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Sample records for acidic tussock tundra

  1. Nitrogen mineralization in a tussock tundra soil

    SciTech Connect

    Marion, G.M.; Miller, P.C.

    1982-01-01

    The effects of substrate quality, temperature, and moisture on nitrogen mineralization from a tussock tundra soil were examined with laboratory soil incubations utilizing both air-dried samples and field-moist intact cores. The potentially mineralizable nitrogen (PMN) was highly correlated to both total soil nitrogen (positively) and the carbon/nitrogen ratio (negatively). All soil horizons exhibited a net nitrogen mineralization even at a high carbon/nitrogen ratio of 92. It was concluded that field-moist intact soil cores provide a more reliable estimate than the air-dried samples of both PMN and the mineralization rate under standard laboratory conditions. There was no significant effect of moisture tension (0.0 to 0.4 bars) on net nitrogen mineralization. The average Q/sub 10/ (temperature effect) for net nitrogen mineralization was 2.5. Based on this study and others, it was concluded that temperature through its effect on nitrogen mineralization plays an important role in controlling plant productivity in these naturally nitrogen-deficient tundra ecosystems.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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 ...

  3. AmeriFlux US-ICt Imnavait Creek Watershed Tussock Tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Bret-Harte, Syndonia; Euskirchen, Eugenie; Shaver, Gaius

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-ICt Imnavait Creek Watershed Tussock Tundra. Site Description - The Imnavait Creek Watershed Tussock Tundra (Biocomplexity Station) is located near Imnavait Creek in Alaska, north of the Brooks Range in the Kuparuk basin near Lake Toolik and the Toolik Field Station. The Kuparuk River has its headwaters in the Brooks Range and drains through northern Alaska into the Arctic Ocean. Within these headwaters lies the Imnavait basin at an average elevation of 930 m. Water tracks run down the hill in parallel zones with a spacing of approximately 10 m. The Biocomplexity Station was deployed in 2004, and it has been in operation during the melt seasons ever since.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Chae, N.

    2012-12-01

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

  5. Photosynthetic response of Eriophorum vaginatum to in situ shrub shading in tussock tundra of northern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson-Smith, A.; Pattison, R.; Sullivan, P.; Welker, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    Eriophorum vaginatum (Cotton Grass) is an important component of moist acidic tussock tundra, a plant community that appears to be undergoing changes in species composition associated with climate warming. This species is one of the most abundant in the arctic tundra, and provides important forage for caribou in their calving grounds on the Arctic Coastal Plain and along their migratory route through the foothills of Alaska. Recently, remote sensing data, repeat photography and plot-level measurements have indicated that shrub abundance is increasing while Eriophorum abundance is either constant or decreasing. One possible explanation for the reduction of Eriophorum while Betula nana is increasing, is that lower light levels in the taller Betula canopy may be constraining Eriophorum photosynthesis and subsequently reducing plant growth. This study measured the effect of shading on the light response of Eriphorum leaf photosynthesis in four different sites near Toolik Lake Alaska during the summer of 2009. Measurements were taken in: 1) a shrub patch within the drift zone of the ITEX long term snow fence experiment, 2) an LTER shade house (50% shading) built in 1989, 3) water track site 1 and water track site 2 (i.e. control areas with no experimental manipulations) Average photosynthetic rates for Eriophorum at a light level of 800 PAR varied from 3.8 to 10.9 umol m-2 s-1 and were not significantly different in shaded and unshaded areas. This study indicates that shading by shrubs does not appear to be altering the light response of Eriophorum nor does long-term shading by itself eliminate Eriophorum from the community. An alternative explanation for the decline of Eriophorum while Betula increases in abundance under changing climates may be related to plant and soil mineral nutrition, plant water relations or biotic processes involving herbivores.

  6. Early season nitrogen limitation of microbial respiration in the organic horizon of tussock tundra soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Low nitrogen (N) availability is a key constraint to decomposition of organic matter in arctic ecosystems. In tussock tundra soils, we have previously observed relatively high N availability early in the growing season followed by a crash in N availability later in the season. This crash led us to hypothesize that N is less limiting to microbial respiration early in the season and more limiting later in the season. To test this hypothesis, we incubated tussock tundra soils for one week in mason jars at three temperatures (5,10,15°C) with either ambient N levels or additional N (112.5 ug N g-1 dry soil). We made early season measurements at the beginning of June and late season measurements at the end of July in both 2010 and 2011. Contrary to our hypothesis, the laboratory incubations suggest that soil respiration is N-limited at both times of the season. The size of the limitation varied with temperature, with the most consistent effect of added N observed at 10°C. Reductions in the C:N ratio of the microbial biomass shows that they readily took up the added N in both the early and late season. We also saw that more carbon overall was respired in the warmer treatments in 2011. Rapid reductions in the respiration rate over the course of the one week incubation, particularly in 2011, suggest that labile carbon is also strongly limiting to microbial respiration in these soils. These data suggest that both carbon and nitrogen limitation to decomposition can occur very early in the growing season, even shortly after the onset of soil thaw. The results of this study reinforce the role of nutrient limitation as an important constraint on the loss of large stocks of carbon from the organic-rich upper layers of tussock tundra soils.

  7. Environmental effects on CO sub 2 efflux from water track and tussock tundra in arctic Alaska, U. S. A

    SciTech Connect

    Oberbauer, S.F. ); Tenhunen, J.D.; Reynolds, J.F. )

    1991-05-01

    CO{sub 2} efflux and variation in soil environmental characteristics were examined in two tundra vegetation communities, water track (a small drainage of intermittent water flow) and tussock tundra, in the northern foothills of the Philip Smith Mountains in arctic Alaska. Correlation analyses were performed on the observations made at six times during the growing season in order to evaluate the relationships between system CO{sub 2} loss and soil moisture, soil temperature, depth of thaw, and depth to the water table. The two sites differed significantly in terms of soil moisture, soil temperature, depth of thaw, and water table depth on several of the sampling dates. During four of the six measurement periods, the rate of CO{sub 2} efflux differed significantly between sites. Early in the season, respiration was greater in tussock tundra than at the water track, but later in the season, rates at the water track exceeded those at the tussock site. Highest rates were measured at the water track near mid-season. Efflux of CO{sub 2} at both sites was positively correlated with soil temperature. Soil surface (0-5 cm depth) environmental conditions were better predictors of CO{sub 2} efflux than were conditions measured at greater depth (5-10 cm). Soil moisture appeared to increase respiration between 100 and 700% of soil dry weight and decrease soil respiration at higher water contents. The effects of soil moisture were stronger in tussock tundra than in the water track community. These data suggest that both soil temperature and soil moisture limit CO{sub 2} efflux in water track and tussock tundra communities and that the relative importance of these factors changes throughout the growing season.

  8. Spatial Variability of Canopy Structure and Function in Tussock Tundra of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryu, Y.; Lee, J.; Kim, J. M.; Lee, Y. K.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the type of canopy structure and function is important to link the effects of climate change on carbon, water, and energy exchanges between vegetation in tussock tundra and the atmosphere. Interpreting vegetation spatial variability with satellite products alone is a challenge, due to the patchiness of vegetation in the Arctic ecosystems with transient cloud over during the summer season that obstructs retrieval of land surface images. To compare and correlate spatial variation of vegetation with satellite data, we collected leaf area index (LAI) and hyperspectral reflectance data in Council, Alaska. To better understand canopy structure and functional variables, we further examined arctic leaf traits by measuring C:N ratio, leaf mass area (LMA), chlorophyll content, and hyperspectral leaf optical properties. We obtained WorldView-2 Satellite data, which has 8 multispectral bands with 0.5 m resolution, centered on our study site. Preliminary results showed remarkable variation in spectral reflectance and LAI across three 100-m transects. We discuss how to upscale the information from in-situ observed canopy properties into a landscape scale in tandem with the high-resolution satellite image.

  9. Effects of climate change on decomposition in Arctic Tussock Tundra: A modeling synthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Moorhead, D.L. ); Reynolds, J.F. )

    1993-11-01

    A model of litter decomposition (GENDEC; Moorhead and Reynolds, 1991) is used to examine the potential effects of changing soil climate on the decay of dead organic matter in a tussock tundra soil of northern Alaska, USA. Model behavior under current climatic conditions is consistent with observations from field and laboratory studies of decomposition and plant growth (5.28 g N[center dot]m[sup [minus]2][center dot]yr[sup [minus]1] turnover and 79.5 g CO[sub 2]-C[center dot]m[sup [minus]2]yr[sup [minus]1] released, respectively). Under changing conditions, carbon and nitrogen release from dead organic matter increase as linear functions of both season length and temperature, and as roughly parabolic functions of soil moisture content. The greatest increase in net N release from dead organic matter (199% of current value), occurs at optimum soil moisture (600%), longest season (140 d) and highest mean summer temperature (8.5[degrees]C). The least amount of N is immobilized (46% of current value) at the lowest temperature (currently 4.5[degrees]C), shortest season (70 d) and highest soil moisture content (1000%). Season length has little effect on the size of the mineral N pool, although pool size does respond to differences in temperature and soil moisture content and ranges from 12 to 25 mg N[center dot]m[sup [minus]2].

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  11. Plant functional types do not predict biomass responses to removal and fertilization in Alaskan tussock tundra.

    PubMed

    Bret-Harte, M Syndonia; Mack, Michelle C; Goldsmith, Gregory R; Sloan, Daniel B; Demarco, Jennie; Shaver, Gaius R; Ray, Peter M; Biesinger, Zy; Chapin, F Stuart

    2008-07-01

    Plant communities in natural ecosystems are changing and species are being lost due to anthropogenic impacts including global warming and increasing nitrogen (N) deposition. We removed dominant species, combinations of species and entire functional types from Alaskan tussock tundra, in the presence and absence of fertilization, to examine the effects of non-random species loss on plant interactions and ecosystem functioning.After 6 years, growth of remaining species had compensated for biomass loss due to removal in all treatments except the combined removal of moss, Betula nana and Ledum palustre (MBL), which removed the most biomass. Total vascular plant production returned to control levels in all removal treatments, including MBL. Inorganic soil nutrient availability, as indexed by resins, returned to control levels in all unfertilized removal treatments, except MBL.Although biomass compensation occurred, the species that provided most of the compensating biomass in any given treatment were not from the same functional type (growth form) as the removed species. This provides empirical evidence that functional types based on effect traits are not the same as functional types based on response to perturbation. Calculations based on redistributing N from the removed species to the remaining species suggested that dominant species from other functional types contributed most of the compensatory biomass.Fertilization did not increase total plant community biomass, because increases in graminoid and deciduous shrub biomass were offset by decreases in evergreen shrub, moss and lichen biomass. Fertilization greatly increased inorganic soil nutrient availability.In fertilized removal treatments, deciduous shrubs and graminoids grew more than expected based on their performance in the fertilized intact community, while evergreen shrubs, mosses and lichens all grew less than expected. Deciduous shrubs performed better than graminoids when B. nana was present, but not when

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  17. Optimizing burn severity assessments in Alaskan tussock tundra from optical imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loboda, T. V.; Jenkins, L. K.; French, N. H.; Bourgeau-Chavez, L. L.

    2013-12-01

    Over the past decade Alaskan tundra has experienced an increase in fire occurrence prompting rising concerns in the scientific community. Fire occurrence in tundra ecosystems has the potential to release a large amount of organic carbon stored in the deep organic layer, modify soil moisture and respiration, and make more organic matter available for decomposition and future burning through impacts on the active depth layer. Monitoring and characterization of fire occurrence and impacts in extensive, remote, and largely inaccessible tundra regions rely on satellite observations of land surface and require robust approaches to burn severity measurements. The relatively low fire activity in tundra regions between 1950 and 2000 has resulted in overall lack of understanding of fire impacts on tundra landscapes outside the Seward Peninsula where tundra fire record is better known. Thus satellite-based mapping of burn severity is limited by the lack of quantified knowledge of fire-induced physical changes on the landscape on the one hand and the capabilities of optical remote sensing systems to capture those characteristics on the other. Here we present an analysis of satellite mapping of burn severity using multi-date Landsat imagery and two field-based measurements of burn severity - the operationally applied Composite Burn Index (CBI) and the more simplistic Burn Severity Index (BSI), also known as the Burn Severity Code Matrix. The BSI used here is a four-point scale (unburned, low, moderate, severe) assessed for the surface substrate and vegetation layers. The BSI and CBI used to compare to the remote sensing data were determined from the field data by converting the qualitative fractional assessment of burn severity within 10 x 10 m plots to a single value. Since both indices represent mostly ocular assessment of the fire-impacted surface, they can relate well to Landsat's optical sensors measurements. The analysis shows that overall satellite indices have closer

  18. Evaluating Post-fire Ecosystem Effects in Tussock Tundra of the Seward Peninsula: Characterizing Above-ground Biomass Accumulation, Soil Nutrient Pools, and Foliar Nitrogen.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollingsworth, T. N.; Mack, M. C.; Breen, A. L.

    2014-12-01

    Over the last century in the circumpolar north, changes in vegetation include shrub cover expansion and shifts in tree line. Invasion of tundra by trees and shrubs may be further facilitated by wildfire disturbance, which creates opportunities for establishment where recruitment is otherwise rare. Even moderate increases in warm-season temperatures are predicted to increase the likelihood of tundra fires. Understanding the consequences of a change in fire regime are complicated by the fact that there are relatively few large recent fires to study. However, the Seward Peninsula is a region that currently experiences more frequent and large fires than other tundra regions in Arctic Alaska. In this tundra region, there are areas of overlapping burns dating back to the 1970s. Using a chronosequence approach, we looked at post-fire biomass accumulation as well as foliar and soil C and N. Our experimental design incorporated sites that showed no evidence of recent burning, sites that burned in 1971, 1997, 2002, and 2011 as well as sites that burned multiple times over the last 30 years. We found that fire had a significant effect on total biomass and shrub basal area in tussock tundra. Our site that burned in 2011 had the lowest total biomass, about half of the biomass of our unburned site. However, our results indicated the site that burned in 1971 had over double the aboveground biomass and more soil N than the unburned site. We found that sites that repeatedly burned since 1971 were very similar in biomass to unburned tundra. This suggests that repeat fires keep a post-fire site at unburned levels of biomass. However, in these repeat fire sites, foliar C/N was ~25% greater and soil C and N was ~50% less than in unburned tundra. These results indicate that repeat fires are potentially causing nitrogen loss that not likely to be replenished into the system. As tundra fires become more frequent prediction of post-fire ecosystem effects is critical due to impacts on

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  1. Plant phenological responses to a long-term experimental extension of growing season and soil warming in the tussock tundra of Alaska.

    PubMed

    Khorsand Rosa, Roxaneh; Oberbauer, Steven F; Starr, Gregory; Parker La Puma, Inga; Pop, Eric; Ahlquist, Lorraine; Baldwin, Tracey

    2015-12-01

    Climate warming is strongly altering the timing of season initiation and season length in the Arctic. Phenological activities are among the most sensitive plant responses to climate change and have important effects at all levels within the ecosystem. We tested the effects of two experimental treatments, extended growing season via snow removal and extended growing season combined with soil warming, on plant phenology in tussock tundra in Alaska from 1995 through 2003. We specifically monitored the responses of eight species, representing four growth forms: (i) graminoids (Carex bigellowii and Eriophorum vaginatum); (ii) evergreen shrubs (Ledum palustre, Cassiope tetragona, and Vaccinium vitis-idaea); (iii) deciduous shrubs (Betula nana and Salix pulchra); and (iv) forbs (Polygonum bistorta). Our study answered three questions: (i) Do experimental treatments affect the timing of leaf bud break, flowering, and leaf senescence? (ii) Are responses to treatments species-specific and growth form-specific? and (iii) Which environmental factors best predict timing of phenophases? Treatment significantly affected the timing of all three phenophases, although the two experimental treatments did not differ from each other. While phenological events began earlier in the experimental plots relative to the controls, duration of phenophases did not increase. The evergreen shrub, Cassiope tetragona, did not respond to either experimental treatment. While the other species did respond to experimental treatments, the total active period for these species did not increase relative to the control. Air temperature was consistently the best predictor of phenology. Our results imply that some evergreen shrubs (i.e., C. tetragona) will not capitalize on earlier favorable growing conditions, putting them at a competitive disadvantage relative to phenotypically plastic deciduous shrubs. Our findings also suggest that an early onset of the growing season as a result of decreased snow cover

  2. Plant phenological responses to a long-term experimental extension of growing season and soil warming in the tussock tundra of Alaska.

    PubMed

    Khorsand Rosa, Roxaneh; Oberbauer, Steven F; Starr, Gregory; Parker La Puma, Inga; Pop, Eric; Ahlquist, Lorraine; Baldwin, Tracey

    2015-12-01

    Climate warming is strongly altering the timing of season initiation and season length in the Arctic. Phenological activities are among the most sensitive plant responses to climate change and have important effects at all levels within the ecosystem. We tested the effects of two experimental treatments, extended growing season via snow removal and extended growing season combined with soil warming, on plant phenology in tussock tundra in Alaska from 1995 through 2003. We specifically monitored the responses of eight species, representing four growth forms: (i) graminoids (Carex bigellowii and Eriophorum vaginatum); (ii) evergreen shrubs (Ledum palustre, Cassiope tetragona, and Vaccinium vitis-idaea); (iii) deciduous shrubs (Betula nana and Salix pulchra); and (iv) forbs (Polygonum bistorta). Our study answered three questions: (i) Do experimental treatments affect the timing of leaf bud break, flowering, and leaf senescence? (ii) Are responses to treatments species-specific and growth form-specific? and (iii) Which environmental factors best predict timing of phenophases? Treatment significantly affected the timing of all three phenophases, although the two experimental treatments did not differ from each other. While phenological events began earlier in the experimental plots relative to the controls, duration of phenophases did not increase. The evergreen shrub, Cassiope tetragona, did not respond to either experimental treatment. While the other species did respond to experimental treatments, the total active period for these species did not increase relative to the control. Air temperature was consistently the best predictor of phenology. Our results imply that some evergreen shrubs (i.e., C. tetragona) will not capitalize on earlier favorable growing conditions, putting them at a competitive disadvantage relative to phenotypically plastic deciduous shrubs. Our findings also suggest that an early onset of the growing season as a result of decreased snow cover

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  4. Deeper winter snow reduces ecosystem C losses but increases the global warming potential of Arctic tussock tundra over the growing season.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanc-Betes, E.; Welker, J. M.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic winter precipitation is projected to increase globally over the next decades, spatial variability encompassing areas with increases and decreases in winter snow. Changes in winter precipitation strongly affect C dynamics in Arctic systems and may lead to major positive climate forcing feedbacks. However, impacts of predicted changes in snowfall and accumulation on the rate and form of C fluxes (CO2 and CH4) and associated forcing feedbacks from Arctic tundra remain uncertain. We investigated how changes in winter precipitation affect net ecosystem CO2 and CH4 fluxes and budgets of moist acidic tundra in an 18-yrs snow fence experiment over a complete growing season at Toolik Lake, AK. Arctic tundra under ambient winter precipitation (CTL) was a net source of CO2 and CH4, yielding net C losses over the growing season. Reduced snow (-15-30% snow depth; RS) switched the system to a net CO2 sink mostly by limiting SOC decomposition within colder soils. Snow additions progressively reduced net ecosystem CO2 losses compared to CTL, switching the system into a weaker net CO2 source with medium additions (+20-45% snow depth; MS) and into a small net CO2 sink with high additions (+70-100% snow depth; HS). Increasingly wetter soils with snow additions constrained the temperature sensitivity of aerobic decomposition and favored the anaerobic metabolism, buffering ecosystem CO2 losses despite substantial soil warming. Accordingly, Arctic tundra switched from a sustained CH4 sink at RS site to an increasingly stronger CH4 source with snow additions. Accounting for both CO2 and CH4, the RS site became a net C sink over the growing season, overall reducing the global warming potential (CO2 equiv.; GWP) of the system relative to CTL. Snow additions progressively reduced net C losses at the MS site compared to CTL and the system transitioned into a net C sink at HS plots, partly due to the slower metabolism of anaerobic decomposition. However, given the greater radiative

  5. Controls over nutrient flow through plants and microbes in Arctic tundra. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Schimel, J.

    1994-02-01

    Ecosystem productivity in the Arctic is strongly controlled by N availability to plants. Thus, disturbances to the Arctic system are likely to have their greatest impacts by altering the supply of nutrients to plants. Thus, to understand the dynamics of Arctic tundra, a complete understanding of the controls on N cycling in tundra soils is necessary. This project focused on understanding nutrient dynamics in arctic tussock tundra, specifically evaluating the role of microbial uptake and competition for nutrients as a control on plant N-uptake. The project consisted of several major components: Short- and long-term partitioning of NH{sub 4}{sup +} in tussock tundra (1990--1991); Measurement of NH{sub 4}{sup +} uptake rates by Eriophorum vaginatum and by soil microbes; Determination of microbial NH{sub 4}{sup +} and NO{sub 3}{minus} uptake kinetics; and Determination of the partitioning of NH{sub 4}{sup +} and amino acids between E. vaginatum and soil microbes.

  6. Influence of the Tussock Growth Form on Arctic Ecosystem Carbon Stocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curasi, S.; Rocha, A. V.; Sonnentag, O.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Myers-Smith, I. H.; Fetcher, N.; Mack, M. C.; Natali, S.; Loranty, M. M.; Parker, T.

    2015-12-01

    The influence of plant growth forms on ecosystem carbon (C) cycling has been under appreciated. In arctic tundra, environmental factors and plant traits of the sedge Eriophorum vaginatum cause the formation of mounds that are dense amalgamations of belowground C called tussocks. Tussocks have important implications for arctic ecosystem biogeochemistry and C stocks, but the environmental and biological factors controlling their size and distribution across the landscape are poorly understood. In order to better understand how landscape variation in tussock size and density impact ecosystem C stocks, we formed the Carbon in Arctic Tussock Tundra (CATT) network and recruited an international team to sample locations across the arctic. The CATT network provided a latitudinal and longitudinal gradient along which to improve our understanding of tussocks' influence on ecosystem structure and function. CATT data revealed important insights into tussock formation across the arctic. Tussock density generally declined with latitude, and tussock size exhibited substantial variation across sites. The relationship between height and diameter was similar across CATT sites indicating that both biological and environmental factors control tussock formation. At some sites, C in tussocks comprised a substantial percentage of ecosystem C stocks that may be vulnerable to climate change. It is concluded that the loss of this growth form would offset C gains from projected plant functional shifts from graminoid to shrub tundra. This work highlights the role of plant growth forms on the magnitude and retention of ecosystem C stocks.

  7. Microbial community composition and function across an arctic tundra landscape.

    PubMed

    Zak, Donald R; Kling, George W

    2006-07-01

    Arctic landscapes are characterized by a diversity of ecosystems, which differ in plant species composition, litter biochemistry, and biogeochemical cycling rates. Tundra ecosystems differing in plant composition should contain compositionally and functionally distinct microbial communities that differentially transform dissolved organic matter as it moves downslope from dry, upland to wet, lowland tundra. To test this idea, we studied soil microbial communities in upland tussock, stream-side birch-willow, and lakeside wet sedge tundra in arctic Alaska, USA. These are a series of ecosystems that differ in topographic position, plant composition, and soil drainage. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analyses, coupled with compound-specific 13C isotope tracing, were used to quantify microbial community composition and function; we also assayed the activity of extracellular enzymes involved in cellulose, chitin, and lignin degradation. Surface soil from each tundra ecosystem was labeled with 13C-cellobiose,13C-N-acetylglucosamine, or 13C-vanillin. After a five-day incubation, we followed the movement of 13C into bacterial and fungal PLFAs, microbial respiration, dissolved organic carbon, and soil organic matter. Microbial community composition and function were distinct among tundra ecosystems, with tussock tundra containing a significantly greater abundance and activity of soil fungi. Although the majority of 13C-labeled substrates rapidly moved into soil organic matter in all tundra soils (i.e., 50-90% of applied 13C), microbial respiration of labeled substrates in wet sedge tundra soil was lower than in tussock and birch-willow tundra; approximately 8% of 13C-cellobiose and approximately 5% of 13C-vanillin was respired in wet sedge soil vs. 26-38% of 13C-cellobiose and 18-21% of 13C-vanillin in the other tundra ecosystems. Despite these differences, wet sedge tundra exhibited the greatest extracellular enzyme activity. Topographic variation in plant litter biochemistry

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

    PubMed

    Pattison, Robert R; Welker, Jeffrey M

    2014-02-01

    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 shrubs and a graminoid species, including: instantaneous rates of leaf gas exchange, and δ(13)C, δ(15)N, and nitrogen (N) concentrations of Betula nana, Salix pulchra, and Eriophorum vaginatum. Leaf-level measurements were complemented by measurements of canopy leaf area index (LAI) and depth of thaw. Reductions in snow lowered summer leaf photosynthesis, conductance, and transpiration rates by up to 40% compared to ambient and deep snow conditions for Eriophorum vaginatum, and reduced Salix pulchra conductance and transpiration by up to 49%. In contrast, Betula nana exhibited no changes in leaf gas exchange in response to lower or deeper snow. Canopy LAI increased with added snow, while reduced winter snow resulted in lower growing season soil temperatures and reduced thaw depths. Our findings indicate that the spatial and temporal variability of future snow depth will have individualistic consequences for leaf-level C fixation and water flux by tundra species, and that these responses will be manifested over the longer term by changes in canopy traits, depth of thaw, soil C and N processes, and trace gas (CO2 and H2O) exchanges between the tundra and the atmosphere.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Radioisotopes (137Cs, 40K, 210Pb) indicate that cryoturbation processes in Alaskan tussock tundra are accelerated under deeper winter snow: results from short and long-term winter snow depth experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanc-Betes, E.; Sturchio, N. C.; Taneva, L.; Welker, J. M.; Guilderson, T. P.; Poghosyan, A.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.

    2010-12-01

    Permafrost soils cover 8.6% of the Earth land area and contain up to 50% of the global soil organic carbon (SOC) pool. Amplified warming in northern latitudes has resulted directly and/or indirectly in multiple structural and functional changes in arctic ecosystems which may lead to strong forcing feedbacks on the climate system. Cryoturbation is a dominant soil forming process in permafrost regions that results to the mixing of soil layers during freeze-thaw cycles, and may increase in rates following global warming. As a result, the active layer of cryoturbated soils can average 62% larger C stocks than those from non-cryoturbated ones. Cryoturbation is a critical overlooked driver of C dynamics in permafrost soils that will likely play a pivotal role in the fate of Arctic soil C under climate change conditions. However, cryoturbation phenomena is difficult to quantify. We measured cryoturbation rates using a multiple isotope approach at Toolik Lake, Alaska, in moist acidic tundra soils from short- and long-term snow addition experiments. Shifts in cryoturbation rates as affected by these manipulations were measured by the relative activity of natural and weapon-derived radioisotopes (e.g. 137Cs, 40K, 210Pb). By tracking the vertical distribution of these fallout and natural radioisotopes in soils and calculating soil diffusion coefficients, we were able to quantify cryoturbation mixing rates and sediment transport mechanisms that operate at multiannual time scales. Our results show an apparent uplift of buried organic matter to the surface as a result of soil thermal insulation and subsequent deepening of the active layer. These results sharply contrast with current notions that cryoturbation in Arctic systems results in net burial of organic matter, resulting in increased C storage at depth. Mechanisms of this mechanical mixing and its effects on C redistribution and storage of organic matter will be presented to shed light on this apparent contradiction.

