WorldWideScience

Sample records for hydrocarbon-contaminated arctic tundra

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naseri, Masoud; Barabadi, Abbas; Barabady, Javad

    2014-10-01

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

  2. On-site and in situ remediation technologies applicable to petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites in the Antarctic and Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle Camenzuli

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites, associated with the contemporary and legacy effects of human activities, remain a serious environmental problem in the Antarctic and Arctic. The management of contaminated sites in these regions is often confounded by the logistical, environmental, legislative and financial challenges associated with operating in polar environments. In response to the need for efficient and safe methods for managing contaminated sites, several technologies have been adapted for on-site or in situ application in these regions. This article reviews six technologies which are currently being adapted or developed for the remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites in the Antarctic and Arctic. Bioremediation, landfarming, biopiles, phytoremediation, electrokinetic remediation and permeable reactive barriers are reviewed and discussed with respect to their advantages, limitations and potential for the long-term management of soil and groundwater contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons in the Antarctic and Arctic. Although these technologies demonstrate potential for application in the Antarctic and Arctic, their effectiveness is dependent on site-specific factors including terrain, soil moisture and temperature, freeze–thaw processes and the indigenous microbial population. The importance of detailed site assessment prior to on-site or in situ implementation is emphasized, and it is argued that coupling of technologies represents one strategy for effective, long-term management of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites in the Antarctic and Arctic.

  3. Recent Arctic tundra fire initiates widespread thermokarst development.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-29

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

  4. Recent Arctic tundra fire initiates widespread thermokarst development

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. The unseen iceberg: Plant roots in arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Plant roots play a critical role in ecosystem function in arctic tundra, but root dynamics in these ecosystems are poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we synthesized available literature on tundra roots, including their distribution, dynamics and contribution to ecosystem carbon and nutrient fluxes, and highlighted key aspects of their representation in terrestrial biosphere models. Across all tundra ecosystems, belowground plant biomass exceeded aboveground biomass, with the exception of polar desert tundra. Roots were shallowly distributed in the thin layer of soil that thaws annually, and were often found in surface organic soil horizons. Root traits - including distribution, chemistry, anatomy and resource partitioning - play an important role in controlling plant species competition, and therefore ecosystem carbon and nutrient fluxes, under changing climatic conditions, but have only been quantified for a small fraction of tundra plants. Further, the annual production and mortality of fine roots are key components of ecosystem processes in tundra, but extant data are sparse. Tundra root traits and dynamics should be the focus of future research efforts. Better representation of the dynamics and characteristics of tundra roots will improve the utility of models for the evaluation of the responses of tundra ecosystems to changing environmental conditions. No claim to original US Government works New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. Carbon loss from an unprecedented Arctic tundra wildfire.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-27

    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 C balance of tundra landscapes, however, remains largely unknown. The Anaktuvuk River fire in 2007 burned 1,039 square kilometres of Alaska's Arctic slope, making it the largest fire on record for the tundra biome and doubling the cumulative area burned since 1950 (ref. 5). Here we report that tundra ecosystems lost 2,016 ± 435 g C m(-2) in the fire, an amount two orders of magnitude larger than annual net C exchange in undisturbed tundra. Sixty per cent of this C loss was from soil organic matter, and radiocarbon dating of residual soil layers revealed that the maximum age of soil C lost was 50 years. Scaled to the entire burned area, the fire released approximately 2.1 teragrams of C to the atmosphere, an amount similar in magnitude to the annual net C sink for the entire Arctic tundra biome averaged over the last quarter of the twentieth century. The magnitude of ecosystem C lost by fire, relative to both ecosystem and biome-scale fluxes, demonstrates that a climate-driven increase in tundra fire disturbance may represent a positive feedback, potentially offsetting Arctic greening and influencing the net C balance of the tundra biome.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2017-07-01

    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.

  10. Open tundra persist, but arctic features decline-Vegetation changes in the warming Fennoscandian tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuorinen, Katariina E M; Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja; Pyykönen, Anni; Olofsson, Johan; Virtanen, Risto

    2017-09-01

    In the forest-tundra ecotone of the North Fennoscandian inland, summer and winter temperatures have increased by two to three centigrades since 1965, which is expected to result in major vegetation changes. To document the expected expansion of woodlands and scrublands and its impact on the arctic vegetation, we repeated a vegetation transect study conducted in 1976 in the Darju, spanning from woodland to a summit, 200 m above the tree line. Contrary to our expectations, tree line movement was not detected, and there was no increase in willows or shrubby mountain birches, either. Nevertheless, the stability of tundra was apparent. Small-sized, poorly competing arctic species had declined, lichen cover had decreased, and vascular plants, especially evergreen ericoid dwarf shrubs, had gained ground. The novel climate seems to favour competitive clonal species and species thriving in closed vegetation, creating a community hostile for seedling establishment, but equally hostile for many arctic species, too. Preventing trees and shrubs from invading the tundra is thus not sufficient for conserving arctic biota in the changing climate. The only dependable cure is to stop the global warming. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. 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

    2016-01-05

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbari, Ali; Ghoshal, Subhasis

    2014-09-15

    Bioremediation is a potentially cost-effective solution for petroleum contamination in cold region sites. This study investigates the extent of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons (C16-C34) in a pilot-scale biopile experiment conducted at 15°C for periods up to 385 days, with a clayey soil, from a crude oil-impacted site in northern Canada. Although several studies on bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soils from cold region sites have been reported for coarse-textured, sandy soils, there are limited studies of bioremediation of petroleum contamination in fine-textured, clayey soils. Our results indicate that aeration and moisture addition was sufficient for achieving 47% biodegradation and an endpoint of 530 mg/kg for non-volatile (C16-C34) petroleum hydrocarbons. Nutrient amendment with 95 mg-N/kg showed no significant effect on biodegradation compared to a control system without nutrient but similar moisture content. In contrast, in a biopile amended with 1340 mg-N/kg, no statistically significant biodegradation of non-volatile fraction was detected. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses of alkB and 16S rRNA genes revealed that inhibition of hydrocarbon biodegradation was associated with a lack of change in microbial community composition. Overall, our data suggests that biopiles are feasible for attaining the bioremediation endpoint in clayey soils. Despite the significantly lower biodegradation rate of 0.009 day(-1) in biopile tank compared to 0.11 day(-1) in slurry bioreactors for C16-C34 hydrocarbons, the biodegradation extents for this fraction were comparable in these two systems. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akbari, Ali; Ghoshal, Subhasis, E-mail: subhasis.ghoshal@mcgill.ca

    2014-09-15

    Highlights: • Aeration and moisture addition alone caused extensive hydrocarbon biodegradation. • 30-day slurry reactor remediation endpoints attained in 385 days in biopiles. • High nitrogen concentrations inhibited hydrocarbon degradation. • Inhibition of biodegradation linked to lack of shifts in soil microbial community. - Abstract: Bioremediation is a potentially cost-effective solution for petroleum contamination in cold region sites. This study investigates the extent of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons (C16–C34) in a pilot-scale biopile experiment conducted at 15 °C for periods up to 385 days, with a clayey soil, from a crude oil-impacted site in northern Canada. Although several studies on bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soils from cold region sites have been reported for coarse-textured, sandy soils, there are limited studies of bioremediation of petroleum contamination in fine-textured, clayey soils. Our results indicate that aeration and moisture addition was sufficient for achieving 47% biodegradation and an endpoint of 530 mg/kg for non-volatile (C16–C34) petroleum hydrocarbons. Nutrient amendment with 95 mg-N/kg showed no significant effect on biodegradation compared to a control system without nutrient but similar moisture content. In contrast, in a biopile amended with 1340 mg-N/kg, no statistically significant biodegradation of non-volatile fraction was detected. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses of alkB and 16S rRNA genes revealed that inhibition of hydrocarbon biodegradation was associated with a lack of change in microbial community composition. Overall, our data suggests that biopiles are feasible for attaining the bioremediation endpoint in clayey soils. Despite the significantly lower biodegradation rate of 0.009 day{sup −1} in biopile tank compared to 0.11 day{sup −1} in slurry bioreactors for C16–C34 hydrocarbons, the biodegradation extents for this fraction

  14. Landscape topography structures the soil microbiome in arctic polygonal tundra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taş, Neslihan; Prestat, Emmanuel; Wang, Shi; Wu, Yuxin; Ulrich, Craig; Kneafsey, Timothy; Tringe, Susannah G.; Torn, Margaret S.; Hubbard, Susan S.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2018-02-22

    Global temperature increases are resulting in thaw of permafrost soil in the arctic with increased emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Soil microorganisms are responsible for degradation of the trapped organic carbon (C) in permafrost and emission of GHG as it thaws. However, environmental factors governing microbial degradation of soil C and GHG emissions are poorly understood. Here we determined the functional potential of soil microbiomes in arctic tundra across a cryoperturbed polygonal landscape in Barrow, Alaska. Using a combination of metagenome sequencing and gas flux measurements, we found that the soil microbiome composition, diversity and functional potential varied across the polygon transect and that specific microbes and functional genes were correlated to GHG measurements. Several draft genomes of novel species were obtained with genes encoding enzymes involved in cycling of complex organic compounds. These results have larger implications for prediction of the influence of the soil microbiome on soil C flux from arctic regions undergoing environmental change.

  15. 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...

  16. How will Shrub Expansion Impact Soil Carbon Sequestration in Arctic Tundra?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czimczik, C. I.; Holden, S. R.; He, Y.; Randerson, J. T.

    2015-12-01

    Multiple lines of evidence suggest that plant productivity, and especially shrub abundance, is increasing in the Arctic in response to climate change. This greening is substantiated by increases in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, repeat photography and field observations. The implications of a greener Arctic on carbon sequestration by tundra ecosystems remain poorly understood. Here, we explore existing datasets of plant productivity and soil carbon stocks to quantify how greening, and in particular an expansion of woody shrubs, may translate to the sequestration of carbon in arctic soils. As an estimate of carbon storage in arctic tundra soils, we used the Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database v2. As estimates of tundra type and productivity, we used the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation map as well as the MODIS and Landsat Vegetation Continuous Fields, and MODIS GPP/NPP (MOD17) products. Preliminary findings suggest that in graminoid tundra and erect-shrub tundra higher shrub abundance is associated with greater soil carbon stocks. However, this relationship between shrub abundance and soil carbon is not apparent in prostrate-shrub tundra, or when comparing across graminoid tundra, erect-shrub tundra and prostrate-shrub tundra. Uncertainties originate from the extreme spatial (vertical and horizontal) heterogeneity of organic matter distribution in cryoturbated soils, the fact that (some) permafrost carbon stocks, e.g. yedoma, reflect previous rather than current vegetative cover, and small sample sizes, esp. in the High Arctic. Using Vegetation Continuous Fields and MODIS GPP/NPP (MOD17), we develop quantitative trajectories of soil carbon storage as a function of shrub cover and plant productivity in the Arctic (>60°N). We then compare our greening-derived carbon sequestration estimates to projected losses of carbon from thawing permafrost. Our findings will reduce uncertainties in the magnitude and timing of the carbon-climate feedback from the

  17. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2016-01-01

    .... We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem...

  19. Shrub expansion and climate feedbacks in Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loranty, Michael M.; Goetz, Scott J.

    2012-03-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Look again: Revising ideas about the greening of Alaska’s arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geoffrey Koch; Robert Pattison

    2017-01-01

    Alaska’s Arctic tundra is one of the most rapidly warming regions in the world. For years, scientists have been working to interpret the effects of its changing climate and determine what these changes may mean for the rest of the planet. Coarse-scale satellite imagery of much of this region shows the tundra is becoming greener. This has been widely attributed to shrub...

  3. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Ice wedges are common features of the subsurface in permafrost regions. They develop by repeated frost cracking and ice vein growth over hundreds to thousands of years. Ice-wedge formation causes the archetypal polygonal patterns seen in tundra across the Arctic landscape. Here we use field and remote sensing observations to document polygon succession due to ice-wedge degradation and trough development in ten Arctic localities over sub-decadal timescales. Initial thaw drains polygon centres ...

  5. Snowpack fluxes of methane and carbon dioxide from high Arctic tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pirk, Norbert; Tamstorf, Mikkel P; Lund, Magnus

    2016-01-01

    Measurements of the land-atmosphere exchange of the greenhouse gases methane (CH4) andcarbon dioxide (CO2) in high Arctic tundra ecosystems are particularly difficult in the cold season, resultingin large uncertainty on flux magnitudes and their controlling factors during this long, frozen period...... butdetected a pulse in the 13C-CH4stable isotopic signature of the soil’s CH4source during snowmelt, whichsuggests the release of a CH4reservoir that was strongly affected by methanotrophic microorganisms. In thepolygonal tundra of Adventdalen, the snowpack featured several ice layers, which suppressed...... togeomorphological soil cracks. Collectively, these findings suggest important ties between growing seasonand cold season greenhouse gas emissions from high Arctic tundra....

  6. 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

  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. Vegetation shifts observed in arctic tundra 17 years after fire

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Tundra fire and vegetation dynamics: simulating the effect of climate change on fire regimes in Arctic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breen, A. L.; Bennett, A.; Hewiitt, R.; Hollingsworth, T.; Genet, H.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Rupp, T. S.; McGuire, A. D.

    2013-12-01

    While tundra fires have historically been rare in Arctic Alaska, changes in climate are expected to increase their extent and frequency. However, we have little understanding of how this change in the disturbance regime may impact the composition of tundra vegetation in this region. Predicting landscape flammability and vegetation dynamics in response to climate change is a challenge because of the complex interactions among climate, disturbance and recruitment across the landscape. We used a spatially explicit model, the Alaska Frame-Based Ecosystem Code (ALFRESCO), to assess the effects of climate change on fire regime and tundra successional trajectories, specifically related to shrub expansion and white spruce treeline dynamics in Arctic Alaska. Changes in fire regime and vegetation composition were simulated by ALFRESCO using downscaled outputs from two global climate models and one emission scenario at a 1 km resolution. Annual area burned from the best replicate of 640 ALFRESCO simulations was significantly correlated with empirical data from 1950-2012 (r2 = 0.500, P result in approximately 30% of graminoid tundra converted to shrub tundra and approximately 5% of previously treeless tundra converted to white spruce forest through the 21st century. These changes in vegetation composition would have a significant effect on biogeochemical and physical processes occurring in arctic tundra ecosystems indicating the importance of taking tundra fire into account in models of vegetation dynamics in the Arctic.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Zwolicki

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

  11. Examining vertical patterns in Arctic tundra shrub canopies: Implications for carbon cycling in a changing environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heskel, M.; Atkin, O.; Turnbull, M.; Rastetter, E.; Griffin, K. L.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change is facilitating the northward encroachment and expansion of woody shrub species into the Arctic tundra, which in turn is altering a number of physical and biogeochemical processes that are likely to affect how carbon is cycled in this region. Greater shrub presence also increases leaf area index and canopy complexity in the tundra, introducing the potential for vertical variation in nitrogen, photosynthesis, and respiration through the canopy. For these reasons, Arctic tundra shrub communities represent an ecologically relevant case study for investigating carbon cycling-nitrogen relationships and testing optimization models. Here, we measured photosynthesis, respiration in the dark and light, the light inhibition of respiration, stomatal conductance, leaf nitrogen, and related leaf traits at different heights representing variation in light availability in multiple Arctic Alaskan shrub communities dominated by Salix pulchra and Betula nana to examine if the relatively low-stature canopies exhibit vertical patterns. Highest rates of photosynthesis and respiration (P top of the canopy, suggesting substrate-limitation of respiration at lower, more shaded canopy levels. Leaves at the top of the canopy also exhibited the lowest inhibition of respiration by light (NS), and the highest nitrogen concentrations. (P photosynthesis, nitrogen, and a relaxation of light-inhibition to optimize metabolic efficiency. Data from this study was also used to test leaf-level and canopy nitrogen optimization models. These data emphasize the need to include canopy complexity in tundra carbon models, as neglecting physiological differences through a canopy may lead to an underestimation of stored carbon.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. The temperature response of methane emission in Arctic wet sedge tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Edward; Zona, Donatella

    2015-04-01

    Since the last glacial maximum Arctic tundra soils have acted as an important carbon sink, having accumulated carbon under cold, anaerobic conditions (Zona et al. 2009). Several studies indicate that recent climate warming has altered this balance, with the Arctic tundra now posited to be a significant annual source of atmospheric methane (CH4) (McGuire et al. 2012). Nonetheless, the response of Arctic tundra CH4 fluxes to continued climate warming remains uncertain. Laboratory and field studies indicate that CH4 fluxes are temperature sensitive, thus accurate calculation of the temperature sensitivity is vital for the prediction of future CH4 emission. For this, the increase in reaction rate over a 10°C range (Q10) is frequently used, with single fixed Q10 values (between 2 and 4) commonly incorporated into climate-carbon cycle models. However, the temperature sensitivity of CH4 emission can vary considerably depending on factors such as vegetation composition, water table and season. This promotes the use of spatially and seasonally variable Q10 values for accurate CH4 flux estimation under different future climate change scenarios. This study investigates the temperature sensitivity (Q10) of Arctic tundra methane fluxes, using an extensive number of soil cores (48) extracted from wet sedge polygonal tundra (Barrow Experimental Observatory, Alaska). 'Wet' and 'dry' cores were taken from the centre and raised perimeter of ice-wedge polygons, where the water tables are 0cm and -15cm respectively. Cores were incubated in two controlled environment chambers (University of Sheffield, UK) for 12 weeks under different thaw depth treatments (control and control + 6.8cm), water tables (surface and -15cm), and CO2 concentrations (400ppm and 850ppm) in a multifactorial manner. Chamber temperature was gradually increased from -5°C to 20°C, then gradually decreased to -5°C, with each temperature stage lasting one week. Average CH4 fluxes from 'dry' cores were consistently

  14. DOES NITROGEN PARTITIONING PROMOTE SPECIES DIVERSITY IN ARCTIC TUSSOCK TUNDRA?

    Science.gov (United States)

    We used 15N soil-labeling techniques to examine how the dominant species in a N-limited, tussock tundra plant community partitioned soil N, and how such partitioning may contribute to community organization. The five most productive species were well differentiated with respect ...

  15. Metals in Racomitrium lanuginosum from Arctic (SW Spitsbergen, Svalbard archipelago) and alpine (Karkonosze, SW Poland) tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wojtuń, Bronisław; Samecka-Cymerman, Aleksandra; Kolon, Krzysztof; Kempers, Alexander J

    2018-02-19

    Arctic-alpine tundra habitats are very vulnerable to the input of relatively small amounts of xenobiotics, and thus their level in such areas must be carefully controlled. Therefore, we collected the terrestrial widespread moss Racomitrium lanuginosum (Hedw.) Brid. in Spitsbergen in the Arctic moss lichen tundra and, for comparison, in the Arctic-alpine tundra in the Karkonosze (SW Poland). Concentrations of the elements Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Li, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn in this species and in the parent rock material were measured. We tested the following hypothesis: R. lanuginosum from Spitsbergen contains lower metal levels than the species from the Karkonosze collected at altitudes influenced by long-range transport from former Black Triangle industry. Principal component and classification analysis (PCCA) ordination revealed that mosses of Spitsbergen were distinguished by a significantly higher Na concentration of marine spray origin and mosses of Karkonosze were distinguished by significantly higher concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Li, Mn, Pb, V, and Zn probably from long-range atmospheric transport. The influence of the polar station with a waste incinerator resulted in significantly higher Co, Li, and Ni concentrations in neighbouring mosses in comparison with this species from other sites. This investigation contributes to the use of R. lanuginosum as a bioindicator for metal contamination in Arctic and alpine tundra regions characterised by severe climate habitats with a restricted number of species. This moss enables the control of pollution usually brought solely by long-range atmospheric transport in high mountains as well as in Arctic areas.

  16. Potential contributions of root decomposition to the nitrogen cycle in arctic forest and tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Träger, Sabrina; Milbau, Ann; Wilson, Scott D

    2017-12-01

    Plant contributions to the nitrogen (N) cycle from decomposition are likely to be altered by vegetation shifts associated with climate change. Roots account for the majority of soil organic matter input from vegetation, but little is known about differences between vegetation types in their root contributions to nutrient cycling. Here, we examine the potential contribution of fine roots to the N cycle in forest and tundra to gain insight into belowground consequences of the widely observed increase in woody vegetation that accompanies climate change in the Arctic. We combined measurements of root production from minirhizotron images with tissue analysis of roots from differing root diameter and color classes to obtain potential N input following decomposition. In addition, we tested for changes in N concentration of roots during early stages of decomposition, and investigated whether vegetation type (forest or tundra) affected changes in tissue N concentration during decomposition. For completeness, we also present respective measurements of leaves. The potential N input from roots was twofold greater in forest than in tundra, mainly due to greater root production in forest. Potential N input varied with root diameter and color, but this variation tended to be similar in forest and tundra. As for roots, the potential N input from leaves was significantly greater in forest than in tundra. Vegetation type had no effect on changes in root or leaf N concentration after 1 year of decomposition. Our results suggest that shifts in vegetation that accompany climate change in the Arctic will likely increase plant-associated potential N input both belowground and aboveground. In contrast, shifts in vegetation might not alter changes in tissue N concentration during early stages of decomposition. Overall, differences between forest and tundra in potential contribution of decomposing roots to the N cycle reinforce differences between habitats that occur for leaves.

  17. 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.

  18. Predators in low arctic tundra and their impact on community structure and dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Aunapuu, Maano

    2004-01-01

    The abundance of predators and their impact on ecosystem dynamics is a vividly discussed topic in current ecology. In my studies, incorporating field observations, field experiments and theoretical modeling, I explored the importance of predators and predation in a low arctic tundra ecosystem in northern Norway. This involved observing the abundance and spatial activity of predators (raptors and small mustelids); manipulating the abundance of predators (spiders and birds) in an arthropod comm...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolden, Crystal A.; Rogan, John

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Conceptualization and Simulation of the Alaskan Arctic Tundra Landscape Evolution Using the Alaska Thermokarst Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, W. R.; Lara, M. J.; Genet, H.; Romanovsky, V. E.; McGuire, A. D.

    2016-12-01

    The Arctic, including Alaska, is currently undergoing a change in climate, with observed increases in both mean surface temperature and precipitation. The combination of these increases in precipitation and temperature has resulted in a permafrost condition that is susceptible to thermokarst. Changes in the landscape due to thermokarst takes place whenever ice-rich permafrost thaws and the land surface subsides due to the volume loss when ground-ice transitions to water. The important processes associated with thermokarst include surface ponding, changes in topography, vegetation distribution, soil moisture conditions, drainage patterns, and related erosion. The Alaska Thermokarst Model (ATM) is a large-scale, state-and-transition model designed to simulate transitions between landscape units affected by thermokarst disturbance. The ATM using a frame-based methodology to track cohorts transitions and their respective proportions within each model grid cell. In the arctic tundra environment, the ATM tracks thermokarst related transitions among wetland tundra, graminoid tundra,shrub tundra and lakes. The transition from one cohort to another due to thermokarst processes can take place if thaw reaches ice-rich ground layers either due to pulse disturbance or due to gradual active layer deepening that eventually results in penetration of the protective layer. The protective layer buffers the ice-rich soils from the land surface and is critical to determine how susceptible an area is to thermokarst degradation. The initial landcover distribution is based upon analysis of compiled remote sensing data sets at 30-m resolution. Remote sensing analysis and field measurements from previous and ongoing studies are used to determine the ice-content of the soil, the drainage efficiency (or the ability of the landscape to store or transport water), the cumulative probability of thermokarst initiation, distance from rivers, lake dynamics (increasing, decreasing, or stable), and

  1. Spatial Heterogeneity in Arctic Tundra Snow: Processes, Patterns, and Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturm, M.; Liston, G. E.; Wagner, A. M.; Hiemstra, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    Tundra snow (exclusive of drifts) tends to be a thin veneer (sastrugi and dunes alter the snow depth. These small-scale variations in depth and snow water equivalent might not seem important, but comparison of point values of snow depth from observing stations with spatial maps of the snow surrounding the stations suggests that significant differences can exist. A more comprehensive understanding of drifting and drift features is needed in order to improve our ability to model and understand this dynamic and fascinating class of snow.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.-J. van der Kolk

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott J. Davidson

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richter Dorota

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyama, Akihiro; Wallenstein, Matthew D; Simpson, Rodney T; Moore, John C

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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...

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokrovsky, Ivan; Ehrich, Dorothée; Ims, Rolf A; Kondratyev, Alexander V; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Kulikova, Olga; Mihnevich, Julia; Pokrovskaya, Liya; Shienok, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    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. Circumpolar spatio-temporal patterns and contributing climatic factors of wildfire activity in the Arctic tundra from 2001–2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masrur, Arif; Petrov, Andrey N.; DeGroote, John

    2018-01-01

    Recent years have seen an increased frequency of wildfire events in different parts of Arctic tundra ecosystems. Contemporary studies have largely attributed these wildfire events to the Arctic’s rapidly changing climate and increased atmospheric disturbances (i.e. thunderstorms). However, existing research has primarily examined the wildfire–climate dynamics of individual large wildfire events. No studies have investigated wildfire activity, including climatic drivers, for the entire tundra biome across multiple years, i.e. at the planetary scale. To address this limitation, this paper provides a planetary/circumpolar scale analyses of space-time patterns of tundra wildfire occurrence and climatic association in the Arctic over a 15 year period (2001–2015). In doing so, we have leveraged and analyzed NASA Terra’s MODIS active fire and MERRA climate reanalysis products at multiple temporal scales (decadal, seasonal and monthly). Our exploratory spatial data analysis found that tundra wildfire occurrence was spatially clustered and fire intensity was spatially autocorrelated across the Arctic regions. Most of the wildfire events occurred in the peak summer months (June–August). Our multi-temporal (decadal, seasonal and monthly) scale analyses provide further support to the link between climate variability and wildfire activity. Specifically, we found that warm and dry conditions in the late spring to mid-summer influenced tundra wildfire occurrence, spatio-temporal distribution, and fire intensity. Additionally, reduced average surface precipitation and soil moisture levels in the winter–spring period were associated with increased fire intensity in the following summer. These findings enrich contemporary knowledge on tundra wildfire’s spatial and seasonal patterns, and shed new light on tundra wildfire–climate relationships in the circumpolar context. Furthermore, this first pan-Arctic analysis provides a strong incentive and direction for future

  13. Effects of Climate Warming on Organic Carbon Degradation and Methylmercury Production in an Arctic Tundra Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    Climate warming increases microbial activity and stimulates the degradation of stored soil organic carbon (SOC) in Arctic tundra. Studies have shown that the rates of SOC degradation are affected by the substrate quality or chemical composition of SOC, but it remains unclear which pools of SOC are the most vulnerable to rapid breakdown and what mechanisms are involved. Additionally, little is known concerning the effects of warming on microbial mercury methylation and how it is coupled to SOC degradation. Using a suite of analytical techniques, we examined the dynamic consumption and production of labile SOC compounds, including reducing sugars, alcohols, and low-molecular-weight organic acids during an 8-month anoxic incubation with a high-centered polygon trough tundra soil from Barrow, Alaska. We show that reducing sugars and alcohols in thawed permafrost largely account for the initial rapid release of CO2 and CH4 through anaerobic fermentation, whereas the fermentation products such as acetate and formate are subsequently utilized as primary substrates for methanogenesis. Degradation of labile SOC is also found to rapidly fueling the biosynthesis of methylmercury, a potent neurotoxin in tundra soil. Mercury methylation is positively correlated to the production of CH4 and ferrous ion, suggesting the linkages among microbial pathways of methanogenesis, iron reduction, and mercury methylation. Additionally, we found that freshly amended mercury is more bioavailable and susceptible to microbial methylation than preexisting Hg, particularly in the deep mineral soil. These observations suggest that climate warming and permafrost thaw not only impact on the decomposition of stored SOC and emission of greenhouse gases but also increase production of toxic methylmercury in Arctic tundra.

  14. Bird Communities of the Arctic Shrub Tundra of Yamal: Habitat Specialists and Generalists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokolov, Vasiliy; Ehrich, Dorothée; Yoccoz, Nigel G.; Sokolov, Alexander; Lecomte, Nicolas

    2012-01-01

    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/km2). 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. PMID:23239978

  15. 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.

  16. Upscaling CH4 Fluxes Using High-Resolution Imagery in Arctic Tundra Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott J. Davidson

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Arctic tundra ecosystems are a major source of methane (CH4, the variability of which is affected by local environmental and climatic factors, such as water table depth, microtopography, and the spatial heterogeneity of the vegetation communities present. There is a disconnect between the measurement scales for CH4 fluxes, which can be measured with chambers at one-meter resolution and eddy covariance towers at 100–1000 m, whereas model estimates are typically made at the ~100 km scale. Therefore, it is critical to upscale site level measurements to the larger scale for model comparison. As vegetation has a critical role in explaining the variability of CH4 fluxes across the tundra landscape, we tested whether remotely-sensed maps of vegetation could be used to upscale fluxes to larger scales. The objectives of this study are to compare four different methods for mapping and two methods for upscaling plot-level CH4 emissions to the measurements from EC towers. We show that linear discriminant analysis (LDA provides the most accurate representation of the tundra vegetation within the EC tower footprints (classification accuracies of between 65% and 88%. The upscaled CH4 emissions using the areal fraction of the vegetation communities showed a positive correlation (between 0.57 and 0.81 with EC tower measurements, irrespective of the mapping method. The area-weighted footprint model outperformed the simple area-weighted method, achieving a correlation of 0.88 when using the vegetation map produced with the LDA classifier. These results suggest that the high spatial heterogeneity of the tundra vegetation has a strong impact on the flux, and variation indicates the potential impact of environmental or climatic parameters on the fluxes. Nonetheless, assimilating remotely-sensed vegetation maps of tundra in a footprint model was successful in upscaling fluxes across scales.

  17. The Degree of Permafrost Thawing Determines Arctic Tundra Carbon Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, J. G.; Schuur, E. A.; Sickman, J.; Lee, H.; Trucco, C.

    2007-12-01

    In interior Alaska, we measured gross photosynthesis (GP), ecosystem respiration (ER), and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) near a permafrost monitoring borehole that has recorded an increase in permafrost temperatures during the last 22 years. From May 2004 to May 2006, ecosystem C exchange measurements were made with static and automatic chambers in a moist acidic tundra ecosystem. A gradient in degree of permafrost thaw was used to select three sites (Minimal, Moderate and Severe Thaw) that corresponded to an increase in thermokarst occurrence. Between June 1 and August 30, the Severe and Moderate Thaw sites had significantly greater C uptake (GPP) (pproductivity. However, greater winter ER from the Severe Thaw site caused it to be a source (negative NEE, -128 g C m-2) of carbon over three years. The Moderate Thaw site was a carbon sink (52 g C m- 2), while the Minimal Thaw site was near carbon neutral (-7 g C m-2). In the spring and fall, carbon uptake correlated with the occurrence of plant functional groups (sedges, evergreen shrubs) that maintain green foliage and can photosynthesize under cold conditions. Both of these functional groups decreased inside thermokarst. In the winter, the Severe Thaw site lost 34% more C than the other two sites, likely due to warmer deep soil temperatures. As permafrost thaw proceeds, increasing ecosystem C loss may occur during the winter, spring, and fall due to the unique biotic and abiotic characteristics of thermokarst.

  18. Transient nature of CO2 fertilization in Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oechel, Walter C.; Cowles, Sid; Grulke, Nancy; Hastings, Steven J.; Lawrence, Bill; Prudhomme, Tom; Riechers, George; Strain, Boyd; Tissue, David; Vourlitis, George

    1994-10-01

    THERE has been much debate about the effect of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations on plant net primary production1,3 and on net ecosystem CO2 flux3-10. Apparently conflicting experimental findings could be the result of differences in genetic potential11-15 and resource availability16-20, different experimental conditions21-24 and the fact that many studies have focused on individual components of the system2,21,25-27 rather than the whole ecosystem. Here we present results of an in situ experiment on the response of an intact native ecosystem to elevated CO2. An undisturbed patch of tussock tundra at Toolik Lake, Alaska, was enclosed in greenhouses in which the CO2 level, moisture and temperature could be controlled28, and was subjected to ambient (340 p.p.m.) and elevated (680 p.p.m.) levels of CO2 and temperature (+4 °C). Air humidity, precipitation and soil water table were maintained at ambient control levels. For a doubled CO2 level alone, complete homeostasis of the CO2 flux was re-established within three years, whereas the regions exposed to a combination of higher temperatures and doubled CO2 showed persistent fertilization effect on net ecosystem carbon sequestration over this time. This difference may be due to enhanced sink activity from the direct effects of higher temperatures on growth16,29-33 and to indirect effects from enhanced nutrient supply caused by increased mineralization10,11,19,27,34. These results indicate that the responses of native ecosystems to elevated CO2 may not always be positive, and are unlikely to be straightforward. Clearly, CO2 fertilization effects must always be considered in the context of genetic limitation, resource availability and other such factors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

    A novel, Gram-stain-negative, aerobic, non-motile and rod-shaped bacterium, designated R9-86(T), was isolated from tundra soil collected near Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard Archipelago, Norway (78° N). Growth occurred at 4-28 °C (optimum, 22-25 °C) and at pH 6.0-9.0 (optimum, pH 7.0). Flexirubin-type pigments were absent. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain R9-86(T) belonged to the genus Terrimonas in the family Chitinophagaceae. 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities between strain R9-86(T) and the type strains of species of the genus Terrimonas with validly published names ranged from 93.7 to 95.0%. Strain R9-86(T) contained iso-C(15:1)-G (25.7%), iso-C(15:0) (24.5%), iso-C(17:0)-3OH (18.3%) and summed feature 3 (C(16:1)ω7c and/or C(16:1)ω6c, 8.7%) as its major cellular fatty acids; phosphatidylethanolamine and an unknown polar lipid as its main polar lipids, and MK-7 as its predominant respiratory quinone. The DNA G+C content was 48.4 mol%. On the basis of phenotypic, chemotaxonomic and phylogenetic data, strain R9-86(T) is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Terrimonas, for which the name Terrimonas arctica sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is R9-86(T) ( =CCTCC AB 2011004(T) =NRRL B-59114(T)). © 2014 IUMS.

  20. Spirosoma flavum sp. nov., isolated from Arctic tundra soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Rui; Zhang, Yumin; Zhou, Xueyin; Wang, Yang; Peng, Fang

    2017-12-01

    A yellow-pigmented strain, designated Y4AR-5 T , was characterized by using a polyphasic approach. The strain was isolated from a tundra soil from near Longyearbyen, Svalbard Islands, Norway. The cells were Gram-stain-negative, aerobic, rod-shaped and non-motile. Growth occurred at 4-28 °C (optimum 20 °C) and pH 6.0-9.0 (optimum pH 8.0) and with 0-0.5 % (w/v) NaCl (optimum 0 %). The major respiratory quinone was MK-7. The polar lipids were phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), an aminophospholipid (APL), a phospholipid (PL), an unidentified aminolipid (AL) and two unidentified lipids. The results of analysis of the 16S rRNA gene indicated that the novel strain was most closely related to members of the genus Spirosoma (96.2 % sequence similarity with Spirosoma endophyticum). The genomic DNA G+C content was 45.9 mol%. The major cellular fatty acids were summed feature 3 (C16 : 1ω7c and/or C16 : 1ω6c), C16 : 1ω5c, iso-C17 : 0 3-OH and iso-C15 : 0. On the basis of its phenotypic and genotypic properties, strain Y4AR-5 T should be classified as representing a novel species of the genus Spirosoma, for which the name Spirosomaflavum sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is Y4AR-5 T (=CCTCC AB 2015352 T =KCTC 52490 T ).

  1. Disentangling the mechanisms of the coupling between sea ice and tundra productivity: cold air advection vs. arctic amplification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macias-Fauria, M.; Karlsen, S. R.; Forbes, B. C.

    2016-12-01

    Changes in arctic terrestrial productivity have been associated with the decline in sea ice extent, concentration, and volume observed at a pan-Arctic scale during the last decades, on the basis that most tundra ecosystems lay close to the sea. However the mechanisms for this coupling remain elusive, and despite overall trend agreements between different components of the Arctic system, no clear hypothesis has successfully explained the heterogeneous spatial and temporal patterns of sea ice and tundra productivity. Here we propose two mechanisms through which sea ice might influence tundra productivity: (1) by advecting cold air from sea ice to the adjacent land during the growing season (cold air advection, local-to-regional control); (2) via changes in the regional climate linked to the snow-ice albedo feedbacks (arctic amplification, regional-to-pan-Arctic controls). We used 8-day Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI MODIS) and concurrent sea ice concentration data (Norwegian Sea Ice Service) to test the relative influence of cold air advection vs. arctic amplification over the Svalbard Archipelago (period 2000-2014). Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) analyses suggest that cold air advection affects tundra productivity in regions/periods where/when sea ice is close to the adjacent land during the growing season, whereas a more regional signal appears when sea ice is distant ( >100km) from the coast. Further analyses were performed using the same approach over the pan-Arctic region using bi-weekly NDVI (GIMMS-NDVI3g) and sea ice extent (NASA/JAXA dataset; period 1981-2015). We interpret that cold air advection locally causes temperatures in the adjacent land to drop ("true coupling"), whereas in the arctic amplification scenario both NDVI and regional sea ice concentration are collinearly related to warmer, regional-to-pan-Arctic temperatures. Our results offer a mechanism that successfully explains NDVI/sea ice coupling and its heterogeneous spatial and

  2. The response of Arctic vegetation and soils following an unusually severe tundra fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia; Mack, Michelle C.; Shaver, Gaius R.; Huebner, Diane C.; Johnston, Miriam; Mojica, Camilo A.; Pizano, Camila; Reiskind, Julia A.

    2013-01-01

    Fire causes dramatic short-term changes in vegetation and ecosystem function, and may promote rapid vegetation change by creating recruitment opportunities. Climate warming likely will increase the frequency of wildfire in the Arctic, where it is not common now. In 2007, the unusually severe Anaktuvuk River fire burned 1039 km2 of tundra on Alaska's North Slope. Four years later, we harvested plant biomass and soils across a gradient of burn severity, to assess recovery. In burned areas, above-ground net primary productivity of vascular plants equalled that in unburned areas, though total live biomass was less. Graminoid biomass had recovered to unburned levels, but shrubs had not. Virtually all vascular plant biomass had resprouted from surviving underground parts; no non-native species were seen. However, bryophytes were mostly disturbance-adapted species, and non-vascular biomass had recovered less than vascular plant biomass. Soil nitrogen availability did not differ between burned and unburned sites. Graminoids showed allocation changes consistent with nitrogen stress. These patterns are similar to those seen following other, smaller tundra fires. Soil nitrogen limitation and the persistence of resprouters will likely lead to recovery of mixed shrub–sedge tussock tundra, unless permafrost thaws, as climate warms, more extensively than has yet occurred. PMID:23836794

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Vegetation-associated impacts on arctic tundra bacterial and microeukaryotic communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yu; Xiang, Xingjia; Shen, Congcong; Chu, Haiyan; Neufeld, Josh D; Walker, Virginia K; Grogan, Paul

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is experiencing rapid vegetation changes, such as shrub and tree line expansion, due to climate warming, as well as increased wetland variability due to hydrological changes associated with permafrost thawing. These changes are of global concern because changes in vegetation may increase tundra soil biogeochemical processes that would significantly enhance atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Predicting the latter will at least partly depend on knowing the structure, functional activities, and distributions of soil microbes among the vegetation types across Arctic landscapes. Here we investigated the bacterial and microeukaryotic community structures in soils from the four principal low Arctic tundra vegetation types: wet sedge, birch hummock, tall birch, and dry heath. Sequencing of rRNA gene fragments indicated that the wet sedge and tall birch communities differed significantly from each other and from those associated with the other two dominant vegetation types. Distinct microbial communities were associated with soil pH, ammonium concentration, carbon/nitrogen (C/N) ratio, and moisture content. In soils with similar moisture contents and pHs (excluding wet sedge), bacterial, fungal, and total eukaryotic communities were correlated with the ammonium concentration, dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) content, and C/N ratio. Operational taxonomic unit (OTU) richness, Faith's phylogenetic diversity, and the Shannon species-level index (H') were generally lower in the tall birch soil than in soil from the other vegetation types, with pH being strongly correlated with bacterial richness and Faith's phylogenetic diversity. Together, these results suggest that Arctic soil feedback responses to climate change will be vegetation specific not just because of distinctive substrates and environmental characteristics but also, potentially, because of inherent differences in microbial community structure. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights

  5. Ecosystem Respiration Rates of Arctic Tundra Mesocosms in Response to Cold-Season Temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberbauer, S. F.; Moser, J. G.; Olivas, P. C.; Starr, G.; Mortazavi, B.

