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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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).

  5. 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,

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  9. 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

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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

    Nitrogen (N) mineralization, nutrient availability, and plant growth in the Arctic are often restricted by low temperatures. Predicted increases of cold-season temperatures may be important for plant nutrient availability and growth, given that N mineralization is also taking place during the cold...... 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...... vegetation types, but the leaf sizes were unchanged. Leaves of Bistorta and Luzula were significantly larger but only significantly so in one moist vegetation type. Increased N and chlorophyll concentrations in leaves indicate a potential for increased growth (C uptake), supported by large leaf sizes...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    代力民; 吴钢; 赵景柱; 孔红梅; 邵国凡; 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%.

  13. Cold season emissions dominate the Arctic tundra methane budget.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are major global sources of methane (CH4); hence, it is important to understand the seasonal and climatic controls on CH4 emissions from these systems. Here, we report year-round CH4 emissions from Alaskan Arctic tundra eddy flux sites and regional fluxes derived from aircraft data. We find that emissions during the cold season (September to May) account for ≥ 50% of the annual CH4 flux, with the highest emissions from noninundated upland tundra. A major fraction of cold season emissions occur during the "zero curtain" period, when subsurface soil temperatures are poised near 0 °C. The zero curtain may persist longer than the growing season, and CH4 emissions are enhanced when the duration is extended by a deep thawed layer as can occur with thick snow cover. Regional scale fluxes of CH4 derived from aircraft data demonstrate the large spatial extent of late season CH4 emissions. Scaled to the circumpolar Arctic, cold season fluxes from tundra total 12 ± 5 (95% confidence interval) Tg CH4 y(-1), ∼ 25% of global emissions from extratropical wetlands, or ∼ 6% of total global wetland methane emissions. The dominance of late-season emissions, sensitivity to soil environmental conditions, and importance of dry tundra are not currently simulated in most global climate models. Because Arctic warming disproportionally impacts the cold season, our results suggest that higher cold-season CH4 emissions will result from observed and predicted increases in snow thickness, active layer depth, and soil temperature, representing important positive feedbacks on climate warming. PMID:26699476

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Zwolicki

    Full Text Available 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Recent Arctic tundra fire initiates widespread thermokarst development

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Shrub expansion and climate feedbacks in Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loranty, Michael M.; Goetz, Scott J.

    2012-03-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems stand to play a substantial role in both the magnitude and rate of global climate warming over the coming decades and centuries. The exact nature of this role will be determined by the combined effects of currently amplified rates of climate warming in the Arctic (Serreze et al 2000) and a series of related positive climate feedbacks that include mobilization of permafrost carbon (Schuur et al 2008), decreases in surface albedo (Chapin et al 2005) and evapotranspiration (ET) mediated increases in atmospheric water vapor (Swann et al 2010). Conceptually, these feedback mechanisms are intuitive and readily comprehensible: warming-induced permafrost thaw will make new soil carbon pools accessible for microbial respiration, and increased vegetation productivity, expansion of shrubs in particular, will lower surface reflectance and increase ET. However, our current understanding of these feedback mechanisms relies largely on limited and local field studies and, as such, the quantitative estimates of feedback effects on regional and global climate require spatial upscaling and uncertainty estimates derived from models. Moreover, the feedback mechanisms interact and their combined net effect on climate is highly variable and not well characterized. A recent study by Bonfils et al (2012) is among the first to explicitly examine how shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems will impact regional climate. Using an Earth system model, Bonfils et al find that an idealized 20% increase in shrub cover north of 60°N latitude will lead to annual temperature increases of 0.66 °C and 1.84 °C, respectively, when the shrubs are 0.5 m and 2 m tall. The modeled temperature increases arise from atmospheric heating as a combined consequence of decreased albedo and increased ET. The primary difference between the two cases is associated with the fact that tall shrubs protrude above the snow, thus reducing albedo year round, whereas short shrubs are completely

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

    burned in Alaska was moderately correlated with sea-ice extent from 1979-2009 (r = -0.43, p = 0.02), suggesting links among multiple components of the climate system. These patterns imply that climate warming over land areas of the Arctic, amplified by the loss of sea ice, has the potential to dramatically increase tundra burns. Increased tundra burning and associated releases of soil carbon may change the role of tundra ecosystems in the global carbon cycle, but existing data are inadequate for evaluating this possibility. Ongoing work focuses on further characterizing the climatic and vegetation/fuel conditions under which large, severe tundra fires occur and assessing the effects of tundra fires on carbon cycling. Improving our understanding of tundra fire-regime responses to sea-ice reduction and climatic warming is necessary for projecting Earth system dynamics, developing ecosystem management strategies, and preparing arctic residents for future changes.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    the response in EM fungal abundance to long-term warming and fertilization in two arctic ecosystems with contrasting responses of the EM shrub Betula nana. •  Ergosterol was used as a biomarker for living fungal biomass in roots and organic soil and ingrowth bags were used to estimate EM mycelial production......•  Shrub abundance is expected to increase with enhanced temperature and nutrient availability in the Arctic, and associated changes in abundance of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi could be a key link between plant responses and longer-term changes in soil organic matter storage. This study quantifies....... We measured 15N and 13C natural abundance to identify the EM-saprotrophic divide in fungal sporocarps and to validate the EM origin of mycelia in the ingrowth bags. •  Fungal biomass in soil and EM mycelial production increased with fertilization at both tundra sites, and with warming at one site...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Bååth, Erland

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  11. 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).

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

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

    2013-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

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    M. Mastepanov

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available 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 with measurements made outside the growing season, are underrepresented in the literature. Here we present results of 5 yr (2006–2010 of automatic chamber measurements at a high-Arctic location in Zackenberg, NE Greenland, covering both the growing seasons and two months of the following freeze-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 (R2 > 0.75, which is probably explained by high seasonality of both variables, and weakly correlated with the water table. The greatest variability in fluxes between the study years was observed during the first part of the growing season. Somewhat surprisingly, this variability could not be explained by commonly 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-season bursts of CH4 coinciding with soil freezing in the autumn were observed during at least three years. The cumulative emission during the freeze-in CH4 bursts was comparable in size with the growing season emission for the year 2007, and about one third of the growing season emissions for the years 2009 and 2010. In all three cases the CH4 burst was accompanied by a corresponding episodic increase in CO2 emission, which can compose a significant contribution to the annual CO2

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Does climate warming stimulate or inhibit soil protist communities? A test on testate amoebae in high-arctic tundra with free-air temperature increase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsyganov, Andrey N; Nijs, Ivan; Beyens, Louis

    2011-04-01

    Soil testate amoebae assemblages in a grassland area at Zackenberg (Northeast Greenland) were subjected to simulated climate-warming during the growing season using the Free-Air Temperature Increase technique. Samples were collected in upper (0 - 3cm) and deeper (3 - 6cm) soil horizons. Mean temperature elevations at 2.5 and 7.5 cm depth were 2.58 ± SD 1.11 and 2.13±SD 0.77°C, respectively, and did not differ significantly. Soil moisture in the top 11cm was not affected by the warming. During the manipulation, the densities of living amoebae and empty shells were higher in the experimental plots but only in the upper layer. Possibly, testate amoebae in the deeper layer were limited by other factors, suggesting that warming enhances the carrying capacity only in favourable conditions. Species richness, on the other hand, was only increased in the deeper horizon. Warming did not change the percentage of individuals belonging to small-sized species in any of the living assemblages, contrary to our expectation that those species would quickly increase their density. However, in the empty shell assemblages, the proportion of small-sized individuals in the experimental plots was higher in both layers, indicating a rapid, transient increase in small amoebae before the first sampling date. Changes in successional state of testate amoebae assemblages in response to future climate change might thus be ephemeral, whereas alterations in density and species richness might be more sustained.

  19. 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

  20. Nutrient Limitation of Microbial Mediated Decomposition and Arctic Soil Chronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melle, C. J.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Wallenstein, M. D.

    2012-12-01

    Soils of northern permafrost regions currently contain twice as much carbon as the entire Earth's atmosphere. Traditionally, environmental constraints have limited microbial activity resulting in restricted decomposition of soil organic matter in these systems and accumulation of massive amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC), however climate change is reducing the constraints of decomposition in arctic permafrost regions. Carbon cycling in nutrient poor, arctic ecosystems is tightly coupled to other biogeochemical cycles. Several studies have suggested strong nitrogen limitations of primary productivity and potentially warm-season microbial activity in these nutrient deficient soils. Nitrogen is required for microbial extracellular enzyme production which drives the decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM). Nitrogen limited arctic soils may also experience limitation via labile carbon availability despite the SOM rich environment due to low extracellular enzyme production. Few studies have directly addressed nutrient induced microbial limitation in SOC rich arctic tundra soils, and even less is known about the potential for nutrient co-limitation. Additionally, through the process of becoming deglaciated, sites within close proximity to one another may have experienced drastic differences in their effective soil ages due to the varied length of their active histories. Many soil properties and nutrient deficiencies are directly related to soil age, however this chronology has not previously been a focus of research on nutrient limitation of arctic soil microbial activity. Understanding of nutrient limitations, as well as potential co-limitation, on arctic soil microbial activity has important implications for carbon cycling and the ultimate fate of the current arctic SOC reservoir. Analyses of nutrient limitation on soils of a single site are not adequate for fully understanding the controls on soil microbial activity across a vast land mass with large variation in

  1. Analysis of state of vehicular scars on Arctic Tundra, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lathram, E. H.

    1974-01-01

    Identification on ERTS images of severe vehicular scars in the northern Alaska tundra suggests that, if such scars are of an intensity or have spread to a dimension such that they can be resolved by ERTS sensors (20 meters), they can be identified and their state monitored by the use of ERTS images. Field review of the state of vehicular scars in the Umiat area indicates that all are revegetating at varying rates and are approaching a stable state.

  2. Evaluating CO2 and CH4 fluxes in Arctic peatland and tundra using a satellite remote sensing driven biophysical model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, J.; Kimball, J. S.; Parmentier, F. W.; Sachs, T.; Rinne, J.; Zona, D.; Oechel, W. C.; Tagesson, T.

    2013-12-01

    The Arctic terrestrial carbon sink is contingent on the balance between vegetation gross primary productivity (GPP) and emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). With climate change, warming temperatures could increase GPP within high latitude systems but may also accelerate soil decomposition and CO2 loss. Regional wetting may also shift carbon emissions towards greater CH4 release, a greenhouse gas at least 25 times more potent than CO2. However, an effective framework for monitoring changes in the Arctic net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) is lacking. Here we introduce an integrated terrestrial carbon flux (TCF) model approach to estimate CO2 and CH4 fluxes from northern peatland and tundra ecosystems at a daily time step. The TCF model framework uses a light-use efficiency (LUE) algorithm to estimate GPP according to satellite NDVI inputs and estimated moisture and temperature constraints. Ecosystem respiration is derived using a three-pool soil organic carbon decomposition model regulated by surface (moisture inputs. A TCF-CH4 component simulates gas production according to near-surface temperature, anaerobic soil fractions and labile soil carbon inputs derived during model spin-up. Plant transport, soil diffusion and ebullition pathways are used to regulate CH4 emissions into the atmosphere. The combined TCF CO2 and CH4 model was evaluated against tower eddy covariance (EC) flux datasets from six peatland and tundra sites in North America, Eurasia and Greenland. TCF model simulations driven with site information explained on average > 70% (r^2; p moisture and thermal products to be produced in upcoming satellite remote sensing missions.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Soil bacterial community and functional shifts in response to altered snowpack in moist acidic tundra of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricketts, Michael P.; Poretsky, Rachel S.; Welker, Jeffrey M.; Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A.

    2016-09-01

    Soil microbial communities play a central role in the cycling of carbon (C) in Arctic tundra ecosystems, which contain a large portion of the global C pool. Climate change predictions for Arctic regions include increased temperature and precipitation (i.e. more snow), resulting in increased winter soil insulation, increased soil temperature and moisture, and shifting plant community composition. We utilized an 18-year snow fence study site designed to examine the effects of increased winter precipitation on Arctic tundra soil bacterial communities within the context of expected ecosystem response to climate change. Soil was collected from three pre-established treatment zones representing varying degrees of snow accumulation, where deep snow ˜ 100 % and intermediate snow ˜ 50 % increased snowpack relative to the control, and low snow ˜ 25 % decreased snowpack relative to the control. Soil physical properties (temperature, moisture, active layer thaw depth) were measured, and samples were analysed for C concentration, nitrogen (N) concentration, and pH. Soil microbial community DNA was extracted and the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced to reveal phylogenetic community differences between samples and determine how soil bacterial communities might respond (structurally and functionally) to changes in winter precipitation and soil chemistry. We analysed relative abundance changes of the six most abundant phyla (ranging from 82 to 96 % of total detected phyla per sample) and found four (Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Chloroflexi) responded to deepened snow. All six phyla correlated with at least one of the soil chemical properties (% C, % N, C : N, pH); however, a single predictor was not identified, suggesting that each bacterial phylum responds differently to soil characteristics. Overall, bacterial community structure (beta diversity) was found to be associated with snow accumulation treatment and all soil chemical properties. Bacterial

  12. 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

  13. Effects of increased snow cover on the rates and sources of ecosystem respiration from high arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupascu, M.; Welker, J. M.; Cooper, E.; Xu, X.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2013-12-01

    A key driver of carbon (C) cycling in arctic ecosystems is the amount, onset and duration of snow cover. Arctic tundra is covered in snow for 8-10 months of the year, although spatial and internannual variability of snow cover is high. Anticipated changes in the amount and timing of snow cover as a consequence of climate warming and their implications for regional C budget and biogeochemistry are highly uncertain. Here, we investigated the effects of increased winter snow depth on the rates and sources of ecosystem respiration (Reco) of a polar semi-desert and mesic meadow at two long-term snowpack manipulation experiments in NW Greenland and Svalbard, Norway. We monitored Reco, the concentrations of CO2 in the soil pore space and their radiocarbon (14C) contents (as an age proxy) over the course of three summers in Greenland and one winter in Svalbard. Preliminary results show that wintertime Reco fluxes were 45% higher in areas of deep as compared to ambient snow. Summertime Reco fluxes were positively correlated to total water-year precipitation (summer rain plus winter snow). However, due to the shorter, snow-free vegetation period, cumulative summertime Reco fluxes under increased snow cover were reduced by up to -34.1×5.4% compared to the control. The mean age of soil CO2 was always older during both the winter- and summertime under increased snow cover. Similarly, the mean age of Reco was older under increased snowpack during the wintertime. However, summertime Reco was dominated by decomposition of younger C and plant respiration, and we found no effect of snow cover. Our results demonstrate the vulnerability of permafrost C to increasing snow cover and the strong potential to serve as a positive feedback to global climate change.

  14. 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

  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

    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 sign...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Snow distribution, soil temperature and late winter CO2 efflux from soils at the Arctic treeline in northwest Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, P.

    2009-12-01

    The Arctic treeline is advancing in many areas and changes in ecosystem-atmosphere energy and CO2 exchange are anticipated. Differences in surface energy exchange between arctic tundra and treeline forests are well known and a positive feedback between treeline advance and regional warming is expected. Differences in CO2 exchange across the Arctic treeline are less well known and contrasting conclusions have been drawn from studies that used different approaches. Measurements of CO2 exchange in tundra and an adjacent treeline forest showed the forest was a greater carbon (C) sink during the growing season in northern Canada. There is reason to expect forests may lose more C than tundra during the wintertime, as forests may accumulate and retain more snow. Deeper snow insulates the soil and warmer soils should lead to greater rates of CO2 efflux. In this study, I tested the hypotheses that treeline forests maintain a deeper snowpack, have warmer soils and lose more C during the winter than adjacent tundra at the Arctic treeline in northwest Alaska. Estimates of CO2 efflux through the snowpack were made at five forest and two treeline sites in late winter when soil temperatures were near their annual minima in three consecutive winters. Snow depth, soil temperature and CO2 efflux were greater in the forest than at the treeline, particularly in years with greater snowfall. A simple modeling exercise showed differences in winter C loss between the treeline and forest could be sufficient to offset greater C gain by the forest during the summer.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Role of Siderophores in Dissimilatory Iron Reduction in Arctic Soils : Effect of Direct Amendment of Siderophores to Arctic Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivas, A. J.; Dinsdale, E. A.; Lipson, D.

    2014-12-01

    Dissimilatory iron reduction (DIR), where ferric iron (Fe3+) is reduced to ferrous iron (Fe2+) anaerobically, is an important respiratory pathway used by soil bacteria. DIR contributes to carbon dioxide (CO2) efflux from the wet sedge tundra biome in the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) in Alaska, and could competitively inhibit the production of methane, a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, from arctic soils. The occurrence of DIR as a dominant anaerobic process depends on the availability of substantial levels of Fe3+ in soils. Siderophores are metabolites made by microbes to dissolve Fe3+ from soil minerals in iron deficient systems, making Fe3+ soluble for micronutrient uptake. However, as the ACP is not iron deficient, siderophores in arctic soils may play a vital role in anaerobic respiration by dissolving Fe3+ for DIR. We studied the effects of direct siderophore addition to arctic soils through a field study conducted in Barrow, Alaska, and a laboratory incubation study conducted at San Diego State University. In the field experiment, 50μM deferroxamine mesylate (a siderophore), 50μM trisodium nitrilotriacetate (an organic chelator) or an equal volume of water was added to isolated experimental plots, replicated in clusters across the landscape. Fe2+ concentrations were measured in soil pore water samples collected periodically to measure DIR over time in each. In the laboratory experiment, frozen soil samples obtained from drained thaw lake basins in the ACP, were cut into cores and treated with the above-mentioned compounds to the same final concentrations. Along with measuring Fe2+ concentrations, CO2 output was also measured to monitor DIR over time in each core. Experimental addition of siderophores to soils in both the field and laboratory resulted in increased concentrations of soluble Fe3+ and a sustained increase in Fe2+concentrations over time, along with increased respiration rates in siderophore-amended cores. These results show increased DIR in

  6. Lepidoptera Larvae as an Indicator of Multi-trophic Level Responses to Changing Seasonality in an Arctic Tundra Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, K. M.; Steltzer, H.; Boelman, N.; Weintraub, M. N.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Sullivan, P.; Gough, L.; Rich, M.; Hendrix, C.; Kielland, K.; Philip, K.; Doak, P.; Ferris, C.; Sikes, D.