  11. Methane flux time series for tundra environments

    SciTech Connect

    Whalen, S.C.; Reeburgh, W.E. )

    1988-12-01

    Seasonal measurements of net methane flux were made at permanent sites representing important components of arctic tundra. The sites include Eriophorum tussocks, intertussock depressions, moss-covered areas, and Carex stands. Methane fluxes showed high diel, seasonal, intra site, and between site variability. Eriophorum tussocks and Carex dominated methane release to the atmosphere, with mean annual net methane fluxes of 8.05 + or{minus}2.50 g CH{sub 4}/sq m and 4.88 + or{minus}0.73 g CH{sub 4}/sq m, respectively. Methane fluxes form the moss sites and intertussock depressions were much lower. Over 90% of the mean annual methane flux from the Eriophorum, intertussock depressions, and Carex sites occurred between thaw and freeze-up. Some 40% of the mean annual methane flux from the moss sites occurred during winter. Composite methane fluxes for tussock tundra and Carex-dominated wet meadow tundra environments were produced by weighting measured component fluxes according to areal coverage. Tussock and wet meadow tundra account for an estimated global methane emission of 19-33 Tg/yr. 39 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Biomass and production of tundra vegetation under three eddy covariance towers at Imnavait Creek, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bret-Harte, M. S.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Edgar, C.; Huebner, D. C.; Okano, K.; Tucker, C. L.; Genet, H.; Ray, P. M.; Shaver, G. R.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the magnitude of, and controls over, CO2 and water fluxes in arctic ecosystems is essential for accurate assessment and prediction of their responses to climate change. There have been relatively few year-round studies of net CO2, water, and energy exchange using micrometeorological methods in the Arctic. We established eddy covariance flux towers in three representative Alaska tundra ecosystems along a toposequence (a ridge site composed of heath tundra and moist non-acidic tundra, a mid-slope site composed of moist acidic tussock tundra, and a valley bottom fen site composed of wet sedge tundra and moist acidic tundra), and have collected CO2, water, and energy flux data continuously for six years. Our ridge site shows a cumulative loss of CO2 over these six years, while the fen site is closer to being in balance. We have also compared net CO2 fluxes measured in chambers and scaled to the footprint of the tower with those measured by the towers. There was good agreement between chamber level fluxes and tower fluxes for overall net ecosystem exchange (NEE), but less agreement for ecosystem respiration (ER) and gross ecosystem production (GEP). In order to improve our assessments of ER and GEP, in 2013 we harvested biomass and soils from the most common community types within the source area for each flux tower during the growing season. We measured above- and belowground biomass and net primary production of the vegetation, soil C and N stocks, and plant-available soil N. Plant biomass and production were greatest in the tussock tundra at the mid-slope tower, and least in the wet sedge community at the fen tower, while plant diversity was greatest in the communities at the ridge site. Soil carbon stocks were greatest at the fen tower, which had the least cumulative CO2 loss over the six years that we have been measuring. These data will be used to improve our calculations of gross ecosystem production and ecosystem respiration, and to parameterize a

  14. Using Discriminant Analysis to Examine Spectral Differences Among Four Tundra Vegetation Communities at Ivotuk, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bratsch, S.; Epstein, H. E.

    2014-12-01

    Warming in the Arctic has resulted in changes in the distribution and composition of tundra vegetation in addition to a lengthening of the growing season. Past studies have mapped tundra vegetation at relatively coarse spatial scales; however, vegetation changes in the Arctic are occurring at spatial scales within a few meters. This research uses hyperspectral remote sensing data to differentiate among four vegetation communities at Ivotuk, Alaska (68.49°N, 155.74°W). Ivotuk is located on the North Slope, and is dominated by four plant communities including moist acidic tundra (MAT), moist nonacidic tundra (MNT), mossy tussock tundra (MT), and shrub tundra (ST). Hand-held hyperspectral data were collected during the 1999 growing season (5 June-27 August) at biweekly intervals using narrow, ~1.42 nm wavebands. Only wavebands within 400-1060 nm were used in analysis. Two sets of comparisons were conducted using stepwise discriminant analysis: 1) MNT and ST, and 2) all four tundra plant communities. MNT and ST classification accuracy ranged from 91.3-100%, with 100% classification and cross-validated accuracy occurring on 27 July. Classification accuracy for the overall growing season was 97.9% for MNT and 98.1% for ST. The stepwise function indicated 18 significant bands including 8 near infrared (NIR) and 4 blue bands. MAT, MNT, MT, and ST classification accuracy ranged from 58-100%, with greatest classification accuracy (100%) also occurring during peak growing season on 27 July. Overall classification accuracy for the growing season was 97.6% for MNT, 92% for MT, 84% for ST, and 70.8% for MAT. There were 14 significant bands including 6 NIR and 3 blue bands. The results presented here demonstrate that discriminant analysis can be useful in distinguishing among the dominant tundra vegetation communities in the Arctic, and can potentially help us to better understand and monitor arctic vegetation and ecosystem responses to environmental changes.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1983-02-15

    Bryophyte species distributions were analyzed with respect to microtopography at an alpine tundra site in central Alaska which is dominated by tussocks of Eriophorum vaginatum. Bryophyte distributions were found to be significantly correlated with slope but not with azimuth. Different types of tussocks and hollows and mats between tussocks also supported different bryophyte floras. Water loss resistances of three species of moss did not account for differences in their distributions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  18. Controls over nutrient flow through plants and microbes in Arctic tundra. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F.S. III

    1995-01-01

    We successfully developed a series of models to explore the importance of species differences in phenologies of growth and nitrogen uptake to competitive interactions in upland tussock tundra. We developed growth models for 4 major tussock tundra species, based on observed growth rates and phenologies. We found that differences in phenology and nutrient use strategy could permit coexistence of some, but not all of the tundra plants modeled. The plant that was the best competitor, because of its rapid growth rate and superior ability to retranslocate nitrogen, may be naturally limited in its competitive ability by its tussock growth form. The mechanisms behind this limitation, and the contributions of patterns of mortality to observed production, will be explored in future modeling and experimental studies. In addition, our models point out that our understanding of the dynamics of nitrogen supply is still inadequate.

  19. Long-term deeper snow causes changes in litter quality, soil C and N storage in moist acidic tundra in Northern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, O.; Xu, D.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.; Welker, J. M.; Filley, T. R.

    2013-12-01

    Tundra ecosystems store over one third of the global terrestrial organic C pool and have the potential to release large amounts of CO2 as organic matter decomposition is expected to increase as climate warms and precipitation changes. However, a warming climate and increased snow pack soil thermal insulation is expected to shift dominant vegetative cover type affecting above and below ground litter quality, soil organic matter storage depth, and decomposition rates in respective soils. These changes can affect the magnitude and even direction of soil C storage in the Arctic tundra.. At a sixteen-year snow fence experiment at Toolik Lake, as part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX), increased snow pack resulted in a shift from a Sphagnum moss-dominated mixed graminoid-deciduous ecosystem (moist tussock tundra) to one covered largely by deciduous shrubs and Carex in more water-saturated soil conditions. We investigated relationships between shifting dominance of plant species and impacts to soils using a multiproxy isotope and biomarker approach in plants and soils from the areas with control, deep, intermediate, and low snow pack. A comparison of the same plant species (Betula nana, Carex bigelowii, Eriophorum vaginatum, Salix pulchra, and Sphagnum spp.) along the snow zones showed leaf tissue C-to-N ratio decreasing in the deep snow areas when compared to control and low snow pack areas, driven by an increase in plant N content. Root and stem tissue was impacted similarly across the experimental treatments. Changes in soil δ13C and δ15N values with depth and along the transect demonstrate impacts to C and N cycling. These results demonstrate litter quality and soil carbon storage feedbacks in response to snow pack thermal insulation that could influence litter accumulation, decay rates and the chemical nature of soil carbon under climate conditions with deeper snow in winter.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Complexation of Hg (II) ions with humic acids of tundra soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasilevich, Roman

    2013-04-01

    Humic acids (HA) play an important role in processes of heavy metals migration, controlling their geochemical streams in environment. Accumulative and detoxification abilities of HA to heavy metals are realized by means of formation of steady complexes salycylate and pyrocatechin types. Modern researches show that HA of the Arctic and Subarctic areas are poorly enriched by aromatic frames, so and metalbinding centres. The work purpose is to study interaction mechanisms of Hg (II) ions with HA and to define tread possibilities of a tundra soils humic acids. It is established that binding ability of Hg (II) ions depends on concentration of an element, on quantity of functional groups in peripheral and nuclear parts of HA molecule as well as on a solution pH. coomplexation proceeds at pH 2.5-3.5 efficiently. On the basis of kinetic models it is shown that HA interaction with Hg (II) ions, at microconcentration of a pollutant (0.025-5.0 mkmol/dm3), has a zero order of reaction. Rate of a reaction does not depend on initial components concentration and is defined by process of Hg (II) ions diffusion to organic ligands. High correlation of a HA sorption capacity to Hg (II) ions is observed: with the nitrogen content and maintenance of amino groups (according to a 13C-NMR, element composition) and negative correlation - with degree of HA aromaticity. It testifies to primary binding of Hg (II) ions by amino-acid fragments of a HA molecule peripheral part. When concentration of Hg (II) ions increases, binding proceeds on carboxylic and phenolic groups of a molecule nuclear part. Higher order of kinetic models reaction and FTIR spectroscopy data testify to it. Comparison of FTIR spectra of HA preparations and mercury humates, shows that Hg (II) ions binding in humate complexes is carried out mainly by -COOH. Reduction of a spectral line intensity not ionized -COOH at 1700-1720 sm-1 and intensity increases of dissymetric valency vibration at 1610-1650 sm-1 diagnose increase

  2. Soil bacterial community shifts in response to vegetation and soil temperature change in moist acidic tundra of Northern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricketts, M. P.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.

    2013-12-01

    The effects of rising temperatures on Earth's ecosystems remain largely unknown and are an active area of research. In temperate systems, plant species often respond directly to climate forcing factors causing complex cascading effects in ecosystem C and nutrient cycling. Similarly, in the Arctic tundra, shifts in aboveground species composition and distribution have been observed in response to warming and other climate change factors, following increases in active layer depth and soil temperature. These abiotic changes provide soil microorganisms access to previously unavailable soil organic matter via thawing soils and increases soil microbial mineralization rates, suggesting that soil microorganisms may be eliciting the plant response. It is hypothesized that this release of nutrients may be providing a competitive advantage to N rich woody species, such as dwarf birch and diamond-leaf willow, over grassy species such as cottongrass tussock. Here we examine how microbial communities respond to increases in soil thermal insulation and vegetative change caused by the accumulation of winter precipitation at a snowfence installed in 1998 at Toolik Field Station, Alaska. In addition to soil temperature, increased snow depth also results in increased surface moisture, soil temperature, and active layer depth. Bacterial phylogenies and relative abundances from soils collected in August of 2012 were determined by sequencing 16S rRNA genes and analyzed using the QIIME software package. We found many significant relative abundance shifts between snow depth treatments (deep, intermediate, low) and soil depths (organic, transition, mineral), most notable of which include in an increase in Deltaproteobacteria in the deep treatment zones, a decrease in Alphaproteobacteria with increased soil depth, and a marked increase in Chloroflexi Anaerolineae (a green non-sulfur bacteria found in a wide range of habitats) in the deep treatment and mineral layers. Other interesting

  3. Dry deposition of ammonia, nitric acid, ammonium, and nitrate to alpine tundra at Niwot Ridge, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattray, G.; Sievering, H.

    2001-01-01

    Micrometeorological measurements and ambient air samples, analyzed for concentrations of NH3, HNO3, NH4+, and NO3-, were collected at an alpine tundra site on Niwot Ridge, Colorado. The measured concentrations were extremely low and ranged between 5 and 70ngNm-3. Dry deposition fluxes of these atmospheric species were calculated using the micrometeorological gradient method. The calculated mean flux for NH3 indicates a net deposition to the surface and indicates that NH3 contributed significantly to the total N deposition to the tundra during the August-September measurement period. Our pre-measurement estimate of the compensation point for NH3 in air above the tundra was 100-200ngNm-3; thus, a net emission of NH3 was expected given the low ambient concentrations of NH3 observed. Based on our results, however, the NH3 compensation point at this alpine tundra site appears to have been at or below about 20ngNm-3. Large deposition velocities (>2cms-1) were determined for nitrate and ammonium and may result from reactions with surface-derived aerosols. Copyright (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.Micrometeorological measurements and ambient air samples, analyzed for concentrations of NH3, HNO3, NH4+, and NO3-, were collected at an alpine tundra site on Niwot Ridge, Colorado. The measured concentrations were extremely low and ranged between 5 and 70 ng N m-3. Dry deposition fluxes of these atmospheric species were calculated using the micrometeorological gradient method. The calculated mean flux for NH3 indicates a net deposition to the surface and indicates that NH3 contributed significantly to the total N deposition to the tundra during the August-September measurement period. Our pre-measurement estimate of the compensation point for NH3 in air above the tundra was 100-200 ng N m-3; thus, a net emission of NH3 was expected given the low ambient concentrations of NH3 observed. Based on our results, however, the NH3 compensation point at this alpine tundra site appears to

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Canopy Spectral Imaging (NDVI) As A Proxy For Shrub Biomass And Ecosystem Carbon Fluxes Across Arctic Tundra Habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flower, C. E.; Welker, J. M.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    There is widespread consensus that climate change is contributing to rapid vegetation shifts in the ecologically sensitive Arctic tundra. These tussock grass dominated systems are shifting to tussock/woody shrub communities leading to likely alterations in carbon (C) sequestration and ecosystem productivity, which in turn can manifest in "greening" and changes in normalized difference vegetation index values (NDVI). While the expansion of woody vegetation is well established, our understanding of the ecosystem dynamics associated with this new habitat remain largely unknown. To untangle how the Arctic tundra may be impacted by these vegetation shifts we paired vegetation measurements (i.e. shrub biomass, leaf area, and shrub canopy area) and ecosystem C fluxes (e.g. net ecosystem exchange, NEE, and ecosystem respiration) with ground-level measurements of NDVI. Measurements were conducted at the Toolik Field Station in dry heath and moist acidic tundra habitats which are two primary habitat types on the North Slope of Alaska. We found strong positive relationships between shrub leaf area and biomass as well as shrub canopy area and biomass, relationships that were corroborated with NDVI measurements. This lends support for the use of NDVI as a proxy measurement of leaf area and shrub biomass. Additionally, NDVI was negatively correlated with ecosystem respiration across habitats, with respiratory fluxes consistently higher in the moist acidic relative to the dry heath tundra. Finally, we observed a significant positive nonlinear relationship between NEE and NDVI (R2~0.8; P<0.01). Shrub removal revealed that NEE was strongly controlled by woody shrubs. The positive relationship between NDVI and NEE highlights the potential shifts in the C balance of the Arctic tundra associated with woody encroachment. This increased plant productivity may offset greenhouse gas losses from permafrost degradation contributing some resilience to this system otherwise considered a

  8. Tundra plant uptake of amino acid and NH{sub 4}{sup +} nitrogen in situ: Plants compete well for amino acid N{sup 1}

    SciTech Connect

    Schimel, J.P.; Chapin, F.S. III

    1996-10-01

    Traditional models of nutrient cycling assume that soil microorganisms must decompose organic matter, releasing inorganic N, to make N available to plants. Several lines of evidence have raised doubts about this assumption in arctic tundra, but no firm evidence existed. Here we demonstrate that Eriophorum vaginatum and Carex aquatilis, two tundra sedges, compete well for glycine and asparate N relative to NH{sub 4}{sup +} in situ. At relatively high concentrations (25 {mu}g N/g soil), during the peak of the season, E. vaginatum took up amino acid N more rapidly than NH{sub 4}{sup +}, while later in the season and at lower concentrations (2-4 {mu}g N/g soil) both E. vaginatum and C. aqualtilis took up glycine N and NH{sub 4}{sup +} at similar rates. These results are incompatible with a simple mechanism of amino acid mineralization followed by plant uptake of the released N. These results indicate that these tundra plants have active mechanisms for enhancing their access to amino acid N in situ. 18 refs., 4 tabs.

  9. Air Pollution and Acid Rain, Report 8. Effects of air pollution and acid rain on fish, wildlife, and their habitats: arctic tundra and alpine meadows

    SciTech Connect

    Olson, J.E.; Adler, D.

    1982-06-01

    This report on arctic tundra and alpine meadow ecosystems is part of a series synthesizing the results of scientific research related to the effects of air pollution and acid deposition on fish and wildlife resources. Recently performed research reveals the growing air pollution problem in arctic tundra and alpine meadow ecosystems once thought to be relatively unpolluted. The ecosystem features which determine sensitivity to air pollution are described. Data related to the effects of air pollutants on biota and whole ecosystems are reviewed. Because very little work has been done on the effects of air pollution specifically in arctic and alpine ecosystems this report includes relevant information based on studies in other ecosystems. Suggestions are made for areas of further research. 68 references, 2 figures.

  10. Seasonal variation in soil nitrogen availability across a fertilization chronosequence in moist acidic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLaren, J. R.; Gough, L.; Weintraub, M. N.

    2012-12-01

    Changes in global climate may result in altered timing of seasonal events including the timing of the spring-thaw and fall freeze-up. In addition to this changing seasonality, arctic environments are experiencing overall increases in nutrient availability caused by climate warming resulting in alterations of plant species composition, such as the observed increases in the abundance of deciduous shrubs. Changing species composition may have large effects on nutrient dynamics in the surrounding ecosystem because of documented differences in how particular plant species influence soil nutrient availability. Although we have some idea of how plant identity influences soil nutrients, soil biogeochemical processes are strongly seasonal, and we have a poor understanding of how plant identity, or nutrient levels, may influence these seasonal patterns. We examined the responses of moist acidic tundra to experimentally increased soil nutrient availability and the accompanying increase in shrub abundance at the Arctic Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site at Toolik Lake, Alaska. We examined a chrono-sequence of long-term fertilization experiments, composed of experiments fertilized for 5, 15 and 22 years, which has resulted in increasing shrub density with time since fertilization. The fertilized plots receive both nitrogen (N, 10 g/m2/yr) and phosphorus (5 g/m2/yr) annually following snowmelt. In the 2011 growing season we measured variation in soil available N weekly, including measures of ammonium (NH4), nitrate (NO3) and total free amino acids (TFAA). We found that differences between fertilized and control plots depended strongly on both the seasonal timing of measurements, as well as the duration of the fertilization treatment. Early in the growing season fertilization resulted in large increases in available soil N (both NH4 and NO3) across the entire chronosequence. As the season progressed, however, older fertilized plots show evidence of N saturation, where

  11. Bacterial community structure and soil properties of a subarctic tundra soil in Council, Alaska.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hye Min; Jung, Ji Young; Yergeau, Etienne; Hwang, Chung Yeon; Hinzman, Larry; Nam, Sungjin; Hong, Soon Gyu; Kim, Ok-Sun; Chun, Jongsik; Lee, Yoo Kyung

    2014-08-01

    The subarctic region is highly responsive and vulnerable to climate change. Understanding the structure of subarctic soil microbial communities is essential for predicting the response of the subarctic soil environment to climate change. To determine the composition of the bacterial community and its relationship with soil properties, we investigated the bacterial community structure and properties of surface soil from the moist acidic tussock tundra in Council, Alaska. We collected 70 soil samples with 25-m intervals between sampling points from 0-10 cm to 10-20 cm depths. The bacterial community was analyzed by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes, and the following soil properties were analyzed: soil moisture content (MC), pH, total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), and inorganic nitrogen (NH4+ and NO3-). The community compositions of the two different depths showed that Alphaproteobacteria decreased with soil depth. Among the soil properties measured, soil pH was the most significant factor correlating with bacterial community in both upper and lower-layer soils. Bacterial community similarity based on jackknifed unweighted unifrac distance showed greater similarity across horizontal layers than through the vertical depth. This study showed that soil depth and pH were the most important soil properties determining bacterial community structure of the subarctic tundra soil in Council, Alaska.

  12. Fire occurrence and tussock size modulate facilitation by Ampelodesmos mauritanicus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Incerti, Guido; Giordano, Daniele; Stinca, Adriano; Senatore, Mauro; Termolino, Pasquale; Mazzoleni, Stefano; Bonanomi, Giuliano

    2013-05-01

    Facilitation has been reported for a wide range of plant communities, with evidence of interactions between protégé and nurse plants shifting during their ontogenetic cycles. This study showed that large Ampelodesmos mauritanicus tussocks can act as nurse for different species, but only after fire occurrence. Large tussocks are typically composed by an external belt of living tillers surrounding dead standing tillers in the inner area, thus being arranged as a “ring” shape. A low plant diversity in unburned sites, dominated by intact Ampelodesmos tussocks, was related to the intense aboveground competition due to space physical limitation by standing tillers, as well as to the reduction of light availability at ground level. In contrast, after burning, tussocks resprouted only in their external belts, leaving empty inner areas. During post-fire recovery, several species (e.g. Plantago spp., Trifolium spp., Carlina spp.) recolonize the bare soil among different tussocks. On the other hand, a moss (Funaria hygrometrica) and several herbaceous and woody plants (e.g. Spartium junceum, Calicotome villosa, Quercus pubescens subsp. pubescens) were selectively distributed within the ash-full central areas of burned Ampelodesmos tussocks. In summary, the study reported evidence of changing prevalence in the interplay of competition and facilitation effects between small and large Ampelodesmos tussocks, respectively. These results suggest a broad significance of the interactions between fire occurrence and ontogenetic phases of the dominant species in affecting the restoration dynamics of natural plant communities.

  13. Species differences in whole plant carbon balance following winter dormancy in Alaskan tundra plants

    SciTech Connect

    Bret-Harte, M.S.; Chapin, F.S. III

    1995-09-01

    We froze ramets of seven vascular plant species and a mixed community of mosses common to upland tussock tundra for several months, then measured whole-plant photosynthesis and respiration in a growth chamber under simulated spring conditions, to examine whole plant carbon metabolism following winter dormancy. In addition, respiration and photosynthesis of aboveground stems and leaves were measured in the field in a spatial gradient away from a melting snowbank, at comparable developmental stages. Species differences in early respiration were not pronounced, but large differences were seen once development of leaves began. Root development in deciduous shrubs delayed their attainment of a positive whole plant carbon balance compared to that seen in aboveground stems and leaves alone, and partially compensated for differences in photosynthetic rates between shrubs and other species. Temporal patterns of carbon metabolism during spring growth may affect competitive balance in tussock tundra and vegetation response to global change.

  14. Tiller organization within the tussock grass Schizachyrium scoparium: A field assessment of competition-cooperation tradeoffs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tussock grasses are characterized by a compact spatial arrangement of tillers that contributes to intense intra-tussock competition. This investigation was designed to directly assess the magnitude of competition among autonomous subunits of tillers within tussocks (i.e., integrated physiological un...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  16. Controls over nutrient flow through plants and microbes in arctic tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Schimel, J.P.

    1990-01-01

    Plant growth in arctic tundra is generally strongly limited by nutrient availability, particularly by nitrogen. The purpose of this sub-project of the R4D program was to examine plant N-uptake and the competition for N between plants and microbes in tundra. This competition can be an important control on N-flow and plant uptake but its significance in tundra has not been studied intensively. How the factors controlling the outcome of competition are altered by disturbance has also received very limited study, yet this is important facet of the R4D program. The primary goal for this project in 1990 was to initiate studies on N-partitioning and turnover in tussock tundra and how this is affected by dust deposition. Secondary goals were to examine the effect of differential dust deposition on microbial activity and nutrient cycling processes (mineralization and nitrification), and begin studies on the control of microbial N-uptake. The N-partitioning studies used {sup 15}N injected into Eriophorum tussocks to examine both the short-term (1 day) partitioning of N and the long-term (1 month and 1 year) redistribution of N through the plant-soil system. These experiments were done in both the early season (June) and peak season (July). To examine the effect of dust on N-partitioning tussocks in the heavy dust zone and in a control site were labeled with {sup 15}N and harvested at the end of the growing season. 4 refs., 1 tab.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1992-04-01

    This report presents the progress on the DOE funded project: ``Response of a Tundra Ecosystem to Elevated Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and CO{sub 2}-Induced Climate Change.`` The current funding cycle was initiated on September 1, 1989, to run through August 31, 1992. There was an initial reduction in scope dictated by budget availabilities, primarily manipulations of CO{sub 2}, temperature and nutrients at a wet tundra located at Barrow Alaska. These experiments still need to be done over the mid- to longer term in order to accurately predict, apriori, the effects of climate change on the arctic tundra as well as possible feedbacks. Coordination and cooperation with other agencies was initiated in 1990 and formally proposed in our 1991 renewal at the national and international level and has become an important aspect of the research. To accurately and precisely scale plot and transect measurements to the circumpolar tundra is beyond the scope of the current DOE project. It is possible, however to determine the patterns and controls of CO{sub 2} flux from the current circumpolar arctic tundra with the involvement of additional agencies and governments. Results from the past two years of this project confirm that the arctic has become a source of CO{sub 2} to the atmosphere. This change coincides with recent climatic variation in the arctic, and suggest a positive feedback of arctic ecosystems on atmospheric CO{sub 2} and global change. Measurements along a latitudinal gradient across the north slope of Alaska indicate a loss of carbon from tussock tundra and wet tundra, decreasing in magnitude along a decreasing gradient of temperature but an increasing gradient in soil moisture. These data are in agreement with work done on tussock tundra in 1983{endash}85 and 1987.

