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Sample records for high arctic tundra

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

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    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Arctic ecosystems are threatened by pollution from recently detected extreme atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition events in which up to 90% of the annual N deposition can occur in just a few days. We undertook the first assessment of the fate of N from extreme deposition in High Arctic tundra and are presenting the results from the whole ecosystem "1"5N labelling experiment. In 2010, we simulated N depositions at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2 g N m"−"2 yr"−"1, applied as "1"5NH_4"1"5NO_3 in Svalbard (79"°N), during the summer. Separate applications of "1"5NO_3"− and "1"5NH_4"+ were also made to determine the importance of N form in their retention. More than 95% of the total "1"5N applied was recovered after one growing season (~ 90% after two), demonstrating a considerable capacity of Arctic tundra to retain N from these deposition events. Important sinks for the deposited N, regardless of its application rate or form, were non-vascular plants > vascular plants > organic soil > litter > mineral soil, suggesting that non-vascular plants could be the primary component of this ecosystem to undergo measurable changes due to N enrichment from extreme deposition events. Substantial retention of N by soil microbial biomass (70% and 39% of "1"5N in organic and mineral horizon, respectively) during the initial partitioning demonstrated their capacity to act as effective buffers for N leaching. Between the two N forms, vascular plants (Salix polaris) in particular showed difference in their N recovery, incorporating four times greater "1"5NO_3"− than "1"5NH_4"+, suggesting deposition rich in nitrate will impact them more. Overall, these findings show that despite the deposition rates being extreme in statistical terms, biologically they do not exceed the capacity of tundra to sequester pollutant N during the growing season. Therefore, current and future extreme events may represent a major source of eutrophication. - Highlights: • High Arctic tundra demonstrated a

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    Magnus Lund

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

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    Richter Dorota

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-12

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

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

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

    2017-12-13

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Tundra vegetation effects on pan-Arctic albedo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  3. Carbon loss from an unprecedented Arctic tundra wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Cold season emissions dominate the Arctic tundra methane budget

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Pokrovsky

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

  12. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-10-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Qin; Epstein, Howard; Walker, Donald

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziming Yang

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  18. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

    carbon in the organic horizons (28 ± 5 wt.% C) were approximately twice the concentrations in the mineral horizons (14 ± 2 wt.% C), and organic matter was dominated by base-extractable and insoluble organics enriched in aromatic and aliphatic moieties. Conversely, water-soluble organic molecules and organics solubilized through acid-dissolution of iron oxides comprised soil organic C and were consistent with a mixture of alcohols, sugars, and small molecular weight organic acids and aromatics released through decomposition of larger molecules. Integrated over the entire depth of the active layer, soils contained 11 ± 4 kg m-2 low-density, particulate organic C and 19 ± 6 kg m-2 high-density, mineral-associated organic C, indicating that 63 ± 19% of organic C in the active layer was associated with the mineral fraction. We conclude that organic horizons were enriched in poorly crystalline and crystalline iron oxide phases derived from upward translocation of dissolved Fe(II) and Fe(III) from mineral horizons. Precipitation of iron oxides at the redox interface has the potential to contribute to mineral protection of organic matter and increase the residence time of organic carbon in arctic soils. Our results suggest that iron oxides may inhibit organic carbon degradation by binding low-molecular-weight organic compounds, stabilizing soil aggregates, and forming thick coatings around particulate organic matter. Organic matter released through acid-dissolution of iron oxides could represent a small pool of readily-degradable organic molecules temporarily stabilized by sorption to iron oxyhydroxide surfaces. The distribution of iron in organic complexes and inorganic phases throughout the soil column constrains Fe(III) availability to anaerobic iron-reducing microorganisms that oxidize organic matter to produce CO2 and CH4 in these anoxic environments. Future predictions of carbon storage and respiration in the arctic tundra should consider such influences of mineral

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decades, vegetation and climate have changed significantly in the Arctic. Deciduous shrub cover is often assumed to expand in tundra landscapes, but more frequent abrupt permafrost thaw resulting in formation of thaw ponds could lead to vegetation shifts towards graminoid-dominated

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domine, Florent; Barrere, Mathieu; Sarrazin, Denis

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Imperio, Ludovica

    2014-05-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhuri, Debasish

    Remotely sensed image classification techniques are very useful to understand vegetation patterns and species combination in the vast and mostly inaccessible arctic region. Previous researches that were done for mapping of land cover and vegetation in the remote areas of northern Alaska have considerably low accuracies compared to other biomes. The unique arctic tundra environment with short growing season length, cloud cover, low sun angles, snow and ice cover hinders the effectiveness of remote sensing studies. The majority of image classification research done in this area as reported in the literature used traditional unsupervised clustering technique with Landsat MSS data. It was also emphasized by previous researchers that SPOT/HRV-XS data lacked the spectral resolution to identify the small arctic tundra vegetation parcels. Thus, there is a motivation and research need to apply a new classification technique to develop an updated, detailed and accurate vegetation map at a higher spatial resolution i.e. SPOT-5 data. Traditional classification techniques in remotely sensed image interpretation are based on spectral reflectance values with an assumption of the training data being normally distributed. Hence it is difficult to add ancillary data in classification procedures to improve accuracy. The purpose of this dissertation was to develop a hybrid image classification approach that effectively integrates ancillary information into the classification process and combines ISODATA clustering, rule-based classifier and the Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) classifier which uses artificial neural network (ANN). The main goal was to find out the best possible combination or sequence of classifiers for typically classifying tundra type vegetation that yields higher accuracy than the existing classified vegetation map from SPOT data. Unsupervised ISODATA clustering and rule-based classification techniques were combined to produce an intermediate classified map which was

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buell, Mary-Claire

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastepanov, Mikhail; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Ström, Lena

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, J.

    2016-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joel Mercado-Diaz; William Gould; Grizelle Gonzalez

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-07-15

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

  16. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Mikola

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. 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

  12. TUNDRA IN A CHANGING CLIMATE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terry Callaghan

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    . This was caused partly by increased dominance of EM plants and partly by stimulation of EM mycelial growth. •  We conclude that cycling of carbon and nitrogen through EM fungi will increase when strongly nutrient-limited arctic ecosystems are exposed to a warmer and more nutrient-rich environment. This has...... the response in EM fungal abundance to long-term warming and fertilization in two arctic ecosystems with contrasting responses of the EM shrub Betula nana. •  Ergosterol was used as a biomarker for living fungal biomass in roots and organic soil and ingrowth bags were used to estimate EM mycelial production...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J. Macander

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy L. May

    2017-12-01

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

  14. Coarse mode aerosols in the High Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baibakov, K.; O'Neill, N. T.; Chaubey, J. P.; Saha, A.; Duck, T. J.; Eloranta, E. W.

    2014-12-01

    Fine mode (submicron) aerosols in the Arctic have received a fair amount of scientific attention in terms of smoke intrusions during the polar summer and Arctic haze pollution during the polar winter. Relatively little is known about coarse mode (supermicron) aerosols, notably dust, volcanic ash and sea salt. Asian dust is a regular springtime event whose optical and radiative forcing effects have been fairly well documented at the lower latitudes over North America but rarely reported for the Arctic. Volcanic ash, whose socio-economic importance has grown dramatically since the fear of its effects on aircraft engines resulted in the virtual shutdown of European civil aviation in the spring of 2010 has rarely been reported in the Arctic in spite of the likely probability that ash from Iceland and the Aleutian Islands makes its way into the Arctic and possibly the high Arctic. Little is known about Arctic sea salt aerosols and we are not aware of any literature on the optical measurement of these aerosols. In this work we present preliminary results of the combined sunphotometry-lidar analysis at two High Arctic stations in North America: PEARL (80°N, 86°W) for 2007-2011 and Barrow (71°N,156°W) for 2011-2014. The multi-years datasets were analyzed to single out potential coarse mode incursions and study their optical characteristics. In particular, CIMEL sunphotometers provided coarse mode optical depths as well as information on particle size and refractive index. Lidar measurements from High Spectral Resolution lidars (AHSRL at PEARL and NSHSRL at Barrow) yielded vertically resolved aerosol profiles and gave an indication of particle shape and size from the depolarization ratio and color ratio profiles. Additionally, we employed supplementary analyses of HYSPLIT backtrajectories, OMI aerosol index, and NAAPS (Navy Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System) outputs to study the spatial context of given events.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andresen, Christian G.; Lougheed, Vanessa L.

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. The need for a tundra treatment protocol

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filler, D.M.

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, C.; Obrist, D.

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  3. Biogenic volatile organic compound emissions along a high arctic soil moisture gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svendsen, Sarah Hagel; Lindwall, Frida; Michelsen, Anders; Rinnan, Riikka

    2016-12-15

    Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) from terrestrial ecosystems are important for the atmospheric chemistry and the formation of secondary organic aerosols, and may therefore influence the climate. Global warming is predicted to change patterns in precipitation and plant species compositions, especially in arctic regions where the temperature increase will be most pronounced. These changes are potentially highly important for the BVOC emissions but studies investigating the effects are lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate the quality and quantity of BVOC emissions from a high arctic soil moisture gradient extending from dry tundra to a wet fen. Ecosystem BVOC emissions were sampled five times in the July-August period using a push-pull enclosure technique, and BVOCs trapped in absorbent cartridges were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Plant species compositions were estimated using the point intercept method. In order to take into account important underlying ecosystem processes, gross ecosystem production, ecosystem respiration and net ecosystem production were measured in connection with chamber-based BVOC measurements. Highest emissions of BVOCs were found from vegetation communities dominated by Salix arctica and Cassiope tetragona, which had emission profiles dominated by isoprene and monoterpenes, respectively. These results show that emissions of BVOCs are highly dependent on the plant cover supported by the varying soil moisture, suggesting that high arctic BVOC emissions may affect the climate differently if soil water content and plant cover change. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Tundra in the rain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Precipitation amounts and patterns at high latitude sites have been predicted to change as a result of global climatic changes. We addressed vegetation responses to three years of experimentally increased summer precipitation in two previously unaddressed tundra types: Betula nana-dominated shrub...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average1. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming2, 3. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Soil microbial biomass, activity and community composition along altitudinal gradients in the High Arctic (Billefjorden, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Kotas

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The unique and fragile High Arctic ecosystems are vulnerable to global climate warming. The elucidation of factors driving microbial distribution and activity in arctic soils is essential for a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem functioning and its response to environmental change. The goals of this study were to investigate microbial biomass and activity, microbial community structure (MCS, and their environmental controls in soils along three elevational transects in the coastal mountains of Billefjorden, central Svalbard. Soils from four different altitudes (25, 275, 525 and 765 m above sea level were analyzed for a suite of characteristics including temperature regimes, organic matter content, base cation availability, moisture, pH, potential respiration, and microbial biomass and community structure using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs. We observed significant spatial heterogeneity of edaphic properties among transects, resulting in transect-specific effects of altitude on most soil parameters. We did not observe any clear elevation pattern in microbial biomass, and microbial activity revealed contrasting elevational patterns between transects. We found relatively large horizontal variability in MCS (i.e., between sites of corresponding elevation in different transects, mainly due to differences in the composition of bacterial PLFAs, but also a systematic altitudinal shift in MCS related to different habitat preferences of fungi and bacteria, which resulted in high fungi-to-bacteria ratios at the most elevated sites. The biological soil crusts on these most elevated, unvegetated sites can host microbial assemblages of a size and activity comparable to those of the arctic tundra ecosystem. The key environmental factors determining horizontal and vertical changes in soil microbial properties were soil pH, organic carbon content, soil moisture and Mg2+ availability.

  13. Soil microbial biomass, activity and community composition along altitudinal gradients in the High Arctic (Billefjorden, Svalbard)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotas, Petr; Šantrůčková, Hana; Elster, Josef; Kaštovská, Eva

    2018-03-01

    The unique and fragile High Arctic ecosystems are vulnerable to global climate warming. The elucidation of factors driving microbial distribution and activity in arctic soils is essential for a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem functioning and its response to environmental change. The goals of this study were to investigate microbial biomass and activity, microbial community structure (MCS), and their environmental controls in soils along three elevational transects in the coastal mountains of Billefjorden, central Svalbard. Soils from four different altitudes (25, 275, 525 and 765 m above sea level) were analyzed for a suite of characteristics including temperature regimes, organic matter content, base cation availability, moisture, pH, potential respiration, and microbial biomass and community structure using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). We observed significant spatial heterogeneity of edaphic properties among transects, resulting in transect-specific effects of altitude on most soil parameters. We did not observe any clear elevation pattern in microbial biomass, and microbial activity revealed contrasting elevational patterns between transects. We found relatively large horizontal variability in MCS (i.e., between sites of corresponding elevation in different transects), mainly due to differences in the composition of bacterial PLFAs, but also a systematic altitudinal shift in MCS related to different habitat preferences of fungi and bacteria, which resulted in high fungi-to-bacteria ratios at the most elevated sites. The biological soil crusts on these most elevated, unvegetated sites can host microbial assemblages of a size and activity comparable to those of the arctic tundra ecosystem. The key environmental factors determining horizontal and vertical changes in soil microbial properties were soil pH, organic carbon content, soil moisture and Mg2+ availability.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tulp, I.; Schekkerman, H.

    2008-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. High-Arctic butterflies become smaller with rising temperatures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bowden, Joseph James; Eskildsen, Anne; Hansen, Rikke Reisner

    2015-01-01

    size but long growing seasons could also increase body size as was recently shown in an Arctic spider species. Here, we present the longest known time series on body size variation in two High-Arctic butterfly species: Boloria chariclea and Colias hecla. We measured wing length of nearly 4500...... individuals collected annually between 1996 and 2013 from Zackenberg, Greenland and found that wing length significantly decreased at a similar rate in both species in response to warmer summers. Body size is strongly related to dispersal capacity and fecundity and our results suggest that these Arctic...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, M; Street, LE; Michelsen, Anders

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Drivers of seasonality in Arctic carbon dioxide fluxes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mbufong, Herbert Njuabe

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

  3. (Arbo)viruses in high European Arctic

    OpenAIRE

    ELSTEROVÁ, Jana

    2016-01-01

    Since an ongoing climate change covers strongly the polar areas. Higher temperatures and related climate parameters bring the emergence of new parasites and their pathogens to higher latitudes. This may influence zoonotic diseases including arthropod-transmitted diseases. The tick species Ixodes uriae, parasitizing seabirds in the Arctic, may transmit many pathogens including various arboviruses, Borrelia spirochetes and Babesia apicomplexans. In the study we diagnosed 89 individuals of seabi...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-12-05

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

    estimation of OC and other parameters. We also quantify the propagation of uncertainty from the estimated parameters to prediction of hydrological-thermal responses. We find that, compared to inversion of single dataset (temperature, liquid water content or apparent resistivity), joint inversion of these datasets significantly reduces parameter uncertainty. We find that the joint inversion approach is able to estimate OC and sand content within the shallow active layer (top 0.3 m of soil) with high reliability. Due to the small variations of temperature and moisture within the shallow permafrost (here at about 0.6 m depth), the approach is unable to estimate OC with confidence. However, if the soil porosity is functionally related to the OC and mineral content, which is often observed in organic-rich Arctic soil, the uncertainty of OC estimate at this depth remarkably decreases. Our study documents the value of the new surface-subsurface, deterministic-stochastic inversion approach, as well as the benefit of including multiple types of data to estimate OC and associated hydrological-thermal dynamics.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. P. Tran

    2017-09-01

    benefit of joint inversion on the estimation of OC and other parameters. We also quantify the propagation of uncertainty from the estimated parameters to prediction of hydrological–thermal responses. We find that, compared to inversion of single dataset (temperature, liquid water content or apparent resistivity, joint inversion of these datasets significantly reduces parameter uncertainty. We find that the joint inversion approach is able to estimate OC and sand content within the shallow active layer (top 0.3 m of soil with high reliability. Due to the small variations of temperature and moisture within the shallow permafrost (here at about 0.6 m depth, the approach is unable to estimate OC with confidence. However, if the soil porosity is functionally related to the OC and mineral content, which is often observed in organic-rich Arctic soil, the uncertainty of OC estimate at this depth remarkably decreases. Our study documents the value of the new surface–subsurface, deterministic–stochastic inversion approach, as well as the benefit of including multiple types of data to estimate OC and associated hydrological–thermal dynamics.

  8. High Arctic Nitrous Oxide Emissions Found on Large Spatial Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkerson, J. P.; Sayres, D. S.; Dobosy, R.; Anderson, J. G.

    2017-12-01

    As the planet warms, greenhouse gas emissions from thawing permafrost can potentially increase the net radiative forcing in our climate structure. However, knowledge about Arctic N2O emissions is particularly sparse. Increasing evidence suggests emissions from permafrost thaw may be a significant natural source of N2O. This evidence, though, is either based on lab experiments or in situ chamber studies, which have extremely limited spatial coverage. Consequently, it has not been confirmed to what extent these high emissions are representative of broader arctic regions. Using an airborne eddy covariance flux technique, we measured N2O fluxes over large regions of Alaska in August 2013. From these measurements, we directly show that large areas of this Arctic region have high N2O emissions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. High-Arctic Plant-Herbivore Interactions under Climate Influence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Thomas B.; Schmidt, Niels M.; Høye, Toke Thomas

    production upon which the herbivores depend, and snow may be the most important climatic factor affecting the different trophic levels and the interactions between them. Hence, the spatio-temporal distribution of snow, as well as thawing events during winter, may have considerable effects on the herbivores...... by both the timing of onset and the duration of winter snow-cover. Musk oxen significantly reduced the productivity of arctic willow, while high densities of collared lemmings during winter reduced the production of mountain averts flowers in the following summer. Under a deep snow-layer scenario, climate...... and the previous year's density of musk oxen had a negative effect on the present year's production of arctic willow. Previous year's primary production of arctic willow, in turn, significantly affected the present year's density of musk oxen positively. Climatic factors that affect primary production of plants...

  11. Arctic Solutions The Frozen (Thawing) Relations of the High North

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Summers, Ch.

    2010-07-01

    It's cold, inhospitable and deadly. The image of the Arctic in years past is one of bewilderment, ignorance and awe. How the image of the Arctic has changed in recent years can be directly linked to our recognition that the Arctic has a great deal to offer in meeting the basic needs of future generations. Although we are still in awe of the Arctic's cruel beauty, new technologies are making it easier to explore the once unmanageable environment. The Arctic has moved into the mainstream with a host of suitors jockeying for position in the race to possess the Arctic and all that it contains. To highlight this increased interest, Russia's 'National Security Until 2020' initiative, has upgraded the High North to one of Russia's main priorities and identifies the Arctic as liable to produce military conflict in the future linked to competition for the Arctic's abundant raw materials.1 Even Canada, a peaceful and respectful country, has stepped outside the box of traditional Canadian rhetoric by giving Canada's Northern Strategy a tag line: 'Our North, our heritage, our future'. The Arctic is increasingly viewed as central to meeting the challenges of an ever changing world where climate change and economic benefit drive international agreements and policies. However Canada and Russia are not the only actors here. The other Arctic Five states: Denmark, Norway, and the United States of America all lay claims to some area or activity within the Arctic region. The Arctic is a unique part of this world, one that has been left largely untouched by human hands, and one that is on the brink of being changed forever. To fully understand Arctic issues, resource figures must be taken into account. Every nation involved in the Arctic debate has considered and based its policies on its set of numbers and resource estimates. A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2009 put Arctic resource figures in the range of thirty percent of the

  12. Arctic Solutions The Frozen (Thawing) Relations of the High North

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Summers, Ch.

    2010-01-01

    It's cold, inhospitable and deadly. The image of the Arctic in years past is one of bewilderment, ignorance and awe. How the image of the Arctic has changed in recent years can be directly linked to our recognition that the Arctic has a great deal to offer in meeting the basic needs of future generations. Although we are still in awe of the Arctic's cruel beauty, new technologies are making it easier to explore the once unmanageable environment. The Arctic has moved into the mainstream with a host of suitors jockeying for position in the race to possess the Arctic and all that it contains. To highlight this increased interest, Russia's 'National Security Until 2020' initiative, has upgraded the High North to one of Russia's main priorities and identifies the Arctic as liable to produce military conflict in the future linked to competition for the Arctic's abundant raw materials.1 Even Canada, a peaceful and respectful country, has stepped outside the box of traditional Canadian rhetoric by giving Canada's Northern Strategy a tag line: 'Our North, our heritage, our future'. The Arctic is increasingly viewed as central to meeting the challenges of an ever changing world where climate change and economic benefit drive international agreements and policies. However Canada and Russia are not the only actors here. The other Arctic Five states: Denmark, Norway, and the United States of America all lay claims to some area or activity within the Arctic region. The Arctic is a unique part of this world, one that has been left largely untouched by human hands, and one that is on the brink of being changed forever. To fully understand Arctic issues, resource figures must be taken into account. Every nation involved in the Arctic debate has considered and based its policies on its set of numbers and resource estimates. A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2009 put Arctic resource figures in the range of thirty percent of the remaining world reserves of natural gas and ten percent

  13. Is climate change affecting wolf populations in the high Arctic?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mech, L.D.

    2004-01-01

    Gobal climate change may affect wolves in Canada's High Arctic (80?? N) acting through three trophic levels (vegetation, herbivores, and wolves). A wolf pack dependent on muskoxen and arctic hares in the Eureka area of Ellesmere Island denned and produced pups most years from at least 1986 through 1997. However, when summer snow covered vegetation in 1997 and 2000 for the first time since records were kept, halving the herbivore nutrition-replenishment period, muskox and hare numbers dropped drastically, and the area stopped supporting denning wolves through 2003. The unusual weather triggering these events was consistent with global-climate-change phenomena. ?? 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  14. High Resolution CH4 Emissions and Dissolved CH4 Measurements Elucidate Surface Gas Exchange Processes in Toolik Lake, Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Sontro, T.; Sollberger, S.; Kling, G. W.; Shaver, G. R.; Eugster, W.

    2013-12-01

    Approximately 14% of the Alaskan North Slope is covered in lakes of various sizes and depths. Diffusive carbon emissions (CH4 and CO2) from these lakes offset the tundra sink by ~20 %, but the offset would substantially increase if ebullitive CH4 emissions were also considered. Ultimately, arctic lake CH4 emissions are not insignificant in the global CH4 budget and their contribution is bound to increase due to impacts from climate change. Here we present high resolution CH4 emission data as measured via eddy covariance and a Los Gatos gas analyzer during the ice free period from Toolik Lake, a deep (20 m) Arctic lake located on the Alaskan North Slope, over the last few summers. Emissions are relatively low (Gatos gas analyzer. Thus, having both the flux and the CH4 gradient across the air-water interface measured directly, we can calculate k and investigate the processes influencing CH4 gas exchange in this lake. Preliminary results indicate that there are two regimes in wind speed that impact k - one at low wind speeds up to ~5 m s-1 and another at higher wind speeds (max ~10 m s-1). The differential wind speeds during night and day may compound the effect of convective mixing and cause the diurnal variation in observed fluxes.

  15. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüers, J.; Westermann, S.; Piel, K.; Boike, J.

    2014-01-01

    The annual variability of CO2 exchange in most ecosystems is primarily driven by the activities of plants and soil microorganisms. However, little is known about the carbon balance and its controlling factors outside the growing season in arctic regions dominated by soil freeze/thaw-processes, long-lasting snow cover, and several months of darkness. This study presents a complete annual cycle of the CO2 net ecosystem exchange (NEE) dynamics for a High Arctic tundra area on the west coast of Svalbard based on eddy-covariance flux measurements. The annual cumulative CO2 budget is close to zero grams carbon per square meter per year, but shows a very strong seasonal variability. Four major CO2 exchange seasons have been identified. (1) During summer (ground snow-free), the CO2 exchange occurs mainly as a result of biological activity, with a predominance of strong CO2 assimilation by the ecosystem. (2) The autumn (ground snow-free or partly snow-covered) is dominated by CO2 respiration as a result of biological activity. (3) In winter and spring (ground snow-covered), low but persistent CO2 release occur, overlain by considerable CO2 exchange events in both directions associated with changes of air masses and air and atmospheric CO2 pressure. (4) The snow melt season (pattern of snow-free and snow-covered areas), where both, meteorological and biological forcing, resulting in a visible carbon uptake by the high arctic ecosystem. Data related to this article are archived under: http://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.809507.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  2. Evidence of high-elevation amplification versus Arctic amplification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qixiang; Fan, Xiaohui; Wang, Mengben

    2016-01-12

    Elevation-dependent warming in high-elevation regions and Arctic amplification are of tremendous interest to many scientists who are engaged in studies in climate change. Here, using annual mean temperatures from 2781 global stations for the 1961-2010 period, we find that the warming for the world's high-elevation stations (>500 m above sea level) is clearly stronger than their low-elevation counterparts; and the high-elevation amplification consists of not only an altitudinal amplification but also a latitudinal amplification. The warming for the high-elevation stations is linearly proportional to the temperature lapse rates along altitudinal and latitudinal gradients, as a result of the functional shape of Stefan-Boltzmann law in both vertical and latitudinal directions. In contrast, neither altitudinal amplification nor latitudinal amplification is found within the Arctic region despite its greater warming than lower latitudes. Further analysis shows that the Arctic amplification is an integrated part of the latitudinal amplification trend for the low-elevation stations (≤500 m above sea level) across the entire low- to high-latitude Northern Hemisphere, also a result of the mathematical shape of Stefan-Boltzmann law but only in latitudinal direction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Mark L.; Loboda, Tatiana V.

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  5. Cryostratigraphy and sedimentology of high-Arctic fjord-valleys

    OpenAIRE

    Gilbert, Graham Lewis

    2018-01-01

    Fjord-valleys, as sediment-filled palaeofjords, are characteristic of formerly glaciated mountainous coastal areas. High-Arctic fjord-valleys commonly host permafrost, but are poorly accessible and hence have drawn relatively little research. The research presented in this thesis combines the methods of cryostratigraphy, clastic sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy, geomorphology and geochronology to investigate the sedimentary infilling, permafrost formation and late Quaternary landscape dev...

  6. A new high resolution tidal model in the arctic ocean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cancet, M.; Andersen, Ole Baltazar; Lyard, F.

    The Arctic Ocean is a challenging region for tidal modeling, because of its complex and not well-documented bathymetry, together combined with the intermittent presence of sea ice and the fact that the in situ tidal observations are rather scarce at such high latitudes. As a consequence, the accu......The Arctic Ocean is a challenging region for tidal modeling, because of its complex and not well-documented bathymetry, together combined with the intermittent presence of sea ice and the fact that the in situ tidal observations are rather scarce at such high latitudes. As a consequence......, the accuracy of the global tidal models decreases by several centimeters in the Polar Regions. In particular, it has a large impact on the quality of the satellite altimeter sea surface heights in these regions (ERS1/2, Envisat, CryoSat-2, SARAL/AltiKa and the future Sentinel-3 mission). Better knowledge......-growing maritime and industrial activities in this region. NOVELTIS and DTU Space have developed a regional, high-resolution tidal atlas in the Arctic Ocean, in the framework of the CryoSat Plus for Ocean (CP4O) ESA project. In particular, this atlas benefits from the assimilation of the most complete satellite...

  7. Benthic primary production and mineralization in a High Arctic Fjord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Attard, Karl M.; Hancke, Kasper; Sejr, Mikael K.

    2016-01-01

    Coastal and shelf systems likely exert major influence on Arctic Ocean functioning, yet key ecosystem processes remain poorly quantified. We employed the aquatic eddy covariance (AEC) oxygen (O2) flux method to estimate benthic primary production and mineralization in a High Arctic Greenland fjord....... Seabed gross primary production (GPP) within the 40 m deep photic zone was highest at 10 m (29 mmol O2 m−2 d−1) and decreased to 5 mmol O2 m−2 d−1 at 40 m, while nighttime community respiration (CR) ranged from 11 to 25 mmol O2m−2 d−1. CR decreased to ~2.5 mmol O2m−2 d−1 at 80 m and remained constant...... with further depth. Fauna activity accounted for ~50% of the CR at depths ≤60 m but was primary production...

  8. Significant impacts of nutrient enrichment on High Arctic vegetation and soils despite two decades of recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Street, L. E.; Burns, N. R.; Woodin, S. J.

    2012-04-01

    We re-visit a unique field manipulation study in Svalbard to assess the long-term recovery of plant species composition, leaf tissue chemistry and total ecosystem carbon storage from nutrient enrichment. The experiment was established in 1991. The original aim was to quantify the 'critical load' of nitrogen (N) for tundra; that is, the minimum rate of N deposition affecting ecosystem structure and function. Dissolved N was applied to heath vegetation, both alone and in combination with phosphorous (P), during the growing season over three years. The rates of N addition were lower than in most other nutrient manipulation studies, and were designed to represent typical rates of deposition in the Scottish highlands (50 kg N ha-1 yr-1) and maximum deposition rates experienced in the Arctic (10 kg N ha-1 yr-1). Significant changes in shrub cover, the greenness and N content of the moss layer, and the extent of ecosystem N saturation had occurred by the end of the treatment period. After 18 years of recovery without further treatment, we assessed primary productivity using CO2 flux measurements, and the 'greenness' of vegetation using the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index. We made destructive measurements of above- and below-ground carbon and nutrient stocks, quantified species composition and sampled leaf tissue for chemical analysis. Total carbon storage in organic soils and vegetation was c. 40 % lower in the plots treated with 50 kg N ha-1 yr-1 compared to controls. Species composition in N treated plots also differed significantly, but there was no clear treatment effect on primary productivity. Where 50 kg N ha-1 yr-1 was applied in combination with P (at 5 kg P ha-1 yr-1 ), organic carbon storage was c. 70 % greater than controls, the vegetation was greener, and primary productivity higher. Effects of the treatments were also still clearly apparent in moss tissue nutrient status, even at the lower nitrogen application rate. Our results imply that the effects

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  10. Comparative responses of phenology and reproductive development to simulated environmental change in sub-arctic and high arctic plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wookey, P A; Welker, J M; Callaghan, T V [Inst. of Terrestrial Ecology, Merlewood Research Station, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria (United Kingdom); Parsons, A N; Potter, J A; Lee, J A; Press, M C [Dept. of Environmental Biology, Univ. of Manchester, Manchester (United Kingdom)

    1993-01-01

    The effects of temperature, precipitation and nutrient perturbations, and their interactions, are being assessed on two contrasting arctic ecosystems to simulate impacts of climate change. One, a high arctic polar semi-desert community, is characterized by a sparse, low and aggregated vegetation cover where plant proliferation is by seedlings, whereas the other, a sub-arctic dwarf shrub health, is characterized by a complete, vegetation cover of erect, clonal dwarf shrubs which spread vegetatively. The developmental processes of seed production were shown to be highly sensitive, even within one growing season to specific environmental perturbations which differed between sites. At the polar semi-desert site, there was a striking effect of the temperature enhancement treatments on phenology and seed-setting of Dryas octopetala ssp. octopetala, with almost no seed-setting occurring in plots experiencing ambient temperatures. By contrast, there were no significant effects of temperature enhancement alone on fruit production of Empetrum hermaphroditum at the sub-Arctic dwarf shrub heath site, although fruit production was significantly influenced by the application of nutrients and/or water. The response of dominant high arctic dwarf shrub to increased temperature suggests that any climate warming may stimulate seed-set. This could be particularly important in the high Arctic where colonization can proceed in areas dominated by bare ground and where genetic recombination may be needed to generate tolerance to predicted changes of great magnitude. In the sub-Arctic, however the closed vegetation is dominated by clonally-proliferating species. Plant fitness will increase here in response to any increased vegetative growth resulting from higher nutrient availability in warmer organic soils. (ua) (59 refs.)

