic marine fishes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mecklenburg, Catherine W.; Møller, Peter Rask; Steinke, Dirk

    2011-01-01

    Taxonomic and distributional information on each fish species found in arctic marine waters is reviewed, and a list of families and species with commentary on distributional records is presented. The list incorporates results from examination of museum collections of arctic marine fishes dating b...

  16. Mining in the European Arctic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dam, Kim; Scheepstra, Annette; Gille, Johan; Stępień, Adam; Koivurova, Timo

    The European Arctic is currently experiencing an upsurge in mining activities, but future developments will be highly sensitive to mineral price fluctuations. The EU is a major consumer and importer of Arctic raw materials. As the EU is concerned about the security of supply, it encourages domestic

  17. Nitrogen kinetics in aquatic plants in arctic Alaska

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McRoy, C.P.; Alexander, V.

    1975-01-01

    The kinetics of nitrogen in terms of ammonia uptake was measured for Carex aquatilis in arctic tundra ponds using 15 N tracer techniques. Nitrogen content of the leaves and primary productivity were measured throughout a growing season. The maximum uptake velocity for ammonia was 2.75 x 10 -2 % N/g dry weight per h with a Ksub(t) of 8.4-12.5 μgatoms/l. A second estimate of nitrogen uptake was made from the increase in nitrogen content throughout the season and from this a rate of 1.85 x 10 -2 % N/g dry weight per day was obtained for Carex aquatilis and 3.6 x 10 -2 % N/g dry weight per day for Arctophylla fulva. The total nitrogen concentration in the leaves was closely related to productivity, possible providing a new approach to productivity measurements for emergent vascular plants. Emergent vascular plants absorb ammonia across and translocate it to all portions of the plant. The ecological significance of this is considerable, since in many waters inorganic nitrogen content of sediment is much higher than that of the water surrounding the leaves and stems, and can provide a source of nitrogen

  18. Arctic Nuclear Waste Assessment Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edson, R.

    1995-01-01

    The Arctic Nuclear Waste Assessment Program (ANWAP) was initiated in 1993 as a result of US congressional concern over the disposal of nuclear materials by the former Soviet Union into the Arctic marine environment. The program is comprised of appr. 70 different projects. To date appr. ten percent of the funds has gone to Russian institutions for research and logistical support. The collaboration also include the IAEA International Arctic Seas Assessment Program. The major conclusion from the research to date is that the largest signals for region-wide radionuclide contamination in the Arctic marine environment appear to arise from the following: 1) atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, a practice that has been discontinued; 2) nuclear fuel reprocessing wastes carried in the Arctic from reprocessing facilities in Western Europe, and 3) accidents such as Chernobyl and the 1957 explosion at Chelyabinsk-65

  19. Ground based remote sensing and physiological measurements provide novel insights into canopy photosynthetic optimization in arctic shrubs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magney, T. S.; Griffin, K. L.; Boelman, N.; Eitel, J.; Greaves, H.; Prager, C.; Logan, B.; Oliver, R.; Fortin, L.; Vierling, L. A.

    2014-12-01

    Because changes in vegetation structure and function in the Arctic are rapid and highly dynamic phenomena, efforts to understand the C balance of the tundra require repeatable, objective, and accurate remote sensing methods for estimating aboveground C pools and fluxes over large areas. A key challenge addressing the modelling of aboveground C is to utilize process-level information from fine-scale studies. Utilizing information obtained from high resolution remote sensing systems could help to better understand the C source/sink strength of the tundra, which will in part depend on changes in photosynthesis resulting from the partitioning of photosynthetic machinery within and among deciduous shrub canopies. Terrestrial LiDAR and passive hyperspectral remote sensing measurements offer an effective, repeatable, and scalable method to understand photosynthetic performance and partitioning at the canopy scale previously unexplored in arctic systems. Using a 3-D shrub canopy model derived from LiDAR, we quantified the light regime of leaves within shrub canopies to gain a better understanding of how light interception varies in response to the Arctic's complex radiation regime. This information was then coupled with pigment sampling (i.e., xanthophylls, and Chl a/b) to evaluate the optimization of foliage photosynthetic capacity within shrub canopies due to light availability. In addition, a lab experiment was performed to validate evidence of canopy level optimization via gradients of light intensity and leaf light environment. For this, hyperspectral reflectance (photochemical reflectance index (PRI)), and solar induced fluorescence (SIF)) was collected in conjunction with destructive pigment samples (xanthophylls) and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements in both sunlit and shaded canopy positions.

  20. AMAP Assessment 2013: Arctic Ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    This assessment report presents the results of the 2013 AMAP Assessment of Arctic Ocean Acidification (AOA). This is the first such assessment dealing with AOA from an Arctic-wide perspective, and complements several assessments that AMAP has delivered over the past ten years concerning the effects of climate change on Arctic ecosystems and people. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) is a group working under the Arctic Council. The Arctic Council Ministers have requested AMAP to: - produce integrated assessment reports on the status and trends of the conditions of the Arctic ecosystems;

  1. Arctic Submarine Slope Stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkelmann, D.; Geissler, W.

    2010-12-01

    Submarine landsliding represents aside submarine earthquakes major natural hazard to coastal and sea-floor infrastructure as well as to coastal communities due to their ability to generate large-scale tsunamis with their socio-economic consequences. The investigation of submarine landslides, their conditions and trigger mechanisms, recurrence rates and potential impact remains an important task for the evaluation of risks in coastal management and offshore industrial activities. In the light of a changing globe with warming oceans and rising sea-level accompanied by increasing human population along coasts and enhanced near- and offshore activities, slope stability issues gain more importance than ever before. The Arctic exhibits the most rapid and drastic changes and is predicted to change even faster. Aside rising air temperatures, enhanced inflow of less cooled Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean reduces sea-ice cover and warms the surroundings. Slope stability is challenged considering large areas of permafrost and hydrates. The Hinlopen/Yermak Megaslide (HYM) north of Svalbard is the first and so far only reported large-scale submarine landslide in the Arctic Ocean. The HYM exhibits the highest headwalls that have been found on siliciclastic margins. With more than 10.000 square kilometer areal extent and app. 2.400 cubic kilometer of involved sedimentary material, it is one of the largest exposed submarine slides worldwide. Geometry and age put this slide in a special position in discussing submarine slope stability on glaciated continental margins. The HYM occurred 30 ka ago, when the global sea-level dropped by app. 50 m within less than one millennium due to rapid onset of global glaciation. It probably caused a tsunami with circum-Arctic impact and wave heights exceeding 130 meters. The HYM affected the slope stability field in its neighbourhood by removal of support. Post-megaslide slope instability as expressed in creeping and smaller-scaled slides are

  2. Freeze-thaw regime effects on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in sub-arctic heath tundra mesocosms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grogan, P.; Michelsen, A.; Ambus, P.