  18. Response of a tundra ecosystem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO sub 2 -induced climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1992-04-01

    This report presents the progress on the DOE funded project: Response of a Tundra Ecosystem to Elevated Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and CO{sub 2}-Induced Climate Change.'' The current funding cycle was initiated on September 1, 1989, to run through August 31, 1992. There was an initial reduction in scope dictated by budget availabilities, primarily manipulations of CO{sub 2}, temperature and nutrients at a wet tundra located at Barrow Alaska. These experiments still need to be done over the mid- to longer term in order to accurately predict, apriori, the effects of climate change on the arctic tundra as well as possible feedbacks. Coordination and cooperation with other agencies was initiated in 1990 and formally proposed in our 1991 renewal at the national and international level and has become an important aspect of the research. To accurately and precisely scale plot and transect measurements to the circumpolar tundra is beyond the scope of the current DOE project. It is possible, however to determine the patterns and controls of CO{sub 2} flux from the current circumpolar arctic tundra with the involvement of additional agencies and governments. Results from the past two years of this project confirm that the arctic has become a source of CO{sub 2} to the atmosphere. This change coincides with recent climatic variation in the arctic, and suggest a positive feedback of arctic ecosystems on atmospheric CO{sub 2} and global change. Measurements along a latitudinal gradient across the north slope of Alaska indicate a loss of carbon from tussock tundra and wet tundra, decreasing in magnitude along a decreasing gradient of temperature but an increasing gradient in soil moisture. These data are in agreement with work done on tussock tundra in 1983{endash}85 and 1987.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Succession Stages of Tundra Plant Communities Following Wildfire Disturbance in Arctic Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breen, A. L.; Hollingsworth, T. N.; Mack, M. C.; Jones, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid climate change is affecting climate-sensitive disturbance regimes throughout the world. In particular, the impacts of climate change on Arctic disturbance regimes are poorly understood because landscape-scale disturbances are infrequent or occur in remote localities. Wildfire in Arctic Alaska is presently limited by ignition source and favorable burn weather. With rapid climate change, a lengthening growing season, and subsequent increase in plant biomass and productivity, wildfire frequency and annual area burned in tundra ecosystems is expected to increase over the next century. Yet, post-fire tundra vegetation succession is inadequately characterized except at a few point locations. We identify succession stages of tussock tundra communities following wildfire using a chronosequence of 65 relevés in 10 tundra fire scars (1971-2011) and nearby unburned tundra from sites on the Seward Peninsula and northern foothills of the Brooks Range. We used the Braun-Blanquét approach to classify plant communities, and applied nonmetric multidimentional scaling (NMDS) to identify ecological gradients underlying community differentiation. The ordination revealed a clear differentiation between unburned and burned tundra communities. Ecological gradients, reflected by ordination axes, correspond to fire history (e.g., time since last fire, number of times burned, burn severity) and a complex productivity gradient. Post-fire species richness is less than unburned tundra; primarily reflected as a decrease in lichen species and turnover of bryophyte species immediately post-fire. Species richness of grasses increases post-fire and is greatest in communities that burned more than once in the past 30 years. Shrub cover and total aboveground biomass are greatest in repeat burn sites. We review and discuss our results focusing on the implications of a changing tundra fire regime, its effect on vegetation succession trajectories, and subsequent rates of carbon sequestration and

  1. Effects of historical changes in climate on carbon storage in Alaskan arctic tundra

    SciTech Connect

    McKane, R.; Rastetter, E.; Shaver, G.; Nadelhoffer, K.; Giblin, A.; Laundre, J. ); Chapin, F.S. III )

    1994-06-01

    Surface air temperature in Arctic regions has increased since pre-industrial times, raising concerns that warmer and drier conditions have increased soil decomposition rates, thereby stimulating the release to the atmosphere of the large stores of C in arctic soils. We used a model (MBL-GEM) of ecosystem C and N dynamics to predict and analyze historical (1829 to 1990) changes in C storage in a tussock tundra ecosystem in Alaska. We calibrated the model by deriving a single parameter set that closely simulated responses to decade-long manipulations of nutrients, temperature, light, and atmospheric CO[sub 2]. Based on the combined effects of reconstructed historical changes in atmospheric CO[sub 2], mean growing-season temperature and two alternative soil moisture scenarios, the model predicts a [minus]3.0 + 2.1 percent change in ecosystem C from 1829 to 1990. These results are consistent with field evidence that historically recent changes in C storage of tussock tundra have been relatively small. However, the model also predicts that relatively large transient losses of ecosystem C(50 to 120 g m[sup [minus]2]yr[sup [minus]1]) may frequently have occurred since the late 1800s, with one of the largest simulated C losses of the 20th century occurring from 1988 to 1990 (85, 92, 61 g C m[sup [minus]2]yr[sup [minus]1], respectively). These simulated losses were at the low end of the range of losses measured in Alaskan tussock tundra from 1983 to 1990 (65 to 487 g C m[sup [minus]2]yr[sup [minus]1]), but nonetheless suggest that these recent losses may be transitory in nature.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sebacher, D. I.; Harriss, R. C.; Grice, S. S.; Bartlett, K. B.; Sebacher, S. M.

    1986-01-01

    Methane (CH4) flux measurements from Alaska tundra bogs, an alpine fen, and a subarctic boreal marsh were obtained at field sites ranging from Prudhoe Bay on the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Alaskan Range south of Fairbanks during August 1984. In the tundra, average CH4 emission rates varied from 4.9 mg CH4 per sq m per day (moist tundra) to 119 mg CH4 per sq m per day (waterlogged tundra). Fluxes averaged 40 mg CH4 per sq m per day from wet tussock meadows in the Brooks Range and 289 mg Ch4 per sq m per day from an alpine fen in the Alaskan Range. The boreal marsh had an average CH4 emission rate of 106 mg CH4 per sq m per day. Significant emissions were detected in tundra areas where peat temperatures were as low as 4 C, and permafrost was only 25 cm below the ground surface. Emission rates from the 17 sites sampled were found to be logarithmically related to water levels at the sites. Extrapolation of the data to an estimate of the total annual CH4 emission from all arctic and boreal wetlands suggests that these ecosystems are a major source of atmospheric CH4 and could account for up to 23 percent of global CH4 emissions from wetlands.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  4. The 1977 tundra fire in the Kokolik River area of Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Presumably caused by lightning, a large fire occurred due east of Point Lay several kilometers southwest of the Kokolik River, the farthest north a fire was ever fought by Bureau of Land Management personnel in Alaska. The progress and area extent of the fire were determined by analysis of LANDSAT MSS band 5 and 7 imagery. Low altitude observations from helicopter showed the fire burned a range of vegetation and relief types which included low polygonized and upland tussock tundras. The burned area appeared wetter on the surface than the unburned area, due to a lack of moisture absorbing organic matter and the possible release of moisture from the deeper thawed zone. Suggestions for future investigations of the effects of fire on tundra and permafrost terrains are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Cryoturbated peat circles (that is, bare surface soil mixed by frost action; pH 3–4) in the Russian discontinuous permafrost tundra are nitrate-rich ‘hotspots' of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in arctic ecosystems, whereas adjacent unturbated peat areas are not. N2O was produced and subsequently consumed at pH 4 in unsupplemented anoxic microcosms with cryoturbated but not in those with unturbated peat soil. Nitrate, nitrite and acetylene stimulated net N2O production of both soils in anoxic microcosms, indicating denitrification as the source of N2O. Up to 500 and 10 μ nitrate stimulated denitrification in cryoturbated and unturbated peat soils, respectively. Apparent maximal reaction velocities of nitrite-dependent denitrification were 28 and 18 nmol N2O gDW−1 h−1, for cryoturbated and unturbated peat soils, respectively. Barcoded amplicon pyrosequencing of narG, nirK/nirS and nosZ (encoding nitrate, nitrite and N2O reductases, respectively) yielded ≈49 000 quality-filtered sequences with an average sequence length of 444 bp. Up to 19 species-level operational taxonomic units were detected per soil and gene, many of which were distantly related to cultured denitrifiers or environmental sequences. Denitrification-associated gene diversity in cryoturbated and in unturbated peat soils differed. Quantitative PCR (inhibition-corrected per DNA extract) revealed higher copy numbers of narG in cryoturbated than in unturbated peat soil. Copy numbers of nirS were up to 1000 × higher than those of nirK in both soils, and nirS nirK−1 copy number ratios in cryoturbated and unturbated peat soils differed. The collective data indicate that the contrasting N2O emission patterns of cryoturbated and unturbated peat soils are associated with contrasting denitrifier communities. PMID:22134649

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

    Cryoturbated peat circles (that is, bare surface soil mixed by frost action; pH 3-4) in the Russian discontinuous permafrost tundra are nitrate-rich 'hotspots' of nitrous oxide (N(2)O) emissions in arctic ecosystems, whereas adjacent unturbated peat areas are not. N(2)O was produced and subsequently consumed at pH 4 in unsupplemented anoxic microcosms with cryoturbated but not in those with unturbated peat soil. Nitrate, nitrite and acetylene stimulated net N(2)O production of both soils in anoxic microcosms, indicating denitrification as the source of N(2)O. Up to 500 and 10 μM nitrate stimulated denitrification in cryoturbated and unturbated peat soils, respectively. Apparent maximal reaction velocities of nitrite-dependent denitrification were 28 and 18 nmol N(2)O g(DW)(-1) h(-1), for cryoturbated and unturbated peat soils, respectively. Barcoded amplicon pyrosequencing of narG, nirK/nirS and nosZ (encoding nitrate, nitrite and N(2)O reductases, respectively) yielded ≈49 000 quality-filtered sequences with an average sequence length of 444 bp. Up to 19 species-level operational taxonomic units were detected per soil and gene, many of which were distantly related to cultured denitrifiers or environmental sequences. Denitrification-associated gene diversity in cryoturbated and in unturbated peat soils differed. Quantitative PCR (inhibition-corrected per DNA extract) revealed higher copy numbers of narG in cryoturbated than in unturbated peat soil. Copy numbers of nirS were up to 1000 × higher than those of nirK in both soils, and nirS nirK(-1) copy number ratios in cryoturbated and unturbated peat soils differed. The collective data indicate that the contrasting N(2)O emission patterns of cryoturbated and unturbated peat soils are associated with contrasting denitrifier communities.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1986-01-01

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

  9. Reconstruction and analysis of historical changes in carbon storage in arctic tundra

    SciTech Connect

    McKane, R.B.; Rastetter, E.B.; Shaver, G.R.

    1997-06-01

    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 soils. We used a model (MBL-GEM, Marine Biological Laboratory General Ecosystem Model) of ecosystem C and nitrogen (N) dynamics to predict and analyze historical (1829-1990) changes in C storage in a N-limited, tussock-tundra ecosystem near Toolik Lake on the North Slope of Alaska. The model simulates stand-level photosynthesis and N uptake by plants, allocation of C and N to foliage, stems, and fine roots, respiration in these tissues, turnover of biomass through litterfall, and decomposition of litter and soil organic matter. We first calibrated the model by deriving a single parameter set that closely simulated the response of tussock tundra to decade-long experimental manipulations of nutrients, temperature, light, and atmospheric CO{sub 2}. 60 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  10. Effect of elevated temperature and enhanced drainage on carbon balance of tundra microcosms

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, L.C.; Shaver, G.R.; Giblin, A.E.; Nadelhoffer, K.J.; Rastetter, E.B.; Laundre, J.A.; Murray, G.L. )

    1994-06-01

    We tested effects of temperature and drainage on C balance of intact soil and tundra vegetation over a simulated season. We measured C budgets (CO[sub 2] and CH[sub 4] emissions and dissolved CO[sub 2], CH[sub 4] and DOC in soil water) of Eriophorum vaginatum tussock and moss-dominated interussock microcosms at two temperatures (7[degrees] and 15[degrees]C, season maxima) and two water regimes (saturated and field capacity). Net ecosystem productivity was strongly affected by water. Averaged over temperature and microhabitat, the rate of net C loss from microcosms at field capacity was [approximately]5[times] the saturated microcosms. Only saturated, 15[degrees]C tussock microcosms showed net C storage integrated over the whole season. Ecosystem respiration was strongly affected by water and less by temperature. Respiration rates at field capacity were [approximately]2[times] the rates under saturated conditions. Elevated temperature caused a 1.5[times] increase. Other C components were <20% of gaseous CO[sub 2] losses. Results indicate that C in tundra exists in a fragile balance between storage and release that is controlled mainly by water regime.

  11. Climatic effects on tundra carbon storage inferred from experimental data and a model

    SciTech Connect

    McKane, R.B.; Rastetter, E.B.; Shaver, G.R.

    1997-06-01

    A process-based model of ecosystem carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics, MBL-GEM (Marine Biological Laboratory General Ecosystem Model) was used, to integrate and analyze the results of several experiments that examined the response of arctic tussock tundra to manipulations of CO{sub 2}, temperature, light, and soil nutrients. The experiments manipulated these variables over 3- to 9-yr periods and were intended to simulate anticipated changes in the arctic environment. Our objective was to use the model to extend the analysis of the experimental data so that unmeasured changes in ecosystem C storage and the underlying mechanisms controlling those changes could be estimated and compared. Using an inverse calibration method, we derived a single parameter set for the model that closely simulated the measured responses of tussock tundra to all of the experimental treatments. This parameterization allowed us to infer confidence limits for ecosystem components and processes that were not directly measured in the experiments. Thus, we used the model to estimate changes in ecosystem C storage by inferring key soil processes within the constraints imposed by measured components of the ecosystem C budget. 28 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.

  12. New York's TUNDRA.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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)

  13. Forecasting outbreaks of the douglas-fir tussock moth from lower crown cocoon samples. Forest Service research paper

    SciTech Connect

    Mason, R.R.; Scott, D.W.; Paul, H.G.

    1993-03-01

    A predictive technique using a simple linear regression was developed to forecast the midcrown density of small tussock moth larvae from estimates of cocoon density in the previous generation. The regression estimator was derived from field samples of cocoons and larvae taken from a wide range of nonoutbreak tussock moth populations. The accuracy of the predictions was demonstrated on an operational basis in an independent tussock moth outbreak.

  14. Turbulent transports over tundra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fitzjarrald, David R.; Moore, Kathleen E.

    1992-01-01

    An extensive period of eddy correlation surface flux measurements was conducted at a site distant from the coast on the western Alaskan tundra. The surface exchange of heat and moisture over tundra during the summer was limited by a strong resistance to transfer from the upper soil layer through the ground cover, with canopy resistances to evaporation observed to be approximately 200 s/m. Though July 1988 was anomalously warm and dry in the region and August was close to normal temperature and rainfall, there was no appreciable difference in the canopy resistance between the periods. During the dry sunny period at the end of July, the observed evaporation rate was 2 mm/d. High canopy resistance led to an approximate equipartition of net radiation between latent and sensible heat, each accounting for 40 percent of the available energy, with heat balance apparently going into soil heat flux.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

  17. Coupled long-term summer warming and deeper snow alters species composition and stimulates gross primary productivity in tussock tundra.

    PubMed

    Leffler, A Joshua; Klein, Eric S; Oberbauer, Steven F; Welker, Jeffrey M

    2016-05-01

    Climate change is expected to increase summer temperature and winter precipitation throughout the Arctic. The long-term implications of these changes for plant species composition, plant function, and ecosystem processes are difficult to predict. We report on the influence of enhanced snow depth and warmer summer temperature following 20 years of an ITEX experimental manipulation at Toolik Lake, Alaska. Winter snow depth was increased using snow fences and warming was accomplished during summer using passive open-top chambers. One of the most important consequences of these experimental treatments was an increase in active layer depth and rate of thaw, which has led to deeper drainage and lower soil moisture content. Vegetation concomitantly shifted from a relatively wet system with high cover of the sedge Eriophorum vaginatum to a drier system, dominated by deciduous shrubs including Betula nana and Salix pulchra. At the individual plant level, we observed higher leaf nitrogen concentration associated with warmer temperatures and increased snow in S. pulchra and B. nana, but high leaf nitrogen concentration did not lead to higher rates of net photosynthesis. At the ecosystem level, we observed higher GPP and NEE in response to summer warming. Our results suggest that deeper snow has a cascading set of biophysical consequences that include a deeper active layer that leads to altered species composition, greater leaf nitrogen concentration, and higher ecosystem-level carbon uptake.

  18. Coupled long-term summer warming and deeper snow alters species composition and stimulates gross primary productivity in tussock tundra.

    PubMed

    Leffler, A Joshua; Klein, Eric S; Oberbauer, Steven F; Welker, Jeffrey M

    2016-05-01

    Climate change is expected to increase summer temperature and winter precipitation throughout the Arctic. The long-term implications of these changes for plant species composition, plant function, and ecosystem processes are difficult to predict. We report on the influence of enhanced snow depth and warmer summer temperature following 20 years of an ITEX experimental manipulation at Toolik Lake, Alaska. Winter snow depth was increased using snow fences and warming was accomplished during summer using passive open-top chambers. One of the most important consequences of these experimental treatments was an increase in active layer depth and rate of thaw, which has led to deeper drainage and lower soil moisture content. Vegetation concomitantly shifted from a relatively wet system with high cover of the sedge Eriophorum vaginatum to a drier system, dominated by deciduous shrubs including Betula nana and Salix pulchra. At the individual plant level, we observed higher leaf nitrogen concentration associated with warmer temperatures and increased snow in S. pulchra and B. nana, but high leaf nitrogen concentration did not lead to higher rates of net photosynthesis. At the ecosystem level, we observed higher GPP and NEE in response to summer warming. Our results suggest that deeper snow has a cascading set of biophysical consequences that include a deeper active layer that leads to altered species composition, greater leaf nitrogen concentration, and higher ecosystem-level carbon uptake. PMID:26747269

  19. Tundra Fire Effects Mapping from Synthetic Aperture Radar Satellite Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, L. K.; Bourgeau-Chavez, L. L.; French, N. H.; Loboda, T. V.; Chavez, M. C.; Hawkins, S. M.

    2013-12-01

    Traditional electro-optical, satellite-based methods of fire detection and monitoring are severely limited in the arctic due to persistent cloud cover and short growing seasons. Radar data can provide an alternative to traditional electro-optical methods due to all-weather imaging capabilities. Previous research in boreal forests and current evaluation in the Alaskan tundra shows that synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data can be used successfully to map burn perimeters and distinguish burned and unburned areas within the perimeter over a longer period of time than optical sensors. Results will be presented on the use of SAR data to measure spatial variations in the microwave signature across a fire scar as well as temporally throughout the growing season and across multiple years. The extensive historical archive of ERS-1 and -2 SAR data has been used to characterize three burned areas in the tundra regions of Alaska. These fires include the 1993 Wainwright fires in the north-western part of the North Slope (Fig 1), the 1999 Uvgoon fire in the Noatak National Preserve and 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire north of the Brooks Range in the central area of the North Slope. The data record includes pre-burn, burn, and post-burn observations until the fire scars are no longer discernible on the landscape. Our results show that burned areas are visible reliably five years post burn and then faintly apparent thereafter up to 12 or more years post-burn. Conversely, our analysis of electro-optical (Landsat) imagery shows near complete obscuration of the fire scar one year post-burn (Loboda et al. 2013). Also presented are results of an analysis of the effects of post-fire soil moisture, as measured in weather and climate datasets, on the SAR signature measured from the available image data archive. Reference: Loboda, T L, N H F French, C Hight-Harf, L Jenkins, M E Miller. 2013. Mapping fire extent and burn severity in Alaskan tussock tundra: An analysis of the spectral response of

  20. Plant growth form more important than temperature in controlling CH{sub 4} flux in Alaskan tundra communities

    SciTech Connect

    Verville, J.H.; Chapin, F.S. III.; Hobbie, S.E.

    1995-09-01

    We conducted species removals, vegetation and soil transplants, and air temperature manipulations in Alaskan wet meadow and upland tussock tundra communities to determine the relative importance of vegetation type and environmental variables in controlling CH{sub 4} flux. Removal of sedges in the wet meadow community significantly decreased CH{sub 4} flux, while moss removal had no significant effects on emissions. At 15 cm depth, pore water CH{sub 4} concentrations were higher in sedge removals, relative to control plots, suggesting that sedges contribute to CH{sub 4} emissions by transporting CH{sub 4} from anaerobic soil to the atmosphere, rather than by promoting methanogenesis. In reciprocal ecosystem transplants between the wet meadow and upland tussock tundra communities, CH{sub 4} flux was higher in the wet meadow site, but was unrelated to transplant origin. Soil temperature, thaw depth, and water table depth were correlated with CH{sub 4} flux, but their relative importance on a local level varied throughout the season. Plastic greenhouses placed over the wet meadow species removal plots increased soil moisture and air and soil temperatures, but did not affect CH{sub 4} flux. These results suggest that future changes in CH{sub 4} flux in response to climatic change will be more strongly mediated by large-scale changes in soil moisture and vegetation than by direct temperature effects on CH{sub 4} emissions.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-19

    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 km(2) 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.

  3. Facilitation of tiger moths by outbreaking tussock moths that share the same host plants.

    PubMed

    Karban, Richard; Grof-Tisza, Patrick; Holyoak, Marcel

    2012-09-01

    1. Ecologists have argued about the commonness and strength of interspecific competition between insect herbivores, but facilitation between herbivores has received much less consideration. We previously found that when two species of folivorous caterpillars co-occurred on a shared host plant, feeding by early season tiger moth caterpillars reduced the growth and reproduction of later season tussock caterpillars. However, densities of tussock caterpillars in summer were positively correlated with densities of tiger moth caterpillars the following spring. 2. In this study, we experimentally manipulated numbers of feeding tussock caterpillars and found that they facilitated tiger moth caterpillars. 3. The depth of the litter layer beneath host lupine bushes was positively correlated with the number of tussock caterpillars feeding on each bush. Experimental additions of litter beneath lupine canopies during summer resulted in increased numbers of tiger moth caterpillars in the following spring, indicating a causal role of litter. Litter potentially provides food, habitat and protection from desiccation and predation. We failed to find evidence that tussock caterpillars facilitated tiger moth caterpillars by mechanisms independent of litter. 4. Our study demonstrates that facilitation may operate between insect herbivores, across life-stages through indirect interactions that are non-trophic. Facilitation operated by a novel mechanism, the accumulation of litter which was a by-product of feeding by one species was valuable to a second species. Facilitation persisted in time and space far beyond the creation of litter by tussock caterpillars which should be considered important ecosystem engineers from the point of view of tiger moths. Facilitations that involve habitat modification may generally connect species that do not interact directly or trophically, and have not previously been considered to affect one another.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Ice-active proteins from New Zealand snow tussocks, Chionochloa macra AND C. rigida.

    PubMed

    Wharton, D A; Selvanesan, L; Marshall, C J

    2010-01-01

    The ice active protein profile of New Zealand snow tussocks Chionochloa macra and C. rigida consisted of ice nucleation activity but no antifreeze or recrystallization inhibition activity. The ice nucleation activity was similar in the two species, despite them being collected at different altitudes and at different times. The activity is intrinsic to the plant and is associated with the surface of the leaves. Snow tussocks collect water from fog. Nucleation sites on the surface of their leaves may aid the efficiency of this process. PMID:20919453

  6. Alaska North Slope Tundra Travel Model and Validation Study

    SciTech Connect

    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 lack

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  8. Oil persistence in tundra and its impact on the below-ground ecosystem. Final report. [Eriophoium vaginatum (sedges); Betula nana (Birch trees)

    SciTech Connect

    Linkins, A.E.; Atlas, R.M.; Everett, K.R.

    1981-01-01

    Prudhoe Bay crude oil was applied as a 20 1/m/sup 2/ surface spray on Eriophorium vaginatum tussock tundra at Eagle Summit, Ak, in August 1979. Oil caused a significant reduction in mycorrhizal root numbers and root respiration rates in Betula nana, but not E. vaginatum root tips which had grown through the 5 to 15 cm deep oil contaminated soil. Significant changes did occur in leaf scenescent patterns of B. nana and the tillering index of E. vaginatum. Soil cellulase and phosphatase enzyme activities both declined in the oiled soil horizons but were unaffected in horizons immediately below visibly contaminated organic matter.

  9. Shrub tundra snowmelt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pomeroy, J. W.; Bewley, D. S.; Essery, R. L. H.; Hedstrom, N. R.; Link, T.; Granger, R. J.; Sicart, J. E.; Ellis, C. R.; Janowicz, J. R.

    2006-03-01

    Observations of land surface and snowpack energetics and mass fluxes were made over arctic shrub tundra of varying canopy height and density using radiometers, eddy covariance flux measurements, and snow mass changes from snow surveys of depth and density. Over several years, snow accumulation in the shrubs was found to be consistently higher than in sparse tundra due to greater retention of snowfall by all shrubs and wind redistribution of snowfall to tall shrubs. Where snow accumulation was highest due to snow redistribution, shrubs often became buried by the end of winter. Three classes of shrub-snow interactions were observed: tall shrubs that were exposed over snow, tall shrubs that were bent over and buried by snow, and short shrubs buried by snow. Tall shrubs buried by snow underwent spring-up during melt. Though spring-up was episodic for a single shrub, over an area it was a progressive emergence from early to mid melt of vegetation that dramatically altered the radiative and aerodynamic properties of the surface. Short shrubs were exposed more rapidly once snow depth declined below shrub height, usually near the end of melt. Net radiation increased with increasing shrub due to the decreased reflectance of shortwave radiation overwhelming the increased longwave emission from relatively warm and dark shrubs. Net radiation to snow under shrubs was much smaller than that over shrubs, but was greater than that to snow with minimal shrub exposure, in this case the difference was due to downward longwave radiation from the canopy exceeding the effect of attenuated shortwave transmission through the canopy. Because of reduced turbulent transfer under shrub canopies and minimal water vapour contributions from the bare shrub branches, sublimation fluxes declined with increasing shrub exposure. In contrast, sensible heat fluxes to the shrub surface became more negative and those to the underlying snow surface more positive with increasing shrub exposure, because of

  10. Winter and early spring CO2 efflux from tundra communities of northern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fahnestock, J.T.; Jones, M.H.; Brooks, P.D.; Walker, D. A.; Welker, J.M.

    1998-01-01

    Carbon dioxide concentrations through snow were measured in different arctic tundra communities on the North Slope of Alaska during winter and early spring of 1996. Subnivean CO2 concentrations were always higher than atmospheric CO2. A steady state diffusion model was used to generate conservative estimates of CO2 flux to the atmosphere. The magnitude of CO2 efflux differed with tundra community type, and rates of carbon release increased from March to May. Winter CO2 efflux was highest in riparian and snow bed communities and lowest in dry heath, upland tussock, and wet sedge communities. Snow generally accrues earlier in winter and is deeper in riparian and snow bed communities compared with other tundra communities, which are typically windswept and do not accumulate much snow during the winter. These results support the hypothesis that early and deep snow accumulation may insulate microbial populations from very cold temperatures, allowing sites with earlier snow cover to sustain higher levels of activity throughout winter compared to communities that have later developing snow cover. Extrapolating our estimates of CO2 efflux to the entire snow-covered season indicates that total carbon flux during winter in the Arctic is 13-109 kg CO2-C ha-1, depending on the vegetation community type. Wintertime CO2 flux is a potentially important, yet largely overlooked, part of the annual carbon cycle of tundra, and carbon release during winter should be accounted for in estimates of annual carbon balance in arctic ecosystems. Copyright 1998 by the American Geophysical Union.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. Artificial drainage and associated carbon fluxes (CO2/CH4) in a tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merbold, Lutz; Kutsch, Werner Leo; Corradi, Chiara; Kolle, Olaf; Rebmann, Corinna; Stoy, Paul C.; Zimov, Sergej A.; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef

    2010-05-01

    Ecosystem flux measurements using the eddy covariance (EC) technique were undertaken in 4 subsequent years during summer for a total of 562 days in an arctic wet tundra ecosystem, located near Cherskii, Far-Eastern Federal District, Russia. Methane (CH4) emissions were measured using permanent chambers. The experimental field is characterized by late thawing of permafrost soils in June and periodic spring floods. A stagnant water table below the grass canopy is fed by melting of the active layer of permafrost and by flood water. Following 3 years of EC measurements, the site was drained by building a 3m wide drainage channel surrounding the EC tower to examine possible future effects of global change on the tundra tussock ecosystem. Cumulative summertime net carbon fluxes before experimental alteration were estimated to be about +115 gCm-2 (i.e. an ecosystem C loss) and +18 gCm-2 after draining the study site. When taking CH4 as another important greenhouse gas into account and considering the global warming potential (GWP) of CH4 vs. CO2, the ecosystem had a positive GWP during all summers. However CH4 emissions after drainage decreased significantly and therefore the carbon related greenhouse gas flux was much smaller than beforehand (475 ± 253 gC-CO2-em-2 before drainage in 2003 vs. 23 ± 26 g C-CO2-em-2 after drainage in 2005).