    2011-12-01

    Earlier snowmelt and warming temperatures in the Arctic will impact multiple trophic levels through the timing and availability of food resources. Lepidoptera are a vital link within the ecosystem; their roles include pollinator, parasitized host for other pollinating insects, and essential food source for migrating birds and their fledglings. Multiple environmental cues including temperature initiate plant growth, and in turn, trigger the emergence of Lepidoptera and the migrations of birds. If snowmelt is accelerated and temperature is increased, it is expected that the Lepidoptera larvae will respond to early plant growth by increasing their abundance within areas that have accelerated snowmelt and warmer conditions. In May of 2011 in a moist acidic tussock tundra system, we accelerated snowmelt by 15 days through the use of radiation-absorbing fabric and warmed air and soil temperatures using open-top chambers, individually and in combination. Every 1-2 days from May 27th to July 8th, 2 minute searches were performed for Lepidoptera larvae in all treatments; when an animal was found, their micro-habitat, surface temperature, behavior, food source, and time of day were noted. The length, body and head width were measured, and the animals were examined for braconid wasp and tachinid fly parasites. Lepidoptera larvae collected in pitfall traps from May 26th to July 7th were also examined and measured. Total density of parasitized larvae accounted for 54% of observed specimens and 50% of pitfall specimens, indicating that Lepidoptera larvae serve an integral role as a host for other pollinators. Total larvae density was highest within the accelerated snowmelt plots compared to the control plots; 66% of observed live specimens and 63% of pitfall specimens were found within the accelerated snowmelt plots. Ninety percent of the total observed animals were found within the open-top warming chambers. Peak density of animals occurred at Solar Noon between 14:00 -15

  7. Spatial and Temporal Variability of Methane Mole Fractions and Exchanges in and Between Soil, Snow, and the Atmosphere in a Tundra System in Northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agnan, Y.; Obrist, D.; Edwards, G. C.; Moore, C.; Hedge, C.; Helmig, D.; Paxton, D.; Jacques, H.

    2015-12-01

    An important global source of atmospheric methane (CH4) is production in tundra soils (an important global source). To place constraints on the potential role that tundra soils play in global CH4 cycling, we have been continuously measuring mole the air space in soils, snow, and the atmosphere as gradient-based surface-atmosphere fluxes for arctic tundra at Toolik Field Station (68° 38' N) starting in October 2014. We have found that atmospheric CH4 mole fractions were, on average, relatively constant during the first 9 months of sampling (averaging 1.93 µmol mol-1), with pronounced diel patterns starting in May and nighttime exceeding daytime mole fractions. However, gradients measured within the soil profile showed high variability in air withdrawn from different locations of these tundra soils (Typic Aquiturbels), with one soil profile indicating a CH4 sink during fall until January; mole fractions were similar to the atmospheric measurements during winter indicating no source or sink (average 1.89 µmol mol-1). A second soil profile 5 m away showed production of CH4 (average 2.48 µmol mol-1, two-times higher than atmospheric levels), even during mid-winter when soil temperatures were below -10 °C. Measurements of CH4 in interstitial snowpack air also exhibited a similar combination of sources and sinks. We used micrometeorological gradient surface flux measurements to confirm that the area was a net source of CH4 in fall, winter, and spring, with emissions averaging 26.6, 25.2, and 16.8 mg m-2 d-1, respectively. In the summer months, we saw strong diel flux patterns with deposition during day and emission at night, corresponding with observed diel variability in CH4 snowpack mole fractions. Our results indicated a high variability of tundra landscape CH4 fluxes, which locally shift from sources to sinks with high temporal variability. CH4 oxidation by methanotrophic bacteria probably occurs in tundra soils, confirming observations in one soil, snowpack, and

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Spatial pattern of soil carbon and nutrient storage at the Alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WEIJing; WUGang; DENGHong-bing; ZHAOJing-zhu

    2004-01-01

    In August 2003, we investigated spatial pattern in soil carbon and nutrients in the Alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain, Jilin Province, China. The analytical results showed that the soil C concentrations at different depths were significantly(p<0.05) higher in Meadow alpine tundra vegetation than that in other vegetation types; the soil C (including inorganic carbon)concentrations at layer below 10 cm are significantly (p<0.05) higher than at layer of 10-20 cm among the different vegetation types; the spatial distribution of soil N concentration at top surface of 0-10 cm depth was similar to that at 10-20 cm; the soil P concentrations at different depths were significantly (p<0.05) lower at Lithic alpine tundra vegetation than that at other vegetation types; soil K concentration was significantly (p<0.05) higher in Felsenmeer alpine tundra vegetation and Lithic alpine tundra vegetation than that in Typical alpine tundra, Meadow alpine tundra, and Swamp alpine tundra vegetations.. However, the soil K had not significant change at different soil depths of each vegetation type. Soil S concentration was dramatically higher in Meadow alpine tundra vegetation than that in other vegetation types. For each vegetation type, the ratios of C: N, C: P, C: K and C: S generally decreased with soil depth. The ratio of C: N was significantly higher at 0-10 cm than that at 10-20 cm for all vegetation types except at the top layer of the Swamp alpine tundra vegetation. Our study showed that soil C and nutrients storage were significantly spatial heterogeneity.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DING Wei; WANG Qing; ZHU Renbin; MA Dawei

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Relative contributions of rhizosphere and microbial respiration to belowground and total ecosystem respiration in arctic tussock tundra: results of a 13C pulse-chase experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    Many arctic ecosystems that have historically been strong carbon (C) sinks are becoming sources of C to the atmosphere. Although ecosystem respiration is the largest C flux out of ecosystems, our ability to model respiration lags considerably behind our ability to model photosynthesis in the Arctic. Understanding the controls on respiration is especially important for an ecosystem which appears to be experiencing the greatest climate warming and also contains large stores of soil C. Partitioning respiration into its component fluxes and identifying factors controlling respiration of each component is a critical first step towards improving our ability to model changes in respiration. However, partitioning belowground constituents has proven to be challenging in most ecosystems. Therefore, to accurately estimate rhizosphere respiration and bulk soil microbial respiration in moist acidic tussock tundra, we selected an isotopic method that results in minimal disturbance of belowground processes. In mid July of 2011, we introduced a 13CO2 label into a clear ecosystem CO2 flux chamber, allowed the vegetation to incorporate the label through photosynthesis and returned 2 days and 4 days after labeling to follow the movement of the 13C signal. A smaller CO2 flux chamber was used to chase the label separately in tussock and inter-tussock areas. All above ground plant tissue was clipped immediately before the chase measurements and soil cores were taken immediately after chasing the label. Syringe samples (n=5 or 6) were collected from the small flux chamber at regular intervals as CO2 concentrations were allowed to build, and Keeling plots were used to estimate δ13C of belowground respiration. After completing the field measurements, the soil cores were sorted into live roots and root free soil. Samples of each were incubated in mason jars placed in a 10°C water bath. The jars were scrubbed free of CO2 and syringe samples were collected from each jar after CO2

  16. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D. Yeloff; P. Blokker; P. Boelen; J. Rozema

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Comparison of soil derived tetraether membrane lipid distributions and plant-wax dD compositions for reconstruction of Canadian Arctic temperatures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pautler, B.G.; Reichart, G.-J.; Sanborn, P.T.; Simpson, M.J.; Weijers, J.W.H.

    2014-01-01

    Polar amplification of climate warming has received much attention as these rapidly rising temperatures have the potential to alter ecosystem function and biogeochemical cycles. In particular carbon preserved in Arctic tundra soil and permafrost may be especially vulnerable resulting in carbon cycle

  19. Comparison of soil derived tetraether membrane lipid distributions and plant-wax δD compositions for reconstruction of Canadian Arctic temperatures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pautler, B.G.; Reichart, G.-J.; Sanborn, P.T.; Simpson, M.J.; Weijers, J.W.H.

    2014-01-01

    Polar amplification of climate warming has received much attention as these rapidly rising temperatures have the potential to alter ecosystem function and biogeochemical cycles. In particular carbon preserved in Arctic tundra soil and permafrost may be especially vulnerable resulting in carbon cycle

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. To the soil genesis in tundra-forest ecotone belt in the Northeastern European Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shakhtarova, Olga; Rusanova, Galina; Lapteva, Elena

    2013-04-01

    Ecotone belt representing the gradual transition between different bioclimatic zones (taiga and tundra) is of specific research interest. This transition zone is characterized by variety of landscapes and soil cover affected by climate changes which were accompanied with shifts of natural zones during Holocene. Paleoclimate changes had complicated the specifity of pedogenesis in the ecotone. The aim of the study was to reveal soil geneses in forest-tundra ecotone zone. The study area is characterized by drained topography and soil forming deposits represented by silty loams covering watersheds, permafrost is massive island and up to 50 m thick, permafrost table located at depths of 0,5-8 m. Vegetation cover is birch-spruce light forests where lichen-moss ground cover dominates, tree height is up to 4-6 m. Fe-illuvial svetlozoms (according to Russian classification 2004) were chosen as the study objects. According to WRB (2007) these soils are classified as Cambisols. In this soil study the complex approach was used, it includes (i) analysis of both structural organization and differentiation of functioning products on undisturbed monolith structure using mezo-micromorthologic methods; (ii) reveal of main soil-forming processes based on physical-chemical soil analysis. Quantitative chemical analysis has been conducted at an accredited laboratory "Ecoanalit" affiliated at Institute of Biology Komi SC UB RAS (Syktyvkar). Studied Cambisols are developed in upland forest sites located in the forest-tundra subzone. These soils are recognized by combination of podzolic, Fe-illuvial and cryomethamorphic horizons in the soil profile. Using of present-day methods and approaches for soil profile studies allowed to reveal the polygenesis of Cambisols which structure represents two pedogenic stages. The basis to determine these stages are the morphological features (structural organization, differentiation of cutan complex) as well as recent and inherited features of pedogenic

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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;

    , 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...... on the transition period at the end of the growth season, which is a part of the year when predicted changes in temperature is likely to have the most pronounced effects on the exchange of GHGs. The net ecosystem CO2 exchange reflects two important influences on the opposed fluxes, gross photosynthesis...

  16. CO2, CH4, and DOC Flux During Long Term Thaw of High Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stackhouse, B. T.; Vishnivetskaya, T. A.; Layton, A.; Bennett, P.; Mykytczuk, N.; Lau, C. M.; Whyte, L.; Onstott, T. C.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic regions are expected to experience temperature increases of >4° C by the end of this century. This warming is projected to cause a drastic reduction in the extent of permafrost at high northern latitudes, affecting an estimated 1000 Pg of SOC in the top 3 m. Determining the effects of this temperature change on CO2 and CH4 emissions is critical for defining source constraints to global climate models. To investigate this problem, 18 cores of 1 m length were collected in late spring 2011 before the thawing of the seasonal active layer from an ice-wedge polygon near the McGill Arctic Research Station (MARS) on Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut, Canada (N79°24, W90°45). Cores were collected from acidic soil (pH 5.5) with low SOC (~1%), summertime active layer depth between 40-70 cm (2010-2013), and sparse vegetation consisting primarily of small shrubs and sedges. Cores were progressively thawed from the surface over the course of 14 weeks to a final temperature of 4.5° C and held at that temperature for 15 months under the following conditions: in situ water saturation conditions versus fully water saturated conditions using artificial rain fall, surface light versus no surface light, cores from the polygon edge, and control cores with a permafrost table maintained at 70 cm depth. Core headspaces were measured weekly for CO2, CH4, H2, CO, and O2 flux during the 18 month thaw experiment. After ~20 weeks of thawing maximum, CO2 flux for the polygon edge and dark treatment cores were 3.0×0.7 and 1.7×0.4 mmol CO2 m-2 hr-1, respectively. The CO2 flux for the control, saturated, and in situ saturation cores reached maximums of 0.6×0.2, 0.9×0.5, and 0.9×0.1 mmol CO2 m-2 hr-1, respectively. Field measurements of CO2 flux from an adjacent polygon during the mid-summer of 2011 to 2013 ranged from 0.3 to 3.7 mmol CO2 m-2 hr-1. Cores from all treatments except water saturated were found to consistently oxidize CH4 at ~atmospheric concentrations (2 ppmv) with a maximum

  17. 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.

  18. Roots in the tundra

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Peng

    2016-01-01

    Global climate has been warming up for the last decades and it will continue in this century. The Arctic is the part of the globe that warms fastest and is more sensitive to climate warming. Aboveground productivity of Arctic tundra has been shown to increase in response to warmer climates. However,

  19. 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.

  20. Soil plus root respiration and microbial biomass following water, nitrogen, and phosphorus application at a high arctic semi desert

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Illeris, Lotte; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven Evert

    2003-01-01

    CO2 emmision, Decomposition, Microbial biomass carbon, Soil organic matter, Tundra, Water and nutrient limitation......CO2 emmision, Decomposition, Microbial biomass carbon, Soil organic matter, Tundra, Water and nutrient limitation...

  1. Topographic control of the depth of ground thaw in a peat covered continuous permafrost site in the Canadian arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endrizzi, Stefano; Marsh, Philip; Quinton, William; Dall'Amico, Matteo

    2010-05-01

    Recent research has suggested an energy-based framework for delineating runoff contributing areas for permafrost dominated, tundra environments, where end of winter snow cover, and turbulent and radiant fluxes of energy and water are affected by topography, and control both snowmelt and the depth of ground thaw. The resulting spatially variable thaw depth, when combined with spatially variable water supply, spatially variable organic soil thickness, and depth variable hydraulic conductivity in organic soils, has a significant impact on the flow of water from uplands to the stream channel. In order to consider the effects of a spatially variable depth of thaw on runoff in a tundra basin, the hydrologic model GEOtop was applied to the Siksik Creek drainage basin located approximately 50 km north of Inuvik, NWT, Canada, characterized by a relatively gentle topography, with elevation ranging from 0 and 80 m a.s.l.. The small surface area of the basin (approximately 1 km2) allows the model to be run at a relatively high resolution. GEOtop is a grid based model with a complete surface energy balance scheme that accounts for variations in both the turbulent fluxes of sensible and latent heat, as well as for variations in radiant fluxes. The model also has a complete subsurface heat and water flux scheme that is able to route water and energy both vertically between a large number of soil layers, and horizontally between grids. Field data for model validation include meteorological data, depth of thaw, and runoff data for a 3 year period between 1992 and 1994, and high resolution DEM and vegetation height data obtained from airborne LiDAR in 2004. The purpose of this work is studying how topography controls the depth of thaw, and, therefore, the effects of a spatially variable snow cover are intentionally neglected. GEOtop was then run in a simple configuration, assuming an initial condition of uniform frost table at the ground surface at the end of snow melt, with snow

  2. Methane and Root Dynamics in Arctic Soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Imperio, Ludovica

    , 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 have......, length and maximum growth positively responded to experimental air warming, especially in the deeper soil layers; possibly due to an indirect effect of increased canopy temperature on the above-ground biomass. These initial below-ground responses to changes in climatic regimes suggest that future summer...... warming could potentially increase below-ground C allocation. Though, long-term observations will be necessary to address the effects that shifts in plant community composition and roots depth will have on the net C balance of the Arctic....

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Comparison of soil derived tetraether membrane lipid distributions and plant-wax dD compositions for reconstruction of Canadian Arctic temperatures

    OpenAIRE

    Pautler, B.G.; Reichart, G.-J.; Sanborn, P.T.; Simpson, M. J.; J. W. H. Weijers

    2014-01-01

    Polar amplification of climate warming has received much attention as these rapidly rising temperatures have the potential to alter ecosystem function and biogeochemical cycles. In particular carbon preserved in Arctic tundra soil and permafrost may be especially vulnerable resulting in carbon cycle perturbations providing an additional positive feedback to climate change. Reliable methods for reconstructing past temperature changes in polar regions have been established from ice cores and ma...

  7. The Contribution of Moss to Plot-Based Spectral Signals in Moist Acidic Low Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, J. L.; Beamish, A. L.

    2015-12-01

    To determine the contribution of moss to peak season normalized difference index (NDVI) field measurement of intact vegetation communities were compared to communities with individual species and litter successively removed until only the moss layer remained. Spectral measurements (n=3) were collected using a field radiometer in five upland and five lowland plots in a moist acidic tundra ecosystem at the Imnaviat Creek Watershed, North Slope Alaska. After spectral measurements were taken individual species were removed in the same order in each plot by clipping them at the moss layer. As individual species were removed NDVI values decreased. Decreases were greatest when dwarf shrub species Salix richardsonii sb. pulchra and Betula nana were removed. Notable increases in NDVI were observed once standing litter was removed. The NDVI values of the moss layer were comparable to intact vegetation communities depending on the bryophyte species composition. This suggests that the NDVI signal of moss is largely masked by vascular species but represents a significant factor missing from overall, large-scale NDVI signals. The results of this study corroborate recent data that points to the mismatch between ground based NDVI and aerial and satellite derived NDVI. This preliminary case study provides a strong basis for better characterization of the contribution of moss to NDVI for improved correction of air and space borne imagery.

  8. 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.

  9. Dynamics of tundra ecosystems and their potential response to energy research development. Soil chemical aspects of plant nutrition in alpine tundra at Eagle Summit, Alaska. II. Exchange chemistry of mineral and organic soils from Eagle Summit, Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stuart, L.

    1983-02-15

    Some aspects of the nutrient status of an arctic organic soil and an arctic mineral soil are described and contrasted with emphasis on soil properties which may be important in the availability of nutrients to plants. Field conditions related to the exchange chemistry of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, pH dependency of cation exchange capacity, exchange isotherms, and soil buffering power for pH, calcium, magnesium and potassium are discussed.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Spatial variation in vegetation productivity trends, fire disturbance, and soil carbon across arctic-boreal permafrost ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loranty, Michael M.; Liberman-Cribbin, Wil; Berner, Logan T.; Natali, Susan M.; Goetz, Scott J.; Alexander, Heather D.; Kholodov, Alexander L.

    2016-09-01

    In arctic tundra and boreal forest ecosystems vegetation structural and functional influences on the surface energy balance can strongly influence permafrost soil temperatures. As such, vegetation changes will likely play an important role in permafrost soil carbon dynamics and associated climate feedbacks. Processes that lead to changes in vegetation, such as wildfire or ecosystem responses to rising temperatures, are of critical importance to understanding the impacts of arctic and boreal ecosystems on future climate. Yet these processes vary within and between ecosystems and this variability has not been systematically characterized across the arctic-boreal region. Here we quantify the distribution of vegetation productivity trends, wildfire, and near-surface soil carbon, by vegetation type, across the zones of continuous and discontinuous permafrost. Siberian larch forests contain more than one quarter of permafrost soil carbon in areas of continuous permafrost. We observe pervasive positive trends in vegetation productivity in areas of continuous permafrost, whereas areas underlain by discontinuous permafrost have proportionally less positive productivity trends and an increase in areas exhibiting negative productivity trends. Fire affects a much smaller proportion of the total area and thus a smaller amount of permafrost soil carbon, with the vast majority occurring in deciduous needleleaf forests. Our results indicate that vegetation productivity trends may be linked to permafrost distribution, fire affects a relatively small proportion of permafrost soil carbon, and Siberian larch forests will play a crucial role in the strength of the permafrost carbon climate feedback.