    2004-01-01

    phase, and in a subsequent equilibration phase. A single deep freeze treatment phase enhanced dissolved total and labelled N pools in the soil solution at initial thaw, and resulted in reduced pool sizes at the end of the equilibration phase. By contrast, a multiple freeze-thaw cycling treatment......, these results indicate that moderate freeze-thaw fluctuations may have minimal influences on microbial biomass pools, but nevertheless can have strong contrasting effects on the amounts, forms, and timing of N and organic C supply into the soil solution. Ecosystem losses via N2O effluxes were of greatest...... directly enhanced the dissolved labelled N pool, but did not significantly affect dissolved total N. Furthermore, both dissolved labelled N and dissolved total N pools were significantly enhanced in the equilibration period following multiple freeze-thaw, the latter due to a marked increase in soil...

  3. Radionuclides in small mammals of the Saskatchewan prairie, including implications for the boreal forest and Arctic tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, P.A.

    1995-01-01

    The focus of the study reported was to collect and examine baseline data on radionuclides in small prairie mammal food chains and to assess the feasibility of using small mammals as radionuclide monitors in terrestrial ecosystems, in anticipation of possible future nuclear developments in northern Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. The study report begins with a literature review that summarizes existing data on radionuclides in small mammals, their food, the ambient environment in Canadian terrestrial ecosystems, principles of terrestrial radioecology, soil and vegetation studies, and food chain studies. It then describes a field study conducted to investigate small mammal food chains at three southwestern Saskatchewan prairie sites. Activities included collection and analysis of water, soil, grains, and foliage samples; trapping of small mammals such as mice and voles, and analysis of gastrointestinal tract samples; and determination of food chain transfer of selected radionuclides from soil to plants and to small mammals. Recommendations are made for future analyses and monitoring of small mammals. Appendices include information on radiochemical methods, soil/vegetation studies and small mammal studies conducted at northern Saskatchewan mine sites, and analyses of variance

  4. Tundra vegetation change near Barrow, Alaska (1972–2010)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Villarreal, S; Johnson, D R; Lara, M J; Tweedie, C E; Hollister, R D; Webber, P J

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of how arctic plant communities will respond to change has been largely derived from plot level experimental manipulation, not from trends of decade time scale environmental observations. This study documents plant community change in 330 marked plots at 33 sites established during the International Biological Program near Barrow, Alaska in 1972. Plots were resampled in 1999, 2008 and 2010 for species cover and presence. Cluster analysis identified nine plant communities in 1972. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS) indicates that plant communities have changed in different ways over time, and that wet communities have changed more than dry communities. The relative cover of lichens increased over time, while the response of other plant functional groups varied. Species richness and diversity also increased over time. The most dramatic changes in the cover of bryophytes, graminoids and bare ground coincided with a lemming high in 2008. (letter)

  5. Physical and biological effects of experimental crude oil spills on Low Artic tundra in the vicinity of Tuktoyaktuk, N. W. T. , Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freedman, W.; Hutchinson, T.C.

    1976-10-01

    Data are presented on the effects of simulated crude oil spills on two Low Arctic terrestrial tundra plant communities near Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. Spills of fresh, unweathered crude oil had a general herbicidal effect, resulting in rapid damage to, and subsequent death of, all aboveground actively growing foliage coming in contact with the oil. Most species were defoliated. Mosses and lichens were especially susceptible and killed. However, within several weeks of the summer oil spillages, a limited number of relatively tolerant vascular plant species began to develop regrowth shoots. Summer spills were markedly more damaging than were equivalent spills made in winter. No increases were seen in active layer depth from spills made in summer. However, winter spills on one of the two sites did show consistent and statistically significant (P > 0.01) increases in depth of thaw. Examination of several key energy budget parameters at these field sites indicated consistently lower albedos and evapotranspiration and consistently higher soil surface temperatures and soil heat flux at all oil spill sites, relative to their controls. However, except for a winter spill on one site, the recorded differences were not sufficiently large in magnitude to produce significant increases in active layer thaw depths.

  6. Spring feeding by pink-footed geese reduces carbon stocks and sink strength in tundra ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Wal, Rene; Sjogersten, Sofie; Woodin, Sarah J.; Cooper, Elisabeth J.; Jonsdottir, Ingibjorg S.; Kuijper, Dries; Fox, Tony A. D.; Huiskes, A. D.

    Tundra ecosystems are widely recognized as precious areas and globally important carbon (C) sinks, yet our understanding of potential threats to these habitats and their large soil C store is limited. Land-use changes and conservation measures in temperate regions have led to a dramatic expansion of

  7. Spring feeding by pink-footed geese reduces carbon stocks and sink strength in tundra ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Wal, R.; Sjögersten, S.; Woodin, S.J.; Cooper, E.J.; Jónsdóttir, I.S.; Kuijper, D.; Fox, A.D.; Huiskes, A.H.L.

    2007-01-01

    Tundra ecosystems are widely recognized as precious areas and globally important carbon (C) sinks, yet our understanding of potential threats to these habitats and their large soil C store is limited. Land-use changes and conservation measures in temperate regions have led to a dramatic expansion of

  8. 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. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  9. 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.

  10. 50 CFR 20.107 - Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans. 20.107 Section 20.107 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (CONTINUED) TAKING, POSSESSION, TRANSPORTATION, SALE, PURCHASE, BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS ...

  11. Geomorphic determinants of species composition of alpine tundra, Glacier National Park, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George P. Malanson,; Bengtson, Lindsey E.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2012-01-01

    Because the distribution of alpine tundra is associated with spatially limited cold climates, global warming may threaten its local extent or existence. This notion has been challenged, however, based on observations of the diversity of alpine tundra in small areas primarily due to topographic variation. The importance of diversity in temperature or moisture conditions caused by topographic variation is an open question, and we extend this to geomorphology more generally. The extent to which geomorphic variation per se, based on relatively easily assessed indicators, can account for the variation in alpine tundra community composition is analyzed versus the inclusion of broad indicators of regional climate variation. Visual assessments of topography are quantified and reduced using principal components analysis (PCA). Observations of species cover are reduced using detrended correspondence analysis (DCA). A “best subsets” regression approach using the Akaike Information Criterion for selection of variables is compared to a simple stepwise regression with DCA scores as the dependent variable and scores on significant PCA axes plus more direct measures of topography as independent variables. Models with geographic coordinates (representing regional climate gradients) excluded explain almost as much variation in community composition as models with them included, although they are important contributors to the latter. The geomorphic variables in the model are those associated with local moisture differences such as snowbeds. The potential local variability of alpine tundra can be a buffer against climate change, but change in precipitation may be as important as change in temperature.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah C. Elmendorf; Gregory H.R. Henry; Robert D. Hollister; Robert G. Björk; Anne D. Bjorkman; Terry V. Callaghan; [and others] NO-VALUE; William Gould; Joel Mercado

    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 approach include the apparent site-specificity of results and uncertainty...