    2013-12-01

    The cold season in the Arctic extends over 8 to 9 mo, during which air temperatures often reach as low as -40 °C. However, as a result of the insulating layer created by snow cover, temperatures seldom fall below -15 °C, and are likely warm enough to support some metabolism. Little research has been conducted on arctic plants and tundra during the cold season, despite its length and the fact that warming is predicted to be greatest during this period. The primary focus of cold-season research has been on rates of winter ecosystem respiration (ER) for estimates of annual carbon balance. The majority of these measurements during the winter or at winter temperatures indicate that some respiration is occurring. Although rates are low, they may contribute substantially to the annual carbon balance because of the length of the cold season. However, estimates of respiration at low temperatures differ substantially, have been taken at different temperatures using different methodologies, and importantly almost none provide quantitative relationships across a range of temperatures. We measured respiration rates of intact arctic tundra monoliths from 15 to -15 °C at 5 °C steps to facilitate improved model estimates of tundra respiration. Six tundra monoliths (~900 cm2) taken from Toolik Field Station, Alaska were conditioned for the cold season in growth chambers at shortened photoperiods and low, but above-freezing temperatures. Desired temperatures were obtained with a combination of growth chambers and a modified freezer. The average of five samplings of [CO2] at each temperature step was used to estimate the ER rates. Measurements were conducted with a closed system using incubation periods of 30 to 180 min, depending on the temperature. Carbon dioxide concentrations were measured by syringe samples injected into a N2 gas stream flowing through an infrared gas analyzer. Rates of ER calculated on an area basis were close to zero at -15 °C, but increased steadily with

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

    OpenAIRE

    Martin, AC; Jeffers, ES; Petrokofsky, G.; Myers-Smith, I.; Macias Fauria, M

    2017-01-01

    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 ...

  7. Effects of long-term nutrient additions on Arctic tundra, stream, and lake ecosystems: beyond NPP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, Laura; Bettez, Neil D; Slavik, Karie A; Bowden, William B; Giblin, Anne E; Kling, George W; Laundre, James A; Shaver, Gaius R

    2016-11-01

    Primary producers form the base of food webs but also affect other ecosystem characteristics, such as habitat structure, light availability, and microclimate. Here, we examine changes caused by 5-30+ years of nutrient addition and resulting increases in net primary productivity (NPP) in tundra, streams, and lakes in northern Alaska. The Arctic provides an important opportunity to examine how ecosystems characterized by low diversity and low productivity respond to release from nutrient limitation. We review how responses of algae and plants affect light availability, perennial biotic structures available for consumers, oxygen levels, and temperature. Sometimes, responses were similar across all three ecosystems; e.g., increased NPP significantly reduced light to the substrate following fertilization. Perennial biotic structures increased in tundra and streams but not in lakes, and provided important new habitat niches for consumers as well as other producers. Oxygen and temperature responses also differed. Life history traits (e.g., longevity) of the primary producers along with the fate of detritus drove the responses and recovery. As global change persists and nutrients become more available in the Arctic and elsewhere, incorporating these factors as response variables will enable better prediction of ecosystem changes and feedbacks in this biome and others.

  8. 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.

  9. Carbon dioxide sources from Alaska driven by increasing early winter respiration from Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Commane, Róisín; Lindaas, Jakob; Benmergui, Joshua; Luus, Kristina A.; Chang, Rachel Y.-W.; Daube, Bruce C.; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Henderson, John M.; Karion, Anna; Miller, John B.; Miller, Scot M.; Parazoo, Nicholas C.; Randerson, James T.; Sweeney, Colm; Tans, Pieter; Thoning, Kirk; Veraverbeke, Sander; Miller, Charles E.; Wofsy, Steven C.

    2017-05-01

    High-latitude ecosystems have the capacity to release large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere in response to increasing temperatures, representing a potentially significant positive feedback within the climate system. Here, we combine aircraft and tower observations of atmospheric CO2 with remote sensing data and meteorological products to derive temporally and spatially resolved year-round CO2 fluxes across Alaska during 2012-2014. We find that tundra ecosystems were a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere annually, with especially high rates of respiration during early winter (October through December). Long-term records at Barrow, AK, suggest that CO2 emission rates from North Slope tundra have increased during the October through December period by 73% ± 11% since 1975, and are correlated with rising summer temperatures. Together, these results imply increasing early winter respiration and net annual emission of CO2 in Alaska, in response to climate warming. Our results provide evidence that the decadal-scale increase in the amplitude of the CO2 seasonal cycle may be linked with increasing biogenic emissions in the Arctic, following the growing season. Early winter respiration was not well simulated by the Earth System Models used to forecast future carbon fluxes in recent climate assessments. Therefore, these assessments may underestimate the carbon release from Arctic soils in response to a warming climate.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ziming; Yang, Sihang; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Zhou, Jizhong; Fang, Wei; Qi, Qi; Liu, Yurong; Wullschleger, Stan D; Liang, Liyuan; Graham, David E; Yang, Yunfeng; Gu, Baohua

    2017-01-01

    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 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.

  11. Water Status of Arctic Tundra Plants During the Winter-Spring Transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberbauer, S. F.; Olivas, P. C.; Moser, J.; Starr, G.; Mortazavi, B.

    2012-12-01

    The arctic winter-spring transition when full snow cover rapidly changes to snow-free conditions potentially represents a time of physiological stress for tundra plants. Plants that have been subjected to freezing temperatures for several months over winter are suddenly exposed to high radiation loads from clear skies and reflection from unmelted snow. Water uptake at this time may be limited by low stem temperatures and cold or even frozen soils. Because of these potential stresses it may be advantageous for plants to delay photosynthetic activity and water loss until soils are warmer. However, given the short length of the growing season, the optimal strategy for plants may be to maximize carbon uptake and begin photosynthesis and growth as soon as possible after snowmelt. Some tundra evergreens even photosynthesize under snow cover. To test the hypothesis that plant water stress increases immediately following loss of snow cover, we investigated xylem and leaf osmotic potentials of evergreen tundra species before and immediately after snowmelt. We also compared these measurements with summer and winter measurements. Our study was conducted in moist acidic tundra near Toolik Field Station in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska. Xylem water potentials were measured by Scholander pressure chamber and osmotic potentials by psychrometry of cell sap expressed from frozen (-80 °C) leaf tissue. Xylem water potentials under snow were generally higher than those of plants recently released from snow. Osmotic potentials measured before and after snowmelt did not show evidence of strong changes. Some species, such as Ledum palustre, maintained high water potentials both under snow and shortly after snow melt. With only a few exceptions, water potentials just after melt out were generally higher than those after soils had warmed and plants had greened up. Low water potentials (plant water status and shoot mortality during winter and the spring thaw.

  12. Evapotranspiration across plant types and geomorphological units in polygonal Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raz-Yaseef, Naama; Young-Robertson, Jessica; Rahn, Thom; Sloan, Victoria; Newman, Brent; Wilson, Cathy; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Torn, Margaret S.

    2017-10-01

    Coastal tundra ecosystems are relatively flat, and yet display large spatial variability in ecosystem traits. The microtopographical differences in polygonal geomorphology produce heterogeneity in permafrost depth, soil temperature, soil moisture, soil geochemistry, and plant distribution. Few measurements have been made, however, of how water fluxes vary across polygonal tundra plant types, limiting our ability to understand and model these ecosystems. Our objective was to investigate how plant distribution and geomorphological location affect actual evapotranspiration (ET). These effects are especially critical in light of the rapid change polygonal tundra systems are experiencing with Arctic warming. At a field site near Barrow, Alaska, USA, we investigated the relationships between ET and plant cover in 2014 and 2015. ET was measured at a range of spatial and temporal scales using: (1) An eddy covariance flux tower for continuous landscape-scale monitoring; (2) An automated clear surface chamber over dry vegetation in a fixed location for continuous plot-scale monitoring; and (3) Manual measurements with a clear portable chamber in approximately 60 locations across the landscape. We found that variation in environmental conditions and plant community composition, driven by microtopographical features, has significant influence on ET. Among plant types, ET from moss-covered and inundated areas was more than twice that from other plant types. ET from troughs and low polygonal centers was significantly higher than from high polygonal centers. ET varied seasonally, with peak fluxes of 0.14 mm h-1 in July. Despite 24 hours of daylight in summer, diurnal fluctuations in incoming solar radiation and plant processes produced a diurnal cycle in ET. Combining the patterns we observed with projections for the impact of permafrost degradation on polygonal structure suggests that microtopographic changes associated with permafrost thaw have the potential to alter tundra

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

    of which is realistic of in situ spatial and temporal variation in field conditions, on C and N dynamics in sub-arctic heath tundra mesocosms. In addition, N-15 isotopic label was used to follow the partitioning of a labile N pool between major ecosystem components, both during the freeze-thaw treatments...

  15. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magnus Lund

    2014-07-01

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

  19. Shrub encroachment in Arctic tundra: Betula nana effects on above- and belowground litter decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

    Rapid arctic vegetation change as a result of global warming includes an increase in the cover and biomass of deciduous shrubs. Increases in shrub abundance will result in a proportional increase of shrub litter in the litter community, potentially affecting carbon turnover rates in arctic ecosystems. We investigated the effects of leaf and root litter of a deciduous shrub, Betula nana, on decomposition, by examining species-specific decomposition patterns, as well as effects of Betula litter on the decomposition of other species. We conducted a 2-yr decomposition experiment in moist acidic tundra in northern Alaska, where we decomposed three tundra species (Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Rhododendron palustre, and Eriophorum vaginatum) alone and in combination with Betula litter. Decomposition patterns for leaf and root litter were determined using three different measures of decomposition (mass loss, respiration, extracellular enzyme activity). We report faster decomposition of Betula leaf litter compared to other species, with support for species differences coming from all three measures of decomposition. Mixing effects were less consistent among the measures, with negative mixing effects shown only for mass loss. In contrast, there were few species differences or mixing effects for root decomposition. Overall, we attribute longer-term litter mass loss patterns to patterns created by early decomposition processes in the first winter. We note numerous differences for species patterns between leaf and root decomposition, indicating that conclusions from leaf litter experiments should not be extrapolated to below-ground decomposition. The high decomposition rates of Betula leaf litter aboveground, and relatively similar decomposition rates of multiple species below, suggest a potential for increases in turnover in the fast-decomposing carbon pool of leaves and fine roots as the dominance of deciduous shrubs in the Arctic increases, but this outcome may be tempered by

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  2. A Phenological Approach to Spectral Differentiation of Low-Arctic Tundra Vegetation Communities, North Slope, Alaska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison Leslie Beamish

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Arctic tundra ecosystems exhibit small-scale variations in species composition, micro-topography as well as significant spatial and temporal variations in moisture. These attributes result in similar spectral characteristics between distinct vegetation communities. In this study we examine spectral variability at three phenological phases of leaf-out, maximum canopy, and senescence of ground-based spectroscopy, as well as a simulated Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP and simulated Sentinel-2 reflectance spectra, from five dominant low-Arctic tundra vegetation communities in the Toolik Lake Research Area, Alaska, in order to inform spectral differentiation and subsequent vegetation classification at both the ground and satellite scale. We used the InStability Index (ISI, a ratio of between endmember and within endmember variability, to determine the most discriminative phenophase and wavelength regions for identification of each vegetation community. Our results show that the senescent phase was the most discriminative phenophase for the identification of the majority of communities when using both ground-based and simulated EnMAP reflectance spectra. Maximum canopy was the most discriminative phenophase for the majority of simulated Sentinel-2 reflectance data. As with previous ground-based spectral characterization of Alaskan low-Arctic tundra, the blue, red, and red-edge parts of the spectrum were most discriminative for all three reflectance datasets. Differences in vegetation colour driven by pigment dynamics appear to be the optimal areas of the spectrum for differentiation using high spectral resolution field spectroscopy and simulated hyperspectral EnMAP and multispectral Sentinel-2 reflectance spectra. The phenological aspect of this study highlights the potential exploitation of more extreme colour differences in vegetation observed during senescence when hyperspectral data is available. The results provide insight into

  3. Long-term experimental warming alters community composition of ascomycetes in Alaskan moist and dry arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra regions have been responding to global warming with visible changes in plant community composition, including expansion of shrubs and declines in lichens and bryophytes. Even though it is well known that the majority of arctic plants are associated with their symbiotic fungi, how fungal community composition will be different with climate warming remains largely unknown. In this study, we addressed the effects of long-term (18 years) experimental warming on the community composition and taxonomic richness of soil ascomycetes in dry and moist tundra types. Using deep Ion Torrent sequencing, we quantified how OTU assemblage and richness of different orders of Ascomycota changed in response to summer warming. Experimental warming significantly altered ascomycete communities with stronger responses observed in the moist tundra compared with dry tundra. The proportion of several lichenized and moss-associated fungi decreased with warming, while the proportion of several plant and insect pathogens and saprotrophic species was higher in the warming treatment. The observed alterations in both taxonomic and ecological groups of ascomycetes are discussed in relation to previously reported warming-induced shifts in arctic plant communities, including decline in lichens and bryophytes and increase in coverage and biomass of shrubs. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. High Resolution Modeling for Improved Quantification of Snow Accumulation Across an Arctic Shrub-tundra Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toure, A. M.; Marsh, P.; Liston, G. E.; de Jong, T.; Mann, P.; Walker, B.; Wilcox, E.

    2016-12-01

    Arctic regions are experiencing climate change at a faster pace than anywhere else on the Earth, resulting in a profound transformation of the landscape and regional ecosystems. In particular, climate change affects the seasonal cycle of water availability and phase, which in turn affects the plants, wildlife, and human populations. The Arctic snow duration has shortened by 3 to 5 days / decade and this trend is predicted to continue. Changing in distribution of permafrost also leads in changes in hydrologic conditions. Across the Arctic, interactions between wind, vegetation, topography and snowfall produce an uneven spatial distribution of snow over distances of tens of centimeters to hundreds of meters known as snowdrifts. These large patches of snow can produce a proglacial-like runoff pattern due to delay in snowmelt in the spring. Therefore, knowing the location and magnitude of drifts is key for understanding runoff in these regions. In this study, we used a high-resolution snow model ( 1 m) with snow transportation capabilities to locate and estimate snow depth and snow water equivalent (SWE) as a function of topography, vegetation and land use. Snow accumulation and melt across natural terrain heterogeneity, patches of tundra, shrubs, and forest environments are evaluated against ground-based and Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) observations.

  5. Scaling arctic tundra vegetation from plot to the landscape across the North Slope of Alaska, U.S.A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, S. J.; Santos, M. J.; Sloan, V. L.; Watts, J. D.; Phoenix, G. K.; Oechel, W. C.; Zona, D.

    2016-12-01

    The Arctic tundra covers a substantial area of the Earth's surface and is warming at nearly twice the global average. To understand the impacts of warming on the function of Arctic tundra ecosystems in the global carbon cycle, it is crucial to improve understanding of vegetation distribution at multiple scales. In particular, there is a lack of fine-scale maps which are needed to understand the relative contributions of and relationships between single vegetation community measurements (e.g. flux chambers) and multiple vegetation community measurements (e.g. eddy covariance) and to better understand scaling between plots (1 km).The objectives of this study were to determine whether vegetation communities were distinguishable using field spectroscopy and to develop a systematic method of mapping communities within eddy covariance tower footprints along a latitudinal gradient in northern Alaska. We used a combination of Principal Components Analysis and Linear Discriminant Analysis using (i) field spectrometer data, (ii) rescaled field spectrometer data to WorldView2, and (iii) WorldView2 data to separate arctic tundra vegetetation communitings at four sites along a 300 km latitudinal transect in the North Slope of Alaska.We showed community separability primarily in the 450-510nm (blue), 630-690nm (red) and 705-745nm (red edge) regions of the spectrum with the field spectrometer data. Both raw and rescaled field data had higher classification accuracies (above 70%). WorldView2 data produced the lowest separability. These results suggest that tundra vegetation communities are separable using spectral data, but that there may limitations to scaling up and mapping these communities because of the requirement for very high spatial and spectral resolution remote sensing products. This study highlights the benefit of using fine-scale field spectroscopy measurements over coarse, broad-scale data for tundra vegetation classification and will aid in understanding large scale

  6. Snowpack fluxes of methane and carbon dioxide from high Arctic tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pirk, Norbert; Tamstorf, Mikkel P.; Lund, Magnus

    2016-01-01

    the expectedgas emissions to the atmosphere, and conversely lead to snowpack gas accumulations of up to 86 ppm CH4and 3800 ppm CO2by late winter. CH4to C O2ratios indicated distinctly different source characteristicsin the rampart of ice-wedge polygons compared to elsewhere on the measured transect, possibly due......Measurements of the land-atmosphere exchange of the greenhouse gases methane (CH4) andcarbon dioxide (CO2) in high Arctic tundra ecosystems are particularly difficult in the cold season, resultingin large uncertainty on flux magnitudes and their controlling factors during this long, frozen period...... to 2 orders of magnitude lower than growing season fluxes. Perennially, CH4fluxes resembledthe same spatial pattern, which was largely attributed to differences in soil wetness controlling substrateaccumulation and microbial activity. We found no significant gas sinks or sources inside the snowpack...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

    Arctic wetlands are currently net sources of atmospheric CH4 . Due to their complex biogeochemical controls and high spatial and temporal variability, current net CH4 emissions and gross CH4 processes have been difficult to quantify, and their predicted responses to climate change remain uncertain. We investigated CH4 production, oxidation, and surface emissions in Arctic polygon tundra, across a wet-to-dry permafrost degradation gradient from low-centered (intact) to flat- and high-centered (degraded) polygons. From 3 microtopographic positions (polygon centers, rims, and troughs) along the permafrost degradation gradient, we measured surface CH4 and CO2 fluxes, concentrations and stable isotope compositions of CH4 and DIC at three depths in the soil, and soil moisture and temperature. More degraded sites had lower CH4 emissions, a different primary methanogenic pathway, and greater CH4 oxidation than did intact permafrost sites, to a greater degree than soil moisture or temperature could explain. Surface CH4 flux decreased from 64 nmol m(-2)  s(-1) in intact polygons to 7 nmol m(-2)  s(-1) in degraded polygons, and stable isotope signatures of CH4 and DIC showed that acetate cleavage dominated CH4 production in low-centered polygons, while CO2 reduction was the primary pathway in degraded polygons. We see evidence that differences in water flow and vegetation between intact and degraded polygons contributed to these observations. In contrast to many previous studies, these findings document a mechanism whereby permafrost degradation can lead to local decreases in tundra CH4 emissions. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Carbon-degrading enzyme activities stimulated by increased nutrient availability in Arctic tundra soils.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akihiro Koyama

    Full Text Available Climate-induced warming of the Arctic tundra is expected to increase nutrient availability to soil microbes, which in turn may accelerate soil organic matter (SOM decomposition. We increased nutrient availability via fertilization to investigate the microbial response via soil enzyme activities. Specifically, we measured potential activities of seven enzymes at four temperatures in three soil profiles (organic, organic/mineral interface, and mineral from untreated native soils and from soils which had been fertilized with nitrogen (N and phosphorus (P since 1989 (23 years and 2006 (six years. Fertilized plots within the 1989 site received annual additions of 10 g N · m(-2 · year(-1 and 5 g P · m(-2 · year(-1. Within the 2006 site, two fertilizer regimes were established--one in which plots received 5 g N · m(-2 · year(-1 and 2.5 g P · m(-2 · year(-1 and one in which plots received 10 g N · m(-2 · year(-1 and 5 g P · m(-2 · year(-1. The fertilization treatments increased activities of enzymes hydrolyzing carbon (C-rich compounds but decreased phosphatase activities, especially in the organic soils. Activities of two enzymes that degrade N-rich compounds were not affected by the fertilization treatments. The fertilization treatments increased ratios of enzyme activities degrading C-rich compounds to those for N-rich compounds or phosphate, which could lead to changes in SOM chemistry over the long term and to losses of soil C. Accelerated SOM decomposition caused by increased nutrient availability could significantly offset predicted increased C fixation via stimulated net primary productivity in Arctic tundra ecosystems.

  9. 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

  10. Methane and nitrous oxide fluxes from four tundra ecotopes in Ny-Ålesund of the High Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Qingqing; Zhu, Renbin; Wang, Qing; Xu, Hua

    2014-07-01

    During the summers of 2008 and 2009, net methane (CH₄) and nitrous oxide (N₂O) fluxes were investigated from 4 tundra ecotopes: normal lowland tundra (LT), bird sanctuary tundra (BT), the tundra in an abandoned coal mine (CT) and the tundra in scientific bases (ST) in Ny-Ålesund of the High Arctic. Tundra soils in CT (184.5 ± 40.0 μg CH4/(m²·hr)) and ST (367.6 ± 92.3μg CH4/(m²·hr)) showed high CH4 emissions due to the effects of human activities, whereas high CH4 uptake or low emission occurred in the soils of LT and BT. The lowland tundra soils (mean, -4.4-4.3μg N₂O/(m²·hr)) were weak N₂O sources and even sinks. Bird activity increased N₂O emissions from BT with the mean flux of 7.9μgN2O/(m(2)·hr). The mean N₂O fluxes from CT (45.4 ± 10.2 μg N₂O/(m²·hr)) and ST (78.8 ± 18.5μg N₂O/(m²·hr)) were one order of magnitude higher than those from LT and BT, indicating that human activities significantly increased N₂O emissions from tundra soils. Soil total carbon and water regime were important factors affecting CH₄ fluxes from tundra soils. The N₂O fluxes showed a significant positive correlation with ammonia nitrogen (NH₄(+)-N) contents (r=0.66, ptundra soils. The CH4 and N₂O fluxes did not correspond to the temperature variations of soil at 0-15 cm depths. Overall our results implied that human activities might have greater effects on soil CH₄ and N₂O emissions than current climate warming in Ny-Ålesund, High Arctic. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

    Arctic regions are experiencing the greatest rates of climate warming on the planet and marked changes have already been observed in terrestrial arctic ecosystems. While most studies have focused on the effects of warming on arctic vegetation and nutrient cycling, little is known about how belowground communities, such as fungi root-associated, respond to warming. Here, we investigate how long-term summer warming affects ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities. We used Ion Torrent sequencing of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region to compare ECM fungal communities in plots with and without long-term experimental warming in both dry and moist tussock tundra. Cortinarius was the most OTU-rich genus in the moist tundra, while the most diverse genus in the dry tundra was Tomentella. On the diversity level, in the moist tundra we found significant differences in community composition, and a sharp decrease in the richness of ECM fungi due to warming. On the functional level, our results indicate that warming induces shifts in the extramatrical properties of the communities, where the species with medium-distance exploration type seem to be favored with potential implications for the mobilization of different nutrient pools in the soil. In the dry tundra, neither community richness nor community composition was significantly altered by warming, similar to what had been observed in ECM host plants. There was, however, a marginally significant increase in OTUs identified as ECM fungi with the medium-distance exploration type in the warmed plots. Linking our findings of decreasing richness with previous results of increasing ECM fungal biomass suggests that certain ECM species are favored by warming and may become more abundant, while many other species may go locally extinct due to direct or indirect effects of warming. Such compositional shifts in the community might affect nutrient cycling and soil organic C storage. © 2014 The Authors. Global Change

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domine, Florent; Barrere, Mathieu; Morin, Samuel

    2016-12-01

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

  13. Growth pattern of a common feather moss, Hylocomium splendens, from contrasting water regimes in a high Arctic tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeshi Ueno

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Hylocomium splendens, a widespread feather moss, is one of the major plant species found in high-Arctic tundra. It occupies a variety of habitats ranging from exposed dry ground to swampy areas. To clarify the effect of the water regime on the growth pattern of H. splendens, the shoot morphology of H. splendens growing in contrasting water regimes, i.e. hydric, mesic and xeric sites, was investigated using retrospective analyses of growth. The derived growth parameters for H. splendens differed considerably among the sites. The growing period at the hydric, mesic and xeric sites was 1 year, 2 years and 3 years, respectively. The annual increments in segment length and biomass were higher with increasing water availability. These results suggest that water regime has a strong influence on the growth pattern of H. splendens in high-Arctic tundra.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  16. Feedbacks between tall shrubland development and active layer temperatures in northwest Siberian arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, H. E.; Frost, G. V.; Walker, D. A.; Matyshak, G.

    2013-12-01

    Permafrost soils are a globally significant carbon store, but changes in permafrost thermal regime observed in recent decades across much of the Arctic suggest that permafrost carbon balance is likely to change with continued climate warming. Critical to changes in permafrost carbon balance in a warmer world, however, are feedbacks between changes in the composition and density of surface vegetation, and the thermal state of permafrost. Shrub expansion has been widely observed in the northwest Siberian Low Arctic, but the magnitude and direction of shrub-induced impacts to permafrost temperature and stability remain poorly understood. Here we evaluate changes to active layer properties and thermal regime that occur during tall shrubland development (shrubs > 1.5 m height) within a northwest Siberian landscape dominated by well-developed, small-scale patterned ground features (e.g., non-sorted circles). We measured the annual time-series of soil temperature at 5 cm and 20 cm depth, and the structural attributes of vegetation at patterned-ground microsites across four stages of tall shrubland development: low-growing tundra lacking erect shrubs, newly-developed shrublands, mature shrublands, and paludified shrublands. Mean summer soil temperatures declined with increasing shrub cover and moss thickness, but winter soil temperatures increased with shrub development. Shrubland development strongly attenuated cryoturbation, promoting the establishment of complete vegetation cover and the development of a continuous organic mat. Increased vegetation cover, in turn, led to further reduced cryoturbation and an aggrading permafrost table. These observations indicate that tall shrub expansion that is now occurring in patterned-ground landscapes of the northwest Siberian Arctic may buffer permafrost from atmospheric warming, and increase carbon storage in these systems at least in the short term.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    The role that neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria play in the Arctic tundra is unknown. This study surveyed chemosynthetic iron-oxidizing communities at the North Slope of Alaska near Toolik Field Station (TFS) at Toolik Lake (lat 68.63, long -149.60). Microbial iron mats were common in submerged habitats with stationary or slowly flowing water, and their greatest areal extent is in coating plant stems and sediments in wet sedge meadows. Some Fe-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) produce easily recognized sheath or stalk morphotypes that were present and dominant in all the mats we observed. The cool water temperatures (9 to 11°C) and reduced pH (5.0 to 6.6) at all sites kinetically favor microbial iron oxidation. A microbial survey of five sites based on 16S rRNA genes found a predominance of Proteobacteria, with Betaproteobacteria and members of the family Comamonadaceae being the most prevalent operational taxonomic units (OTUs). In relative abundance, clades of lithotrophic FeOB composed 5 to 10% of the communities. OTUs related to cyanobacteria and chloroplasts accounted for 3 to 25% of the communities. Oxygen profiles showed evidence for oxygenic photosynthesis at the surface of some mats, indicating the coexistence of photosynthetic and FeOB populations. The relative abundance of OTUs belonging to putative Fe-reducing bacteria (FeRB) averaged around 11% in the sampled iron mats. Mats incubated anaerobically with 10 mM acetate rapidly initiated Fe reduction, indicating that active iron cycling is likely. The prevalence of iron mats on the tundra might impact the carbon cycle through lithoautotrophic chemosynthesis, anaerobic respiration of organic carbon coupled to iron reduction, and the suppression of methanogenesis, and it potentially influences phosphorus dynamics through the adsorption of phosphorus to iron oxides. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. López-Blanco

    2017-10-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-07-21

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

    This study investigated how microbial community structure and diversity varied with depth and topography in ice wedge polygons of wet tundra of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska and what soil variables explain these patterns. We observed strong changes in community structure and diversity with depth, and more subtle changes between areas of high and low topography, with the largest differences apparent near the soil surface. These patterns are most strongly correlated with redox gradients (measured using the ratio of reduced Fe to total Fe in acid extracts as a proxy): conditions grew more reducing with depth and were most oxidized in shallow regions of polygon rims. Organic matter and pH also changed with depth and topography but were less effective predictors of the microbial community structure and relative abundance of specific taxa. Of all other measured variables, lactic acid concentration was the best, in combination with redox, for describing the microbial community. We conclude that redox conditions are the dominant force in shaping microbial communities in this landscape. Oxygen and other electron acceptors allowed for the greatest diversity of microbes: at depth the community was reduced to a simpler core of anaerobes, dominated by fermenters (Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes). © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  6. Modeling Above-Ground Biomass Across Multiple Circum-Arctic Tundra Sites Using High Spatial Resolution Remote Sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    Biomass is one of the central bio-geophysical variables in Earth observation for tracking plant productivity, and flow of carbon, nutrients, and water. Most of the satellite based biomass mapping exercises in Arctic environments have been performed by using rather coarse spatial resolution data, e.g. Landsat and AVHRR which have spatial resolutions of 30 m and >1 km, respectively. While the coarse resolution images have high temporal resolution, they are incapable of capturing the fragmented nature of tundra environment and fine-scale changes in vegetation and carbon exchange patterns. Very high spatial resolution (VHSR, spatial resolution 0.5-2 m) satellite images have the potential to detect environmental variables with an ecologically sound spatial resolution. The usage of VHSR images has, nevertheless, been modest so far in biomass modeling in the Arctic. Our objectives were to use VHSR for predicting above ground biomass in tundra landscapes, evaluate whether a common predictive model can be applied across circum-Arctic tundra and peatland sites having different types of vegetation, and produce knowledge on distribution of plant functional types (PFT) in these sites. Such model development is dependent on ground-based surveys of vegetation with the same spatial resolution and extent with the VHSR images. In this study, we conducted ground-based surveys of vegetation composition and biomass in four different arctic tundra or peatland areas located in Russia, Canada, and Finland. First, we sorted species into PFTs and developed PFT-specific models to predict biomass on the basis of non-destructive measurements (cover, height). Second, we predicted overall biomass on landscape scale by combinations of single bands and vegetation indices of very high resolution satellite images (QuickBird or WorldView-2 images of the eight sites). We compared area-specific empirical regression models and common models that were applied across all sites. We found that NDVI was

  7. Tundra, Chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    K. Nadelhoffer; L.H. Geiser

    2011-01-01

    The North American Arctic, comprising the Tundra and Arctic Cordillera ecoregions (CEC 1997, Chapter 2), covers more than 3 million km2 (300 million ha), and accounts for nearly 14 percent of the North American land mass. The North American Arctic also constitutes about 20 percent of the much larger circumpolar Arctic shared by Canada, the United...

  8. Recovery of arctic tundra from thermal erosion disturbance is constrained by nutrient accumulation: a modeling analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, A R; Rastetter, E B; Kwiatkowski, B L; Bowden, W B; Mack, M C; Jiang, Y

    2015-07-01

    Abstract. We calibrated the Multiple Element Limitation (MEL) model to Alaskan arctic tundra to simulate recovery of thermal erosion features (TEFs) caused by permafrost thaw and mass wasting. TEFs could significantly alter regional carbon (C) and nutrient budgets because permafrost soils contain large stocks of soil organic matter (SOM) and TEFs are expected to become more frequent as the climate warms. We simulated recovery following TEF stabilization and did not address initial, short-term losses of C and nutrients during TEF formation. To capture the variability among and within TEFs, we modeled a range of post-stabilization conditions by varying the initial size of SOM stocks and nutrient supply rates. Simulations indicate that nitrogen (N) losses after the TEF stabilizes are small, but phosphorus (P) losses continue. Vegetation biomass recovered 90% of its undisturbed C, N, and P stocks in 100 years using nutrients mineralized from SOM. Because of low litter inputs but continued decomposition, younger SOM continued to be lost for 10 years after the TEF began to recover, but recovered to about 84% of its undisturbed amount in 100 years. The older recalcitrant SOM in mineral soil continued to be lost throughout the 100-year simulation. Simulations suggest that biomass recovery depended on the amount of SOM remaining after disturbance. Recovery was initially limited by the photosynthetic capacity of vegetation but became co-limited by N and P once a plant canopy developed. Biomass and SOM recovery was enhanced by increasing nutrient supplies, but the magnitude, source, and controls on these supplies are poorly understood. Faster mineralization of nutrients from SOM (e.g., by warming) enhanced vegetation recovery but delayed recovery of SOM. Taken together, these results suggest that although vegetation and surface SOM on TEFs recovered quickly (25 and 100 years, respectively), the recovery of deep, mineral soil SOM took centuries and represented a major

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Hydrogen isotope fractionation in leaf waxes in the Alaskan Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniels, William C.; Russell, James M.; Giblin, Anne E.; Welker, Jeffrey M.; Klein, Eric S.; Huang, Yongsong

    2017-09-01

    Leaf wax hydrogen isotopes (δDwax) are increasingly utilized in terrestrial paleoclimate research. Applications of this proxy must be grounded by studies of the modern controls on δDwax, including the ecophysiological controls on isotope fractionation at both the plant and landscape scales. Several calibration studies suggest a considerably smaller apparent fractionation between source water and waxes (εapp) at high latitudes relative to temperate or tropical locations, with major implications for paleoclimatic interpretations of sedimentary δDwax. Here we investigate apparent fractionation in the Arctic by tracing the isotopic composition of leaf waxes from production in modern plants to deposition in lake sediments using isotopic observations of precipitation, soil and plant waters, living leaf waxes, and waxes in sediment traps in the Brooks Range foothills of northern Alaska. We also analyze a lake surface sediment transect to compare present-day vegetation assemblages to εapp at the watershed scale. Source water and εapp were determined for live specimens of Eriophorum vaginatum (cottongrass) and Betula nana (dwarf birch), two dominant tundra plants in the Brooks Range foothills. The δD of these plants' xylem water closely tracks that of surface soil water, and reflects a summer-biased precipitation source. Leaf water is enriched by 23 ± 15‰ relative to xylem water for E. vaginatum and by 41 ± 19‰ for B. nana. Evapotranspiration modeling indicates that this leaf water enrichment is consistent with the evaporative enrichment expected under the climate conditions of northern Alaska, and that 24-h photosynthesis does not cause excessive leaf water isotope enrichment. The εapp determined for our study species average -89 ± 14‰ and -106 ± 16‰ for B. nana n-alkanes and n-acids, respectively, and -182 ± 10‰ and -154 ± 26‰ for E. vaginatum n-alkanes and n-acids, which are similar to the εapp of related species in temperate and tropical

  11. Effect of thaw depth on fluxes of CO₂ and CH₄ in manipulated Arctic coastal tundra of Barrow, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yongwon

    2015-02-01

    Changes in CO₂ and CH₄ emissions represent one of the most significant consequences of drastic climate change in the Arctic, by way of thawing permafrost, a deepened active layer, and decline of thermokarst lakes in the Arctic. This study conducted flux-measurements of CO₂ and CH₄, as well as environmental factors such as temperature, moisture, and thaw depth, as part of a water table manipulation experiment in the Arctic coastal plain tundra of Barrow, Alaska during autumn. The manipulation treatment consisted of draining, controlling, and flooding treated sections by adjusting standing water. Inundation increased CH₄ emission by a factor of 4.3 compared to non-flooded sections. This may be due to the decomposition of organic matter under a limited oxygen environment by saturated standing water. On the other hand, CO₂ emission in the dry section was 3.9-fold higher than in others. CH₄ emission tends to increase with deeper thaw depth, which strongly depends on the water table; however, CO₂ emission is not related to thaw depth. Quotients of global warming potential (GWPCO₂) (dry/control) and GWPCH₄ (wet/control) increased by 464 and 148%, respectively, and GWPCH₄ (dry/control) declined by 66%. This suggests that CO₂ emission in a drained section is enhanced by soil and ecosystem respiration, and CH₄ emission in a flooded area is likely stimulated under an anoxic environment by inundated standing water. The findings of this manipulation experiment during the autumn period demonstrate the different production processes of CO₂ and CH₄, as well as different global warming potentials, coupled with change in thaw depth. Thus the outcomes imply that the expansion of tundra lakes leads the enhancement of CH₄ release, and the disappearance of the lakes causes the stimulated CO₂ production in response to the Arctic climate change. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Geophysical Signitures From Hydrocarbon Contaminated Aquifers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbas, M.; Jardani, A.

    2015-12-01

    The task of delineating the contamination plumes as well as studying their impact on the soil and groundwater biogeochemical properties is needed to support the remediation efforts and plans. Geophysical methods including electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), induced polarization (IP), ground penetrating radar (GPR), and self-potential (SP) have been previously used to characterize contaminant plumes and investigate their impact on soil and groundwater properties (Atekwana et al., 2002, 2004; Benson et al., 1997; Campbell et al., 1996; Cassidy et al., 2001; Revil et al., 2003; Werkema et al., 2000). Our objective was to: estimate the hydrocarbon contamination extent in a contaminated site in northern France, and to adverse the effects of the oil spill on the groundwater properties. We aim to find a good combination of non-intrusive and low cost methods which we can use to follow the bio-remediation process, which is planned to proceed next year. We used four geophysical methods including electrical resistivity tomography, IP, GPR, and SP. The geophysical data was compared to geochemical ones obtained from 30 boreholes installed in the site during the geophysical surveys. Our results have shown: low electrical resistivity values; high chargeability values; negative SP anomalies; and attenuated GPR reflections coincident with groundwater contamination. Laboratory and field geochemical measurements have demonstrated increased groundwater electrical conductivity and increased microbial activity associated with hydrocarbon contamination of groundwater. Our study results support the conductive model suggested by studies such as Sauck (2000) and Atekwana et al., (2004), who suggest that biological alterations of hydrocarbon contamination can substantially modify the chemical and physical properties of the subsurface, producing a dramatic shift in the geo-electrical signature from resistive to conductive. The next stage of the research will include time lapse borehole

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-13

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

  14. Timing, Magnitude and Sources of Ecosystem Respiration in High Arctic Tundra of NW Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupascu, M.; Xu, X.; Lett, C.; Maseyk, K. S.; Lindsey, D. S.; Thomas, J. S.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2011-12-01

    High arctic ecosystems with low vegetation density contain significant stocks of organic carbon (C) in the form of soil organic matter that range in age from modern to ancient. How rapidly these C pools can be mineralized and lost to the atmosphere as CO2 (ecosystem respiration, ER) as a consequence of warming and, or changes in precipitation is a major uncertainty in our understanding of current and future arctic biogeochemistry and for predicting future levels of atmospheric CO2. In a 2-year study (2010-2011), we monitored seasonal changes in the magnitude, timing and sources of ER and soil pore space CO2 in the High Arctic of NW Greenland under current and simulated, future climate conditions. Measurements were taken from May to August at a multi-factorial, long-term climate change experiment in prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra on patterned ground with 5 treatments: (T1) +2oC warming, (T2) +4oC warming, (W) +50% summer precipitation, (T2W) +4oC + 50% summer precipitation, and (C) control. ER (using opaque chambers) and soil CO2 concentrations (wells) were monitored daily via infrared spectroscopy (LI-COR 800 & 840). The source of CO2 was inferred from its radiocarbon (14C) content analyzed at the AMS facility in UCI. CO2 was sampled monthly using molecular sieve traps (chambers) or evacuated canisters (wells). Highest rates of ER are observed on vegetated ground with a maximum in mid summer - reflecting a peak in plant productivity and soil temperature. Respiration rates from bare ground remain similar throughout the summer. Additional soil moisture, administered or due to precipitation events, strongly enhances ER from both vegetated and bare ground. Daily ER budget for the sampling period was of 53.1 mmol C m-2 day-1 for the (C) vegetated areas compared to the 60.0 for the (T2), 68.1 for the (T2W) or the 79.9 for the (W) treatment. ER was highly correlated to temperature (eg. C = 0.8; T2W = 0.8) until middle of July, when heavy precipitation started to occur. In

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  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. Better Earth system prediction through improved representation of land processes in the Arctic: Connecting observation, experimentation, and modeling in North American Arctic tundra ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, P. E.; Painter, S. L.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2016-12-01

    Prediction of future climate states for the Earth system depends in part on a mechanistic understanding of feedback processes operating between land ecosystems and other climate system components. Current understanding from modeling and observational studies is that Arctic land areas warm more rapidly than the globe as a whole under the influence of increased greenhouse gases. Existing Earth System Models (ESMs) capture some of the feedbacks and mechanisms thought to be responsible for this enhanced warming at high latitudes, but the high degree of spatial aggregation and coarse level of ecosystem parameterization employed in current generation ESMs make these predictions highly uncertain. Here, we review the current state of Arctic tundra representation in ESMs, and also the state of process representation in more sophisticated tundra models that are not constrained by the need for global integration. We demonstrate an approach that uses fine-scale observation and experimentation, combined with remote-sensing based characterization of surface properties at multiple spatial scales, to develop new mechanistic understanding and new parameterizations that fill knowledge and capability gaps in the current generation of ESMs. We focus our attention in this presentation on permafrost processes, the interaction of thermal, hydrologic, and biogeochemical processes with microtopography, and the representation of plant traits.

  19. Modelling carbon responses of tundra ecosystems to historical and projected climate: Sensitivity of pan-Arctic carbon storage to temporal and spatial variation in climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, A.D.; Clein, Joy S.; Melillo, J.M.; Kicklighter, D.W.; Meier, R.A.; Vorosmarty, C.J.; Serreze, M.C.