  15. Stratospheric ozone depletion : High arctic tundra plant growth on Svalbard is not affected by enhanced UV-B after 7 years of UV-B supplementation in the field

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozema, Jelte; Boelen, P.; Solheim, B.; Zielke, M.; Buskens, A; Doorenbosch, M.; Fijn, R.; Herder, J.; Callaghan, T.; Bjoern, L.O.; Jones, D.G.; Broekman, R.; Blokker, P.; van de Poll, W.H.

    2006-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Color characterization of Arctic Biological Soil Crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mele, Giacono; Gargiulo, Laura; Ventura, Stefano

    2015-04-01

    Global climate change makes large areas lacking the vegetation coverage continuously available to primary colonization by biological soil crusts (BSCs). This happens in many different environments, included high mountains and Polar Regions where new areas can become available due to glaciers retreat. Presence of BSCs leads to the stabilization of the substrate and to a possible development of protosoil, with an increase of fertility and resilience against erosion. Polar BSCs can exhibit many different proportions of cyanobacteria, algae, microfungi, lichens, and bryophytes which induce a large variability of the crust morphology and specific ecosystem functions. An effective and easy way for identifying the BSCs in the field would be very useful to rapidly recognize their development stage and help in understanding the overall impact of climate change in the delicate polar environments. Color analysis has long been applied as an easily measurable physical attribute of soil closely correlated with pedogenic processes and some soil functions. In this preliminary work we used RGB and CIE-L*a*b* color models in order to physically characterize fourteen different BSCs identified in Spitsbergen island of Svalbard archipelago in Arctic Ocean at 79° north latitude. We found that the "redness parameter "a*" of CIE-L*a*b* model was well correlated to the succession process of some BSCs at given geomorphology condition. Most of color parameters showed, moreover, a great potential to be correlated to photosynthetic activity and other ecosystem functions of BSCs.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Bioremediation treatment of hydrocarbon-contaminated Arctic soils: influencing parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naseri, Masoud; Barabadi, Abbas; Barabady, Javad

    2014-10-01

    The Arctic environment is very vulnerable and sensitive to hydrocarbon pollutants. Soil bioremediation is attracting interest as a promising and cost-effective clean-up and soil decontamination technology in the Arctic regions. However, remoteness, lack of appropriate infrastructure, the harsh climatic conditions in the Arctic and some physical and chemical properties of Arctic soils may reduce the performance and limit the application of this technology. Therefore, understanding the weaknesses and bottlenecks in the treatment plans, identifying their associated hazards, and providing precautionary measures are essential to improve the overall efficiency and performance of a bioremediation strategy. The aim of this paper is to review the bioremediation techniques and strategies using microorganisms for treatment of hydrocarbon-contaminated Arctic soils. It takes account of Arctic operational conditions and discusses the factors influencing the performance of a bioremediation treatment plan. Preliminary hazard analysis is used as a technique to identify and assess the hazards that threaten the reliability and maintainability of a bioremediation treatment technology. Some key parameters with regard to the feasibility of the suggested preventive/corrective measures are described as well.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. Texture and geochemistry of surface horizons of Arctic soils from a non-glaciated catchment, SW Spitsbergen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szymański Wojciech

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Physical and chemical properties of Arctic soils and especially the properties of surface horizons of the soils are very important because they are responsible for the rate and character of plant colonization, development of vegetation cover, and influence the rate and depth of thawing of soils and development of active layer of permafrost during summer. The main aim of the present study is to determine and explain the spatial diversity of selected physical and chemical properties of surface horizons of Arctic soils from the non-glaciated Fuglebekken catchment located in the Hornsund area (SW Spitsbergen by means of geostatistical approach. Results indicate that soil surface horizons in the Fuglebekken catchment are characterized by highly variable physical and chemical properties due to a heterogeneous parent material (marine sediments, moraine, rock debris, tundra vegetation types, and non-uniform influence of seabirds. Soils experiencing the strongest influence of seabird guano have a lower pH than other soils. Soils developed on the lateral moraine of the Hansbreen glacier have the highest pH due to the presence of carbonates in the parent material and a lack or presence of a poorly developed and discontinuous A horizon. The soil surface horizons along the coast of the Hornsund exhibit the highest content of the sand fraction and SiO2. The surface of soils occurring at the foot of the slope of Ariekammen Ridge is characterized by the highest content of silt and clay fractions as well as Al2O3, Fe2O3, and K2O. Soils in the central part of the Fuglebekken catchment are depleted in CaO, MgO, and Na2O in comparison with soils in the other sampling sites, which indicates the highest rate of leaching in this part of the catchment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Forbes, Bruce C.; Wilmking, Martin; Hallinger, Martin; Lantz, Trevor; Blok, Daan; Tape, Ken D.; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Sass-Klaassen, Ute; Lévesque, Esther; Boudreau, Stéphane; Ropars, Pascale; Hermanutz, Luise; Trant, Andrew; Siegwart Collier, Laura; Weijers, Stef; Rozema, Jelte; Rayback, Shelly A.; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Wipf, Sonja; Rixen, Christian; Ménard, Cécile B.; Venn, Susanna; Goetz, Scott; Andreu-Hayles, Laia; Elmendorf, Sarah; Ravolainen, Virve; Welker, Jeffrey; Grogan, Paul; Epstein, Howard E.; Hik, David S.

    2011-12-01

    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.

  10. 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...... 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 the combination of PLFA...

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. Invasion of terrestrial enchytraeids into two postglacial tundras: North-eastern Greenland and the Arctic Archipelago of Canada (Enchytraeidae, Oligochaeta)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Bent; Dózsa-Farkas, Klára

    2006-01-01

    that of potential source regions indicating either strong selection or varied dispersal ability. It appears that the Archipelago is influenced mainly from North America and North-eastern Greenland from Europe while the specialized fauna of the ancient Beringian tundra is of minor importance. The two alternative...... scenarios: (a) survival of a prepleistocene fauna in protected refugia within the area or (b) a postglacial re-invasion from outside are discussed, but the available data do not discriminate between these two possibilities. A total of 24 terrestrial enchytraeid taxa are recorded of which 22 are identified...

  14. Frozen ponds: production and storage of methane during the Arctic winter in a lowland tundra landscape in northern Siberia, Lena River Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Langer

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Lakes and ponds play a key role in the carbon cycle of permafrost ecosystems, where they are considered to be hotspots of carbon dioxide CO2 and methane CH4 emission. The strength of these emissions is, however, controlled by a variety of physical and biogeochemical processes whose responses to a warming climate are complex and only poorly understood. Small waterbodies have been attracting an increasing amount of attention since recent studies demonstrated that ponds can make a significant contribution to the CO2 and CH4 emissions of tundra ecosystems. Waterbodies also have a marked effect on the thermal state of the surrounding permafrost; during the freezing period they prolong the period of time during which thawed soil material is available for microbial decomposition. This study presents net CH4 production rates during the freezing period from ponds within a typical lowland tundra landscape in northern Siberia. Rate estimations were based on CH4 concentrations measured in surface lake ice from a variety of waterbody types. Vertical profiles along ice blocks showed an exponential increase in CH4 concentration with depth. These CH4 profiles were reproduced by a 1-D mass balance model and the net CH4 production rates then inferred through inverse modeling. Results revealed marked differences in early winter net CH4 production among various ponds. Initial state ponds underlain by stable permafrost with little or no signs of degradation yielded low net production rates, of the order of 10–11 to 10–10 mol m−2 s−1 (0.01 to 0.14 mgCH4 m−2 d−1. In contrast, advanced state ponds exhibiting clear signs of thermal erosion yielded net CH4 production rates of the order of 10–7 mol m−2 s−1 (140 mgCH4 m−2 d−1. The net production rate per square meter of advanced state ponds exceeded the maximum summer CH4 emission rates per square meter which was measured for the average tundra landscape at the study site. Our results therefore

  15. Capturing Micro-topography of an Arctic Tundra Landscape through Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) Acquired from Various Remote Sensing Platforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, S. A., Jr.; Tweedie, C. E.; Oberbauer, S. F.

    2013-12-01

    The need to improve the spatial and temporal scaling and extrapolation of plot level measurements of ecosystem structure and function to the landscape level has been identified as a persistent research challenge in the arctic terrestrial sciences. Although there has been a range of advances in remote sensing capabilities on satellite, fixed wing, helicopter and unmanned aerial vehicle platforms over the past decade, these present costly, logistically challenging (especially in the Arctic), technically demanding solutions for applications in an arctic environment. Here, we present a relatively low cost alternative to these platforms that uses kite aerial photography (KAP). Specifically, we demonstrate how digital elevation models (DEMs) were derived from this system for a coastal arctic landscape near Barrow, Alaska. DEMs of this area acquired from other remote sensing platforms such as Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS), Airborne Laser Scanning, and satellite imagery were also used in this study to determine accuracy and validity of results. DEMs interpolated using the KAP system were comparable to DEMs derived from the other platforms. For remotely sensing acre to kilometer square areas of interest, KAP has proven to be a low cost solution from which derived products that interface ground and satellite platforms can be developed by users with access to low-tech solutions and a limited knowledge of remote sensing.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Domibacillus tundrae sp. nov., isolated from active layer soil of tussock tundra in Alaska, and emended description of the genus Domibacillus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyeong, Hye Ryeon; Baek, Kiwoon; Hwang, Chung Yeon; Park, Key Hun; Kim, Hye Min; Lee, Hong Kum; Lee, Yoo Kyung

    2015-10-01

    A novel Gram-stain-positive, spore-forming, aerobic, motile and rod-shaped bacterium designated strain PAMC 80007T was isolated from an active layer soil sample of Council, Alaska. Optimal growth of strain PAMC 80007T was observed at 30 °C, pH 7.0 and in the presence of 2 % (w/v) NaCl. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated that strain PAMC 80007T belonged to the genus Domibacillus. This strain was closely related to Domibacillus enclensis (98.3 %), Domibacillus robiginosus (98.3 %) and Domibacillus indicus (97.2 %). Genomic DNA G+C content was 43.5 mol% and genomic relatedness analyses based on the average nucleotide identity and the genome-to-genome distance showed that strain PAMC 80007T is clearly distinguished from the closely related species of the genus Domibacillus. The major fatty acids (>5 %) were iso-C15 : 0 (24.7 %), C16 : 1ω11c (16.8 %), anteiso-C15 : 0 (16.5 %), C16 : 0 (15.6 %) and anteiso-C17 : 0 (8.7 %). The major respiratory isoprenoid quinones were menaquinone-6 (MK-6) and menaquinone-7 (MK-7), and the polar lipid profile contained diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphoglycolipid, phospholipid and two unidentified lipids. meso-Diaminopimelic acid (type A1γ) was present in the cell-wall peptidoglycan, and the major whole-cell sugar was ribose with a minor quantity of glucose. Results from a polyphasic study suggested that strain PAMC 80007T represents a novel species of the genus Domibacillus for which the name Domibacillus tundrae sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is PAMC 80007T ( = JCM 30371T = KCTC 33549T = DSM 29572T). An emended description of the genus Domibacillus is also provided.

  3. 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

  4. 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...... or upper elevational range edges. Across latitude, climate sensitivity of growth was greatest at the boundary between the Low and High Arctic, where permafrost is thawing4 and most of the global permafrost soil carbon pool is stored9. The observed variation in climate–shrub growth relationships should...... be incorporated into Earth system models to improve future projections of climate change impacts across the tundra biome....

  5. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P. SMOL

    2003-02-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  12. Freeze-thaw regime effects on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in sub-arctic heath tundra mesocosms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grogan, P.; Michelsen, A.; Ambus, P.;

    2004-01-01

    Freeze-thaw fluctuations in soil temperature may be critical events in the annual pattern of nutrient mobilisation that supplies plant growth requirements in some temperate, and most high latitude and high altitude ecosystems. We investigated the effects of two differing freeze-thaw regimes, each...... solution NH4+. Microbial biomass C was not significantly affected by either of the freezing treatments upon final thaw, but was significantly reduced over the combined treatment and equilibration phases of the multiple freeze-thaw regimes. Furthermore, the treatments had no significant effects on total......, these results indicate that moderate freeze-thaw fluctuations may have minimal influences on microbial biomass pools, but nevertheless can have strong contrasting effects on the amounts, forms, and timing of N and organic C supply into the soil solution. Ecosystem losses via N2O effluxes were of greatest...

  13. 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.

  14. Soil Warming and Fertilization Effects on Growth Ring Widths of Arctic Shrubs - Application of a Novel Dendroecological Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iturrate Garcia, M.; Heijmans, M.; Schweingruber, F. H.; Niklaus, P. A.; Schaepman-Strub, G.

    2015-12-01

    Climate warming is suggested as the main driver of shrub expansion in arctic tundra regions. Shrub expansion may have consequences on biodiversity and climate, especially through its feedbacks with the energy budget. A better understanding of shrub expansion mechanisms, including growth rate patterns and stem anatomy changes, and their sensitivity to climate is needed in order to quantify related feedbacks. We present a novel dendroecological approach to determine the response of three arctic shrub species to increased soil temperature and nutrients. A full factorial block-design experiment was run for four years with a total of thirty plots. Six individuals of each species were sampled from each plot to test for treatment effects on growth rate and stem anatomy. We compared the ring width of the four years of experiment with the one of the four previous years. The preliminary results for Betula nana and Salix pulchra suggest a significant effect of the treatments on the growth ring width. The response is stronger in Salix pulchra than in Betula nana individuals. And, while Salix pulchra is more sensitive to the combined soil warming and fertilization treatment, Betula nana is to the fertilization treatment. We could not observe an effect of treatment on the stem anatomy, likely because bark thickness co-varies with age. We found significant positive correlations of cork, cortex and phloem thickness with xylem thickness (used as a proxy of age), and a significant difference in stem anatomy between species. The results suggest species-specific growth sensitivity to soil warming and nutrient enhancement. The use of experimental dendroecology by manipulating environmental conditions according to future climate scenarios and testing effects on shrub anatomy and annual growth will increase our understanding on shrub expansion mechanisms. Ongoing plant trait analysis and consecutive application in a 3D radiative transfer model will allow to quantify the feedback of

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. 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....

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Microbes residing in young organic rich Alaskan soils contain older carbon than those residing in old mineral high Arctic soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziolkowski, L. A.; Slater, G. F.; Onstott, T. C.; Whyte, L.; Townsend-Small, A.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic soils range from very organic rich to low carbon and mineral-dominated soils. At present, we do not yet fully understand if all carbon in the Arctic is equally vulnerable to mineralization in a warmer climate. Many studies have demonstrated that ancient carbon is respired when permafrost has thawed, yet our understanding of the active layer and permafrost carbon dynamics is still emerging. In an effort to remedy this disconnect between our knowledge of surface fluxes and below ground processes, we used radiocarbon to examine the microbial carbon dynamics in soil cores from organic rich soils near Barrow, Alaska and mineral soils from the Canadian high Arctic. Specifically, we compared the microbial community using lipid biomarkers, the inputs of carbon using n-alkanes and measured the 14C of both the bulk organic carbon and of the microbial lipids. In theory, the microbial lipids (phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA) represent the viable microbial community, as these lipids are hydrolyzed quickly after cell death. Variations in the PLFA distributions suggested that different microbial communities inhabit organic rich Alaskan soils and those of the Canadian high Arctic. When the PLFA concentrations were converted to cellular concentration, they were within the same order of magnitude (1 to 5 x 108 cells/g dry soil) with slightly higher cell concentrations in the organic rich Alaskan soils. When these cellular concentrations were normalized to the organic carbon content, the Canadian high Arctic soils contained a greater proportion of microbes. Although bulk organic carbon 14C of Alaskan soils indicated more recent carbon inputs into the soil than the Canadian high Arctic soils, the 14C of the PLFA revealed the opposite. For corresponding depth horizons, microbes in Alaskan soils were consuming carbon 1000 to 1500 years older than those in the Canadian high Arctic. Differences between the 14C content of bulk organic carbon and the microbial lipids were much smaller

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. Substrate Geochemistry and Soil Development in Boreal Forest and Tundra Ecosystems in the Yukon-Tanana Upland and Seward Peninsula, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, L.P.; Crock, J.G.; Wang, B.; Day, W.C.; Eberl, D.D.; Sanzolone, R.F.; Lamothe, P.J.