  13. Response of CO2 exchange in a tussock tundra ecosystem to permafrost thaw and thermokarst development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason Vogel; Edward A.G. Schuur; Christian Trucco; Hanna. Lee

    2009-01-01

    Climate change in high latitudes can lead to permafrost thaw, which in ice-rich soils can result in ground subsidence, or thermokarst. In interior Alaska, we examined seasonal and annual ecosystem CO2 exchange using static and automatic chamber measurements in three areas of a moist acidic tundra ecosystem undergoing varying degrees of permafrost...

  14. Movement of foraging Tundra Swans explained by spatial pattern in cryptic food densities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klaassen, R.H.G.; Nolet, B.A.; Bankert, D.

    2006-01-01

    We tested whether Tundra Swans use information on the spatial distribution of cryptic food items (belowground Sago pondweed tubers) to shape their movement paths. In a continuous environment, swans create their own food patches by digging craters, which they exploit in several feeding bouts. Series

  15. Sphingomonas antarctica sp. nov., isolated from Antarctic tundra soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yao; Wei, Ziyan; Danzeng, Wangmu; Kim, Myong Chol; Zhu, Guoxin; Zhang, Yumin; Liu, Zuobing; Peng, Fang

    2017-10-01

    Strain 200 T , isolated from a soil sample taken from Antarctic tundra soil around Zhongshan Station, was found to be a Gram-stain-negative, yellow-pigmented, catalase-positive, oxidase-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped and aerobic bacterium. Strain 200 T grew optimally at pH 7.0 and in the absence of NaCl on R2A. Its optimum growth temperature was 20 °C. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain 200 T belonged to the genus Sphingomonas. Strain 200 T showed the highest sequence similarities to Sphingomonas kyeonggiense THG-DT81 T (95.1 %) and Sphingomonas molluscorum KMM 3882 T (95.1 %). Chemotaxonomic analysis showed that strain 200 T had characteristics typical of members of the genus Sphingomonas. Ubiquinone 10 was the predominant respiratory quinone and sym-homospermidine was the polyamine. The major polar lipids were sphingoglycolipid, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylcholine. The G+C content of the genomic DNA was determined to be 60.9 mol%. Strain 200 T contained C16 : 0 (31.6 %), summed feature 8 (comprising C18 : 1ω7c and/or C18 : 1ω6c, 22.7 %), summed feature 3 (comprising C16 : 1ω7c and/or C16 : 1ω6c, 11.2 %), C18 : 0 (7.8 %) and C14 : 0 2OH (6.7 %) as the major cellular fatty acids. On the basis of phylogenetic analysis, and physiological and biochemical characterization, strain 200 T should be classified as representing a novel species of the genus Sphingomonas, for which the name Sphingomonasantarctica sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is 200 T (=CCTCC AB 2016064 T =KCTC 52488 T ).

  16. Public Nature of the Concepts for Economic Development in the Northern and Arctic Regions of Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitalii Nikolaevich Lazhentsev

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In a situation when Russia’s economic development is unbalanced by factors and financial sources, there emerges a threat of depletion of its natural resources in the Northern and Arctic regions, which does not bring any apparent benefit to Russia itself, and especially to its northern dwellers. In order to work out a proper policy with relation to the North, it is necessary to consider not only the specifics of the raw material specialization of the Northern and Arctic territories and their structural-functional organization, but also the crucial public nature of this specialization and this organization. It is from the point of view of public interest and national security of our country that residents of the North should be viewed not as a tool to provide the world economy with raw materials and fuel, but as an inherently valued reality, competing for their “place under the sun” and capable of equipping this place based on their own abilities, needs and perceptions of well-being. The purpose of the present paper is to show the social character of the interdependence between internal and external factors in the development of the North and the Arctic: the national and world market of mineral raw materials and fuel, the transcontinental, regional and local environmental functions of the tundra and taiga, the general trends of improving economic federalism and a special approach to stimulating regions that have extreme and difficult conditions of life and production, the priority of social welfare of the population rooted in the North and in the Arctic along with the desire for national socio-territorial equity

  17. 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

  18. Interannual Variability of Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide Fluxes in Subarctic European Russian Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marushchak, M. E.; Voigt, C.; Gil, J.; Lamprecht, R. E.; Trubnikova, T.; Virtanen, T.; Kaverin, D.; Martikainen, P. J.; Biasi, C.

    2017-12-01

    Southern tundra landscapes are particularly vulnerable to climate warming, permafrost thaw and associated landscape rearrangement due to near-zero permafrost temperatures. The large soil C and N stocks of subarctic tundra may create a positive feedback for warming if released to the atmosphere at increased rates. Subarctic tundra in European Russia is a mosaic of land cover types, which all play different roles in the regional greenhouse gas budget. Peat plateaus - massive upheaved permafrost peatlands - are large storehouses of soil carbon and nitrogen, but include also bare peat surfaces that act as hot-spots for both carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions. Tundra wetlands are important for the regional greenhouse gas balance since they show high rates of methane emissions and carbon uptake. The most dominant land-form is upland tundra vegetated by shrubs, lichens and mosses, which displays a close-to-neutral balance with respect to all three greenhouse gases. The study site Seida (67°03'N, 62°56'E), located in the discontinuous permafrost zone of Northeast European Russia, incorporates all these land forms and has been an object for greenhouse gas investigations since 2007. Here, we summarize the growing season fluxes of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide measured by chamber techniques over the study years. We analyzed the flux time-series together with the local environmental data in order to understand the drivers of interannual variability. Detailed soil profile measurements of greenhouse gas concentrations, soil moisture and temperature provide insights into soil processes underlying the net emissions to the atmosphere. The multiannual time-series allows us to assess the importance of the different greenhouse gases and landforms to the overall climate forcing of the study region.

  19. State of the Arctic Environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-01-01

    The Arctic environment, covering about 21 million km 2 , is in this connection regarded as the area north of the Arctic Circle. General biological and physical features of the terrestrial and freshwater environments of the Arctic are briefly described, but most effort is put into a description of the marine part which constitutes about two-thirds of the total Arctic environment. General oceanography and morphological characteristics are included; e.g. that the continental shelf surrounding the Arctic deep water basins covers approximately 36% of the surface areas of Arctic waters, but contains only 2% of the total water masses. Blowout accident may release thousands of tons of oil per day and last for months. They occur statistically very seldom, but the magnitude underlines the necessity of an efficient oil spill contingency as well as sound safety and quality assurance procedures. Contingency plans should be coordinated and regularly evaluated through simulated and practical tests of performance. Arctic conditions demand alternative measures compared to those otherwise used for oil spill prevention and clean-up. New concepts or optimization of existing mechanical equipment is necessary. Chemical and thermal methods should be evaluated for efficiency and possible environmental effects. Both due to regular discharges of oil contaminated drilled cuttings and the possibility of a blowout or other spills, drilling operations in biological sensitive areas may be regulated to take place only during the less sensitive parts of the year. 122 refs., 8 figs., 8 tabs

  20. Climate change and UV-B impacts on Arctic Tundra and Polar Desert Ecosystems. Biodiversity, Distributions and Adaptations of Arctic Species in the Context of Environmental Change

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Callaghan, T. V.; Björn, L. O.; Chernov, Y.; Chapin, T.; Christensen, T. R.; Huntley, B.; Ims, R. A.; Johansson, M.; Jolly, D.; Jonasson, S.; Matveyeva, N.; Panikov, N.; Oechel, W.; Shaver, G.; Elster, Josef; Henttonen, H.; Laine, K.; Taulavuori, K.; Taulavuori, E.; Zockler, Ch.

