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  • Articles  (68)
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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2016-12-13
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Nature Archives 1869 - 2009
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
    Notes: [Auszug] Carbon accumulation in the terrestrial biosphere could partially offset the effects of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on atmospheric CO 2 (refs 1, 2). The net impact of increased CO2 on the carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems is ...
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Nature Archives 1869 - 2009
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
    Notes: [Auszug] Studies and models of trace-gas flux in the Arctic consider temperature and moisture to be the dominant controls over land–atmosphere exchange,, with little attention having been paid to the effects of different substrates. Likewise, current Arctic vegetation maps for models of vegetation ...
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Nature Archives 1869 - 2009
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
    Notes: [Auszug] Large uncertainties in the budget of atmospheric methane, an important greenhouse gas, limit the accuracy of climate change projections. Thaw lakes in North Siberia are known to emit methane, but the magnitude of these emissions remains uncertain because most methane is released through ...
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1365-2486
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geography
    Notes: Synthesis of results from several Arctic and boreal research programmes provides evidence for the strong role of high-latitude ecosystems in the climate system. Average surface air temperature has increased 0.3 °C per decade during the twentieth century in the western North American Arctic and boreal forest zones. Precipitation has also increased, but changes in soil moisture are uncertain. Disturbance rates have increased in the boreal forest; for example, there has been a doubling of the area burned in North America in the past 20 years. The disturbance regime in tundra may not have changed. Tundra has a 3–6-fold higher winter albedo than boreal forest, but summer albedo and energy partitioning differ more strongly among ecosystems within either tundra or boreal forest than between these two biomes. This indicates a need to improve our understanding of vegetation dynamics within, as well as between, biomes. If regional surface warming were to continue, changes in albedo and energy absorption would likely act as a positive feedback to regional warming due to earlier melting of snow and, over the long term, the northward movement of treeline. Surface drying and a change in dominance from mosses to vascular plants would also enhance sensible heat flux and regional warming in tundra. In the boreal forest of western North America, deciduous forests have twice the albedo of conifer forests in both winter and summer, 50–80% higher evapotranspiration, and therefore only 30–50% of the sensible heat flux of conifers in summer. Therefore, a warming-induced increase in fire frequency that increased the proportion of deciduous forests in the landscape, would act as a negative feedback to regional warming.Changes in thermokarst and the aerial extent of wetlands, lakes, and ponds would alter high-latitude methane flux. There is currently a wide discrepancy among estimates of the size and direction of CO2 flux between high-latitude ecosystems and the atmosphere. These discrepancies relate more strongly to the approach and assumptions for extrapolation than to inconsistencies in the underlying data. Inverse modelling from atmospheric CO2 concentrations suggests that high latitudes are neutral or net sinks for atmospheric CO2, whereas field measurements suggest that high latitudes are neutral or a net CO2 source. Both approaches rely on assumptions that are difficult to verify. The most parsimonious explanation of the available data is that drying in tundra and disturbance in boreal forest enhance CO2 efflux. Nevertheless, many areas of both tundra and boreal forests remain net sinks due to regional variation in climate and local variation in topographically determined soil moisture. Improved understanding of the role of high-latitude ecosystems in the climate system requires a concerted research effort that focuses on geographical variation in the processes controlling land–atmosphere exchange, species composition, and ecosystem structure. Future studies must be conducted over a long enough time-period to detect and quantify ecosystem feedbacks.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1365-2486
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geography
    Notes: Understanding the distribution and function of Arctic and boreal ecosystems under current conditions and their vulnerability to altered forcing is crucial to our assessment of future global environmental change. Such efforts can be facilitated by the development and application of ecological models that simulate realistic patterns of vegetation change at high latitudes. This paper reviews three classes of ecological models that have been implemented to extrapolate vegetation information in space (e.g. across the Arctic and adjacent domains) and over historical and future periods (e.g. under altered climate and other forcings). These are: (i) equilibrium biogeographical models; (ii) frame-based transient ecosystem models, and (iii) dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs). The equilibrium response of high-latitude vegetation to scenarios of increased surface air temperatures projected by equilibrium biogeographical models is for tundra to be replaced by a northward shift of boreal woodland and forests. A frame-based model (ALFRESCO) indicates the same directional changes, but illustrates how response time depends on rate of temperature increase and concomitant changes in moisture regime and fire disturbance return period. Key disadvantages of the equilibrium models are that they do not simulate time-dependent responses of vegetation and the role of disturbance is omitted or highly generalized. Disadvantages of the frame-based models are that vegetation type is modelled as a set unit as opposed to an association of individually simulated plant functional types and that the role of ecosystem biogeochemistry in succession is not explicitly considered. DGVMs explicitly model disturbance (e.g. fire), operate on plant functional types, and incorporate constraints of nutrient availability on biomass production in the simulation of vegetation dynamics. Under changing climate, DGVMs detail conversion of tundra to tree-dominated boreal landscapes along with time-dependent responses of biomass, net primary production, and soil organic matter turnover–-which all increase with warming. Key improvements to DGVMs that are needed to portray behaviour of arctic and boreal ecosystems adequately are the inclusion of anaerobic soil processes for inundated landscapes, permafrost dynamics, and moss-lichen layer biogeochemistry, as well as broader explicit accounting of disturbance regimes (including insect outbreaks and land management). Transient simulation of these landscapes can be further tailored to high-latitude processes and issues by spatially interactive, gridded application of arctic/boreal frame-based models and development of dynamic regional vegetation models (DRVMs) utilizing plant functional type schemes that capture the variety of high-latitude environments.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1365-2486