    2008-01-01

    We report on soil development as a function of bedrock type and the presence of loess in two high latitude ecosystems (boreal forest and tundra) and from two regions in Alaska?the Yukon-Tanana Upland (YTU, east-central Alaska) and the Seward Peninsula (SP, far-west coastal Alaska). This approach to the study of 'cold soils' is fundamental to the quantification of regional geochemical landscape patterns. Of the five state factors in this study, bedrock and biota (ecosystem; vegetation zone) vary whereas climate (within each area) and topography are controlled. The influence of time is assumed to be controlled, as these soils are thousands of years old (late Quaternary to Holocene). The primary minerals in soils from YTU, developed over loess and crystalline bedrock (metamorphic and intrusive), are quartz, plagioclase, and 2:1 clays; whereas in the SP, where loess and metasedimentary bedrock (schist and quartzite) predominate, they are quartz and muscovite. The A horizon of both regions is rich in peat. Examination of the ratio of mobile (K2O, CaO, and Fe2O3) to immobile (TiO2) major oxides, within each region, shows that very little difference exists in the chemical weathering of soils developed between the two ecosystems examined. Differences were observed between tundra soils developed in the two regions. These differences are most probably due to the dissimilarity in the geochemical importance of both loess and bedrock. A minimal loss of cadmium with soil depth is seen for soils developed over YTU crystalline bedrock in the boreal forest environments. This trend is related to the mobility of cadmium in these soils as well as to its biogenic cycling. Major differences were observed in the proportion of cadmium and zinc among the A, B, and C horizon material sequestered in various soil fractions as measured by sequential soil extractions. These trends followed such variables as the decrease with depth in organic matter, the change in clay minerals, and the change

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Priming in permafrost soils: High vulnerability of arctic soil organic carbon to increased input of plant-derived compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, Birgit; Gentsch, Norman; Capek, Petr; Diakova, Katerina; Alves, Ricardo; Barta, Jiri; Gittel, Antje; Guggenberger, Georg; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Knoltsch, Anna; Mikutta, Robert; Santruckova, Hana; Schnecker, Jörg; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Urich, Tim; Watzka, Margarete; Richter, Andreas

    2015-04-01

    Arctic ecosystems are warming rapidly, resulting in a stimulation of both plant primary production and soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. In addition to this direct stimulation, SOM decomposition might also be indirectly affected by rising temperatures mediated by the increase in plant productivity. Higher root litter production for instance might decrease SOM decomposition by providing soil microorganisms with alternative C and N sources ("negative priming"), or might increase SOM decomposition by facilitating microbial growth and enzyme production ("positive priming"). With about 1,700 Pg of organic C stored in arctic soils, and 88% of that in horizons deeper than 30 cm, it is crucial to understand the controls on SOM decomposition in different horizons of arctic permafrost soils, and thus the vulnerability of SOM to changes in C and N availability in a future climate. We here report on the vulnerability of SOM in arctic permafrost soils to an increased input of plant-derived organic compounds, and on its variability across soil horizons and sites. We simulated an increased input of plant-derived compounds by amending soil samples with 13C-labelled cellulose or protein, and compared the mineralization of native, unlabelled soil organic C (SOC) to unamended control samples. Our experiment included 119 individual samples of arctic permafrost soils, covering four sites across the Siberian Arctic, and five soil horizons, i.e., organic topsoil, mineral topsoil, mineral subsoil and cryoturbated material (topsoil material buried in the subsoil by freeze-thaw processes) from the active layer, as well as thawed material from the upper permafrost. Our findings suggest that changes in C and N availability in Arctic soils, such as mediated by plants, have a high potential to alter the decomposition of SOM, but also point at fundamental differences between soil horizons. In the organic topsoil, SOC mineralization increased by 51% after addition of protein, but was not

  17. Wintertime ecosystem respiration shifts tundra from carbon sink to carbon source at tundra warming experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, E.; Schuur, E. A.; Natali, S.; Bracho, R.

    2013-12-01

    Northern latitude ecosystems play a significant role in the global carbon (C) budget due to the roughly 1700 Pg of C stored in permafrost soils. As high latitudes warm, previously frozen C is expected to decompose, thereby increasing CO2 fluxes to the atmosphere and potentially creating a positive feedback to climate warming. While warming has been shown to increase plant C uptake during the growing season, these seasonal C gains may be offset on an annual basis by ecosystem respiration (Reco) during the remaining seven months of the year. Here we present research from the Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research (CiPEHR) project, a tundra ecosystem warming experiment in interior Alaska. We partitioned the non-growing season into three segments: fall (October 1 until first snow), winter (snow-covered period until spring), and spring (snow depth less than 30cm until melt out). During fall, we measured net ecosystem exchange and Reco using a static flux chamber. In winter, we measured Reco using chamber measurements and soda lime. For spring, we modeled fluxes based on known relationships between snow depth and photosynthetic rate of arctic evergreen species. We found that ecosystem warming caused plants to photosynthesize later in fall and increased C uptake during spring but also enhanced respiration during the long winter. We combined these off-season estimates with measurements from growing season auto-chamber data and found that despite the C gained during the growing season, ecosystem warming resulted in net annual C loss for the two years measured. This annual C loss was dependent on the magnitude of wintertime Reco. Our results indicate that snow depth, soil temperature, and day of season are the major determinants of wintertime Reco. Some climate models predict that arctic ecosystems will experience warmer winters with more snow. Thus, despite increased plant productivity during the growing season, we document that increased wintertime temperatures

  18. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Potential responses of tundra ecosystems to perturbations from energy development. Part I. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1986-01-01

    This report discusses research conducted to understand the effects of energy development on changes in nutrient status, changes in water flow and water availability, and changes in surface energy balance of the arctic tundra. (ACR)

  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. 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...

  5. Herbivore impact on moss depth, soil temperature and arctic plant growth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Wal, R; Loonen, MJJE

    2001-01-01

    We provide evidence for a mechanism by which herbivores may influence plant abundance in arctic ecosystems, These systems are commonly dominated by mosses, the thickness of which influences the amount of heat reaching the soil surface. Herbivores can reduce the thickness of the moss layer by means o

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Convey, Peter; Abbandonato, Holly; Bergan, Frode;

    2015-01-01

    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...

  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. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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....

  12. Effects of shrub expansion on the hydrology of the western Canadian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, P.; Endrizzi, S.; Lantz, T. C.; Marsh, C.; Pomeroy, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    The expansion of tall (or upright) shrubs into tundra areas of the North American arctic has been documented in a few areas, and it has been suggested that this is occurring over a broad area of the arctic and will have an important impact on snow accumulation, surface energy balance, and runoff of these areas. However, there are still considerable unknowns about the details of these effects and our ability to predict future changes in hydrology. In order to help answer these questions, a detailed measurement program has been carried out at the Trail Valley Creek (TVC) research basin located approximately 50 km NE of Inuvik, NWT, Canada. This area is characterized by rolling upland tundra underlain by continuous permafrost, with a mix of tundra, shrub tundra, and forest patches. Field observations aimed at developing an improved understanding of the effect of a transition from tundra to shrub tundra has been carried out over the last 4 years. Observations at both shrub and tundra sites in the TVC basin include: meteorological observations at 3 stations; extensive end of winter snow surveys; eddy covariance observations; changes in LAI at a shrub site during the melt period; aerial photos and satellite images at frequent intervals over the melt season; winter observations of snow depth and soil temperature; aerial photo observations of changes in shrub cover; and high resolution LIDAR based measurements of elevation and vegetation height. In combination with these observations, the GEOtop hydrologic model was used to consider the interacting processes controlling snow accumulation and melt at shrub and tundra sites. Preliminary analysis demonstrates that the shrub cover has increased in the study basin over the last 32 years. At a shrub site, the shrubs were bent over and buried by snow during the winter, with increased snow depth at the shrub site compared to a tundra site. As a result, the soil temperature was higher at the shrub site both during the winter, and

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Research on dynamics of tundra ecosystems and their potential response to energy resource development. Progress report, May 1, 1978-April 30, 1979

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, P.C.

    1979-01-01

    The ecological effects (costs and benefits) of impacts that can be expected from the development and utilization of energy resources in the arctic. The impacts selected for study are: altered nutrient availability (nitrogen and phosphorus); altered patterns of soil water drainage; and vehicle tracks. The general ecosystem characteristics chosen to provide integrative measures of the possible ecological effects include annual primary production and the relative aboveground growth of the different species or growth forms comprising the vegetation. Plant growth forms are defined by height, leaf longevity, position of the perennating bud, and rooting pattern. The growth forms and species selected are: erect deciduous shrubs (Betula nana, Vaccinium uliginosum, Salix pulchra); erect evergreen shrubs (Ledum palustre); prostrate evergreen shrub (Vaccinium vitis-idaea); tussock graminoid (Eriophorum vaginatum); rhizomatous graminoid (Carex bigelowii, Carex aquatilis, Eriophorum angustifolium); forb (Artemisia arctica); grass (Calamagrostis or Arctagrostis); cushion moss (Dicranum sp.); Sphagnum sp.; and Polytrichum commune. Progress is reported in field and laboratory studies. The main conclusion of the research is that species respond individually in terms of nutrient and total nonstructural carbohydrates accumulation to fertilization, and that the growth forms studied are not distinctive from each other on the basis of plant nutrition or growth. The explicit mechanism for integrating and guiding this research and for extrapolating the existing data base to make quantitative predictions of the effects of perturbations is a simulation model of arctic tundra vegetation and soil processes called ARTUS (Arctic Tundra Simulator). (JGB)

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meij, van der W.M.; Temme, A.J.A.M.; Kleijn, de Christian; Reimann, T.; Heuvelink, G.B.M.; Zwoliński, Zbigniew; Rachlewicz, Grzegorz; Rymer, Krzysztof; Sommer, Michael

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. Remote sensing of freeze-thaw transitions in Arctic soils using the complex resistivity method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Yuxin [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL); Hubbard, Susan S [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL); Ulrich, Craig [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL); Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL

    2013-01-01

    Our ability to monitor freeze - thaw transitions is critical to developing a predictive understanding of biogeochemical transitions and carbon dynamics in high latitude environments. In this study, we conducted laboratory column experiments to explore the potential of the complex resistivity method for monitoring the freeze - thaw transitions of the arctic permafrost soils. Samples for the experiment were collected from the upper active layer of Gelisol soils at the Barrow Environmental Observatory, Barrow Alaska. Freeze - thaw transitions were induced through exposing the soil column to controlled temperature environments at 4 C and -20 C. Complex resistivity and temperature measurements were collected regularly during the freeze - thaw transitions using electrodes and temperature sensors installed along the column. During the experiments, over two orders of magnitude of resistivity variations were observed when the temperature was increased or decreased between -20 C and 0 C. Smaller resistivity variations were also observed during the isothermal thawing or freezing processes that occurred near 0 C. Single frequency electrical phase response and imaginary conductivity at 1 Hz were found to be exclusively related to the unfrozen water in the soil matrix, suggesting that these geophysical 24 attributes can be used as a proxy for the monitoring of the onset and progression of the freeze - thaw transitions. Spectral electrical responses and fitted Cole Cole parameters contained additional information about the freeze - thaw transition affected by the soil grain size distribution. Specifically, a shift of the observed spectral response to lower frequency was observed during isothermal thawing process, which we interpret to be due to sequential thawing, first from fine then to coarse particles within the soil matrix. Our study demonstrates the potential of the complex resistivity method for remote monitoring of freeze - thaw transitions in arctic soils. Although

  3. Petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation under seasonal freeze-thaw soil temperature regimes in contaminated soils from a sub-Arctic site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Wonjae; Klemm, Sara; Beaulieu, Chantale; Hawari, Jalal; Whyte, Lyle; Ghoshal, Subhasis

    2011-02-01

    Several studies have shown that biostimulation in ex situ systems such as landfarms and biopiles can facilitate remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils at sub-Arctic sites during summers when temperatures are above freezing. In this study, we examine the biodegradation of semivolatile (F2: C10-C16) and nonvolatile (F3: C16-C34) petroleum hydrocarbons and microbial respiration and population dynamics at post- and presummer temperatures ranging from -5 to 14 °C. The studies were conducted in pilot-scale tanks with soils obtained from a historically contaminated sub-Arctic site in Resolution Island (RI), Canada. In aerobic, nutrient-amended, unsaturated soils, the F2 hydrocarbons decreased by 32% during the seasonal freeze-thaw phase where soils were cooled from 2 to -5 °C at a freezing rate of -0.12 °C d(-1) and then thawed from -5 to 4 °C at a thawing rate of +0.16 °C d(-1). In the unamended (control) tank, the F2 fraction only decreased by 14% during the same period. Biodegradation of individual hydrocarbon compounds in the nutrient-amended soils was also confirmed by comparing their abundance over time to that of the conserved diesel biomarker, bicyclic sesquiterpanes (BS). During this period, microbial respiration was observed, even at subzero temperatures when unfrozen liquid water was detected during the freeze-thaw period. An increase in culturable heterotrophs and 16S rDNA copy numbers was noted during the freezing phase, and the (14)C-hexadecane mineralization in soil samples obtained from the nutrient-amended tank steadily increased. Hydrocarbon degrading bacterial populations identified as Corynebacterineae- and Alkanindiges-related strains emerged during the freezing and thawing phases, respectively, indicating there were temperature-based microbial community shifts. PMID:21194195

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The Arctic Soil Bacterial Communities in the Vicinity of a Little Auk Colony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zielińska, Sylwia; Kidawa, Dorota; Stempniewicz, Lech; Łoś, Marcin; Łoś, Joanna M

    2016-01-01

    Due to deposition of birds' guano, eggshells or feathers, the vicinity of a large seabirds' breeding colony is expected to have a substantial impact on the soil's physicochemical features as well as on diversity of vegetation and the soil invertebrates. Consequently, due to changing physicochemical features the structure of bacterial communities might fluctuate in different soil environments. The aim of this study was to investigate the bacterial assemblages in the Arctic soil within the area of a birds' colony and in a control sample from a topographically similar location but situated away from the colony's impact area. A high number of OTUs found in both areas indicates a highly complex microbial populations structure. The most abundant phyla in both of the tested samples were: Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi, with different proportions in the total share. Despite differences in the physicochemical soil characteristics, the soil microbial community structures at the phylum level were similar to some extent in the two samples. The only share that was significantly higher in the control area when compared to the sample obtained within the birds' colony, belonged to the Actinobacteria phylum. Moreover, when analyzing the class level for each phylum, several differences between the samples were observed. Furthermore, lower proportions of Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria were observed in the soil sample under the influence of the bird's colony, which most probably could be linked to higher nitrogen concentrations in that sample. PMID:27667982

  7. The Arctic Soil Bacterial Communities in the Vicinity of a Little Auk Colony

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zielińska, Sylwia; Kidawa, Dorota; Stempniewicz, Lech; Łoś, Marcin; Łoś, Joanna M.

    2016-01-01

    Due to deposition of birds' guano, eggshells or feathers, the vicinity of a large seabirds' breeding colony is expected to have a substantial impact on the soil's physicochemical features as well as on diversity of vegetation and the soil invertebrates. Consequently, due to changing physicochemical features the structure of bacterial communities might fluctuate in different soil environments. The aim of this study was to investigate the bacterial assemblages in the Arctic soil within the area of a birds' colony and in a control sample from a topographically similar location but situated away from the colony's impact area. A high number of OTUs found in both areas indicates a highly complex microbial populations structure. The most abundant phyla in both of the tested samples were: Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi, with different proportions in the total share. Despite differences in the physicochemical soil characteristics, the soil microbial community structures at the phylum level were similar to some extent in the two samples. The only share that was significantly higher in the control area when compared to the sample obtained within the birds' colony, belonged to the Actinobacteria phylum. Moreover, when analyzing the class level for each phylum, several differences between the samples were observed. Furthermore, lower proportions of Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria were observed in the soil sample under the influence of the bird's colony, which most probably could be linked to higher nitrogen concentrations in that sample.

  8. 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, temperat....... 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......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...

  9. 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, temperat...... 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.......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...

  10. Will greater shrub abundance greatly impact tundra surface-atmosphere exchanges of energy and carbon?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphreys, E.; Lafleur, P.

    2015-12-01

    Increasing deciduous shrub abundance, productivity, and range in the Arctic comes with the potential for both negative and positive feedbacks to the climate system. This study presents six seasons of eddy covariance measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) and latent and sensible heat fluxes along a shrub gradient in Canada's Low Arctic. Three flux tower sites with 17, 45, and 64% dwarf birch cover were established within a few kilometers of each other to investigate differences in microclimate, energy and carbon exchanges. As expected, there was greater winter snow depth but less summer soil thaw with greater shrub cover. However, snowmelt timing and speed were usually similar among sites. Despite a reduction in albedo in spring and greater leaf area through summer, latent heat fluxes were consistently lower with greater shrub cover. Offset by small differences in sensible heat fluxes, total seasonal atmospheric heating (combined sensible and latent heat fluxes) was similar among sites. We anticipated greater net uptake of CO2 through the growing season with greater shrub cover. However, that was only the case in some years. There was much more week-to-week and year-to-year variability in CO2 fluxes at the shrubbiest site suggesting photosynthesis and respiration processes were more sensitive to weather variations. Shrub abundance does impact tundra surface-atmosphere exchanges of energy and carbon but these observations also highlight the complexity involved in predicting the net climate feedback effect of current and future Arctic vegetation change.

  11. 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

  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. 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

  14. Tundra in the rain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    tundra (northeast Siberia) and a dry Sphagnum fuscum-dominated bog (northern Sweden). Positive responses to approximately doubled ambient precipitation (an increase of 200 mm year-1) were observed at the Siberian site, for B. nana (30 % larger length increments), Salix pulchra (leaf size and length...

  15. Permafrost-Affected Soils of the Russian Arctic and their Carbon Pools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrzycki, S.; Kutzbach, L.; Pfeiffer, E.-M.

    2014-02-01

    Permafrost-affected soils have accumulated enormous pools of organic matter during the Quaternary Period. The area occupied by these soils amounts to more than 8.6 million km2, which is about 27% of all land areas north of 50° N. Therefore, permafrost-affected soils are considered to be one of the most important cryosphere elements within the climate system. Due to the cryopedogenic processes that form these particular soils and the overlying vegetation that is adapted to the arctic climate, organic matter has accumulated to the present extent of up to 1024 Pg (1 Pg = 1015 g = 1 Gt) of soil organic carbon stored within the uppermost three meters of ground. Considering the observed progressive climate change and the projected polar amplification, permafrost-affected soils will undergo fundamental property changes. Higher turnover and mineralization rates of the organic matter are consequences of these changes, which are expected to result in an increased release of climate-relevant trace gases into the atmosphere. As a result, permafrost regions with their distinctive soils are likely to trigger an important tipping point within the global climate system, with additional political and social implications. The controversy of whether permafrost regions continue accumulating carbon or already function as a carbon source remains open until today. An increased focus on this subject matter, especially in underrepresented Siberian regions, could contribute to a more robust estimation of the soil organic carbon pool of permafrost regions and at the same time improve the understanding of the carbon sink and source functions of permafrost-affected soils.

  16. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Source, transport and fate of soil organic matter inferred from microbial biomarker lipids on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bischoff, Juliane; Sparkes, Robert B.; Doğrul Selver, Ayça; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Gustafsson, Örjan; Semiletov, Igor P.; Dudarev, Oleg V.; Wagner, Dirk; Rivkina, Elizaveta; van Dongen, Bart E.; Talbot, Helen M.