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 33, č. 7 (2004), s. 404-417 ISSN 0044-7447 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KSK6005114; GA MŠk ME 576 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6005908 Keywords : cyanobacteria * algae * biodiversity Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.403, year: 2004

  1. 78 FR 8577 - Final Environmental Impact Statement; Izembek National Wildlife Refuge Proposed Land Exchange...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-06

    ... the threatened Steller's eider, threatened sea otter, threatened Steller sea lion, tundra swan, black... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R7-R-2012-N206; FXRS12650700000-134.... SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of a final...

  2. Arctic action against climatic changes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Njaastad, Birgit

    2000-01-01

    The articles describes efforts to map the climatic changes in the Arctic regions through the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Project which is a joint venture between eight Arctic countries: Denmark, Canada, the USA, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway. The project deals with the consequences of the changes such as the UV radiation due to diminishing ozone layers. The aims are: Evaluate and integrate existing knowledge in the field and evaluate and predict the consequences particularly on the environment both in the present and the future and produce reliable and useful information in order to aid the decision-making processes

  3. Participatory Methods in Arctic Research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faber, Louise

    2018-01-01

    collection, analysis and conclusions and / or knowledge dissemination. The book aims to collect and share experiences from researchers active in engaging research in the Arctic. The articles reflect on the inclusive methods used in the Arctic research, on the cause and purpose thereof, while the methods......This book is a collection of articles written by researchers at Aalborg University, affiliated with AAU Arctic. The articles are about how the researchers in their respective projects work with stakeholders and citizens in different ways, for example in connection with problem formulation, data...... are exemplified to serve as inspiration for other researchers....

  4. Soil Carbon in North American, Arctic, and Boreal Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lajtha, K.; Bailey, V. L.; Schuur, E.; McGuire, D.; Romanovsky, V. E.

    2017-12-01

    Globally, soils contain more than 3 times as much as C as the atmosphere and >4 times more C than the world's biota, therefore even small changes in soil C stocks could lead to large changes in the atmospheric concentration of CO2. Since SOCCR-1, improvements have been made in quantifying stocks and uncertainties in stocks of soil C to a depth of 1 m across North America. Estimates for soil carbon stocks in the US (CONUS + Alaska) range from 151 - 162 Pg C, based on extensive sampling and analysis. Estimates for Canada average about 262 Pg C, but sampling is not as extensive. Soil C for Mexico is calculated as 18 Pg C, but there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding this value. These soil carbon stocks are sensitive to agricultural management, land use and land cover change, and development and loss of C-rich soils such as wetlands. Climate change is a significant threat although may be partially mitigated by increased plant production. Carbon stored in permafrost zone circumpolar soils is equal to 1330-1580 Pg C, almost twice that contained in the atmosphere and about order of magnitude greater than carbon contained in plant biomass, woody debris, and litter in the boreal and tundra biomes combined. Surface air temperature change is amplified in high latitude regions such that Arctic temperature rise is about 2.5 times faster than for the globe as a whole, and thus 5 - 15% of this carbon is considered vulnerable to release to the atmosphere by the year 2100 following the current trajectory of global and Arctic warming. This amount is likely to be up to an order of magnitude larger loss than the increase in carbon stored in plant biomass under the same changing conditions. Models of soil organic matter dynamics have been greatly improved in the last decade by including greater process-level understanding of factors that affect soil C stabilization and destabilization, yet structural features of many models are still limited in representing Arctic and boreal

  5. Squaring the Arctic Circle: connecting Arctic knowledge with societal needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, J.

    2017-12-01

    Over the coming years the landscape of the Arctic will change substantially- environmentally, politically, and economically. Furthermore, Arctic change has the potential to significantly impact Arctic and non-Arctic countries alike. Thus, our science is in-demand by local communities, politicians, industry leaders and the public. During these times of transition it is essential that the links between science and society be strengthened further. Strong links between science and society is exactly what is needed for the development of better decision-making tools to support sustainable development, enable adaptation to climate change, provide the information necessary for improved management of assets and operations in the Arctic region, and and to inform scientific, economic, environmental and societal policies. By doing so tangible benefits will flow to Arctic societies, as well as for non-Arctic countries that will be significantly affected by climate change. Past experience has shown that the engagement with a broad range of stakeholders is not always an easy process. Consequently, we need to improve collaborative opportunities between scientists, indigenous/local communities, private sector, policy makers, NGOs, and other relevant stakeholders. The development of best practices in this area must build on the collective experiences of successful cross-sectorial programmes. Within this session we present some of the outreach work we have performed within the EU programme ICE-ARC, from community meetings in NW Greenland through to sessions at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP Conferences, industry round tables, and an Arctic side event at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

  6. Arctic Energy Technology Development Laboratory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sukumar Bandopadhyay; Charles Chamberlin; Robert Chaney; Gang Chen; Godwin Chukwu; James Clough; Steve Colt; Anthony Covescek; Robert Crosby; Abhijit Dandekar; Paul Decker; Brandon Galloway; Rajive Ganguli; Catherine Hanks; Rich Haut; Kristie Hilton; Larry Hinzman; Gwen Holdman; Kristie Holland; Robert Hunter; Ron Johnson; Thomas Johnson; Doug Kame; Mikhail Kaneveskly; Tristan Kenny; Santanu Khataniar; Abhijeet Kulkami; Peter Lehman; Mary Beth Leigh; Jenn-Tai Liang; Michael Lilly; Chuen-Sen Lin; Paul Martin; Pete McGrail; Dan Miller; Debasmita Misra; Nagendra Nagabhushana; David Ogbe; Amanda Osborne; Antoinette Owen; Sharish Patil; Rocky Reifenstuhl; Doug Reynolds; Eric Robertson; Todd Schaef; Jack Schmid; Yuri Shur; Arion Tussing; Jack Walker; Katey Walter; Shannon Watson; Daniel White; Gregory White; Mark White; Richard Wies; Tom Williams; Dennis Witmer; Craig Wollard; Tao Zhu

    2008-12-31

    The Arctic Energy Technology Development Laboratory was created by the University of Alaska Fairbanks in response to a congressionally mandated funding opportunity through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), specifically to encourage research partnerships between the university, the Alaskan energy industry, and the DOE. The enabling legislation permitted research in a broad variety of topics particularly of interest to Alaska, including providing more efficient and economical electrical power generation in rural villages, as well as research in coal, oil, and gas. The contract was managed as a cooperative research agreement, with active project monitoring and management from the DOE. In the eight years of this partnership, approximately 30 projects were funded and completed. These projects, which were selected using an industry panel of Alaskan energy industry engineers and managers, cover a wide range of topics, such as diesel engine efficiency, fuel cells, coal combustion, methane gas hydrates, heavy oil recovery, and water issues associated with ice road construction in the oil fields of the North Slope. Each project was managed as a separate DOE contract, and the final technical report for each completed project is included with this final report. The intent of this process was to address the energy research needs of Alaska and to develop research capability at the university. As such, the intent from the beginning of this process was to encourage development of partnerships and skills that would permit a transition to direct competitive funding opportunities managed from funding sources. This project has succeeded at both the individual project level and at the institutional development level, as many of the researchers at the university are currently submitting proposals to funding agencies, with some success.