    2000-01-01

    Historical and projected climate trends for high latitudes show substantial temporal and spatial variability. To identify uncertainties in simulating carbon (C) dynamics for pan-Arctic tundra, we compare the historical and projected responses of tundra C storage from 1921 to 2100 between simulations by the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) for the pan-Arctic and the Kuparuk River Basin, which was the focus of an integrated study of C dynamics from 1994 to 1996. In the historical period from 1921 to 1994, the responses of net primary production (NPP) and heterotrophic respiration (RH) simulated for the Kuparuk River Basin and the pan-Arctic are correlated with the same factors; NPP is positively correlated with net nitrogen mineralization (NMIN) and RH is negatively correlated with mean annual soil moisture. In comparison to the historical period, the spatially aggregated responses of NPP and RH for the Kuparuk River Basin and the pan-Arctic in our simulations for the projected period have different sensitivities to temperature, soil moisture and NMIN. In addition to being sensitive to soil moisture during the projected period, RH is also sensitive to temperature and there is a significant correlation between RH and NMIN. We interpret the increases in NPP during the projected period as being driven primarily by increases in NMIN, and that the correlation between NPP and temperature in the projected period is a result primarily of the causal linkage between temperature, RH, and NMIN. Although similar factors appear to be controlling simulated regional-and biome-scale C dynamics, simulated C dynamics at the two scales differ in magnitude with higher increases in C storage simulated for the Kuparuk River Basin than for the pan-Arctic at the end of the historical period and throughout the projected period. Also, the results of the simulations indicate that responses of C storage show different climate sensitivities at regional and pan-Arctic spatial scales and that

  20. 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

  1. Estimation of surface energy fluxes in the Arctic tundra using the remote sensing thermal-based Two-Source Energy Balance model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristóbal, Jordi; Prakash, Anupma; Anderson, Martha C.; Kustas, William P.; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Kane, Douglas L.

    2017-03-01

    The Arctic has become generally a warmer place over the past decades leading to earlier snow melt, permafrost degradation and changing plant communities. Increases in precipitation and local evaporation in the Arctic, known as the acceleration components of the hydrologic cycle, coupled with land cover changes, have resulted in significant changes in the regional surface energy budget. Quantifying spatiotemporal trends in surface energy flux partitioning is key to forecasting ecological responses to changing climate conditions in the Arctic. An extensive local evaluation of the Two-Source Energy Balance model (TSEB) - a remote-sensing-based model using thermal infrared retrievals of land surface temperature - was performed using tower measurements collected over different tundra types in Alaska in all sky conditions over the full growing season from 2008 to 2012. Based on comparisons with flux tower observations, refinements in the original TSEB net radiation, soil heat flux and canopy transpiration parameterizations were identified for Arctic tundra. In particular, a revised method for estimating soil heat flux based on relationships with soil temperature was developed, resulting in significantly improved performance. These refinements result in mean turbulent flux errors generally less than 50 W m-2 at half-hourly time steps, similar to errors typically reported in surface energy balance modeling studies conducted in more temperate climatic regimes. The MODIS leaf area index (LAI) remote sensing product proved to be useful for estimating energy fluxes in Arctic tundra in the absence of field data on the local biomass amount. Model refinements found in this work at the local scale build toward a regional implementation of the TSEB model over Arctic tundra ecosystems, using thermal satellite remote sensing to assess response of surface fluxes to changing vegetation and climate conditions.

  2. Bioremediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contaminated Sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fallgren, Paul

    2009-03-30

    Bioremediation has been widely applied in the restoration of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated. Parameters that may affect the rate and efficiency of biodegradation include temperature, moisture, salinity, nutrient availability, microbial species, and type and concentration of contaminants. Other factors can also affect the success of the bioremediation treatment of contaminants, such as climatic conditions, soil type, soil permeability, contaminant distribution and concentration, and drainage. Western Research Institute in conjunction with TechLink Environmental, Inc. and the U.S. Department of Energy conducted laboratory studies to evaluate major parameters that contribute to the bioremediation of petroleum-contaminated drill cuttings using land farming and to develop a biotreatment cell to expedite biodegradation of hydrocarbons. Physical characteristics such as soil texture, hydraulic conductivity, and water retention were determined for the petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soil. Soil texture was determined to be loamy sand to sand, and high hydraulic conductivity and low water retention was observed. Temperature appeared to have the greatest influence on biodegradation rates where high temperatures (>50 C) favored biodegradation. High nitrogen content in the form of ammonium enhanced biodegradation as well did the presence of water near field water holding capacity. Urea was not a good source of nitrogen and has detrimental effects for bioremediation for this site soil. Artificial sea water had little effect on biodegradation rates, but biodegradation rates decreased after increasing the concentrations of salts. Biotreatment cell (biocell) tests demonstrated hydrocarbon biodegradation can be enhanced substantially when utilizing a leachate recirculation design where a 72% reduction of hydrocarbon concentration was observed with a 72-h period at a treatment temperature of 50 C. Overall, this study demonstrates the investigation of the effects of

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pokrovsky, Ivan; Ehrich, Dorothée; Ims, Rolf A; Kondratyev, Alexander V; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Kulikova, Olga; Mihnevich, Julia; Pokrovskaya, Liya; Shienok, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    ... 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Bent; Dózsa-Farkas, Klára

    2006-01-01

    The aim was to study the invasion of terrestrial enchytraeids into the two postglacial tundras, North-eastern Greenland and the Arctic Archipelago of Canada. The majority of species recorded have a wide distribution in the Northern Hemisphere and the species diversity is considerably lower than...... scenarios: (a) survival of a prepleistocene fauna in protected refugia within the area or (b) a postglacial re-invasion from outside are discussed, but the available data do not discriminate between these two possibilities. A total of 24 terrestrial enchytraeid taxa are recorded of which 22 are identified...... to the species level. Bryodrilus archipelagicus and Hemifridericia bivesiculata are described as new to science and Henlea groenlandica Cernosvitov is revalidated. We hesitate to conclude that the new taxa described are endemic....

  5. Process-Level Measurements of Methane Production, Oxidation, and Efflux Across Geomorphic Gradients in Arctic Polygon Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, L. J.; Conrad, M. E.; Torn, M. S.; Bill, M.; Curtis, J. B.; Chafe, O.; Hahn, M. S.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic wetlands are currently net sources of atmospheric CH4. CH4 emissions in Arctic tundra vary widely in space and time, with proximate controls—competing decomposition processes, substrate availability, CH4 oxidation, and CH4 transport—dependent on local climate, soil, hydrology, and biology. These complex controls and high spatial and temporal variability make it difficult to characterize current CH4 processes and predict their responses to climate change. We ask: (1) how do metabolic CH4 production pathways and oxidation rates vary across spatial and temporal gradients in the Arctic, and (2) how do these subsurface processes relate to surface greenhouse gas fluxes? In polygonal tundra in Barrow, Alaska, we sampled from a gradient of topographic features and subsurface ice properties, from areas with large, intact ice wedges and ice-rich permafrost (low polygons) and areas with smaller, degraded ice wedges and lower permafrost ice contents (flat/high polygons). 5 times in 2012 and 2013, we measured surface CH4 and CO2 fluxes, soil pore space concentrations of CH4, DIC, and N2O at 3 depths, stable isotope abundances of CH4 and DIC, and soil moisture and temperature. We find that surface greenhouse gas fluxes and CH4 production pathways vary between geomorphic features. Low polygons have high CH4 fluxes (~200 nm/m2s) and carbon isotope compositions typical of acetate cleavage, and flat/high polygons have low or negative CH4 fluxes and isotopic signatures typical of CO2 reduction. High dissolved CH4 concentrations at depth and 13C enrichment of shallow CH4 suggest CH4 oxidation controls surface efflux in upland features, while dual isotope measurements (D/H and 13C/ 12C) indicate shifting CH4 production pathways with depth, with acetate cleavage more important at shallower depths. Among distinct sub-features within each polygon type, we find that CH4 processes, relative oxidation rates, and surface emissions depend on subsurface ice properties in ways that

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    . We measured 15N and 13C natural abundance to identify the EM-saprotrophic divide in fungal sporocarps and to validate the EM origin of mycelia in the ingrowth bags. •  Fungal biomass in soil and EM mycelial production increased with fertilization at both tundra sites, and with warming at one site...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  8. 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...

  9. DIFFERENTIATION IN N15 UPTAKE AND THE ORGANIZATION OF AN ARCTIC TUNDRA PLANT COMMUNITY

    Science.gov (United States)

    We used N15 soil-labeling techniques to examine how the dominant species in a N-limited, tussock tundra plant community partitioned soil N, and how such partitioning may contribute to community organization. The five most abundant species were well differentiated with respect to...

  10. 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

  11. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Environmental and vegetation controls on the spatial variability of CH4emission 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — 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 treeline in...

  15. 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...

  16. Roots in the tundra

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Peng

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Changing Seasonality in the Arctic and its Influences on Biogeochemical Processing in Tundra River Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowden, W. B.; Gooseff, M. N.; Wollheim, W. M.; Herstand, M. R.; Treat, C. C.; Whittinghill, K. A.; Wlostowski, A. N.

    2011-12-01

    One of the primary expressions of climate change in the arctic is a change in "seasonality"; i.e., changes in the timing, duration, and characteristics of the traditional arctic seasons. These changes are most likely to affect temperature and precipitation patterns but will have relatively little effect on the annual light regime. Temperature, precipitation, and light are crucial drivers in any ecosystem and so the potential that the relationships between these three master environmental variables will change in the future has important consequences. Our research addresses how river networks process critical nutrients (C, N, and P) delivered from land as they are transported to coastal zones. We are currently focusing on land-water interactions in headwater streams. As in any ecosystem, temperature strongly influences microbial processing in soils and thus net mineralization of organic nutrients. Nutrients made available by microbial processing in the soil will be used by vegetation as long as the vegetation actively grows. However, active growth by vegetation is highly dependent on the annual light regime, which is not changing substantially. Thus, as arctic seasonality changes there is a growing asynchrony developing between production of nutrients by soil microbes and the demand for nutrients by vegetation, with greater production of nutrients by temperature-dependent microbes than demand by light-dependent vegetation. It is reasonable to expect that the "excess" nutrients produced in this way will migrate to streams and we hypothesize that this seasonal subsidy may strongly influence the structure and function of arctic stream ecosystems. Previous stream research in the arctic largely ignored the spring and fall tail seasons. Preliminary findings indicate that the seasonal asynchrony has profound influences on nutrient concentrations and autotrophic biomass in arctic streams. We expect this to have important influences on key processes such as primary

  19. Coincident aboveground and belowground autonomous monitoring to quantify covariability in permafrost, soil, and vegetation properties in Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dafflon, Baptiste; Oktem, Rusen; Peterson, John; Ulrich, Craig; Tran, Anh Phuong; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Hubbard, Susan S.

    2017-06-01

    Coincident monitoring of the spatiotemporal distribution of and interactions between land, soil, and permafrost properties is important for advancing our understanding of ecosystem dynamics. In this study, a novel monitoring strategy was developed to quantify complex Arctic ecosystem responses to the seasonal freeze-thaw-growing season conditions. The strategy exploited autonomous measurements obtained through electrical resistivity tomography to monitor soil properties, pole-mounted optical cameras to monitor vegetation dynamics, point probes to measure soil temperature, and periodic manual measurements of thaw layer thickness, snow thickness, and soil dielectric permittivity. The spatially and temporally dense monitoring data sets revealed several insights about tundra system behavior at a site located near Barrow, AK. In the active layer, the soil electrical conductivity (a proxy for soil water content) indicated an increasing positive correlation with the green chromatic coordinate (a proxy for vegetation vigor) over the growing season, with the strongest correlation (R = 0.89) near the typical peak of the growing season. Soil conductivity and green chromatic coordinate also showed significant positive correlations with thaw depth, which is influenced by soil and surface properties. In the permafrost, soil electrical conductivity revealed annual variations in solute concentration and unfrozen water content, even at temperatures well below 0°C in saline permafrost. These conditions may contribute to an acceleration of long-term thaw in Coastal permafrost regions. Demonstration of this first aboveground and belowground geophysical monitoring approach within an Arctic ecosystem illustrates its significant potential to remotely "visualize" permafrost, soil, and vegetation ecosystem codynamics in high resolution over field relevant scales.

  20. Changes in soil thermal regime lead to substantial shifts in carbon and energy fluxes in drained Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goeckede, M.; Kwon, M. J.; Kittler, F.; Heimann, M.; Zimov, N.; Zimov, S. A.

    2016-12-01

    Climate change impacts in the Arctic will not only depend on future temperature trajectories in this region. In particular, potential shifts in hydrologic regimes, e.g. linked to altered precipitation patterns or changes in topography following permafrost degradation, can dramatically modify ecosystem feedbacks to warming. Here, we analyze how severe drainage affects both biogeochemical and biogeophysical processes within a formerly wet Arctic tundra, with a special focus on the interactions between hydrology and soil temperatures, and related effects on the fluxes of carbon and energy. Our findings are based on year-round observations from a decade-long drainage experiment conducted near Chersky, Northeast Siberia. Through our multi-disciplinary observations we can document that the drainage triggered a suite of secondary changes in ecosystem properties, including e.g. adaptation processes in the vegetation community structure, or shifts in snow cover regime. Most profoundly, a combination of low heat capacity and reduced heat conductivity in dry organic soils lead to warmer soil temperatures near the surface, while deeper soil layers remained colder. These changes in soil thermal regime reduced the contribution of deeper soil layers with older carbon pools to overall ecosystem respiration, as documented through radiocarbon signals. Regarding methane, the observed steeper temperature gradient along the vertical soil profile slowed down methane production in deep layers, while promoting CH4 oxidation near the surface. Taken together, both processes contributed to a reduction in CH4 emissions up to a factor of 20 following drainage. Concerning the energy budget, we observed an intensification of energy transfer to the lower atmosphere, particularly in form of sensible heat, but the reduced energy transfer into deeper soil layers also led to systematically shallower thaw depths. Summarizing, drainage may contribute to slow down decomposition of old carbon from deep

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. Spatial variation and seasonal dynamics of leaf-area index in the arctic tundra-implications for linking ground observations and satellite images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juutinen, Sari; Virtanen, Tarmo; Kondratyev, Vladimir; Laurila, Tuomas; Linkosalmi, Maiju; Mikola, Juha; Nyman, Johanna; Räsänen, Aleksi; Tuovinen, Juha-Pekka; Aurela, Mika

    2017-09-01

    Vegetation in the arctic tundra typically consists of a small-scale mosaic of plant communities, with species differing in growth forms, seasonality, and biogeochemical properties. Characterization of this variation is essential for understanding and modeling the functioning of the arctic tundra in global carbon cycling, as well as for evaluating the resolution requirements for remote sensing. Our objective was to quantify the seasonal development of the leaf-area index (LAI) and its variation among plant communities in the arctic tundra near Tiksi, coastal Siberia, consisting of graminoid, dwarf shrub, moss, and lichen vegetation. We measured the LAI in the field and used two very-high-spatial resolution multispectral satellite images (QuickBird and WorldView-2), acquired at different phenological stages, to predict landscape-scale patterns. We used the empirical relationships between the plant community-specific LAI and degree-day accumulation (0 °C threshold) and quantified the relationship between the LAI and satellite NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index). Due to the temporal difference between the field data and satellite images, the LAI was approximated for the imagery dates, using the empirical model. LAI explained variation in the NDVI values well (R 2 adj. 0.42-0.92). Of the plant functional types, the graminoid LAI showed the largest seasonal amplitudes and was the main cause of the varying spatial patterns of the NDVI and the related LAI between the two images. Our results illustrate how the short growing season, rapid development of the LAI, yearly climatic variation, and timing of the satellite data should be accounted for in matching imagery and field verification data in the Arctic region.

  3. Nitrogen dynamics in arctic tundra soils of varying age: differential responses to fertilization and warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yano, Yuriko; Shaver, Gaius R; Rastetter, Edward B; Giblin, Anne E; Laundre, James A

    2013-12-01

    In the foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska, different glaciation histories have created landscapes with varying soil age. Productivity of most of these landscapes is generally N limited, but varies widely, as do plant species composition and soil properties (e.g., pH). We hypothesized that the projected changes in productivity and vegetation composition under a warmer climate might be mediated through differential changes in N availability across soil age. We compared readily available [water-soluble NH4 (+), NO3 (-), and amino acids (AA)], moderately available (soluble proteins), hydrolyzable, and total N pools across three tussock-tundra landscapes with soil ages ranging from 11.5k to 300k years. The effects of fertilization and warming on these N pools were also compared for the two younger sites. Readily available N was highest at the oldest site, and AA accounted for 80-89 % of this N. At the youngest site, inorganic N constituted the majority (80-97 %) of total readily available N. This variation reflected the large differences in plant functional group composition and soil chemical properties. Long-term (8-16 years) fertilization increased the soluble inorganic N by 20- to 100-fold at the intermediate-age site, but only by twofold to threefold at the youngest site. Warming caused small and inconsistent changes in the soil C:N ratio and AA, but only in soils beneath Eriophorum vaginatum, the dominant tussock-forming sedge. These differential responses suggest that the ecological consequences of warmer climates on these tundra ecosystems are more complex than simply elevated N-mineralization rates, and that the responses of landscapes might be impacted by soil age, or time since deglaciation.

  4. What measurements are needed to capture coupled carbon and nitrogen cycles in arctic tundra?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, K.; Rocha, A. V.

    2015-12-01

    Greening has been observed across the arctic, but the ecological processes that enable widespread increases in plant productivity have been difficult to understand with field measurements alone. Using the functional convergence of foliar nitrogen and leaf area index in arctic plants, we developed a simple coupled carbon and nitrogen cycling model (CCaN) to increase our understanding of warming induced vegetation changes and carbon and nitrogen coupling in the arctic. We used primary literature and data from long term ecological research sites at Toolik Field Station, Alaska to calculate prior ranges for CCaN parameters, and then we assimilated five years of eddy covariance data from a nearby field site using a batch data assimilation method based on Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques. Variance decomposition analyses show that the majority of model variance in carbon and nitrogen stocks can be attributed to uncertainty in four parameters: proportion of nitrogen in foliage, proportion of nitrogen in roots, nitrogen uptake rate, and litter rate. These parameters associated with nitrogen cycling are widely used in biogeochemical cycling models and are difficult to constrain because they vary greatly across plant functional groups. The parameters responsible for variance in net ecosystem exchange vary seasonally; winter variance is controlled by parameters associated with the temperature sensitivity of heterotrophic respiration, and summer variance is controlled by the proportion of nitrogen in foliage. The widespread greening observed across the arctic over the last decade has been attributed to the direct effects of increased temperature, despite the inconsistency of the response of arctic plants to experimental warming indicating there must be other mechanisms at play. These mechanisms can be teased apart using models, but we must first improve model predictions by constraining widely-used processes and parameters, particularly those linked to nitrogen cycling.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. Monitoring ecosystem dynamics in an Arctic tundra ecosystem using hyperspectral reflectance and a robotic tram system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Santonu

    Global change, which includes climate change and the impacts of human disturbance, is altering the provision and sustainability of ecosystem goods and services. These changes have the capacity to initiate cascading affects and complex feedbacks through physical, biological and human subsystems and interactions between them. Understanding the future state of the earth system requires improved knowledge of ecosystem dynamics and long term observations of how these are being impacted by global change. Improving remote sensing methods is essential for such advancement because satellite remote sensing is the only means by which landscape to continental-scale change can be observed. The Arctic appears to be impacted by climate change more than any other region on Earth. Arctic terrestrial ecosystems comprise only 6% of the land surface area on Earth yet contain an estimated 25% of global soil organic carbon, most of which is stored in permafrost. If projected increases in plant productivity do not offset forecast losses of soil carbon to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases, regional to global greenhouse warming could be enhanced. Soil moisture is an important control of land-atmosphere carbon exchange in arctic terrestrial ecosystems. However, few studies to date have examined using remote sensing, or developed remote sensing methods for observing the complex interplay between soil moisture and plant phenology and productivity in arctic landscapes. This study was motivated by this knowledge gap and addressed the following questions as a contribution to a large scale, multi investigator flooding and draining experiment funded by the National Science Foundation near Barrow, Alaska (71°17'01" N, 156°35'48" W): (1) How can optical remote sensing be used to monitor the surface hydrology of arctic landscapes? (2) What are the spatio-temporal dynamics of land-surface phenology (NDVI) in the study area and do hydrological treatment has any effect on inter-annual patterns? (3

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. Petroleum Hydrocarbons Contamination Profile of Ochani Stream in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Petroleum hydrocarbon contamination profile, heavy metals and some physicochemical parameters were investigated in Ochani Stream site in Ejamah Ebubu, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State. The results show that a major crude oil spillage occurred at Ejamah Ebubu, Rivers State, Nigeria approximately 30 ...

  12. Petroleum Hydrocarbons Contamination Profile of Ochani Stream in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Michael Horsfall

    ABSTRACT: Petroleum hydrocarbon contamination profile, heavy metals and some physicochemical ... Ground water contamination by crude oil therefore is becoming an increasing sensitive issue in Nigeria because most of the water supply is derived from shallow and ..... patches of weathered, partially degraded oil on the.

  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...... 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...

  14. Water-table height and microtopography control biogeochemical cycling in an Arctic coastal tundra ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipson, D. A.; Zona, D.; Raab, T. K.; Bozzolo, F.; Mauritz, M.; Oechel, W. C.

    2012-01-01

    Drained thaw lake basins (DTLB's) are the dominant land form of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska. The presence of continuous permafrost prevents drainage and so water tables generally remain close to the soil surface, creating saturated, suboxic soil conditions. However, ice wedge polygons produce microtopographic variation in these landscapes, with raised areas such as polygon rims creating more oxic microenvironments. The peat soils in this ecosystem store large amounts of organic carbon which is vulnerable to loss as arctic regions continue to rapidly warm, and so there is great motivation to understand the controls over microbial activity in these complex landscapes. Here we report the effects of experimental flooding, along with seasonal and spatial variation in soil chemistry and microbial activity in a DTLB. The flooding treatment generally mirrored the effects of natural landscape variation in water-table height due to microtopography. The flooded portion of the basin had lower dissolved oxygen, lower oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) and higher pH, as did lower elevation areas throughout the entire basin. Similarly, soil pore water concentrations of organic carbon and aromatic compounds were higher in flooded and low elevation areas. Dissolved ferric iron (Fe(III)) concentrations were higher in low elevation areas and responded to the flooding treatment in low areas, only. The high concentrations of soluble Fe(III) in soil pore water were explained by the presence of siderophores, which were much more concentrated in low elevation areas. All the aforementioned variables were correlated, showing that Fe(III) is solubilized in response to anoxic conditions. Dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) concentrations were higher in low elevation areas, but showed only subtle and/or seasonally dependent effects of flooding. In anaerobic laboratory incubations, more CH4 was produced by soils from low and flooded areas, whereas anaerobic CO2

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  16. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozema, J.; Boelen, P.; Solheim, B.; Zielke, M.; Buskens, A.; Doorenbosch, M.; Fijn, R.; Herder, J.; Callaghan, T.V.; Bjorn, L.O.; Gwynn-Jones, D.; Broekman, R.A.; Blokker, P.; van de Poll, W.

    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

  18. New York's TUNDRA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalinowski, Thomas

    1983-01-01

    Found at the summit of some of the highest peaks of New York State's Adirondack Mountains are low-growing plants similar, and in many cases, identical to plants growing in the Arctic. Describes these plants and the environment in which they are found. Includes a color plate of alpine tundra plants. (Author/JN)

  19. 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.

  20. Sustainable treatment of hydrocarbon-contaminated industrial land

    OpenAIRE

    Cunningham, Colin John

    2012-01-01

    Land contamination by petroleum hydrocarbons is a widespread and global environmental pollution issue from recovery and refining of crude oil and the ubiquitous use of hydrocarbons in industrial processes and applications. Sustainable treatment of hydrocarbon-contaminated industrial land was considered with reference to seven published works on contaminated railway land including the track ballast, crude oil wastes and contaminated refinery soils. A methodology was developed...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  2. Nitrogen supply effects on leaf dynamics and nutritional soil feedbacks of plant species in a sub-arctic tundra ecosystem.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aerts, R.

    2009-01-01

    Global warming will lead to increased nitrogen supply in tundra ecosystems. How increased N supply affected leaf production, leaf turnover and dead leaf N input into the soil of Empetrum nigrum and Andromeda polifolia (evergreens), Eriophorum vaginatum (graminoid) and Betula nana (deciduous) in a

  3. Long-term experimental warming alters nitrogen-cycling communities but site factors remain the primary drivers of community structure in high arctic tundra soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Jennifer K M; Egger, Keith N; Henry, Gregory H R

    2008-09-01

    Arctic air temperatures are expected to rise significantly over the next century. Experimental warming of arctic tundra has been shown to increase plant productivity and cause community shifts and may also alter microbial community structure. Hence, the objective of this study was to determine whether experimental warming caused shifts in soil microbial communities by measuring changes in the frequency, relative abundance and/or richness of nosZ and nifH genotypes. Five sites at a high arctic coastal lowland were subjected to a 13-year warming experiment using open-top chambers (OTCs). Sites differed by dominant plant community, soil parent material and/or moisture regimen. Six soil cores were collected from each of four replicate OTC and ambient plots at each site and subdivided into upper and lower samples. Differences in frequency and relative abundance of terminal restriction fragments were assessed graphically by two-way cluster analysis and tested statistically with permutational multivariate analysis of variance (ANOVA). Genotypic richness was compared using factorial ANOVA. The genotype frequency, relative abundance and genotype richness of both nosZ and nifH communities differed significantly by site, and by OTC treatment and/or depth at some sites. The site that showed the most pronounced treatment effect was a wet sedge meadow, where community structure and genotype richness of both nosZ and nifH were significantly affected by warming. Although warming was an important factor affecting these communities at some sites at this high arctic lowland, overall, site factors were the main determinants of community structure.

  4. Applying Lidar and High-Resolution Multispectral Imagery for Improved Quantification and Mapping of Tundra Vegetation Structure and Distribution in the Alaskan Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greaves, Heather E.

    Climate change is disproportionately affecting high northern latitudes, and the extreme temperatures, remoteness, and sheer size of the Arctic tundra biome have always posed challenges that make application of remote sensing technology especially appropriate. Advances in high-resolution remote sensing continually improve our ability to measure characteristics of tundra vegetation communities, which have been difficult to characterize previously due to their low stature and their distribution in complex, heterogeneous patches across large landscapes. In this work, I apply terrestrial lidar, airborne lidar, and high-resolution airborne multispectral imagery to estimate tundra vegetation characteristics for a research area near Toolik Lake, Alaska. Initially, I explored methods for estimating shrub biomass from terrestrial lidar point clouds, finding that a canopy-volume based algorithm performed best. Although shrub biomass estimates derived from airborne lidar data were less accurate than those from terrestrial lidar data, algorithm parameters used to derive biomass estimates were similar for both datasets. Additionally, I found that airborne lidar-based shrub biomass estimates were just as accurate whether calibrated against terrestrial lidar data or harvested shrub biomass--suggesting that terrestrial lidar potentially could replace destructive biomass harvest. Along with smoothed Normalized Differenced Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from airborne imagery, airborne lidar-derived canopy volume was an important predictor in a Random Forest model trained to estimate shrub biomass across the 12.5 km2 covered by our lidar and imagery data. The resulting 0.80 m resolution shrub biomass maps should provide important benchmarks for change detection in the Toolik area, especially as deciduous shrubs continue to expand in tundra regions. Finally, I applied 33 lidar- and imagery-derived predictor layers in a validated Random Forest modeling approach to map vegetation

  5. Estimating the spatial distribution of soil organic matter density and geochemical properties in a polygonal shaped Arctic Tundra using core sample analysis and X-ray computed tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soom, F.; Ulrich, C.; Dafflon, B.; Wu, Y.; Kneafsey, T. J.; López, R. D.; Peterson, J.; Hubbard, S. S.

    2016-12-01

    The Arctic tundra with its permafrost dominated soils is one of the regions most affected by global climate change, and in turn, can also influence the changing climate through biogeochemical processes, including greenhouse gas release or storage. Characterization of shallow permafrost distribution and characteristics are required for predicting ecosystem feedbacks to a changing climate over decadal to century timescales, because they can drive active layer deepening and land surface deformation, which in turn can significantly affect hydrological and biogeochemical responses, including greenhouse gas dynamics. In this study, part of the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE-Arctic), we use X-ray computed tomography (CT) to estimate wet bulk density of cores extracted from a field site near Barrow AK, which extend 2-3m through the active layer into the permafrost. We use multi-dimensional relationships inferred from destructive core sample analysis to infer organic matter density, dry bulk density and ice content, along with some geochemical properties from nondestructive CT-scans along the entire length of the cores, which was not obtained by the spatially limited destructive laboratory analysis. Multi-parameter cross-correlations showed good agreement between soil properties estimated from CT scans versus properties obtained through destructive sampling. Soil properties estimated from cores located in different types of polygons provide valuable information about the vertical distribution of soil and permafrost properties as a function of geomorphology.

  6. Enhancement of in situ Remediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Palmroth, M.

    2006-07-01

    Approximately 750 000 sites of contaminated land exist across Europe. The harmful chemicals found in Finnish soils include heavy metals, oil products, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorophenols, and pesticides. Petroleum and petroleum products enter soil from ruptured oil pipelines, land disposal of refinery products, leaking storage tanks and through accidents. PAH contamination is caused by the spills of coal tar and creosote from coal gasification and wood treatment sites in addition to oil spills. Cleanup of soil by bioremediation is cheaper than by chemical and physical processes. However, the cleaning capacity of natural attenuation and in situ bioremediation is limited. The purpose of this thesis was to find feasible options to enhance in situ remediation of hydrocarbon contaminants. The aims were to increase the bioavailability of the contaminants and microbial activity at the subsurface in order to achieve higher contaminant removal efficiency than by intrinsic biodegradation alone. Enhancement of microbial activity and decrease of soil toxicity during remediation were estimated by using several biological assays. The performance of these assays was compared in order to find suitable indicators to follow the progress of remediation. Phytoremediation and chemical oxidation are promising in situ techniques to increase the degradation of hydrocarbons in soil. Phytoremediation is plant-enhanced decontamination of soil and water. Degradation of hydrocarbons is enhanced in the root zone by increased microbial activity and through the detoxifying enzymes of plants themselves. Chemical oxidation of contaminants by Fenton's reaction can produce degradation products which are more biodegradable than the parent compounds. Fenton's reaction and its modifications apply solutions of hydrogen peroxide and iron for the oxidation of organic chemicals. The cost of oxidation can be reduced by aiming at partial instead of full

  7. Seasonality of dissolved nitrogen from spring melt to fall freezeup in Alaskan Arctic tundra and mountain streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khosh, Matthew S.; McClelland, James W.; Jacobson, Andrew D.; Douglas, Thomas A.; Barker, Amanda J.; Lehn, Gregory O.

    2017-07-01

    Predicting the response of dissolved nitrogen export from Arctic watersheds to climate change requires an improved understanding of seasonal nitrogen dynamics. Recent studies of Arctic rivers emphasize the importance of spring thaw as a time when large fluxes of nitrogen are exported from Arctic watersheds, but studies capturing the entire hydrologic year are rare. We examined the temporal variability of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) concentrations in six streams/rivers in Arctic Alaska from spring melt to fall freezeup (May through October) in 2009 and 2010. DON concentrations were generally high during snowmelt and declined as runoff decreased. DIN concentrations were low through the spring and summer and increased markedly during the late summer and fall, primarily due to an increase in nitrate. The high DIN concentrations were observed to occur when seasonal soil thaw depths were near maximum extents. Concurrent increases in DIN and DIN-to-chloride ratios suggest that net increases from nitrogen sources contributed to these elevated DIN concentrations. Our stream chemistry data, combined with soil thermistor data, suggest that downward penetration of water into seasonally thawed mineral soils, and reduction in biological nitrogen assimilation relative to remineralization, may increase DIN export from Arctic watersheds during the late summer and fall. While this is part of a natural cycle, improved understanding of seasonal nitrogen dynamics is particularly important now because warmer temperatures in the Arctic are causing earlier spring snowmelt and later fall freezeup in many regions.

  8. Chemical fingerprinting of hydrocarbon-contamination in soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boll, Esther Sørensen; Nejrup, Jens; Jensen, Julie K.

    2015-01-01

    Chemical fingerprinting analyses of 29 hydrocarbon-contaminated soils were performed to assess the soil quality and determine the main contaminant sources. The results were compared to an assessment based on concentrations of the 16 priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons pointed out by the U.......S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPAPAH16) and total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH). The chemical fingerprinting strategy proposed in this study included four tiers: (i) qualitative analysis of GC-FID chromatograms, (ii) comparison of the chemical composition of both un-substituted and alkyl-substituted polycyclic......, pyrene, and chrysene; and 13 oxygenated polycyclic aromatic compounds (O-PACs). The chemical composition of un-substituted and alkyl-substituted PACs and visual interpretation of GC-FID chromatograms were in combination successful in differentiating pyrogenic and petrogenic hydrocarbon sources...

  9. Sensitivity ranking for freshwater invertebrates towards hydrocarbon contaminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerner, Nadine V; Cailleaud, Kevin; Bassères, Anne; Liess, Matthias; Beketov, Mikhail A

    2017-11-01

    Hydrocarbons have an utmost economical importance but may also cause substantial ecological impacts due to accidents or inadequate transportation and use. Currently, freshwater biomonitoring methods lack an indicator that can unequivocally reflect the impacts caused by hydrocarbons while being independent from effects of other stressors. The aim of the present study was to develop a sensitivity ranking for freshwater invertebrates towards hydrocarbon contaminants, which can be used in hydrocarbon-specific bioindicators. We employed the Relative Sensitivity method and developed the sensitivity ranking S hydrocarbons based on literature ecotoxicological data supplemented with rapid and mesocosm test results. A first validation of the sensitivity ranking based on an earlier field study has been conducted and revealed the S hydrocarbons ranking to be promising for application in sensitivity based indicators. Thus, the first results indicate that the ranking can serve as the core component of future hydrocarbon-specific and sensitivity trait based bioindicators.

  10. Inter-annual variability of year-round NEE over 18 years, and environmental controls on seasonal patterns at an arctic wet sedge tundra, CMDL Barrow, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    To refine understanding of the total annual carbon balance in the Arctic, it is critical to extend long-term site-level CO2 flux data collection. These data are critical to addressing the environmental controls and processes responsible for temporal variability and seasonal patterns of net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE). This dataset represents the longest running eddy covariance tower in the Arctic, which is located in an Alaskan wet sedge tundra ecosystem and is adjacent to the NOAA Climate Monitoring & Diagnostic Laboratory (CMDL). In addition to analyzing the year-to-year controls on NEE and its long-term trends, this work will complement a parallel study of the 40 year record of CO2 concentration measurements from the NOAA Barrow synoptic sampling station. For long-term, retrospective measurements, missing values are unavoidable, resulting from system failure, sensors icing-up during winter, losing network connections due to the harsh conditions, necessary instrument repairs, etc. Therefore, to analyze the annual sums, diurnal patterns, and seasonal vs. annual fluxes, the choice of gap-filling approach is critical and can dominate the magnitude of uncertainties, especially for periods with long gaps (> 1 month). We have applied different gap-filling methods such as artificial neural networks (ANN), and multiple linear regression (MLR) driven by micrometeorological parameters in an effort to minimize the associated uncertainties. Following gap-filling, a stepwise multiple regression against meteorological drivers including average summer PAR, average air and soil temperature, growing season length, duration of the zero curtain, growing degree days (GDD), date of snow melt, date of freeze up, and length of the summer was applied to determine the parameters that best explain the magnitude and sign of NEE in different seasons. These statistical analyses show that growing degree days were strongly correlated with summer NEE, which increased with higher GDD

  11. Modelling of growing season methane fluxes in a high-Arctic wet tundra ecosystem 1997–2010 using in situ and high-resolution satellite data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torbern Tagesson

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Methane (CH4 fluxes 1997–2010 were studied by combining remotely sensed normalised difference water index (NDWI with in situ CH4 fluxes from Rylekærene, a high-Arctic wet tundra ecosystem in the Zackenberg valley, north-eastern Greenland. In situ CH4 fluxes were measured using the closed-chamber technique. Regression models between in situ CH4 fluxes and environmental variables [soil temperature (Tsoil, water table depth (WtD and active layer (AL thickness] were established for different temporal and spatial scales. The relationship between in situ WtD and remotely sensed NDWI was also studied. The regression models were combined and evaluated against in situ CH4 fluxes. The models including NDWI as the input data performed on average slightly better [root mean square error (RMSE =1.56] than the models without NDWI (RMSE=1.67, and they were better in reproducing CH4 flux variability. The CH4 flux model that performed the best included exponential relationships against temporal variation in Tsoil and AL, an exponential relationship against spatial variation in WtD and a linear relationship between WtD and remotely sensed NDWI (RMSE=1.50. There were no trends in modelled CH4 flux budgets between 1997 and 2010. Hence, during this period there were no trends in the soil temperature at 10 cm depth and NDWI.

  12. Climate adaptation is not enough: warming does not facilitate success of southern tundra plant populations in the high Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjorkman, Anne D; Vellend, Mark; Frei, Esther R; Henry, Gregory H R

    2017-04-01

    Rapidly rising temperatures are expected to cause latitudinal and elevational range shifts as species track their optimal climate north and upward. However, a lack of adaptation to environmental conditions other than climate - for example photoperiod, biotic interactions, or edaphic conditions - might limit the success of immigrants in a new location despite hospitable climatic conditions. Here, we present one of the first direct experimental tests of the hypothesis that warmer temperatures at northern latitudes will confer a fitness advantage to southern immigrants relative to native populations. As rates of warming in the Arctic are more than double the global average, understanding the impacts of warming in Arctic ecosystems is especially urgent. We established experimentally warmed and nonwarmed common garden plots at Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic with seeds of two forb species (Oxyria digyna and Papaver radicatum) originating from three to five populations at different latitudes across the Arctic. We found that plants from the local populations generally had higher survival and obtained a greater maximum size than foreign individuals, regardless of warming treatment. Phenological traits varied with latitude of the source population, such that southern populations demonstrated substantially delayed leaf-out and senescence relative to northern populations. Our results suggest that environmental conditions other than temperature may influence the ability of foreign populations and species to establish at more northerly latitudes as the climate warms, potentially leading to lags in northward range shifts for some species. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. Chemical fingerprinting of hydrocarbon-contamination in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boll, Esther S; Nejrup, Jens; Jensen, Julie K; Christensen, Jan H

    2015-03-01

    Chemical fingerprinting analyses of 29 hydrocarbon-contaminated soils were performed to assess the soil quality and determine the main contaminant sources. The results were compared to an assessment based on concentrations of the 16 priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons pointed out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPAPAH16) and total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH). The chemical fingerprinting strategy proposed in this study included four tiers: (i) qualitative analysis of GC-FID chromatograms, (ii) comparison of the chemical composition of both un-substituted and alkyl-substituted polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs), (iii) diagnostic ratios of selected PACs, and (iv) multivariate data analysis of sum-normalized PAC concentrations. The assessment criteria included quantitative analysis of 19 PACs and C1-C4 alkyl-substituted homologues of naphthalene, fluorene, dibenzothiophene, phenanthrene, pyrene, and chrysene; and 13 oxygenated polycyclic aromatic compounds (O-PACs). The chemical composition of un-substituted and alkyl-substituted PACs and visual interpretation of GC-FID chromatograms were in combination successful in differentiating pyrogenic and petrogenic hydrocarbon sources and in assessing weathering trends of hydrocarbon contamination in the soils. Multivariate data analysis of sum-normalized concentrations could as a stand-alone tool distinguish between hydrocarbon sources of petrogenic and pyrogenic origin, differentiate within petrogenic sources, and detect weathering trends. Diagnostic ratios of PACs were not successful for source identification of the heavily weathered hydrocarbon sources in the soils. The fingerprinting of contaminated soils revealed an underestimation of PACs in petrogenic contaminated soils when the assessment was based solely on EPAPAH16. As alkyl-substituted PACs are dominant in petrogenic sources, the evaluation of the total load of PACs based on EPAPAH16 was not representative. Likewise, the O-PACs are not

  16. Magnetic properties changes due to hydrocarbon contaminated groundwater table fluctuations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ameen, Nawrass

    2013-04-01

    This study aims to understand the mechanisms and conditions which control the formation and transformation of ferro(i)magnetic minerals caused by hydrocarbon contaminated groundwater, in particular in the zone of fluctuating water levels. The work extends previous studies conducted at the same site. The study area is a former military air base at Hradčany, Czech Republic (50°37'22.71"N, 14°45'2.24"E). The site was heavily contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons, due to leaks in petroleum storage tanks and jet fuelling stations over years of active use by the Soviet Union, which closed the base in 1991. The site is one of the most important sources of high quality groundwater in the Czech Republic. In a previous study, Rijal et al. (2010) concluded that the contaminants could be flushed into the sediments as the water level rose due to remediation processes leading to new formation of magnetite. In this previous study three different locations were investigated; however, from each location only one core was obtained. In order to recognize significant magnetic signatures versus depth three cores from each of these three locations were drilled in early 2012, penetrating the unsaturated zone, the groundwater fluctuation (GWF) zone and extending to about one meter below the groundwater level (~2.3 m depth at the time of sampling). Magnetic susceptibility (MS) profiles combined with other magnetic properties were analyzed to obtain a significant depth distribution of the ferro(i)magnetic concentration. Sediment properties, hydrocarbon content and bacterial activity were additionally studied. The results show that the highest ferrimagnetic mineral concentrations exist between 1.4-1.9 m depth from the baseline which is interpreted as the top of the GWF zone. Spikes of MS detected in the previous studies turned out to represent small-scale isolated features, but the trend of increasing MS values from the lowermost position of the groundwater table upward was verified

  17. 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

    . 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...... 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...