  13. Methane emissions from Alaska Arctic tundra - An assessment of local spatial variability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrissey, L. A.; Livingston, G. P.

    1992-01-01

    The findings of an extensive midsummer survey of CH4 emissions measurements representing the Alaska Arctic tundra are presented. Variability in rates of emissions was similar in magnitude on local and regional scales, ranging from 0 to 286.5 mg/sq m/d overall and often varying across two orders of magnitude within 0.5 m distances. Primary control on rates of emission was determined by the substrate and position of the water table relative to the surface. Emission rates in the Arctic Foothills ranged from 0.2 mg/sq m/d for tussock tundra to 55.53 mg/sq m/d over wet meadows. Plant-mediated release of CH4 to the atmosphere was directly proportional to green leaf area and represented 92-98 percent of the total emission rates over vegetated sites. The results suggest the current published emission rates may have overestimated the contribution of boreal ecosystems to the global CH4 budget by several fold.

  14. Methane emissions from Alaska Arctic tundra - an assessment of local spatial variability

    SciTech Connect

    Morrissey, L.A.; Livingston, G.P. )

    1992-10-01

    The findings of an extensive midsummer survey of CH4 emissions measurements representing the Alaska Arctic tundra are presented. Variability in rates of emissions was similar in magnitude on local and regional scales, ranging from 0 to 286.5 mg/sq m/d overall and often varying across two orders of magnitude within 0.5 m distances. Primary control on rates of emission was determined by the substrate and position of the water table relative to the surface. Emission rates in the Arctic Foothills ranged from 0.2 mg/sq m/d for tussock tundra to 55.53 mg/sq m/d over wet meadows. Plant-mediated release of CH4 to the atmosphere was directly proportional to green leaf area and represented 92-98 percent of the total emission rates over vegetated sites. The results suggest the current published emission rates may have overestimated the contribution of boreal ecosystems to the global CH4 budget by several fold. 46 refs.

  15. Responses of arctic tundra to experimental and observed changes in climate

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F.S. III; Shaver, G.R.; Giblin, A.E.; Nadelhoffer, K.J.; Laundre, J.A.

    1995-04-01

    The authors manipulated light, temperature, and nutrients in moist tussock tundra in Alaska to determine how global changes might affect community and ecosystem processes. Some of these manipulations altered nutrient availability, growth-form composition, net primary production, and species richness in less than a decade, indicating arctic vegetation at this site is sensitive to climatic change. In general, short-term (3-yr) responses were poor predictors of longer term (9-yr) changes in community composition. The longer term responses showed closer correspondence to patterns of vegetation distribution along environmental gradients. Nitrogen and phosphorus availability tended to increase with elevated temperature and in response to light attenuation. Nutrient addition increased biomass and production of deciduous shrubs but reduced growth of evergreen shrubs and nonvascular plants. Light attenuation reduced biomass of all growth forms. Elevated temperature enhanced shrub production but reduced production of nonvascular plants. The contrasting responses to temperature increase and to nutrient addition by different growth forms {open_quotes}canceled out{close_quotes} at the ecosystem level, buffering changes in ecosystem characteristics such as biomass, production, and nutrient uptake. The major effect of elevated temperature was to speed plant response to changes in soil resources and, in long term (9 yr), to increase nutrient availability. Species richness was reduced 30-50% by temperature and nutrient treatments. Declines in diversity occurred disproportionately in forbs and in mosses. During our 9-yr study (the warmest decade on record in the region), biomass of one dominant tundra species unexpectedly changed in control plots in the direction predicted by our experiments and by Holocene pollen records. This suggests that regional climatic warming may already be altering the species composition of Alaskan arctic tundra. 73 refs., 9 figs., 4 tabs.

  16. Radiation budget and soil heat fluxes in different Arctic tundra vegetation types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juszak, Inge; Iturrate Garcia, Maitane; Gastellu-Etchegorry, Jean-Philippe; Schaepman, Michael E.; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela

    2016-04-01

    While solar radiation is one of the primary energy sources for warming and thawing permafrost soil, the amount of shortwave radiation reaching the soil is reduced by vegetation shading. Climate change has led to greening, shrub expansion and encroachment in many Arctic tundra regions and further changes are anticipated. These vegetation changes feed back to the atmosphere and permafrost as they modify the surface energy budget. However, canopy transmittance of solar radiation has rarely been measured or modelled for a variety of tundra vegetation types. We assessed the radiation budget of the most common vegetation types at the Kytalyk field site in North-East Siberia (70.8°N, 147.5°E) with field measurements and 3D radiative transfer modelling and linked it to soil heat fluxes. Our results show that Arctic tundra vegetation types differ in canopy albedo and transmittance as well as in soil heat flux and active layer thickness. Tussock sedges transmitted on average 56% of the incoming light and dwarf shrubs 27%. For wet sedges we found that the litter layer was very important as it reduced the average transmittance to only 6%. Model output indicated that both, albedo and transmittance, also depend on the spatial aggregation of vegetation types. We found that permafrost thaw was more strongly related to soil properties than to canopy shading. The presented radiative transfer model allows quantifying effects of the vegetation layer on the surface radiation budget in permafrost areas. The parametrised model can account for diverse vegetation types and variation of properties within types. Our results highlight small scale radiation budget and permafrost thaw variability which are indicated and partly caused by vegetation. As changes in species composition and biomass increase can influence thaw rates, small scale patterns should be considered in assessments of climate-vegetation-permafrost feedbacks.

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-06-01

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

  18. Methanogenesis at low temperatures by microflora of tundra wetland soil.

    PubMed

    Kotsyurbenko, O R; Nozhevnikova, A N; Soloviova, T I; Zavarzin, G A

    1996-01-01

    Active methanogenesis from organic matter contained in soil samples from tundra wetland occurred even at 6 degrees C. Methane was the only end product in balanced microbial community with H2/CO2 as a substrate, besides acetate was produced as an intermediate at temperatures below 10 degrees C. The activity of different microbial groups of methanogenic community in the temperature range of 6-28 degrees C was investigated using 5% of tundra soil as inoculum. Anaerobic microflora of tundra wetland fermented different organic compounds with formation of hydrogen, volatile fatty acids (VFA) and alcohols. Methane was produced at the second step. Homoacetogenic and methanogenic bacteria competed for such substrates as hydrogen, formate, carbon monoxide and methanol. Acetogens out competed methanogens in an excess of substrate and low density of microbial population. Kinetic analysis of the results confirmed the prevalence of hydrogen acetogenesis on methanogenesis. Pure culture of acetogenic bacteria was isolated at 6 degrees C. Dilution of tundra soil and supply with the excess of substrate disbalanced the methanoigenic microbial community. It resulted in accumulation of acetate and other VFA. In balanced microbial community obviously autotrophic methanogens keep hydrogen concentration below a threshold for syntrophic degradation of VFA. Accumulation of acetate- and H2/CO2-utilising methanogens should be very important in methanogenic microbial community operating at low temperatures. PMID:8678482

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  1. Deposition of ozone to tundra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jacob, D. J.; Fan, S.-M.; Wofsy, S. C.; Spiro, P. A.; Bakwin, P. S.; Ritter, J. A.; Browell, E. V.; Gregory, G. L.; Fitzjarrald, D. R.; Moore, K. E.

    1992-01-01

    Eddy correlation measurements of O3 deposition fluxes to tundra during the Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition (ABLE 3A) are reported. The mean O3 deposition velocity was 0.24 cm/s in the daytime and 0.12 cm/s at night. The day-to-day difference in deposition velocity was driven by both atmospheric stability and surface reactivity. The mean surface resistance to O3 deposition was 2.6 s/cm in the daytime and 3.4 s/cm at night. The relatively low surface resistance at night is attributed to light-insensitive uptake of O3 at dry upland tundra surfaces. The small day-tonight difference in surface resistance is attributed to additional stomatal uptake by wet meadow tundra plants in the daytime. The mean O3 deposition flux to the world north of 60 deg N in July-August is estimated at 8.2 x 10 exp 10 molecules/sq cm/s. Suppression of photochemical loss by small anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen oxides could have a major effect on O3 concentrations in the summertime Arctic troposphere.

  2. Deposition of ozone to tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Jacob, D.J.; Fan, S.M.; Wofsy, S.C.; Spiro, P.A.; Bakwin, P.S.; Ritter, J.A.; Browell, E.V.; Gregory, G.L.; Fitzjarrald, D.R.; Moore, K.E. NASA, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA New York State Univ., Albany )

    1992-10-01

    Eddy correlation measurements of O3 deposition fluxes to tundra during the Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition (ABLE 3A) are reported. The mean O[sub 3] deposition velocity was 0.24 cm/s in the daytime and 0.12 cm/s at night. The day-to-day difference in deposition velocity was driven by both atmospheric stability and surface reactivity. The mean surface resistance to O[sub 3] deposition was 2.6 s/cm in the daytime and 3.4 s/cm at night. The relatively low surface resistance at night is attributed to light-insensitive uptake of O[sub 3] at dry upland tundra surfaces. The small day-tonight difference in surface resistance is attributed to additional stomatal uptake by wet meadow tundra plants in the daytime. The mean O[sub 3] deposition flux to the world north of 60 deg N in July-August is estimated at 8.2 x 10 exp 10 molecules/sq cm/s. Suppression of photochemical loss by small anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen oxides could have a major effect on O[sub 3] concentrations in the summertime Arctic troposphere. 34 refs.

  3. Effects of soil warming and nitrogen addition on soil respiration in a New Zealand tussock grassland.

    PubMed

    Graham, Scott L; Hunt, John E; Millard, Peter; McSeveny, Tony; Tylianakis, Jason M; Whitehead, David

    2014-01-01

    Soil respiration (RS) represents a large terrestrial source of CO2 to the atmosphere. Global change drivers such as climate warming and nitrogen deposition are expected to alter the terrestrial carbon cycle with likely consequences for RS and its components, autotrophic (RA) and heterotrophic respiration (RH). Here we investigate the impacts of a 3°C soil warming treatment and a 50 kg ha(-1) y(-1) nitrogen addition treatment on RS, RH and their respective seasonal temperature responses in an experimental tussock grassland. Average respiration in untreated soils was 0.96±0.09 μmol m(-2) s(-1) over the course of the experiment. Soil warming and nitrogen addition increased RS by 41% and 12% respectively. These treatment effects were additive under combined warming and nitrogen addition. Warming increased RH by 37% while nitrogen addition had no effect. Warming and nitrogen addition affected the seasonal temperature response of RS by increasing the basal rate of respiration (R10) by 14% and 20% respectively. There was no significant interaction between treatments for R10. The treatments had no impact on activation energy (E0). The seasonal temperature response of RH was not affected by either warming or nitrogen addition. These results suggest that the additional CO2 emissions from New Zealand tussock grassland soils as a result of warming-enhanced RS constitute a potential positive feedback to rising atmospheric CO2 concentration.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. The response of tundra plant biomass, above-ground production, nitrogen, and CO{sub 2} flux to experimental warming

    SciTech Connect

    Hobbie, S.E.; Chapin, F.S. III

    1998-07-01

    The authors manipulated air temperature in tussock tundra near Toolik Lake, Alaska, and determined the consequences for total plant biomass, aboveground net primary production (ANPP), ecosystem nitrogen (N) pools and N uptake, and ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux. After 3.5 growing seasons, in situ plastic greenhouses that raised air temperature during the growing season had little effect on total biomass, N content, or growing-season N uptake of the major plant and soil pools. Similarly, vascular ANPP and net ecosystem CO{sub 2} exchange did not change with warming, although net primary production of mosses decreased with warming. Such general lack of response supports the hypothesis that productivity in tundra is constrained by the indirect effects of cold temperatures rather than by cold growing-season temperatures per se. Despite no effect on net ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux, air warming stimulated early-season gross photosynthesis (GP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) throughout the growing season. This increased carbon turnover was probably associated with species-level responses to increased air temperature. Warming increased the aboveground biomass of the overstory shrub, dwarf birch (Betula nana), and caused a significant net redistribution of N from the understory evergreen shrub, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, to B. nana, despite no effects on soil temperature, total plant N, or N availability.

  6. Gaps in Data and Modeling Tools for Understanding Fire and Fire Effects in Tundra Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    French, N. H.; Miller, M. E.; Loboda, T. V.; Jenkins, L. K.; Bourgeau-Chavez, L. L.; Suiter, A.; Hawkins, S. M.

    2013-12-01

    capability for accurate estimation of fire emissions in this region. Initial evaluation of Landsat for tundra fire characterization (Loboda et al. 2013) and successful use of the rich archive of Synthetic Aperture Radar imagery for many fire-disturbed sites in the region will be additional topics covered in this poster presentation. References: Breiman, L. 2001. Random forests. Machine Learning, 45:5-32. French, N.H.F., W.J. de Groot, L.K. Jenkins, B.. Rogers, et al. 2011. Model comparisons for estimating carbon emissions from North American wildland fire. J. Geophys. Res. 116:G00K05, doi:10.1029/2010JG001469. Loboda, T L, N H F French, C. Hight-Harf, L. Jenkins, M.E. Miller. 2013. Mapping fire extent and burn severity in Alaskan tussock tundra: An analysis of the spectral response of tundra vegetation to wildland fire. Remote Sens. Enviro. 134:194-209.

  7. Breeding habitat associations and predicted distribution of an obligate tundra-breeding bird, Smith's Longspur

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  8. Long-Term Perspectives of Shrub Expansions and Peat Initiation in Arctic Tundra on the North Slope of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleary, K.; Yu, Z.

    2014-12-01

    The ongoing climate warming in the Arctic has caused rapid terrestrial ecosystem changes, including shrub expansion and permafrost thaw. Here we used results from a peat-accumulating permafrost tundra in upper Imnavait Creek on the Arctic foothills of Alaska (68° 36' N, 149° 18' W) to investigate ecological responses to recent climate warming in the context of the last millennium. Six peat soil cores were collected from Sphagnum mosaics along an elevational gradient from 906 m to 950 m on a hillslope covered by Eriophorum-dominated tussock tundra. Macrofossil analysis documents a consistent development sequence among all cores from a mineral soil to a minerotrophic sedge peat and finally to an ombrotrophic Sphagnum peat. The 14C dating results show the ages of peat initiation range from about 900 to 140 cal BP, but do not follow the elevation gradient, suggesting the dominant control of local factors. The Sphagnum onset begins at 1820 AD near the ridge top, and subsequently propagates downslope to the floodplain at 2008 AD. This transition (ombrotrophication) was likely in response to Arctic warming, and subsequent permafrost thaw and active layer thickening, leading to drying initiating at the ridge top and facilitating Sphagnum colonization. Pollen analysis of the master core UIC13-3 at 916 m elevation (basal age 700 cal BP) shows that the vegetation was dominated by sedges (up to 84%) during the cool Little Ice Age until 1800 AD, followed by increases in shrubs first from dwarf birch (Betula nana) (up to 57%) and then willows (Salix spp.) up to 62% in the 1960s. These results indicate that shrub expansion of willows, due to accelerated warming in recent decades, was preceded by birch expansion over the last two centuries. Our new results provide a long-term perspective on ecological transformations in the Arctic, in particular the history of recent shrub expansions and the process of peatland initiation and expansion across Arctic tundra.

  9. Consumption of atmospheric methane by tundra soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whalen, S. C.; Reeburgh, W. S.

    1990-01-01

    The results of field and laboratory experiments on methane consumption by tundra soils are reported. For methane concentrations ranging from below to well above ambient, moist soils are found to consume methane rapidly; in nonwaterlogged soils, equilibration with atmospheric methane is fast relative to microbial oxidation. It is concluded that lowering of the water table in tundra as a resulting from a warmer, drier climate will decrease methane fluxes and could cause these areas to provide negative feedback for atmospheric methane.

  10. Instar development of the douglas-fir tussock moth in relation to field temperatures. Forest Service research note

    SciTech Connect

    Beckwith, R.C.; Grimble, D.G.; Weatherby, J.C.

    1993-07-01

    Instar development is recorded for the Douglas-fir tussock moth (Orgyia pseudot-sugata) for two different elevations in the Boise National Forest, Idaho, in 1991. The percentage of the population by instars is associated with accumulated degree-days after eclosion, which can be used to predict the proper timing for spray application. For all practical purposes, areas can be released for spraying when third instars are initially found.

  11. Mortality in tundra swans Cygnus columbianus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  13. Response of tundra ecosystems to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide. [Annual report

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.; Grulke, N.E.

    1988-12-31

    Our past research shows that arctic tussock tundra responds to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} with marked increases in net ecosystem carbon flux and photosynthetic rates. However, at ambient temperatures and nutrient availabilities, homeostatic adjustments result in net ecosystem flux rates dropping to those found a contemporary CO{sub 2} levels within three years. Evidence for ecosystem-level acclimation in the first season of elevated CO{sub 2} exposure was found in 1987. Photosynthetic rates of Eriophorum vaginatum, the dominant species, adjusts to elevated CO{sub 2} within three weeks. Past research also indicates other changes potentially important to ecosystem structure and function. Elevated CO{sub 2} treatment apparently delays senescence and increases the period of positive photosynthetic activity. Recent results from the 1987 field season verify the results obtained in the 1983--1986 field seasons: Elevated CO{sub 2} resulted in increased ecosystem-level flux rates. Regressions fitted to the seasonal flux rates indicate an apparent 10 d extension of positive CO{sub 2} uptake reflecting a delay of the onset of plant dormancy. This delay in senescence could increase the frost sensitivity of the system. Major end points proposed for this research include the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and the interaction of elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} with elevated soil temperature and increased nutrient availability on: (1) Net ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux; (2) Net photosynthetic rates; (3) Patterns and resource controls on homeostatic adjustment in the above processes to elevated CO{sub 2}; (4) Plant-nutrient status, litter quality, and forage quality; (5) Soil-nutrient status; (6) Plant-growth pattern and shoot demography.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowden, W. B.

    2014-12-01

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

  15. Alaska Coastal Tundra Vegetation's Links to Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Changes in the seasonal climate in arctic coastal regions of Alaska have been documented during the satellite record and are linked to tundra vegetation productivity. The Arctic Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data set (a measure of vegetation photosynthetic capacity) has been used to document coherent temporal relationships between near-coastal sea ice, summer tundra land surface temperatures, and vegetation productivity throughout the Arctic. In the tundra of northern Alaska, significant increases have been documented in seasonal maximum (max) NDVI along the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea coasts. In contrast, maxNDVI over coastal tundra areas in southwest Alaska along the Bering Sea has declined. Increasing land surface temperatures have been documented in the Chukchi, Beaufort and Bering Sea tundra regions during the summer, but temperatures have declined in midsummer. NDVI variability has been previously tied with sea ice. The purpose of this study is to identify the climate system components that are linked to Alaska coastal tundra NDVI changes on seasonal and sub-seasonal time scales. Three coastal tundra domains were evaluated based on the Treshnikov divisions and they are named the East Bering, East Chukchi, and Beaufort, in reference to the adjacent seas. In the Beaufort and East Chukchi regions, the strength of the Beaufort High was correlated with NDVI, however the sign of the relationship changes from month to month in summer indicating a complex relationship. The maxNDVI is above average when the June Beaufort High (BH) is stronger, however, a weaker BH in July is also linked with increased TI-NDVI (time-integrated over the season). This suggests that a stronger BH, which suppresses cloudiness and increases solar insolation, may drive warming in June. Trends in wind speeds suggest that the changes in temperature are also linked with changes in the local sea breeze circulation, and stronger winds along the coast are correlated with warmer

  16. Contexts for change in alpine tundra

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  17. The unseen iceberg: Plant roots in arctic tundra

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iverson, Colleen M.; Sloan, Victoria L.; Sullivan, Patrick F.; Euskirchen, E.S.; McGuire, Anthony; 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Plant community responses to experimental warming across the tundra biome.

    PubMed

    Walker, Marilyn D; Wahren, C Henrik; Hollister, Robert D; Henry, Greg H R; Ahlquist, Lorraine E; Alatalo, Juha M; Bret-Harte, M Syndonia; Calef, Monika P; Callaghan, Terry V; Carroll, Amy B; Epstein, Howard E; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg S; Klein, Julia A; Magnússon, Borgthór; Molau, Ulf; Oberbauer, Steven F; Rewa, Steven P; Robinson, Clare H; Shaver, Gaius R; Suding, Katharine N; Thompson, Catharine C; Tolvanen, Anne; Totland, Ørjan; Turner, P Lee; Tweedie, Craig E; Webber, Patrick J; Wookey, Philip A

    2006-01-31

    Recent observations of changes in some tundra ecosystems appear to be responses to a warming climate. Several experimental studies have shown that tundra plants and ecosystems can respond strongly to environmental change, including warming; however, most studies were limited to a single location and were of short duration and based on a variety of experimental designs. In addition, comparisons among studies are difficult because a variety of techniques have been used to achieve experimental warming and different measurements have been used to assess responses. We used metaanalysis on plant community measurements from standardized warming experiments at 11 locations across the tundra biome involved in the International Tundra Experiment. The passive warming treatment increased plant-level air temperature by 1-3 degrees C, which is in the range of predicted and observed warming for tundra regions. Responses were rapid and detected in whole plant communities after only two growing seasons. Overall, warming increased height and cover of deciduous shrubs and graminoids, decreased cover of mosses and lichens, and decreased species diversity and evenness. These results predict that warming will cause a decline in biodiversity across a wide variety of tundra, at least in the short term. They also provide rigorous experimental evidence that recently observed increases in shrub cover in many tundra regions are in response to climate warming. These changes have important implications for processes and interactions within tundra ecosystems and between tundra and the atmosphere.

  20. Geochemical drivers of organic matter decomposition in Arctic tundra soils

    SciTech Connect

    Herndon, Elizabeth M.; Yang, Ziming; Graham, David E.; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Gu, Baohua; Liang, Liyuan; Bargar, John; Janot, Noemie; Regier, Tom Z.

    2015-12-07

    Climate change is warming tundra ecosystems in the Arctic, resulting in the decomposition of previously-frozen soil organic matter (SOM) and release of carbon (C) to the atmosphere; however, the processes that control SOM decomposition and C emissions remain highly uncertain. In this study, we evaluate geochemical factors that influence anaerobic production of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) in the active layers of four ice-wedge polygons. Surface and soil pore waters were collected during the annual thaw season over a two-year period in an area containing waterlogged, low-centered polygons and well-drained, high-centered polygons. We report spatial and seasonal patterns of dissolved gases in relation to the geochemical properties of Fe and organic C as determined using spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques. Iron was present as Fe(II) in soil solution near the permafrost boundary but enriched as Fe(III) in the middle of the active layer, similar to dissolved aromatic-C and organic acids. Dissolved CH4 increased relative to dissolved CO2 with depth and varied with soil moisture in the middle of the active layer in patterns that were positively correlated with the proportion of dissolved Fe(III) in transitional and low-centered polygon soils but negatively correlated in the drier flat- and high-centered polygons. These results suggest that microbial-mediated Fe oxidation and reduction influence respiration/fermentation of SOM and production of substrates (e.g., low-molecular-weight organic acids) for methanogenesis. As a result, we infer that geochemical differences induced by water saturation dictate microbial products of SOM decomposition, and Fe geochemistry is an important factor regulating methanogenesis in anoxic tundra soils.

  1. Geochemical drivers of organic matter decomposition in Arctic tundra soils

    DOE PAGES

    Herndon, Elizabeth M.; Yang, Ziming; Graham, David E.; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Gu, Baohua; Liang, Liyuan; Bargar, John; Janot, Noemie; Regier, Tom Z.

    2015-12-07

    Climate change is warming tundra ecosystems in the Arctic, resulting in the decomposition of previously-frozen soil organic matter (SOM) and release of carbon (C) to the atmosphere; however, the processes that control SOM decomposition and C emissions remain highly uncertain. In this study, we evaluate geochemical factors that influence anaerobic production of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) in the active layers of four ice-wedge polygons. Surface and soil pore waters were collected during the annual thaw season over a two-year period in an area containing waterlogged, low-centered polygons and well-drained, high-centered polygons. We report spatial and seasonal patterns ofmore » dissolved gases in relation to the geochemical properties of Fe and organic C as determined using spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques. Iron was present as Fe(II) in soil solution near the permafrost boundary but enriched as Fe(III) in the middle of the active layer, similar to dissolved aromatic-C and organic acids. Dissolved CH4 increased relative to dissolved CO2 with depth and varied with soil moisture in the middle of the active layer in patterns that were positively correlated with the proportion of dissolved Fe(III) in transitional and low-centered polygon soils but negatively correlated in the drier flat- and high-centered polygons. These results suggest that microbial-mediated Fe oxidation and reduction influence respiration/fermentation of SOM and production of substrates (e.g., low-molecular-weight organic acids) for methanogenesis. As a result, we infer that geochemical differences induced by water saturation dictate microbial products of SOM decomposition, and Fe geochemistry is an important factor regulating methanogenesis in anoxic tundra soils.« less

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2015-11-23

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-11-23

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    determining the direction and magnitude of methane flux, with methane emissions occurring in saturated micro-topographic locations and drier sites showing low rates of uptake. An interesting exception was in tussock sedge vegetation, which had a deep water table (approximately 20cm - 40cm below the soil surface) but which emitted methane in comparable quantities to saturated communities late in the growing season. This highlights the importance of plant transport and of understanding temporal variation in fluxes. Automated chamber measurements from peak and late growing season showed minimal diurnal trends in methane fluxes, indicating that short-term chamber measurements are representative of average diurnal CH4 fluxes. The breadth of environmental and vegetation variables measured across a wide spatial extent of arctic tundra vegetation communities within this study highlights the overriding controls on methane emissions and will significantly help with upscaling methane emissions from the plot scale to the landscape scale. Reference: IPCC, 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1535 pp, doi:10.1017/CBO97811074153

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  6. Experimentally substantiated equations of the interrelations between the agrochemical characteristics of tundra soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasil'Evskaya, V. D.; Grigor'ev, V. Ya.; Pogozhev, E. Yu.; Pogozheva, E. A.

    2011-01-01

    The detailed analysis of the results obtained in the course of experimental studying of the tundra soils in Western and Central Siberia and in the European part of Russia has revealed the general regularities of the variability and the relationships between the agrochemical and other properties of the soils. On the basis of these data, the calculated methods for the assessment of a complex of agrochemical properties of natural and disturbed tundra soils under different moisture and thermal conditions were elaborated. Among the properties analyzed, the following are important for plant growth: the acidity and the content of humus, organic carbon, total nitrogen, mobile phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. The relationships between the soil agro-chemical properties and the plant productivity allowed applying them for the quantitative evaluation of the environmental threat of the soil-plant cover's degradation because of different predominantly mechanical disturbances.