  7. Simulating carbon and water fluxes at Arctic and boreal ecosystems in Alaska by optimizing the modified BIOME-BGC with eddy covariance data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueyama, M.; Kondo, M.; Ichii, K.; Iwata, H.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Zona, D.; Rocha, A. V.; Harazono, Y.; Nakai, T.; Oechel, W. C.

    2013-12-01

    To better predict carbon and water cycles in Arctic ecosystems, we modified a process-based ecosystem model, BIOME-BGC, by introducing new processes: change in active layer depth on permafrost and phenology of tundra vegetation. The modified BIOME-BGC was optimized using an optimization method. The model was constrained using gross primary productivity (GPP) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) at 23 eddy covariance sites in Alaska, and vegetation/soil carbon from a literature survey. The model was used to simulate regional carbon and water fluxes of Alaska from 1900 to 2011. Simulated regional fluxes were validated with upscaled GPP, ecosystem respiration (RE), and NEE based on two methods: (1) a machine learning technique and (2) a top-down model. Our initial simulation suggests that the original BIOME-BGC with default ecophysiological parameters substantially underestimated GPP and RE for tundra and overestimated those fluxes for boreal forests. We will discuss how optimization using the eddy covariance data impacts the historical simulation by comparing the new version of the model with simulated results from the original BIOME-BGC with default ecophysiological parameters. This suggests that the incorporation of the active layer depth and plant phenology processes is important to include when simulating carbon and water fluxes in Arctic ecosystems.

  8. Indicators of reproduction of the tundra vole (microtus oeconomus pallas, 1776) in Palesse state radiation-ecological reserve

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuchmel', S.V.

    2010-01-01

    In 2003-2007 reproductive indicators of the tundra vole in territory of Palesse state radiation-ecological reserve have been caused by factors of an inhabitancy and are peculiar to this kind on other sites of dwelling. (authors)

  9. Arctic oil and gas 2007

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huntington, Henry P.

    2007-07-01

    The Arctic Council's assessment of oil and gas activities in the Antic is prepared in response to a request from Ministers of the eight Arctic countries. The Ministers called for engagement of all Arctic Council Working Groups in this process, and requested that the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment programme (AMAP) take responsibility for coordinating the work. This Executive Summary is in three parts. Part A presents the main findings of the assessment and related recommendations. Part B is structured in the same manner as Part A and provides additional information for those interested in examining the basis for the conclusions and recommendations that are presented in Part A. Part C presents information on 'gaps in knowledge' and recommendations aimed at filling these gaps. (AG)

  10. Russia's strategy in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Staun, Jørgen Meedom

    2017-01-01

    Russia's strategy in the Arctic is dominated by two overriding international relations (IR) discourses – or foreign policy directions. On the one hand, there is an IR-realism/geopolitical discourse that puts security first and often has a clear patriotic character, dealing with ‘exploring......’, ‘winning’ or ‘conquering’ the Arctic and putting power, including military power, behind Russia's national interests in the area. Opposed to this is an IR-liberalism, international law-inspired and modernisation-focused discourse, which puts cooperation first and emphasises ‘respect for international law......’, ‘negotiation’ and ‘cooperation’, and labels the Arctic as a ‘territory of dialogue’, arguing that the Arctic states all benefit the most if they cooperate peacefully. After a short but very visible media stunt in 2007 and subsequent public debate by proponents of the IR realism/geopolitical side, the IR...

  11. Acquatorialities of the Arctic Region

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harste, Gorm

    2013-01-01

    In order to describe the Arctic system I propose using a concept functionally equivalent to territoriality, namely aquatoriality. Whether communicating about territoriality or aquatoriality, concepts and delimitations are both contingent to forms of communication systems. I will distinguish between...

  12. SCICEX: Submarine Arctic Science Program

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Submarine Arctic Science Program, SCICEX, is a federal interagency collaboration among the operational Navy, research agencies, and the marine research community...

  13. Development of arctic wind technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holttinen, H.; Marjaniemi, M.; Antikainen, P. [VTT Energy, Espoo (Finland)

    1998-10-01

    The climatic conditions of Lapland set special technical requirements for wind power production. The most difficult problem regarding wind power production in arctic regions is the build-up of hard and rime ice on structures of the machine

  14. Arctic oil and gas 2007

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huntington, Henry P

    2007-07-01

    The Arctic Council's assessment of oil and gas activities in the Antic is prepared in response to a request from Ministers of the eight Arctic countries. The Ministers called for engagement of all Arctic Council Working Groups in this process, and requested that the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment programme (AMAP) take responsibility for coordinating the work. This Executive Summary is in three parts. Part A presents the main findings of the assessment and related recommendations. Part B is structured in the same manner as Part A and provides additional information for those interested in examining the basis for the conclusions and recommendations that are presented in Part A. Part C presents information on 'gaps in knowledge' and recommendations aimed at filling these gaps. (AG)

  15. Effects of sub-Arctic shrub canopies on snowmelt energetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bewley, D.; Essery, R.; Pomeroy, J.

    2006-12-01

    Much of the low Arctic is covered with shrub tundra, and there is increasing evidence that snowmelt rates are substantially different between shrub tundra and poorly vegetated sites. The cause of this remains uncertain, however, and extends beyond simple differences in albedo. Results are presented in this study from a detailed field investigation at Wolf Creek Research Basin in 2004 to determine the effect of two different shrub canopy structures on both melt rates and the partitioning of melt energy. The low shrub site (LSS) was essentially an unvegetated snowfield prior to melt (mean albedo ~0.85), and shrubs only became exposed during the last few days of melt reaching a mean height of 0.31 m and mean Plant Area Index (PAI) of 0.32. Shrubs at the tall shrub site (TSS) were partially buried initially (shrub fraction, mean height and PAI of 0.2, 0.9 m and 0.41) but dominated the landscape by the end of melt (corresponding values of 0.71, 1.6 m and 0.6). Melt rates were higher at TSS up until the exposure of shrubs and bare ground at LSS, after which the rates converged. A Shrub-Snow Canopy Model (SSCM) is developed to improve snowmelt simulations for shrub canopies by parameterizing the key shrub effects on surface fluxes, including the extinction of shortwave irradiance beneath shrubs and in canopy gaps, and the enhancement of snow surface fluxes of longwave radiation and sensible heat. SSCM was run for LSS assuming no shrubs were present above the variable snow and bare ground tiles, whereas for TSS an increasing shrub fraction above each tile was prescribed from observations. Results from both sites suggest that sensible heat fluxes contributed more melt energy than net radiation, and were greater during early melt at TSS due to the warming of exposed shrubs. SWE was accurately predicted against transect measurements at TSS (rms error 4 mm), but was overestimated at LSS (rms error 13 mm) since both air temperatures and turbulent transport were underestimated