  18. Hydrocarbon Contamination Decreases Mating Success in a Marine Planktonic Copepod

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seuront, Laurent

    2011-01-01

    The mating behavior and the mating success of copepods rely on chemoreception to locate and track a sexual partner. However, the potential impact of the water-soluble fraction of hydrocarbons on these aspects of copepod reproduction has never been tested despite the widely acknowledged acute chemosensory abilities of copepods. I examined whether three concentrations of the water-soluble fraction of diesel oil (0.01%, 0.1% and 1%) impacts (i) the swimming behavior of both adult males and females of the widespread calanoid copepod Temora longcornis, and (ii) the ability of males to locate, track and mate with females. The three concentrations of the water-soluble fraction of diesel oil (WSF) significantly and non-significantly affect female and male swimming velocities, respectively. In contrast, both the complexity of male and female swimming paths significantly decreased with increasing WSF concentrations, hence suggesting a sex-specific sensitivity to WSF contaminated seawater. In addition, the three WSF concentrations impacted both T. longicornis mating behavior and mating success. Specifically, the ability of males to detect female pheromone trails, to accurately follow trails and to successfully track a female significantly decreased with increasing WSF concentrations. This led to a significant decrease in contact and capture rates from control to WSF contaminated seawater. These results indicate that hydrocarbon contamination of seawater decreases the ability of male copepods to detect and track a female, hence suggest an overall impact on population fitness and dynamics. PMID:22053187

  19. Hydrocarbon contamination decreases mating success in a marine planktonic copepod.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Seuront

    Full Text Available The mating behavior and the mating success of copepods rely on chemoreception to locate and track a sexual partner. However, the potential impact of the water-soluble fraction of hydrocarbons on these aspects of copepod reproduction has never been tested despite the widely acknowledged acute chemosensory abilities of copepods. I examined whether three concentrations of the water-soluble fraction of diesel oil (0.01%, 0.1% and 1% impacts (i the swimming behavior of both adult males and females of the widespread calanoid copepod Temora longcornis, and (ii the ability of males to locate, track and mate with females. The three concentrations of the water-soluble fraction of diesel oil (WSF significantly and non-significantly affect female and male swimming velocities, respectively. In contrast, both the complexity of male and female swimming paths significantly decreased with increasing WSF concentrations, hence suggesting a sex-specific sensitivity to WSF contaminated seawater. In addition, the three WSF concentrations impacted both T. longicornis mating behavior and mating success. Specifically, the ability of males to detect female pheromone trails, to accurately follow trails and to successfully track a female significantly decreased with increasing WSF concentrations. This led to a significant decrease in contact and capture rates from control to WSF contaminated seawater. These results indicate that hydrocarbon contamination of seawater decreases the ability of male copepods to detect and track a female, hence suggest an overall impact on population fitness and dynamics.

  20. Hydrocarbon contamination decreases mating success in a marine planktonic copepod.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seuront, Laurent

    2011-01-01

    The mating behavior and the mating success of copepods rely on chemoreception to locate and track a sexual partner. However, the potential impact of the water-soluble fraction of hydrocarbons on these aspects of copepod reproduction has never been tested despite the widely acknowledged acute chemosensory abilities of copepods. I examined whether three concentrations of the water-soluble fraction of diesel oil (0.01%, 0.1% and 1%) impacts (i) the swimming behavior of both adult males and females of the widespread calanoid copepod Temora longcornis, and (ii) the ability of males to locate, track and mate with females. The three concentrations of the water-soluble fraction of diesel oil (WSF) significantly and non-significantly affect female and male swimming velocities, respectively. In contrast, both the complexity of male and female swimming paths significantly decreased with increasing WSF concentrations, hence suggesting a sex-specific sensitivity to WSF contaminated seawater. In addition, the three WSF concentrations impacted both T. longicornis mating behavior and mating success. Specifically, the ability of males to detect female pheromone trails, to accurately follow trails and to successfully track a female significantly decreased with increasing WSF concentrations. This led to a significant decrease in contact and capture rates from control to WSF contaminated seawater. These results indicate that hydrocarbon contamination of seawater decreases the ability of male copepods to detect and track a female, hence suggest an overall impact on population fitness and dynamics.

  1. Assessing the Utility of Alternate Digital Image Color Space for Deriving Phenological Dynamics in a High-Arctic Tundra Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, S. A., Jr.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Ramirez, G.; Ramirez, G. A.; Tweedie, C. E.; Hollister, R. D.; Escarzaga, S. M.; Ochoa, E.

    2015-12-01

    The need to improve the spatial and temporal scaling and extrapolation of plot level ecosystem properties and processes to the landscape level remains a persistent research challenge in the Arctic. Plant and landscape phenology is sensitive to a number of spatiotemporally variable environmental factors such as soil moisture, temperature, and radiation. Seasonal and inter-annual differences in phenology can affect surface energy balance and land-atmosphere carbon flux. Considering the relative importance of the Arctic to global carbon balance, improved scaling and extrapolation of phenological dynamics from the plot level to the landscape level is important for advancing our understanding of the impact of climate and other environmental change in arctic terrestrial ecosystems. Seasonal and interannual landscape phenology was observed over the Mobile Instrumented Sensor Platform (MISP) grid (2 x 50 meters) located in Barrow and Atqasuk, Alaska using imagery acquired from kite aerial photography (KAP), a hyperspectral ground-based spectrometer, and a phenocam. These data were analyzed in RGB and non-traditional HSV and l*a*b*color spaces to determine site, plant community seasonal, and inter annual phenological dynamics. Results were also compared to high spatial resolution satellite imagery to determine optimal indices for scaling vegetation dynamics from plot to landscape level. These results show that greenness indices similar to those acquired from hyperspectral remote sensing platforms can be derived using low-cost and low-tech techniques that could be deployed at multiple sites at low cost.

  2. Petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites: a review of investigation and remediation regulations and processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Epelbaum, Michel; Claudio, Jair R. [Bureau Veritas do Brasil Sociedade Classificadora e Certificadora Ltda., Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    1993-12-31

    This paper discusses alternatives on remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites which include groundwater remediation techniques and soil remediation techniques. Finally, the work points out some trends of sites remediation in Brazil and abroad. 6 refs., 1 fig., 7 tabs.

  3. 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....... 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...

  4. Luteolibacter arcticus sp. nov., isolated from high Arctic tundra soil, and emended description of the genus Luteolibacter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, MyongChol; Pak, SeHong; Rim, SongGuk; Ren, Lvzhi; Jiang, Fan; Chang, Xulu; Liu, Ping; Zhang, Yumin; Fang, Chengxiang; Zheng, Congyi; Peng, Fang

    2015-06-01

    A pale yellow, Gram-reaction-negative, non-motile, aerobic bacterium, designated MC 3726T, was isolated from a tundra soil near Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard Archipelago, Norway (78 °N). Growth occurred at 4-37 °C (optimum 25-30 °C) and at pH 5.0-9.0 (optimum pH 8.0). Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain MC 3726T belonged to the genus Luteolibacter in the family Verrucomicrobiaceae. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of this strain showed 93.18, 92.54 and 92.44 % similarity to those of Luteolibacter cuticulihirudinis E100T, Luteolibacter pohnpeiensis A4T-83T and Luteolibacter yonseiensis EBTL01T, respectively. The cell wall of strain MC 3726T contained meso-diaminopimelic acid as the diagnostic amino acid. Strain MC 3726T contained iso-C14:0 (38.28 %), C16:0 (15.89 %), C16:1ω9c (14.24 %), iso-C16:0 (10.42 %) and anteiso-C15:0 (5.75 %) as the predominant cellular fatty acids, MK-9 and MK-10 as the major respiratory quinones, and phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylmethylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol and diphosphatidylglycerol as the main polar lipids. The DNA G+C content was 60.7 mol %. On the basis of phenotypic, chemotaxonomic and phylogenetic data, strain MC 3726T is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Luteolibacter, for which the name Luteolibacter arcticus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is MC 3726T ( = CCTCC AB 2014275T = LMG 28638T). An emended description of the genus Luteolibacter is also provided, along with emended descriptions of Luteolibacter cuticulihirudinis, Luteolibacter yonseiensis and Luteolibacter pohnpeiensis.

  5. Contrasting effects of warming and increased snowfall on Arctic tundra plant phenology over the past two decades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjorkman, Anne D; Elmendorf, Sarah C; Beamish, Alison L; Vellend, Mark; Henry, Gregory H R

    2015-12-01

    Recent changes in climate have led to significant shifts in phenology, with many studies demonstrating advanced phenology in response to warming temperatures. The rate of temperature change is especially high in the Arctic, but this is also where we have relatively little data on phenological changes and the processes driving these changes. In order to understand how Arctic plant species are likely to respond to future changes in climate, we monitored flowering phenology in response to both experimental and ambient warming for four widespread species in two habitat types over 21 years. We additionally used long-term environmental records to disentangle the effects of temperature increase and changes in snowmelt date on phenological patterns. While flowering occurred earlier in response to experimental warming, plants in unmanipulated plots showed no change or a delay in flowering over the 21-year period, despite more than 1 °C of ambient warming during that time. This counterintuitive result was likely due to significantly delayed snowmelt over the study period (0.05-0.2 days/yr) due to increased winter snowfall. The timing of snowmelt was a strong driver of flowering phenology for all species - especially for early-flowering species - while spring temperature was significantly related to flowering time only for later-flowering species. Despite significantly delayed flowering phenology, the timing of seed maturation showed no significant change over time, suggesting that warmer temperatures may promote more rapid seed development. The results of this study highlight the importance of understanding the specific environmental cues that drive species' phenological responses as well as the complex interactions between temperature and precipitation when forecasting phenology over the coming decades. As demonstrated here, the effects of altered snowmelt patterns can counter the effects of warmer temperatures, even to the point of generating phenological responses

  6. 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

  7. Two-year record of trace gas (CO2, CH4, O2, and Hg0) concentrations and dynamics in arctic tundra soils of northern Alaska - seasonality, non-linear temperature controls, and effects of soil diffusivity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    The goal of this study was to assess the seasonality and temperature sensitivity of tundra soil trace gas evolution. Two years of in situ measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), oxygen (O2), and gaseous mercury (Hg0) concentrations were conducted in soils at Toolik Field station using six trace gas wells deployed across two soil profiles and different depths. Soil trace gases were sampled at regular intervals through heated tubing with gas analyzers housed in a field laboratory. Additional measurements included soil temperature and moisture profiles, trace gases in overlying snowpack, and whole-ecosystem trace gas exchange using micrometeorological methods. We show that soil CO2 concentrations exceeded concentrations in the atmosphere year-round, indicative of a consistent soil CO2 source that lasted throughout the arctic winter. Correlations between CO2 concentrations and soil temperatures were weak, and some of the highest soil CO2 concentrations, along with low O2 levels, were observed in December and January. We attribute these unexpected patterns to a strong control of soil diffusivity on trace gas concentrations as soil freezing and the development of the snowpack dramatically reduced gas diffusion rates from soils to the atmosphere. The two soil profiles within close proximity (pollutant, showed that tundra soils were consistent atmospheric Hg0 sinks. Along with corresponding ecosystem-level flux measurements showing pronounced net atmospheric Hg0 deposition, we determine that dry deposition of mercury to arctic ecosystems was the main source for soil accumulation. In conclusion, these results indicate a highly heterogeneous pattern of soil trace gas dynamics in tundra soils, with strong changes in diffusivity imposed by freeze-thaw cycles and strong and non-linear responses of trace gas dynamics to soil temperatures.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Myers-Smith, I.H.; Forbes, B.C.; Wilmking, M.; Hallinger, M.; Lantz, T.; Blok, D.; Sass, U.G.W.

    2011-01-01

    Part of Focus on Dynamics of Arctic and Sub-Arctic Vegetation Recent research using repeat photography, long-term ecological monitoring and dendrochronology has documented shrub expansion in arctic, high-latitude and alpine tundra ecosystems. Here, we (1) synthesize these findings, (2) present a

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Migration potential of tundra plant species in a warming Arctic: Responses of southern ecotypes of three species to experimental warming in the High Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjorkman, Anne; Henry, Greg; Vellend, Mark

    2013-04-01

    Climatic changes due to anthropogenic activity are predicted to have a profound effect on the world's biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The response of natural communities to climate change will depend primarily on two factors: 1) the ability of species to adapt quickly to changing temperatures and precipitation trends, and 2) the ability of species and populations from southern latitudes to migrate northward and establish in new environments. The assumption is often made that species and populations will track their optimal climate northward as the earth warms, but this assumption ignores a host of other potentially important factors, including the lack of adaptation to photoperiod, soil moisture, and biotic interactions at higher latitudes. In this study, we aim to better understand the ability of southern populations to establish and grow at northern latitudes under warmer temperatures. We collected seeds or ramets of three Arctic plant species (Papaver radicatum, Oxyria digyna, and Arctagrostis latifolia) from Alexandra Fiord on Ellesmere Island, Canada and from southern populations at Cornwallis Island, Canada, Barrow, Alaska, and Latnjajaure, Sweden. These seeds were planted into experimentally warmed and control plots at Alexandra Fiord in 2011. We have tracked their survival, phenology, and growth over two growing seasons. Here, we will present the preliminary results of these experiments. In particular, we will discuss whether individuals originating from southern latitudes exhibit higher growth rates in warm plots than control plots, and whether southern populations survive and grow as well as or better than individuals from Alexandra Fiord in the warmed plots. In both cases, a positive response would indicate that a warming climate may facilitate a migration northward of more southerly species or populations, and that the lack of adaptation to local conditions (soil chemistry, microhabitat, etc.) will not limit this migration. Alternately, a

  12. THE ROLE OF THERMAL REGIMEN IN TUNDRA PLANT COMMUNITY RESTORATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mineral extraction activities in the Arctic regions of the world produce long-lasting ecological disturbances. Assisted recovery from such disturbances may require restoration of the tundra thermal regime. We transplanted plugs of entire root zone and live tundra plants to a dist...

  13. NPP Tundra: Point Barrow, Alaska, 1970-1972, R1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains three data files. One file (.csv format) provides above- and below-ground biomass and leaf area index (LAI) data for a wet arctic tundra...

  14. 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

  15. 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,

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Photosynthetic characteristics and biomass distribution of the dominant vascular plant species in a high Arctic tundra ecosystem, Ny-Alesund, Svalbard: implications for their role in ecosystem carbon gain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Noda, Hibiki; Uchida, Masaki; Ohtsuka, Toshiyuki; Koizumi, Hiroshi; Nakatsubo, Takayuki

    2008-03-01

    Studies on terrestrial ecosystems in the high Arctic region have focused on the response of these ecosystems to global environmental change and their carbon sequestration capacity in relation to ecosystem function. We report here our study of the photosynthetic characteristics and biomass distribution of the dominant vascular plant species, Salix polaris, Dryas octopetala and Saxifraga oppositifolia, in the high Arctic tundra ecosystem at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard (78.5 degrees N, 11.5 degrees E). We also estimated net primary production (NPP) along both the successional gradient created by the proglacial chronosequence and the topographical gradient. The light-saturated photosynthesis rate (A (max)) differed among the species, with approximately 124.1 nmol CO(2) g(-1)leaf s(-1) for Sal. polaris, 57.8 for D. octopetala and 24.4 for Sax. oppositifolia, and was highly correlated with the leaf nitrogen (N) content for all three species. The photosynthetic N use efficiency was the highest in Sal. polaris and lowest in Sax. oppositifolia. Distributions of Sal. polaris and D. octopetala were restricted to the area where soil nutrient availability was high, while Sax. oppositifolia was able to establish at the front of a glacier, where nutrient availability is low, but tended to be dominated by other vascular plants in high nutrient areas. The NPP reflected the photosynthetic capacity and biomass distribution in that it increased with the successional status; the contribution of Sal. polaris reached as high as 12-fold that of Sax. oppositifolia.

  19. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  1. Selection of Biosurfactan/Bioemulsifier-Producing Bacteria From Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Viramontes-Ramos, Sabina; Cristina Portillo-Ruiz, Martha; Ballinas-Casarrubias, Mar?a de Lourdes; Torres-Mu?oz, Jos? Vinicio; Rivera-Chavira, Blanca Estela; Nev?rez-Moorill?n, Guadalupe Virginia

    2010-01-01

    Petroleum-derived hydrocarbons are among the most persistent soil contaminants, and some hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms can produce biosurfactants to increase bioavailability and degradation. The aim of this work was to identify biosurfactant-producing bacterial strains isolated from hydrocarbon-contaminated sites, and to evaluate their biosurfactant properties. The drop-collapse method and minimal agar added with a layer of combustoleo were used for screening, and positive strains were...

  2. Organochlorine, Trace Element, and Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contaminants Investigation of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, 1985-1986

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Organochlorine, trace element, and petroleum hydrocarbon contaminants were examined in sediment and biota from the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas. The study was...

  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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    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 al...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langer, M.; Westermann, S.; Anthony, K. M. Walter; Wischnewski, K.; Boike, J.

    2014-07-01

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

  5. Effects of habitat disturbance on arctic wildlife: a review and analysis

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The major habitat disturbances caused by human activities in arctic tundra areas fall generally into 3 categories--gravel fill, disruptions of the tundra surface,...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-03-06

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

  7. A Comparative Review of North American Tundra Delineations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirk C. Silver

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Recent profound changes have been observed in the Arctic environment, including record low sea ice extents and high latitude greening. Studying the Arctic and how it is changing is an important element of climate change science. The Tundra, an ecoregion of the Arctic, is directly related to climate change due to its effects on the snow ice feedback mechanism and greenhouse gas cycling. Like all ecoregions, the Tundra border is shifting, yet studies and policies require clear delineation of boundaries. There are many options for ecoregion classification systems, as well as resources for creating custom maps. To help decision makers identify the best classification system possible, we present a review of North American Tundra ecoregion delineations and further explore the methodologies, purposes, limitations, and physical properties of five common ecoregion classification systems. We quantitatively compare the corresponding maps by area using a geographic information system.

  8. A Comparative Review of North American Tundra Delineations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, Kirk C.; Carroll, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Recent profound changes have been observed in the Arctic environment, including record low sea ice extents and high latitude greening. Studying the Arctic and how it is changing is an important element of climate change science. The Tundra, an ecoregion of the Arctic, is directly related to climate change due to its effects on the snow ice feedback mechanism and greenhouse gas cycling. Like all ecoregions, the Tundra border is shifting, yet studies and policies require clear delineation of boundaries. There are many options for ecoregion classification systems, as well as resources for creating custom maps. To help decision makers identify the best classification system possible, we present a review of North American Tundra ecoregion delineations and further explore the methodologies, purposes, limitations, and physical properties of five common ecoregion classification systems. We quantitatively compare the corresponding maps by area using a geographic information system.

  9. Coagulation-flocculation process applied to wastewaters generated in hydrocarbon-contaminated soil washing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torres, L. g.; Belloc, C.; Iturbe, R.; Bandala, E.

    2009-07-01

    A wastewater produced in the contaminated soil washing was treated by means of coagulation-flocculation (CF) process. the wastewater treatment in this work continued petroleum hydrocarbons, a surfactant, i. e., sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) as well as salts, humic acids and other constituents that were lixiviated rom the soil during the washing process. The aim of this work was to develop a process for treating the wastewaters generated when washing hydrocarbon-contaminated soils in such a way that it could be recycled to the washing process, and at the end of the cleaning up, the waters could be disposed properly. (Author)

  10. The role of biominerals in enhancing the geophysical response at hydrocarbon contaminated sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mewafy, Farag Mohamed

    There are several source mechanisms by which microbial activity in the subsurface can change geophysical signatures. To date the source mechanisms generating the geophysical signatures in microbially active environments remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the link between the biogeochemical processes resulting in biotransformation of metallic iron mineral phases and the associated biogeophysical signatures. Hydrocarbon contaminated environments provide excellent laboratories for investigating iron mineral biotransformation. In particular, we investigated the magnetic susceptibility (MS) and the complex conductivity (CC) signatures of a hydrocarbon contaminated site near Bemidji, Minnesota. For the MS study, we investigated the changes in the MS response for cores retrieved from the site as well as down boreholes. The contaminated location revealed two enriched MS zones. The first MS lies within the hydrocarbon smear zone, which is limited to the zone of water table fluctuation with high concentrations of dissolved Fe(II) and organic carbon content. Magnetite and siderite were the dominant minerals formed during this process. However, magnetite was responsible for the bulk of MS changes. The second zone of MS enhancement lies within the vadose zone which is characterized by methane depletion suggesting that aerobic or anaerobic oxidation of methane is coupled to iron-reduction resulting in magnetite precipitation. For the CC work, we conducted laboratory CC measurements along four cores in addition to field CC survey. We found that the real (sigma‧) and imaginary (sigma″) conductivity are higher for samples from within the oil plume especially within the smear zone compared to background uncontaminated samples. Using magnetite as an example of the biometallic minerals in the smear zone at the site, a clear increase in the sigma″ response with increasing magnetite content was observed suggesting that the presence of bio-metallic mineral

  11. 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.

  12. Importance of lateral flux and its percolation depth on organic carbon export in Arctic tundra soil: Implications from a soil leaching experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaowen; Hutchings, Jack A.; Bianchi, Thomas S.; Liu, Yina; Arellano, Ana R.; Schuur, Edward A. G.

    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 and tannin), while retaining nonchromophoric components, as supported by spectrofluorometric and ultrahigh-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.

  13. Identification of unrecognized tundra fire events on the north slope of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Benjamin M.; Breen, Amy L.; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Mann, Daniel H.; Rocha, Adrian V.; Grosse, Guido; Arp, Christopher D.; Kunz, Michael L.; Walker, Donald A.

    2013-01-01

    Characteristics of the natural fire regime are poorly resolved in the Arctic, even though fire may play an important role cycling carbon stored in tundra vegetation and soils to the atmosphere. In the course of studying vegetation and permafrost-terrain characteristics along a chronosequence of tundra burn sites from AD 1977, 1993, and 2007 on the North Slope of Alaska, we discovered two large, previously unrecognized tundra fires. The Meade River fire burned an estimated 500 km2 and the Ketik River fire burned an estimated 1200 km2. Based on radiocarbon dating of charred twigs, analysis of historic aerial photography, and regional climate proxy data, these fires likely occurred between AD 1880 and 1920. Together, these events double the estimated burn area on the North Slope of Alaska over the last ~100 to 130 years. Assessment of vegetation succession along the century-scale chronosequence of tundra fire disturbances demonstrates for the first time on the North Slope of Alaska that tundra fires can facilitate the invasion of tundra by shrubs. Degradation of ice-rich permafrost was also evident at the fire sites and likely aided in the presumed changes of the tundra vegetation postfire. Other previously unrecognized tundra fire events likely exist in Alaska and other Arctic regions and identification of these sites is important for better understanding disturbance regimes and carbon cycling in Arctic tundra.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  17. Culture-Dependent and -Independent Methods Capture Different Microbial Community Fractions in Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefani, Franck O. P.; Bell, Terrence H.; Marchand, Charlotte; de la Providencia, Ivan E.; El Yassimi, Abdel; St-Arnaud, Marc; Hijri, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    Bioremediation is a cost-effective and sustainable approach for treating polluted soils, but our ability to improve on current bioremediation strategies depends on our ability to isolate microorganisms from these soils. Although culturing is widely used in bioremediation research and applications, it is unknown whether the composition of cultured isolates closely mirrors the indigenous microbial community from contaminated soils. To assess this, we paired culture-independent (454-pyrosequencing of total soil DNA) with culture-dependent (isolation using seven different growth media) techniques to analyse the bacterial and fungal communities from hydrocarbon-contaminated soils. Although bacterial and fungal rarefaction curves were saturated for both methods, only 2.4% and 8.2% of the bacterial and fungal OTUs, respectively, were shared between datasets. Isolated taxa increased the total recovered species richness by only 2% for bacteria and 5% for fungi. Interestingly, none of the bacteria that we isolated were representative of the major bacterial OTUs recovered by 454-pyrosequencing. Isolation of fungi was moderately more effective at capturing the dominant OTUs observed by culture-independent analysis, as 3 of 31 cultured fungal strains ranked among the 20 most abundant fungal OTUs in the 454-pyrosequencing dataset. This study is one of the most comprehensive comparisons of microbial communities from hydrocarbon-contaminated soils using both isolation and high-throughput sequencing methods. PMID:26053848

  18. POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBON CONTAMINATION LEVELS IN COLLECTED SAMPLES FROM VICINITY OF A HIGHWAY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. V. Samimi ، R. Akbari Rad ، F. Ghanizadeh

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Tehran as the biggest city of Iran with a population of more than 10 millions has potentially high pollutant exposures of gas oil and gasoline combustion from vehicles that are commuting in the highways every day. The vehicle exhausts contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are produced by incomplete combustion and can be directly deposited in the environment. In the present study, the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons contamination in the collected samples of a western highway in Tehran was investigated. The studied location was a busy highway in Tehran. High performance liquid chromatography equipped with florescence detector was used for determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons concentrations in the studied samples. Total concentration of the ten studied polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons compounds ranged from 11107 to 24342 ng/g dry weight in the dust samples and increased from 164 to 2886 ng/g dry weight in the soil samples taken from 300 m and middle of the highway, respectively. Also the average of Σ PAHs was 1759 ng/L in the water samples of pools in parks near the highway. The obtained results indicated that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons contamination levels were very high in the vicinity of the highway.

  19. Culture-Dependent and -Independent Methods Capture Different Microbial Community Fractions in Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefani, Franck O P; Bell, Terrence H; Marchand, Charlotte; de la Providencia, Ivan E; El Yassimi, Abdel; St-Arnaud, Marc; Hijri, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    Bioremediation is a cost-effective and sustainable approach for treating polluted soils, but our ability to improve on current bioremediation strategies depends on our ability to isolate microorganisms from these soils. Although culturing is widely used in bioremediation research and applications, it is unknown whether the composition of cultured isolates closely mirrors the indigenous microbial community from contaminated soils. To assess this, we paired culture-independent (454-pyrosequencing of total soil DNA) with culture-dependent (isolation using seven different growth media) techniques to analyse the bacterial and fungal communities from hydrocarbon-contaminated soils. Although bacterial and fungal rarefaction curves were saturated for both methods, only 2.4% and 8.2% of the bacterial and fungal OTUs, respectively, were shared between datasets. Isolated taxa increased the total recovered species richness by only 2% for bacteria and 5% for fungi. Interestingly, none of the bacteria that we isolated were representative of the major bacterial OTUs recovered by 454-pyrosequencing. Isolation of fungi was moderately more effective at capturing the dominant OTUs observed by culture-independent analysis, as 3 of 31 cultured fungal strains ranked among the 20 most abundant fungal OTUs in the 454-pyrosequencing dataset. This study is one of the most comprehensive comparisons of microbial communities from hydrocarbon-contaminated soils using both isolation and high-throughput sequencing methods.

  20. Structure of bacterial communities along a hydrocarbon contamination gradient in a coastal sediment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paissé, Sandrine; Coulon, Frédéric; Goñi-Urriza, Marisol; Peperzak, Louis; McGenity, Terry J; Duran, Robert

    2008-11-01

    The bacterial diversity of a chronically oil-polluted retention basin sediment located in the Berre lagoon (Etang-de-Berre, France) was investigated. This study combines chemical and molecular approaches in order to define how the in situ petroleum hydrocarbon contamination level affects the bacterial community structure of a subsurface sediment. Hydrocarbon content analysis clearly revealed a gradient of hydrocarbon contamination in both the water and the sediment following the basin periphery from the pollution input to the lagoon water. The nC17 and pristane concentrations suggested alkane biodegradation in the sediments. These results, combined with those of terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the 16S rRNA genes, indicated that bacterial community structure was obviously associated with the gradient of oil contamination. The analysis of bacterial community composition revealed dominance of bacteria related to the Proteobacteria phylum (Gamma-, Delta-, Alpha-, Epsilon- and Betaproteobacteria), Bacteroidetes and Verrucomicrobium groups and Spirochaetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria phyla. The adaptation of the bacterial community to oil contamination was not characterized by dominance of known oil-degrading bacteria, because a predominance of populations associated to the sulphur cycle was observed. The input station presented particular bacterial community composition associated with a low oil concentration in the sediment, indicating the adaptation of this community to the oil contamination.

  1. 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 cha...

  2. 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...

  3. Pre-ABoVE: Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation, Geobotanical, Physiographic Data, 1982-2003

    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 circumpolar Arctic tundra...

  4. Temporal biogeophysical signatures at hydrocarbon contaminated sites associated with long-term remediation efforts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atekwana, E.; Che-Alota, V.; Atekwana, E.; Werkema, D. D.

    2009-05-01

    Biogeophysical signatures of hydrocarbon contaminated sites provide ideal laboratories for investigating microbial-geophysical relationships as the excess organic carbon present at these sites stimulates microbial activity. As such geophysical investigations have documented characteristic changes associated with hydrocarbon biodegradation in both field and laboratory experiments. The conceptual model that results from almost a decade of studies from these environments is one in which over time, the geophysical signatures due to bio-physicochemical changes imparted on the aquifer by the microbial activity reach some maximum or minimum related to the availability of terminal electron acceptors, the organic carbon source concentration, and microbial activity. However, with continuous removal of the contaminant mass either by natural attenuation (e.g., intrinsic bioremediation) or engineered (bio) remediation, a decrease in the microbial activity is predicted to cause associated changes in the geophysical properties (i.e., geophysical signatures revert to original conditions). This paper will present the results of repeated geophysical investigations at a hydrocarbon contaminated site acquired over an eleven-year period documenting changes in geophysical signatures associated with removal of hydrocarbon mass in the contaminated zone. Initial investigations at the site showed that relative to background, the contaminated area was characterized by higher bulk electrical conductivity, positive SP anomaly, and attenuated GPR reflections. Over time, the contaminated zone bulk electrical conductivity had reverted to near background conditions, the positive SP anomaly became more negative, and the zone of attenuated GPR reflections showed increased signal strength. The removal of hydrocarbon mass in the vadose zone over the plume by a soil vapor extraction system decreased the level of biological activity and therefore the magnitude of the geophysical signatures. We conclude

  5. 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.

  6. Future distribution of tundra refugia in northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, Andrew G.; Waltari, Eric; Payer, David C.; Cook, Joseph A.; Talbot, Sandra L.

    2013-01-01

    Climate change in the Arctic is a growing concern for natural resource conservation and management as a result of accelerated warming and associated shifts in the distribution and abundance of northern species. We introduce a predictive framework for assessing the future extent of Arctic tundra and boreal biomes in northern Alaska. We use geo-referenced museum specimens to predict the velocity of distributional change into the next century and compare predicted tundra refugial areas with current land-use. The reliability of predicted distributions, including differences between fundamental and realized niches, for two groups of species is strengthened by fossils and genetic signatures of demographic shifts. Evolutionary responses to environmental change through the late Quaternary are generally consistent with past distribution models. Predicted future refugia overlap managed areas and indicate potential hotspots for tundra diversity. To effectively assess future refugia, variable responses among closely related species to climate change warrants careful consideration of both evolutionary and ecological histories.

  7. The Circumpolar Arctic vegetation map

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Donald A.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Daniels, F.J.A.; Einarsson, E.; Elvebakk, A.; Gould, W.A.; Katenin, A.E.; Kholod, S.S.; Markon, C.J.; Melnikov, E.S.; Moskalenko, N.G.; Talbot, S. S.; Yurtsev, B.A.; Bliss, L.C.; Edlund, S.A.; Zoltai, S.C.; Wilhelm, M.; Bay, C.; Gudjonsson, G.; Ananjeva, G.V.; Drozdov, D.S.; Konchenko, L.A.; Korostelev, Y.V.; Ponomareva, O.E.; Matveyeva, N.V.; Safranova, I.N.; Shelkunova, R.; Polezhaev, A.N.; Johansen, B.E.; Maier, H.A.; Murray, D.F.; Fleming, Michael D.; Trahan, N.G.; Charron, T.M.; Lauritzen, S.M.; Vairin, B.A.

    2005-01-01

    Question: What are the major vegetation units in the Arctic, what is their composition, and how are they distributed among major bioclimate subzones and countries? Location: The Arctic tundra region, north of the tree line. Methods: A photo-interpretive approach was used to delineate the vegetation onto an Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) base image. Mapping experts within nine Arctic regions prepared draft maps using geographic information technology (ArcInfo) of their portion of the Arctic, and these were later synthesized to make the final map. Area analysis of the map was done according to bioclimate subzones, and country. The integrated mapping procedures resulted in other maps of vegetation, topography, soils, landscapes, lake cover, substrate pH, and above-ground biomass. Results: The final map was published at 1:7 500 000 scale map. Within the Arctic (total area = 7.11 x 106 km 2), about 5.05 ?? 106 km2 is vegetated. The remainder is ice covered. The map legend generally portrays the zonal vegetation within each map polygon. About 26% of the vegetated area is erect shrublands, 18% peaty graminoid tundras, 13% mountain complexes, 12% barrens, 11% mineral graminoid tundras, 11% prostrate-shrub tundras, and 7% wetlands. Canada has by far the most terrain in the High Arctic mostly associated with abundant barren types and prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra, whereas Russia has the largest area in the Low Arctic, predominantly low-shrub tundra. Conclusions: The CAVM is the first vegetation map of an entire global biome at a comparable resolution. The consistent treatment of the vegetation across the circumpolar Arctic, abundant ancillary material, and digital database should promote the application to numerous land-use, and climate-change applications and will make updating the map relatively easy. ?? IAVS; Opulus Press.

  8. Spatiotemporal patterns of tundra fires: late-Quaternary charcoal records from Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chipman, M. L.; Hudspith, V.; Higuera, P. E.; Duffy, P. A.; Kelly, R.; Oswald, W. W.; Hu, F. S.

    2015-07-01

    Anthropogenic climate change has altered many ecosystem processes in the Arctic tundra and may have resulted in unprecedented fire activity. Evaluating the significance of recent fires requires knowledge from the paleofire record because observational data in the Arctic span only several decades, much shorter than the natural fire rotation in Arctic tundra regions. Here we report results of charcoal analysis on lake sediments from four Alaskan lakes to infer the broad spatial and temporal patterns of tundra-fire occurrence over the past 35 000 years. Background charcoal accumulation rates are low in all records (range is 0-0.05 pieces cm-2 yr-1), suggesting minimal biomass burning across our study areas. Charcoal peak analysis reveals that the mean fire-return interval (FRI; years between consecutive fire events) ranged from ca. 1650 to 6050 years at our sites, and that the most recent fire events occurred from ca. 880 to 7030 years ago, except for the CE 2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire. These mean FRI estimates are longer than the fire rotation periods estimated for the past 63 years in the areas surrounding three of the four study lakes. This result suggests that the frequency of tundra burning was higher over the recent past compared to the late Quaternary in some tundra regions. However, the ranges of FRI estimates from our paleofire records overlap with the expected values based on fire-rotation-period estimates from the observational fire data, and the differences are statistically insignificant. Together with previous tundra-fire reconstructions, these data suggest that the rate of tundra burning was spatially variable and that fires were extremely rare in our study areas throughout the late Quaternary. Given the rarity of tundra burning over multiple millennia in our study areas and the pronounced effects of fire on tundra ecosystem processes such as carbon cycling, dramatic tundra ecosystem changes are expected if anthropogenic climate change leads to more

  9. Decadal changes in north-American tundra plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, S.; Johnson, D. R.; Webber, P.; Ebert-May, D.; Hollister, R. D.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2013-12-01

    Improving our understanding of how tundra vegetation responds to environmental change over decadal time scales is important. Tundra plants and ecosystems are well-recognized for their susceptibility to be impacted by climate warming; changes in land-atmosphere carbon, water, and energy balance in tundra landscapes have the potential to impact regional to global-scale climate, and relatively few studies examining change in tundra landscapes have spanned decadal time scales. The majority of our understanding of tundra vegetation responses to environmental change has been derived from studies along environmental gradients, experimental manipulations, and modeling. This study synthesizes the rescue and resampling of historic vegetation study sites established during the 1960's and 1970's at three arctic tundra locations (Baffin Island, Canada, Barrow, Alaska, and Atqasuk, Alaska), and one alpine tundra location (Niwot Ridge, Colorado). We conducted a meta-analysis to examine decadal changes in plant community composition, species richness, species evenness, and species diversity at all locations and for three broad soil moisture classes (dry, moist, wet). For all sites, except Baffin Island, change over the last decade was compared with long term change to determine if rates of change have altered over time. Change in plant community composition was most dramatic at Barrow and Baffin Island (P relative to rates documented in the mid 1960's. There were no changes in species richness at any of the locations, but there appears to be acceleration in the loss of species richness for dry and moist tundra. Species evenness increased at Atqasuk and in dry and wet tundra but decreased at Niwot Ridge in moist tundra. A loss in species diversity was detected in moist tundra in the decadal study, while diversity increased for dry and wet tundra. Baffin Island was the only location to show evidence of an increase in species diversity. This study appears to be among the first to

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. P. Tran

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  12. Geochemical and isotopic characteristics associated with high electrical conductivities in a shallow hydrocarbon-contaminated aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legall, F.; Atekwana, E.; Atekwana, E.; Krishnamurthy, R.; Sauck, W.

    2003-04-01

    Data collected from a network of in-situ vertical resistivity probes (VRPs) deployed within a hydrocarbon contaminated aquifer showed high soil conductivities associated with zones where residual and dissolved phase hydrocarbons (RDH) occur and zones where these phases coexist with free phase hydrocarbons (RDFH). Bulk soil conductivities were highest (12 to 30 mS/m) in the RDFH zone compared to the RDH zone (10 to 25 mS/m). Groundwater from closely spaced multi-level piezometers (MLPs) installed in the aquifer was analyzed to investigate the role of mineral weathering as the source of ions responsible for the high soil conductivity. Evidence for mineral weathering in the aquifer was assessed using major inorganic ions, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), stable carbon isotope ratio of DIC (δ13CDIC), and bulk soil conductivity. The link between bulk soil conductivity and δ13CDIC in contaminant plumes has never been reported in the literature. The results show higher Na, Ca, and Mg in the contaminated zone compared to background. The higher TDS in the contaminated zones is consistent with the weathering of carbonates and Na and Ca feldspars, the dominant minerals in the aquifer. Higher TDS at the contaminated locations was also coincident with higher DIC. The δ13CDIC values of 16.9 to 9.5 ppm suggest that DIC evolution within this zone is controlled by carbonate dissolution through enhanced CO_2 production related to microbial hydrocarbon degradation. Within the range of δ13CDIC values reported for groundwater at the RDH locations, the more positive δ13CDIC values were observed in zones where reduction of NO_3, Mn(IV), Fe(III), and SO_4 was occurring and was coincident with higher bulk soil conductivity. Within the portion of the aquifer with RDFH, δ13CDIC ranged from +6.5 to 4.4 ppm, suggesting that methanogenesis is the dominant redox process at this location. High DIC within the methanogenic zone is also coincident with higher bulk soil conductivity. Thus the

  13. Land Cover Characterization and Classification of Arctic Tundra Environments by Means of Polarized Synthetic Aperture X- and C-Band Radar (PolSAR) and Landsat 8 Multispectral Imagery - Richards Island, Canada

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tobias Ullmann; Andreas Schmitt; Achim Roth; Jason Duffe; Stefan Dech; Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten; Roland Baumhauer

    2014-01-01

    ...) and quad-polarized Radarsat-2 was examined in combination with multispectral Landsat 8 data for unsupervised and supervised classification of tundra land cover types of Richards Island, Canada...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    This is the published version of the article. Published source: http://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1837. 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...

  15. Bioremediation of hydrocarbons contaminating sewage effluent using man-made biofilms: effects of some variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Mailem, D M; Kansour, M K; Radwan, S S

    2014-11-01

    Biofilm samples were established on glass slides by submerging them in oil-free and oil-containing sewage effluent for a month. In batch cultures, such biofilms were effective in removing crude oil, pure n-hexadecane, and pure phenanthrene contaminating sewage effluent. The amounts of the removed hydrocarbons increased with increasing biofilm surface area exposed to the effluent. On the other hand, addition of the reducing agent thioglycollate dramatically inhibited the hydrocarbon bioremediation potential of the biofilms. The same biofilm samples removed contaminating hydrocarbons effectively in three successive batch bioremediation cycles but started to become less effective in the cycles thereafter, apparently due to mechanical biofilm loss during successive transfers. As major hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria, the biofilms harbored species belonging to the genera Pseudomonas, Microvirga, Zavarzinia, Mycobacterium, Microbacterium, Stenotrophomonas, Gordonia, Bosea, Sphingobium, Brachybacterium, and others. The nitrogen fixer Azospirillum brasilense and the microalga Ochromonas distigma were also present; they seemed to enrich the biofilms, with nitrogenous compounds and molecular oxygen, respectively, which are known to enhance microbiological hydrocarbon degradation. It was concluded that man-made biofilms based upon sewage microflora are promising tools for bioremediation of hydrocarbons contaminating sewage effluent.

