WorldWideScience

Sample records for arctic tundra soils

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    Vegetation changes, such as shrub encroachment and wetland expansion, have been observed in many Arctic tundra regions. These changes feed back to permafrost and climate. Permafrost can be protected by soil shading through vegetation as it reduces the amount of solar energy available for thawing.

  2. Estimated storage of amorphous silica in soils of the circum-Arctic tundra region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfredsson, H.; Clymans, W.; Hugelius, G.; Kuhry, P.; Conley, D. J.

    2016-03-01

    We investigated the vertical distribution, storage, landscape partitioning, and spatial variability of soil amorphous silica (ASi) at four different sites underlain by continuous permafrost and representative of mountainous and lowland tundra, in the circum-Arctic region. Based on a larger set of data, we present the first estimate of the ASi soil reservoir (0-1 m depth) in circum-Arctic tundra terrain. At all sites, the vertical distribution of ASi concentrations followed the pattern of either (1) declining concentrations with depth (most common) or (2) increasing/maximum concentrations with depth. Our results suggest that a set of processes, including biological control, solifluction and other slope processes, cryoturbation, and formation of inorganic precipitates influence vertical distributions of ASi in permafrost terrain, with the capacity to retain stored ASi on millennial timescales. At the four study sites, areal ASi storage (0-1 m) is generally higher in graminoid tundra compared to wetlands. Our circum-Arctic upscaling estimates, based on both vegetation and soil classification separately, suggest a storage amounting to 219 ± 28 and 274 ± 33 Tmol Si, respectively, of which at least 30% is stored in permafrost. This estimate would account for about 3% of the global soil ASi storage while occupying an equal portion of the global land area. This result does not support the hypothesis that the circum-Arctic tundra soil ASi reservoir contains relatively higher amounts of ASi than other biomes globally as demonstrated for carbon. Nevertheless, climate warming has the potential to significantly alter ASi storage and terrestrial Si cycling in the Arctic.

  3. Terrimonas arctica sp. nov., isolated from Arctic tundra soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Fan; Qiu, Xia; Chang, Xulu; Qu, Zhihao; Ren, Lvzhi; Kan, Wenjing; Guo, Youhao; Fang, Chengxiang; Peng, Fang

    2014-11-01

    A novel, Gram-stain-negative, aerobic, non-motile and rod-shaped bacterium, designated R9-86(T), was isolated from tundra soil collected near Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard Archipelago, Norway (78° N). Growth occurred at 4-28 °C (optimum, 22-25 °C) and at pH 6.0-9.0 (optimum, pH 7.0). Flexirubin-type pigments were absent. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain R9-86(T) belonged to the genus Terrimonas in the family Chitinophagaceae. 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities between strain R9-86(T) and the type strains of species of the genus Terrimonas with validly published names ranged from 93.7 to 95.0%. Strain R9-86(T) contained iso-C(15:1)-G (25.7%), iso-C(15:0) (24.5%), iso-C(17:0)-3OH (18.3%) and summed feature 3 (C(16:1)ω7c and/or C(16:1)ω6c, 8.7%) as its major cellular fatty acids; phosphatidylethanolamine and an unknown polar lipid as its main polar lipids, and MK-7 as its predominant respiratory quinone. The DNA G+C content was 48.4 mol%. On the basis of phenotypic, chemotaxonomic and phylogenetic data, strain R9-86(T) is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Terrimonas, for which the name Terrimonas arctica sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is R9-86(T) ( =CCTCC AB 2011004(T) =NRRL B-59114(T)). PMID:25142212

  4. 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

    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...... 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...... some species. Responses to cold-season soil warming are vegetation type- and species-specific, with potentially stronger responses in moister vegetation types. This study therefore highlights the contrasting effect of snow in a tundra landscape and has important implications for projections of whole...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 (

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-07-21

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  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...... 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...... 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) in...

  11. Contrasting denitrifier communities relate to contrasting N2O emission patterns from acidic peat soils in arctic tundra

    OpenAIRE

    Palmer, Katharina; Biasi, Christina; Horn, Marcus A.

    2011-01-01

    Cryoturbated peat circles (that is, bare surface soil mixed by frost action; pH 3–4) in the Russian discontinuous permafrost tundra are nitrate-rich ‘hotspots' of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in arctic ecosystems, whereas adjacent unturbated peat areas are not. N2O was produced and subsequently consumed at pH 4 in unsupplemented anoxic microcosms with cryoturbated but not in those with unturbated peat soil. Nitrate, nitrite and acetylene stimulated net N2O production of both soils in anoxic ...

  12. 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

  13. Evaluation of a Thermodynamically Based Soil Microbial Decomposition Model Based on a 13c Tracer Study in Arctic Tundra Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, X.; Tang, J.; Riley, W. J.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Cotrufo, M. F.; Machmuller, M. B.; Lynch, L.

    2014-12-01

    The incorporation of explicit representation of biological complexity in soil carbon decomposition models may improve our ability to accurately predict terrestrial carbon-climate feedbacks. A new generation of microbe-explicit soil decomposition models (MEMs) are being developed that represent soil biological complexity, but only a few take into account detailed biotic and abiotic components and competitive interactions in the complex soil system. In view of this, we have developed a thermodynamically based MEM with a detailed component network (polymeric organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon, microbes, extracellular enzymes, and mineral surfaces), in which competitive interactions and microbial metabolism are modeled using Equilibrium Chemistry Approximation kinetics and Dynamic Energy Budget theory, respectively. The model behavior has been tested and is qualitatively consistent with many empirical studies, but further evaluation of the model with field or lab experimental data in specific ecosystems is needed. Stable carbon isotope (13C) tracer experiments provide a means to directly evaluate soil carbon dynamics simulated by MEMs. In this study, we further develop the model to explicitly account for different carbon isotopes, including 13C and 14C. Isotopic fractionations in soil decomposition processes, including soil organic matter transformations and microbial metabolism, are considered. The 13C signals of different soil components derived from a 13C tracer experiment in Arctic tundra soils are used to test the model behavior and identify needed parametric and structural improvements. Our modeling and data comparison identify several key mechanisms that need to be included in MEMs. Finally, we present an analysis of the relative benefits and costs of additional complexity in MEMs compared to traditional pool-based modeling structures.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. Modelling regulation of decomposition and related root/mycorrhizal processes in arctic tundra soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Linkins, A.E.

    1992-01-01

    Since this was the final year of this project principal activities were directed towards either collecting data needed to complete existing incomplete data sets or writing manuscripts. Data sets on Imnaviat Creek watershed basin are functionally complete and data finialized on the cellulose mineralizaiton and dust impact on soil organic carbon and phsophorus decomposition. Seven manuscripts were prepared, and are briefly outlined.

  16. Modelling regulation of decomposition and related root/mycorrhizal processes in arctic tundra soils. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Linkins, A.E.

    1992-09-01

    Since this was the final year of this project principal activities were directed towards either collecting data needed to complete existing incomplete data sets or writing manuscripts. Data sets on Imnaviat Creek watershed basin are functionally complete and data finialized on the cellulose mineralizaiton and dust impact on soil organic carbon and phsophorus decomposition. Seven manuscripts were prepared, and are briefly outlined.

  17. Tundra vegetation effects on pan-Arctic albedo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  20. Long Term Thawing Experiment on High Arctic Polygonal Tundra: Spring Thaw Gas Flux Dynamics and Soil Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stackhouse, B. T.; Mykytczuk, N. C.; Lamarche-Gagnon, G.; Layton, A. C.; Pfiffner, S. M.; Vishnivetskaya, T. A.; Saad, N.; Whyte, L.; Onstott, T. C.

    2012-12-01

    Global climate models predict that over the coming century increasing Arctic temperature will lead to increases in the release of greenhouse gases, CO2 and CH4, from thawing the permafrost, which is a major repository of soil carbon. The magnitude and rate of this positive feedback is highly uncertain due to lack of detailed field observations and long-term experimental simulations. To this end long-term core thawing experiments are being carried out to examine gas flux from the Arctic active layer and permafrost under various environmental conditions. Eighteen 1-m long cores were collected before seasonal thaw from a sparsely vegetated, ice-wedge polygon at the McGill Arctic Research Station (MARS) at Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut, Canada (N79°24, W90°45). The cores contained ~5% organic carbon in the top 15 cm and decreased to ~1% for the remainder of the core, with a solid phase organic carbon δ13C of -26.5‰. The cores were progressively thawed from the top down to the permafrost table over six weeks and held at 4° C under the following conditions: maintenance of an in situ permafrost table depth at 70 cm below surface versus fully thawed permafrost layer, in situ water saturation conditions versus fully water saturated conditions using artificial rain fall, and surface light versus no surface light. Core headspaces were monitored on a weekly basis for concentration of CO2, CH4, and δ13C-CO2. Over the thawing period, the CH4 flux out of the soil decreased from the initial rate of 2.2 μmol CH4/m2/day to 0.12 μmol CH4/m2/day, indicating that CH4 trapped in the soil outgassed as temperatures rose above freezing but the flux rapidly diminished. Introduction of 2 PPMV CH4 into the headspace of under-saturated core treatments revealed net depletion of CH4 was taking place at -3.6 μmol CH4/m2/day, an observation consistent with field measurements of methanotrophy at Axel Heiberg Island during spring and summer and with laboratory microcosm experiments

  1. Introduction to a special section: winter terrestrial ecology in Arctic and alpine tundra

    OpenAIRE

    Cooper, Elisabeth J.

    2010-01-01

    I am very pleased to present this special section of articles on winter terrestrial ecology in Arctic and alpine tundra. This is a new and developing field of research, and has been hitherto little studied. Much is unknown about the ecology of the dark, cold period of the year, as traditionally ecologists have travelled to their field sites in summer, when the snow has melted and the plants, soils and invertebrates are more readily available to be studied. Arctic research in the summer is oft...

  2. Simulating the effects of temperature and precipitation change on vegetation composition in Arctic tundra ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Van Der Kolk, H; M. M. P. D. Heijmans; Van Huissteden, J.; Pullens, J. W. M.; Berendse, F.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decades, vegetation has changed significantly along with climatic changes in the Arctic. Deciduous shrub cover is often assumed to expand in tundra landscapes, but more frequent abrupt permafrost thaw resulting in formation of thaw ponds could lead to vegetation shifts towards graminoid dominated wetland. Which mechanisms drive vegetation changes in the tundra ecosystem is still not sufficiently clear. In this study, the dynamic tundra vegetation model NUCOM-tundra was used to e...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  4. Will Arctic ground squirrels impede or accelerate climate-induced vegetation changes to the Arctic tundra?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, J.; Flower, C. E.; Brown, J.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.; Whelan, C.

    2014-12-01

    Considerable attention has been given to the climate feedbacks associated with predicted vegetation shifts in the Arctic tundra in response to global environmental change. However, little is known regarding the extent to which consumers can facilitate or respond to shrub expansion. Arctic ground squirrels, the largest and most northern ground squirrel, are abundant and widespread throughout the North American tundra. Their broad diet of seeds, flowers, herbage, bird's eggs and meat speaks to the need to breed, feed, and fatten in a span of some 12-16 weeks that separate their 8-9 month bouts of hibernation with the potential consequence to impact ecosystem dynamics. Therefore Arctic ground squirrels are a good candidate to evaluate whether consumers are mere responders (bottom-up effects) or drivers (top-down) of the observed and predicted vegetation changes. As a start towards this question, we measured the foraging intensity (giving-up densities) of Arctic ground squirrels in experimental food patches within which the squirrels experience diminishing returns as they seek the raisins and peanuts that we provided at the Toolik Lake field station in northern Alaska. If the squirrels show their highest feeding intensity in the shrubs, they may impede vegetation shifts by slowing the establishment and expansion of shrubs in the tundra. Conversely, if they show their lowest feeding intensity within shrub dominated areas, they may accelerate vegetation shifts. We found neither. Feeding intensity varied most among transects and times of day, and least along a tundra-to-shrub vegetation gradient. This suggests that the impacts of squirrels will be heterogeneous - in places responders and in others drivers. We should not be surprised then to see patches of accelerated and impeded vegetation changes in the tundra ecosystem. Some of these patterns may be predictable from the foraging behavior of Arctic ground squirrels.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Bååth, Erland

    2013-01-01

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    Arctic ecosystems are threatened by pollution from recently detected extreme atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition events in which up to 90% of the annual N deposition can occur in just a few days. We undertook the first assessment of the fate of N from extreme deposition in High Arctic tundra and are presenting the results from the whole ecosystem (15)N labelling experiment. In 2010, we simulated N depositions at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2gNm(-2)yr(-1), applied as (15)NH4(15)NO3 in Svalbard (79(°)N), during the summer. Separate applications of (15)NO3(-) and (15)NH4(+) were also made to determine the importance of N form in their retention. More than 95% of the total (15)N applied was recovered after one growing season (~90% after two), demonstrating a considerable capacity of Arctic tundra to retain N from these deposition events. Important sinks for the deposited N, regardless of its application rate or form, were non-vascular plants>vascular plants>organic soil>litter>mineral soil, suggesting that non-vascular plants could be the primary component of this ecosystem to undergo measurable changes due to N enrichment from extreme deposition events. Substantial retention of N by soil microbial biomass (70% and 39% of (15)N in organic and mineral horizon, respectively) during the initial partitioning demonstrated their capacity to act as effective buffers for N leaching. Between the two N forms, vascular plants (Salix polaris) in particular showed difference in their N recovery, incorporating four times greater (15)NO3(-) than (15)NH4(+), suggesting deposition rich in nitrate will impact them more. Overall, these findings show that despite the deposition rates being extreme in statistical terms, biologically they do not exceed the capacity of tundra to sequester pollutant N during the growing season. Therefore, current and future extreme events may represent a major source of eutrophication. PMID:26956177

  7. Identifying nitrogen limitations to organic sediments accumulation in various vegetation types of arctic tundra (Hornsund, Svalbard)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skrzypek, G.; Wojtuń, B.; Hua, Q.; Richter, D.; Jakubas, D.; Wojczulanis-Jakubas, K.; Samecka-Cymerman, A.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic and subarctic regions play important roles in the global carbon balance. However, nitrogen (N) deficiency is a major constraint for organic carbon sequestration in the High Arctic. Hence, the identification of the relative contributions from different N-sources is critical for understanding the constraints that limit tundra growth. The stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources and numerous plants were analyzed in ten tundra types in the Fuglebekken catchment (Hornsund Fjord, Svalbard, 77°N 15°E). The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by seabirds' feces (colonially breeding, planktivorous Alle alle), ranged from 0-21% in Patterned-ground tundra to 100% in Ornithocoprophilous tundra. The total N-pool utilized by tundra plants in the studied catchment was built in 36% by birds, 38% by atmospheric deposition, and 26% by N2-fixation. The results clearly show that N-pool in the tundra is significantly supplemented by nesting seabirds. Thus, if they experienced substantial negative environmental pressure associated with climate change, it would adversely influence the tundra N-budget [1]. The growth rates and the sediment thickness (climatic conditions but also by birds' contribution to the tundra N-pool. [1] Skrzypek G, Wojtuń B, Richter D, Jakubas D, Wojczulanis-Jakubas K, Samecka-Cymerman A, 2015. Diversification of nitrogen sources in various tundra vegetation types in the high Arctic. PLoS ONE (in review).

  8. Vegetation biomass, leaf area index, and NDVI patterns and relationships along two latitudinal transects in arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, H. E.; Walker, D. A.; Raynolds, M. K.; Kelley, A. M.; Jia, G.; Ping, C.; Michaelson, G.; Leibman, M. O.; Kaarlejärvi, E.; Khomutov, A.; Kuss, P.; Moskalenko, N.; Orekhov, P.; Matyshak, G.; Forbes, B. C.; Yu, Q.

    2009-12-01

    Analyses of vegetation properties along climatic gradients provide first order approximations as to how vegetation might respond to a temporally dynamic climate. Until recently, no systematic study of tundra vegetation had been conducted along bioclimatic transects that represent the full latitudinal extent of the arctic tundra biome. Since 1999, we have been collecting data on arctic tundra vegetation and soil properties along two such transects, the North American Arctic Transect (NAAT) and the Yamal Arctic Transect (YAT). The NAAT spans the arctic tundra from the Low Arctic of the North Slope of Alaska to the polar desert of Cape Isachsen on Ellef Ringnes Island in the Canadian Archipelago. The Yamal Arctic Transect located in northwest Siberia, Russia, presently ranges from the forest-tundra transition at Nadym to the High Arctic tundra on Belyy Ostrov off the north coast of the Yamal Peninsula. The summer warmth indices (SWI - sum of mean monthly temperatures greater than 0°C) range from approximately 40 °C months to 3 °C months from south to north. For largely zonal sites along these transects, we systematically collected leaf area index (LAI-2000 Plant Canopy Analyzer), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI - PSII hand-held spectro-radiometer), and vegetation biomass (clip harvests). Site-averaged LAI ranges from 1.08 to 0 along the transects, yet can be highly variable at the landscape scale. Site-averaged NDVI ranges from 0.67 to 0.26 along the transects, and is less variable than LAI at the landscape scale. Total aboveground live biomass ranges from approximately 700 g m-2 to < 50 g m-2 along the NAAT, and from approximately 1100 g m-2 to < 400 g m-2 along the YAT (not including tree biomass at Nadym). LAI and NDVI are highly correlated logarithmically (r = 0.80) for the entire dataset. LAI is significantly related to total aboveground (live plus dead) vascular plant biomass, although there is some variability in the data (r = 0.63). NDVI is

  9. Simulating the effects of climate change and climate variability on carbon dynamics in Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stieglitz, Marc; Giblin, Anne; Hobbie, John; Williams, Matthew; Kling, George

    2000-12-01

    Through a simple modeling exercise, three mechanisms have been identified, each operating at a different timescale, that may govern carbon dynamics in Arctic tundra regions and partially explain observed CO2 flux variability. At short timescales the biosphere reacts to meteorological forcing. Drier conditions are associated with aerobic soil decomposition, a large CO2efflux, and a net ecosystem loss of carbon. Cooler and moister conditions favor slower anaerobic decomposition in soils, good growing conditions, and terrestrial carbon sequestration. At intermediate timescales, periods of terrestrial carbon loss are directly linked to periods of carbon sequestration by the ability of the ecosystem to retain labile nitrogen. Labile nitrogen released to the soil during periods when the tundra is a source of carbon (soil respiration > net primary productivity) is retained within the ecosystem and accessed during periods when carbon sequestration is favored (net primary productivity > soil respiration). Finally, the ability of vegetation to respond to long-term changes in soil nutrient status via changes in leaf nitrogen and leaf area index modulates this dynamic at intermediate to long timescales.

  10. An assessment of the carbon balance of arctic tundra: comparisons among observations, process models, and atmospheric inversions

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, A.D.; Christensen, T.R.; Hayes, D.; Heroult, A.; Euskirchen, E.; Yi, Y.; Kimball, J.S.; Koven, C.; Lafleur, P.; Miller, P.A.; Oechel, W.; Peylin, P.; Williams, M.

    2012-01-01

    Although arctic tundra has been estimated to cover only 8% of the global land surface, the large and potentially labile carbon pools currently stored in tundra soils have the potential for large emissions of carbon (C) under a warming climate. These emissions as radiatively active greenhouse gases in the form of both CO2 and CH4 could amplify global warming. Given the potential sensitivity of these ecosystems to climate change and the expectation that the Arctic will experience appreciable warming over the next century, it is important to assess whether responses of C exchange in tundra regions are likely to enhance or mitigate warming. In this study we compared analyses of C exchange of Arctic tundra between 1990–1999 and 2000–2006 among observations, regional and global applications of process-based terrestrial biosphere models, and atmospheric inversion models. Syntheses of the compilation of flux observations and of inversion model results indicate that the annual exchange of CO2 between arctic tundra and the atmosphere has large uncertainties that cannot be distinguished from neutral balance. The mean estimate from an ensemble of process-based model simulations suggests that arctic tundra acted as a sink for atmospheric CO2 in recent decades, but based on the uncertainty estimates it cannot be determined with confidence whether these ecosystems represent a weak or a strong sink. Tundra was 0.6 °C warmer in the 2000s compared to the 1990s. The central estimates of the observations, process-based models, and inversion models each identify stronger sinks in the 2000s compared with the 1990s. Similarly, the observations and the applications of regional process-based models suggest that CH4 emissions from arctic tundra have increased from the 1990s to 2000s. Based on our analyses of the estimates from observations, process-based models, and inversion models, we estimate that arctic tundra was a sink for atmospheric CO2 of 110 Tg C yr-1 (uncertainty between a

  11. Winter precipitation and snow accumulation drive the methane sink or source strength of Arctic tussock tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanc-Betes, Elena; Welker, Jeffrey M; Sturchio, Neil C; Chanton, Jeffrey P; Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A

    2016-08-01

    Arctic winter precipitation is projected to increase with global warming, but some areas will experience decreases in snow accumulation. Although Arctic CH4 emissions may represent a significant climate forcing feedback, long-term impacts of changes in snow accumulation on CH4 fluxes remain uncertain. We measured ecosystem CH4 fluxes and soil CH4 and CO2 concentrations and (13) C composition to investigate the metabolic pathways and transport mechanisms driving moist acidic tundra CH4 flux over the growing season (Jun-Aug) after 18 years of experimental snow depth increases and decreases. Deeper snow increased soil wetness and warming, reducing soil %O2 levels and increasing thaw depth. Soil moisture, through changes in soil %O2 saturation, determined predominance of methanotrophy or methanogenesis, with soil temperature regulating the ecosystem CH4 sink or source strength. Reduced snow (RS) increased the fraction of oxidized CH4 (Fox) by 75-120% compared to Ambient, switching the system from a small source to a net CH4 sink (21 ± 2 and -31 ± 1 mg CH4  m(-2)  season(-1) at Ambient and RS). Deeper snow reduced Fox by 35-40% and 90-100% in medium- (MS) and high- (HS) snow additions relative to Ambient, contributing to increasing the CH4 source strength of moist acidic tundra (464 ± 15 and 3561 ± 97 mg CH4  m(-2)  season(-1) at MS and HS). Decreases in Fox with deeper snow were partly due to increases in plant-mediated CH4 transport associated with the expansion of tall graminoids. Deeper snow enhanced CH4 production within newly thawed soils, responding mainly to soil warming rather than to increases in acetate fermentation expected from thaw-induced increases in SOC availability. Our results suggest that increased winter precipitation will increase the CH4 source strength of Arctic tundra, but the resulting positive feedback on climate change will depend on the balance between areas with more or less snow accumulation than they are currently

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Endrizzi

    2011-01-01

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

  14. The effect of a permafrost disturbance on growing-season carbon-dioxide fluxes in a high Arctic tundra ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy, Alison E.; Christen, Andreas; Henry, Gregory H. R.

    2016-04-01

    Soil carbon stored in high-latitude permafrost landscapes is threatened by warming and could contribute significant amounts of carbon to the atmosphere and hydrosphere as permafrost thaws. Thermokarst and permafrost disturbances, especially active layer detachments and retrogressive thaw slumps, are present across the Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, Canada. To determine the effects of retrogressive thaw slumps on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 in high Arctic tundra, we used two eddy covariance (EC) tower systems to simultaneously and continuously measure CO2 fluxes from a disturbed site and the surrounding undisturbed tundra. During the 32-day measurement period in the 2014 growing season, the undisturbed tundra was a small net sink (NEE = -0.1 g C m-2 d-1); however, the disturbed terrain of the retrogressive thaw slump was a net source (NEE = +0.4 g C m-2 d-1). Over the measurement period, the undisturbed tundra sequestered 3.8 g C m-2, while the disturbed tundra released 12.5 g C m-2. Before full leaf-out in early July, the undisturbed tundra was a small source of CO2 but shifted to a sink for the remainder of the sampling season (July), whereas the disturbed tundra remained a source of CO2 throughout the season. A static chamber system was also used to measure daytime fluxes in the footprints of the two towers, in both disturbed and undisturbed tundra, and fluxes were partitioned into ecosystem respiration (Re) and gross primary production (GPP). Average GPP and Re found in disturbed tundra were smaller (+0.40 µmol m-2 s-1 and +0.55 µmol m-2 s-1, respectively) than those found in undisturbed tundra (+1.19 µmol m-2 s-1 and +1.04 µmol m-2 s-1, respectively). Our measurements indicated clearly that the permafrost disturbance changed the high Arctic tundra system from a sink to a source for CO2 during the majority of the growing season (late June and July).

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Low nitrogen availability in the high Arctic represents a major constraint for plant growth, which limits the tundra capacity for carbon retention and determines tundra vegetation types. The limited terrestrial nitrogen (N) pool in the tundra is augmented significantly by nesting seabirds, such as the planktivorous Little Auk (Alle alle). Therefore, N delivered by these birds may significantly influence the N cycling in the tundra locally and the carbon budget more globally. Moreover, should these birds experience substantial negative environmental pressure associated with climate change, this will adversely influence the tundra N-budget. Hence, assessment of bird-originated N-input to the tundra is important for understanding biological cycles in polar regions. This study analyzed the stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources in the High Arctic and in numerous plants that access different N-pools in ten tundra vegetation types in an experimental catchment in Hornsund (Svalbard). The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by birds, ranged from 0-21% in Patterned-ground tundra to 100% in Ornithocoprophilous tundra. The total N-pool utilized by tundra plants in the studied catchment was built in 36% by birds, 38% by atmospheric deposition, and 26% by atmospheric N2-fixation. The stable nitrogen isotope mixing mass balance, in contrast to direct methods that measure actual deposition, indicates the ratio between the actual N-loads acquired by plants from different N-sources. Our results enhance our understanding of the importance of different N-sources in the Arctic tundra and the used methodological approach can be applied elsewhere. PMID:26376204

  17. Summer temperature increase has distinct effects on the ectomycorrhizal fungal communities of moist tussock and dry tundra in Arctic Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgado, Luis N; Semenova, Tatiana A; Welker, Jeffrey M; Walker, Marilyn D; Smets, Erik; Geml, József

    2015-02-01

    Arctic regions are experiencing the greatest rates of climate warming on the planet and marked changes have already been observed in terrestrial arctic ecosystems. While most studies have focused on the effects of warming on arctic vegetation and nutrient cycling, little is known about how belowground communities, such as fungi root-associated, respond to warming. Here, we investigate how long-term summer warming affects ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities. We used Ion Torrent sequencing of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region to compare ECM fungal communities in plots with and without long-term experimental warming in both dry and moist tussock tundra. Cortinarius was the most OTU-rich genus in the moist tundra, while the most diverse genus in the dry tundra was Tomentella. On the diversity level, in the moist tundra we found significant differences in community composition, and a sharp decrease in the richness of ECM fungi due to warming. On the functional level, our results indicate that warming induces shifts in the extramatrical properties of the communities, where the species with medium-distance exploration type seem to be favored with potential implications for the mobilization of different nutrient pools in the soil. In the dry tundra, neither community richness nor community composition was significantly altered by warming, similar to what had been observed in ECM host plants. There was, however, a marginally significant increase in OTUs identified as ECM fungi with the medium-distance exploration type in the warmed plots. Linking our findings of decreasing richness with previous results of increasing ECM fungal biomass suggests that certain ECM species are favored by warming and may become more abundant, while many other species may go locally extinct due to direct or indirect effects of warming. Such compositional shifts in the community might affect nutrient cycling and soil organic C storage. PMID:25156129

  18. Methane emissions from Alaska arctic tundra in response to climatic change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In situ observations of methane emissions from the Alaska North Slope in 1987 and 1989 provide insight into the environmental interactions regulating methane emissions and into the local- and regional-scale response of the arctic tundra to interannual environmental variability. Inferences regarding climate change are based on in situ measurements of methane emissions, regional landscape characterizations derived from Landsat Multispectral Scanner satellite data, and projected regional-scale emissions based on observed interannual temperature differences and simulated changes in the spatial distribution of methane emissions. The authors results suggest that biogenic methane emissions from arctic tundra will be significantly perturbed by climatic change, leading to warmer summer soil temperatures and to vertical displacement of the regional water table. The effect of increased soil temperatures on methane emissions resulting from anaerobic decomposition in northern wetlands will be to both increase total emissions and to increase interannual and seasonal variability. The magnitude of these effects will be determined by those factors affecting the areal distribution of methane emission rates through regulation of the regional water table. At local scales, the observed 4.7C increase in mid-summer soil temperatures between 1987 and 1989 resulted in a 3.2-fold increase in the rate of methane emissions from anaerobic soils. The observed linear temperature response was then projected to the regional scale of the Alaska North Slope under three environmental scenarios. Under moderately drier environmental conditions than observed in 1987, a 4C mid-summer increase in soil temperatures more than doubled regional methane emissions relative to the 1987 regional mean of 0.72 mg m-2 hr-1 over the 88,408 km2 study area

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barret, K.; Rocha, A.V.; Weg, van de M.J.; Shaver, G

    2012-01-01

    With anticipated climate change, tundra fires are expected to occur more frequently in the future, but data on the long-term effects of fire on tundra vegetation composition are scarce. This study addresses changes in vegetation structure that have persisted for 17 years after a tundra fire on the N

  20. Estimating carbon and energy fluxes in arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gokkaya, K.; Jiang, Y.; Rastetter, E.; Shaver, G. R.; Rocha, A. V.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are undergoing a very rapid change due to climate change and their response to climate change has important implications for the global energy budget and carbon (C) cycling. Therefore, it is important to understand how (C) and energy fluxes in the Arctic will respond to climate change. However, attribution of these responses to climate is challenging because measured fluxes are the sum of multiple processes that respond differently to environmental factors. For example, net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) is the net result of gross (C) uptake by plant photosynthesis (GPP) and (C) loss by ecosystem respiration (ER) and similarly, evapotranspiration (i.e. latent energy, LE) is the sum of transpiration and evaporation. Partitioning of NEE into GPP and ER requires nighttime measurements of NEE, when photosynthesis does not take place, to be extrapolated to daytime. This is challenging in the Arctic because of the long photoperiod during the growing season and the errors involved during the extrapolation. Transpiration (energy), photosynthesis (carbon), and vegetation phenology are inherently coupled because leaf stomata are the primary regulators of gas exchange. Our objectives in this study are to i) estimate canopy resistance (Rc) based on a light use efficiency model, ii) utilize the estimated Rc to predict GPP and transpiration using a coupled C and energy model and thus improve the partitioning of NEE and LE, and iii) to test ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) to estimate model parameters and improve model predictions. Results from one growing season showed that the model predictions can explain 75 and 71% of the variance in GPP and LE in the Arctic tundra ecosystem, respectively. When the model was embedded within the EnKF for estimating Rc, the amount of variance explained for GPP increased to 81% but there was no improvement for the prediction of LE. This suggests that the factors controlling LE are not fully integrated in the model such as the

  1. Pathways of anaerobic organic matter decomposition in tundra soils from Barrow, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herndon, Elizabeth M.; Mann, Benjamin F.; Roy Chowdhury, Taniya; Yang, Ziming; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Graham, David; Liang, Liyuan; Gu, Baohua

    2015-11-01

    Arctic tundra soils store a large quantity of organic carbon that is susceptible to decomposition and release to the atmosphere as methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) under a warming climate. Anaerobic processes that generate CH4 and CO2 remain unclear because previous studies have focused on aerobic decomposition pathways. To predict releases of CO2 and CH4 from tundra soils, it is necessary to identify pathways of soil organic matter decomposition under the anoxic conditions that are prevalent in Arctic ecosystems. Here molecular and spectroscopic techniques were used to monitor biological degradation of water-extractable organic carbon (WEOC) during anoxic incubation of tundra soils from a region of continuous permafrost in northern Alaska. Organic and mineral soils from the tundra active layer were incubated at -2, +4, or +8°C for up to 60 days to mimic the short-term thaw season. Results suggest that, under anoxic conditions, fermentation converted complex organic molecules into simple organic acids that were used in concomitant Fe-reduction and acetoclastic methanogenesis reactions. Nonaromatic compounds increased over time as WEOC increased. Organic acid metabolites initially accumulated in soils but were mostly depleted by day 60 because organic acids were consumed to produce Fe(II), CO2, and CH4. We conclude that fermentation of nonprotected organic matter facilitates methanogenesis and Fe reduction reactions, and that the proportion of organic acids consumed by methanogenesis increases relative to Fe reduction with increasing temperature. The decomposition pathways observed in this study are important to consider in numerical modeling of greenhouse gas production in the Arctic.

  2. Frequent fires in ancient shrub tundra: implications of paleorecords for arctic environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higuera, Philip E; Brubaker, Linda B; Anderson, Patricia M; Brown, Thomas A; Kennedy, Alison T; Hu, Feng Sheng

    2008-01-01

    Understanding feedbacks between terrestrial and atmospheric systems is vital for predicting the consequences of global change, particularly in the rapidly changing Arctic. Fire is a key process in this context, but the consequences of altered fire regimes in tundra ecosystems are rarely considered, largely because tundra fires occur infrequently on the modern landscape. We present paleoecological data that indicate frequent tundra fires in northcentral Alaska between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago. Charcoal and pollen from lake sediments reveal that ancient birch-dominated shrub tundra burned as often as modern boreal forests in the region, every 144 years on average (+/- 90 s.d.; n = 44). Although paleoclimate interpretations and data from modern tundra fires suggest that increased burning was aided by low effective moisture, vegetation cover clearly played a critical role in facilitating the paleofires by creating an abundance of fine fuels. These records suggest that greater fire activity will likely accompany temperature-related increases in shrub-dominated tundra predicted for the 21(st) century and beyond. Increased tundra burning will have broad impacts on physical and biological systems as well as on land-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic, including the potential to release stored organic carbon to the atmosphere. PMID:18320025

  3. Frequent fires in ancient shrub tundra: implications of paleorecords for arctic environmental change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip E Higuera

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

  4. 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

  5. Methane and Root Dynamics in Arctic Soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Imperio, Ludovica

    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, West Greenland, and CH4 and root dynamics were assessed in response to experimentally increased winter snow precipitation, summer warming and their interaction to better understand their contribution to the C balance of the Arctic. Our results indicate that both the dry heath and barren soils...... CH4 emissions from wetlands in a future warmer climate. At the wet fen increased winter snow precipitation delayed the onset of the growing season of about a week and reduced the relative fine root production. The use of minirhizotrons improved our understanding of root growth and phenology. Total...

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    known factors 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......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......-in periods. The measurements show clear seasonal dynamics in methane emission. The start of the growing season and the increase in CH4 fluxes were strongly related to the date of snowmelt. Within each particular growing season, CH4 fluxes were highly correlated with the soil temperature (R-2 > 0.75), which...

  9. Aboveground and belowground responses to nutrient additions and herbivore exclusion in Arctic tundra ecosystems in northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J. C.; Gough, L.; Simpson, R.; Johnson, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic has experienced significant increased regional warming over the past 30 years. Warming generally increases tundra soil nutrient availability by creating a more favorable environment for plant growth, decomposition and nutrient mineralization. Aboveground there has been a "greening" of the Arctic with increased net primary productivity (NPP), and an increase in woody vegetation. Concurrent with the changes aboveground has been an increase in root growth at lower depths and a loss of soil organic C (40 -100 g C m-2 yr-1). Given that arctic soils contain 14% of the global soil C pool, understanding the mechanisms behind shifts of this magnitude that are changing arctic soils from a net sink to a net source of atmospheric C is critical. We took an integrated multi-trophic level approach to examine how altering soil nutrients and mammalian herbivore activity affects vegetation, soil fauna, and microbial communities as well as soil physical characteristics in moist acidic (MAT) and dry heath (DH) tundra. Our work was conducted at the Arctic LTER site in northern Alaska. We sampled the nutrient (controls and annual N+P additions) and herbivore (controls and exclosures) manipulations established in 1996 after 10 years of treatment. Models that incorporated the biomass estimates from the field were used to characterize the trophic structure of the belowground food web and to estimate carbon flux among soil organisms and C-mineralization rates. Both MAT and DH exhibited significant increases in NPP and root growth and changes in vegetation structure with transitions from a mixed community to deciduous shrubs in MAT and from lichens to grasses and shrubs in DH, with nutrient additions and herbivore exclosures. Belowground responses to the treatments were dependent on ecosystem type, but exposed alterations in trophic structure that included changes in microbial biomass, the establishment of microbivorous enchytreaids, increases in root-feeding nematodes, and

  10. Long-term experimentally deepened snow decreases growing-season respiration in a low- and high-arctic tundra ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semenchuk, Philipp R.; Christiansen, Casper T.; Grogan, Paul; Elberling, Bo; Cooper, Elisabeth J.

    2016-05-01

    Tundra soils store large amounts of carbon (C) that could be released through enhanced ecosystem respiration (ER) as the arctic warms. Over time, this may change the quantity and quality of available soil C pools, which in-turn may feedback and regulate ER responses to climate warming. Therefore, short-term increases in ER rates due to experimental warming may not be sustained over longer periods, as observed in other studies. One important aspect, which is often overlooked, is how climatic changes affecting ER in one season may carry-over and determine ER in following seasons. Using snow fences, we increased snow depth and thereby winter soil temperatures in a high-arctic site in Svalbard (78°N) and a low-arctic site in the Northwest Territories, Canada (64°N), for 5 and 9 years, respectively. Deepened snow enhanced winter ER while having negligible effect on growing-season soil temperatures and soil moisture. Growing-season ER at the high-arctic site was not affected by the snow treatment after 2 years. However, surprisingly, the deepened snow treatments significantly reduced growing-season ER rates after 5 years at the high-arctic site and after 8-9 years at the low-arctic site. We speculate that the reduction in ER rates, that became apparent only after several years of experimental manipulation, may, at least in part, be due to prolonged depletion of labile C substrate as a result of warmer soils over multiple cold seasons. Long-term changes in winter climate may therefore significantly influence annual net C balance not just because of increased wintertime C loss but also because of "legacy" effects on ER rates during the following growing seasons.

  11. The effect of silver nanoparticles on seasonal change in arctic tundra bacterial and fungal assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niraj Kumar

    Full Text Available The impact of silver nanoparticles (NPs and microparticles (MPs on bacterial and fungal assemblages was studied in soils collected from a low arctic site. Two different concentrations (0.066% and 6.6% of Ag NPs and Ag MPs were tested in microcosms that were exposed to temperatures mimicking a winter to summer transition. Toxicity was monitored by differential respiration, phospholipid fatty acid analysis, polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing. Notwithstanding the effect of Ag MPs, nanosilver had an obvious, additional impact on the microbial community, underscoring the importance of particle size in toxicity. This impact was evidenced by levels of differential respiration in 0.066% Ag NP-treated soil that were only half that of control soils, a decrease in signature bacterial fatty acids, and changes in both richness and evenness in bacterial and fungal DNA sequence assemblages. Prominent after Ag NP-treatment were Hypocreales fungi, which increased to 70%, from only 1% of fungal sequences under control conditions. Genera within this Order known for their antioxidant properties (Cordyceps/Isaria dominated the fungal assemblage after NP addition. In contrast, sequences attributed to the nitrogen-fixing Rhizobiales bacteria appeared vulnerable to Ag NP-mediated toxicity. This combination of physiological, biochemical and molecular studies clearly demonstrate that Ag NPs can severely disrupt the natural seasonal progression of tundra assemblages.

  12. The effect of silver nanoparticles on seasonal change in arctic tundra bacterial and fungal assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Niraj; Palmer, Gerald R; Shah, Vishal; Walker, Virginia K

    2014-01-01

    The impact of silver nanoparticles (NPs) and microparticles (MPs) on bacterial and fungal assemblages was studied in soils collected from a low arctic site. Two different concentrations (0.066% and 6.6%) of Ag NPs and Ag MPs were tested in microcosms that were exposed to temperatures mimicking a winter to summer transition. Toxicity was monitored by differential respiration, phospholipid fatty acid analysis, polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing. Notwithstanding the effect of Ag MPs, nanosilver had an obvious, additional impact on the microbial community, underscoring the importance of particle size in toxicity. This impact was evidenced by levels of differential respiration in 0.066% Ag NP-treated soil that were only half that of control soils, a decrease in signature bacterial fatty acids, and changes in both richness and evenness in bacterial and fungal DNA sequence assemblages. Prominent after Ag NP-treatment were Hypocreales fungi, which increased to 70%, from only 1% of fungal sequences under control conditions. Genera within this Order known for their antioxidant properties (Cordyceps/Isaria) dominated the fungal assemblage after NP addition. In contrast, sequences attributed to the nitrogen-fixing Rhizobiales bacteria appeared vulnerable to Ag NP-mediated toxicity. This combination of physiological, biochemical and molecular studies clearly demonstrate that Ag NPs can severely disrupt the natural seasonal progression of tundra assemblages. PMID:24926877

  13. The Role of Explicitly Modeling Bryophytes in Simulating Carbon Exchange and Permafrost Dynamics of an Arctic Coastal Tundra at Barrow, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, F.; Thornton, P. E.; McGuire, A. D.; Oechel, W. C.; Yang, B.; Tweedie, C. E.; Rogers, A.; Norby, R. J.

    2013-12-01

    Bryophyte cover is greater than 50% in many Arctic tundra ecosystems. In regions of the Arctic where shrubs are expanding it is expected that bryophyte cover will be substantially reduced. Such a loss in cover could influence the hydrological, biogeochemical, and permafrost dynamics of Arctic tundra ecosystems. The explicit representation of bryophyte physiological and biophysical processes in large-scale ecological and land surface models is rare, and we hypothesize that the representation of bryophytes has consequences for estimates of the exchange of water, energy, and carbon by these models. This study explicitly represents the effects of bryophyte function and structure on the exchange of carbon (e.g., summer photosynthesis effects) and energy (e.g., summer insulation effects) with the atmosphere in the Community Land Model (CLM-CN). The modified model was evaluated for its ability to simulate C exchange, soil temperature, and soil moisture since the 1970s at Barrow, Alaska through comparison with data from AmeriFlux sites, USDA Soil Climate Networks observation sites at Barrow, and other sources. We also compare the outputs of the CLM-CN simulations with those of the recently developed Dynamical Organic Soil coupled Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (DOS-TEM). Overall, our evaluation indicates that bryophytes are important contributors to land-atmospheric C exchanges in Arctic tundra and that they play an important role to permafrost thermal and hydrological processes which are critical to permafrost stability. Our next step in this study is to examine the climate system effects of explicitly representing bryophyte dynamics in the land surface model. Key Words: Bryophytes, Arctic coastal tundra, Vegetation composition, Net Ecosystem Exchange, Permafrost, Land Surface Model, Terrestrial Ecosystem Model

  14. Distribution, abundance, and productivity of tundra swans in the coastal wetlands of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 1983

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report covers the distribution, abundance, and productivity of tundra swans in the coastal wetlands of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Two aerial surveys...

  15. Circumpolar Dynamics of Arctic Tundra Vegetation in Relation to Temperature Trends

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    Arctic tundra vegetation has generally exhibited a "greening" trend for at least the past three decades. However, these temporal trends in tundra vegetation are highly heterogeneous in space across different arctic regions, as well as showing variability over time. The factors controlling this variability are likely numerous with complex interactions, however, a first approach is to examine how vegetation dynamics relate to trends in temperature. We used a 32-year record (1982-2013) of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Land Surface Temperatures from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensors onboard NOAA satellites (GIMMS 3g dataset) to analyze observed changes in both aboveground tundra vegetation and surface temperatures. We divided the circumpolar dataset into two continental regions (North America and Eurasia), as well as by tundra subzone (A-E) sensu the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map (CAVM). We 1) compared temporal trends in both MaxNDVI (peak values) and TI-NDVI (seasonally integrated values) with those of the Summer Warmth Index (SWI - sum of mean monthly temperatures > 0 °C); 2) assessed how the detrended interannual variabilities in NDVI compared to those of SWI; and 3) analyzed current and prior year SWI, as well as prior year NDVI, as controls on current year NDVI. Interannual coefficients of variation for SWI were 2.0 - 2.5 times greater than those for NDVI, and the temporal trendlines for NDVI were much "tighter" with greater r² values than those for SWI. Interannual variability in NDVI was greatest in the "Mid-Low" Arctic, whereas interannual variability in SWI was greatest in the most southern Arctic. Surprisingly, the observed relative rates of change in NDVI were greater than those of SWI for the warmer subzones for both North America and Eurasia. Finally, the change in NDVI from one year to the next was only weakly correlated with current year SWI. These results suggest that 1) there are clearly factors

  16. 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)

    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 (206Pb/207Pb 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 (206Pb/207Pb = 1.170 ± 0.002; mean ± SD) overlapped with that of the peat (206Pb/207Pb = 1.16 ± 0.01) representing a proxy for atmospheric aerosols, but was clearly different from that of the parent soil material (206Pb/207Pb = 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 206Pb/207Pb 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. → Atmospheric

  17. Complete genome sequence of Granulicella tundricola type strain MP5ACTX9T, an Acidobacteria from tundra soil

    OpenAIRE

    Rawat, Suman R.; Männistö, Minna K.; Starovoytov, Valentin; Goodwin, Lynne; Nolan, Matt; Hauser, Loren; Land, Miriam; Davenport, Karen Walston; Woyke, Tanja; Häggblom, Max M.

    2013-01-01

    Granulicella tundricola strain MP5ACTX9T is a novel species of the genus Granulicella in subdivision 1 Acidobacteria . G. tundricola is a predominant member of soil bacterial communities, active at low temperatures and nutrient limiting conditions in Arctic alpine tundra. The organism is a cold-adapted acidophile and a versatile heterotroph that hydrolyzes a suite of sugars and complex polysaccharides. Genome analysis revealed metabolic versatility with genes involved in metabolism and transp...

  18. Complete genome sequence of Granulicella mallensis type strain MP5ACTX8T, an acidobacterium from tundra soil

    OpenAIRE

    Rawat, Suman R.; Männistö, Minna K.; Starovoytov, Valentin; Goodwin, Lynne; Nolan, Matt; Loren J Hauser; Land, Miriam; Davenport, Karen Walston; Woyke, Tanja; Häggblom, Max M.

    2013-01-01

    Granulicella mallensis MP5ACTX8T is a novel species of the genus Granulicella in subdivision 1of Acidobacteria . G. mallensis is of ecological interest being a member of the dominant soil bacterial community active at low temperatures and nutrient limiting conditions in Arctic alpine tundra. G. mallensis is a cold-adapted acidophile and a versatile heterotroph that hydrolyzes a suite of sugars and complex polysaccharides. Genome analysis revealed metabolic versatility with genes involved in m...

  19. Correlations between the Heterogeneity of Permafrost Thaw Depth and Vegetation in Boreal Forests and Arctic Tundra in Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uy, K. L. Q.; Natali, S.; Kholodov, A. L.; Loranty, M. M.

    2015-12-01

    Global climate change induces rapid large scale changes in the far Northern regions of the globe, which include the thickening of the active layer of arctic and subarctic soils. Active layer depth, in turn, drives many changes to the hydrology and geochemistry of the soil, making an understanding of this layer essential to boreal forest and arctic tundra ecology. Because the structure of plant communities can affect the thermal attributes of the soil, they may drive variations in active layer depth. For instance, trees and tussocks create shade, which reduces temperatures, but also hold snow, which increases temperature through insulation; these aspects of vegetation can increase or decrease summer thaw. The goal of this project is to investigate correlations between the degree of heterogeneity of active layer depths, organic layer thickness, and aboveground vegetation to determine how these facets of Northern ecosystems interact at the ecosystem scale. Permafrost thaw and organic layer depths were measured along 20m transects in twenty-four boreal forest and tundra sites in Alaska. Aboveground vegetation along these transects was characterized by measuring tree diameter at breast height (DBH), tussock dimensions, and understory biomass. Using the coefficient of variation as a measure of heterogeneity, we found a positive correlation between thaw depth variability and tussock volume variability, but little correlation between the former and tree DBH variability. Soil organic layer depth variability was also positively correlated with thaw depth variability, but weakly correlated with tree and tussock heterogeneity. These data suggest that low vegetation and organic layer control the degree of variability in permafrost thaw at the ecosystem scale. Vegetation can thus affect the microtopography of permafrost and future changes in the plant community that affect vegetation heterogeneity will drive corresponding changes in the variability of the soil.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Polyakov, Igor V; Tucker, Compton J.; Pinzon, Jorge E; Epstein, Howard E.; Comiso, Josefino C; Peter A. Bieniek; Walker, Donald A.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Bhatt, Uma S.

    2013-01-01

    Vegetation productivity trends for the Arctic tundra are updated for the 1982–2011 period and examined in the context of land surface temperatures and coastal sea ice. Understanding mechanistic links between vegetation and climate parameters contributes to model advancements that are necessary for improving climate projections. This study employs remote sensing data: Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) Maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (MaxNDVI), Special Sensor ...

  1. Mapping wildfire burn severity in the Arctic Tundra from downsampled MODIS data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolden, Crystal A.; Rogan, John

    2013-01-01

    Wildfires are historically infrequent in the arctic tundra, but are projected to increase with climate warming. Fire effects on tundra ecosystems are poorly understood and difficult to quantify in a remote region where a short growing season severely limits ground data collection. Remote sensing has been widely utilized to characterize wildfire regimes, but primarily from the Landsat sensor, which has limited data acquisition in the Arctic. Here, coarse-resolution remotely sensed data are assessed as a means to quantify wildfire burn severity of the 2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire in Alaska, the largest tundra wildfire ever recorded on Alaska's North Slope. Data from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and downsampled Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) were processed to spectral indices and correlated to observed metrics of surface, subsurface, and comprehensive burn severity. Spectral indices were strongly correlated to surface severity (maximum R2 = 0.88) and slightly less strongly correlated to substrate severity. Downsampled MODIS data showed a decrease in severity one year post-fire, corroborating rapid vegetation regeneration observed on the burned site. These results indicate that widely-used spectral indices and downsampled coarse-resolution data provide a reasonable supplement to often-limited ground data collection for analysis and long-term monitoring of wildfire effects in arctic ecosystems.

  2. Carbon Fluxes in a sub-arctic tundra undergoing permafrost degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracho, R. G.; Webb, E.; Mauritz, M.; Schuur, E. A. G.

    2014-12-01

    As an effect of climate change, temperatures in high latitude regions are increasing faster than in the rest of the world and future projections indicate it will increase between 7°C and 8°C by the end of the 21st century. Permafrost soils store around 1700 Pg of Carbon (C), which is approximately the amount of C stored in terrestrial vegetation and in the atmosphere combined. Sustained warming induces permafrost thaw, leads to a thicker seasonal active layer, and creates subsided patches in the landscape. Carbon that was previously inaccessible to decomposition is thus exposed, increasing the likelihood of positive feedback of CO2 to the atmosphere. We measured C fluxes (Net ecosystem carbon flux, NEE, and Ecosystem respiration, Re) using the eddy covariance approach in a tundra landscape (Eight Mile Lake Watershed, Alaska) undergoing permafrost degradation from the beginning of the growing season in 2008 and throughout most winters until May 2014. This interval encompassed a range of climatic variability that included a deviation of ± 50% from the long term average in growing season precipitation. Active layer depth (thaw depth at the end of the growing season) and subsidence in the footprint were used as indicators of permafrost degradation. Results indicate that annual NEE ranged from a sink of 0.76 MgC ha-1 yr-1 to a source of 0.55 MgC ha-1 yr-1. NEE during the growing seasons fluctuated from 1.1 to 1.8 MgC ha-1 season-1 in net C uptake. Annual NEE was strongly affected by winter Re, which represented between 33% and 45% of the annual value regardless of of the large drop in both air and soil temperature. Parameters from the light response curve (optimum NEE, NEEopt and quantum yield, α) showed a seasonal and interannual variability and were different between the most and least degraded sites in the footprint, which affected the magnitude of the carbon cycle and may have implications for landscape C balance in sub-arctic tundra.