  11. Single-particle characterization of the High Arctic summertime aerosol

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierau, B.; Chang, R. Y.-W.; Leck, C.; Paatero, J.; Lohmann, U.

    2014-01-01

    Single-particle mass spectrometric measurements were carried out in the High Arctic north of 80° during summer 2008. The campaign took place onboard the icebreaker Oden and was part of the Arctic Summer Cloud Ocean Study (ASCOS). The instrument deployed was an Aerosol Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer (ATOFMS) that provides information on the chemical composition of individual particles and their mixing state in real-time. Aerosols were sampled in the marine boundary layer at stations in the open ocean, in the marginal ice zone, and in the pack ice region. The largest fraction of particles detected for subsequent analysis in the size range of the ATOFMS between approximately 200 nm to 3000 nm in diameter showed mass spectrometric patterns indicating an internal mixing state and a biomass burning and/or biofuel source. The majority of these particles were connected to an air mass layer of elevated particle concentration mixed into the surface mixed layer from the upper part of the marine boundary layer. The second largest fraction was represented by sea salt particles. The chemical analysis of the over-ice sea salt aerosol revealed tracer compounds that reflect chemical aging of the particles during their long-range advection from the marginal ice zone, or open waters south thereof prior to detection at the ship. From our findings we conclude that long-range transport of particles is one source of aerosols in the High Arctic. To assess the importance of long-range particle sources for aerosol-cloud interactions over the inner Arctic in comparison to local and regional biogenic primary aerosol sources, the chemical composition of the detected particles was analyzed for indicators of marine biological origin. Only a~minor fraction showed chemical signatures of potentially ocean-derived primary particles of that kind. However, a chemical bias in the ATOFMS's detection capabilities observed during ASCOS might suggest a presence of a particle type of unknown composition

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacobsen, A.; Hansen, B.U.

    1999-01-01

    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)

  15. Stem secondary growth of tundra shrubs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Leblans, Niki; Michelsen, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Our knowledge of stem secondary growth of arctic shrubs (a key component of tundra net primary production, NPP) is very limited. Here, we investigated the impact of the physical elements of the environment on shrub secondary growth by comparing annual growth rates of model species from similar...... growth (stem apical growth, stem length, and apical growth of stem plus leaves), in some cases even with opposite responses. Thus caution should be taken when estimating the impact of the environment on shrub growth from apical growth only. Integration of our data set with the (very limited) previously...

  16. Shrub water use dynamics in arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  17. Paleoclimate records at high latitude in Arctic during the Paleogene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salpin, Marie; Schnyder, Johann; Baudin, François; Suan, Guillaume; Labrousse, Loïc; Popescu, Speranta; Suc, Jean-Pierre

    2015-04-01

    Paleoclimate records at high latitude in Arctic during the Paleogene SALPIN Marie1,2, SCHNYDER Johann1,2, BAUDIN François1,2, SUAN Guillaume3, LABROUSSE Loïc1,2, POPESCU Speranta4, SUC Jean-Pierre1,4 1: Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7193, Institut des Sciences de la Terre Paris (iSTeP), F 75005, Paris, France 2: CNRS, UMR 7193, Institut des Sciences de la Terre Paris (iSTeP), F 75005 Paris, France 3: UCB Lyon 1, UMR 5276, LGLTPE, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France 4: GEOBIOSTRATDATA.CONSULTING, 385 Route du Mas Rillier 69140 Rillieux la Pape, France The Paleogene is a period of important variations of the Earth climate system either in warming or cooling. The climatic optima of the Paleogene have been recognized both in continental and marine environment. This study focus on high latitudes of the northern hemisphere, in the Arctic Basin. The basin has had an influence on the Cenozoic global climate change according to its polar position. Is there a specific behaviour of the Arctic Basin with respect to global climatic stimuli? Are there possible mechanisms of coupling/decoupling of its dynamics with respect to the global ocean? To answer these questions a unique collection of sedimentary series of Paleogene age interval has been assembled from the Laurentian margin in Northern Yukon (Canada) and from the Siberian margin (New Siberian Islands). Selected continental successions of Paleocene-Eocene age were used to study the response of the Arctic system to known global events, e.g. the climatic optima of the Paleogene (the so-called PETM, ETM2 or the Azolla events). Two sections of Paleocene-Eocene age were sampled near the Mackenzie delta, the so-called Coal Mine (CoMi) and Caribou Hills (CaH) sections. The aim of the study is to precise the climatic fluctuations and to characterise the source rock potential of the basin, eventually linked to the warming events. This study is based on data of multi-proxy analyses: mineralogy on bulk and clay

  18. High bicarbonate assimilation in the dark by Arctic bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso-Sáez, Laura; Galand, Pierre E; Casamayor, Emilio O; Pedrós-Alió, Carlos; Bertilsson, Stefan

    2010-12-01

    Although both autotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms incorporate CO₂ in the dark through different metabolic pathways, this process has usually been disregarded in oxic marine environments. We studied the significance and mediators of dark bicarbonate assimilation in dilution cultures inoculated with winter Arctic seawater. At stationary phase, bicarbonate incorporation rates were high (0.5-2.5 μg C L⁻¹ d⁻¹) and correlated with rates of bacterial heterotrophic production, suggesting that most of the incorporation was due to heterotrophs. Accordingly, very few typically chemoautotrophic bacteria were detected by 16S rRNA gene cloning. The genetic analysis of the biotin carboxylase gene accC putatively involved in archaeal CO₂ fixation did not yield any archaeal sequence, but amplified a variety of bacterial carboxylases involved in fatty acids biosynthesis, anaplerotic pathways and leucine catabolism. Gammaproteobacteria dominated the seawater cultures (40-70% of cell counts), followed by Betaproteobacteria and Flavobacteria as shown by catalyzed reporter deposition fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARDFISH). Both Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria were active in leucine and bicarbonate uptake, while Flavobacteria did not take up bicarbonate, as measured by microautoradiography combined with CARDFISH. Within Gammaproteobacteria, Pseudoalteromonas-Colwellia and Oleispira were very active in bicarbonate uptake (ca. 30 and 70% of active cells, respectively), while the group Arctic96B-16 did not take up bicarbonate. Our results suggest that, potentially, the incorporation of CO₂ can be relevant for the metabolism of specific Arctic heterotrophic phylotypes, promoting the maintenance of their cell activity and/or longer survival under resource depleted conditions.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, J.; West, G.C.

    1970-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Microbial communities in a High Arctic polar desert landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare M McCann

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The High Arctic is dominated by polar desert habitats whose microbial communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used next generation sequencing to describe the α- and β-diversity of polar desert soils from the Kongsfjorden region of Svalbard. Ten phyla consistently dominated the soils and accounted for 95 % of all sequences, with Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi being the dominant lineages. In contrast to previous investigations of Arctic soils, Acidobacterial relative abundances were low as were the Archaea throughout the Kongsfjorden polar desert landscape. Lower Acidobacterial abundances were attributed to the circumneutral soil pH in this region which has resulted from the weathering of the underlying carbonate geology. In addition, we correlated previously measured geochemical variables to determine potential controls on the communities. Soil phosphorus, pH, nitrogen and calcium significantly correlated with β-diversity indicating a landscape scale lithological control of soil nutrients which in turn influenced community composition. In addition, soil phosphorus and pH significantly correlated with α- diversity, specifically the Shannon diversity and Chao 1 richness indices.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  4. Evolution of high-Arctic glacial landforms during deglaciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Midgley, N. G.; Tonkin, T. N.; Graham, D. J.; Cook, S. J.

    2018-06-01

    Glacial landsystems in the high-Arctic have been reported to undergo geomorphological transformation during deglaciation. This research evaluates moraine evolution over a decadal timescale at Midtre Lovénbreen, Svalbard. This work is of interest because glacial landforms developed in Svalbard have been used as an analogue for landforms developed during Pleistocene mid-latitude glaciation. Ground penetrating radar was used to investigate the subsurface characteristics of moraines. To determine surface change, a LiDAR topographic data set (obtained 2003) and a UAV-derived (obtained 2014) digital surface model processed using structure-from-motion (SfM) are also compared. Evaluation of these data sets together enables subsurface character and landform response to climatic amelioration to be linked. Ground penetrating radar evidence shows that the moraine substrate at Midtre Lovénbreen includes ice-rich (radar velocities of 0.17 m ns-1) and debris-rich (radar velocities of 0.1-0.13 m ns-1) zones. The ice-rich zones are demonstrated to exhibit relatively high rates of surface change (mean thresholded rate of -4.39 m over the 11-year observation period). However, the debris-rich zones show a relatively low rate of surface change (mean thresholded rate of -0.98 m over the 11-year observation period), and the morphology of the debris-rich landforms appear stable over the observation period. A complex response of proglacial landforms to climatic warming is shown to occur within and between glacier forelands as indicated by spatially variable surface lowering rates. Landform response is controlled by the ice-debris balance of the moraine substrate, along with the topographic context (such as the influence of meltwater). Site-specific characteristics such as surface debris thickness and glaciofluvial drainage are, therefore, argued to be a highly important control on surface evolution in ice-cored terrain, resulting in a diverse response of high-Arctic glacial landsystems

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Magnus; Stiegler, Christian; Abermann, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    The surface energy balance (SEB) is essential for understanding the coupled cryosphere–atmosphere system in the Arctic. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability in SEB across tundra, snow and ice. During the snow-free period, the main energy sink for ice sites is surface melt....... For tundra, energy is used for sensible and latent heat flux and soil heat flux leading to permafrost thaw. Longer snow-free period increases melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers and may promote tundra permafrost thaw. During winter, clouds have a warming effect across surface types whereas during...

  6. Metabolic rate and thermal conductance of lemmings from high-arctic Canada and Siberia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klaassen, M.R.J.; Agrell, J.; Lindström, A.

    2002-01-01

    The arctic climate places high demands on the energy metabolism of its inhabitants. We measured resting (RMR) and basal metabolic rates (BMR), body temperatures, and dry and wet thermal conductances in summer morphs of the lemmings Dicrostonyx groenlandicus and Lemmus trimucronatus in arctic Canada,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Seasonal narwhal habitat associations in the high Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laidre, K.L.; Heide-Jørgensen, M.P.; Logdson, M.L.

    2004-01-01

    Movements and behavior of top marine predators are often closely linked with productive oceanic fronts or regional prey aggregations. Consequently, it is of interest to quantify habitat needs and preferences, which can facilitate predictions of conditions favoring persistence and success....... Multivariate habitat models of movements and dive behavior of narwhals (Monodon monoceros, Linnaeus) in the eastern Canadian high Arctic and West Greenland were developed using data collected from satellite telemetry studies on three separate sub-populations. Twenty-six narwhals were captured between 1993...... and 2000 and fitted with satellite-linked time-depth recorders. Geographic positions of whales at 24-h time steps were linked to dive behavior variables compressed on a daily scale, including numbers of dives to different target depths or durations, time near the surface, daily dive rate, and travel speed...

  11. From the Canadian High Arctic to Mars by Analogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soare, R. J.; Pollard, W. H.

    2002-12-01

    Planetary scientists are limited in their understanding of physical bodies in the solar system by the lack of primary data or knowledge. Analogue science is science practised in absentia, precisely in those instances when a non-terrestrial physical environment lies beyond one's direct, empirical grasp. Recognising that some environments on Earth may mirror present or past conditions on Mars, planetary scientists have invoked terrestrial analogues with increasing regularity over the last thirty years as fonts of putative understanding. Notwithstanding its ubiquity in planetary science, analogical reasoning has stood, by and large, unconstrained by rules or guidelines of usage. In order to redress this imbalance we propose to take two steps: 1. introduce primary data on newly discovered pingos at Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian High Arctic, and 2. coalesce these and related data on Martian glacial, peri-glacial and fluvio-glacial landforms as a model with which to evaluate the meaningfulness of analogical reasoning in planetary science.

  12. Uptake of radionuclides by vegetation at a High Arctic location

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dowdall, M.; Gwynn, J.P.; Moran, C.; O'Dea, J.; Davids, C.; Lind, B.

    2005-01-01

    Radionuclide levels in vegetation from a High Arctic location were studied and compared to in situ soil concentrations. Levels of the anthropogenic radionuclide 137 Cs and the natural radionuclides 40 K, 238 U, 226 Ra and 232 Th are discussed and transfer factor (TF) values and aggregated transfer (Tag) values are calculated for vascular plants. Levels of 137 Cs in vegetation generally followed the order mosses > lichen > vascular plants. The uptake of 137 Cs in vascular plants showed an inverse relationship with the uptake of 40 K, with 137 Cs TF and Tag values generally higher than 40 K TF and Tag values. 40 K activity concentrations in all vegetation showed little correlation to associated soil concentrations, while the uptake of 238 U, 226 Ra and 232 Th by vascular and non-vascular plants was generally low. - Uptake of the anthropogenic radionuclide 137 Cs is highest for moss species

  13. Aerosol Size and Chemical Composition in the Canadian High Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, R. Y. W.; Hayes, P. L.; Leaitch, W. R.; Croft, B.; O'Neill, N. T.; Fogal, P.; Drummond, J. R.; Sloan, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic aerosol have a strong annual cycle, with winter months dominated by long range transport from lower latitudes resulting in high mass loadings. Conversely, local emissions are more prominent in the summer months because of the decreased influence of transported aerosol, allowing us to regularly observe both transported and local aerosol. This study will present observations of aerosol chemical composition and particle number size distribution collected at the Polar Environment Artic Research Laboratory and the Alert Global Atmospheric Watch Observatory at Eureka (80N, 86W) and Alert (82N, 62W), Nunavut, respectively. Summer time observations of the number size distribution reveal a persistent mode of particles centered between 30-50 nm, with occasional bursts of smaller particles. The non-refractory aerosol chemical composition, measured by the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change quadrupole aerosol mass spectrometer, is primarily organic, with contributions from both aged and fresher organic aerosol. Factor analysis will be conducted to better understand these sources. The site at Eureka is more susceptible to long range transport since it is at the top of a mountain ridge (610 m above sea level) and will be compared to the site at Alert on an elevated plain (200 m above sea level). This will allow us to determine the relative contributions from processes and sources at the sites at different elevations. Comparisons with aerosol optical depth and GEOS-Chem model output will also be presented to put these surface measurements into context with the overlying and regional atmosphere. Results from this study contribute to our knowledge of aerosol in the high Arctic.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    It is widely believed that deciduous tundra-shrub dominance is increasing in the pan-Arctic region, mainly due to rising temperature. We sampled dwarf birch (Betula nana L.) at a northeastern Siberian tundra site and used dendrochronological methods to explore the relationship between climatic...... variables and local shrub dominance. We found that establishment of shrub ramets was positively related to summer precipitation, which implies that the current high dominance of B. nana at our study site could be related to high summer precipitation in the period from 1960 to 1990. The results confirmed...... that early summer temperature is most influential to annual growth rates of B. nana. In addition, summer precipitation stimulated shrub growth in years with warm summers, suggesting that B. nana growth may be co-limited by summer moisture supply. The dual controlling role of temperature and summer...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Impact of future Arctic shipping on high-latitude black carbon deposition (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbett, J. J.; Browse, J.; Carslaw, K. S.; Schmidt, A.

    2013-12-01

    The retreat of Arctic sea-ice has led to renewed calls to exploit Arctic shipping routes. The diversion of ship traffic through the Arctic will shorten shipping routes and possibly reduce global shipping emissions. However, deposition of black carbon (BC) aerosol emitted by additional Arctic ships could cause a reduction in the albedo of snow and ice, accelerating snow-melt and sea-ice loss. We use recently compiled Arctic shipping emission inventories for 2004 and 2050 together with a global aerosol microphysics model GLOMAP coupled to the chemical transport model TOMCAT to quantify the contribution of future Arctic shipping to high-latitude BC deposition. Emission rates of SOx (SO2 and SO4) and particulate matter (PM) were estimated for 2050 under both business-as-usual and high-growth scenarios. BC particles are assumed to be water-insoluble at emission but can become active in cloud drop formation through soluble material accumulation. After BC particles become cloud-active they are more efficiently wet scavenged, which accounts for 80% of modeled BC deposition. Current-day Arctic shipping contributes 0.3% to the BC mass deposited north of 60N (250 Gg). About 50% of modelled BC deposition is on open ocean, suggesting that current Arctic ship traffic may not significantly contribute to BC deposition on central Arctic sea ice. However, 6 - 8% of deposited BC on the west coast of Greenland originates from local ship traffic. Moreover, in-Arctic shipping contributes some 32% to high-latitude ship-sourced deposition despite accounting for less than 1.0% of global shipping emissions. This suggests that control of in-Arctic shipping BC emissions could yield greater decrease in high-latitude BC deposition than a similar control strategy applied only to the extra-Arctic shipping industry. Arctic shipping in 2050 will contribute less than 1% to the total BC deposition north of 60N due to the much greater relative contribution of BC transported from non-shipping sources

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. High mountain origin, phylogenetics, evolution, and niche conservatism of arctic lineages in the hemiparasitic genus Pedicularis (Orobanchaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkach, Natalia; Ree, Richard H; Kuss, Patrick; Röser, Martin; Hoffmann, Matthias H

    2014-07-01

    The origin of the arctic flora covering the northernmost treeless areas is still poorly understood. Arctic plants may have evolved in situ or immigrated from the adjacent ecosystems. Frequently arctic species have disjunctive distributions between the Arctic and high mountain systems of the temperate zone. This pattern may result from long distance dispersal or from glacial plant migrations and extinctions of intermediate populations. The hemiparasitic genus Pedicularis is represented in the Arctic by c. 28 taxa and ranks among the six most species-rich vascular plant genera of this region. In this study, we test the hypothesis that these lineages evolved from predecessors occurring in northern temperate mountain ranges, many of which are current centers of diversity for the genus. We generated a nuclear ribosomal and chloroplast DNA phylogeny including almost all of the arctic taxa and nearly half of the genus as a whole. The arctic taxa of Pedicularis evolved 12-14 times independently and are mostly nested in lineages that otherwise occur in the high mountains of Eurasia and North America. It appears that only three arctic lineages arose from the present-day center of diversity of the genus, in the Hengduan Mountains and Himalayas. Two lineages are probably of lowland origin. Arctic taxa of Pedicularis show considerable niche conservatism with respect to soil moisture and grow predominantly in moist to wet soils. The studied characteristics of ecology, morphology, and chromosome numbers of arctic Pedicularis show a heterogeneous pattern of evolution. The directions of morphological changes among the arctic lineages show opposing trends. Arctic taxa are chiefly diploid, the few tetraploid chromosome numbers of the genus were recorded only for arctic taxa. Five arctic Pedicularis are annuals or biennials, life forms otherwise rare in the Arctic. Other genera of the Orobanchaceae consist also of an elevated number of short-lived species, thus hemiparasitism may

  1. Size resolved airborne particulate polysaccharides in summer high Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leck, C.; Gao, Q.; Mashayekhy Rad, F.; Nilsson, U.

    2013-04-01

    Size-resolved aerosol samples for subsequent determination of polysaccharides (monosaccharides in combined form) were collected in air over the central Arctic Ocean during the biologically most active period between the late summer melt season and into the transition to autumn freeze-up. The analysis was carried out using liquid chromatography coupled with highly selective and sensitive tandem mass spectrometry. Polysaccharides were detected in all sizes ranging from 0.035 to 10 μm in diameter with distinct features of heteropolysaccharides, enriched in xylose, glucose + mannose as well as a substantial fraction of deoxysugars. Polysaccharides containing deoxysugars showed a bimodal structure with about 60% of their mass found in the Aitken mode over the pack ice area. Pentose (xylose) and hexose (glucose + mannose) showed a weaker bimodal character and were largely found in the coarse mode in addition to a minor fraction apportioned in the sub-micrometer size range. The concentration of total hydrolysable neutral sugars (THNS) in the samples collected varied over 3 orders of magnitude (1 to 692 pmol m-3) in the super-micrometer size fraction and to a lesser extent in sub-micrometer particles (4 to 88 pmol m-3). Lowest THNS concentrations were observed in air masses that had spent more than 5 days over the pack ice. Within the pack ice area, about 53% (by mass) of the total mass of polysaccharides were found in sub-micrometer particles. The relative abundance of sub-micrometer polysaccharides was closely related to the length of time that the air mass spent over pack ice, with highest fraction (> 90%) observed for > 7 days of advection. The ambient aerosol particles collected onboard ship showed similar monosaccharide composition, compared to particles generated experimentally in situ at the open lead site. This supports the existence of a primary source of particulate polysaccharides from open leads by bubble bursting at the air-sea interface. We speculate that

  2. Energy Design Guidelines for High Performance Schools: Arctic and Subarctic Climates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2004-11-01

    The Energy Design Guidelines for High Performance Schools--Arctic and Subarctic Climates provides school boards, administrators, and design staff with guidance to help them make informed decisions about energy and environmental issues important to school systems and communities. These design guidelines outline high performance principles for the new or retrofit design of your K-12 school in arctic and subarctic climates. By incorporating energy improvements into their construction or renovation plans, schools can significantly reduce energy consumption and costs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  4. High Arctic summer warming tracked by increased Cassiope tetragona growth in the world's northernmost polar desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weijers, Stef; Buchwal, Agata; Blok, Daan; Löffler, Jörg; Elberling, Bo

    2017-11-01

    Rapid climate warming has resulted in shrub expansion, mainly of erect deciduous shrubs in the Low Arctic, but the more extreme, sparsely vegetated, cold and dry High Arctic is generally considered to remain resistant to such shrub expansion in the next decades. Dwarf shrub dendrochronology may reveal climatological causes of past changes in growth, but is hindered at many High Arctic sites by short and fragmented instrumental climate records. Moreover, only few High Arctic shrub chronologies cover the recent decade of substantial warming. This study investigated the climatic causes of growth variability of the evergreen dwarf shrub Cassiope tetragona between 1927 and 2012 in the northernmost polar desert at 83°N in North Greenland. We analysed climate-growth relationships over the period with available instrumental data (1950-2012) between a 102-year-long C. tetragona shoot length chronology and instrumental climate records from the three nearest meteorological stations, gridded climate data, and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO) indices. July extreme maximum temperatures (JulT emx ), as measured at Alert, Canada, June NAO, and previous October AO, together explained 41% of the observed variance in annual C. tetragona growth and likely represent in situ summer temperatures. JulT emx explained 27% and was reconstructed back to 1927. The reconstruction showed relatively high growing season temperatures in the early to mid-twentieth century, as well as warming in recent decades. The rapid growth increase in C. tetragona shrubs in response to recent High Arctic summer warming shows that recent and future warming might promote an expansion of this evergreen dwarf shrub, mainly through densification of existing shrub patches, at High Arctic sites with sufficient winter snow cover and ample water supply during summer from melting snow and ice as well as thawing permafrost, contrasting earlier notions of limited shrub growth sensitivity to

  5. A high arctic experience of uniting research and monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Niels Martin; Christensen, Torben R.; Roslin, Tomas

    2017-07-01

    Monitoring is science keeping our thumb on the pulse of the environment to detect any changes of concern for societies. Basic science is the question-driven search for fundamental processes and mechanisms. Given the firm root of monitoring in human interests and needs, basic sciences have often been regarded as scientifically "purer"—particularly within university-based research communities. We argue that the dichotomy between "research" and "monitoring" is an artificial one, and that this artificial split clouds the definition of scientific goals and leads to suboptimal use of resources. We claim that the synergy between the two scientific approaches is well distilled by science conducted under extreme logistic constraints, when scientists are forced to take full advantage of both the data and the infrastructure available. In evidence of this view, we present our experiences from two decades of uniting research and monitoring at the remote research facility Zackenberg in High Arctic Greenland. For this site, we show how the combination of insights from monitoring with the mechanistic understanding obtained from basic research has yielded the most complete understanding of the system—to the benefit of all, and as an example to follow. We therefore urge scientists from across the continuum from monitoring to research to come together, to disregard old division lines, and to work together to expose a comprehensive picture of ecosystem change and its consequences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, C.

    2017-12-01

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

  7. Late winter biogeochemical conditions under sea ice in the Canadian High Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen S. Findlay

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available With the Arctic summer sea-ice extent in decline, questions are arising as to how changes in sea-ice dynamics might affect biogeochemical cycling and phenomena such as carbon dioxide (CO2 uptake and ocean acidification. Recent field research in these areas has concentrated on biogeochemical and CO2 measurements during spring, summer or autumn, but there are few data for the winter or winter–spring transition, particularly in the High Arctic. Here, we present carbon and nutrient data within and under sea ice measured during the Catlin Arctic Survey, over 40 days in March and April 2010, off Ellef Ringnes Island (78° 43.11′ N, 104° 47.44′ W in the Canadian High Arctic. Results show relatively low surface water (1–10 m nitrate (<1.3 µM and total inorganic carbon concentrations (mean±SD=2015±5.83 µmol kg−1, total alkalinity (mean±SD=2134±11.09 µmol kg−1 and under-ice pCO2sw (mean±SD=286±17 µatm. These surprisingly low wintertime carbon and nutrient conditions suggest that the outer Canadian Arctic Archipelago region is nitrate-limited on account of sluggish mixing among the multi-year ice regions of the High Arctic, which could temper the potential of widespread under-ice and open-water phytoplankton blooms later in the season.

  8. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. High resolution modelling of the decreasing Arctic sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, K. S.; Rasmussen, T. A. S.; Blüthgen, Jonas

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic sea ice cover has been rapidly decreasing and thinning over the last decade, with minimum ice extent in 2007 and almost as low extent in 2011. This study investigates two aspects of the decreasing ice cover; first the large scale thinning and changing dynamics of the polar sea ice, and...

  12. The palaeobiology of high latitude birds from the early Eocene greenhouse of Ellesmere Island, Arctic Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stidham, Thomas A; Eberle, Jaelyn J

    2016-02-12

    Fossils attributable to the extinct waterfowl clade Presbyornithidae and the large flightless Gastornithidae from the early Eocene (~52-53 Ma) of Ellesmere Island, in northernmost Canada are the oldest Cenozoic avian fossils from the Arctic. Except for its slightly larger size, the Arctic presbyornithid humerus is not distinguishable from fossils of Presbyornis pervetus from the western United States, and the Gastornis phalanx is within the known size range of mid-latitude individuals. The occurrence of Presbyornis above the Arctic Circle in the Eocene could be the result of annual migration like that of its living duck and geese relatives, or it may have been a year-round resident similar to some Eocene mammals on Ellesmere and some extant species of sea ducks. Gastornis, along with some of the mammalian and reptilian members of the Eocene Arctic fauna, likely over-wintered in the Arctic. Despite the milder (above freezing) Eocene climate on Ellesmere Island, prolonged periods of darkness occurred during the winter. Presence of these extinct birds at both mid and high latitudes on the northern continents provides evidence that future increases in climatic warming (closer to Eocene levels) could lead to the establishment of new migratory or resident populations within the Arctic Circle.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas Zesati, Sergio A.

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

  14. The nature of spatial transitions in the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-09-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. High-Arctic Plant-Herbivore Interactions under Climate Influence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Thomas B.; Schmidt, Niels M.; Høye, Toke Thomas

    This chapter focuses on a 10-year data series from Zackenberg on the trophic interactions between two characteristic arctic plant species, arctic willow Salix arctica and mountain avens Dryas octopetala, and three herbivore species covering the very scale of size present at Zackenberg, namely......, the moth Sympistis zetterstedtii, the collared lemming Dicrostonyx groenlandicus and the musk ox Ovibos moschatus. Data from Zackenberg show that timing of snowmelt, the length of the growing season and summer temperature are the basic variables that determine the phenology of flowering and primary...... production upon which the herbivores depend, and snow may be the most important climatic factor affecting the different trophic levels and the interactions between them. Hence, the spatio-temporal distribution of snow, as well as thawing events during winter, may have considerable effects on the herbivores...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Three recent ice entrapments of Arctic cetaceans in West Greenland and the eastern Canadian High Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MP Heide-Jørgensen

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available Three ice entrapments of Monodontids have been reported in the western North Atlantic since 1993. Hunters in Disko Bay, West Greenland, discovered one in March 1994 that included about 150 narwhals (Monodon monoceros. The entrapment occurred during a sudden cold period which caused ice to form rapidly. The trapped whales were subject to hunting, but about 50 of the killed whales could not be retrieved in the ice. The whales were trapped in a small opening in the ice and because of that they would probably have succumbed even if not discovered by hunters. Two entrapments involving white whales or belugas (Delphinapterus leucas occurred in the eastern Canadian Arctic in May 1999; one in Lancaster Sound discovered by polar bear (Ursus maritimus researchers and one in Jones Sound discovered by hunters. The first included one bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus and about 40 belugas that were being preyed upon by polar bears. The second involved at least 170 belugas, of which about 100 were killed by polar bears and 17 were taken by hunters. The entrapments in Disko Bay and Jones Sound both occurred in areas where entrapments have previously been reported, whereas the one in Lancaster Sound was in a new area.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-05-15

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

  1. Observing Arctic Ecology using Networked Infomechanical Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  2. Exploring the mobility of cryoconite on High-Arctic glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine-Fynn, T. D.; Hodson, A. J.; Bridge, J. W.; Langford, H.; Anesio, A.; Ohlanders, N.; Newton, S.