  16. Natural revegetation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil in semi-arid grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bizecki Robson, D.; Knight, J. D.; Farrell, R. E.; Germida, J. J. [University of Saskatchewan, Dept. of Soil Science, Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2004-01-01

    Phytoremediation, or the use of plants to degrade and contain soil contaminants is considered a cost-effective decontaminant for sites contaminated by spills in the oil and gas producing areas of Western Canada. The objective of this study was to determine if contamination by hydrocarbons changes soil properties, species composition, and species abundance when compared with uncontaminated plots, and to identify species and functional groups unique to contaminated sites that may be further screened for their hydrocarbon-degrading ability. In pursuit of these objectives the effect of contamination on coverage, litter and bare ground was examined, differences in species composition between contaminated and uncontaminated sites were assessed, and the ability to fix nitrogen, and form mycorrhiza, life form, pollination mode, seed dispersal and reproduction mode of each species was determined. Results showed less vegetation and litter cover in contaminated plots, and significantly higher soil carbon to nitrogen ratios. Species diversity was also lower on contaminated sites, although species richness was not significantly different. Self-pollinated species were significantly more common on contaminated sites. Five grasses and three forbs were identified as tolerant of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, with two grasses -- Agropyron smithii, and Agropyron trachycaulum -- being the most promising for reclamation. The low vegetation cover on contaminated plots is attributed to high pH and carbon to nitrogen ratios, and low nitrogen and phosphorus that results from soil disturbance. High electrical conductivity is also considered to adversely affect vegetation and litter cover on contaminated sites. 54 refs., 3 tabs., 1 fig.

  17. Analysis of hydrocarbon contamination with membrane-assisted solvent extraction: comparison of agitation and sonication methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szekeres, Z; Eke, Zs; Rikker, T; Torkos, K

    2009-10-09

    Membrane-assisted solvent extraction (MASE) coupled to large volume injection was applied to the determination of (gasoline-type) hydrocarbon contamination in water samples. Hexane was used as acceptor phase. 50 microL extract was injected in the programmed temperature vaporizer injector using combined split-splitless evaporation. The extraction conditions were optimized both for MASE with agitation and for MASE with sonication. In the course of optimization the effect of extraction time, extraction temperature, agitation speed, solvent volume, pH, ionic strength and the addition of methanol were tested. Over 75% recovery was accomplished in the range of diesel oil hydrocarbons (n-C(9)-n-C(24)). The developed method was validated. Linearity, accuracy and precision were tested. The method showed excellent linearity between 1 and 1000 microgL(-1) for n-alkanes and between 0.05 and 50 mgL(-1) for gasoline. The method was tested with comprehensive GCxGC as well and found to be non-discriminative to all major compounds of diesel oil.

  18. Selection of biosurfactan/bioemulsifier-producing bacteria from hydrocarbon-contaminated soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabina Viramontes-Ramos

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Petroleum-derived hydrocarbons are among the most persistent soil contaminants, and some hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms can produce biosurfactants to increase bioavailability and degradation. The aim of this work was to identify biosurfactant-producing bacterial strains isolated from hydrocarbon-contaminated sites, and to evaluate their biosurfactant properties. The drop-collapse method and minimal agar added with a layer of combustoleo were used for screening, and positive strains were grown in liquid medium, and surface tension and emulsification index were determined in cell-free supernantant and cell suspension. A total of 324 bacterial strains were tested, and 17 were positive for the drop-collapse and hydrocarbon-layer agar methods. Most of the strains were Pseudomonas, except for three strains (Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Rhodococcus. Surface tension was similar in cell-free and cell suspension measurements, with values in the range of 58 to 26 (mN/m, and all formed stable emulsions with motor oil (76-93% E24. Considering the variety of molecular structures among microbial biosurfactants, they have different chemical properties that can be exploited commercially, for applications as diverse as bioremediation or degradable detergents.

  19. Prospects for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to assist in phytoremediation of soil hydrocarbon contaminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajtor, Monika; Piotrowska-Seget, Zofia

    2016-11-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form mutualistic associations with the roots of 80-90% of vascular plant species and may constitute up to 50% of the total soil microbial biomass. AMF have been considered to be a tool to enhance phytoremediation, as their mycelium create a widespread underground network that acts as a bridge between plant roots, soil and rhizosphere microorganisms. Abundant extramatrical hyphae extend the rhizosphere thus creating the hyphosphere, which significantly increases the area of a plant's access to nutrients and contaminants. The paper presents and evaluates the role and significance of AMF in phytoremediation of hydrocarbon contaminated sites. We focused on (1) an impact of hydrocarbons on arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis, (2) a potential of AMF to enhance phytoremediation, (3) determinants that influence effectiveness of hydrocarbon removal from contaminated soils. This knowledge may be useful for selection of proper plant and fungal symbionts and crucial to optimize environmental conditions for effective AMF-mediated phytoremediation. It has been concluded that three-component phytoremediation systems based on synergistic interactions between plant roots, AMF and hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms demonstrated high effectiveness in dissipation of organic pollutants in soil. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Permeable bio-reactive barriers to address petroleum hydrocarbon contamination at subantarctic Macquarie Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freidman, Benjamin L; Terry, Deborah; Wilkins, Dan; Spedding, Tim; Gras, Sally L; Snape, Ian; Stevens, Geoffrey W; Mumford, Kathryn A

    2017-05-01

    A reliance on diesel generated power and a history of imperfect fuel management have created a legacy of petroleum hydrocarbon contamination at subantarctic Macquarie Island. Increasing environmental awareness and advances in contaminant characterisation and remediation technology have fostered an impetus to reduce the environmental risk associated with legacy sites. A funnel and gate permeable bio-reactive barrier (PRB) was installed in 2014 to address the migration of Special Antarctic Blend diesel from a spill that occurred in 2002, as well as older spills and residual contaminants in the soil at the Main Power House. The PRB gate comprised of granular activated carbon and natural clinoptilolite zeolite. Petroleum hydrocarbons migrating in the soil water were successfully captured on the reactive materials, with concentrations at the outflow of the barrier recorded as being below reporting limits. The nutrient and iron concentrations delivered to the barrier demonstrated high temporal variability with significant iron precipitation observed across the bed. The surface of the granular activated carbon was largely free from cell attachment while natural zeolite demonstrated patchy biofilm formation after 15 months following PRB installation. This study illustrates the importance of informed material selection at field scale to ensure that adsorption and biodegradation processes are utilised to manage the environmental risk associated with petroleum hydrocarbon spills. This study reports the first installation of a permeable bio-reactive barrier in the subantarctic. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Anaerobic degradation of cyclohexane by sulfate-reducing bacteria from hydrocarbon-contaminated marine sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike eJaekel

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The fate of cyclohexane, often used as a model compound for the biodegradation of cyclic alkanes due to its abundance in crude oils, in anoxic marine sediments has been poorly investigated. In the present study, we obtained an enrichment culture of cyclohexane-degrading sulfate-reducing bacteria from hydrocarbon-contaminated intertidal marine sediments. Microscopic analyses showed an apparent dominance by oval cells of 1.5×0.8 m. Analysis of a 16S rRNA gene library, followed by whole-cell hybridization with group- and sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes showed that these cells belonged to a single phylotype, and were accounting for more than 80% of the total cell number. The dominant phylotype, affiliated with the Desulfosarcina-Desulfococcus cluster of the Deltaproteobacteria, is proposed to be responsible for the degradation of cyclohexane. Quantitative growth experiments showed that cyclohexane degradation was coupled with the stoichiometric reduction of sulfate to sulfide. Substrate response tests corroborated with hybridization with a sequence-specific oligonucleotide probe suggested that the dominant phylotype apparently was able to degrade other cyclic and n-alkanes, including the gaseous alkanes propane and n-butane. Based on GC-MS analyses of culture extracts cyclohexylsuccinate was identified as a metabolite, indicating an activation of cyclohexane by addition to fumarate. Other metabolites detected were 3-cyclohexylpropionate and cyclohexanecarboxylate providing evidence that the overall degradation pathway of cyclohexane under anoxic conditions is analogous to that of n-alkanes.

  2. Migration of selected hydrocarbon contaminants into dry pasta packaged in direct contact with recycled paperboard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barp, Laura; Suman, Michele; Lambertini, Francesca; Moret, Sabrina

    2015-01-01

    This paper deals with the migration of selected hydrocarbon contaminants, namely mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH), diisopropyl naphthalenes (DIPN) and polyalphaolefins (PAO) from adhesives into dry semolina and egg pasta packaged in direct contact with recycled paperboard. Migration was monitored during its shelf life (for up to two years) simulating storage in a supermarket (packs on shelves) and conditions preventing exchange with the surrounding environment (packs wrapped in aluminium foil). Migration from the secondary packaging (transport boxes of corrugated board) was also studied for semolina pasta. After 24 months of exposure, semolina pasta stored on shelves reached 3.2 and 0.6 mg kg(-1) of MOSH and MOAH, respectively, Migration from the adhesives used to close the boxes and from the transport boxes contributed about 30% and 25% of the total contamination, respectively. The highest contamination levels (14.5 and 2.0 mg kg(-1) of MOSH and MOAH, respectively, after 24 months) were found in egg pasta stored on shelves (no adhesives), and seemed due to the highest contribution from the external environment.

  3. Drivers of seasonality in Arctic carbon dioxide fluxes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mbufong, Herbert Njuabe

    and the potential for widespread feedbacks with global consequences. In this thesis, I present and discuss the findings of an investigation of comparable drivers of the seasonality in carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes across heterogeneous Arctic tundra ecosystems. Due to the remoteness and the harsh climatic conditions...... that monitoring, modelling and manipulation experiments of drivers of greenhouse gas fluxes be intensified across the globe. The Arctic tundra represents an important biome in the context of global climate change. This is because of the highly sensitive nature of the Arctic tundra to climatic perturbations...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average1. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming2,3. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed rapidly4......, including expansion of woody vegetation5,6, in response to changing climate conditions. How such vegetation changes contribute to stabilization or destabilization of the permafrost is unknown. Here we present six years of field observations in a shrub removal experiment at a Siberian tundra site. Removing...... experiment demonstrate the importance of the vegetation cover for protection of the massive carbon reservoirs stored in the permafrost and illustrate the strong vulnerability of these tundra ecosystems to perturbations. If permafrost thawing can more frequently trigger such local permafrost collapse, methane...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Due to the heterogeneity of the Arctic tundra, general current understanding of net carbon (C) uptake in these ecosystems is poorly developed. This study investigates the dependency of carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes on environmental, meteorological and vegetation properties in high, low and subarctic...... tundra sites for the purpose of exposing the environmental, meteorological and vegetation factors, especially season length, that drive CO2 fluxes in disparate tundra environments. Partitioning CO2 fluxes and redefining seasons in the same manner improved our interpretation of the factors affecting flux...... variability. An improved understanding of the control of ancillary variables on net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) will improve the accuracy with which CO2 exchange seasonality in Arctic tundra ecosystems is modelled. Fluxes were measured with the eddy...

  7. Geochemical and isotopic characteristics associated with high soil conductivities in a shallow hydrocarbon-contaminated aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legall, Franklyn David

    Data collected from a network of in-situ vertical resistivity probes (VRPs) deployed at a hydrocarbon-contaminated site in SW Michigan showed high conductivities associated with the zone of contamination. Within the contaminated portion of the aquifer, different phases of hydrocarbon impact are recognized, namely, zones with residual and dissolved phase hydrocarbons (RDH) and zones where these phases coexist with free product (RDFH). Bulk soil conductivities were highest (12 to 30 mS/m) in the RDFH zone compared to the RDH zone (10 to 25 mS/m). Geochemical and isotopic data from closely spaced vertical samples within the high conductive zones were used to provide geochemical evidence for biodegradation and to investigate redox processes occurring within the conductive zones. Depth distribution of TEAs and educts showed evidence of reduction of nitrate, iron, manganese, and sulfate across steep vertical gradients. Within the portion of the plume characterized by RDH, SO4 reduction has supplanted denitrification via dissimilatory nitrate reduction, and the reduction of Fe (III) and Mn(IV) as the major observed redox process. This zone was also characterized by the highest DIC. The delta 13CDIC values of -16.9 to -9.5‰ suggest that DIC evolution within this zone is controlled by carbonate dissolution through enhanced CO2 production related to microbial hydrocarbon degradation. Within the portion of the aquifer with RDFH, DIC was lower compared to the RDH location with an associated delta13CDIC in the range of +6.5 to -4.4‰. Both the DIC and delta 13CDIC suggest that methanogenesis is the dominant redox process. With respect to mineral weathering as a possible source of ions contributing to high conductivities, the results show higher concentrations of Na, Ca, and Mg in the contaminated portion of the aquifer compared to uncontaminated parts. This is consistent with the weathering of carbonate and Na and Ca feldspars, the dominant minerals in the aquifer. Higher

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Käyhkö, Jukka

    2014-05-01

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

  9. Enhanced degradation activity by endophytic bacteria of plants growing in hydrocarbon contaminated soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Phillips, L.; Germida, J.J. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada); Greer, C.W. [National Research Council of Canada, Montreal, PQ (Canada). Biotechnology Research Inst.

    2006-07-01

    The feasibility of using phytoremediation for cleaning soils contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons was discussed. Petroleum hydrocarbons are problematic because of their toxicity, mobility and persistence in the environment. Appropriate clean-up methods are needed, given that 60 per cent of Canada's contaminated sites contain these compounds. Phytoremediation is an in situ biotechnology in which plants are used to facilitate contaminant removal. The approach relies on a synergistic relationship between plants and their root-associated microbial communities. Previous studies on phytoremediation have focussed on rhizosphere communities. However, it is believed that endophytic microbes may also play a vital role in organic contaminant degradation. This study investigated the structural and functional dynamics of both rhizosphere and endophytic microbial communities of plants from a phytoremediation field site in south-eastern Saskatchewan. The former flare pit contains up to 10,000 ppm of F3 to F4 hydrocarbon fractions. Root samples were collected from tall wheatgrass, wild rye, saltmeadow grass, perennial ryegrass, and alfalfa. Culture-based and culture-independent methods were used to evaluate the microbial communities associated with these roots. Most probable number assays showed that the rhizosphere communities contained more n-hexadecane, diesel fuel, and PAH degraders. However, mineralization assays with 14C labelled n-hexadecane, naphthalene, and phenanthrene showed that endophytic communities had more degradation activities per standardized initial degrader populations. Total community DNA samples taken from bulk, rhizosphere, and endophytic samples, were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. It was shown that specific bacteria increased in endophytic communities compared to rhizosphere communities. It was suggested plants may possibly recruit specific bacteria in response to hydrocarbon contamination, thereby increasing degradation

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Magnus; Stiegler, Christian; Abermann, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    . 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......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...

  12. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  14. The effect of mycorrhizal inoculation on hybrid poplar fine root dynamics in hydrocarbon contaminated soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gunderson, J.; Knight, J.D.; Van Rees, K.C.J. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Dept. of Soil Science

    2006-07-01

    -colonized treatment. These results indicate that although the colonization of hybrid poplar by ECM fungi may help the trees better tolerate hydrocarbon contaminated soils, the phytoremediation potential is weakened. This can be attributed to the hydrophobic nature of the mycelium of Pisolithus tinctorius.

  15. Microbial Diversity and Bioremediation of a Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Aquifer (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arturo A. Massol-Deyá

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Hydrocarbon contamination of groundwater resources has become a major environmental and human health concern in many parts of the world. Our objectives were to employ both culture and culture-independent techniques to characterize the dynamics of microbial community structure within a fluidized bed reactor used to bioremediate a diesel-contaminated groundwater in a tropical environment. Under normal operating conditions, 97 to 99% of total hydrocarbons were removed with only 14 min hydraulic retention time. Over 25 different cultures were isolated from the treatment unit (96% which utilized diesel constituents as sole carbon source. Approximately 20% of the isolates were also capable of complete denitrification to nitrogen gas. Sequence analysis of 16S rDNA demonstrated ample diversity with most belonging to the ∝, β and γ subdivision of the Proteobacteria, Bacilli, and Actinobacteria groups. Moreover, the genetic constitution of the microbial community was examined at multiple time points with a Functional Gene Array (FGA containing over 12,000 probes for genes involved in organic degradation and major biogeochemical cycles. Total community DNA was extracted and amplified using an isothermal φ29 polymerase-based technique, labeled with Cy5 dye, and hybridized to the arrays in 50% formimide overnight at 50°C. Cluster analysis revealed comparable profiles over the course of treatment suggesting the early selection of a very stable microbial community. A total of 270 genes for organic contaminant degradation (including naphthalene, toluene [aerobic and anaerobic], octane, biphenyl, pyrene, xylene, phenanthrene, and benzene; and 333 genes involved in metabolic activities (nitrite and nitrous oxide reductases [nirS, nirK, and nosZ], dissimilatory sulfite reductases [dsrAB], potential metal reducing C-type cytochromes, and methane monooxygenase [pmoA] were repeatedly detected. Genes for degradation of MTBE

  16. Geoelectrical characterization of a site with hydrocarbon contamination caused by pipeline leakage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delgado-Rodriguez, Omar; Shevnin, Vladimir; Ochoa-Valdes, Jesus [Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo, Mexico, D.F. (Mexico); Ryjov, Albert [Moscow State Geological Prospecting Academy, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2006-01-15

    Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) method is used extensively in environmental impact studies including hydrocarbon contamination. In this work, the results of the geoelectrical characterization of a contaminated site caused by pipeline leakage are presented. Geoelectrical study was performed with multi-electrode technology and 2D profile data interpretation. VES results from six parallel profiles were presented in resistivity sections and maps. Layered model of the site was found including aquifer and aquitard layers. Although the contamination grade of the site is low, we found two contaminated zones into sandy aquifer. Aquifer and aquitard were characterized by its resistivity, clay content, porosity and cation exchange capacity values. Recalculation of resistivity data into petrophysical sections and maps was performed by an inversion algorithm taking into account pore water salinity. Petrophysical parameters for uncontaminated areas estimated from resistivity are close to real values; meanwhile, in contaminated zones petrophysical parameters have anomalous values. Similar effects of contamination influence on petrophysical parameters were found in laboratory by resistivity measurements made at clean and contaminated sand samplers. [Spanish] El metodo Sondeo Electrico Vertical (SEV) es ampliamente utilizado en estudios de impacto ambiental incluyendo el caso de contaminacion por hidrocarburos. En este trabajo se presentan los resultados de la caracterizacion geoelectrica de un sitio contaminado por hidrocarburos relacionado con una fuga en linea de ducto. El estudio geoelectrico fue realizado utilizando el metodo SEV en la variante de tomografia, realizandose una interpretacion 2D de los datos observados. Seis perfiles paralelos de SEV fueron medidos y presentados sus resultados en secciones y mapas. Se determino un modelo estratificado que incluye acuitardo y acuifero. Aunque el grado de contaminacion en este sitio es bajo fue posible localizar dos zonas

  17. Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome

    OpenAIRE

    Myers-Smith I H; ... Schaepman-Strub G. et al.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid climate warming in the tundra biome has been linked to increasing shrub dominance. Shrub expansion can modify climate by altering surface albedo energy and water balance and permafrost 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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.

  19. Novel technique to suppress hydrocarbon contamination for high accuracy determination of carbon content in steel by FE-EPMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Takako; Tanaka, Yuji; Yagoshi, Masayasu; Ishida, Kiyohito

    2016-07-19

    In multiphase steels, control of the carbon contents in the respective phases is the most important factor in alloy design for achieving high strength and high ductility. However, it is unusually difficult to determine the carbon contents in multiphase structures with high accuracy by electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) due to the unavoidable effect of hydrocarbon contamination during measurements. We have investigated new methods for suppressing hydrocarbon contamination during field emission (FE) EPMA measurements as well as a conventional liquid nitrogen trap. Plasma cleaner inside the specimen chamber results in a improvement of carbon-content determination by point analysis, increasing precision tenfold from the previous 0.1 mass%C to 0.01 mass%C. Stage heating at about 100 °C dramatically suppresses contamination growth during continuous point measurement and mapping. By the combination of above two techniques, we successfully visualized the two-dimensional carbon distribution in a dual-phase steel. It was also noted that the carbon concentrations at the ferrite/martensite interfaces were not the same across all interfaces, and local variation was observed. The developed technique is expected to be a powerful tool for understanding the mechanisms of mechanical properties and microstructural evolution, thereby contributing to the design of new steel products with superior properties.

  20. Novel technique to suppress hydrocarbon contamination for high accuracy determination of carbon content in steel by FE-EPMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Takako; Tanaka, Yuji; Yagoshi, Masayasu; Ishida, Kiyohito

    2016-07-01

    In multiphase steels, control of the carbon contents in the respective phases is the most important factor in alloy design for achieving high strength and high ductility. However, it is unusually difficult to determine the carbon contents in multiphase structures with high accuracy by electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) due to the unavoidable effect of hydrocarbon contamination during measurements. We have investigated new methods for suppressing hydrocarbon contamination during field emission (FE) EPMA measurements as well as a conventional liquid nitrogen trap. Plasma cleaner inside the specimen chamber results in a improvement of carbon-content determination by point analysis, increasing precision tenfold from the previous 0.1 mass%C to 0.01 mass%C. Stage heating at about 100 °C dramatically suppresses contamination growth during continuous point measurement and mapping. By the combination of above two techniques, we successfully visualized the two-dimensional carbon distribution in a dual-phase steel. It was also noted that the carbon concentrations at the ferrite/martensite interfaces were not the same across all interfaces, and local variation was observed. The developed technique is expected to be a powerful tool for understanding the mechanisms of mechanical properties and microstructural evolution, thereby contributing to the design of new steel products with superior properties.

  1. Biosurfactant production by Pseudomonas aeruginosa DSVP20 isolated from petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil and its physicochemical characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Deepak; Ansari, Mohammad Javed; Al-Ghamdi, Ahmad; Adgaba, Nuru; Khan, Khalid Ali; Pruthi, Vikas; Al-Waili, Noori

    2015-11-01

    Among 348 microbial strains isolated from petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil, five were selected for their ability to produce biosurfactant based on battery of screening assay including hemolytic activity, surface tension reduction, drop collapse assay, emulsification activity, and cell surface hydrophobicity studies. Of these, bacterial isolate DSVP20 was identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa (NCBI GenBank accession no. GQ865644) based on biochemical characterization and the 16S rDNA analysis, and it was found to be a potential candidate for biosurfactant production. Maximum biosurfactant production recorded by P. aeruginosa DSVP20 was 6.7 g/l after 72 h at 150 rpm and at a temperature of 30 °C. Chromatographic analysis and high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) revealed that it was a glycolipid in nature which was further confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Bioremediation studies using purified biosurfactant showed that P. aeruginosa DSVP20 has the ability to degrade eicosane (97%), pristane (75%), and fluoranthene (47%) when studied at different time intervals for a total of 7 days. The results of this study showed that the P. aeruginosa DSVP20 and/or biosurfactant produced by this isolate have the potential role in bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Magnus; Stiegler, Christian; Abermann, Jakob

    2017-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Topographic controls on the leaf area index and plant functional type of a tundra ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spadavecchia, L.; Williams, M.; Bell, R.; Stoy, P.C.; Huntley, B.; Wijk, van M.T.

    2008-01-01

    Leaf area index (LAI) is an emergent property of vascular plants closely linked to primary production and surface energy balance. LAI can vary by an order of magnitude among Arctic tundra communities and is closely associated with plant functional type. We examined topographic controls on vegetation

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elmendorf, S.C.; Henry, G.H.R.; Hollister, R.D.; Bjork, R.G.; Boulanger-Lapointe, N.; Cooper, E.J.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Day, T.A.; Dorrepaal, E.; Elumeeva, T.G.; Gill, M.; Gould, W.A.; Harte, J.; Hik, D.S.; Hofgaard, A.; Johnson, D.A.; Johnstone, J.F.; Jonsdottir, I.S.; Jorgenson, J.C.; Klanderud, K.; Klein, J.A.; Koh, S.; Kudo, G.; Lara, M.; Levesque, E.; Magnusson, B.; May, J.L.; Mercado-Diaz, J.A.; Michelsen, A.; Molau, U.; Myers-Smith, I.H.; Oberbauer, S.F.; Onipchenko, V.G.; Rixen, C.; Schmidt, N.M.; Shaver, G.R.; Spasojevic, M.J.; Porhallsdottir, P.E.; Tolvanen, A.; Troxler, T.; Tweedie, G.E.; Villareal, S.; Wahren, C.H.; Walker, X.; Webber, P.J.; Welker, J.M.; Wipf, S

    2012-01-01

    Temperature is increasing at unprecedented rates across most of the tundra biome. Remote-sensing data indicate that contemporary climate warming has already resulted in increased productivity over much of the Arctic, but plot-based evidence for vegetation transformation is not widespread. We

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Michelsen, Anders; Lemeur, Raoul

    2009-01-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. CLIMATIC EFFECTS ON TUNDRA CARBON STORAGE INFERRED FROM EXPERIMENTAL DATA AND A MODEL

    Science.gov (United States)

    We used a process-based model of ecosystem carbon (C) and nitrogen (N)dynamics, MBL-GEM (Marine Biological Laboratory General Ecosystem Model), to integrated and analyze the results of several experiments that examined the response of arctic tussock tundra to manipulations of CO2...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Bååth, Erland

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Impact of bacterial and fungal processes on {sup 14}C-hexadecane mineralisation in weathered hydrocarbon contaminated soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adetutu, Eric M.; Ball, Andy S. [School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, 5001 (Australia); Weber, John; Aleer, Samuel; Dandie, Catherine E. [Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation (CERAR), University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes Campus, Adelaide, South Australia, 5095 (Australia); Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE), Mawson Lakes, Adelaide, South Australia, 5095 (Australia); Juhasz, Albert L., E-mail: Albert.Juhasz@unisa.edu.au [Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation (CERAR), University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes Campus, Adelaide, South Australia, 5095 (Australia); Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE), Mawson Lakes, Adelaide, South Australia, 5095 (Australia)

    2012-01-01

    In this study, the impact of bacterial and fungal processes on {sup 14}C-hexadecane mineralisation was investigated in weathered hydrocarbon contaminated soil. The extent of {sup 14}C-hexadecane mineralisation varied depending on the bioremediation strategy employed. Under enhanced natural attenuation conditions, {sup 14}C-hexadecane mineralisation after 98 days was 8.5 {+-} 3.7% compared to < 1.2% without nitrogen and phosphorus additions. {sup 14}C-hexadecane mineralisation was further enhanced through Tween 80 amendments (28.9 {+-} 2.4%) which also promoted the growth of a Phanerochaete chyrsosporium fungal mat. Although fungal growth in weathered hydrocarbon contaminated soil could be promoted through supplementing additional carbon sources (Tween 80, sawdust, compost, pea straw), fungal {sup 14}C-hexadecane mineralisation was negligible when sodium azide was added to soil microcosms to inhibit bacterial activity. In contrast, when fungal activity was inhibited through nystatin additions, {sup 14}C-hexadecane mineralisation ranged from 6.5 {+-} 0.2 to 35.8 {+-} 3.8% after 98 days depending on the supplied amendment. Bacteria inhibition with sodium azide resulted in a reduction in bacterial diversity (33-37%) compared to microcosms supplemented with nystatin or microcosms without inhibitory supplements. However, alkB bacterial groups were undetected in sodium azide supplemented microcosms, highlighting the important role of this bacterial group in {sup 14}C-hexadecane mineralisation. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The roles of different microbial groups in hydrocarbon mineralisation was assessed. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Inhibiting fungal growth did not affect {sup 14}C-hexadecane mineralisation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Inhibiting bacterial growth resulted in negligible {sup 14}C-hexadecane mineralisation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer alkB bacterial groups were undetected in sodium azide supplemented microcosms. Black

  12. Analyzing tree cores to detect petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated groundwater at a former landfill site in the community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, eastern Canadian subarctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fonkwe, Merline L D; Trapp, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. Petroleum hydrocarbon contamination at the landfill site is the result of environmentally unsound pre-1990s disposal of households and industrial solid wastes. Tree cores were taken from trembling aspen, black spruce, and white birch and analyzed by headspace....... This method can therefore aid in the proper management of contamination during landfill operations and after site closures....

  13. Land Cover Characterization and Classification of Arctic Tundra Environments by Means of Polarized Synthetic Aperture X- and C-Band Radar (PolSAR and Landsat 8 Multispectral Imagery — Richards Island, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Ullmann

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In this work the potential of polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PolSAR data of dual-polarized TerraSAR-X (HH/VV and quad-polarized Radarsat-2 was examined in combination with multispectral Landsat 8 data for unsupervised and supervised classification of tundra land cover types of Richards Island, Canada. The classification accuracies as well as the backscatter and reflectance characteristics were analyzed using reference data collected during three field work campaigns and include in situ data and high resolution airborne photography. The optical data offered an acceptable initial accuracy for the land cover classification. The overall accuracy was increased by the combination of PolSAR and optical data and was up to 71% for unsupervised (Landsat 8 and TerraSAR-X and up to 87% for supervised classification (Landsat 8 and Radarsat-2 for five tundra land cover types. The decomposition features of the dual and quad-polarized data showed a high sensitivity for the non-vegetated substrate (dominant surface scattering and wetland vegetation (dominant double bounce and volume scattering. These classes had high potential to be automatically detected with unsupervised classification techniques.

  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 Alaska Arctic Vegetation Archive (AVA-AK)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Walker, Donald A.; Breen, Amy L.; Druckenmiller, Lisa A.; Wirth, Lisa W.; Fisher, Will; Raynolds, Martha K.; Šibík, Jozef; Walker, Marilyn D.; Hennekens, Stephan; Boggs, Keith; Boucher, Tina; Buchhorn, Marcel; Bültmann, Helga; Cooper, David J.; Daniëls, Fred J.A.; Davidson, Scott J.; Ebersole, James J.; Elmendorf, Sara C.; Epstein, Howard E.; Gould, William A.; Hollister, Robert D.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Jorgenson, M.T.; Kade, Anja; Lee, Michael T.; MacKenzie, William H.; Peet, Robert K.; Peirce, Jana L.; Schickhoff, Udo; Sloan, Victoria L.; Talbot, Stephen S.; Tweedie, Craig E.; Villarreal, Sandra; Webber, Patrick J.; Zona, Donatella

    2016-01-01

    The Alaska Arctic Vegetation Archive (AVA-AK, GIVD-ID: NA-US-014) is a free, publically available database archive of vegetation-plot data from the Arctic tundra region of northern Alaska. The archive currently contains 24 datasets with 3,026 non-overlapping plots. Of these, 74% have geolocation

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nauta, Ake L.; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; Blok, Daan; Limpens, Juul; Elberling, Bo; Gallagher, Angela; Li, Bingxi; Petrov, Roman E.; Maximov, Trofim C.; van Huissteden, Jacobus; Berendse, Frank

    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, including expansion of woody vegetation, in response to changing climate conditions. How such vegetation changes contribute to stabilization or destabilization of the permafrost is unknown. Here we present six years of field observations in a shrub removal experiment at a Siberian tundra site. Removing the shrub part of the vegetation initiated thawing of ice-rich permafrost, resulting in collapse of the originally elevated shrub patches into waterlogged depressions within five years. This thaw pond development shifted the plots from a methane sink into a methane source. The results of our field experiment demonstrate the importance of the vegetation cover for protection of the massive carbon reservoirs stored in the permafrost and illustrate the strong vulnerability of these tundra ecosystems to perturbations. If permafrost thawing can more frequently trigger such local permafrost collapse, methane-emitting wet depressions could become more abundant in the lowland tundra landscape, at the cost of permafrost-stabilizing low shrub vegetation.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. Metagenome-based metabolic reconstruction reveals the ecophysiological function of Epsilonproteobacteria in a hydrocarbon-contaminated sulfidic aquifer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Hardy Keller

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The population genome of an uncultured bacterium assigned to the Campylobacterales (Epsilonproteobacteria was reconstructed from a metagenome dataset obtained by whole-genome shotgun pyrosequencing. Genomic DNA was extracted from a sulfate-reducing, m-xylene-mineralizing enrichment culture isolated from groundwater of a benzene-contaminated sulfidic aquifer. The identical epsilonproteobacterial phylotype has previously been detected in toluene- or benzene-mineralizing, sulfate-reducing consortia enriched from the same site. Previous stable isotope probing experiments with 13C6-labeled benzene suggested that this phylotype assimilates benzene-derived carbon in a syntrophic benzene-mineralizing consortium that uses sulfate as terminal electron acceptor. However, the type of energy metabolism and the ecophysiological function of this epsilonproteobacterium within aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading consortia and in the sulfidic aquifer are poorly understood.Annotation of the epsilonproteobacterial population genome suggests that the bacterium plays a key role in sulfur cycling as indicated by the presence of a sqr gene encoding a sulfide quinone oxidoreductase and psr genes encoding a polysulfide reductase. It may gain energy by using sulfide or hydrogen/formate as electron donors. Polysulfide, fumarate, as well as oxygen are potential electron acceptors. Auto- or mixotrophic carbon metabolism seems plausible since a complete reductive citric acid cycle was detected. Thus the bacterium can thrive in pristine groundwater as well as in hydrocarbon-contaminated aquifers. In hydrocarbon-contaminated sulfidic habitats, the epsilonproteobacterium may generate energy by coupling the oxidation of hydrogen or formate and highly abundant sulfide with the reduction of fumarate and/or polysulfide, accompanied by efficient assimilation of acetate produced during fermentation or incomplete oxidation of hydrocarbons. The highly efficient assimilation of acetate was

  20. Endophytic root bacteria associated with the natural vegetation growing at the hydrocarbon-contaminated Bitumount Provincial Historic site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blain, Natalie P; Helgason, Bobbi L; Germida, James J

    2017-06-01

    The Bitumount Provincial Historic site is the location of 2 of the world's first oil-extracting and -refining operations. Despite hydrocarbon levels ranging from 330 to 24 700 mg·(kg soil)-1, plants have been able to recolonize the site through means of natural revegetation. This study was designed to achieve a better understanding of the plant-root-associated bacterial partnerships occurring within naturally revegetated hydrocarbon-contaminated soils. Root endophytic bacterial communities were characterized from representative plant species throughout the site by both high-throughput sequencing and culturing techniques. Population abundance of rhizosphere and root endosphere bacteria was significantly influenced (p bacteria was influenced by both plant species and sampling location. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the potential functional diversity of the root endophytic bacteria. The gene copy numbers of 16S rRNA and 2 hydrocarbon-degrading genes (CYP153 and alkB) were significantly affected (p < 0.05) by the interaction of plant species and sampling location. Our findings suggest that some of the bacterial communities detected are known to exhibit plant growth promotion characteristics.

  1. Partial Characterization of Biosurfactant from Lactobacillus pentosus and Comparison with Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate for the Bioremediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. B. Moldes

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The capability of a cell bound biosurfactant produced by Lactobacillus pentosus, to accelerate the bioremediation of a hydrocarbon-contaminated soil, was compared with a synthetic anionic surfactant (sodium dodecyl sulphate SDS-. The biosurfactant produced by the bacteria was analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR that clearly indicates the presence of OH and NH groups, C=O stretching of carbonyl groups and NH nebding (peptide linkage, as well as CH2–CH3 and C–O stretching, with similar FTIR spectra than other biosurfactants obtained from lactic acid bacteria. After the characterization of biosurfactant by FTIR, soil contaminated with 7,000 mg Kg−1 of octane was treated with biosurfactant from L. pentosus or SDS. Treatment of soil for 15 days with the biosurfactant produced by L. pentosus led to a 65.1% reduction in the hydrocarbon concentration, whereas SDS reduced the octane concentration to 37.2% compared with a 2.2% reduction in the soil contaminated with octane in absence of biosurfactant used as control. Besides, after 30 days of incubation soil with SDS or biosurfactant gave percentages of bioremediation around 90% in both cases. Thus, it can be concluded that biosurfactant produced by L. pentosus accelerates the bioremediation of octane-contaminated soil by improving the solubilisation of octane in the water phase of soil, achieving even better results than those reached with SDS after 15-day treatment.

  2. Partial Characterization of Biosurfactant from Lactobacillus pentosus and Comparison with Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate for the Bioremediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moldes, A. B.; Paradelo, R.; Vecino, X.; Cruz, J. M.; Gudiña, E.; Rodrigues, L.; Teixeira, J. A.; Domínguez, J. M.; Barral, M. T.

    2013-01-01

    The capability of a cell bound biosurfactant produced by Lactobacillus pentosus, to accelerate the bioremediation of a hydrocarbon-contaminated soil, was compared with a synthetic anionic surfactant (sodium dodecyl sulphate SDS-). The biosurfactant produced by the bacteria was analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) that clearly indicates the presence of OH and NH groups, C=O stretching of carbonyl groups and NH nebding (peptide linkage), as well as CH2–CH3 and C–O stretching, with similar FTIR spectra than other biosurfactants obtained from lactic acid bacteria. After the characterization of biosurfactant by FTIR, soil contaminated with 7,000 mg Kg−1 of octane was treated with biosurfactant from L. pentosus or SDS. Treatment of soil for 15 days with the biosurfactant produced by L. pentosus led to a 65.1% reduction in the hydrocarbon concentration, whereas SDS reduced the octane concentration to 37.2% compared with a 2.2% reduction in the soil contaminated with octane in absence of biosurfactant used as control. Besides, after 30 days of incubation soil with SDS or biosurfactant gave percentages of bioremediation around 90% in both cases. Thus, it can be concluded that biosurfactant produced by L. pentosus accelerates the bioremediation of octane-contaminated soil by improving the solubilisation of octane in the water phase of soil, achieving even better results than those reached with SDS after 15-day treatment. PMID:23691515

  3. Natural Attenuation of Fuel Hydrocarbon Contaminants: Correlation of Biodegradation with Hydraulic Conductivity in a Field Case Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Guoping; Zheng, Chunmiao

    2003-10-15

    Two biodegradation models are developed to represent natural attenuation of fuel-hydrocarbon contaminants as observed in a comprehensive natural-gradient tracer test in a heterogeneous aquifer on the Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi, USA. The first, a first-order mass loss model, describes the irreversible losses of BTEX and its individual components, i.e., benzene (B), toluene (T), ethyl benzene (E), and xylene (X). The second, a reactive pathway model, describes sequential degradation pathways for BTEX utilizing multiple electron acceptors, including oxygen, nitrate, iron and sulfate, and via methanogenesis. The heterogeneous aquifer is represented by multiple hydraulic conductivity (K) zones delineated on the basis of numerous flowmeter K measurements. A direct propagation artificial neural network (DPN) is used as an inverse modeling tool to estimate the biodegradation rate constants associated with each of the K zones. In both the mass loss model and the reactive pathway model, the biodegradation rate constants show an increasing trend with the hydraulic conductivity. The finding of correlation between biodegradation kinetics and hydraulic conductivity distributions is of general interest and relevance to characterization and modeling of natural attenuation of hydrocarbons in other petroleum-product contaminated sites.

  4. Natural attenuation of fuel hydrocarbon contaminants: Hydraulic conductivity dependency of biodegradation rates in a field case study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Guoping; Zheng, Chunmiao

    2003-07-15

    Two biodegradation models are developed to represent natural attenuation of fuel-hydrocarbon contaminants as observed in a comprehensive natural-gradient tracer test in a heterogeneous aquifer on the Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. The first, a first-order mass loss model, describes the irreversible losses of BTEX and its individual components, i.e., benzene (B), toluene (T), ethyl benzene (E), and xylene (X). The second, a reactive pathway model, describes sequential degradation pathways for BTEX utilizing multiple electron acceptors, including oxygen, nitrate, iron and sulfate, and via methanogenesis. The heterogeneous aquifer is represented by multiple hydraulic conductivity (K) zones delineated on the basis of numerous flowmeter K measurements. A direct propagation artificial neural network (DPN) is used as an inverse modeling tool to estimate the biodegradation rate constants associated with each of the K zones. In both the mass loss model and the reactive pathway model, the biodegradation rate constants show an increasing trend with the hydraulic conductivity. The finding of correlation between biodegradation kinetics and hydraulic conductivity distributions is of general interest and relevance to characterization and modeling of natural attenuation of hydrocarbons in other petroleum-product contaminated sites.