    2016-09-01

    The Siberian Arctic contains a globally significant pool of organic carbon (OC) vulnerable to enhanced warming and subsequent release by both fluvial and coastal erosion processes. However, the rate of release, its behaviour in the Arctic Ocean and vulnerability to remineralisation is poorly understood. Here we combine new measurements of microbial biohopanoids including adenosylhopane, a lipid associated with soil microbial communities, with published glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) and bulk δ13C measurements to improve knowledge of the fate of OC transported to the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS). The microbial hopanoid-based soil OC proxy R'soil ranges from 0.0 to 0.8 across the ESAS, with highest values nearshore and decreases offshore. Across the shelf R'soil displays a negative linear correlation with bulk δ13C measurements (r2 = -0.73, p = soil shows limited variation, whereas the BIT index shows a rapid decline moving away from the Lena River outflow channels. This reflects a balance between delivery and removal of OC from different sources. The good correlation between the hopanoid and bulk terrestrial signal suggests a broad range of hopanoid sources, both fluvial and via coastal erosion, whilst GDGTs appear to be primarily sourced via fluvial transport. Analysis of ice complex deposits (ICDs) revealed an average R'soil of 0.5 for the Lena Delta, equivalent to that of the Buor-Khaya Bay sediments, whilst ICDs from further east showed higher values (0.6-0.85). Although R'soil correlates more closely with bulk OC than the BIT, our understanding of the endmembers of this system is clearly still incomplete, with variations between the different East Siberian Arctic regions potentially reflecting differences in environmental conditions (e.g. temperature, pH), but other physiological controls on microbial bacteriohopanepolyol (BHP) production under psychrophilic conditions are as yet unknown.

  20. Land-atmosphere fluxes of methane and carbon dioxide at Siberian polygonal tundra - new data from 2009 in comparison to data from 2003/04 and 2006.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, Peter; Wille, Christian; Sachs, Torsten; Pfeiffer, Eva-Maria; Kutzbach, Lars

    2010-05-01

    The fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) between wet arctic polygonal tundra and the atmosphere were investigated by the eddy covariance method and empirical modeling. The study site is situated in the Lena River Delta in Northern Siberia (72° 22' N, 126° 30' E) and is characterized by a polar and distinctly continental climate, very cold and ice-rich permafrost, and its position at the interface between the Eurasian continent and the Arctic Ocean. The soils at the site are characterized by high organic matter content, low nutrient availability and pronounced water logging. The vegetation is dominated by sedges and mosses. Flux measurements were performed during one 'synthetic' growing season consisting of the periods July - October 2003 and May - July 2004, one full growing season in 2006 (June - September), and during July - August in 2009. The main carbon exchange processes - gross photosynthesis, ecosystem respiration, and CH4 emissions - were generally found to be of low intensity. Over the 2004/2003 growing season (June - September), these gas fluxes accumulated to -0.43 kg m-2, +0.33 kg m-2, and +2 g m-2, respectively. CH4 emissions from June - September 2006 were 1.96 g m-2 with highest emissions in July (+0.57 g m-2) and August (+0.64 g m-2). Day-to-day variations of photosynthesis were mainly controlled by radiation and hence by the synoptic weather conditions. Variations of ecosystem respiration were best explained by an exponential function of surface temperature, which indicates that plant respiration plays a major role within the tundra carbon balance. The factors controlling CH4 emissions were found to be soil temperature and near-surface atmospheric turbulence. The influence of atmospheric turbulence was attributed to the high coverage of open water surfaces in the tundra. For the 2003- 2004 period, winter fluxes were modeled based on functional relationships found in the measured data. On an annual basis, CH4 emissions accounted for

  1. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2015-12-01

    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 may insulate terrestrial habitats from extreme air temperature fluctuations. Further, climate projections suggest large changes in precipitation will occur in the polar regions, with the greatest changes expected during the winter period and, hence, implications for the insulation of overwintering 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, Shallow Snow (30 cm) and Deep Snow (120 cm). Air temperatures during the winter period fluctuated frequently between +3 and -24 °C, and the No Snow soil temperatures reflected this variation closely, with the extreme minimum being slightly lower. Under 30 cm of snow, soil temperatures varied less and did not decrease below -12 °C. Those under deep snow were even more stable and did not decline below -2 °C. Despite these striking differences in winter thermal regimes, there were no clear differences in survival of the invertebrate fauna between treatments, including oribatid, prostigmatid and mesostigmatid mites, Araneae, Collembola, Nematocera larvae or Coleoptera. This indicates widespread tolerance, previously undocumented for the Araneae, Nematocera or Coleoptera, of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Biogeochemical modeling of CO2 and CH4 production in anoxic Arctic soil microcosms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Guoping; Zheng, Jianqiu; Xu, Xiaofeng; Yang, Ziming; Graham, David E.; Gu, Baohua; Painter, Scott L.; Thornton, Peter E.

    2016-09-01

    Soil organic carbon turnover to CO2 and CH4 is sensitive to soil redox potential and pH conditions. However, land surface models do not consider redox and pH in the aqueous phase explicitly, thereby limiting their use for making predictions in anoxic environments. Using recent data from incubations of Arctic soils, we extend the Community Land Model with coupled carbon and nitrogen (CLM-CN) decomposition cascade to include simple organic substrate turnover, fermentation, Fe(III) reduction, and methanogenesis reactions, and assess the efficacy of various temperature and pH response functions. Incorporating the Windermere Humic Aqueous Model (WHAM) enables us to approximately describe the observed pH evolution without additional parameterization. Although Fe(III) reduction is normally assumed to compete with methanogenesis, the model predicts that Fe(III) reduction raises the pH from acidic to neutral, thereby reducing environmental stress to methanogens and accelerating methane production when substrates are not limiting. The equilibrium speciation predicts a substantial increase in CO2 solubility as pH increases, and taking into account CO2 adsorption to surface sites of metal oxides further decreases the predicted headspace gas-phase fraction at low pH. Without adequate representation of these speciation reactions, as well as the impacts of pH, temperature, and pressure, the CO2 production from closed microcosms can be substantially underestimated based on headspace CO2 measurements only. Our results demonstrate the efficacy of geochemical models for simulating soil biogeochemistry and provide predictive understanding and mechanistic representations that can be incorporated into land surface models to improve climate predictions.

  6. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    Assimilation and exchange of carbon for arctic ecosystems depend strongly on leaf area index (LAI) and total foliar nitrogen (TFN). For dry-mesic tundras, the seasonality of these characteristics is unexplored. We addressed this knowledge gap by measuring variations of LAI and TFN at five contras...

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Greenhouse gas balance of a subarctic tundra - importance of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide from different land cover types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marushchak, M. E.; Biasi, C.; Elsakov, V.; Jokinen, S.; Lind, S. E.; Pitkämäki, A.; Virtanen, T.; Martikainen, P. J.

    2012-04-01

    The strong warming predicted for the Arctic has increased the need to understand how carbon (C) balance in tundra will respond to climate change. The large C reservoir of northern permafrost soils (50% of global belowground soil C pool; Tarnocai et al. 2009) may be threatened by warming and associated thawing of permafrost, which might lead to increased release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. Moreover, the recent findings of high nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from permafrost soils (Repo et al. 2009, Elberling et al. 2010) show that the large nitrogen pool in permafrost soils cannot be neglected anymore when predicting the atmospheric impact of Arctic tundra in a changing climate. Here we report the annual landscape scale (GHG) balance of subarctic tundra including all the three most important GHGs: CO2, CH4 and N2O. The study was conducted in Northeast European Russia in a heterogeneous landscape consisting of upland tundra, fens, willow wetlands and massive peat plateau complexes spotted by thermokarst lakes. Fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O were measured during two growing seasons and the cold season between using different chamber techniques at terrestrial ecosystems, and combination of gas gradient method and bubble collectors in thermokarst lakes. The plot scale results were up scaled to the landscape level using a land cover map based on a high-resolution QuickBird satellite image (Hugelius et al. 2011). The land cover types studied represent 97% of the whole area study area of 98.6 km2. On an annual basis the study area acted as a sink of C, but CH4 and N2O emissions caused it to be a net source of GHGs when considering the global warming potential (GWP; 100-year time horizon) of all three gases. Willow wetlands, fens and thermokarst lakes (16% of the landscape) were significant sources of CH4, while CH4 emissions from the rest of the landscape were negligible. Bare peat surfaces on peat plateaus, peat circles, acted as strong hotspots

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Source, transport and fate of soil organic matter inferred from microbial biomarker lipids on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bischoff, Juliane; Sparkes, Robert B.; Doğrul Selver, Ayça; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Gustafsson, Örjan; Semiletov, Igor P.; Dudarev, Oleg V.; Wagner, Dirk; Rivkina, Elizaveta; van Dongen, Bart E.; Talbot, Helen M.

    2016-09-01

    The Siberian Arctic contains a globally significant pool of organic carbon (OC) vulnerable to enhanced warming and subsequent release by both fluvial and coastal erosion processes. However, the rate of release, its behaviour in the Arctic Ocean and vulnerability to remineralisation is poorly understood. Here we combine new measurements of microbial biohopanoids including adenosylhopane, a lipid associated with soil microbial communities, with published glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) and bulk δ13C measurements to improve knowledge of the fate of OC transported to the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS). The microbial hopanoid-based soil OC proxy R'soil ranges from 0.0 to 0.8 across the ESAS, with highest values nearshore and decreases offshore. Across the shelf R'soil displays a negative linear correlation with bulk δ13C measurements (r2 = -0.73, p = < 0.001). When compared to the GDGT-based OC proxy, the branched and isoprenoid tetraether (BIT) index, a decoupled (non-linear) behaviour on the shelf was observed, particularly in the Buor-Khaya Bay, where the R'soil shows limited variation, whereas the BIT index shows a rapid decline moving away from the Lena River outflow channels. This reflects a balance between delivery and removal of OC from different sources. The good correlation between the hopanoid and bulk terrestrial signal suggests a broad range of hopanoid sources, both fluvial and via coastal erosion, whilst GDGTs appear to be primarily sourced via fluvial transport. Analysis of ice complex deposits (ICDs) revealed an average R'soil of 0.5 for the Lena Delta, equivalent to that of the Buor-Khaya Bay sediments, whilst ICDs from further east showed higher values (0.6-0.85). Although R'soil correlates more closely with bulk OC than the BIT, our understanding of the endmembers of this system is clearly still incomplete, with variations between the different East Siberian Arctic regions potentially reflecting differences in environmental

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. A. Luus

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available 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 snow and growing-season land surface characteristics requires: (1 insights into the present-day linkages between snow and growing-season land surface characteristics; and (2 the ability to continue to monitor these associations over time across the vast pan-Arctic. The objective of this study was therefore to examine the pan-Arctic (north of 60° N linkages between two temporally distinct data products created from AMSR-E satellite passive microwave observations: GlobSnow snow water equivalent (SWE, and NTSG growing-season AMSR-E Land Parameters (air temperature, soil moisture and vegetation transmissivity. Due to the complex and interconnected nature of processes determining snow and growing-season land surface characteristics, these associations were analyzed using the modern nonparametric technique of alternating conditional expectations (ACE, as this approach does not impose a predefined analytic form. Findings indicate that regions with lower vegetation transmissivity (more biomass at the start and end of the growing season tend to accumulate less snow at the start and end of the snow season, possibly due to interception and sublimation. Warmer air temperatures at the start and end of the growing season were associated with diminished snow accumulation at the start and end of the snow season. High latitude sites with warmer mean annual growing-season temperatures tended to accumulate more snow, probably due to the greater availability of water vapor for snow season precipitation at warmer locations. Regions

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastepanov, Mikhail; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Ström, Lena;

    2008-01-01

    Wet tundra ecosystems are well-known to be a significant source of atmospheric methane. With the predicted stronger effect of global climate change on arctic terrestrial ecosystems compared to lower-latitudes, there is a special obligation to study the natural diversity and the range of possible...... feedback effects on global climate that could arise from Arctic tundra ecosystems. One of the prime candidates for such a feedback mechanism is a potential change in the emissions of methane. Long-term datasets on methane emissions from high arctic sites are almost non-existing but badly needed...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Isoprene emissions from a tundra ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Potosnak

    2013-02-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Hoset, Katrine S; Olofsson, Johan

    2015-09-01

    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming.

  17. Indicators of changing landscape wetness in the western Canadian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, P.; de Jong, T.; Walker, B.

    2015-12-01

    The landscape of the western Canadian arctic has been changing over the last 5 decades in response to warming air temperatures and decreasing precipitation. Changes include thinner snowcover, decreased river and lake ice thickness, deepening active layer, increasing thaw slumping, and expanding shrub cover for example. Although there are no long term data sets to consider changes in soil wetness in this region, changes in surface moisture can be considered through analysis of both long term stream discharge records and remote sensing of tundra ponds and lakes. In this paper, we will use these long term records in order to explore past changes to this environment. In addition, we will outline details of ongoing observations at long term observatories and modelling efforts to consider the controls on future changes in wetness.

  18. 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.

  19. Carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from arctic mudboils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-08-15

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 1982 annual report and proposal for continuing research on the potential responses of tundra ecosystems to perturbations from energy development. Volume I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1982-01-01

    The Arctic Tundra Simulator (ARTUS) describes the annual patterns of heat and water balance, carbon fixation, plant growth, and nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in tussock tundra. ARTUS runs in 1-day time steps for a growing season from 1 May to 17 September and can run for any number of years. The daily sequence of calculations is: environmental, soil processes, nutrient uptake, moss processes, and vascular plant processes. The model was validated by comparing calculated and measured annual totals of processes, peak season biomasses and nutrient contents, and seasonal progression of biomass, carbohydrate contents, and nutrient contents. The validation variables were peak season new leaf and stem biomass by species, peak season nitrogen and phosphorus contents by species, nitrogen and phosphorus uptake by species, ecosystem respiration, and peak season depth of thaw. Several experiments and sets of observations were used for validating ARTUS. Values for measured and simulated variables with different experimental treatments at Eagle Creek, data obtained from sites along the TAPS haul road and at Cape Thompson on vascular plant biomass and nutrient content were used for validating ARTUS.

  6. Thawing permafrost increases old soil and autotrophic respiration in tundra: partitioning ecosystem respiration using δ(13) C and ∆(14) C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks Pries, Caitlin E; Schuur, Edward A G; Crummer, Kathryn G

    2013-02-01

    Ecosystem respiration (Reco ) is one of the largest terrestrial carbon (C) fluxes. The effect of climate change on Reco depends on the responses of its autotrophic and heterotrophic components. How autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration sources respond to climate change is especially important in ecosystems underlain by permafrost. Permafrost ecosystems contain vast stores of soil C (1672 Pg) and are located in northern latitudes where climate change is accelerated. Warming will cause a positive feedback to climate change if heterotrophic respiration increases without corresponding increases in primary production. We quantified the response of autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration to permafrost thaw across the 2008 and 2009 growing seasons. We partitioned Reco using Δ(14) C and δ(13) C into four sources-two autotrophic (above - and belowground plant structures) and two heterotrophic (young and old soil). We sampled the Δ(14) C and δ(13) C of sources using incubations and the Δ(14) C and δ(13) C of Reco using field measurements. We then used a Bayesian mixing model to solve for the most likely contributions of each source to Reco . Autotrophic respiration ranged from 40 to 70% of Reco and was greatest at the height of the growing season. Old soil heterotrophic respiration ranged from 6 to 18% of Reco and was greatest where permafrost thaw was deepest. Overall, growing season fluxes of autotrophic and old soil heterotrophic respiration increased as permafrost thaw deepened. Areas with greater thaw also had the greatest primary production. Warming in permafrost ecosystems therefore leads to increased plant and old soil respiration that is initially compensated by increased net primary productivity. However, barring large shifts in plant community composition, future increases in old soil respiration will likely outpace productivity, resulting in a positive feedback to climate change. PMID:23504799

  7. Emissions of biogenic sulfur gases from Alaskan tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Mark E.; Morrison, Michael C.

    1992-01-01

    Fluxes of the biogenic sulfur gases carbonyl sulfide (COS), dimethyl sulfide (DMS), methyl mercaptan (MeSH), and carbon disulfide (CS2) were determined for several freshwater and coastal marine tundra habitats using a dynamic enclosure method and gas chromatography. In the freshwater tundra sites, highest emissions, with a mean of 6.0 nmol/m(sup -2)H(sup -1) (1.5-10) occurred in the water-saturated wet meadow areas inhabited by grasses, sedges, and Sphagnum mosses. In the drier upland tundra sites, highest fluxes occurred in areas inhabited by mixed vegetation and labrador tea at 3.0 nmol/m(sup -2)h(sup -1) (0-8.3) and lowest fluxes were from lichen-dominated areas at 0.9 nmol/m(sup -2)h(sup -1). Sulfur emissions from a lake surface were also low at 0.8 nmol/m(sup -2)h(sup -1). Of the compounds measured, DMS was the dominant gas emitted from all of these sites. Sulfure emissions from the marine sites were up to 20-fold greater than fluxes in the freshwater habitats and were also dominated by DMS. Emissions of DMS were highest from intertidal soils inhabited by Carex subspathacea (150-250 nmol/m(sup -2)h(sup -1)). This Carex sp. was grazed thoroughly by geese and DMS fluxes doubled when goose feces were left within the flux chamber. Emissions were much lower from other types of vegetation which were more spatially dominant. Sulfure emissions from tundra were among the lowest reported in the literature. When emission data were extrapolated to include all tundra globally, the global flux of biogenic sulfur from this biome is 2-3 x 10(exp 8) g/yr. This represents less than 0.001 percent of the estimated annual global flux (approximately 50 Tg) of biogenic sulfur and less than 0.01 percent of the estimated terrestrial flux. The low emissions are attributed to the low availability of sulfate, certain hydrological characteristics of tundra, and the tendency for tundra to accumulate organic matter.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Landscape and hydrologic changes in the permafrost regions of the Western Canadian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, P.

    2012-12-01

    The Western Canadian Arctic, in the vicinity of the Mackenzie River Delta, is characterized by long cold winters, short summers, low precipitation, thin organic soils, and ice-rich continuous permafrost. Over the last few decades, this region has undergone dramatic changes in climate, with warming air temperature and decreasing winter and summer precipitation. This has resulted in various landscape changes, including the warming of the upper layers of the permafrost, deepening of the active layer, drainage of permafrost affected lakes, an ongoing change from tundra to shrub tundra, and earlier spring breakup of streams, rivers and lakes. However, interactions between climate, hydrology, snow, and vegetation greatly affect both the spatial and temporal changes to the permafrost and hydrology of this region. Knowledge of these changes is important to the understanding of methane dynamics in this permafrost landscape, and for predicting future changes. Two examples of observed landscape change will be discussed. First, ground based observations and analysis of air photo images has demonstrated that shrub expansion is not uniform across the landscape, but instead is characterized by shrub patches of varying size. This patchiness is likely related to existing variations in soil temperature and moisture, active layer depth, snowcover, and tundra fires. As shrub patches further develop, they impact soil temperature and active layer depth. For example, small patches of shrubs typically have snow depths that are deeper than surrounding tundra areas due to the accumulation of blowing snow, and as a result have much warmer soil temperatures and deeper active layers. In contrast to these small shrub patches, large shrub patches have snow depths only slightly larger than found in the surrounding tundra and therefore only slightly warmer winter soil temperatures. However, shading of the surface during the summer may result in cooler summer soil temperatures. The overall effect

  13. 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 that

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paiewonsky, P.