  16. The influence of weather and lemmings on spatiotemporal variation in the abundance of multiple avian guilds in the arctic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barry G Robinson

    Full Text Available Climate change is occurring more rapidly in the Arctic than other places in the world, which is likely to alter the distribution and abundance of migratory birds breeding there. A warming climate can provide benefits to birds by decreasing spring snow cover, but increases in the frequency of summer rainstorms, another product of climate change, may reduce foraging opportunities for insectivorous birds. Cyclic lemming populations in the Arctic also influence bird abundance because Arctic foxes begin consuming bird eggs when lemmings decline. The complex interaction between summer temperature, precipitation, and the lemming cycle hinder our ability to predict how Arctic-breeding birds will respond to climate change. The main objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between annual variation in weather, spring snow cover, lemming abundance and spatiotemporal variation in the abundance of multiple avian guilds in a tundra ecosystem in central Nunavut, Canada: songbirds, shorebirds, gulls, loons, and geese. We spatially stratified our study area based on vegetation productivity, terrain ruggedness, and freshwater abundance, and conducted distance sampling to estimate strata-specific densities of each guild during the summers of 2010-2012. We also monitored temperature, rainfall, spring snow cover, and lemming abundance each year. Spatial variation in bird abundance matched what was expected based on previous ecological knowledge, but weather and lemming abundance also significantly influenced the abundance of some guilds. In particular, songbirds were less abundant during the cool, wet summer with moderate snow cover, and shorebirds and gulls declined with lemming abundance. The abundance of geese did not vary over time, possibly because benefits created by moderate spring snow cover were offset by increased fox predation when lemmings were scarce. Our study provides an example of a simple way to monitor the correlation between

  17. Long-range air transport of dioxin from North American sources to ecologically vulnerable receptors in Nunavut, Arctic Canada. Final report to the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Commoner, B.; Woods Bartlett, P.; Eisl, H.; Couchot, K. [City University of New York, Queens College, Center for Biology of Natural Systems, New York, NY (United States)

    2000-07-01

    This study was commissioned by the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (NACEC). It was designed to model on a continental scale the rates of deposition of airborne dioxin (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin and polychlorinated dibenzofurans PCDD/PCDF) in the Canadian Arctic territory of Nunavut and to identify the major contributing North American sources. The study was commissioned in response to findings showing twice the level of dioxin concentration in the milk of Inuit mothers than that observed in southern Quebec, despite the fact that there are no significant sources of dioxin in Nunavut or within 500 kms of its boundaries. This high concentration is attributed to indigenous diet, i. e. traditional foods such as caribou, fish and marine mammals, which in turn ingest it from airborne sources through the terrestrial food chain, chiefly through lichen, mosses, shrubs and marine algae. Since these avenues of entry into the food chain cannot be protected from airborne pollutants, remedial action must be directed at the sources that emit dioxin. Results of the study show that of the total North American annual emission of airborne dioxin (4,713 grams toxicity equivalent quotient (TEQ)), Canadian sources account for 364 grams TEQ, United States sources for 2,937 TEQ, Mexican sources 1.412 grams TEQ, and emissions from sources within Nunavut a total of 0.12 grams TEQ. The North American national dioxin inventories include 44,091 sources, of which 5,343 are individual facilities such as trash-burning incinerators, the rest are sources such as backyard trash-burning in the United States and Mexico, but only a handful of sources are responsible for the deposition in Nunavut. The overall conclusion of the study confirm that atmospheric and ecological processes that carry dioxin from its numerous sources through terrestrial and marine food chains to human beings is a problem of continental dimensions. The challenge is to establish analytical methods and

  18. Can Canada Avoid Arctic Militarization?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-20

    global market and the evolution of new fracking technology for the extraction of shale hydrocarbons, the development of the Canadian Arctic might not...resources extraction . In hydrocarbons alone, the United States Geological Survey estimates that there are approximately 90 billion barrels of oil...1,669 trillion cubic feet of natural gas , and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids currently undiscovered in the Arctic, with 84 percent lying in

  19. Public Perceptions of Arctic Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, L.

    2014-12-01

    What does the general US public know, or think they know, about Arctic change? Two broad nationwide surveys in 2006 and 2010 addressed this topic in general terms, before and after the International Polar Year (IPY). Since then a series of representative national or statewide surveys have carried this research farther. The new surveys employ specific questions that assess public knowledge of basic Arctic facts, along with perceptions about the possible consequences of future Arctic change. Majorities know that late-summer Arctic sea ice area has declined compared with 30 years ago, although substantial minorities -- lately increasing -- believe instead that it has now recovered to historical levels. Majorities also believe that, if the Arctic warms in the future, this will have major effects on the weather where they live. Their expectation of local impacts from far-away changes suggests a degree of global thinking. On the other hand, most respondents do poorly when asked whether melting Arctic sea ice, melting Greenland/Antarctic land ice, or melting Himalayan glaciers could have more effect on sea level. Only 30% knew or guessed the right answer to this question. Similarly, only 33% answered correctly on a simple geography quiz: whether the North Pole could best be described as ice a few feet or yards thick floating over a deep ocean, ice more than a mile thick over land, or a rocky, mountainous landscape. Close analysis of response patterns suggests that people often construct Arctic "knowledge" on items such as sea ice increase/decrease from their more general ideology or worldview, such as their belief (or doubt) that anthropogenic climate change is real. When ideology or worldviews provide no guidance, as on the North Pole or sealevel questions, the proportion of accurate answers is no better than chance. These results show at least casual public awareness and interest in Arctic change, unfortunately not well grounded in knowledge. Knowledge problems seen on

  20. Interaction webs in arctic ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Niels Martin; Hardwick, Bess; Gilg, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    How species interact modulate their dynamics, their response to environmental change, and ultimately the functioning and stability of entire communities. Work conducted at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, has changed our view on how networks of arctic biotic interactions are structured, how they ...... that the combination of long-term, ecosystem-based monitoring, and targeted research projects offers the most fruitful basis for understanding and predicting the future of arctic ecosystems....