    2010-12-01

    There has been a growing awareness of the significance of biologically active dust (cryoconite) on the energy balance of, and nutrient cycling at glacier surfaces. Moreover, researchers have estimated the mass of biological material released from glacier ice to downstream environments and ecosystems, including the melt-out of cells from emergent ice in the ablation area. However, the processes, rates and mechanisms of cryoconite mobility and transport have not been fully explored. For many smaller valley glaciers in the High-Arctic, the climate dictates only a thin (~ 1m) layer of ice at the glacier surface is at the melting point during the summer months. This surface ice is commonly characterized by an increased porosity in response to incident energy and hydraulic conditions, and has been termed the “weathering crust”. The presence of cryoconite, with its higher radiation absorption, exacerbates the weathering crust development. Thus, crucially, the transport of cryoconite is not confined to simply a ‘smooth’ ice surface, but rather also includes mobility in the near-surface ice matrix. Here, we present initial results from investigations of cryoconite transport at Midtre Lovénbreen and Longyearbreen, two north-facing valley glaciers in Svalbard (Norway). Using time-lapse imagery, we explore the transport rates of cryoconite on a glacier surface and consider the associations between mobility and meteorological conditions. Results suggest some disparity between micro-, local- and plot-scale observations of cryoconite transport: the differences imply controlling influences of cryoconite volume, ice surface topography and ice structure. While to examine the relative volumes of cryoconite exported from the glacier surface by supraglacial streams we employ flow cytometry, using SYBR-Green-II staining to identify the biological component of the suspended load. Preliminary comparisons between shallow (1m) ice cores and in-stream concentrations suggest

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  4. Effects of temperature on growth of four high Arctic soil fungi in a three-phase system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Widden, P [Concordia Univ., Montreal; Parkinson, D

    1978-04-01

    The effect of temperature on the growth of Chrysosporium pannorum, Cylindrocarpon sp., Penicillium janthinellum, and Phoma herbarum, isolated from tundra soils, was studied. The growth in two systems, glucose-mineral agar plates and sand, moistened with glucose-mineral broth, was compared. All isolates showed an exponential increase in mass (measured as protein increase) in sand and a linear rate of extension on agar. Radial increase on agar was shown not to be a good index of growth in sand. Trends in growth rates in the sand cultures indicated that all four fungi can grow at low temperatures. The growth rate for Penicillium janthinellum at 15/sup 0/C was higher than at 20/sup 0/C, and Cylindrocarpon sp. and Phoma herbarum had higher growth rates at 2.5/sup 0/C than at 5/sup 0/C. These data suggest that there may be some adaptation by these fungi to growth in Arctic regions.

  5. Alkenone-based reconstructions reveal four-phase Holocene temperature evolution for High Arctic Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Bilt, Willem G. M.; D'Andrea, William J.; Bakke, Jostein; Balascio, Nicholas L.; Werner, Johannes P.; Gjerde, Marthe; Bradley, Raymond S.

    2018-03-01

    Situated at the crossroads of major oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns, the Arctic is a key component of Earth's climate system. Compounded by sea-ice feedbacks, even modest shifts in the region's heat budget drive large climate responses. This is highlighted by the observed amplified response of the Arctic to global warming. Assessing the imprint and signature of underlying forcing mechanisms require paleoclimate records, allowing us to expand our knowledge beyond the short instrumental period and contextualize ongoing warming. However, such datasets are scarce and sparse in the Arctic, limiting our ability to address these issues. Here, we present two quantitative Holocene-length paleotemperature records from the High Arctic Svalbard archipelago, situated in the climatically sensitive Arctic North Atlantic. Temperature estimates are based on U37K unsaturation ratios from sediment cores of two lakes. Our data reveal a dynamic Holocene temperature evolution, with reconstructed summer lake water temperatures spanning a range of ∼6-8 °C, and characterized by four phases. The Early Holocene was marked by an early onset (∼10.5 ka cal. BP) of insolation-driven Hypsithermal conditions, likely compounded by strengthening oceanic heat transport. This warm interval was interrupted by cooling between ∼10.5-8.3 ka cal. BP that we attribute to cooling effects from the melting Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. Temperatures declined throughout the Middle Holocene, following a gradual trend that was accentuated by two cooling steps between ∼7.8-7 ka cal. BP and around ∼4.4-4.3 ka cal. BP. These transitions coincide with a strengthening influence of Arctic water and sea-ice in the adjacent Fram Strait. During the Late Holocene (past 4 ka), temperature change decoupled from the still-declining insolation, and fluctuated around comparatively cold mean conditions. By showing that Holocene Svalbard temperatures were governed by an alternation of forcings, this study

  6. Proton-pumping rhodopsins are abundantly expressed by microbial eukaryotes in a high-Arctic fjord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vader, Anna; Laughinghouse, Haywood D; Griffiths, Colin; Jakobsen, Kjetill S; Gabrielsen, Tove M

    2018-02-01

    Proton-pumping rhodopsins provide an alternative pathway to photosynthesis by which solar energy can enter the marine food web. Rhodopsin genes are widely found in marine bacteria, also in the Arctic, and were recently reported from several eukaryotic lineages. So far, little is known about rhodopsin expression in Arctic eukaryotes. In this study, we used metatranscriptomics and 18S rDNA tag sequencing to examine the mid-summer function and composition of marine protists (size 0.45-10 µm) in the high-Arctic Billefjorden (Spitsbergen), especially focussing on the expression of microbial proton-pumping rhodopsins. Rhodopsin transcripts were highly abundant, at a level similar to that of genes involved in photosynthesis. Phylogenetic analyses placed the environmental rhodopsins within disparate eukaryotic lineages, including dinoflagellates, stramenopiles, haptophytes and cryptophytes. Sequence comparison indicated the presence of several functional types, including xanthorhodopsins and a eukaryotic clade of proteorhodopsin. Transcripts belonging to the proteorhodopsin clade were also abundant in published metatranscriptomes from other oceanic regions, suggesting a global distribution. The diversity and abundance of rhodopsins show that these light-driven proton pumps play an important role in Arctic microbial eukaryotes. Understanding this role is imperative to predicting the future of the Arctic marine ecosystem faced by a changing light climate due to diminishing sea-ice. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Molecular analyses reveal high species diversity of trematodes in a sub-Arctic lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soldánová, Miroslava; Georgieva, Simona; Roháčováa, Jana; Knudsen, Rune; Kuhn, Jesper A.; Henriksen, Eirik H.; Siwertsson, Anna; Shaw, Jenny C.; Kuris, Armand M.; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Scholz, Tomáš; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kostadinova, Aneta

    2017-01-01

    To identify trematode diversity and life-cycles in the sub-Arctic Lake Takvatn, Norway, we characterised 120 trematode isolates from mollusc first intermediate hosts, metacercariae from second intermediate host fishes and invertebrates, and adults from fish and invertebrate definitive hosts, using molecular techniques. Phylogenies based on nuclear and/or mtDNA revealed high species richness (24 species or species-level genetic lineages), and uncovered trematode diversity (16 putative new species) from five families typical in lake ecosystems (Allocreadiidae, Diplostomidae, Plagiorchiidae, Schistosomatidae and Strigeidae). Sampling potential invertebrate hosts allowed matching of sequence data for different stages, thus achieving molecular elucidation of trematode life-cycles and exploration of host-parasite interactions. Phylogenetic analyses also helped identify three major mollusc intermediate hosts (Radix balthica, Pisidium casertanum and Sphaerium sp.) in the lake. Our findings increase the known trematode diversity at the sub-Arctic Lake Takvatn, showing that digenean diversity is high in this otherwise depauperate sub-Arctic freshwater ecosystem, and indicating that sub-Arctic and Arctic ecosystems may be characterised by unique trematode assemblages.

  8. Biomarkers of Canadian High Arctic Litoral Sediments for Assessment of Organic Matter Sources and Degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pautler, B. G.; Austin, J.; Otto, A.; Stewart, K.; Lamoureux, S. F.; Simpson, M. J.

    2009-05-01

    Carbon stocks in the High Arctic are particularly sensitive to global climate change, and investigation of variations in organic matter (OM) composition is beneficial for the understanding of the alteration of organic carbon under anticipated future elevated temperatures. Molecular-level characterization of solvent extractable compounds and CuO oxidation products of litoral sedimentary OM at the Cape Bounty Arctic Watershed Observatory in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago was conducted to determine the OM sources and decomposition patterns. The solvent extracts contained a series of aliphatic lipids, steroids and one triterpenoid primarily of higher plant origin and new biomarkers, iso- and anteiso-alkanes originating from cerastium arcticum (Arctic mouse-ear chickweed, a native angiosperm) were discovered. Carbon preference index (CPI) values for the n-alkanes, n-alkanols and n-alkanoic acids suggests that the OM biomarkers result from fresh material input in early stage of degradation. The CuO oxidation products were comprised of benzyls, lignin phenols and short-chain diacids and hydroxyacids. High abundance of terrestrial OM biomarkers observed at sites close to the river inlet suggests fluvial inputs as an important pathway to deliver OM into the lake. The lignin phenol vegetation index (LPVI) also suggests that the OM origin is mostly from non-woody angiosperms. A relatively high degree of lignin alteration in the litoral sediments is evident from the abundant ratio of acids and aldehydes of the vanillyl and syringyl monomers. This suggests that the lignin contents have been diagenetically altered as the result of a long residence time in this ecosystem. The molecular-level characterization of litoral sedimentary OM in Canadian High Arctic region provides insight into current OM composition,potential responses to future disturbances and the biogeochemical cycling of carbon in the Arctic.

  9. High interannual variability of sea ice thickness in the Arctic region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laxon, Seymour; Peacock, Neil; Smith, Doug

    2003-10-30

    Possible future changes in Arctic sea ice cover and thickness, and consequent changes in the ice-albedo feedback, represent one of the largest uncertainties in the prediction of future temperature rise. Knowledge of the natural variability of sea ice thickness is therefore critical for its representation in global climate models. Numerical simulations suggest that Arctic ice thickness varies primarily on decadal timescales owing to changes in wind and ocean stresses on the ice, but observations have been unable to provide a synoptic view of sea ice thickness, which is required to validate the model results. Here we use an eight-year time-series of Arctic ice thickness, derived from satellite altimeter measurements of ice freeboard, to determine the mean thickness field and its variability from 65 degrees N to 81.5 degrees N. Our data reveal a high-frequency interannual variability in mean Arctic ice thickness that is dominated by changes in the amount of summer melt, rather than by changes in circulation. Our results suggest that a continued increase in melt season length would lead to further thinning of Arctic sea ice.

  10. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nastaran Saberi

    2017-12-01

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

  12. A Possible Link Between Winter Arctic Sea Ice Decline and a Collapse of the Beaufort High?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petty, Alek A.

    2018-03-01

    A new study by Moore et al. (2018, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL076446) highlights a collapse of the anticyclonic "Beaufort High" atmospheric circulation over the western Arctic Ocean in the winter of 2017 and an associated reversal of the sea ice drift through the southern Beaufort Sea (eastward instead of the predominantly westward circulation). The authors linked this to the loss of sea ice in the Barents Sea, anomalous warming over the region, and the intrusion of low-pressure cyclones along the eastern Arctic. In this commentary we discuss the significance of this observation, the challenges associated with understanding these possible linkages, and some of the alternative hypotheses surrounding the impacts of winter Arctic sea ice loss.

  13. Arctide2017, a high-resolution regional tidal model in the Arctic Ocean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cancet, M.; Andersen, O. B.; Lyard, F.

    2018-01-01

    The Arctic Ocean is a challenging region for tidal modelling. The accuracy of the global tidal models decreases by several centimeters in the Polar Regions, which has a large impact on the quality of the satellite altimeter sea surface heights and the altimetry-derived products. NOVELTIS, DTU Space...... and LEGOS have developed Arctide2017, a regional, high-resolution tidal atlas in the Arctic Ocean, in the framework of an extension of the CryoSat Plus for Ocean (CP4O) ESA STSE (Support to Science Element) project. In particular, this atlas benefits from the assimilation of the most complete satellite...... assimilation and validation. This paper presents the implementation methodology and the performance of this new regional tidal model in the Arctic Ocean, compared to the existing global and regional tidal models....

  14. Diving behavior of the Atlantic walrus in high Arctic Greenland and Canada

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garde, Eva; Jung-Madsen, Signe; Ditlevsen, Susanne

    2018-01-01

    Investigations of diving behavior of the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) in the high Arctic Greenland and Canada are important for understanding behavioral adaptations and area utilization of this Arctic benthic feeder. Furthermore, such information along with estimations of annual......% CI: 1.0–2.6). Based on dive rates, time at depth, haul-out and percentage of feeding dives Alexandra Fjord and Princess Mary Bay in NE Canada and Carey Island in NW Greenland were identified as the most important areas for walrus feeding during summer. Walrus predation on the standing bivalve biomass...

  15. Characterizing Arctic Sea Ice Topography Using High-Resolution IceBridge Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petty, Alek; Tsamados, Michel; Kurtz, Nathan; Farrell, Sinead; Newman, Thomas; Harbeck, Jeremy; Feltham, Daniel; Richter-Menge, Jackie

    2016-01-01

    We present an analysis of Arctic sea ice topography using high resolution, three-dimensional, surface elevation data from the Airborne Topographic Mapper, flown as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge mission. Surface features in the sea ice cover are detected using a newly developed surface feature picking algorithm. We derive information regarding the height, volume and geometry of surface features from 2009-2014 within the Beaufort/Chukchi and Central Arctic regions. The results are delineated by ice type to estimate the topographic variability across first-year and multi-year ice regimes.

  16. Methane and Root Dynamics in Arctic Soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Imperio, Ludovica

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elias, Scott A.; Crocker, Barnaby

    2008-12-01

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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Soil microbial biomass, activity and community composition along altitudinal gradients in the High Arctic (Billefjorden, Svalbard)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kotas, P.; Šantrůčková, H.; Elster, Josef; Kaštovská, E.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 6 (2018), s. 1879-1894 ISSN 1726-4170 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015075 Grant - others:GA MŠk LM2010009 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : ecosystem * High Arctic * soil microbial biomass Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 3.851, year: 2016

  1. Does warming affect growth rate and biomass production of shrubs in the High Arctic?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Albert, Kristian Rost

    2013-01-01

    Few studies have assessed directly the impact of warming on plant growth and biomass production in the High Arctic. Here, we aimed to investigate the impact of 7 years of warming (open greenhouses) on the aboveground relative growth rate (RGR) of Cassiope tetragona and Salix arctica in North-East...

  2. High Arctic plant phenology is determined by snowmelt patterns but duration of phenological periods is fixed

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Semenchuk, Philipp R.; Gillespie, Mark A K; Rumpf, Sabine B.

    2016-01-01

    The duration of specific periods within a plant's life cycle are critical for plant growth and performance. In the High Arctic, the start of many of these phenological periods is determined by snowmelt date, which may change in a changing climate. It has been suggested that the end of these periods...

  3. Controls on microalgal community structures in cryoconite holes upon high-Arctic glaciers, Svalbard

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vonnahme, T.R.; Devetter, Miloslav; Žárský, J.D.; Šabacká, M.; Elster, Josef

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 13, č. 3 (2016), s. 659-674 ISSN 1726-4170 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : microalgal communities * cryoconite holes * high-Arctic glaciers * Svalbard Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.851, year: 2016

  4. The reliance on distant resources for egg formation in high Arctic breeding barnacle geese Branta leucopsis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hahn, S.M.; Loonen, M.J.J.E.; Klaassen, M.R.J.

    2011-01-01

    Breeding in the high Arctic is time constrained and animals should therefore start with their annual reproduction as early as possible. To allow for such early reproduction in migratory birds, females arrive at the breeding grounds either with body stores or they try to rapidly develop their eggs

  5. The reliance on distant resources for egg formation in high Arctic breeding barnacle geese Branta leucopsis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hahn, Steffen; Loonen, Maarten J. J. E.; Klaassen, Marcel

    Breeding in the high Arctic is time constrained and animals should therefore start with their annual reproduction as early as possible. To allow for such early reproduction in migratory birds, females arrive at the breeding grounds either with body stores or they try to rapidly develop their eggs

  6. Petroleum contamination movement into permafrost in the high Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biggar, K.W.

    1997-01-01

    The extent of petroleum hydrocarbon contamination that has penetrated the active layer into the permafrost at sites where spills have occurred in Canada's Arctic was discussed. There was evidence to suggest that hydrocarbon contamination may enter the permafrost layer through gravity drainage and cap suction through fissures in the frozen soil, and perhaps by diffusion through the unfrozen water of fine-grained soils. Core samples were taken in frozen silty clay to be sectioned and analyzed for total petroleum hydrocarbons, using ultrasonic solvent extraction and gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis. It was concluded that it is possible for petroleum contamination in permafrost to migrate by gravity drainage down soil fissures and then diffuse into surrounding soil. 2 figs

  7. Emissions of biogenic sulfur gases from Alaskan tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Mark E.; Morrison, Michael C.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Svalbard as a study model of future High Arctic coastal environments in a warming world

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacek Piskozub

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Svalbard archipelago, a high latitude area in a region undergoing rapid climate change, is relatively easily accessible for field research. This makes the fjords of Spitsbergen, its largest island, some of the best studied Arctic coastal areas. This paper aims at answering the question of how climatically diverse the fjords are, and how representative they are for the expected future Arctic diminishing range of seasonal sea-ice. This study uses a meteorological reanalysis, sea surface temperature climatology, and the results of a recent one-year meteorological campaign in Spitsbergen to determine the seasonal differences between different Spitsbergen fjords, as well as the sea water temperature and ice ranges around Svalbard in recent years. The results show that Spitsbergen fjords have diverse seasonal patterns of air temperature due to differences in the SST of the adjacent ocean, and different cloudiness. The sea water temperatures and ice concentrations around Svalbard in recent years are similar to what is expected most of the Arctic coastal areas in the second half of this century. This makes Spitsbergen a unique field study model of the conditions expected in future warmer High Arctic.

  14. Ten-year trends of atmospheric mercury in the high Arctic compared to Canadian sub-Arctic and mid-latitude sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Cole

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Global emissions of mercury continue to change at the same time as the Arctic is experiencing ongoing climatic changes. Continuous monitoring of atmospheric mercury provides important information about long-term trends in the balance between transport, chemistry, and deposition of this pollutant in the Arctic atmosphere. Ten-year records of total gaseous mercury (TGM from 2000 to 2009 were analyzed from two high Arctic sites at Alert (Nunavut, Canada and Zeppelin Station (Svalbard, Norway; one sub-Arctic site at Kuujjuarapik (Nunavik, Québec, Canada; and three temperate Canadian sites at St. Anicet (Québec, Kejimkujik (Nova Scotia and Egbert (Ontario. Five of the six sites examined showed a decreasing trend over this time period. Overall trend estimates at high latitude sites were: −0.9% yr−1 (95% confidence limits: −1.4, 0 at Alert and no trend (−0.5, +0.7 at Zeppelin Station. Faster decreases were observed at the remainder of the sites: −2.1% yr−1 (−3.1, −1.1 at Kuujjuarapik, −1.9% yr−1 (−2.1, −1.8 at St. Anicet, −1.6% yr−1 (−2.4, −1.0 at Kejimkujik and −2.2% yr−1 (−2.8, −1.7 at Egbert. Trends at the sub-Arctic and mid-latitude sites agree with reported decreases in background TGM concentration since 1996 at Mace Head, Ireland, and Cape Point, South Africa, but conflict with estimates showing an increase in global anthropogenic emissions over a similar period. Trends in TGM at the two high Arctic sites were not only less negative (or neutral overall but much more variable by season. Possible reasons for differences in seasonal and overall trends at the Arctic sites compared to those at lower latitudes are discussed, as well as implications for the Arctic mercury cycle. The first calculations of multi-year trends in reactive gaseous mercury (RGM and total particulate mercury (TPM at Alert were also performed, indicating increases from 2002 to 2009

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-11-01

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

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  18. Thermophilic anaerobes in arctic marine sediments induced to mineralize complex organic matter at high temperature

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hubert, Casey; Arnosti, Carol; Brüchert, Volker

    2010-01-01

    Marine sediments harbour diverse populations of dormant thermophilic bacterial spores that become active in sediment incubation experiments at much higher than in situ temperature. This response was investigated in the presence of natural complex organic matter in sediments of two Arctic fjords......, as well as with the addition of freeze-dried Spirulina or individual high-molecular-weight polysaccharides. During 50°C incubation experiments, Arctic thermophiles catalysed extensive mineralization of the organic matter via extracellular enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation and sulfate reduction. This high...... reactivity determined the extent of the thermophilic response. Fjord sediments with higher in situ SRR also supported higher SRR at 50°C. Amendment with Spirulina significantly increased volatile fatty acids production and SRR relative to unamended sediment in 50°C incubations. Spirulina amendment also...

  19. Ambient UV-B radiation reduces PSII performance and net photosynthesis in high Arctic Salix arctica

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albert, Kristian Rost; Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard; Ro-Poulsen, Helge

    2011-01-01

    Ambient ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation potentially impacts the photosynthetic performance of high Arctic plants. We conducted an UV-B exclusion experiment in a dwarf shrub heath in NE Greenland (74°N), with open control, filter control, UV-B filtering and UV-AB filtering, all in combination......, nitrogen and UV-B absorbing compounds. Compared to a 60% reduced UV-B irradiance, the ambient solar UV-B reduced net photosynthesis in Salix arctica leaves fixed in the 45° position which exposed leaves to maximum natural irradiance. Also a reduced Calvin Cycle capacity was found, i.e. the maximum rate...... across position in the vegetation. These findings add to the evidence that the ambient solar UV-B currently is a significant stress factor for plants in high Arctic Greenland....

  20. The effect of misleading surface temperature estimations on the sensible heat fluxes at a high Arctic site – the Arctic Turbulence Experiment 2006 on Svalbard (ARCTEX-2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Lüers

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The observed rapid climate warming in the Arctic requires improvements in permafrost and carbon cycle monitoring, accomplished by setting up long-term observation sites with high-quality in-situ measurements of turbulent heat, water and carbon fluxes as well as soil physical parameters in Arctic landscapes. But accurate quantification and well adapted parameterizations of turbulent fluxes in polar environments presents fundamental problems in soil-snow-ice-vegetation-atmosphere interaction studies. One of these problems is the accurate estimation of the surface or aerodynamic temperature T(0 required to force most of the bulk aerodynamic formulae currently used. Results from the Arctic-Turbulence-Experiment (ARCTEX-2006 performed on Svalbard during the winter/spring transition 2006 helped to better understand the physical exchange and transport processes of energy. The existence of an atypical temperature profile close to the surface in the Arctic spring at Svalbard could be proven to be one of the major issues hindering estimation of the appropriate surface temperature. Thus, it is essential to adjust the set-up of measurement systems carefully when applying flux-gradient methods that are commonly used to force atmosphere-ocean/land-ice models. The results of a comparison of different sensible heat-flux parameterizations with direct measurements indicate that the use of a hydrodynamic three-layer temperature-profile model achieves the best fit and reproduces the temporal variability of the surface temperature better than other approaches.

  1. Belowground Plant Dynamics Across an Arctic Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. Ambient UV-B radiation decreases photosynthesis in high arctic Vaccinium uliginosum.

    OpenAIRE

    Albert, Kristian; Ro-Poulsen, Helge; N. Mikkelsen, Teis

    2008-01-01

    UV-B-exclusion experiment was established in high arctic Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, to investigate the possible effects of ambient UV-B on plant performance. During almost a whole growing season, canopy gas exchange and Chl fluorescence were measured on Vaccinium uliginosum (bog blueberry). Leaf area, biomass, carbon, nitrogen and UV-B-absorbing compounds were determined from a late season harvest. Compared with the reduced UV-B treatment, the plants in ambient UV-B were found to have a...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  5. The Need and Opportunity for an Integrated Research, Development and Testing Center in the Alaskan High Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardesty, J. O.; Ivey, M.; Helsel, F.; Dexheimer, D.; Lucero, D. A.; Cahill, C. F.; Roesler, E. L.

    2017-12-01

    This presentation will make the case for development of a permanent integrated High Arctic research and testing center at Oliktok Point, Alaska; taking advantage of existing assets and infrastructure, controlled airspace, an active UAS program and local partnerships. Arctic research stations provide critical monitoring and research on climate change for conditions and trends in the Arctic. The US Chair of the Arctic Council increased awareness of gaps in our understanding of Artic systems, scarce monitoring, lack of infrastructure and readiness for emergency response. Less sea ice brings competition for commercial shipping and resource extraction. Search and rescue, pollution mitigation and safe navigation need real-time, wide-area monitoring to respond to events. Multi-national responses for international traffic will drive a greater security presence to protect citizens and sovereign interests. To address research and technology gaps, there is a national need for a US High Arctic Center (USHARC) with an approach to partner stakeholders from science, safety and security to develop comprehensive solutions. The Station should offer year-round use, logistic support and access to varied ecological settings; phased adaptation to changing needs; and support testing of technologies such as multiple autonomous platforms, renewable energies and microgrids, and sensors in Arctic settings. We propose an Arctic Center at Oliktok Point, Alaska. Combined with the Toolik Field Station and Barrow Environmental Observatory, they form a US network of Arctic Stations. An Oliktok Point Station can provide complementary and unique assets that include: access via land, sea and air; coastal and terrestrial ecologies; controlled airspaces across land and ocean; medical and logistic support; atmospheric observations from an adjacent ARM facility; connections to Barrow and Toolik; fiber-optic communications; University of Alaska Fairbanks UAS Test Facility partnership; and an airstrip and

  6. 50 Myr of pulsed mafic magmatism in the High Arctic Large Igneous Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, D. G.; Dockman, D. M.; Heaman, L. M.; Gibson, S. A.; Sarkar, C.

    2017-12-01

    Extensive and voluminous Cretaceous mafic magmatism in the Sverdrup Basin of Arctic Canada forms the circum-Arctic High Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP). The small number of published high-precision ages for this LIP indicate its eruption over a considerable timespan raising concerns over whether the HALIP can be strictly defined as a single LIP and questioning the role of a single or multiple plumes in its genesis. Here we present an integrated geochemical and geochronological study to better constrain the timing and cause of mafic magma genesis in the Canadian HALIP. Six new U-Pb and four 40Ar/39Ar ages of mafic lavas and intrusive sheets range from 121 Ma to 78 Ma. The U-Pb ages are the first analyzed from the mafic intrusions of Axel Heiberg and Ellesmere Islands. The new geochronology, combined with other published high-precision ages, reveal a > 50 Myr duration of mafic magmatism in the HALIP defined by three main pulses. Tholeiites dominate the initial 25 Myr of magmatism, transitioning to coeval emplacement of alkali and tholeiitic basalts. Whole-rock Sr-Nd isotope ratios indicate that both magma types are derived from a similar source dominated by convecting mantle. Rare-earth-element inversion models reveal that the alkalic and tholeiitic magmas were generated beneath a bimodal lithospheric `lid' thickness of 65 ± 5 and 45 ± 4 km, respectively. We suggest that the early 128 - 122 Ma tholeiitic event is primarily plume-generated and correlates across the circum-Arctic with the other HALIP tholeiites. Younger HALIP magmatism, with coeval alkalic and tholeiitic magmas erupting over 25 Myr, may be explained by alternating modes of edge-driven mantle convection as the primary control on magma genesis. A distal plume may have intensified magma production by edge-driven convection.

  7. Continuous daylight in the high-Arctic summer supports high plankton respiration rates compared to those supported in the dark

    KAUST Repository

    Mesa, Elena

    2017-04-21

    Plankton respiration rate is a major component of global CO2 production and is forecasted to increase rapidly in the Arctic with warming. Yet, existing assessments in the Arctic evaluated plankton respiration in the dark. Evidence that plankton respiration may be stimulated in the light is particularly relevant for the high Arctic where plankton communities experience continuous daylight in spring and summer. Here we demonstrate that plankton community respiration evaluated under the continuous daylight conditions present in situ, tends to be higher than that evaluated in the dark. The ratio between community respiration measured in the light (Rlight) and in the dark (Rdark) increased as the 2/3 power of Rlight so that the Rlight:Rdark ratio increased from an average value of 1.37 at the median Rlight measured here (3.62 µmol O2 L-1 d-1) to an average value of 17.56 at the highest Rlight measured here (15.8 µmol O2 L-1 d-1). The role of respiratory processes as a source of CO2 in the Arctic has, therefore, been underestimated and is far more important than previously believed, particularly in the late spring, with 24 h photoperiods, when community respiration rates are highest.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  9. Low Density of Top Predators (Seabirds and Marine Mammals in the High Arctic Pack Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claude R. Joiris

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The at-sea distribution of top predators, seabirds and marine mammals, was determined in the high Arctic pack ice on board the icebreaker RV Polarstern in July to September 2014. In total, 1,620 transect counts were realised, lasting 30 min each. The five most numerous seabird species represented 74% of the total of 15,150 individuals registered: kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, puffin Fratercula arctica, Ross’s gull Rhodostethia rosea, and little auk Alle alle. Eight cetacean species were tallied for a total of 330 individuals, mainly white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris and fin whale Balaenoptera physalus. Five pinniped species were represented by a total of 55 individuals and the polar bear Ursus maritimus was represented by 12 individuals. Four main geographical zones were identified: from Tromsø to the outer marginal ice zone (OMIZ, the Arctic pack ice (close pack ice, CPI, the end of Lomonosov Ridge off Siberia, and the route off Siberia and northern Norway. Important differences were detected between zones, both in species composition and in individual abundance. Low numbers of species and high proportion of individuals for some of them can be considered to reflect very low biodiversity. Numbers encountered in zones 2 to 4 were very low in comparison with other European Arctic seas. The observed differences showed strong patterns.

  10. Changes in Arctic vegetation amplify high-latitude warming through the greenhouse effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swann, Abigail L; Fung, Inez Y; Levis, Samuel; Bonan, Gordon B; Doney, Scott C

    2010-01-26

    Arctic climate is projected to change dramatically in the next 100 years and increases in temperature will likely lead to changes in the distribution and makeup of the Arctic biosphere. A largely deciduous ecosystem has been suggested as a possible landscape for future Arctic vegetation and is seen in paleo-records of warm times in the past. Here we use a global climate model with an interactive terrestrial biosphere to investigate the effects of adding deciduous trees on bare ground at high northern latitudes. We find that the top-of-atmosphere radiative imbalance from enhanced transpiration (associated with the expanded forest cover) is up to 1.5 times larger than the forcing due to albedo change from the forest. Furthermore, the greenhouse warming by additional water vapor melts sea-ice and triggers a positive feedback through changes in ocean albedo and evaporation. Land surface albedo change is considered to be the dominant mechanism by which trees directly modify climate at high-latitudes, but our findings suggest an additional mechanism through transpiration of water vapor and feedbacks from the ocean and sea-ice.

  11. On the gate of Arctic footsteps: Doors open to foreign high schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manno, C.; Pecchiar, I.

    2012-12-01

    With the increased attention on the changing Arctic Region effective science education, outreach and communication need to be higher priorities within the scientific communities. In order to encourage the dissemination of polar research at educational levels foreign high school students and teachers were visiting Tromso University for a week. The project highlights the role of the universities as link between research and outreach. The first aim of this project was to increase awareness of foreign schools on major topics concerning the Arctic issues (from the economic/social to the environmental/climatic point of view). Forty three Italian high school students were involved in the laboratory activities running at the UiT and participated in seminars. Topics of focus were Ocean Acidification, Global Warming and the combined effects with other anthropogenic stressors. During their stay, students interviewed several scientists in order to allow them to edit a "visiting report" and to elaborate all the material collected. Back in Italy they performed an itinerant exhibition (presentation of a short movie, posters, and pictures) in various Italian schools in order to pass on their Arctic education experience. The project highlights the role of University as communicator of "climate related issues" in the international frame of the "new generation" of students.