  5. Persistence and degrading activity of free and immobilised allochthonous bacteria during bioremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivelli, Valentina; Franzetti, Andrea; Gandolfi, Isabella; Cordoni, Sergio; Bestetti, Giuseppina

    2013-02-01

    Rhodococcus sp. and Pseudomonas sp. bioremediation experiments were carried out using free and immobilized cells on natural carrier material (corncob powder) in order to evaluate the feasibility of its use in the bioremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis was performed on the 16S rRNA gene as molecular fingerprinting method in order to assess the persistence of inoculated strains in the soil over time. Immobilized Pseudomonas cells degraded hydrocarbons more efficiently in the short term compared to the free ones. Immobilization seemed also to increase cell growth and stability in the soil. Free and immobilized Rhodococcus cells showed comparable degradation percentages, probably due to the peculiarity of Rhodococcus cells to aggregate into irregular clusters in the presence of hydrocarbons as sole carbon source. It is likely that the cells were not properly adsorbed on the porous matrix as a result of the small size of its pores. When Rhodococcus and Pseudomonas cells were co-immobilized on the matrix, a competition established between the two strains, that probably ended in the exclusion of Pseudomonas cells from the pores. The organic matrix might act as protective agent, but it also possibly limited cell density. Nevertheless, when the cells were properly adsorbed on the porous matrix, the immobilization became a suitable bioremediation strategy.

  6. Combining Geoelectrical Measurements and CO2 Analyses to Monitor the Enhanced Bioremediation of Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Soils: A Field Implementation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cécile Noel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Hydrocarbon-contaminated aquifers can be successfully remediated through enhanced biodegradation. However, in situ monitoring of the treatment by piezometers is expensive and invasive and might be insufficient as the information provided is restricted to vertical profiles at discrete locations. An alternative method was tested in order to improve the robustness of the monitoring. Geophysical methods, electrical resistivity (ER and induced polarization (IP, were combined with gas analyses, CO2 concentration, and its carbon isotopic ratio, to develop a less invasive methodology for monitoring enhanced biodegradation of hydrocarbons. The field implementation of this monitoring methodology, which lasted from February 2014 until June 2015, was carried out at a BTEX-polluted site under aerobic biotreatment. Geophysical monitoring shows a more conductive and chargeable area which corresponds to the contaminated zone. In this area, high CO2 emissions have been measured with an isotopic signature demonstrating that the main source of CO2 on this site is the biodegradation of hydrocarbon fuels. Besides, the evolution of geochemical and geophysical data over a year seems to show the seasonal variation of bacterial activity. Combining geophysics with gas analyses is thus promising to provide a new methodology for in situ monitoring.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Background invertebrate herbivory on dwarf birch (Betula glandulosa-nana complex) increases with temperature and precipitation across the tundra biome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Limpens, J.

    2017-01-01

    Chronic, low intensity herbivory by invertebrates, termed background herbivory, has been understudied in tundra, yet its impacts are likely to increase in a warmer Arctic. The magnitude of these changes is however hard to predict as we know little about the drivers of current levels of invertebrate

  11. Natural attenuation of chlorinated-hydrocarbon contamination at Fort Wainwright, Alaska; a hydrogeochemical and microbiological investigation workplan

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, Kathleen A.; Lilly, Michael R.; Braddock, Joan F.; Hinzman, Larry D.

    1998-01-01

    Natural attenuation processes include biological degradation, by which microorganisms break down contaminants into simpler product compounds; adsorption of contaminants to soil particles, which decreases the mass of contaminants dissolved in ground water; and dispersion, which decreases dissolved contaminant concentrations through dilution. The primary objectives of this study are to (1) assess the degree to which such natural processes are attenuating chlorinated-hydrocarbon contamination in ground water, and (2) evaluate the effects of ground-water/surface-water interactions on natural-attenuation processes in the area of the former East and West Quartermasters Fueling Systems for Fort Wainwright, Alaska. The study will include investigations of the hydrologic, geochemical, and microbiological processes occurring at this site that influence the transport and fate of chlorinated hydrocarbons in ground water. To accomplish these objectives, a data-collection program has been initiated that includes measurements of water-table elevations and the stage of the Chena River; measurements of vertical temperature profiles within the subsurface; characterization of moisture distribution and movement in the unsaturated zone; collection of ground-water samples for determination of both organic and inorganic chemical constituents; and collection of ground-water samples for enumeration of microorganisms and determination of their potential to mineralize contaminants. We will use results from the data-collection program described above to refine our conceptual model of hydrology and contaminant attenuation at this site. Measurements of water-table elevations and river stage will help us to understand the magnitude and direction of ground-water flow and how changes in the stage of the Chena River affect ground-water flow. Because ambient ground water and surface water typically have different temperature characteristics, temperature monitoring will likely provide further insight

  12. Microbial metabolism and community structure in response to bioelectrochemically enhanced remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Lu; Huggins, Tyler; Jin, Song; Zuo, Yi; Ren, Zhiyong Jason

    2014-04-01

    This study demonstrates that electrodes in a bioelectrochemical system (BES) can potentially serve as a nonexhaustible electron acceptor for in situ bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soil. The deployment of BES not only eliminates aeration or supplement of electron acceptors as in contemporary bioremediation but also significantly shortens the remediation period and produces sustainable electricity. More interestingly, the study reveals that microbial metabolism and community structure distinctively respond to the bioelectrochemically enhanced remediation. Tubular BESs with carbon cloth anode (CCA) or biochar anode (BCA) were inserted into raw water saturated soils containing petroleum hydrocarbons for enhancing in situ remediation. Results show that total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) removal rate almost doubled in soils close to the anode (63.5-78.7%) than that in the open circuit positive controls (37.6-43.4%) during a period of 64 days. The maximum current density from the BESs ranged from 73 to 86 mA/m(2). Comprehensive microbial and chemical characterizations and statistical analyses show that the residual TPH has a strongly positive correlation with hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms (HDM) numbers, dehydrogenase activity, and lipase activity and a negative correlation with soil pH, conductivity, and catalase activity. Distinctive microbial communities were identified at the anode, in soil with electrodes, and soil without electrodes. Uncommon electrochemically active bacteria capable of hydrocarbon degradation such as Comamonas testosteroni, Pseudomonas putida, and Ochrobactrum anthropi were selectively enriched on the anode, while hydrocarbon oxidizing bacteria were dominant in soil samples. Results from genus or phylum level characterizations well agree with the data from cluster analysis. Data from this study suggests that a unique constitution of microbial communities may play a key role in BES enhancement of petroleum hydrocarbons

  13. Linkage between bacterial and fungal rhizosphere communities in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils is related to plant phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Terrence H; El-Din Hassan, Saad; Lauron-Moreau, Aurélien; Al-Otaibi, Fahad; Hijri, Mohamed; Yergeau, Etienne; St-Arnaud, Marc

    2014-02-01

    Phytoremediation is an attractive alternative to excavating and chemically treating contaminated soils. Certain plants can directly bioremediate by sequestering and/or transforming pollutants, but plants may also enhance bioremediation by promoting contaminant-degrading microorganisms in soils. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes and the fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region to compare the community composition of 66 soil samples from the rhizosphere of planted willows (Salix spp.) and six unplanted control samples at the site of a former petrochemical plant. The Bray-Curtis distance between bacterial communities across willow cultivars was significantly correlated with the distance between fungal communities in uncontaminated and moderately contaminated soils but not in highly contaminated (HC) soils (>2000 mg kg(-1) hydrocarbons). The mean dissimilarity between fungal, but not bacterial, communities from the rhizosphere of different cultivars increased substantially in the HC blocks. This divergence was partly related to high fungal sensitivity to hydrocarbon contaminants, as demonstrated by reduced Shannon diversity, but also to a stronger influence of willows on fungal communities. Abundance of the fungal class Pezizomycetes in HC soils was directly related to willow phylogeny, with Pezizomycetes dominating the rhizosphere of a monophyletic cluster of cultivars, while remaining in low relative abundance in other soils. This has implications for plant selection in phytoremediation, as fungal associations may affect the health of introduced plants and the success of co-inoculated microbial strains. An integrated understanding of the relationships between fungi, bacteria and plants will enable the design of treatments that specifically promote effective bioremediating communities.

  14. Earthworm Comet Assay for Assessing the Risk of Weathered Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils: Need to Look Further than Target Contaminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramadass, Kavitha; Palanisami, Thavamani; Smith, Euan; Mayilswami, Srinithi; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Naidu, Ravi

    2016-11-01

    Earthworm toxicity assays contribute to ecological risk assessment and consequently standard toxicological endpoints, such as mortality and reproduction, are regularly estimated. These endpoints are not enough to better understand the mechanism of toxic pollutants. We employed an additional endpoint in the earthworm Eisenia andrei to estimate the pollutant-induced stress. In this study, comet assay was used as an additional endpoint to evaluate the genotoxicity of weathered hydrocarbon contaminated soils containing 520 to 1450 mg hydrocarbons kg-1 soil. Results showed that significantly higher DNA damage levels (two to sixfold higher) in earthworms exposed to hydrocarbon impacted soils. Interestingly, hydrocarbons levels in the tested soils were well below site-specific screening guideline values. In order to explore the reasons for observed toxicity, the contaminated soils were leached with rainwater and subjected to earthworm tests, including the comet assay, which showed no DNA damage. Soluble hydrocarbon fractions were not found originally in the soils and hence no hydrocarbons leached out during soil leaching. The soil leachate's Electrical Conductivity (EC) decreased from an average of 1665 ± 147 to 204 ± 20 µS cm-1. Decreased EC is due to the loss of sodium, magnesium, calcium, and sulphate. The leachate experiment demonstrated that elevated salinity might cause the toxicity and not the weathered hydrocarbons. Soil leaching removed the toxicity, which is substantiated by the comet assay and soil leachate analysis data. The implication is that earthworm comet assay can be included in future eco (geno) toxicology studies to assess accurately the risk of contaminated soils.

  15. Reproductive and morphological condition of wild mink (Mustela vison) and river otters (Lutra canadensis) in relation to chlorinated hydrocarbon contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, L E; Harris, M L; Stephen, C R; Elliott, J E

    1999-01-01

    We assessed chlorinated hydrocarbon contamination of mink and river otters on the Columbia and Fraser River systems of northwestern North America, in relation to morphological measures of condition. We obtained carcasses of mink and river otters from commercial trappers during the winters 1994-1995 and 1995-1996. Necropsies included evaluation of the following biological parameters: sex, body mass and length, age, thymus, heart, liver, lung, spleen, pancreas, kidney, gonad, omentum, adrenal gland and baculum masses, baculum length, and stomach contents. Livers were analyzed, individually or in pools, for residues of organochlorine (OC) pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dibenzo-p-dioxins, and dibenzofurans. Contaminant levels were relatively low compared to those documented in other North American populations, although they ranged higher than those detected during an earlier survey (1990-1992) of these regional populations. Body condition varied slightly among collection regions, but showed no relationship with contaminant burden. Mink from the upper Fraser River had less fat stores and also had some of the lowest OC contamination levels observed. Similarly, a few individuals with enlarged livers and kidneys had low contaminant levels. Although a few individual animals with gross abnormalities of reproductive systems did not show high levels of contamination, there was a significant negative correlation between total PCB concentrations (as Aroclor 1260) and baculum length in juvenile mink (r = 0.707; p = 0.033; n = 8). The association of juvenile baculum length with eventual reproductive success is unknown, but further characterization of reproductive organ morphology and relationship to contaminants should be undertaken in a larger subset of these populations. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:9924010

  16. Reproduction and seedling establishment of Picea glauca across the northernmost forest-tundra region in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Xanthe; Henry, Gregory H R; McLeod, Katherine; Hofgaard, Annika

    2012-10-01

    The northern boundary of boreal forest and the ranges of tree species are expected to shift northward in response to climate warming, which will result in a decrease in the albedo of areas currently covered by tundra vegetation, an increase in terrestrial carbon sequestration, and an alteration of biodiversity in the current Low Arctic. Central to the prediction of forest expansion is an increase in the reproductive capacity and establishment of individual trees. We assessed cone production, seed viability, and transplanted seedling success of Picea glauca (Moench.) Voss. (white spruce) in the early 1990s and again in the late 2000s at four forest stand sites and eight tree island sites (clonal populations beyond present treeline) in the Mackenzie Delta region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Over the past 20 years, average temperatures in this region have increased by 0.9 °C. This area has the northernmost forest-tundra ecotone in North America and is one of the few circumpolar regions where the northern limit of conifer trees reaches the Arctic Ocean. We found that cone production and seed viability did not change between the two periods of examination and that both variables decreased northward across the forest-tundra ecotone. Nevertheless, white spruce individuals at the northern limit of the forest-tundra ecotone produced viable seeds. Furthermore, transplanted seedlings were able to survive in the northernmost sites for 15 years, but there were no signs of natural regeneration. These results indicate that if climatic conditions continue to ameliorate, reproductive output will likely increase, but seedling establishment and forest expansion within the forest-tundra of this region is unlikely to occur without the availability of suitable recruitment sites. Processes that affect the availability of recruitment sites are likely to be important elsewhere in the circumpolar ecotone, and should be incorporated into models and predictions of climate change

  17. Recovering glycoside hydrolase genes from active tundra cellulolytic bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinnell, Lee J; Dunford, Eric; Ronan, Patrick; Hausner, Martina; Neufeld, Josh D

    2014-07-01

    Bacteria responsible for cellulose hydrolysis in situ are poorly understood, largely because of the relatively recent development of cultivation-independent methods for their detection and characterization. This study combined DNA stable-isotope probing (DNA-SIP) and metagenomics for identifying active bacterial communities that assimilated carbon from glucose and cellulose in Arctic tundra microcosms. Following DNA-SIP, bacterial fingerprint analysis of gradient fractions confirmed isotopic enrichment. Sequenced fingerprint bands and clone library analysis of 16S rRNA genes identified active bacterial taxa associated with cellulose-associated labelled DNA, including Bacteroidetes (Sphingobacteriales), Betaproteobacteria (Burkholderiales), Alphaproteobacteria (Caulobacteraceae), and Chloroflexi (Anaerolineaceae). We also compared glycoside hydrolase metagenomic profiles from bulk soil and heavy DNA recovered from DNA-SIP incubations. Active populations consuming [(13)C]glucose and [(13)C]cellulose were distinct, based on ordinations of light and heavy DNA. Metagenomic analysis demonstrated a ∼3-fold increase in the relative abundance of glycoside hydrolases in DNA-SIP libraries over bulk-soil libraries. The data also indicate that multiple displacement amplification introduced bias into the resulting metagenomic analysis. This research identified DNA-SIP incubation conditions for glucose and cellulose that were suitable for Arctic tundra soil and confirmed that DNA-SIP enrichment can increase target gene frequencies in metagenomic libraries.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Arctic ecosystem responses to a warming climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, Lars O.

    The Arctic embraces one of the simplest terrestrial ecosystems in the world and yet it covers roughly 11% of the world’s surface. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 10°C and most of the limited precipitation falls as snow. The landmasses are predominantly polar tundra, while the Arctic Ocean...... is frozen solid for the main part of the year. However, in recent decades, arctic temperatures have in-creased between two and three times that of the global averages, which have had a substantial impact on the physical environment of the arctic ecosystem, such as deglaciation of the Greenland inland ice......-trophic interaction patterns. However, while studies have documented the climatic effects on the arctic biotic ecosys-tem, detailed studies have been constrained by short time series or the lack of comprehensive multivariate tools, which enables the disentanglement of direct effects and effects mediated through...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastepanov, Mikhail; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Ström, Lena

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Greater deciduous shrub abundance extends tundra peak season and increases modeled net CO2 uptake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet, Shannan K; Griffin, Kevin L; Steltzer, Heidi; Gough, Laura; Boelman, Natalie T

    2015-06-01

    Satellite studies of the terrestrial Arctic report increased summer greening and longer overall growing and peak seasons since the 1980s, which increases productivity and the period of carbon uptake. These trends are attributed to increasing air temperatures and reduced snow cover duration in spring and fall. Concurrently, deciduous shrubs are becoming increasingly abundant in tundra landscapes, which may also impact canopy phenology and productivity. Our aim was to determine the influence of greater deciduous shrub abundance on tundra canopy phenology and subsequent impacts on net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) during the growing and peak seasons in the arctic foothills region of Alaska. We compared deciduous shrub-dominated and evergreen/graminoid-dominated community-level canopy phenology throughout the growing season using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). We used a tundra plant-community-specific leaf area index (LAI) model to estimate LAI throughout the green season and a tundra-specific NEE model to estimate the impact of greater deciduous shrub abundance and associated shifts in both leaf area and canopy phenology on tundra carbon flux. We found that deciduous shrub canopies reached the onset of peak greenness 13 days earlier and the onset of senescence 3 days earlier compared to evergreen/graminoid canopies, resulting in a 10-day extension of the peak season. The combined effect of the longer peak season and greater leaf area of deciduous shrub canopies almost tripled the modeled net carbon uptake of deciduous shrub communities compared to evergreen/graminoid communities, while the longer peak season alone resulted in 84% greater carbon uptake in deciduous shrub communities. These results suggest that greater deciduous shrub abundance increases carbon uptake not only due to greater leaf area, but also due to an extension of the period of peak greenness, which extends the period of maximum carbon uptake. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Environmental Analysis of Endocrine Disrupting Effects from Hydrocarbon Contaminants in the Ecosystem - Final Report - 09/15/1996 - 09/14/2000

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McLachlan, John A.

    2000-09-14

    The three major components of the research included: (a) a biotechnology based screening system to identify potential hormone mimics and antagonists (b) an animal screening system to identify biomarkers of endocrine effects and (c) a literature review to identify compounds at various DOE sites that are potential endocrine disruptors. Species of particular interest in this study were those that can serve as sentinel species (e.g., amphibians) and thus provide early warning signals for more widespread impacts on an ecosystem and its wildlife and human inhabitants. The objective of this basic research is to characterize the potential of common hydrocarbon contaminants in ecosystems to act as endocrine disruptors. Although the endocrine disrupting effects of contaminants such as dioxin and PCBs have been well characterized in both animals and humans, little is known about the capacities of other hydrocarbon contaminants to act as endocrine disruptors. Results obtained from this research project have provided information on endocrine disrupting contaminants for consideration in DOE's risk analyses for determining clean-up levels and priorities at contaminated DOE sites.

  4. Soil-Water Repellency and Critical Humidity as Cleanup Criteria for Remediation of a Hydrocarbon Contaminated Mud

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán, Francisco Javier; Adams, Randy H.

    2010-05-01

    ,9 - 19,5%H for penetration in values below the critical levels were not experienced. This permitted the development of a complete vegetative cover, vigorous growth, and transformation of a geologic substrate (bentonitic drilling muds) into a soil-like material apt for agricultural use. This focus on soil-water relationships and the use of soil fertility parameters in general is important in establishing cleanup criteria for the real remediation of hydrocarbon contaminated sites in agricultural areas. As seen in this study, relatively high WDPT and MED values may not necessarily indicate soil moisture problems and these need to be complemented with actual site information on soil humidity during the annual cycle and with determinations of critical humidity. Additionally, the augmentation of field capacity using organic conditioners may effectively mitigate potential critical humidity problems.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcel Schwieder

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P. SMOL

    2003-02-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Methods for measuring arctic and alpine shrub growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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...... a large capacity to oxidize CH4 which seems mainly controlled by soil moisture. Short-term responses to climatic manipulations (1-2 years) suggest that increased winter snow precipitation may reduce CH4 oxidation rates due to increased soil moisture after thawing. On the other hand, increased summer air...... temperature may enhance soil CH4 oxidation rates as a consequence of increased soil temperature and evapotranspiration. Bearing in mind the large distribution of dry tundra soils over the Arctic and their strong potential to oxidize CH4, these ecosystems could play a central role in offsetting CH4 emissions...

  10. 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

    Understanding the responses of tundra systems to global change has global implications. Most tundra regions lack sustained environmental monitoring and one of the only ways to document multi-decadal change is to resample historic research sites. The International Polar Year (IPY) provided a unique......, and increased growing season length in sub-arctic Sweden; drying of ponds in Greenland; increased nutrient availability in Alaskan tundra ponds, and warming at most locations studied. Biotic changes ranged from relatively minor plant community change at two sites in Greenland to moderate change in the Yukon...... 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....

  11. 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

  12. Multi-Decadal Surface Water Dynamics in North American Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Mark L.; Loboda, Tatiana V.

    2017-01-01

    Over the last several decades, warming in the Arctic has outpaced the already impressive increases in global mean temperatures. The impact of these increases in temperature has been observed in a multitude of ecological changes in North American tundra including changes in vegetative cover, depth of active layer, and surface water extent. The low topographic relief and continuous permafrost create an ideal environment for the formation of small water bodies - a definitive feature of tundra surface. In this study, water bodies in Nunavut territory in northern Canada were mapped using a long-term record of remotely sensed observations at 30 meters spatial resolution from the Landsat suite of instruments. The temporal trajectories of water extent between 1985 and 2015 were assessed. Over 675,000 water bodies have been identified over the 31-year study period with over 168,000 showing a significant (probability is less than 0.05) trend in surface area. Approximately 55 percent of water bodies with a significant trend were increasing in size while the remaining 45 percent were decreasing in size. The overall net trend for water bodies with a significant trend is 0.009 hectares per year per water body.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bingxi Li,; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Berendse, F.; Blok, D.; Maximov, T.; Sass-Klaassen, U.G.W.

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Differential ecophysiological response of deciduous shrubs and a graminoid to long-term experimental snow reductions and additions in moist acidic tundra, northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert R. Pattison; Jeffrey M. Welker

    2014-01-01

    Changes in winter precipitation that include both decreases and increases in winter snow are underway across the Arctic. In this study, we used a 14-year experiment that has increased and decreased winter snow in the moist acidic tussock tundra of northern Alaska to understand impacts of variation in winter snow depth on summer leaf-level ecophysiology of two deciduous...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Monitoring the bio-stimulation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils by measurements of soil electrical properties, and CO2 content and its 13C/12C isotopic signature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noel, C.; Gourry, J.; Ignatiadis, I.; Colombano, S.; Dictor, M.; Guimbaud, C.; Chartier, M.; Dumestre, A.; Dehez, S.; Naudet, V.

    2013-12-01

    Hydrocarbon contaminated soils represent an environmental issue as it impacts on ecosystems and aquifers. Where significant subsurface heterogeneity exists, conventional intrusive investigations and groundwater sampling can be insufficient to obtain a robust monitoring of hydrocarbon contaminants, as the information they provide is restricted to vertical profiles at discrete locations, with no information between sampling points. In order to obtain wider information in space volume on subsurface modifications, complementary methods can be used like geophysics. Among geophysical methods, geoelectrical techniques such as electrical resistivity (ER) and induced polarization (IP) seem the more promising, especially to study the effects of biodegradation processes. Laboratory and field geoelectrical experiments to characterize soils contaminated by oil products have shown that mature hydrocarbon-contaminated soils are characterized by enhanced electrical conductivity although hydrocarbons are electrically resistive. This high bulk conductivity is due to bacterial impacts on geological media, resulting in changes in the chemical and physical properties and thus, to the geophysical properties of the ground. Moreover, microbial activity induced CO2 production and isotopic deviation of carbon. Indeed, produced CO2 will reflect the pollutant isotopic signature. Thus, the ratio δ13C(CO2) will come closer to δ13C(hydrocarbon). BIOPHY, project supported by the French National Research Agency (ANR), proposes to use electrical methods and gas analyses to develop an operational and non-destructive method for monitoring in situ biodegradation of hydrocarbons in order to optimize soil treatment. Demonstration field is located in the South of Paris (France), where liquid fuels (gasoline and diesel) leaked from some tanks in 1997. In order to stimulate biodegradation, a trench has been dug to supply oxygen to the water table and thus stimulate aerobic metabolic bioprocesses. ER and

  18. A tundra of sickness: the uneasy relationship between toxic waste, TEK, and cultural survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassady, Joslyn

    2007-01-01

    In 1992 an abandoned federal radioactive waste dump was discovered in Arctic Alaska. The discovery of this site, a byproduct of the Atomic Energy Commission program known as Project Chariot, sent shockwaves throughout Iñupiaq communities and ignited a heated controversy over the health effects of subsisting on a "tundra of sickness." Drawing on thirty months of ethnographic research in Arctic Alaska, this paper explores a host of environmental, social, and moral uncertainties sparked by toxic waste. Anthropological claims regarding the extent to which "traditional ecological knowledge" will empower local communities and foster self-determination are challenged. Ultimately the paper argues that TEK has been conceived in such restrictive terms that it misrepresents the dynamic, emerging, and at times contradictory responses to toxic waste in the Arctic today. Moreover, there is dire need for a more materialist, as opposed to discourse-based, approach that acknowledges the very real threat of toxic waste to physical, and therefore, cultural reproduction.

  19. Remotely Sensing Tundra Fire Impacts Using InSAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, L.; Schaefer, K. M.; Jafarov, E. E.; Williams, C. A.; Rogan, J.; Zebker, H. A.

    2013-12-01

    Fire is a major disturbance affecting the arctic tundra and boreal forests, with a significant impacts on the ecosystem, soil hydrology, carbon cycling, and permafrost. The increasing trend in frequency and severity of large fires since 1980, associated with progressively drier conditions, is expected to continue and lead to still greater impacts. In this study, we explore the use of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) to map and quantify several results of tundra fires, including fire severity, the increase in permafrost active layer thickness (ALT), and changes in organic layer thickness. Here we present as an example observations of the Anaktuvuk River fire on the North Slope of Alaska, which burned over 1,000 km2 of tundra in the summer of 2007. Fire causes an abrupt change in the surface scattering characteristics and results in a large drop in InSAR coherence. The magnitude of coherence loss is proportional to the amount of vegetation burned, and thus fire severity. Coherence between two PALSAR images taken by the Japanese ALOS satellite before and after the Anaktuvuk River fire shows a spatial pattern consistent with a map of burn severity based on optical MODIS images using differential Normalized Burn Ratio. Additionally, we used InSAR to calculate the seasonal ground subsidence for the 2006 and 2009 thaw seasons representing pre- and post-fire conditions, and estimated the change in ALT using a retrieval algorithm. Our results are consistent with the 8 to 24 cm ALT increases derived from in situ probing measurements, which we relate to the change in the organic layer thickness due to the fire. Our results illustrate the potential of InSAR for remote sensing of fire impacts in Arctic regions. (a) Burn severity for the Anaktuvuk Rivre Fire based on differential Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) from MODIS images. (b) Interferometric coherence loss due to the fire. Spatial mean has been subtracted. Negative values (yellow and red colors) indicate

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-07-15

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

  1. 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.

  2. Vole abundance and reindeer carcasses determine breeding activity of Arctic foxes in low Arctic Yamal, Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrich, Dorothee; Cerezo, Maite; Rodnikova, Anna Y; Sokolova, Natalya A; Fuglei, Eva; Shtro, Victor G; Sokolov, Aleksandr A

    2017-09-16

    High latitude ecosystems are at present changing rapidly under the influence of climate warming, and specialized Arctic species at the southern margin of the Arctic may be particularly affected. The Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), a small mammalian predator endemic to northern tundra areas, is able to exploit different resources in the context of varying tundra ecosystems. Although generally widespread, it is critically endangered in subarctic Fennoscandia, where a fading out of the characteristic lemming cycles and competition with abundant red foxes have been identified as main threats. We studied an Arctic fox population at the Erkuta Tundra Monitoring site in low Arctic Yamal (Russia) during 10 years in order to determine which resources support the breeding activity in this population. In the study area, lemmings have been rare during the last 15 years and red foxes are nearly absent, creating an interesting contrast to the situation in Fennoscandia. Arctic fox was breeding in nine of the 10 years of the study. The number of active dens was on average 2.6 (range 0-6) per 100 km2 and increased with small rodent abundance. It was also higher after winters with many reindeer carcasses, which occurred when mortality was unusually high due to icy pastures following rain-on-snow events. Average litter size was 5.2 (SD = 2.1). Scat dissection suggested that small rodents (mostly Microtus spp.) were the most important prey category. Prey remains observed at dens show that birds, notably waterfowl, were also an important resource in summer. The Arctic fox in southern Yamal, which is part of a species-rich low Arctic food web, seems at present able to cope with a state shift of the small rodent community from high amplitude cyclicity with lemming dominated peaks, to a vole community with low amplitude fluctuations. The estimated breeding parameters characterized the population as intermediate between the lemming fox and the coastal fox ecotype. Only continued

  3. Transient nature of CO2 fertilization in arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter C. Oechel; Sid Cowles; Nancy Grulke; Steven J. Hastings; Bill Lawrence; Tom Prudhomme; George Riechers; Boyd Strain; David Tissue; George. Vourlitis

    1994-01-01

    There has been much debate about the effect of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations on plant net primary production1,3 and on net ecosystem CO2 flux3–10. Apparently conflicting experimental findings could be the result of differences in genetic potential11–15...

  4. 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.

  5. Consumption of atmospheric methane by tundra soils

    OpenAIRE

    Whalen, SC; Reeburgh, WS

    1990-01-01

    EMISSION of methane from tundra soil contributes about 10% of the global atmospheric methane budget 1 . Moreover, tundra soils contain 15% of global soil carbon 2 , so the response of this large carbon reservoir to projected global warming 3,4 could be important. Coupled biological models 3-6 predict that a warmer climate will increase methane emission through increased rates of methanogenesis. Microbial oxidation of methane is, however, a possible control on emissions that has previously b...

  6. Herbivore impacts to the moss layer determine tundra ecosystem response to grazing and warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gornall, Jemma L; Woodin, Sarah J; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg S; Van der Wal, Rene

    2009-10-01

    Herbivory and climate are key environmental drivers, shaping ecosystems at high latitudes. Here, we focus on how these two drivers act in concert, influencing the high arctic tundra. We aim to investigate mechanisms through which herbivory by geese influences vegetation and soil processes in tundra ecosystems under ambient and warmed conditions. To achieve this, two grazing treatments, clipping plus faecal additions and moss removal, were implemented in conjunction with passive warming. Our key finding was that, in many cases, the tundra ecosystem response was determined by treatment impacts on the moss layer. Moss removal reduced the remaining moss layer depth by 30% and increased peak grass biomass by 27%. These impacts were probably due to observed higher soil temperatures and decomposition rates associated with moss removal. The positive impact of moss removal on grass biomass was even greater with warming, further supporting this conclusion. In contrast, moss removal reduced dwarf shrub biomass possibly resulting from increased exposure to desiccating winds. An intact moss layer buffered the soil to increased air temperature and as a result there was no response of vascular plant productivity to warming over the course of this study. In fact, moss removal impacts on soil temperature were nearly double those of warming, suggesting that the moss layer is a key component in controlling soil conditions. The moss layer also absorbed nutrients from faeces, promoting moss growth. We conclude that both herbivory and warming influence this high arctic ecosystem but that herbivory is the stronger driver of the two. Disturbance to the moss layer resulted in a shift towards a more grass-dominated system with less abundant mosses and shrubs, a trend that was further enhanced by warming. Thus herbivore impacts to the moss layer are key to understanding arctic ecosystem response to grazing and warming.

  7. Ecotypic differences in the phenology of the tundra speciesEriophorum vaginatumreflect sites of origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Thomas C; Tang, Jianwu; Clark, Mahalia B; Moody, Michael M; Fetcher, Ned

    2017-11-01

    Eriophorum vaginatum is a tussock-forming sedge that contributes significantly to the structure and primary productivity of moist acidic tussock tundra. Locally adapted populations (ecotypes) have been identified across the geographical distribution of E. vaginatum ; however, little is known about how their growth and phenology differ over the course of a growing season. The growing season is short in the Arctic and therefore exerts a strong selection pressure on tundra species. This raises the hypothesis that the phenology of arctic species may be poorly adapted if the timing and length of the growing season change. Mature E. vaginatum tussocks from across a latitudinal gradient (65-70°N) were transplanted into a common garden at a central location (Toolik Lake, 68°38'N, 149°36'W) where half were warmed using open-top chambers. Over two growing seasons (2015 and 2016), leaf length was measured weekly to track growth rates, timing of senescence, and biomass accumulation. Growth rates were similar across ecotypes and between years and were not affected by warming. However, southern populations accumulated significantly more biomass, largely because they started to senesce later. In 2016, peak biomass and senescence of most populations occurred later than in 2015, probably induced by colder weather at the beginning of the growing season in 2016, which caused a delayed start to growth. The finish was delayed as well. Differences in phenology between populations were largely retained between years, suggesting that the amount of time that these ecotypes grow has been selected by the length of the growing seasons at their respective home sites. As potential growing seasons lengthen, E. vaginatum may be unable to respond appropriately as a result of genetic control and may have reduced fitness in the rapidly warming Arctic tundra.

  8. Low-altitude photographic transects of the Arctic network of national park units and Selawik National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, July 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce G. Marcot; M. Torre Jorgenson; Anthony R. DeGange

    2014-01-01

    During July 16–18, 2013, low-level photography flights were conducted (with a Cessna 185 with floats and a Cessna 206 with tundra tires) over the five administrative units of the National Park Service Arctic Network (Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park, and...

  9. Water chemistry of tundra lakes in the periglacial zone of the Bellsund Fiord (Svalbard) in the summer of 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szumińska, Danuta; Szopińska, Małgorzata; Lehmann-Konera, Sara; Franczak, Łukasz; Kociuba, Waldemar; Chmiel, Stanisław; Kalinowski, Paweł; Polkowska, Żaneta

    2018-05-15

    Climate changes observed in the Arctic (e.g. permafrost degradation, glacier retreat) may have significant influence on sensitive polar wetlands. The main objectives of this paper are defining chemical features of water within six small arctic lakes located in Bellsund (Svalbard) in the area of continuous permafrost occurrence. The unique environmental conditions of the study area offer an opportunity to observe phenomena influencing water chemistry, such as: chemical weathering, permafrost thawing, marine aerosols, atmospheric deposition and biological inputs. In the water samples collected during the summer 2013, detailed tundra lake water chemistry characteristics regarding ions, trace elements, pH and specific electrolytic conductivity (SEC 25 ) analysis were determined. Moreover, water chemistry of the studied lakes was compared to the water samples from the Tyvjobekken Creek and precipitation water samples. As a final step of data analysis, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was performed. Detailed chemical analysis allowed us to conclude what follows: (1) Ca 2+ , Mg 2+ , SO 4 2- , Sr are of geogenic origin, (2) NO 3 - present in tundra lakes and the Tyvjobekken Creek water samples (ranging from 0.31 to 1.69mgL - 1 and from 0.25 to 1.58mgL - 1 respectively) may be of mixed origin, i.e. from biological processes and permafrost thawing, (3) high contribution of non-sea-salt SO 4 2- >80% in majority of studied samples indicate considerable inflow of sulphate-rich air to the study area, (4) high content of chlorides in tundra lakes (range: 25.6-32.0% meqL - 1 ) indicates marine aerosol influence, (5) PCA result shows that atmospheric transport may constitute a source of Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Ga, Ba and Cd. However, further detailed inter-season and multi-seasonal study of tundra lakes in the Arctic are recommended. Especially in terms of detailed differentiation of sources influence (atmospheric transport vs. permafrost degradation). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All

  10. Paenibacillus etheri sp. nov., able to growth on media supplemented with methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) isolated from hydrocarbon contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guisado, Isabel M; Purswani, Jessica; González-López, Jesús; Pozo, Clementina

    2015-11-26

    A bacterial strain designated as strain SH7T was isolated from the hydrocarbon contaminated soil of a pilot plant (Granada, Spain). The strain was selected for its capacity to growth in media supplemented with methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) as sole energy and carbon source. Strain SH7T was a Gram-stain-positive, facultatively anaerobic, spore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium. Phylogenetic analysis using 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain SH7T belongs to a cluster comprising species of the genus Paenibacillus and was closely related to Paenibacillus borealis DSM 13188T (97%) and Paenibacillus odorifer DSM 15391T (98%). DNA-DNA hybridization tests showed low relatedness of the strain SH7T with Paenibacillus borealis (16.9±1.5%) and Paenibacillus odorifer (16.6±2.1%) respectively. The cell wall contained meso-diaminopimelic acid. The predominant respiratory quinone was MK-7, anteiso-C15:0 (32.9%) and C16:0 (29.0%) were the predominant cellular fatty acids. Phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, diphosphatidylglycerol and three unknown aminophospholipids were the major phospholipids. The DNA G+C content was 44.3 mol%. The data obtained in this study indicate that the SH7Tstrain represents a novel species of the genus Paenibacillus, for which the name Paenibacillus etheri sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is SH7T (= CECT 8558T =DSM 29760T).

  11. The ecological and physiological responses of the microbial community from a semiarid soil to hydrocarbon contamination and its bioremediation using compost amendment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastida, F; Jehmlich, N; Lima, K; Morris, B E L; Richnow, H H; Hernández, T; von Bergen, M; García, C

    2016-03-01

    The linkage between phylogenetic and functional processes may provide profound insights into the effects of hydrocarbon contamination and biodegradation processes in high-diversity environments. Here, the impacts of petroleum contamination and the bioremediation potential of compost amendment, as enhancer of the microbial activity in semiarid soils, were evaluated in a model experiment. The analysis of phospholipid fatty-acids (PLFAs) and metaproteomics allowed the study of biomass, phylogenetic and physiological responses of the microbial community in polluted semiarid soils. Petroleum pollution induced an increase of proteobacterial proteins during the contamination, while the relative abundance of Rhizobiales lowered in comparison to the non-contaminated soil. Despite only 0.55% of the metaproteome of the compost-treated soil was involved in biodegradation processes, the addition of compost promoted the removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and alkanes up to 88% after 50 days. However, natural biodegradation of hydrocarbons was not significant in soils without compost. Compost-assisted bioremediation was mainly driven by Sphingomonadales and uncultured bacteria that showed an increased abundance of catabolic enzymes such as catechol 2,3-dioxygenases, cis-dihydrodiol dehydrogenase and 2-hydroxymuconic semialdehyde. For the first time, metaproteomics revealed the functional and phylogenetic relationships of petroleum contamination in soil and the microbial key players involved in the compost-assisted bioremediation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Monitoring of ground water quality and heavy metals in soil during large scale bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated waste in India: case studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajoy Kumar Mandal

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Bioremediation using microbes has been well accepted as an environmentally friendly and economical treatment method for disposal of hazardous petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated waste (oily waste and this type of bioremediation has been successfully conducted in laboratory and on a pilot scale in various countries, including India. Presently there are no federal regulatory guidelines available in India for carrying out field-scale bioremediation of oily waste using microbes. The results of the present study describe the analysis of ground water quality as well as selected heavy metals in oily waste in some of the large-scale field case studies on bioremediation of oily waste (solid waste carried out at various oil installations in India. The results show that there was no contribution of oil and grease and selected heavy metals to the ground water in the nearby area due to adoption of this bioremediation process. The results further reveal that there were no changes in pH and EC of the groundwater due to bioremediation. In almost all cases the selected heavy metals in residual oily waste were within the permissible limits as per Schedule – II of Hazardous Waste Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement Act, Amendment 2008, (HWM Act 2008, by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF, Government of India (GoI.

  13. Migration of selected hydrocarbon contaminants into dry semolina and egg pasta packed in direct contact with virgin paperboard and polypropylene film.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barp, Laura; Suman, Michele; Lambertini, Francesca; Moret, Sabrina

    2015-01-01

    Migration of mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH), polyolefin oligomeric saturated hydrocarbons (POSH), and polyalphaolefins (PAO from hot melts) into dry semolina and egg pasta packed in direct contact with virgin paperboard or polypropylene (PP) flexible film was studied. Migration was monitored during shelf life (up to 24 months), through storage in a real supermarket (packs kept on shelves), conditions preventing exchange with the surrounding environment (packs wrapped in aluminium foil), and storage in a warehouse (packs inside of the transport box of corrugated board). Semolina pasta packed in virgin paperboard (without hot melts) had a MOSH content lower than 1.0 mg kg(-1). An increasing contamination with PAO belonging to the adhesives used to close the boxes was detected in egg pasta, wrapped in aluminium (1.5 and 5 mg kg(-1) after 3 and 24 months, respectively). An environmental contribution to total hydrocarbon contamination was observed in egg pasta kept on shelves that, after 3 and 24 months, showed levels of PAO/MOSH semolina pasta packed in PP film and stored in the transport box showed that some MOSH migrated into the pasta from the board of the transport box (through the plastic film).