  1. The impact of climate change on ecosystem carbon dynamics at the Scandinavian mountain birch forest-tundra heath ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjögersten, Sofie; Wookey, Philip A

    2009-02-01

    Changes in temperature and moisture resulting from climate change are likely to strongly modify the ecosystem carbon sequestration capacity in high-latitude areas, both through vegetation shifts and via direct warming effects on photosynthesis and decomposition. This paper offers a synthesis of research addressing the potential impacts of climate warming on soil processes and carbon fluxes at the forest-tundra ecotone in Scandinavia. Our results demonstrated higher rates of organic matter decomposition in mountain birch forest than in tundra heath soils, with markedly shallower organic matter horizons in the forest. Field and laboratory experiments suggest that increased temperatures are likely to increase CO2 efflux from both tundra and forest soil providing moisture availability does not become limiting for the decomposition process. Furthermore, colonization of tundra heath by mountain birch forest would increase rates of decomposition, and thus CO2 emissions, from the tundra heath soils, which currently store substantial amounts of potentially labile carbon. Mesic soils underlying both forest and tundra heath are currently weak sinks of atmospheric methane, but the strength of this sink could be increased with climate warming and/or drying.

  2. First report of Setaria tundra in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) from the Iberian Peninsula inferred from molecular data: epidemiological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelone-Alasaad, Samer; Jowers, Michael J; Panadero, Rosario; Pérez-Creo, Ana; Pajares, Gerardo; Díez-Baños, Pablo; Soriguer, Ramón C; Morrondo, Patrocinio

    2016-09-29

    Filarioid nematode parasites are major health hazards with important medical, veterinary and economic implications. Recently, they have been considered as indicators of climate change. In this paper, we report the first record of Setaria tundra in roe deer from the Iberian Peninsula. Adult S. tundra were collected from the peritoneal cavity during the post-mortem examination of a 2 year-old male roe deer, which belonged to a private fenced estate in La Alcarria (Guadalajara, Spain). Since 2012, the area has suffered a high roe deer decline rate (75 %), for unknown reasons. Aiming to support the morphological identification and to determine the phylogenetic position of S. tundra recovered from the roe deer, a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene from the two morphologically identified parasites was amplified, sequenced and compared with corresponding sequences of other filarioid nematode species. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the isolate of S. tundra recovered was basal to all other formely reported Setaria tundra sequences. The presence of all other haplotypes in Northern Europe may be indicative of a South to North outbreak in Europe. This is the first report of S. tundra in roe deer from the Iberian Peninsula, with interesting phylogenetic results, which may have further implications in the epidemiological and genetic studies of these filarioid parasites. More studies are needed to explore the reasons and dynamics behind the rapid host/geographic expansion of the filarioid parasites in Europe.

  3. Identifying the tundra-forest border in the stomate record: an analysis of lake surface samples from the Yellowknife area, Northwest Territories, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hansen, B.C.S. [Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis, MN (United States). Limnological Research Center; MacDonald, G.M. [California Univ., Los Angeles, CA (United States). Dept. of Botanical Sciences; Moser, K.A. [McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada)

    1996-05-01

    The relationship between conifer stomata and existing vegetation across tundra, forest-tundra, and closed zones in the Yellowknife area of the Northwest Territories was studied. Conifer stomata were identified in surface samples from lakes in the treeline zone, but were absent in samples from tundra lakes. Stomate analysis was recorded and the results were presented in a concentration diagram plotting stomate concentrations according to vegetation zone. Conifer stomate analysis was not able to resolve differences between forest-tundra and closed forest. Nevertheless, it was suggested that stomate analysis will become an important technique supplementing pollen analysis for reconstructing past tree-line changes since the presence of stomata in lakes make it possible to separate the tundra from forest-tundra and closed forest. The limited dispersal of conifer stomata permitted a better resolution of tree-line boundaries than did pollen. 13 refs., 3 figs.

  4. Inundation, sedimentation, and subsidence creates goose habitat along the Arctic coast of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tape, Ken D.; Flint, Paul L.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.

    2013-01-01

    The Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska is characterized by thermokarst lakes and drained lake basins, and the rate of coastal erosion has increased during the last half-century. Portions of the coast are sea level for kilometers inland, and are underlain by ice-rich permafrost. Increased storm surges or terrestrial subsidence would therefore expand the area subject to marine inundation. Since 1976, the distribution of molting Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) on the Arctic Coastal Plain has shifted from inland freshwater lakes to coastal marshes, such as those occupying the Smith River and Garry Creek estuaries. We hypothesized that the movement of geese from inland lakes was caused by an expansion of high quality goose forage in coastal areas. We examined the recent history of vegetation and geomorphological changes in coastal goose habitat by combining analysis of time series imagery between 1948 and 2010 with soil stratigraphy dated using bomb-curve radiocarbon. Time series of vertical imagery and in situ verification showed permafrost thaw and subsidence of polygonal tundra. Soil stratigraphy and dating within coastal estuaries showed that non-saline vegetation communities were buried by multiple sedimentation episodes between 1948 and 1995, accompanying a shift toward salt-tolerant vegetation. This sedimentation allowed high quality goose forage plants to expand, thus facilitating the shift in goose distribution. Declining sea ice and the increasing rate of terrestrial inundation, sedimentation, and subsidence in coastal estuaries of Alaska may portend a 'tipping point' whereby inland areas would be transformed into salt marshes.

  5. Quantifying landscape change in an arctic coastal lowland using repeat airborne LiDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Benjamin M.; Stoker, Jason M.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Grosse, Guido; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Douglas, Thomas A.; Kinsman, Nichole E.M.; Richmond, Bruce M.

    2013-01-01

    Increases in air, permafrost, and sea surface temperature, loss of sea ice, the potential for increased wave energy, and higher river discharge may all be interacting to escalate erosion of arctic coastal lowland landscapes. Here we use airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data acquired in 2006 and 2010 to detect landscape change in a 100 km2 study area on the Beaufort Sea coastal plain of northern Alaska. We detected statistically significant change (99% confidence interval), defined as contiguous areas (>10 m2) that had changed in height by at least 0.55 m, in 0.3% of the study region. Erosional features indicative of ice-rich permafrost degradation were associated with ice-bonded coastal, river, and lake bluffs, frost mounds, ice wedges, and thermo-erosional gullies. These features accounted for about half of the area where vertical change was detected. Inferred thermo-denudation and thermo-abrasion of coastal and river bluffs likely accounted for the dominant permafrost-related degradational processes with respect to area (42%) and volume (51%). More than 300 thermokarst pits significantly subsided during the study period, likely as a result of storm surge flooding of low-lying tundra (impact of warm summers in the late-1980s and mid-1990s. Our results indicate that repeat airborne LiDAR can be used to detect landscape change in arctic coastal lowland regions at large spatial scales over sub-decadal time periods.