  3. Greater shrub dominance alters breeding habitat and food resources for migratory songbirds in Alaskan arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelman, Natalie T; Gough, Laura; Wingfield, John; Goetz, Scott; Asmus, Ashley; Chmura, Helen E; Krause, Jesse S; Perez, Jonathan H; Sweet, Shannan K; Guay, Kevin C

    2015-04-01

    Climate warming is affecting the Arctic in multiple ways, including via increased dominance of deciduous shrubs. Although many studies have focused on how this vegetation shift is altering nutrient cycling and energy balance, few have explicitly considered effects on tundra fauna, such as the millions of migratory songbirds that breed in northern regions every year. To understand how increasing deciduous shrub dominance may alter breeding songbird habitat, we quantified vegetation and arthropod community characteristics in both graminoid and shrub dominated tundra. We combined measurements of preferred nest site characteristics for Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) and Gambel's White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) with modeled predictions for the distribution of plant community types in the Alaskan arctic foothills region for the year 2050. Lapland longspur nests were found in sedge-dominated tussock tundra where shrub height does not exceed 20 cm, whereas White-crowned sparrows nested only under shrubs between 20 cm and 1 m in height, with no preference for shrub species. Shrub canopies had higher canopy-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. small flies and spiders) but lower ground-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. large spiders and beetles). Since flies are the birds' preferred prey, increasing shrubs may result in a net enhancement in preferred prey availability. Acknowledging the coarse resolution of existing tundra vegetation models, we predict that by 2050 there will be a northward shift in current White-crowned sparrow habitat range and a 20-60% increase in their preferred habitat extent, while Lapland longspur habitat extent will be equivalently reduced. Our findings can be used to make first approximations of future habitat change for species with similar nesting requirements. However, we contend that as exemplified by this study's findings, existing tundra modeling tools cannot yet simulate the fine-scale habitat

  4. The exchange of carbon dioxide between wet arctic tundra and the atmosphere at the Lena River Delta, Northern Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Kutzbach

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The exchange fluxes of carbon dioxide between wet arctic polygonal tundra and the atmosphere were investigated by the micrometeorological eddy covariance method. The investigation site was situated in the centre of the Lena River Delta in Northern Siberia (72°22' N, 126°30' E. The study region is characterized by a polar and distinctly continental climate, very cold and ice-rich permafrost and its position at the interface between the Eurasian continent and the Arctic Ocean. The soils at the site are characterized by high organic matter content, low nutrient availability and pronounced water logging. The vegetation is dominated by sedges and mosses. The micrometeorological campaigns were performed during the periods July–October 2003 and May–July 2004 which included the period of snow and soil thaw as well as the beginning of soil refreeze. The main CO2 exchange processes, the gross photosynthesis and the ecosystem respiration, were found to be of a generally low intensity. The gross photosynthesis accumulated to –432 g m−2 over the photosynthetically active period (June–September. The contribution of mosses to the gross photosynthesis was estimated to be about 40%. The diurnal trend of the gross photosynthesis was mainly controlled by the incoming photosynthetically active radiation. During midday the photosynthetic apparatus of the canopy was frequently near saturation and represented the limiting factor on gross photosynthesis. The synoptic weather conditions strongly affected the exchange fluxes of CO2 by changes in cloudiness, precipitation and pronounced changes of air temperature. The ecosystem respiration accumulated to +327 g m−2 over the photosynthetically active period, which corresponds to 76% of the CO2 uptake by photosynthesis. However, the ecosystem respiration continued at substantial rates during autumn when photosynthesis had ceased and the soils

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. Phytomass patterns across a temperature gradient of the North American arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Howard E.; Walker, Donald A.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Jia, Gensuo J.; Kelley, Alexia M.

    2008-09-01

    Only a few studies to date have collectively examined the vegetation biomass and production of arctic tundra ecosystems and their relationships to broadly ranging climate variables. An additional complicating factor for studying vegetation of arctic tundra is the high spatial variability associated with small patterned-ground features, resulting from intense freeze-thaw processes. In this study, we sampled and analyzed the aboveground plant biomass components of patterned-ground ecosystems in the Arctic of northern Alaska and Canada along an 1800-km north-south gradient that spans approximately 11°C of mean July temperatures. Vegetation biomass was analyzed as functions of the summer warmth index (SWI-sum of mean monthly temperatures > 0°C). The total absolute biomass (g m-2) and biomass of shrubs increased monotonically with SWI, however, biomass of nonvascular species (mosses and lichens), were a parabolic function of SWI, with greatest values at the ends of the gradient. The components of plant biomass on patterned-ground features (i.e., on nonsorted circles or within small polygons) were constrained to a greater degree with colder climate than undisturbed tundra, likely due to the effect of frost heave disturbances on the vegetation. There were also clear differences in the relative abundances of vascular versus nonvascular plants on and off patterned-ground features along the SWI gradient. The spatial patterns of biomass differ among plant functional groups and suggest that plant community responses to temperature, and land-surface processes that produce patterned-ground features, are quite complex.

  10. Two-source energy balance model implementation in the Alaska Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristóbal-Rosselló, J.; Prakash, A.; Anderson, M. C.; Kustas, W. P.; Kane, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Evaporation and transpiration are the two main processes involved in water transfer from vegetated and non-vegetated areas to the atmosphere. Evapotranspiration (ET) from the Earth's vegetation constitutes 88% of the total terrestrial ET, and returns more than 50% of terrestrial precipitation to the atmosphere (Oki and Kane, 2006); therefore it plays a key role in both the hydrological cycle and the energy balance of the land surface. In Arctic regions, surface-atmosphere exchanges due to ET are estimated from water balance computations to be about 74% of summer precipitation or 50% of annual precipitation. Even though ET is a significant component of the hydrologic cycle in this region, these bulk estimates do not accurately account for spatial and temporal variability due to vegetation type, topography, etc. (Kane and Yang, 2004). In this work we present the implementation of the Two-Source Energy Balance method, TSEB (Norman et al., 1995), in two Alaska Arctic tundra settings, as a base-line to retrieve energy fluxes at the regional scale from remote sensing imagery. In order to calibrate and validate the model, four flux towers located at the Imanvait Creek and the Anaktuvuk river were used. The TSEB model mainly requires meteorological inputs as well as land surface temperature (LST) and leaf area index (LAI) data. In this study, TSEB was run from late May to early September from 2008 to 2011 in all sky conditions using half hour intervals of meteorological data from the flux tower, and the LST derived from the four component net radiation instrument. TERRA/AQUA MODIS LAI daily product (MOD15/MYD15) was used as LAI input data. Results show an acceptable agreement between the TSEB model and flux tower data. RMSE obtained in the case of net radiation, latent heat, sensible heat and soil heat fluxes was 12, 51, 60 and 27 W/m2. Further efforts will be focused on the daily energy flux integration through implementation of the DTD model (Norman et al., 2000).

  11. Inter-annual carbon dioxide uptake of a wet sedge tundra ecosystem in the Arctic

    OpenAIRE

    Harazono, Yoshinobu; Mano, Masayoshi; Miyata, Akira; Zulueta, Rommel C.; Oechel, Walter C.

    2011-01-01

    The CO2 flux of a wet sedge tundra ecosystem in the Arctic, at Barrow, Alaska, has been measured by the eddy correlation method since spring 1999, and the CO2 uptake by the vegetation during the spring and growing periods was examined between 1999 and 2000. CO2 flux changed to a sink immediately after the spring thaw in 1999 and the photosynthetic activity was high in the first half of the growing period. At this time the air temperature was low and solar radiation was high. In the 2000 seaso...

  12. The exchange of energy, water and carbon dioxide between wet arctic tundra and the atmosphere at the Lena River Delta, Northern Siberia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kutzbach, L.

    2006-07-01

    The ecosystem-scale exchange fluxes of energy, water and carbon dioxide between wet arctic tundra and the atmosphere were investigated by the micrometeorological eddy covariance method. The investigation site was the centre of the Lena River Delta in Northern Siberia characterised by a polar and distinctly continental climate, very cold and ice-rich permafrost and its position at the interface between the Eurasian continent and the Arctic Ocean. The measurements were performed on the surface of a Holocene river terrace characterised by wet polygonal tundra. The soils at the site are characterised by high organic matter content, low nutrient availability and pronounced water logging. The vegetation is dominated by sedges and mosses. The fluctuations of the H{sub 2}O and CO{sub 2} concentrations were measured with a closed-path infrared gas analyser. The fast-response eddy covariance measurements were supplemented by a set of slow-response meteorological and soil-meteorological measurements. The combined datasets of the two campaigns 2003 and 2004 were used to characterise the seasonal course of the energy, water and CO{sub 2} fluxes and the underlying processes for the synthetic measurement period May 28..October 21 2004/2003 including the period of snow and soil thawing as well as the beginning of refreezing. The synthetic measurement period 2004/2003 was characterised by a long snow ablation period and a late start of the growing season. On the other hand, the growing season ended also late due to high temperatures and snow-free conditions in September. The cumulative summer energy partitioning was characterised by low net radiation, large ground heat flux, low latent heat flux and very low sensible heat flux compared to other tundra sites. These findings point out the major importance of the very cold permafrost for the summer energy budget of the tundra in Northern Siberia. (orig./SR)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    Arctic and subarctic regions play important roles in the global carbon balance. However, nitrogen (N) deficiency is a major constraint for organic carbon sequestration in the High Arctic. Hence, the identification of the relative contributions from different N-sources is critical for understanding the constraints that limit tundra growth. The stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources and numerous plants were analyzed in ten tundra types (including those influenced by seabirds) in the Fuglebekken catchment (Hornsund, Svalbard, 77°N 15°E). The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by seabirds' feces (from planktivorous colonially breeding little auks Alle alle), ranged from 0-21% in Patterned-ground tundra to 100% in Ornithocoprophilous tundra. The total N-pool utilized by tundra plants in the studied catchment originated from birds (36%), atmospheric deposition (38%), and N2-fixation (26%). The results clearly show that N-pool in the tundra is significantly supplemented by nesting seabirds. Thus, if they experienced climate change induced substantial negative environmental pressure, it would adversely influence the tundra N-budget (Skrzypek et al. 2015). The growth rates and the sediment thickness (bird-N rich tundra with very diverse ages ranging from 235 to 2300 cal BP and thickness up to 110 cm. The growth rates for this tundra (62 cm core, 18 AMS 14C dates) were high (1.5-3.0 mm/yr) between 1568 and 1804 AD and then substantially declined for the period between 1804 and 1929 AD (0.2 mm/yr). These findings deliver an additional argument, that the organic matter accumulation is driven not only directly by climatic conditions but also by birds' contribution to the tundra N-pool. Skrzypek G, Wojtuń B, Richter D, Jakubas D, Wojczulanis-Jakubas K, Samecka-Cymerman A, 2015. Diversification of nitrogen sources in various tundra vegetation types in the high Arctic. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0136536.

  14. Heterogeneity of carbon loss and its temperature sensitivity in East-European subarctic tundra soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diáková, Kateřina; Čapek, Petr; Kohoutová, Iva; Mpamah, Promise A; Bárta, Jiří; Biasi, Christina; Martikainen, Pertti J; Šantrůčková, Hana

    2016-09-01

    Arctic peatlands store large stocks of organic carbon which are vulnerable to the climate change but their fate is uncertain. There is increasing evidence that a part of it will be lost as a result of faster microbial mineralization. We studied the vulnerability of 3500-5900 years old bare peat uplifted from permafrost layers by cryogenic processes to the surface of an arctic peat plateau. We aimed to find biotic and abiotic drivers of CLOSS from old peat and compare them with those of adjacent, young vegetated soils of the peat plateau and mineral tundra. The soils were incubated in laboratory at three temperatures (4°C, 12°C and 20°C) and two oxygen levels (aerobic, anaerobic). CLOSS was monitored and soil parameters (organic carbon quality, nutrient availability, microbial activity, biomass and stoichiometry, and extracellular oxidative and hydrolytic enzyme pools) were determined. We found that CLOSS from the old peat was constrained by low microbial biomass representing only 0.22% of organic carbon. CLOSS was only slightly reduced by the absence of oxygen and exponentially increased with temperature, showing the same temperature sensitivity under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. We conclude that carbon in the old bare peat is stabilized by a combination of physical, chemical and biological controls including soil compaction, organic carbon quality, low microbial biomass and the absence of plants. PMID:27316560

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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, NDVIpre-leaf), at the point in the growing season when canopy NDVI has reached half of its maximum growing season value (mid-June, NDVIdemi-leaf) and during the period of maximum leaf-out (late July, NDVIpeak-leaf). We found that: (1) NDVIpre-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) NDVIpeak-leaf is best suited to capturing variation in deciduous canopy cover; and (3) NDVIdemi-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 habitat.

  19. Soil moisture control over autumn season methane flux, Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

    OpenAIRE

    C. S. Sturtevant; Oechel, W. C.; Zona, D.; Emerson, C. E.

    2011-01-01

    Two shortfalls in estimating current and future seasonal budgets of methane efflux in Arctic regions are the paucity of non-summer measurements and an incomplete understanding of the sensitivity of methane emissions to changes in tundra moisture. A recent study in one Arctic region highlighted the former by observing a previously unknown large methane pulse during the onset of autumn soil freeze. This study addresses these research gaps by presenting an analysis of eddy covariance measurement...

  20. Regional-Scale Vegetation Dynamics in Patterned-Ground Ecosystems of Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, H. E.; Kelley, A. M.; Walker, D. A.; Jia, G. J.; Raynolds, M. K.

    2006-12-01

    Regional-scale patterns of vegetation have been analyzed along a number of climate gradients throughout the world; these spatial dynamics provide important insights into the controlling factors of vegetation and the potential plant responses to environmental change. Only a few studies to date have collectively examined the vegetation biomass and production of arctic tundra ecosystems and their relationships to broadly ranging climate variables. No prior study has taken a systematic and consistent approach to examining vegetation biomass patterns along the full temperature gradient of the arctic biome. An additional complicating factor for studying vegetation of arctic tundra is the high spatial variability associated with small patterned-ground features (e.g. non-sorted circles and small non-sorted polygons), resulting from intense freeze-thaw processes. In this study, we sampled and analyzed the aboveground plant biomass components of patterned-ground ecosystems in the Arctic of northern Alaska and Canada along an 1800-km north-south gradient that spans approximately 11 degrees C of mean July temperatures. At each of ten locations along the regional temperature gradient, we ran several 50-m transects and harvested the aboveground biomass of three 20 x 50 cm plots for each transect. Vegetation biomass was dried, sorted by plant functional groups and tissue types, weighed, and analyzed as functions of the summer warmth index (SWI sum of mean monthly temperatures > 0). The absolute biomass (g/m2) of shrubs and graminoids increased exponentially with SWI, whereas forb and lichen biomass showed no change along the gradient. Moss biomass increased linearly with SWI, but with greater variabiliy than the other types. Relative aboveground biomass (% of total) of shrubs and graminoids increased with SWI, whereas percent lichen biomass decreased, and forbs again exhibited no significant change. Percentage of moss biomass was a parabolic function of SWI, with high relative

  1. Potential NEE Budget and Prediction of Future Emissions under Climate Change in an Arctic Wet Sedge Tundra, Barrow, Alaska .

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalhori, A. A. M.; Oechel, W. C.; Burba, G. G.; Gioli, B.; Zona, D.; Murphy, P.; Goodrich, J. P.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are critically affected by climate change and also play an important role in the global carbon budget. Presented here is a 14-year study of growing season CO2 fluxes in an Alaskan wet sedge tundra ecosystem -which is about 2 km south of the Arctic Ocean and is adjacent to the NOAA Climate Monitoring & Diagnostic Laboratory (CMDL)- and the key environmental controls on these fluxes. We have measured net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) using the eddy covariance technique from 1998 to 2014 in order to quantify the long-term seasonal and inter-annual variability in the CO2 budget over this period. The WPL correction and the surface heating correction were applied to all CO2 flux data from the open-path instrument (Burba et al., 2008). Despite several gaps in measurement years, we found that growing season net CO2 uptake has significantly increased since the 2000s and that NEE is sensitive to dry conditions in tundra. Our data suggest this increase in CO2 uptake (larger than -6 μmol m-2 s-1) occurred during the initial thawing period and during the June-August growing season. However, there is a decreasing trend in total summer uptake beginning in 2011, continuing until the end of 2014. The mean diurnal pattern for the summer period over the course of 14 years (Figure below), indicates inter-annual variability associated with the key environmental controls on these CO2 fluxes. Monthly trends in Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), net radiation, relative humidity as well as air temperature and soil temperature have consistently simultaneous effects on the variation in NEE. More significant effect of PAR than temperature on summer NEE had been observed for the first period of this study, however our ANOVA, multiple regression and t-test results showed a stronger effect of temperature than PAR in the recent years assuming that Arctic warming will be greater than average global warming. Also the diurnal pattern shows that the maximum daily carbon

  2. Sphingoaurantiacus polygranulatus gen. nov., sp. nov., isolated from high-Arctic tundra soil, and emended descriptions of the genera Sandarakinorhabdus, Polymorphobacter and Rhizorhabdus and the species Sandarakinorhabdus limnophila, Rhizorhabdus argentea and Sphingomonas wittichii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, MyongChol; Kang, OkChol; Zhang, Yumin; Ren, Lvzhi; Chang, Xulu; Jiang, Fan; Fang, Chengxiang; Zheng, Congyi; Peng, Fang

    2016-01-01

    An orange, Gram-reaction-negative and aerobic bacterium, designated MC 3718T, was isolated from a tundra soil near Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard archipelago, Norway (78° N). The cells were motile with either a polar or a subpolar flagellum and reproduced by budding or asymmetrical cell division. Growth occurred at 4-37 °C (optimum 28-30 °C) and at pH 6.0-10.0 (optimum pH 9.0). Many cells accumulated poly-β-hydroxybutyrate granules and contained a single large polyphosphate granule at a pole or in the middle of the cell. Cell walls contained meso-diaminopimelic acid as the diagnostic diamino acid, and ubiquinone 10 was the main respiratory quinone. Strain MC 3718T contained summed feature 3 (comprising C16 : 1ω7c and/or C16 : 1ω6c; 29.49 %), summed feature 8 (C18 : 1ω7c and/or C18 : 1ω6c; 29.38 %), C17 : 1ω6c (10.15 %), C14 : 0 2-OH (9.05 %) and C16 : 0 (6.84 %) as the major cellular fatty acids. The main polar lipids were two sphingoglycolipids, phosphatidylethanolamine, diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, three unknown phospholipids and two unknown polar lipids. Carotenoids were detected. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain MC 3718T belonged to the family Sphingomonadaceae. The DNA G+C content was 67.2 mol%. On the basis of phenotypic, chemotaxonomic and phylogenetic data, strain MC 3718T is considered to represent a novel genus and species in the family Sphingomonadaceae, for which the name Sphingoaurantiacus polygranulatus gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of Sphingoaurantiacus polygranulatus is MC 3718T ( = CCTCC AB 2014274T = LMG 28636T). Emended descriptions of the genera Sandarakinorhabdus, Polymorphobacter and Rhizorhabdus and the species Sandarakinorhabdus limnophila, Rhizorhabdus argentea and Sphingomonas wittichii are also provided. PMID:26475309

  3. Hydrological Controls on Ecosystem CO2 and CH4 Exchange in a MIXED Tundra and a FEN within an Arctic Landscape UNDER Current and Future Climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, R. F.; Humphreys, E.; Lafleur, P.

    2014-12-01

    Variation in CO2 and CH4 exchange in years with contrasting weather is strongly affected by hydrology in landscapes underlain by permafrost. Hypotheses for this variation were incorporated into the ecosystem model ecosys which simulated CO2 and CH4 fluxes along a topographic gradient within an arctic landscape at Daring Lake, NWT, Canada. Fluxes modelled at mixed tundra and fen sites within the gradient were compared with CO2 fluxes measured at eddy covariance towers from 2006 to 2009, and with CH4 fluxes measured with surface chambers in 2008. Slopes and correlation coefficients from regressions of modelled vs. measured CO2 fluxes were 1.0 ± 0.1 and 0.7 - 0.8 for both sites in all years. At the mixed tundra site, rises in net CO2 uptake in warmer years with earlier snowmelt were constrained by midafternoon declines in CO2 influxes when vapor pressure deficits (D) exceeded 1.5 kPa, and by rises in CO2 effluxes with greater active layer depth (ALD). Consequently annual net CO2 uptake at this site rose little with warming. At the fen site, CO2 influxes declined less with D and CO2 effluxes rose less with warming, so that rises in net CO2 uptake in warmer years were greater than those at the mixed tundra site. The greater declines in CO2 influxes with warming at the mixed tundra site were modelled from greater soil-plant-atmosphere water potential gradients that developed in drier soil, and the smaller rises in CO2 effluxes with warming at the fen site were modelled from O2 constraints to heterotrophic and below-ground autotrophic respiration that limited their responses to greater ALD. Modelled and measured CH4 exchange during July and August indicated very small influxes at the mixed tundra site, and larger emissions at the fen site. Emissions of CH4 modelled during soil freezing in October - November contributed about one-third of the annual total, and so should be included in estimates of annual emissions. These contrasting responses to warming under current

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor V. Polyakov

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ekici

    2014-09-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. Modeling different freeze/thaw processes in heterogeneous landscapes of the Arctic polygonal tundra using an ecosystem model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Yi

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Freeze/thaw (F/T processes can be quite different under the various land surface types found in the heterogeneous polygonal tundra of the Arctic. Proper simulation of these different processes is essential for accurate prediction of the release of greenhouse gases under a warming climate scenario. In this study we have modified the dynamic organic soil version of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (DOS-TEM to simulate F/T processes beneath the polygon rims, polygon centers (with and without water, and lakes that are common features in Arctic lowland regions. We first verified the F/T algorithm in the DOS-TEM against analytical solutions, and then compared the results with in situ measurements from Samoylov Island, Siberia. In the final stage, we examined the different responses of the F/T processes for different water levels at the various land surface types. The simulations revealed that (1 the DOS-TEM was very efficient and its results compared very well with analytical solutions for idealized cases, (2 the simulations compared reasonably well with in situ measurements although there were a number of model limitations and uncertainties, (3 the DOS-TEM was able to successfully simulate the differences in F/T dynamics under different land surface types, and (4 permafrost beneath water bodies was found to respond highly sensitive to changes in water depths between 1 and 2 m. Our results indicate that water is very important in the thermal processes simulated by the DOS-TEM; the heterogeneous nature of the landscape and different water depths therefore need to be taken into account when simulating methane emission responses to a warming climate.

  9. Microbial iron oxidation in the Arctic tundra and its implications for biogeochemical cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerson, David; Scott, Jarrod J; Benes, Joshua; Bowden, William B

    2015-12-01

    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

  10. Characterizing adsorptive properties and DOC concentrations in soils of Northern European Russian tundra and taiga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterwoud, Marieke; Temminghoff, Erwin; van der Zee, Sjoerd

    2010-05-01

    Subarctic river basins have an enormous potential to mobilize and transport terrestrial OC to the Arctic Ocean, because 23-48% of the worlds soils organic carbon (SOC) is stored in the high latitude region. Currently the Arctic drainage basin (~24 x 106 km2) processes about 11% of the global dissolved organic carbon (DOC), which is exported to the ocean. About 10-25% of annual C input to the organic surface layer with litter is leached from the organic surface layers. As climate changes, the amount and chemical composition of DOC exported from these basins are expected to change. Adsorption of DOC on mineral phases is the key geochemical process for the release and removal of DOC from this potentially soluble carbon pool. Most DOC leached from organic horizons is adsorbed and retained in the subsoils. The adsorption depends much on the content of sesquioxides and amount of carbon previously accumulated in soils. Besides adsorption, polyvalent metal ions in solution, such as Al and Ca, can cause precipitation of DOC. Along with the decrease of DOC concentrations on its passage through mineral soil, there are major biochemical alterations of DOC composition. Hydrophobic compounds (humic and fulvic acids) of high molecular weight that are rich in acidic functional groups and aromatic compounds adsorb most strongly. Hydrophilic compounds can contribute to DOC adsorption but are also easily desorbed because of the weaker bonding strength. The aim of this study was to characterize the DOC concentrations and their chemical composition as well as the DOC adsorptive properties of soils found in a tundra and taiga catchment of Northern Russia. We sampled soil and soil solution from two catchments in the Komi Republic of European Northern Russia: a tundra (67N/62E) and a taiga (62N/50E). The soil samples were analysed for total organic carbon (Ct) and the content of sequioxides. By extracting soil samples with water we got an impression of the potentially extractable organic

  11. Scaling Issues Between Plot and Satellite Radiobrightness Observations of Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Edward J.; England, Anthony W.; Judge, Jasmeet; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Data from generation of satellite microwave radiometer will allow the detection of seasonal to decadal changes in the arctic hydrology cycle as expressed in temporal and spatial patterns of moisture stored in soil and snow This nw capability will require calibrated Land Surface Process/Radiobrightness (LSP/R) model for the principal terrains found in the circumpolar Arctic. These LSP/R models can than be used in weak constraint. Dimensional Data Assimilation (DDA)of the daily satellite observation to estimate temperature and moisture profiles within the permafrost in active layer.

  12. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John-André Henden

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

  14. Diurnal patterns of gas-exchange and metabolic pools in tundra plants during three phases of the arctic growing season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patankar, Rajit; Mortazavi, Behzad; Oberbauer, Steven F; Starr, Gregory

    2013-02-01

    Arctic tundra plant communities are subject to a short growing season that is the primary period in which carbon is sequestered for growth and survival. This period is often characterized by 24-h photoperiods for several months a year. To compensate for the short growing season tundra plants may extend their carbon uptake capacity on a diurnal basis, but whether this is true remains unknown. Here, we examined in situ diurnal patterns of physiological activity and foliar metabolites during the early, mid, and late growing season in seven arctic species under light-saturated conditions. We found clear diurnal patterns in photosynthesis and respiration, with midday peaks and midnight lulls indicative of circadian regulation. Diurnal patterns in foliar metabolite concentrations were less distinct between the species and across seasons, suggesting that metabolic pools are likely governed by proximate external factors. This understanding of diurnal physiology will also enhance the parameterization of process-based models, which will aid in better predicting future carbon dynamics for the tundra. This becomes even more critical considering the rapid changes that are occurring circumpolarly that are altering plant community structure, function, and ultimately regional and global carbon budgets. PMID:23467719

  15. Spectral estimation of soil properties in siberian tundra soils and relations with plant species composition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartholomeus, Harm; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Blok, Daan;

    2012-01-01

    yields a good prediction model for K and a moderate model for pH. Using these models, soil properties are determined for a larger number of samples, and soil properties are related to plant species composition. This analysis shows that variation of soil properties is large within vegetation classes, but......Predicted global warming will be most pronounced in the Arctic and will severely affect permafrost environments. Due to its large spatial extent and large stocks of soil organic carbon, changes to organic matter decomposition rates and associated carbon fluxes in Arctic permafrost soils will...... significantly impact the global carbon cycle. We explore the potential of soil spectroscopy to estimate soil carbon properties and investigate the relation between soil properties and vegetation composition. Soil samples are collected in Siberia, and vegetation descriptions are made at each sample point. First...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. (letter)

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

    OpenAIRE

    Höfle, S.; J. Rethemeyer; C. W. Mueller; S. John

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated soil organic matter (OM) composition of differently stabilized soil OM fractions in the active layer of a polygonal tundra soil in the Lena Delta, Russia, by applying density and particle size fractionation combined with qualitative OM analysis using solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and lipid analysis combined with 14C analysis. Bulk soil OM was mainly composed of plant-derived, little-decomposed material with surprisingly high...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Höfle, S.; J. Rethemeyer; C. W. Mueller; S. John

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated soil organic matter (OM) composition of differently stabilized soil OM fractions in the active layer of a polygonal tundra soil in the Lena-Delta, Russia by applying density and particle-size fractionation combined with qualitative OM analysis using solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and lipid analysis combined with 14C analysis. Bulk soil OM was mainly composed of plant-derived, little decompos...

  19. Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Methane Fluxes at the Forest – Tundra Ecotone in Fennoscandia

    OpenAIRE

    Sjögersten, Sofie

    2003-01-01

    This thesis presents results from several studies that have focused on the carbon and nutrient dynamics in soils at the forest – tundra ecotone in Fennoscandia. The main objectives of the study were: (i) to investigate the links between the physical environment, above-ground vegetation communities, soil carbon storage, nutrient status and the chemical composition of the soil organic matter (SOM), and (ii) to quantify trace gas fluxes (methane and carbon dioxide) between mesic soils and the at...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. N. Mbufong

    2014-05-01

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

  1. Inter-annual carbon dioxide uptake of a wet sedge tundra ecosystem in the Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The CO2 flux of a wet sedge tundra ecosystem in the Arctic, at Barrow, Alaska, has been measured by the eddy correlation method since spring 1999, and the CO2 uptake by the vegetation during the spring and growing periods was examined between 1999 and 2000. CO2 flux changed to a sink immediately after the spring thaw in 1999 and the photosynthetic activity was high in the first half of the growing period. At this time the air temperature was low and solar radiation was high. In the 2000 season, the temperature was approximately 5 deg C lower during the snow-covered period, and increased up to 5 deg C higher right after the spring thaw but the solar radiation decreased to two thirds of that in 1999. Thus, we found different CO2 accumulation during the snow melt and the following two weeks between both years. The difference in the climate at beginning shoulder period of the growing season resulted in the difference of CO2 accumulation through the growing period. The maximum level of photosynthetic potential (Pmax) in late July was analyzed as being almost the same at 20 gCO2 m2 d1 for both years. However, the weekly average peak CO2 uptake was 16.4 and 11.9 gCO2/m2/d in 1999 and 2000, respectively, with the lower number in 2000 caused by the low radiation with high air temperatures. The CO2 accumulation during the spring and through the growing periods was a net sink of 593 gCO2/m2 in 1999 and a sink of 384 gCO2/m2 in 2000. High CO2 accumulation in 1999 was caused by earlier development of the vegetation, and the lower CO2 uptake in mid summer in 2000 was caused by unseasonable weather

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Soil Biota and Litter Decay in High Arctic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, G.; Rivera, F.; Makarova, O.; Gould, W. A.

    2006-12-01

    Frost heave action contributes to the formation of non-sorted circles in the High Arctic. Non-sorted circles tend to heave more than the surrounding tundra due to deeper thaw and the formation of ice lenses. Thus, the geomorphology, soils and vegetation on the centers of the patterned-ground feature (non-sorted circles) as compared to the surrounding soils (inter-circles) can be different. We established a decomposition experiment to look at in situ decay rates of the most dominant graminoid species on non-sorted circles and adjacent inter-circle soils along a climatic gradient in the Canadian High Arctic as a component of a larger study looking at the biocomplexity of small-featured patterned ground ecosystems. Additionally, we investigated variation in soil chemical properties and biota, including soil microarthropods and microbial composition and biomass, as they relate to climate, topographic position, and litter decay rates. Our three sites locations, from coldest to warmest, are Isachsen, Ellef Ringnes Island (ER), NU (bioclimatic subzone A); Mould Bay (MB), Prince Patrick Island, NT (bioclimatic subzone B), and Green Cabin (GC), Aulavik National Park, Thomsen River, Banks Island, NT (bioclimatic subzone C). Our sample design included the selection of 15 non-sorted circles and adjacent inter-circle areas within the zonal vegetation at each site (a total of 90 sites), and a second set of 3 non-sorted circles and adjacent inter-circle areas in dry, mesic and wet tundra at each of the sites. Soil invertebrates were sampled at each site using both pitfall traps, soil microbial biomass was determined using substrate induced respiration and bacterial populations were determined using the most probable number method. Decomposition rates were measured using litterbags and as the percent of mass remaining of Carex misandra, Luzula nivalis and Alopecuris alpinus in GC, MB and ER, respectively. Our findings indicate these graminoid species decayed significantly over

  5. An eddy covariance network to investigate post-fire carbon and energy dynamics in remote regions of Alaskan arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, A. V.; Shaver, G. R.; Rastetter, E.; Jiang, Y.

    2012-12-01

    The Alaskan arctic is experiencing pronounced changes such as fires, increased shrub cover, and permafrost thaw that are the result of increased air temperatures. Quantifying the effect of these changes on arctic carbon and energy fluxes is difficult because the Arctic is remote and difficult to access throughout the year. Here we report on an experimental design that uses a roving eddy covariance network, remote sensing, and model data fusion to determine post-fire effects on carbon and energy exchange over hours to decadal timescales in Alaskan arctic tundra. We describe the approach, challenges and goals of this project, and present some preliminary data. Our approach incorporated a number of sites along an Alaskan tundra fire chronosequence, and paired fire scars of different age with an unburned control. Challenges included; limited site access and power, communication and data acquisition, spatial variability, and missing data. We approached these challenges in a variety of ways, including; assessing spatial variability with MODIS data and roving towers, comparing burned to nearby unburned sites, harvesting biomass to understand decadal carbon recovery, and developing models that incorporate remotely sensed, eddy covariance, and biomass data. Our experimental design provides a test-bed for assessing large-scale variability across time and space, which is critical for understanding the role of disturbance on regional carbon and energy fluxes. Conceptual framework for our study. Field measurements will encompass both fast [top of hatched line] to slow [bottom of hatched line] ecosystem processes and states along a fire chronosequence [1] that will be assimilated into a fast and slow response model framework through model-data fusion [2], and used to scale up to the North Slope with MODIS data [3].

  6. Complete genome sequence of Terriglobus saanensis type strain SP1PR4T, an Acidobacteria from tundra soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-01-01

    Terriglobus saanensis SP1PR4T is a novel species of the genus Terriglobus. T. saanensis is of ecological interest because it is a representative of the phylum Acidobacteria, which are dominant members of bacterial soil microbiota in Arctic ecosystems. T. saanensis is a cold-adapted acidophile and a versatile heterotroph utilizing a suite of simple sugars and complex polysaccharides. The genome contained an abundance of genes assigned to metabolism and transport of carbohydrates including gene modules encoding for carbohydrate-active enzyme (CAZyme) family involved in breakdown, utilization and biosynthesis of diverse structural and storage polysaccharides. T. saanensis SP1PR4T represents the first member of genus Terriglobus with a completed genome sequence, consisting of a single replicon of 5,095,226 base pairs (bp), 54 RNA genes and 4,279 protein-coding genes. We infer that the physiology and metabolic potential of T. saanensis is adapted to allow for resilience to the nutrient-deficient conditions and fluctuating temperatures of Arctic tundra soils.

  7. Effects of interannual variability in snow accumulation on energy partitioning and surface energy exchange in a high-Arctic tundra ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Stiegler, C; Lund, M.; Christensen, T.R.; M. Mastepanov; A. Lindroth

    2016-01-01

    Snow cover is one of the key factors controlling Arctic ecosystem functioning and productivity. In this study we assess the impact of strong interannual variability in snow accumulation during two subsequent years (2013–2014) on the land–atmosphere interactions and surface energy exchange in two high-Arctic tundra ecosystems (wet fen and dry heath) in Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland. We observed that record-low snow cover during the winter 2012/13 resulted in strong response of th...

  8. ``What comes up … must come down'': Peat carbon and mineral-interactions in Arctic Coastal tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raab, T. K.; Lipson, D.; Crook, N. P.; Miller, K.; Bozzolo, F.

    2010-12-01

    Coastal arctic tundra is a significant landscape unit above 65o N, and in the absence of significant nitrate, sulfate or manganese, these wet, permafrost-influenced soils have few electron acceptors readily available to support microbial anaerobiosis. Based on morphological criteria and satellite photos, we selected 4 drained, thaw-lake basins (DTLBs) of vastly differing ages - 50 to 5500 years, based on 14C-dating efforts near Barrow AK. Replicate 100m transects for each thawed-lake basin were collected using a towable 500 MHz ground-penetrating radar system. Inspection of the raw profiles in the field further suggested points along which 20m-length common-midpoint gathers were also obtained to discriminate contrasting propagation speeds within the top 0.5 m of the surface. At later visits, several SIPRE cores were taken to 0.5 m-depth, and the cores stored frozen until analysis. The cores were measured, and physical/color and mineral data collected to correlate with the CMP velocity-profiles. The point of these measurements was to ascertain the minimum-depth to mineral material below the surficial peats, and to build-up a profile of basin age versus mineral-depth. Availability of inorganic reducing agents may provide a significant constraint on soil microbial C-processing. Minimum-tension microlysimeters (PTFE and iron-free) were deployed along replicate transects in each of 5 basins, and filtered soil-pore water was collected from 0-10 cm, as was filtered, acidified standing water from early June-Sept of both 2009 and 2010. Results of inorganic analyses are presented in a separate poster. Fluorescence spectroscopy was used to monitor seasonal patterns in DOC composition, and fluorescence emission intensity of soil pore-water was inversely proportional to basin age - humic signature emission spectra peaked sharply at 445 nm, and a broader secondary maximum occurred at 500 nm. Fluorescence emission varied 5-fold among basins, and decreased at all sites as soil

  9. Improved quantification of microbial CH4 oxidation efficiency in Arctic wetland soils using carbon isotope fractionation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.-M. Pfeiffer

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost-affected tundra soils are significant sources of the climate-relevant trace gas methane (CH4. The observed accelerated warming of the Arctic will cause a deeper permafrost thawing followed by increased carbon mineralization and CH4 formation in water saturated tundra soils which might cause a positive feedback to climate change. Aerobic CH4 oxidation is regarded as the key process reducing CH4 emissions from wetlands, but quantification of turnover rates has remained difficult so far. The application of carbon stable isotope fractionation enables the in situ quantification of CH4 oxidation efficiency in arctic wetland soils. The aim of the current study is to quantify CH4 oxidation efficiency in permafrost-affected tundra soils in Russia's Lena River Delta based on stable isotope signatures of CH4. Therefore, depth profiles of CH4 concentrations and δ13CH4-signatures were measured and the fractionation factors for the processes of oxidation (αox and diffusion (αdiff were determined. Most previous studies employing stable isotope fractionation for the quantification of CH4 oxidation in soils of other habitats (e.g. landfill cover soils have assumed a gas transport dominated by advection (αtrans = 1. In tundra soils, however, diffusion is the main gas transport mechanism, aside from ebullition. Hence, diffusive stable isotope fractionation has to be considered. For the first time, the stable isotope fractionation of CH4 diffusion through water-saturated soils was determined with an αdiff = 1.001 ± 0.000 (n = 3. CH4 stable isotope fractionation during diffusion through air-filled pores of the investigated polygonal tundra soils was αdiff = 1.013 ± 0.003 (n = 18. Furthermore, it was found that αox differs widely between sites and horizons (mean αox, = 1.017 ± 0.009 and needs to be determined individually. The impact of both fractionation factors on the quantification of CH4 oxidation was analyzed by considering both the

  10. Improved quantification of microbial CH4 oxidation efficiency in arctic wetland soils using carbon isotope fractionation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Preuss

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost-affected tundra soils are significant sources of the climate-relevant trace gas methane (CH4. The observed accelerated warming of the arctic will cause deeper permafrost thawing, followed by increased carbon mineralization and CH4 formation in water-saturated tundra soils, thus creating a positive feedback to climate change. Aerobic CH4 oxidation is regarded as the key process reducing CH4 emissions from wetlands, but quantification of turnover rates has remained difficult so far. The application of carbon stable isotope fractionation enables the in situ quantification of CH4 oxidation efficiency in arctic wetland soils. The aim of the current study is to quantify CH4 oxidation efficiency in permafrost-affected tundra soils in Russia's Lena River delta based on stable isotope signatures of CH4. Therefore, depth profiles of CH4 concentrations and δ13CH4 signatures were measured and the fractionation factors for the processes of oxidation (αox and diffusion (αdiff were determined. Most previous studies employing stable isotope fractionation for the quantification of CH4 oxidation in soils of other habitats (such as landfill cover soils have assumed a gas transport dominated by advection (αtrans = 1. In tundra soils, however, diffusion is the main gas transport mechanism and diffusive stable isotope fractionation should be considered alongside oxidative fractionation. For the first time, the stable isotope fractionation of CH4 diffusion through water-saturated soils was determined with an αdiff = 1.001 ± 0.000 (n = 3. CH4 stable isotope fractionation during diffusion through air-filled pores of the investigated polygonal tundra soils was αdiff = 1.013 ± 0.003 (n = 18. Furthermore, it was found that αox differs widely between sites and horizons (mean αox = 1.017 ± 0.009 and needs to be determined on a case by case basis. The impact of both fractionation factors on the quantification of CH4 oxidation was analyzed by

  11. 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

  12. Seasonality of Air-sea-ice-land Variables for Arctic Tundra in Northern Eurasia and North America

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

    The strength of tundra productivity trends as measured by the annual maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (MaxNDVI) and time integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI) vary around the Arctic over the 1982-2008 period. Our analysis suggests that the timing of terrestrial vegetation growth is connected to seasonal patterns of sea-ice concentrations, ocean temperatures and land surface temperatures. This study used SSMI estimates of sea ice concentration, based on a bootstrap algorithm and AVHRR radiometric surface temperature. Summer Warmth Index (SWI) was calculated as the sum from May to August of the degree months above freezing of surface temperature at each pixel and is an accepted measure of plant growth potential. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) represents vegetation greenness and has been used extensively to monitor changes in the Arctic. The albedo of green plants varies with solar radiation wavelength, which is the basis for the NDVI index. The analysis was conducted within 50 km of the Arctic coastline to focus on the region of maximum maritime influence. Time series of regional sea-ice concentration, SWI and NDVI were constructed for the 50-km width domains for the Pan-Arctic, North America, Eurasia and Arctic subregions. Standard climate analysis techniques were applied to the regional time series to investigate the seasonality of sea ice, NDVI and SWI. MaxNDVI has increased in the 50-km land domain contiguous to the Beaufort Sea by 17% since 1982, whereas it has only increased by 3% in the coastal Kara Sea region. Analysis of semimonthly MaxNDVI indicates that the vegetation greens up more rapidly in the spring in the Beaufort than the W. Kara and the Kara has slightly higher NDVI in the fall. The climatological weekly sea ice concentrations in 50-km coastal domain displays an earlier breakup in the Beaufort and a later freeze-up in the Kara Sea area. Regional differences in the seasonal cycle can in part explain the spatially varied trends

  13. Psychrotolerant actinomycetes of plants and organic horizons in tundra and taiga soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubrova, M. S.; Zenova, G. M.; Yakushev, A. V.; Manucharova, N. A.; Makarova, E. P.; Zvyagintsev, D. G.; Chernov, I. Yu.

    2013-08-01

    It has been revealed that in organic horizons and plants of the tundra and taiga ecosystems under low temperatures, actinomycetal complexes form. The population density of psychrotolerant actinomycetes in organic horizons and plants reaches tens and hundreds of thousands CFU/g of substrate or soil, and decreases in the sequence litters > plants > soils > undecomposed plant remains > moss growths. The mycelium length of psychrotolerant actinomycetes reaches 220 m/g of substrate. Application of the FISH method has demonstrated that metabolically active psychrotolerant bacteria of the phylum Actinobacteria constitute 30% of all metabolically active psychrotolerant representatives of the Bacterià domain of the prokaryotic microbial community of soils and plants. Psychrotolerant actinomycetes in tundra and taiga ecosystems possess antimicrobial properties.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. R. Oosterwoud

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  16. Constraint of soil moisture on CO2 efflux from tundra lichen, moss, and tussock in Council, Alaska using a hierarchical Bayesian model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Kim

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The tundra ecosystem is quite vulnerable to drastic climate change in the Arctic, and the quantification of carbon dynamics is of significant importance in response to thawing permafrost, changes in the snow-covered period and snow and shrub community extent, and the decline of sea ice in the Arctic. Here, CO2 efflux measurements using a manual chamber system within a 40 m × 40 m (5 m interval; 81 total points plot were conducted in dominant tundra vegetation on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska, during the growing seasons of 2011 and 2012, for the assessment of the driving parameters of CO2 efflux. We applied a hierarchical Bayesian (HB model – which is a function of soil temperature, soil moisture, vegetation type and thaw depth – to quantify the effect of environmental parameters on CO2 efflux, and to estimate growing season CO2 emission. Our results showed that average CO2 efflux in 2011 is 1.4-fold higher than in 2012, resulting from the distinct difference in soil moisture between the two years. Tussock-dominated CO2 efflux is 1.4 to 2.3 times higher than those measured in lichen and moss communities, reflecting tussock as a significant CO2 source in the Arctic, with wide area distribution on a circumpolar scale. CO2 efflux followed soil temperature nearly exponentially from both the observed data and the posterior medians of the HB model. This reveals soil temperature as the most important parameter in regulating CO2 efflux, rather than soil moisture and thaw depth. Obvious changes in soil moisture during the growing seasons of 2011 and 2012 resulted in an explicit difference in CO2 efflux – 742 and 539 g CO2 m−2 period−1 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, suggesting that the 2012 CO2 emission rate was constrained by 27% (95% credible interval: 17–36% compared to 2011, due to higher soil moisture from severe rain. Estimated growing season CO2 emission rate ranged from 0.86 Mg CO2 period−1 in 2012 to 1.2 Mg CO2 period−1 in 2011

  17. Constraint of soil moisture on CO2 efflux from tundra lichen, moss, and tussock in Council, Alaska, using a hierarchical Bayesian model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Nishina, K.; Chae, N.; Park, S. J.; Yoon, Y. J.; Lee, B. Y.

    2014-10-01

    The tundra ecosystem is quite vulnerable to drastic climate change in the Arctic, and the quantification of carbon dynamics is of significant importance regarding thawing permafrost, changes to the snow-covered period and snow and shrub community extent, and the decline of sea ice in the Arctic. Here, CO2 efflux measurements using a manual chamber system within a 40 m × 40 m (5 m interval; 81 total points) plot were conducted within dominant tundra vegetation on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska, during the growing seasons of 2011 and 2012, for the assessment of driving parameters of CO2 efflux. We applied a hierarchical Bayesian (HB) model - a function of soil temperature, soil moisture, vegetation type, and thaw depth - to quantify the effects of environmental factors on CO2 efflux and to estimate growing season CO2 emissions. Our results showed that average CO2 efflux in 2011 was 1.4 times higher than in 2012, resulting from the distinct difference in soil moisture between the 2 years. Tussock-dominated CO2 efflux is 1.4 to 2.3 times higher than those measured in lichen and moss communities, revealing tussock as a significant CO2 source in the Arctic, with a wide area distribution on the circumpolar scale. CO2 efflux followed soil temperature nearly exponentially from both the observed data and the posterior medians of the HB model. This reveals that soil temperature regulates the seasonal variation of CO2 efflux and that soil moisture contributes to the interannual variation of CO2 efflux for the two growing seasons in question. Obvious changes in soil moisture during the growing seasons of 2011 and 2012 resulted in an explicit difference between CO2 effluxes - 742 and 539 g CO2 m-2 period-1 for 2011 and 2012, respectively, suggesting the 2012 CO2 emission rate was reduced to 27% (95% credible interval: 17-36%) of the 2011 emission, due to higher soil moisture from severe rain. The estimated growing season CO2 emission rate ranged from 0.86 Mg CO2 in 2012 to 1

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Aims Despite multiple studies investigating the environmental controls on CH4 fluxes from arctic tundra ecosystems, the high spatial variability of CH4 emissions is not fully understood. This makes the upscaling of CH4 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 CH4 emission from tundra ecosystems. Methods CH4 fluxes were measured in four sites across a variety of wet-sedge and tusso...

  19. Long-term reindeer grazing limits warming-induced increases in CO2 released by tundra heath soil: potential role of soil C quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The current climate warming in the Arctic may increase the microbial degradation of vast pools of soil carbon (C); however, the temperature sensitivity of decomposition is often highly dependent on the quality of accumulated soil C. Grazing by reindeer (Rangifer tarandus L.) substantially affects the dominant vegetation and often increases graminoids in relation to dwarf shrubs in ecosystems, but the effect of this vegetation shift on the soil C quality has not been previously investigated. We analyzed the soil C quality and rate of microbially mediated CO2 release at different temperatures in long-term laboratory incubations using soils from lightly grazed dwarf shrub-dominated and heavily grazed graminoid-dominated tundra ecosystem. The soil C quality was characterized by solid-state cross-polarization magic angle spinning (CPMAS 13C NMR) spectroscopy, which showed a higher relative proportion of carbohydrate C under light grazing and higher relative proportion of aliphatic not-O-substituted C under heavy grazing. Initial measurements showed lower temperature sensitivity of the CO2 release in soils under light grazing compared with soil under heavy grazing, but the overall CO2 release rate and its temperature sensitivity increased under light grazing as the soil incubation progressed. At the end of incubation, significantly more carbohydrate C had been lost in soils under light grazing compared with heavy grazing. These findings indicate that there may be a link between the grazer-induced effects on soil C quality and the potential of soils to release CO2 to atmosphere. We suggest that vegetation shifts induced by grazing could influence the proportion of accumulated soil C that is vulnerable to microbial degradation under warming climate. (letter)

  20. Ground-Based Hyperspectral Characterization of Alaska Tundra Vegetation along Environmental Gradients

    OpenAIRE

    Marcel Schwieder; Epstein, Howard E.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Marcel Buchhorn; Walker, Donald A.; Birgit Heim

    2013-01-01

    Remote sensing has become a valuable tool in monitoring arctic environments. The aim of this paper is ground-based hyperspectral characterization of Low Arctic Alaskan tundra communities along four environmental gradients (regional climate, soil pH, toposequence, and soil moisture) that all vary in ground cover, biomass, and dominating plant communities. Field spectroscopy in connection with vegetation analysis was carried out in summer 2012, along the North American Arctic Transect (NAAT). S...

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. The role of seasonality and large-scale climate drivers in recent Pan-Arctic tundra vegetation variability and change

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    An increase of Pan-Arctic tundra vegetation greenness has been documented using the remotely sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and a coherent variability between NDVI, springtime coastal sea ice and land surface temperatures has been shown. The goal of this paper is to understand the forcing factors of this change and variability better through an analysis of the seasonality of these remotely sensed variables as well as long-term climate data sets. This study uses remotely sensed submonthly 25-km sea ice concentration, surface temperature, and NDVI from 1982 to 2010. The NDVI3g data has been corrected for biases in the spring and fall. Standard climate data (station, reanalysis, and model data) and ground observations are also examined. For overall trends, we find that summer time open water area has increased most in the Beaufort, and Siberian Seas. The seasonality of SWI trends display distinct heterogeneity across the Arctic, with maximum warming in August for most regions (Figure 1). The monthly time integrated NDVI trends display the largest positive values for most of the Arctic in July, with the exception of the E. Bering and Kara regions, which show declines during most months (Figure 2). The largest magnitude increases in Max-NDVI tend to be in subzones that are inland, particularly in the Beaufort and Chukchi regions. NDVI has increased more during spring in Eurasia and more during peak vegetation activity (July) over North America. The analysis suggests that local atmospheric circulation as well as other local factors likely plays an important role in vegetation productivity.

  4. Observed and Potential Responses of Upland Tundra Ecosystems to a Changing Climate: Results from the Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research Project, North Slope, Alaska, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowden, W. B.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic is one of the most rapidly changing biomes on earth. Research at the Toolik Field Station by the Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research project provides a perspective on changes that are impacting the upland tussock tundra region of the North Slope of Alaska, a region that is typical of ~15% of the arctic region. The arctic is responding to a combination of long-term, gradual changes (presses) and short-term, event-driven changes (pulses). The most important press, of course, is the persistent rise in average annual air temperature observed in most places (though not at Toolik). Associated with this increase in SAT is a well-documented increase in shallow permafrost temperature (which is observed around Toolik). Our long-term research shows that this trend will favor taller and more productive shrub and grass vegetation. Higher SAT translates to earlier spring breakup and later onset of winter. This change in seasonality is affecting interactions between shrub leaf-out, insect emergence, and bird nesting. Persistent and more frequent droughts are having important impacts on the ability of Arctic grayling - the top consumer is most upland tundra streams - to survive and has the potential to block their ability to migrate to essential overwintering lakes. The interaction between temperature (which is changing) and light (which is not) creates a "seasonal asynchrony" that may be increasing the loading of nutrients - notably nitrate - to upland tundra streams late in the season, with impacts that we do not fully understand yet. The upland tundra environment is also responding to an increasing frequency of pulses, most notably wildfires and the development of thermo-erosional failures (TEFs). Wildfires transfer large quantities of carbon and nitrogen directly to the atmosphere. TEFs may deliver large quantities of sediment and nutrients to streams and lakes. Currently these pulse disturbances seem to be having only limited, local impacts. However, as shallow

  5. 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)

    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 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 δ15N 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 δ2H and stem δ2H records closely matched, snow depth did not change stem δ2H or δ18O, 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 the potential to

  6. Integrating Research and Education in a Study of Biocomplexity in Arctic Tundra Ecosystems: Costs, Results, and Benefits to the Research Agenda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, W. A.; González, G.; Walker, D. A.