  14. Both seed germination and seedling mortality increase with experimental warming and fertilization in a subarctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandeplas, Nicolas; Kockelbergh, Fred; Nijs, Ivan

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Climate change is expected to force many species in arctic regions to migrate and track their climatic niche. This requires recruitment from seed, which currently shows very low rates in arctic regions, where long-lived and vegetatively reproducing plants dominate. Therefore, we pose the question whether recruitment (germination and seedling establishment) in arctic regions will significantly improve in a warmer world, and thus allow species to follow their climatic niche. We used a full factorial experiment to examine if realistic warmer temperatures (+3 °C; infrared radiation) and increased nitrogen availability (+1.4 g N m−2 year−1) affected germination, seedling survival and above- and below-ground seedling biomass in five species common in subarctic regions (Anthoxanthum odoratum, Betula nana, Pinus sylvestris, Solidago virgaurea, Vaccinium myrtillus). We found that warming increased seedling emergence in all species, but that subsequent mortality also increased, resulting in no net warming effect on seedling establishment. Warming slightly increased above-ground seedling biomass. Fertilization, on the other hand, did not influence seedling biomass, but it increased seedling establishment in B. nana while it reduced establishment in V. myrtillus. This may help B. nana dominate over V. myrtillus in warmer tundra. Surprisingly, no interactive effects between warming and fertilization were found. The lack of a general positive response of seedling establishment to warmer and more nutrient-rich conditions suggests that (sub)arctic species may experience difficulties in tracking their climatic niche. Predictions of future species distributions in arctic regions solely based on abiotic factors may therefore overestimate species’ ranges due to their poor establishment. Also, the opposite response to fertilization of two key (sub)arctic dwarf shrubs, i.e. B. nana and V. myrtillus, could have important implications for the future development of arctic

  15. The interactive effects of temperature and moisture on nitrogen fixation in two temperate-arctic mosses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rousk, Kathrin; Pedersen, Pia Agerlund; Dyrnum, Kristine

    2017-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) fixation in moss-cyanobacteria associations is one of the main sources of ‘new’ N in pristine ecosystems like subarctic and arctic tundra. This fundamental ecosystem process is driven by temperature as well as by moisture. Yet, the effects of temperature and moisture stress on N2...... fixation in mosses under controlled conditions have rarely been investigated separately, rendering the interactive effects of the two climatic factors on N2 fixation unknown. Here, we tested the interactive effects of temperature and moisture on N2 fixation in the two most dominant moss species...... in a temperate heath, subarctic tundra and arctic tundra: Pleurozium schreberi and Tomentypnum nitens. Mosses with different moisture levels (25, 50, 100%) were kept at different temperatures (10, 20, 30 °C) and N2 fixation was measured at different times after exposure to these conditions. T. nitens had...

  16. [CO2-exchange in tundra ecosystems of Vaygach Island during the unusually warm and dry vegetation season].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamolodchikov, D G

    2015-01-01

    In summer of 2013, field studies of CO2-exchange in tundra ecosystems of Vaygach Island have been conducted using the chamber method. The models are developed that establish relationships between CO2 fluxes and key ecological factors such as temperature, photosynthetic active radiation, leaf mass of vascular plants, and depth of thawing. According to the model estimates, in 2013 vegetation season tundra ecosystems of Vaygach Island have been appearing to be a CO2 source to the atmosphere (31.9 ± 17.1 g C m(-2) season(-1)) with gross primary production equal to 136.6 ± 18.9 g C m(-2) season(-1) and ecosystem respiration of 168.5 ± ± 18.4 g C m(-2) season(-1). Emission of CO2 from the soil surface (soil respiration) has been equal, on the average, to 67.3% of the ecosystem respiration. The reason behind carbon losses by tundra ecosystems seems to be unusually warm and dry weather conditions in 2013 summer. The air temperature during summer months has been twice as high as the climatic norm for 1961-1990. Last decades, researches in the circumpolar Arctic revealed a growing trend to the carbon sink from the atmosphere to tundra ecosystems. This trend can be interrupted by unusually warm weather situations becoming more frequent and of larger scale.

  17. The Geometry of Large Tundra Lakes Observed in Historical Maps and Satellite Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Sudakov

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The climate of the Arctic is warming rapidly and this is causing major changes to the cycling of carbon and the distribution of permafrost in this region. Tundra lakes are key components of the Arctic climate system because they represent a source of methane to the atmosphere. In this paper, we aim to analyze the geometry of the patterns formed by large (> 0.8 km 2 tundra lakes in the Russian High Arctic. We have studied images of tundra lakes in historical maps from the State Hydrological Institute, Russia (date 1977; scale 0.21166 km/pixel and in Landsat satellite images derived from the Google Earth Engine (G.E.E.; date 2016; scale 0.1503 km/pixel. The G.E.E. is a cloud-based platform for planetary-scale geospatial analysis on over four decades of Landsat data. We developed an image-processing algorithm to segment these maps and images, measure the area and perimeter of each lake, and compute the fractal dimension of the lakes in the images we have studied. Our results indicate that as lake size increases, their fractal dimension bifurcates. For lakes observed in historical maps, this bifurcation occurs among lakes larger than 100 km 2 (fractal dimension 1.43 to 1.87 . For lakes observed in satellite images this bifurcation occurs among lakes larger than ∼100 km 2 (fractal dimension 1.31 to 1.95 . Tundra lakes with a fractal dimension close to 2 have a tendency to be self-similar with respect to their area–perimeter relationships. Area–perimeter measurements indicate that lakes with a length scale greater than 70 km 2 are power-law distributed. Preliminary analysis of changes in lake size over time in paired lakes (lakes that were visually matched in both the historical map and the satellite imagery indicate that some lakes in our study region have increased in size over time, whereas others have decreased in size over time. Lake size change during this 39-year time interval can be up to half the size of the lake as recorded in the

  18. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Kumar

    2016-09-01

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

  20. 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.

  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. 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 ...

  3. Disentangling the coupling between sea ice and tundra productivity in Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macias-Fauria, Marc; Karlsen, Stein Rune; Forbes, Bruce C

    2017-08-17

    The rapid decline in Arctic sea ice poses urgent questions concerning its ecological effects, such as on tundra terrestrial productivity. However, reported sea ice/terrestrial productivity linkages have seldom been constrained, and the mechanism governing them remains elusive, with a diversity of spatial scales and metrics proposed, at times in contradiction to each other. In this study, we use spatially explicit remotely sensed sea ice concentration and high-resolution terrestrial productivity estimates (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index, NDVI) across the Svalbard Archipelago to describe local/sub-regional and large-scale components of sea ice/terrestrial productivity coupling. Whereas the local/sub-regional component is attributed to sea breeze (cold air advection from ice-covered ocean onto adjacent land during the growing season), the large-scale component might reflect co-variability of sea ice and tundra productivity due to a common forcing, such as large-scale atmospheric circulation (North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO). Our study clarifies the range of mechanisms in sea ice/terrestrial productivity coupling, allowing the generation of testable hypotheses about its past, present, and future dynamics across the Arctic.

  4. The tundra - a threat to global climate?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roejle Christensen, T. [Univ. of Copenhagen, Botanical Inst., Dept. of Plant Ecology, Copenhagen (Denmark)

    1997-12-31

    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.

  5. Mortality in tundra swans Cygnus columbianus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartonek, J.C.; Serie, J.R.; Converse, K.A.

    1991-01-01

    Our paper identifies and examines the significance of hunting and non-hunting mortality affecting the Eastern Population (EP) and Western Population (WP) (see Serie & Bartonek 1991a) of Tundra Swans. Sport hunting (Serie & Bartonek 1991b), native subsistence hunting (Copp 1989, Stewart & Bernier 1989), malicious shooting (McKelvey & MacNeill 1981), avian cholera (Friend et al. 1981, Schroeder 1983), ecto- and endoparasites (Trauger & Bartonek 1977, Woebeser 1981), lead poisoning (Sherwood 1960, Friend et al. 1981), collision (Willard 1978), and drowning (Miller et al. 1986) have been documented as being direct or indirect causes of mortality in fledged Tundra Swans; but their relative importance remains unknown.

  6. Coagulation-flocculation process applied to wastewaters generated in hydrocarbon-contaminated soil washing: Interactions among coagulant and flocculant concentrations and pH value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Luis G; Belloc, Claudia; Vaca, Mabel; Iturbe, Rosario; Bandala, Erick R

    2009-11-01

    Wastewater produced in the contaminated soil washing was treated by means of coagulation-flocculation (CF) process. The wastewater contained petroleum hydrocarbons, a surfactant, i.e., sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) as well as salts, brownish organic matter and other constituents that were lixiviated from the soil during the washing process. The main goal of this work was to develop a process for treating the wastewaters generated when washing hydrocarbon-contaminated soils in such a way that it could be recycled to the washing process, and also be disposed at the end of the process properly. A second objective was to study the relationship among the coagulant and flocculant doses and the pH at which the CF process is developed, for systems where methylene blue active substances (MBAS) as well as oil and greases were present. The results for the selection of the right coagulant and flocculant type and dose, the optimum pH value for the CF process and the interactions among the three parameters are detailed along this work. The best coagulant and flocculant were FeCl(3) and Tecnifloc 998 at doses of 4,000 and 1 mg/L, correspondingly at pH of 5. These conditions gave color, turbidity, chemical oxygen demand (COD) and conductivity removals of 99.8, 99.6, 97.1 and 35%, respectively. It was concluded that it is feasible to treat the wastewaters generated in the contaminated soil washing process through CF process, and therefore, wastewaters could be recycled to the washing process or disposed to drainage.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Arctic and boreal ecosystems provide important breeding habitat for more than half of North America’s migratory birds as well as many resident species. Northern landscapes are projected to experience more pronounced climate-related changes in habitat than most other regions. These changes include increases in shrub growth, conversion of tundra to forest, alteration of wetlands, shifts in species’ composition, and changes in the frequency and scale of fires and insect outbreaks. Changing habitat conditions, in turn, may have significant effects on the distribution and abundance of wildlife in these critical northern ecosystems. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting studies in the Boreal–Arctic transition zone of Alaska, an environment of accelerated change in this sensitive margin between Arctic tundra and boreal forest.

  9. 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.

  10. Arctic geopolitics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyerhoff, H.A.; Meyerhoff, A.A.

    1973-01-01

    The Arctic region is all of the earth north of 60/sup 0/N Lat.--an area of 14 million sq miles (36.4 million sq km), or 7% of the world's surface area and 14% of its land area. Russia fronts 52% of the Arctic Ocean and has jurisdiction over 70% of the continental shelves. Moreover, of the approx. 256 million persons living in the 6 Arctic nations, 244 million are citizens of the USSR. It is plain from these statistics that Russia's position in the arctic is not just predominant; it is overwhelming. The same statement is true of the mineral resources of the arctic. Although not well explored, Russia's nonhydrocarbon mineral wealth probably is proportionate to her arctic area. Russia's hydrocarbon reserves are far out of proportion to the area controlled; for example, proved plus probable reserves in the W. Siberian Basin alone are double those of the entire U.S. Control of the arctic, therefore, is vital to Russia, but despite her much greater population, she does not yet have manpower to develop and control the arctic. Development of arctic resources will take place best in an atmosphere of international peace and cooperation. (97 refs.)

  11. 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.

  12. Aspects of the grammar of Tundra Yukaghir

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmalz, M.

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Arctic Newcomers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tonami, Aki

    2013-01-01

    Interest in the Arctic region and its economic potential in Japan, South Korea and Singapore was slow to develop but is now rapidly growing. All three countries have in recent years accelerated their engagement with Arctic states, laying the institutional frameworks needed to better understand an...

  15. Arctic methane

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. The Geometry of Large Tundra Lakes Observed in Historical Maps and Satellite Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudakov, Ivan; Essa, Almabrok; Mander, Luke; Gong, Ming; Kariyawasam, Tharanga

    2017-10-01

    Tundra lakes are key components of the Arctic climate system because they represent a source of methane to the atmosphere. In this paper, we aim to analyze the geometry of the patterns formed by large ($>0.8$ km$^2$) tundra lakes in the Russian High Arctic. We have studied images of tundra lakes in historical maps from the State Hydrological Institute, Russia (date 1977; scale $0.21166$ km/pixel) and in Landsat satellite images derived from the Google Earth Engine (G.E.E.; date 2016; scale $0.1503$ km/pixel). The G.E.E. is a cloud-based platform for planetary-scale geospatial analysis on over four decades of Landsat data. We developed an image-processing algorithm to segment these maps and images, measure the area and perimeter of each lake, and compute the fractal dimension of the lakes in the images we have studied. Our results indicate that as lake size increases, their fractal dimension bifurcates. For lakes observed in historical maps, this bifurcation occurs among lakes larger than $100$ km$^2$ (fractal dimension $1.43$ to $1.87$). For lakes observed in satellite images this bifurcation occurs among lakes larger than $\\sim$100 km$^2$ (fractal dimension $1.31$ to $1.95$). Tundra lakes with a fractal dimension close to $2$ have a tendency to be self-similar with respect to their area--perimeter relationships. Area--perimeter measurements indicate that lakes with a length scale greater than $70$ km$^2$ are power-law distributed. Preliminary analysis of changes in lake size over time in paired lakes (lakes that were visually matched in both the historical map and the satellite imagery) indicate that some lakes in our study region have increased in size over time, whereas others have decreased in size over time. Lake size change during this 39-year time interval can be up to half the size of the lake as recorded in the historical map.

  17. Assessment of the distortions caused by a pipe and an excavation in the electric and electromagnetic responses of a hydrocarbon-contaminated soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinelli, Hilda Patricia; Robledo, Fabiana Elizabeth; Osella, Ana María; de la Vega, Matías

    2012-02-01

    Here, we present the results of a geophysical survey performed to characterize a hydrocarbon contamination plume, arising from a puncture in a master crude oil pipe in Argentina. This pipe was buried in an inhabited suburban yard with flat topography. At the moment of the event a stretch of the duct was uncovered and the leaked oil flooded the terrain up to several meters around the puncture. The contamination was produced by infiltration from the surface and also by flowing through the inner layers. The first steps in the treatment of the spill were to pump the oil, excavate the sector nearby the puncture and repair the pipe. Around one year later, we preformed the geophysical prospecting, which goal was to determine the extent of the contaminant plume, required for selecting adequate remediation strategies. We combined dual-coil, frequency domain electromagnetic induction surveys and 2D dipole-dipole geoelectrical profiling. Besides, we performed Wenner soundings at several positions on the walls of the excavation, where contaminated and clean sediments were exposed. From the 1D inversion of the electromagnetic data, 2D inversion of the dipole-dipole data, and Wenner data, we found that, in general, the contamination decreased the resistivity of the affected subsoil volumes. However, three of the geoelectrical profiles exhibited localized, very resistive anomalies, which origin was not clear. They did not seem to be associated to the presence of high concentrations of poorly or non-degraded hydrocarbon, since two of these profiles crossed the more contaminated area, but the other was located quite further away. As an attempt to identify the cause of these anomalies, we carried out a 3D numerical simulation of the effects of the pipe and the excavation on the 2D dipole-dipole images. From this study, we could effectively determine that they were mainly distortions generated by those structures. This allowed for providing a proper interpretation of the images of

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Experimental icing affects growth, mortality, and flowering in a high Arctic dwarf shrub.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milner, Jos M; Varpe, Øystein; van der Wal, René; Hansen, Brage Bremset

    2016-04-01

    Effects of climate change are predicted to be greatest at high latitudes, with more pronounced warming in winter than summer. Extreme mid-winter warm spells and heavy rain-on-snow events are already increasing in frequency in the Arctic, with implications for snow-pack and ground-ice formation. These may in turn affect key components of Arctic ecosystems. However, the fitness consequences of extreme winter weather events for tundra plants are not well understood, especially in the high Arctic. We simulated an extreme mid-winter rain-on-snow event at a field site in high Arctic Svalbard (78°N) by experimentally encasing tundra vegetation in ice. After the subsequent growing season, we measured the effects of icing on growth and fitness indices in the common tundra plant, Arctic bell-heather (Cassiope tetragona). The suitability of this species for retrospective growth analysis enabled us to compare shoot growth in pre and postmanipulation years in icing treatment and control plants, as well as shoot survival and flowering. Plants from icing treatment plots had higher shoot mortality and lower flowering success than controls. At the individual sample level, heavily flowering plants invested less in shoot growth than nonflowering plants, while shoot growth was positively related to the degree of shoot mortality. Therefore, contrary to expectation, undamaged shoots showed enhanced growth in ice treatment plants. This suggests that following damage, aboveground resources were allocated to the few remaining undamaged meristems. The enhanced shoot growth measured in our icing treatment plants has implications for climate studies based on retrospective analyses of Cassiope. As shoot growth in this species responds positively to summer warming, it also highlights a potentially complex interaction between summer and winter conditions. By documenting strong effects of icing on growth and reproduction of a widespread tundra plant, our study contributes to an understanding of

  2. Long-term warming alters richness and composition of taxonomic and functional groups of arctic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

    Fungi, including symbionts, pathogens and decomposers, play crucial roles in community dynamics and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Despite their ecological importance, the response of most arctic fungi to climate warming is unknown, so are their potential roles in driving the observed and predicted changes in tundra communities. We carried out deep DNA sequencing of soil samples to study the long-term effects of experimental warming on fungal communities in dry heath and moist tussock tundra in Arctic Alaska. The data presented here indicate that fungal community composition responds strongly to warming in the moist tundra, but not in the dry tundra. While total fungal richness was not significantly affected by warming, there were clear correlations among operational taxonomic unit richness of various ecological and taxonomic groups and long-term warming. Richness of ectomycorrhizal, ericoid mycorrhizal and lichenized fungi generally decreased with warming, while richness of saprotrophic, plant and animal pathogenic, and root endophytic fungi tended to increase in the warmed plots. More importantly, various taxa within these functional guilds followed opposing trends that highlight the importance of species-specific responses to warming. We recommend that species-level ecological differences be taken into account in climate change and nutrient cycling studies that involve arctic fungi. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Contexts for change in alpine tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Rose, Jonathan P.; Schroeder, P. Jason; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2011-01-01

    Because alpine tundra is responding to climate change, a need exists to understand the meaning of observed changes. To provide context for such interpretation, the relevance of niche and neutral theories of biogeography and the continuum and classification approaches to biogeographic description are assessed. Two extensive studies of alpine tundra, from the Indian Peaks area, Colorado and Glacier National Park, Montana, are combined. The data are ordinated to describe relations. The pattern that emerges is one of a continuum of vegetation, but with the distinctions one might expect from distant sites. The relationships of the similarity of vegetation on all possible pairs of sites to the environmental differences and geographic distances are analyzed using Mantel correlations. Because distance and environmental differences in climate between the two sites are correlated, partial correlations are weak but still significant. More advanced analyses are suggested for this environment prior to interpretation of monitoring efforts such as GLORIA.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  5. 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. EVALUACIÓN DE LA BIOESTIMULACIÓN (NUTRIENTES EN SUELOS CONTAMINADOS CON HIDROCARBUROS UTILIZANDO RESPIROMETRÍA Evaluation of Biostimulation (Nutrients in Hydrocarbons Contaminated Soils by Respirometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ERIKA GARCÍA

    Full Text Available Se evaluó el proceso de bioestimulación por nutrientes utilizando fertilizantes inorgánicos compuestos (FIC N:P:K 28:12:7 y sales inorgánicas simples (SIS NH4NO3 y K2HPO4 en suelos contaminados con hidrocarburos utilizando respirometría. El suelo fue contaminado con lodos aceitosos a una concentración 40.000 mgTPH/kgps. Para cuantificar el consumo de oxígeno se utilizaron dos respirómetros de medición manométrica HACH® 2173b y OXITOP® PF600 durante ensayos de 13 días (n=3. Se evaluaron dos tratamientos (FIC y SIS y tres controles (abiótico, sustrato de referencia y sin nutrientes. Se analizaron parámetros físico-químicos (pH, nutrientes y TPH y microbiológicos (heterótrofos y degradadores al inicio y al final de cada ensayo. SIS y el control sin nutrientes presentaron las mayores tasas de respiración, en el equipo HACH se obtuvieron valores de 802,28 y 850,72 mgO2kgps-1d-1 respectivamente, y en OXITOP fueron de 936,65 y 502,05 mgO2kgps-1d-1, respectivamente, indicando que los nutrientes de SIS estimularon el metabolismo microbiano. Por otro lado, FIC presentó los recuentos y tasas de respiración más bajas (188,18 y 139,87 mgO2kgps-1d-1 en HACH y OXITOP, respectivamente, esto pudo estar relacionado a un efecto inhibitorio generado por la acumulación de amoniaco, limitando el crecimiento de la población degradadora.The biostimulation process was evaluated in a hydrocarbon contaminated soil by respirometry after amendment with inorganic compound fertilizer (ICF (N:P:K 28:12:7 and simple inorganic salts (SIS (NH4NO3 and K2HPO4. The soil was contaminated with oily sludge (40,000 mgTPH/kgdw. The oxygen uptake was measured using two respirometers (HACH® 2173b and OXITOP® PF600 during thirteen days (n=3. Two treatments (ICF and SIS and three controls (abiotic, reference substance and without nutrients were evaluated during the study. Physicochemical (pH, nutrients, and TPH and microbiological analysis (heterotrophic and

  7. Reproductive ecology and severe pollen limitation in the polychromic tundra plant, Parrya nudicaulis (Brassicaceae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin R Fulkerson

    Full Text Available Pollen limitation is predicted to be particularly severe in tundra habitats. Numerous reproductive patterns associated with alpine and arctic species, particularly mechanisms associated with reproductive assurance, are suggested to be driven by high levels of pollen limitation. We studied the reproductive ecology of Parrya nudicaulis, a species with relatively large sexual reproductive investment and a wide range of floral pigmentation, in tundra habitats in interior montane Alaska to estimate the degree of pollen limitation. The plants are self-compatible and strongly protandrous, setting almost no seed in the absence of pollinators. Supplemental hand pollinations within pollinator exclusion cages indicated no cage effect on seed production. Floral visitation rates were low in both years of study and particularly infrequent in 2010. A diversity of insects visited P. nudicaulis, though syrphid and muscid flies composed the majority of all visits. Pollen-ovule ratios and levels of heterozygosity are consistent with a mixed mating system. Pollen limitation was severe; hand pollinations increased seed production per plant five-fold. Seed-to-ovule ratios remained low following hand pollinations, indicating resource limitation is likely to also be responsible for curtailing seed set. We suggest that pollen limitation in P. nudicaulis may be the result of selection favoring an overproduction of ovules as a bet-hedging strategy in this environmental context of highly variable pollen receipt.

  8. Methane gas flux measurements in the northern Alaskan coastal tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikawa, H.; Oechel, W. C.; Murphy, P.; Wilkman, E.

    2012-12-01

    Wetlands are the largest source of CH4 globally. Ongoing climate changes will subject to change CH4 emission through hydrological and climatological processes. The changes are particularly prominent in the Arctic ecosystem which is responsible for more than 10 % of the global CH4 emission from wetlands. However, whether CH4 emission in response to predicted environments will increase or decrease is not well-known. Uncertainty in understanding CH4 emission is also attributed to the fact that majority of CH4 flux measurements were conducted with chamber methods that potentially overestimate CH4 flux due to the artificial disturbance. Therefore, it is important to examine how CH4 flux responds to environmental processes with the least disturbance. In this study, CH4 flux from the wet coastal tundra in Alaska was measured with the eddy covariance technique using the open path gas analyzer (LI-7700, Li-Cor) that has recently become available commercially. The study site was located at the long-term CO2 flux monitoring site (CMDL) in Barrow Alaska, and the methane sensor was installed in June, 2012. Preliminary results show that a large efflux of CH4 of 165 mgCH4m-2day-1 on average within several days from June 30 to July 9, while CO2 flux was nearly balanced. The magnitude of the efflux is about few orders higher than CH4 flux observed in the vicinity of the measurement sites [Rhew et al., 2007; Zona et al., 2009; Sturtevant et al., 2011]. The development of the data collection for a longer term as well as further correlation analysis with environmental data has been undergoing. Acknowledgement: We acknowledge CARVE, DOE and UMIAQ for supporting our research.

  9. Tundra water budget and implications of precipitation underestimation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  10. Diversity and distribution of Tardigrada in Arctic cryoconite holes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Zawierucha

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Despite the fact that glaciers and ice sheets have been monitored for more than a century, knowledge on the glacial biota remains poor. Cryoconite holes are water-filled reservoirs on a glacier’s surface and one of the most extreme ecosystems for micro-invertebrates. Tardigrada, also known as water bears, are a common inhabitant of cryoconite holes. In this paper we present novel data on the morphology, diversity, distribution and role in food web of tardigrades on Arctic glaciers. From 33 sampled cryoconite holes of 6 glaciers on Spitsbergen, in 25 tardigrades were found and identified. Five taxa of Tardigrada (Eutardigrada were found in the samples, they are: Hypsibius dujardini, Hypsibius sp. A, Isohypsibius sp. A., Pilatobius recamieri, and one species of Ramazzottiidae. H. dujardini and P. recamieri were previously known from tundra in the Svalbard archipelago. Despite the number of studies on Arctic tundra ecosystems, Hypsibius sp. A, one species of Ramazzottiidae and Isohypsibius sp. A are known only from cryoconite holes. Tardigrade found in this study do not falsify the hypothesis that glaciers and ice sheets are a viable biome (characteristic for biome organisms assemblages - tardigrades. Diagnosis of Hypsibius sp. A, Isohypsibius sp. A, and species of Ramazzottiidae with discussion on the status of taxa, is provided. To check what analytes are associated with the presence of tardigrades in High Arctic glacier chemical analyses were carried out on samples taken from the Buchan Glacier. pH values and the chemical composition of anions and cations from cryoconite hole water from the Buchan Glacier are also presented. The current study on the Spitsbergen glaciers clearly indicates that tardigrade species richness in cryoconite holes is lower than tardigrade species richness in Arctic tundra ecosystems, but consists of unique cryoconite hole species. As cryoconite tardigrades may feed on bacteria as well as algae, they are primary

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faubert, Patrick; Tiiva, Paivi; Rinnan, Åsmund

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Changing Seasonality of Panarctic Tundra Vegetation in Relationship to Climatic Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, Uma S.; Walker, Donald A.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Bieniek, Peter A.; Epstein, Howard E.; Comiso, Josefino C.; Pinzon, Jorge E.; Tucker, Compton J.; Steele, Michael; Ermold, Wendy; hide

    2017-01-01

    Potential climate drivers of Arctic tundra vegetation productivity are investigated to understand recent greening and browning trends documented by maximum normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (MaxNDVI) and time-integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI) for 19822015. Over this period, summer sea ice has continued to decline while oceanic heat content has increased. The increases in summer warmth index (SWI) and NDVI have not been uniform over the satellite record. SWI increased from 1982 to the mid-1990s and remained relatively flat from 1998 onwards until a recent upturn. While MaxNDVI displays positive trends from 19822015, TI-NDVI increased from 1982 until 2001 and has declined since. The data for the first and second halves of the record were analyzed and compared spatially for changing trends with a focus on the growing season. Negative trends for MaxNDVI and TI-NDVI were more common during 19992015 compared to 19821998.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-09-01

    1978) Geoecologi - cal mapping scheme for Alaskan coastal tundra. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Permafrost, July 10-13, 1978...Bib 35-1900/ Iyes, J.D. (Ed.) (1980) Geoecology of the Colorado Front Range: A Study of Alpine and Subalpine Environments. Boulder, Colorado

  14. Effects of Winter Climate Change on Plant and Soil Ecology of Cryoturbated Non-Sorted Circles Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteux, S.; Krab, E. J.; Rönnefarth, J.; Becher, M.; Blume-Werry, G.; Kreyling, J.; Keuper, F.; Klaminder, J.; Kobayashi, M.; Lundin, E. J.; Milbau, A.; Teuber, L. M.; Weedon, J.; Dorrepaal, E.

    2014-12-01

    Cryoturbation is the movement of soil particles through repeated freeze-thaw events, resulting in the burial of large amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC). Non-sorted circles are a common type of cryoturbated ground in arctic and alpine areas underlain by permafrost. They appear as sparsely vegetated areas surrounded by denser tundra vegetation. Climate change in arctic environments will likely increase winter precipitation in large parts of the Arctic in Europe, Asia and America, resulting in deeper snow cover. Snow is a good thermal insulator and modifications in freezing intensity and freeze-thaw cycles are therefore likely, which could affect the burial of organic matter. Moreover, vegetation, soil fauna and soil microbial communities, which are important drivers of SOC dynamics, may be impacted directly by the altered winter conditions and indirectly by reduced cryoturbation. We aimed to investigate this, and therefore subjected non-sorted circles in North-Swedish subarctic alpine tundra to two years of increased thermal insulation in winter and spring, using snow fences or fibre cloth (Figure 1). Both snow fences and fibre cloth manipulations increased surface soil temperatures, especially daily minimum temperatures, and strongly reduced freeze-thaw frequency. We compared the impacts of these manipulations on plant performance, soil chemistry, soil fauna and soil microbial communities between the centre of the circles and the dense tundra heath just outside. Directly after snowmelt, the extra winter insulation decreased plant leaf damage, both in the centre and in adjacent tundra, but responses differed between species. We will further present the responses of plant phenology and growth, soil pH and dissolved organic carbon content, soil fauna activity, Collembola community composition and body size distribution, as well as fungal and bacterial diversity profiles and functional groups abundance. We expect that winter warming due to increased snow cover and

  15. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, Walter C.

    1990-09-05

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

  17. 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

  18. Spatial variability of CO2 uptake in polygonal tundra: assessing low-frequency disturbances in eddy covariance flux estimates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Pirk

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The large spatial variability in Arctic tundra complicates the representative assessment of CO2 budgets. Accurate measurements of these heterogeneous landscapes are, however, essential to understanding their vulnerability to climate change. We surveyed a polygonal tundra lowland on Svalbard with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV that mapped ice-wedge morphology to complement eddy covariance (EC flux measurements of CO2. The analysis of spectral distributions showed that conventional EC methods do not accurately capture the turbulent CO2 exchange with a spatially heterogeneous surface that typically features small flux magnitudes. Nonlocal (low-frequency flux contributions were especially pronounced during snowmelt and introduced a large bias of −46 gC m−2 to the annual CO2 budget in conventional methods (the minus sign indicates a higher uptake by the ecosystem. Our improved flux calculations with the ogive optimization method indicated that the site was a strong sink for CO2 in 2015 (−82 gC m−2. Due to differences in light-use efficiency, wetter areas with low-centered polygons sequestered 47 % more CO2 than drier areas with flat-centered polygons. While Svalbard has experienced a strong increase in mean annual air temperature of more than 2 K in the last few decades, historical aerial photographs from the site indicated stable ice-wedge morphology over the last 7 decades. Apparently, warming has thus far not been sufficient to initiate strong ice-wedge degradation, possibly due to the absence of extreme heat episodes in the maritime climate on Svalbard. However, in Arctic regions where ice-wedge degradation has already initiated the associated drying of landscapes, our results suggest a weakening of the CO2 sink in polygonal tundra.

  19. Spatial variability of CO2 uptake in polygonal tundra: assessing low-frequency disturbances in eddy covariance flux estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirk, Norbert; Sievers, Jakob; Mertes, Jordan; Parmentier, Frans-Jan W.; Mastepanov, Mikhail; Christensen, Torben R.

    2017-06-01

    The large spatial variability in Arctic tundra complicates the representative assessment of CO2 budgets. Accurate measurements of these heterogeneous landscapes are, however, essential to understanding their vulnerability to climate change. We surveyed a polygonal tundra lowland on Svalbard with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that mapped ice-wedge morphology to complement eddy covariance (EC) flux measurements of CO2. The analysis of spectral distributions showed that conventional EC methods do not accurately capture the turbulent CO2 exchange with a spatially heterogeneous surface that typically features small flux magnitudes. Nonlocal (low-frequency) flux contributions were especially pronounced during snowmelt and introduced a large bias of -46 gC m-2 to the annual CO2 budget in conventional methods (the minus sign indicates a higher uptake by the ecosystem). Our improved flux calculations with the ogive optimization method indicated that the site was a strong sink for CO2 in 2015 (-82 gC m-2). Due to differences in light-use efficiency, wetter areas with low-centered polygons sequestered 47 % more CO2 than drier areas with flat-centered polygons. While Svalbard has experienced a strong increase in mean annual air temperature of more than 2 K in the last few decades, historical aerial photographs from the site indicated stable ice-wedge morphology over the last 7 decades. Apparently, warming has thus far not been sufficient to initiate strong ice-wedge degradation, possibly due to the absence of extreme heat episodes in the maritime climate on Svalbard. However, in Arctic regions where ice-wedge degradation has already initiated the associated drying of landscapes, our results suggest a weakening of the CO2 sink in polygonal tundra.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  1. 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...... of the general security situation and to identify both the explicit and the implicit agendas of the primary state actors. The region contains all the ingredients for confrontation and conflict but the economical potential for all the parties concerned creates a general interest in dialogue and cooperation...

  2. Response of a tundra ecosystem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO{sub 2}-induced climate change. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO{sub 2} flux in selected locations of the circumpolar arctic, and to develop the information necessary to predict how these fluxes may be affected by climate change. In fulfillment of these objectives, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured at several sites on the North Slope of Alaska during the 1990--94 growing season (June--August) to determine the local and regional patterns of seasonal CO{sub 2} exchange. In addition, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO{sub 2} exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar Arctic, while cold-season CO{sub 2} flux measurements were carried out during the 1993--94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO{sub 2} efflux not accounted for by the growing season measurements. Manipulations of soil water table depth and surface temperature, which were identified from the extensive measurements as being the most important variables in determining the magnitude and direction of net CO{sub 2} exchange, were carried out during the 1993--94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH{sub 4} flux were also measured at several of the North Slope study sites during the 1990--91 growing seasons.

  3. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pautler, B.G.; Reichart, G.-J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/165599081; Sanborn, P.T.; Simpson, M.J.; Weijers, J.W.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/310911516

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  7. Surviving climate changes: high genetic diversity and transoceanic gene flow in two arctic-alpine lichens, Flavocetraria cucullata and F. nivalis (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota)

    Science.gov (United States)

    József Geml; Frank Kauff; Christan Brochmann; D.L. Taylor

    2010-01-01

    We examined genetic structure and long-distance gene flow in two lichenized ascomycetes, Flavocetraria cucullata and Flavocetraria nivalis, which are widespread in arctic and alpine tundra. DNA sequences were obtained for 90 specimens (49 for F. cucullata and 41 for F. nivalis)...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, C. D.; Dietze, M.

    2011-12-01

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

  9. Predator behaviour and predation risk in the heterogeneous Arctic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecomte, Nicolas; Careau, Vincent; Gauthier, Gilles; Giroux, Jean-François

    2008-05-01

    1. Habitat heterogeneity and predator behaviour can strongly affect predator-prey interactions but these factors are rarely considered simultaneously, especially when systems encompass multiple predators and prey. 2. In the Arctic, greater snow geese Anser caerulescens atlanticus L. nest in two structurally different habitats: wetlands that form intricate networks of water channels, and mesic tundra where such obstacles are absent. In this heterogeneous environment, goose eggs are exposed to two types of predators: the arctic fox Vulpes lagopus L. and a diversity of avian predators. We hypothesized that, contrary to birds, the hunting ability of foxes would be impaired by the structurally complex wetland habitat, resulting in a lower predation risk for goose eggs. 3. In addition, lemmings, the main prey of foxes, show strong population cycles. We thus further examined how their fluctuations influenced the interaction between habitat heterogeneity and fox predation on goose eggs. 4. An experimental approach with artificial nests suggested that foxes were faster than avian predators to find unattended goose nests in mesic tundra whereas the reverse was true in wetlands. Foxes spent 3.5 times more time between consecutive attacks on real goose nests in wetlands than in mesic tundra. Their attacks on goose nests were also half as successful in wetlands than in mesic tundra whereas no difference was found for avian predators. 5. Nesting success in wetlands (65%) was higher than in mesic tundra (56%) but the difference between habitats increased during lemming crashes (15%) compared to other phases of the cycle (5%). Nests located at the edge of wetland patches were also less successful than central ones, suggesting a gradient in accessibility of goose nests in wetlands for foxes. 6. Our study shows that the structural complexity of wetlands decreases predation risk from foxes but not avian predators in arctic-nesting birds. Our results also demonstrate that cyclic

  10. Arctic Insecurity: Avoiding Conflict

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-17

    traditional route.11 The Arctic shipping routes are an average of 40% shorter than traditional Mediterranean routes.12...Arctic biodiversity , and communicate the findings to the governments and residents of the Arctic), 4) Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response

  11. Remote Sensing Methods for Environmental Monitoring of Human Impact on sub-Arctic Ecosystems in Europe

    OpenAIRE

    Shipigina, Ekaterina

    2013-01-01

    The role and scale of human impact on the global environment is a question of special importance to the scientific community and the world as a whole. This impact has dramatically increased since the beginning of industrialisation, yet its understanding remains patchy. The sub-Arctic plays a central role in forming the global environment due to the vast territory of boreal forest and tundra. Severe climatic conditions make its ecosystems highly sensitive to any natural and human disturbances....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 ((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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, P.C.

    1979-01-01

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

  14. Pulsed resources at tundra breeding sites affect winter irruptions at temperate latitudes of a top predator, the snowy owl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robillard, A; Therrien, J F; Gauthier, G; Clark, K M; Bêty, J

    2016-06-01

    Irruptive migration is mostly observed in species specialized on pulsed resources and is thought to be a response to unpredictable changes in food supply. We assessed two alternative hypotheses to explain the periodic winter irruptions of snowy owls Bubo scandiacus every 3-5 years in temperate North America: (a) the lack-of-food hypothesis, which states that a crash in small mammal abundance on the Arctic breeding grounds forces owls to move out of the tundra massively to search for food in winter; (b) the breeding-success hypothesis, which states that high abundance of tundra small mammals during the summer allows for high production of young, thus increasing the pool of migrants moving south the following winter. We modeled winter irruptions of snowy owls in relation to summer food resources and geographic location. Winter abundance of owls was obtained from citizen-based surveys from 1994 to 2011 and summer abundance of small mammals was collected in summer at two distant sites in Canada: Bylot Island, NU (eastern High Arctic) and Daring Lake, NWT (central Low Arctic). Winter owl abundance was positively related to prey abundance during the previous summer at both sites and tended to decrease from western to eastern temperate North America. Irruptive migration of snowy owls was therefore best explained by the breeding success hypothesis and was apparently caused by large-scale summer variations in food. Our results, combined with previous findings, suggest that the main determinants of irruptive migration may be species specific even in a guild of apparently similar species.

  15. NPP Tundra: Toolik Lake, Alaska, 1982, R1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains one text file (.csv format) that provides productivity data for four contrasting tundra vegetation types studied during 1982 near Toolik Lake...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  17. Tundra swan avian infuenza surveillance and banding effort

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) were captured on the Alaska Peninsula as part of statewide Avian Influenza (AI) investigations in mid to late July 2008. This...

  18. Tundra swan avian influenza surveillance and banding effort

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) were captured on the Northern Alaska Peninsula (NAKP) as part of statewide Avian Influenza (AI) investigations in late July 2009....

  19. Tundra swan avian influenza surveillance and banding effort

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) were captured on the Northern Alaska Peninsula (NAKP) and the Southern Alaska Peninsula (SAKP) in late July 2010 as part of...

  20. Tundra swan avain influenza surveillance and banding effort

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) were captured on the Alaska Peninsula as part of statewide Avian Influenza (AI) investigations in late July 2006. At Caribou River,...

  1. Tundra swan avian influenza surveillance and banding effort

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) were captured on the Alaska Peninsula as part of statewide Avian Influenza (AI) investigations in late July 2007. On the Northern...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Oil development and conservation in Arctic America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, J.C.

    1972-01-01

    As in his earlier article to which reference is made, the author stresses the need for more background information and a much greater research effort before problems of environmental protection from oil developments in northern Alaska can be effectively tackled. Meanwhile, there are indications that the earlier estimates of around ten thousand million barrels should be raised-perhaps to about five times as much. There has moreover been a great increate also in the known and probable gas reserves in northern Canada-particularly in the Arctic Archipelago. In spite of planned automation, people will be needed for development-including Eskimos and Indians, whose interests will be widely protected under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of December 1971. The International Biological Programme 'Tundra Biome' projects have accumulated much new information, including the results to be expected from disturbing the tundra seriously, and means of preventing or repairing damage to it. There is much interest in Alaska and Canada in protection of the northern environment, and in the former the US National Environmental Policy Act is already leading to stricter control of some developments. ?? 1972.

  4. Persistence of bat defence reactions in high Arctic moths (Lepidoptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rydell, J; Roininen, H; Philip, K W

    2000-03-22

    We investigated the bat defence reactions of three species of moths (Gynaephora groenlandica, Gynaephora rossi (Lymantriidae) and Psychophora sabini (Geometridae)) in the Canadian Arctic archipelago. Since these moths inhabit the Arctic tundra and, therefore, are most probably spatially isolated from bats, their hearing and associated defensive reactions are probably useless and would therefore be expected to disappear with ongoing adaptation to Arctic conditions. When exposed to bat-like ultrasound (26 kHz and 110 dB sound pressure level root mean square at 1 m) flying male Gynaephora spp. always reacted defensively by rapidly reversing their flight course. They could hear the sound and reacted at least 15-25 m away. Psychophora sabini walking on a surface froze at distances of at least 5-7 m from the sound source. However, two out of three individuals of this species (all males) did not respond in any way to the sound while in flight. Hence, we found evidence of degeneration of bat defence reactions, i.e. adaptation to the bat-free environment, in P. sabini but not in Gynaephora spp. Some Arctic moths (Gynaephora spp.) still possess defensive reactions against bats, possibly because the selection pressure for the loss of the trait is such that it declines only very slowly (perhaps by genetic drift; and there may not have been enough time for the trait to disappear. One possible reason may be that Arctic moths have long generation times.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-07

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

  6. A Mixed-dimensional Model for the Simulation of Soil Thermal Hydrology in Polygonal Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Painter, S. L.; Jan, A.; Coon, E.