  7. Intense, natural pollution affects Arctic tundra vegetation at the Smoking Hills, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Freedman, B. ); Zobens, V.; Hutchinson, T.C.; Gizyn, W.I. )

    1990-04-01

    Long-term, natural emissions of sulfur dioxide and acidic aerosols have had an impact on remote tundra at the Smoking Hills. The emissions have caused plant damage by SO{sub 2} toxicity, and have severely acidified soil and freshwater. At the most intensively fumigated locations closest to the sources of emission, pollution stresses have devegetated the terrestrial ecosystem. The first plants that are encountered along a spatial gradient of decreasing pollution stress are Artemisia tilesii and Arctagrostis latifolia, which dominate a characteristic, pollution-tolerant community. Farther away at moderately polluted sites there are mixed communities with floristic elements of both fumigated and reference, unfumigated tundra. This pattern of ecosystem response to a concatenation of stresses caused by natural air and soil pollution is qualitatively similar to the damage that occurs in the vicinity of anthropogenic point sources of air pollution, such as smelters.

  8. Tundra Soil-Water Content and Temperature Behavior and Implications for Winter Tundra Travel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lilly, M. R.; Paetzold, R.; Kane, D. L.

    2007-12-01

    Unfrozen soil-water content was monitored in the upper meter of tundra soils, using TDR sensors at several locations on the North Slope of Alaska and in the Brooks Range foothills. In addition, soil temperature was monitored to a depth of 1.5 m at these locations using thermistors. Particular attention was paid to soil water and temperature behavior during freezing and thawing conditions. The upper organic layer of soil often exhibited very wet conditions and showed much greater temporal variability than the lower mineral soil layers. Permafrost acts as a barrier to water flow, so the soils usually are wet as they thaw in the spring. Boundaries between soil layers usually are very irregular and the soil materials are mixed due to churning from frost heaving. Soil-water content sensors integrate soil-water content over a relatively large volume compared to the essentially point measurements of the thermistors used to measure soil temperature. Anyone who has worked in the field knows how difficult it is to place sensors at an exact depth. Soil-surface roughness and vegetation under tundra conditions make accurate placement almost impossible. Minor discrepancies between soil-water freezing and thawing behavior should be expected. However, an overall picture of the annual soil-freezing processes still can be described by these matched sets of sensor observations. In addition to this data, general meteorological and snow depth data is collected. Results of this study may be useful in improving tundra travel guidelines. Currently, tundra travel is allowed if the soil temperature in the upper 30 cm of soil is colder than -5C. Soil water content and resulting ice bonding in the soil matrix does impact soil properties and the resulting impacts of tundra travel.

  9. Spectral indices for remote sensing of phytomass and deciduous shrub changes in Alaskan arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kushida, K.; Hobara, S.; Tsuyuzaki, S.; Watanabe, M.; Harada, K.; Kim, Y.; Shaver, G. R.; Fukuda, M.

    2010-12-01

    The relationships between spectral indices, phytomass, and plant functional types were determined by using field observations of a moist acidic tundra (MAT) and a moist non-acidic tundra (MNT) in the Toolik Lake Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site and a sedge-shrub tundra (SS) in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, USA. For the MAT and MNT observations, among aboveground phytomass, aboveground vascular phytomass, and vascular plant green phytomass, vascular plant green phytomass was the most sensitive to an exponential function of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). The coefficient of determination (R2) was 0.73. Vascular plant carbon and nitrogen were estimated with exponential functions of NDVI (R2 of 0.57 and 0.53, respectively). For the MAT, MNT, and SS observations, vascular plant green phytomass was more strongly correlated with an exponential function of NDVI (ENDVI, R2 of 0.62) than any other spectral indices. On the other hand, for deciduous shrub green phytomass, the strongest correlation was with a product of an exponential function of NDVI and a spectral index (MIR - RED)/(MIR + RED) (DSSI, R2 of 0.60). Here, MIR and RED denote the bands with wavelengths 2.09-2.35 and 0.63-0.69 µm, respectively. As a result of a regression analysis, 41% of the ENDVI variance and 60% of the DSSI variance were explained by deciduous shrub green phytomass. Up to 38% of the ENDVI variance and up to 10% of the DSSI variance were explained by green phytomass of evergreen shrubs and graminoids, and phytomass of mosses/lichens. These spectral indices were applicable to evaluating tundra plant community changes.

  10. Recent Arctic tundra fire initiates widespread thermokarst development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  11. Recent Arctic tundra fire initiates widespread thermokarst development

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Benjamin M.; Grosse, Guido; Arp, Christopher D.; Miller, Eric; Liu, Lin; 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. PMID:26511650

  12. Recent Arctic tundra fire initiates widespread thermokarst development.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  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.

    PubMed

    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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  16. Spatial energy budgets in alpine tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenland, D.

    1993-12-01

    Modelling and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology are employed in order to extend spatially, estimated and observed growing season values of the components of the surface heat energy budget for an area of alpine tundra in the Colorado Front Range. A surface equilibrium temperature model is calibrated for one sub-class of vegetation surface and is used to model surface heat energy budget component values for other sub-classes of vegetation. The model values compare favorably with values independently estimated or observed. The data are spatially displayed using the Idrisi GIS. At the microclimatic scale the presence of different sub-classes of vegetation plays a large role in controlling the actual values of the surface heat budget components. This is in contrast to the larger scale at which climatic variables such as air temperature control the overall vegetation type found in the area.

  17. Partitioning of organic carbon in European Russian tundra and taiga ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

    Sorption of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) on mineral phases is an important process for carbon preservation and element cycling in soils. Sorption of DOC to active minerals results in its fractionation because hydrophobic compounds (humic and fulvic acids) will be preferentially sorbed. Binding of cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, Al3+, Fe3+) by the DOC reduces the negative charge and thus its water solubility. At low pH and high cation concentrations, cations may cause coagulation of DOC. The sorption and/or coagulation are important factors in relation to DOC transport. Little is known about DOC partitioning between the soil solid and solution phases of arctic ecosystems. As a consequence of future warming arctic ecosystem will shift from surface water dominated to groundwater dominated systems. In general, permafrost affected soils with shallow active layers, having lateral flow towards the stream with only short contact time to mineral layers, lead to higher hydrophobic (humic and fulvic acid) DOC concentrations in streams compared to permafrost free soils where a larger share of hydrophilic DOC is expected to be discharged into streams. Changes in the delivery of DOC, nutrients and major ions to arctic rivers may have important consequences for primary production and carbon cycling. The partitioning of DOC is a fundamental process needed for modelling current and future stream water quality and solute transport. Therefore, the objective of this study is to determine the sorption and consequent fractionation of DOC in arctic ecosystems. During fieldwork carried out in the summer of 2007 and 2008 in the Russian Komi Republic, we collected soil, soil solution and surface water samples in both a forested taiga and a permafrost affected tundra catchment. The liquid samples were analysed for total organic carbon and inorganic cations. A rapid batch procedure was used for determining the humic-, fulvic- and hydrophilic acid fractions. Using the chemical speciation model

  18. 8. DETAIL OF QUONSET HUT SHOWING BOARDWALK ON TUNDRA CONNECTING ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    8. DETAIL OF QUONSET HUT SHOWING BOARDWALK ON TUNDRA CONNECTING QUONSET HUTS THAT DID NOT HAVE INTERCONNNECTING WOOD FRAME CORRIDORS - Fort Randall, Neuro-Psychiatric Ward, Northeast of intersection of California Boulevard & Nurse Drive, Cold Bay, Aleutian Islands, AK

  19. Characterization of the complete mitochondrial genome of tea tussock moth, Euproctis pseudoconspersa (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) and its phylogenetic implications.

    PubMed

    Dong, Wan-Wei; Dong, Si-Yu; Jiang, Guo-Fang; Huang, Guo-Hua

    2016-02-10

    In present work, we described the mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of the tea tussock moth Euproctis pseudoconspersa (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae). The complete mitogenome of E. pseudoconspersa is a circular genome 15,461 bp in size. It contains 37 genes and an A+T-rich region usually presented in lepidopteran mitogenomes, which genes share a lot of features with other known lepidopteran mitogenomes. Nucleotide composition of A+T in this mitogenome is 79.92%, and the AT skew is slightly positive. Both codon distribution and relative synonymous codon usage of the 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs) are consistent with those published lepidopteran sequences. All tRNA genes have typical cloverleaf secondary structures, except for the tRNA(Ser(AGN)), in which the dihydrouridine (DHU) arm is simplified down to a loop. The A+T-rich region of E. pseudoconspersa mitogenome possess the motif 'ATAGA' and poly-T stretch as the formerly identified conserved elements of Lepidoptera mitogenomes. The phylogenetic relationships were reconstructed by using maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) methods based on nucleotide sequences of 13 PCGs of 38 moths. The results were very consistent with the traditional relationships within Noctuoidea from morphological data, and showed that Lymantriidae is more closely related to Erebidae than to Noctuidae.

  20. Carbon loss from an unprecedented Arctic tundra wildfire.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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 of

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Organic Carbon Transformation and Mercury Methylation in Tundra Soils from Barrow Alaska

    DOE Data Explorer

    Liang, L.; Wullschleger, Stan; Graham, David; Gu, B.; Yang, Ziming

    2016-04-20

    This dataset includes information on soil labile organic carbon transformation and mercury methylation for tundra soils from Barrow, Alaska. The soil cores were collected from high-centered polygon (trough) at BEO and were incubated under anaerobic laboratory conditions at both freezing and warming temperatures for up to 8 months. Soil organic carbon including reducing sugars, alcohols, and organic acids were analyzed, and CH4 and CO2 emissions were quantified. Net production of methylmercury and Fe(II)/Fe(total) ratio were also measured and provided in this dataset.

  4. (Z,Z)-6,9-heneicosadien-11-one, labile sex pheromone of the whitemarked tussock moth, Orgyia leucostigma.

    PubMed

    Grant, Gary G; Slessor, Keith N; Liu, Wei; Abou-Zaid, Mamdouh M

    2003-03-01

    The whitemarked tussock moth (WMTM), Orgyia leucostigma (J. E. Smith), is a major pest of coniferous and deciduous trees in eastern Canada. Chemical identification of its sex pheromone depended primarily on GC-EAD and HPLC analysis, with confirmation of behavioral activity by wind tunnel and field tests. We identified (Z,Z)-6,9-heneicosadien-11-one (Z,Z-6,9-ket) at 4-5 ng/female as the only essential sex pheromone component. Also detected in female extracts were (Z)-6-heneicosen-11-one (Z6-ket) at 2.5 ng/female, (Z,E)-6,8-heneicosadien-11-one (Z,E-6.8-ket) at about 0.5 ng/female, and a trace amount of (Z,E)-6,9-heneicosadien-11-one. Traps containing as little as 1 microg of Z,Z-6,9-ket attracted males at low population levels, indicating it is a potent sex attractant. Traps baited with Z6-ket attracted few males, and in windtunnel bioassays it was at least 100-fold less attractive to males than Z,Z-6,9-ket. No improvement in trap catch occurred with the addition of Z6-ket in various binary mixtures with Z,Z-6,9-ket, including the female ratio, and a ternary mixture of Z,Z-6.9-ket, Z6-ket, and Z,E-6,8-ket in the 9:5:1 ratio detected in females was no better than Z,Z-6,9-ket alone. We attribute the presence of Z,E-6,8-ket and Z,E-6,9-ket in female extracts to the spontaneous and rapid stereospecific isomerization of Z,Z-6,9-ket at room temperature. Male flight began at sunset but peaked during the second half of the night.

  5. An FXPRLamide Neuropeptide Induces Seasonal Reproductive Polyphenism Underlying a Life-History Tradeoff in the Tussock Moth

    PubMed Central

    Uehara, Hiroshi; Senoh, Yukiko; Yoneda, Kyohei; Kato, Yoshiomi; Shiomi, Kunihiro

    2011-01-01

    The white spotted tussock moth, Orgyia thyellina, is a typical insect that exhibits seasonal polyphenisms in morphological, physiological, and behavioral traits, including a life-history tradeoff known as oogenesis-flight syndrome. However, the developmental processes and molecular mechanisms that mediate developmental plasticity, including life-history tradeoff, remain largely unknown. To analyze the molecular mechanisms involved in reproductive polyphenism, including the diapause induction, we first cloned and characterized the diapause hormone-pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (DH-PBAN) cDNA encoding the five Phe-X-Pro-Arg-Leu-NH2 (FXPRLa) neuropeptides: DH, PBAN, and α-, β-, and γ-SGNPs (subesophageal ganglion neuropeptides). This gene is expressed in neurosecretory cells within the subesophageal ganglion whose axonal projections reach the neurohemal organ, the corpus cardiacum, suggesting that the DH neuroendocrine system is conserved in Lepidoptera. By injection of chemically synthetic DH and anti-FXPRLa antibody into female pupae, we revealed that not only does the Orgyia DH induce embryonic diapause, but also that this neuropeptide induces seasonal polyphenism, participating in the hypertrophy of follicles and ovaries. In addition, the other four FXPRLa also induced embryonic diapause in O. thyellina, but not in Bombyx mori. This is the first study showing that a neuropeptide has a pleiotropic effect in seasonal reproductive polyphenism to accomplish seasonal adaptation. We also show that a novel factor (i.e., the DH neuropeptide) acts as an important inducer of seasonal polyphenism underlying a life-history tradeoff. Furthermore, we speculate that there must be evolutionary conservation and diversification in the neuroendocrine systems of two lepidopteran genera, Orgyia and Bombyx, in order to facilitate the evolution of coregulated life-history traits and tradeoffs. PMID:21887383

  6. Phenological response of tundra plants to background climate variation tested using the International Tundra Experiment.

    PubMed

    Oberbauer, S F; Elmendorf, S C; Troxler, T G; Hollister, R D; Rocha, A V; Bret-Harte, M S; Dawes, M A; Fosaa, A M; Henry, G H R; Høye, T T; Jarrad, F C; Jónsdóttir, I S; Klanderud, K; Klein, J A; Molau, U; Rixen, C; Schmidt, N M; Shaver, G R; Slider, R T; Totland, Ø; Wahren, C-H; Welker, J M

    2013-08-19

    The rapidly warming temperatures in high-latitude and alpine regions have the potential to alter the phenology of Arctic and alpine plants, affecting processes ranging from food webs to ecosystem trace gas fluxes. The International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) was initiated in 1990 to evaluate the effects of expected rapid changes in temperature on tundra plant phenology, growth and community changes using experimental warming. Here, we used the ITEX control data to test the phenological responses to background temperature variation across sites spanning latitudinal and moisture gradients. The dataset overall did not show an advance in phenology; instead, temperature variability during the years sampled and an absence of warming at some sites resulted in mixed responses. Phenological transitions of high Arctic plants clearly occurred at lower heat sum thresholds than those of low Arctic and alpine plants. However, sensitivity to temperature change was similar among plants from the different climate zones. Plants of different communities and growth forms differed for some phenological responses. Heat sums associated with flowering and greening appear to have increased over time. These results point to a complex suite of changes in plant communities and ecosystem function in high latitudes and elevations as the climate warms.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  8. Habitat selection by tundra swans on Northern Alaska breeding grounds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Earnst, Susan L.; Rothe, T.

    2004-01-01

    Habitat selection by the Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) was evaluated on the Colville River Delta prior to oil field development (1982-1989). Tundra Swan territories comprised a lake, used for refuge and foraging, and terrestrial habitats and ponds near the lakea??s perimeter used for foraging and nesting. Tundra swan sightings from early and late summer aerial surveys were used to investigate habitat selection at the territory and within-territory scale. At the territory or lake scale, swan sightings/lake increased with lake size, and increased from discrete to tapped (i.e., connected to a river channel) to drained lakes within size categories. Overall, 49% of the variation in swan sightings/lake was explained by lake size and type, a size-x-type interaction term, and the proportion of lake perimeter comprised of Halophytic Ponds and Halophytic Wet Meadows. At the within-territory or within-lake scale, foraging swans significantly selected Halophytic Ponds, Halophytic Wet Meadows, and Fresh Ponds relative to Uplands; nesting swans significantly selected Halophytic Ponds and significantly avoided Fresh Wet Meadows relative to Uplands. Vegetation sampling indicated that sites used by Tundra Swans on river channels and tapped lakes were significantly more likely to have Sheathed Pondweed (Potamogeton vaginatus) than control sites. The three major components of Tundra Swan diet were Carex sedges, Sheathed Pondweed, and algae, together comprising 85% of identifiable plant fragments in feces.

  9. Future distribution of tundra refugia in northern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  10. Future distribution of tundra refugia in northern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

    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.

  11. A Comparative Review of North American Tundra Delineations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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)).

  13. Geochemical characterization of Arctic tundra and implications for organic matter degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, B.; Herndon, E.; Graham, D. E.; Phelps, T. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Liang, L.

    2013-12-01

    Tundra soils are uniquely cold terrestrial environments that face irrevocable change under warming climate conditions. Specifically, many tundra soils store large quantities of organic carbon that may rapidly degrade with increasing temperature, releasing C into drainage systems or to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases (CH4, CO2). In order to predict rates of C release from tundra soils, it is necessary to quantify how biogeochemical factors such as pore water chemistry, terminal electron acceptor availability, and mineral adsorption regulate rates and pathways of soil organic carbon (SOC) degradation. In this study, we examine spatial and seasonal patterns of aqueous geochemistry and SOC characteristics from across an area of tundra landscape in the Arctic. We aim to identify factors that increase or decrease rates of SOC degradation, including: 1) the composition of organic substrates, 2) abundance of terminal electron acceptors, 3) vertical transport and spatial variability of both organic and inorganic compounds, and 4) adsorption to mineral surfaces. Soil and water samples were obtained from the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO) in northern Alaska as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE) Arctic project. Tundra at the BEO is characterized by permafrost below ~60 cm and polygonal features that induce topographic gradients of water saturation. Soils are organic-rich and store large amounts of slowly decomposing plant material. Chemical and physical extractions were used to obtain operationally-defined pools of SOC to evaluate their mineral associations. Water samples collected in early and late summers were analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity, and dissolved concentrations of anions, cations, organic carbon, inorganic carbon, and ferrous iron, as well as dissolved and soil gases (CH4 and CO2). We observe a steep pH gradient, with acidic pH in surface waters and near neutral pH in pore waters >20 cm below the surface. Dissolved organic

  14. Expansion of forest stands into tundra in the Noatak National Preserve, northwest Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Suarez, F.; Binkley, D.; Kaye, M.W.; Stottlemyer, R.

    1999-01-01

    Temperatures across the northern regions of North America have been increasing for 150 years, and forests have responded to this increase. In the Noatak National Preserve in Alaska, white spruce (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss) forests reach their northern limit, occurring primarily on well-drained sites and as gallery forests along streams. Rolling plateaus of tundra separate the white spruce forests into disjunct stands. We examined patterns of tree age, tree growth, and tree encroachment into tundra ecosystems in six stands along the Agashashok River. Warming over the past 150 years appears to have increased tree growth and resulted in forest expansion into adjacent tundra ecosystems. The forest/tundra ecotone shifted by about 80 to 100 m into the tundra in the past 200 years, as evidenced by declining maximum tree age with distance towards the tundra. The decadal-scale pattern of tree establishment at the farthest extent of trees into the tundra (the tundra-forest ecotone) correlated with the detrended growth index for trees within the forests; climate conditions that led to higher tree growth appeared to foster tree establishment in the tundra. This recent forest expansion has occurred across topographic boundaries, from well-drained soils on slopes onto poorly drained, flatter areas of tundra. Further expansion of the forests may be limited by more severe wind exposure and poor drainage that make the majority of tundra less suitable for trees.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. A Microwave Radiance Assimilation Study for a Tundra Snowpack

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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?

  18. 14. VIEW FROM TUNDRA CURVES (ON TRAIL RIDGE ROAD) SHOWING ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    14. VIEW FROM TUNDRA CURVES (ON TRAIL RIDGE ROAD) SHOWING FALL RIVER ROAD RISING FROM BENEATH CHAPIN PASS (AT EXTREME RIGHT) TO FALL RIVER PASS (FAR LEFT). - Fall River Road, Between Estes Park & Fall River Pass, Estes Park, Larimer County, CO

  19. Emissions of biogenic sulfur gases from Alaskan tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Hines, M.E.; Morrison, M.C.

    1992-10-30

    Fluxes of the biogenic sulfur gases carbonyl sulfide (COS), dimethyl sulfide (DMS), methyl mercaptan (MeSH), and carbon disulfide (CS{sub 2}) were determined from 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 {minus}2}h{sup {minus}1} (1.5-10) occurred in the water-saturated wet meadow areas inhabited by grasses, sedges, and Shpagnum 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 {minus}2}h{sup {minus}1} (0-8.3) and lowest fluxes were from lichen-dominated areas at 0.8 nmol m{sup {minus}2}h{sup {minus}1}. Sulfur emissions from a lake surface were also low at 0.8 nmol m{sup {minus}2}h{sup {minus}1}. Of the compounds measured, DMS was the dominant gas emitted from all of these sites. Sulfur 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. 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. Sulfur 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{sup 8} g yr{sup {minus}1}. This represents less than 0.001% of the estimated annual global flux of biogenic sulfur and <0.01% 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. 31 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  20. Emissions of biogenic sulfur gases from Alaskan tundra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  1. Response of a tundra ecosystem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO{sub 2}-induced climate change. Post-field season work plan, September 1, 1994--November 30, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    1994-12-31

    The preliminary data from the temperature and water table manipulations indicated that net CO{sub 2} flux of both tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems is sensitive to changes in water table depth and soil temperature. The preliminary results from the patch, landscape, and regional flux measurements indicate that there are large deficiencies in our current ability to extrapolate from patch and landscape levels to the region. During fall 1994, our primary goals are to: (1) Analyze a full season of net CO{sub 2} flux from the in situ manipulations, and determine the effects of water table depth and elevated temperature on the C balance of arctic ecosystems. Once this task is complete, the data will be published in a form that discusses the importance of these environmental controls, and their relevance to future CO{sub 2}-induced climate change. (2) Analyze tower- and aircraft-based eddy correlation flux data, and develop methods to reduce the time required to analyze these data. (3) Determine the importance of environmental controls of the exchange of CO{sub 2} at each spatial scale, and to develop the necessary routines that will permit the scaling of fine-scale flux data to landscape and regional scales. (4) Prepare manuscripts for publication on net CO{sub 2} flux data for each spatial scale, latitudinal flux pattern, and on methods and considerations for scaling from point measurements to the landscape and regional scale.

  2. Impacts of Arctic Climate Change on Tundra Fire Regimes at Interannual to Millennial Timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, F.; Young, A. M.; Chipman, M. L.; Duffy, P.; Higuera, P. E.

    2014-12-01

    Tundra burning is emerging as a key process in the rapidly changing Arctic, and knowledge of tundra fire-regime responses to climate change is essential for projecting Earth system dynamics. This presentation will focus on climate-fire relationships in the Arctic, spatiotemporal patterns of Holocene tundra burning, and the effects of tundra burning on carbon cycling. Analysis of historical records reveals that across the Arctic, tundra burning occurred primarily in areas where mean summer temperature exceeded 9 °C and total summer precipitation was below 115 mm. In Alaska, summer temperature and precipitation explain >90% of the interannual variability in tundra area burned from AD 1950-2009, with thresholds of 10.5 °C and 140 mm. These patterns imply tipping points in tundra fire-regime responses to climate change. The frequency of tundra fires has varied greatly across space and through time. Approximately 1.0% of the circum-Arctic tundra burned from AD 2002-2013, and 4.5% of the Alaskan tundra burned from AD 1950-2009. The latter encompassed ecoregions with fire rotation periods ranging from ~400 to 13,640 years. Charcoal analysis of lake sediments also shows that Arctic tundra can sustain a wide range of fire regimes. Fires were rare on the Alaskan North Slope throughout the Holocene, implying that the climate thresholds evident in the historical records have seldom been crossed. In contrast, in areas of NW Alaska, tundra has burned regularly at 100-250 year intervals during the late Holocene. Tundra burning may cause sudden releases of the enormous amount of Arctic soil C. Charcoal particles from recent burns yielded 14C ages of AD 1952-2006. Thus the C consumed in recent fires may recover through vegetation succession. However, our results suggest that in areas that have burned multiple times in recent decades, old soil C is vulnerable to future fires.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  4. Summertime N2O, CH4 and CO2 exchanges from a tundra marsh and an upland tundra in maritime Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Renbin; Ma, Dawei; Xu, Hua

    2014-02-01

    This study provides the first concurrent measurements of nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes from a tundra marsh and an upland tundra in maritime Antarctica over the summers of 2007/2008 and 2011/2012. Tundra N2O and CH4 fluxes showed large spatial variations depending on local hydrological regimes. N2O sinks generally occurred at waterlogged marsh sites (-3.0 to 27.5 μg N2O m-2 h-1) whereas relatively dry and mesic sites presented weak or strong N2O sources (2.2-41.6 μg N2O m-2 h-1). Upland tundra sites showed negligible N2O emissions due to low soil TN and NH4+-N contents. Dry/upland tundra sites showed weak to strong CH4 uptake (-4.5 to -85.8 μg CH4 m-2 h-1). The waterlogged sites showed weak to strong CH4 emissions (29.8 μg CH4 m-2 h-1-2.4 mg CH4 m-2 h-1). Both tundra marsh and upland tundra experienced a large net CO2 uptake with the greatest mean CO2 uptake rate (-92.1 mg CO2 m-2 h-1) at dry marsh sites. Mean ecosystem respiration (ER) ranged between 82.5 ± 13.2 and 174.9 ± 25.7 mg CO2 m-2 h-1 at all the sites, and showed a strong exponential correlation (P < 0.001) with 0-10 cm soil temperature. Gross photosynthesis (Pg) was more than two times higher in tundra marsh than in upland tundra due to the difference of vegetation coverage. N2O flux showed a strong negative correlation (P < 0.01) with 0-10 cm soil temperature at the marsh sites, and significant or weak positive correlations with total daily radiation (TDR) and sunlight time (ST). No significant correlation was obtained between CH4 fluxes and environmental variables at tundra marsh and upland tundra sites. There was a significant negative correlation (P < 0.01) between NEE and 0-10 cm mean soil temperature, total daily radiation. Our results indicated that the lowering of water table significantly increased N2O emissions and CH4 consumption, but decreased C loss from the tundra marsh. In the future, the combination of climate warming and frequent precipitation

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Seasonal dynamics of previously unknown fungal lineages in tundra soils.

    PubMed

    Schadt, Christopher W; Martin, Andrew P; Lipson, David A; Schmidt, Steven K

    2003-09-01

    The finding that microbial communities are active under snow has changed the estimated global rates of biogeochemical processes beneath seasonal snow packs. We used microbiological and molecular techniques to elucidate the phylogenetic composition of undersnow microbial communities in Colorado, the United States. Here, we show that tundra soil microbial biomass reaches its annual peak under snow, and that fungi account for most of the biomass. Phylogenetic analysis of tundra soil fungi revealed a high diversity of fungi and three novel clades that constitute major new groups of fungi (divergent at the subphylum or class level). An abundance of previously unknown fungi that are active beneath the snow substantially broadens our understanding of both the diversity and biogeochemical functioning of fungi in cold environments.