    2006-12-01

    The integration of research and education is one of the fundamental goals of our national science policy. There is strong interest to improve this integration at the graduate and undergraduate levels, with the general public, and with local and indigenous people. Efforts expended in integrating research and education can occur at the expense of research productivity and represent a cost. Results may include number of personnel involved, activities accomplished, research or other products produced. Benefits are difficult to quantify and may be short term and tangible, e.g. education-research projects enhancing research productivity with publications, or long-term and include intangibles such as personal interactions and experiences influencing career choices, the perception of research activities, enhanced communication, and direct or indirect influence on related research and educational projects. We have integrated the University field course Arctic Field Ecology with an interdisciplinary research project investigating the interactions of climate, vegetation, and permafrost in the study Biocomplexity of Arctic Tundra Ecosystems. The integration is designed to give students background in regional ecology; introduce students to the project objectives, methods, and personnel; provide for interaction with participating scientists; conduct research initiated by the class and instructors; and provide the opportunity to interact with indigenous people with interests in traditional ecological knowledge and land management. Our costs included increased logistical complexity and time-demands on the researchers and staff managing the integration. The educational component increased the size of the research group with the addition of 55 participants over the 4 field seasons of the study. Participants came from 7 countries and included 20 enrolled university students, 18 Inuit non student participants, 9 Inuit students, 3 visiting scientists, 3 staff, and 2 scientist

  7. 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;

    Russia, in the Pechora basin of the northern Komi Republic. The site is of lowland tundra type (underlain by permafrost) with predominating grasses, low shrubs, lichens and mosses interspersed with thermokarst lakes. The max. active layer thickness ranges from 90 cm till over 160 cm on the mineral slope...... and from 35 till 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Congcong eShen

    2015-06-01

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

  9. Nitrous oxide production and emission in high arctic soils of NW Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stills, A.; Lupascu, M.; Czimczik, C. I.; Sharp, E. D.; Welker, J. M.; Schaeffer, S. M.

    2010-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent ozone depleting greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 298 times larger than carbon dioxide (CO2 on a 100-year time scale. Recent studies identified arctic soils undergoing thawing and changes in drainage as potentially large sources of N2O to the atmosphere. More in situ2O production in and emission from arctic soils are needed to understand ecosystem feedbacks to climate change in high arctic tundra, and the role of high latitudes in the global N2O budget. We monitored the concentration of N2O in soils and emissions of N2O to the atmosphere from prostrate shrub tundra in NW Greenland under current and future climate conditions. Measurements were made monthly from June to August 2010 at a long-term climate change experiment started in 2003 consisting of +2oC warming (T1), +4oC warming (T2), +50% summer precipitation (W), +4oC × +50% summer precipitation (T2W), and control (C). In each treatment, N2O was monitored from vegetated and barren soils. In addition, we quantified nitrogen (N) mineralization rates. The concentration of N2O in soils was measured by sampling air from permanent wells ranging from 20 to 90 cm soil depth. N2O emissions were measured every 15 minutes for one hour using opaque, static chambers. Nitrous oxide samples were collected manually with syringes and stored in pre-evacuated glass vials with butyl rubber septa and aluminum crimp. The vials were sealed with silicon, shipped to UC Irvine, and analyzed by GC-ECD (Shimadzu GC-2014). To determine soil N mineralization rates, resin bags were installed under PVC cores from 8 to 10 cm in early spring in all treatments. Bags were removed at peak season. A second set was installed to capture end-of-season mineralization rates. Resin bags were extracted for future analysis of total accumulated ammonium and nitrate. Soil cores concurrently collected with resin bag installation and removal will be analyzed for % C and N, and were extracted for future analysis of

  10. Complete genome sequence of Granulicella tundricola type strain MP5ACTX9T, an Acidobacteria from tundra soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-01-01

    Granulicella tundricola strain MP5ACTX9T is a novel species of the genus Granulicella in subdivision 1 Acidobacteria. G. tundricola is a predominant member of soil bacterial communities, active at low temperatures and nutrient limiting conditions in Arctic alpine tundra. The organism is a cold-adapted acidophile and a versatile heterotroph that hydro-lyzes a suite of sugars and complex polysaccharides. Genome analysis revealed metabolic versatility with genes involved in metabolism and transport of carbohydrates, including gene modules encoding for the carbohydrate-active enzyme (CAZy) families for the break-down, utilization and biosynthesis of diverse structural and storage polysaccharides such as plant based carbon polymers. The genome of G. tundricola strain MP5ACTX9T consists of 4,309,151 bp of a circular chromosome and five mega plasmids with a total genome con-tent of 5,503,984 bp. The genome comprises 4,705 protein-coding genes and 52 RNA genes.

  11. Inclusion of Additional Plant Species and Trait Information in Dynamic Vegetation Modeling of Arctic Tundra and Boreal Forest Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Patil, V.; Roach, J.; Griffith, B.; McGuire, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) have been developed to model the ecophysiological characteristics of plant functional types in terrestrial ecosystems. They have frequently been used to answer questions pertaining to processes such as disturbance, plant succession, and community composition under historical and future climate scenarios. While DVMs have proved useful in these types of applications, it has often been questioned if additional detail, such as including plant dynamics at the species-level and/or including species-specific traits would make these models more accurate and/or broadly applicable. A sub-question associated with this issue is, 'How many species, or what degree of functional diversity, should we incorporate to sustain ecosystem function in modeled ecosystems?' Here, we focus on how the inclusion of additional plant species and trait information may strengthen dynamic vegetation modeling in applications pertaining to: (1) forage for caribou in northern Alaska, (2) above- and belowground carbon storage in the boreal forest and lake margin wetlands of interior Alaska, and (3) arctic tundra and boreal forest leaf phenology. While the inclusion of additional information generally proved valuable in these three applications, this additional detail depends on field data that may not always be available and may also result in increased computational complexity. Therefore, it is important to assess these possible limitations against the perceived need for additional plant species and trait information in the development and application of dynamic vegetation models.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Höfle

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höfle, S.; Rethemeyer, J.; Mueller, C. W.; John, S.

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höfle, S.; Rethemeyer, J.; Mueller, C. W.; John, S.

    2012-09-01

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

  15. Old soil carbon losses increase with ecosystem respiration in experimentally thawed tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks Pries, Caitlin E.; Schuur, Edward A. G.; Natali, Susan M.; Crummer, K. Grace

    2016-02-01

    Old soil carbon (C) respired to the atmosphere as a result of permafrost thaw has the potential to become a large positive feedback to climate change. As permafrost thaws, quantifying old soil contributions to ecosystem respiration (Reco) and understanding how these contributions change with warming is necessary to estimate the size of this positive feedback. We used naturally occurring C isotopes (δ13C and Δ14C) to partition Reco into plant, young soil and old soil sources in a subarctic air and soil warming experiment over three years. We found that old soil contributions to Reco increased with soil temperature and Reco flux. However, the increase in the soil warming treatment was smaller than expected because experimentally warming the soils increased plant contributions to Reco by 30%. On the basis of these data, an increase in mean annual temperature from -5 to 0 °C will increase old soil C losses from moist acidic tundra by 35-55 g C m-2 during the growing season. The largest losses will probably occur where the plant response to warming is minimal.

  16. Continuous monitoring of soil gas efflux with Forced Diffusion (FD) chamber technique in a tundra ecosystem, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Park, S. J.; Lee, B. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Continuous measurements of soil carbon dioxide (CO2) efflux provide essential information about the soil carbon budget in response to an abruptly changing climate at Arctic and Subarctic scales. The Forced Diffusion (FD) chamber technique has a gas permeable membrane, which passively regulates the mixing of atmosphere and soil air in the chamber, in place of the active pumping system inside a regular dynamics efflux chamber system (Risk et al., 2011). Here the system has been modified the sampling routine to eliminate the problem of sensor drift. After that, we deployed the FD chamber system in a tundra ecosystem over the discontinuous permafrost regime of Council, Alaska. The representative understory plants are tussock (17 %), lichen (32 %), and moss (51 %), within a 40 נ40 m plot at an interval of five meters (81 points total) for efflux-measurement by dynamic chamber. The FD chamber monitored soil CO2 efflux from moss, lichen, and tussock regimes at an interval of 30 min during the growing season of 2015. As the results, mean soil CO2 effluxes in sphagnum moss, lichen, and tussock were 1.98 ± 1.10 (coefficient of variance: 55.8 %), 3.34 ± 0.84 (CV: 25.0 %), and 5.32 ± 1.48 (CV: 27.8 %) gCO2/m2/d, respectively. The difference between the 30-min efflux interval and the average efflux of three 10-min intervals is not significant for sphagnum (n = 196), lichen (n = 918), and tussock (n = 918) under a 95 % confidence level. The deploying interval was then set to 30 min and synchronized with eddy covariance tower data. During the deployment period of 2015, soil CO2 efflux over moss, lichen, and tussock using the FD chamber system were 44 ± 24, 73 ± 18, and 117 ± 33 gCO2/m2/period, respectively. Using the dynamic chamber, mean ecosystem respiration (Re) ranges for moss, lichen, and tussock were 2.2-2.6, 1.8-2.0, and 3.3-3.6 gCO2/m2/d, respectively, during June and July of 2015. These techniques provide the representativeness of spatiotemporal variation of soil

  17. Two years with extreme and little snowfall: effects on energy partitioning and surface energy exchange in a high-Arctic tundra ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiegler, Christian; Lund, Magnus; Røjle Christensen, Torben; Mastepanov, Mikhail; Lindroth, Anders

    2016-07-01

    Snow cover is one of the key factors controlling Arctic ecosystem functioning and productivity. In this study we assess the impact of strong variability in snow accumulation during 2 subsequent years (2013-2014) on the land-atmosphere interactions and surface energy exchange in two high-Arctic tundra ecosystems (wet fen and dry heath) in Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland. We observed that record-low snow cover during the winter 2012/2013 resulted in a strong response of the heath ecosystem towards low evaporative capacity and substantial surface heat loss by sensible heat fluxes (H) during the subsequent snowmelt period and growing season. Above-average snow accumulation during the winter 2013/2014 promoted summertime ground heat fluxes (G) and latent heat fluxes (LE) at the cost of H. At the fen ecosystem a more muted response of LE, H and G was observed in response to the variability in snow accumulation. Overall, the differences in flux partitioning and in the length of the snowmelt periods and growing seasons during the 2 years had a strong impact on the total accumulation of the surface energy balance components. We suggest that in a changing climate with higher temperature and more precipitation the surface energy balance of this high-Arctic tundra ecosystem may experience a further increase in the variability of energy accumulation, partitioning and redistribution.

  18. Correlations between different acidity forms in amorphous loamy soils of the tundra and taiga zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamrikova, E. V.; Sokolova, T. A.

    2013-05-01

    Pair correlation coefficients ( r) between the acidity parameters for the main genetic horizons of soddy-podzolic soils (SPSs), typical podzolic soils (TPSs), gley-podzolic soils (GPSs), and tundra surfacegley soils (TSGSs) have been calculated on the basis of a previously developed database. A significant direct linear correlation has been revealed between the pHwater and pHKCl values in the organic and eluvial horizons of each soil, but the degree of correlation decreased when going from the less acidic SPSs to the more acidic soils of other taxons. This could be related to the fact that, under strongly acid conditions, extra Al3+ was dissolved in the KCl solutions from complex compounds in the organic horizons and from Al hydroxide interlayers in the soil chlorites. No significant linear correlation has been found between the exchangeable acidity ( H exch) and the activity of the [H]+ ions in the KCl extract ( a(H+)KCl) calculated per unit of mass in the organic horizons of the SPSs, but it has been revealed in the organic horizons of the other soils because of the presence of the strongest organic acids in their KCl extracts. The high r values between the H exch and a(H+)KCl in all the soils of the taiga zones have been related to the common source and composition of the acidic components. The correlation between the exchangeable and total ( H tot) acidities in the organic horizons of the podzolic soils has been characterized by high r values because of the common source of the acidity: H+ and probably Al3+ ions located on the functional groups of organic acids. High r values between the H exch and a(H+)KCl have been observed in the mineral horizons of all the soils, because the Al3+ hydroxo complexes occurring on the surface and in the interlayer spaces of the clay minerals were sources of both acidity forms.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Höfle

    2012-09-01

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

  20. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soils and lower-layer plants of the southern shrub tundra under technogenic conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakovleva, E. V.; Gabov, D. N.; Beznosikov, V. A.; Kondratenok, B. M.

    2014-06-01

    In soils and plants of the southern shrub tundra, 15 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been detected by high-performance liquid chromatography. Polyarenes in emissions, soil organic horizons, and plants mainly include low-molecular-weight PAHs: naphthalene, fluorine, and pyrene. The contents of the total PAHs in soils and plants exceed the background levels by 3-5 times. The distribution of polyarenes among the organs of the studied plants is nonuniform and depends on the plant species and technogenic load on the area. The studied plants include both hyperaccumulators of polyarenes ( Pleurozium schreberi) and indicators of PAHs in the soil ( Polytrichum commune). Pleurozium schreberi is the most abundant species in the areas under study, and it accumulates the largest mass fraction of PAHs. The differences in the accumulation of PAHs by the plants of the tundra and taiga zones have been revealed.

  1. Ecosystem CO2 and CH4 exchange in a mixed tundra and a fen within a hydrologically diverse Arctic landscape: 1. Modeling versus measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, R. F.; Humphreys, E. R.; Lafleur, P. M.

    2015-07-01

    CO2 and CH4 exchange are strongly affected by hydrology in landscapes underlain by permafrost. Hypotheses for these effects in the model ecosys were tested by comparing modeled CO2 and CH4 exchange with CO2 fluxes measured by eddy covariance from 2006 to 2009, and with CH4 fluxes measured with surface chambers in 2008, along a topographic gradient at Daring Lake, NWT. In an upland tundra, rises in net CO2 uptake in warmer years were constrained by declines in CO2 influxes when vapor pressure deficits (D) exceeded 1.5 kPa and by rises in CO2 effluxes with greater active layer depth. Consequently, net CO2 uptake rose little with warming. In a lowland fen, CO2 influxes declined less with D and CO2 effluxes rose less with warming, so that rises in net CO2 uptake were greater than those in the tundra. Greater declines in CO2 influxes with warming in the tundra were modeled from greater soil-plant-atmosphere water potential gradients that developed under higher D in drained upland soil, and smaller rises in CO2 effluxes with warming in the fen were modeled from O2 constraints to heterotrophic and belowground autotrophic respiration from a shallow water table in poorly drained lowland soil. CH4 exchange modeled during July and August indicated very small influxes in the tundra and larger effluxes characterized by afternoon emission events caused by degassing of warming soil in the fen. Emissions of CH4 modeled from degassing during soil freezing in October-November contributed about one third of the annual total.

  2. Vegetation-Soil-Active Layer Relationships Along a Low-Arctic Bioclimate Gradient, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, D. A.; Jia, G. J.; Epstein, H. E.; Shiklomanov, N.; Nelson, F.; Hinzman, L. D.; Romanovsky, V. E.

    2002-12-01

    Northern Alaska has three of five Arctic bioclimate subzones, which are representative of the circumpolar Low Arctic. This portion of the Arctic has more or less continuous tundra plant cover and well-developed moss canopies. We examined the biomass and remotely sensed spectral properties of the vegetation canopy, active-layer thickness, and the soil properties at 21 sites on the Arctic Slope and Seward Peninsula of Alaska. The sites were grouped into three bioclimate subzones according the summer warmth at the sites. The summer warmth index (SWI) is the sum of the mean monthly temperatures greater than 0 degrees C. Subzone C, the coldest subzone, occurs in a narrow strip along the northern coast of the Alaska. Subzone D covers most of the Arctic Coastal Plain and the northwest portion of the Seward Peninsula, and Subzone E covers most of the Foothills and most of the unforested portion of the Seward Peninsula. The SWIs in Subzones C, D, and E are generally less than 10-15 degrees C, 15-25 degrees C, and 25-35 degrees C respectively. The average active layer depths were 44, 55, and 47 cm respectively The shallow active layer in Subzone E is to a large degree a response to the denser vegetation canopies in Subzone E. Total plant biomass in Subzone C, D, and E averaged 421 g m-2, 503 g m-2, and 1178 g m-2 respectively. The much higher biomass in Subzone E was due primarily to woody shrubs (40 g m-2 in Subzone C, 51 g m-2 in Subzone D, and 730 g m-2 in Subzone E). The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is one measure of greenness. Highest NDVI values were obtained from acidic tundra regions in Subzone E, and the lowest NDVI values were obtained in the nonacidic areas of Subzone C. In summary, the insulative properties of the vegetation play a very important role controlling the thickness of the active layer, and the amount of vegetation biomass differs according to summer warmth and soil properties. Acidic soils in the warmest parts of the Arctic (Subzone E

  3. Potential enzyme activities in cryoturbated organic matter of arctic soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnecker, J.; Wild, B.; Rusalimova, O.; Mikutta, R.; Guggenberger, G.; Richter, A.

    2012-12-01

    An estimated 581 Gt organic carbon is stored in arctic soils that are affected by cryoturbtion, more than in today's atmosphere (450 Gt). The high amount of organic carbon is, amongst other factors, due to topsoil organic matter (OM) that has been subducted by freeze-thaw processes. This cryoturbated OM is usually hundreds to thousands of years old, while the chemical composition remains largely unaltered. It has therefore been suggested, that the retarded decomposition rates cannot be explained by unfavourable abiotic conditions in deeper soil layers alone. Since decomposition of soil organic material is dependent on extracellular enzymes, we measured potential and actual extracellular enzyme activities in organic topsoil, mineral subsoil and cryoturbated material from three different tundra sites, in Zackenberg (Greenland) and Cherskii (North-East Siberia). In addition we analysed the microbial community structure by PLFAs. Hydrolytic enzyme activities, calculated on a per gram dry mass basis, were higher in organic topsoil horizons than in cryoturbated horizons, which in turn were higher than in mineral horizons. When calculated on per gram carbon basis, the activity of the carbon acquiring enzyme exoglucanase was not significantly different between cryoturbated and topsoil organic horizons in any of the three sites. Oxidative enzymes, i.e. phenoloxidase and peroxidase, responsible for degradation of complex organic substances, showed higher activities in topsoil organic and cryoturbated horizons than in mineral horizons, when calculated per gram dry mass. Specific activities (per g C) however were highest in mineral horizons. We also measured actual cellulase activities (by inhibiting microbial uptake of products and without substrate addition): calculated per g C, the activities were up to ten times as high in organic topsoil compared to cryoturbated and mineral horizons, the latter not being significantly different. The total amount of PLFAs, as a proxy for

  4. Nitrification rates in Arctic soils are associated with functionally distinct populations of ammonia-oxidizing archaea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Ricardo J. E.; Wanek, Wolfgang; Zappe, Anna; Richter, Andreas; Svenning, Mette M.; Schleper, Christa; Urich, Tim

    2014-05-01

    The functioning of Arctic soil ecosystems is crucially important for global climate, although basic knowledge regarding their biogeochemical processes is lacking. Nitrogen (N) is the major limiting nutrient in these environments, and therefore it is particularly important to gain a better understanding of the microbial populations catalyzing transformations that influence N bioavailability. However, microbial communities driving this process remain largely uncharacterized in Arctic soils, namely those catalyzing the rate-limiting step of ammonia (NH3) oxidation. Eleven Arctic soils from Svalbard were analyzed through a polyphasic approach, including determination of gross nitrification rates through a 15N pool dilution method, qualitative and quantitative analyses of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) populations based on the functional marker gene amoA (encoding the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A), and enrichment of AOA in laboratory cultures. AOA were the only NH3 oxidizers detected in five out of 11 soils, and outnumbered AOB by 1 to 3 orders of magnitude in most others. AOA showed a great overall phylogenetic diversity that was differentially distributed across soil ecosystems, and exhibited an uneven population composition that reflected the dominance of a single AOA phylotype in each population. Moreover, AOA populations showed a multifactorial association with the soil properties, which reflected an overall distribution associated with tundra type and with several physico-chemical parameters combined, namely pH and soil moisture and N contents (i.e., NO3- and dissolved organic N). Remarkably, the different gross in situ and potential nitrification rates between soils were associated with distinct AOA phylogenetic clades, suggesting differences in their nitrifying potential, both under the native NH3 conditions and as a response to higher NH3 availability. This was further supported by the selective enrichment of two AOA clades that exhibited

  5. Artificial Warming and Rain Addition Increase Phenol Oxidase Activity in Arctic Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, H.; Seo, J.; Jang, I.; Lee, Y. K.

    2014-12-01

    Artic tundra is one of the largest carbon stocks, of which amount is estimated up to 1,600 Pg. Global climate change models predict surface temperature rise and higher precipitation during summer in Arctic regions, raising concerns about faster decomposition of organic carbon and consequent releases of CO2, CH4 and DOC. Microorganisms are directly involved in decomposition process by releasing various extracellular enzymes. In particular, phenol oxidase was noted to play a key role because it is related to dynamics of highly recalcitrant carbon, which often represents a rate-limiting step of overall decomposition. In this study, we monitored phenol oxidase activity, hydrolases (β-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, N-acetylglucosaminidase and aminopeptidase), microbial abundance (qPCR) and chemical properties (δ13C and δ15N signatures) of tundra soils exposed to artificial warming and rain addition, by employing a passive chamber method in Cambridge Bay, Canada. Warming and rain addition combinedly increased phenol oxidase activity while no such changes were discernible for other hydrolases. Stable isotope signature indicates that warming induced water stress to the ecosystem and that nitrogen availability may be enhanced, which is partially responsible for the changes in enzyme activities. A short-term warming (2 years) may not accelerate mineralization of easily decomposable carbon, but may affect phenol oxidase which has the longer-term influence on recalcitrant carbon.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Benjamin W; Jones, Jeremy B

    2015-12-01

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

  7. CO2 and CH4 fluxes along a latitudinal transect in Northern Alaska using eddy covariance technique in challenging conditions: first results of a long term experiment in the Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreaux, V.; Oechel, W. C.; Losacco, S.; McEwing, R.; Murphy, P.; Zona, D.

    2013-12-01

    Being one of the most sensitive regions on earth, the Arctic is likely to be one of the most affected by global change. Physical changes (drying, snow cover, active layer depth, permafrost thawing, etc.) could create feedbacks in the release of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. Correlated to the significant increase in air temperature, changes in trace gas balance have already been reported (Oechel et al. 1998). Carbon (C) is currently trapped as organic matter in the permafrost that underlies much of the Arctic. C represents about 30-50% of the global belowground organic carbon pool (Tarnocai et al.2009, Zona et al. 2012). Stored organic matter can form the substrate for significant release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. Ubiquitous arctic wetlands are additional sources of CH4 and CO2 to the atmosphere (Melton et al. 2013). CO2 is important because of the magnitude of its fluxes, and CH4 is of interest since its global warming potential is 23 times higher than the CO2 over a 100-year time horizon. CH4 is produced by the decomposition of dead plant material in anaerobic soils, especially in tundra ponds. Methane release is mostly influenced by temperature, water table, and active layer depth. The spatial and temporal variability results in very large uncertainties of current CH4 fluxes from the Arctic. The sporadic studies available create a generally inadequate baseline from which to determine a change in emissions from this critical and sensitive environment. Here we initiate a large scale, continuously monitored, study of CO2 and CH4 budgets from tundra ecosystems across a latitudinal gradient of more than 400 km. Our main questions for this study are: (i) does the release of CO2 and CH4 from biological and geothermal processes exceed the sink of greenhouse gases from active vegetation and surface organisms? (ii) How does this balance behave over latitudinal and environmental gradients? The observations presented are the result of

  8. 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)

    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.

  9. Pathways and transformations of dissolved methane and dissolved inorganic carbon in Arctic tundra watersheds: Evidence from analysis of stable isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Throckmorton, Heather M.; Heikoop, Jeffrey M.; Newman, Brent D.; Altmann, Garrett L.; Conrad, Mark S.; Muss, Jordan D.; Perkins, George B.; Smith, Lydia J.; Torn, Margaret S.; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Wilson, Cathy J.

    2015-11-01

    Arctic soils contain a large pool of terrestrial C and are of interest due to their potential for releasing significant carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. Due to substantial landscape heterogeneity, predicting ecosystem-scale CH4 and CO2 production is challenging. This study assessed dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC = Σ (total) dissolved CO2) and CH4 in watershed drainages in Barrow, Alaska as critical convergent zones of regional geochemistry, substrates, and nutrients. In July and September of 2013, surface waters and saturated subsurface pore waters were collected from 17 drainages. Based on simultaneous DIC and CH4 cycling, we synthesized isotopic and geochemical methods to develop a subsurface CH4 and DIC balance by estimating mechanisms of CH4 and DIC production and transport pathways and oxidation of subsurface CH4. We observed a shift from acetoclastic (July) toward hydrogenotropic (September) methanogenesis at sites located toward the end of major freshwater drainages, adjacent to salty estuarine waters, suggesting an interesting landscape-scale effect on CH4 production mechanism. The majority of subsurface CH4 was transported upward by plant-mediated transport and ebullition, predominantly bypassing the potential for CH4 oxidation. Thus, surprisingly, CH4 oxidation only consumed approximately 2.51 ± 0.82% (July) and 0.79 ± 0.79% (September) of CH4 produced at the frost table, contributing to <0.1% of DIC production. DIC was primarily produced from respiration, with iron and organic matter serving as likely e- acceptors. This work highlights the importance of spatial and temporal variability of CH4 production at the watershed scale and suggests broad scale investigations are required to build better regional or pan-Arctic representations of CH4 and CO2 production.

  10. Biogeochemical modeling of tundra recovery following thermal erosion of permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, A. R.; Rastetter, E. B.; Bowden, W. B.

    2011-12-01

    We simulate the biogeochemical recovery of tundra from a thermal erosion disturbance using the Multiple Element Limitation model (MEL) and compare model results with soil organic matter and nutrient chemistry measurements collected across a chronosequence of thermal erosion features. Thermal erosion of permafrost initially depletes the tundra of much of its vegetation and shallow soil organic matter. However, several decades later, there is often little distinguishing these scars from the surrounding undisturbed tundra. As thermal erosion features become more abundant on the arctic landscape, we desire to understand how the pools of carbon and nutrients rebuild after these disturbances. MEL is a plot-scale, process-based model that optimizes the acquisition of eight resources (light, water, CO2, PO4, NH4, NO3, DON and N-fixation) by vegetation based on how much of each is required and the effort needed to acquire it. Model output includes pool sizes of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in vegetation, litter, young soil organic matter and old soil organic matter and the fluxes among these pools over time. This calibration of MEL, operating on a daily timestep, was created with published data collected at or near the Toolik Field Station (Toolik Lake, AK, USA) from moist acidic tussock tundra sites. We corroborate our calibration with data from plot manipulations (N and P fertilization, greenhouse, and shade house) performed as part of the NSF Arctic LTER project. The initial conditions for the recovery simulations reflect post-failure observations of some of the variation in soil organic matter, and soil and water nutrient chemistry. With sufficient nutrients from residual soil or supplied in soil water from upslope, the model indicates that vegetation can recover within several decades, but recovery of C and nutrients lost from soils may take hundreds of years.

  11. The southernmost Andean Mountain soils: a toposequence from Nothofagus Forest to Sub Antarctic Tundra at Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firme Sá, Mariana M.; Schaefer, Carlos E.; Loureiro, Diego C.; Simas, Felipe N.; Francelino, Marcio R.; Senra, Eduardo O.

    2015-04-01

    Located at the southern tip of the Fuegian Andes Cordilhera, the Martial glacier witnessed a rapid process of retreat in the last century. Up to now little is known about the development and genesis of soils of this region. A toposequence of six soils, ranging from 430-925 m a.s.l, was investigated, with emphasis on genesis, chemical and mineralogical properties. The highest, youngest soil is located just below the Martial Glacier Martial Sur sector, and the lowest soils occur on sloping moraines under Nothofagus pumilio forests. Based on chemical, physical and mineralogical characteristics, the soils were classified according to the Soil taxonomy, being keyed out as Inceptisols and Entisols. Soil parent material of the soil is basically moraines, in which the predominant lithic components dominated by metamorphic rocks, with allochthonous contributions of wind-blown materials (very small fragments of volcanic glass) observed by hand lens in all horizons, except the highest profile under Tundra. In Nothofagus Deciduous Forests at the lowest part of the toposequence, poorly developed Inceptisols occur with Folistic horizons, with mixed "andic" and "spodic" characters, but with a predominance of andosolization (Andic Drystrocryepts). Under Tundra vegetation, Inceptisols are formed under hydromorphism and andosolization processes (Oxiaquic Dystrocrepts and Typic Dystrocrepts). On highland periglacial environments, soils without B horizon with strong evidence of cryoturbation and cryogenesis occur, without present-day permafrost down to 2 meters (Typic Cryorthents and Lithic Haploturbels). The mountain soils of Martial glacier generalize young, stony and rich in organic matter, with the exception of barely vegetated Tundra soils at higher altitudes. The forest soils are more acidic and have higher Al3+activity. All soils are dystrophic, except for the highest profile of the local periglacial environment. The organic carbon amounts are higher in forest soils and

  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

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

  13. In-situ studies of microbial CH4 oxidation efficiency in Arctic wetland soils. Applications of stable carbon isotopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arctic wetland soils are significant sources of the climate-relevant trace gas methane (CH4). The observed accelerated warming of the Arctic is expected to cause deeper permafrost thawing followed by increased carbon mineralization and CH4 formation in water-saturated permafrost-affected tundra soils thus creating a positive feedback to climate change. Aerobic CH4 oxidation is regarded as the key process reducing CH4 emissions from wetlands, but quantification of turnover rates has remained difficult so far. This study improved the in-situ quantification of microbial CH4 oxidation efficiency in arctic wetland soils in Russia's Lena River Delta based on stable isotope signatures of CH4. In addition to the common practice of determining the stable isotope fractionation during oxidation, additionally the fractionation effect of diffusion, an important gas transport mechanism in tundra soils, was investigated for both saturated and unsaturated conditions. The isotopic fractionation factors αox and αdiff were used to calculate the CH4 oxidation efficiency from the CH4 stable isotope signatures of wet polygonal tundra soils of different hydrology. Further, the method was used to study the short-term effects of temperature increase with a climate manipulation experiment. For the first time, the stable isotope fractionation of CH4 diffusion through water-saturated soils was determined with αdiff = 1.001 ± 0.0002 (n = 3). CH4 stable isotope fractionation during diffusion through air-filled pores of the investigated polygonal tundra soils was αdiff = 1.013 ± 0.003 (n = 18). For the studied sites the fractionation factor for diffusion under saturated conditions αdiff = 1.001 seems to be of utmost importance for the quantification of the CH4 oxidation efficiency, since most of the CH4 is oxidized in the saturated part at the aerobic-anaerobic interface. Furthermore, it was found that αox differs widely between sites and horizons (mean αox = 1.018 ± 0.009) and needs

  14. Satellite Remote Sensing of Pan-arctic Vegetation Productivity, Soil Respiration and net CO2 Exchange Using MODIS and AMSR-E Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nirala, M. L.; Heinsch, F. A.; Kimball, J. S.; Zhao, M.; Running, S.; Oechel, W.; McDonald, K.; Njoku, E.

    2005-05-01

    We have developed an approach for regional assessment and monitoring of land-atmosphere carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange, soil heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and vegetation productivity for arctic tundra using global satellite remote sensing at optical and microwave wavelengths. We use C- and X-band brightness temperatures from AMSR-E to extract surface wetness and temperature, and MODIS data to derive land cover, Leaf Area Index (LAI) and Net Primary Production (NPP) information. Calibration and validation activities involve comparisons between satellite remote sensing and tundra CO2 eddy flux tower and biophysical measurement networks and hydro-ecological process model simulations. We analyze spatial and temporal anomalies and environmental drivers of land-atmosphere net CO2 exchange at weekly and annual time steps. Surface soil moisture status and temperature as detected from satellite remote sensing observations are found to be major drivers spatial and temporal patterns of tundra net CO2 exchange and photosynthetic and respiration processes. We also find that satellite microwave measurements are capable of capturing seasonal variations and regional patterns in tundra soil heterotrophic respiration and CO2 exchange, while our ability to extract spatial patterns at the scale of surface heterogeneity is limited by the coarse spatial scale of the satellite remote sensing footprint. Our results also indicate that carbon cycle response to climate change is non-linear and strongly coupled to arctic surface hydrology. This work was performed at The University of Montana and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  15. Modeling dynamics of tundra plant communities on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Q.; Epstein, H. E.; Walker, D. A.

    2010-12-01

    Multiple environmental drivers, including climate, soil conditions and herbivory, affect arctic tundra vegetation dynamics. These factors may have been evaluated individually in the past; however, their interactions contribute to more complicated tundra plant community dynamics and may represent a substantial source of uncertainty in predicting tundra ecosystem properties in the changing Arctic. This study investigates the effects of soils, grazing, and climate change on tundra plant communities at the plant functional type (PFT) level, based on previous integrated modeling research at the ecosystem level. The study area encompasses the Yamal Peninsula, northwestern Siberia, where soil and biomass data were collected along the Yamal Arctic Transect (YAT), to drive a nutrient-based tundra vegetation model (ArcVeg) and to validate the simulation results. We analyzed plant functional type biomass and net primary productivity (NPP), and found that with higher temperatures (+2°C mean growing season temperature), most plant functional types responded positively with increased biomass and NPP, while grazing suppressed such responses in both high and low soil organic nitrogen (SON) sites. The magnitudes of the responses to warming depended on SON and grazing intensity. Relatively, there were greater responses of biomass and NPP in low SON sites compared to high SON sites. Moss biomass (in contrast to other plant types) declined 34% with warming in the low SON site and 28% in the high SON site in subzone E (the most southern tundra subzone). Increases in Low Arctic shrub biomass with warming were 61% in the high SON site in subzone E and 96% in the low SON site. Decrease in moss biomass due to warming was mitigated about 2% by high grazing frequency (maximum of 25% of biomass removal every two years) in the high SON site in subzone E, with an opposite effect in the low SON site. High grazing frequency caused greater relative increases in total shrub biomass for both low

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Bååth, Erland

    2009-01-01

    acid, glycine, starch, and vanillin, and the incorporation of 13C into different phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA; indicative of growth) and neutral lipid fatty acids (NLFA; indicative of fungal storage) was measured after 1 and 7 days. The use of 13C-labeled substrates allowed the addition of substrates...... fungi, showing that different groups of the microbial community were responsible for substrate utilization. The 13C-incorporation from the complex substrates (starch and vanillin) increased over time. There was significant allocation of 13C into the fungal NLFA, except for starch. For glucose, acetic...... acid, and glycine, 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...

  17. CARD-FISH analysis of prokaryotic community composition and abundance along small-scale vegetation gradients in a dry arctic tundra ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Ushio, Masayuki; Makoto, Kobayashi; Klaminder, Jonatan; Nakano, Shin-ichi

    2013-01-01

    The size and composition of soil microbial communities have important influences on terrestrial ecosystem processes such as soil decomposition. However, compared with studies of aboveground plant communities, there are relatively few studies on belowground microbial communities and their interactions with aboveground vegetations in the arctic region. In this study, we conducted the first investigation of the abundance and composition of prokaryotic communities along small-scale vegetation gra...

  18. Determining the Diversity and Species Abundance Patterns in Arctic Soils using Rational Methods for Exploring Microbial Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ovreas, L.; Quince, C.; Sloan, W.; Lanzen, A.; Davenport, R.; Green, J.; Coulson, S.; Curtis, T.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic microbial soil communities are intrinsically interesting and poorly characterised. We have inferred the diversity and species abundance distribution of 6 Arctic soils: new and mature soil at the foot of a receding glacier, Arctic Semi Desert, the foot of bird cliffs and soil underlying Arctic Tundra Heath: all near Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen. Diversity, distribution and sample sizes were estimated using the rational method of Quince et al., (Isme Journal 2 2008:997-1006) to determine the most plausible underlying species abundance distribution. A log-normal species abundance curve was found to give a slightly better fit than an inverse Gaussian curve if, and only if, sequencing error was removed. The median estimates of diversity of operational taxonomic units (at the 3% level) were 3600-5600 (lognormal assumed) and 2825-4100 (inverse Gaussian assumed). The nature and origins of species abundance distributions are poorly understood but may yet be grasped by observing and analysing such distributions in the microbial world. The sample size required to observe the distribution (by sequencing 90% of the taxa) varied between ~ 106 and ~105 for the lognormal and inverse Gaussian respectively. We infer that between 5 and 50 GB of sequencing would be required to capture 90% or the metagenome. Though a principle components analysis clearly divided the sites into three groups there was a high (20-45%) degree of overlap in between locations irrespective of geographical proximity. Interestingly, the nearest relatives of the most abundant taxa at a number of most sites were of alpine or polar origin. Samples plotted on first two principal components together with arbitrary discriminatory OTUs

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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)

    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.

  2. Plant and microbial uptake and allocation of organic and inorganic nitrogen related to plant growth forms and soil conditions at two subarctic tundra sites in Sweden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Pernille Lærkedal; Clemmensen, Karina Engelbrecht; Michelsen, Anders;

    2008-01-01

    In order to follow the uptake and allocation of N in different plant functional types and microbes in two tundra ecosystems differing in nutrient availability, we performed a 15Nlabeling experiment with three N forms and followed the partitioning of 15N label among plants, microorganisms and soil...

  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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

    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.

  5. Morphology and properties of the soils of permafrost peatlands in the southeast of the Bol'shezemel'skaya tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaverin, D. A.; Pastukhov, A. V.; Lapteva, E. M.; Biasi, C.; Marushchak, M.; Martikainen, P.

    2016-05-01

    The morphology and properties of the soils of permafrost peatlands in the southeast of the Bol'shezemel'skaya tundra are characterized. The soils developing in the areas of barren peat circles differ from oligotrophic permafrost-affected peat soils (Cryic Histosols) of vegetated peat mounds in a number of morphological and physicochemical parameters. The soils of barren circles are characterized by the wellstructured surface horizons, relatively low exchangeable acidity, and higher rates of decomposition and humification of organic matter. It is shown that the development of barren peat circles on tops of peat mounds is favored by the activation of erosional and cryogenic processes in the topsoil. The role of winter wind erosion in the destruction of the upper peat and litter horizons is demonstrated. A comparative analysis of the temperature regime of soils of vegetated peat mounds and barren peat circles is presented. The soil-geocryological complex of peat mounds is a system consisting of three major layers: seasonally thawing layer-upper permafrost-underlying permafrost. The upper permafrost horizons of peat mounds at the depth of 50-90 cm are morphologically similar to the underlying permafrost. However, these layers differ in their physicochemical properties, especially in the composition and properties of their organic matter.

  6. Impact of warming and drying on microbial activity in subarctic tundra soils: inferences from patterns in extracellular enzyme activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schade, J. D.; Natali, S.; Spawn, S.; Sistla, S.; Schuur, E. A. G.

    2014-12-01

    Permafrost contains a large pool of carbon that has accumulated for thousands of years, and remains frozen in organic form. As climate warms, permafrost thaw will increase rates of microbial breakdown of old soil organic matter (SOM), accelerating release of carbon to the atmosphere. Higher rates of microbial decomposition may also release reactive nitrogen, which may increase plant production and carbon fixation. The net effect on atmospheric carbon, and the strength of climate feedback, depends on the balance between direct and indirect effects of increased microbial activity, which depends on changes in soil conditions and microbial responses to them. In particular, soil moisture and availability of C and N for microbes strongly influence soil respiration and primary production. Current understanding of changes in these factors as climate warms is limited. We present results from analysis of soil extracellular enzyme activities (EEA) from a long-term warming and drying experiment in subarctic Alaskan tundra (the CiPEHR experiment) as an indicator of changes in soil microbial activity and relative availability of C and N for microbes. We collected soil samples from control (C), warming (W), and warming + drying (WD) treatments and used fluorometric methods to estimate EEA in shallow (0-5 cm) and deep (5-15) soils. We measured soil moisture, SOM, and C:N, and plant tissue C:N as an indicator of N availability. Activity of N-acquiring enzymes was higher in WD soils at both depths. Carbon EEA in W soils was lower in surface, but higher in deeper soils. We also found significantly lower soil C:N in both W and WD in deeper soils, where C:N was generally lower than surface. In general, EEA results suggest drying leads to increased C availability relative to N. This may be due to lower soil moisture leading to greater aeration of soils in WD plots relative to W plots, which may be saturated due to significant land subsidence. Greater aeration may increase efficiency of

  7. Changes in tundra vascular plant biomass over thirty years at Imnavait Creek, Alaska, and current ecosystem C and N dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bret-Harte, M. S.; Shaver, G. R.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Huebner, D. C.; Drew, J. W.; Cherry, J. E.; Edgar, C.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the magnitude of, and controls over, carbon fluxes in arctic ecosystems is essential for accurate assessment and prediction of their responses to climate change. In 2013, we harvested vegetation and soils in the most common plant community types in source areas for fluxes measured by eddy covariance towers located in three representative Alaska tundra ecosystems along a toposequence (a ridge site of heath tundra and moist non-acidic tundra, a mid-slope site of moist acidic tussock tundra, and a valley bottom site of wet sedge tundra and moist acidic tussock tundra) at Imnavait Creek, Alaska. This harvest sought to relate biomass, production, composition, and C and N stocks in soil and vegetation, to estimates of net ecosystem CO2 exchange obtained by micrometeorological methods. Soil C and N stocks in the seasonally unfrozen soil layer were greatest in the wet sedge community, and least in the heath community. In contrast, moist acidic tussock tundra at the valley bottom site had the highest C and N stocks in vascular plant biomass, while nearby wet sedge tundra had the lowest. Overall, soil C:N ratio was highest in moist acidic tussock tundra at the mid-slope site. Aboveground biomass of vascular plants in moist acidic tundra at the mid-slope site was nearly three times higher than that measured thirty years earlier in vegetation harvests of nearby areas at Imnavait Creek. Other harvests from sites near Toolik Field Station suggest that vascular plant biomass in moist acidic tundra has increased in multiple sites over this time period. Increased biomass in the mid-1990s corresponds with a switch from mostly negative to mostly positive spatially-averaged air temperature anomalies in the climate record. All our sites have been annual net sources of CO2 to the atmosphere over nine years of measurement, but in the last two years, the valley bottom site has been a particularly strong source, due to CO2 losses in fall and winter that correspond with a

  8. Warming increases methylmercury production in an Arctic soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ziming; Fang, Wei; Lu, Xia; Sheng, Guo-Ping; Graham, David E; Liang, Liyuan; Wullschleger, Stan D; Gu, Baohua

    2016-07-01

    Rapid temperature rise in Arctic permafrost impacts not only the degradation of stored soil organic carbon (SOC) and climate feedback, but also the production and bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) toxin that can endanger humans, as well as wildlife in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Currently little is known concerning the effects of rapid permafrost thaw on microbial methylation and how SOC degradation is coupled to MeHg biosynthesis. Here we describe the effects of warming on MeHg production in an Arctic soil during an 8-month anoxic incubation experiment. Net MeHg production increased >10 fold in both organic- and mineral-rich soil layers at warmer (8 °C) than colder (-2 °C) temperatures. The type and availability of labile SOC, such as reducing sugars and ethanol, were particularly important in fueling the rapid initial biosynthesis of MeHg. Freshly amended mercury was more readily methylated than preexisting mercury in the soil. Additionally, positive correlations between mercury methylation and methane and ferrous ion production indicate linkages between SOC degradation and MeHg production. These results show that climate warming and permafrost thaw could potentially enhance MeHg production by an order of magnitude, impacting Arctic terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by increased exposure to mercury through bioaccumulation and biomagnification in the food web. PMID:27131808

  9. Perturbation of an arctic soil microbial community by metal nanoparticles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: → Silver, copper and silica nanoparticles had an impact on arctic soil → A microbial community toxicity indicator was developed → Community surveys using pyrosequencing confirmed a shift in bacterial biodiversity → Troublingly, silver nanoparticles were highly toxic to a plant beneficial bacterium - Abstract: Technological advances allowing routine nanoparticle (NP) manufacture have enabled their use in electronic equipment, foods, clothing and medical devices. Although some NPs have antibacterial activity, little is known about their environmental impact and there is no information on the influence of NPs on soil in the possibly vulnerable ecosystems of polar regions. The potential toxicity of 0.066% silver, copper or silica NPs on a high latitude (>78oN) soil was determined using community level physiological profiles (CLPP), fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) assays and DNA analysis, including sequencing and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The results of these different investigations were amalgamated in order to develop a community toxicity indicator, which revealed that of the three NPs examined, silver NPs could be classified as highly toxic to these arctic consortia. Subsequent culture-based studies confirmed that one of the community-identified plant-associating bacteria, Bradyrhizobium canariense, appeared to have a marked sensitivity to silver NPs. Thus, NP contamination of arctic soils particularly by silver NPs is a concern and procedures for mitigation and remediation of such pollution should be a priority for investigation.

  10. Radionuclides in small mammals of the Saskatchewan prairie, including implications for the boreal forest and Arctic tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  11. In-situ studies of microbial CH{sub 4} oxidation efficiency in Arctic wetland soils. Applications of stable carbon isotopes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Preuss, Inken-Marie

    2013-07-05

    Arctic wetland soils are significant sources of the climate-relevant trace gas methane (CH{sub 4}). The observed accelerated warming of the Arctic is expected to cause deeper permafrost thawing followed by increased carbon mineralization and CH{sub 4} formation in water-saturated permafrost-affected tundra soils thus creating a positive feedback to climate change. Aerobic CH{sub 4} oxidation is regarded as the key process reducing CH{sub 4} emissions from wetlands, but quantification of turnover rates has remained difficult so far. This study improved the in-situ quantification of microbial CH{sub 4} oxidation efficiency in arctic wetland soils in Russia's Lena River Delta based on stable isotope signatures of CH{sub 4}. In addition to the common practice of determining the stable isotope fractionation during oxidation, additionally the fractionation effect of diffusion, an important gas transport mechanism in tundra soils, was investigated for both saturated and unsaturated conditions. The isotopic fractionation factors α{sub ox} and α{sub diff} were used to calculate the CH{sub 4} oxidation efficiency from the CH{sub 4} stable isotope signatures of wet polygonal tundra soils of different hydrology. Further, the method was used to study the short-term effects of temperature increase with a climate manipulation experiment. For the first time, the stable isotope fractionation of CH{sub 4} diffusion through water-saturated soils was determined with α{sub diff} = 1.001 ± 0.0002 (n = 3). CH{sub 4} stable isotope fractionation during diffusion through air-filled pores of the investigated polygonal tundra soils was α{sub diff} = 1.013 ± 0.003 (n = 18). For the studied sites the fractionation factor for diffusion under saturated conditions α{sub diff} = 1.001 seems to be of utmost importance for the quantification of the CH{sub 4} oxidation efficiency, since most of the CH{sub 4} is oxidized in the saturated part at the aerobic-anaerobic interface. Furthermore

  12. Ground-Based Hyperspectral Characterization of Alaska Tundra Vegetation along Environmental Gradients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcel Schwieder

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Remote sensing has become a valuable tool in monitoring arctic environments. The aim of this paper is ground-based hyperspectral characterization of Low Arctic Alaskan tundra communities along four environmental gradients (regional climate, soil pH, toposequence, and soil moisture that all vary in ground cover, biomass, and dominating plant communities. Field spectroscopy in connection with vegetation analysis was carried out in summer 2012, along the North American Arctic Transect (NAAT. Spectral metrics were extracted, including the averaged reflectance and absorption-related metrics such as absorption depths and area of continuum removal. The spectral metrics were investigated with respect to “greenness”, biomass, vegetation height, and soil moisture regimes. The results show that the surface reflectances of all sites are similar in shape with a reduced near-infrared (NIR reflectance that is specific for low-growing biomes. The main spectro-radiometric findings are: (i Southern sites along the climate gradient have taller shrubs and greater overall vegetation biomass, which leads to higher reflectance in the NIR. (ii Vegetation height and surface wetness are two antagonists that balance each other out with respect to the NIR reflectance along the toposequence and soil moisture gradients. (iii Moist acidic tundra (MAT sites have “greener” species, more leaf biomass, and green-colored moss species that lead to higher pigment absorption compared to moist non-acidic tundra (MNT sites. (iv MAT and MNT plant community separation via narrowband Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI shows the potential of hyperspectral remote sensing applications in the tundra.

  13. 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

  14. Plant-derived compounds stimulate the decomposition of organic matter in arctic permafrost soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, Birgit; Gentsch, Norman; Čapek, Petr; Diáková, Kateřina; Alves, Ricardo J Eloy; Bárta, Jiři; Gittel, Antje; Hugelius, Gustaf; Knoltsch, Anna; Kuhry, Peter; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Palmtag, Juri; Schleper, Christa; Schnecker, Jörg; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Torsvik, Vigdis L; Urich, Tim; Watzka, Margarete; Šantrůčková, Hana; Guggenberger, Georg; Richter, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Arctic ecosystems are warming rapidly, which is expected to promote soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. In addition to the direct warming effect, decomposition can also be indirectly stimulated via increased plant productivity and plant-soil C allocation, and this so called "priming effect" might significantly alter the ecosystem C balance. In this study, we provide first mechanistic insights into the susceptibility of SOM decomposition in arctic permafrost soils to priming. By comparing 119 soils from four locations across the Siberian Arctic that cover all horizons of active layer and upper permafrost, we found that an increased availability of plant-derived organic C particularly stimulated decomposition in subsoil horizons where most of the arctic soil carbon is located. Considering the 1,035 Pg of arctic soil carbon, such an additional stimulation of decomposition beyond the direct temperature effect can accelerate net ecosystem C losses, and amplify the positive feedback to global warming. PMID:27157964

  15. Plant-derived compounds stimulate the decomposition of organic matter in arctic permafrost soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, Birgit; Gentsch, Norman; Čapek, Petr; Diáková, Kateřina; Alves, Ricardo J. Eloy; Bárta, Jiři; Gittel, Antje; Hugelius, Gustaf; Knoltsch, Anna; Kuhry, Peter; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Palmtag, Juri; Schleper, Christa; Schnecker, Jörg; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Torsvik, Vigdis L.; Urich, Tim; Watzka, Margarete; Šantrůčková, Hana; Guggenberger, Georg; Richter, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Arctic ecosystems are warming rapidly, which is expected to promote soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. In addition to the direct warming effect, decomposition can also be indirectly stimulated via increased plant productivity and plant-soil C allocation, and this so called “priming effect” might significantly alter the ecosystem C balance. In this study, we provide first mechanistic insights into the susceptibility of SOM decomposition in arctic permafrost soils to priming. By comparing 119 soils from four locations across the Siberian Arctic that cover all horizons of active layer and upper permafrost, we found that an increased availability of plant-derived organic C particularly stimulated decomposition in subsoil horizons where most of the arctic soil carbon is located. Considering the 1,035 Pg of arctic soil carbon, such an additional stimulation of decomposition beyond the direct temperature effect can accelerate net ecosystem C losses, and amplify the positive feedback to global warming.

  16. Alaskan Arctic Soils: Relationship between Microbial Carbon Usage and Soil Composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H.; Ziolkowski, L. A.

    2015-12-01

    Carbon stored in Arctic permafrost carbon is sensitive to climate change. Microbes are known to degrade Arctic soil organic carbon (OC) and potentially release vast quantitates of CO2 and CH4. Previously, it has been shown that warming of Arctic soils leads to microbes respiring older carbon. To examine this process, we studied the microbial carbon usage and its relationship to the soil OC composition in active layer soils at five locations along a latitudinal transect on the North Slope of Alaska using the compound specific radiocarbon signatures of the viable microbial community using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA). Additional geochemical parameters (C/N, 13C, 15N and 14C) of bulk soils were measured. Overall there was a greater change with depth than location. Organic rich surface soils are rich in vegetation and have high PLFA based cell densities, while deeper in the active layer geochemical parameters indicated soil OC was degraded and cell densities decreased. As expected, PLFA indicative of Fungi and Protozoa species dominated in surface soils, methyl-branched PLFAs, indicative of bacterial origin, increased in deeper in the active layer. A group of previously unreported PLFAs, believed to correlate to anaerobic microbes, increased at the transition between the surface and deep microbial communities. Cluster analysis based on individual PLFAs of samples confirmed compositional differences as a function of depth dominated with no site to site differences. Radiocarbon data of soil OC and PLFA show the preferential consumption of younger soil OC by microbes at all sites and older OC being eaten in deep soils. However, in deeper soil, where the C/N ratio suggests lower bioavailability, less soil OC was incorporated into the microbes as indicating by greater differences between bulk and PLFA radiocarbon ages.

  17. Characterization of a forest-tundra ecotone in Northern Canada: long-term monitoring possibilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hufkens, K.