  12. Characterizing aerosol transport into the Canadian High Arctic using aerosol mass spectrometry and Lagrangian modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, T.; Damoah, R.; Bacak, A.; Sloan, J. J.

    2010-05-01

    We report the analysis of measurements made using an aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS; Aerodyne Research Inc.) that was installed in the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in summer 2006. PEARL is located in the Canadian high Arctic at 610 m above sea level on Ellesmere Island (80° N 86° W). PEARL is unique for its remote location in the Arctic and because most of the time it is situated within the free troposphere. It is therefore well suited as a receptor site to study the long range tropospheric transport of pollutants into the Arctic. Some information about the successful year-round operation of an AMS at a high Arctic site such as PEARL will be reported here, together with design considerations for reliable sampling under harsh low-temperature conditions. Computational fluid dynamics calculations were made to ensure that sample integrity was maintained while sampling air at temperatures that average -40 °C in the winter and can be as low as -55 °C. Selected AMS measurements of aerosol mass concentration, size, and chemical composition recorded during the months of August, September and October 2006 will be reported. During this period, sulfate was at most times the predominant aerosol component with on average 0.115 μg m-3 (detection limit 0.003 μg m-3). The second most abundant component was undifferentiated organic aerosol, with on average 0.11 μg m-3 detection limit (0.04 μg m-3). The nitrate component, which averaged 0.007 μg m-3, was above its detection limit (0.002 μg m-3), whereas the ammonium ion had an apparent average concentration of 0.02 μg m-3, which was approximately equal to its detection limit. A few episodes having increased mass concentrations and lasting from several hours to several days are apparent in the data. These were investigated further using a statistical analysis to determine their common characteristics. High correlations among some of the components arriving during the short term episodes provide

  13. COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: TOWARDS ADVANCED UNDERSTANDING AND PREDICTIVE CAPABILITY OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE ARCTIC USING A HIGH-RESOLUTION REGIONAL ARCTIC CLIMATE SYSTEM MODEL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gutowski, William J.

    2013-02-07

    The motivation for this project was to advance the science of climate change and prediction in the Arctic region. Its primary goals were to (i) develop a state-of-the-art Regional Arctic Climate system Model (RACM) including high-resolution atmosphere, land, ocean, sea ice and land hydrology components and (ii) to perform extended numerical experiments using high performance computers to minimize uncertainties and fundamentally improve current predictions of climate change in the northern polar regions. These goals were realized first through evaluation studies of climate system components via one-way coupling experiments. Simulations were then used to examine the effects of advancements in climate component systems on their representation of main physics, time-mean fields and to understand variability signals at scales over many years. As such this research directly addressed some of the major science objectives of the BER Climate Change Research Division (CCRD) regarding the advancement of long-term climate prediction.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  17. Single-particle characterization of the high-Arctic summertime aerosol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Sierau

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Single-particle mass-spectrometric measurements were carried out in the high Arctic north of 80° during summer 2008. The campaign took place onboard the icebreaker Oden and was part of the Arctic Summer Cloud Ocean Study (ASCOS. The instrument deployed was an aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ATOFMS that provides information on the chemical composition of individual particles and their mixing state in real time. Aerosols were sampled in the marine boundary layer at stations in the open ocean, in the marginal ice zone, and in the pack ice region. The largest fraction of particles detected for subsequent analysis in the size range of the ATOFMS between approximately 200 and 3000 nm in diameter showed mass-spectrometric patterns, indicating an internal mixing state and a biomass burning and/or biofuel source. The majority of these particles were connected to an air mass layer of elevated particle concentration mixed into the surface mixed layer from the upper part of the marine boundary layer. The second largest fraction was represented by sea salt particles. The chemical analysis of the over-ice sea salt aerosol revealed tracer compounds that reflect chemical aging of the particles during their long-range advection from the marginal ice zone, or open waters south thereof prior to detection at the ship. From our findings we conclude that long-range transport of particles is one source of aerosols in the high Arctic. To assess the importance of long-range particle sources for aerosol–cloud interactions over the inner Arctic in comparison to local and regional biogenic primary aerosol sources, the chemical composition of the detected particles was analyzed for indicators of marine biological origin. Only a minor fraction showed chemical signatures of potentially ocean-derived primary particles of that kind. However, a chemical bias in the ATOFMS's detection capabilities observed during ASCOS might suggest the presence of a particle type of

  18. Single-particle characterization of the high-Arctic summertime aerosol

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierau, B.; Chang, R. Y.-W.; Leck, C.; Paatero, J.; Lohmann, U.

    2014-07-01

    Single-particle mass-spectrometric measurements were carried out in the high Arctic north of 80° during summer 2008. The campaign took place onboard the icebreaker Oden and was part of the Arctic Summer Cloud Ocean Study (ASCOS). The instrument deployed was an aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ATOFMS) that provides information on the chemical composition of individual particles and their mixing state in real time. Aerosols were sampled in the marine boundary layer at stations in the open ocean, in the marginal ice zone, and in the pack ice region. The largest fraction of particles detected for subsequent analysis in the size range of the ATOFMS between approximately 200 and 3000 nm in diameter showed mass-spectrometric patterns, indicating an internal mixing state and a biomass burning and/or biofuel source. The majority of these particles were connected to an air mass layer of elevated particle concentration mixed into the surface mixed layer from the upper part of the marine boundary layer. The second largest fraction was represented by sea salt particles. The chemical analysis of the over-ice sea salt aerosol revealed tracer compounds that reflect chemical aging of the particles during their long-range advection from the marginal ice zone, or open waters south thereof prior to detection at the ship. From our findings we conclude that long-range transport of particles is one source of aerosols in the high Arctic. To assess the importance of long-range particle sources for aerosol-cloud interactions over the inner Arctic in comparison to local and regional biogenic primary aerosol sources, the chemical composition of the detected particles was analyzed for indicators of marine biological origin. Only a minor fraction showed chemical signatures of potentially ocean-derived primary particles of that kind. However, a chemical bias in the ATOFMS's detection capabilities observed during ASCOS might suggest the presence of a particle type of unknown composition

  19. 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

  20. Factors affecting biotic mercury concentrations and biomagnification through lake food webs in the Canadian high Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lescord, Gretchen L., E-mail: glescord@gmail.com [University of New Brunswick/Canadian Rivers Institute, 100 Tucker Park Rd, Saint John, NB E2L 4A6 (Canada); Kidd, Karen A. [University of New Brunswick/Canadian Rivers Institute, 100 Tucker Park Rd, Saint John, NB E2L 4A6 (Canada); Kirk, Jane L. [Environment Canada, Aquatic Contaminants Research Division, 867 Lakeshore Rd, Burlington, ON L7S 1A1 (Canada); O' Driscoll, Nelson J. [Acadia University, 15 University Ave, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6 (Canada); Wang, Xiaowa; Muir, Derek C.G. [Environment Canada, Aquatic Contaminants Research Division, 867 Lakeshore Rd, Burlington, ON L7S 1A1 (Canada)

    2015-03-15

    In temperate regions of Canada, mercury (Hg) concentrations in biota and the magnitude of Hg biomagnification through food webs vary between neighboring lakes and are related to water chemistry variables and physical lake features. However, few studies have examined factors affecting the variable Hg concentrations in landlocked Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) or the biomagnification of Hg through their food webs. We estimated the food web structure of six high Arctic lakes near Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Canada, using stable carbon (δ{sup 13}C) and nitrogen (δ{sup 15}N) isotopes and measured Hg (total Hg (THg) in char, the only fish species, and methylmercury (MeHg) in chironomids and zooplankton) concentrations in biota collected in 2010 and 2011. Across lakes, δ{sup 13}C showed that benthic carbon (chironomids) was the dominant food source for char. Regression models of log Hg versus δ{sup 15}N (of char and benthic invertebrates) showed positive and significant slopes, indicting Hg biomagnification in all lakes, and higher slopes in some lakes than others. However, no principal components (PC) generated using all water chemistry data and physical characteristics of the lakes predicted the different slopes. The PC dominated by aqueous ions was a negative predictor of MeHg concentrations in chironomids, suggesting that water chemistry affects Hg bioavailability and MeHg concentrations in these lower-trophic-level organisms. Furthermore, regression intercepts were predicted by the PCs dominated by catchment area, aqueous ions, and MeHg. Weaker relationships were also found between THg in small char or MeHg in pelagic invertebrates and the PCs dominated by catchment area, and aqueous nitrate and MeHg. Results from these high Arctic lakes suggest that Hg biomagnification differs between systems and that their physical and chemical characteristics affect Hg concentrations in lower-trophic-level biota. - Highlights: • Mercury (Hg) in Arctic char and invertebrates

  1. Carbon dioxide exchange in the High Arctic - examples from terrestrial ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grøndahl, L.

    of the growing season, which in combination with high temperatures increased uptake rates. The dry heath ecosystem in general gained carbon during the summer season in the order of magnitude -1.4 gCm-2 up to 32 gCm-2. This result is filling out a gap of knowledge on the response of high Arctic ecosystems...... the measurements conducted in the valley to a regional level. Including information on temporal and spatial variability in air temperature and radiation, together with NDVI and a vegetation map a regional estimate of the CO2 exchange during the summer was provided, elaborating the NDVI based estimate on net carbon...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafleur, Peter M.; Humphreys, Elyn R.

    2018-05-01

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

  3. The Need and Opportunity for an Integrated Research, Development and Testing Station in the Alaskan High Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardesty, J. O.; Ivey, M.; Helsel, F.; Dexheimer, D.; Cahill, C. F.; Bendure, A.; Lucero, D. A.; Roesler, E. L.

    2016-12-01

    This presentation will make the case for development of a permanent integrated research and testing station at Oliktok Point, Alaska; taking advantage of existing assets and infrastructure, controlled airspace, an active UAS program and local partnerships. Arctic research stations provide critical monitoring and research on climate change for conditions and trends in the Arctic. The US Chair of the Arctic Council has increased awareness of gaps in our understanding of Artic systems, scarce monitoring, lack of infrastructure and readiness for emergency response. Less sea ice brings competition for commercial shipping and resource extraction. Search and rescue, pollution mitigation and safe navigation need real-time, wide-area monitoring to respond to events. Multi-national responses for international traffic will drive a greater security presence to protect citizens and sovereign interests. To address research and technology gaps, there is a national need for a High Arctic Station with an approach that partners stakeholders from science, safety and security to develop comprehensive solutions. The Station should offer year-round use, logistic support and access to varied ecological settings; phased adaptation to changing needs; and support testing of technologies such as multiple autonomous platforms, renewable energies and microgrids, and sensors in Arctic settings. We propose an Arctic Station at Oliktok Point, Alaska. Combined with the Toolik Field Station and Barrow Environmental Observatory, they form a US network of Arctic Stations. An Oliktok Point Station can provide complementary and unique assets that include: ocean access, and coastal and terrestrial systems; road access; controlled airspaces on land and ocean; nearby air facilities, medical and logistic support; atmospheric observations from an adjacent ARM facility; connections to Barrow and Toolik; fiber-optic communications; University of Alaska Fairbanks UAS Test Facility partnership; and an airstrip

  4. Deep-ocean predation by a high Arctic cetacean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laidre, K.L.; Heide-Jørgensen, M.P.; Jørgensen, Ole A

    2004-01-01

    were correlated with predicted whale predation levels based on diving behavior. The difference in Greenland halibut biomass between an area with high predation and a comparable area without whales, approximately 19000 tonnes, corresponded well with the predicted biomass removed by the narwhal sub...

  5. Population dynamics in the high Arctic: Climate variations in time and space

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendrichsen, Ditte Katrine

    Climatic factors profoundly influence the population dynamics, species interactions and demography of Arctic species. Analyses of the spatio-temporal dynamics within and across species are therefore necessary to understand and predict the responses of Arctic ecosystems to climatic variability...

  6. Late Holocene climate and chemical change at high latitudes: case studies from contaminated sites in subarctic and arctic Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galloway, Jennifer M.; Cooney, Darryl; Crann, Carley; Falck, Hendrik; Howell, Dana; Jamieson, Heather; Macumber, Andrew; Nasser, Nawaf; Palmer, Michael; Patterson, R. Timothy; Parsons, Michael; Roe, Helen M.; Sanei, Hamed; Spence, Christopher; Stavinga, Drew; Swindles, Graeme T.

    2015-04-01

    Climate variability is occurring at unprecedented rates in northern regions of the Earth, yet little is known about the nature of this variability or its influence on chemical cycling in the environment, particularly in areas with a legacy of contamination from past resource development. We use a paleolimnological approach to reconstruct climate and chemical change over centuries and millennia at two sites in the mineral-rich Slave Geologic Province in Northern Canada heavily impacted by gold mining. Such an approach is necessary to define the cumulative effects of climate change on metal loading and can be used to define anthropogenic release of contaminants to support policy and regulation due to a paucity of long-term monitoring data. The Seabridge Gold Inc. Courageous Lake project is a gold exploration project 240 km north of Yellowknife in the central Northwest Territories, Arctic Canada. Mining operations took place within the claim area at the Tundra (1964-1968) and Salmita (1983-1987) mines. Giant Mine is located in the subarctic near the City of Yellowknife and mining at this site represents the longest continuous gold mining operation in Canada (1938 to 2002). Due to the refractory mineralogy of ore, gold was extracted from arsenopyrite by roasting, which resulted in release of substantial quantities of highly toxic arsenic trioxide to the environment. Arsenic (As) is also naturally elevated at these sites due its occurrence in Yellowknife Supergroup greenstone belts and surficial geologic deposits. To attempt to distinguish between geogenic and anthropogenic sources of As and characterize the role of climate change on metalloid mobility we used a freeze coring technology to capture lake sediments from the properties. Sediments were analyzed for sedimentary grain size and bulk geochemistry using ICP-MS to reconstruct climate and chemical change. Micropaleontological analyses are on-going. Interpretations of the physical, chemical, and biological archive

  7. Arctic Sovereignty Disputes: International Relations Theory in the High North

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-01

    Russians continue to retain their long-range strategic bombing fleets, consisting of the TU-160 Supersonic ( Blackjack ), an all-weather aircraft with...icebreakers, and the only operational heavy icebreaker, it is already beyond service life expectations and recently suffered a major engine failure...DISPUTES: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS THEORY IN THE HIGH NORTH by Darrin D. Davis December 2011 Thesis Co-Advisors: Anne L. Clunan

  8. 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

  9. Suspended sediment in a high-Arctic river

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ladegaard-Pedersen, Pernille; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Kroon, Aart

    2017-01-01

    -2012) of daily measurements from the high-Artic Zackenberg River in Northeast Greenland to estimate annual suspended sediment fluxes based on four commonly used methods: M1) is the discharge weighted mean and uses direct measurements, while M2-M4) are one uncorrected and two bias corrected rating curves......-1 and 61,000±16,000ty-1. Extreme events with high discharges had a mean duration of 1day. The average suspended sediment flux during extreme events was 17,000±5000ty-1, which constitutes a year-to-year variation of 20-37% of the total annual flux. The most accurate sampling strategy was bi...... extrapolating a continuous concentration trace from measured values. All methods are tested on complete and reduced datasets. The average annual runoff in the period 2005-2012 was 190±25mio·m3 y-1. The different estimation methods gave a range of average annual suspended sediment fluxes between 43,000±10,000ty...

  10. 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.

  11. Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2 with Rapidly Changing High Arctic Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmerton, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    High Arctic landscapes are expansive and changing rapidly. However our understanding of their functional responses and potential to mitigate or enhance anthropogenic climate change is limited by few measurements. We collected eddy covariance measurements to quantify the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 with polar semidesert and meadow wetland landscapes at the highest-latitude location measured to date (82°N). We coupled these rare data with ground and satellite vegetation production measurements (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) to evaluate the effectiveness of upscaling local to regional NEE. During the growing season, the dry polar semidesert landscape was a near zero sink of atmospheric CO2 (NEE: -0.3±13.5 g C m-2). A nearby meadow wetland accumulated over two magnitudes more carbon (NEE: -79.3±20.0 g C m-2) than the polar semidesert landscape, and was similar to meadow wetland NEE at much more southern latitudes. Polar semidesert NEE was most influenced by moisture, with wetter surface soils resulting in greater soil respiration and CO2 emissions. At the meadow wetland, soil heating enhanced plant growth, which in turn increased CO2 uptake. Our upscaling assessment found that polar semidesert NDVI measured on site was low (mean: 0.120-0.157) and similar to satellite measurements (mean: 0.155-0.163). However, weak plant growth resulted in poor satellite NDVI-NEE relationships and created challenges for remotely-detecting changes in the cycling of carbon on the polar semidesert landscape. The meadow wetland appeared more suitable to assess plant production and NEE via remote-sensing, however high Arctic wetland extent is constrained by topography to small areas that may be difficult to resolve with large satellite pixels. We predict that until summer precipitation and humidity increases substantially, climate-related changes of dry high Arctic landscapes may be restricted by poor soil moisture retention, and therefore have some inertia against

  12. Identifying Differences in Carbon Exchange among Arctic Ecosystem Types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. The Russian-Swedish tundra radioecology expedition 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  16. Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Rapid climate warming in the tundra biome has been linked to increasing shrub dominance1–4. Shrub expansion can modify climate by altering surface albedo, energy and water balance, and permafrost2,5–8, yet the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. Dendroecological data consisting...... of multi-decadal time series of annual shrub growth provide an underused resource to explore climate–growth relationships. Here, we analyse circumpolar data from 37 Arctic and alpine sites in 9 countries, including 25 species, and 42,000 annual growth records from 1,821 individuals. Our analyses...... demonstrate that the sensitivity of shrub growth to climate was: (1) heterogeneous, with European sites showing greater summer temperature sensitivity than North American sites, and (2) higher at sites with greater soil moisture and for taller shrubs (for example, alders and willows) growing at their northern...

  17. Ambient UV-B radiation reduces PSII performance and net photosynthesis in high Arctic Salix arctica

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albert, Kristian Rost; Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard; Ro-Poulsen, H.

    2011-01-01

    , nitrogen and UV-B absorbing compounds. Compared to a 60% reduced UV-B irradiance, the ambient solar UV-B reduced net photosynthesis in Salix arctica leaves fixed in the 45° position which exposed leaves to maximum natural irradiance. Also a reduced Calvin Cycle capacity was found, i.e. the maximum rate...... across position in the vegetation. These findings add to the evidence that the ambient solar UV-B currently is a significant stress factor for plants in high Arctic Greenland....

  18. Dependence of Arctic climate on the latitudinal position of stationary waves and to high-latitudes surface warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Yechul; Kang, Sarah M.; Watanabe, Masahiro

    2017-12-01

    Previous studies suggest large uncertainties in the stationary wave response under global warming. Here, we investigate how the Arctic climate responds to changes in the latitudinal position of stationary waves, and to high-latitudes surface warming that mimics the effect of Arctic sea ice loss under global warming. To generate stationary waves in an atmospheric model coupled to slab ocean, a series of experiments is performed where the thermal forcing with a zonal wavenumber-2 (with zero zonal-mean) is prescribed at the surface at different latitude bands in the Northern Hemisphere. When the stationary waves are generated in the subtropics, the cooling response dominates over the warming response in the lower troposphere due to cloud radiative effects. Then, the low-level baroclinicity is reduced in the subtropics, which gives rise to a poleward shift of the eddy driven jet, thereby inducing substantial cooling in the northern high latitudes. As the stationary waves are progressively generated at higher latitudes, the zonal-mean climate state gradually becomes more similar to the integration with no stationary waves. These differences in the mean climate affect the Arctic climate response to high-latitudes surface warming. Additional surface heating over the Arctic is imposed to the reference climates in which the stationary waves are located at different latitude bands. When the stationary waves are positioned at lower latitudes, the eddy driven jet is located at higher latitude, closer to the prescribed Arctic heating. As baroclinicity is more effectively perturbed, the jet shifts more equatorward that accompanies a larger reduction in the poleward eddy transport of heat and momentum. A stronger eddy-induced descending motion creates greater warming over the Arctic. Our study calls for a more accurate simulation of the present-day stationary wave pattern to enhance the predictability of the Arctic warming response in a changing climate.

  19. Warmer and wetter winters: characteristics and implications of an extreme weather event in the High Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansen, Brage B; Isaksen, Ketil; Benestad, Rasmus E; Kohler, Jack; Pedersen, Åshild Ø; Loe, Leif E; Coulson, Stephen J; Larsen, Jan Otto; Varpe, Øystein

    2014-01-01

    One predicted consequence of global warming is an increased frequency of extreme weather events, such as heat waves, droughts, or heavy rainfalls. In parts of the Arctic, extreme warm spells and heavy rain-on-snow (ROS) events in winter are already more frequent. How these weather events impact snow-pack and permafrost characteristics is rarely documented empirically, and the implications for wildlife and society are hence far from understood. Here we characterize and document the effects of an extreme warm spell and ROS event that occurred in High Arctic Svalbard in January–February 2012, during the polar night. In this normally cold semi-desert environment, we recorded above-zero temperatures (up to 7 °C) across the entire archipelago and record-breaking precipitation, with up to 98 mm rainfall in one day (return period of >500 years prior to this event) and 272 mm over the two-week long warm spell. These precipitation amounts are equivalent to 25 and 70% respectively of the mean annual total precipitation. The extreme event caused significant increase in permafrost temperatures down to at least 5 m depth, induced slush avalanches with resultant damage to infrastructure, and left a significant ground-ice cover (∼5–20 cm thick basal ice). The ground-ice not only affected inhabitants by closing roads and airports as well as reducing mobility and thereby tourism income, but it also led to high starvation-induced mortality in all monitored populations of the wild reindeer by blocking access to the winter food source. Based on empirical-statistical downscaling of global climate models run under the moderate RCP4.5 emission scenario, we predict strong future warming with average mid-winter temperatures even approaching 0 °C, suggesting increased frequency of ROS. This will have far-reaching implications for Arctic ecosystems and societies through the changes in snow-pack and permafrost properties. (letter)

  20. Warmer and wetter winters: characteristics and implications of an extreme weather event in the High Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Brage B.; Isaksen, Ketil; Benestad, Rasmus E.; Kohler, Jack; Pedersen, Åshild Ø.; Loe, Leif E.; Coulson, Stephen J.; Larsen, Jan Otto; Varpe, Øystein

    2014-11-01

    One predicted consequence of global warming is an increased frequency of extreme weather events, such as heat waves, droughts, or heavy rainfalls. In parts of the Arctic, extreme warm spells and heavy rain-on-snow (ROS) events in winter are already more frequent. How these weather events impact snow-pack and permafrost characteristics is rarely documented empirically, and the implications for wildlife and society are hence far from understood. Here we characterize and document the effects of an extreme warm spell and ROS event that occurred in High Arctic Svalbard in January-February 2012, during the polar night. In this normally cold semi-desert environment, we recorded above-zero temperatures (up to 7 °C) across the entire archipelago and record-breaking precipitation, with up to 98 mm rainfall in one day (return period of >500 years prior to this event) and 272 mm over the two-week long warm spell. These precipitation amounts are equivalent to 25 and 70% respectively of the mean annual total precipitation. The extreme event caused significant increase in permafrost temperatures down to at least 5 m depth, induced slush avalanches with resultant damage to infrastructure, and left a significant ground-ice cover (˜5-20 cm thick basal ice). The ground-ice not only affected inhabitants by closing roads and airports as well as reducing mobility and thereby tourism income, but it also led to high starvation-induced mortality in all monitored populations of the wild reindeer by blocking access to the winter food source. Based on empirical-statistical downscaling of global climate models run under the moderate RCP4.5 emission scenario, we predict strong future warming with average mid-winter temperatures even approaching 0 °C, suggesting increased frequency of ROS. This will have far-reaching implications for Arctic ecosystems and societies through the changes in snow-pack and permafrost properties.

  1. Methanogen community composition and rates of methane consumption in Canadian High Arctic permafrost soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allan, J; Ronholm, J; Mykytczuk, N C S; Greer, C W; Onstott, T C; Whyte, L G

    2014-04-01

    Increasing permafrost thaw, driven by climate change, has the potential to result in organic carbon stores being mineralized into carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) through microbial activity. This study examines the effect of increasing temperature on community structure and metabolic activity of methanogens from the Canadian High Arctic, in an attempt to predict how warming will affect microbially controlled CH4 soil flux. In situ CO2 and CH4 flux, measured in 2010 and 2011 from ice-wedge polygons, indicate that these soil formations are a net source of CO2 emissions, but a CH4 sink. Permafrost and active layer soil samples were collected at the same sites and incubated under anaerobic conditions at warmer temperatures, with and without substrate amendment. Gas flux was measured regularly and indicated an increase in CH4 flux after extended incubation. Pyrosequencing was used to examine the effects of an extended thaw cycle on methanogen diversity and the results indicate that in situ methanogen diversity, based on the relative abundance of the 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) gene associated with known methanogens, is higher in the permafrost than in the active layer. Methanogen diversity was also shown to increase in both the active layer and permafrost soil after an extended thaw. This study provides evidence that although High Arctic ice-wedge polygons are currently a sink for CH4, higher arctic temperatures and anaerobic conditions, a possible result of climate change, could result in this soil becoming a source for CH4 gas flux. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Summertime observations of elevated levels of ultrafine particles in the high Arctic marine boundary layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkart, Julia; Willis, Megan D.; Bozem, Heiko; Thomas, Jennie L.; Law, Kathy; Hoor, Peter; Aliabadi, Amir A.; Köllner, Franziska; Schneider, Johannes; Herber, Andreas; Abbatt, Jonathan P. D.; Leaitch, W. Richard

    2017-05-01

    Motivated by increasing levels of open ocean in the Arctic summer and the lack of prior altitude-resolved studies, extensive aerosol measurements were made during 11 flights of the NETCARE July 2014 airborne campaign from Resolute Bay, Nunavut. Flights included vertical profiles (60 to 3000 m above ground level) over open ocean, fast ice, and boundary layer clouds and fogs. A general conclusion, from observations of particle numbers between 5 and 20 nm in diameter (N5 - 20), is that ultrafine particle formation occurs readily in the Canadian high Arctic marine boundary layer, especially just above ocean and clouds, reaching values of a few thousand particles cm-3. By contrast, ultrafine particle concentrations are much lower in the free troposphere. Elevated levels of larger particles (for example, from 20 to 40 nm in size, N20 - 40) are sometimes associated with high N5 - 20, especially over low clouds, suggestive of aerosol growth. The number densities of particles greater than 40 nm in diameter (N > 40) are relatively depleted at the lowest altitudes, indicative of depositional processes that will lower the condensation sink and promote new particle formation. The number of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN; measured at 0.6 % supersaturation) are positively correlated with the numbers of small particles (down to roughly 30 nm), indicating that some fraction of these newly formed particles are capable of being involved in cloud activation. Given that the summertime marine Arctic is a biologically active region, it is important to better establish the links between emissions from the ocean and the formation and growth of ultrafine particles within this rapidly changing environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  4. The variability and controls of rock strength along rocky coasts of central Spitsbergen, High Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strzelecki, Mateusz Czesław

    2017-09-01

    This paper presents the results of the Schmidt Hammer Rock Tests (SHRTs) across a range of rocky coastal landforms. Northern Billefjorden (central Spitsbergen), represents typical High Arctic microtidal fjord environment. Sheltered location and prolonged sea-ice conditions limit wave action. Coastal cliffs, shore platforms and skerries are developed in various rock types including limestone, sandstone, anhydrite/gypsum, dolomite and metamorphic outcrops. SHRT demonstrated a broad variety of relationships between rock strength and distance from shoreline, presence of sediment cover, distribution of snow patches and icefoot, and accumulations of seaweed and driftwood. In general, rock cliff surfaces were the most resistant in their lower and middle zones, that are thermally insulated by thick winter snowdrifts. More exposed cliff tops were fractured and weathered. The differences in rock strength observed along the shore platforms were highly dependent on thickness of sediment cover and shoreline configuration promoting stronger rock surfaces in areas exposed to the longest wave fetch and washed from gravel deposits. Rock strength of skerry islands is influenced by tidal action controlling the duration of tide inundation and movement of sea-ice scratching boulder surfaces. The results presented in this paper emphasize the richness of rock coast geomorphology and processes operating in High Arctic settings.

  5. High renesting rates in arctic-breeding Dunlin (Calidris alpina): A clutch-removal experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gates, H. River; Lanctot, Richard B.; Powell, Abby N.

    2013-01-01

    The propensity to replace a clutch is a complex component of avian reproduction and poorly understood. We experimentally removed clutches from an Arctic-breeding shorebird, the Dunlin (Calidris alpina arcticola), during early and late stages of incubation to investigate replacement clutch rates, renesting interval, and mate and site fidelity between nesting attempts. In contrast to other Arctic studies, we documented renesting by radiotracking individuals to find replacement clutches. We also examined clutch size and mean egg volume to document changes in individual females’ investment in initial and replacement clutches. Finally, we examined the influence of adult body mass, clutch volume, dates of clutch initiation and nest loss, and year on the propensity to renest. We found high (82–95%) and moderate (35–50%) rates of renesting for early and late incubation treatments. Renesting intervals averaged 4.7–6.8 days and were not different for clutches removed early or late in incubation. Most pairs remained together for renesting attempts. Larger females were more likely to replace a clutch; female body mass was the most important parameter predicting propensity to renest. Clutches lost later in the season were less likely to be replaced. We present evidence that renesting is more common in Arctic-breeding shorebirds than was previously thought, and suggest that renesting is constrained by energetic and temporal factors as well as mate availability. Obtaining rates of renesting in species breeding at different latitudes will help determine when this behavior is likely to occur; such information is necessary for demographic models that include individual and population-level fecundity estimates.