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of tundra vegetation to climate warming is critical to forecasting future biodiversity and vegetation feedbacks to climate. In situ warming experiments accelerate climate change on a small scale to forecast responses of local plant communities. Limitations...... of this approach include the apparent site-specificity of results and uncertainty about the power of short-term studies to anticipate longer term change. We address these issues with a synthesis of 61 experimental warming studies, of up to 20 years duration, in tundra sites worldwide. The response of plant groups...... to warming often differed with ambient summer temperature, soil moisture and experimental duration. Shrubs increased with warming only where ambient temperature was high, whereas graminoids increased primarily in the coldest study sites. Linear increases in effect size over time were frequently observed...

  17. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Arctic ecosystem responses to a warming climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, Lars O.

    The Arctic embraces one of the simplest terrestrial ecosystems in the world and yet it covers roughly 11% of the world’s surface. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 10°C and most of the limited precipitation falls as snow. The landmasses are predominantly polar tundra, while the Arctic Ocean...... is frozen solid for the main part of the year. However, in recent decades, arctic temperatures have in-creased between two and three times that of the global averages, which have had a substantial impact on the physical environment of the arctic ecosystem, such as deglaciation of the Greenland inland ice...... sheet, loss of multiannual sea-ice and significant advances in snowmelt days. The biotic components of the arctic ecosystem have also been affected by the rapid changes in climate, for instance resulting in the collapse of the collared lemming cycle, advances in spring flowering and changes in the intra...

  1. The Impact of Climate Change on Microbial Communities and Carbon Cycling in High Arctic Permafrost Soil from Spitsbergen, Northern Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Leon, K. C.; Schwery, D.; Yoshikawa, K.; Christiansen, H. H.; Pearce, D.

    2014-12-01

    Permafrost-affected soils are among the most fragile ecosystems in which current microbial controls on organic matter decomposition are changing as a result of climate change. Warmer conditions in the high Arctic will lead to a deepening of the seasonal active layer of permafrost, provoking changes in microbial processes and possibly resulting in exacerbated carbon degradation under increasing anoxic conditions. The viable and non-viable fractions of the microbial community in a permafrost soil from Adventdalen, Spitsbergen, Norway were subjected to a comprehensive investigation using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. Molecular analyses using FISH (with CTC-DAPI) and amplified rDNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) on a 257cm deep core, revealed the presence of all major microbial soil groups, with the active layer having more viable cells, and a higher microbial community diversity. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) flux measurements were performed to show the amount of C stored in the sample. We demonstrated that the microbial community composition from the soil in the center of the core was most likely influenced by small scale variations in environmental conditions. Community structure showed distinct shift of presence of bacterial groups along the vertical temperature gradient profile and microbial counts and diversity was found to be highest in the surface layers, decreasing with depth. It was observed that soil properties driving microbial diversity and functional potential varied across the permafrost table. Data on the variability of CO2 and CH4 distribution described in peat structure heterogeneity are important for modeling emissions on a larger scale. Furthermore, linking microbial biomass to gas distribution may elucidate the cause of peak CO2 and CH4 and their changes in relation to environmental change and peat composition.

  2. 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

  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. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Net regional methane sink in high artic soils of northeast Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Christian Juncher; Johansen, K. M. L.; Westergaard-Nielsen, Andreas;

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra soils serve as potentially important but poorly understood sinks of atmospheric methane (CH4), a powerful greenhouse gas1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Numerical simulations project a net increase in methane consumption in soils in high northern latitudes as a consequence of warming in the past few...... decades3, 6. Advances have been made in quantifying hotspots of methane emissions in Arctic wetlands7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, but the drivers, magnitude, timing and location of methane consumption rates in High Arctic ecosystems are unclear. Here, we present measurements of rates of methane consumption...... in different vegetation types within the Zackenberg Valley in northeast Greenland over a full growing season. Field measurements show methane uptake in all non-water-saturated landforms studied, with seasonal averages of − 8.3 ± 3.7 μmol CH4 m−2 h−1 in dry tundra and − 3.1 ± 1.6 μmol CH4 m−2 h−1 in moist...

  8. Arctic ground squirrels of the mammoth-steppe: paleoecology of Late Pleistocene middens (˜24 000 29 450 14C yr BP), Yukon Territory, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zazula, Grant D.; Froese, Duane G.; Elias, Scott A.; Kuzmina, Svetlana; Mathewes, Rolf W.

    2007-04-01

    This paper presents paleoecological analyses of 48 fossil arctic ground squirrel ( Spermophilus parryii) middens (nests and caches) recovered from ice-rich loess sediments in the Klondike region of west-central Yukon Territory. AMS radiocarbon dates and stratigraphic association of middens with Dawson tephra (˜25 300 14C yr BP), indicate these paleoecological data reflect the onset of glacial conditions of early Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 2 and terminal MIS 3 (˜24 000-29 450 14C yr BP). Plant macrofossils include at least 60 plant taxa, including diverse graminoids ( Poa, Elymus trachycaulus, Kobresia myosuroides), steppe forbs ( Penstemon gormanii, Anemone patens var. multifida, Plantago cf. canescens), tundra forbs ( Draba spp., Bistorta vivipara), dwarf shrubs ( Salix cf. arctica, S. cf. polaris), sage ( Artemisia frigida) and rare trees ( Picea mariana). Many of these taxa identified in the middens represent the first recorded fossils for these plants in Eastern Beringia and add to our knowledge of the floristic composition of Pleistocene vegetation and biogeography in this region. Fossil beetles include typical members of the Eastern Beringian steppe-tundra fauna ( Lepidophorus lineaticollis and Connatichela artemisiae) and others suggesting predominantly dry, open habitats. Cache forage selection is suggested by some plant taxa which were particularly frequent and abundant in the middens ( Bistorta vivipara, Kobresia myosuroides, Ranunculus spp., Potentilla, Erysimum cf. cheiranthoides, Poa, Carex and Draba). Factors such as proximity of vegetation to burrows and abundance of fruits and seeds per plant were probably important in cache selection. Glacial conditions enabled arctic ground squirrels to form widespread and dense populations in regions such as the Klondike in which they are rare or absent at present. This fossil midden record supports previous hypotheses that suggest arctic ground squirrels evolved in and are well-adapted to the open, steppe-tundra

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Drivers of seasonality in Arctic carbon dioxide fluxes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mbufong, Herbert Njuabe

    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 climatic conditions...

  13. Arctic River organic matter transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Peter; Gustafsson, Orjan; Vonk, Jorien; Spencer, Robert; McClelland, Jim

    2016-04-01

    Arctic Rivers have unique hydrology and biogeochemistry. They also have a large impact on the Arctic Ocean due to the large amount of riverine inflow and small ocean volume. With respect to organic matter, their influence is magnified by the large stores of soil carbon and distinct soil hydrology. Here we present a recap of what is known of Arctic River organic matter transport. We will present a summary of what is known of the ages and sources of Arctic River dissolved and particulate organic matter. We will also discuss the current status of what is known about changes in riverine organic matter export due to global change.

  14. Explicitly Synchronizing Soil Water and Carbon Nitrogen Reactive Transport Using CLM-PFLOTRAN: Does Sequential or Synchronized Implementing of Soil Processes Matter to Soil C Stocks?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    In nature soil biophysical and biogeochemical processes are coupled spatially and temporally. However due to constrain of both understanding of complexity of process interactions and computing ability, it still remains a challenge to represent fully coupled system of soil hydrological-thermal dynamics and biogeochemical processes in land surface models (LSMs). In the Community Land Model (CLM), the land component of the Community Earth System Model (CESM), soil C-N processes are not only implemented sequentially but also asynchronously coupled to thermal and hydrological processes. PFLOTRAN is an open source, state-of-the-art massively parallel 3-D subsurface flow and reactive transport code. In this study, we extend the subsurface hydrological-thermal process coupling between CLM and PFLOTRAN to include explicitly synchronized soil biogeochemical processes. The resulting coupled CLM-PFLOTRAN model is a LSM capable of resolving 3-D soil hydrological-thermal-biogeochemical processes. The classic CLM-CN reaction networks, degassing-dissolving of C-N relevant greenhouse gases between soil solution and air, soil N absorption and transportation processes are implemented in PFLOTRAN's reactive-transport framework. We compare soil C stock estimates from CLM alone and coupled CLM-PFLOTRAN simulations at the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment-Arctic field sites at the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO), AK. Both simulations are compared against available soil C dataset to assess importance of representing this synchronization in LSMs. Contributions of various factors to spatial variance of simulated variations from the two modeling approaches are evaluated across this polygonal coastal tundra landscape. Results indicate that two modeling approaches could produce very contrasting results, especially in the N-limit ecosystem. The developed CLM-PFLOTRAN framework will be used for regional evaluation of climate change caused ecosystem process responses and their feedbacks

  15. 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.

  16. Seasonal variation of ecosystem respiration delta 13C in response to experimental permafrost thaw and vegetation removal in moist acidic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauritz, M.; Pegoraro, E.; Salmon, V. G.; Natali, S.; Schuur, E.

    2015-12-01

    Permafrost soils store twice as much carbon (C) as is contained in the atmosphere and about one-third of global soil C. Under a warmer future climate, permafrost is expected to thaw and decompose, releasing C to the atmosphere, further amplifying global warming. However, studies show that warmer arctic temperatures promote plant growth, in addition to stimulating losses from the soil C pool. Using delta 13C of ecosystem respiration (Reco) during the seasonal cycle of active layer thaw, we seek to understand the effect of permafrost thaw on the relative contributions from microbial decomposition of soil C and more recently fixed, plant-dominated C. We measured weekly CO2 flux rates and delta 13C of Reco from experimentally warmed plots with rapid permafrost thaw and control thaw. Vegetation removal plots, in un-warmed tundra, were monitored to isolate the seasonal contributions from soil alone. We expected delta 13C to be dominated by plant activity in vegetated plots, particularly in areas with greater permafrost thaw because they have highest plant biomass. In vegetation removal plots we expected to see greater contribution from deep soil as seasonal thaw progressed. From May to July delta 13C was extremely variable early in the growing season, but became more uniform as vegetation greened and thaw deepened. In vegetated plots CO2 fluxes doubled, but remained constant in vegetation removal plots. This indicates that, with thaw, microbes had access to a more spatially uniform C substrate, but this had little effect on the magnitude of CO2 flux. Overall delta 13C in rapidly thawed plots was least enriched (-29.4 ‰), control plots intermediate (-28.9 ‰), and vegetation removal plots were most enriched (-28.5 ‰). This suggests that in vegetation removal plots microbes used more decomposed soil C as substrate, and much of the increase in CO2 flux in vegetated plots was the result of C recently fixed and contributed by plants.

  17. Processes Impacting Atmosphere-Surface Exchanges at Arctic Terrestrial Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persson, Ola; Grachev, Andrey; Konopleva, Elena; Cox, Chris; Stone, Robert; Crepinsek, Sara; Shupe, Matthew; Uttal, Taneil

    2015-04-01

    Surface energy fluxes are key to the annual cycle of near-surface and soil temperature and biologic activity in the Arctic. While these energy fluxes are undoubtedly changing to produce the changes observed in the Arctic ecosystem over the last few decades, measurements have generally not been available to quantify what processes are regulating these fluxes and what is determining the characteristics of these annual cycles. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has established, or contributed to the establishment of, several terrestrial "supersites" around the perimeter of the Arctic Ocean at which detailed measurements of atmospheric structure, surface fluxes, and soil thermal properties are being made. These sites include Barrow, Alaska; Eureka and Alert, Canada; and Tiksi, Russia. Atmospheric structure measurements vary, but include radiosoundings at all sites and remote sensing of clouds at two sites. Additionally, fluxes of sensible heat and momentum are made at all of the sites, while fluxes of moisture and CO2 are made at two of the sites. Soil temperatures are also measured in the upper 120 cm at all sites, which is deep enough to define the soil active layer. The sites have been operating between 3 years (Tiksi) and 24 years (Barrow). While all sites are located north of 71° N, the summer vegetation range from lush tundra grasses to rocky soils with little vegetation. This presentation will illustrate some of the atmospheric processes that are key for determining the annual energy and temperature cycles at these sites, and some of the key characteristics that lead to differences in, for instance, the length of the summer soil active layer between the sites. Atmospheric features and processes such as cloud characteristics, snowfall, downslope wind events, and sea-breezes have impacts on the annual energy cycle. The presence of a "zero curtain" period, when autumn surface temperature remains approximately constant at the freezing point

  18. 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.

  19. Koyukuk NWR tundra/trumpeter swan survey

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. Functional characterization of bacteria isolated from ancient arctic soil exposes diverse resistance mechanisms to modern antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perron, Gabriel G; Whyte, Lyle; Turnbaugh, Peter J; Goordial, Jacqueline; Hanage, William P; Dantas, Gautam; Desai, Michael M

    2015-01-01

    Using functional metagenomics to study the resistomes of bacterial communities isolated from different layers of the Canadian high Arctic permafrost, we show that microbial communities harbored diverse resistance mechanisms at least 5,000 years ago. Among bacteria sampled from the ancient layers of a permafrost core, we isolated eight genes conferring clinical levels of resistance against aminoglycoside, β-lactam and tetracycline antibiotics that are naturally produced by microorganisms. Among these resistance genes, four also conferred resistance against amikacin, a modern semi-synthetic antibiotic that does not naturally occur in microorganisms. In bacteria sampled from the overlaying active layer, we isolated ten different genes conferring resistance to all six antibiotics tested in this study, including aminoglycoside, β-lactam and tetracycline variants that are naturally produced by microorganisms as well as semi-synthetic variants produced in the laboratory. On average, we found that resistance genes found in permafrost bacteria conferred lower levels of resistance against clinically relevant antibiotics than resistance genes sampled from the active layer. Our results demonstrate that antibiotic resistance genes were functionally diverse prior to the anthropogenic use of antibiotics, contributing to the evolution of natural reservoirs of resistance genes.

  1. 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......) 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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;

    , and soil temperature. Data provide a significant basis for understanding the interaction between large herbivores and vegetation in Greenland. The report contains documentation of data collected in 2009 and 2012 as well as documentation of data from 1984-2004 made available by Jon Feilberg....

  4. 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.

  5. Greening of the Arctic: Partitioning Warming Versus Reindeer Herbivory for Willow Populations on Yamal Peninsula, Northwest Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    Arctic warming has been linked to observed increases in tundra shrub cover and growth in recent decades on the basis of significant relationships between deciduous shrub growth/biomass and temperature. These vegetation trends have been linked to Arctic sea-ice decline and thus to the sea-ice/albedo feedback known as Arctic amplification. However, the interactions between climate, sea ice, tundra vegetation and herbivores remain poorly understood. Recently we revealed a 50-year growth response over a >100,000 km2 area to a rise in summer temperature for willow (Salix lanata), one the most abundant shrub genera at and north of the continental treeline and an important source of reindeer forage in spring, summer and autumn. We demonstrated that whereas plant productivity is related to sea ice in late spring, the growing season peak responds to persistent synoptic-scale air masses over West Siberia associated with Fennoscandian weather systems through the Rossby wave train. Substrate was important for biomass accumulation, yet a strong correlation between growth and temperature encompasses all observed soil types. Vegetation was especially responsive to temperature in early summer. However, the role of herbivory was not addressed. The present data set explores the relationship between long-term herbivory and growth trends of shrubs experiencing warming in recent decades. Semi-domestic reindeer managed by indigenous Nenets nomads occur at high densities in summer on exposed ridge tops and graze heavily on prostrate and low erect willows. A few meters away in moderately sloped landslides tall willows remain virtually ungrazed as their canopies have grown above the browse line of ca. 180 cm. Here we detail the responses of neighboring shrub populations with and without intensive herbivory yet subject to the same decadal warming trend.

  6. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. L. Quinton

    2004-01-01

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

  10. Modelling high arctic percent vegetation cover using field digital images and high resolution satellite data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Nanfeng; Treitz, Paul

    2016-10-01

    In this study, digital images collected at a study site in the Canadian High Arctic were processed and classified to examine the spatial-temporal patterns of percent vegetation cover (PVC). To obtain the PVC of different plant functional groups (i.e., forbs, graminoids/sedges and mosses), field near infrared-green-blue (NGB) digital images were classified using an object-based image analysis (OBIA) approach. The PVC analyses comparing different vegetation types confirmed: (i) the polar semi-desert exhibited the lowest PVC with a large proportion of bare soil/rock cover; (ii) the mesic tundra cover consisted of approximately 60% mosses; and (iii) the wet sedge consisted almost exclusively of graminoids and sedges. As expected, the PVC and green normalized difference vegetation index (GNDVI; (RNIR - RGreen)/(RNIR + RGreen)), derived from field NGB digital images, increased during the summer growing season for each vegetation type: i.e., ∼5% (0.01) for polar semi-desert; ∼10% (0.04) for mesic tundra; and ∼12% (0.03) for wet sedge respectively. PVC derived from field images was found to be strongly correlated with WorldView-2 derived normalized difference spectral indices (NDSI; (Rx - Ry)/(Rx + Ry)), where Rx is the reflectance of the red edge (724.1 nm) or near infrared (832.9 nm and 949.3 nm) bands; Ry is the reflectance of the yellow (607.7 nm) or red (658.8 nm) bands with R2's ranging from 0.74 to 0.81. NDSIs that incorporated the yellow band (607.7 nm) performed slightly better than the NDSIs without, indicating that this band may be more useful for investigating Arctic vegetation that often includes large proportions of senescent vegetation throughout the growing season.