    2009-04-01

    Ecotones are gradual transitions between two adjacent ecological systems. They are characterized by their spatial properties which are reflected in an ecotone width and location. Characteristics of width and location of an ecotone vary across time, during succession or with environmental changes. Moreover, it has been shown that ecotones are good indicators of local and global changes. Furthermore, if only one main environmental factor drives this gradual change the shape of the ecotone is evident as a sigmoid wave. We explored a two-dimensional sigmoid wave curve fitting algorithm that describes the ecotone for classified remote sensing data of a forest-tundra ecotone in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The estimated location and width of the forest-tundra ecotone were validated with digital land cover data. The algorithm was able to accurately delineate the forest-tundra ecotone based upon a classified remote sensing image and is robust for various algorithm parameter settings. Given the robustness of the algorithm and the easy implementation it should be considered a valuable tool to assess long-term global change of the forest-tundra ecotone. However, to assure successful long-term monitoring some issues related to remote sensing of high latitude forest-tundra areas should be addressed. Optical remote sensing observations are limited to the short growing season. In Arctic tundra regions the limited drainage of the permafrost soil also creates a large amount of standing water and shallow lakes. Furthermore, as in all optical remote sensing analyses cloud cover hampers the acquisition of useful vegetation cover data. All these factors interfere with the acquisition and/or processing of remote sensing data. These challenges should be addressed before (automated) long-term monitoring of the forest-tundra ecotone becomes viable.

  18. Long-term increase in snow depth leads to compositional changes in arctic ectomycorrhizal fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgado, Luis N; Semenova, Tatiana A; Welker, Jeffrey M; Walker, Marilyn D; Smets, Erik; Geml, József

    2016-09-01

    Many arctic ecological processes are regulated by soil temperature that is tightly interconnected with snow cover distribution and persistence. Recently, various climate-induced changes have been observed in arctic tundra ecosystems, e.g. shrub expansion, resulting in reduction in albedo and greater C fixation in aboveground vegetation as well as increased rates of soil C mobilization by microbes. Importantly, the net effects of these shifts are unknown, in part because our understanding of belowground processes is limited. Here, we focus on the effects of increased snow depth, and as a consequence, increased winter soil temperature on ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities in dry and moist tundra. We analyzed deep DNA sequence data from soil samples taken at a long-term snow fence experiment in Northern Alaska. Our results indicate that, in contrast with previously observed responses of plants to increased snow depth at the same experimental site, the ECM fungal community of the dry tundra was more affected by deeper snow than the moist tundra community. In the dry tundra, both community richness and composition were significantly altered while in the moist tundra, only community composition changed significantly while richness did not. We observed a decrease in richness of Tomentella, Inocybe and other taxa adapted to scavenge the soil for labile N forms. On the other hand, richness of Cortinarius, and species with the ability to scavenge the soil for recalcitrant N forms, did not change. We further link ECM fungal traits with C soil pools. If future warmer atmospheric conditions lead to greater winter snow fall, changes in the ECM fungal community will likely influence C emissions and C fixation through altering N plant availability, fungal biomass and soil-plant C-N dynamics, ultimately determining important future interactions between the tundra biosphere and atmosphere. PMID:27004610

  19. Estimation of the soil heat flux/net radiation ratio based on spectral vegetation indexes in high-latitude Arctic areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The vegetation communities in the Arctic environment are very sensitive to even minor climatic variations and therefore the estimation of surface energy fluxes from high-latitude vegetated areas is an important subject to be pursued. This study was carried out in July-August and used micro meteorological data, spectral reflectance signatures, and vegetation biomass to establish the relation between the soil heat flux/net radiation (G / Rn) ratio and spectral vegetation indices (SVIs). Continuous measurements of soil temperature and soil heat flux were used to calculate the surface ground heat flux by use of conventional methods, and the relation to surface temperature was investigated. Twenty-seven locations were established, and six samples per location, including the measurement of the surface temperature and net radiation to establish the G/Rn ratio and simultaneous spectral reflectance signatures and wet biomass estimates, were registered. To obtain regional reliability, the locations were chosen in order to represent the different Arctic vegetation communities in the study area; ranging from dry tundra vegetation communities (fell fields and dry dwarf scrubs) to moist/wet tundra vegetation communities (snowbeds, grasslands and fens). Spectral vegetation indices, including the simple ratio vegetation index (RVI) and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), were calculated. A comparison of SVIs to biomass proved that RVI gave the best linear expression, and NDVI the best exponential expression. A comparison of SVIs and the surface energy flux ratio G / Rn proved that NDVI gave the best linear expression. SPOT HRV images from July 1989 and 1992 were used to map NDVI and G / Rn at a regional scale. (author)

  20. Plant-derived compounds stimulate the decomposition of organic matter in arctic permafrost soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wild, Birgit; Gentsch, Norman; Čapek, Petr;

    2016-01-01

    Arctic ecosystems are warming rapidly, which is expected to promote soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. In addition to the direct warming effect, decomposition can also be indirectly stimulated via increased plant productivity and plant-soil C allocation, and this so called "priming effect......" might significantly alter the ecosystem C balance. In this study, we provide first mechanistic insights into the susceptibility of SOM decomposition in arctic permafrost soils to priming. By comparing 119 soils from four locations across the Siberian Arctic that cover all horizons of active layer and...... direct temperature effect can accelerate net ecosystem C losses, and amplify the positive feedback to global warming....

  1. 2015 DOE Final UF Report. Effects of Warming the Deep Soil and Permafrost on Ecosystem Carbon Balance in Alaskan Tundra. A Coupled Measurement and Modeling Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schuur, Edward [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    2015-06-11

    The major research goal of this project was to understand and quantify the fate of carbon stored in permafrost ecosystems using a combination of field and laboratory experiments to measure isotope ratios and C fluxes in a tundra ecosystem exposed to experimental warming. Field measurements centered on the establishment of a two-factor experimental warming using a snow fence and open top chambers to increase winter and summer temperatures alone, and in combination, at a tundra field site at the Eight Mile Lake watershed near Healy, Alaska. The objective of this experimental warming was to significantly raise air and deep soil temperatures and increase the depth of thaw beyond that of previous warming experiments. Detecting the loss and fate of the old permafrost C pool remains a major challenge. Because soil C has been accumulating in these ecosystems over the past 10,000 years, there is a strong difference between the radiocarbon isotopic composition of C deep in the soil profile and permafrost compared to that near the soil surface. This large range of isotopic variability is unique to radiocarbon and provides a valuable and sensitive fingerprint for detecting the loss of old soil C as permafrost thaws.

  2. Continuous measurement of soil carbon efflux with Forced Diffusion (FD) chambers in a tundra ecosystem of Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yongwon; Park, Sang-Jong; Lee, Bang-Yong; Risk, David

    2016-10-01

    Soil is a significant source of CO2 emission to the atmosphere, and this process is accelerating at high latitudes due to rapidly changing climates. To investigate the sensitivity of soil CO2 emissions to high temporal frequency variations in climate, we performed continuous monitoring of soil CO2 efflux using Forced Diffusion (FD) chambers at half-hour intervals, across three representative Alaskan soil cover types with underlying permafrost. These sites were established during the growing season of 2015, on the Seward Peninsula of western Alaska. Our chamber system is conceptually similar to a dynamic chamber, though FD is more durable and water-resistant and consumes less power, lending itself to remote deployments. We first conducted methodological tests, testing different frequencies of measurement, and did not observe a significant difference between collecting data at 30-min and 10-min measurement intervals (averaged half-hourly) (pgrowing period, in sphagnum, lichen, and tussock, respectively, corresponding to 83.8, 63.7, and 79.6% of annual carbon emissions. Growing season soil carbon emissions extrapolated over the region equated to 0.17±0.06 MgC over the measurement period. This was 47% higher than previous estimates from coarse-resolution manual chamber sampling, presumably because it better captured high efflux events. This finding demonstrates how differences in measurement method and frequency can impact interpretations of seasonal and annual soil carbon budgets. We conclude that annual CO2 efflux-measurements using FD chamber networks would be an effective means for quantifying growing and non-growing season soil carbon budgets, with optimal pairing with time-lapse imagery for tracking local and regional changes in environment and climate in a warming Arctic. PMID:27220095

  3. Phytomass, LAI, and NDVI in northern Alaska: Relationships to summer warmth, soil pH, plant functional types, and extrapolation to the circumpolar Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, D. A.; Epstein, H. E.; Jia, G. J.; Balser, A.; Copass, C.; Edwards, E. J.; Gould, W. A.; Hollingsworth, J.; Knudson, J.; Maier, H. A.; Moody, A.; Raynolds, M. K.

    2003-01-01

    We examined the effects of summer warmth on leaf area index (LAI), total aboveground phytomass (TAP), and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) across the Arctic bioclimate zone in Alaska and extrapolated our results to the circumpolar Arctic. Phytomass, LAI, and within homogeneous areas of vegetation on acidic and nonacidic soils were regressed against the total summer warmth index (SWI) at 12 climate stations in northern Alaska (SWI = sum of mean monthly temperatures greater than 0°C). SWI varies from 9°C at Barrow to 37°C at Happy Valley. A 5°C increase in the SWI is correlated with about a 120 g m-2 increase in the aboveground phytomass for zonal vegetation on acidic sites and about 60 g m-2 on nonacidic sites. Shrubs account for most of the increase on acidic substrates, whereas mosses account for most of the increase on nonacidic soils. LAI is positively correlated with SWI on acidic sites but not on nonacidic sites. The NDVI is positively correlated with SWI on both acidic and nonacidic soils, but the NDVI on nonacidic parent material is consistently lower than the NDVI on acidic substrates. Extrapolation to the whole Arctic using a five-subzone zonation approach to stratify the circumpolar NDVI and phytomass data showed that 60% of the aboveground phytomass is concentrated in the low-shrub tundra (subzone 5), whereas the high Arctic (subzones 1-3) has only 9% of the total. Estimated phytomass densities in subzones 1-5 are 47, 256, 102, 454, and 791 g m-2, respectively. Climate warming will likely result in increased phytomass, LAI, and NDVI on zonal sites. These changes will be most noticeable in acidic areas with abundant shrub phytomass.

  4. 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)

    Walker, D. A.; Daniëls, F. J. A.; Alsos, I.; Bhatt, U. S.; Breen, A. L.; Buchhorn, M.; Bültmann, H.; Druckenmiller, L. A.; Edwards, M. E.; Ehrich, D.; Epstein, H. E.; Gould, W. A.; Ims, R. A.; Meltofte, H.; Raynolds, M. K.; Sibik, J.; Talbot, S. S.; Webber, P. J.

    2016-05-01

    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. We review aspects of the PanArctic Flora, the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map, the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, and the Arctic Vegetation Archive (AVA) as they relate to efforts to describe and map the vegetation, plant biomass, and biodiversity of the Arctic at circumpolar, regional, landscape and plot scales. Cornerstones for all these tools are ground-based plant-species and plant-community surveys. The AVA is in progress and will store plot-based vegetation observations in a public-accessible database for vegetation classification, modeling, diversity studies, and other applications. We present the current status of the Alaska Arctic Vegetation Archive (AVA-AK), as a regional example for the panarctic archive, and with a roadmap for a coordinated international approach to survey, archive and classify Arctic vegetation. We note the need for more consistent standards of plot-based observations, and make several recommendations to improve the linkage between plot-based observations biodiversity studies and satellite-based observations of Arctic vegetation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. An underestimated methane sink in Arctic mineral soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Y.; Medvigy, D.; Stackhouse, B. T.; Lau, M.; Onstott, T. C.; Jørgensen, C. J.; Elberling, B.; Emmerton, C. A.; St Louis, V. L.; Moch, J.

    2015-12-01

    Atmospheric methane has more than doubled since the industrial revolution, yet the sources and sinks are still poorly constrained. Though soil methane oxidation is the largest terrestrial methane sink, it is inadequately represented in current models. We have conducted laboratory analysis of mineral cryosol soils from Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian high arctic. Microcosm experiments were carried out under varying environmental conditions and used to parameterize methane oxidation models. One-meter long intact soil cores were also obtained from Axel Heiberg Island and analyzed in the laboratory. A controlled core thawing experiment was carried out, and observed methane fluxes were compared to modeled methane fluxes. We find that accurate model simulation of methane fluxes needs to satisfy two requirements:(1) microbial biomass needs to be dynamically simulated, and (2) high-affinity methanotrophs need to be represented. With these 2 features, our model is able to reproduce observed temperature and soil moisture sensitivities of high affinity methanotrophs, which are twice as sensitive to temperature than the low affinity methanotrophs and are active under saturated moisture conditions. The model is also able to accurately reproduce the time rate of change of microbial oxidation of atmospheric methane. Finally, we discuss the remaining biases and uncertainties in the model, and the challenges of extending models from the laboratory scale to the landscape scale.

  7. Alaska North Slope Tundra Travel Model and Validation Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harry R. Bader; Jacynthe Guimond

    2006-03-01

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

  8. Remediation of oil-contaminated soil in Arctic Climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Pernille Erland; Fritt-Rasmussen, Janne; Rodrigo, Ana P.;

    Oil spill is a problem in towns in Greenland, where oil is used for heating and transport. The problem may increase in the future with expected oil exploitation in Greenlandic marine areas and related terrestrial activities. Oil undergoes natural microbial degradation in which nutrients......, temperature, water content, pE and pH are important factors for the degradation rate. In particular temperature and nutrient availability are challenges in the Arctic, and alternative solutions must be sought if biodegradation is to be implemented as a low-cost and lowtech solution in this region. Experiments...... have been made with excavated oil-contaminated soil from the Greenlandic town Sisimiut to study different low-tech and low-cost solutions for remediation of oil-contamination....

  9. Remediation of oil-contaminated soil in Arctic Climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Pernille Erland; Fritt-Rasmussen, Janne; Rodrigo, Ana;

    Oil spill is a problem in towns in Greenland, where oil is used for heating and transport. The problem may increase in the future with expected oil exploitation in Greenlandic marine areas and related terrestrial activities. Oil undergoes natural microbial degradation in which nutrients......, temperature, water content, pE and pH are important factors for the degradation rate. In particular temperature and nutrient availability are challenges in the Arctic, and alternative solutions must be sought if biodegradation is to be implemented as a low-cost and low-tech solution in this region....... Experiments have been made with excavated oil-contaminated soil from the Greenlandic town Sisimiut to study different low-tech and low-cost solutions for remediation of oil-contamination...

  10. Methane Suppression: The Impacts of Fe(III) and Humic Acids on Net Methane Flux from Arctic Tundra Wetlands in Alaska and Finland (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipson, D.; Miller, K.; Lai, C.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic soils contain large reservoirs of carbon (C) that are vulnerable to loss from climatic warming. However the potential global impacts of this C depend on whether it is lost primarily in the form of methane (CH4) or carbon dioxide (CO2), two gases with very different greenhouse warming potentials. In anaerobic environments, the relative production of CH4 vs. CO2 may be controlled by the presence of alternative terminal electron acceptors, which allow more thermodynamically favorable anaerobic respiratory pathways to dominate over methanogenesis. This work investigated how the addition of terminal electron acceptors, ferric iron (Fe(III)) and humic acids, affected net CH4 fluxes from high-latitude wetland ecosystems. We conducted two manipulative field experiments in Barrow, Alaska (71° N) and Finnish Lapland (69° N). The ecosystem in Barrow was known from previous studies to be rich in Fe(III) and to harbor a microbial community that is dominated by Fe(III)- and humic acid-reducing microorganisms. The role of these alternative electron acceptors had not previously been studied at the Finnish site. CH4 and CO2 fluxes were measured using a portable trace gas analyzer from experimental plots, before and after amendments with Fe(III) (in the chelated form, ferric nitrilotriacetic acid), humic acids, or water as a control. Both in the ecosystem with permafrost and naturally high levels of soil Fe (Barrow, AK) and in the ecosystem with no permafrost and naturally low levels of soil Fe (Petsikko, Finland), the addition of the alternative electron acceptors Fe(III) and humic acids significantly reduced net CH4 flux. CO2 fluxes were not significantly altered by the treatments. The reduction in CH4 flux persisted for at least several weeks post-treatment. There was no significant difference between the reduction caused by humic acids versus that from Fe(III). These results show that the suppression of CH4 flux by Fe(III) and humic acids is a widespread phenomenon that

  11. Cyanobacterial community composition in Arctic soil crusts at different stages of development

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pushkareva, E.; Pessi, I. S.; Wilmotte, A.; Elster, Josef

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 91, 12 fiv143 (2015), s. 1-10. ISSN 0168-6496 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : soil crust * Arctic * cyanobacteria Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.568, year: 2014

  12. 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

  13. Spatial variance of methane oxidation rates in Siberian permafrost soils in dependence of the temperature: An indicator for microbial changes of structure and diversity?

    OpenAIRE

    Liebner, S.; Wagner, Dirk

    2005-01-01

    Wet tundra environments of the Siberian Arctic are considerable natural sources of methane, a climate relevant trace gas. The Arctic appears to warm more rapidly and to a greater extend than the rest of the earth surface and it is suggested, that the tundra in Alaska and Russia has changed from a net sink to a net source of atmospheric carbon [1]. The potential impact on the carbon reservoirs of Arctic soils is highly influenced by changes in microbial processes like methanogenesis and methan...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  16. Circumpolar Arctic greening: Relationships to summer sea-ice concentrations, land temperatures and disturbance regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, D. A.; Bhatt, U. S.; Epstein, H. E.; Raynolds, M. K.; Frost, G. V.; Leibman, M. O.; Khomutov, A.; Jia, G.; Comiso, J. C.; Pinzon, J. E.; Tucker, C. J.; Webber, P. J.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2009-12-01

    The global distribution of Arctic tundra vegetation is closely tied to the presence of summer sea ice. Models predict that the reduction of sea ice will cause large changes to summer land-surface temperatures. Warming combined with increased natural and anthropogenic disturbance are expected to greatly increase arctic tundra productivity. To examine where tundra productivity is changing most rapidly, we studied 1982-2008 trends of sea-ice concentrations, summer warmth index (SWI) and the annual Maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (MaxNDVI). We summarize the results according to the tundra adjacent to 14 Arctic seas. Sea-ice concentrations have declined and summer land temperatures have increased in all parts of the Arctic coast. The overall percentage increase in Arctic MaxNDVI was +7%. The trend was much greater in North America (+11%) than in Eurasia (+4%). Large percentage increases of MaxNDVI occurred inland from Davis Straight (+20%), Baffin Bay (+18%), Canadian Archipelago (+14%), Beaufort Sea (+12%), and Laptev Sea (+8%). Declines occurred in the W. Chukchi (-6%) and E. Bering (-5%) seas. The changes in NDVI are strongly correlated to changes in summer ground temperatures. Two examples from a 900-km north-south Arctic transect in Russia and long-term observations at a High Arctic site in Canada provide insights to where the changes in productivity are occurring most rapidly. At tree line near Kharp in northwest Siberia, alder shrubs are expanding vigorously in fire-disturbed areas; seedling establishment is occurring primarily in areas with disturbed mineral soils, particularly nonsorted circles. In the Low Arctic tundra areas of the central Yamal Peninsula greening is concentrated in riparian areas and upland landslides associated with degrading massive ground ice, where low-willow shrublands replace the zonal sedge, dwarf-shrub tundra growing on nutrient-poor sands. In polar desert landscapes near the Barnes Ice Cap, Baffin Island, Canada

  17. Food and soil-borne Penicillia in Arctic environments: Chemical diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frisvad, Jens Christian

    Penicillia are very common inhabitants of cold environments, including arctic soil, plants, animals, and foods. We have investigated the mycobiota of Greenland inland ice and soil, and found a very unique and pronounced diversity among the Penicillia. Nearly all species were new to science....... The species found in inland ice were both of the soil-borne type, and Penicillia that grow and sporulate well at 25°C. The latter group of Penicillia have been found earlier in refrigerated foods, including P. nordicum, and in glacier ice and melting water from Svalbard (se Sonjak et al., this conference......). This “food-borne group” of arctic fungi also contained some new species, but not as many as in arctic soil. The chemical diversity of the Penicillium species was remarkably high and in most cases even larger than the chemical diversity of Penicillia in the tropics. Several new secondary metabolites were...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-03-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    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 factors

  20. The role of snow cover and soil freeze/thaw cycles affecting boreal-arctic soil carbon dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Yi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Northern Hemisphere permafrost affected land areas contain about twice as much carbon as the global atmosphere. This vast carbon pool is vulnerable to accelerated losses through mobilization and decomposition under projected global warming. Satellite data records spanning the past 3 decades indicate widespread reductions (∼ 0.8–1.3 days decade−1 in the mean annual snow cover extent and frozen season duration across the pan-Arctic domain, coincident with regional climate warming trends. How the soil carbon pool responds to these changes will have a large impact on regional and global climate. Here, we developed a coupled terrestrial carbon and hydrology model framework with detailed 1-D soil heat transfer representation to investigate the sensitivity of soil organic carbon stocks and soil decomposition to changes in snow cover and soil freeze/thaw processes in the Pan-Arctic region over the past three decades (1982–2010. Our results indicate widespread soil active layer deepening across the pan-Arctic, with a mean decadal trend of 6.6 ± 12.0 (SD cm, corresponding with widespread warming and lengthening non-frozen season. Warming promotes vegetation growth and soil heterotrophic respiration, particularly within surface soil layers (≤ 0.2 m. The model simulations also show that seasonal snow cover has a large impact on soil temperatures, whereby increases in snow cover promote deeper (≥ 0.5 m soil layer warming and soil respiration, while inhibiting soil decomposition from surface (≤ 0.2 m soil layers, especially in colder climate zones (mean annual T ≤ −10 °C. Our results demonstrate the important control of snow cover in affecting northern soil freeze/thaw and soil carbon decomposition processes, and the necessity of considering both warming, and changing precipitation and snow cover regimes in characterizing permafrost soil carbon dynamics.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blok, D.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  3. 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)

    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

  4. Chloroform formation in Arctic and Subarctic soils - mechanism and emissions to the atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, Christian N.; Johnsen, Anders R.; Jacobsen, Ole S.

    2015-04-01

    It is well established that halogenated organic compounds are formed naturally in the terrestrial environment. These compounds include volatiles such as trihalomethanes that may escape to the atmosphere. In deed most of the atmospheric chloroform (and other trihalomethane species) is regarded to have a natural origin. This origin may be both marine and terrestrial. Chloroform formation in soil has been reported in a number of studies, mostly conducted in temperate and (sub-) tropical environments. We hereby report that also colder soils emit chloroform naturally. We measured in situ the fluxes of chloroform from soil to atmosphere in 6 Subarctic and 5 Arctic areas covering different dwarf heath, wetland and forest biotopes in Greenland and Northern Sweden. Emissions were largest from the forested areas, but all areas emitted measurable amounts of chloroform. Also the brominated analog bromodichloromethane was formed in Arctic and Subarctic soils but the fluxes to the atmosphere were much lower than the corresponding chloroform emissions. No other volatile poly-halogenated organic compounds were found to be emitted from the study areas. It has previously been proposed that chloroform is formed in temperate forest soils through trichloroacetyl intermediates formed by unspecific enzymatic chlorination of soil organic matter. We found positive relationships between chloroform emissions and the concentration of trichloroacetyl groups in soil within the various biotopes. The hydrolysis of trichloroacetyl compounds is, however, very pH dependent, excluding a simple relationship between trichloroacetyl concentration and chloroform emission in any given soil. However, our results show that at low pH, turnover time of soil trichloroacetyl compounds may be counted in decades while at pH above 6, turnover time may be just a few months. We found no relationship between trichloroacetyl concentration and total organic chlorine concentration in the soils indicating that more than

  5. Effect of Terrain Characteristics on Soil Organic Carbon and Total Nitrogen Stocks in Soils of Herschel Island, Western Canadian Arctic

    OpenAIRE

    Obu, Jaroslav; Lantuit, Hugues; Myers-Smith, Isla; Heim, Birgit; Wolter, Juliane; Fritz, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Permafrost landscapes experience different disturbances and store large amounts of organic matter, which may become a source of greenhouse gases upon permafrost degradation. We analysed the influence of terrain and geomorphic disturbances (e.g. soil creep, active-layer detachment, gullying, thaw slumping, accumulation of fluvial deposits) on soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) storage using 11 permafrost cores from Herschel Island, western Canadian Arctic. Our results indicate a...

  6. Arctic terrestrial hydrology: A synthesis of processes, regional effects, and research challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bring, A.; Fedorova, I.; Dibike, Y.; Hinzman, L.; Mârd, J.; Mernild, S. H.; Prowse, T.; Semenova, O.; Stuefer, S. L.; Woo, M.-K.

    2016-03-01

    Terrestrial hydrology is central to the Arctic system and its freshwater circulation. Water transport and water constituents vary, however, across a very diverse geography. In this paper, which is a component of the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis, we review the central freshwater processes in the terrestrial Arctic drainage and how they function and change across seven hydrophysiographical regions (Arctic tundra, boreal plains, shield, mountains, grasslands, glaciers/ice caps, and wetlands). We also highlight links between terrestrial hydrology and other components of the Arctic freshwater system. In terms of key processes, snow cover extent and duration is generally decreasing on a pan-Arctic scale, but snow depth is likely to increase in the Arctic tundra. Evapotranspiration will likely increase overall, but as it is coupled to shifts in landscape characteristics, regional changes are uncertain and may vary over time. Streamflow will generally increase with increasing precipitation, but high and low flows may decrease in some regions. Continued permafrost thaw will trigger hydrological change in multiple ways, particularly through increasing connectivity between groundwater and surface water and changing water storage in lakes and soils, which will influence exchange of moisture with the atmosphere. Other effects of hydrological change include increased risks to infrastructure and water resource planning, ecosystem shifts, and growing flows of water, nutrients, sediment, and carbon to the ocean. Coordinated efforts in monitoring, modeling, and processing studies at various scales are required to improve the understanding of change, in particular at the interfaces between hydrology, atmosphere, ecology, resources, and oceans.

  7. Pan-Arctic linkages between snow accumulation and growing season air temperature, soil moisture and vegetation

    OpenAIRE

    K. A. Luus; Gel, Y.; J. C. Lin; Kelly, R. E. J.; C. R. Duguay

    2013-01-01

    Arctic field studies have indicated that the air temperature, soil moisture and vegetation at a site influence the quantity of snow accumulated, and that snow accumulation can alter growing season soil moisture and vegetation. Climate change is predicted to bring about warmer air temperatures, greater snow accumulation and northward movements of the shrub and tree lines. Understanding the response of northern environments to changes in snow and growing season land surface characteristi...

  8. The invertebrate fauna of anthropogenic soils in the High-Arctic settlement of Barentsburg, Svalbard

    OpenAIRE

    Coulson, Steve J.; Fjellberg, Arne; Dariusz J. Gwiazdowicz; Lebedeva, Natalia V.; Elena N. Melekhina; Solhøy, Torstein; Erséus, Christer; Maraldo, Kristine; Miko, Ladislav; Schatz, Heinrich; Rüdiger M. Schmelz; Søli, Geir; Stur,Elisabeth

    2013-01-01

    The terrestrial environment of the High Arctic consists of a mosaic of habitat types. In addition to the natural habitat diversity, various human-influenced types may occur. For the resident invertebrate fauna, these anthropogenic habitats may be either unusually favourable or detrimental. In the town of Barentsburg, Svalbard, soils were imported for the greenhouses from southern Russia. These soils were subsequently discarded outside the greenhouses and have become augmented with manure from...

  9. Atmospheric methane sources: Alaskan tundra bogs, an alpine fen, and a subarctic boreal marsh

    OpenAIRE

    Sebacher, Daniel I.; Harriss, Robert C.; Bartlett, Karen B.; Sebacher, Shirley M.; Grice, Shirley S.

    2011-01-01

    Methane (CH4) flux measurements from Alaskan tundra bogs, an alpine fen, and a subarctic boreal marsh were obtained at field sites ranging from Prudhoe Bay on the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Alaskan Range south of Fairbanks during August 1984. In the tundra, average CH4 emission rates varied from 4.9 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 (moist tundra) to 119 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 (waterlogged tundra). Fluxes averaged 40 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 from wet tussock meadows in the Brooks Range and 289 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 from an alpine...

  10. Hydrology modifies ecosystem responses to warming through interactions between soil, leaf and canopy processes in a high Arctic ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maseyk, K. S.; Welker, J. M.; Lett, C.; Czimczik, C. I.; Lupascu, M.; Seibt, U. H.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are experiencing temperature increases more strongly than the global average, and increases in precipitation are also expected amongst the climate impacts on this region in the future. These changes are expected to strongly influence both plant physiology and soil biogeochemistry, and therefore ecosystem carbon balance, hydrology and nutrient cycling. We have investigated the effects of a long-term (10 years) increase in temperature (T2), soil water (W) and the combination of both (T2W) on leaf-level structure and function and ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes in a tundra ecosystem at a field manipulation experiment in NW Greenland. Leaf-level gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and morphology were measured on Salix arctica plants in treatment and control plots in June-July 2011, and continuous measurements of net ecosystem fluxes of carbon and water were made using automatic chambers coupled to a trace gas analyzer. Contrasting responses to the treatments were observed between leaf-level and net ecosystem fluxes. Plants in the elevated temperature treatment had the highest leaf-level photosynthetic capacity in terms of net CO2 assimilation rates and photosystem II efficiencies, and lowest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation during photosynthesis. The plants in the plots with both elevated temperatures and additional water had the lowest photosystem II efficiencies and the highest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation. However, net photosynthetic rates remained similar to control plants with additional water, due in part to higher stomatal conductance (W) and lower dark respiration rates (T2W). In contrast, net ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes were highest in the T2W plots, due largely to a 35% increase in leaf area. Total growing season C accumulation was 3-5 times greater, water fluxes were 1.5-2 times higher, and water use efficiency was about 3 times higher in the combined treatment than the control

  11. The invertebrate fauna of anthropogenic soils in the High-Arctic settlement of Barentsburg, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torstein Solhøy

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The terrestrial environment of the High Arctic consists of a mosaic of habitat types. In addition to the natural habitat diversity, various human-influenced types may occur. For the resident invertebrate fauna, these anthropogenic habitats may be either unusually favourable or detrimental. In the town of Barentsburg, Svalbard, soils were imported for the greenhouses from southern Russia. These soils were subsequently discarded outside the greenhouses and have become augmented with manure from the cowsheds. Both the greenhouse and the cowsheds are now derelict. This site represents an unusually nutrient-rich location with considerable development of organic soils, in stark contrast to the naturally forming organic soils in Svalbard, which are typically thin and nutrient poor. Few previous studies have examined the soil invertebrate communities of human-disturbed or -created habitats in the Arctic. In an often nutrient-poor terrestrial environment, it is unclear how the invertebrate fauna will react to such nutrient enhancement. In these soils, 46 species of invertebrates were determined. Eleven species have not been recorded from other habitats in Svalbard and are hence likely to have been introduced. The native species assemblage in the anthropogenic soils was not atypical for many natural sites in Svalbard. Despite the enriched organic soils and highly ameliorated winter temperature conditions, the soil invertebrate fauna biodiversity does not appear to be enhanced beyond the presence of certain probably introduced species.

  12. Temporal and spatial influences incur reconfiguration of Arctic heathland soil bacterial community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Richard; Saetnan, Eli R; Scullion, John; Gwynn-Jones, Dylan; Ostle, Nick; Edwards, Arwyn

    2016-06-01

    Microbial responses to Arctic climate change could radically alter the stability of major stores of soil carbon. However, the sensitivity of plot-scale experiments simulating climate change effects on Arctic heathland soils to potential confounding effects of spatial and temporal changes in soil microbial communities is unknown. Here, the variation in heathland soil bacterial communities at two survey sites in Sweden between spring and summer 2013 and at scales between 0-1 m and, 1-100 m and between sites (> 100 m) were investigated in parallel using 16S rRNA gene T-RFLP and amplicon sequencing. T-RFLP did not reveal spatial structuring of communities at scales changes were striking. Amplicon sequencing corroborated shifts from r- to K-selected taxon-dominated communities, influencing in silico predictions of functional potential. Network analyses reveal temporal keystone taxa, with a spring betaproteobacterial sub-network centred upon a Burkholderia operational taxonomic unit (OTU) and a reconfiguration to a summer sub-network centred upon an alphaproteobacterial OTU. Although spatial structuring effects may not confound comparison between plot-scale treatments, temporal change is a significant influence. Moreover, the prominence of two temporally exclusive keystone taxa suggests that the stability of Arctic heathland soil bacterial communities could be disproportionally influenced by seasonal perturbations affecting individual taxa. PMID:26259508

  13. Physical characteristics, terrain associations and soil properties of arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) dens in northern Yukon Territory, Canada: Final report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Physical and soil characteristics of arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) dens on Herschel Island and the Yukon Coastal Plain, Yukon Territory, Canada are described....

  14. The Effect of Freeze-Thaw Conditions on Arctic Soil Bacterial Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia K. Walker

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Climate change is already altering the landscape at high latitudes. Permafrost is thawing, the growing season is starting earlier, and, as a result, certain regions in the Arctic may be subjected to an increased incidence of freeze-thaw events. The potential release of carbon and nutrients from soil microbial cells that have been lysed by freeze-thaw transitions could have significant impacts on the overall carbon balance of arctic ecosystems, and therefore on atmospheric CO2 concentrations. However, the impact of repeated freezing and thawing with the consequent growth and recrystallization of ice on microbial communities is still not well understood. Soil samples from three distinct sites, representing Canadian geographical low arctic, mid-arctic and high arctic soils were collected from Daring Lake, Alexandra Fjord and Cambridge Bay sampling sites, respectively. Laboratory-based experiments subjected the soils to multiple freeze-thaw cycles for 14 days based on field observations (0 °C to −10 °C for 12 h and −10 °C to 0 °C for 12 h and the impact on the communities was assessed by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA methyl ester analysis and 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing. Both data sets indicated differences in composition and relative abundance between the three sites, as expected. However, there was also a strong variation within the two high latitude sites in the effects of the freeze-thaw treatment on individual PLFA and 16S-based phylotypes. These site-based heterogeneities suggest that the impact of climate change on soil microbial communities may not be predictable a priori; minor differential susceptibilities to freeze-thaw stress could lead to a “butterfly effect” as described by chaos theory, resulting in subsequent substantive differences in microbial assemblages. This perspectives article suggests that this is an unwelcome finding since it will make future predictions for the impact of on-going climate change on soil

  15. Soluble Iron as an In Situ Indicator of the Redox State of Humic Substances in Arctic Soil: Implications for Seasonal Regeneration of Oxidized Terminal Electron Acceptors

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    Ferric iron (Fe(III)) and humic substances (HS) are important terminal electron acceptors for anaerobic respiration in wet tundra soils of the Arctic Coastal Plain near Barrow, Alaska. These soils are rich in both solid phase Fe minerals (including oxides such as ferrihydrite and goethite and other minerals with reduced or mixed valence such as siderite and magnetite) and soluble Fe, chelated by siderophores and other small organic molecules. This latter pool may also include nanocolloidal Fe: extremely fine-grained minerals that pass through a 0.2 micron filter. Both the solid phase and aqueous Fe pools undergo seasonal changes in redox state as a result of biological reduction by Fe-reducing microorganisms and oxidation by a variety of potential mechanisms, both abiotic and biotic. These redox cycles of solid and aqueous pools are not in phase: solid phase Fe became progressively more reduced from mid- to late summer, while aqueous phase Fe became reduced over the first half of the summer. It is well-known that HS interact with Fe, and that HS can act as electron shuttles in the reduction of Fe oxides. In other ecosystems chelated Fe(III) has been incubated with soil samples and the resulting Fe(II) produced is used as an indicator of the reducing power of HS. In these Fe-rich Arctic soils, HS are continuously in contact with chelated Fe, and therefore we interpret the redox state of this pool as an indicator of HS redox status. To verify this we conducted redox titrations of extracted HS with both reduced and oxidized Fe chelates and showed that chelated Fe could interact with HS both as electron acceptor and donator. In a field experiment, the addition of oxidized humic acids to soils resulted in an immediate oxidation of the aqueous Fe pool within 24 hours, which we attribute to abiotic oxidation of Fe by HS, followed by a slow reduction of this pool over the next week, presumably due to biological Fe reduction of the HS/aqueous Fe pool. At the end of summer

  16. Isolating the effects of storm events on arctic aquatic bacteria: temperature, nutrients, and community composition as controls on bacterial productivity

    OpenAIRE

    Adams, Heather E.; Crump, Byron C; Kling, George W

    2015-01-01

    Storm events can pulse nutrients and carbon from soils and provide an important subsidy to food webs in oligotrophic streams and lakes. Bacterial nutrient limitation and the potential response of stream aquatic bacteria to storm events was investigated in arctic tundra environments by manipulating both water temperature and inorganic nutrient concentrations in short (up to 4 days) and long duration (up to 2 weeks) laboratory mesocosm experiments. Inorganic N and P additions increased bacteria...

  17. Effects of Conversion from Boreal Forest to Arctic Steppe on Soil Communities and Ecosystem Carbon Pools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, P. D.; Natali, S.; Schade, J. D.; Zimov, N.; Zimov, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    The end of the Pleistocene marked the extinction of a great variety of arctic megafauna, which, in part, led to the conversion of arctic grasslands to modern Siberian larch forest. This shift may have increased the vulnerability of permafrost to thawing because of changes driven by the vegetation shift; the higher albedo of grassland and low insulation of snow trampled by animals may have decreased soil temperatures and reduced ground thaw in the grassland ecosystem, resulting in protection of organic carbon in thawed soil and permafrost. To test these hypothesized impacts of arctic megafauna, we examined an experimental reintroduction of large mammals in northeast Siberia, initiated in 1988. Pleistocene Park now contains 23 horses, three musk ox, one bison, and several moose in addition to the native fauna. The park is 16 square km with a smaller enclosure (animals spend most of their time and our study was focused. We measured carbon-pools in forested sites (where scat surveys showed low animal use), and grassy sites (which showed higher use), within the park boundaries. We also measured thaw depth and documented the soil invertebrate communities in each ecosystem. There was a substantial difference in number of invertebrates per kg of organic soil between the forest (600 ± 250) and grassland (300 ± 250), though these differences were not statistically significant they suggest faster nutrient turnover in the forest or a greater proportion of decomposition by invertebrates than other decomposers. While thaw depth was deeper in the grassland (60 ± 4 cm) than in the forest (40 ± 6 cm), we did not detect differences in organic layer depth or percent organic matter between grassland and forest. However, soil in the grassland had higher bulk density, and higher carbon stocks in the organic and mineral soil layers. Although deeper thaw depth in the grassland suggests that more carbon is available to microbial decomposers, ongoing temperature monitoring will help

  18. Metagenomic Analysis of the Bioremediation of Diesel-Contaminated Canadian High Arctic Soils

    OpenAIRE

    Yergeau, Etienne; Sanschagrin, Sylvie; Beaumier, Danielle; Greer, Charles W.

    2012-01-01

    As human activity in the Arctic increases, so does the risk of hydrocarbon pollution events. On site bioremediation of contaminated soil is the only feasible clean up solution in these remote areas, but degradation rates vary widely between bioremediation treatments. Most previous studies have focused on the feasibility of on site clean-up and very little attention has been given to the microbial and functional communities involved and their ecology. Here, we ask the question: which microorga...

  19. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in insular and coastal soils of the Russian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abakumov, E. V.; Tomashunas, V. M.; Lodygin, E. D.; Gabov, D. N.; Sokolov, V. T.; Krylenkov, V. A.; Kirtsideli, I. Yu.

    2015-12-01

    The content and individual component compositions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in polar soils of the Russian Arctic sector have been studied. The contamination of soils near research stations is identified from the expansion of the range of individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the abrupt increase in the content of heavy fractions, and the accumulation of benzo[ a]pyrene. Along with heavy hydrocarbons, light hydrocarbons (which are not only natural compounds, but also components of organic pollutants) are also accumulated in the contaminated soils. Heavy polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are usually of technogenic origin and can serve as markers of anthropogenic impact in such areas as Cape Sterligov, Cape Chelyuskin, and the Izvestii TsIK Islands. The content of benzo[ a]pyrene, the most hazardous organic toxicant, appreciably increases in soils around the stations, especially compared to the control; however, the level of MPC is exceeded only for the soils of Cape Chelyuskin.

  20. Diversity and Composition of Bacterial Community in Soils and Lake Sediments from an Arctic Lake Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Neng Fei; Zhang, Tao; Yang, Xiao; Wang, Shuang; Yu, Yong; Dong, Long Long; Guo, Yu Dong; Ma, Yong Xing; Zang, Jia Ye

    2016-01-01

    This study assessed the diversity and composition of bacterial communities within soils and lake sediments from an Arctic lake area (London Island, Svalbard). A total of 2,987 operational taxonomic units were identified by high-throughput sequencing, targeting bacterial 16S rRNA gene. The samples from four sites (three samples in each site) were significantly different in geochemical properties and bacterial community composition. Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria were abundant phyla in the nine soil samples, whereas Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were abundant phyla in the three sediment samples. Furthermore, Actinobacteria, Chlorobi, Chloroflexi, Elusimicrobia, Firmicutes, Gemmatimonadetes, Nitrospirae, Planctomycetes, Proteobacteria significantly varied in their abundance among the four sampling sites. Additionally, members of the dominant genera, such as Clostridium, Luteolibacter, Methylibium, Rhodococcus, and Rhodoplanes, were significantly different in their abundance among the four sampling sites. Besides, distance-based redundancy analysis revealed that pH (p soils and sediments from a lake area in the Arctic harbor a high diversity of bacterial communities, which are influenced by many geochemical factors of Arctic environments.

  1. Application of a methane carbon isotope analyzer for the investigation of δ13C of methane emission measured by the automatic chamber method in an Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastepanov, Mikhail; Christensen, Torben

    2014-05-01

    Methane emissions have been monitored by an automatic chamber method in Zackenberg valley, NE Greenland, since 2006 as a part of Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM) program. During most of the seasons the measurements were carried out from the time of snow melt (June-July) until freezing of the active layer (October-November). Several years of data, obtained by the same method, instrumentation and at exactly the same site, provided a unique opportunity for the analysis of interannual methane flux patterns and factors affecting their temporal variability. The start of the growing season emissions was found to be closely related to a date of snow melt at the site. Despite a large between year variability of this date (sometimes more than a month), methane emission started within a few days after, and was increasing for the next about 30 days. After this peak of emission, it slowly decreased and stayed more or less constant or slightly decreasing during the rest of the growing season (Mastepanov et al., Biogeosciences, 2013). During the soil freezing, a second peak of methane emission was found (Mastepanov et al., Nature, 2008); its amplitude varied a lot between the years, from almost undetectable to comparable with total growing season emissions. Analysis of the multiyear emission patterns (Mastepanov et al., Biogeosciences, 2013) led to hypotheses of different sources for the spring, summer and autumn methane emissions, and multiyear cycles of accumulation and release of these components to the atmosphere. For the further investigation of this it was decided to complement the monitoring system with a methane carbon isotope analyzer (Los Gatos Research, USA). The instrument was installed during 2013 field season and was successfully operating until the end of the measurement campaign (27 October). Detecting both 12C-CH4 and 13C-CH4 concentrations in real time (0.5 Hz) during automatic chamber closure (15 min), the instrument was providing data for determination of

  2. Stem secondary growth of tundra shrubs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Leblans, Niki; Michelsen, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Our knowledge of stem secondary growth of arctic shrubs (a key component of tundra net primary production, NPP) is very limited. Here, we investigated the impact of the physical elements of the environment on shrub secondary growth by comparing annual growth rates of model species from similar...... primary 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...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO2 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 CO2 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 CO2 exchange. In addition, net CO2 flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO2 exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar arctic, while cold-season CO2 flux measurements were carried out during the 1993-94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO2 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 CO2 exchange, were carried out during the 1993-94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH4 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 m2) plots using a portable gas-exchange system and cuvette. The sample design allowed frequent measurements of net CO2 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 CO2 exchange. In situ experiments provided a direct means for testing hypotheses

  4. Storage and turnover of organic matter fractions along a Siberian Arctic soil transect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentsch, Norman; Mikutta, Robert; Shibistova, Olga; Guggenberger, Georg

    2013-04-01

    Recent observation and climate models demonstrate that arctic ecosystems are already affected by climate warming, as revealed by continuous permafrost degradation and increase of active layer depths. Variations of organic matter (OM) storage in different soil horizons and the OM quality are likely the major drivers of trace gas emissions to the atmosphere. A better understanding of the biogeochemical cycling of OM in permafrost environments is the key to predict future climate changes and the role of terrestrial arctic regions. This study investigates the storage and turnover patterns of OM in functionally different pools, i.e., in particulate plant debris, extractable-water-soluble OM, and mineral-associated OM in permafrost soils along a West-East Siberian transect in the Russian Arctic. We quantified the stocks of total soil organic C (OC) and the respective OM fractions for the first soil meter. Furthermore, we estimated their apparent 14C ages by accelerator mass spectrometry, and determined the mineralization rates and bioavailability of particulate, mineral-bound, and bulk OM in a 90-day incubation experiment. Particulate OM was separated from the mineral-associated OM fraction by density fractionation with sodium polytungstate (density cut-off 1.6 g cm-3) and the OM liberated by this treatment was quantified. Considerable differences in OM storage existed from the West- to the East Siberian Arctic. Cryosols of the Central- and East Siberian sampling sites stored on average 56% more OC than those in West Siberia (25 ± 7 kg m-2versus 11 ± 4 kg m-2 to 1 m soil depth). However, the proportion of the three OM fractions to total OM was similar among the sites. In mineral soil horizons, on average, 17 ± 5% of the total OM was particulate OM, 61 ± 10% was associated with minerals, and 21 ± 3% could be mobilized in dissolved forms during density fractionation. Except for West Siberian soils, ~30% of the OM of the first soil meter was stored in permafrost while

  5. Pleistocene graminoid-dominated ecosystems in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blinnikov, Mikhail S.; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Walker, Donald A.; Wooller, Matthew J.; Zazula, Grant D.

    2011-10-01

    We review evidence obtained from analyses of multiple proxies (floristics, mammal remains, paleoinsects, pollen, macrofossils, plant cuticles, phytoliths, stable isotopes, and modeling) that elucidate the composition and character of the graminoid-dominated ecosystems of the Pleistocene Arctic. The past thirty years have seen a renewed interest in this now-extinct biome, sometimes referred to as "tundra-steppe" (steppe-tundra in North American sources). While many questions remain, converging evidence from many new terrestrial records and proxies coupled with better understanding of paleoclimate dynamics point to the predominance of xeric and cold adapted grassland as the key former vegetation type in the Arctic confirming earlier conjectures completed in the 1960s-1980s. A variety of still existing species of grasses and forbs played key roles in the species assemblages of the time, but their mixtures were not analogous to the tundras of today. Local mosaics based on topography, proximity to the ice sheets and coasts, soil heterogeneity, animal disturbance, and fire regimes were undoubtedly present. However, inadequate coverage of terrestrial proxies exist to resolve this spatial heterogeneity. These past ecosystems were maintained by a combination of dry and cold climate and grazing pressure/disturbance by large (e.g., mammoth and horse) and small (e.g., ground squirrels) mammals. Some recent studies from Eastern Beringia (Alaska) suggest that more progress will be possible when analyses of many proxies are combined at local scales.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Käyhkö, Jukka

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Remediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soils in the Canadian Arctic with landfarms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poland, J.S.; Page, J.A.; Paudyn, K.; Rutter, A.; Rowe, R.K. [Queen' s Univ., Kingston, ON (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    Landfarming is starting to gain acceptance as a bioremediation method in the Arctic despite scientific concerns that the kinetics associated with aeration and bioremediation are adversely impacted by cold temperatures. This paper provided details of a pilot study in which trial landfarm plots were assembled in order to compare 3 different landfarming techniques, notably (1) daily aeration; (2) aeration every 4 days; and (3) the addition of fertilizer with aeration every 4 days. The pilot study demonstrated that bioremediation was enhanced when fertilizer was added, and that aeration alone was a feasible option for the Arctic site. It was concluded that site selection is an important factor in the successful implementation of a landfarm. Factors affecting soil temperatures were also investigated. 8 refs., 7 figs.

  8. 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

    Due to the heterogeneity of the Arctic tundra, general current understanding of net carbon (C) uptake in these ecosystems is poorly developed. This study investigates the dependency of carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes on environmental, meteorological and vegetation properties in high, low and subarctic...... tundra sites for the purpose of exposing the environmental, meteorological and vegetation factors, especially season length, that drive CO2 fluxes in disparate tundra environments. Partitioning CO2 fluxes and redefining seasons in the same manner improved our interpretation of the factors affecting flux...... 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...

  9. Reproductive Ecology and Severe Pollen Limitation in the Polychromic Tundra Plant, Parrya nudicaulis (Brassicaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Fulkerson, Justin R.; Whittall, Justen B.; Carlson, Matthew L.

    2012-01-01

    Pollen limitation is predicted to be particularly severe in tundra habitats. Numerous reproductive patterns associated with alpine and arctic species, particularly mechanisms associated with reproductive assurance, are suggested to be driven by high levels of pollen limitation. We studied the reproductive ecology of Parrya nudicaulis, a species with relatively large sexual reproductive investment and a wide range of floral pigmentation, in tundra habitats in interior montane Alaska to estimat...

  10. Soil Carbon Distribution along a Hill Slope in the Siberian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, S.; Bunn, A. G.; Schade, J. D.

    2011-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are warming at an accelerated rate relative to lower latitudes, and this warming has significant global significance. In particular, the thawing of permafrost soils has the potential to strongly influence global carbon cycling and the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Our overarching scientific goal is to study the impact of thawing permafrost on the transport and processing of carbon and other nutrients as they move with water from terrestrial ecosystems to the Arctic Ocean. Transport of materials from soil to headwater aquatic ecosystems is the first step in this movement. Processes occurring along hill slopes strongly influence the form and concentration of material available for transport. These processes include downhill accumulation of materials due to groundwater movement, or alternatively, local effects of changes in soil and vegetation characteristics. In this project, we studied a hill slope adjacent to a small first order stream in the Kolyma River in Eastern Siberia. We sampled soil at several points along three transects from the top of the hill to the riparian zone by coring and homogenizing the entire active layer at each point. We measured soil organic matter content, soil moisture, water extractable dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), NH4, NO3, soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), and CDOM absorbance. We also measured soil respiration using a laboratory-based biological oxygen demand protocol conducted on soil-water slurries. Active layer depth decreased down the hillslope, while soil moisture, organic matter, and DOC all increased down the hillslope. CDOM absorbance increased downhill, which indicates a decrease in molecular weight of organic compounds at the bottom of the hill. This suggests either an input of newer carbon or processing of high molecular weight DOM down the slope. Soil respiration also increased downhill and was likely driven in part by increased OM in the shallower

  11. Tundra in the rain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    increments) and Arctagrostis latifolia (leaf size and specific leaf area), but none were observed at the Swedish site. Total biomass production did not increase at either of the study sites. This study corroborates studies in other tundra vegetation types and shows that despite regional differences at the...

  12. Changing Seasonality of Tundra Vegetation and Associated Climatic Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    This study documents changes in the seasonality of tundra vegetation productivity and its associated climate variables using long-term data sets. An overall increase of Pan-Arctic tundra greenness potential corresponds to increased land surface temperatures and declining sea ice concentrations. While sea ice has continued to decline, summer land surface temperature and vegetation productivity increases have stalled during the last decade in parts of the Arctic. To understand the processes behind these features we investigate additional climate parameters. This study employs remotely sensed weekly 25-km sea ice concentration, weekly surface temperature, and bi-weekly NDVI from 1982 to 2013. Maximum NDVI (MaxNDVI, Maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), Time Integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI), Summer Warmth Index (SWI, sum of degree months above freezing during May-August), ocean heat content (PIOMAS, model incorporating ocean data assimilation), and snow water equivalent (GlobSnow, assimilated snow data set) are explored. We analyzed the data for the full period (1982-2013) and for two sub-periods (1982-1998 and 1999-2013), which were chosen based on the declining Pan-Arctic SWI since 1998. MaxNDVI has increased from 1982-2013 over most of the Arctic but has declined from 1999 to 2013 over western Eurasia, northern Canada, and southwest Alaska. TI-NDVI has trends that are similar to those for MaxNDVI for the full period but displays widespread declines over the 1999-2013 period. Therefore, as the MaxNDVI has continued to increase overall for the Arctic, TI-NDVI has been declining since 1999. SWI has large relative increases over the 1982-2013 period in eastern Canada and Greenland and strong declines in western Eurasia and southern Canadian tundra. Weekly Pan-Arctic tundra land surface temperatures warmed throughout the summer during the 1982-1998 period but display midsummer declines from 1999-2013. Weekly snow water equivalent over Arctic tundra has declined over

  13. Metagenomic analysis of the bioremediation of diesel-contaminated Canadian high arctic soils.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Etienne Yergeau

    Full Text Available As human activity in the Arctic increases, so does the risk of hydrocarbon pollution events. On site bioremediation of contaminated soil is the only feasible clean up solution in these remote areas, but degradation rates vary widely between bioremediation treatments. Most previous studies have focused on the feasibility of on site clean-up and very little attention has been given to the microbial and functional communities involved and their ecology. Here, we ask the question: which microorganisms and functional genes are abundant and active during hydrocarbon degradation at cold temperature? To answer this question, we sequenced the soil metagenome of an ongoing bioremediation project in Alert, Canada through a time course. We also used reverse-transcriptase real-time PCR (RT-qPCR to quantify the expression of several hydrocarbon-degrading genes. Pseudomonas species appeared as the most abundant organisms in Alert soils right after contamination with diesel and excavation (t = 0 and one month after the start of the bioremediation treatment (t = 1m, when degradation rates were at their highest, but decreased after one year (t = 1y, when residual soil hydrocarbons were almost depleted. This trend was also reflected in hydrocarbon degrading genes, which were mainly affiliated with Gammaproteobacteria at t = 0 and t = 1m and with Alphaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria at t = 1y. RT-qPCR assays confirmed that Pseudomonas and Rhodococcus species actively expressed hydrocarbon degradation genes in Arctic biopile soils. Taken together, these results indicated that biopile treatment leads to major shifts in soil microbial communities, favoring aerobic bacteria that can degrade hydrocarbons.