  6. Detecting Arctic Climate Change Using Koeppen Climate Classification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2004-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah J Thompson

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

  8. Ukpik: testbed for a miniaturized robotic astronomical observatory on a high Arctic mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinbring, Eric; Leckie, Brian; Hardy, Tim; Caputa, Kris; Fletcher, Murray

    2012-09-01

    Mountains along the northwestern coast of Ellesmere Island, Canada, possess the highest peaks nearest the Pole. This geography, combined with an atmospheric thermal inversion restricted to below ~1000 m during much of the long arctic night, provides excellent opportunities for uninterrupted cloud-free astronomy - provided the challenges of these incredibly remote locations can be overcome. We present a miniaturized robotic observatory for deployment on a High Arctic mountaintop. This system tested the operability of precise optical instruments during winter, and the logistics of installation and maintenance during summer. It is called Ukpik after the Inuktitut name for the snowy owl, and was deployed at two sites accessible only by helicopter, each north of 82 degrees latitude; one on rock at 1100 m elevation and another on a glacier at 1600 m. The instrument suite included at first an all-sky-viewing camera, with the later addition of a small telescope to monitor Polaris, both protected by a retractable weather-proof enclosure. Expanding this to include a narrow-field drift-scanning camera for studying extra-solar planet transits was also investigated, but not implemented. An unique restriction was that all had to be run on batteries recharged primarily by a wind turbine. Supplementary power came from a methanol fuel-cell electrical generator. Communications were via the Iridium satellite network. The system design, and lessons learned from three years of operation are discussed, along with prospects for time-domain astronomy from isolated, high-elevation polar mountaintops.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

    *Biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions from arctic ecosystems are important in view of their role in global atmospheric chemistry and unknown feedbacks to global warming. These cold ecosystems are hotspots of climate warming, which will be more severe here than averaged over the globe. We assess the effects of climatic warming on non-methane BVOC emissions from a subarctic heath. *We performed ecosystem-based chamber measurements and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses of the BVOCs collected on adsorbent over two growing seasons at a wet subarctic tundra heath hosting a long-term warming and mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) litter addition experiment. *The relatively low emissions of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes were doubled in response to an air temperature increment of only 1.9-2.5 degrees C, while litter addition had a minor influence. BVOC emissions were seasonal, and warming combined with litter addition triggered emissions of specific compounds. *The unexpectedly high rate of release of BVOCs measured in this conservative warming scenario is far above the estimates produced by the current models, which underlines the importance of a focus on BVOC emissions during climate change. The observed changes have implications for ecological interactions and feedback effects on climate change via impacts on aerosol formation and indirect greenhouse effects.

  11. Continuous daylight in the high-Arctic summer supports high plankton respiration rates compared to those supported in the dark

    KAUST Repository

    Mesa, Elena; Delgado-Huertas, Antonio; Carrillo-de-Albornoz, Paloma; Garcí a-Corral, Lara S.; Sanz-Martí n, Marina; Wassmann, Paul; Reigstad, Marit; Sejr, Mikael; Dalsgaard, Tage; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2017-01-01

    Plankton respiration rate is a major component of global CO2 production and is forecasted to increase rapidly in the Arctic with warming. Yet, existing assessments in the Arctic evaluated plankton respiration in the dark. Evidence that plankton

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-07-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Ultrafine particles in inhabited areas in the Arctic - From very low to high concentrations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pétursdóttir, Una; Kirkelund, Gunvor Marie; Press-Kristensen, Kåre

    2017-01-01

    The Arctic is considered a pristine environment, where pollution mainly originates from global sources. The present study examines particle number concentrations (PNCs) and the main sources of airborne ultrafine particles (UFPs, d < 100 nm) in the town Sisimiut and two nearby settlements, Sarfann......The Arctic is considered a pristine environment, where pollution mainly originates from global sources. The present study examines particle number concentrations (PNCs) and the main sources of airborne ultrafine particles (UFPs, d ..., Sarfannguit and Itilleq, in West Greenland. Measurements were carried out during three weeks in April and May 2016. Air temperatures during the measurements ranged from −4.4 to +8.7 °C. A portable condensation particle counter (P-Trak) was used for the measurements. Results showed that the lowest...... in Sisimiut, while subsequent measurements at the same location showed much lower PNCs. The presence of heavy machinery elevated PNCs highly during two measurement events, giving PNCs up to 270,993 cm−3 but dropping to 1180 cm−3 10 min later, after the vehicle had passed by. A measurement event in Sisimiut...

  16. Temporally delineated sources of major chemical species in high Arctic snow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. M. Macdonald

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Long-range transport of aerosol from lower latitudes to the high Arctic may be a significant contributor to climate forcing in the Arctic. To identify the sources of key contaminants entering the Canadian High Arctic an intensive campaign of snow sampling was completed at Alert, Nunavut, from September 2014 to June 2015. Fresh snow samples collected every few days were analyzed for black carbon, major ions, and metals, and this rich data set provided an opportunity for a temporally refined source apportionment of snow composition via positive matrix factorization (PMF in conjunction with FLEXPART (FLEXible PARTicle dispersion model potential emission sensitivity analysis. Seven source factors were identified: sea salt, crustal metals, black carbon, carboxylic acids, nitrate, non-crustal metals, and sulfate. The sea salt and crustal factors showed good agreement with expected composition and primarily northern sources. High loadings of V and Se onto Factor 2, crustal metals, was consistent with expected elemental ratios, implying these metals were not primarily anthropogenic in origin. Factor 3, black carbon, was an acidic factor dominated by black carbon but with some sulfate contribution over the winter-haze season. The lack of K+ associated with this factor, a Eurasian source, and limited known forest fire events coincident with this factor's peak suggested a predominantly anthropogenic combustion source. Factor 4, carboxylic acids, was dominated by formate and acetate with a moderate correlation to available sunlight and an oceanic and North American source. A robust identification of this factor was not possible; however, atmospheric photochemical reactions, ocean microlayer reaction, and biomass burning were explored as potential contributors. Factor 5, nitrate, was an acidic factor dominated by NO3−, with a likely Eurasian source and mid-winter peak. The isolation of NO3− on a separate factor may reflect its complex atmospheric

  17. Permafrost response to increasing Arctic shrub abundance depends on the relative influence of shrubs on local soil cooling versus large-scale climate warming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lawrence, David M; Swenson, Sean C

    2011-01-01

    Deciduous shrub abundance is increasing across the Arctic in response to climatic warming. In a recent field manipulation experiment in which shrubs were removed from a plot and compared to a control plot with shrubs, Blok et al (2010 Glob. Change Biol. 16 1296–305) found that shrubs protect the ground through shading, resulting in a ∼ 9% shallower active layer thickness (ALT) under shrubs compared to grassy-tundra, which led them to argue that continued Arctic shrub expansion could mitigate future permafrost thaw. We utilize the Community Land Model (CLM4) coupled to the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM4) to evaluate this hypothesis. CLM4 simulates shallower ALT (∼− 11 cm) under shrubs, consistent with the field manipulation study. However, in an idealized pan-Arctic + 20% shrub area experiment, atmospheric heating, driven mainly by surface albedo changes related to protrusion of shrub stems above the spring snowpack, leads to soil warming and deeper ALT (∼+ 10 cm). Therefore, if climate feedbacks are considered, shrub expansion may actually increase rather than decrease permafrost vulnerability. When we account for blowing-snow redistribution from grassy-tundra to shrubs, shifts in snowpack distribution in low versus high shrub area simulations counter the climate warming impact, resulting in a grid cell mean ALT that is unchanged. These results reinforce the need to consider vegetation dynamics and blowing-snow processes in the permafrost thaw model projections.

  18. Elevation-based upscaling of organic carbon stocks in High-Arctic permafrost terrain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weiss, Niels; Faucherre, Samuel; Lampiris, Nikos

    2017-01-01

    Accurate quantity and distribution estimates of permafrost soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks are needed to project potential feedbacks to climate, following warming. Still, upscaling from local field observations to regional estimates to circumarctic assessments remains a challenge. Here we explore...... elevation-based upscaling techniques for High-Arctic permafrost SOC stocks. We combine two detailed, high-resolution SOC inventories on Spitsbergen (Svalbard) with regional validation data. We find a clear relationship between elevation and SOC content, and use this observed exponential correlation, as well...... as discrete elevation classes, as upscaling models for Spitsbergen. We estimate the total amount of permafrost SOC currently present in soils on Spitsbergen to be 105.36 Tg (0.11 Pg), with a mean SOC content of 2.84 ± 0.74 kg C m−2 (mean ± 95% confidence interval). Excluding glaciers and permanent snowfields...

  19. Occurrence of weak, sub-micron, tropospheric aerosol events at high Arctic latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, N. T.; Pancrati, O.; Baibakov, K.; Eloranta, E.; Batchelor, R. L.; Freemantle, J.; McArthur, L. J. B.; Strong, K.; Lindenmaier, R.

    2008-07-01

    Numerous fine mode (sub-micron) aerosol optical events were observed during the summer of 2007 at the High Arctic atmospheric observatory (PEARL) located at Eureka, Nunavut, Canada. Half of these events could be traced to forest fires in southern and eastern Russia and the Northwest Territories of Canada. The most notable findings were that (a) a combination of ground-based measurements (passive sunphotometry, high spectral resolution lidar) could be employed to determine that weak (near sub-visual) fine mode events had occurred, and (b) this data combined with remote sensing imagery products (MODIS, OMI-AI, FLAMBE fire sources), Fourier transform spectroscopy and back trajectories could be employed to identify the smoke events.

  20. Documenting PyroCb Development on High-Intensity Boreal Fires: Implications for the Arctic Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocks, B. J.; Fromm, M. D.; Servranckx, R.; Lindsey, D.

    2007-12-01

    The recent confirmation that smoke from high-intensity boreal forest fires can reach the Upper Troposphere/Lower Stratosphere (UTLS) through pyroconvection and be transported long distances has raised concern over the wider-scale environmental impact of boreal fire smoke. This concern is further elevated as climate change projections indicate a significant increase in the frequency and severity of boreal forest fires over the next century. Smoke in the UTLS is frequently transported to the Arctic and may have important implications for the radiative energy budget in the polar region. Soot deposition from fires may lead to enhanced melting of sea ice and glaciers, and the chemical impact of fire emissions at high altitudes is largely unknown. This knowledge gap will be addressed during the International Polar Year (IPY), as boreal fire emissions will be tracked and documented in detail through aerial, satellite and ground-based measurements, as a key component of the POLARCAT (Polar Study using Aircraft, Remote Sensing, Surface Measurements and Models, of Climate, Chemistry, Aerosols, and Transport) and ARCTAS (Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites) projects to be conducted in 2008. A large fire in the Canadian Northwest Territories burned throughout the month of June 2007, in a remote region where forest fires are not actively suppressed, eventually reaching 90,000 hectares in size. This fire was monitored for blowup one week in advance; it erupted into pyroconvection on June 25, 2007. We present an analysis of this event combining satellite data with ground-based measurements to document the development and impact of this classic pyroCb event. Under extreme fire danger conditions, the fire burned close to 20,000 hectares on that day. Fire behavior was consistent with predictions using the Canadian Fire Behavior Prediction System, with the fire spreading at 2.7 km/hr, consuming 33,000 kg of fuel hourly, generating an

  1. Carbon Bioavailability in a High Arctic Fjord Influenced by Glacial Meltwater, NE Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria L. Paulsen

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The land-to-ocean flux of organic carbon is increasing in glacierized regions in response to increasing temperatures in the Arctic (Hood et al., 2015. In order to understand the response of the coastal ecosystem metabolism to the organic carbon input it is essential to determine the bioavailability of the different carbon sources in the system. We quantified the bacterial turnover of organic carbon in a high Arctic fjord system (Young Sound, NE Greenland during the ice-free period (July-October 2014 and assessed the quality and quantity of the 3 major organic carbon sources; (1 local phytoplankton production (2 runoff from land-terminating glaciers and a lowland river and (3 inflow from the ocean shelf. We found that despite relatively low concentrations of DOC in the rivers, the bioavailability of the river–DOC was significantly higher than in the fjord, and characterized by high cell-specific bacterial production and low C:N ratios. In contrast, the DOC source entering via inflow of coastal shelf waters had high DOC concentrations with high C:N and low specific bacterial production. The phytoplankton production in the fjord could not sustain the bacterial carbon demand, but was still the major source of organic carbon for bacterial growth. We assessed the bacterial community composition and found that communities were specific for the different water types i.e., the bacterial community of the coastal inflow water could be traced mainly in the subsurface water, while the glacial river community strongly dominated the surface water in the fjord.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1995-12-31

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

  3. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  5. Pyrosequencing analysis of the protist communities in a High Arctic meromictic lake: DNA preservation and change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie eCharvet

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available High Arctic meromictic lakes are extreme environments characterized by cold temperatures, low nutrient inputs from their polar desert catchments and prolonged periods of low irradiance and darkness. These lakes are permanently stratified with an oxygenated freshwater layer (mixolimnion overlying a saline, anoxic water column (monimolimnion. The physical and chemical properties of the deepest known lake of this type in the circumpolar Arctic, Lake A, on the far northern coast of Ellesmere Island, Canada, have been studied over the last 15 years, but little is known about the lake’s biological communities. We applied high-throughput sequencing of the V4 region of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene to investigate the protist communities down the water column at three sampling times: under the ice at the end of winter in 2008, during an unusual period of warming and ice-out the same year, and again under the ice in mid-summer 2009. Sequences of many protist taxa occurred throughout the water column at all sampling times, including in the deep anoxic layer where growth is highly unlikely. Furthermore, there were sequences for taxonomic groups including diatoms and marine taxa, which have never been observed in Lake A by microscopic analysis. However the sequences of other taxa such as ciliates, chrysophytes, Cercozoa and Telonema varied with depth, between years and during the transition to ice-free conditions. These results imply that there are seasonally active taxa in the surface waters of the lake that are sensitive to depth and change with time. DNA from these taxa is superimposed upon background DNA from multiple internal and external sources that is preserved in the deep, cold, largely anoxic water column.

  6. On the physical controls of the carbon dioxide balance at a high arctic site in Svalbard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lloyd, C.R.

    2001-01-01

    Current predictions of the effects of climate change indicate that the Arctic may experience a larger than average increase in temperature with consequent changes to the length of the snow-free active summer period, winter snow depth and amount and frequency of summer precipitation being highly probable. This paper reports on measurements of carbon dioxide flux at a high arctic site at Ny-Aalesund (78 o 56' N, 11 o 55' E), Svalbard and the physical climate variables that largely control this flux. lt is shown that during three important precipitation-free periods of the active summer period, namely post snow melt, high summer, and early autumn, the net balance between CO 2 flux from the soil (due to respiration of roots and soil organisms) and CO 2 assimilation by the vegetation is controlled largely by soil temperature and solar radiation. A simple combined photosynthetic assimilation-soil respiration model is shown to be capable of simulating the net CO 2 flux during mid-summer, but is less proficient in the post snow melt period and in early autumn when the simple models' inability to simulate the effects of emergent growth and ponding during the former and senescence, freezing temperatures and dew during the latter indicates the need for a more complex descriptive model. The net CO 2 flux during the measurement periods progresses from a net CO 2 source of 0.3 gC m -2 d -1 during late snow melt to a mid summer net CO 2 sink of -0.39 gC m -2 d -1 , returning to a net CO 2 source of 0.1 gC m -2 d -1 in the early autumn. Simple extrapolation of the data indicates that, during the active summer season in 1995, this site was a net sink of CO 2 of approximately -9 gC m -2 . (author)

  7. A Decade of High-Resolution Arctic Sea Ice Measurements from Airborne Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, K.; Farrell, S. L.; Connor, L. N.; Jackson, C.; Richter-Menge, J.

    2017-12-01

    Satellite altimeters carried on board ERS-1,-2, EnviSat, ICESat, CryoSat-2, AltiKa and Sentinel-3 have transformed our ability to map the thickness and volume of the polar sea ice cover, on seasonal and decadal time-scales. The era of polar satellite altimetry has coincided with a rapid decline of the Arctic ice cover, which has thinned, and transitioned from a predominantly multi-year to first-year ice cover. In conjunction with basin-scale satellite altimeter observations, airborne surveys of the Arctic Ocean at the end of winter are now routine. These surveys have been targeted to monitor regions of rapid change, and are designed to obtain the full snow and ice thickness distribution, across a range of ice types. Sensors routinely deployed as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge (OIB) campaigns include the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) laser altimeter, the frequency-modulated continuous-wave snow radar, and the Digital Mapping System (DMS). Airborne measurements yield high-resolution data products and thus present a unique opportunity to assess the quality and characteristics of the satellite observations. We present a suite of sea ice data products that describe the snow depth and thickness of the Arctic ice cover during the last decade. Fields were derived from OIB measurements collected between 2009-2017, and from reprocessed data collected during ad-hoc sea ice campaigns prior to OIB. Our bespoke algorithms are designed to accommodate the heterogeneous sea ice surface topography, that varies at short spatial scales. We assess regional and inter-annual variability in the sea ice thickness distribution. Results are compared to satellite-derived ice thickness fields to highlight the sensitivities of satellite footprints to the tails of the thickness distribution. We also show changes in the dynamic forcing shaping the ice pack over the last eight years through an analysis of pressure-ridge sail-height distributions and surface roughness conditions

  8. 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

    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...... 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...... 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...

  9. Thick-billed murres from the High Arctic have the luxury of being lazy!

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Linnebjerg, Jannie; Tremblay, Yann; Mosbech, Anders

    cold waters where energy consumption is low. This causes potential problems for homoeothermic predators, which require constant access to nutritious prey to survive or large body lipid reserves. Diving birds are particularly vulnerable to periods of low prey availability and many species therefore......Aquatic environments in the temperate, boreal and arctic climate zones are highly seasonal in terms of biological productivity. Many poikilothermic aquatic organisms survive the winter, when food availability is low, by reducing their activity levels and/or performing vertical migrations to deep...... resolve this by migrating to warmer waters, where locating food is energetically less challenging. Migration by flight, however, is extremely energetically costly for birds with wings specialized for underwater swimming. Little is known of how they manage to obtain sufficient energy during migration...

  10. Cytological and ultrastructural preservation in Eocene Metasequoia leaves from the Canadian high Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenhut, K.; Vann, D.R.; LePage, B.A. [University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (United States). Dept. of Earth & Environmental Science

    2004-06-01

    The ultrastructural examination by transmission electron microscopy of 45-million-year-old mummified leaves of Metasequoia extracted from the Upper Coal member of the Buchanan Lake Formation in Napartulik on Axel Heiberg Island revealed the preservation of intact chloroplasts and chloroplast components. Abundant tanniferous cell inclusions may indicate that the 3-mo period of constant daylight during the Arctic summer induced high concentrations of tannins in the leaf tissues, which may have arrested microbial degradation of the litter. Quantified differences in the extent of chloroplast preservation through a vertical section of the lignite suggest that short-term shifts in the depositional environment took place, perhaps influencing the exposure of the leaf tissues to conditions that would either promote or inhibit decomposition.

  11. Summer in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

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

  12. Reconstruction of a high-resolution late holocene arctic paleoclimate record from Colville River delta sediments.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schreiner, Kathryn Melissa; Lowry, Thomas Stephen

    2013-10-01

    This work was partially supported by the Sandia National Laboratories, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) fellowship program in conjunction with Texas A&M University (TAMU). The research described herein is the work of Kathryn M. Schreiner (Katie) and her advisor, Thomas S. Bianchi and represents a concise description of Katies dissertation that was submitted to the TAMU Office of Graduate Studies in May 2013 in partial fulfillment of her doctorate of philosophy degree. High Arctic permafrost soils contain a massive amount of organic carbon, accounting for twice as much carbon as what is currently stored as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, with current warming trends this sink is in danger of thawing and potentially releasing large amounts of carbon as both carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. It is difficult to make predictions about the future of this sink without knowing how it has reacted to past temperature and climate changes. This project investigated long term, fine scale particulate organic carbon (POC) delivery by the high-Arctic Colville River into Simpsons Lagoon in the near-shore Beaufort Sea. Modern POC was determined to be a mixture of three sources (riverine soils, coastal erosion, and marine). Downcore POC measurements were performed in a core close to the Colville River output and a core close to intense coastal erosion. Inputs of the three major sources were found to vary throughout the last two millennia, and in the Colville River core covary significantly with Alaskan temperature reconstructions.

  13. Clay mineralogy, strontium and neodymium isotope ratios in the sediments of two High Arctic catchments (Svalbard)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindshaw, Ruth S.; Tosca, Nicholas J.; Piotrowski, Alexander M.; Tipper, Edward T.

    2018-03-01

    The identification of sediment sources to the ocean is a prerequisite to using marine sediment cores to extract information on past climate and ocean circulation. Sr and Nd isotopes are classical tools with which to trace source provenance. Despite considerable interest in the Arctic Ocean, the circum-Arctic source regions are poorly characterised in terms of their Sr and Nd isotopic compositions. In this study we present Sr and Nd isotope data from the Paleogene Central Basin sediments of Svalbard, including the first published data of stream suspended sediments from Svalbard. The stream suspended sediments exhibit considerable isotopic variation (ɛNd = -20.6 to -13.4; 87Sr / 86Sr = 0.73421 to 0.74704) which can be related to the depositional history of the sedimentary formations from which they are derived. In combination with analysis of the clay mineralogy of catchment rocks and sediments, we suggest that the Central Basin sedimentary rocks were derived from two sources. One source is Proterozoic sediments derived from Greenlandic basement rocks which are rich in illite and have high 87Sr / 86Sr and low ɛNd values. The second source is Carboniferous to Jurassic sediments derived from Siberian basalts which are rich in smectite and have low 87Sr / 86Sr and high ɛNd values. Due to a change in depositional conditions throughout the Paleogene (from deep sea to continental) the relative proportions of these two sources vary in the Central Basin formations. The modern stream suspended sediment isotopic composition is then controlled by modern processes, in particular glaciation, which determines the present-day exposure of the formations and therefore the relative contribution of each formation to the stream suspended sediment load. This study demonstrates that the Nd isotopic composition of stream suspended sediments exhibits seasonal variation, which likely mirrors longer-term hydrological changes, with implications for source provenance studies based on fixed

  14. Resource utilisation by deep-sea megabenthos in the Canadian High Arctic (Baffin Bay and Parry Channel)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeois, Solveig; Witte, Ursula; Harrison, Ailish M.; Makela, Anni; Kazanidis, Georgios; Archambault, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    Ongoing climate change in the Arctic is causing drastic alteration of the Arctic marine ecosystem functioning, such as shifts in patterns of primary production, and modifying the present tight pelagic-benthic coupling. Subsequently benthic communities, which rely upon organic matter produced in the top layers of the Ocean, will also be affected by these changes. The benthic megafaunal communities play a significant role in ecological processes and ecosystem functioning (i.e. organic matter recycling, bioturbation, food source for the higher trophic levels…). Yet, information is scarce regarding the main food sources for dominant benthic organisms, and therefore the impact of the ongoing changes is difficult to assess. The goal of this study is to investigate the preferential feeding of different carbon sources by megabenthic organisms in the Canadian High Arctic and to identify environmental drivers which explain the observed trends. In summer 2013, benthic megafauna was collected at 9 stations spread along latitudinal (58 to 81°N) and longitudinal (62 to 114°W) transects in the Baffin Bay and Parry Channel, respectively. Carbon and nitrogen bulk stable isotope analyses (δ13C and δ15N) were performed on several species divided into groups according to their feeding type. This study highlights distinct trends in δ13C values of benthic organisms suggesting the importance of both phytoplankton and ice algae as carbon sources for megafauna in the Canadian High Arctic. The importance of physical and biological parameters as drivers of food web structure will be furthermore discussed.

  15. Competition for tracer 15N in tussock tundra ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  18. Using High Spatio-Temporal Optical Remote Sensing to Monitor Dissolved Organic Carbon in the Arctic River Yenisei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre-Alexis Herrault

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In Arctic regions, a major concern is the release of carbon from melting permafrost that could greatly exceed current human carbon emissions. Arctic rivers drain these organic-rich watersheds (Ob, Lena, Yenisei, Mackenzie, Yukon but field measurements at the outlets of these great Arctic rivers are constrained by limited accessibility of sampling sites. In particular, the highest dissolved organic carbon (DOC fluxes are observed throughout the ice breakup period that occurs over a short two to three-week period in late May or early June during the snowmelt-generated peak flow. The colored fraction of dissolved organic carbon (DOC which absorbs UV and visible light is designed as chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM. It is highly correlated to DOC in large arctic rivers and streams, allowing for remote sensing to monitor DOC concentrations from satellite imagery. High temporal and spatial resolutions remote sensing tools are highly relevant for the study of DOC fluxes in a large Arctic river. The high temporal resolution allows for correctly assessing this highly dynamic process, especially the spring freshet event (a few weeks in May. The high spatial resolution allows for assessing the spatial variability within the stream and quantifying DOC transfer during the ice break period when the access to the river is almost impossible. In this study, we develop a CDOM retrieval algorithm at a high spatial and a high temporal resolution in the Yenisei River. We used extensive DOC and DOM spectral absorbance datasets from 2014 and 2015. Twelve SPOT5 (Take5 and Landsat 8 (OLI images from 2014 and 2015 were examined for this investigation. Relationships between CDOM and spectral variables were explored using linear models (LM. Results demonstrated the capacity of a CDOM algorithm retrieval to monitor DOC fluxes in the Yenisei River during a whole open water season with a special focus on the peak flow period. Overall, future Sentinel2/Landsat8

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems may act as a positive feedback to climate warming, the strength of which depends on its spatial extent. Recent studies have shown that shrub expansion is more likely to occur in areas with high soil moisture and nutrient availability, conditions typically found in sub-surface water channels known as water tracks. Water tracks are 5–15 m wide channels of subsurface water drainage in permafrost landscapes and are characterized by deeper seasonal thaw depth, warmer soil temperatures, and higher soil moisture and nutrient content relative to adjacent tundra. Consequently, enhanced vegetation productivity, and dominance by tall deciduous shrubs, are typical in water tracks. Quantifying the distribution of water tracks may inform investigations of the extent of shrub expansion and associated impacts on tundra ecosystem carbon cycling. Here, we quantify the distribution of water tracks and their contribution to growing season CO 2 dynamics for a Siberian tundra landscape using satellite observations, meteorological data, and field measurements. We find that water tracks occupy 7.4% of the 448 km 2 study area, and account for a slightly larger proportion of growing season carbon uptake relative to surrounding tundra. For areas inside water tracks dominated by shrubs, field observations revealed higher shrub biomass and higher ecosystem respiration and gross primary productivity relative to adjacent upland tundra. Conversely, a comparison of graminoid-dominated areas in water tracks and inter-track tundra revealed that water track locations dominated by graminoids had lower shrub biomass yet increased net uptake of CO 2 . Our results show water tracks are an important component of this landscape. Their distribution will influence ecosystem structural and functional responses to climate, and is therefore of importance for modeling. (letter)

  20. A case study of high Arctic anthropogenic disturbance to polar desert permafrost and ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, M. S.; Pollard, W. H.

    2013-12-01

    One of the indirect impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems is the expected increase of industrial development in high latitudes. The scale of terrestrial impacts cannot be known ahead of time, particularly due to a lack of long-term impact studies in this region. With one of the slowest community recovery rates of any ecosystem, the high Artic biome will be under a considerable threat that is exacerbated by a high susceptibility to change in the permafrost thermal balance. One such area that provides a suitable location for study is an old airstrip near Eureka, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut (80.0175°N, 85.7340°W). While primarily used as an ice-runway for winter transport, the airstrip endured a yearly summer removal of vegetation that continued from 1947 until its abandonment in 1951. Since then, significant vegetative and geomorphic differences between disturbed and undisturbed areas have been noted in the literature throughout the decades (Bruggemann, 1953; Beschel, 1963; Couture and Pollard, 2007), but no system wide assessment of both the ecosystem and near-surface permafrost has been conducted. Key to our study is that the greatest apparent geomorphic and vegetative changes have occurred and persisted in areas where underlying ice-wedges have been disturbed. This suggests that the colonizing communities rapidly filled new available thermokarst niches and have produced an alternative ice-wedge stable state than the surrounding polar desert. We hypothesize that disturbed areas will currently have greater depths of thaw (deeper active layers) and degraded ice-wedges, with decreased vegetation diversity but higher abundance due to a changed hydrological balance. To test this a comprehensive set of near-surface active layer and ecosystem measurements were conducted. Permafrost dynamics were characterized using probing and high-frequency Ground Penetrating Radar (500 MHz) to map the near-surface details of ice-wedges and active layer. Vegetation was measured

  1. Spatio-temporal hotspots of satellite-tracked arctic foxes reveal a large detection range in a mammalian predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Sandra; Bêty, Joël; Berteaux, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    The scale at which animals perceive their environment is a strong fitness determinant, yet few empirical estimates of animal detection ranges exist, especially in mammalian predators. Using daily Argos satellite tracking of 26 adult arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) during a single winter in the High Canadian Arctic, we investigated the detection range of arctic foxes by detecting hotspots of fox activity on the sea ice. While maintaining territories in the tundra, these solitary foragers occasionally used the sea ice where they sometimes formed spatio-temporal hotspots, likely scavenging on marine mammal carcasses. We detected 35 movements by 13 individuals forming five hotspots. Foxes often traveled more than 10 km, and up to 40 km, to reach hotspots, which lasted one-two weeks and could gather up to 12 individuals. The likelihood of a fox joining a hotspot was neither influenced by its distance from the hotspot nor by the distance of its home range to the coast. Observed traveling distances may indicate a high detection range in arctic foxes, and our results suggest their ability to detect food sources on the sea ice from their terrestrial home range. While revealing a wide knowledge gap regarding resource detection abilities in mammalian predators, our study provides estimates of detection range useful for interpreting and modeling animal movements. It also allows a better understanding of foraging behavior and navigation capacity in terrestrial predators.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  3. Arctic circulation regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-13

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

  4. Arctic Haze Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mei, Linlu; Xue, Yong

    2013-04-01

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

  5. Salix polaris growth responses to active layer detachment and solifluction processes in High Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siekacz, Liliana

    2015-04-01

    The work is dedicated to demonstrate the potential of Salix polaris grow properties in the dendrogemorphologic image, analyzing periglacially induced slope processes in the high Arctic.. Observed anatomical and morphological plants responses to solifluction and active layer detachment processes are presented qualitatively and quantitatively as a summary of presented features frequency. The results are discussed against the background of the other research results in this field. The investigations was performed in Ebba valley, in the vicinity of Petunia Bay, northernmost part of Billefjorden in central Spitsbergen (Svalbard). Environmental conditions are characterized by annual precipitation sum lower than 200 mm (Hagen et al.,1993) and average summer temperature of about 5°C, with maximum daily temperatures rarely exceeding 10°C (Rachlewicz, 2009). Collected shrub material was prepared according to the methods presented by Schweingruber and Poschlod (2005). Thin (approx. 15-20μm) sections of the whole cross-section were prepared with a sledge microtome, stained with Safranine and Astra blue and finally permanently fixed on microslides with Canada balsam and dried. Snapshots were taken partially for each cross-section with digital camera (ColorView III, Olympus) connected to a microscope (Olympus BX41) and merged into one, high resolution image. After all, ring widths were measured in 3-4 radii in every single cross-section using ImageJ software. Analyzed plants revealed extremely harsh environmental conditions of their growth. Buchwał et al. (2013) provided quantitative data concerning missing rings and partially missing rings in shrubs growing on Ebba valley floor. Mean ring width at the level of 79μm represents one of the smallest values of yearly growth ever noted. The share of missing rings and partially missing rings was 11,2% and 13,6% respectively. Plants growing on Ebba valley slope indicate almost twice smaller values of ring width (41μm), and higher

  6. Arctic Newcomers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tonami, Aki

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Quantifying snow and vegetation interactions in the high arctic based on ground penetrating radar (GPR)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gacitúa, G.; Bay, C.; Tamstorf, M.