  8. Natural causes of the tundra-taiga boundary.

    PubMed

    Sveinbjörnsson, Bjartmar; Hofgaard, Annika; Lloyd, Andrea

    2002-08-01

    The tundra-taiga interface is characterized by a change in tree cover or density, tree size and shape, tree growth, and reproduction. Generally, trees get denser, taller, and less damaged as one moves from the tundra into the taiga proper. The environmental covariates and possible mechanisms resulting in these patterns are addressed in the paper. Low seed rain density, lack of safe sites caused by microclimatic variation, low surface substrate moisture, and low soil nutrient availability may limit the density of the tree species. Tree growth may be limited by a short growing season and further diminished, by shoot and root damage reducing carbon and nutrient stores as well as by reducing carbon and nutrient uptake capacities. Positive and negative feedbacks of tree density on tree growth exist at treeline. Increased tree density leads to increased air temperature and decreased wind damage, but also to lower soil temperature, reduced nutrient availability, and greater nutrient competition.

  9. Modelling carbon responses of tundra ecosystems to historical and projected climate: A comparison of a plot- and a global-scale ecosystem model to identify process-based uncertainties

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clein, J.S.; Kwiatkowski, B.L.; McGuire, A.D.; Hobbie, J.E.; Rastetter, E.B.; Melillo, J.M.; Kicklighter, D.W.

    2000-01-01

    We are developing a process-based modelling approach to investigate how carbon (C) storage of tundra across the entire Arctic will respond to projected climate change. To implement the approach, the processes that are least understood, and thus have the most uncertainty, need to be identified and studied. In this paper, we identified a key uncertainty by comparing the responses of C storage in tussock tundra at one site between the simulations of two models - one a global-scale ecosystem model (Terrestrial Ecosystem Model, TEM) and one a plot-scale ecosystem model (General Ecosystem Model, GEM). The simulations spanned the historical period (1921-94) and the projected period (1995-2100). In the historical period, the model simulations of net primary production (NPP) differed in their sensitivity to variability in climate. However, the long-term changes in C storage were similar in both simulations, because the dynamics of heterotrophic respiration (RH) were similar in both models. In contrast, the responses of C storage in the two model simulations diverged during the projected period. In the GEM simulation for this period, increases in RH tracked increases in NPP, whereas in the TEM simulation increases in RH lagged increases in NPP. We were able to make the long-term C dynamics of the two simulations agree by parameterizing TEM to the fast soil C pools of GEM. We concluded that the differences between the long-term C dynamics of the two simulations lay in modelling the role of the recalcitrant soil C. These differences, which reflect an incomplete understanding of soil processes, lead to quite different projections of the response of pan-Arctic C storage to global change. For example, the reference parameterization of TEM resulted in an estimate of cumulative C storage of 2032 g C m-2 for moist tundra north of 50??N, which was substantially higher than the 463 g C m-2 estimated for a parameterization of fast soil C dynamics. This uncertainty in the depiction of

  10. Apparent contradiction: psychrotolerant bacteria from hydrocarbon-contaminated arctic tundra soils that degrade diterpenoids synthesized by trees.

    PubMed

    Yu, Z; Stewart, G R; Mohn, W W

    2000-12-01

    Resin acids are tricyclic terpenoids occurring naturally in trees. We investigated the occurrence of resin acid-degrading bacteria on the Arctic tundra near the northern coast of Ellesmere Island (82 degrees N, 62 degrees W). According to most-probable-number assays, resin acid degraders were abundant (10(3) to 10(4) propagules/g of soil) in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, but they were undetectable (<3 propagules/g of soil) in pristine soils from the nearby tundra. Plate counts indicated that the contaminated and the pristine soils had similar populations of heterotrophs (10(6) to 10(7) propagules/g of soil). Eleven resin acid-degrading bacteria belonging to four phylogenetically distinct groups were enriched and isolated from the contaminated soils, and representative isolates of each group were further characterized. Strains DhA-91, IpA-92, and IpA-93 are members of the genus Pseudomonas. Strain DhA-95 is a member of the genus Sphingomonas. All four strains are psychrotolerant, with growth temperature ranges of 4 degrees C to 30 degrees C (DhA-91 and DhA-95) or 4 degrees C to 22 degrees C (IpA-92 and IpA-93) and with optimum temperatures of 15 to 22 degrees C. Strains DhA-91 and DhA-95 grew on the abietanes, dehydroabietic and abietic acids, but not on the pimaranes, isopimaric and pimaric acids. Strains IpA-92 and IpA-93 grew on the pimaranes but not the abietanes. All four strains grew on either aliphatic or aromatic hydrocarbons, which is unusual for described resin acid degraders. Eleven mesophilic resin acid degraders did not use hydrocarbons, with the exception of two Mycobacterium sp. strains that used aliphatic hydrocarbons. We conclude that hydrocarbon contamination in Arctic tundra soil indirectly selected for resin acid degraders, selecting for hydrocarbon degraders that coincidentally use resin acids. Psychrotolerant resin acid degraders are likely important in the global carbon cycle and may have applications in biotreatment of pulp and paper mill

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

    Resin acids are tricyclic terpenoids occurring naturally in trees. We investigated the occurrence of resin acid-degrading bacteria on the Arctic tundra near the northern coast of Ellesmere Island (82°N, 62°W). According to most-probable-number assays, resin acid degraders were abundant (103 to 104 propagules/g of soil) in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, but they were undetectable (<3 propagules/g of soil) in pristine soils from the nearby tundra. Plate counts indicated that the contaminated and the pristine soils had similar populations of heterotrophs (106 to 107 propagules/g of soil). Eleven resin acid-degrading bacteria belonging to four phylogenetically distinct groups were enriched and isolated from the contaminated soils, and representative isolates of each group were further characterized. Strains DhA-91, IpA-92, and IpA-93 are members of the genus Pseudomonas. Strain DhA-95 is a member of the genus Sphingomonas. All four strains are psychrotolerant, with growth temperature ranges of 4°C to 30°C (DhA-91 and DhA-95) or 4°C to 22°C (IpA-92 and IpA-93) and with optimum temperatures of 15 to 22°C. Strains DhA-91 and DhA-95 grew on the abietanes, dehydroabietic and abietic acids, but not on the pimaranes, isopimaric and pimaric acids. Strains IpA-92 and IpA-93 grew on the pimaranes but not the abietanes. All four strains grew on either aliphatic or aromatic hydrocarbons, which is unusual for described resin acid degraders. Eleven mesophilic resin acid degraders did not use hydrocarbons, with the exception of two Mycobacterium sp. strains that used aliphatic hydrocarbons. We conclude that hydrocarbon contamination in Arctic tundra soil indirectly selected for resin acid degraders, selecting for hydrocarbon degraders that coincidentally use resin acids. Psychrotolerant resin acid degraders are likely important in the global carbon cycle and may have applications in biotreatment of pulp and paper mill effluents. PMID:11097882

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Cold season emissions dominate the Arctic tundra methane budget

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Impact of permafrost thaw on Arctic tundra pond geochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reyes, F.; Lougheed, V.

    2012-12-01

    Increasing evidence indicates the arctic tundra is changing physically, biologically, and chemically due to climate warming. With a warmer climate, permafrost is expected to thaw and influence the chemistry of arctic aquatic ecosystems. However, knowledge is limited on how geochemistry of arctic tundra pond ecosystems will respond. By re-sampling historical IBP ponds in Barrow, AK first sampled in the 1970s, previous studies have shown an increase in water temperature, nutrients and algal biomass through time. Results from this study indicate an increase of Ca, Mg, and Na in the water column, and a decrease in pH relative to the 1970s, suggesting an increased rate and magnitude of carbonate and Mg release. Seasonal trends were also examined to understand what processes, such as mineral weathering, peat decomposition and evaporation, were currently most influential in determining pond geochemistry. An increase in Ca/Na molar ratios, and carbonate and magnesium concentrations indicates that these tundra ponds are experiencing greater carbonate weathering compared to the 1970s and the rate of carbonate weathering increases in ponds as the summer progresses. However, increasing dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations originating from peat decomposition are likely neutralizing additional inputs of carbonate, causing pond pH to decrease and exacerbating mineral weathering. A strong positive relationship between element concentrations and active layer pond thaw depth suggests that the origin of these additional solutes is likely from permafrost thaw. Active layer thaw depth has increased substantially over the past 40 years in the IBP ponds. Chloride/Bromide molar ratios and Deuterium/ 18-Oxygen isotope ratios will be used to determine the degree of evaporation occurring in tundra ponds. Ultimately, this study provides evidence for how geochemistry can identify the sources of chemical inputs to Arctic ponds affected by climate change and permafrost thaw.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lathram, E. H.

    1974-01-01

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

  16. The 1977 tundra fire at Kokolik River, Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, D.; Brown, J.; Johnson, L.

    1981-01-01

    During the summer of 1977, fire totaled 44 sq km of tundra vegetation according to measurements using LANDSAT imagery. Based on the experience gained from analysis of this fire using ground observations, satellite imagery, and topographic maps, it appears that natural drainages form effective fire breaks on the subdued relief of the Arctic coastal plain and northern foothills. It is confirmed that the intensity of the fire is related to vegetation type and to the moisture content of the organic rich soils.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Cold season emissions dominate the Arctic tundra methane budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  20. Temporal changes in soil bacterial diversity and humic substances degradation in subarctic tundra soil.

    PubMed

    Park, Ha Ju; Chae, Namyi; Sul, Woo Jun; Lee, Bang Yong; Lee, Yoo Kyung; Kim, Dockyu

    2015-04-01

    Humic substances (HS), primarily humic acids (HA) and fulvic acids (FA), are the largest constituent of soil organic matter. In microcosm systems with subarctic HS-rich tundra soil (site AK 1-75; approximately 5.6 °C during the thawing period) from Council, Alaska, the HA content significantly decreased to 48% after a 99-day incubation at 5 °C as part of a biologically mediated process. Accordingly, levels of FA, a putative byproduct of HA degradation, consistently increased to 172% during an identical incubation process. Culture-independent microbial community analysis showed that during the microcosm experiments, the relative abundance of phyla Proteobacteria (bacteria) and Euryarchaeota (archaea) largely increased, indicating their involvement in HS degradation. When the indigenous bacteria in AK 1-75 were enriched in an artificial mineral medium spiked with HA, the changes in relative abundance were most conspicuous in Proteobacteria (from 60.2 to 79.0%), specifically Betaproteobacteria-related bacteria. One hundred twenty-two HA-degrading bacterial strains, primarily from the genera Paenibacillus (phylum Firmicutes) and Pseudomonas (class Gammaproteobacteria), were cultivated from AK 1-75 and nearby sites. Through culture-dependent analysis with these bacterial isolates, we observed increasing HS-degradation rates in parallel with rising temperatures in a range of 0 °C to 20 °C, with the most notable increase occurring at 8 °C compared to 6 °C. Our results indicate that, although microbial-mediated HS degradation occurs at temperature as low as 5 °C in tundra ecosystems, increasing soil temperature caused by global climate change could enhance HS degradation rates. Extending the thawing period could also increase degradation activity, thereby directly affecting nearby microbial communities and rhizosphere environments.

  1. Emissions of biogenic sulfur gases from Alaskan tundra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hines, Mark E.; Morrison, Michael C.

    1992-01-01

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

  2. Advancing the long view of ecological change in tundra systems

    PubMed Central

    Post, Eric; Høye, Toke T.

    2013-01-01

    Despite uncertainties related to sustained funding, ideological rivalries and the turnover of research personnel, long-term studies and studies espousing a long-term perspective in ecology have a history of contributing landmark insights into fundamental topics, such as population- and community dynamics, species interactions and ecosystem function. They also have the potential to reveal surprises related to unforeseen events and non-stationary dynamics that unfold over the course of ongoing observation and experimentation. The unprecedented rate and magnitude of current and expected abiotic changes in tundra environments calls for a synthetic overview of the scope of ecological responses these changes have elicited. In this special issue, we present a series of contributions that advance the long view of ecological change in tundra systems, either through sustained long-term research, or through retrospective or prospective modelling. Beyond highlighting the value of long-term research in tundra systems, the insights derived herein should also find application to the study of ecological responses to environmental change in other biomes as well. PMID:23836784

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  5. Effects of chronic warming and nutrient additions on ecosystem respiration and methane fluxes along a tundra moisture gradient

    SciTech Connect

    Nadelhoffer, K.; Murray, G.; Giblin, A.; Shaver, G.; Laundre, J.; Johnson, L.; Stanley, A. ); Schimel, J. )

    1994-06-01

    We measured ecosystem respiration (ER: or CO[sub 2] flux), methane (CH[sub 4]) fluxes and net ecosystem production (NEP) near Toolik Lake, Alaska to compare effects of temperature, moisture and nutrients on tundra C balances. We measured fluxes using closed chambers in control, warmed and fertilized plots in wet, moist and dry tundra. ER rankings of tundra types differed between years. In 1992 ER was [approximately]70 g C m[sup [minus]2]y[sup [minus]1] in wet and moist tundra and was 50% lower in dry tundra. In 1993 ER was >150 g C m[sup [minus]2]y[sup [minus]1] in moist tundra and [approximately]55 g C m[sup [minus]2]y[sup [minus]1] in wet and dry tundra. CH[sub 4] emissions ranged from 3.5 to 7 g C m[sup [minus]2]y[sup [minus]1] in wet and from 0.6 to 2.8 g C m[sup [minus]2]y[sup [minus]1] in moist tundra. Dry tundra consumed about 0.1 g CH[sub 4]-C m[sup [minus]2]y[sup [minus]1]. In wet tundra ER increased slightly with warming but dramatically with fertilization. Wet tundra NEP increased with fertilization but not with warming. CH[sub 4] emissions from wet tundra increased with warming but decreased with fertilization. Warming and fertilization increased ER but neither treatment affected NEP in moist tundra. CH[sub 4] emissions from moist tundra responded similarly but less dramatically to treatments than did wet tundra CH[sub 4] fluxes. Warming did not affect ER or NEP in dry tundra, fertilization increased both process. Consumption of CH[sub 4] in dry tundra increased with warming but decreased with fertilization.

  6. Chemical and spectroscopic analyses of organic matter transformation in warming tundra soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herndon, E.; Roy Chowdhury, T.; Mann, B. F.; Graham, D. E.; Bargar, J.; Gu, B.; Liang, L.

    2013-12-01

    Many tundra soils are currently major carbon sinks; however, an increase in temperature may shift these systems to C sources and create a positive feedback for warming. In order to predict future C release from tundra soils, it is necessary to quantify rates of SOM degradation and to identify the reactants and products of microbial decomposition reactions. In this study, multiple spectroscopic techniques are used to investigate SOM during laboratory incubations of tundra soils. We aim to characterize the chemical transformation of organic matter during decomposition as a function of temperature and geochemistry. Frozen soil cores were obtained from the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO) in northern Alaska as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment Arctic project. To investigate the influence of temperature on organic matter degradation and compositional changes, soil horizons from each core were homogenized and soil material was incubated at -2°C, +4°C, or +8°C. Samples were sacrificed periodically over 100 days, and chemical and physical extractions were used to separate SOM into operationally-defined pools, including light (density < 1.6 g cm-2) and mineral-bound, and water-, acid-, base-, and non-soluble fractions. A suite of wet-chemical and spectroscopic analyses was used to measure CO2 and CH4 formation and soil C compositional changes, including techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), high resolution mass spectrometry, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Detailed chemical and spectroscopic analyses reveal significant differences amongst extracts and with depth in the soil. In general, more organic C was extracted in the base than in the acid and water fractions, and mineral-bound organic C increased with depth. The water-soluble C fraction showed the lowest molar absorptivity of the three extracts and consisted of mostly lower-molecular weight organics. Acid-soluble C increased

  7. Distinct temperature sensitivity among taiga and tundra shrubs in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreu-Hayles, L.; Anchukaitis, K. J.; D'Arrigo, R.

    2014-12-01

    Shrub expansion into Arctic and alpine tundra ecosystems is well documented, mostly over the last 50 years, based on remote sensing data, aerial photography, and in-situ observations. Warming temperatures are considered the main driver of the observed change in shrub vegetation patterns. Here, we assess the relationship between temperatures and shrub growth from five populations of Salix spp. (willow) and Alnus spp. (alder) in Alaska growing within the tundra and the boreal forest (~taiga) using dendrochronological techniques. The three tundra shrub sites are located on the Dalton Highway north from Toolik Lake (~69ºN 148ºW), whereas the two taiga shrub sites are located closer to Fairbanks at the Twelve Mile Summit site (~65ºN 146ºW). Because shrub ages vary among the studied populations lead to different time spans for the ring-width chronologies generated, a common period with available satellite data spanning from 1982 to 2010 was selected for this study. All tundra shrub chronologies shared a strong positive response to summer temperatures despite growing in heterogeneous site conditions and belonging to different species. In contrast, in the taiga, summer temperatures enhance willow growth, whereas alder growth appears almost insensitive to temperature over the interval studied. Extending the analyses back in time, a very strong positive relationship was found between alder ring-width and June temperatures prior to 1970. This phenomenon, a weakening of the previously existing relationship between growth and temperatures, was also detected in white spruce (Picea glauca) growing at the same site, and it is known in the literature as the 'divergence problem'. Thus, at this taiga location, alder shrubs and trees seem to have similar growth patterns. Summer temperatures no longer seem to enhance taiga alder growth. Shrubs of different species exposed to the same climatic conditions can exhibit varied growth responses. The distinct temperature sensitivities

  8. Changing Seasonality of Tundra Vegetation and Associated Climatic Variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. Root surface acid phosphatases and their role in phosphorus assimilation by Eriophorum vaginatum

    SciTech Connect

    Kroehler, C.J.; Linkins, A.E.

    1988-01-01

    Eriophorum vaginatum is a dominant plant in much of the arctic tundra ecosystem where phosphorus is frequently a limiting nutrient. The mineralization of this organic phosphorus was thought to be principally controlled by microbial respiration, however, more recent work shows that extracellular soil phosphatases are the principal regulators. The existence of plant root and mycorrhizal surface phosphatases which are capable of hydrolyzing organic phosphorus compounds, suggests that soil organic phosphorus may be directly utilized by plants. Since E. vaginatum is a tussock forming sedge with a very dense annually produced rooting system which can exploit most of the tussock soil volume, its surface phosphatases may play a dominant role in organic phosphorus hydrolysis into inorganic phosphorus. Of equal significance would be the potential for this activity to contribute to the phosphorus nutrition through the coupling of phosphorus hydrolysis on the root and root uptake of the resultant inorganic phosphorus. Phosphatase activity was investigated and found to be uniformly distributed along the surface of the root. Kinetic analysis of the enzyme gave estimates of 9.23 mM for the apparent Km and 1.61 * 10/sup -3/ ..mu..moles mm-2 hr/sup -1/ for the apparent Vmax. Saturation values for E. vaginatum phosphatases are about 3 times higher than average soil solution organic phosphorus concentrations. 12 refs., 4 figs.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  12. Summertime CO2 fluxes and ecosystem respiration from marine animal colony tundra in maritime Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Renbin; Bao, Tao; Wang, Qing; Xu, Hua; Liu, Yashu

    2014-12-01

    Net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and ecosystem respiration (ER) were investigated at penguin, seal and skua colony tundra and the adjacent animal-lacking tundra sites in maritime Antarctica. Net CO2 fluxes showed a large difference between marine animal colonies and animal-lacking tundra sites. The mean NEE from penguin, seal and skua colony tundra sites ranged from -37.2 to 5.2 mg CO2 m-2 h-1, whereas animal-lacking tundra sites experienced a larger net gain of CO2 with the mean flux range from -85.6 to -23.9 mg CO2 m-2 h-1. Ecosystem respiration rates at penguin colony tundra sites (mean 201.3 ± 31.4 mg CO2 m-2 h-1) were significantly higher (P < 0.01) than those at penguin-lacking tundra sites (64.0-87.1 mg CO2 m-2 h-1). The gross photosynthesis (Pg) showed a consistent trend to ER with the highest mean Pg (219.7 ± 34.5 mg CO2 m-2 h-1) at penguin colony tundra sites. When all the data were combined from different types of tundra ecosystems, summertime tundra NEE showed a weak or strong positive correlation with air temperature, 0-10 cm soil temperature or precipitation. The NEE from marine animal colony and animal-lacking tundra was significantly positively correlated (P < 0.001) with soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN) contents and C:N ratios. The ER showed a significant exponential correlation (P < 0.01) with mean 0-15 cm soil temperature, and much higher Q10 value (9.97) was obtained compared with other terrestrial ecosystems, indicating greater temperature sensitivity of tundra ecosystem respiration. Our results indicate that marine animals and the deposition of their excreta might have an important effect on tundra CO2 exchanges and ecosystem respiration, and current climate warming will further decrease tundra CO2 sink in maritime Antarctica.

  13. Tundra in the rain: differential vegetation responses to three years of experimentally doubled summer precipitation in Siberian shrub and Swedish bog tundra.

    PubMed

    Keuper, Frida; Parmentier, Frans-Jan W; Blok, Daan; van Bodegom, Peter M; Dorrepaal, Ellen; van Hal, Jurgen R; van Logtestijn, Richard S P; Aerts, Rien

    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 at the plant level, total tundra plant productivity is, at least at the short or medium term, largely irresponsive to experimentally increased summer precipitation.

  14. Recovery of plant biomass and soil N cycling in Alaskan tundra following an unusual fire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bret-Harte, M. S.; Mack, M. C.; Huebner, D. C.; Johnston, M.; Shaver, G. R.

    2012-12-01

    Climate warming is likely to increase the frequency of disturbances in the Arctic. The Anaktuvuk River fire of 2007 burned 1039 km2 of northern Alaskan tundra; this was unprecedented for this vegetation, which is clonal, slow-growing, and long-lived. We harvested plant biomass and soils from severely and moderately burned areas and controls in 2011 to assess recovery of plant productivity and soil N cycling four years after the fire. Biomass of vascular plants had recovered to nearly control levels in moderately burned areas, due primarily to resprouting by graminoids, particularly Eriophorum vaginatum. Graminoid biomass was actually greater in moderately burned tundra than in unburned tundra. Deciduous shrub and evergreen shrub biomass in moderately burned tundra was approximately half that seen in unburned tundra, but non-vascular plant biomass was much less, so that total aboveground biomass in moderately burned tundra had not returned to control levels. Severely burned tundra had less of all components of the community than in moderately burned tundra, except that there was higher biomass of non-vascular plants, due to colonization by fire-following liverworts and mosses. Productivity of vascular plants was similar in unburned and severely burned tundra plots, and higher in moderately burned plots, due in part to higher soil N availability. Recovery of plant biomass was largely due to resprouting of species that survived the fire, though numerous seedlings were seen. Biomass of vascular plants has recovered rapidly in the moderately burned sites, while severely burned sites and nonvascular plants are recovering more slowly, but the relative abundance of different species differs from unburned tundra. The relationship between spectral indices (NDVI, EVI-2) collected at the plot level and either biomass or NPP varied with burn category, which may complicate assessments of NPP by remote sensing following fire.

  15. Decadal changes of phenological patterns over Arctic tundra biome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, G. J.; Epstein, H. E.; Walker, D. A.; Wang, H.

    2008-12-01

    The northern high latitudes have experienced a continuous and accelerated trend of warming during the past 30 years, with most recent decade ranks the warmest years since 1850. Warmer springs are especially evident throughout the Arctic. Meanwhile, Arctic sea ice declined rapidly to unprecedented low extents in all months, with late summer experiences the most significant declining. Warming in the north is also evident from observations of early melting of snow and reducing snow cover. Now a key question is: in the warmth limited northern biome, what will happen to the phenological patterns of tundra vegetation as the global climate warms and seasonality of air temperature, sea ice, and snow cover shift? To answer the question we examined the onset of vegetation greenness, senescence of greenness, length of growing season, and dates of peak greenness along Arctic bioclimate gradients (subzones) to see how they change over years. Here, we combine multi-scale sub-pixel analysis and remote sensing time-series analysis to investigate recent decadal changes in vegetation phenology along spatial gradients of summer temperature and vegetation in the Arctic. The datasets used here are AVHRR 15-day 8 km time series, AVHRR 8-day 1 km dataset, and MODIS 8-day 500m Collection 5 dataset. There were detectable changes in phenological pattern over tundra biome in past two decades. Increases of vegetation greenness were observed in most of the summer periods in low arctic and mid-summer in high arctic. Peak greenness appeared earlier in high arctic and declined slower after peak in low arctic. Generally, tundra plants were having longer and stronger photosynthesis activities, and therefore increased annual vegetation productivities. Field studies have observed early growth and enhanced peak growth of many deciduous shrub species in tundra plant communities. These changes in seasonality are very likely to alter surface albedo and heat budget, modify plant photosynthesis

  16. Historical patterns of western spruce budworm and douglas-fir tussock moth outbreaks in the northern Blue Mountains, Oregon, since a.d. 1700. Forest Service research paper

    SciTech Connect

    Swetnam, T.W.; Wickman, B.E.; Paul, H.G.; Baisan, C.H.

    1995-10-01

    Tree-ring samples from 21 mixed-conifer stands in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon were analyzed for evidence of past western spruce budworm and Douglas-fir tussock moth outbreaks. Comparison of host and nonhost tree-ring growth provided an objective basis for distinguishing climatic effects from insect defoliation effects. Our reconstruction shows that since ca. A.D. 1700 at least eight regional budworm outbreaks occurred at intervals of about 21 to 53 years. Reduced radial growth periods caused by defoliation lasted from 13 to 17 years. Two regional budworm out-breaks occurred in the 19th century (ca. 1806 to 1822 and ca. 1851 to 1867), three outbreaks occurred in the northern Blue Mountains in the 20th century (ca. 1898 to 1910, ca. 1946 to 1958, and ca. 1980 to present), and an additional outbreak occurred in the Eagle Cap Wilderness (ca. 1925 to 1939). These findings generally lend support to the hypothesis that budworm outbreaks have increased in frequency and severity in the 20th century in northeastern Oregon.

  17. Limited genetic divergence among Australian alpine Poa tussock grasses coupled with regional structuring points to ongoing gene flow and taxonomic challenges

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, Philippa C.; Hoffmann, Ary A.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims While molecular approaches can often accurately reconstruct species relationships, taxa that are incompletely differentiated pose a challenge even with extensive data. Such taxa are functionally differentiated, but may be genetically differentiated only at small and/or patchy regions of the genome. This issue is considered here in Poa tussock grass species that dominate grassland and herbfields in the Australian alpine zone. Methods Previously reported tetraploidy was confirmed in all species by sequencing seven nuclear regions and five microsatellite markers. A Bayesian approach was used to co-estimate nuclear and chloroplast gene trees with an overall dated species tree. The resulting species tree was used to examine species structure and recent hybridization, and intertaxon fertility was tested by experimental crosses. Key Results Species tree estimation revealed Poa gunnii, a Tasmanian endemic species, as sister to the rest of the Australian alpine Poa. The taxa have radiated in the last 0·5–1·2 million years and the non-gunnii taxa are not supported as genetically distinct. Recent hybridization following past species divergence was also not supported. Ongoing gene flow is suggested, with some broad-scale geographic structure within the group. Conclusions The Australian alpine Poa species are not genetically distinct despite being distinguishable phenotypically, suggesting recent adaptive divergence with ongoing intertaxon gene flow. This highlights challenges in using conventional molecular taxonomy to infer species relationships in recent, rapid radiations. PMID:24607721

  18. Permafrost degradation stimulates carbon loss from experimentally warmed tundra.

    PubMed

    Natali, Susan M; Schuur, Edward A G; Webb, Elizabeth E; Pries, Caitlin E Hicks; Crummer, Kathryn G

    2014-03-01

    A large pool of organic carbon (C) has been accumulating in the Arctic for thousands of years because cold and waterlogged conditions have protected soil organic material from microbial decomposition. As the climate warms this vast and frozen C pool is at risk of being thawed, decomposed, and released to the atmosphere as greenhouse gasses. At the same time, some C losses may be offset by warming-mediated increases in plant productivity. Plant and microbial responses to warming ultimately determine net C exchange from ecosystems, but the timing and magnitude of these responses remain uncertain. Here we show that experimental warming and permafrost (ground that remains below 0 degrees C for two or more consecutive years) degradation led to a two-fold increase in net ecosystem C uptake during the growing season. However, warming also enhanced winter respiration, which entirely offset growing-season C gains. Winter C losses may be even higher in response to actual climate warming than to our experimental manipulations, and, in that scenario, could be expected to more than double overall net C losses from tundra to the atmosphere. Our results highlight the importance of winter processes in determining whether tundra acts as a C source or sink, and demonstrate the potential magnitude of C release from the permafrost zone that might be expected in a warmer climate.