  14. A Comparison of Satellite and Aircraft-Mounted Thermal Observations of Freeze/Thaw Cycling of the Alaska Tundra and Boreal Forests during the Carbon in the Arctic Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, N.; McDonald, K. C.; Miller, C. E.; Dinardo, S. J.

    2014-12-01

    Freeze/thaw (F/T) related surface processes in the Arctic are important as they bracket negative and positive modes in the flux of CO2 and CH4 between the surface and atmosphere. The Carbon in the Arctic Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) monitors carbon gas cycling in Alaskan using aircraft-deployed gas sampling instruments along with remote sensing observations of the land surface condition. A nadir-pointed, forward looking infrared (FLIR) imager mounted on the CARVE aircraft is used to measure upwelling mid-infrared spectral radiance at 3-5 microns. The FLIR instrument was operated during the spring, summer and fall seasons of 2013 and 2014 during clear sky conditions and targeting ecosystem components affecting the carbon cycle. The instantaneous field of view (IFOV) of the FLIR instrument allows for a resolution of ~36 cm from a height of 500 m. This high resolution data allow for the discrimination of individual landscape components such as soil, vegetation and surface water features in the image footprint. We assess the effectiveness of the FLIR thermal images in monitoring thawing and inundation processes of individual ecosystem components of importance in biogeochemical cycling. We also observe how these individual components scale using coarse resolution satellite observations of land surface temperature (LST) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Freeze/thaw state determined from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR2) on JAXA's Shizuku (GCOM-W1) satellite. Portions of the work were carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautic and Space Administration.

  15. Shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems: dynamics, impacts and research priorities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recent research using repeat photography, long-term ecological monitoring and dendrochronology has documented shrub expansion in arctic, high-latitude and alpine tundra ecosystems. Here, we (1) synthesize these findings, (2) present a conceptual framework that identifies mechanisms and constraints on shrub increase, (3) explore causes, feedbacks and implications of the increased shrub cover in tundra ecosystems, and (4) address potential lines of investigation for future research. Satellite observations from around the circumpolar Arctic, showing increased productivity, measured as changes in ‘greenness’, have coincided with a general rise in high-latitude air temperatures and have been partly attributed to increases in shrub cover. Studies indicate that warming temperatures, changes in snow cover, altered disturbance regimes as a result of permafrost thaw, tundra fires, and anthropogenic activities or changes in herbivory intensity are all contributing to observed changes in shrub abundance. A large-scale increase in shrub cover will change the structure of tundra ecosystems and alter energy fluxes, regional climate, soil–atmosphere exchange of water, carbon and nutrients, and ecological interactions between species. In order to project future rates of shrub expansion and understand the feedbacks to ecosystem and climate processes, future research should investigate the species or trait-specific responses of shrubs to climate change including: (1) the temperature sensitivity of shrub growth, (2) factors controlling the recruitment of new individuals, and (3) the relative influence of the positive and negative feedbacks involved in shrub expansion.

  16. Temperature and moisture effects on ammonia oxidizer communities in cryoturbated Arctic soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiglsdorfer, Stefanie; Alves, Ricardo J. E.; Bárta, Jiří; Kohoutová, Iva; Bošková, Hana; Diáková, Katerina; Čapek, Petr; Schnecker, Jörg; Wild, Birgit; Mooshammer, Maria; Urich, Tim; Gentsch, Norman; Gittel, Antje; Guggenberger, Georg; Mikutta, Robert; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Richter, Andreas; Šantrůčková, Hana; Shibistova, Olga; Schleper, Christa

    2014-05-01

    Arctic permafrost-affected soils contain large amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC) and are expected to experience drastic changes in environmental conditions, such as moisture and temperature, due to the high surface temperature increase predicted for these regions. Although the SOC decomposition processes driven by the microbiota are considered to be nitrogen (N) limited, little information about the microbial groups involved in N cycle is currently available, including their reactions to environmental changes. Here, we investigate the presence of ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) in distinct soil horizons from the Taymyr peninsula (Siberia, Russia), and investigate their activities under changing temperature and moisture regimes. These two groups of organisms perform the first step in nitrification, an important and rate limiting process in the global N cycle, which involves the oxidation of ammonia to nitrate via nitrite. The soil samples were separated into different horizons: organic topsoil (O) and subducted organic topsoil (Ajj). The samples were incubated for 18 weeks at 4, 12 and 20° C and 50, 80 and 100 % water holding capacity (WHC). AOA and AOB abundances were quantified by quantitative PCR targeting genes of the key metabolic enzyme, ammonia monooxygenase. AOA diversity was analyzed in-depth by high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the same gene. Additionally, gross and net nitrification and mineralization rates were determined in order to investigate potential relationships between AOA and AOB populations and these processes, in response to the incubation treatments. We found higher abundances of AOA than AOB in the organic topsoil, whereas AOB dominated in the subducted organic topsoil. Increased temperature resulted in higher numbers of both groups at low WHC %, with AOB showing a more pronounced response. However, these effects were not observed under anaerobic conditions (100 % WHC). Deep sequencing of AOA amoA genes revealed

  17. Psychrotrophic lipase producers from Arctic soil and sediment samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasol, R; Rashidah, A R; Nazuha, R Siti Nur; Smykla, J; Maznah, W O Wan; Alias, S A

    2014-01-01

    Culturable microorganisms were successfully isolated from soil and sediment samples collected in 2011 on the northern coast of Hornsund, West Spitsbergen. A total of 63 single colony isolates from three sampling sites obtained were subjected to temperature dependence study to assess whether they are obligate psychrophilic or psychrotrophic strains. From initial temperature screening, only 53 psychrotrophic isolates were selected that are capable of growing between 4-28 degrees C. The rest that were capable of tolerating higher temperatures up to 37 degrees C were not included in this study. These isolates were chosen for lipase enzyme screening confirmation with the standard plate assay of olive oil and fluorescent dye Rhodamine B. Six lipase positive isolates were also subjected for subsequent lipase enzyme plate screening on tributyrin, triolein, olive oil and palm oil agar. Lipase production by these six isolates was further assayed by using colorimetric method with palm oil and olive oil as the substrate. These isolates with promising lipase activity ranging from 20 U/ml up to 160 U/ml on palm oil and olive oil substrate were successfully identified. Molecular identification by using 16S rRNA revealed that five out of six isolates were Gram-negative Proteobacteria and the other one was a Gram-positive Actinobacteria. PMID:25033666

  18. Arctic soil development on a series of marine terraces on central Spitsbergen, Svalbard: a combined geochronology, fieldwork and modelling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Meij, W. Marijn; Temme, Arnaud J. A. M.; de Kleijn, Christian M. F. J. J.; Reimann, Tony; Heuvelink, Gerard B. M.; Zwoliński, Zbigniew; Rachlewicz, Grzegorz; Rymer, Krzysztof; Sommer, Michael

    2016-06-01

    Soils in Arctic regions currently enjoy attention because of their sensitivity to climate change. It is therefore important to understand the natural processes and rates of development of these soils. Specifically, there is a need to quantify the rates and interactions between various landscape- and soil-forming processes. Soil chronosequences are ideal natural experiments for this purpose. In this contribution, we combine field observations, luminescence dating and soil-landscape modelling to improve and test our understanding of Arctic soil formation. The field site is a Holocene chronosequence of gravelly raised marine terraces in central Spitsbergen. Field observations show that soil-landscape development is mainly driven by weathering, silt translocation, aeolian deposition and rill erosion. Spatial soil variation is mainly caused by soil age, morphological position within a terrace and depth under the surface. Luminescence dating confirmed existing radiocarbon dating of the terraces, which are between ˜ 1.5 and ˜ 13.3 ka old. The soil-landscape evolution model LORICA was used to test our hypothesis that the field-observed processes indeed dominate soil-landscape development. Model results additionally indicated the importance of aeolian deposition as a source of fine material in the subsoil for both sheltered and vegetated trough positions and barren ridge positions. Simulated overland erosion was negligible. Consequently, an un-simulated process must be responsible for creating the observed erosion rills. Dissolution and physical weathering both play a major role. However, using present-day soil observations, the relative contribution of physical and chemical weathering could not be disentangled. Discrepancies between field and model results indicate that soil formation is non-linear and driven by spatially and temporally varying boundary conditions which were not included in the model. To conclude, Arctic soil and landscape development appears to be more

  19. Survival of rapidly fluctuating natural low winter temperatures by High Arctic soil invertebrates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Convey, Peter; Abbandonato, Holly; Bergan, Frode; Beumer, Larissa Teresa; Biersma, Elisabeth Machteld; Bråthen, Vegard Sandøy; D'Imperio, Ludovica; Jensen, Christina Kjellerup; Nilsen, Solveig; Paquin, Karolina; Stenkewitz, Ute; Svoen, Mildrid Elvik; Winkler, Judith; Müller, Eike; Coulson, Stephen James

    2015-01-01

    The extreme polar environment creates challenges for its resident invertebrate communities and the stress tolerance of some of these animals has been examined over many years. However, although it is well appreciated that standard air temperature records often fail to describe accurately conditions...... experienced at microhabitat level, few studies have explicitly set out to link field conditions experienced by natural multispecies communities with the more detailed laboratory ecophysiological studies of a small number of 'representative' species. This is particularly the case during winter, when snow cover...... microhabitats. To assess survival of natural High Arctic soil invertebrate communities contained in soil and vegetation cores to natural winter temperature variations, the overwintering temperatures they experienced were manipulated by deploying cores in locations with varying snow accumulation: No Snow...

  20. Increased wintertime CO2 loss as a result of sustained tundra warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Elizabeth E.; Schuur, Edward A. G.; Natali, Susan M.; Oken, Kiva L.; Bracho, Rosvel; Krapek, John P.; Risk, David; Nickerson, Nick R.

    2016-02-01

    Permafrost soils currently store approximately 1672 Pg of carbon (C), but as high latitudes warm, this temperature-protected C reservoir will become vulnerable to higher rates of decomposition. In recent decades, air temperatures in the high latitudes have warmed more than any other region globally, particularly during the winter. Over the coming century, the arctic winter is also expected to experience the most warming of any region or season, yet it is notably understudied. Here we present nonsummer season (NSS) CO2 flux data from the Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research project, an ecosystem warming experiment of moist acidic tussock tundra in interior Alaska. Our goals were to quantify the relationship between environmental variables and winter CO2 production, account for subnivean photosynthesis and late fall plant C uptake in our estimate of NSS CO2 exchange, constrain NSS CO2 loss estimates using multiple methods of measuring winter CO2 flux, and quantify the effect of winter soil warming on total NSS CO2 balance. We measured CO2 flux using four methods: two chamber techniques (the snow pit method and one where a chamber is left under the snow for the entire season), eddy covariance, and soda lime adsorption, and found that NSS CO2 loss varied up to fourfold, depending on the method used. CO2 production was dependent on soil temperature and day of season but atmospheric pressure and air temperature were also important in explaining CO2 diffusion out of the soil. Warming stimulated both ecosystem respiration and productivity during the NSS and increased overall CO2 loss during this period by 14% (this effect varied by year, ranging from 7 to 24%). When combined with the summertime CO2 fluxes from the same site, our results suggest that this subarctic tundra ecosystem is shifting away from its historical function as a C sink to a C source.

  1. Siberian tundra ecosystem vegetation and carbon stocks four decades after wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loranty, Michael M.; Natali, Susan M.; Berner, Logan T.; Goetz, Scott J.; Holmes, Robert M.; Davydov, Sergei P.; Zimov, Nikita S.; Zimov, Sergey A.

    2014-11-01

    Tundra ecosystem fire regimes are intensifying with important implications for regional and global carbon (C) and energy dynamics. Although a substantial portion of the tundra biome is located in Russia, the vast majority of accessible studies describe North American tundra fires. Here we use field observations and high-resolution satellite remote sensing observations to describe the effects of wildfire on ecosystem C pools and vegetation communities four decades after fire for a tundra ecosystem in northeastern Siberia. Our analyses reveal no differences between soil physical properties and C pools in burned and unburned tundra, which we attribute to low combustion of organic soil associated with low-severity fire. Field and remote sensing data show no differences in aboveground C pools and vegetation communities indicating recovery to prefire conditions. These results are comparable to observations of ecosystem recovery in North American tundra. An assessment of literature data indicate that the average annual area burned in Russian tundra is an order of magnitude larger than that of Alaskan tundra, highlighting a crucial need to assess Russian tundra fire regimes in order to understand the current and future role of the biome wide fire regime in regional and global C and energy dynamics.

  2. Europeanization of sub-Arctic environments: soils based evidence from Norse Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Ian; Collinge, Kirsty; Adderley, Paul; Wilson, Clare

    2014-05-01

    Europeanization of sub-Arctic environments by Norse communities in Greenland from the early 11th to mid 15th centuries AD varied spatially and temporally, with pastoral agriculture and associated homefield management at the heart of this transformation. This process is poorly understood and so from inner, middle and outer fjord areas of the Norse Eastern settlement in Greenland we contribute a chronologically constrained homefield soils and sediments-based historical ecodynamic analysis. Our findings demonstrate a range of homefield management activities in contrasting environmental and social settings including a) 'recipe effects' - the partitioning of turf, domestic animal manure and domestic waste resources used to manage soil fertility and the effects of eroded material deposition in the homefield; b) field irrigation management to overcome seasonal water limitations; and c) 'non-management' where homefield productivities relied on natural soil fertilities. These management practices created an anthrosols soil environment overlying and distinct from the podsolic environment at settlement. In doing so Norse settlers increased soil nutrient status relative to pre-settlement levels in some homefields, whilst nutrient levels in other areas of the homefield were allowed to decline, resulting in a situation of 'partial sustainability'. We demonstrate that in historical contexts, local 'partial sustainability' can lead to resilience amongst agricultural communities in the face of climatic deterioration, but that ultimately this may only be as effective as the broader social framework in which it is found.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  4. Pan-Arctic linkages between snow accumulation and growing-season air temperature, soil moisture and vegetation

    OpenAIRE

    K. A. Luus; Gel, Y.; J. C. Lin; Kelly, R. E. J.; C. R. Duguay

    2013-01-01

    Arctic field studies have indicated that the air temperature, soil moisture and vegetation at a site influence the quantity of snow accumulated, and that snow accumulation can alter growing-season soil moisture and vegetation. Climate change is predicted to bring about warmer air temperatures, greater snow accumulation and northward movements of the shrub and tree lines. Understanding the responses of northern environments to changes in s...

  5. Rapid carbon turnover beneath shrub and tree vegetation is associated with low soil carbon stocks at a subarctic treeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Thomas C; Subke, Jens-Arne; Wookey, Philip A

    2015-05-01

    Climate warming at high northern latitudes has caused substantial increases in plant productivity of tundra vegetation and an expansion of the range of deciduous shrub species. However significant the increase in carbon (C) contained within above-ground shrub biomass, it is modest in comparison with the amount of C stored in the soil in tundra ecosystems. Here, we use a 'space-for-time' approach to test the hypothesis that a shift from lower-productivity tundra heath to higher-productivity deciduous shrub vegetation in the sub-Arctic may lead to a loss of soil C that out-weighs the increase in above-ground shrub biomass. We further hypothesize that a shift from ericoid to ectomycorrhizal systems coincident with this vegetation change provides a mechanism for the loss of soil C. We sampled soil C stocks, soil surface CO2 flux rates and fungal growth rates along replicated natural transitions from birch forest (Betula pubescens), through deciduous shrub tundra (Betula nana) to tundra heaths (Empetrum nigrum) near Abisko, Swedish Lapland. We demonstrate that organic horizon soil organic C (SOCorg ) is significantly lower at shrub (2.98 ± 0.48 kg m(-2) ) and forest (2.04 ± 0.25 kg m(-2) ) plots than at heath plots (7.03 ± 0.79 kg m(-2) ). Shrub vegetation had the highest respiration rates, suggesting that despite higher rates of C assimilation, C turnover was also very high and less C is sequestered in the ecosystem. Growth rates of fungal hyphae increased across the transition from heath to shrub, suggesting that the action of ectomycorrhizal symbionts in the scavenging of organically bound nutrients is an important pathway by which soil C is made available to microbial degradation. The expansion of deciduous shrubs onto potentially vulnerable arctic soils with large stores of C could therefore represent a significant positive feedback to the climate system. PMID:25367088

  6. Uncertainty assessment of a polygon database of soil organic carbon for greenhouse gas reporting in Canada’s Arctic and sub-arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.F. Hossain

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Canada’s Arctic and sub-arctic consist 46% of Canada’s landmass and contain 45% of the total soil organic carbon (SOC. Pronounced climate warming and increasing human disturbances could induce the release of this SOC to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases. Canada is committed to estimating and reporting the greenhouse gases emissions and removals induced by land use change in the Arctic and sub-arctic. To assess the uncertainty of the estimate, we compiled a site-measured SOC database for Canada’s north, and used it to compare with a polygon database, that will be used for estimating SOC for the UNFCCC reporting. In 10 polygons where 3 or more measured sites were well located in each polygon, the site-averaged SOC content agreed with the polygon data within ±33% for the top 30 cm and within ±50% for the top 1 m soil. If we directly compared the SOC of the 382 measured sites with the polygon mean SOC, there was poor agreement: The relative error was less than 50% at 40% of the sites, and less than 100% at 68% of the sites. The relative errors were more than 400% at 10% of the sites. These comparisons indicate that the polygon database is too coarse to represent the SOC conditions for individual sites. The difference is close to the uncertainty range for reporting. The spatial database could be improved by relating site and polygon SOC data with more easily observable surface features that can be identified and derived from remote sensing imagery.

  7. Permafrost thawing in organic Arctic soils accelerated by ground heat production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollesen, Jørgen; Matthiesen, Henning; Møller, Anders Bjørn; Elberling, Bo

    2015-06-01

    Decomposition of organic carbon from thawing permafrost soils and the resulting release of carbon to the atmosphere are considered to represent a potentially critical global-scale feedback on climate change. The accompanying heat production from microbial metabolism of organic material has been recognized as a potential positive-feedback mechanism that would enhance permafrost thawing and the release of carbon. This internal heat production is poorly understood, however, and the strength of this effect remains unclear. Here, we have quantified the variability of heat production in contrasting organic permafrost soils across Greenland and tested the hypothesis that these soils produce enough heat to reach a tipping point after which internal heat production can accelerate the decomposition processes. Results show that the impact of climate changes on natural organic soils can be accelerated by microbial heat production with crucial implications for the amounts of carbon being decomposed. The same is shown to be true for organic middens with the risk of losing unique evidence of early human presence in the Arctic.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

    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.

  10. Archaeal ammonia oxidizers respond to soil factors at smaller spatial scales than the overall archaeal community does in a high Arctic polar oasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Samiran; Kennedy, Nabla; Richardson, Alan E; Egger, Keith N; Siciliano, Steven D

    2016-06-01

    Archaea are ubiquitous and highly abundant in Arctic soils. Because of their oligotrophic nature, archaea play an important role in biogeochemical processes in nutrient-limited Arctic soils. With the existing knowledge of high archaeal abundance and functional potential in Arctic soils, this study employed terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (t-RFLP) profiling and geostatistical analysis to explore spatial dependency and edaphic determinants of the overall archaeal (ARC) and ammonia-oxidizing archaeal (AOA) communities in a high Arctic polar oasis soil. ARC communities were spatially dependent at the 2-5 m scale (P diversity indices of both ARC and AOA communities showed high spatial dependency along the landscape and resembled scaling of edaphic factors. The spatial link between archaeal community structure and soil resources found in this study has implications for predictive understanding of archaea-driven processes in polar oases. PMID:27045904

  11. Diversity of soil organisms in alpine and arctic soils in Europe. Review an research needs

    OpenAIRE

    Broll, Gabrielle

    1998-01-01

    The diversity of soil organisms and soil ecological processes in different mountain regions of Europe are reviewed. Detailed taxonomic studies on soil organisms have been made in the Alps and in Northern Europe since the end of the last century, however, there is a paucity of data from Southern Europe. Future studies could include the re-sampling of historic study sites to assess if there has been a change in the soil fauna and microorganisms. The role of key abiotic processes such as cryotur...

  12. The Toolik Lake project: Terrestrial and freshwater research on change in the arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Toolik Lake research project in the foothills of the North Slope, Alaska, has collected data since 1975 with funding from the NSF's Division of Polar Programs and from the Long Term Ecological Research Program and Ecosystems Research Program of the Division of Biotic Systems and Resources. The broad goal is to understand and predict how ecosystems of tundra, lakes, and streams function and respond to change. One specific goal is to understand the extent of control by resources or by grazing and predation. The processes and relationships are analyzed in both natural ecosystems and in ecosystems that have undergone long-term experimental manipulations to simulate effects of climate and human-caused change. These manipulations include the fertilization of lakes and streams, the addition and removal of lake trout from lakes, the changing of the abundance of arctic grayling in sections of rivers, the exclusion of grazers from tundra, and the shading, fertilizing, and heating of the tussock tundra. A second specific goal is to monitor year-to-year variability and to measure how rapidly long-term change occurs. The measurements include: for lakes, measurements of temperature, chlorophyll, primary productivity; for streams, nutrients, chlorophyll on riffle rocks, insect and fish abundance, and water flow; and for the tundra, amount of flowering, air temperature, solar radiation, and biomass. A third specific goal is to understand the exchange of nutrients between land and water. Measurements include the flow of water in rivers, the concentration of nitrogen and phosphorus in streams, lakes, and soil porewater, and the effect of vegetation on nutrient movement through the tundra soils. A dynamic model of nutrient fluxes in the entire upper Kuparuk River watershed is being constructed that will interact with geographically referenced databases

  13. Fine-variation in CO2 exchange of coastal wet tundra in Alaska in response to hydrological gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivas, P. C.; Oberbauer, S. F.

    2006-12-01

    As result of climate change, temperatures in the Arctic are expected to increase substantially. These changes in temperature will increase ecosystem evapotranspiration and soil thaw above the permafrost, both lowering water tables. Evidence suggests that drying in the Arctic is already occurring. Tundra plant communities are strongly tied to fine-scale variation in topography, and therefore, position relative to the water table. Changes in water table have the potential to be the most important climate change factor for carbon exchange in coastal wet tundra in the near term. Increased temperature and lower water tables will increase ecosystem respiration, reducing the capacity of tundra to sequester carbon dioxide. To evaluate carbon balance of coastal tundra to wetting and drying, a NSF Biocomplexity of the Environment project is carrying out a large-scale hydrological manipulation in a drained thaw lake basin in Barrow, Alaska. Pretreatment measurements have focused on assessing uniformity of the lake basin areas. The basin is dominated by wet meadows, but there are also low-center polygons and pond habitats. Here we report on fine-scale variation in chamber-level net CO2 and component fluxes in randomly stratified plots situated across the basin during the pretreatment growing season of 2005 (June to August). With each flux measurement, we also assessed water table depth, thaw depth, and plot NDVI. Although, all plots in the lake basin did not differ significantly for seasonal mean gross CO2 fluxes, some plots located at the top of polygon rims had higher gross ecosystem production. However, these plots also had a significantly higher respiration compared to wetter sites (-1.04 versus -0.824 μmol m-2 s-2, respectively). Gross photosynthesis most strongly correlated with NDVI (r2= 0.16, p basin plant communities, differences in NDVI were more apparent than differences in components of CO2 exchange. Areas with higher moss cover and drier conditions tended to have

  14. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blok, D.; Sass-Klaassen, U.; Schaepman-Strub, G.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Sauren, P.; Berendse, F.

    2011-01-01

    Deciduous shrubs are expected to rapidly expand in the Arctic during the coming decades due to climate warming. A transition towards more shrub-dominated tundra may have large implications for the regional surface energy balance, permafrost stability and carbon storage capacity, with consequences fo

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, A.

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Storage and transformation of organic matter fractions in cryoturbated permafrost soils across the Siberian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentsch, N.; Mikutta, R.; Alves, R. J. E.; Barta, J.; Čapek, P.; Gittel, A.; Hugelius, G.; Kuhry, P.; Lashchinskiy, N.; Palmtag, J.; Richter, A.; Šantrůčková, H.; Schnecker, J.; Shibistova, O.; Urich, T.; Wild, B.; Guggenberger, G.

    2015-07-01

    In permafrost soils, the temperature regime and the resulting cryogenic processes are important determinants of the storage of organic carbon (OC) and its small-scale spatial variability. For cryoturbated soils, there is a lack of research assessing pedon-scale heterogeneity in OC stocks and the transformation of functionally different organic matter (OM) fractions, such as particulate and mineral-associated OM. Therefore, pedons of 28 Turbels were sampled in 5 m wide soil trenches across the Siberian Arctic to calculate OC and total nitrogen (TN) stocks based on digital profile mapping. Density fractionation of soil samples was performed to distinguish between particulate OM (light fraction, LF, fraction, HF, > 1.6 g cm-3), and a mobilizable dissolved pool (mobilizable fraction, MoF). Across all investigated soil profiles, the total OC storage was 20.2 ± 8.0 kg m-2 (mean ± SD) to 100 cm soil depth. Fifty-four percent of this OC was located in the horizons of the active layer (annual summer thawing layer), showing evidence of cryoturbation, and another 35 % was present in the upper permafrost. The HF-OC dominated the overall OC stocks (55 %), followed by LF-OC (19 % in mineral and 13 % in organic horizons). During fractionation, approximately 13 % of the OC was released as MoF, which likely represents a readily bioavailable OM pool. Cryogenic activity in combination with cold and wet conditions was the principle mechanism through which large OC stocks were sequestered in the subsoil (16.4 ± 8.1 kg m-2; all mineral B, C, and permafrost horizons). Approximately 22 % of the subsoil OC stock can be attributed to LF material subducted by cryoturbation, whereas migration of soluble OM along freezing gradients appeared to be the principle source of the dominant HF (63 %) in the subsoil. Despite the unfavourable abiotic conditions, low C / N ratios and high δ13C values indicated substantial microbial OM transformation in the subsoil, but this was not reflected in

  19. Seasonal and spatial variation in soil chemistry and anaerobic processes in an Arctic ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipson, D.; Mauritz, M.; Bozzolo, F.; Raab, T. K.; Santos, M. J.; Friedman, E. F.; Rosenbaum, M.; Angenent, L.

    2009-12-01

    Drained thaw lake basins (DTLB) are the dominant landform in the Arctic coastal plain near Barrow, Alaska. Our previous work in a DTLB showed that Fe(III) and humic substances are important electron acceptors in anaerobic respiration, and play a significant role in the C cycle of these organic-rich soils. In the current study, we investigated seasonal and spatial patterns of availability of electron acceptors and labile substrate, redox conditions and microbial activity. Landscapes within DTLB contain complex, fine-scale topography arising from ice wedge polygons, which produce raised and lowered areas. One goal of our study was to determine the effects of microtopographic variation on the potential for Fe(III) reduction and other anaerobic processes. Additionally, the soil in the study site has a complex vertical structure, with an organic peat layer overlying a mineral layer, overlying permafrost. We described variations in soil chemistry across depth profiles into the permafrost. Finally, we installed an integrated electrode/potentiostat system to electrochemically monitor microbial activity in the soil. Topographically low areas differed from high areas in most of the measured variables: low areas had lower oxidation-reduction potential, higher pH and electrical conductivity. Soil pore water from low areas had higher concentrations of Fe(III), Fe(II), dissolved organic C (DOC), and aromaticity (UV absorbance at 260nm, “A260”). Low areas also had higher concentrations of dissolve CO2 and CH4 in soil pore water. Laboratory incubations of soil showed a trend toward higher potentials for Fe(III) reduction in topographically low areas. Clearly, ice wedge-induced microtopography exerts a strong control on microbial processes in this DTLB landscape, with increased anaerobic activity occurring in the wetter, depressed areas. Soil water extracted from 5-15 cm depth had higher concentrations of Fe(III), Fe(II), A260, and DOC compared to soil water sampled from 0-5cm

  20. Arctic soil development on a series of marine terraces on Central Spitsbergen, Svalbard: a combined geochronology, fieldwork and modelling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Meij, W. M.; Temme, A. J. A. M.; de Kleijn, C. M. F. J. J.; Reimann, T.; Heuvelink, G. B. M.; Zwoliński, Z.; Rachlewicz, G.; Rymer, K.; Sommer, M.

    2015-12-01

    Soils in Arctic regions currently enjoy significant attention because of their potentially substantial changes under climate change. It is important to quantify the natural processes and rates of development of these soils, to better define and determine current and future changes. Specifically, there is a need to quantify the interactions between various landscape and soil forming processes that together have resulted in current soil properties. Soil chronosequences are ideal natural experiments for this purpose. In this contribution, we combine field observations, luminescence dating and soil-landscape modelling to test and improve our understanding about Arctic soil formation. Our field site is a Holocene chronosequence of gravelly raised marine terraces in central Spitsbergen. Field observations suggest that soil-landscape development is mainly driven by weathering, silt translocation, aeolian deposition and rill erosion. Spatial soil heterogeneity is mainly caused by soil age, morphological position and depth under the surface. Substantial organic matter accumulation only occurs in few, badly drained positions. Luminescence dating confirmed existing radiocarbon dating of the terraces, which are between ~ 3.6 and ~ 14.4 ka old. Observations and ages were used to parameterize soil landscape evolution model LORICA, which was subsequently used to test the hypothesis that our field-observed processes indeed dominate soil-landscape development. Model results indicate the importance of aeolian deposition as a source of fine material in the subsoil for both sheltered beach trough positions and barren beach ridge positions. Simulated overland erosion was negligible. Therefore, an un-simulated process must be responsible for creating the observed erosion rills. Dissolution and physical weathering both play a major role. However, by using present day soil observations, relative physical and chemical weathering could not be disentangled. Discrepancies between field and

  1. Responses of vegetation and soil microbial communities to warming and simulated herbivory in a subarctic heath

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Stark, Sari; Tolvanen, Anne

    2009-01-01

    Climate warming increases the cover of deciduous shrubs in arctic ecosystems and herbivory is also known to have a strong influence on the biomass and composition of vegetation. However, research combining herbivory with warming is largely lacking. Our study describes how warming and simulated...... herbivory affect vegetation, soil nutrient concentrations and soil microbial communities after 10-13 years of exposure. 2 We established a factorial warming and herbivory-simulation experiment at a subarctic tundra heath in Kilpisj rvi, Finland, in 1994. Warming was carried out using the open-top chamber...... setup of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). Wounding of the dominant deciduous dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus L. to simulate herbivory was carried out annually. We measured vegetation cover in 2003 and 2007, soil nutrient concentrations in 2003 and 2006, soil microbial respiration in 2003, and...

  2. Using Coarse Resolution Land Surface Temperature Time Series Data for Vegetation Analysis in the Taiga Tundra Transition Zone. a Case Study for Yamal, Krasnoyarsk Kray and Yakutia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, M.; Schmullius, C. C.; Hese, S.; Herold, M.

    2011-12-01

    Predictions from Global Climate Models have shown increasing trends of global temperature for the 21th century. Since the arctic regions are highly vulnerable to global climate changes, rising temperatures will lead to an intensification of vegetation activity which benefits the extension of the boreal forest into tundra areas. Especially the recruitment of trees into the northern regions, which were controlled by summer temperature and the length of the growing season, is of high importance for the Global Climate System. The tree line movement will lead to a positive feedback in climate conditions since dark forest areas will reduce the albedo which leads to higher warming rates. A multi scale concept for the monitoring of the arctic tree line and changes in vegetation structure in the taiga tundra transition zone of Siberia using Earth Observation data and products on coarse, medium and high spatial resolution is presented. On coarse scale, global land surface temperature data from TERRA, AQUA, ERS and ENVISAT as well as land cover, biomass and phenological information will be integrated to analyze the vegetation composition within the taiga tundra transition zone. On medium spatial resolution, optical and SAR remote sensing data with a pixel size of approx. 30 m will be used to analyze the vegetation structure at the tree line. On very high spatial scale recent Rapideye and Corona imagery from the 1960s will be used to identify vegetation changes and the movement of trees within this 40-50 year time period. As this is a multi-scale approach, the findings on all spatial scales can be connected to each other to verify the results. The first results at coarse scale level have shown the relation between the mean summer temperature and the location of the arctic tree line, which was extracted from the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map (CAVM) by Walker et al. (2005). The assumption is that trees have their optimal growing conditions at a mean summer temperature of 10

  3. Impact of climate change on zooplankton communities, seabird populations and arctic terrestrial ecosystem—A scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stempniewicz, Lech; Błachowiak-Samołyk, Katarzyna; Węsławski, Jan M.

    2007-11-01

    Many arctic terrestrial ecosystems suffer from a permanent deficiency of nutrients. Marine birds that forage at sea and breed on land can transport organic matter from the sea to land, and thus help to initiate and sustain terrestrial ecosystems. This organic matter initiates the emergence of local tundra communities, increasing primary and secondary production and species diversity. Climate change will influence ocean circulation and the hydrologic regime, which will consequently lead to a restructuring of zooplankton communities between cold arctic waters, with a dominance of large zooplankton species, and Atlantic waters in which small species predominate. The dominance of large zooplankton favours plankton-eating seabirds, such as the little auk ( Alle alle), while the presence of small zooplankton redirects the food chain to plankton-eating fish, up through to fish-eating birds (e.g., guillemots Uria sp.). Thus, in regions where the two water masses compete for dominance, such as in the Barents Sea, plankton-eating birds should dominate the avifauna in cold periods and recess in warmer periods, when fish-eaters should prevail. Therefore under future anthropogenic climate scenarios, there could be serious consequences for the structure and functioning of the terrestrial part of arctic ecosystems, due in part to changes in the arctic marine avifauna. Large colonies of plankton-eating little auks are located on mild mountain slopes, usually a few kilometres from the shore, whereas colonies of fish-eating guillemots are situated on rocky cliffs at the coast. The impact of guillemots on the terrestrial ecosystems is therefore much smaller than for little auks because of the rapid washing-out to sea of the guano deposited on the seabird cliffs. These characteristics of seabird nesting sites dramatically limit the range of occurrence of ornithogenic soils, and the accompanying flora and fauna, to locations where talus-breeding species occur. As a result of climate

  4. Estimated change in tundra ecosystem function near Barrow, Alaska between 1972 and 2010

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    How the greening of Arctic landscapes manifests as a change in ecosystem structure and function remains largely unknown. This study investigates the likely implications of plant community change on ecosystem function in tundra near Barrow, Alaska. We use structural data from marked plots, established in 1972 and resampled in 1999, 2008 and 2010 to assess plant community change. Ecosystem functional studies were made close to peak growing season in 2008 and 2010 on destructive plots adjacent to marked plots and included measurement of land–atmosphere CH4 and CO2 exchange, hyperspectral reflectance, albedo, water table height, soil moisture, and plant species cover and abundance. Species cover and abundance data from marked and destructive plots were analyzed together using non-metric multi-dimensional scaling (NMS) ordination. NMS axis scores from destructive plots were used to krig ecosystem function variables in ordination space and produce surface plots from which time series of functional attributes for resampled plots were derived. Generally, the greatest functional change was found in aquatic and wet plant communities, where productivity varied and soil moisture increased, increasing methane efflux. Functional change was minimal in moist and dry communities, which experienced a general decrease in soil moisture availability and appeared overall to be functionally more stable through time. Findings suggest that the Barrow landscape could have become less productive and less responsive to change and disturbance over the past few decades. This study is a contribution to the International Polar Year-Back to the Future Project (512). (letter)

  5. Archaeal Ammonia Oxidizers and Total Production of N2O and CH4 in Arctic Polar Desert Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brummell, Martin; Robert, Stan; Bodrossy, Levente; Abell, Guy; Siciliano, Steven

    2014-05-01

    Ammonia-oxidizing Archaea are abundant in Arctic desert soils and appear to be responsible for the majority of ammonia oxidation activity in these cold and dry ecosystems. We used DNA microarrays to characterize the microbial community consisting of ammonia-oxidizing Archaea and methane-oxidizing Bacteria in three polar deserts from Ellesmere Island, Canada. Patterns of net greenhouse gas production, including production and consumption of CO2, CH4, and N2O were compared with community relative richness and abundance in a structural equation model that tested causal hypotheses relating edaphic factors to the biological community and net gas production. We extracted and amplified DNA sequences from soils collected at three polar deserts on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian high Arctic, and characterized the community structure using DNA microarrays. The functional genes Archaeal AmoA and pMMO were used to compare patterns of biological community structure to the observed patterns of net greenhouse gas production from those soils, as measured in situ. Edaphic factors including water content, bulk density, pH, and nutrient levels such as nitrate, ammonia, and extractable organic carbon were also measured for each soil sample, resulting in a highly multivariate dataset. Both concentration and net production of the three greenhouse gases were correlated, suggesting underlying causal factors. Edaphic factors such as soil moisture and pH had important, direct effects on the community composition of both functional groups of microorganisms, and pH further had a direct effect on N2O production. The structural relationship between the examined microbial communities and net production of both N2O and CH4 was strong and consistent between varying model structures and matrices, providing high confidence that this model relationship accurately reflects processes occurring in Arctic desert soils.

  6. 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.

  7. Diversity of soil organisms in alpine and arctic soils in Europe. Review an research needs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Broll, Gabrielle

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available The diversity of soil organisms and soil ecological processes in different mountain regions of Europe are reviewed. Detailed taxonomic studies on soil organisms have been made in the Alps and in Northern Europe since the end of the last century, however, there is a paucity of data from Southern Europe. Future studies could include the re-sampling of historic study sites to assess if there has been a change in the soil fauna and microorganisms. The role of key abiotic processes such as cryoturbation should be quantified and further research should focus on identifying indicator organisms, keystone species and functional groups. In addition, studies on soil organic matter and particularly on humus forms, the products of soil ecological processes should be encouraged. Ecotones, where the influence of spatial heterogeneity on soil biodiversity is likely to be particularly pronounced, appear to be the most rewarding for such studies.

    [fr] La diversité des organismes du sol et les différents processus écologiques ayant lié dans les diverses régions de montagne en Europe sont détaillés. Des études approfondies sur la taxonomie des organismes du sol ont été développées dans les Alpes et en Europe du Nord depuis la fin du siècle dernier, mais par contre il y a peu de données sur l'Europe du Sud. Dans l'avenir on pourrait re-étudier les sites bien connus de façon à savoir s'il y a eu de changements dans la faune et les microorganismes du sol. Il faudrait quantifier le rôle des processus abiotiques comme la cryoturbation, identifier les organismes indicateurs, les espèces-clé et les groupes fonctionnels. Il est aussi indispensable de développer les études sur la matière organique et en particulier les types d'humus, en tant que résultat des processus écologiques du sol. Les ecotones, dans lesquels l'influence de l’heterogeneité spatiale sur la biodiversité du sol est particulièrement prononcée, semblent les plus

  8. Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Myers-Smith, Isla H; Elmendorf, Sarah C; Beck, Pieter SA;

    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...

  9. 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

    ), 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...... 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 the potential to alter the growth and ecophysiology of evergreen shrub C. tetragona through changes in plant mineral nutrition and...... 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...

  10. The Arctic CH4 sink and its implications for the permafrost carbon feedbacks to the global climate system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juncher Jørgensen, Christian; Christiansen, Jesper; Mariager, Tue; Hugelius, Gustaf

    2016-04-01

    Using atmospheric methane (CH4), certain soil microbes are able to sustain their metabolism, and in turn remove this powerful greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. While the process of CH4 oxidation is a common feature in most natural and unmanaged ecosystems in temperate and boreal ecosystems, the interactions between soil physical properties and abiotic process drivers, net landscape exchange and spatial patterns across Arctic drylands remains highly uncertain. Recent works show consistent CH4 comsumption in upland dry tundra soils in Arctic and High Arctic environments (Christiansen et al., 2014, Biogeochemistry 122; Jørgensen et al., 2015, Nature Geoscience 8; Lau et al., 2015, The ISME Journal 9). In these dominantly dry or barren soil ecosystems, CH4 consumption has been observed to significantly exceed the amounts of CH4 emitted from adjacent wetlands. These observations point to a potentially important but largely overlooked component of the global soil-climate system interaction and a counterperspective to the conceptual understanding of the Arctic being a only a source of CH4. However, due to our limited knowledge of spatiotemporal occurrence of CH4 consumption across a wider range of the Arctic landscape we are left with substantial uncertainites and an overall unconstrained range estimate of this terrestrial CH4 sink and its potential effects on permafrost carbon feedback to the atmospheric CH4 concentration. To address this important knowledge gap and identify the most relevant spatial scaling parameters, we studied in situ CH4 net exchange across a large landscape transect on West Greenland. The transect representated soils formed from the dominant geological parent materials of dry upland tundra soils found in the ice-free land areas of Western Greenland, i.e. 1) granitic/gneissic parent material, 2) basaltic parent material and 3) sedimentary deposits. Results show that the dynamic variations in soil physical properties and soil hydrology exerts an

  11. Soil surface organic layers in Arctic Alaska: Spatial distribution, rates of formation, and microclimatic effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baughman, Carson A.; Mann, Daniel H.; Verbyla, David L.; Kunz, Michael L.

    2015-06-01

    Organic layers of living and dead vegetation cover the ground surface in many permafrost landscapes and play important roles in ecosystem processes. These soil surface organic layers (SSOLs) store large amounts of carbon and buffer the underlying permafrost and its contained carbon from changes in aboveground climate. Understanding the dynamics of SSOLs is a prerequisite for predicting how permafrost and carbon stocks will respond to warming climate. Here we ask three questions about SSOLs in a representative area of the Arctic Foothills region of northern Alaska: (1) What environmental factors control the thickness of SSOLs and the carbon they store? (2) How long do SSOLs take to develop on newly stabilized point bars? (3) How do SSOLs affect temperature in the underlying ground? Results show that SSOL thickness and distribution correlate with elevation, drainage area, vegetation productivity, and incoming solar radiation. A multiple regression model based on these correlations can simulate spatial distribution of SSOLs and estimate the organic carbon stored there. SSOLs develop within a few decades after a new, sandy, geomorphic surface stabilizes but require 500-700 years to reach steady state thickness. Mature SSOLs lower the growing season temperature and mean annual temperature of the underlying mineral soil by 8 and 3°C, respectively. We suggest that the proximate effects of warming climate on permafrost landscapes now covered by SSOLs will occur indirectly via climate's effects on the frequency, extent, and severity of disturbances like fires and landslides that disrupt the SSOLs and interfere with their protection of the underlying permafrost.

  12. Relating the Chemical Composition of Dissolved Organic Matter Draining Permafrost Soils to its Photochemical Degradation in Arctic Surface Waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, C.; Cory, R. M.

    2015-12-01

    Thawing permafrost soils are expected to shift the chemical composition of DOM exported to and degraded in arctic surface waters. While DOM photo-degradation is an important component of the freshwater C cycle in the Arctic, the molecular controls on DOM photo-degradation remain poorly understood, making it difficult to predict how shifting chemical composition may alter DOM photo-degradation in arctic surface waters. To address this knowledge gap, we quantified the susceptibility of DOM draining the shallow organic mat and the deeper permafrost layer to complete photo-oxidation to CO₂ and partial photo-oxidation to compounds that remain in the DOM pool, and investigated changes in DOM chemical composition following sunlight exposure. DOM leached from the organic mat contained higher molecular weight, more oxidized and unsaturated aromatic species compared to permafrost DOM. Despite significant differences in initial chemical composition, permafrost and organic mat DOM had similar susceptibilities to complete photo-oxidation to CO₂. Concurrent losses of carboxyl moieties and shifts in chemical composition during photo-degradation indicated that carboxyl-rich tannin-like compounds in both DOM sources were likely photo-decarboxylated to CO₂. Permafrost DOM had a higher susceptibility to partial photo-oxidation compared to organic mat DOM, potentially due to a lower abundance of phenolic compounds that act as "antioxidants" and slow the oxidation of DOM. These results demonstrated how chemical composition controls the photo-degradation of DOM in arctic surface waters, and that DOM photo-degradation will likely remain an important component of the freshwater C budget in the Arctic with increased export of permafrost DOM to surface waters.

  13. Storage and transformation of organic matter fractions in cryoturbated permafrost soils across the Siberian Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Gentsch

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In permafrost soils, the temperature regime and the resulting cryogenic processes are decisive for the storage of organic carbon (OC and its small-scale spatial variability. For cryoturbated soils there is a lack in the assessment of pedon-scale heterogeneity in OC stocks and the transformation of functionally different organic matter (OM fractions such as particulate and mineral-associated OM. Therefore, pedons of 28 Turbels across the Siberian Arctic were sampled in five meter wide soil trenches in order to calculate OC and total nitrogen (TN stocks within the active layer and the upper permafrost based on digital profile mapping. Density fractionation of soil samples was performed to distinguish particulate OM (light fraction, LF, −3, mineral associated OM (heavy fraction, HF, >1.6 g cm−3, and a mobilizable dissolved pool (mobilizable fraction, MoF. Mineral-organic associations were characterized by selective extraction of pedogenic Fe and Al oxides and the clay composition was analyzed by X-ray diffraction. Organic matter transformation in bulk soil and density fractions was assessed by the stable carbon isotope ratio (δ13C and element contents (C and N. Across all investigated soil profiles, total OC stocks were calculated to 20.2 ± 8.0 kg m−2 (mean ± SD to 100 cm soil depth. Of this average, 54% of the OC was located in active layer horizons (annual summer thawing layer showing evidence of cryoturbation, and another 35% was present in the permafrost. The HF-OC dominated the overall OC stocks (55% followed by LF-OC (19% in mineral and 13% in organic horizons. During fractionation about 13% of the OC was released as MoF, which likely represents the most bioavailable OM pool. Cryogenic activity combined with an impaired biodegradation in topsoil horizons (O and A horizons were the principle mechanisms to sequester large OC stocks in the subsoil (16.4 ± 8.1 kg m−2; all mineral B, C, and permafrost horizons. About 22% of the subsoil

  14. Reconstruction of Centennial and Millennial-scale Climate and Environmental Variability during the Holocene in the Central Canadian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolland, N.; Porinchu, D.; MacDonald, G.; Moser, K.

    2007-12-01

    The Arctic and sub-Arctic regions are experiencing dramatic changes in surface temperature, sea-ice extent, glacial melt, river discharge, soil carbon storage and snow cover. According to the IPCC high latitude regions are expected to warm between 4°C and 7°C over the next 100 years. The magnitude of warming and the rate at which it occurs will dwarf any previous warming episodes experienced by latitude regions over the last 11,000 years. It is critical that we improve our understanding of how the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions responded to past periods of warming, especially in light of the changes these regions will be experiencing over the next 100 years. One of the lines of evidence increasingly utilized in multi-proxy paleolimnological research is the Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera). Also known as non-biting midge flies, chironomids are ubiquitous, frequently the most abundant insects found in freshwater ecosystems and very sensitive to environmental conditions. This research uses Chironomidae to quantitatively characterize climate and environmental conditions of the continental interior of Arctic Canada during the Holocene. Spanning four major vegetation zones (boreal forest, forest-tundra, birch tundra and herb tundra), the surface samples of 80 lakes recovered from the central Canadian Arctic were used to assess the relationship of 22 environmental variables with the chironomid distribution. Redundancy analysis (RDA) identified four variables, total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), pH, summer surface water temperature (SSWT) and depth, which best explain the variance in the distribution of chironomids within these ecoregions. In order to provide new quantitative estimates of SSWT, a 1-component weighted average partial least square (WA-PLS) model was developed (r2jack = 0.76, RMSEP = 1.42°C) and applied downcore in two low arctic continental Nunavut lakes located approximately 50 km and 200 km north of modern treeline. This robust midge-inferred temperature

  15. Microarray and Real-Time PCR Analyses of the Responses of High-Arctic Soil Bacteria to Hydrocarbon Pollution and Bioremediation Treatments▿

    OpenAIRE

    Yergeau, Etienne; Arbour, Mélanie; Brousseau, Roland; Juck, David; Lawrence, John R.; Masson, Luke; Whyte, Lyle G; Greer, Charles W.

    2009-01-01

    High-Arctic soils have low nutrient availability, low moisture content, and very low temperatures and, as such, they pose a particular problem in terms of hydrocarbon bioremediation. An in-depth knowledge of the microbiology involved in this process is likely to be crucial to understand and optimize the factors most influencing bioremediation. Here, we compared two distinct large-scale field bioremediation experiments, located at the Canadian high-Arctic stations of Alert (ex situ approach) a...

  16. Demographic population structure and fungal associations of plants colonizing High Arctic glacier forelands, Petuniabukta, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakub Těšitel

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The development of vegetation in Arctic glacier forelands has been described as unidirectional, non-replacement succession characterized by the gradual establishment of species typical for mature tundra with no species turnover. Our study focused on two early colonizers of High Arctic glacier forelands: Saxifraga oppositifolia (Saxifragaceae and Braya purpurascens (Brassicaceae. While the first species is a common generalist also found in mature old growth tundra communities, the second specializes on disturbed substrate. The demographic population structures of the two study species were investigated along four glacier forelands in Petuniabukta, north Billefjorden, in central Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Young plants of both species occurred exclusively on young substrate, implying that soil conditions are favourable for establishment only before soil crusts develop. We show that while S. oppositifolia persists from pioneer successional stages and is characterized by increased size and flowering, B. purpurascens specializes on disturbed young substrate and does not follow the typical unidirectional, non-replacement succession pattern. Plants at two of the forelands were examined for the presence of root-associated fungi. Fungal genus Olpidium (Fungus incertae sedis was found along a whole successional gradient in one of the forelands.

  17. Bird populations in coastal habitats, Arctic National Wildlife Range, Alaska: Results of 1978 and 1979 surveys

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Within the coastal zone of the Arctic National Wildlife Range, the highest breeding populations of birds occurred in wet and flooded sedge tundra areas surrounded...

  18. 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.