    2013-01-01

    Arctic in Northeast Greenland. We used ground penetrating radar (GPR) for snow thickness measurements across the Zackenberg valley. Measurements were integrated to the physical conditions that support the vegetation distribution. Descriptive statistics and correlations of the distribution of each...

  8. Glacier inputs influence organic matter composition and prokaryotic distribution in a high Arctic fjord (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard)

    KAUST Repository

    Bourgeois, Solveig; Kerhervé , Philippe; Calleja, Maria Ll; Many, Gaë l; Morata, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    With climate change, the strong seasonality and tight pelagic-benthic coupling in the Arctic is expected to change in the next few decades. It is currently unclear how the benthos will be affected by changes of environmental conditions

  9. Advanced Ecosystem Mapping Techniques for Large Arctic Study Domains Using Calibrated High-Resolution Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    Regional-scale mapping of vegetation and other ecosystem properties has traditionally relied on medium-resolution remote sensing such as Landsat (30 m) and MODIS (250 m). Yet, the burgeoning availability of high-resolution (environments has not been previously evaluated. Image segmentation, or object-based image analysis, automatically partitions high-resolution imagery into homogeneous image regions that can then be analyzed based on spectral, textural, and contextual information. We applied eCognition software to delineate waterbodies and vegetation classes, in combination with other techniques. Texture metrics were evaluated to determine the feasibility of using high-resolution imagery to algorithmically characterize periglacial surface forms (e.g., ice-wedge polygons), which are an important physical characteristic of permafrost-dominated regions but which cannot be distinguished by medium-resolution remote sensing. These advanced mapping techniques provide products which can provide essential information supporting a broad range of ecosystem science and land-use planning applications in northern Alaska and elsewhere in the circumpolar Arctic.

  10. Arctic water tracks retain phosphorus and transport ammonium

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Bååth, Erland

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Size-resolved atmospheric particulate polysaccharides in the high summer Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leck, C.; Gao, Q.; Mashayekhy Rad, F.; Nilsson, U.

    2013-12-01

    Size-resolved aerosol samples for subsequent quantitative determination of polymer sugars (polysaccharides) after hydrolysis to their subunit monomers (monosaccharides) were collected in surface air over the central Arctic Ocean during the biologically most active summer period. The analysis was carried out by novel use of liquid chromatography coupled with highly selective and sensitive tandem mass spectrometry. Polysaccharides were detected in particle sizes ranging from 0.035 to 10 μm in diameter with distinct features of heteropolysaccharides, enriched in xylose, glucose + mannose as well as a substantial fraction of deoxysugars. Polysaccharides, containing deoxysugar monomers, showed a bimodal size structure with about 70% of their mass found in the Aitken mode over the pack ice area. Pentose (xylose) and hexose (glucose + mannose) had a weaker bimodal character and were largely found with super-micrometer sizes and in addition with a minor sub-micrometer fraction. The concentration of total hydrolysable neutral sugars (THNS) in the samples collected varied over two orders of magnitude (1 to 160 pmol m-3) in the super-micrometer size fraction and to a somewhat lesser extent in sub-micrometer particles (4 to 140 pmol m-3). Lowest THNS concentrations were observed in air masses that had spent more than five days over the pack ice. Within the pack ice area, about 53% of the mass of hydrolyzed polysaccharides was detected in sub-micrometer particles. The relative abundance of sub-micrometer hydrolyzed polysaccharides could be related to the length of time that the air mass spent over pack ice, with the highest fraction (> 90%) observed for > 7 days of advection. The aerosol samples collected onboard ship showed similar monosaccharide composition, compared to particles generated experimentally in situ at the expedition's open lead site. This supports the existence of a primary particle source of polysaccharide containing polymer gels from open leads by bubble

  13. High bacterial diversity of biological soil crusts in water tracks over permafrost in the high arctic polar desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Blaire; Lionard, Marie; Kuske, Cheryl R; Vincent, Warwick F

    2013-01-01

    In this study we report the bacterial diversity of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) inhabiting polar desert soils at the northern land limit of the Arctic polar region (83° 05 N). Employing pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes this study demonstrated that these biocrusts harbor diverse bacterial communities, often as diverse as temperate latitude communities. The effect of wetting pulses on the composition of communities was also determined by collecting samples from soils outside and inside of permafrost water tracks, hill slope flow paths that drain permafrost-affected soils. The intermittent flow regime in the water tracks was correlated with altered relative abundance of phylum level taxonomic bins in the bacterial communities, but the alterations varied between individual sampling sites. Bacteria related to the Cyanobacteria and Acidobacteria demonstrated shifts in relative abundance based on their location either inside or outside of the water tracks. Among cyanobacterial sequences, the proportion of sequences belonging to the family Oscillatoriales consistently increased in relative abundance in the samples from inside the water tracks compared to those outside. Acidobacteria showed responses to wetting pulses in the water tracks, increasing in abundance at one site and decreasing at the other two sites. Subdivision 4 acidobacterial sequences tended to follow the trends in the total Acidobacteria relative abundance, suggesting these organisms were largely responsible for the changes observed in the Acidobacteria. Taken together, these data suggest that the bacterial communities of these high latitude polar biocrusts are diverse but do not show a consensus response to intermittent flow in water tracks over high Arctic permafrost.

  14. The Impact of Global Warming on the Carbon Cycle of Arctic Permafrost: An Experimental and Field Based Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Onstott, Tullis C [Princeton University; Pffifner, Susan M; Chourey, Karuna [Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    2014-11-07

    Our results to date indicate that CO2 and CH4 fluxes from organic poor, Arctic cryosols on Axel Heiberg Island are net CH4 sinks and CO2 emitters in contrast to organic-rich peat deposits at sub-Arctic latitudes. This is based upon field observations and a 1.5 year long thawing experiment performed upon one meter long intact cores. The results of the core thawing experiments are in good agreement with field measurements. Metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and metaproteomic analyses indicate that high affinity aerobic methanotrophs belong to the uncultivated USCalpha are present in <1% abundance in these cryosols are are active in the field during the summer and in the core thawing experiments. The methanotrophs are 100 times more abundant than the methanogens. As a result mineral cryosols, which comprise 87% of Arctic tundra, are net methane sinks. Their presence and activity may account for the discrepancies observed between the atmospheric methane concentrations observed in the Arctic predicted by climate models and the observed seasonal fluctuations and decadal trends. This has not been done yet.

  15. Diel Variation of Biogenic Volatile Organic Compound Emissions- A field Study in the Sub, Low and High Arctic on the Effect of Temperature and Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindwall, Frida; Faubert, Patrick; Rinnan, Riikka

    2015-01-01

    Many hours of sunlight in the midnight sun period suggest that significant amounts of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) may be released from arctic ecosystems during night-time. However, the emissions from these ecosystems are rarely studied and limited to point measurements during daytime. We measured BVOC emissions during 24-hour periods in the field using a push-pull chamber technique and collection of volatiles in adsorbent cartridges followed by analysis with gas chromatography- mass spectrometry. Five different arctic vegetation communities were examined: high arctic heaths dominated by Salix arctica and Cassiope tetragona, low arctic heaths dominated by Salix glauca and Betula nana and a subarctic peatland dominated by the moss Warnstorfia exannulata and the sedge Eriophorum russeolum. We also addressed how climate warming affects the 24-hour emission and how the daytime emissions respond to sudden darkness. The emissions from the high arctic sites were lowest and had a strong diel variation with almost no emissions during night-time. The low arctic sites as well as the subarctic site had a more stable release of BVOCs during the 24-hour period with night-time emissions in the same range as those during the day. These results warn against overlooking the night period when considering arctic emissions. During the day, the quantity of BVOCs and the number of different compounds emitted was higher under ambient light than in darkness. The monoterpenes α-fenchene, α -phellandrene, 3-carene and α-terpinene as well as isoprene were absent in dark measurements during the day. Warming by open top chambers increased the emission rates both in the high and low arctic sites, forewarning higher emissions in a future warmer climate in the Arctic. PMID:25897519

  16. Diel Variation of Biogenic Volatile Organic Compound Emissions--A field Study in the Sub, Low and High Arctic on the Effect of Temperature and Light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindwall, Frida; Faubert, Patrick; Rinnan, Riikka

    2015-01-01

    Many hours of sunlight in the midnight sun period suggest that significant amounts of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) may be released from arctic ecosystems during night-time. However, the emissions from these ecosystems are rarely studied and limited to point measurements during daytime. We measured BVOC emissions during 24-hour periods in the field using a push-pull chamber technique and collection of volatiles in adsorbent cartridges followed by analysis with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Five different arctic vegetation communities were examined: high arctic heaths dominated by Salix arctica and Cassiope tetragona, low arctic heaths dominated by Salix glauca and Betula nana and a subarctic peatland dominated by the moss Warnstorfia exannulata and the sedge Eriophorum russeolum. We also addressed how climate warming affects the 24-hour emission and how the daytime emissions respond to sudden darkness. The emissions from the high arctic sites were lowest and had a strong diel variation with almost no emissions during night-time. The low arctic sites as well as the subarctic site had a more stable release of BVOCs during the 24-hour period with night-time emissions in the same range as those during the day. These results warn against overlooking the night period when considering arctic emissions. During the day, the quantity of BVOCs and the number of different compounds emitted was higher under ambient light than in darkness. The monoterpenes α-fenchene, α-phellandrene, 3-carene and α-terpinene as well as isoprene were absent in dark measurements during the day. Warming by open top chambers increased the emission rates both in the high and low arctic sites, forewarning higher emissions in a future warmer climate in the Arctic.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-08-01

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

  18. Glacier mass balance in high-arctic areas with anomalous gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharov, A.; Rieser, D.; Nikolskiy, D.

    2012-04-01

    All known glaciological models describing the evolution of Arctic land- and sea-ice masses in changing climate treat the Earth's gravity as horizontally constant, but it isn't. In the High Arctic, the strength of the gravitational field varies considerably across even short distances under the influence of a density gradient, and the magnitude of free air gravity anomalies attains 100 mGal and more. On long-term base, instantaneous deviations of gravity can have a noticeable effect on the regime and mass budget of glaciological objects. At best, the gravity-induced component of ice mass variations can be determined on topographically smooth, open and steady surfaces, like those of arctic planes, regular ice caps and landfast sea ice. The present research is devoted to studying gravity-driven impacts on glacier mass balance in the outer periphery of four Eurasian shelf seas with a very cold, dry climate and rather episodic character of winter precipitation. As main study objects we had chosen a dozen Russia's northernmost insular ice caps, tens to hundreds of square kilometres in extent, situated in a close vicinity of strong gravity anomalies and surrounded with extensive fields of fast and/or drift ice for most of the year. The supposition about gravitational forcing on glacioclimatic settings in the study region is based on the results of quantitative comparison and joint interpretation of existing glacier change maps and available data on the Arctic gravity field and solid precipitation. The overall mapping of medium-term (from decadal to half-centennial) changes in glacier volumes and quantification of mass balance characteristics in the study region was performed by comparing reference elevation models of study glaciers derived from Russian topographic maps 1:200,000 (CI = 20 or 40 m) representing the glacier state as in the 1950s-1980s with modern elevation data obtained from satellite radar interferometry and lidar altimetry. Free-air gravity anomalies were

  19. Human-induced Arctic moistening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Seung-Ki; Zhang, Xuebin; Zwiers, Francis

    2008-04-25

    The Arctic and northern subpolar regions are critical for climate change. Ice-albedo feedback amplifies warming in the Arctic, and fluctuations of regional fresh water inflow to the Arctic Ocean modulate the deep ocean circulation and thus exert a strong global influence. By comparing observations to simulations from 22 coupled climate models, we find influence from anthropogenic greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosols in the space-time pattern of precipitation change over high-latitude land areas north of 55 degrees N during the second half of the 20th century. The human-induced Arctic moistening is consistent with observed increases in Arctic river discharge and freshening of Arctic water masses. This result provides new evidence that human activity has contributed to Arctic hydrological change.

  20. Transitions in high-Arctic vegetation growth patterns and ecosystem productivity tracked with automated cameras from 2000 to 2013

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Westergaard-Nielsen, Andreas; Lund, Magnus; Pedersen, Stine Højlund

    2017-01-01

    Climate-induced changes in vegetation phenology at northern latitudes are still poorly understood. Continued monitoring and research are therefore needed to improve the understanding of abiotic drivers. Here we used 14 years of time lapse imagery and climate data from high-Arctic Northeast...... days, resulting in an unchanged growing season length. Vegetation greenness, derived from the imagery, was correlated to primary productivity, showing that the imagery holds valuable information on vegetation productivity....

  1. Applying High Resolution Imagery to Understand the Role of Dynamics in the Diminishing Arctic Sea Ice Cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    describe contemporary ice pack thickness, MODIS , AVHRR, RadarSat-2 (satellite imagery) that describe ice pack deformation features on large scales, as well...high-resolution visible-band images of the Arctic ice pack that are available at the GFL, USGS. The statistics related to the available images are...University of Maryland team as a Faculty Research Assistant, working under the guidance of Co-PI Farrell. Ms. Faber is responsible for analysis of MODIS

  2. Hydroclimate variability of High Arctic Svalbard during the Holocene inferred from hydrogen isotopes of leaf waxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balascio, Nicholas L.; D'Andrea, William J.; Gjerde, Marthe; Bakke, Jostein

    2018-03-01

    The response of the Arctic hydrologic cycle to global warming includes changes in precipitation patterns and moisture availability associated with variable sea ice extent and modes of atmospheric circulation. Reconstructions of past hydroclimate changes help constrain the natural range of these systems, identify the manners in which they respond to different forcing mechanisms, and reveal their connections to other components of the climate system, all of which lead to a better understanding of present and future changes. Here we examine hydroclimate changes during the Holocene in the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard by reconstructing the isotopic composition of precipitation. We measured the hydrogen isotopic composition (δD values) of leaf wax compounds (n-alkanes; C25-C31) in a sediment core from Lake Hakluytvatnet on the island of Amsterdamøya, northwest Spitsbergen. We interpret δD values of mid-chain (C25) and long-chain (C29, C31) length n-alkanes to represent changes in the isotopic composition of lake water and precipitation over the last 12.9 ka. After deglaciation of the catchment, water supply became restricted and the lake experienced significant evaporative isotopic enrichment indicating warmer conditions from 12.8 to 7.5 ka. The isotope values suggest an increase in the delivery of moisture from warmer sub-polar air masses between 12.8 and 9.5 ka, followed by generally warm, but unstable conditions between 9.5 and 7.5 ka, possibly indicating a response to meltwater forcing. Sedimentary evidence indicates a hiatus in deposition c. 7.5-5.0 ka, likely as a result of desiccation of the lake. At c. 5.0 ka lacustrine sedimentation resumed and over the last 5 ka there was a progressive increase in the influence of polar air masses and colder conditions, which culminated in an abrupt shift to colder conditions at c. 1.8 ka. This late Holocene cooling ended c. 0.18 ka, when isotopic data indicate warmer conditions and greater influence of moisture

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Outbreaks of digital necrobacillosis in Norwegian wild tundra reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) are described. The outbreaks occurred in late summer and autumn 2007 and 2008, subsequent to periods with an unusually high number of days with precipitation and high air temperature. Lesions were....... necrophorum was cultured from the foot lesions of six animals. Five of these isolates were examined by 16S rRNA sequencing. The sequences were identical and differed from all other strains listed in GenBank. These results are consistent with circulation of a reindeer-adapted pathogenic strain of F....... necrophorum in the wild reindeer population, causing outbreaks of digital necrobacillosis following warm and humid summers....

  4. Application of Low-Cost UASs and Digital Photogrammetry for High-Resolution Snow Depth Mapping in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cimoli, Emiliano; Marcer, Marco; Vandecrux, Baptiste Robert Marcel

    2017-01-01

    The repeat acquisition of high-resolution snow depth measurements has important research and civil applications in the Arctic. Currently the surveying methods for capturing the high spatial and temporal variability of the snowpack are expensive, in particular for small areal extents. An alternati...... areal extents. While further validation is needed, with the inclusion of extra validation points, the study showcases the potential of this cost-effective methodology for high-resolution monitoring of snow dynamics in the Arctic and beyond....... methodology based on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) and digital photogrammetry was tested over varying surveying conditions in the Arctic employing two diverse and low-cost UAS-camera combinations (500 and 1700 USD, respectively). Six areas, two in Svalbard and four in Greenland, were mapped covering from......-estimated and measured snow depth, checked with conventional snow probing, ranged from 0.015 to 0.16 m. The impact of image pre-processing was explored, improving point cloud density and accuracy for different image qualities and snow/light conditions. Our UAS photogrammetry results are expected to be scalable to larger...

  5. Application of Low-Cost UASs and Digital Photogrammetry for High-Resolution Snow Depth Mapping in the Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emiliano Cimoli

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The repeat acquisition of high-resolution snow depth measurements has important research and civil applications in the Arctic. Currently the surveying methods for capturing the high spatial and temporal variability of the snowpack are expensive, in particular for small areal extents. An alternative methodology based on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs and digital photogrammetry was tested over varying surveying conditions in the Arctic employing two diverse and low-cost UAS-camera combinations (500 and 1700 USD, respectively. Six areas, two in Svalbard and four in Greenland, were mapped covering from 1386 to 38,410 m2. The sites presented diverse snow surface types, underlying topography and light conditions in order to test the method under potentially limiting conditions. The resulting snow depth maps achieved spatial resolutions between 0.06 and 0.09 m. The average difference between UAS-estimated and measured snow depth, checked with conventional snow probing, ranged from 0.015 to 0.16 m. The impact of image pre-processing was explored, improving point cloud density and accuracy for different image qualities and snow/light conditions. Our UAS photogrammetry results are expected to be scalable to larger areal extents. While further validation is needed, with the inclusion of extra validation points, the study showcases the potential of this cost-effective methodology for high-resolution monitoring of snow dynamics in the Arctic and beyond.

  6. Soil microbial succession along a chronosequence on a High Arctic glacier foreland, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard: 10 years' change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshitake, Shinpei; Uchida, Masaki; Iimura, Yasuo; Ohtsuka, Toshiyuki; Nakatsubo, Takayuki

    2018-06-01

    Rapid glacial retreat in the High Arctic causes the expansion of new habitats, but the successional trajectories of soil microbial communities are not fully understood. We examined microbial succession along a chronosequence twice with a 10-year interval in a High Arctic glacier foreland. Soil samples were collected from five study sites with different ages and phospholipid fatty acids analysis was conducted to investigate the microbial biomass and community structure. Microbial biomass did not differ significantly between the two sampling times but tended to increase with the chronosequence and showed a significant correlation with soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content. Microbial community structure clearly differed along the chronosequence and was correlated with C and N content. The largest shift in community structure over 10 years was observed in the newly exposed sites after deglaciation. The accumulation of soil organic matter was regarded as an important determinant both of microbial biomass and community structure over the successional period. In contrast, the initial microbial community on the newly exposed soil changed rapidly even in the High Arctic, suggesting that some key soil processes such as C and N cycling can also shift within the relatively short period after rapid glacial retreat.

  7. The tundra - a threat to global climate?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roejle Christensen, T.

    1997-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. High Arctic Holocene temperature record from the Agassiz ice cap and Greenland ice sheet evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecavalier, Benoit S; Fisher, David A; Milne, Glenn A; Vinther, Bo M; Tarasov, Lev; Huybrechts, Philippe; Lacelle, Denis; Main, Brittany; Zheng, James; Bourgeois, Jocelyne; Dyke, Arthur S

    2017-06-06

    We present a revised and extended high Arctic air temperature reconstruction from a single proxy that spans the past ∼12,000 y (up to 2009 CE). Our reconstruction from the Agassiz ice cap (Ellesmere Island, Canada) indicates an earlier and warmer Holocene thermal maximum with early Holocene temperatures that are 4-5 °C warmer compared with a previous reconstruction, and regularly exceed contemporary values for a period of ∼3,000 y. Our results show that air temperatures in this region are now at their warmest in the past 6,800-7,800 y, and that the recent rate of temperature change is unprecedented over the entire Holocene. The warmer early Holocene inferred from the Agassiz ice core leads to an estimated ∼1 km of ice thinning in northwest Greenland during the early Holocene using the Camp Century ice core. Ice modeling results show that this large thinning is consistent with our air temperature reconstruction. The modeling results also demonstrate the broader significance of the enhanced warming, with a retreat of the northern ice margin behind its present position in the mid Holocene and a ∼25% increase in total Greenland ice sheet mass loss (∼1.4 m sea-level equivalent) during the last deglaciation, both of which have implications for interpreting geodetic measurements of land uplift and gravity changes in northern Greenland.

  10. ASTER-Derived High-Resolution Ice Surface Temperature for the Arctic Coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Sun Son

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Ice surface temperature (IST controls the rate of sea ice growth and the heat exchange between the atmosphere and ocean. In this study, high-resolution IST using the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection radiometer (ASTER thermal infrared region (TIR images was retrieved to observe the thermal change of coastal sea ice. The regression coefficients of the multi-channel equation using ASTER brightness temperatures ( B T and MODIS ISTs were derived. MODIS IST products (MOD29 were used as an in situ temperature substitute. The ASTER IST using five channels from band 10 ( B T 10 to band 14 ( B T 14 showed an RMSE of 0.746 K for the validation images on the Alaskan coast. The uncertainty of the two-channel ( B T 13 and B T 14 ASTER IST was 0.497 K, which was better than that of the five-channel. We thus concluded that the two-channel equation using ASTER B T 13 and B T 14 was an optimal model for the surface temperature retrieval of coastal sea ice. The two-channel ASTER IST showed similar accuracy at higher latitudes than in Alaska. Therefore, ASTER-derived IST with 90 m spatial resolution can be used to observe small-scale thermal variations on the sea ice surface along the Arctic coast.

  11. Ambient UV-B radiation decreases photosynthesis in high arctic Vaccinium uliginosum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Albert, K.R.; Ro-Poulsen, H. (Univ. of Copenhagen, Dept. of Terrestrial Ecology, Copenhagen (DK)); Mikkelsen, T.N. (Technical Univ. of Denmark, Risoe National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Biosystems Dept., Roskilde (DK))

    2008-06-15

    An UV-B-exclusion experiment was established in high arctic Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, to investigate the possible effects of ambient UV-B on plant performance. During almost a whole growing season, canopy gas exchange and Chl fluorescence were measured on Vaccinium uliginosum (bog blueberry). Leaf area, biomass, carbon, nitrogen and UV-B-absorbing compounds were determined from a late season harvest. Compared with the reduced UV-B treatment, the plants in ambient UV-B were found to have a higher content of UV-B-absorbing compounds, and canopy net photosynthesis was as an average 23% lower during the season. By means of the JIP-test, it was found that the potential of processing light energy through the photosynthetic machinery was slightly reduced in ambient UV-B. This indicates that not only the UV-B effects on PSII may be responsible for some of the observed reduction of photosynthesis but also the effects on other parts of the photosynthetic machinery, e.g. the Calvin cycle, might be important. The 60% reduction of the UV-B irradiance used in this study implies a higher relative change in the UV-B load than many of the supplemental experiments do, but the substantial effect on photosynthesis clearly indicates that V. uliginosum is negatively affected by the current level of UV-B. (au)

  12. Ambient UV-B radiation decreases photosynthesis in high arctic Vaccinium uliginosum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, Kristian R; Mikkelsen, Teis N; Ro-Poulsen, Helge

    2008-06-01

    An UV-B-exclusion experiment was established in high arctic Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, to investigate the possible effects of ambient UV-B on plant performance. During almost a whole growing season, canopy gas exchange and Chl fluorescence were measured on Vaccinium uliginosum (bog blueberry). Leaf area, biomass, carbon, nitrogen and UV-B-absorbing compounds were determined from a late season harvest. Compared with the reduced UV-B treatment, the plants in ambient UV-B were found to have a higher content of UV-B-absorbing compounds, and canopy net photosynthesis was as an average 23% lower during the season. By means of the JIP-test, it was found that the potential of processing light energy through the photosynthetic machinery was slightly reduced in ambient UV-B. This indicates that not only the UV-B effects on PSII may be responsible for some of the observed reduction of photosynthesis but also the effects on other parts of the photosynthetic machinery, e.g. the Calvin cycle, might be important. The 60% reduction of the UV-B irradiance used in this study implies a higher relative change in the UV-B load than many of the supplemental experiments do, but the substantial effect on photosynthesis clearly indicates that V. uliginosum is negatively affected by the current level of UV-B.

  13. The stage of soil development modulates rhizosphere effect along a High Arctic desert chronosequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mapelli, Francesca; Marasco, Ramona; Fusi, Marco; Scaglia, Barbara; Tsiamis, George; Rolli, Eleonora; Fodelianakis, Stilianos; Bourtzis, Kostas; Ventura, Stefano; Tambone, Fulvia; Adani, Fabrizio; Borin, Sara; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2018-05-01

    In mature soils, plant species and soil type determine the selection of root microbiota. Which of these two factors drives rhizosphere selection in barren substrates of developing desert soils has, however, not yet been established. Chronosequences of glacier forelands provide ideal natural environments to identify primary rhizosphere selection factors along the changing edaphic conditions of a developing soil. Here, we analyze changes in bacterial diversity in bulk soils and rhizospheres of a pioneer plant across a High Arctic glacier chronosequence. We show that the developmental stage of soil strongly modulates rhizosphere community assembly, even though plant-induced selection buffers the effect of changing edaphic factors. Bulk and rhizosphere soils host distinct bacterial communities that differentially vary along the chronosequence. Cation exchange capacity, exchangeable potassium, and metabolite concentration in the soil account for the rhizosphere bacterial diversity. Although the soil fraction (bulk soil and rhizosphere) explains up to 17.2% of the variation in bacterial microbiota, the soil developmental stage explains up to 47.7% of this variation. In addition, the operational taxonomic unit (OTU) co-occurrence network of the rhizosphere, whose complexity increases along the chronosequence, is loosely structured in barren compared with mature soils, corroborating our hypothesis that soil development tunes the rhizosphere effect.

  14. The stage of soil development modulates rhizosphere effect along a High Arctic desert chronosequence

    KAUST Repository

    Mapelli, Francesca

    2018-01-09

    In mature soils, plant species and soil type determine the selection of root microbiota. Which of these two factors drives rhizosphere selection in barren substrates of developing desert soils has, however, not yet been established. Chronosequences of glacier forelands provide ideal natural environments to identify primary rhizosphere selection factors along the changing edaphic conditions of a developing soil. Here, we analyze changes in bacterial diversity in bulk soils and rhizospheres of a pioneer plant across a High Arctic glacier chronosequence. We show that the developmental stage of soil strongly modulates rhizosphere community assembly, even though plant-induced selection buffers the effect of changing edaphic factors. Bulk and rhizosphere soils host distinct bacterial communities that differentially vary along the chronosequence. Cation exchange capacity, exchangeable potassium, and metabolite concentration in the soil account for the rhizosphere bacterial diversity. Although the soil fraction (bulk soil and rhizosphere) explains up to 17.2% of the variation in bacterial microbiota, the soil developmental stage explains up to 47.7% of this variation. In addition, the operational taxonomic unit (OTU) co-occurrence network of the rhizosphere, whose complexity increases along the chronosequence, is loosely structured in barren compared with mature soils, corroborating our hypothesis that soil development tunes the rhizosphere effect.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friborg, Thomas; Hansen, Birger; Elberling, Bo

    of relatively few measurements which appear to give small and constant emission rates. Further, most studies of the processes behind winter time emission of CO2 conclude that the flux during this time of year can be linked to the respiratory release of CO2 from soil micro organisms, which is temperature...... the winter at a high arctic location in Svalbard (78°N). Measurements were conducted in the field during the winter season of 2004-2005 and show reliable and continuous measurements of CO2 fluxes down to a level of 0.01 ìmol m-2 s-1 and good correspondence with other types of soil chambers. Our results...... indicate that a substantial part of the annual CO2 emission from the ecosystem occur during the freeze in period, where more CO2 is emitted from the soil over a few weeks than the accumulated flux for the rest of the winter. During the coldest part of the...

  16. The stage of soil development modulates rhizosphere effect along a High Arctic desert chronosequence

    KAUST Repository

    Mapelli, Francesca; Marasco, Ramona; Fusi, Marco; Scaglia, Barbara; Tsiamis, George; Rolli, Eleonora; Fodelianakis, Stylianos; Bourtzis, Kostas; Ventura, Stefano; Tambone, Fulvia; Adani, Fabrizio; Borin, Sara; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2018-01-01

    In mature soils, plant species and soil type determine the selection of root microbiota. Which of these two factors drives rhizosphere selection in barren substrates of developing desert soils has, however, not yet been established. Chronosequences of glacier forelands provide ideal natural environments to identify primary rhizosphere selection factors along the changing edaphic conditions of a developing soil. Here, we analyze changes in bacterial diversity in bulk soils and rhizospheres of a pioneer plant across a High Arctic glacier chronosequence. We show that the developmental stage of soil strongly modulates rhizosphere community assembly, even though plant-induced selection buffers the effect of changing edaphic factors. Bulk and rhizosphere soils host distinct bacterial communities that differentially vary along the chronosequence. Cation exchange capacity, exchangeable potassium, and metabolite concentration in the soil account for the rhizosphere bacterial diversity. Although the soil fraction (bulk soil and rhizosphere) explains up to 17.2% of the variation in bacterial microbiota, the soil developmental stage explains up to 47.7% of this variation. In addition, the operational taxonomic unit (OTU) co-occurrence network of the rhizosphere, whose complexity increases along the chronosequence, is loosely structured in barren compared with mature soils, corroborating our hypothesis that soil development tunes the rhizosphere effect.

  17. Drivers of inter-annual variation and long-term change in High-Arctic spider species abundances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bowden, Joseph J.; Hansen, Oskar L. P.; Olsen, Kent

    2018-01-01

    Understanding how species abundances vary in space and time is a central theme in ecology, yet there are few long-term field studies of terrestrial invertebrate abundances and the determinants of their dynamics. This is particularly relevant in the context of rapid climate change occurring...... in the Arctic. Arthropods can serve as strong indicators of ecosystem change due to their sensitivity to increasing temperatures and other environmental variables. We used spider samples collected by pitfall trapping from three different habitats (fen, mesic and arid heath) in High-Arctic Greenland to assess...... interpretation of long-term trends. We used model selection to determine which climatic variables and/or previous years’ abundance best explained annual variation in species abundances over this period. We identified and used 28 566 adult spiders that comprised eight species. Most notably, the abundances of some...