  19. Tundra disturbance and ecosystem production: Implications for impact assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truett, Joe C.; Kertell, Kenneth

    1992-07-01

    Environmental regulations governing industrial activities in tundra environments stem largely from the expected ecological effects of the activities. One of the major ecological effects of industrial activities is the surface subsidence associated with thermokarst, which can result in changes in primary and secondary production. The primary production changes associated with thermokarst are strongly governed by three ecosystem properties—soil temperature, water regime, and nutrient availability. Most disturbances set in motion a more-or-less predictable sequence of landscape change related to these properties: soil warming, thermokarst, surface flooding, accelerated organic matter decomposition, and increased nutrient availability. The warmed soil and the enhanced nutrient availability typically lead to increased annual primary production, increased dominance by graminoids, and reduced plant species diversity. These vegetational changes may in turn potentially enhance secondary production, but in general these second-level responses have yet to be quantified. More information is needed about the food-chain effects of tundra landscape disturbances before regulators can make well-informed predictions of impacts or plan useful habitat rehabilitation.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Tundra carbon balance under varying temperature and moisture regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huemmrich, K. F.; Kinoshita, G.; Gamon, J. A.; Houston, S.; Kwon, H.; Oechel, W. C.

    2010-12-01

    To understand the effects of environmental change on tundra carbon balance, a manipulation experiment was performed in wet sedge tundra near Barrow, Alaska. Three replicates of six environmental treatments were made: control, heating, raising or lowering water table, and heating along with raising or lowering water table. Carbon fluxes were measured using a portable chamber for six days during the 2001 growing season. Spectral reflectance and meteorological measurements were also collected. Empirical models derived from flux measurements were developed for daily gross ecosystem production (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (Re). The amount of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by the plants was strongly correlated with GEP. This relationship was not affected by treatment or time during the growing season. Re was related to soil temperature with a different relationship for each water level treatment. Re in the lowered water table treatment had a strong response to temperature changes, while the raised water table treatment showed little temperature response. These models calculated daily net ecosystem exchange for all of the treatments over the growing season. Warming increased both the seasonal carbon gain and carbon loss. By the end of summer the lowered water table treatments, both heated and unheated, were net carbon sources while all other treatments were sinks. Warming and/or raising the water table increased the strength of the net sink. Over the timescale of this experiment, water table primarily determined whether the ecosystem was a source or sink, with temperature modifying the strength of the source or sink.

  2. Tundra swan habitat preferences during migration in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Earnst, S.L.

    1994-01-01

    I studied tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) habitat preference in North Dakota during autumn migration, 1988-89. Many thousand tundra swans stop in the Prairie Pothole region during autumn migration, but swan resource use has not been quantified. I examined habitat preference in relation to an index of sago pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus) presence, extent of open water, and wetland size. I compared habitat preference derived from counts of all swans to those derived from foraging swans only and cygnets only. Foraging swans preferred wetlands with sago pondweed (P = 0.03); the number of foraging swans per wetland was >4 times higher on wetlands with sago pondweed than on wetlands without sago. In contrast, nonforaging swans did not prefer wetlands with sago pondweed (P = 0.85) but preferred large wetlands (P = 0.02) and those with a high proportion of contiguous open water (P < 0.01). Thus, conclusions about habitat preference derived from counts of all swans, most of which were nonforaging, would not have revealed the importance of sago pondweed. Cygnets were more likely to be feeding than adults (P = 0.03) and occurred proportionately more often in smaller flocks (P = 0.04), but cygnets and adults had similar habitat preferences.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-05

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

  5. [Vegetation biomass distribution characteristics of alpine tundra ecosystem in Changbai Mountains].

    PubMed

    Wei, Jing; Wu, Gang; Deng, Hongbing

    2004-11-01

    Climate change is one of the hotspots in global environment concerns, while alpine tundra ecosystem is most sensitive to global climate change. Because of the relatively small area of tundra, researches on alpine tundra ecosystem were much less. Based on the measurement of species biomass, dominant species organ biomass and vegetation biomass, this paper discussed the biomass spatial variation in alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountains. The results showed that among 43 species investigated, the first five species in biomass were Rhododendron chrysanthum (159.01 kg x hm(-2)), Vaccinium uliginosum var. alpinum (137.52 kg x hm(-2)), Vaccinium uliginosum (134.7 kg x hm(-2)), Dryas octopetala var. asiatica (131.5 kg x hm(-2)) and Salix rotundifolia (128.4 kg x hm(-2)), which were the dominant species in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountains. Along with increasing altitude, the ratio of below-/above-ground biomass and below-ground/total biomass gradually increased, while the vegetation biomass gradually decreased. The vegetation biomass showed a significant correlation with altitude in typical alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountains, and the average vegetation biomass was 2.21 t x hm(-2). Alpine tundra ecosystem is very important for microclimate regulation, soil improvement, water-holding, soil conservation, nutrient cycling, carbon fixation and oxygen production, and currently, it is the CO2 sink of Changbai Mountains.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  7. The Tundra is a Net Source of CO2 Measured by Autochambers and Eddy Covariance Techniques During Five Years in a Site With Permafrost Thawing.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celis, G.; Mauritz, M.; Bracho, R. G.; Salmon, V. G.; Webb, E.; Hutchings, J. A.; Natali, S.; Crummer, K. G.; Schuur, E.; Schaedel, C.

    2015-12-01

    Current and future warming of high latitude tundra ecosystems will play an important role in climate change through feedbacks to the global carbon (C) cycle. Long-term observational and experimental studies are pivotal for detecting and understanding changes in the coming decades. Yet studies of the C feedbacks from observational studies and manipulative experiments made on tundra plant communities often have significantly different conclusions with regards to impacts of warming on the ecosystem. Comparing results from these two study types, however, often involves integrating CO2 flux measurements that were collected on different spatial scales using a variety of methods. The process of data assimilation for landscape level analysis is often complicated by the fact that many projects only utilize one method for measuring CO2 fluxes at a given site. This study compares five years of C dynamics in a moist acidic tundra from control plots in a manipulative warming experiment (CiPEHR - plot-scale) and landscape-level natural permafrost thaw gradient (Gradient - Eddy covariance) observations all within a 1km distance from each other. We found net ecosystem exchange (NEE) to be an annual net source of carbon using both methods (Gradient 12.3 - 125.6 g CO2-C m-2 and CiPEHR warming manipulation 80.2 - 175.8 g CO2-C m-2). The differences between sites were biggest in the first three years of observation, and can be explained by lower growing season gross primary production (GPP - first three years) from the manipulation (CiPEHR), and lower ecosystem respiration (Reco) from CiPEHR in the first year only. Suppressed GPP and Reco could be from the impact of experimental setup (chamber soil collars - root damage), which lowered the plant community's capacity to fix C, but recovered within three years. This warrants caution of making generalization of short-term experiments in the tundra and more research is needed evaluating coupling of belowground and aboveground C dynamics.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. The Effect of Silver Nanoparticles on Seasonal Change in Arctic Tundra Bacterial and Fungal Assemblages

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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).

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

    SciTech Connect

    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,

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

    PubMed

    Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Bååth, Erland

    2013-01-01

    If microbial degradation of carbon substrates in arctic soil is stimulated by climatic warming, this would be a significant positive feedback on global change. With data from a climate change experiment in Northern Sweden we show that warming and enhanced soil nutrient availability, which is a predicted long-term consequence of climatic warming and mimicked by fertilization, both increase soil microbial biomass. However, while fertilization increased the relative abundance of fungi, warming caused only a minimal shift in the microbial community composition based on the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and neutral lipid fatty acid (NLFA) profiles. The function of the microbial community was also differently affected, as indicated by stable isotope probing of PLFA and NLFA. We demonstrate that two decades of fertilization have favored fungi relative to bacteria, and increased the turnover 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. Furthermore, the different functional responses suggest that the biomass increase found in both fertilized and warmed plots was mediated via different mechanisms.

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

    PubMed

    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).

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

    PubMed

    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.

  15. Climate Variations and Alaska Tundra Vegetation Productivity Declines in Spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    While sea ice has continued to decline, vegetation productivity increases have declined particularly during spring in Alaska as well as many parts of the Arctic tundra. To understand the processes behind these features we investigate spring climate variations that includes temperature, circulation patterns, and snow cover to determine how these may be contributing to spring browning. This study employs remotely sensed weekly 25-km sea ice concentration, weekly surface temperature, and bi-weekly NDVI from 1982 to 2014. Maximum NDVI (MaxNDVI, Maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), Time Integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI), Summer Warmth Index (SWI, sum of degree months above freezing during May-August), atmospheric reanalysis data, dynamically downscaled climate data, meteorological station data, and snow water equivalent (GlobSnow, assimilated snow data set). We analyzed the data for the full period (1982-2014) and for two sub-periods (1982-1998 and 1999-2014), which were chosen based on the declining Alaska SWI since 1998. MaxNDVI has increased from 1982-2014 over most of the Arctic but has declined from 1999 to 2014 southwest Alaska. TI-NDVI has trends that are similar to those for MaxNDVI for the full period but display widespread declines over the 1999-2014 period. Therefore, as the MaxNDVI has continued to increase overall for the Arctic, TI-NDVI has been declining since 1999 and these declines are particularly noteworthy during spring in Alaska. Spring declines in Alaska have been linked to increased spring snow cover that can delay greenup (Bieniek et al. 2015) but recent ground observations suggest that after an initial warming and greening, late season freezing temperature are damaging the plants. The late season freezing temperature hypothesis will be explored with meteorological climate/weather data sets for Alaska tundra regions. References P.A. Bieniek, US Bhatt, DA Walker, MK Raynolds, JC Comiso, HE Epstein, JE Pinzon, CJ Tucker, RL Thoman, H Tran, N M

  16. Remotely Sensing Tundra Fire Impacts Using InSAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  18. From Tropics to Tundra: Global Convergence in Plant Functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reich, Peter B.; Walters, Michael B.; Ellsworth, David S.

    1997-12-01

    Despite striking differences in climate, soils, and evolutionary history among diverse biomes ranging from tropical and temperate forests to alpine tundra and desert, we found similar interspecific relationships among leaf structure and function and plant growth in all biomes. Our results thus demonstrate convergent evolution and global generality in plant functioning, despite the enormous diversity of plant species and biomes. For 280 plant species from two global data sets, we found that potential carbon gain (photosynthesis) and carbon loss (respiration) increase in similar proportion with decreasing leaf life-span, increasing leaf nitrogen concentration, and increasing leaf surface area-to-mass ratio. Productivity of individual plants and of leaves in vegetation canopies also changes in constant proportion to leaf life-span and surface area-to-mass ratio. These global plant functional relationships have significant implications for global scale modeling of vegetation-atmosphere CO2 exchange.

  19. Spatial Scale Gaps of Turbulent Heat Fluxes in Arctic Tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fochesatto, G. J.; Gruber, M. A.; Cristóbal-Rosselló, J.; Edgar, C.; Kane, D. L.

    2013-12-01

    Large-area averaged turbulent fluxes of scalars (heat and carbon) play an important role in climate and ecosystem models by resolving the scale-gap closure defining top-down and bottom-up scaling schemes. Large Aperture Scintillometer (LAS) measurement of the refractive index structure function (CN2) allows for indirect retrieval of area-averaged (>km2) atmospheric boundary layer sensible heat fluxes. In this work we report observations of LAS in Arctic tundra at Imnavait Creek Basin. LAS-derived fluxes are compared to more localized measurements of heat fluxes obtained by an eddy-covariance (EC) system distributed across the basin. This article discusses the divergence observed in the temporal series of LAS-fluxes in comparison to spatially distributed measurements of EC-fluxes. The comparison stresses the role of the Arctic ABL structure, terrain-flow characteristics and radiative fluxes in the overall spatial representation of fluxes.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1986-01-01

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

  1. Transformation of nitrogen compounds in the tundra soils of Northern Fennoscandia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maslov, M. N.; Makarov, M. I.

    2016-07-01

    The transformation of organic nitrogen compounds in the soils of tundra ecosystems of Northern Fennoscandia has been studied under laboratory and natural conditions. Tundra soils contain significant reserves of total nitrogen, but they are poor in its extractable mineral and organic forms. The potential rates of the net mineralization and net immobilization of nitrogen by microorganisms vary among the soils and depend on the C: N ratio in the extractable organic matter and microbial biomass of soil. Under natural conditions, the rate of nitrogen net mineralization is lower than the potential rate determined under laboratory conditions by 6-25 times. The incubation of tundra soils in the presence of plants does not result in the accumulation of mineral nitrogen compounds either in the soil or in microbial biomass. This confirms the high competitive capacity of plants under conditions of limited nitrogen availability in tundra ecosystems.

  2. Quantifying the historic and future distribution of fire in Alaskan tundra ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, A. M.; Higuera, P. E.; Duffy, P. A.

    2012-12-01

    During the past 60 years fire has been relatively rare and small in size within tundra ecosystems. However, historical observations and paleoecological evidence indicates that fire regimes vary widely across Alaskan tundra, in both space and time. These lines of evidence suggest that fire occupies a highly specified niche or ecological space in Alaskan tundra, which may change significantly with future climate warming. The objective of this research was to quantify the relationships between fire occurrence and different seasonal climate variables, and to begin to make inferences about future distributions of fire across the tundra landscape. The results of this research will ultimately contribute to the goal of summarizing the linkages that exist among climate, vegetation, and fire in the historical record, and for making predictions concerning fire disturbance in tundra ecosystems throughout the next century. Historic tundra fires occurred non-randomly across space, and a relationship exists between fire occurrence and warm, dry climates. We quantified this relationship with generalized boosting models (GBM) using datasets of downscaled temperature and precipitation (2 km, 1971-2000), and historic records of tundra area burned (1950-2010). The GBM used six seasonal climate variables, focused on growing season temperature and precipitation, to predict the probability of fire occurrence over the 1950-2010 time period. To understand implications of these historic relationships given ongoing climate warming, we constructed future climatologies of temperature and precipitation for the five GCMs which performed best in Alaska under the IPCC AR4 A1B (middle-of-the-road) emissions scenario for the time period 2021-2050. The GBM performed well predicting the observed spatial distribution of tundra area burned, capturing key regions which experienced the most fire activity from 1950-2010. The mean temperature of the warmest month (MeanMaxTemp) was the most influential

  3. Climate feedbacks at the tundra-taiga interface.

    PubMed

    Harding, Richard; Kuhry, Peter; Christensen, Torben R; Sykes, Martin T; Dankers, Rutger; van der Linden, Sandra

    2002-08-01

    Feedbacks, or internal interactions, play a crucial role in the climate system. Negative feedback will reduce the impact of an external perturbation, a positive feedback will amplify the effect and could lead to an unstable system. Many of the feedbacks found in the climate system are positive; thus, for example, increasing CO2 levels will increase temperature, reduce the snow cover, increase the absorption of radiation and hence increase temperature further. The most obvious feedbacks, such as the snow example quoted above, are already included within our models of the climate and earth system. Others, such as the impact of increasing forest cover due to global warming, are only just being included. Others, such as, the impact of global warming on the northern peatlands and the impact of freshwater flows on the Arctic Ocean are not yet considered. The contrast in surface characteristics between low tundra vegetation to high taiga forest is considerable. The contrast is greatest in the winter, when the tundra is snow covered but the trees of the taiga protrude through the snow pack, and is probably the greatest contrast found on the land surface anywhere. This variation causes massive changes in the energy fluxes at the surface and hence the temperature conditions on the ground and within the atmosphere. There will be large resultant changes in the vegetation development, the carbon fluxes, the permafrost and the hydrology. The Arctic is already experiencing change and it is essential for us to understand the basic processes, and how these interact, to be confident of our predictions of environmental change in the future.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    How soil microbial communities contrast with respect to taxonomic and functional composition within and between ecosystems remains an unresolved question that is central to predicting how global anthropogenic change will affect soil functioning and services. In particular, it remains unclear how small-scale observations of soil communities based on the typical volume sampled (1-2 g) are generalizable to ecosystem-scale responses and processes. This is especially relevant for remote, northern latitude soils, which are challenging to sample and are also thought to be more vulnerable to climate change compared to temperate soils. Here, we employed well-replicated shotgun metagenome and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to characterize community composition and metabolic potential in Alaskan tundra soils, combining our own datasets with those publically available from distant tundra and temperate grassland and agriculture habitats. We found that the abundance of many taxa and metabolic functions differed substantially between tundra soil metagenomes relative to those from temperate soils, and that a high degree of OTU-sharing exists between tundra locations. Tundra soils were an order of magnitude less complex than their temperate counterparts, allowing for near-complete coverage of microbial community richness (~92% breadth) by sequencing, and the recovery of 27 high-quality, almost complete (>80% completeness) population bins. These population bins, collectively, made up to ~10% of the metagenomic datasets, and represented diverse taxonomic groups and metabolic lifestyles tuned toward sulfur cycling, hydrogen metabolism, methanotrophy, and organic matter oxidation. Several population bins, including members of Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria, were also present in geographically distant (~100-530 km apart) tundra habitats (full genome representation and up to 99.6% genome-derived average nucleotide identity). Collectively, our results revealed that

  6. Multi-Sensor Approach for Assessing the Taiga-Tundra Boundary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ranson, K. J.; Sun, G.; Kharuk, V. I.; Kovacs, K.

    2003-01-01

    Monitoring the dynamics of the tundra-taiga boundary is critical for our understanding of the causes and consequences of the changes in this area. Because of its inaccessibility, remote sensing data will play an important role. In this study we examined the use of several remote sensing techniques for identifying the existing tundra-taiga ecotone. These include Landsat, MISR and RADARSAT data. High-resolution IKONOS images were used for local ground truth. It was found that on Landsat ETM+ summer images, reflectance from tundra and taiga at band 4 (NIR) is similar, but different at other bands such as red, and MIR bands. When the incidence angle is small, C-band HH-pol backscattering coefficients from both tundra and taiga are relatively high. The backscattering from tundra targets decreases faster than taiga targets when the incidence angle increases, because the tundra targets look smoother than taiga. Because of the shading effect of the vegetation, the MISR data, both multi-spectral data at nadir looking and multi-angle data at red and NIR bands, clearly show the transition zone.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. Fire behavior, weather, and burn severity of the 2007 anaktuvuk river tundra fire, North Slope, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, B.; Kolden, C.; Jandt, R.; Abatzoglou, J.; Urban, F.; Arp, C.

    2009-01-01

    In 2007, the Anaktuvuk River Fire (ARF) became the largest recorded tundra fire on the North Slope of Alaska. The ARF burned for nearly three months, consuming more than 100,000 ha. At its peak in early September, the ARF burned at a rate of 7000 ha d-1. The conditions potentially responsible for this large tundra fire include modeled record high summer temperature and record low summer precipitation, a late-season high-pressure system located over the Beaufort Sea, extremely dry soil conditions throughout the summer, and sustained southerly winds during the period of vegetation senescence. Burn severity mapping revealed that more than 80% of the ARF burned at moderate to extreme severity, while the nearby Kuparuk River Fire remained small and burned at predominantly (80%) low severity. While this study provides information that may aid in the prediction of future large tundra fires in northern Alaska, the fact that three other tundra fires that occurred in 2007 combined to burn less than 1000 ha suggests site specific complexities associated with tundra fires on the North Slope, which may hamper the development of tundra fire forecasting models.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  10. Tundra ecosystems observed to be CO2 sources due to differential amplification of the carbon cycle.

    PubMed

    Belshe, E F; Schuur, E A G; Bolker, B M

    2013-10-01

    Are tundra ecosystems currently a carbon source or sink? What is the future trajectory of tundra carbon fluxes in response to climate change? These questions are of global importance because of the vast quantities of organic carbon stored in permafrost soils. In this meta-analysis, we compile 40 years of CO2 flux observations from 54 studies spanning 32 sites across northern high latitudes. Using time-series analysis, we investigated if seasonal or annual CO2 fluxes have changed over time, and whether spatial differences in mean annual temperature could help explain temporal changes in CO2 flux. Growing season net CO2 uptake has definitely increased since the 1990s; the data also suggest (albeit less definitively) an increase in winter CO2 emissions, especially in the last decade. In spite of the uncertainty in the winter trend, we estimate that tundra sites were annual CO2 sources from the mid-1980s until the 2000s, and data from the last 7 years show that tundra continue to emit CO2 annually. CO2 emissions exceed CO2 uptake across the range of temperatures that occur in the tundra biome. Taken together, these data suggest that despite increases in growing season uptake, tundra ecosystems are currently CO2 sources on an annual basis.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

    In tundra, at a low temperature, there exists a slowly developing methanotrophic community. Methane-oxidizing bacteria are associated with plants growing at high humidity, such as sedge and sphagnum; no methonotrophs were found in polytrichous and aulacomnious mosses and lichens, typical of more arid areas. The methanotrophic bacterial community inhabits definite soil horizons, from moss dust to peat formed from it. Potential ability of the methanotrophic community to oxidize methane at 5 degrees C enhances with the depth of the soil profile in spite of the decreasing soil temperature. The methanotrophic community was found to gradually adapt to various temperatures due to the presence of different methane-oxidizing bacteria in its composition. Depending on the temperature and pH, different methanotrophs occupy different econiches. Within a temperature range from 5 to 15 degrees C, three morphologically distinct groups of methanotrophs could be distinguished. At pH 5-7 and 5-15 degrees C, forms morphologically similar to Methylobacter psychrophilus predominated, whereas at the acidic pH 4-6 and 10-15 degrees C, bipolar cells typical of Methylocella palustris were mostly found. The third group of methanotrophic bacteria growing at pH 5-7 and 5-10 degrees C was represented by a novel methanotroph whole large coccoid cells had a thick mucous capsule. PMID:12244726

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  15. Biomarkers as Indicators of Respiration During Laboratory Incubations of Alaskan Arctic Tundra Permafrost Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutchings, J.; Schuur, E.; Bianchi, T. S.; Bracho, R. G.

    2015-12-01

    High latitude permafrost soils are estimated to store 1,330 - 1,580 Pg C, which account for ca. 40% of global soil C and nearly twice that of atmospheric C. Disproportionate heating of high latitude regions during climate warming potentially results in permafrost thaw and degradation of surficial and previously-frozen soil C. Understanding how newly-thawed soils respond to microbial degradation is essential to predicting C emissions from this region. Laboratory incubations have been a key tool in understanding potential respiration rates from high latitude soils. A recent study found that among the common soil measurements, C:N was the best predictor of C losses. Here, we analyzed Alaskan Arctic tundra soils from before and after a nearly 3-year laboratory incubation. Bulk geochemical values as well as the following biomarkers were measured: lignin, amino acids, n-alkanes, and glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGT). We found that initial C:N did not predict C losses and no significant change in C:N between initial and final samples. The lignin acid to aldehyde (Ad:Al) degradation index showed the same results with a lack of C loss prediction and no significant change during the experiment. However, we did find that C:N and Ad:Al had a significant negative correlation suggesting behavior consistent with expectations. The failure to predict C losses was likely influenced by a number of factors, including the possibility that biomarkers were tracking a smaller fraction of slower cycling components of soil C. To better interpret these results, we also used a hydroxyproline-based amino acid degradation index and n-alkanes to estimate the contribution Sphagnum mosses to soil samples - known to have slower turnover times than vascular plants. Finally, we applied a GDGT soil temperature proxy to estimate the growing season soil temperatures before each incubation, as well as investigating the effects of incubation temperature on the index's temperature estimate.

  16. Shrub expansion and climate feedbacks in Arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  18. Methane dynamics in warming tundra of Northeast European Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marushchak, M. E.; Friborg, T.; Biasi, C.; Herbst, M.; Johansson, T.; Kiepe, I.; Liimatainen, M.; Lind, S. E.; Martikainen, P. J.; Virtanen, T.; Soegaard, H.; Shurpali, N. J.

    2015-08-01

    Methane (CH4) fluxes were investigated in a subarctic Russian tundra site in a multi-approach study combining plot scale data, ecosystem scale eddy covariance (EC) measurements and fine resolution land cover classification scheme for regional upscaling. The flux data as measured by the two independent techniques resulted in a seasonal (May-October 2008) cumulative CH4 emission of 2.4 (EC) and 3.7 g CH4 m-2 (manual chambers) for the source area representative of the footprint of the EC instruments. Upon upscaling for the entire study region of 98.6 km2, the chamber measured flux data yielded a regional flux estimate of 6.7 g CH4 m-2 yr-1. Our upscaling efforts accounted for the large spatial variability in the distribution of the various land cover types (LCTs) predominant at our study site. In particular, wetlands with emissions ranging from 34 to 53 g CH4 m-2 yr-1 were the most dominant CH4 emitting surfaces. Emissions from thermokarst lakes were an order of magnitude lower, while the rest of the landscape (mineral tundra) was a weak sink for atmospheric methane. Vascular plant cover was a key factor in explaining the spatial variability of CH4 emissions among wetland types, as indicated by the positive correlation of emissions with the leaf area index (LAI). As elucidated through a stable isotope analysis, the plant transport was the dominant CH4 release pathway that discriminates against heavier δ13C-CH4. The methane released from wetlands was lighter than that in the surface porewater and δ13C in the emitted CH4 correlated with the vascular plant cover (LAI) implying that the plant-mediated CH4 release dominates. A mean value of δ13C obtained here for the emitted CH4, -68.2 ± 2.0 ‰, is within the range of values from other wetlands, thus reinforcing the use of inverse modeling tools to better constrain the CH4 budget. Based on the IPCC A1B emission scenario, a temperature increase of 7 °C has been predicted for the tundra region of European Russia by the

  19. Satellite based permafrost modeling in low land tundra landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langer, M.; Westermann, S.; Heikenfeld, M.; Boike, J.