  19. Isoprene emissions from a tundra ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Potosnak

    2012-10-01

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

  20. The Arctic CH4 sink and its implications for the permafrost carbon feedbacks to the global climate system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juncher Jørgensen, Christian; Christiansen, Jesper; Mariager, Tue; Hugelius, Gustaf

    2016-04-01

    Using atmospheric methane (CH4), certain soil microbes are able to sustain their metabolism, and in turn remove this powerful greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. While the process of CH4 oxidation is a common feature in most natural and unmanaged ecosystems in temperate and boreal ecosystems, the interactions between soil physical properties and abiotic process drivers, net landscape exchange and spatial patterns across Arctic drylands remains highly uncertain. Recent works show consistent CH4 comsumption in upland dry tundra soils in Arctic and High Arctic environments (Christiansen et al., 2014, Biogeochemistry 122; Jørgensen et al., 2015, Nature Geoscience 8; Lau et al., 2015, The ISME Journal 9). In these dominantly dry or barren soil ecosystems, CH4 consumption has been observed to significantly exceed the amounts of CH4 emitted from adjacent wetlands. These observations point to a potentially important but largely overlooked component of the global soil-climate system interaction and a counterperspective to the conceptual understanding of the Arctic being a only a source of CH4. However, due to our limited knowledge of spatiotemporal occurrence of CH4 consumption across a wider range of the Arctic landscape we are left with substantial uncertainites and an overall unconstrained range estimate of this terrestrial CH4 sink and its potential effects on permafrost carbon feedback to the atmospheric CH4 concentration. To address this important knowledge gap and identify the most relevant spatial scaling parameters, we studied in situ CH4 net exchange across a large landscape transect on West Greenland. The transect representated soils formed from the dominant geological parent materials of dry upland tundra soils found in the ice-free land areas of Western Greenland, i.e. 1) granitic/gneissic parent material, 2) basaltic parent material and 3) sedimentary deposits. Results show that the dynamic variations in soil physical properties and soil hydrology exerts an

  1. Birch shrub growth in the low Arctic: the relative importance of experimental warming, enhanced nutrient availability, snow depth and caribou exclusion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deciduous shrub growth has increased across the Arctic simultaneously with recent climate warming trends. The reduction in albedo associated with shrub-induced ‘greening’ of the tundra is predicted to cause significant positive feedbacks to regional warming. Enhanced soil fertility arising from climate change is expected to be the primary mechanism driving shrub responses, yet our overall understanding of the relative importance of soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability and the significance of other ecological drivers is constrained by experiments with varying treatments, sites, and durations. We investigated dwarf birch apical stem growth responses to a wide range of ecological factors (enhanced summer temperatures, deepened snow, caribou exclusion, factorial high level nitrogen and phosphorus additions, and low level nitrogen additions) after six years of experimental manipulations in birch hummock tundra. As expected, birch apical stem growth was more strongly enhanced by the substantial increases in nutrient supply than by our changes in any of the other ecological factors. The factorial additions revealed that P availability was at least as important as that of N, and our low N additions demonstrated that growth was unresponsive to moderate increases in soil nitrogen alone. Experimental warming increased apical stem growth 2.5-fold—considerably more than in past studies—probably due to the relatively strong effect of our greenhouses on soil temperature. Together, these results have important implications for our understanding of the biogeochemical functioning of mesic tundra ecosystems as well as predicting their vegetation responses to climate change. (letter)

  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. Vertical electric sounding of selected Arctic and Antarctic soils: advances in express field investigation of the Cryosols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abakumov, Evgeny

    2016-04-01

    Physical properties of the soils of the cold environments are underestimated. Soil and permafrost border and active layer thickness are the key classification indicators for the polar soils. That is why electrophysical research has been conducted with aim to determine the soil-permafrost layer heterogeneity and the depth of the uppermost permafrost layer on examples of selected plots in Antarctic region and Russian Arctic. The electric resistivity (ER) was measured directly in the soil profiles using the vertical electrical sounding (VERS) method, which provides data on the changes in the electrical resistivity throughout the profile from the soil surface without digging pits or drilling. This method allows dividing the soil layer vertically into genetic layers, which are different on main key properties and characteristics Different soil layers have different ER values, that is why the sharp changes in ER values in soil profile can be interpreted as results of transition of one horizon to another. In our study, the resistivity measurements were performed using four-electrode (AB + MN) arrays of the AMNB configuration with use of the Schlumberger geometry. A Landmapper ERM-03 instrument (Landviser, USA) was used for the VES measurements in this study. Electrodes were situated on the soil surface, distance between M and N was fixes, while distance from A to B were changed during the sounding. Vertical Electrical Resistivity Soundings (VERS) using Schlumberger array were carried out at stations, situated on the different plots of terrestrial ecosystems of Arctic and Antarctic. The resistance readings at every VERS point were automatically displayed on the digital readout screen and then written down on the field note book. The soils had been 'sounded' thoroughly and found to vary between 5 cm and 3-5 m in A-B distances. It was shown that use of VES methodology in soil survey is quite useful for identification of the permafrost depth without digging of soil pit. This

  4. Source of and potential bio-indicator for the heavy metal pollution in Ny-(A)lesund, Arctic

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Three kinds of tundra plant samples including Dicranum angnstum(a type of boreal bryophyte) , PuccineUia phryganodes (a type of fringy p/ant),Salix polaris (a type of vascular plant) and surface soil were samples in 200 at Ny-Alesund of the Arctic.The levels of eight heavy metal elements (Hg, Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, Ni, Fe and Mn) and three metal-like dements (As, Se, Sr) in the plant and soil samples of the areas within previous coal mining activities are significantly higher than those of other areas.The relative accumulation of these elements in these tundra plant samples is consistent with the one in the soft samples, especially in the areas affected by previous coal-mining activities.Thus, the pollution is apparently from local coal mining activity.Dicranum angustum has the highest concentrations among those elements, and it can be a good bio-indicator for heavy metal pollution in Ny(A)lesund.Though Ny(A)lesund is less polluted by heavy metal than nearby Northern European human living areas, but much more than the tundras of the Alaska, Greenland and the Antarctic.

  5. Carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from arctic mudboils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (CO2) and methane (CH4), 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 CO2 and CH4 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 CH4 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 CO2 and CH4 efflux in this mudboil area.

  6. Management of Tundra Wastewater Treatment Wetlands within a Lagoon/Wetland Hybridized Treatment System Using the SubWet 2.0 Wetland Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annie Chouinard

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The benefits provided by natural (e.g., non-engineered tundra wetlands for the treatment of municipal wastewater in the Canadian Arctic are largely under-studied and, therefore, undervalued in regard to the treatment service wetlands provide to small remote Arctic communities. In this paper we present case studies on two natural tundra systems which at the time of study had different management practices, in which one consisted of a facultative lake system continuously discharging into a tundra wetland, while the second system had wastewater discharged directly into a tundra wetland. We also examine the utility of the SubWet 2.0 wetland model and how it can be used to: (i predict the outcomes of management options; and (ii to assess treatment capacity within individual tundra wetlands to meet future needs associated with population growth and to help municipalities determine the appropriate actions required to achieve the desired level of treatment, both currently, and in a sustainable long-term manner. From this examination we argue that tundra wetlands can significantly augment common treatment practices which rely on waste stabilization ponds, by recognizing the services that wetlands already provide. We suggest that treatment targets could be more achievable if tundra wetlands are formally recognized as part of a hybridized treatment system that incorporates the combined benefits of both the waste stabilization pond and the tundra wetland. Under this scenario tundra wetlands would be recognized as part of the treatment process and not as the ‘receiving’ environment, which is how most tundra wetlands are currently categorized.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  8. The Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition (ABLE 3A): July–August 1988

    OpenAIRE

    Harriss, R. C.; Wofsy, Steven Charles; Bartlett, D. S.; Shipham, M. C.; Jacob, Daniel James; Hoell, J. M.; Bendura, R. J.; Drewry, J. W.; McNeal, R. J.; Navarro, R. L.; Gidge, R. N.; Rabine, V. E.

    1992-01-01

    The Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition (ABLE 3A) used measurements from ground, aircraft, and satellite platforms to characterize the chemistry and dynamics of the lower atmosphere over Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of North America during July and August 1988. The primary objectives of ABLE 3A were to investigate the magnitude and variability of methane emissions from the tundra ecosystem, and to elucidate factors controlling ozone production and destruction in the Arctic atmosphere. This pape...

  9. Microbial community development on deglaciated soils in high arctic (Svalbard) in comparison to sub-arctic continental regions (Scandinavia)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Chroňáková, Alica; Bryndová, Michala; Kaštovská, E.; Devetter, Miloslav; Lukešová, Alena

    České Budějovice : Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, 2015. s. 31. ISBN 978-80-7394-528-2. [International Conference on Polar and Alpine Microbiology /6./. 06.09.2015-10.09.2015, České Budějovice] R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LD13046 Grant ostatní: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2010009 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : soil development * next generation sequencing * bacterial communities * nutrients * chronosequences Subject RIV: EH - Ecology , Behaviour

  10. 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.

  11. A Two-dimensional Heat Transfer Model for Atmosphere-land System in the Lake-dominated Alaskan Arctic

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LING Feng; ZHANG Ting-jun

    2002-01-01

    Understanding lake ice growth and its sensitivity to climate change is vital to understand the thermal regime of thaw lake systems and predict their response to climate change. In this paper, a physically-based, two-dimensional, non-steady mathematical model is developed for studying the role of shallow tundra lakes in the Alaskan Arctic. Both the radiation absorption in lake water and the phasechange in permafrost are considerd in the model. The materials the model includes are snow, ice, water, unfrozen and frozen soil (peat, silt,sand and gravel). The basic inputs to the model observed mean daily air temperature and snow depth. The ability of this model to simulate lake ice growth and thickness variation, lake water temperature distribution, the thermal regime of permafrost and talik dynamics beneath lakes, and thawing rate of permafrost below and adjacent to shallow thaw lakes offers the potential to describe the effects of climate change in the Alaskan Arctic.

  12. Increased plant biomass in a High Arctic heath community from 1981 to 2008.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, J M G; Henry, G H R

    2009-10-01

    The Canadian High Arctic has been warming for several decades. Over this period, tundra plant communities have been influenced by regional climate change, as well as other disturbances. At a site on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada, we measured biomass and composition changes in a heath community over 13 years using a point-intercept method in permanent plots (1995-2007) and over 27 years using a biomass harvest comparison (1981-2008). Results from both methods indicate that the community became more productive over time, suggesting that this ecosystem is currently in transition. Bryophyte and evergreen shrub abundances increased, while deciduous shrub, forb, graminoid, and lichen cover did not change. Species diversity also remained unchanged. Because of the greater evergreen shrub cover, canopy height increased. From 1995 to 2007, mean annual temperature and growing season length increased at the site. Maximum thaw depth increased, while soil water content did not change. We attribute the increased productivity of this community to regional warming over the past 30-50 years. This study provides the first plot-based evidence for the recent pan-Arctic increase in tundra productivity detected by satellite-based remote-sensing and repeat-photography studies. These types of ground-level observations are critical tools for detecting and projecting long-term community-level responses to warming. PMID:19886474

  13. Large increases in Arctic biogenic volatile emissions are a direct effect of warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramshøj, Magnus; Vedel-Petersen, Ida; Schollert, Michelle; Rinnan, Åsmund; Nymand, Josephine; Ro-Poulsen, Helge; Rinnan, Riikka

    2016-05-01

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds are reactive gases that can contribute to atmospheric aerosol formation. Their emission from vegetation is dependent on temperature and light availability. Increasing temperature, changing cloud cover and shifting composition of vegetation communities can be expected to affect emissions in the Arctic, where the ongoing climate changes are particularly severe. Here we present biogenic volatile organic compound emission data from Arctic tundra exposed to six years of experimental warming or reduced sunlight treatment in a randomized block design. By separately assessing the emission response of the whole ecosystem, plant shoots and soil in four measurements covering the growing season, we have identified that warming increased the emissions directly rather than via a change in the plant biomass and species composition. Warming caused a 260% increase in total emission rate for the ecosystem and a 90% increase in emission rates for plants, while having no effect on soil emissions. Compared to the control, reduced sunlight decreased emissions by 69% for the ecosystem, 61-65% for plants and 78% for soil. The detected strong emission response is considerably higher than observed at more southern latitudes, emphasizing the high temperature sensitivity of ecosystem processes in the changing Arctic.

  14. 植被和气候对阿拉斯加和加拿大北部北极苔原地区多年冻土活动层厚度的影响%Role of Vegetation and Climate in Permafrost Active Layer Depth in Arctic Tundra of Northern Alaska and Canada

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Alexia M. Kelley; Howard E. Epstein; Donald A. Walker

    2004-01-01

    The active layer is the top layer of permafrost soils that thaws during the summer season due to increased ambient temperatures and solar radiation inputs. This layer is important because almost all biological activity takes place there luring the summer. The depth of active layer thaw is influenced by climatic conditions. Vegetation has also been found to have a strong impact on active layer thaw, because it can intercept incoming radiation, thereby insulating the soil from ambient conditions. In order to look at the role of vegetation and climate on active layer thaw, we measured thaw depth and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI; a proxy for aboveground plant biomass) along a latitudinal temperature gradient in arctic Alaska and Canada. At each site several measurements of thaw and NDVI were taken in areas with high amounts of vegetation and areas with little to no vegetation. Results show that the warmest regions, which had the greatest levels of NDVI, had relatively shallow thaw depths, and the coldest regions, which had the lowest levels of NDVI, also had relatively shallow thaw depths. The intermediate regions, which had moderate levels of NDVI and air temperature, had the greatest depth of thaw. These results indicate that temperature and vegetation interact to control the depth of the active layer across a range of arctic ecosystems. By developing a relationship to explain thaw depth through NDVI and temperature or latitude, the possibility exists to extrapolate thaw depth over large scales via remote sensing applications.

  15. Vegetation Feedbacks Explain Recent High-latitude Summer Warming in Alaskan Arctic and Boreal Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapin, F. S.; Beringer, J.; Copass, C.; Epstein, H.; Lloyd, A.; Lynch, A.; McGuire, A. D.; Sturm, M.

    2002-12-01

    Although General Circulation Models predict the observed winter and spring warming at high latitudes, there is no obvious physical mechanism in the climate system that can account for the significant increase in summer temperatures that has occurred at high latitudes during the past 30 years. We demonstrate that vegetation-induced feedbacks in snow properties and summer energy exchange with the atmosphere explain this recent summer warming. A combination of stand-age reconstructions, repeat photography, and satellite measures of vegetation greenness demonstrate an expansion of the distribution and an infilling of shrubs in moist tundra and of trees in forest tundra. These vegetation changes increase the depth and thermal resistance of the snow pack, causing a 3oC increase in winter soil temperature and an increase in winter decomposition and nutrient mineralization, which enhance plant growth. These vegetation changes also increase summer heat transport to the atmosphere by increasing radiation absorption (lower albedo) and the proportion of absorbed energy that is transferred to the atmosphere as sensible heat. The resulting increase in atmospheric heating, on a unit-area basis, is similar to effects of a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide or a 2% change in solar constant, such as occurred at the last glacial-interglacial boundary. Simulations with the regional climate model ARCSyM indicate that a change from shrubless tundra to shrub-dominated tundra on the North Slope of Alaska would increase July mean temperature by 1.5 to 3.5 degrees C, with the warming effects extending south into the boreal forest of interior Alaska. If these vegetation feedbacks to regional warming are widespread, as suggested by indigenous knowledge and the satellite record, they are of sufficient magnitude to explain the summer warming that has recently been observed in northern Alaska and other regions of the circumpolar Arctic.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Robert Johnston

    2016-04-01

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

  17. Metagenomics Reveals Pervasive Bacterial Populations and Reduced Community Diversity across the Alaska Tundra Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Eric R.; Rodriguez-R, Luis M.; Luo, Chengwei; Yuan, Mengting M.; Wu, Liyou; He, Zhili; Schuur, Edward A. G.; Luo, Yiqi; Tiedje, James M.; Zhou, Jizhong; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T.

    2016-01-01

    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 g) 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 27 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, our results revealed

  18. Effects of arctic shrub expansion on biophysical vs. biogeochemical drivers of litter decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMarco, Jennie; Mack, Michelle C; Bret-Harte, M Syndonia

    2014-07-01

    Climate warming in arctic tundra may shift dominant vegetation from graminoids to deciduous shrubs, whose functional traits could, in turn, alter biotic and abiotic controls over biogeochemical cycling of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). We investigated whether shrub-induced changes in microclimate have stronger effects on litter decomposition and nutrient release than changes in litter quality and quantity. In arctic tundra near Toolik Lake, Alaska, USA, we incubated a common substrate in a snow-addition experiment to test whether snow accumulation around arctic deciduous shrubs altered the environment enough to increase litter decomposition rates. We compared the influence of litter quality on the rate of litter and N loss by decomposing litter from four different plant functional types in a common site. We used aboveground net primary production values and estimated decay constant (k) values from our decomposition experiments to calculate community-weighted mass loss for each site. Snow addition had no effect on decomposition of the common substrate, and the site with the highest abundance of shrubs had the lowest decomposition rates. Species varied in their decomposition rates, with species from the same functional type not always following similar patterns. Community-weighted mass loss was 1.5 times greater in the high shrub site, and only slightly decreased when adjusted for soil environment, suggesting that litter quality and quantity are the primary drivers of community decomposition. Our findings suggest that on a short time scale, the changes in soil environment associated with snow trapping by shrubs are unlikely to influence litter nutrient turnover enough to drive positive snow-shrub feedbacks. The mechanisms driving shrub expansion are more likely to do with shrub-litter feedbacks, where the higher growth rates and N uptake by shrubs allows them to produce more leaves, resulting in a larger litter N pool and faster internal cycling of nutrients. PMID

  19. Water track distribution and effects on carbon dioxide flux in an eastern Siberian upland tundra landscape

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 CO2 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 km2 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 CO2. 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)

  20. Water track distribution and effects on carbon dioxide flux in an eastern Siberian upland tundra landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curasi, Salvatore R.; Loranty, Michael M.; Natali, Susan M.

    2016-04-01

    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 CO2 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 km2 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 CO2. 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.

  1. Arctic Shrub Growth Response to Climate Variation and Infrastructure Development on the North Slope of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, D.; Finlay, J. C.; Griffin, D.

    2015-12-01

    Woody shrub growth in the arctic tundra is increasing on a circumpolar scale. Shrub expansion alters land-atmosphere carbon fluxes, nutrient cycling, and habitat structure. Despite these ecosystem effects, the drivers of shrub expansion have not been precisely established at the landscape scale. This project examined two proposed anthropogenic drivers: global climate change and local infrastructure development, a press disturbance that generates high levels of dust deposition. Effects of global change were studied using dendrochronology to establish a relationship between climate and annual growth in Betula and Salix shrubs growing in the Alaskan low Arctic. To understand the spatial heterogeneity of shrub expansion, this analysis was replicated in shrub populations across levels of landscape properties including soil moisture and substrate age. Effects of dust deposition on normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and photosynthetic rate were measured on transects up to 625 meters from the Dalton Highway. Dust deposition rates decreased exponentially with distance from road, matching previous models of road dust deposition. NDVI tracked deposition rates closely, but photosynthetic rates were not strongly affected by deposition. These results suggest that dust deposition may locally bias remote sensing measurements such as NDVI, without altering internal physiological processes such as photosynthesis in arctic shrubs. Distinguishing between the effects of landscape properties, climate, and disturbance will improve our predictions of the biogeochemical feedbacks of arctic shrub expansion, with potential application in climate change modeling.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  5. Not poles apart: Antarctic soil fungal communities show similarities to those of the distant Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Filipa; Newsham, Kevin K; Bol, Roland; Dungait, Jennifer A J; Robinson, Clare H

    2016-05-01

    Antarctica's extreme environment and geographical isolation offers a useful platform for testing the relative roles of environmental selection and dispersal barriers influencing fungal communities. The former process should lead to convergence in community composition with other cold environments, such as those in the Arctic. Alternatively, dispersal limitations should minimise similarity between Antarctica and distant northern landmasses. Using high-throughput sequencing, we show that Antarctica shares significantly more fungi with the Arctic, and more fungi display a bipolar distribution, than would be expected in the absence of environmental filtering. In contrast to temperate and tropical regions, there is relatively little endemism, and a strongly bimodal distribution of range sizes. Increasing southerly latitude is associated with lower endemism and communities increasingly dominated by fungi with widespread ranges. These results suggest that micro-organisms with well-developed dispersal capabilities can inhabit opposite poles of the Earth, and dominate extreme environments over specialised local species. PMID:26932261

  6. Arctic ecosystem functional zones: identification and quantification using an above and below ground monitoring strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Susan S.; Ajo-Franklin, Jonathan B.; Dafflon, Baptiste; Dou, Shan; Kneafsey, Tim J.; Peterson, John E.; Tas, Neslihan; Torn, Margaret S.; Phuong Tran, Anh; Ulrich, Craig; Wainwright, Haruko; Wu, Yuxin; Wullschleger, Stan

    2015-04-01

    Although accurate prediction of ecosystem feedbacks to climate requires characterization of the properties that influence terrestrial carbon cycling, performing such characterization is challenging due to the disparity of scales involved. This is particularly true in vulnerable Arctic ecosystems, where microbial activities leading to the production of greenhouse gasses are a function of small-scale hydrological, geochemical, and thermal conditions influenced by geomorphology and seasonal dynamics. As part of the DOE Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE-Arctic), we are advancing two approaches to improve the characterization of complex Arctic ecosystems, with an initial application to an ice-wedge polygon dominated tundra site near Barrow, AK, USA. The first advance focuses on developing a new strategy to jointly monitor above- and below- ground properties critical for carbon cycling in the tundra. The strategy includes co-characterization of properties within the three critical ecosystem compartments: land surface (vegetation, water inundation, snow thickness, and geomorphology); active layer (peat thickness, soil moisture, soil texture, hydraulic conductivity, soil temperature, and geochemistry); and permafrost (mineral soil and ice content, nature, and distribution). Using a nested sampling strategy, a wide range of measurements have been collected at the study site over the past three years, including: above-ground imagery (LiDAR, visible, near infrared, NDVI) from various platforms, surface geophysical datasets (electrical, electromagnetic, ground penetrating radar, seismic), and point measurements (such as CO2 and methane fluxes, soil properties, microbial community composition). A subset of the coincident datasets is autonomously collected daily. Laboratory experiments and new inversion approaches are used to improve interpretation of the field geophysical datasets in terms of ecosystem properties. The new strategy has significantly advanced our ability

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  9. Effects of winter seismic exploration on vegetation and soil of the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — When winter seismic exploration was conducted on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Arctic NWR, little data were available on the longterm...

  10. Radioactive tracer studies of soil and litter arthropod food chains. Progress report, November 1, 1975--October 31, 1976

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Progress is described in radioisotope measurement of nutrient element flow in soil-litter arthropod food chains. Two models of accumulation (Goldstein-Elwood, Reichle-Crossley) were tested experimentally and found to yield equivalent predictions of 134Cs and 85Sr movement through arthropod populations. Radioisotope retention studies were used to compare trophic strategies of soil tipulids from arctic tundra and temperate forest. Arctic tipulids were found to compensate for low temperatures with enhanced assimilation and slower turnover of nutrients. Electron microprobe analysis is being used to measure elemental content of soil microarthropods. Concentrations as high as 70,000 ppm of Ca are reported for oribatid mites. Improved measurements of input-output nutrient concentrations are reported for island ecosystems on granitic outcrops, which are being subjected to experimental alteration in studies of ecosystem function

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastepanov, Mikhail; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Ström, Lena; Tagesson, Torbern; Tamstorf, Mikkel Peter; Christensen, Torben R.

    2008-01-01

    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 with the......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...

  12. Dynamics in storage-discharge relations on annual and seasonal scale in a large sub-Arctic catchment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ploum, Stefan; van der Velde, Ype; Teuling, Ryan; Lyon, Steve

    2015-04-01

    Warming of the Arctic and sub-Arctic environment can affect the global carbon budget because tundra systems have the potential to develop from a carbon sink into a major carbon source. The transport of carbon on catchment scale is tightly related to hydrology: stream water DOC (dissolved organic carbon) and DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon) concentrations are affected by water flow paths and travel times, and these are again sensitive to shifts in temperature. In this study we investigate the effects of soil temperature and snow levels on streamflow recessions in Abiskojokken, a large sub-Arctic catchment in northern Sweden (566 km2). During a large part of the year the storage depends on the presence of soil frost and snow accumulation, which both vary annually. This means that combining hydrological groundwater theory and temperature records could learn us how sensitive storage-discharge relations are to temperature change. Because a large part of the yearly discharge occurs in spring and summer, we focused on the comparison of recessions during these seasons. We expected that soil frost early in the spring generates surface runoff and thus causes a fast catchment response. However, our results indicate that recessions in spring melt are slower than recessions in the summer. We did a second analysis on years which experienced extremities in winter duration, soil temperatures or snow level. Under certain conditions (long winters, low soil temperatures and both high and low snow levels), the recession behaviour in the spring again becomes similar to summer recessions. These results indicate recession behaviour in spring is influenced by winter conditions and that the storage-discharge relation in a sub-Arctic setting are dynamic on seasonal and annual scale. We conclude that the spatial elapse of snowmelt over the large catchment and the soil frost state are important for this dynamic storage-discharge relation. For accurate carbon export rates, it is of interest to

  13. Biogeophysical feedbacks enhance Arctic terrestrial carbon sink in regional Earth system dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Zhang

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Continued warming of the Arctic will likely accelerate terrestrial carbon (C cycling by increasing both uptake and release of C. There are still large uncertainties in modelling Arctic terrestrial ecosystems as a source or sink of C. Most modelling studies assessing or projecting the future fate of C exchange with the atmosphere are based an either stand-alone process-based models or coupled climate–C cycle general circulation models, in either case disregarding biogeophysical feedbacks of land surface changes to the atmosphere. To understand how biogeophysical feedbacks will impact on both climate and C budget over Arctic terrestrial ecosystems, we apply the regional Earth system model RCA-GUESS over the CORDEX-Arctic domain. The model is forced with lateral boundary conditions from an GCMs CMIP5 climate projection under the RCP 8.5 scenario. We perform two simulations with or without interactive vegetation dynamics respectively to assess the impacts of biogeophysical feedbacks. Both simulations indicate that Arctic terrestrial ecosystems will continue to sequester C with an increased uptake rate until 2060s–2070s, after which the C budget will return to a weak C sink as increased soil respiration and biomass burning outpaces increased net primary productivity. The additional C sinks arising from biogeophysical feedbacks are considerable, around 8.5 Gt C, accounting for 22% of the total C sinks, of which 83.5% are located in areas of Arctic tundra. Two opposing feedback mechanisms, mediated by albedo and evapotranspiration changes respectively, contribute to this response. Albedo feedback dominates over winter and spring season, amplifying the near-surface warming by up to 1.35 K in spring, while evapotranspiration feedback dominates over summer exerting the evaporative cooling by up to 0.81 K. Such feedbacks stimulate vegetation growth with an earlier onset of growing-season, leading to compositional changes in woody plants and vegetation

  14. The dominant detritus-feeding invertebrate in Arctic peat soils derives its essential amino acids from gut symbionts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Thomas; Ventura, Marc; Maraldo, Kristine; Triadó-Margarit, Xavier; Casamayor, Emilio O; Wang, Yiming V; Andersen, Nils; O'Brien, Diane M

    2016-09-01

    Supplementation of nutrients by symbionts enables consumers to thrive on resources that might otherwise be insufficient to meet nutritional demands. Such nutritional subsidies by intracellular symbionts have been well studied; however, supplementation of de novo synthesized nutrients to hosts by extracellular gut symbionts is poorly documented, especially for generalists with relatively undifferentiated intestinal tracts. Although gut symbionts facilitate degradation of resources that would otherwise remain inaccessible to the host, such digestive actions alone cannot make up for dietary insufficiencies of macronutrients such as essential amino acids (EAA). Documenting whether gut symbionts also function as partners for symbiotic EAA supplementation is important because the question of how some detritivores are able to subsist on nutritionally insufficient diets has remained unresolved. To answer this poorly understood nutritional aspect of symbiont-host interactions, we studied the enchytraeid worm, a bulk soil feeder that thrives in Arctic peatlands. In a combined field and laboratory study, we employed stable isotope fingerprinting of amino acids to identify the biosynthetic origins of amino acids to bacteria, fungi and plants in enchytraeids. Enchytraeids collected from Arctic peatlands derived more than 80% of their EAA from bacteria. In a controlled feeding study with the enchytraeid Enchytraeus crypticus, EAA derived almost exclusively from gut bacteria when the worms fed on higher fibre diets, whereas most of the enchytraeids' EAA derived from dietary sources when fed on lower fibre diets. Our gene sequencing results of gut microbiota showed that the worms harbour several taxa in their gut lumen absent from their diets and substrates. Almost all gut taxa are candidates for EAA supplementation because almost all belong to clades capable of biosynthesizing EAA. Our study provides the first evidence of extensive symbiotic supplementation of EAA by microbial

  15. Drivers of seasonality in Arctic carbon dioxide fluxes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mbufong, Herbert Njuabe

    perturbations and the potential for widespread feedbacks with global consequences. In this thesis, I present and discuss the findings of an investigation of comparable drivers of the seasonality in carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes across heterogeneous Arctic tundra ecosystems. Due to the remoteness and the harsh...

  16. Stability and biodegradability of humic substances from Arctic soils of Western Siberia: insights from 13C-NMR spectroscopy and elemental analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ejarque, E.; Abakumov, E.

    2015-11-01

    Arctic soils contain large amounts of organic matter which, globally, exceed the amount of carbon stored in vegetation biomass and in the atmosphere. Recent studies emphasize the potential sensitivity for this soil organic matter (SOM) to be mineralised when faced with increasing ambient temperatures. In order to better refine the predictions about the response of SOM to climate warming, there is a need to increase the spatial coverage of empirical data on SOM quantity and quality in the Arctic area. This study provides, for the first time, a characterisation of SOM from the Gydan Peninsula in the Yamal Region, Western Siberia, Russia. On the one hand, soil humic acids and their humification state were characterised by measuring the elemental composition and diversity of functional groups using solid-state 13C-NMR spectroscopy. Also, the total mineralisable carbon was measured. Our results show that there is a uniformity of SOM characteristics throughout the studied region, as well as within soil profiles. Such in-depth homogeneity, together with a predominance of aliphatic carbon structures, suggests the accumulation in soil of raw and slightly decomposed organic matter. Moreover, results on total mineralisable carbon suggest a high lability of these compounds. The mineralisation rate was found to be independent of SOM quality, and to be mainly explained solely by the total carbon content. Overall, our results provide further evidence on the fundamental role that the soils of Western Siberia may have on regulating the global carbon balance when faced with increasing ambient temperatures.

  17. International Tundra Experiment ITEX Manual Second Edition

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    The decline or recolonization of apex predators such as wolves and lynx, often driven by management decisions, and the expansion of smaller generalist predators such as red foxes, can have important ecosystem impacts. The mesopredator release hypothesis proposes that apex predators control medium-sized predator populations through competition and/or intraguild predation. The decline of apex predators thus leads to an increase in mesopredators, possibly with a negative impact on prey populations. Information about the abundance of mammalian tundra predators, wolf (Canis lupus), wolverine (Gulo gulo), lynx (Lynx lynx), red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) was collected from local active outdoors people during semi-structured interviews in 14 low arctic or sub-arctic settlements in western Eurasia. The perceived abundance of red fox decreased with higher wolf abundance and in more arctic areas, but the negative effect of wolves decreased in more arctic and therefore less productive ecosystems. The perceived abundance of arctic fox increased towards the arctic and in areas with colder winters. Although there was a negative correlation between the two fox species, red fox was not included in the model for perceived arctic fox abundance, which received most support. Our results support the mesopredator release hypothesis regarding the expansion of red foxes in subarctic areas and indicate that top-down control by apex predators is weaker in less productive and more arctic ecosystems. We showed that local ecological knowledge is a valuable source of information about large-scale processes, which are difficult to study through direct biological investigations. PMID:26686344

  19. Potentiostatically Poised Electrodes Mimic Iron Oxide and Interact with Soil Microbial Communities to Alter the Biogeochemistry of Arctic Peat Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Largus T. Angenent

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria are ubiquitous in soils worldwide, possess the ability to transfer electrons outside of their cell membranes, and are capable of respiring with various metal oxides. Reduction of iron oxides is one of the more energetically favorable forms of anaerobic respiration, with a higher energy yield than both sulfate reduction and methanogenesis. As such, this process has significant implications for soil carbon balances, especially in the saturated, carbon-rich soils of the northern latitudes. However, the dynamics of these microbial processes within the context of the greater soil microbiome remain largely unstudied. Previously, we have demonstrated the capability of potentiostatically poised electrodes to mimic the redox potential of iron(III- and humic acid-compounds and obtain a measure of metal-reducing respiration. Here, we extend this work by utilizing poised electrodes to provide an inexaustable electron acceptor for iron- and humic acid-reducing microbes, and by measuring the effects on both microbial community structure and greenhouse gas emissions. The application of both nonpoised and poised graphite electrodes in peat soils stimulated methane emissions by 15%–43% compared to soils without electrodes. Poised electrodes resulted in higher (13%–24% methane emissions than the nonpoised electrodes. The stimulation of methane emissions for both nonpoised and poised electrodes correlated with the enrichment of proteobacteria, verrucomicrobia, and bacteroidetes. Here, we demonstrate a tool for precisely manipulating localized redox conditions in situ (via poised electrodes and for connecting microbial community dynamics with larger ecosystem processes. This work provides a foundation for further studies examining the role of dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria in global biogeochemical cycles.

  20. Microbial community composition and enzyme activities in cryoturbated arctic soils are controlled by environmental parameters rather than by soil organic matter properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnecker, Jörg; Wild, Birgit; Hofhansl, Florian; Eloy Alves, Ricardo J.; Bárta, Jiří; Čapek, Petr; Fuchslueger, Lucia; Gentsch, Norman; Gittel, Antje; Guggenberger, Georg; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Šantrůčková, Hana; Shibistova, Olga; Knoltsch, Anna; Takriti, Mounir; Urich, Tim; Richter, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    Enzyme-mediated decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) is controlled by environmental parameters (i.e. temperature, moisture, pH) and organic matter properties. The role of these factors as well as the role of microbial community composition and therefore the main drivers of enzymatic decomposition of SOM are largely unknown, since all of these factors are often intercorrelated. We investigated soils from three regions in the Siberian Arctic, where carbon rich topsoil material has been incorporated into the subsoil (cryoturbation). We took advantage of this combination of topsoil organic matter and subsoil environmental conditions, to identify controls on microbial community composition and enzyme activities. We found that microbial community composition (estimated by phospholipid fatty acids analysis), was similar in cryoturbated OM and in surrounding subsoil, although C and N content were similar in cryoturbated material and topsoils. These results suggest that physical conditions rather than SOM properties shaped microbial community composition. To identify direct and indirect drivers of extracellular enzyme activities (cellobiohydrolase, leucine-amino-peptidase and phenoloxidase) we included microbial community composition, C, N and clay content, as well as pH in structural equation models. Models for regular horizons (excluding cryoturbated material), showed that enzyme activities were mainly controlled by C or N. Microbial community composition had no effect. In contrast models for cryoturbated OM, where the microbial community was adapted to subsoil environmental conditions, showed that enzyme activities were also related to microbial community composition. This indicates enzyme activities and more general decomposition to be limited by microbial community composition in cryoturbated organic matter, rather than by the availability of the substrates. The controlling cascade of physical parameters over microbial community composition to enzyme activities

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. Soil remediation of a former tank farm site in western Arctic Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pouliot, Y.; Moreau, N.; Thomassin-Lacroix, E.; Faucher, C. [Biogenie Inc., Quebec City, PQ (Canada); Pokiak, C. [Inuvialuit Land Administration, Tuktoyaktuk, NT (Canada)

    2003-07-01

    This paper describes a successful bioremediation project on hydrocarbon-impacted soil at Saviktok Point in the Northwest Territories. The site is a former tank farm which supplied diesel fuel to radar stations of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line in northern Canada. Site characterization revealed that hydrocarbon contamination had migrated into the permafrost, reaching a depth of 2 metres. A remediation strategy was designed to minimize soil handling and use a wind-powered soil aeration system. The design of the biological treatment was uniquely adapted to the site characteristics. The remediation strategy also made maximum use of local resources and required the active participation of Tuktoyaktuk's Inuvialuit community. In the spring of 2000, 17,000 cubic metres of hydrocarbon contaminated soil was excavated and taken to a treatment area for ventilation. After one year, nearly 45 per cent of the soil had reached the remedial criterion, followed by 85 per cent in the second year and 100 per cent in the third year. 3 refs., 2 tabs., 1 fig.

  3. 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.

  4. Arctic and boreal ecosystems of western North America as components of the climate system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapin, F. S., III; McGuire, A.D.; Randerson, J.; Pielke, R., Sr.; Baldocchi, D.; Hobbie, S.E.; Roulet, Nigel; Eugster, W.; Kasischke, E.; Rastetter, E.B.; Zimov, S.A.; Running, S.W.

    2000-01-01

    Synthesis of results from several Arctic and boreal research programmes provides evidence for the strong role of high-latitude ecosystems in the climate system. Average surface air temperature has increased 0.3??C per decade during the twentieth century in the western North American Arctic and boreal forest zones. Precipitation has also increased, but changes in soil moisture are uncertain. Disturbance rates have increased in the boreal forest; for example, there has been a doubling of the area burned in North America in the past 20 years. The disturbance regime in tundra may not have changed. Tundra has a 3-6-fold higher winter albedo than boreal forest, but summer albedo and energy partitioning differ more strongly among ecosystems within either tundra or boreal forest than between these two biomes. This indicates a need to improve our understanding of vegetation dynamics within, as well as between, biomes. If regional surface warming were to continue, changes in albedo and energy absorption would likely act as a positive feedback to regional warming due to earlier melting of snow and, over the long term, the northward movement of treeline. Surface drying and a change in dominance from mosses to vascular plants would also enhance sensible heat flux and regional warming in tundra. In the boreal forest of western North America, deciduous forests have twice the albedo of conifer forests in both winter and summer, 50-80% higher evapotranspiration, and therefore only 30-50% of the sensible heat flux of conifers in summer. Therefore, a warming-induced increase in fire frequency that increased the proportion of deciduous forests in the landscape, would act as a negative feedback to regional warming. Changes in thermokarst and the aerial extent of wetlands, lakes, and ponds would alter high-latitude methane flux. There is currently a wide discrepancy among estimates of the size and direction of CO2 flux between high-latitude ecosystems and the atmosphere. These

  5. Cold season soil respiration in response to grazing and warming in the High Arctic Svalbard

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strebel, Ditte; Elberling, Bo; Morgner, Elke;

    2010-01-01

    The influence of goose grazing intensity and open-topped chambers (OTCs) on near-surface quantities and qualities of soil organic carbon (SOC) was evaluated in wet and mesic ecosystems in Svalbard. This study followed up a field experiment carried out in 2003-05 (part of the project Fragility of......) and solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Results reveal variations in soil carbon cycling, with significant seasonal trends controlled by temperature, water content and snow. Experimental warming (OTCs) increased near-surface temperatures in the growing season, resulting in...

  6. Priming-induced Changes in Permafrost Soil Organic Matter Decomposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pegoraro, E.; Schuur, E.; Bracho, R. G.

    2015-12-01

    Warming of tundra ecosystems due to climate change is predicted to thaw permafrost and increase plant biomass and litter input to soil. Additional input of easily decomposable carbon can alter microbial activity by providing a much needed energy source, thereby accelerating soil organic matter decomposition. This phenomenon, known as the priming effect, can increase CO2 flux from soil to the atmosphere. However, the extent to which this mechanism can decrease soil carbon stocks in the Arctic is unknown. This project assessed priming effects on permafrost soil collected from a moist acidic tundra site in Healy, Alaska. We hypothesized that priming would increase microbial activity by providing microbes with a fresh source of carbon, thereby increasing decomposition of old and slowly decomposing carbon. Soil from surface and deep layers were amended with multiple pulses of uniformly 13C labeled glucose and cellulose, and samples were incubated at 15° C to quantify whether labile substrate addition increased carbon mineralization. We quantified the proportion of old carbon mineralization by measuring 14CO2. Data shows that substrate addition resulted in higher respiration rates in amended soils; however, priming was only observed in deep layers, where 30% more soil-derived carbon was respired compared to control samples. This suggests that microbes in deep layers are limited in energy, and the addition of labile carbon increases native soil organic matter decomposition, especially in soil with greater fractions of slowly decomposing carbon. Priming in permafrost could exacerbate the effects of climate change by increasing mineralization rates of carbon accumulated over the long-term in deep layers. Therefore, quantifying priming effect in permafrost soils is imperative to understanding the dynamics of carbon turnover in a warmer world.

  7. Effects of large herbivores on biodiversity of vegetation and soil microarthropods in low Arctic Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aastrup, Peter; Raundrup, Katrine; Feilberg, Jon;

    This report summarizes the results of a project that aims at documenting long term effects of grazing by comparing baseline data inside and outside exclosures. We collected data on vascular plants, mosses, lichens, microarthropod abundance and food-web structure, soil nutrients, decomposition, an...

  8.  Winter time burst of CO2 from the High Arctic soils of Svalbard

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friborg, Thomas; Hansen, Birger; Elberling, Bo; Jensen, Louise Askær; Søndergaard, Jens Ernst; Mastepanov, Mikhail

    relatively few measurements which appear to give small and constant emission rates. Further, most studies of the processes behind winter time emission of CO2 conclude that the flux during this time of year can be linked to the respiratory release of CO2 from soil micro organisms, which is temperature...

  9. Methane-cycling microbial communities in permafrost affected soils on Herschel Island and the Yukon Coast, Western Canadian Arctic

    OpenAIRE

    Frank-Fahle, Béatrice A.

    2013-01-01

    Permafrost-affected ecosystems including peat wetlands are among the most obvious regions in which current microbial controls on organic matter decomposition are likely to change as a result of global warming. Wet tundra ecosystems in particular are ideal sites for increased methane production because of the waterlogged, anoxic conditions that prevail in seasonally increasing thawed layers. The following doctoral research project focused on investigating the abundance and distribution of the ...

  10. Flux Of Carbon from an Airborne Laboratory (FOCAL): Synergy of airborne and surface measures of carbon emission and isotopologue content from tundra landscape in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobosy, R.; Dumas, E.; Sayres, D. S.; Kochendorfer, J.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic tundra, recognized as a potential major source of new atmospheric carbon, is characterized by low topographic relief and small-scale heterogeneity consisting of small lakes and intervening tundra vegetation. This fits well the flux-fragment method (FFM) of analysis of data from low-flying aircraft. The FFM draws on 1)airborne eddy-covariance flux measurements, 2)a classified surface-characteristics map (e.g. open water vs tundra), 3)a footprint model, and 4)companion surface-based eddy-covariance flux measurements. The FOCAL, a collaboration among Harvard University's Anderson Group, NOAA's Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division (ATDD), and Aurora Flight Sciences, Inc., made coordinated flights in 2013 August with a collaborating surface site. The FOCAL gathers not only flux data for CH4 and CO2 but also the corresponding carbon-isotopologue content of these gases. The surface site provides a continuous sample of carbon flux from interstitial tundra over time throughout the period of the campaign. The FFM draws samples from the aircraft data over many instances of tundra and also open water. From this we will determine how representative the surface site is of the larger area (100 km linear scale), and how much the open water differs from the tundra as a source of carbon.

  11. Nutrient Limitations Constrain the Feedback Capacity of Landscapes in the High Arctic: Nonlinearities and Synergism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arens, S. J.; Sullivan, P. F.; Welker, J. M.; Rogers, M. C.; Holland, K.; Schimel, J.; Persson, K.

    2006-12-01

    Nutrient availability appears to be a controlling factor in the structure and function of High Arctic terrestrial systems as depicted by biological hot spots such as bird cliffs which are found throughout the arctic. Understanding the processes by which nutrients control plant production, canopy structure, and ecosystem carbon cycling have been well studied in the Low Arctic, where fertilization experiments have been employed for decades. Few studies have examined how the amount and type of nutrient augmentations (fertilization) affects the magnitude and pattern of CO2 exchange, species composition and optical properties of prostrate dwarf-shrub, herb tundra, the largest ecosystem in the High Arctic. In this study, amendments of three levels of nitrogen (N) (0.5 g/m2, 1.0 g/m2 and 5.0 g/m2) phosphorus (P) (2.5 g/m2) were initiated in prostrate dwarf- shrub, herb tundra near Pituffik (Thule), Greenland (76¢ªN, 68¢ªW). Species composition, net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), gross primary photosynthesis (GPP), ecosystem respiration (ER) and plot-level normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were used to quantify changes in ecosystem structure and function. Non- linear responses to the addition of different levels of N were observed. CO2 gas exchange and NDVI showed indicated the strongest response at middle levels of N addition (1.0 g/m2). Strong and synergystic responses to the combined addition of nitrogen and phosphorus were observed. Increases in vegetation density and a shift in species composition were observed when N and P were added to these systems, partially explaining the near doubling of NDVI values from 0.3 to 0.6. Rates of NEE, GPP and ER were significantly higher when N and P were combined compared to independent additions of each or when compared to non-fertilized areas. Our results indicate that feedback processes such as CO2 exchange, optical properties and vegetation composition and structure are co-limited by N and P and that the addition

  12. Long-term increases in snow pack elevate leaf N and photosynthesis in Salix arctica: responses to a snow fence experiment in the High Arctic of NW Greenland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We examine the influence of altered winter precipitation on a High Arctic landscape with continuous permafrost. Gas exchange, leaf tissue element and isotopic composition (N, δ13C, δ15N), and plant water sources derived from stem and soil water δ18O were examined in Salix arctica (arctic willow) following a decade of snow-fence-enhanced snow pack in NW Greenland. Study plots in ambient and +snow conditions were sampled in summer 2012. Plants experiencing enhanced snow conditions for 10 years had higher leaf [N], photosynthetic rate, and more enriched leaf δ15N. Enhanced snow did not influence stomatal conductance or depth of plant water use. We attribute the higher photosynthetic rate in S. arctica exposed to deeper snow pack to altered biogeochemical cycles which yielded higher leaf [N] rather than to enhanced water availability. These data demonstrate the complexity of High Arctic plant responses to changes in winter conditions. Furthermore, our data depict the intricate linkages between winter and summer conditions as they regulate processes such as leaf gas exchange that may control water vapor and CO2 feedbacks between arctic tundra and the surrounding atmosphere. (letter)

  13. Demequina lutea sp. nov., isolated from a high Arctic permafrost soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Finster, Kai; Herbert, Rodney Andrew; Kjeldsen, Kasper Urup;

    2009-01-01

    Two Gram-stain-positive, pigmented, non-motile, non-spore-forming, pleomorphic, rod-shaped bacteria (strains SV45T and SV47), isolated from a permafrost soil collected from the Adventdalen valley, Spitsbergen, northern Norway, have been characterized taxonomically using a polyphasic approach....... Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that the two permafrost isolates formed a distinct phyletic line within the suborder Micrococcineae of the order Actinomycetales. DNA-DNA hybridization analyses indicate that strains SV45T and SV47 are closely related (60-69 % relatedness) and...

  14. Stability and biodegradability of organic matter from Arctic soils of Western Siberia: insights from 13C-NMR spectroscopy and elemental analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ejarque, E.; Abakumov, E.

    2016-01-01

    Arctic soils contain large amounts of organic matter which, globally, exceed the amount of carbon stored in vegetation biomass and in the atmosphere. Recent studies emphasise the potential sensitivity for this soil organic matter (SOM) to be mineralised when faced with increasing ambient temperatures. In order to better refine the predictions about the response of SOM to climate warming, there is a need to increase the spatial coverage of empirical data on SOM quantity and quality in the Arctic area. This study provides, for the first time, a characterisation of SOM from the Gydan Peninsula in the Yamal Region, Western Siberia, Russia. On the one hand, soil humic acids and their humification state were characterised by measuring the elemental composition and diversity of functional groups using solid-state 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Also, the total mineralisable carbon was measured. Our results indicate that there is a predominance of aliphatic carbon structures, with a minimal variation of their functional-group composition both regionally and within soil depth. This vertical homogeneity and low level of aromaticity reflects the accumulation in soil of lowly decomposed organic matter due to cold temperatures. Mineralisation rates were found to be independent of SOM quality, and to be mainly explained solely by the total carbon content. Overall, our results provide further evidence on the sensitivity that the soils of Western Siberia may have to increasing ambient temperatures and highlight the important role that this region can play in the global carbon balance under the effects of climate warming.

  15. 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.

  16. Allocation of atmospheric CO2 into labile sub-surface carbon pools: a stable isotope labelling approach in a tundra wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rüggen, Norman; Knoblauch, Christian; Pfeiffer, Eva-Maria

    2015-04-01

    Greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost-affected wetlands are intensively studied due to their important role in the global carbon cycle. There are concerns of increasing methane and carbon dioxide fluxes from tundra wetlands due to permafrost degradation and hydrology changes in a warming Arctic. Understanding the sub-surface carbon pool interactions will improve the prediction on how trace gas fluxes from these ecosystems will respond to changing environmental conditions. Partitioning the sources of greenhouse gas fluxes will help to evaluate the quantitative role of recently produced plant photosynthates. Furthermore, partitioning allows separating respiration of long-term stored organic matter and freshly produced plant products. This knowledge is crucial for understanding the response of greenhouse gas fluxes in such wetlands to environmental changes. An in situ 13CO2 pulse-labelling experiment has been conducted in the northeast Siberian tundra (Samoylov island, Lena river delta) in August 2013 to quantify interactions among sub-surface carbon pools (DIC, DOC, CH4) in three depths (6, 16 and 36 cm) of the active layer. The experimental site was a low-centred polygon centre in a polygonal tundra landscape, with a sedge-moss (Carex-Scorpidium) plant association. The water table was at the soils' surface and the permafrost table in a depth of 50 cm. After the system has been 13CO2 pulse labelled, all three studied subsurface carbon pools (CH4, DIC and DOC) were clearly 13C-enriched, which accounts for atmospheric C incorporated into these pools. One day after the labelling, in 6 cm depth 1.5 percent of DIC and 0.1 percent of CH4were replaced by label C, which then steadily declined over a ten days period. The label C content of DOC increased gradually over the same period. In 16 cm depth, the label C increased gradually after labelling in both DIC and CH4. Label C was found in DIC and CH4 even in a depth of 36 cm, although in less pronounced concentrations

  17. Carbon Flux and Isotopic Character of Soil and Soil Gas in Stabilized and Active Thaw Slumps in Northwest Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, A.; Crosby, B. T.; Mora, C. I.; Lohse, K. A.

    2012-12-01

    Permafrost soils store nearly half the world's global carbon. Warming of arctic landscape results in permafrost thaw which causes ground subsidence or thermokarst. On hillslopes, these features rapidly and dramatically alter soil structure, temperature, and moisture, as well as the content and quality of soil organic matter. These changes alter both the rate and mechanism of carbon cycling in permafrost soils, making frozen soils available to both anaerobic and aerobic decomposition. In order to improve our predictive capabilities, we use a chronosequence thaw slumps to examine how fluxes from active and stabilized features differ. Our study site is along the Selawik River in northwest Alaska where a retrogressive thaw slump initiated in the spring of 2004. It has grown to a surface area of 50,000 m2. Products of the erosion are stored on the floor of the feature, trapped on a fan or flushed into the Selawik River. North of slump is undisturbed tundra and adjacent to the west is a slump feature that stabilized and is now covered with a second generation of spruce trees. In this 2 year study, we use measurements of CO2 efflux, δC13 in soil profiles and CO2 and CH4 abundance to constrain the response of belowground carbon emissions. We also focused on constraining which environmental factors govern C emissions within each of the above ecosystems. To this end, we measured soil temperature, and moisture, abundance and quality of soil organic carbon (SOC), water content, and bulk carbon compositions. Preliminary data from the summer of 2011 suggest that vegetation composition and soil temperature exert the strong control on CO2 efflux. The floor of the active slump and fan are bare mineral soils and are generally 10 to 15°C warmer than the tundra and stabilized slump. Consistently decreasing δC13 soil gas profiles in the recovered slump confirm that this region is a well-drained soil dominated by C3 vegetation. The δC13 gas profiles for the tundra, active slump

  18. Holocene Carbon Accumulation and Soil Properties in Northern Peatlands: A Circum-Arctic Synthesis (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loisel, J.; Beilman, D.; Yu, Z.; Camill, P.