  18. Diversity and characterization of mercury-resistant bacteria in snow, freshwater and sea-ice brine from the High Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Annette; Barkay, Tamar; Abu Al-Soud, Waleed

    2011-01-01

    It is well-established that atmospheric deposition transports mercury from lower latitudes to the Arctic. The role of bacteria in the dynamics of the deposited mercury, however, is unknown. We characterized mercury-resistant bacteria from High Arctic snow, freshwater and sea-ice brine. Bacterial...... densities were 9.4 × 10(5), 5 × 10(5) and 0.9-3.1 × 10(3) cells mL(-1) in freshwater, brine and snow, respectively. Highest cultivability was observed in snow (11.9%), followed by freshwater (0.3%) and brine (0.03%). In snow, the mercury-resistant bacteria accounted for up to 31% of the culturable bacteria, but...

  19. Atmospheric mercury accumulation between 5900 and 800 calibrated years BP in the high arctic of Canada recorded by Peat Hummocks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Givelet, N.; Roos-Barraclough, F.; Goodsite, Michael Evan

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, we present the first comprehensive long-term record of preanthropogenic rates of atmospheric mercury accumulation in dated peat deposits for the High Arctic of Canada. Geochemical studies of two peat hummocks from Bathurst Island, Nunavut reveal substantial inputs from soil dust...... (titanium), marine aerosols (bromine), and mineral-water interactions (uranium). Mercury, however, was supplied to these peat mounds exclusively by atmospheric deposition. Mercury concentration measurements and age dating of the peat profiles indicate rather constant natural "background" mercury flux of ca....... 1 microgram per square meter per year from 5900 to 800 calibrated years BP. These values are well within the range of the mercury fluxes reported from other Arctic locations, but also by peat cores from southern Canada that provide a record of atmospheric Hg accumulation extending back 8000 years...

  20. Widespread release of old carbon across the Siberian Arctic echoed by its large rivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ö. Gustafsson

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Over decadal-centennial timescales, only a few mechanisms in the carbon-climate system could cause a massive net redistribution of carbon from land and ocean systems to the atmosphere in response to climate warming. The largest such climate-vulnerable carbon pool is the old organic carbon (OC stored in Arctic permafrost (perennially frozen soils. Climate warming, both predicted and now observed to be the strongest globally in the Eurasian Arctic and Alaska, causes thaw-release of old permafrost carbon from local tundra sites. However, a central challenge for the assessment of the general vulnerability of this old OC pool is to deduce any signal integrating its release over larger scales. Here we examine radiocarbon measurements of molecular soil markers exported by the five Great Russian-Arctic Rivers (Ob, Yenisey, Lena, Indigirka and Kolyma, employed as natural integrators of carbon release processes in their watersheds. The signals held in estuarine surface sediments revealed that average radiocarbon ages of n-alkanes increased east-to-west from 6400 yr BP in Kolyma to 11 400 yr BP in Ob. This is consistent with westwards trends of both warmer climate and more degraded organic matter as indicated by the ratio of high molecular weight (HMW n-alkanoic acids to HMW n-alkanes. The dynamics of Siberian permafrost can thus be probed via the molecular-radiocarbon signal as carried by Arctic rivers. Old permafrost carbon is at present vulnerable to mobilization over continental scales. Climate-induced changes in the radiocarbon fingerprint of released permafrost carbon will likely depend on changes in both permafrost coverage and Arctic soil hydraulics.

  1. Repeat synoptic sampling reveals drivers of change in carbon and nutrient chemistry of Arctic catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarnetske, J. P.; Abbott, B. W.; Bowden, W. B.; Iannucci, F.; Griffin, N.; Parker, S.; Pinay, G.; Aanderud, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC), nutrients, and other solute concentrations are increasing in rivers across the Arctic. Two hypotheses have been proposed to explain these trends: 1. distributed, top-down permafrost degradation, and 2. discrete, point-source delivery of DOC and nutrients from permafrost collapse features (thermokarst). While long-term monitoring at a single station cannot discriminate between these mechanisms, synoptic sampling of multiple points in the stream network could reveal the spatial structure of solute sources. In this context, we sampled carbon and nutrient chemistry three times over two years in 119 subcatchments of three distinct Arctic catchments (North Slope, Alaska). Subcatchments ranged from 0.1 to 80 km2, and included three distinct types of Arctic landscapes - mountainous, tundra, and glacial-lake catchments. We quantified the stability of spatial patterns in synoptic water chemistry and analyzed high-frequency time series from the catchment outlets across the thaw season to identify source areas for DOC, nutrients, and major ions. We found that variance in solute concentrations between subcatchments collapsed at spatial scales between 1 to 20 km2, indicating a continuum of diffuse- and point-source dynamics, depending on solute and catchment characteristics (e.g. reactivity, topography, vegetation, surficial geology). Spatially-distributed mass balance revealed conservative transport of DOC and nitrogen, and indicates there may be strong in-stream retention of phosphorus, providing a network-scale confirmation of previous reach-scale studies in these Arctic catchments. Overall, we present new approaches to analyzing synoptic data for change detection and quantification of ecohydrological mechanisms in ecosystems in the Arctic and beyond.

  2. Hematology, plasma chemistry, and bacteriology of wild Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) in Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milani, Juliana F; Wilson, Heather; Ziccardi, Michael; LeFebvre, Rance; Scott, Cheryl

    2012-01-01

    Blood and cloacal swabs were collected from 100 (66 female, 34 male) wild Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) molting in northwestern Alaska, USA, 25-28 July 2008, to establish hematologic and serum chemistry reference values and to isolate enteric Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Plasma biochemistry and hematology values did not vary significantly by sex or age. Tundra swans had high levels of creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, amylase, and alkaline phosphatase compared with some other avian species (values were up to 7 times greater), possibly indicating capture myopathy. However, concentrations were much lower (up to 8 times lower) than in other waterfowl exposed to similar or more intensive capture methods. White blood cell count and hematocrit values were similar to other waterfowl species, and enteric Salmonella spp. and E. coli O157:H7 were not present among birds sampled. Our data provide the first biochemical, hematologic, and bacteriologic reference values for wild Tundra Swans.

  3. Seasonal and multi-year surface displacements measured by DInSAR in a High Arctic permafrost environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudy, Ashley C. A.; Lamoureux, Scott F.; Treitz, Paul; Short, Naomi; Brisco, Brian

    2018-02-01

    Arctic landscapes undergo seasonal and long-term changes as the active layer thaws and freezes, which can result in localized or irregular subsidence leading to the formation of thermokarst terrain. Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR) is a technique capable of measuring ground surface displacements resulting from thawing permafrost at centimetre precision and is quickly gaining acceptance as a means of measuring ground displacement in permafrost regions. Using RADARSAT-2 stacked DInSAR data from 2013 and 2015 we determined the magnitude and patterns of land surface change in a continuous permafrost environment. At our study site situated in the Canadian High Arctic, DInSAR seasonal ground displacement patterns were consistent with field observations of permafrost degradation. As expected, many DInSAR values are close to the detection threshold (i.e., 1 cm) and therefore do not indicate significant change; however, DInSAR seasonal ground displacement patterns aligned well with climatological and soil conditions and offer geomorphological insight into subsurface processes in permafrost environments. While our dataset is limited to two years of data representing a three-year time period, the displacements derived from DInSAR provide insight into permafrost change in a High Arctic environment and demonstrate that DInSAR is an applicable tool for understanding environmental change in remote permafrost regions.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Behavioral interactions of penned red and arctic foxes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  7. Ground based remote sensing and physiological measurements provide novel insights into canopy photosynthetic optimization in arctic shrubs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magney, T. S.; Griffin, K. L.; Boelman, N.; Eitel, J.; Greaves, H.; Prager, C.; Logan, B.; Oliver, R.; Fortin, L.; Vierling, L. A.

    2014-12-01

    Because changes in vegetation structure and function in the Arctic are rapid and highly dynamic phenomena, efforts to understand the C balance of the tundra require repeatable, objective, and accurate remote sensing methods for estimating aboveground C pools and fluxes over large areas. A key challenge addressing the modelling of aboveground C is to utilize process-level information from fine-scale studies. Utilizing information obtained from high resolution remote sensing systems could help to better understand the C source/sink strength of the tundra, which will in part depend on changes in photosynthesis resulting from the partitioning of photosynthetic machinery within and among deciduous shrub canopies. Terrestrial LiDAR and passive hyperspectral remote sensing measurements offer an effective, repeatable, and scalable method to understand photosynthetic performance and partitioning at the canopy scale previously unexplored in arctic systems. Using a 3-D shrub canopy model derived from LiDAR, we quantified the light regime of leaves within shrub canopies to gain a better understanding of how light interception varies in response to the Arctic's complex radiation regime. This information was then coupled with pigment sampling (i.e., xanthophylls, and Chl a/b) to evaluate the optimization of foliage photosynthetic capacity within shrub canopies due to light availability. In addition, a lab experiment was performed to validate evidence of canopy level optimization via gradients of light intensity and leaf light environment. For this, hyperspectral reflectance (photochemical reflectance index (PRI)), and solar induced fluorescence (SIF)) was collected in conjunction with destructive pigment samples (xanthophylls) and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements in both sunlit and shaded canopy positions.

  8. Long photoperiods sustain high pH in Arctic kelp forests

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Marbà, Núria; Sanz-Martin, M.

    2016-01-01

    Concern on the impacts of ocean acidification on calcifiers, such as bivalves, sea urchins, and foraminifers, has led to efforts to understand the controls on pH in their habitats, which include kelp forests and seagrass meadows. The metabolism of these habitats can lead to diel fluctuation in pH...... with increases during the day and declines at night, suggesting no net effect on pH at time scales longer than daily. We examined the capacity of subarctic and Arctic kelps to up-regulate pH in situ and experimentally tested the role of photoperiod in determining the capacity of Arctic macrophytes to up......-regulate pH. Field observations at photoperiods of 15 and 24 hours in Greenland com- bined with experimental manipulations of photoperiod show that photoperiods longer than 21 hours, characteristic of Arctic summers, are conducive to sustained up-regulation of pH by kelp photosynthesis. We report a gradual...

  9. Intercomparison of atmospheric water vapour measurements at a Canadian High Arctic site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Dan; Strong, Kimberly; Schneider, Matthias; Rowe, Penny M.; Sioris, Chris; Walker, Kaley A.; Mariani, Zen; Uttal, Taneil; McElroy, C. Thomas; Vömel, Holger; Spassiani, Alessio; Drummond, James R.

    2017-08-01

    Water vapour is a critical component of the Earth system. Techniques to acquire and improve measurements of atmospheric water vapour and its isotopes are under active development. This work presents a detailed intercomparison of water vapour total column measurements taken between 2006 and 2014 at a Canadian High Arctic research site (Eureka, Nunavut). Instruments include radiosondes, sun photometers, a microwave radiometer, and emission and solar absorption Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers. Close agreement is observed between all combination of datasets, with mean differences ≤ 1.0 kg m-2 and correlation coefficients ≥ 0.98. The one exception in the observed high correlation is the comparison between the microwave radiometer and a radiosonde product, which had a correlation coefficient of 0.92.A variety of biases affecting Eureka instruments are revealed and discussed. A subset of Eureka radiosonde measurements was processed by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Reference Upper Air Network (GRUAN) for this study. Comparisons reveal a small dry bias in the standard radiosonde measurement water vapour total columns of approximately 4 %. A recently produced solar absorption FTIR spectrometer dataset resulting from the MUSICA (MUlti-platform remote Sensing of Isotopologues for investigating the Cycle of Atmospheric water) retrieval technique is shown to offer accurate measurements of water vapour total columns (e.g. average agreement within -5.2 % of GRUAN and -6.5 % of a co-located emission FTIR spectrometer). However, comparisons show a small wet bias of approximately 6 % at the high-latitude Eureka site. In addition, a new dataset derived from Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) measurements is shown to provide accurate water vapour measurements (e.g. average agreement was within 4 % of GRUAN), which usefully enables measurements to be taken during day and night (especially valuable during polar night).

  10. Low clouds suppress Arctic air formation and amplify high-latitude continental winter warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, Timothy W; Tziperman, Eli

    2015-09-15

    High-latitude continents have warmed much more rapidly in recent decades than the rest of the globe, especially in winter, and the maintenance of warm, frost-free conditions in continental interiors in winter has been a long-standing problem of past equable climates. We use an idealized single-column atmospheric model across a range of conditions to study the polar night process of air mass transformation from high-latitude maritime air, with a prescribed initial temperature profile, to much colder high-latitude continental air. We find that a low-cloud feedback--consisting of a robust increase in the duration of optically thick liquid clouds with warming of the initial state--slows radiative cooling of the surface and amplifies continental warming. This low-cloud feedback increases the continental surface air temperature by roughly two degrees for each degree increase of the initial maritime surface air temperature, effectively suppressing Arctic air formation. The time it takes for the surface air temperature to drop below freezing increases nonlinearly to ∼ 10 d for initial maritime surface air temperatures of 20 °C. These results, supplemented by an analysis of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 climate model runs that shows large increases in cloud water path and surface cloud longwave forcing in warmer climates, suggest that the "lapse rate feedback" in simulations of anthropogenic climate change may be related to the influence of low clouds on the stratification of the lower troposphere. The results also indicate that optically thick stratus cloud decks could help to maintain frost-free winter continental interiors in equable climates.

  11. Long photoperiods sustain high pH in Arctic kelp forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Marbà, Núria; Sanz-Martin, Marina; Hendriks, Iris E; Thyrring, Jakob; Carstensen, Jacob; Sejr, Mikael Kristian; Duarte, Carlos M

    2016-12-01

    Concern on the impacts of ocean acidification on calcifiers, such as bivalves, sea urchins, and foraminifers, has led to efforts to understand the controls on pH in their habitats, which include kelp forests and seagrass meadows. The metabolism of these habitats can lead to diel fluctuation in pH with increases during the day and declines at night, suggesting no net effect on pH at time scales longer than daily. We examined the capacity of subarctic and Arctic kelps to up-regulate pH in situ and experimentally tested the role of photoperiod in determining the capacity of Arctic macrophytes to up-regulate pH. Field observations at photoperiods of 15 and 24 hours in Greenland combined with experimental manipulations of photoperiod show that photoperiods longer than 21 hours, characteristic of Arctic summers, are conducive to sustained up-regulation of pH by kelp photosynthesis. We report a gradual increase in pH of 0.15 units and a parallel decline in pCO 2 of 100 parts per million over a 10-day period in an Arctic kelp forest over midsummer, with ample scope for continued pH increase during the months of continuous daylight. Experimental increase in CO 2 concentration further stimulated the capacity of macrophytes to deplete CO 2 and increase pH. We conclude that long photoperiods in Arctic summers support sustained up-regulation of pH in kelp forests, with potential benefits for calcifiers, and propose that this mechanism may increase with the projected expansion of Arctic vegetation in response to warming and loss of sea ice.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-01-10

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

  13. Carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from arctic mudboils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Diversity and characterization of mercury-resistant bacteria in snow, freshwater and sea-ice brine from the High Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, Annette K; Barkay, Tamar; Abu Al-Soud, Waleed; Sørensen, Søren J; Skov, Henrik; Kroer, Niels

    2011-03-01

    It is well-established that atmospheric deposition transports mercury from lower latitudes to the Arctic. The role of bacteria in the dynamics of the deposited mercury, however, is unknown. We characterized mercury-resistant bacteria from High Arctic snow, freshwater and sea-ice brine. Bacterial densities were 9.4 × 10(5), 5 × 10(5) and 0.9-3.1 × 10(3) cells mL(-1) in freshwater, brine and snow, respectively. Highest cultivability was observed in snow (11.9%), followed by freshwater (0.3%) and brine (0.03%). In snow, the mercury-resistant bacteria accounted for up to 31% of the culturable bacteria, but levels of most isolates were not temperature dependent. Of the resistant isolates, 25% reduced Hg(II) to Hg(0). No relation between resistance level, ability to reduce Hg(II) and phylogenetic group was observed. An estimation of the potential bacterial reduction of Hg(II) in snow suggested that it was important in the deeper snow layers where light attenuation inhibited photoreduction. Thus, by reducing Hg(II) to Hg(0), mercury-resistant bacteria may limit the supply of substrate for methylation processes and, hence, contribute to lowering the risk that methylmercury is being incorporated into the Arctic food chains. © 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Trends in historical mercury deposition inferred from lake sediment cores across a climate gradient in the Canadian High Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korosi, Jennifer B; Griffiths, Katherine; Smol, John P; Blais, Jules M

    2018-06-02

    Recent climate change may be enhancing mercury fluxes to Arctic lake sediments, confounding the use of sediment cores to reconstruct histories of atmospheric deposition. Assessing the independent effects of climate warming on mercury sequestration is challenging due to temporal overlap between warming temperatures and increased long-range transport of atmospheric mercury following the Industrial Revolution. We address this challenge by examining mercury trends in short cores (the last several hundred years) from eight lakes centered on Cape Herschel (Canadian High Arctic) that span a gradient in microclimates, including two lakes that have not yet been significantly altered by climate warming due to continued ice cover. Previous research on subfossil diatoms and inferred primary production indicated the timing of limnological responses to climate warming, which, due to prevailing ice cover conditions, varied from ∼1850 to ∼1990 for lakes that have undergone changes. We show that climate warming may have enhanced mercury deposition to lake sediments in one lake (Moraine Pond), while another (West Lake) showed a strong signal of post-industrial mercury enrichment without any corresponding limnological changes associated with warming. Our results provide insights into the role of climate warming and organic carbon cycling as drivers of mercury deposition to Arctic lake sediments. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Michelsen, Anders; Demey, A

    2009-01-01

    Mesic-dry tundras are widespread in the Arctic but detailed assessments of net primary production (NPP) and ecosystem carbon (C) stocks are lacking. We addressed this lack of knowledge by determining the seasonal dynamics of aboveground vascular NPP, annual NPP, and whole-ecosystem C stocks in five...... mesic-dry tundras in Northern Sweden with contrasting microtopography, altitude, and dominant species. Those measurements were paralleled by the stock assessments of nitrogen (N), the limiting nutrient. The vascular production was determined by harvest or in situ growing units, whereas the nonvascular...... hermaphroditum is more productive than Cassiope tetragona vegetation. Although the large majority of the apical NPP occurred in early-mid season (85%), production of stems and evergreen leaves proceeded until about 2 weeks before senescence. Most of the vascular vegetation was belowground (80%), whereas most...

  18. Nesting ecology of Arctic loons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Margaret R.

    1979-01-01

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

  19. High Arctic Forests During the Middle Eocene Supported by ~400 ppm Atmospheric CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxbauer, D. P.; Royer, D. L.; LePage, B. A.

    2013-12-01

    Fossils from Paleogene High Arctic deposits provide some of the clearest evidence for greenhouse climates and offer the potential to improve our understanding of Earth system dynamics in a largely ice-free world. One of the most well-known and exquisitely-preserved middle Eocene (47.9-37.8 Myrs ago) polar forest sites, Napartulik, crops out on eastern Axel Heiberg Island (80 °N), Nunavut, Canada. An abundance of data from Napartulik suggest mean annual temperatures of up to 30 °C warmer than today and atmospheric water loads 2× above current levels. Despite this wealth of paleontological and paleoclimatological data, there are currently no direct constraints on atmospheric CO2 levels for Napartulik or any other polar forest site. Here we apply a new plant gas-exchange model to Metasequoia (dawn redwood) leaves to reconstruct atmospheric CO2 from six fossil forests at Napartulik. Individual reconstructions vary between 405-489 ppm with a site mean of 437 ppm (337-564 ppm at 95% confidence). These estimates represent the first direct constraints on CO2 for polar fossil forests and suggest that the temperate conditions present at Napartulik during the middle Eocene were maintained under CO2 concentrations ~1.6× above pre-industrial levels. Our results strongly support the case that long-term climate sensitivity to CO2 in the past was sometimes high, even during largely ice-free periods, highlighting the need to better understand the climate forcing and feedback mechanisms responsible for this amplification.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  1. Toward Improved Estimation of the Dynamic Topography and Ocean Circulation in the High Latitude and Arctic Ocean: The Importance of GOCE

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johannessen, J. A.; Raj, R. P.; Nilsen, J. E. Ø.

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic plays a fundamental role in the climate system and shows significant sensitivity to anthropogenic climate forcing and the ongoing climate change. Accelerated changes in the Arctic are already observed, including elevated air and ocean temperatures, declines of the summer sea ice extent...... quantify this. Moreover, changes in the temperature and salinity of surface waters in the Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas may also influence the flow of dense water through the Denmark Strait, which are found to be a precursor for changes in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation with a lead time...... circulation and transport variability in the high latitude and Arctic Ocean. In this respect, this study combines in situ hydrographical data, surface drifter data and direct current meter measurements, with coupled sea ice–ocean models, radar altimeter data and the latest GOCE-based geoid in order...

  2. The impact of climate change on ecosystem carbon dynamics at the Scandinavian mountain birch forest-tundra heath ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjögersten, Sofie; Wookey, Philip A

    2009-02-01

    Changes in temperature and moisture resulting from climate change are likely to strongly modify the ecosystem carbon sequestration capacity in high-latitude areas, both through vegetation shifts and via direct warming effects on photosynthesis and decomposition. This paper offers a synthesis of research addressing the potential impacts of climate warming on soil processes and carbon fluxes at the forest-tundra ecotone in Scandinavia. Our results demonstrated higher rates of organic matter decomposition in mountain birch forest than in tundra heath soils, with markedly shallower organic matter horizons in the forest. Field and laboratory experiments suggest that increased temperatures are likely to increase CO2 efflux from both tundra and forest soil providing moisture availability does not become limiting for the decomposition process. Furthermore, colonization of tundra heath by mountain birch forest would increase rates of decomposition, and thus CO2 emissions, from the tundra heath soils, which currently store substantial amounts of potentially labile carbon. Mesic soils underlying both forest and tundra heath are currently weak sinks of atmospheric methane, but the strength of this sink could be increased with climate warming and/or drying.

  3. First report of Setaria tundra in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) from the Iberian Peninsula inferred from molecular data: epidemiological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelone-Alasaad, Samer; Jowers, Michael J; Panadero, Rosario; Pérez-Creo, Ana; Pajares, Gerardo; Díez-Baños, Pablo; Soriguer, Ramón C; Morrondo, Patrocinio

    2016-09-29

    Filarioid nematode parasites are major health hazards with important medical, veterinary and economic implications. Recently, they have been considered as indicators of climate change. In this paper, we report the first record of Setaria tundra in roe deer from the Iberian Peninsula. Adult S. tundra were collected from the peritoneal cavity during the post-mortem examination of a 2 year-old male roe deer, which belonged to a private fenced estate in La Alcarria (Guadalajara, Spain). Since 2012, the area has suffered a high roe deer decline rate (75 %), for unknown reasons. Aiming to support the morphological identification and to determine the phylogenetic position of S. tundra recovered from the roe deer, a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene from the two morphologically identified parasites was amplified, sequenced and compared with corresponding sequences of other filarioid nematode species. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the isolate of S. tundra recovered was basal to all other formely reported Setaria tundra sequences. The presence of all other haplotypes in Northern Europe may be indicative of a South to North outbreak in Europe. This is the first report of S. tundra in roe deer from the Iberian Peninsula, with interesting phylogenetic results, which may have further implications in the epidemiological and genetic studies of these filarioid parasites. More studies are needed to explore the reasons and dynamics behind the rapid host/geographic expansion of the filarioid parasites in Europe.

  4. Glacier inputs influence organic matter composition and prokaryotic distribution in a high Arctic fjord (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard)

    KAUST Repository

    Bourgeois, Solveig

    2016-08-23

    With climate change, the strong seasonality and tight pelagic-benthic coupling in the Arctic is expected to change in the next few decades. It is currently unclear how the benthos will be affected by changes of environmental conditions such as supplies of organic matter (OM) from the water column. In the last decade, Kongsfjorden (79°N), a high Arctic fjord in Svalbard influenced by several glaciers and Atlantic water inflow, has been a site of great interest owing to its high sensitivity to climate change, evidenced by a reduction in ice cover and an increase in melting freshwater. To investigate how spatial and seasonal changes in vertical fluxes can impact the benthic compartment of Kongsfjorden, we studied the organic matter characteristics (in terms of quantity and quality) and prokaryotic distribution in sediments from 3 stations along a transect extending from the glacier into the outer fjord in 4 different seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter) in 2012–2013. The biochemical parameters used to describe the sedimentary organic matter were organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen, bulk stable isotope ratios, pigments (chorophyll-a and phaeopigments) and biopolymeric carbon (BPC), which is the sum of the main macromolecules, i.e. lipids, proteins and carbohydrates. Prokaryotic abundance and distribution were estimated by 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining. This study identifies a well-marked quantitative gradient of biogenic compounds throughout all seasons and also highlights a discrepancy between the quantity and quality of sedimentary organic matter within the fjord. The sediments near the glacier were organic-poor (< 0.3%OC), however the high primary productivity in the water column displayed during spring was reflected in summer sediments, and exhibited higher freshness of material at the inner station compared to the outer basin (means C-chlorophyll-a/OC ~ 5 and 1.5%, respectively). However, sediments at the glacier front were depleted

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  8. The Empirical Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Model (E-CHAIM): Bottomside Parameterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Themens, D. R.; Jayachandran, P. T.

    2017-12-01

    It is well known that the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) suffers reduced accuracy in its representation of monthly median ionospheric electron density at high latitudes. These inaccuracies are believed to stem, at least in part, from a historical lack of data from these regions. Now, roughly thirty and forty years after the development of the original URSI and CCIR foF2 maps, respectively, there exists a much larger dataset of high latitude observations of ionospheric electron density. These new measurements come in the form of new ionosonde deployments, such as those of the Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network, the CHAMP, GRACE, and COSMIC radio occultation missions, and the construction of the Poker Flat, Resolute, and EISCAT Incoherent Scatter Radar systems. These new datasets afford an opportunity to revise the IRI's representation of the high latitude ionosphere. Using a spherical cap harmonic expansion to represent horizontal and diurnal variability and a Fourier expansion in day of year to represent seasonal variations, we have developed a new model of the bottomside ionosphere's electron density for the high latitude ionosphere, above 50N geomagnetic latitude. For the peak heights of the E and F1 layers (hmE and hmF1, respectively), current standards use a constant value for hmE and either use a single-parameter model for hmF1 (IRI) or scale hmF1 with the F peak (NeQuick). For E-CHAIM, we have diverged from this convention to account for the greater variability seen in these characteristics at high latitudes, opting to use a full spherical harmonic model description for each of these characteristics. For the description of the bottomside vertical electron density profile, we present a single-layer model with altitude-varying scale height. The scale height function is taken as the sum three scale height layer functions anchored to the F2 peak, hmF1, and hmE. This parameterization successfully reproduces the structure of the various bottomside

  9. Organic carbon transformations in high-Arctic peat soils: key functions and microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tveit, Alexander; Schwacke, Rainer; Svenning, Mette M; Urich, Tim

    2013-02-01

    A substantial part of the Earths' soil organic carbon (SOC) is stored in Arctic permafrost peatlands, which represent large potential sources for increased emissions of the greenhouse gases CH(4) and CO(2) in a warming climate. The microbial communities and their genetic repertoire involved in the breakdown and mineralisation of SOC in these soils are, however, poorly understood. In this study, we applied a combined metagenomic and metatranscriptomic approach on two Arctic peat soils to investigate the identity and the gene pool of the microbiota driving the SOC degradation in the seasonally thawed active layers. A large and diverse set of genes encoding plant polymer-degrading enzymes was found, comparable to microbiotas from temperate and subtropical soils. This indicates that the metabolic potential for SOC degradation in Arctic peat is not different from that of other climatic zones. The majority of these genes were assigned to three bacterial phyla, Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobia and Bacteroidetes. Anaerobic metabolic pathways and the fraction of methanogenic archaea increased with peat depth, evident for a gradual transition from aerobic to anaerobic lifestyles. A population of CH(4)-oxidising bacteria closely related to Methylobacter tundripaludum was the dominating active group of methanotrophs. Based on the in-depth characterisation of the microbes and their genes, we conclude that these Arctic peat soils will turn into CO(2) sources owing to increased active layer depth and prolonged growing season. However, the extent of future CH(4) emissions will critically depend on the response of the methanotrophic bacteria.

  10. High variability of atmospheric mercury in the summertime boundary layer through the central Arctic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Juan; Xie, Zhouqing; Kang, Hui; Li, Zheng; Sun, Chen; Bian, Lingen; Zhang, Pengfei

    2014-08-15

    The biogeochemical cycles of mercury in the Arctic springtime have been intensively investigated due to mercury being rapidly removed from the atmosphere. However, the behavior of mercury in the Arctic summertime is still poorly understood. Here we report the characteristics of total gaseous mercury (TGM) concentrations through the central Arctic Ocean from July to September, 2012. The TGM concentrations varied considerably (from 0.15 ng/m(3) to 4.58 ng/m(3)), and displayed a normal distribution with an average of 1.23 ± 0.61 ng/m(3). The highest frequency range was 1.0-1.5 ng/m(3), lower than previously reported background values in the Northern Hemisphere. Inhomogeneous distributions were observed over the Arctic Ocean due to the effect of sea ice melt and/or runoff. A lower level of TGM was found in July than in September, potentially because ocean emission was outweighed by chemical loss.

  11. Elevated levels of ingested plastic in a high Arctic seabird, the northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trevail, A.M.; Gabrielsen, G.W.; Kuhn, S.; Franeker, van J.A.

    2015-01-01

    Plastic pollution is of worldwide concern; however, increases in international commercial activity in the Arctic are occurring without the knowledge of the existing threat posed to the local marine environment by plastic litter. Here, we quantify plastic ingestion by northern fulmars, Fulmarus

  12. High basal metabolic rates in shorebirds while in the Arctic: a circumpolar view

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lindström, A.; Klaassen, M.R.J.

    2003-01-01

    The basal metabolic rate (BMR) of Old World long-distance-migrant shorebirds has been found to vary along their migration route. On average, BMR is highest in the Arctic at the start of fall migration, intermediate at temperate latitudes, and lowest on the tropical wintering grounds. As a test of

  13. Carbon bioavailability in a high Arctic fjord influenced by glacial meltwater, NE Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paulsen, Maria Lund; Nielsen, Sophia Elisabeth Bardram; Müller, Jens-Oliver

    2017-01-01

    The land-to-ocean flux of organic carbon is increasing in glacierized regions in response to increasing temperatures in the Arctic (Hood et al., 2015). In order to understand the response of the coastal ecosystem metabolism to the organic carbon input it is essential to determine the bioavailabil...