    2016-12-01

    Permafrost soils store massive amount of frozen organic carbon and are warming at a rate significantly larger than the rest of the planet. Simulation techniques are essential tools for studying the Arctic's complex hydrological environment. However, simulating permafrost dynamics is challenging because of strong coupling among thermal and hydrologic processes on the surface and in the subsurface. We present a novel mixed-dimensional model, motivated by fine-scale simulations, to simulate the soil thermal hydrology in degrading permafrost regions and make these process-rich simulations tractable at watershed scales. The approach indirectly couples 1D subsurface columns with a 2D surface system, and has two fundamental steps. Step 1 solves overland thermal hydrology system with no sources, mainly act as a spatial distributor of the mass and energy, and updates the subsurface system before it advances in time. Step 2 implicitly solves the subsurface system with surface ponding but no surface lateral flow, and use the output of that half-step to update the pressure and temperature of Step 1 for the next iteration. We have implemented this novel structure in the Arctic Terrestrial Simulator (ATS) to simulate the thermal hydrology of thawing polygonal tundra near Barrow, Alaska in warming climate. This is a first attempt to couple state-of-the-art representation of freezing soil physics with overland flow and surface energy balance at scales of 100s of meters. We demonstrate the accuracy and efficiency of our scheme. Our scheme is highly scalable, supports subcycling of different processes, and compares well with fully 3D representation, but is computationally less expensive. Further, it allows for efficient tracking of thaw-induced subsidence and avoids any mesh tangling that can result from representing dynamic topography in a 3D simulation. Although we focus on permafrost thermal hydrology, the model structure is applicable to many integrated surface and subsurface

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon

    2003-03-01

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

  8. Water uptake of Alaskan tundra evergreens during the winter-spring transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moser, Jonathan G; Oberbauer, Steven F; Sternberg, Leonel da S L; Ellsworth, Patrick Z; Starr, Gregory; Mortazavi, Behzad; Olivas, Paulo C

    2016-02-01

    The cold season in the Arctic extends over 8 to 9 mo, yet little is known about vascular plant physiology during this period. Evergreen species photosynthesize under the snow, implying that they are exchanging water with the atmosphere. However, liquid water available for plant uptake may be limited at this time. The study objective was to determine whether evergreen plants are actively taking up water while under snow and/or immediately following snowmelt during spring thaw. In two in situ experiments, one at the plot level and another at the individual species level, (2)H-labeled water was used as a tracer injected beneath the snow, after which plant stems and leaves were tested for the presence of the label. In separate experiments, excised shoots of evergreen species were exposed to (2)H-labeled water for ∼5 s or 60 min and tested for foliar uptake of the label. In both the plot-level and the species-level experiments, some (2)H-labeled water was found in leaves and stems. Additionally, excised individual plant shoots exposed to labeled water for 60 min took up significantly more (2)H-label than shoots exposed ∼5 s. Evergreen tundra plants take up water under snow cover, some via roots, but also likely by foliar uptake. The ability to take up water in the subnivean environment allows evergreen tundra plants to take advantage of mild spring conditions under the snow and replenish carbon lost by winter respiration. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  9. Breeding habitat associations and predicted distribution of an obligate tundra-breeding bird, Smith's Longspur

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, Teri C.; Kendall, Steven J.; Guldager, Nikki; Powell, Abby N.

    2015-01-01

    Smith's Longspur (Calcarius pictus) is a species of conservation concern which breeds in Arctic habitats that are expected to be especially vulnerable to climate change. We used bird presence and habitat data from point-transect surveys conducted at 12 sites across the Brooks Range, Alaska, 2003–2009, to identify breeding areas, describe local habitat associations, and identify suitable habitat using a predictive model of Smith's Longspur distribution. Smith's Longspurs were observed at seven sites, where they were associated with a variety of sedge–shrub habitats composed primarily of mosses, sedges, tussocks, and dwarf shrubs; erect shrubs were common but sparse. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling ordination of ground cover revealed positive associations of Smith's Longspur presence with sedges and mosses and a negative association with high cover of shrubs. To model predicted distribution, we used boosted regression trees to relate landscape variables to occurrence. Our model predicted that Smith's Longspurs may occur in valleys and foothills of the northeastern and southeastern mountains and in upland plateaus of the western mountains, and farther west than currently documented, over a predicted area no larger than 15% of the Brooks Range. With climate change, shrubs are expected to grow larger and denser, while soil moisture and moss cover are predicted to decrease. These changes may reduce Smith's Longspur habitat quality and limit distribution in the Brooks Range to poorly drained lowlands and alpine plateaus where sedge–shrub tundra is likely to persist. Conversely, northward advance of shrubs into sedge tundra may create suitable habitat, thus supporting a northward longspur distribution shift.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Blok

    2011-05-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E

    2014-04-01

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

  13. Environmental Control and Intersite Variations of Phenolics in Betula nana in Tundra Ecosystems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Enrico Graglia; Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto; Gaius R. Shaver; Inger K. Schmidt; Sven Jonasson; Anders Michelsen

    2001-01-01

    .... Site-specific differences are presented in phenolics and nitrogen in Betula nana leaves from dwarf shrub tundra at Abisko, northern Sweden, and from tussock tundra at Toolik Lake, Alaska, subjected...

  14. Vegetation responses to interglacial warming in the Arctic: examples from Lake El'gygytgyn, Far East Russian Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. V. Lozhkin

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Preliminary analyses of Lake El'gygytgyn sediment indicate a wide range of ecosystem responses to warmer than present climates. While palynological work describing all interglacial vegetation is ongoing, sufficient data exist to compare recent warm events (the postglacial thermal maximum, PGTM, and marine isotope stage, MIS5 with "super" interglaciations (MIS11, MIS31. Palynological assemblages associated with these climatic optima suggest two types of vegetation responses: one dominated by deciduous taxa (PGTM, MIS5 and the second by evergreen conifers (MIS11, MIS31. MIS11 forests show a similarity to modern Picea–Larix–Betula–Alnus forests of Siberia. While dark coniferous forest also characterizes MIS31, the pollen taxa show an affinity to the boreal forest of the lower Amur valley (southern Russian Far East. Despite vegetation differences during these thermal maxima, all glacial–interglacial transitions are alike, being dominated by deciduous woody taxa. Initially Betula shrub tundra established and was replaced by tundra with tree-sized shrubs (PGTM, Betula woodland (MIS5, or Betula–Larix (MIS11, MIS31 forest. The consistent occurrence of deciduous forest and/or high shrub tundra before the incidence of maximum warmth underscores the importance of this biome for modeling efforts. The El'gygytgyn data also suggest a possible elimination or massive reduction of Arctic plant communities under extreme warm-earth scenarios.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  16. Changes on permafrost and active layer characteristics after the tundra fire in summer 2002 in Seward Peninsula, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawada, Y.; Harada, K.; Fukuda, M.; Narita, K.

    2006-12-01

    Thermal, water and electrical conditions of permafrost after the tundra fire occurred in summer 2002 were studied in Seward Peninsula, southwest Alaska, in order to evaluate the effect of tundra fire on the arctic permafrost terrains. Field observations were made in summer 2005 and 2006. Four sites were established where the slope direction and surface disturbance condition are different; south- or north-facing, and burned or unburned. At each site ground temperature, water content, thermal conductivity and EC were measured by pit survey, and the seasonal thawed depth measurements were also conducted by using the steel rod from the ground surface. Transient electromagnetic soundings for deeper part and 1D and 2D DC resistivity soundings for shallow part were carried out in the four sites. We compared these field data among the four sites, highlighting in significant differences between burned and unburned sites. Burned sites have deeper thawing depths, and it may correspond with the thin organic soil in the burned sites. Due to the removal of litter and organic soil by the fire, thermal and hydrological regimes of active layer have drastically changed in the burned sites.

  17. 50 CFR 20.107 - Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... tundra swans. 20.107 Section 20.107 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE..., and Shooting Hours Schedules § 20.107 Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans. This section provides for the annual hunting of tundra swans in designated portions of the 48 contiguous United...

  18. Using geomorphology to map plant community distribution in complex polygonal tundra landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloan, V. L.; Gangodagamage, C.; Iversen, C. M.; Norby, R. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change over the next century is expected to substantially alter Arctic ecosystem structure and function, resulting in important feedbacks to global climate. Representing Arctic landscapes in the carbon cycle and climate models, however, is challenging because vegetation and soils vary over small spatial scales. Robust approaches are needed for identifying distinct plant communities for fine-scale model parameterizations, and for mapping the distribution of these communities to enable scaling from plot to grid-cell. Here, we demonstrate how a novel technique using LiDAR-derived metrics to delineate micro-topographic features can also be applied to mapping plant community distribution in a polygonal tundra landscape on the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO), Alaska. We recorded species composition in 48, 1 x 1 m plots located across contrasting ice-wedge polygon types on the BEO in July 2012. One-way cluster analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling identified four major plant communities, namely i) tall Carex (sedge) dominated communities, ii) mixed tall graminoid-forb-moss communities, iii) dry graminoid-lichen communities and iv) low-stature, lichen dominated-communities. These communities were strongly linked to micro-topography, corresponding with i) low centers ii) troughs, iii) rims and transitional polygon centers, and iv) high centers. We therefore combined plant community type with geomorphological analyses using high-resolution LiDAR-derived metrics (e.g. slope, curvature, flowpath distances) to delineate micro-topographic features to produce a vegetation map. The map was verified using 24 field survey transects in which plant community boundaries were mapped using DGPS. The approach performed well, with only a small (5%) over-estimate of the extent of trough communities and a corresponding under-estimate of rim and transitional center communities. Overall, these analyses provide a framework which can be used for parameterizing fine

  19. 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. C.; Abbott, B. W.; Zhao, Q.; Su, H.; Wang, S. F.; Wu, Q. B.; Zhang, T. J.; Wu, X. D.

    2017-09-01

    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 noncarbon permafrost climate feedback. Permafrost collapse altered soil hydrology, shifting the ecosystem from a carbon sink to carbon source but decreasing CH4 and N2O flux. Little to no vegetation recovery after stabilization suggests potentially large net carbon losses. High N2O flux compared to Arctic and Boreal systems suggests noncarbon permafrost climate feedback.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Response of a tundra ecosytem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO{sub 2}-induced climate change. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO{sub 2} flux in selected locations of the circumpolar arctic, and to develop the information necessary to predict how these fluxes may be affected by climate change. In fulfillment of these objectives, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured at several sites on the North Slope of Alaska during the 1990-94 growing season (June-August) to determine the local and regional patterns, of seasonal CO{sub 2} exchange. In addition, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO{sub 2} exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar arctic, while cold-season CO{sub 2} flux measurements were carried out during the 1993-94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO{sub 2} efflux not accounted for by the growing season measurements. Manipulations of soil water table depth and surface temperature, which were identified from the extensive measurements as being the most important variables in determining the magnitude and direction of net CO{sub 2} exchange, were carried out during the 1993-94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH{sub 4} flux were also measured at several of the North Slope study sites during the 1990-91 growing seasons. Measurements were made on small (e.g. 0.5 m{sup 2}) plots using a portable gas-exchange system and cuvette. The sample design allowed frequent measurements of net CO{sub 2} exchange and respiration over diurnal and seasonal cycles, and a large spatial extent that incorporated both locally and regionally diverse tundra surface types. Measurements both within and between ecosystem types typically extended over soil water table depth and temperature gradients, allowing for the indirect analysis of the effects of anticipated climate change scenarios on net CO{sub 2} exchange. In situ experiments provided a direct means for testing hypotheses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  4. Effects of warming on CO2, N2O and CH4 fluxes and underlying processes from subarctic tundra, Northwest Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voigt, Carolina; Lamprecht, Richard E.; Marushchak, Maija E.; Biasi, Christina; Martikainen, Pertti J.

    2014-05-01

    Peatlands, especially those located in the highly sensitive arctic and subarctic latitudes, are known to play a major role in the global carbon cycle. Predicted climatic changes - entailing an increase in near-surface temperature and a change in precipitation patterns - will most likely have a serious yet uncertain impact on the greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of these ecosystems. Microbial processes are enhanced by warmer temperatures which may lead to increased trace gas fluxes to the atmosphere. However, the response of ecosystem processes and related GHG fluxes may differ largely across the landscape depending on soil type, vegetation cover, and moisture conditions. In this study we investigate how temperature increase potentially reflects on GHG fluxes (CO2, CH4 and N2O) from various tundra surfaces in the Russian Arctic. These surfaces include raised peat plateau complexes, mineral tundra soils, bare surfaces affected by frost action such as peat circles and thermokarst lake walls, as well as wetlands. Predicted temperature increase and climate change effects are simulated by means of open top chambers (OTCs), which are placed on different soil types for the whole snow-free period. GHG fluxes, gas and nutrient concentrations in the soil profile, as well as supporting environmental parameters are monitored for the full growing season. Aim of the study is not only the quantification of aboveground GHG fluxes from the study area, but the linking of those to underlying biogeochemical processes in permafrost soils. Special emphasis is placed on the interface between active layer and old permafrost and its response to warming, since little is known about the lability of old carbon stocks made available through an increase in active layer depth. Overall goal of the study is to gain a better understanding of C and N cycling in subarctic tundra soils and to deepen knowledge in respect to carbon-permafrost feedbacks in respect to climate.

  5. Carbon dioxide and methane dynamics in Russian tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    Russia. The area is situated at 67°N in the European part of northeast Russia within the Pechora basin. The Russian tundra region is an area which has recently been subject to many speculations in relation to climatic change effects and greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange but still little scientific......, and discuss possible implications of climatic change on this lowland tundra ecosystem. This study have been conducted as a part of the CARBO-North project (2006-2010), a project within the EU 6th framework programme, aiming at quantifying the carbon budget in Northern Russia across temporal and spatial scales....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken D Tape

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

  8. Microbial functional potential and community composition in permafrost-affected soils of the NW Canadian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank-Fahle, Béatrice A; Yergeau, Etienne; Greer, Charles W; Lantuit, Hugues; Wagner, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost-affected soils are among the most obvious ecosystems in which current microbial controls on organic matter decomposition are changing as a result of global warming. Warmer conditions in polygonal tundra will lead to a deepening of the seasonal active layer, provoking changes in microbial processes and possibly resulting in exacerbated carbon degradation under increasing anoxic conditions. To identify current microbial assemblages in carbon rich, water saturated permafrost environments, four polygonal tundra sites were investigated on Herschel Island and the Yukon Coast, Western Canadian Arctic. Ion Torrent sequencing of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA amplicons revealed the presence of all major microbial soil groups and indicated a local, vertical heterogeneity of the polygonal tundra soil community with increasing depth. Microbial diversity was found to be highest in the surface layers, decreasing towards the permafrost table. Quantitative PCR analysis of functional genes involved in carbon and nitrogen-cycling revealed a high functional potential in the surface layers, decreasing with increasing active layer depth. We observed that soil properties driving microbial diversity and functional potential varied in each study site. These results highlight the small-scale heterogeneity of geomorphologically comparable sites, greatly restricting generalizations about the fate of permafrost-affected environments in a warming Arctic.

  9. Microbial functional potential and community composition in permafrost-affected soils of the NW Canadian Arctic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Béatrice A Frank-Fahle

    Full Text Available Permafrost-affected soils are among the most obvious ecosystems in which current microbial controls on organic matter decomposition are changing as a result of global warming. Warmer conditions in polygonal tundra will lead to a deepening of the seasonal active layer, provoking changes in microbial processes and possibly resulting in exacerbated carbon degradation under increasing anoxic conditions. To identify current microbial assemblages in carbon rich, water saturated permafrost environments, four polygonal tundra sites were investigated on Herschel Island and the Yukon Coast, Western Canadian Arctic. Ion Torrent sequencing of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA amplicons revealed the presence of all major microbial soil groups and indicated a local, vertical heterogeneity of the polygonal tundra soil community with increasing depth. Microbial diversity was found to be highest in the surface layers, decreasing towards the permafrost table. Quantitative PCR analysis of functional genes involved in carbon and nitrogen-cycling revealed a high functional potential in the surface layers, decreasing with increasing active layer depth. We observed that soil properties driving microbial diversity and functional potential varied in each study site. These results highlight the small-scale heterogeneity of geomorphologically comparable sites, greatly restricting generalizations about the fate of permafrost-affected environments in a warming Arctic.

  10. Biogeochemical characteristics of dissolved and particulate organic matter in Russian rivers entering the Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobbes, Jörg M.; Fitznar, Hans Peter; Kattner, Gerhard

    2000-09-01

    The biogeochemical signature of riverine matter in the Russian Arctic was investigated to establish a background for tracing terrestrial organic material in the Arctic Ocean. Elemental and lignin compositions of particulate and dissolved organic matter (POM, DOM), stable carbon isotope ratios of POM and nutrient concentrations are reported for 12 Russian rivers along 4000 km of coastline. The 12 rivers account for about 43% of the freshwater supply to the Arctic Ocean. Nine rivers drain both tundra and taiga areas and three rivers only tundra. Concentrations of nitrogenous nutrients and phosphate were low, whereas silicate values were generally high with only few exceptions. The concentrations of particulate organic carbon (POC) varied between 25.5 and 291 μmol/L C, contributing 0.4-2.1% to the total suspended sediment (TSS). Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) ranging from 230 to 1006 μmol/L C was on average eight times higher than POC. The concentrations of particulate and dissolved organic nitrogen were similar (ca. 11 μmol/L N) resulting in four times higher C/N ratios in the dissolved fraction (48) compared to the particulate fraction (11). The δ 13C ratios were uniform (-25.6 to -27.4‰) and similar in taiga and tundra draining rivers. The exclusively terrestrial component lignin, determined as lignin phenols after cupric oxide oxidation, ranged from 5.6 to 37.6 nmol/L in the particulate fraction and from 34 to 319 nmol/L in the dissolved fraction. The syringyl/vanillyl (S/V) and cinnamyl/vanillyl (C/V) ratios of the particulate and dissolved lignin phenols were significantly correlated with the proportion of tundra and taiga in the drainage areas. This is true despite different formation processes and diagenetic degree of POM and DOM, as evident from acid/aldehyde ratios of vanillyl phenols [(Ad/Al)v]. Export rates were calculated from the carbon and lignin data. The 12 rivers studied transport about 10 × 10 12 g of total organic carbon per year into the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Bioavailable soil phosphorus decreases with increasing elevation in a subarctic tundra landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea G Vincent

    Full Text Available Phosphorus (P is an important macronutrient in arctic and subarctic tundra and its bioavailability is regulated by the mineralization of organic P. Temperature is likely to be an important control on P bioavailability, although effects may differ across contrasting plant communities with different soil properties. We used an elevational gradient in northern Sweden that included both heath and meadow vegetation types at all elevations to study the effects of temperature, soil P sorption capacity and oxalate-extractable aluminium (Alox and iron (Feox on the concentration of different soil P fractions. We hypothesized that the concentration of labile P fractions would decrease with increasing elevation (and thus declining temperature, but would be lower in meadow than in heath, given that N to P ratios in meadow foliage are higher. As expected, labile P in the form of Resin-P declined sharply with elevation for both vegetation types. Meadow soils did not have lower concentrations of Resin-P than heath soils, but they did have 2-fold and 1.5-fold higher concentrations of NaOH-extractable organic P and Residual P, respectively. Further, meadow soils had 3-fold higher concentrations of Alox + Feox and a 20% higher P sorption index than did heath soils. Additionally, Resin-P expressed as a proportion of total soil P for the meadow was on average half that in the heath. Declining Resin-P concentrations with elevation were best explained by an associated 2.5-3.0 °C decline in temperature. In contrast, the lower P availability in meadow relative to heath soils may be associated with impaired organic P mineralization, as indicated by a higher accumulation of organic P and P sorption capacity. Our results indicate that predicted temperature increases in the arctic over the next century may influence P availability and biogeochemistry, with consequences for key ecosystem processes limited by P, such as primary productivity.

  14. Bioavailable soil phosphorus decreases with increasing elevation in a subarctic tundra landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Andrea G; Sundqvist, Maja K; Wardle, David A; Giesler, Reiner

    2014-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an important macronutrient in arctic and subarctic tundra and its bioavailability is regulated by the mineralization of organic P. Temperature is likely to be an important control on P bioavailability, although effects may differ across contrasting plant communities with different soil properties. We used an elevational gradient in northern Sweden that included both heath and meadow vegetation types at all elevations to study the effects of temperature, soil P sorption capacity and oxalate-extractable aluminium (Alox) and iron (Feox) on the concentration of different soil P fractions. We hypothesized that the concentration of labile P fractions would decrease with increasing elevation (and thus declining temperature), but would be lower in meadow than in heath, given that N to P ratios in meadow foliage are higher. As expected, labile P in the form of Resin-P declined sharply with elevation for both vegetation types. Meadow soils did not have lower concentrations of Resin-P than heath soils, but they did have 2-fold and 1.5-fold higher concentrations of NaOH-extractable organic P and Residual P, respectively. Further, meadow soils had 3-fold higher concentrations of Alox + Feox and a 20% higher P sorption index than did heath soils. Additionally, Resin-P expressed as a proportion of total soil P for the meadow was on average half that in the heath. Declining Resin-P concentrations with elevation were best explained by an associated 2.5-3.0 °C decline in temperature. In contrast, the lower P availability in meadow relative to heath soils may be associated with impaired organic P mineralization, as indicated by a higher accumulation of organic P and P sorption capacity. Our results indicate that predicted temperature increases in the arctic over the next century may influence P availability and biogeochemistry, with consequences for key ecosystem processes limited by P, such as primary productivity.

  15. The changing Arctic carbon cycle: using the past to understand terrestrial-aquatic linkages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, N. J.; van Hardenbroek, M.; Jones, V.; McGowan, S.; Langdon, P. G.; Whiteford, E.; Turner, S.; Edwards, M. E.

    2016-12-01

    Predicted shifts in terrestrial vegetation cover associated with Arctic warming are altering the delivery and processing of carbon to aquatic ecosystems. This process could determine whether lakes are net carbon sources or sinks and, because lake density is high in many Arctic areas, may alter regional carbon budgets. Lake sediment records integrate information from within the lake and its catchment and can be used quantify past vegetation shifts associated with known climatic episodes of warmer (Holocene Thermal Maximum) and cooler (Neoglacial) conditions. We analysed sediment cores located in different Arctic vegetation biomes (tundra, shrub, forested) in Greenland, Norway and Alaska and used biochemical (algal pigments, stable isotopes) remains to evaluate whether past vegetation shifts were associated with changes in ecosystem carbon processing and biodiversity. When lake catchments were sparsely vegetated and soil vegetation was limited ultra-violet radiation (UVR) screening pigments indicate clear lake waters, scarce dissolved organic carbon/ matter (DOC/M). Moderate vegetation development (birch scrub in Norway; herb tundra in Greenland) appears to enhance delivery of DOM to lakes, and to stimulate algal production which is apparently linked to heterotrophic carbon processing pathways (e.g. algal mixotrophy, nutrient release via the microbial loop). Mature forest cover (in Alaska and Norway) supressed lake autotrophic production, most likely because coloured DOM delivered from catchment vegetation limited light availability. During wetter periods when mires developed lake carbon processing also changed, indicating that hydrological delivery of terrestrial DOM is also important. Therefore, future changes in Arctic vegetation and precipitation patterns are highly likely to alter the way that arctic ecosystems process carbon. Our approach provides an understanding of how ecosystem diversity and carbon processing respond to past climate change and the difficulty

  16. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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 m...

  18. Large tundra methane burst during onset of freezing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastepanov, Mikhail; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Dlugokencky, Edward J.

    2008-01-01

    of global atmospheric methane concentrations indicate that the observed early winter emission burst improves the agreement between the simulated seasonal cycle and atmospheric data from latitudes north of 60N. Our findings suggest that permafrost-associated freeze-in bursts of methane missions from tundra...

  19. A Microwave Radiance Assimilation Study for a Tundra Snowpack

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Factors determining plant species richness in Alaskan artic tundra

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Welle, van der M.E.W.; Vermeulen, P.J.; Shaver, G.R.; Berendse, F.

    2003-01-01

    We studied the relationship between plant N:P ratio, soil characteristics and species richness in wet sedge and tussock tundra in northern Alaska at seven sites. We also collected data on soil characteristics, above-ground biomass, species richness and composition. The N:P ratio of the vegetation

  1. 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...

  2. Emissions of biogenic sulfur gases from Alaskan tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Mark E.; Morrison, Michael C.

    1992-01-01

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

  3. Arctic climate tipping points.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenton, Timothy M

    2012-02-01

    There is widespread concern that anthropogenic global warming will trigger Arctic climate tipping points. The Arctic has a long history of natural, abrupt climate changes, which together with current observations and model projections, can help us to identify which parts of the Arctic climate system might pass future tipping points. Here the climate tipping points are defined, noting that not all of them involve bifurcations leading to irreversible change. Past abrupt climate changes in the Arctic are briefly reviewed. Then, the current behaviour of a range of Arctic systems is summarised. Looking ahead, a range of potential tipping phenomena are described. This leads to a revised and expanded list of potential Arctic climate tipping elements, whose likelihood is assessed, in terms of how much warming will be required to tip them. Finally, the available responses are considered, especially the prospects for avoiding Arctic climate tipping points.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Shrub sensitivity to recent warming across Arctic Alaska from dendrochronological and remote sensing records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreu-Hayles, Laia; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; D'Arrigo, Rosanne; Anchukaitis, Kevin J.; Goetz, Scott

    2017-04-01

    Shrub expansion into Arctic and alpine tundra ecosystems has been documented during the last several decades based on repeat aerial photography, remote sensing, and ground-truthed estimates of vegetation cover. Today, summer temperatures limit the northern limit of Arctic shrubs, and warmer summers have been shown to have higher NDVI in shrub tundra zones. Although global warming has been considered the main driver of shrub expansion, soil types, shrub species and non-linear responses can moderate how sensitive shrub growth is to climate warming. Here, we assess the sensitivity of shrub growth to inter-annual climate variability using a newly generated network of 18 shrub ring-width chronologies in the tundra regions of the North Slope of Alaska. We then test whether the dendroclimatic patterns we observe at individual sites are representative of the broader region using remotely sensed productivity data (NDVI). The common period of both satellite and shrub ring data from all sites was 1982 to 2010. Instrumental daily data from Toolik Lake and interpolated products was compared to detrended growth rates of Salix spp. (willow) and Alnus sp. (alder), located on and to the west of the Dalton Highway ( 68-70°N 148°W). Whereas summer temperatures were found to enhance shrub growth, warm temperatures outside the core of the growing season have the inverse effect in some chronologies. All tundra shrub chronologies shared a common strong positive response to summer temperatures despite growing in heterogeneous site conditions and belonging to different species. In this work we will discuss shrub climate sensitive across Alaska and how NDVI data compared to the shrub ring-width network.

  7. Approaching a Postcolonial Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Lars

    2016-01-01

    This article explores different postcolonially configured approaches to the Arctic. It begins by considering the Arctic as a region, an entity, and how the customary political science informed approaches are delimited by their focus on understanding the Arctic as a region at the service of the co......-colonial presences in the Arctic before moving on to consider artworks about the Arctic that arguably through their transgressive forms pushes at the boundaries of geopolitical, geohistorical and geoaesthetic approaches.......This article explores different postcolonially configured approaches to the Arctic. It begins by considering the Arctic as a region, an entity, and how the customary political science informed approaches are delimited by their focus on understanding the Arctic as a region at the service...... of the contemporary neoliberal order. It moves on to explore how different parts of the Arctic are inscribed in a number of sub-Arctic nation-state binds, focusing mainly on Canada and Denmark. The article argues that the postcolonial can be understood as a prism or a methodology that asks pivotal questions to all...

  8. Quantitative Climate Reconstruction Based On Pollen Data From Russian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarasov, P. E.; Andreev, A. A.; Hubberten, H.-W.

    Three different statistical approaches have been tested to get quantitative reconstruc- tion of the Late Quaternary climate fluctuations in the Russian Arctic using surface pollen data set from the northern Eurasia. An information-statistical method (Kli- manov, 1984) is based on the statistical correlations between the total pollen and spore abundance, as well as relative values of 14 most common tree and shrub pollen taxa. Over 800 recent pollen spectra from 220 sites across the northern Eurasia were used to worked out the method. It has been applied to the fossil pollen records from the Rus- sian Arctic (e.g. Andreev and Klimanov, 2000). However, we found that it has a clear limitation in reconstruction of climate from spectra with low percentages of arboreal pollen. A plant functional type (PFT) method gives better results in reconstruction of modern climate in the forest-tundra and tundra zone (Tarasov et al., 1999). However, transfer functions between modern PFT scores and climate were also derived from the data set with a limited number of Russian Arctic pollen spectra. A best modern ana- logues method (Guiot, 1990) have been applied to the recently updated modern pollen data set, including over 1100 pollen spectra from the areas of the former USSR and Mongolia. Totally, 77 arboreal and non-arboreal pollen taxa were included in the anal- ysis. Modern climate variables at the pollen sampling sites have been calculated from the climate database with precise topography (W. Cramer, pers. comm.). We found that the mean July temperature and the sum of the mean daily temperatures above 5zC (growing-degree-days) can be reconstructed in the Russian Arctic with high accuracy. However, pollen spectra from Russian Arctic do not show a clear response to changes in the mean January temperature and in moisture index. Among the other tested vari- ables annual precipitation and runoff (annual precipitation minus evaporation) were reconstructed from the modern pollen spectra

  9. Permafrost Thaw, Soil Moisture and Plant Community Change Alter Organic Matter Decomposition in Alaskan Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natali, S.; Mauritz, M.; Pegoraro, E.; Schuur, E.

    2015-12-01

    Climate warming in arctic tundra has been associated with increased plant productivity and a shift in plant community composition, specifically an increase in shrub cover, which can impact soil organic matter through changes in the size and composition of the leaf litter pool. Shifts in litter quantity and quality will in turn interact with changes in the soil environment as the climate continues to warm. We examined the effects of permafrost thaw, soil moisture changes, and plant community composition on leaf litter decomposition in an upland tundra ecosystem in Interior Alaska. We present warming and drying effects on decomposition rates of graminoid-dominated and shrub-dominated leaf litter mixtures over three years (2 cm depth), and annual decomposition of a common cellulose substrate (0-10 cm and 10-20 cm) over five years at a permafrost thaw and soil drying experiment. We expected that warming and drying would increase decomposition, and that decomposition would be greater in the shrub litter than in the graminoid litter mix. Decomposition of Betula nana, the dominant shrub, was 50% greater in the shrub-dominated litter mix compared to the graminoid-dominated litter. Surprisingly, there was no significant difference in total litter mass loss between graminoid and shrub litter mixtures, despite significant differences in decomposition rates of the dominant plant species when decomposed alone and in community mixtures. Drying decreased decomposition of B. nana and of the shrub community litter overall, but after two years there was no detected warming effect on shrub-community decomposition. In contrast to leaf litter decomposition, both warming and drying increased decomposition of the common substrate. Warming caused an almost twofold increase in cellulose decomposition in surface soil (0-10cm), and drying caused a twofold increase in cellulose decomposition from deeper organic layer soils (10-20cm). These results demonstrate the importance of interactions

  10. Land cover heterogeneity and soil respiration in a west Greenland tundra landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley-Cook, J. I.; Burzynski, A.; Hammond, C. R.; Virginia, R. A.

    2011-12-01

    Multiple direct and indirect pathways underlie the association between land cover classification, temperature and soil respiration. Temperature is a main control of the biological processes that constitute soil respiration, yet the effect of changing atmospheric temperatures on soil carbon flux is unresolved. This study examines associations amongst land cover, soil carbon characteristics, soil respiration, and temperature in an Arctic tundra landscape in western Greenland. We used a 1.34 meter resolution multi-spectral WorldView2 satellite image to conduct an unsupervised multi-staged ISODATA classification to characterize land cover heterogeneity. The four band image was taken on July 10th, 2010, and captures an 18 km by 15 km area in the vicinity of Kangerlussuaq. The four major terrestrial land cover classes identified were: shrub-dominated, graminoid-dominated, mixed vegetation, and bare soil. The bare soil class was comprised of patches where surface soil has been deflated by wind and ridge-top fellfield. We hypothesize that soil respiration and soil carbon storage are associated with land cover classification and temperature. We set up a hierarchical field sampling design to directly observe spatial variation between and within land cover classes along a 20 km temperature gradient extending west from Russell Glacier on the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. We used the land cover classification map and ground verification to select nine sites, each containing patches of the four land cover classes. Within each patch we collected soil samples from a 50 cm pit, quantified vegetation, measured active layer depth and determined landscape characteristics. From a subset of field sites we collected additional 10 cm surface soil samples to estimate soil heterogeneity within patches and measured soil respiration using a LiCor 8100 Infrared Gas Analyzer. Soil respiration rates varied with land cover classes, with values ranging from 0.2 mg C/m^2/hr in the bare soil

  11. Bioremediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon contaminated ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Michael Horsfall

    Their addition in soil has been known to inhibit soil respiration, nitrogen mineralization and nitrification (Lao et al, 2005;. Sobolev and Begonia, 2008; Nwuche and Ugoji,. 2008). Heavy metals have also been implicated in the reduction of degradation of vegetable materials and can potentially limit the biodegradation of ...

  12. Compost bioremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2008-05-16

    May 16, 2008 ... Figure 3. Changes in the respiration rates of compost inhabiting microorganisms during composting. Values are means of three replicates ± 1 Standard Error. Table 1. Changes in the C:N ratios of compost mixture during incubation. Treatment. 0. 6 Months. 12 Months. 18 Months. Contaminated soil (control ...

  13. Compost bioremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Contaminated soil (FAO: Lithosol) containing >380 000 mg kg-1 total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) was bioremediated by composting. The soil was inoculated with sewage sludge and incubated for 19 months. The soil was mixed in a ratio of 1:1 (v/v) with wood chips. The soil-wood chips mixture was then mixed in a ratio ...

  14. Biosurfactant-enhanced remediation of hydrocarbon contaminated ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Crude biosurfactant extract produced by two microbial isolates, Pseudomonas mallei and Pseudomonas pseudomallei were used to enhance the biodegradation rates of petroleum hydrocarbon pollutants in a mangrove swamp in Nigeria. Nutrient application in combination with biosurfactants showed very significant ...

  15. Bioremediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon contaminated ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigates the effect of lead and chromium on the rate of bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminated clay soil. Naphthalene was used as a target PAH. The soil was sterilized by heating at 120oC for one hour. 100g of the soil was contaminated with lead, chromium, nickel and mercury ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Nathan C. Healey; Oberbauer, Steven F; Hollister, Robert D.

    2016-01-01

    Passive warming manipulation methodologies, such as open-top chambers (OTCs), are a meaningful approach for interpretation of impacts of climate change on the Arctic tundra biome. The magnitude of OTC warming has been studied extensively, revealing an average plot-level warming of air temperature that ranges between 1 and 3 °C as measured by shielded resistive sensors or thermocouples. Studies have also shown that the amount of OTC warming depends in part on location climate, vegetation, and ...

  17. Phenology and species determine growing-season albedo increase at the altitudinal limit of shrub growth in the sub-Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Scott N; Barrio, Isabel C; Hik, David S; Gamon, John A

    2016-11-01

    Arctic warming is resulting in reduced snow cover and increased shrub growth, both of which have been associated with altered land surface-atmospheric feedback processes involving sensible heat flux, ground heat flux and biogeochemical cycling. Using field measurements, we show that two common Arctic shrub species (Betula glandulosa and Salix pulchra), which are largely responsible for shrub encroachment in tundra, differed markedly in albedo and that albedo of both species increased as growing season progressed when measured at their altitudinal limit. A moveable apparatus was used to repeatedly measure albedo at six precise spots during the summer of 2012, and resampled in 2013. Contrary to the generally accepted view of shrub-covered areas having low albedo in tundra, full-canopy prostrate B. glandulosa had almost the highest albedo of all surfaces measured during the peak of the growing season. The higher midsummer albedo is also evident in localized MODIS albedo aggregated from 2000 to 2013, which displays a similar increase in growing-season albedo. Using our field measurements, we show the ensemble summer increase in tundra albedo counteracts the generalized effect of earlier spring snow melt on surface energy balance by approximately 40%. This summer increase in albedo, when viewed in absolute values, is as large as the difference between the forest and tundra transition. These results indicate that near future (albedo related to Arctic vegetation change are unlikely to be particularly large and might constitute a negative feedback to climate warming in certain circumstances. Future efforts to calculate energy budgets and a sensible heating feedback in the Arctic will require more detailed information about the relative abundance of different ground cover types, particularly shrub species and their respective growth forms and phenology. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. Multiple climate drivers accelerate Arctic plant community senescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livensperger, C.; Steltzer, H.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Weintraub, M. N.

    2015-12-01

    Alteration of seasonal phenology cues due to climate change has led to changes in the onset and duration of the growing season. While photoperiod often acts as an ultimate control on phenological events, recent studies have shown that environmental cues such as temperature and soil water content can modify the direction and rate of senescence processes. Warmer temperatures have resulted in an observed trend towards delayed senescence across temperate latitudes. However, Arctic regions are characterized by extreme seasonality and rapidly decreasing photoperiod, and consequently senescence may not shift as climate warms. We monitored the timing of Arctic plant community senescence for three years under the framework of an experimental manipulation that altered seasonal phenological cues through warming and earlier snowmelt. Alternative models of senescence were tested to determine if microclimate (air temperature, soil temperature, and soil moisture) or start of season phenology affect the timing and rate of community senescence. We found that all three microclimate predictors contributed to explaining variation in timing of senescence, suggesting that photoperiod is not the sole control on timing of senescence in Arctic plant communities. Rather, increased air and soil temperatures along with drier soil conditions, led to acceleration in the onset of senescence at a community level. Our data suggest that (1) multiple climate drivers predict timing of plant community senescence, and (2) climate change could result in a shorter peak season due to earlier onset of senescence, which would decrease the potential carbon uptake in moist acidic tundra.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-07-01

    sites that were reseeded and fertilized repeatedly. For example, at the Inigok drill site in 1982, 600Table 3. Tax naturally colonizing a well lb...acre of fertilizer were applied, and most of the site (BP Put. R Well) 10 years after aban- drill pad now has a considerably greater cover of donnet...the artificial seed Artemisia borealis Eutreme edwardsi mixture. The best development of artificial vegeta- Artemnsta glomerata Festuca baffinensis

  2. RESOURCE-BASED NICHES PROVIDE A BASIS FOR PLANT SPECIES DIVERSITY AND DOMINANCE IN ARCTIC TUNDRA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecologists have long been intrigued by the ways co-occurring species divide limiting resources, and have proposed that such resource partitioning, or niche differentiation, promotes species diversity by reducing competition. Although resource partitioning is an important determi...

  3. Research with Arctic peoples

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    Arctic peoples are spread over eight countries and comprise 3.74 million residents, of whom 9% are indigenous. The Arctic countries include Canada, Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. Although Arctic peoples are very diverse, there are a variety...... entitled "Research with Arctic Peoples: Unique Research Opportunities in Heart, Lung, Blood and Sleep Disorders". The meeting was international in scope with investigators from Greenland, Iceland and Russia, as well as Canada and the United States. Multiple health agencies from Canada and the United States...

  4. Arctic wind energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-12-31

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eeva M Soininen

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

  6. Modeling the Response of Boreal Forest Expansion on the Summer Arctic Frontal Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liess, S.; Snyder, P. K.; Harding, K. J.

    2010-12-01

    Arctic warming over the last 100 years has resulted in a longer growing season in boreal and tundra ecosystems, especially during summertime. This has led to a northward expansion of the boreal forest and a decrease in the surface albedo. Corresponding changes to the surface and atmospheric energy budgets have generally contributed to a broad region of warming over areas where boreal forest has expanded into tundra. Mesoscale and synoptic scale dynamics are likewise affected. Previous studies have identified a relationship between the positioning of the boreal forest-tundra ecotone and the Arctic frontal zone in summer. This study focuses on the effects of boreal forest expansion on the summer Arctic frontal zone when albedo differences between tundra and boreal forest are at a maximum. The Arctic climate during the month of June was simulated with the WRF regional model coupled to the NOAH land surface model with 30 km horizontal resolution over the polar stereographic domain north of 50°N. The current distribution of vegetation is based on a recent MODIS-derived land cover data set. Two sets of experiments were conducted. One control experiment with observed land cover, and one sensitivity experiment where all grid points classified as open shrubland north of the boreal forest were replaced with either evergreen or deciduous boreal needleleaf forest depending on the type of boreal forest presently located south of a given open shrubland location. Both the boreal expansion and control simulations consist of 13 ensemble members. Results show a significant increase in storm track activity over areas with expanded boreal forest and to the north, where the increase in the meridional temperature gradient is strongest, particularly in eastern Russia, and eastern North America. A blocking high over eastern Russia contributes to a northward shift in the jet stream over this area. Storm track activity also increases over northern Europe and central Russia to the south of

  7. Enhanced greenhouse gas emissions from the Arctic with experimental warming

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    Temperatures in the Arctic are projected to increase more rapidly than in lower latitudes. With temperature being a key factor for regulating biogeochemical processes in ecosystems, even a subtle temperature increase might promote the r