  11. Microarray and real-time PCR analyses of the responses of high-arctic soil bacteria to hydrocarbon pollution and bioremediation treatments.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

    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) and Eureka (in situ approach). Bacterial community structure and function were assessed using microarrays targeting the 16S rRNA genes of bacteria found in cold environments and hydrocarbon degradation genes as well as quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR targeting key functional genes. The results indicated a large difference between sampling sites in terms of both soil microbiology and decontamination rates. A rapid reorganization of the bacterial community structure and functional potential as well as rapid increases in the expression of alkane monooxygenases and polyaromatic hydrocarbon-ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases were observed 1 month after the bioremediation treatment commenced in the Alert soils. In contrast, no clear changes in community structure were observed in Eureka soils, while key gene expression increased after a relatively long lag period (1 year). Such discrepancies are likely caused by differences in bioremediation treatments (i.e., ex situ versus in situ), weathering of the hydrocarbons, indigenous microbial communities, and environmental factors such as soil humidity and temperature. In addition, this study demonstrates the value of molecular tools for the monitoring of polar bacteria and their associated functions during bioremediation. PMID:19684169

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Soil Response to Aeolian Disturbance in West Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heindel, R. C.; Culler, L. E.; Chipman, J. W.; Virginia, R. A.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic soils are a critical ecological resource, yet are increasingly vulnerable to global change. In the Kangerlussuaq region of West Greenland, aeolian disturbance is the greatest threat to soil stability, with strong katabatic winds eroding vegetation and soil down to the underlying glacial till or bedrock. Little is known about what controls the distribution and rate of the aeolian erosion, which initially results in a state change from tundra to a deflated and nearly unvegetated ground. It is unclear if vegetation can eventually reestablish after erosion occurs, potentially aided by the biological soil crust (BSC) that develops within the eroded areas, or if this soil loss is an irreversible change in vegetation and soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling. Our analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery shows that across the entire study region, deflated ground covers 22% of the terrestrial landscape. Aeolian erosion occurs more frequently closer to the Greenland Ice Sheet and on S-facing slopes. Using lichenometry, we estimate that erosional fronts move across the landscape at rates of 2.5 cm yr-1, leaving unproductive ground in their wake. The onset of widespread aeolian erosion occurred roughly 700-1000 years ago, pointing toward regional cooling and aridity as the drivers behind erosion. Finally, we consider whether the BSCs can improve soil quality enough to allow for full vegetation regrowth. Preliminary results show that while the BSCs fix atmospheric N and increase C storage, the rate of soil quality recovery is extremely slow. Understanding the thresholds between vegetated tundra and eroded ground is critical for predicting how the Kangerlussuaq landscape will respond to anticipated changes in climate and ice sheet dynamics.

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Temperature Effects on Microbial CH4 and CO2 Production in Permafrost-Affected Soils From the Barrow Environmental Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, D. E.; Roy Chowdhury, T.; Zheng, J.; Moon, J. W.; Yang, Z.; Gu, B.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2015-12-01

    Warmer Arctic temperatures are increasing the annual soil thaw depth and prolonging the thaw season in Alaskan permafrost zones. This change exposes organic matter buried in the soils and permafrost to microbial degradation and mineralization to form CO2 and CH4. The proportion and fluxes of these greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere control the global feedback on warming. To improve representations of these biogeochemical processes in terrestrial ecosystem models we compared soil properties and microbial activities in core samples of polygonal tundra from the Barrow Environmental Observatory. Measurements of soil water potential through the soil column characterized water binding to the organic and mineral components. This suction combines with temperature to control freezing, gas diffusion and microbial activity. The temperature-dependence of CO2 and CH4 production from anoxic soil incubations at -2, +4 or +8 °C identified a significant lag in methanogenesis relative to CO2 production by anaerobic respiration and fermentation. Changes in the abundance of methanogen signature genes during incubations indicate that microbial population shifts caused by thawing and warmer temperatures drive changes in the mixtures of soil carbon degradation products. Comparisons of samples collected across the microtopographic features of ice-wedge polygons address the impacts of water saturation, iron reduction and organic matter content on CH4 production and oxidation. These combined measurements build process understanding that can be applied across scales to constrain key response factors in models that address Arctic soil warming.

  20. 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.

  1. Aspects of the grammar of Tundra Yukaghir

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Schmalz

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Matrix-bound phosphine in Ny-(A)lesund Area of Arctic

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Feng Ying; Wang Qiang; Yao Ziwei; Geng Jinju

    2009-01-01

    Phosphine, a ubiquitous trace gas in the atmosphere, acts as a carrier of gasous phosphorus in the biogeochemical cycle. The research of phosphine will show new light on the mechanisms of how the phosphorus supplement influence the biogeochemical cycle and global warming. In this paper, we detect the phosphine in Arctic Pole area for the first time. The result shows that matrix-bound phosphine(MBP) exists in all the samplings. Phosphine distributions varied with different environmental origins. Average phosphine concentrations in tundra soil, lake sediments, sea sediments, seabird-droppings and deer guanos were 14.17ng/kg dry, 35.44 kg dry, 67.20 kg dry, 32.9 ng/kg dry, and 25.52 ng/kg dry respectively. Correlation analysis shows that there is an obviously positive correlation between Porg and MBP. It could be concluded that anaerobic decomposition of Porg and the mechano-chemistry action of the rock probably are the possible reasons explaining the mechanism of MBP production in Arctic Pole area.

  4. 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.

  5. Examination of Surface Temperature Modification by Open-Top Chambers along Moisture and Latitudinal Gradients in Arctic Alaska Using Thermal Infrared Photography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan C. Healey

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Passive warming manipulation methodologies, such as open-top chambers (OTCs, are a meaningful approach for interpretation of impacts of climate change on the Arctic tundra biome. The magnitude of OTC warming has been studied extensively, revealing an average plot-level warming of air temperature that ranges between 1 and 3 °C as measured by shielded resistive sensors or thermocouples. Studies have also shown that the amount of OTC warming depends in part on location climate, vegetation, and soil properties. While digital infrared thermometers have been employed in a few comparisons, most of the focus of the effectiveness of OTC warming has been on air or soil temperature rather than tissue or surface temperatures, which directly translate to metabolism. Here we used thermal infrared (TIR photography to quantify tissue and surface temperatures and their spatial variability at a previously unavailable resolution (3–6 mm2. We analyzed plots at three locations that are part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX-Arctic Observing Network (AON-ITEX network along both moisture and latitudinal gradients spanning from the High Arctic (Barrow, AK, USA to the Low Arctic (Toolik Lake, AK, USA. Our results show a range of OTC surface warming from 2.65 to 1.27 °C (31%–10% at our three sites. The magnitude of surface warming detected by TIR imagery in this study was comparable to increases in air temperatures previously reported for these sites. However, the thermal images revealed wide ranges of surface temperatures within the OTCs, with some surfaces well above ambient unevenly distributed within the plots under sunny conditions. We note that analyzing radiometric temperature may be an alternative for future studies that examine data acquired at the same time of day from sites that are in close geographic proximity to avoid the requirement of emissivity or atmospheric correction for validation of results. We foresee future studies using TIR

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Soil Organic Carbon Inventory and Permafrost Mapping in Tarfala Valley, Northern Sweden. A first estimation of the belowground soil organic carbon storage in a sub-arctic high alpine permafrost environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, M.

    2013-12-01

    Permafrost regions in the Northern Hemisphere store large amounts of organic carbon and are vulnerable to climate change. Due to a sustained warming of the climate, strongest in the northern high latitudes, permafrost thaws and organic carbon could be released in significant amounts which should not be neglected. This study investigates the soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in the Tarfala Valley (600 - 2,100 m a.s.l.), Northern Sweden, and aims to give a first estimation of the total carbon stock in a sub-arctic high alpine permafrost environment. Further the study describes the actual extent of permafrost in the Tarfala Valley. To achieve these aims, two field studies were carried out, one in summer to collect soil samples and one in winter to measure the bottom temperature of snow (BTS). In addition, the soil samples were analysed in the laboratory for bulk density, loss on ignition and elemental analyses. The estimated total SOC in the Tarfala catchment area of 31.2 km2 is 23.0 kt C for 0 - 30 cm and 28.2 kt C for 0 - 100 cm, which is on average 0.9 kg C m-2 for the upper meter of soil in the study area. Even though the soil organic carbon values are relatively low, these results contribute to the on-going soil organic carbon inventories in the circum-arctic. In Tarfala Valley, permafrost can be considered as continuous at an altitude above 1,561 m a.s.l., discontinuous above 1,218 m a.s.l. and sporadic above 875 m a.s.l. based on a logistic regression model with the altitude as single independent variable. This implies that most of the permafrost affected ground is at an altitude where only sparse or no vegetation is present and only low amounts of organic carbon is stored. In brief, Tarfala Valley cannot be considered as a permafrost carbon hotspot, because this sub-arctic alpine environment does not have the potential to release large amounts of carbon as a result of climate warming and permafrost thawing.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of 45 Years of Heavy Road Traffic and Infrastructure on Permafrost and Tundra at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, D. A.; Buchhorn, M.; Raynolds, M. K.; Kanevskiy, M. Z.; Matyshak, G. V.; Shur, Y.; Peirce, J.

    2015-12-01

    The upper permafrost of the Prudhoe Bay Oilfield, the largest oil field in both the United States and in North America, contains significant amounts of excess ground ice, mainly in ice wedges. An increase in infrastructure development and road traffic since the initial development of the Prudhoe Bay Oilfield in 1968 has resulted in extensive flooding, accumulation of road dust, and roadside snowbanks, all of which affect the vegetation and alter the thermal properties of the ground surface. As part of the NSF's Arctic Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (ArcSEES) project, we established four transects in 2014 and 2015 to document the effects of infrastructure and heavy road traffic on adjacent tundra. Two transects were established perpendicular to the Prudhoe Bay Spine Road north of Lake Colleen and two perpendicular to the Dalton Highway next to the Deadhorse airstrip. Prior to infrastructure development in 1949, rather homogeneous networks of low-centered polygons with less than 30 cm of trough-rim elevation contrast covered both locations. We present the detailed results of vegetation analysis, ice-core drilling, and extensive topographic surveys along the transects. A time series of aerial photographs from 1949 to 2014 (yearly since 1969) documents the changing landscapes in relationship to the record of air-temperature, active layer depths, and permafrost temperatures at Deadhorse. Flooding, road dust, and snow drifts have all contributed to creating warmer soil temperatures and deeper active layers near the road. These factors have all contributed in different ways to alteration of the plant canopy. The altered plant canopies in turn further altered the surface albedo and the ground temperatures. Historical photos indicate that between 1989 and 2012 a regional thawing of the ice-wedges occurred, increasing the extent of thermokarst. Our analysis demonstrates the cumulative effects of infrastructure-related and climate-related factors to

  12. Research on dynamics of tundra ecosystems and their potential response to energy research development. Part II. Progress report, 1 April 1982-31 March 1983

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1983-02-15

    Processes were studied by which phosphorus is replenished in the tundra soil solution following nutrient uptake, and how phosphorus solution concentration decreases following fertilizer addition. The fellfield and meadow soil represent the extremes of substrate conditions likely to be encountered in interior Alaska in terms of organic matter content.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Arctic methane

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dyupina, E.; Amstel, van A.R.

    2013-01-01

    What are the risks of a runaway greenhouse effect from methane release from hydrates in the Arctic? In January 2013, a dramatic increase of methane concentration up to 2000 ppb has been measured over the Arctic north of Norway in the Barents Sea. The global average being 1750 ppb. It has been sugges

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐倩倩; 刘琪璟; 张国春

    2011-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. [The content of heavy metals in soils of the Yamal Peninsula and thE Bely Island].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomashunos, V M; Abakumov, E V

    2014-01-01

    In 2012 for the first time the Government of the Yamal-Nenets region in conjunction with the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of RosHydromnet, performed the first comprehensive expedition for the examination of the Yamal Peninsula (KAEMB Arctic Yamal-2012). As key observation plots there were selected: settlement Novy Port, Ust Yuribey and the Island Bely. To the last section now there is attracted the maximum attention of the public, because it is selected for the starting of the program for the cleaning up Arctic from the debris and the wastes accumulated during the process of the functioning of polar infrastructure. Soil samples were selected from the prospecting pits in August, 2012. Heavy metals, as well as the content of oxides of silicon, aluminum, iron, titanium, manganese were detected with X-ray fluorescent analyzer "Spectroscan-MAX. The values obtained were compared with thre Approxible Permissible Concentrations and Maximum Allowable Concentrations adopted in Russia. Since the accumulation of heavy metals is related with their fixation by soil organic matter, concomitantly there was evaluated the content of organic carbon and nitrogen with the use of the device VARIO EL III. The application of the profile approach to the study of the chemical composition of soils helped to establish mid-ground and deep supra permafrost accumulation maximums of priority inorganic toxicants and other heavy metals. This is most likely related to the development of two groups of soil processes: eluvial-illuvial and cryogenic mass exchange. As a result of the eluvial-illuvial processes, some heavy metals are redistributed along the profile, and accumulating in the middle part of the profile. Meanwhile, in the tundra soils dominant processes are cryogenic mass exchange, leading to a strong mixing of the soil column and the accumulation of certain components in the chemical composition in the supra permafrost or surprapermafrost-gley horizon. This is the main reason for

  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. Potential responses of tundra ecosystems to perturbations from energy development. Part I. Annual report, 1983

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1986-01-01

    The necessity to determine general effects of perturbations in the arctic resulting from energy development is the impetus for this research which quantifies the patterns of water and nutrient flux from fellfield through tussock tundra into riparian plant communities. The evaluation of the effects of this mass flow on plant productivity is one of the objectives of the proposed research. The second major goal is to quantify the effects of changes of this water and nutrient flux resulting from slope perturbations, such as increased water flow, fertilizer application, blading and vehicle tracks. Demographic studies of fellfield, tussock tundra, and riparian vegetation and the dynamics of rodent activity in regard to nutrient transfer will broaden the understanding of the biology of a small watershed. Results of the integrated subprojects will be used to test the main hypotheses of this project which concern patterns of water and nutrient flux from slopes into the riparian vegetation as a results of slope perturbations. With the obtained information, nutrient and water flux routines of ARTUS will be expanded, and a specific slope and watershed model developed.

  8. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Bacterial production and microbial food web structure in a large arctic river and the coastal Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallières, Catherine; Retamal, Leira; Ramlal, Patricia; Osburn, Christopher L.; Vincent, Warwick F.

    2008-12-01

    Globally significant quantities of organic carbon are stored in northern permafrost soils, but little is known about how this carbon is processed by microbial communities once it enters rivers and is transported to the coastal Arctic Ocean. As part of the Arctic River-Delta Experiment (ARDEX), we measured environmental and microbiological variables along a 300 km transect in the Mackenzie River and coastal Beaufort Sea, in July-August 2004. Surface bacterial concentrations averaged 6.7 × 10 5 cells mL - 1 with no significant differences between sampling zones. Picocyanobacteria were abundant in the river, and mostly observed as cell colonies. Their concentrations in the surface waters decreased across the salinity gradient, dropping from 51,000 (river) to 30 (sea) cells mL - 1 . There were accompanying shifts in protist community structure, from diatoms, cryptophytes, heterotrophic protists and chrysophytes in the river, to dinoflagellates, prymnesiophytes, chrysophytes, prasinophytes, diatoms and heterotrophic protists in the Beaufort Sea. Size-fractionated bacterial production, as measured by 3H-leucine uptake, varied from 76 to 416 ng C L - 1 h - 1 . The contribution of particle-attached bacteria (> 3 µm fraction) to total bacterial production decreased from > 90% at the Mackenzie River stations to importance of this particle-based fraction was inversely correlated with salinity and positively correlated with particulate organic carbon concentrations. Glucose enrichment experiments indicated that bacterial metabolism was carbon limited in the Mackenzie River but not in the coastal ocean. Prior exposure of water samples to full sunlight increased the biolability of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the Mackenzie River but decreased it in the Beaufort Sea. Estimated depth-integrated bacterial respiration rates in the Mackenzie River were higher than depth-integrated primary production rates, while at the marine stations bacterial respiration rates were near or

  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. 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

  13. Simulation of changes in arctic terrestrial carbon stocks under using ecosys mathematical model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metivier, K.; Grant, R. F.; Humphreys, E. R.; Lafleur, P.; Zhang, H.

    2010-12-01

    Sustainable Canadian arctic terrestrial ecosystems are vital for northern communities and also for global communities. Arctic terrestrial ecosystems have huge stores of soil C and also contain plant C, all which are important for ecosystem health. However, there are large knowledge gaps concerning the current state of these northern ecosystems, which lead to huge uncertainties in quantification of how climate variables affect these ecosystems. These uncertainties are in part due to the complex nature of climate impacts on biological, physical and chemical activities in soils and plants. The major objective of the modelling effort is to develop a methodology using the ecosys mathematical model, to bring a greater understanding and quantification of ecological processes in northern ecosystems thereby reduce uncertainties of the dynamics of these ecosystems. Addressing current uncertainties associated with quantifying tundra ecosystems may improve our long - term predictions of climate impact on future sustainability of these ecosystems. This research will allow further insights of these ecosystems at several spatial scales - site/plot, landscape and regional. Study site locations include Daring Lake (mesic tundra, wet sedge and fen tundra), Churchill, Iqaluit, Cape Bounty and Ellesmere Island-Lake Hazen, Canada. Modelled results will be compared to measured soil temperature, carbon dioxide and energy exchange fluxes, nitrous oxide, methane emissions and phytomass growth. We have conducted preliminary simulations for the Daring Lake fen site - Modelled (57 g C m-2) and measured (43 g C m-2) shoot biomass were comparable for sedge however, the model underestimated the growth of the dwarf birch trees; work is in progress to determine whether the dwarf tree physiology is represented correctly in the model. Overall, the fen site resulted in a net C source with net ecosystem productivity of 13.5 g C m-2 yr-1, however this could change when the dwarf birch tree growth are

  14. Enhancement and inhibition of microbial activity in hydrocarbon- contaminated arctic soils: Implications for nutrient-amended bioremediation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braddock, J.F.; Ruth, M.L.; Catterall, P.H.; Walworth, J.L.; McCarthy, K.A.