  14. Surface morphology of fans in the high-Arctic periglacial environment of Svalbard : Controls and processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Haas, Tjalling|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/374023190; Kleinhans, Maarten G.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/217675123; Carbonneau, Patrice E.; Rubensdotter, Lena; Hauber, Ernst

    2015-01-01

    Fan-shaped landforms occur in all climatic regions on Earth. They have been extensively studied in many of these regions, but there are few studies on fans in periglacial, Arctic and Antarctic regions. Fans in such regions are exposed to many site-specific environmental conditions in addition to

  15. Pacific centre of the Arctic Oscillation: product of high local variability rather than teleconnectivity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Huth, Radan

    58A, č. 5 (2006), s. 601-604 ISSN 0280-6495 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/05/2282 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30420517 Keywords : Arctic Oscillation * Pacific centre * principal component analysis Subject RIV: DG - Athmosphere Sciences, Meteorology Impact factor: 2.245, year: 2006

  16. Origin of middle rare earth element enrichments in acid waters of a Canadian high Arctic lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johannesson, Kevin H.; Zhou, Xiaoping

    1999-01-01

    -Middle rare earth element (MREE) enriched rock-normalized rare earth element (REE) patterns of a dilute acidic lake (Colour Lake) in the Canadian High Arctic, were investigated by quantifying whole-rock REE concentrations of rock samples collected from the catchment basin, as well as determining the acid leachable REE fraction of these rocks. An aliquot of each rock sample was leached with 1 N HNO 3 to examine the readily leachable REE fraction of each rock, and an additional aliquot was leached with a 0.04 M NH 2OH · HCl in 25% (v/v) CH 3COOH solution, designed specifically to reduce Fe-Mn oxides/oxyhydroxides. Rare earth elements associated with the leachates that reacted with clastic sedimentary rock samples containing petrographically identifiable Fe-Mn oxide/oxyhydroxide cements and/or minerals/amorphous phases, exhibited whole-rock-normalized REE patterns similar to the lake waters, whereas whole-rock-normalized leachates from mafic igneous rocks and other clastic sedimentary rocks from the catchment basin differed substantially from the lake waters. The whole-rock, leachates, and lake water REE data support acid leaching or dissolution of MREE enriched Fe-Mn oxides/oxyhydroxides contained and identified within some of the catchment basin sedimentary rocks as the likely source of the unique lake water REE patterns. Solution complexation modelling of the REEs in the inflow streams and lake waters indicate that free metal ions (e.g., Ln 3+, where Ln = any REE) and sulfate complexes (LnSO 4+) are the dominant forms of dissolved REEs. Consequently, solution complexation reactions involving the REEs during weathering, transport to the lake, or within the lake, cannot be invoked to explain the MREE enrichments observed in the lake waters.

  17. The development of membrane based high purity oily water separators for use in Arctic waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peng, H.; Tremblay, A.Y. [Ottawa Univ., ON (Canada). Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Industrial Membrane Centre; Veinot, D.E. [Defence Research and Development Canada, Halifax, NS (Canada)

    2005-07-01

    With increased exploration and industrial activity in the Canadian Arctic, interest in the Northwest Passage as a shipping route has also increased. The oily wastewater produced by ships must be treated prior to discharge, particularly in the sensitive Arctic environment where biodegradation of organics is very slow due to cold climatic conditions and low sunlight. As such, safe techniques are needed for the treatment of oily wastewater released from ships. However, bilge water is difficult to treat because it contains seawater, particulates, used oils and detergents. Membrane based oily water separators (OWS) are considered to be a key technology for the treatment of bilge water onboard ships. The issues that must be taken into account in the ship-born use of membrane based OWS include the proper treatment of the oily brine before discharge; the substantial reduction in volume that is required; the complexity of the technology; labour associated with the operation of the system due to filter changes and cleaning; and, system automation to simplify its operation. In this study, a membrane-based process for treating bilge water was developed to meet stringent discharge regulations for discharge in Arctic waters. Currently, this discharge limit is set at 0 ppm. A pilot scale membrane cascade system was designed and evaluated. Multilumen ceramic membranes were used in the first stage and Sepa{sup R} test cells were used in the second stage. Optimal membrane pore size was determined. The study investigated the separation of oil and grease using different molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) membranes. The study revealed that through proper membrane design, it is possible to remove oil and grease from bilge water to a level permitting its discharge to Arctic waters. However, it was recommended that low level aromatic diesel fuels be used in ships operating in Arctic waters since the presence of soluble aromatics in diesel fuel increases the technical difficulty of reaching

  18. High colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) absorption in surface waters of the central-eastern Arctic Ocean: Implications for biogeochemistry and ocean color algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves-Araujo, Rafael; Rabe, Benjamin; Peeken, Ilka; Bracher, Astrid

    2018-01-01

    As consequences of global warming sea-ice shrinking, permafrost thawing and changes in fresh water and terrestrial material export have already been reported in the Arctic environment. These processes impact light penetration and primary production. To reach a better understanding of the current status and to provide accurate forecasts Arctic biogeochemical and physical parameters need to be extensively monitored. In this sense, bio-optical properties are useful to be measured due to the applicability of optical instrumentation to autonomous platforms, including satellites. This study characterizes the non-water absorbers and their coupling to hydrographic conditions in the poorly sampled surface waters of the central and eastern Arctic Ocean. Over the entire sampled area colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) dominates the light absorption in surface waters. The distribution of CDOM, phytoplankton and non-algal particles absorption reproduces the hydrographic variability in this region of the Arctic Ocean which suggests a subdivision into five major bio-optical provinces: Laptev Sea Shelf, Laptev Sea, Central Arctic/Transpolar Drift, Beaufort Gyre and Eurasian/Nansen Basin. Evaluating ocean color algorithms commonly applied in the Arctic Ocean shows that global and regionally tuned empirical algorithms provide poor chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) estimates. The semi-analytical algorithms Generalized Inherent Optical Property model (GIOP) and Garver-Siegel-Maritorena (GSM), on the other hand, provide robust estimates of Chl-a and absorption of colored matter. Applying GSM with modifications proposed for the western Arctic Ocean produced reliable information on the absorption by colored matter, and specifically by CDOM. These findings highlight that only semi-analytical ocean color algorithms are able to identify with low uncertainty the distribution of the different optical water constituents in these high CDOM absorbing waters. In addition, a clustering of the Arctic Ocean

  19. Response of CO2 exchange in a tussock tundra ecosystem to permafrost thaw and thermokarst development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason Vogel; Edward A.G. Schuur; Christian Trucco; Hanna. Lee

    2009-01-01

    Climate change in high latitudes can lead to permafrost thaw, which in ice-rich soils can result in ground subsidence, or thermokarst. In interior Alaska, we examined seasonal and annual ecosystem CO2 exchange using static and automatic chamber measurements in three areas of a moist acidic tundra ecosystem undergoing varying degrees of permafrost...

  20. Arctic Security

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Nils

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Biogeochemical Indicators in High- and Low-Arctic Marine and Terrestrial Avian Community Changes: Comparative Isotopic (13C, 15N, and 34S) Studies in Alaska and Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Causey, D.; Bargmann, N. A.; Burnham, K. K.; Burnham, J. L.; Padula, V. M.; Johnson, J. A.; Welker, J. M.

    2011-12-01

    Understanding the complex dynamics of environmental change in northern latitudes is of paramount importance today, given documented rapid shifts in sea ice, plant phenology, temperatures, deglaciation, and habitat fidelity. This knowledge is particularly critical for Arctic avian communities, which are integral components by which biological teleconnections are maintained between the mid and northern latitudes. Furthermore, Arctic birds are fundamental to Native subsistence lifestyles and a focus for conservation activities. Avian communities of marine and terrestrial Arctic environments represent a broad spectrum of trophic levels, from herbivores (eg., geese Chen spp.), planktivores (eg., auklets Aethia spp.), and insectivores (eg., passerines: Wheatears Oenanthe spp., Longspurs Calcarius spp.), to predators of marine invertebrates (eg., eiders Somateria spp.), nearshore and offshore fish (eg., cormorants Phalacrocorax spp, puffins Fratercula spp.), even other bird species (eg., gulls Larus spp., falcons Peregrinus spp.). This diversity of trophic interconnections is an integral factor in the dynamics of Arctic ecosystem ecology, and they are key indicators for the strength and trajectories of change. We are especially interested in their feeding ecology, using stable isotope-diet relations to examine historical diets and to predict future feeding ecology by this range of species. Since 2009, we have been studying the foodweb ecology using stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S) of contemporaneous coastal and marine bird communities in High Arctic (Northwest Greenland) and Low Arctic (western Aleutian Islands, AK). We are quantifying the isotopic values of blood, organ tissues, and feathers, and have carried out comparisons between native and lipid-extracted samples. Although geographically distant, these communities comprise similar taxonomic and ecological congeners, including several species common to both (eg., Common Eider, Black-legged Kittiwake, Northern

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  3. Brominated flame retardants in aquatic organisms from the North Sea in comparison with biota from the high Arctic marine environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sørmo, Eugen G; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Lie, Elisabeth; Skaare, Janneche U

    2009-10-01

    The extent of trophic transfer of brominated flame retardants (BFRs), including hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and seven polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), were examined in pelagic and benthic aquatic animals (invertebrates and fish) in a near-shore estuary environment of the southeastern North Sea (Norway; 59 degrees N). Whole-body burdens of HBCD and several of the most abundant PBDEs biomagnified with increasing trophic position in the food web. Biomagnification of HBCD was particularly strong, resulting in whole-body burdens of this compound comparable to those of total PBDEs in the higher-trophic-level species. Body burdens of PBDEs were higher in pelagic than in benthic aquatic organisms. This was particularly evident for the lesser-brominated and volatile PBDE congeners. Atmospheric gas-water-phytoplankton exchange of these volatile compounds over the water surface may account for this observation. The PBDE burdens in pelagic zooplankton from the North Sea were more than 60-fold greater than those in corresponding pelagic zooplankton from the colder high Arctic latitudes (>78 degrees N) of Norway (Svalbard). This great difference may relate to reduced chemical gas-water exchange over open waters at the colder Arctic latitudes. However, previously measured whole-body burdens of BFRs in other aquatic marine organisms from the high Arctic were comparable or even exceeded those in the North Sea samples of the present study. These include sympagic (sea ice-associated) invertebrates and fish accumulating high burdens of particle-associated BFRs. The present study provides new insight regarding the distribution of BFRs in ecologically different compartments of marine ecosystems, essential information for understanding the food-web transfer and geographical dispersal of these compounds.

  4. Levoglucosan indicates high levels of biomass burning aerosols over oceans from the Arctic to Antarctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Qi-Hou; Xie, Zhou-Qing; Wang, Xin-Ming; Kang, Hui; Zhang, Pengfei

    2013-11-01

    Biomass burning is known to affect air quality, global carbon cycle, and climate. However, the extent to which biomass burning gases/aerosols are present on a global scale, especially in the marine atmosphere, is poorly understood. Here we report the molecular tracer levoglucosan concentrations in marine air from the Arctic Ocean through the North and South Pacific Ocean to Antarctica during burning season. Levoglucosan was found to be present in all regions at ng/m(3) levels with the highest atmospheric loadings present in the mid-latitudes (30°-60° N and S), intermediate loadings in the Arctic, and lowest loadings in the Antarctic and equatorial latitudes. As a whole, levoglucosan concentrations in the Southern Hemisphere were comparable to those in the Northern Hemisphere. Biomass burning has a significant impact on atmospheric Hg and water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) from pole-to-pole, with more contribution to WSOC in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strebel, Ditte; Elberling, Bo; Morgner, Elke

    2010-01-01

    of Arctic Goose Habitat: Impacts of Land Use, Conservation and Elevated Temperatures). New measurements of soil CO2 effluxes, temperatures and water contents were regularly made from July to November 2007. SOC stocks were quantified, and the reactivity and composition measured by basal soil respiration (BSR...... be concluded that two years after a goose grazing experiment, SOC cycling was less than the natural variation within contrasting vegetation types....

  6. Molecular analyses reveal high species diversity of trematodes in a sub-Arctic lake

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Soldánová, Miroslava; Georgieva, Simona; Roháčová, Jana; Knudsen, R.; Kuhn, J. A.; Henriksen, E. H.; Siwertsson, A.; Shaw, J. C.; Kuris, A. M.; Amundsen, P.-A.; Scholz, Tomáš; Lafferty, K. D.; Kostadinova, Aneta

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 47, č. 6 (2017), s. 327-345 ISSN 0020-7519 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-14198S; GA ČR GAP505/10/1562 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Trematode diversity * intermediate hosts * phylogeny * mitochondrial DNA * nuclear DNA * Lake Takvatn * Norway * Sub-Arctic Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Zoology Impact factor: 3.730, year: 2016

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  8. Atmospheric concentrations of halogenated flame retardants at two remote locations: The Canadian High Arctic and the Tibetan Plateau

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiao Hang; Shen Li; Su, Yushan; Barresi, Enzo; DeJong, Maryl; Hung, Hayley; Lei, Ying-Duan; Wania, Frank; Reiner, Eric J.; Sverko, Ed; Kang, Shi-Chang

    2012-01-01

    Atmospheric concentrations of halogenated flame retardants (FRs) were monitored for approximately one year at two remote stations, namely Nam Co on the Tibetan Plateau and Alert in the Canadian High Arctic. BDE-47 and 99 were the dominant polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners at both sites. Atmospheric PBDE concentrations in Nam Co were generally lower than those at Alert. While significant seasonal variations were observed for PBDEs at Alert, the FR concentrations at Nam Co showed no significant seasonality, even though air masses originated from distinctly different regions during different seasons. This suggests that FRs in Tibet do not have regional sources, but are reflective of truly global background contamination. Three new FRs, namely 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)ethane (BTBPE), 2-ethyl-1-hexyl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (EHTeBB) and bis(2-ethyl-1-hexyl)tetrabromophthalate (TBPH) were detected at relatively high concentrations at both sites. This is the first report of these FRs in the remote global atmosphere and suggests significant potential for long-range atmospheric transport. - Highlights: ► First year-round measurements of FRs in the atmosphere of the Tibetan Plateau. ► PBDEs in Tibet are reflective of truly global background levels. ► Orographic precipitation limits the transport of particle-bound chemicals. ► First study of BTBPE, EHTeBB and TBPH in the Arctic and Tibetan air. ► These new FRs may have significant long-range atmospheric transport potential. - Several brominated flame retardants (BTBPE, EHTeBB, TBPH) were present in the atmosphere of the Arctic and the Tibetan Plateau at levels similar to those of the PBDEs.

  9. Carbon and hydrogen isotope fractionation under continuous light: implications for paleoenvironmental interpretations of the High Arctic during Paleogene warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hong; Pagani, Mark; Briggs, Derek E G; Equiza, M A; Jagels, Richard; Leng, Qin; Lepage, Ben A

    2009-06-01

    The effect of low intensity continuous light, e.g., in the High Arctic summer, on plant carbon and hydrogen isotope fractionations is unknown. We conducted greenhouse experiments to test the impact of light quantity and duration on both carbon and hydrogen isotope compositions of three deciduous conifers whose fossil counterparts were components of Paleogene Arctic floras: Metasequoia glyptostroboides, Taxodium distichum, and Larix laricina. We found that plant leaf bulk carbon isotopic values of the examined species were 1.75-4.63 per thousand more negative under continuous light (CL) than under diurnal light (DL). Hydrogen isotope values of leaf n-alkanes under continuous light conditions revealed a D-enriched hydrogen isotope composition of up to 40 per thousand higher than in diurnal light conditions. The isotope offsets between the two light regimes is explained by a higher ratio of intercellular to atmospheric CO(2) concentration (C (i)/C (a)) and more water loss for plants under continuous light conditions during a 24-h transpiration cycle. Apparent hydrogen isotope fractionations between source water and individual lipids (epsilon(lipid-water)) range from -62 per thousand (Metasequoia C(27) and C(29)) to -87 per thousand (Larix C(29)) in leaves under continuous light. We applied these hydrogen fractionation factors to hydrogen isotope compositions of in situ n-alkanes from well-preserved Paleogene deciduous conifer fossils from the Arctic region to estimate the deltaD value in ancient precipitation. Precipitation in the summer growing season yielded a deltaD of -186 per thousand for late Paleocene, -157 per thousand for early middle Eocene, and -182 per thousand for late middle Eocene. We propose that high-latitude summer precipitation in this region was supplemented by moisture derived from regionally recycled transpiration of the polar forests that grew during the Paleogene warming.

  10. Tundra swan habitat preferences during migration in North Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earnst, Susan L.

    1994-01-01

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

  11. New views on changing Arctic vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Robert E.

    2012-03-01

    . Environ. 114 183-98 IPCC 2007 Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ed Core Writing Team, R K Pachauri and A Reisinger (Geneva: IPCC) Kennedy R E, Yang Z and Cohen W B 2010 Detecting trends in forest disturbance and recovery using yearly Landsat time series: 1. LandTrendr—Temporal segmentation algorithms Remote Sens. Environ. 114 2897-910 Klady R A, Henry G H R and Lemay V 2011 Changes in high Arctic tundra plant reproduction in response to long-term experimental warming Glob. Change Biol. 17 1611-24 Lenihan J M, Bachelet D, Neilson R P and Drapek R 2008 Simulated response of conterminous United States ecosystems to climate change at different levels of fire suppression, CO2 emission rate, and growth response to CO2 Glob. Planet. Change 64 16-25 Masek J G 2001 Stability of boreal forest stands during recent climate change: evidence from Landsat satellite imagery J. Biogeogr. 28 967-76 Myneni R B, Tucker C J, Asrar G and Keeling C D 1998 Interannual variations in satellite-sensed vegetation index data from 1981 to 1991 J. Geophys. Res.—Atmos. 103 6145-60 Pieper S J, Loewen V, Gill M and Johnstone J F 2011 Plant responses to natural and experimental variations in temperature in Alpine Tundra, Southern Yukon, Canada, Arct. Antarct. Alp. Res. 43 442-56 Potapov P V, Turubanova S and Hansen M C 2011 Regionals-scale boreal forest cover and change mapping using Landsat data composites for European Russia Remote Sens. Environ. 115 548-61 Ranson K J, Sun G, Kharuk V I and Kovacs K 2004 Assessing tundra-taiga boundary with multi-sensor satellite data Remote Sens. Environ. 93 283-95 Scheller R M and Mladenoff D J 2005 A spatially interactive simulation of climate change, harvesting, wind, and tree species migration and projected changes to forest composition and biomass in northern Wisconsin, USA Glob. Change Biol. 11 307-21 Seastedt T R, Bowman W D

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  13. Responses of CO2 Fluxes to Arctic Browning Events in a Range of High Latitude, Shrub-Dominated Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phoenix, G. K.; Treharne, R.; Emberson, L.; Tømmervik, H. A.; Bjerke, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    Climatic and biotic extreme events can result in considerable damage to arctic vegetation, often at landscape and larger scale. These acute events therefore contribute to the browning observed in some arctic regions. It is of considerable concern, therefore, that such extreme events are increasing in frequency as part of climate change. However, despite the increasing importance of browning events, and the considerable impact they can have on ecosystems, to date there is little understanding of their impacts on ecosystem carbon fluxes. To address this, the impacts of a number of different, commonly occurring, extreme events and their subsequent browning (vegetation damage) on key ecosystem CO2 fluxes were assessed during the growing season at a range of event damaged sites of shrub dominated vegetation. Sites were located from the boreal to High Arctic (64˚N-79˚N) and had been previously been damaged by events of frost-drought, extreme winter warming, ground icing and caterpillar (Epirrita autumnata) outbreaks. Plot-level CO2 fluxes of Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) and Ecosystem Respiration (Reco) were assessed using vegetation chambers. At a sub-set of sites, NDVI (greenness) in flux plots was also assessed by hand-held proximal sensor, allowing the relationship between NDVI of damage plots to CO2 flux to be calculated. Despite the contrasting sites and drivers, damage had consistent, major impacts on all fluxes. All sites showed reductions in GPP and NEE with increasing damage, despite efflux from Reco also declining with damage. When scaled to site-level, reductions of up to 81% of NEE, 51% of GPP and 37% of Reco were observed. In the plot-level NDVI-flux relationship, NDVI was shown to explain up to 91% of variation in GPP, and therefore supports the use of NDVI for estimating changes in ecosystem CO2 flux at larger scales in regions where browning has been driven by extreme events. This work is the first attempt to quantify the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of tundra vegetation to climate warming is critical to forecasting future biodiversity and vegetation feedbacks to climate. In situ warming experiments accelerate climate change on a small scale to forecast responses of local plant communities. Limitations of this approach include the apparent site-specificity of results and uncertainty about the power of short-term studies to anticipate longer term change. We address these issues with a synthesis of 61 experimental warming studies, of up to 20 years duration, in tundra sites worldwide. The response of plant groups to warming often differed with ambient summer temperature, soil moisture and experimental duration. Shrubs increased with warming only where ambient temperature was high, whereas graminoids increased primarily in the coldest study sites. Linear increases in effect size over time were frequently observed. There was little indication of saturating or accelerating effects, as would be predicted if negative or positive vegetation feedbacks were common. These results indicate that tundra vegetation exhibits strong regional variation in response to warming, and that in vulnerable regions, cumulative effects of long-term warming on tundra vegetation - and associated ecosystem consequences - have the potential to be much greater than we have observed to date. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  16. Mining in the European Arctic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dam, Kim; Scheepstra, Annette; Gille, Johan; Stępień, Adam; Koivurova, Timo

    The European Arctic is currently experiencing an upsurge in mining activities, but future developments will be highly sensitive to mineral price fluctuations. The EU is a major consumer and importer of Arctic raw materials. As the EU is concerned about the security of supply, it encourages domestic

  17. Fungal colonization and decomposition of leaves and stems of Salix arctica on deglaciated moraines in high-Arctic Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osono, Takashi; Matsuoka, Shunsuke; Hirose, Dai; Uchida, Masaki; Kanda, Hiroshi

    2014-06-01

    Fungal colonization, succession, and decomposition of leaves and stems of Salix arctica were studied to estimate the roles of fungi in the decomposition processes in the high Arctic. The samples were collected from five moraines with different periods of development since deglaciation to investigate the effects of ecosystem development on the decomposition processes during the primary succession. The total hyphal lengths and the length of darkly pigmented hyphae increased during decomposition of leaves and stems and were not varied with the moraines. Four fungal morphotaxa were frequently isolated from both leaves and stems. The frequencies of occurrence of two morphotaxa varied with the decay class of leaves and/or stems. The hyphal lengths and the frequencies of occurrence of fungal morphotaxa were positively or negatively correlated with the contents of organic chemical components and nutrients in leaves and stems, suggesting the roles of fungi in chemical changes in the field. Pure culture decomposition tests demonstrated that the fungal morphotaxa were cellulose decomposers. Our results suggest that fungi took part in the chemical changes in decomposing leaves and stems even under the harsh environment of the high Arctic.

  18. Biological Chlorine Cycling in Arctic Peat Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. High-energy, high-fat lifestyle challenges an Arctic apex predator, the polar bear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagano, A M; Durner, G M; Rode, K D; Atwood, T C; Atkinson, S N; Peacock, E; Costa, D P; Owen, M A; Williams, T M

    2018-02-02

    Regional declines in polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ) populations have been attributed to changing sea ice conditions, but with limited information on the causative mechanisms. By simultaneously measuring field metabolic rates, daily activity patterns, body condition, and foraging success of polar bears moving on the spring sea ice, we found that high metabolic rates (1.6 times greater than previously assumed) coupled with low intake of fat-rich marine mammal prey resulted in an energy deficit for more than half of the bears examined. Activity and movement on the sea ice strongly influenced metabolic demands. Consequently, increases in mobility resulting from ongoing and forecasted declines in and fragmentation of sea ice are likely to increase energy demands and may be an important factor explaining observed declines in body condition and survival. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  20. Contemporary Arctic Sea Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazenave, A. A.

    2017-12-01

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

  1. Estimation of the annual primary production of the lichen Cetrariella delisei in a glacier foreland in the High Arctic, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard

    OpenAIRE

    Uchida, Masaki; Nakatsubo, Takayuki; Kanda, Hiroshi; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2006-01-01

    The fruticose lichen Cetrariella delisei is among the dominant lichen species in the deglaciated High Arctic areas of Svalbard. As part of a study of carbon cycling in the High Arctic, we aimed to estimate the primary production of lichen in a deglaciated area in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard (79° N), by examining the effects of abiotic factors on the net photosynthesis (Pn) and dark respiration (R) rates of C. delisei. Experiments were conducted in the snow-free season of 2000 using an open-fl ow gas...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  3. Ice nucleating particles in the high Arctic at the beginning of the melt season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, M.; Gong, X.; Van Pinxteren, M.; Welti, A.; Zeppenfeld, S.; Herrmann, H.; Stratmann, F.

    2017-12-01

    Ice nucleating particles (INPs) initiate the ice crystal formation in persistent Arctic mixed-phase clouds and are important for the formation of precipitation, which affects the radiative properties of the Arctic pack ice as well as the radiative properties of clouds. Sources of Arctic INP have been suggested to be local emissions from the marine boundary and long-range transport. To what extent local marine sources contribute to the INP population or if the majority of INPs originate from long-range transport is not yet known. Ship-based INP measurements in the PASCAL framework are reported. The field campaign took place from May 24 to July 20 2017 around and north of Svalbard (up to 84°N, between 0° and 35°E) onboard the RV Polarstern. INP concentrations were determined applying in-situ measurements (DMT Spectrometer for Ice Nuclei, SPIN) and offline filter techniques (filter sampling on both quartz fiber and polycarbonate filters with subsequent analysis of filter pieces and water suspension from particles collected on filters by means of immersion freezing experiments on cold stage setups). Additionally the compartments sea-surface micro layer (SML), bulk sea water, snow, sea ice and fog water were sampled and their ice nucleation potential quantified, also utilizing cold stages. The measurements yield comprehensive picture of the spatial and temporal distribution of INPs around Svalbard for the different compartments. The dependence of the INP concentration on meteorological conditions (e.g. wind speed) and the geographical situation (sea ice cover, distance to the ice edge) are investigated. Potential sources of INP are identified by the comparison of INP concentrations in the compartments and by back trajectory analysis.

  4. Collaborative Research: Towards Advanced Understanding and Predictive Capability of Climate Change in the Arctic Using a High-Resolution Regional Arctic Climate Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cassano, John [Principal Investigator

    2013-06-30

    The primary research task completed for this project was the development of the Regional Arctic Climate Model (RACM). This involved coupling existing atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, and land models using the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate System Model (CCSM) coupler (CPL7). RACM is based on the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) atmospheric model, the Parallel Ocean Program (POP) ocean model, the CICE sea ice model, and the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) land model. A secondary research task for this project was testing and evaluation of WRF for climate-scale simulations on the large pan-Arctic model domain used in RACM. This involved identification of a preferred set of model physical parameterizations for use in our coupled RACM simulations and documenting any atmospheric biases present in RACM.

  5. 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

  6. Delayed responses of an Arctic ecosystem to an extremely dry summer: impacts on net ecosystem exchange and vegetation functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zona, D.; Lipson, D. A.; Richards, J. H.; Phoenix, G. K.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Ueyama, M.; Sturtevant, C. S.; Oechel, W. C.

    2013-12-01

    The importance and mode of action of extreme events on the global carbon budget are inadequately understood. This includes the differential impact of extreme events on various ecosystem components, lag effects, recovery times, and compensatory processes. Summer 2007 in Barrow, Arctic Alaska, experienced unusually high air temperatures (fifth warmest over a 65 yr period) and record low precipitation (lowest over a 65 yr period). These abnormal conditions resulted in strongly reduced net Sphagnum CO2 uptake, but no effect neither on vascular plant development nor on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from this arctic tundra ecosystem. Gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were both generally greater during most of this extreme summer. Cumulative ecosystem C uptake in 2007 was similar to the previous summers, showing the capacity of the ecosystem to compensate in its net ecosystem exchange (NEE) despite the impact on other functions and structure such as substantial necrosis of the Sphagnum layer. Surprisingly, the lowest ecosystem C uptake (2005-2009) was observed during the 2008 summer, i.e the year directly following the extremely summer. In 2008, cumulative C uptake was ∼70% lower than prior years. This reduction cannot solely be attributed to mosses, which typically contribute with ∼40% - of the entire ecosystem C uptake. The minimum summer cumulative C uptake in 2008 suggests that the entire ecosystem experienced difficulty readjusting to more typical weather after experiencing exceptionally warm and dry conditions. Importantly, the return to a substantial cumulative C uptake occurred two summers after the extreme event, which suggest a high resilience of this tundra ecosystem. Overall, these results show a highly complex response of the C uptake and its sub-components to atypically dry conditions. The impact of multiple extreme events still awaits further investigation.

  7. Tundra water budget and implications of precipitation underestimation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  8. Interannual Variability of Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide Fluxes in Subarctic European Russian Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marushchak, M. E.; Voigt, C.; Gil, J.; Lamprecht, R. E.; Trubnikova, T.; Virtanen, T.; Kaverin, D.; Martikainen, P. J.; Biasi, C.

    2017-12-01

    Southern tundra landscapes are particularly vulnerable to climate warming, permafrost thaw and associated landscape rearrangement due to near-zero permafrost temperatures. The large soil C and N stocks of subarctic tundra may create a positive feedback for warming if released to the atmosphere at increased rates. Subarctic tundra in European Russia is a mosaic of land cover types, which all play different roles in the regional greenhouse gas budget. Peat plateaus - massive upheaved permafrost peatlands - are large storehouses of soil carbon and nitrogen, but include also bare peat surfaces that act as hot-spots for both carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions. Tundra wetlands are important for the regional greenhouse gas balance since they show high rates of methane emissions and carbon uptake. The most dominant land-form is upland tundra vegetated by shrubs, lichens and mosses, which displays a close-to-neutral balance with respect to all three greenhouse gases. The study site Seida (67°03'N, 62°56'E), located in the discontinuous permafrost zone of Northeast European Russia, incorporates all these land forms and has been an object for greenhouse gas investigations since 2007. Here, we summarize the growing season fluxes of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide measured by chamber techniques over the study years. We analyzed the flux time-series together with the local environmental data in order to understand the drivers of interannual variability. Detailed soil profile measurements of greenhouse gas concentrations, soil moisture and temperature provide insights into soil processes underlying the net emissions to the atmosphere. The multiannual time-series allows us to assess the importance of the different greenhouse gases and landforms to the overall climate forcing of the study region.

  9. Simulations of Vegetation Impacts on Arctic Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonfils, C.; Phillips, T. J.; Riley, W. J.; Post, W. M.; Torn, M. S.

    2009-12-01

    Because global warming disproportionately influences high-latitude climate, changes in arctic vegetation are in progress. These land-cover changes include redistribution of local vegetation types as well as northward migration of lower-latitude species in response to the increasing warming. The resulting displacement of low-lying tundra vegetation by shrubs and trees darkens the surface, thus accelerating regional warming. As participants in the U.S. Department of Energy IMPACTS Project, we are investigating the potential for abrupt arctic climatic change resulting from such va