    2013-12-01

    Of all terrestrial ecosystems, peatlands are arguably the most efficient at sequestering carbon (C) over long time scales. However, ongoing and projected climate change could shift the balance between peat production and organic matter decomposition, potentially impacting the peatland C-sink capacity and modifying peat-C fluxes to the atmosphere. Yet, the sign and magnitude of the peatland carbon-climate feedback remain uncertain and difficult to assess because of (1) limited understanding of peatland responses to climate change, (2) data gaps and large uncertainties in regional peatland C stocks, and (3) non-linear peatland responses to external forcing. Here we present results from a comprehensive compilation of peat soil properties and Holocene C data for northern peatlands. Our compiled database consists of >250 peat cores from > 200 sites located north of 45N. This synthesis is novel in that our C accumulation estimates are based on directly measured bulk density and C content values. It also encompasses regions within which peat-C data have only recently become available, such as the West Siberia Lowlands, Hudson Bay Lowlands and Kamchatka. Our averaged bulk density value of 0.13 g cm-3 (n = 17,319) is about 16% higher than Gorham's (1991, Ecol. Appl.) widely used estimate of 0.112 g cm-3 for northern peatlands, and 30% larger than the generic value of 0.10 g cm-3 used in recent synthesis (Yu et al. 2009, AGU Monograph 184). When combined with our mean C content value of 48% (n = 2431), these differences in bulk density have important implications for estimating the total C stocks in northern peatlands. Soil organic carbon density (SOC) ranged from 12 to 334 kg C m-2, with a mean value of 102 kg C m-2. A regression model revealed a significant, positive correlation between peat depths and SOC (R2 = 0.675, p stocks by 86% and 65%, respectively. Holocene peat-C accumulation rate averaged 24.2 g C m-2 yr-1, higher than the previous estimate of 18.6 g C m-2 yr-1

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tundra sampling was accomplished in 1989--1990 at Imnavait Creek, Alaska (68 degree 37' N, 149 degree 17' W). Inventories of 137Cs (102--162 mBq/cm2) are close to expectations, based upon measured atmospheric deposition for this latitude. Accumulated inventories of 137Cs in tundra decrease by up to 50% along a transect to Prudhoe Bay (70 degree 13' N, 148 degree 30' W). Atmospheric deposition of 137Cs 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 137Cs 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 137Cs inventories, from a low of 22 mBq/cm2 away from the lake inlet, to a high between 140 to >200 mBq/cm2 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

  20. N2O and N2 emissions from contrasting soil environments - interactive effects of soil nitrogen, hydrology and microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Jesper; Elberling, Bo; Ribbons, Relena; Hedo, Javier; José Fernández Alonso, Maria; Krych, Lukasz; Sandris Nielsen, Dennis; Kitzler, Barbara

    2016-04-01

    Reactive nitrogen (N) in the environment has doubled relative to the natural global N cycle with consequences for biogeochemical cycling of soil N. Also, climate change is expected to alter precipitation patterns and increase soil temperatures which in Arctic environments may accelerate permafrost thawing. The combination of changes in the soil N cycle and hydrological regimes may alter microbial transformations of soil N with unknown impacts on N2O and N2 emissions from temperate and Arctic soils. We present the first results of soil N2O and N2 emissions, chemistry and microbial communities over soil hydrological gradients (upslope, intermediate and wet) across a global N deposition gradient. The global gradient covered an N-limited high Arctic tundra (Zackenberg-ZA), a pacific temperate rain forest (Vancouver Island-VI) and an N saturated forest in Austria (Klausenleopoldsdorf-KL). The N2O and N2 emissions were measured from intact cores at field moisture in a He-atmosphere system. Extractable NH4+ and NO3-, organic and microbial C and N and potential enzyme-activities were determined on soil samples. Soil genomic DNA was subjected to MiSeq-based tag-encoded 16S rRNA and ITS gene amplicon sequencing for the bacterial and fungal community structure. Similar soil moisture levels were observed for the upslope, intermediate and wet locations at ZA, VI and KL, respectively. Extractable NO3- was highest at the N rich KL and lowest at ZA and showed no trend with soil moisture similar to NH4+. At ZA and VI soil NH4+ was higher than NO3- indicating a tighter N cycling. N2O emissions increased with soil moisture at all sites. The N2O emissions for the wet locations ranked similarly to NO3- with the largest response to soil moisture at KL. N2 emissions were remarkably similar across the sites and increased with soil wetness. Microbial C and N also increased with soil moisture and were overall lowest at the N rich KL site. The potential activity of protease enzyme was site

  1. Seeing the risks of multiple Arctic amplifying feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, P.

    2014-12-01

    There are several potentially very large sources of Arctic amplifying feedbacks that have been identified. They present a great risk to the future as they could become self and inter-reinforcing with uncontrollable knock-on, or cascading risks. This has been called a domino effect risk by Carlos Duarte. Because of already committed global warming and the millennial duration of global warming, these are highly policy relevant. These Arctic feedback processes are now all operant with emissions of carbon dioxide methane and nitrous oxide detected. The extent of the risks from these feedback sources are not obvious or easy to understand by policy makers and the public. They are recorded in the IPCC AR5 as potential tipping points, as is the irreversibility of permafrost thaw. Some of them are not accounted for in the IPCC AR5 global warming projections because of quantitative uncertainty. UNEP issued a 2012 report (Policy Implications of Thawing Permafrost) advising that by omitting carbon feedback emissions from permafrost, carbon budget calculations by err on the low side. There is the other unassessed issue of a global warming safety limit for preventing uncontrollable increasing Arctic feedback emissions. Along with our paper, we provide illustrations of the Arctic feedback sources and processes from satellite imagery and flow charts that allows for their qualitative consideration. We rely on the IPCC assessments, the 2012 paper Possible role of wetlands permafrost can methane hydrates in the methane cycle under future climate change; a review, by Fiona M. O'Connor et al., and build on the WWF 2009 Arctic Climate Feedbacks: Global Implications. The potential sources of Arctic feedback processes identified include: Arctic and Far North snow albedo decline, Arctic summer sea ice albedo decline, Greenland summer ice surface melting albedo loss, albedo decline by replacement of Arctic tundra with forest, tundra fires, Boreal forest fires, Boreal forest die

  2. Psychroglaciecola arctica gen. nov., sp. nov., isolated from Arctic glacial foreland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Zhihao; Jiang, Fan; Chang, Xulu; Qiu, Xia; Ren, Lvzhi; Fang, Chengxiang; Peng, Fang

    2014-05-01

    A novel pink-pigmented, facultatively methylotrophic strain, designated M6-76T, was isolated from glacial foreland soil near Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard Archipelago, Norway. Cells of strain M6-76T were rod-shaped (0.4-0.7×0.8-2.0 µm), Gram-stain-negative, aerobic and motile by a single polar flagellum. Growth occurred at 4-28 °C (optimum 18 °C) and at pH 5-8 (optimum pH 7). Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain M6-76T belonged to the family Methylobacteriaceae. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of the novel strain showed 94.6%, 94.0% and 93.9% sequence similarity to those of Methylobacterium salsuginis MRT, Methylobacterium organophilum ATCC 27886T and Microvirga subterranea FaiI4T, respectively. Cells could utilize methanol as the sole source of carbon and energy but not formate. The major respiratory quinone was Q-10. The polar lipids were phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylmonomethylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine and two unknown polar lipids. The predominant cellular fatty acids were summed feature 8 (C18:1ω7c and/or C18:1ω6c), summed feature 3 (C16:1ω6c and/or C16:1ω7c) and C16:0. The DNA G+C content was 67 mol%. The polyphasic data presented in this study indicated that the isolate should be classified as representing a novel species of a new genus within the family Methylobacteriaceae. The name Psychroglaciecola arctica gen. nov., sp. nov. is therefore proposed for the isolate. The type strain of the type species is M6-76T (=CCTCC AB 2013033T=KACC 17684T). PMID:24556636

  3. Tundras and Climate Change: A Mammalian Perspective

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Řičánková, V.; Robovský, J.; Pokorný, Petr

    New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2010 - (Gutierrez, B.; Pena, C.), s. 151-160. (Environmental Research Advances). ISBN 978-1-60876-588-1 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z80020508 Keywords : refugia * palaeoecology * climate change * tundra Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  4. CO2 flux from tundra lichen, moss, and tussock, Council, Alaska: Assessment of spatial representativeness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Chae, N.

    2012-12-01

    CO2 flux-measurement in dominant tundra vegetation on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska was examined for spatial representativeness, using a manual chamber system. In order to assess the representativeness of CO2 flux, a 40 m × 40 m (5-m interval; 81 total points) plot was used in June, August, and September of 2011. Average CO2 fluxes in lichen, moss, and tussock tundra were 3.4 ± 2.7, 4.5 ± 2.9, and 7.2 ± 5.7 mgCO2/m2/m during growing season, respectively, suggesting that tussock tundra is a significant CO2 source, especially considering the wide distribution of tussock tundra in the circumpolar region. Further, soil temperature, rather than soil moisture, held the key role in regulating CO2 flux at the study site: CO2 flux from tussock increased linearly as soil temperature increased, while the flux from lichen and moss followed soil temperature nearly exponentially, reflecting differences in surface area covered by the chamber system. Regarding sample size, the 81 total sampling points over June, August, and September satisfy an experimental average that falls within ±10% of full sample average, with a 95% confidence level. However, the number of sampling points for each variety of vegetation during each month must provide at least ±20%, with an 80% confidence level. In order to overcome the logistical constraints, we were required to identify the site's characteristics with a manual chamber system over a 40 m × 40 m plot and to subsequently employ an automated chamber for spatiotemporal representativeness.

  5. 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.

  6. Soil fungal community development in a high Arctic glacier foreland follows a directional replacement model, with a mid-successional diversity maximum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Ke; Tripathi, Binu; Moroenyane, Itumeleng; Kim, Woosung; Li, Nan; Chu, Haiyan; Adams, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    Directional replacement and directional non-replacement models are two alternative paradigms for community development in primary successional environments. The first model emphasizes turnover in species between early and late successional niches. The second emphasizes accumulation of additional diversity over time. To test whether the development of soil fungal communities in the foreland of an Arctic glacier conforms to either of these models, we collected samples from the Midtre Lovénbreen Glacier, Svalbard, along a soil successional series spanning >80 years. Soil DNA was extracted, and fungal ITS1 region was amplified and sequenced on an Illumina Miseq. There was a progressive change in community composition in the soil fungal community, with greatest fungal OTU richness in the Mid Stage (50-80 years). A nestedness analysis showed that the Early Stage (20-50 years) and the Late Stage (>80 years) fungal communities were nested within the Mid Stage communities. These results imply that fungal community development in this glacier succession follows a directional replacement model. Soil development processes may initially be important in facilitating arrival of additional fungal species, to give a mid-successional diversity maximum that contains both early- and late-successional fungi. Competition may then decrease the overall diversity due to the loss of early successional species. PMID:27240660

  7. Future Climate Change Will Favour Non-Specialist Mammals in the (Sub)Arctics

    OpenAIRE

    Anouschka R Hof; Jansson, Roland; Nilsson, Christer

    2012-01-01

    Arctic and subarctic (i.e., [sub] arctic) ecosystems are predicted to be particularly susceptible to climate change. The area of tundra is expected to decrease and temperate climates will extend further north, affecting species inhabiting northern environments. Consequently, species at high latitudes should be especially susceptible to climate change, likely experiencing significant range contractions. Contrary to these expectations, our modelling of species distributions suggests that predic...

  8. Element cycling in the dominant plant community in the Alpine tundra zone of Changbai Mountains, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Jing-shuang; YU Jun-bao

    2005-01-01

    Element cycling in the dominant plant communities including Rh. aureum, Rh. redowskianum and Vaccinium uliginosum in the Alpine tundra zone of Changbai Mountains in northeast China was studied. The results indicate that the amount of elements from litter decomposition was less than that of the plant uptake from soil, but that from plant uptake was higher than that in soil with mineralization process released. On the other hand, in the open system including precipitation input and soil leaching output, because of great number of elements from precipitation into the open system, the element cycling(except N, P) in the Alpine tundra ecosystem was in a dynamic balance. In this study, it was also found that different organ of plants had significant difference in accumulating elements. Ca, Mg, P and N were accumulated more obviously in leaves, while Fe was in roots. The degree of concentration of elements in different tissues of the same organ of the plants also was different, a higher concentration of Ca, Mg, P and N in mesophyll than in nerve but Fe was in a reversed order. The phenomenon indicates (1) a variety of biochemical functions of different elements, (2) the elements in mesophyll were with a shorter turnover period than those in nerve or fibre, but higher utilization rate for plant. Therefore, this study implies the significance of keeping element dynamic balance in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountains.

  9. Variations in soil carbon dioxide efflux across a thaw slump chronosequence in northwestern Alaska

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Warming of the arctic landscape results in permafrost thaw, which causes ground subsidence or thermokarst. Thermokarst formation on hillslopes leads to the formation of thermal erosion features that dramatically alter soil properties and likely affect soil carbon emissions, but such features have received little study in this regard. In order to assess the magnitude and persistence of altered emissions, we use a space-for-time substitution (thaw slump chronosequence) to quantify and compare peak growing season soil carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes from undisturbed tundra, active, and stabilized thermal erosion features over two seasons. Measurements of soil temperature and moisture, soil organic matter, and bulk density are used to evaluate the factors controlling soil CO2 emissions from each of the three chronosequence stages. Soil CO2 efflux from the active slump is consistently less than half that observed in the undisturbed tundra or stabilized slump (1.8 versus 5.2 g CO2−C m−2 d−1 in 2011; 0.9 versus 3.2 g CO2−C m−2 d−1 in 2012), despite soil temperatures on the floor of the active slump that are 10–15 °C warmer than the tundra and stabilized slump. Environmental factors such as soil temperature and moisture do not exert a strong control on CO2 efflux, rather, local soil physical and chemical properties such as soil organic matter and bulk density, are strongly and inversely related among these chronosequence stages (r2 = 0.97), and explain ∼50% of the variation in soil CO2 efflux. Thus, despite profound soil warming and rapid exposure of buried carbon in the active slump, the low organic matter content, lack of stable vegetation, and large increases in the bulk densities in the uppermost portion of active slump soils (up to ∼2.2 g−1 cm−3) appear to limit CO2 efflux from the active slump. Future studies should assess seasonal fluxes across these features and determine whether soil CO2 fluxes from active features with high organic

  10. Susceptibility of Permafrost Soil Organic Carbon under Warming Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Z.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Liang, L.; Graham, D. E.; Gu, B.

    2015-12-01

    Degradation of soil organic carbon (SOC) that has been stored in permafrost is a key concern under warming climate because it could provide a positive feedback. Studies and conceptual models suggest that SOC degradation is largely controlled by the decomposability of SOC, but it is unclear exactly what portions of SOC are susceptible to rapid breakdown and what mechanisms may be involved in SOC degradation. Using a suite of analytical techniques, we examined the dynamic consumption and production of labile SOC compounds, including sugars, alcohols, and small molecular weight organic acids in incubation experiments (up to 240 days at either -2 or 8 °C) with a tundra soil under anoxic conditions, where SOC respiration and iron(III) reduction were monitored. We observe that sugars and alcohols are main components in SOC accounting for initial rapid release of CO2 and CH4 through anaerobic fermentation, whereas the fermentation products such as acetate and formate are subsequently utilized as primary substrates for methanogenesis. Iron(III) reduction is correlated to acetate production and methanogenesis, suggesting its important roles as an electron acceptor in tundra SOC respiration. These observations corroborate strongly with the glucose addition during incubation, in which rapid CO2 and CH4 production is observed concurrently with rapid production and consumption of organics such as acetate. Thus, the biogeochemical processes we document here are pertinent to understanding the accelerated SOC decomposition with temperature and could provide basis for model predicting feedbacks to climate warming in the Arctic.

  11. Correlations between physicochemical properties of PAHs and their distribution in soil, moss and reindeer dung at Ny-Alesund of the Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang Zhen; Ma Xindong; Na Guangshui; Lin Zhongsheng [National Marine Environmental Monitoring Center, Dalian 116023 (China); Ding Qian [Environmental Science and Engineering College, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian 116026 (China); Yao Ziwei, E-mail: zwyao@nmemc.gov.c [National Marine Environmental Monitoring Center, Dalian 116023 (China)

    2009-11-15

    Concentrations of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil, moss and reindeer dung collected at Ny-Alesund of the Arctic were measured to investigate their accumulation trends and distribution in the three compartments. Compared with the other regions, the proportions of 2 + 3 ring PAHs to the total PAHs were higher, whereas the proportions of 5 + 6 ring PAHs were lower in the three compartments at Ny-Alesund. Significant log/log-linear relationship was observed between the sub-cooled liquid vapor pressure (p{sub L}{sup o}) and the soil/moss quotient (Q{sub SM}). The relation was similar to the relationship between the gas/particle partition coefficient (K{sub P}) and p{sub L}{sup o} of PAHs, implying Q{sub SM} would be a 'mirror image' of K{sub P}. Excellent log/log-linear relationships were observed between Q{sub SM} and K{sub OA} as well as between the moss/dung quotient (Q{sub MD}) and K{sub OW}. The results presented here indicate the physicochemical properties are suitable for characterizing the distribution of PAHs in soil, moss and reindeer dung. - The physicochemical properties of PAHs are suitable for characterizing their distribution in soil, moss and reindeer dung.

  12. Seasonal thaw settlement at drained thermokarst lake basins, Arctic Alaska

    OpenAIRE

    L. Liu; K. Schaefer; A. Gusmeroli; G. Grosse; Jones, B. M.; Zhang, T.; Parsekian, A.D.; Zebker, H.A.

    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...

  13. 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

  14. Changing Arctic ecosystems--the role of ecosystem changes across the Boreal-Arctic transition zone on the distribution and abundance of wildlife populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance; Handel, Colleen; Pearce, John; DeGange, Anthony R.; Holland-Bartels, Leslie; Whalen, Mary

    2013-01-01

    Arctic and boreal ecosystems provide important breeding habitat for more than half of North America’s migratory birds as well as many resident species. Northern landscapes are projected to experience more pronounced climate-related changes in habitat than most other regions. These changes include increases in shrub growth, conversion of tundra to forest, alteration of wetlands, shifts in species’ composition, and changes in the frequency and scale of fires and insect outbreaks. Changing habitat conditions, in turn, may have significant effects on the distribution and abundance of wildlife in these critical northern ecosystems. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting studies in the Boreal–Arctic transition zone of Alaska, an environment of accelerated change in this sensitive margin between Arctic tundra and boreal forest.

  15. Large-area surveys for black carbon and other light-absorbing impurities in snow: Arctic, Antarctic, North America, China (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, S. G.; Doherty, S. J.; Hegg, D.; Dang, C.; Zhang, R.; Grenfell, T. C.; Brandt, R. E.; Clarke, A. D.; Zatko, M.

    2013-12-01

    Absorption of radiation by ice is extremely weak at visible and near-UV wavelengths, so small amounts of light-absorbing impurities (LAI) in snow can dominate the absorption of sunlight at these wavelengths, reducing the albedo relative to that of pure snow and leading to earlier snowmelt. Snow samples were collected in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Svalbard, Norway, Russia, and the Arctic Ocean, on tundra, glaciers, ice caps, sea ice, and frozen lakes, and in boreal forests. Snow was collected mostly in spring, when the entire winter snowpack was accessible for sampling. Snow was also collected at 67 sites in western North America. Expeditions from Lanzhou University obtained black carbon (BC) amounts at 84 sites in northeast and northwest China. BC was measured at 3 locations on the Antarctic Plateau, and at 5 sites on East Antarctic sea ice. The snow is melted and filtered; the filters are analyzed in a spectrophotometer. Median BC mixing ratios in snow range over 4 orders of magnitude from 0.2 ng/g in Antarctica to 1000 ng/g in northeast China. Chemical analyses, input to a receptor model, indicate that the major source of BC in most of the Arctic is biomass burning, but industrial sources dominate in Svalbard and the central Arctic Ocean. Non-BC impurities, principally brown (organic) carbon, are typically responsible for ~40% of the visible and ultraviolet absorption. In northeast China BC is the dominant LAI, but in Inner Mongolia soil dominates. When the snow surface layer melts, much of the BC is left at the top of the snowpack rather than carried away in meltwater, thus causing a positive feedback on snowmelt. This process was quantified through field studies in Greenland, Alaska, and Norway, where we found that only 10-30% of the BC is removed with meltwater. The BC content of the Arctic atmosphere has declined markedly since 1989, according to the continuous measurements of near-surface air in Canada, Alaska, and Svalbard. Correspondingly, our recent BC

  16. Erosion of soil organic carbon at high latitudes and its delivery to Arctic Ocean sediments: New source to sink insight from radiocarbon dating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, Robert; Galy, Valier; Gaillardet, Jerome; Dellinger, Mathieu; Bryant, Charlotte; O'Regan, Matt; Grocke, Darren; Coxall, Helen

    2016-04-01

    Soils of the northern high latitudes store carbon over thousands of years and contain almost double the carbon stock of the atmosphere. Erosion processes can mobilise this pre-aged soil organic carbon from the landscape and supply it to rivers. If it escapes degradation during river transport and is delivered to the coastal ocean, this carbon may be sequestered for much longer periods of time (>104 yr) as a geological CO2 sink. Despite this recognition, the erosional flux and fate of particulate organic carbon (POC) in large rivers draining the high latitudes remains poorly constrained. Using radiocarbon activity, we quantify POC source, flux and fate in the Mackenzie River, the main sediment supplier to the Arctic Ocean. When combined with stable carbon isotopes and element ratios, the radiocarbon activity of POC allows us to distinguish inputs of POC from sedimentary rocks and quantify the average age of biospheric POC (from vegetation and soil) transported through the river system. We find that the eroded biospheric POC has resided in the basin for millennia, with a mean radiocarbon age of 5800±800 years. This is much older than large tropical rivers where we have equivalent data (Amazon River, Ganges River), and likely reflects the longer residence time of organic matter in cold, wet, high latitude soils. Based on the measured biospheric POC content and annual sediment flux, we calculate a biospheric POC flux of 2.2 (+1.3/-0.9) TgC yr‑1 from the Mackenzie River. This is the largest input of aged organic carbon to the Arctic Ocean, more than the combined POC flux from the Eurasian Rivers. Offshore, we use a marine core to investigate organic carbon burial over the Holocene period. Radiocarbon measurements of bulk organic carbon reveal a significant offset from benthic foraminifera radiocarbon ages throughout the core, which is dependent upon the grain size of the sediments. Organic matter in sediments >63μm are offset from foraminifera by ˜ 6,000 14C years

  17. New views on changing Arctic vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Robert E.

    2012-03-01

    As climate changes, how will terrestrial vegetation respond? Because the fates of many biogeochemical, hydrological and economic cycles depend on vegetation, this question is fundamental to climate change science but extremely challenging to address. This is particularly true in the Arctic, where temperature change has been most acute globally (IPCC 2007) and where potential feedbacks to carbon, energy and hydrological cycles have important implications for the rest of the Earth system (Chapin et al 2000). It is well known that vegetation is tightly coupled to precipitation and temperature (Whittaker 1975), but predicting the response of vegetation to changes in climate involves much more than invoking the limitations of climate envelopes (Thuiller et al 2008). Models must also consider efficacy of dispersal, soil constraints, ecological interactions, possible CO2 fertilization impacts and the changing impact of other, more proximal anthropogenic effects such as pollution, disturbance, etc (Coops and Waring 2011, Lenihan et al 2008, Scheller and Mladenoff 2005). Given this complexity, a key test will be whether models can match empirical observations of changes that have already occurred. The challenge is finding empirical observations of change that are appropriate to test hypothesized impacts of climate change. As climate gradually changes across broad bioclimatic gradients, vegetation condition may change gradually as well. To capture these gradual trends, observations need at least three characteristics: (1) they must quantify a vegetation attribute that is expected to change, (2) they must measure that attribute in exactly the same way over long periods of time, and (3) they must sample diverse communities at geographic scales commensurate with the scale of expected climatic shifts. Observation networks meeting all three criteria are rare anywhere on the globe, but particularly so in remote areas. For this reason, satellite images have long been used as a

  18. Crossing the Threshold - Reviewed Evidence for Regime Shifts in Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mård Karlsson, J.; Destouni, G.; Peterson, G.; Gordon, L.

    2009-12-01

    The Arctic is rapidly changing, and the Arctic terrestrial ecosystems may respond to changing conditions in different ways. We review the evidence of regime shifts (ecosystem change from one set of mutually reinforcing feedbacks to another) in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems in relation to the hydrological cycle, as part of a larger interdisciplinary research project on Pan-Arctic ice-water-biogeochemical system responses and social-ecological resilience effects in a warming climate, which has in turn been part of the International Polar Year project Arctic-HYDRA. Such regime shifts may have implications for the Earth system as a whole, through changes in water flows and energy balance that yield feedbacks to hydrology and the local and global climate. Because the presence or absence of permafrost is a main control on local hydrological processes in the Arctic, we use the ecological response to permafrost warming to define three types of regime shifts: 1) Conversion of aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems due to draining of lakes and wetlands caused by permafrost degradation and thermokarst processes, which may have a large impact on local people and animals that depend on these ecosystems for food, domestic needs, and habitat, and on climate as the water conditions influence the direction of CO2 exchange. 2) Conversion of terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems as forests are being replaced by wet sedge meadows, bogs, and thermokarst ponds that favor aquatic birds and mammals, as thawing permafrost atop continuous permafrost undermines and destroys the root zone, leading to collapse and death of the trees. 3) Shifts in terrestrial ecosystems due to transition from tundra to shrubland and/or forest, caused by warming of air and soil, resulting in increased surface energy exchanges and albedo, which may in turn feed back to enhanced warming at the local-regional scale. We compare the impact, scale and key processes for each of these regime shifts, and assess the degree to

  19. Soil Warming and Carbon Release: Varying Patterns of Organic Matter Breakdown Across Five Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billings, S. A.; Barich, D.; Munson, E.

    2008-12-01

    Our understanding of the mechanisms governing soil organic carbon (SOC) retention vs. loss as CO2 in the future suffers from an inability to predict how mineralization of labile vs. recalcitrant SOC will proceed with warming. Incubation and field studies of soil warming have resulted in conflicting conclusions about how multiple SOC pools will respond to rising temperatures. In this study, we explore SOC transformations in a long-term incubation with warming from five North American ecosystems by assessing respired CO2 and solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of non-incubated and cool vs. warm incubated soils. We also quantified extra-cellular enzyme activities (EEA) late in the incubation to assess how relatively slow-turnover SOC pools responded to warming. Soils from a cool temperate forest, a warm temperate forest, and a temperate grassland released an average of 95% more CO2 when warmed by the end of the 200 d incubation. Soils from a boreal forest and acidic arctic tundra released slightly more CO2 with warming during the first 20 d of the incubation, but after day 20 and until day 200 CO2 released by warmed soils was equivalent to the control soils. NMR spectra and EEA data suggest varying responses of these ecosystems' SOC pools to warming. Arctic tundra soils did not experience a change in the kinds of C compounds mineralized with warming, yet EEA data indicate greater acquisition of C from phenolic compounds. Boreal forest soil NMR spectra suggest greater net humification with warming, with only slight increases in enzymatic C acquisition. These soils may have experienced an increase in C use efficiency with warming that resulted in acquired C not being "wasted" on respiration. Cool temperate forest soils exhibited no change in the kinds of C accessed by microbes with warming, as revealed via NMR, in spite of these soils' greater C acquisition and respiration with warming. Grassland soils experienced an increase in humification with

  20. 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 an...

  1. Influence of the Tussock Growth Form on Arctic Ecosystem Carbon Stocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curasi, S.; Rocha, A. V.; Sonnentag, O.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Myers-Smith, I. H.; Fetcher, N.; Mack, M. C.; Natali, S.; Loranty, M. M.; Parker, T.

    2015-12-01

    The influence of plant growth forms on ecosystem carbon (C) cycling has been under appreciated. In arctic tundra, environmental factors and plant traits of the sedge Eriophorum vaginatum cause the formation of mounds that are dense amalgamations of belowground C called tussocks. Tussocks have important implications for arctic ecosystem biogeochemistry and C stocks, but the environmental and biological factors controlling their size and distribution across the landscape are poorly understood. In order to better understand how landscape variation in tussock size and density impact ecosystem C stocks, we formed the Carbon in Arctic Tussock Tundra (CATT) network and recruited an international team to sample locations across the arctic. The CATT network provided a latitudinal and longitudinal gradient along which to improve our understanding of tussocks' influence on ecosystem structure and function. CATT data revealed important insights into tussock formation across the arctic. Tussock density generally declined with latitude, and tussock size exhibited substantial variation across sites. The relationship between height and diameter was similar across CATT sites indicating that both biological and environmental factors control tussock formation. At some sites, C in tussocks comprised a substantial percentage of ecosystem C stocks that may be vulnerable to climate change. It is concluded that the loss of this growth form would offset C gains from projected plant functional shifts from graminoid to shrub tundra. This work highlights the role of plant growth forms on the magnitude and retention of ecosystem C stocks.

  2. Experimental icing affects growth, mortality, and flowering in a high Arctic dwarf shrub.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milner, Jos M; Varpe, Øystein; van der Wal, René; Hansen, Brage Bremset

    2016-04-01

    Effects of climate change are predicted to be greatest at high latitudes, with more pronounced warming in winter than summer. Extreme mid-winter warm spells and heavy rain-on-snow events are already increasing in frequency in the Arctic, with implications for snow-pack and ground-ice formation. These may in turn affect key components of Arctic ecosystems. However, the fitness consequences of extreme winter weather events for tundra plants are not well understood, especially in the high Arctic. We simulated an extreme mid-winter rain-on-snow event at a field site in high Arctic Svalbard (78°N) by experimentally encasing tundra vegetation in ice. After the subsequent growing season, we measured the effects of icing on growth and fitness indices in the common tundra plant, Arctic bell-heather (Cassiope tetragona). The suitability of this species for retrospective growth analysis enabled us to compare shoot growth in pre and postmanipulation years in icing treatment and control plants, as well as shoot survival and flowering. Plants from icing treatment plots had higher shoot mortality and lower flowering success than controls. At the individual sample level, heavily flowering plants invested less in shoot growth than nonflowering plants, while shoot growth was positively related to the degree of shoot mortality. Therefore, contrary to expectation, undamaged shoots showed enhanced growth in ice treatment plants. This suggests that following damage, aboveground resources were allocated to the few remaining undamaged meristems. The enhanced shoot growth measured in our icing treatment plants has implications for climate studies based on retrospective analyses of Cassiope. As shoot growth in this species responds positively to summer warming, it also highlights a potentially complex interaction between summer and winter conditions. By documenting strong effects of icing on growth and reproduction of a widespread tundra plant, our study contributes to an understanding of

  3. Arctic Climate Forcing Observations to Improve Earth System Models: Measurements at High Frequency, Fine Spatial Resolution, and Climatically Relevant Spatial Scales with the use of the Recently Deployed NGEE-Arctic Tram

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, J. B.; Serbin, S.; Dafflon, B.; Raz Yaseef, N.; Torn, M. S.; Cook, P. J.; Lewin, K. F.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2014-12-01

    In order to improve the representation of the land surface and subsurface properties and their associated feedbacks with climate forcings, climate change, and drivers in Earth System Models (ESMs), detailed observations need to be made at climatically relevant spatial and temporal scales. Pan-Arctic spatial heterogeneity and temporal variation present major challenges to the current generation of ESMs. To enable highly spatially resolved and high temporal frequency measurements for the independent validation of modeled energy and greenhouse gas surface fluxes at core to intermediate scales, we have developed, tested, and deployed an automated observational platform, the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE)-Arctic Tram. The NGEE-Arctic Tram, installed on the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO) near Barrow, AK in mid May 2014, consists of 65 meters of elevated track and a fully automated cart carrying a suite of radiation and remote sensing instrumentation. The tram transect is located within the NGEE eddy covariance tower footprint to help better understand the relative contribution of different landforms (e.g. low center vs high center polygonal tundra and associated vegetation) to the overall energy budget of the footprint. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), soil moisture, and soil temperature sensors are acquired autonomously and co-located with the tram to link subsurface properties with surface observations. To complement the high frequency and fine spatial resolution of the tram, during the summer field seasons of 2013 and 2014 a portable version of the NGEE-Arctic Tram (also know as the portable energy pole or PEP); was used to characterize surface albedo, NDVI, surface temperature, and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) across two ~500 m BEO transects co-located with subsurface ERT and ground penetrating radar (GPR) measurements. In addition, a ~ 3 Km transect across three drained thaw-lake basins (DTLB) of different climate

  4. Arctic Watch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orcutt, John; Baggeroer, Arthur; Mikhalevsky, Peter; Munk, Walter; Sagen, Hanne; Vernon, Frank; Worcester, Peter

    2015-04-01

    The dramatic reduction of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will increase human activities in the coming years. This will be driven by increased demand for energy and the marine resources of an Arctic Ocean more accessible to ships. Oil and gas exploration, fisheries, mineral extraction, marine transportation, research and development, tourism and search and rescue will increase the pressure on the vulnerable Arctic environment. Synoptic in-situ year-round observational technologies are needed to monitor and forecast changes in the Arctic atmosphere-ice-ocean system at daily, seasonal, annual and decadal scales to inform and enable sustainable development and enforcement of international Arctic agreements and treaties, while protecting this critical environment. This paper will discuss multipurpose acoustic networks, including subsea cable components, in the Arctic. These networks provide communication, power, underwater and under-ice navigation, passive monitoring of ambient sound (ice, seismic, biologic and anthropogenic), and acoustic remote sensing (tomography and thermometry), supporting and complementing data collection from platforms, moorings and autonomous vehicles. This paper supports the development and implementation of regional to basin-wide acoustic networks as an integral component of a multidisciplinary, in situ Arctic Ocean Observatory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüers, J.; Westermann, S.; Piel, K.; Boike, J.

    2014-01-01

    The annual variability of CO2 exchange in most ecosystems is primarily driven by the activities of plants and soil microorganisms. However, little is known about the carbon balance and its controlling factors outside the growing season in arctic regions dominated by soil freeze/thaw-processes, long-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 on the west coast of Svalbard based on eddy-covariance flux measurements. The annual cumulative CO2 budget is close to zero grams carbon per square meter per year, but shows a very strong seasonal variability. Four major CO2 exchange seasons have been identified. (1) During summer (ground snow-free), the CO2 exchange occurs mainly as a result of biological activity, with a predominance of strong CO2 assimilation by the ecosystem. (2) The autumn (ground snow-free or partly snow-covered) is dominated by CO2 respiration as a result of biological activity. (3) In winter and spring (ground snow-covered), low but persistent CO2 release occur, overlain by considerable CO2 exchange events in both directions associated with changes of air masses and air and atmospheric CO2 pressure. (4) The snow melt season (pattern of snow-free and snow-covered areas), where both, meteorological and biological forcing, resulting in a visible carbon uptake by the high arctic ecosystem. Data related to this article are archived under: http://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.809507.

  6. The alien terrestrial invertebrate fauna of the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard: potential implications for the native flora and fauna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J. Coulson

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Experience from the Antarctic indicates that the establishment of alien species may have significant negative effects on native flora and fauna in polar regions and is considered to be amongst the greatest threats to biodiversity. But, there have been few similar studies from the Arctic. Although the terrestrial invertebrate inventory of the Svalbard Archipelago is amongst the most complete for any region of the Arctic, no consideration has yet been made of alien terrestrial invertebrate species, their invasiveness tendencies, threat to the native biology or their route of entry. Such baseline information is critical for appropriate management strategies. Fifteen alien invertebrate species have established in the Svalbard environment, many of which have been introduced via imported soils. Biosecurity legislation now prohibits such activities. None of the recorded established aliens yet show invasive tendencies but some may have locally negative effects. Ten species are considered to be vagrants and a further seven are classified as observations. Vagrants and the observations are not believed to be able to establish in the current tundra environment. The high connectivity of Svalbard has facilitated natural dispersal processes and may explain why few alien species are recorded compared to isolated islands in the maritime Antarctic. The vagrant species observed are conspicuous Lepidoptera, implying that less evident vagrant species are also arriving regularly. Projected climate change may enable vagrant species to establish, with results that are difficult to foresee.

  7. Cultivation of a novel cold-adapted nitrite oxidizing betaproteobacterium from the Siberian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alawi, Mashal; Lipski, André; Sanders, Tina; Pfeiffer, Eva Maria; Spieck, Eva

    2007-07-01

    Permafrost-affected soils of the Siberian Arctic were investigated with regard to identification of nitrite oxidizing bacteria active at low temperature. Analysis of the fatty acid profiles of enrichment cultures grown at 4 degrees C, 10 degrees C and 17 degrees C revealed a pattern that was different from that of known nitrite oxidizers but was similar to fatty acid profiles of Betaproteobacteria. Electron microscopy of two enrichment cultures grown at 10 degrees C showed prevalent cells with a conspicuous ultrastructure. Sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA genes allocated the organisms to a so far uncultivated cluster of the Betaproteobacteria, with Gallionella ferruginea as next related taxonomically described organism. The results demonstrate that a novel genus of chemolithoautotrophic nitrite oxidizing bacteria is present in polygonal tundra soils and can be enriched at low temperatures up to 17 degrees C. Cloned sequences with high sequence similarities were previously reported from mesophilic habitats like activated sludge and therefore an involvement of this taxon in nitrite oxidation in nonarctic habitats is suggested. The presented culture will provide an opportunity to correlate nitrification with nonidentified environmental clones in moderate habitats and give insights into mechanisms of cold adaptation. We propose provisional classification of the novel nitrite oxidizing bacterium as 'Candidatus Nitrotoga arctica'. PMID:18062041

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

    Perennially frozen soil in high latitude ecosystems (permafrost) currently stores 1330-1580 Pg of carbon (C). As these ecosystems warm, the thaw and decomposition of permafrost is expected to release large amounts of C to the atmosphere. Fortunately, losses from the permafrost C pool will be partially offset by increased plant productivity. The degree to which plants are able to sequester C, however, will be determined by changing nitrogen (N) availability in these thawing soil profiles. N availability currently limits plant productivity in tundra ecosystems but plant access to N is expected improve as decomposition increases in speed and extends to deeper soil horizons. To evaluate the relationship between permafrost thaw and N availability, we monitored N cycling during 5 years of experimentally induced permafrost thaw at the Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research (CiPEHR) project. Inorganic N availability increased significantly in response to deeper thaw and greater soil moisture induced by Soil warming. This treatment also prompted a 23% increase in aboveground biomass and a 49% increase in foliar N pools. The sedge Eriophorum vaginatum responded most strongly to warming: this species explained 91% of the change in aboveground biomass during the 5 year period. Air warming had little impact when applied alone, but when applied in combination with Soil warming, growing season soil inorganic N availability was significantly reduced. These results demonstrate that there is a strong positive relationship between the depth of permafrost thaw and N availability in tundra ecosystems but that this relationship can be diminished by interactions between increased thaw, warmer air temperatures, and higher levels of soil moisture. Within 5 years of permafrost thaw, plants actively incorporate newly available N into biomass but C storage in live vascular plant biomass is unlikely to be greater than losses from deep soil C pools. PMID:26718892

  9. Temperature sensitivity of frozen peatland soils organic matter decomposition (North-Western Siberia, Nadym site, Russia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarkhov, Matvey; Matyshak, George; Yakushev, Andrey; Bobrik, Ann

    2016-04-01

    Peatland soils play a considerable role in carbon cycle because of storing approximately 50% of total Earth's soils carbon. The steady temperature increase in arctic soils may cause a rapid organic matter decomposition in thawed layers - that will result in additional significant greenhouse gases emission (CO2, CH4). For further predictions improvement of soils response to global climate changes it is necessary to estimate the temperature sensitivity of soils organic matter decomposition. The purpose of the study was to estimate the response of frozen peatland soils organic matter to increase in the temperature of their functioning. The study object was frozen peatland soils of forest-tundra (the Tyumen region), developing under permafrost conditions. Weakly and medium decomposed moss peat samples were taken from different depths for laboratory studies and stored at 4 °C before the experiment started. At laboratory the response of CO2 efflux, basal respiration (BR) and soils enzymatic (esters) activity (SEA) to temperature increase was estimated. For 1.5 months one part of peat samples was subjected to sequential temperature increase from 4 to 25 °C and CO2 efflux was measured. Another part of the peat samples was simultaneously incubated at 4, 15 and 25 °C for 1-4 days for BR and SEA estimation. To identify the specifics of frozen peatland soils response the identical experiments were done with peat samples from southern taiga (the Moscow region). First results showed the contrast response of peatland soils from different ecosystems to temperature increase. For all studied soils the positive feedback to temperature increase was noticed, however the organic matter mineralization rate, estimated by CO2 efflux, differed a lot. The CO2 efflux values of forest-tundra samples were 3 times lower in comparison with southern taiga on average: the maximal difference was at 16-22 °C range. The microbial biomass activity, estimated by BR and SEA, also tended to increase

  10. Organic carbon and nutrients (N, P in surface soil horizons in a non-glaciated catchment, SW Spitsbergen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szymański Wojciech

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in the soils of the High Arctic play an important role in the context of global warming, biodiversity, and richness of tundra vegetation. The main aim of the present study was to determine the content and spatial distribution of soil organic carbon (SOC, total nitrogen (Ntot, and total phosphorus (Ptot in the surface horizons of Arctic soils obtained from the lower part of the Fuglebekken catchment in Spitsbergen as an example of a small non-glaciated catchment representing uplifted marine terraces of the Svalbard Archipelago. The obtained results indicate that surface soil horizons in the Fuglebekken catchment show considerable differences in content of SOC, Ntot, and Ptot. This mosaic is related to high variability of soil type, local hydrology, vegetation (type and quantity, and especially location of seabird nesting colony. The highest content of SOC, Ntot, and Ptot occurs in soil surface horizons obtained from sites fertilized by seabird guano and located along streams flowing from the direction of the seabird colony. The content of SOC, Ntot, and Ptot is strongly negatively correlated with distance from seabird colony indicating a strong influence of the birds on the fertility of the studied soils and indirectly on the accumulation of soil organic matter. The lowest content of SOC, Ntot, and Ptot occurs in soil surface horizons obtained from the lateral moraine of the Hansbreen glacier and from sites in the close vicinity of the lateral moraine. The content of Ntot, Ptot, and SOC in soil surface horizons are strongly and positively correlated with one another, i.e. the higher the content of nutrients, the higher the content of SOC. The spatial distribution of SOC, Ntot, and Ptot in soils of the Hornsund area in SW Spitsbergen reflects the combined effects of severe climate conditions and periglacial processes. Seabirds play a crucial role in nutrient enrichment in these weakly developed soils.

  11. 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

  12. Quantitative assessment of the differential impacts of arbuscular and ectomycorrhiza on soil carbon cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A; van der Heijden, Marcel G A; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Makarov, Mikhail I; Onipchenko, Vladimir G; Maslov, Mikhail N; Akhmetzhanova, Asem A; van Bodegom, Peter M

    2015-10-01

    A significant fraction of carbon stored in the Earth's soil moves through arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) and ectomycorrhiza (EM). The impacts of AM and EM on the soil carbon budget are poorly understood. We propose a method to quantify the mycorrhizal contribution to carbon cycling, explicitly accounting for the abundance of plant-associated and extraradical mycorrhizal mycelium. We discuss the need to acquire additional data to use our method, and present our new global database holding information on plant species-by-site intensity of root colonization by mycorrhizas. We demonstrate that the degree of mycorrhizal fungal colonization has globally consistent patterns across plant species. This suggests that the level of plant species-specific root colonization can be used as a plant trait. To exemplify our method, we assessed the differential impacts of AM : EM ratio and EM shrub encroachment on carbon stocks in sub-arctic tundra. AM and EM affect tundra carbon stocks at different magnitudes, and via partly distinct dominant pathways: via extraradical mycelium (both EM and AM) and via mycorrhizal impacts on above- and belowground biomass carbon (mostly AM). Our method provides a powerful tool for the quantitative assessment of mycorrhizal impact on local and global carbon cycling processes, paving the way towards an improved understanding of the role of mycorrhizas in the Earth's carbon cycle. PMID:26011828

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  14. The Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  15. Arctic bioremediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  16. Pollen Morphology of Tundra Shrubs and Submarginal Plants from Barrow, Alaska

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    Investigation of plant morphological features, pollen, and habitat have been made for two shrub species from Barrow, Alaska, namely Dryas integrifolia M. Vahl and Salix rotundifolia Trautv., both of which are endemic to the Arctic floristic area. The former species has small lanceolate or plate leaves, whereas the latter has rounded leaves with distinct veins, rich in vitamin C. Both have dwarf and sprawling habits. Pollen studies showed that the pollen grains of the two species are spheroidal to sub-spheroidal or prolate. The type of aperture was tricolporate; pollen size 26.3-31.3 μm; ornamentation finely reticulate under a light microscope (LM) and striate-reticulate under a scanning electron microscope (SEM) for D. integrafolia and finely reticulate under the LM and SEM for S. rotundlfolia. Comparisons were made between the pollen from the same species from Arctic collections with those from China and Japan. Investigation of pollen morphology of tundra plants can provide significant data for comparative studies of fossil pollen and for the reconstruction of paleovegetation and paleoclimate in the Barrow area.

  17. The effect of long-range atmospheric transport of organochlorine compounds by soil studies from Mongolia to the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamontova, E. A.; Tarasova, E. N.; Mamontov, A. A.; Kuzmin, M. I.

    2016-02-01

    The results of studies on the distribution regularities are presented for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) of different degrees of chlorination and for organochlorine pesticides (OCPs): hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexane (HCCH), and DDT with its metabolites in the soils along the Lena River valley and in background areas of Eastern Siberia and Mongolia. A statistically reliable correlation is found between the PCB-OCP and Corg concentrations. The highest levels of HCB are registered in the soils between 50 and 60° N. The concentrations of αand γ-HCCH increase reliably, while those of pp'-DDT and pp'-DDE decrease from south to north. A trend of the decrease in concentrations from Mongolia to the Laptev Sea is revealed for tri-, tetra-, and penta-chlorine-substituted PCB congeners. However, the soils sampled northwards from 60° N show a reliable increase in the concentrations of tetra-, penta-, and hexachlorine-substituted congeners.

  18. Pilot-scale bioremediation of a petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated clayey soil from a sub-Arctic site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Aeration and moisture addition alone caused extensive hydrocarbon biodegradation. • 30-day slurry reactor remediation endpoints attained in 385 days in biopiles. • High nitrogen concentrations inhibited hydrocarbon degradation. • Inhibition of biodegradation linked to lack of shifts in soil microbial community. - Abstract: Bioremediation is a potentially cost-effective solution for petroleum contamination in cold region sites. This study investigates the extent of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons (C16–C34) in a pilot-scale biopile experiment conducted at 15 °C for periods up to 385 days, with a clayey soil, from a crude oil-impacted site in northern Canada. Although several studies on bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soils from cold region sites have been reported for coarse-textured, sandy soils, there are limited studies of bioremediation of petroleum contamination in fine-textured, clayey soils. Our results indicate that aeration and moisture addition was sufficient for achieving 47% biodegradation and an endpoint of 530 mg/kg for non-volatile (C16–C34) petroleum hydrocarbons. Nutrient amendment with 95 mg-N/kg showed no significant effect on biodegradation compared to a control system without nutrient but similar moisture content. In contrast, in a biopile amended with 1340 mg-N/kg, no statistically significant biodegradation of non-volatile fraction was detected. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses of alkB and 16S rRNA genes revealed that inhibition of hydrocarbon biodegradation was associated with a lack of change in microbial community composition. Overall, our data suggests that biopiles are feasible for attaining the bioremediation endpoint in clayey soils. Despite the significantly lower biodegradation rate of 0.009 day−1 in biopile tank compared to 0.11 day−1 in slurry bioreactors for C16–C34 hydrocarbons, the biodegradation extents for this fraction were

  19. Pilot-scale bioremediation of a petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated clayey soil from a sub-Arctic site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akbari, Ali; Ghoshal, Subhasis, E-mail: subhasis.ghoshal@mcgill.ca

    2014-09-15

    Highlights: • Aeration and moisture addition alone caused extensive hydrocarbon biodegradation. • 30-day slurry reactor remediation endpoints attained in 385 days in biopiles. • High nitrogen concentrations inhibited hydrocarbon degradation. • Inhibition of biodegradation linked to lack of shifts in soil microbial community. - Abstract: Bioremediation is a potentially cost-effective solution for petroleum contamination in cold region sites. This study investigates the extent of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons (C16–C34) in a pilot-scale biopile experiment conducted at 15 °C for periods up to 385 days, with a clayey soil, from a crude oil-impacted site in northern Canada. Although several studies on bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soils from cold region sites have been reported for coarse-textured, sandy soils, there are limited studies of bioremediation of petroleum contamination in fine-textured, clayey soils. Our results indicate that aeration and moisture addition was sufficient for achieving 47% biodegradation and an endpoint of 530 mg/kg for non-volatile (C16–C34) petroleum hydrocarbons. Nutrient amendment with 95 mg-N/kg showed no significant effect on biodegradation compared to a control system without nutrient but similar moisture content. In contrast, in a biopile amended with 1340 mg-N/kg, no statistically significant biodegradation of non-volatile fraction was detected. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses of alkB and 16S rRNA genes revealed that inhibition of hydrocarbon biodegradation was associated with a lack of change in microbial community composition. Overall, our data suggests that biopiles are feasible for attaining the bioremediation endpoint in clayey soils. Despite the significantly lower biodegradation rate of 0.009 day{sup −1} in biopile tank compared to 0.11 day{sup −1} in slurry bioreactors for C16–C34 hydrocarbons, the biodegradation extents for this fraction

  20. Arctic bioremediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  1. Pulsed resources at tundra breeding sites affect winter irruptions at temperate latitudes of a top predator, the snowy owl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robillard, A; Therrien, J F; Gauthier, G; Clark, K M; Bêty, J

    2016-06-01

    Irruptive migration is mostly observed in species specialized on pulsed resources and is thought to be a response to unpredictable changes in food supply. We assessed two alternative hypotheses to explain the periodic winter irruptions of snowy owls Bubo scandiacus every 3-5 years in temperate North America: (a) the lack-of-food hypothesis, which states that a crash in small mammal abundance on the Arctic breeding grounds forces owls to move out of the tundra massively to search for food in winter; (b) the breeding-success hypothesis, which states that high abundance of tundra small mammals during the summer allows for high production of young, thus increasing the pool of migrants moving south the following winter. We modeled winter irruptions of snowy owls in relation to summer food resources and geographic location. Winter abundance of owls was obtained from citizen-based surveys from 1994 to 2011 and summer abundance of small mammals was collected in summer at two distant sites in Canada: Bylot Island, NU (eastern High Arctic) and Daring Lake, NWT (central Low Arctic). Winter owl abundance was positively related to prey abundance during the previous summer at both sites and tended to decrease from western to eastern temperate North America. Irruptive migration of snowy owls was therefore best explained by the breeding success hypothesis and was apparently caused by large-scale summer variations in food. Our results, combined with previous findings, suggest that the main determinants of irruptive migration may be species specific even in a guild of apparently similar species. PMID:26920901

  2. Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment: Quantification and prediction of coupled processes in the terrestrial Arctic system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, S. S.; Hinzman, L. D.; Graham, D. E.; Liang, L.; Norby, R.; Riley, W. J.; Rogers, A.; Rowland, J. C.; Thornton, P. E.; Torn, M. S.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.; NGEE Scientific Team

    2011-12-01

    Predicting the evolution of Arctic ecosystems to a changing climate is complicated by the many interactions and feedbacks that occur within and between components of the system. A new DOE Biological and Environmental Research project, called the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) is being initiated to address "how does permafrost degradation in a warming Arctic, and the associated changes in landscape evolution, hydrology, soil biogeochemical processes, and plant community succession, affect feedbacks to the climate system?". A multi-disciplinary team will use observations, experiments, and simulations carried out from the pore to the landscape scales to address these questions. We will combine field research (performed around thermokarst features in Alaska on the North Slope and Seward Peninsula), laboratory research using a variety of approaches and techniques, and remote sensing observations to improve modeling capabilities for high-latitude systems. Our research is organized into four interrelated 'Challenges' to quantify: (1) environmental controls on permafrost degradation and its influence on hydrological state, stocks, fluxes and pathways; (2) mechanisms that drive structural and functional responses of the tundra plant community to changing resource availability; (3) controls, mechanisms and rates driving biodegradation of soil organic matter; and (4) the impact of permafrost degradation on ecosystem albedo, energy partitioning and total climate forcing. Coordinated data acquisition will be performed using a variety of commonly-used terrestrial ecosystem characterization approaches as well as novel molecular microbiological, geophysical, isotopic and synchrotron techniques. These datasets will be used in parallel with models to identify the key controls on coupled geomechanical, hydrological, soil biogeochemical, vegetation and land-surface processes, as well as the manifestation of these coupled processes over a broad range of space and time

  3. Microbial Biomass and Population Densities of Non-Sorted Circles in High Arctic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera-Figueroa, F.; González, G.; Gould, W. A.; Cantrell, S.; Pérez, J.

    2006-12-01

    Non-sorted circles are small patterned-ground features that occur in arctic soils as a result of intensive frost heave action. This tundra feature has been extensively described. However, little is known about the ecological relationships between this pattern and above- and belowground organisms. In this study, we compare the biomass and populaton densities of microbes in non-sorted circles and the vegetated surrounding soils (inter-circles) in the High Arctic. We collected soil samples during the summer of 2004 and 2005 on Banks and Prince Patrick and Ellef Ringnes Islands, Canada. Soil samples (0-10 cm) were gathered from non- sorted circles and inter-circles along a topographic sequence: dry (ridge), mesic (mid slope) and wet (valley) and along three transects in zonal (mesic) sites on each island. We estimated total microbial biomass and bacterial population densities using substrate induce respiration (SIR) and the most probable number method (MPN), respectively. We also isolated soil fungi using Rose Bengal and Saboraud Dextrose culture media. We are in the process of analyzing the catena samples using a terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) technique of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA. Based on the SIR trials, the average microbial biomass at the mid slope position in the Banks site (Green Cabin) was 0.49 mg C g-1 dry soil in the non- sorted circles and 0.95 mg C g-1 dry soil in the inter-circles. At Prince Patrick Island (Mould Bay) the microbial biomass was 0.54 mg C g-1 dry soil in the non-sorted circles and 0.74 mg C g-1 dry soil in the inter-circles. In Ellef Ringnes (Isachsen) the microbial biomass was 0.09 mg C g-1 dry soil in the non- sorted circles and 0.14 mg C g-1 dry soil in the inter-circles. At the mesic site at Green Cabin, bacteria vary from 2.92 x 106 cell g-1 dry soil in the non-sorted circles to 6.74 x 106 cell g-1 dry soil in the inter-circles. At Mould Bay the range was 7.67 x 105 cells g-1 dry soil in the non-sorted circles

  4. The role of watershed characteristics, permafrost thaw, and wildfire on dissolved organic carbon biodegradability and water chemistry in Arctic headwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larouche, J. R.; Abbott, B. W.; Bowden, W. B.; Jones, J. B.