    1997-01-01

    Bioremediation is being used or proposed as a treatment option at many hydrocarbon-contaminated sites. One such site is a former bulk-fuel storage facility near Barrow, AK, where contamination persists after approximately 380 m3 of JP-5 was spilled in 1970. The soil at the site is primarily coarse sand with low organic carbon (soil from this site in laboratory microcosms and in mesocosms incubated for 6 weeks in the field. Nitrogen was the major limiting nutrient in this system, but microbial populations and activity were maximally enhanced by additions of both nitrogen and phosphorus. When nutrients were added to soil in the field at three levels of N:P (100:45, 200:90, and 300:135 mg/kg soil), the greatest stimulation in microbial activity occurred at the lowest, rather than the highest, level of nutrient addition. The total soil-water potentials ranged from -2 to -15 bar with increasing levels of fertilizer. Semivolatile hydrocarbon concentrations declined significantly only in the soils treated at the low fertilizer level. These results indicate that an understanding of nutrient effects at a specific site is essential for successful bioremediation.Bioremediation is being used or proposed as a treatment option at many hydrocarbon-contaminated sites. One such site is a former bulk-fuel storage facility near Barrow, AK, where contamination persists after approximately 380 m3 of JP-5 was spilled in 1970. The soil at the site is primarily coarse sand with low organic carbon (soil from this site in laboratory microcosms and in mesocosms incubated for 6 weeks in the field. Nitrogen was the major limiting nutrient in this system, but microbial populations and activity were maximally enhanced by additions of both nitrogen and phosphorus. When nutrients were added to soil in the field at three levels of N:P (100:45, 200:90, and 300:135 mg/kg soil), the greatest stimulation in microbial activity occurred at the lowest, rather than the highest, level of nutrient addition

  15. Chamber and Diffusive Based Carbon Flux Measurements in an Alaskan Arctic Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkman, E.; Oechel, W. C.; Zona, D.

    2013-12-01

    Eric Wilkman, Walter Oechel, Donatella Zona Comprising an area of more than 7 x 106 km2 and containing over 11% of the world's organic matter pool, Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are vitally important components of the global carbon cycle, yet their structure and functioning are sensitive to subtle changes in climate and many of these functional changes can have large effects on the atmosphere and future climate regimes (Callaghan & Maxwell 1995, Chapin et al. 2002). Historically these northern ecosystems have acted as strong C sinks, sequestering large stores of atmospheric C due to photosynthetic dominance in the short summer season and low rates of decomposition throughout the rest of the year as a consequence of cold, nutrient poor, and generally water-logged conditions. Currently, much of this previously stored carbon is at risk of loss to the atmosphere due to accelerated soil organic matter decomposition in warmer future climates (Grogan & Chapin 2000). Although there have been numerous studies on Arctic carbon dynamics, much of the previous soil flux work has been done at limited time intervals, due to both the harshness of the environment and labor and time constraints. Therefore, in June of 2013 an Ultraportable Greenhouse Gas Analyzer (UGGA - Los Gatos Research Inc.) was deployed in concert with the LI-8100A Automated Soil Flux System (LI-COR Biosciences) in Barrow, AK to gather high temporal frequency soil CO2 and CH4 fluxes from a wet sedge tundra ecosystem. An additional UGGA in combination with diffusive probes, installed in the same location, provides year-round soil and snow CO2 and CH4 concentrations. When used in combination with the recently purchased AlphaGUARD portable radon monitor (Saphymo GmbH), continuous soil and snow diffusivities and fluxes of CO2 and CH4 can be calculated (Lehmann & Lehmann 2000). Of particular note, measuring soil gas concentration over a diffusive gradient in this way allows one to separate both net production and

  16. 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

  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

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Pilot-scale bioremediation of a petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated clayey soil from a sub-Arctic site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbari, Ali; Ghoshal, Subhasis

    2014-09-15

    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 comparable in these two systems.

  2. Effects of short term and long term soil warming on ecosystem phenology of a sub-arctic grassland: an NDVI-based approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leblans, Niki; Sigurdsson, Bjarni D.; Janssens, Ivan A.

    2014-05-01

    % greening was advanced by 23 days at +5°C and by 32 days at +10°C Ts. However, no difference in the date of maximum greening or in the onset of senescence occurred. In contrast, in the long-term warmed grassland, the start of the growing season was not affected by Ts and the 50% greening point occurred only 10 days earlier at +5°C and 15 days earlier at +10°C Ts. However, the timing of maximum greening was advanced by 19 days at +5°C and even by 32 days at +10°C Ts. Again, the onset of senescence did not change with Ts. Significant Ts effects on ecosystem phenology of subarctic grasslands only occurred at warming of 5°C or higher. This study also demonstrates that short-term Ts effects on ecosystem phenology are not necessarily good predictors for long-term changes in sub-arctic grasslands. In the short-term (5 years warming), soil warming induced an early onset of the growing season, which was later compensated by faster greening on colder soils, so that maximum greenness was reached simultaneously irrespective of Ts. In contrast, the long-term Ts warming did not induce earlier onset of the growing season, but it led to faster greening on warm soils, which again led to an advance in timing of maximum greenness. This difference between short- and long-term responses in phenology might be caused by either phenotypic plasticity (acclimation) or by a genetic selection (evolution) of the grass populations where the warming has been ongoing for centuries. Such processes are at present not included in modelling predictions of climate change responses of natural ecosystems, but may offer important negative feedback mechanisms to warming which will reduce its effects.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  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. Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the Earth's four major oceans, covering 14x10(exp 6) sq km located entirely within the Arctic Circle (66 deg 33 min N). It is a major player in the climate of the north polar region and has a variable sea ice cover that tends to increase its sensitivity to climate change. Its temperature, salinity, and ice cover have all undergone changes in the past several decades, although it is uncertain whether these predominantly reflect long-term trends, oscillations within the system, or natural variability. Major changes include a warming and expansion of the Atlantic layer, at depths of 200-900 m, a warming of the upper ocean in the Beaufort Sea, a considerable thinning (perhaps as high as 40%) of the sea ice cover, a lesser and uneven retreat of the ice cover (averaging approximately 3% per decade), and a mixed pattern of salinity increases and decreases.

  12. Arctic Shipping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    maritime industries (including shipping, offshore energy, ports, and maritime service and equipment suppliers) as well as addresses topics that cut across maritime industries (regulation and competitiveness). The topics and narrower research questions addressed in the initiative were developed in close......, the latter aiming at developing key concepts and building up a basic industry knowledge base for further development of CBS Maritime research and teaching. This report attempts to map the opportunities and challenges for the maritime industry in an increasingly accessible Arctic Ocean...

  13. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Blok

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Blok

    2011-05-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The Role of Disturbance in Arctic Ecosystem Response to a Changing Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinzman, L. D.

    2014-12-01

    Wildfires in the tundra regions and the boreal forest project an immediate effect upon the surface energy and water budget by drastically altering the surface albedo, roughness, infiltration rates, and moisture absorption capacity in organic soils. Although fires create a sudden and drastic change to the landcover, it is only the beginning of a long process of recovery and perhaps a shift to a different successional pathway. In permafrost regions, these effects become part of a process of long-term (20-50 years) cumulative impacts. Burn severity may largely determine immediate impacts and long-term disturbance trajectories. As transpiration decreases or ceases, soil moisture increases markedly, remaining quite wet throughout the year. Because the insulating quality of the organic layer is removed during fires, permafrost begins to thaw near the surface and warm to greater depths. Within a few years, it may thaw to the point where it can no longer completely refreeze every winter, creating a permanently thawed layer in the soil called a talik. After formation of a talik, soils can drain internally throughout the year. At this point, soils may become quite dry, as the total precipitation received annually in the Arctic is quite low. The local ecological community must continuously adapt to the changing soil thermal and moisture regimes. The wet soils found over shallow permafrost favor black spruce forests. After a fire creates a deeper permafrost table (thicker active layer) the invading tree species tend to be birch or alder. The hydrologic and thermal regime of the soil is the primary factor controlling these vegetation trajectories and the subsequent changes in surface mass and energy fluxes. The complexities of a changing climate accentuate these processes of change and complicate predictions of the resulting vegetation trajectories. Understanding these shifts in vegetative communities and quantifying the consequences of thawing permafrost can only be

  19. High Methylmercury in Arctic and Subarctic Ponds is Related to Nutrient Levels in the Warming Eastern Canadian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacMillan, Gwyneth A; Girard, Catherine; Chételat, John; Laurion, Isabelle; Amyot, Marc

    2015-07-01

    Permafrost thaw ponds are ubiquitous in the eastern Canadian Arctic, yet little information exists on their potential as sources of methylmercury (MeHg) to freshwaters. They are microbially active and conducive to methylation of inorganic mercury, and are also affected by Arctic warming. This multiyear study investigated thaw ponds in a discontinuous permafrost region in the Subarctic taiga (Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui, QC) and a continuous permafrost region in the Arctic tundra (Bylot Island, NU). MeHg concentrations in thaw ponds were well above levels measured in most freshwater ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic (>0.1 ng L(-1)). On Bylot, ice-wedge trough ponds showed significantly higher MeHg (0.3-2.2 ng L(-1)) than polygonal ponds (0.1-0.3 ng L(-1)) or lakes (waters of Subarctic thaw ponds near Kuujjuarapik (0.1-3.1 ng L(-1)). High water MeHg concentrations in thaw ponds were strongly correlated with variables associated with high inputs of organic matter (DOC, a320, Fe), nutrients (TP, TN), and microbial activity (dissolved CO2 and CH4). Thawing permafrost due to Arctic warming will continue to release nutrients and organic carbon into these systems and increase ponding in some regions, likely stimulating higher water concentrations of MeHg. Greater hydrological connectivity from permafrost thawing may potentially increase transport of MeHg from thaw ponds to neighboring aquatic ecosystems.

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon

    2003-03-01

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

  3. Arctic Diatoms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tammilehto, Anna

    shellfish poisoning (ASP). This thesis showed that three most abundant mesozooplankton species (Calanus finmarchicus, C. glacialis and C. hyperboreus and copepodite stages C3 and C4) in the study area (Disko Bay, western Greenland) feed upon toxic P. seriata and retain the toxin, and may therefore act...... as vectors for DA to higher levels in the arctic marine food web, posing a possible risk also to humans. DA production in P. seriata was, for the first time, found to be induced by chemical cues from C. finmarchicus, C. hyperboreus and copepodite stages C3 and C4, suggesting that DA may be related to defense...

  4. Large ancient organic matter contributions to Arctic marine sediments (Svalbard)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kim, J.-H.; Peterse, F.; Willmott, V.; Klitgaard Kristensen, D.; Baas, M.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.

    2011-01-01

    Soils, fine-grained ice-rafted detritus (IRD), coals, and marine surface sediments in the Arctic realm (Svalbard) were collected in 2007 and 2008 to characterize organic matter (OM) sources in Arctic marine sediments. Bulk geochemical (C : N ratio and stable carbon isotopic composition) parameters s

  5. Large ancient organic matter contributions to Arctic marine sediments (Svalbard)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kim, J.-H.; Peterse, F.; Willmott, V.; Klitgaard Kristensen, D.; Baas, M.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.

    2011-01-01

    Soils, fine-grained ice-rafted detritus (IRD), coals, and marine surface sediments in the Arctic realm (Svalbard)were collected in 2007 and 2008 to characterize organic matter (OM) sources in Arctic marine sediments. Bulkgeochemical (C : N ratio and stable carbon isotopic composition) parameters sug

  6. NOAA Atmospheric Baseline Observatories in the Arctic: Alaska & Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasel, B. A.; Butler, J. H.; Schnell, R. C.; Crain, R.; Haggerty, P.; Greenland, S.

    2013-12-01

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates two year-round, long-term climate research facilities, known as Atmospheric Baseline Observatories (ABOs), in the Arctic Region. The Arctic ABOs are part of a core network to support the NOAA Global Monitoring Division's mission to acquire, evaluate, and make available accurate, long-term records of atmospheric gases, aerosol particles, and solar radiation in a manner that allows the causes of change to be understood. The observatory at Barrow, Alaska (BRW) was established in 1973 and is now host to over 200 daily measurements. Located a few kilometers to the east of the village of Barrow at 71.3° N it is also the northernmost point in the United States. Measurement records from Barrow are critical to our understanding of the Polar Regions including exchange among tundra, atmosphere, and ocean. Multiple data sets are available for carbon cycle gases, halogenated gases, solar radiation, aerosol properties, ozone, meteorology, and numerous others. The surface, in situ carbon dioxide record alone consists of over 339,000 measurements since the system was installed in July 1973. The observatory at Summit, Greenland (SUM) has been a partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Polar Programs since 2004, similar to that for South Pole. Observatory data records began in 1997 from this facility located at the top of the Greenland ice sheet at 72.58° N. Summit is unique as the only high-altitude (3200m), mid-troposphere, inland, Arctic observatory, largely free from outside local influences such as thawing tundra or warming surface waters. The measurement records from Summit help us understand long-range transport across the Arctic region, as well as interactions between air and snow. Near-real-time data are available for carbon cycle gases, halogenated gases, solar radiation, aerosol properties, meteorology, ozone, and numerous others. This poster will highlight the two facilities

  7. Deciduous shrub growth and the greening of the Arctic in West Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

    Salix lanata and Alnus fruticosa are common and widespread shrub species in the low arctic tundra zone of West Siberia. They often occur in similar local habitats with the live portions of genets up to 100 years old. We have recently established that growth rings of S. lanata provide an excellent proxy for summer temperature. In that study our data were derived from shrubs growing on organic soils near the arctic coast of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO), west of the Ural Mountains. East of the Urals, in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (YNAO), climate is more continental and sandy soils provide a relatively nutrient-poor substrate for plant growth. By sampling two different species side by side on the Yamal Peninsula, we shed light on the relationship between deciduous shrubs and growing season temperatures in the last half century or so, a period of pronounced regional warming. We discern differences in the climate signal within a single species (S. lanata) as well as between it and a neighboring species with a strongly overlapping ecological amplitude (A. fruticosa). July is the main month for temperature correlation in Alnus, whereas Salix responds to June-July-August temperatures in both regions. The high correlations of shrub growth with summer temperature (r > 0.7 over the period 1956-2004) strongly suggest a link between increased shrub growth and recent decadal warming in both regions (~2°C). Both species showed significant correlation with the regional Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), although it was somewhat lower in YNAO compared to NAO, probably due to the relative land cover (10% vs. 20%, respectively) of erect shrubs in both areas, which affects their overall contribution to the NDVI. In both regions Salix lanata biomass peaks in the second half of July. Hand-held leaf area index data from Yamal indicate a significant difference between loamy/clayey and sandy sites. We hypothesized that this same variation would be evident at the

  8. Latent heat exchange in the boreal and arctic biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasurinen, Ville; Alfredsen, Knut; Kolari, Pasi; Mammarella, Ivan; Alekseychik, Pavel; Rinne, Janne; Vesala, Timo; Bernier, Pierre; Boike, Julia; Langer, Moritz; Belelli Marchesini, Luca; van Huissteden, Ko; Dolman, Han; Sachs, Torsten; Ohta, Takeshi; Varlagin, Andrej; Rocha, Adrian; Arain, Altaf; Oechel, Walter; Lund, Magnus; Grelle, Achim; Lindroth, Anders; Black, Andy; Aurela, Mika; Laurila, Tuomas; Lohila, Annalea; Berninger, Frank

    2014-11-01

    In this study latent heat flux (λE) measurements made at 65 boreal and arctic eddy-covariance (EC) sites were analyses by using the Penman-Monteith equation. Sites were stratified into nine different ecosystem types: harvested and burnt forest areas, pine forests, spruce or fir forests, Douglas-fir forests, broadleaf deciduous forests, larch forests, wetlands, tundra and natural grasslands. The Penman-Monteith equation was calibrated with variable surface resistances against half-hourly eddy-covariance data and clear differences between ecosystem types were observed. Based on the modeled behavior of surface and aerodynamic resistances, surface resistance tightly control λE in most mature forests, while it had less importance in ecosystems having shorter vegetation like young or recently harvested forests, grasslands, wetlands and tundra. The parameters of the Penman-Monteith equation were clearly different for winter and summer conditions, indicating that phenological effects on surface resistance are important. We also compared the simulated λE of different ecosystem types under meteorological conditions at one site. Values of λE varied between 15% and 38% of the net radiation in the simulations with mean ecosystem parameters. In general, the simulations suggest that λE is higher from forested ecosystems than from grasslands, wetlands or tundra-type ecosystems. Forests showed usually a tighter stomatal control of λE as indicated by a pronounced sensitivity of surface resistance to atmospheric vapor pressure deficit. Nevertheless, the surface resistance of forests was lower than for open vegetation types including wetlands. Tundra and wetlands had higher surface resistances, which were less sensitive to vapor pressure deficits. The results indicate that the variation in surface resistance within and between different vegetation types might play a significant role in energy exchange between terrestrial ecosystems and atmosphere. These results suggest the need

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Expanding Spatial and Temporal Coverage of Arctic CH4 and CO2 Fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    Carbon storage and exchange in Arctic ecosystems is the subject of intensive study focused on determining rates, controls, and mechanisms of CH4 and CO2 fluxes. The Arctic contains more than 1 Gt of Carbon in the upper meter of soil, both in the active layer and permafrost (Schuur et al., 2008; Tarnocai et al., 2009). However, the annual pattern and controls on the release of CH4 is inadequately understood in Arctic tundra ecosystems. Annual methane budgets are poorly understood, and very few studies measure fluxes through the freeze-up cycle during autumn months (Mastepanov et al., 2008; Mastepanov et al., 2010; Sturtevant et al., 2012). There is no known, relatively continuous, CH4 flux record for the Arctic. Clearly, the datasets that currently exist for budget calculations and model parameterization and verification are inadequate. This is likely due to the difficult nature of flux measurements in the Arctic. In September 2012, we initiated a research project towards continuous methane flux measurements along a latitudinal transect in Northern Alaska. The eddy-covariance (EC) technique is challenging in such extreme weather conditions due to the effects of ice formation and precipitation on instrumentation, including gas analyzers and sonic anemometers. The challenge is greater in remote areas of the Arctic, when low power availability and limited communication can lead to delays in data retrieval or data loss. For these reasons, a combination of open- and closed-path gas analyzers, and several sonic anemometers (including one with heating), have been installed on EC towers to allow for cross-comparison and cross-referencing of calculated fluxes. Newer instruments for fast CH4 flux determination include: the Los Gatos Research Fast Greenhouse Gas Analyzer and the Li-Cor LI-7700. We also included the self-heated Metek Class-A uSonic-3 Anemometer as a new instrument. Previously existing instruments used for comparison include the Li-Cor LI-7500; Li-Cor LI-7200

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Outbreaks of digital necrobacillosis in Norwegian wild tundra reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) are described. The outbreaks occurred in late summer and autumn 2007 and 2008, subsequent to periods with an unusually high number of days with precipitation and high air temperature. Lesions were...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-06-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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 post-breeding season bird surveys conducted on 45 10-ha plots representing seven habitat types study sites on the...

  18. 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...

  19. High resilience in the Yamal-Nenets social-ecological system, We