  6. Effects of Arctic Alaska oil development on Brant and snow geese

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truett, J. C. [Truett Research, Glenwood, NM (United States); Miller, M. E. [Colorado Univ., Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Geography; Kertell, K. [SWCA Inc., Tucson, AZ (United States)

    1997-06-01

    The potential impact of Arctic Alaskan oil development on black brant and lesser snow geese were investigated. Release of contaminants, alteration of tundra surfaces, creation of impoundments and human activities were considered as most likely to affect geese directly (e.g. through oil spills), or indirectly (e.g. by altering food supplies or predator populations). To date, no evidence of changes in the distribution, abundance or reproduction of these geese have been found that could be clearly attributed to development; indeed, the number and recruitment of geese in the oilfields responded, as elsewhere, to weather and predation. It is suggested, however, that three known predators -arctic foxes, glaucous gulls, and grizzly bears- may have increased in abundance as a result of development. The common raven has been observed to have recently established a small nesting population, apparently because of development, and birds from this population have preyed on goose eggs. Other than the action of these predators, the environmental impacts of development in Alaska oil fields are currently unknown. 55 refs., 2 figs.

  7. Soil moisture control over autumn season methane flux, Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. S. Sturtevant

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Accurate estimates of annual budgets of methane (CH4 efflux in arctic regions are severely constrained by the paucity of non-summer measurements. Moreover, the incomplete understanding of the ecosystem-level sensitivity of CH4 emissions to changes in tundra moisture makes prediction of future CH4 release from the Arctic extremely difficult. This study addresses some of these research gaps by presenting an analysis of eddy covariance and chamber measurements of CH4 efflux and supporting environmental variables during the autumn season and associated beginning of soil freeze-up at our large-scale water manipulation site near Barrow, Alaska (the Biocomplexity Experiment. We found that the autumn season CH4 emission is significant (accounting for 21–25% of the average growing season emission, and that this emission is mostly controlled by the fraction of inundated landscape, atmospheric turbulence, and the decline in unfrozen water during the period of soil freezing. Drainage decreased autumn CH4 emission by a factor of 2.4 compared to our flooded treatment. Flooding slowed the soil freezing process which has implications for extending elevated CH4 emissions longer into the winter season.

  8. Recovery of Arctic and Sub-Arctic vegetation nine summers after crude and diesel oil spills

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hutchinson, T. C

    1984-01-01

    In August 1980 experimental oil spill sites set up in spruce taiga at Norman Wells and on tundra at Tuktoyaktuk from 1972-75 were monitored to determine degree of recovery of vegeta tion from summer & winter spills...

  9. Detection and Segmentation of Small Trees in the Forest-Tundra Ecotone Using Airborne Laser Scanning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  10. The Arctic Coastal Erosion Problem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frederick, Jennifer M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Thomas, Matthew Anthony [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Bull, Diana L. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Jones, Craig A. [Integral Consulting Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States); Roberts, Jesse D. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2016-09-01

    Permafrost-dominated coastlines in the Arctic are rapidly disappearing. Arctic coastal erosion rates in the United States have doubled since the middle of the twentieth century and appear to be accelerating. Positive erosion trends have been observed for highly-variable geomorphic conditions across the entire Arctic, suggesting a major (human-timescale) shift in coastal landscape evolution. Unfortunately, irreversible coastal land loss in this region poses a threat to native, industrial, scientific, and military communities. The Arctic coastline is vast, spanning more than 100,000 km across eight nations, ten percent of which is overseen by the United States. Much of area is inaccessible by all-season roads. People and infrastructure, therefore, are commonly located near the coast. The impact of the Arctic coastal erosion problem is widespread. Homes are being lost. Residents are being dispersed and their villages relocated. Shoreline fuel storage and delivery systems are at greater risk. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) operate research facilities along some of the most rapidly eroding sections of coast in the world. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is struggling to fortify coastal radar sites, operated to ensure national sovereignty in the air, against the erosion problem. Rapid alterations to the Arctic coastline are facilitated by oceanographic and geomorphic perturbations associated with climate change. Sea ice extent is declining, sea level is rising, sea water temperature is increasing, and permafrost state is changing. The polar orientation of the Arctic exacerbates the magnitude and rate of the environmental forcings that facilitate coastal land area loss. The fundamental mechanics of these processes are understood; their non-linear combination poses an extreme hazard. Tools to accurately predict Arctic coastal erosion do not exist. To obtain an accurate predictive model, a coupling of the influences of

  11. Global warming impacts on the biogeochemical functioning of two arctic Cryo-sols in the Salluit region, Nunavik, Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fouche, Julien

    2014-01-01

    Increased organic matter decomposition rate in Arctic Cryo-sols due to warming and to permafrost thawing can lead to the release of greenhouse gases, thus potentially creating a positive feedback on climate change. We aim to assess the interactions between the thermal regime, the hydric behaviour and the biogeochemical functioning of two different permafrost-affected soils (i.e. Cryo-sols), one being developed in frozen peat (Histic Cryo-sol: H), the other being developed in post-glacial marine clays (Turbic Cryo-sol: T), both in natural conditions and under an experimental warming. Profiles were instrumented in Salluit (Nunavik, Canada; 62 deg. 14'N, 75 deg. 38'W) and monitored during summers 2010 and 2011. Both thermal monitoring and modeling results stressed differences between sites due to the insulating properties of dried peat in summer the active layer at the H site is thinner than at the T site. The induced warming increased CO 2 fluxes in both soils; this impact was however more striking at H even if ecosystem respiration (ER) was lower than at T. Temperature sensitivity of ER (Q 10 ), which decreased with warming, was higher at T than at H. We highlighted that diurnal ER cycles showed hysteretic loops as a function of soil surface temperatures. Linear models performed to explain ER variance were improved when we added daily minimum temperature and thaw front depth at H. In contrast at T, adding wind speed and solar radiation in models improved the ER variance explanation. We showed three specific CO 2 flux dynamics related to northern ecosystems: 1) the large difference of ER depending on soil properties and soil solution composition; 2) environmental variables strongly alter CO 2 fluxes and 3) the diurnal Q 10 variations and the inter annual variability of basal respiration. Our results support the assumption that organic matter decomposition might be the major source of CO 2 at H while plant-derived processes dominated ER at T. Finally, the

  12. 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

    , 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......-emitting wet depressions could become more abundant in the lowland tundra landscape, at the cost of permafrost-stabilizing low shrub vegetation....

  13. Variability of the Arctic Basin Oceanographic Fields

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sabinin, K

    1996-01-01

    ...." Special attention was paid to Atlantic Water in the Arctic Ocean which seems to be the main source of information in acoustic monitoring of the ocean, in the framework of the Arctic-ATOC program...

  14. Variations in Pu isotopic composition in soils from the Spitsbergen (Norway): Three potential pollution sources of the Arctic region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Łokas, E; Anczkiewicz, R; Kierepko, R; Mietelski, J W

    2017-07-01

    Although the polar regions have not been industrialised, numerous contaminants originating from human activity are detectable in the Arctic environment. This study reports evidence of 240 Pu/ 239 Pu atomic ratios in the tundra and initial soils from different parts of west and central Spitsbergen and recognizes possible environmental inputs of non-global fallout Pu. The average atomic ratio of 240 Pu/ 239 Pu equal to 0.179 (ranging between 0.129 and 0.201) in tundra soils are comparable to the characteristic ratio for global fallout (0.180). However, the 240 Pu/ 239 Pu atomic ratios in the initial soils from proglacial zone of glaciers ch