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geography
    Notes: Long-term ecosystem-level experiments, in which the environment is manipulated in a controlled manner, are important tools to predict the responses of ecosystem functioning and composition to future global change. We present the results of a meta-analysis performed on the results of long-term ecosystem-level experiments near Toolik Lake, Alaska, and Abisko, Sweden. We quantified aboveground biomass responses of different arctic and subarctic ecosystems to experimental fertilization, warming and shading. We not only analysed the general patterns but also the differences in responsiveness between sites and regions. Aboveground plant biomass showed a broad similarity of responses in both locations, and also showed some important differences. In both locations, aboveground plant biomass, particularly the biomass of deciduous and graminoid plants, responded most strongly to nutrient addition. The biomass of mosses and lichens decreased in both locations as the biomass of vascular plants increased. An important difference between the two regions was the smaller positive aboveground biomass response of deciduous shrubs in Abisko as compared with Toolik Lake. Whereas in Toolik Lake Betula nana increased its dominance and replaced many of the other plant types, in Abisko all vascular plant types increased in abundance without major shifts in relative abundance. The differences between the responses of the dominant vegetation types of the Toolik Lake region, i.e. tussock tundra systems, and that of the Abisko region, i.e. heath systems, may have important implications for ecosystem development under expected patterns of global change. However, there were also large site-specific differences within each region. Several potential mechanistic explanations for the differences between sites and regions are discussed. The response patterns show the need for analyses of joint data sets from many regions and sites, in order to uncover common responses to changes in climate across large arctic regions from regional or local responses.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 8
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Oecologia 77 (1988), S. 506-514 
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Carbohydrate ; Growth form ; Nitrogen ; Phosphorus ; Tundra
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary In a survey of 28 plant species of 6 major growth forms from Alaskan tundra, we found no consistent difference among growth forms in the chemical nature of stored reserves except for lichens and mosses (which stored C primarily as polysaccharides) and shrubs (which tended to store C more as sugars than as polysaccharides). Forbs and graminoids showed particularly great diversity in the chemical nature of stored reserves. In contrast, C, N, and P chemistry of leaves was strikingly similar among all species and growth forms. Concentrations of stored reserves of C, N, and P were highest and showed greatest seasonal fluctuations in forbs and graminoids but were relatively constant in evergreen shrubs. From this information, we draw three general conclusions: (1) the photosynthetic function of leaves strongly constrains leaf chemistry so that similar chemical composition is found in all species and growth forms: (2) the chemical nature of storage reserves is highly variable, both within and among growth forms; (3) the concentration and seasonal pattern of storage reserves are closely linked to growth-form and reflect growth-form differences in woodiness, phenology, and relative dependence upon concurrent uptake vs. storage in support of growth.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 9
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Polar biology 2 (1983), S. 47-52 
    ISSN: 1432-2056
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary Most physiological processes of arctic plants are less temperature sensitive than those of temperate counterparts and consequently are most strongly limited by factors other than temperature. Annual carbon gains is limited primarily by length of growing season and secondarily by light, temperature, and nitrogen. Nutrient absorption is limited much more strongly by nutrient availability than by temperature. Nutrient availability in turn is restricted by a variety of factors stemming indirectly from low temperature. The in situ growth rate of arctic plants is comparable to or higher than that of temperate plants despite a 15–20°C difference in average air temperature. I conclude that temperature limits in several ways the rate at which resources become available to arctic plants and thereby the rates of resource acquisition and growth that can be maintained in an arctic environment, but that temperature is not a strong direct limitation to plant growth in the Arctic.
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  • 10
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Plant and soil 72 (1983), S. 283-287 
    ISSN: 1573-5036
    Keywords: Barley ; Chinochloa ; Growth rate ; Nutrient deficiency ; Nutrient stress ; Phosphorus fractions ; Root-shoot ratio ; Taiga
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
    Notes: Abstract High-nutrient-adapted and low-nutrient-adapted species of New Zealand tussock grasses (Chionochloa), barley (Hordeum), and several taiga trees were grown at three rates of phosphorus supply. Low-nutrient-adapted species in each group of species had similar (grasses) or lower (trees) capacities for phosphate absorption, were less efficient in producing biomass (i.e. had higher nutrient concentrations), and grew more slowly than high-nutrient-adapted species. I conclude that the major adaptation to low nutrient availability in each of these comparisons is a slow growth rate that reduces the annual nutrient requirement.
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