    2015-07-01

    In the Alaskan Arctic, rapid climate change is increasing the frequency of disturbance including wildfire and permafrost collapse. These pulse disturbances may influence the delivery of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to aquatic ecosystems, however the magnitude of these effects compared to the natural background variability of DOC at the watershed scale is not well known. We measured DOC quantity, composition, and biodegradability from 14 river and stream reaches (watershed sizes ranging from 1.5-167 km2) some of which were impacted by permafrost collapse (thermokarst) and fire. We found that region had a significant impact on quantity and biodegradability of DOC, likely driven by landscape and watershed characteristics such as lithology, soil and vegetation type, elevation, and glacial age. However, contrary to our hypothesis, we found that streams disturbed by thermokarst and fire did not contain significantly altered labile DOC fractions compared to adjacent reference waters, potentially due to rapid ecosystem recovery after fire and thermokarst as well as the limited spatial extent of thermokarst. Overall, biodegradable DOC ranged from 4 to 46 % and contrary to patterns of DOC biodegradability in large Arctic rivers, seasonal variation in DOC biodegradability showed no clear pattern between sites, potentially related to stream geomorphology and position along the river network. While thermokarst and fire can alter DOC quantity and biodegradability at the scale of the feature, we conclude that tundra ecosystems are resilient to these types of disturbance.

  5. The role of watershed characteristics, permafrost thaw, and wildfire on dissolved organic carbon biodegradability and water chemistry in Arctic headwater streams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. R. Larouche

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In the Alaskan Arctic, rapid climate change is increasing the frequency of disturbance including wildfire and permafrost collapse. These pulse disturbances may influence the delivery of dissolved organic carbon (DOC to aquatic ecosystems, however the magnitude of these effects compared to the natural background variability of DOC at the watershed scale is not well known. We measured DOC quantity, composition, and biodegradability from 14 river and stream reaches (watershed sizes ranging from 1.5–167 km2 some of which were impacted by permafrost collapse (thermokarst and fire. We found that region had a significant impact on quantity and biodegradability of DOC, likely driven by landscape and watershed characteristics such as lithology, soil and vegetation type, elevation, and glacial age. However, contrary to our hypothesis, we found that streams disturbed by thermokarst and fire did not contain significantly altered labile DOC fractions compared to adjacent reference waters, potentially due to rapid ecosystem recovery after fire and thermokarst as well as the limited spatial extent of thermokarst. Overall, biodegradable DOC ranged from 4 to 46% and contrary to patterns of DOC biodegradability in large Arctic rivers, seasonal variation in DOC biodegradability showed no clear pattern between sites, potentially related to stream geomorphology and position along the river network. While thermokarst and fire can alter DOC quantity and biodegradability at the scale of the feature, we conclude that tundra ecosystems are resilient to these types of disturbance.

  6. Response of ecosystem CO2 and CH4 flux to nutrient increase in Arctophila fulva dominated tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, M. J.; Lin, D. H.; Johnson, D. R.; Lougheed, V.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2012-12-01

    High latitude tundra ecosystems are undergoing dramatic warming that is increasing thaw depth, nutrient availability, and plant productivity in tundra ponds of northern Alaska. Understanding how these changes will affect ecosystem function remains a key research challenge. Near Barrow Alaska the extent of aquatic tundra dominated by Arctophila fulva, a common Arctic aquatic macrophyte, has increased over the past half Century. Concurrent with this change has been an increase in nitrogen and phosphorus in these aquatic ecosystems. This study examines the response of ecosystem carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) flux from A. fulva dominated tundra under elevated nitrogen and phosphorus levels. We extracted monoliths of pond margin aquatic tundra near Barrow, Alaska dominated by A. fulva and placed them in a continuous flux monitoring system, that controlled environmental conditions (light, air temperature, water table height) at different nutrient concentrations (control: 0.0 mgN L-1, 0.0 mgP L-1, low: 1.5 mgN L-1, 0.6 mgP L-1, and high: 7.5 mgN L-1, 3.0 mgP L-1). The experiment was run for approximately nine weeks. In response to the high nutrient treatment, A.fulva biomass and steady state CH4 emission (SE) increased but light usage efficiency and gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) declined, effectively switching net ecosystem production (NEP) from a carbon sink to a source. There were no significant differences in CO2 and CH4 flux between control and low nutrient treatments. No differences in gas ebullition (GE) among nutrient treatment were found but a negative relationship between GE and biomass was documented (R2= 0.34, p< 0.001). Further, using CH4 fluxes during the pre-treatment period, we estimated that GE represents approximately 30-40% of the total CH4 flux in the monoliths sampled. Collectively, short-term experimental results suggest A. fulva biomass and CO2 and CH4 fluxes in aquatic habitats have likely been altered by high levels of nutrient

  7. Small Thaw Ponds: An Unaccounted Source of Methane in the Canadian High Arctic

    OpenAIRE

    Karita Negandhi; Isabelle Laurion; Whiticar, Michael J; Pierre E Galand; Xiaomei Xu; Connie Lovejoy

    2013-01-01

    Thawing permafrost in the Canadian Arctic tundra leads to peat erosion and slumping in narrow and shallow runnel ponds that surround more commonly studied polygonal ponds. Here we compared the methane production between runnel and polygonal ponds using stable isotope ratios, ¹⁴C signatures, and investigated potential methanogenic communities through high-throughput sequencing archaeal 16S rRNA genes. We found that runnel ponds had significantly higher methane and carbon dioxide emissions, pro...

  8. Stable Isotope Probing Analysis of the Diversity and Activity of Methanotrophic Bacteria in Soils from the Canadian High Arctic

    OpenAIRE

    Martineau, Christine; Whyte, Lyle G.; Greer, Charles W.

    2010-01-01

    The melting of permafrost and its potential impact on CH4 emissions are major concerns in the context of global warming. Methanotrophic bacteria have the capacity to mitigate CH4 emissions from melting permafrost. Here, we used quantitative PCR (qPCR), stable isotope probing (SIP) of DNA, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting, and sequencing of the 16S rRNA and pmoA genes to study the activity and diversity of methanotrophic bacteria in active-layer soils from Ellesmer...

  9. 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

  10. Greenhouse Gas Exchange in Small Arctic Thaw Ponds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurion, I.; Bégin, P. N.; Bouchard, F.; Preskienis, V.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic lakes and ponds can represent up to one quarter of the land surface in permafrost landscapes, particularly in lowland tundra landscapes characterized by ice wedge organic polygons. Thaw ponds can be defined as the aquatic ecosystems associated to thawing of organic soils, either resulting from active layer processes and located above low-center peat polygons (hereafter low-center polygonal or LCP ponds), or resulting from thermokarst slumping above melting ice wedges linked to the accelerated degradation of permafrost (hereafter ice-wedge trough or IWT ponds). These ponds can merge together forming larger water bodies, but with relatively stable shores (hereafter merged polygonal or MPG ponds), and with limnological characteristics similar to LCP ponds. These aquatic systems are very small and shallow, and present a different physical structure than the larger thermokarst lakes, generated after years of development and land subsidence. In a glacier valley on Bylot Island, Nunavut, Canada, thermokarst and kettle lakes together represent 29% of the aquatic area, with a thermal profile resembling those of more standard arctic lakes (mixed epilimnion). The IWT ponds (44% of the area) are stratified for a large fraction of the summer despite their shallowness, while LCP and MPG ponds (27% of the area) show a more homogeneous water column. This will affect gas exchange in these diverse aquatic systems, in addition to their unique microbiota and organic carbon lability that control the production and consumption rates of greenhouse gases. The stratification in IWT ponds generates hypoxic conditions at the bottom, and together with the larger availability of organic carbon, stimulates methanogenesis and limits the mitigating action of methanotrophs. Overall, thaw ponds are largely supersaturated in methane, with IWT ponds dominating the emissions in this landscape (92% of total aquatic emissions estimated for the same valley), and they present large variations in

  11. Cold loving methanotrophic communities in permafrost soils of the Lena Delta, Siberia

    OpenAIRE

    Liebner, S.; Wagner, Dirk

    2005-01-01

    Wet tundra environments of the Siberian Artic are considerable natural sources of methane, a climate relevant trace gas. The Arctic is observed to warm more rapidly and to a greater extend than the rest of the earth surface. It is suggested, that the tundra in Alaska and Russia has changed from a net sink to a net source of atmospheric carbon. The potential impact on the Arctic carbon reservoirs is highly influenced by changes in microbial processes like methanogenesis and methane oxidation.T...

  12. Arctic Wears - Perspectives on Arctic Clothing

    OpenAIRE

    Konola, Sanna; Kähkönen, Päivi

    2015-01-01

    Arctic issues are rising around us on every field at the point of view of environment, sustainability, climate change, indigenous peoples’ rights, design and society, snow and ice building knowledge, challenges and possibilities in Arctic areas. The Arctic is written in Finland’s future strategies, and in 2017 Finland assumes the chairmanship of Arctic Council. In the northernmost university of European Union, University of Lapland, the northern issues have always been written in the DNA ...

  13. Role of soil algae and cyanobacteria in colonization and succession on deglaciated soils in high arctic (Svalbard) and alpine/subarctic regions (Scandinavia)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lukešová, Alena

    České Budějovice: Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, 2015. s. 40. ISBN 978-80-7394-528-2. [International Conference on Polar and Alpine Microbiology /6./. 06.09.2015-10.09.2015, České Budějovice] R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LD13046 Grant ostatní: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2010009 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : community development * soil pH * airborne propagules * chronosequences * glacier forelands Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  14. A Greener Arctic: Vascular Plant Litter Input in Subarctic Peat Bogs Changes Soil Invertebrate Diets and Decomposition Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krab, E. J.; Berg, M. P.; Aerts, R.; van Logtestijn, R. S. P.; Cornelissen, H. H. C.

    2014-12-01

    Climate-change-induced trends towards shrub dominance in subarctic, moss-dominated peatlands will most likely have large effects on soil carbon (C) dynamics through an input of more easily decomposable litter. The mechanisms by which this increase in vascular litter input interacts with the abundance and diet-choice of the decomposer community to alter C-processing have, however, not yet been unraveled. We used a novel 13C tracer approach to link invertebrate species composition (Collembola), abundance and species-specific feeding behavior to C-processing of vascular and peat moss litters. We incubated different litter mixtures, 100% Sphagnum moss litter, 100% Betula leaf litter, and a 50/50 mixture of both, in mesocosms for 406 days. We revealed the transfer of C from the litters to the soil invertebrate species by 13C labeling of each of the litter types and assessed 13C signatures of the invertebrates Collembola species composition differed significantly between Sphagnum and Betula litter. Within the 'single type litter' mesocosms, Collembola species showed different 13C signatures, implying species-specific differences in diet choice. Surprisingly, the species composition and Collembola abundance changed relatively little as a consequence of Betula input to a Sphagnum based system. Their diet choice, however, changed drastically; species-specific differences in diet choice disappeared and approximately 67% of the food ingested by all Collembola originated from Betula litter. Furthermore, litter decomposition patterns corresponded to these findings; mass loss of Betula increased from 16.1% to 26.2% when decomposing in combination with Sphagnum, while Sphagnum decomposed even slower in combination with Betula litter (1.9%) than alone (4.7%). This study is the first to empirically show that collective diet shifts of the peatland decomposer community from mosses towards vascular plant litter may drive altered decomposition patterns. In addition, we showed that

  15. Soil carbon storage and respiration potential across a landscape age and climate gradient in western Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley-Cook, J. I.; Virginia, R. A.; Hammond Wagner, C.; Racine, P. E.

    2013-12-01

    = 22.8). While soil respiration rates were significantly highest in the surface soils at the wettest coastal site, we observed high variation in respiration potential indicating that small-scale variation in carbon quality and other soil properties is high. This study informs our understanding of regional variation of carbon storage and turnover in western Greenland and provides important information for the parameterization of landscape scale models of soil carbon dynamics in the Arctic tundra.

  16. 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; Vermeulen, Annemie; Samson, R; Lemeur, R

    2009-01-01

    production was obtained from average species growth rates, previously assessed at the sites. Results showed that aboveground vascular NPP (15-270 g m-2), annual NPP (214-282 g m-2 or 102-137 g C m-2) and vegetation biomass (330-2450 g m-2) varied greatly among communities. Vegetation dominated by Empetrum...... 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 of......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...

  17. Measurement-based upscaling of Pan Arctic Net Ecosystem Exchange: the PANEEx project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Njuabe Mbufong, Herbert; Kusbach, Antonin; Lund, Magnus; Persson, Andreas; Christensen, Torben R.; Tamstorf, Mikkel P.; Connolly, John

    2016-04-01

    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 pan Arctic NEE (PANEEx) 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 (CO2) 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, respectively. LAI and air temperature were respectively estimated from empirical relationships with remotely sensed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land surface temperature (LST). These are available as MODIS Terra product MOD13Q1 and MOD11A1 respectively. Therefore, no specific knowledge of the vegetation type is required. The PANEEx model captures the spatial heterogeneity of the Arctic tundra and was effective in simulating 77% of the measured fluxes (r2 = 0.72, p < 0.001) at the 12 sites used in the calibration of the model. Further, the model effectively estimates NEE in three disparate Alaskan ecosystems (heath, tussock and fen) with an estimation ranging between 10 - 36% of the measured fluxes. We suggest that the poor agreement between the measured and modeled NEE may result from the disparity between ground-based measured LAI (used in model calibration) and remotely sensed LAI (estimated from NDVI and used in NEE estimation). Moreover, our results suggests that using simple linear regressions may be inadequate as parameters estimated

  18. Arctic climate change with a 2C global warming. Timing, climate patterns and vegetation change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The signatories to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are charged with stabilizing the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that prevents dangerous interference with the climate system. A number of nations, organizations and scientists have suggested that global mean temperature should not rise over 2C above preindustrial levels. However, even a relatively moderate target of 2C has serious implications for the Arctic, where temperatures are predicted to increase at least 1.5 to 2 times as fast as global temperatures. High latitude vegetation plays a significant role in the lives of humans and animals, and in the global energy balance and carbon budget. These ecosystems are expected to be among the most strongly impacted by climate change over the next century. To investigate the potential impact of stabilization of global temperature at 2C, we performed a study using data from six Global Climate Models (GCMs) forced by four greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, the BIOME4 biogeochemistry-biogeography model, and remote sensing data. GCM data were used to predict the timing and patterns of Arctic climate change under a global mean warming of 2C. A unified circumpolar classification recognizing five types of tundra and six forest biomes was used to develop a map of observed Arctic vegetation. BIOME4 was used to simulate the vegetation distributions over the Arctic at the present and for a range of 2C global warming scenarios. The GCMs simulations indicate that the earth will have warmed by 2C relative to preindustrial temperatures by between 2026 and 2060, by which stage the area-mean annual temperature over the Arctic (60-90N) will have increased by between 3.2 and 6.6C. Forest extent is predicted by BIOME4 to increase in the Arctic on the order of 3 x 106 km2 or 55% with a corresponding 42% reduction in tundra area. Tundra types generally also shift north with the largest reductions in the prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra

  19. Comparing carbon storage of Siberian tundra and taiga permafrost ecosystems at very high spatial resolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siewert, Matthias B.; Hanisch, Jessica; Weiss, Niels; Kuhry, Peter; Maximov, Trofim C.; Hugelius, Gustaf

    2015-10-01

    Permafrost-affected ecosystems are important components in the global carbon (C) cycle that, despite being vulnerable to disturbances under climate change, remain poorly understood. This study investigates ecosystem carbon storage in two contrasting continuous permafrost areas of NE and East Siberia. Detailed partitioning of soil organic carbon (SOC) and phytomass carbon (PC) is analyzed for one tundra (Kytalyk) and one taiga (Spasskaya Pad/Neleger) study area. In total, 57 individual field sites (24 and 33 in the respective areas) have been sampled for PC and SOC, including the upper permafrost. Landscape partitioning of ecosystem C storage was derived from thematic upscaling of field observations using a land cover classification from very high resolution (2 × 2 m) satellite imagery. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling was used to explore patterns in C distribution. In both environments the ecosystem C is mostly stored in the soil (≥86%). At the landscape scale C stocks are primarily controlled by the presence of thermokarst depressions (alases). In the tundra landscape, site-scale variability of C is controlled by periglacial geomorphological features, while in the taiga, local differences in catenary position, soil texture, and forest successions are more important. Very high resolution remote sensing is highly beneficial to the quantification of C storage. Detailed knowledge of ecosystem C storage and ground ice distribution is needed to predict permafrost landscape vulnerability to projected climatic changes. We argue that vegetation dynamics are unlikely to offset mineralization of thawed permafrost C and that landscape-scale reworking of SOC represents the largest potential changes to C cycling.

  20. Arctic studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) conducted a study of contamination of the Arctic Ocean and surrounding areas in order to better understand the severity of the problem and identify possible parallels in the United States. The findings were published in a quarterly report as a part of this technical task plan (TTP). While many radioactive and hazardous material contamination sites in this region have been identified, official Russian statements indicate that contaminant concentrations are within normal limits and are currently confined to specific areas

  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)

    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. 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 ap...

  3. Compositional clues to sources and sinks of terrestrial organic matter transported to the Eurasian Arctic shelf

    OpenAIRE

    Karlsson, Emma

    2015-01-01

    The amount of organic carbon (OC) present in Siberian Arctic permafrost soils is estimated at twice the amount of carbon currently in the atmosphere. The shelf seas of the Arctic Ocean receive large amounts of this terrestrial OC from Eurasian Arctic rivers and from coastal erosion. Degradation of this land-derived material in the sea would result in the production of dissolved carbon dioxide and may then add to the atmospheric carbon dioxide reservoir. Observations from the Siberian Arctic s...

  4. Paleoenvironmental analyses of an organic deposit from an erosional landscape remnant, Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eisner, W R; Bockheim, J G; Hinkel, K M; Brown, T A; Nelson, F E; Peterson, K M; Jones, B M

    2005-01-02

    The dominant landscape process on the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska is the formation and drainage of thaw lakes. Lakes and drained thaw lake basins account for approximately 75% of the modern surface expression of the Barrow Peninsula. The thaw lake cycle usually obliterates lacustrine or peat sediments from previous cycles which could otherwise be used for paleoecological reconstruction of long-term landscape and vegetation changes. Several possible erosional remnants of a former topographic surface that predates the formation of the thaw lakes have been tentatively identified. These remnants are characterized by a higher elevation, a thick organic layer with very high ground ice content in the upper permafrost, and a plant community somewhat atypical of the region. Ten soil cores were collected from one site, and one core was intensively sampled for soil organic carbon content, pollen analysis, and {sup 14}C dating. The lowest level of the organic sediments represents the earliest phase of plant growth and dates to ca. 9000 cal BP. Palynological evidence indicates the presence of mesic shrub tundra (including sedge, birch, willow, and heath vegetation); and microfossil indicators point to wetter eutrophic conditions during this period. Carbon accumulation was rapid due to high net primary productivity in a relatively nutrient-rich environment. These results are interpreted as the local response to ameliorating climate during the early Holocene. The middle Holocene portion of the record contains an unconformity, indicating that between 8200 and 4200 cal BP sediments were eroded from the site, presumably in response to wind activity during a drier period centered around 4500 cal BP. The modern vegetation community of the erosional remnant was established after 4200 cal BP, and peat growth resumed. During the late Holocene, carbon accumulation rates were greatly reduced in response to the combined effects of declining productivity associated with climatic

  5. Bridging arctic pathways: Integrating hydrology, geomorphology and remote sensing in the north

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trochim, Erin D.

    This work presents improved approaches for integrating patterns and processes within hydrology, geomorphology, ecology and permafrost on Arctic landscapes. Emphasis was placed on addressing fundamental interdisciplinary questions using robust, repeatable methods. Water tracks were examined in the foothills of the Brooks Range to ascertain their role within the range of features that transport water in Arctic regions. Classes of water tracks were developed using multiple factor analysis based on their geomorphic, soil and vegetation characteristics. These classes were validated to verify that they were repeatable. Water tracks represented a broad spectrum of patterns and processes primarily driven by surficial geology. This research demonstrated a new approach to better understanding regional hydrological patterns. The locations of the water track classes were mapped using a combination method where intermediate processing of spectral classifications, texture and topography were fed into random forests to identify the water track classes. Overall, the water track classes were best visualized where they were the most discrete from the background landscape in terms of both shape and content. Issues with overlapping and imbalances between water track classes were the biggest challenges. Resolving the spatial locations of different water tracks represents a significant step forward for understanding periglacial landscape dynamics. Leaf area index (LAI) calculations using the gap-method were optimized using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) as input for both WorldView-2 and Landsat-7 imagery. The study design used groups to separate the effects of surficial drainage networks and the relative magnitude of change in NDVI over time. LAI values were higher for the WorldView-2 data and for each sensor and group combination the distribution of LAI values was unique. This study indicated that there are tradeoffs between increased spatial resolution and the ability

  6. Variation in Soil Respiration Across an Alpine Soil Moisture and Vegetation Community Gradient at Niwot Ridge, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, J. F.; Blanken, P.; Williams, M. W.

    2014-12-01

    The alpine tundra is a mosaic of comingled vegetation communities that vary predominantly as a function of landscape position, micro-scale topography, subsurface permeability, and resultant soil moisture availability. We characterized the spatio-temporal variability of soil respiration from 17 alpine tundra sites across an irregular soil moisture gradient within the footprint of ongoing eddy covariance measurements over the 2011 (wet year) and 2012 (dry year) growing seasons. We then used a soil moisture threshold as a proxy to separate the sites into fellfield, dry/moist meadow, and wet meadow tundra vegetation communities. Soil moisture and soil respiration were significantly correlated across all communities (p CO2 m-2, and median fluxes were 1114, 1679, and 1400 g CO2 m-2 for fellfield, dry/moist meadow, and wet meadow sites, respectively. Ecosystem respiration from nighttime eddy covariance measurements was 618 g CO2 m-2 over the same period, suggesting that soil respiration fluxes from very dry fellfield tundra disproportionately influenced the eddy covariance data. Overall, cumulative soil respiration was 50% greater in the wet year (2011) relative to the dry year (2012); therefore increased precipitation has the potential to increase soil respiration from alpine tundra as a whole.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tape, Ken D; Gustine, David D; Ruess, 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. PMID:27074023

  8. The Greening of the Arctic IPY Project

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

    In 2007, Arctic sea ice extent declined to the lowest level in recorded history, 24 percent lower than the previous record in 2005. If the Arctic continues to warm over the next few decades as predicted by most arctic scientists, large changes in vegetation biomass will occur and will have important consequences to many components of the Arctic system including status of the permafrost, hydrological cycles, wildlife, and human occupation. There will also be important feedbacks to climate through changes in albedo and carbon fluxes. Changes in biomass are already happening. In Arctic Alaska from 1981 to 2001, the greenness of the landscapes as measured by satellite-derived values of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) increased by 17 percent. It is uncertain what this remarkable change in greenness means with respect to plant biomass, but current NDVI-biomass relationships suggest that an average of over 100 g m-2 have been added to the tundra of northern Alaska within the past twenty years. Other studies have shown a major increase of shrub cover across northern Alaska during the past 50 years. If the Arctic Ocean becomes ice- free during the summer, some of the largest percentage increases could occur in the coldest parts of the Arctic. The three major objectives of this project are: (1) establish baseline ground observations along two transects in North American and Eurasia that traverse the entire Arctic bioclimate gradient; (2) use remote sensing and climate change analysis to determine how changes in sea ice concentrations affect land-surface temperature and the NDVI, (3) use vegetation-change models to predict how vegetation will change in the future. Strong correlations exist between sea-ice concentrations, land-surface temperatures, and the maximum and integrated NDVI). The changes in greening have been strongest in the Beaufort Sea region. Between 1982 and 2007, sea ice in the 50-km coastal strip of Beaufort Sea area during the period 18 June

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  10. Changes in Microbial Nitrogen Dynamics with Soil Depth, and along a Latitudinal Transect in Western Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, B.; Schnecker, J.; Knoltsch, A.; Takriti, M.; Mooshammer, M.; Gentsch, N.; Mikutta, R.; Alves, R.; Gittel, A.; Lashchinskiy, N.; Richter, A.

    2015-12-01

    Plant productivity is often limited by low N availability, and this has been attributed to the slow breakdown of N-containing polymers such as proteins into amino acids that are small enough for uptake. Under such conditions, plants and microorganisms efficiently use the available N for growth, and the microbial release of excess N as ammonium (N mineralization), as well as the transformation of ammonium into nitrate (nitrification) is low. Nitrogen limitation is expected to increase towards high latitudes as conditions become less favourable for decomposition. On the other hand, within an ecosystem, microbial N limitation is expected to decrease with soil depth, following the decrease in the C/N ratio of organic matter. To test these hypotheses, we sampled organic topsoils, mineral topsoils and mineral subsoils from seven ecosystems along a latitudinal transect in Western Siberia, ranging from tundra (67°N) to boreal forest and further to steppe (54°N), and determined gross rates of protein depolymerization, N mineralization and nitrification using 15N pool dilution assays. We found that all rates decreased with depth following the decrease in organic matter content. Related to microbial biomass, however, only protein depolymerization decreased with depth, whereas N mineralization and nitrification significantly increased. This pattern was consistent across the seven ecosystems studied. Furthermore, we did not find indications for a decrease in microbial N limitation from arctic to temperate systems. Our findings thus challenge the perception of ubiquitous N limitation at high latitudes, but suggest a transition from N to C limitation of microorganisms with soil depth. With microbial N immobilization constrained by low C availability, subsoils might harbour an easily available N pool that can contribute to plant N nutrition, but might also promote N losses from the ecosystem, e.g., by nitrate leaching, even in high latitude systems such as tundra and boreal

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Presents results of four breeding season and three postbreeding season bird surveys conducted on 45 10ha plots representing seven habitat types study sites on the...

  12. RESOURCE-BASED NICHES PROVIDE A BASIS FOR PLANT SPECIES DIVERSITY AND DOMINANCE IN ARCTIC TUNDRA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecologists have long been intrigued by the ways co-occurring species divide limiting resources, and have proposed that such resource partitioning, or niche differentiation, promotes species diversity by reducing competition. Although resource partitioning is an important determi...

  13. Interacting effects of elevated temperature and additional water on plant physiology and net ecosystem carbon fluxes in a high Arctic ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maseyk, Kadmiel; Seibt, Ulrike; Lett, Céline; Lupascu, Massimo; Czimczik, Claudia; Sullivan, Patrick; Welker, Jeff

    2013-04-01

    Arctic ecosystems are experiencing temperature increases more strongly than the global average, and increases in precipitation are also expected amongst the climate impacts on this region in the future. These changes are expected to strongly influence plant physiology and soil biogeochemistry with subsequent implications for system carbon balance. We have investigated the effects of a long-term (10 years) increase in temperature, soil water and the combination of both on a tundra ecosystem at a field manipulation experiment in NW Greenland. Leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content and leaf isotopic composition, and leaf morphology were measured on Salix arctica plants in treatment and control plots in June-July 2011, and continuous measurements of net plant and soil fluxes of CO2 and water were made using automatic chambers coupled to a trace gas laser analyzer. Plants in the elevated temperature (T2) treatment had the highest photosynthetic capacity in terms of net CO2 assimilation rates and photosystem II efficiencies, and lowest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation during photosynthesis. T2 plants also had the highest leaf N content, specific leaf area (SLA) and saturation light level of photosynthesis. It appears that warming increases soil N availability, which the plants direct towards increasing photosynthetic capacity and producing larger thinner leaves. On the other hand, the plants in the plots with both elevated temperatures and additional water (T2W) had the lowest photosystem II efficiencies and the highest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation, due more to higher levels of constitutive energy dissipation than regulated thermal quenching. Watering, both in combination with higher temperatures and alone (W treatment), also reduced leaf SLA and leaf N relative to control plots. However, net photosynthetic rates remained similar to control plants, due in part to higher stomatal conductance (W) and

  14. Barrow Arctic Terrestrial Observatory (BATO): An IPY Legacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, J.; Hinkel, K. M.; Hollister, R. D.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Nelson, F. E.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Shiklomanov, N. I.; Sturm, M.; Tweedie, C. E.; Webber, P. J.

    2009-12-01

    Barrow, Alaska, has played an important role in the commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the first International Polar Year. Implementation of IPY projects during the Fourth International Polar Year (2007-2009) included a number of IPY approved projects: Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP), SnowNet, the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX), the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM), the Arctic Circumpolar Coastal Observatory Network (ACCO-Net), Back to the Future (1969-1974 IBP Tundra Biome sites) and the Ray-Murdoch Expedition (first Polar Year). Building on results of these and related activities and historical data, the National Science Foundation under its Arctic Observing Network (AON) program, recently funded several long-term projects (estimated duration through 2014): TSP (permafrost temperatures dating back to the 1940s) CALM (seasonal thaw depths dating back to 1962) ITEX (plant phenology starting in 1994) Ultraviolet measurements (since 1990) Other continuing observational projects include snow measurements (SnowNet), coastal erosion, lake dynamics, and bird and small mammal census (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Owl Research Institute). NOAA and DOE support permanent atmospheric observatories. Site and data information are contained on the Barrow Area Information Database (BAID on Google Earth). Collectively we suggest that these and other continuing field observations be designated as the Barrow Arctic Terrestrial Observatory (BATO). Trends in the historical and current data from these AON and several related projects are reported. AON specific data are available through the Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service (CADIS) data portal. The proposed BATO, an IPY legacy, is hosted on and adjacent to the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO), a 7466-acre protected research area on land provided by the local owners (Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corporation) and designated as a Scientific Research District by the regional government (North

  15. 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 watershed (r = 0.52 ± 0.09, mean ± SD), principally in cold areas, and with CMIgy across 9% of the watershed (r = 0.45 ± 0.06), largely in warm areas. Larch ring-width measurements from nine sites revealed that year-to-year (i.e., high-frequency) variation in growth 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. PMID:23813896

  16. Approaches to estimating the transfer of radionuclides to arctic biota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    There is increasing concern over potential radioactive contamination of the Arctic due to the wide range of nuclear sources. Environmental characteristics of the Arctic also suggest that it may be comparatively vulnerable to contaminants. Here we review collated data and available models for estimating the transfer of radionuclides to terrestrial biota within the Arctic. The most abundant data are for radiocaesium and radiostrontium although many data for natural radionuclides were available from studies in the Arctic. For some radionuclides no data are available for describing transfer to Arctic biota. Allometric-kinetic models have been used to provide estimates of transfer for radionuclide biota combinations for which data were lacking. Predicted values were in good agreement with observed data for some radionuclides (e.g. Cs, U) although less so for others. However, for some radionuclides where comparison appeared poor there were relatively little observed data with which to compare and the models developed were simplistic excluding some potentially important transfer pathways (e.g. soil ingestion). There are no bespoke models to enable the dynamic prediction of radionuclide transfer to Arctic biota. A human food chain model is available which includes limited parameterization for Cs and Sr transfer in Arctic ecosystems. This has been relatively easily adapted to estimate 137Cs and 90Sr transfer to some Arctic biota and could be readily adapted to other radionuclide-biota combinations. There are many factors of Arctic ecosystems which may influence radionuclide behaviour including short growing seasons, prolonged freezing of soil, and effects of low temperatures on biological rates. However, these are not included within existing predictive models (for human or biota exposure). If exposure to ionising radiation within Arctic ecosystems is to be robustly predicted such factors must be fully understood and properly incorporated into models. (author)

  17. Arctic Climate Tipping Points

    OpenAIRE

    Lenton, Timothy M.

    2012-01-01

    There is widespread concern that anthropogenic global warming will trigger Arctic climate tipping points. The Arctic has a long history of natural, abrupt climate changes, which together with current observations and model projections, can help us to identify which parts of the Arctic climate system might pass future tipping points. Here the climate tipping points are defined, noting that not all of them involve bifurcations leading to irreversible change. Past abrupt climate changes in the A...

  18. The response of amino acid cycling to global change across multiple biomes: Feedbacks on soil nitrogen availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brzostek, E. R.; Finzi, A. C.

    2010-12-01

    The cycling of organic nitrogen (N) in soil links soil organic matter decomposition to ecosystem productivity. Amino acids are a key pool of organic N in the soil, whose cycling is sensitive to alterations in microbial demand for carbon and N. Further, the amino acids released from the breakdown of protein by proteolytic enzymes are an important source of N that supports terrestrial productivity. The objective of this study was to measure changes in amino acid cycling in response to experimental alterations of precipitation and temperature in twelve global change experiments during the 2009 growing season. The study sites ranged from arctic tundra to xeric grasslands. The treatments experimentally increased temperature, increased or decreased precipitation, or some combination of both factors. The response of amino acid cycling to temperature and precipitation manipulations tended to be site specific, but the responses could be placed into a common framework. Changes in soil moisture drove a large response in amino acid cycling. Precipitation augmentation in xeric and mesic sites increased both amino acid pool sizes and production. However, treatments that decreased precipitation drove decreases in amino acid cycling in xeric sites, but led to increases in amino acid cycling in more mesic sites. Across sites, the response to soil warming was horizon specific. Amino acid cycling in organic rich horizons responded positively to warming, while negative responses were exhibited in lower mineral soil horizons. The variable response likely reflects a higher availability of protein substrate to sustain high rates of proteolytic enzyme activity in organic rich horizons. Overall, these results suggest that soil moisture and the availability of protein substrate may be important factors that mediate the response of amino acid cycling to predicted increases in soil temperatures.

  19. Global warming impacts on the biogeochemical functioning of two arctic Cryo-sols in the Salluit region, Nunavik, Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 CO2 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 (Q10), 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 CO2 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 CO2 fluxes and 3) the diurnal Q10 variations and the inter annual variability of basal respiration. Our results support the assumption that organic matter decomposition might be the major source of CO2 at H while plant-derived processes dominated ER at T. Finally, the thaw

  20. What iron minerals contribute to anaerobic respiration in peats differing in maturity on the Arctic Coastal Plain ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masue-Slowey, Y.; Wagner, F. E.; Lipson, D.; Raab, T. K.

    2013-12-01

    Microbial Fe-reduction accounts for 30-60% of ecosystem respiration in drained thaw-lake tundra of the Arctic Coastal Plain. Near Barrow, we collected diffraction, Fe-XANES, Moessbauer spectra (RT and liqHe), and wet-chemical data on the Fe mineralogy of DTLB over an age gradient from 0 - 5500 y BP to delineate the important phases involved in microbial cycling of Fe. Soils were cored frozen in early June of 2010/ 2011, wrapped/ transported to CA by overnight express. Cores varying in age since formation were further sectioned, and transferred to an anaerobic hood for size-fractionation based on settling velocity, and subjected to bulk XRD at SSRL. Fe-XANES of both clay-separates and bulk soil were collected at BL 4-1. Subsamples were packed into anaerobic vials and sent for Moessbauer spectroscopy. Present in bulk soils of all ages by XRD were quartz, albite and vermiculite. Additional smectitic minerals, goethite and Fe-phosphates were evident in some basin classes, esp. Young and Medium. XANES confirmed wet-chem results of a highly-reduced state for Fe in bulk soils, and fits of XAFS indicated goethite as 20% of the reactive Fe-pool among basin-age classes. The most abundant Fe-containing minerals in clay fractions (Old and Young soils) were a ferrosmectite, or hornblende-derived mineral. (Fig.1) MB spectra from various depths of an Old Basin (300-2000 yrs BP) - the DTLB class of greatest areal extent -- revealed largely reduced Fe pools (50-60%), with goethite and a Fhd-like component visible (~23%). LHe spectra indicated the presence of goethite as ~ 20% of the MB-visible pool (Fig 2). Two prominent quadrupole doublets had QS=3.24 mm/s; IS = 1.10 mm/s and QS = 2.84; IS=1.05 mm/s, respectively, and upon oxidation, demonstrated divergent kinetics. We attribute the doublet with lower splitting to the ferrosmectite component visible by XAFS. Although previous sequential extractions of Barrow soil minerals suggested a sizeable component of siderites (indeed geochem

  1. 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.

  2. The role of endophytic methane oxidizing bacteria in submerged Sphagnum in determining methane emissions of Northeastern Siberian tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J. Dolman

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The behavior of tundra ecosystems is critical in the global carbon cycle due to their wet soils and large stores of carbon. Recently, cooperation was observed between methanotrophic bacteria and submerged Sphagnum, which reduces methane emissions in this type of vegetation and supplies CO2 for photosynthesis to the plant. Although proven in the lab, the differences that exist in methane emissions from inundated vegetation types with or without Sphagnum have not been linked to these bacteria before. To further investigate the importance of these bacteria, chamber flux measurements, microbial analysis and flux modeling were used to show that methane emissions in a submerged Sphagnum/sedge vegetation type were 50% lower compared to an inundated sedge vegetation without Sphagnum. From examining the results of the measurements, incubation experiments and flux modeling, it was found that it is likely that this difference is due to, for a large part, oxidation of methane below the water table by these endophytic bacteria. This result is important when upscaled spatially since oxidation by these bacteria plays a large role in 15% of the net methane emissions, while at the same time they promote photosynthesis of Sphagnum, and thus carbon storage. Future changes in the spread of submerged Sphagnum, in combination with the response of these bacteria to a warmer climate, could be an important factor in predicting future greenhouse gas exchange from tundra.

  3. Carbon dioxide and methane dynamics in Russian tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    interactions and the annual carbon dynamics. Here we present eddy correlation measurements of CO2 and CH4 exchange during the period from early spring to late autumn, covering the full growing season, i.e., mid June to mid September. We present preliminary seasonal budgets of carbon, greenhouse gas exchange......, 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...

  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)

    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. Connecting Indigenous Knowledge to Thaw Lake Cycle Research on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisner, W. R.; Cuomo, C. J.; Hinkel, K. M.; Jones, B. M.; Hurd, J.

    2005-12-01

    Thaw lakes cover about 20% of the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. Another 26% is scarred by basins that form when lakes drain, and these drained thaw-lake basins are sites for preferential carbon accumulation as plant biomass. Recent studies in the continuous permafrost zone of Western Siberia suggest that lakes have been expanding in the past several decades in response to regional warming. Anticipated regional warming would likely mobilize sequestered soil organic carbon, resulting in the emission of CO2 and CH4. Our understanding of the processes leading to thaw lake formation, expansion, and drainage in northern Alaska has been limited because models are specific to the flat, young Outer (seaward) Coastal Plain comprising 1/3 of the region. Furthermore, spatial and temporal analysis of lake dynamics is largely restricted to the period since 1948, when aerial photographs first became available across large regions of the Coastal Plain. In order to fill these gaps, we have been interviewing Iñupiaq elders, hunters, and berry pickers from the villages of Atqasuk and Barrow. The objective of these interviews is to obtain accounts of lake formation, expansion and drainage that have occurred within living or oral memory, and extend the record back several generations. To date, we have interviewed fifteen Iñupiat; most of these are people who travel the tundra frequently and have done so for decades. They have first-hand experience of lake drainage, sea cliff and river bank erosion, permafrost degradation, and other landscape changes. Many informants expressed concern that landscape changes are occurring at an increasingly rapid rate. They have identified lakes that have drained, areas where the permafrost is thawing, and places where the sea and river coastline is eroding. We have been able to corroborate reports of lake drainage from our informants with a series of aerial photographs, satellite images, and radiocarbon dates. In many instances, the elders have

  7. Bulk partitioning the growing season net ecosystem exchange of CO2 in Siberian tundra reveals the seasonality of its carbon sequestration strength

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.-M. Pfeiffer

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper evaluates the relative contribution of light and temperature on net ecosystem CO2 uptake during the 2006 growing season in a~polygonal tundra ecosystem in the Lena River Delta in Northern Siberia (72°22´ N, 126°30´ E. We demonstrate that the timing of warm periods may be an important determinant of the magnitude of the ecosystem's carbon sink function, as they drive temperature-induced changes in respiration. Hot spells during the early portion of the growing season are shown to be more influential in creating mid-day surface-to-atmosphere net ecosystem CO2 exchange fluxes than those occurring later in the season. In this work we also develop and present a bulk flux partition model to better account for tundra plant physiology and the specific light conditions of the arctic region that preclude the successful use of traditional partition methods that derive a respiration-temperature relationship from all night-time data. Night-time, growing season measurements are rare during the arctic summer, however, so the new method allows for temporal variation in the parameters describing both ecosystem respiration and gross uptake by fitting both processes at the same time. Much of the apparent temperature sensitivity of respiration seen in the traditional partition method is revealed in the new method to reflect seasonal changes in basal respiration rates. Understanding and quantifying the flux partition is an essential precursor to describing links between assimilation and respiration at different time scales, as it allows a more confident evaluation of measured net exchange over a broader range of environmental conditions. The growing season CO2 sink estimated by this study is similar to those reported previously for this site, and is substantial enough to withstand the long, low-level respiratory CO2 release during the rest of the year to maintain the site's CO2 sink function on an annual basis.

  8. 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.

  9. Importance of soil thermal regime in terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics in the circumpolar north

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yueyang; Zhuang, Qianlai; Sitch, Stephen; O'Donnell, Jonathan A.; Kicklighter, David; Sokolov, Andrei; Melillo, Jerry

    2016-07-01

    In the circumpolar north (45-90°N), permafrost plays an important role in vegetation and carbon (C) dynamics. Permafrost thawing has been accelerated by the warming climate and exerts a positive feedback to climate through increasing soil C release to the atmosphere. To evaluate the influence of permafrost on C dynamics, changes in soil temperature profiles should be considered in global C models. This study incorporates a sophisticated soil thermal model (STM) into a dynamic global vegetation model (LPJ-DGVM) to improve simulations of changes in soil temperature profiles from the ground surface to 3 m depth, and its impacts on C pools and fluxes during the 20th and 21st centuries. With cooler simulated soil temperatures during the summer, LPJ-STM estimates ~ 0.4 Pg C yr- 1 lower present-day heterotrophic respiration but ~ 0.5 Pg C yr- 1 higher net primary production than the original LPJ model resulting in an additional 0.8 to 1.0 Pg C yr- 1 being sequestered in circumpolar ecosystems. Under a suite of projected warming scenarios, we show that the increasing active layer thickness results in the mobilization of permafrost C, which contributes to a more rapid increase in heterotrophic respiration in LPJ-STM compared to the stand-alone LPJ model. Except under the extreme warming conditions, increases in plant production due to warming and rising CO2, overwhelm the e nhanced ecosystem respiration so that both boreal forest and arctic tundra ecosystems remain a net C sink over the 21st century. This study highlights the importance of considering changes in the soil thermal regime when quantifying the C budget in the circumpolar north.

  10. Arctic Environmental Data Directory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Arctic Environmental Data Directory (AEDD) is being developed in cooperation with the US Global Change Research Plan. The AEDD Working Group, with members from US and Canadian agencies and academia, have described more than 300 Arctic data sets in a subset of an online data directory maintained by the US Geological Survey (USGS), ESDD (the Earth Science Data Directory). Through various links known as the Inter-operable Directory, the contents of AEDD are made available to scientists who use the NASA, NOAA, NSF and USGS data directories. Thus, scientists studying global change have access to Arctic data, and scientists studying the Arctic have access to global change data. The AEDD Working Group has sponsored development of a prototype Compact Disc Read Only Memory (CDROM) containing the indexed contents of the AEDD. Named Arctic Data Interactive (ADI), the disc was developed for use on Apple Macintosh and IBM PC-compatible computers, and uses a graphical and intuitive hypermedia user interface. The disc also contains portions of an Arctic Bibliography prepared in concert with the Polar Library Colloquy, sample full-text articles with illustrations, and selected data sets, including tabular data, text, and imagery. The ADI prototype is prepared as a model for organizing, presenting and distributing large quantities of Arctic and global change data and information to the science community. It is intended to be the first series of CDROMs with a consistent graphic design and user interface to place Arctic data and information on the desktop. The data are packaged with a powerful set of intuitive tools to navigate through and preview data sets from many disciplines and institutions. AEDD and ADI are sponsored by the Inter-agency Arctic Research Policy Committee and the Inter-agency Working Group on Data Management for Global Change, with guidance from the US Arctic Research Commission

  11. Effects of diurnal temperature variation on microbial community and petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation in contaminated soils from a sub-Arctic site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbari, Ali; Ghoshal, Subhasis

    2015-12-01

    Contaminated soils are subject to diurnal and seasonal temperature variations during on-site ex-situ bioremediation processes. We assessed how diurnal temperature variations similar to that in summer at the site from which petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil was collected affect the soil microbial community and the extent of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons compared with constant temperature regimes. Microbial community analyses for 16S rRNA and alkB genes by pyrosequencing indicated that the microbial community for soils incubated under diurnal temperature variation from 5°C to 15°C (VART5-15) evolved similarly to that for soils incubated at constant temperature of 15°C (CST15). In contrast, under a constant temperature of 5°C (CST5), the community evolved significantly different. The extent of biodegradation of C10-C16 hydrocarbons in the VART5-15 systems was 48%, comparable with the 41% biodegradation in CST15 systems, but significantly higher than CST5 systems at 11%. The enrichment of Gammaproteobacteria was observed in the alkB gene-harbouring communities in VART5-15 and CST15 but not in CST5 systems. However, the Actinobacteria was abundant at all temperature regimes. The results suggest that changes in microbial community composition as a result of diurnal temperature variations can significantly influence petroleum hydrocarbon bioremediation performance in cold regions. PMID:25808640

  12. Thermo-erosion gullies boost the transition from wet to mesic tundra vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perreault, Naïm; Lévesque, Esther; Fortier, Daniel; Lamarque, Laurent J.

    2016-03-01

    Continuous permafrost zones with well-developed polygonal ice-wedge networks are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Thermo-mechanical erosion can initiate the development of gullies that lead to substantial drainage of adjacent wet habitats. How vegetation responds to this particular disturbance is currently unknown but has the potential to significantly disrupt function and structure of Arctic ecosystems. Focusing on three major gullies of Bylot Island, Nunavut, we estimated the impacts of thermo-erosion processes on plant community changes. We explored over 2 years the influence of environmental factors on plant species richness, abundance and biomass in 62 low-centered wet polygons, 87 low-centered disturbed polygons and 48 mesic environment sites. Gullying decreased soil moisture by 40 % and thaw-front depth by 10 cm in the center of breached polygons within less than 5 years after the inception of ice wedge degradation, entailing a gradual yet marked vegetation shift from wet to mesic plant communities within 5 to 10 years. This transition was accompanied by a five times decrease in graminoid above-ground biomass. Soil moisture and thaw-front depth changed almost immediately following gullying initiation as they were of similar magnitude between older (> 5 years) and recently (lag-time in vegetation response to the altered physical environment with plant species richness and biomass differing between the two types of disturbed polygons. To date (10 years after disturbance), the stable state of the mesic environment cover has not been fully reached yet. Our results illustrate that wetlands are highly vulnerable to thermo-erosion processes, which drive landscape transformation on a relative short period of time for High Arctic perennial plant communities (5 to 10 years). Such succession towards mesic plant communities can have substantial consequences on the food availability for herbivores and carbon emissions of Arctic ecosystems.

  13. Surface ground contamination and soil vertical distribution of 137Cs around two underground nuclear explosion sites in the Asian Arctic, Russia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vertical distributions of 137Cs have been determined in vegetation-soil cores obtained from 30 different locations around two underground nuclear explosion sites - 'Crystal' (event year - 1974) and 'Kraton-3' (event year - 1978) in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russia. In 2001-2002, background levels of 137Cs surface contamination densities on control forest plots varied from 0.73 to 0.97 kBq m-2 with an average of 0.84 ± 0.10 kBq m-2 and a median of 0.82 kBq m-2. 137Cs ground contamination densities at the 'Crystal' site ranged from 1.3 to 64 kBq m-2; the activity gradually decreased with distance from the borehole. For 'Kraton-3', residual surface contamination density of radiocaesium varied drastically from 1.7 to 6900 kBq m-2; maximal 137Cs depositions were found at a 'decontaminated' plot. At all forest plots, radiocaesium activity decreased throughout the whole vertical soil profile. Vertical distributions of 137Cs in soil for the majority of the plots sampled (n = 18) can be described using a simple exponential function. Despite the fact that more than 20 years have passed since the main fallout events, more than 80% of the total deposited activity was found in the first 5 cm of the vegetation-soil cores from most of the forested landscapes. The low annual temperatures, clay-rich soil type with neutral pH, and presence of thick lichen-moss carpet are the factors which may hinder 137Cs transport down the soil profile

  14. Thermo-erosion gullies boost the transition from wet to mesic tundra vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perreault, Naïm; Lévesque, Esther; Fortier, Daniel; Lamarque, Laurent J.

    2016-03-01

    Continuous permafrost zones with well-developed polygonal ice-wedge networks are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Thermo-mechanical erosion can initiate the development of gullies that lead to substantial drainage of adjacent wet habitats. How vegetation responds to this particular disturbance is currently unknown but has the potential to significantly disrupt function and structure of Arctic ecosystems. Focusing on three major gullies of Bylot Island, Nunavut, we estimated the impacts of thermo-erosion processes on plant community changes. We explored over 2 years the influence of environmental factors on plant species richness, abundance and biomass in 62 low-centered wet polygons, 87 low-centered disturbed polygons and 48 mesic environment sites. Gullying decreased soil moisture by 40 % and thaw-front depth by 10 cm in the center of breached polygons within less than 5 years after the inception of ice wedge degradation, entailing a gradual yet marked vegetation shift from wet to mesic plant communities within 5 to 10 years. This transition was accompanied by a five times decrease in graminoid above-ground biomass. Soil moisture and thaw-front depth changed almost immediately following gullying initiation as they were of similar magnitude between older (> 5 years) and recently (food availability for herbivores and carbon emissions of Arctic ecosystems.

  15. 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.

  16. Soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    For Austria there exists a comprehensive soil data collection, integrated in a GIS (geographical information system). The content values of pollutants (cadmium, mercury, lead, copper, mercury, radio-cesium) are given in geographical charts and in tables by regions and by type of soil (forests, agriculture, greenland, others) for the whole area of Austria. Erosion effects are studied for the Austrian region. Legal regulations and measures for an effective soil protection, reduction of soil degradation and sustainable development in Austria and the European Union are discussed. (a.n.)

  17. BIOGENIC SILICA CONTENT AND MORPHOLOGY OF SOIL AT NY-ÅLESUND, THE ARCTIC%北极新奥尔松地区土壤中生物硅含量及形态特征

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘森; 冉祥滨; 臧家业; 王能飞

    2015-01-01

    terrestrial ecosystems, but few on the silicon cycle in poplar regions.BSi content and phytolith morphology were analyzed in soil and plant samples obtained near the Chinese Yellow River Station in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, during the fifth Chinese Arctic Scientific Expedition.In the topsoil of Svalbard, the content of particulate organic carbon ( POC) and particulate organic nitrogen ( PON) ranged from 1.00 to 69.3 mg· g-1 and 0.11 to 9.84 mg· g-1 , with an average of 13.7 mg· g -1 and 1.43 mg· g-1 , respectively.The concentration of soluble silica in the soil of this study area ranged from 3.90 to 26.3 μg· g-1 , with an average of 10.7 μg· g -1 , and the BSi ranged from 5.60 to 9.97 mg· g-1 , with an average of 7.56 mg· g -1 .There was a positive correlation between BSi and both PON and POC in soil, indicating that their sources were similar.The BSi content in the topsoil of the Arctic is higher than that in temperate and tropical regions.Phytoliths in the plant samples showed various forms including cap-shaped, round, smooth rods, tooth-shaped, spiny bars and dumbbell-shaped, with sizes between 10 and 100μm.Phytoliths and diatoms were found in soil samples as compositions of BSi.Phytoliths were the dominant BSi in soil with vegetation cover while pennate di-atoms were dominant in bare soils, where they accounted for about 93.3% of the BSi.Phytoliths in soil samples were mainly from plants, inferred from similarity of the morphology to that of phytoliths in plants.The contents of POC, PON, soluble silica, BSi, and the abundance of phytoliths were higher in samples from soil with vegetation covered than in samples of bare soil, suggesting that the silicon cycle in the soil of the Arctic is strongly influenced by plants.

  18. 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 kn

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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