    2012-12-01

    For most of the cryosphere components such as glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice, and snow satellite monitoring and change detection is well established since several decades. For permafrost, however, which represents the largest component of the Arctic cryosphere operational satellite monitoring schemes do not exist so far. Most of the processes which control the Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are related to the thermal state of permafrost and the freeze/thaw dynamics of the active layer. Hence, satellite based permafrost monitoring would be highly beneficial for the impact assessment of climate change in the Arctic. Permafrost monitoring could also be highly beneficial for the risk assessment of infrastructure in the Arctic such as roads, pipelines, and buildings which are directly affected by the thermal stability of permafrost. Increasing thaw depths and prolonged thaw periods can damage pipelines and interrupt the access to vast regions due to road damages. Sustained warming of permafrost can result in thermal erosion and landslides which threaten buildings and other infrastructural facilities. In this study we present a possible permafrost monitoring scheme based on a numerical heat flow model which is forced by multiple satellite products and initialized by weather reanalysis data. The used forcing and initialization dataset includes the land surface temperature (LST), the snow cover fraction (SCF), and the snow water equivalent (SWE). Previous studies demonstrated that MODIS LST products can deliver reasonable surface temperature measurements in tundra landscapes (Langer et al. 2010, Westermann et al. 2011). This study is based on the ten year record of the daily MOD11A1v5 and MYD11A1v5 land surface temperature products with a spatial resolution of 1km. The snow cover evolution is obtained from the daily GlobSnow SWE product with a spatial resolution of about 25km. In addition, the MODIS snow cover products MOD10A1v5 and MYD10v5 with a resolution of 1km are used

  20. Topographic Variation and Methane Production in Siberian Arctic Tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eason, J.; Kuhn, M. A.; Dunn, S.; Spawn, S.; Schade, J. D.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the fate of soil carbon when permafrost soils begin to thaw is critical for predicting the impact of permafrost thaw on global climate change. Microbial metabolism of soil carbon can produce carbon dioxide or methane, depending on soil conditions, and which pathway dominates has great significance for the strength of climate feedbacks since methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. In Arctic ecosystems, methane production from upland environments is not well understood and generally assumed to be low because conditions there are generally not favorable for methanogenesis. Small changes in topography, however, can lead to great heterogeneity in soil conditions at small scales that may lead to higher methane flux than generally recognized. In this study, we investigated patterns in methane, carbon dioxide, and oxygen concentrations in in surface waters of 15 small ponds in the Kolyma River watershed in Northeast Siberia. The ponds were distributed across a topographic gradient from upland tundra high in the landscape to low-lying ponds in the floodplain of the Kolyma River. In addition, we used chambers to measured methane fluxes from a variety of topographic depressions that ranged from pools to moss-dominated saturated soils lacking surface water, to dry soils dominated by sedges. Dissolved carbon dioxide concentrations in ponds showed no trend down the topographic gradient while methane concentrations decreased downslope. The decrease in methane production may be the result of a switch from green moss to brown moss, which may act as a host for methanotrophic bacteria. Ponds with green moss had significantly higher concentrations of methane than the ponds with brown moss. In addition, we found significantly higher methane fluxes from pools and saturated soils then from drier soils, which showed very low fluxes. These results suggest that upland tundra may be a significant source of methane, and that methane fluxes are driven

  1. Can lemmings control the expansion of woody plants on tundra?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja; Olofsson, Johan; Virtanen, Risto; Hoset, Katrine; Tuomi, Maria; Kyrö, Kukka

    2013-04-01

    The ongoing expansion of woody vegetation in the arctic, due to global warming, creates a positive feed back loop. Increasing abundance of woody plants reduces surface albedo both directly and via speeding up snow melt. Thus a successively greater fraction of incoming solar radiation is absorbed and converted to heat. Browsing mammals - both big and small - can prevent this by consuming woody plants. However, the grazer/browser community of many tundra areas is dominated by brown/Norwegian lemmings (Lemmus spp.) which eat graminoids and mosses and cannot use woody plants as forage. It would seem a priori likely that in such areas, mammalian herbivores speed up the expansion of woody plants by improving the chances of their seedlings to get established. We studied the impact of lemmings on woody plants by constructing lemming proof exclosures within piece high-altitude tundra at Joatkanjávri, northernmost Norway. The exclosures were constructed in 1998, during a period of low lemming densities, in snow-beds, where Norwegian lemmings (L. lemmus) were the only ecologically significant herbivorous mammals. (Reindeer migrate through the area in May, when snow-beds are inaccessible for them; during the fall migration, the area represents a dead end and is therefore avoided.) We chose pairs of maximally similar vegetation patches of 0.5 by 0.5 m and randomly assigned one of each pair to become an exclosure while the other plot was left open. The initial state of the vegetation was documented by the point frequency method. In 2008, after the 2007 lemming outbreak, the same documentation was repeated; thereafter the plots were harvested, the vegetation was sorted to species, oven dried and weighed. Exclusion of lemmings resulted to pronounced increase in community level plant biomass. Evergreen woody plants were especially favored by the exclusion of lemming: their above-ground biomass in exclosures was 14 times as great as their biomass on open reference plots. The

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems may act as a positive feedback to climate warming, the strength of which depends on its spatial extent. Recent studies have shown that shrub expansion is more likely to occur in areas with high soil moisture and nutrient availability, conditions typically found in sub-surface water channels known as water tracks. Water tracks are 5–15 m wide channels of subsurface water drainage in permafrost landscapes and are characterized by deeper seasonal thaw depth, warmer soil temperatures, and higher soil moisture and nutrient content relative to adjacent tundra. Consequently, enhanced vegetation productivity, and dominance by tall deciduous shrubs, are typical in water tracks. Quantifying the distribution of water tracks may inform investigations of the extent of shrub expansion and associated impacts on tundra ecosystem carbon cycling. Here, we quantify the distribution of water tracks and their contribution to growing season CO2 dynamics for a Siberian tundra landscape using satellite observations, meteorological data, and field measurements. We find that water tracks occupy 7.4% of the 448 km2 study area, and account for a slightly larger proportion of growing season carbon uptake relative to surrounding tundra. For areas inside water tracks dominated by shrubs, field observations revealed higher shrub biomass and higher ecosystem respiration and gross primary productivity relative to adjacent upland tundra. Conversely, a comparison of graminoid-dominated areas in water tracks and inter-track tundra revealed that water track locations dominated by graminoids had lower shrub biomass yet increased net uptake of CO2. Our results show water tracks are an important component of this landscape. Their distribution will influence ecosystem structural and functional responses to climate, and is therefore of importance for modeling.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems may act as a positive feedback to climate warming, the strength of which depends on its spatial extent. Recent studies have shown that shrub expansion is more likely to occur in areas with high soil moisture and nutrient availability, conditions typically found in sub-surface water channels known as water tracks. Water tracks are 5-15 m wide channels of subsurface water drainage in permafrost landscapes and are characterized by deeper seasonal thaw depth, warmer soil temperatures, and higher soil moisture and nutrient content relative to adjacent tundra. Consequently, enhanced vegetation productivity, and dominance by tall deciduous shrubs, are typical in water tracks. Quantifying the distribution of water tracks may inform investigations of the extent of shrub expansion and associated impacts on tundra ecosystem carbon cycling. Here, we quantify the distribution of water tracks and their contribution to growing season CO2 dynamics for a Siberian tundra landscape using satellite observations, meteorological data, and field measurements. We find that water tracks occupy 7.4% of the 448 km2 study area, and account for a slightly larger proportion of growing season carbon uptake relative to surrounding tundra. For areas inside water tracks dominated by shrubs, field observations revealed higher shrub biomass and higher ecosystem respiration and gross primary productivity relative to adjacent upland tundra. Conversely, a comparison of graminoid-dominated areas in water tracks and inter-track tundra revealed that water track locations dominated by graminoids had lower shrub biomass yet increased net uptake of CO2. Our results show water tracks are an important component of this landscape. Their distribution will influence ecosystem structural and functional responses to climate, and is therefore of importance for modeling.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  5. Modelling tundra vegetation response to recent arctic warming.

    PubMed

    Miller, Paul A; Smith, Benjamin

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic land area has warmed by > 1 °C in the last 30 years and there is evidence that this has led to increased productivity and stature of tundra vegetation and reduced albedo, effecting a positive (amplifying) feedback to climate warming. We applied an individual-based dynamic vegetation model over the Arctic forced by observed climate and atmospheric CO(2) for 1980-2006. Averaged over the study area, the model simulated increases in primary production and leaf area index, and an increasing representation of shrubs and trees in vegetation. The main underlying mechanism was a warming-driven increase in growing season length, enhancing the production of shrubs and trees to the detriment of shaded ground-level vegetation. The simulated vegetation changes were estimated to correspond to a 1.75 % decline in snow-season albedo. Implications for modelling future climate impacts on Arctic ecosystems and for the incorporation of biogeophysical feedback mechanisms in Arctic system models are discussed. PMID:22864701

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

    Methane emission from the following types of tundra soils was studied: coarse humic gleyey loamy cryo soil, peaty gley soil, and peaty gleyey midloamy cryo soil of the arctic tundra. All the soils studied were found to be potential sources of atmospheric methane. The highest values of methane emission were recorded in August at a soil temperature of 8-10 degrees C. Flooded parcels were the sources of atmospheric methane throughout the observation period. The rates of methane production and oxidation in tundra soils of various types at 5 and 15 degrees C were studied by the radioisotope method. Methane oxidation was found to occur in bog water, in the green part of peat moss, and in all the soil horizons studied. Methane formation was recorded in the horizons of peat, in clay with plant roots, and in peaty moss dust of the bogey parcels. At both temperatures, the methane oxidation rate exceeded the rate of methane formation in all the horizons of the mossy-lichen tundra and of the bumpy sinkhole complex. Methanogenesis prevailed only in a sedge-peat moss bog at 15 degrees C. Enrichment bacterial cultures oxidizing methane at 5 and 15 degrees C were obtained. Different types of methanotrophic bacteria were shown to be responsible for methane oxidation under these conditions. A representative of type I methylotrophs oxidized methane at 5 degrees C, and Methylocella tundrae, a psychroactive representative of an acidophilic methanotrophic genus Methylocella, at 15 degrees C. PMID:15938404

  7. How will the tundra-taiga interface respond to climate change?

    PubMed

    Skre, Oddvar; Baxter, Robert; Crawford, Robert M M; Callaghan, Terry V; Fedorkov, Alexey

    2002-08-01

    The intuitive and logical answer to the question of how the tundra-taiga interface will react to global warming is that it should move north and this is mirrored by many models of potential treeline migration. Northward movement may be the eventual outcome if climatic warming persists over centuries or millennia. However, closer examination of the tundra-taiga interface across its circumpolar extent reveals a more complex situation. The regional climatic history of the tundra-taiga interface is highly varied, and consequently it is to be expected that the forest tundra boundary zone will respond differently to climate change depending on local variations in climate, evolutionary history, soil development, and hydrology. Investigations reveal considerable stability at present in the position of the treeline and while there may be a long-term advance northwards there are oceanic regions where climatic warming may result in a retreat southwards due to increased bog development. Reinforcing this trend is an increasing human impact, particularly in the forest tundra of Russia, which forces the limit of the forested areas southwards. Local variations will therefore require continued observation and research, as they will be of considerable importance economically as well as for ecology and conservation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  9. Methane emissions from tundra environments in the Yukon-Kuskokwin Delta, Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bartlett, Karen B.; Crill, Patrick M.; Sass, Ronald L.; Harriss, Robert C.; Dise, Nancy B.

    1992-01-01

    This paper reports CH4 flux to the atmosphere from a variety of tundra environments near Bethel, Alaska during the summer months of 1988. Emissions from wet meadow tundra averaged 144 +/- 31 mg/sq m/d and ranged from 15.6 to 426 mg/sq m/d varying with soil moisture and temperature. Flux from the drier upland tundra was about two orders of magnitude lower and averaged 2.3 +/- 1.1 mg/sq m/d. Tundra lakes emit CH4 from the open water surface as well as from fringing aquatic vegetation; the presence of vegetation significantly enhanced flux over open water rates. Calculated diffusive fluxes from open water varied with lake size, the large lakes emitting 3.8 mg/sq m/d and small lakes emitting an average of 77 mg/sq m/d. An updated estimate of global emissions from tundra indicates an annual fluxes of approximately 11 +/- 3 Tg CH4.

  10. Modeling carbon-nutrient interactions during the early recovery of tundra after fire.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yueyang; Rastetter, Edward B; Rocha, Adrian V; Pearce, Andrea R; Kwiatkowski, Bonnie L; Shaver, Gaius R

    2015-09-01

    Fire frequency has dramatically increased in the tundra of northern Alaska, USA, which has major implications for the carbon budget of the region and the functioning of these ecosystems, which support important wildlife species. We investigated the postfire succession of plant and soil carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) fluxes and stocks along a burn severity gradient in the 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire scar in northern Alaska. Modeling results indicated that the early regrowth of postfire tundra vegetation was limited primarily by its canopy photosynthetic potential, rather than nutrient availability, because of the initially low leaf area and relatively high inorganic N and P concentrations in soil. Our simulations indicated that the postfire recovery of tundra vegetation was sustained predominantly by the uptake of residual inorganic N (i.e., in the remaining ash), and the redistribution of N and P from soil organic matter to vegetation. Although residual nutrients in ash were higher in the severe burn than the moderate burn, the moderate burn recovered faster because of the higher remaining biomass and consequent photosynthetic potential. Residual nutrients in ash allowed both burn sites to recover and exceed the unburned site in both aboveground biomass and production five years after the fire. The investigation of interactions among postfire C, N, and P cycles has contributed to a mechanistic understanding of the response of tundra ecosystems to fire disturbance. Our study provided insight on how the trajectory of recovery of tundra from wildfire is regulated during early succession.

  11. Methane emissions from tundra environments in the Yukon-Kuskokwin Delta, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Bartlett, K.B.; Crill, P.M.; Sass, R.L.; Harriss, R.C.; Dise, N.B. New Hampshire Univ., Durham Rice Univ., Houston, TX Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis )

    1992-10-01

    This paper reports CH[sub 4] flux to the atmosphere from a variety of tundra environments near Bethel, Alaska during the summer months of 1988. Emissions from wet meadow tundra averaged 144 +/- 31 mg/sq m/d and ranged from 15.6 to 426 mg/sq m/d varying with soil moisture and temperature. Flux from the drier upland tundra was about two orders of magnitude lower and averaged 2.3 +/- 1.1 mg/sq m/d. Tundra lakes emit CH4 from the open water surface as well as from fringing aquatic vegetation; the presence of vegetation significantly enhanced flux over open water rates. Calculated diffusive fluxes from open water varied with lake size, the large lakes emitting 3.8 mg/sq m/d and small lakes emitting an average of 77 mg/sq m/d. An updated estimate of global emissions from tundra indicates an annual fluxes of approximately 11 +/- 3 Tg CH[sub 4]. 41 refs.

  12. Below-ground carbon transfer among Betula nana may increase with warming in Arctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Deslippe, Julie R; Simard, Suzanne W

    2011-11-01

    • Shrubs are expanding in Arctic tundra, but the role of mycorrhizal fungi in this process is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that mycorrhizal networks are involved in interplant carbon (C) transfer within a tundra plant community. • Here, we installed below-ground treatments to control for C transfer pathways and conducted a (13)CO(2)-pulse-chase labelling experiment to examine C transfer among and within plant species. • We showed that mycorrhizal networks exist in tundra, and facilitate below-ground transfer of C among Betula nana individuals, but not between or within the other tundra species examined. Total C transfer among conspecific B. nana pairs was 10.7 ± 2.4% of photosynthesis, with the majority of C transferred through rhizomes or root grafts (5.2 ± 5.3%) and mycorrhizal network pathways (4.1 ± 3.3%) and very little through soil pathways (1.4 ± 0.35%). • Below-ground C transfer was of sufficient magnitude to potentially alter plant interactions in Arctic tundra, increasing the competitive ability and mono-dominance of B. nana. C transfer was significantly positively related to ambient temperatures, suggesting that it may act as a positive feedback to ecosystem change as climate warms.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Arctic and subarctic regions play important roles in the global carbon balance. However, nitrogen (N) deficiency is a major constraint for organic carbon sequestration in the High Arctic. Hence, the identification of the relative contributions from different N-sources is critical for understanding the constraints that limit tundra growth. The stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources and numerous plants were analyzed in ten tundra types (including those influenced by seabirds) in the Fuglebekken catchment (Hornsund, Svalbard, 77°N 15°E). The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by seabirds' feces (from planktivorous colonially breeding little auks Alle alle), ranged from 0-21% in Patterned-ground tundra to 100% in Ornithocoprophilous tundra. The total N-pool utilized by tundra plants in the studied catchment originated from birds (36%), atmospheric deposition (38%), and N2-fixation (26%). The results clearly show that N-pool in the tundra is significantly supplemented by nesting seabirds. Thus, if they experienced climate change induced substantial negative environmental pressure, it would adversely influence the tundra N-budget (Skrzypek et al. 2015). The growth rates and the sediment thickness (<15cm) in different tundra types varied considerably but the tundra age was similar in the whole area, <450 cal BP. The only exception was Ornithocoprophilous bird-N rich tundra with very diverse ages ranging from 235 to 2300 cal BP and thickness up to 110 cm. The growth rates for this tundra (62 cm core, 18 AMS 14C dates) were high (1.5-3.0 mm/yr) between 1568 and 1804 AD and then substantially declined for the period between 1804 and 1929 AD (0.2 mm/yr). These findings deliver an additional argument, that the organic matter accumulation is driven not only directly by climatic conditions but also by birds' contribution to the tundra N-pool. Skrzypek G, Wojtuń B, Richter D, Jakubas D, Wojczulanis-Jakubas K, Samecka-Cymerman A, 2015

  14. Arctic lakes and streams as gas conduits to the atmosphere: Implications for tundra carbon budgets

    SciTech Connect

    Kling, G.W. ); Kipphut, G.W. ); Miller, M.C. )

    1991-01-01

    Arctic tundra has large amounts of stored carbon and is thought to be a sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) (0.1 to 0.3 petagram of carbon per year) (1 petagram = 10{sup 15} grams). But this estimate of carbon balance is only for terrestrial ecosystems. Measurements of the partial pressure of CO{sub 2} in 29 aquatic ecosystems across arctic Alaska showed that in most cases (27 of 29) CO{sub 2} was released to the atmosphere. This CO{sub 2} probably originates in terrestrial environments; erosion of particulate carbon plus ground-water transport of dissolved carbon from tundra contribute to the CO{sub 2} flux from surface waters to the atmosphere. If this mechanism is typical of that of other tundra areas, then current estimates of the arctic terrestrial sink for atmospheric CO{sub 2} may be 20 percent too high. 1 table, 2 figs., 21 refs.

  15. Can Long-Term Precipitation Trends Explain Net Annual Carbon Loss From High Elevation Alpine Tundra?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knowles, J. F.; Blanken, P.; Williams, M. W.

    2013-12-01

    Five continuous years of eddy covariance measurements over predominantly snow-free alpine tundra on Niwot Ridge, Colorado show that ecosystem respiration dominates over gross primary productivity on an annual basis, and that this ecosystem is a significant source of carbon to the atmosphere over long periods of time. Long-term data also show that precipitation has increased since the 1960s, in contrast to modeled forecasts that generally predict decreasing precipitation through the 21st century across the Rocky Mountain region. To constrain the specific relationship between precipitation and the alpine tundra carbon cycle, we tested the degree to which precipitation and soil moisture determined respiration fluxes over the course of three years, and across a range of 17 sites, including xeric, mesic, and hydric alpine tundra soils, within the footprint of ongoing eddy covariance measurements. Overall, we found that respiration from this ecosystem was principally moisture-limited. Cumulatively, the highest respiration rates were measured from hydric soils associated with seasonal ice lenses and perched water tables, however, growing season respiration rates peaked in mesic areas when hydric soils were saturated. Respiration from xeric soils increased with soil moisture, but fluxes from these areas were small in magnitude relative to mesic and hydric soils. Changes in precipitation and resultant soil moisture thus invoked a bidirectional response from alpine tundra soils, as moisture and respiration were positively correlated in some areas, but negatively correlated in others, depending on landscape position and prevailing soil moisture regime. Interannually, however, respiration fluxes were highest in wet years, indicating that moisture stimulated respiration from xeric and mesic soils more than it was suppressed from hydric soils. In sum, increased precipitation over the last half-century may be augmenting respiratory fluxes from alpine tundra, but changes in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  17. Assessing the carbon balance of circumpolar Arctic tundra using remote sensing and process modeling.

    PubMed

    Sitch, Stephen; McGuire, A David; Kimball, John; Gedney, Nicola; Gamon, John; Engstrom, Ryan; Wolf, Annett; Zhuang, Qianlai; Clein, Joy; McDonald, Kyle C

    2007-01-01

    This paper reviews the current status of using remote sensing and process-based modeling approaches to assess the contemporary and future circumpolar carbon balance of Arctic tundra, including the exchange of both carbon dioxide and methane with the atmosphere. Analyses based on remote sensing approaches that use a 20-year data record of satellite data indicate that tundra is greening in the Arctic, suggesting an increase in photosynthetic activity and net primary production. Modeling studies generally simulate a small net carbon sink for the distribution of Arctic tundra, a result that is within the uncertainty range of field-based estimates of net carbon exchange. Applications of process-based approaches for scenarios of future climate change generally indicate net carbon sequestration in Arctic tundra as enhanced vegetation production exceeds simulated increases in decomposition. However, methane emissions are likely to increase dramatically, in response to rising soil temperatures, over the next century. Key uncertainties in the response of Arctic ecosystems to climate change include uncertainties in future fire regimes and uncertainties relating to changes in the soil environment. These include the response of soil decomposition and respiration to warming and deepening of the soil active layer, uncertainties in precipitation and potential soil drying, and distribution of wetlands. While there are numerous uncertainties in the projections of process-based models, they generally indicate that Arctic tundra will be a small sink for carbon over the next century and that methane emissions will increase considerably, which implies that exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and Arctic tundra ecosystems is likely to contribute to climate warming.

  18. Responses of Tundra Ecosystems to Environmental Change: Observational and Experimental Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henry, G. H.

    2004-05-01

    Evidence of environmental changes due to human-enhanced climate warming continues to accumulate from polar regions. Responses in tundra and taiga ecosystems to climate changes have been variable because of the wide range in process response rates, from metabolic processes to adjustments in ecosystem carbon balance, and the variability in environmental settings across local to regional scales. For example, strong increases in rates of plant growth and changes in species composition and abundance have been observed in parts of the Low Arctic, but very little change has been measured in high arctic tundra. A dramatic increase in the cover of deciduous shrubs in areas of the western North American Arctic is predicted to result in positive feedbacks to soil temperature, through increased surface roughness and snow depth, and to atmospheric heating by reducing albedo. Increased shrub cover has also been found in long-term experimental warming studies conducted throughout the tundra biome as part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). Warming is also affecting the carbon balance of tundra and taiga, which hold 25% of the soil carbon of global terrestrial ecosystems. However, trajectories of these changes are largely unknown for most northern systems, and differ because of initial conditions of the carbon and nutrient economy. Over the longer-term, the positive increases in plant growth may be constrained by negative feedbacks to nutrient cycling, as increases in C:N ratios of plant litter slow the release of nitrogen to soils. However, nitrogen availability has been shown to increase in response to short-term warming. In this presentation, I will review the responses of tundra ecosystems to climate variability and change, both through observational and experimental studies.

  19. Reduced postfire tree regeneration along a boreal forest-forest-tundra transect in northern Quebec

    SciTech Connect

    Sirois, L.; Payette, S. )

    1991-04-01

    The large 1950s fires that burned > 5,500 km{sup 2} of land across a south-to-north climatic gradient in northern Quebec provide an opportunity to evaluate the role of fire in forest-tundra development on a demographic basis. The tree population density before and {approx} 30 yr after fire was estimated by censusing trees in plots of 400 m{sup 2} located in upland and lowland within four representative ecoregions of northern Quebec. The analysis of tree recruitment before and after fire, in 410 randomly selected sites along a transect crossing the upper boreal forest and forest-tundra zones, indicated that wildfires induced substantial depletion of tree populations. Taken as a whole, fires have significantly reduced the density of black spruce populations in forest-tundra uplands, but not in the lowlands. Sustained reduction of tree population density after several destructive fires appears as one of the main deforestation processed in the subarctic zone. This leads to the patchy distribution of forest stands and scattered tree populations typical of the forest-tundra biome. Comparisons with paleoecological data suggest that the impact of the 1950s fires contributed to the expansion of the forest tundra into the upper boreal forest. The ecological impact of these fires was probably similar to those fires responsible for development of the forest tundra during the Holocene. It is suggested that the fire-climate interaction should be considered in order to predict the ecological impact of warming climate on high-latitude forest ecosystems.

  20. Persistence of high lead concentrations and associated effects in Tundra Swans captured near a mining and smelting complex in northern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blus, L.J.; Henny, C.J.; Hoffman, D.J.; Sileo, L.; Audet, D.J.

    1999-01-01

    Lead poisoning of waterfowl, particularly tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus), has been documented in the Coeur d'Alene River Basin in northern Idaho for nearly a century. Over 90% of the lead-poisoned tundra swans in this area that were necropsied have no ingested lead shot. Spent lead shot from hunting activities over the years is therefore a minor source of lead in these swans. The migrating swans accumulated lethal burdens of lead from ingestion of sediments and aquatic vegetation during a short stopover in the spring. The lead originated from mining and smelting activities. Lead concentrations and physiological characteristics of blood were compared in swans captured in swim-in traps, with moribund swans caught by hand in the lead-contaminated area in 1987 and 1994-1995 and with birds captured by night-lighting in reference areas in 1994-1995. Blood lead concentrations in swans were highest in moribund birds (3.3 ?g g-1 in 1987 and 1995), intermediate in those trapped in the contaminated area (0.82 ?g g-1 in 1987 and 1.8 ?g g-1 in 1995), and lowest (0.11 ?g g-1) in those trapped in the reference areas. daminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) was significantly inhibited in swans from the contaminated area. Hematocrit and hemoglobin were significantly depressed only in moribund swans. Of the 19 swans found moribund and euthanized, 18 were classified as having lead toxicosis on the basis of lead levels in blood (1.3 to 9.6 ?g g-1) and livers (6 to 40 ?g g-1) and necropsy findings. The 19th swan had aspergillosis. There was no evidence that effects of lead on tundra swans had diminished from 1987 to 1995.

  1. Decoupled connection between soil microbial community and organic geochemical composition: a case study in the Arctic tundra, North Slope of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, C.; Steffens, M.; Jastrow, J. D.; Zhang, X.; Antonopoulos, D. A.; Kogel-Knabner, I.

    2013-12-01

    Two-way feedback interactions persist between the soil microbiology and the carbon (C) geochemistry through C substrate-uptake preference and microbial utilization/transformation. Therefore, an understanding of how those continuously iterative processes influence soil microbial community and geochemical composition of soil organic matter is essential. However, finding direct correlations between the both has remained a challenge and been little explored. Here we show an unequivocal evidence that the forces structuring the soil microbial community and the organic geochemical composition of tundra soils differ. We determined soil microbial community and soil organic C (SOC) composition by four molecular-level techniques, i.e. DNA pyrosequencing and phospholipids fatty acid (PLFA) biomarkers for microbial analysis and solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy and neutral sugars for SOC characterization for active-layer and permafrost. By independently summarizing explanatory structures of the relative abundance of microbial groups and soil C forms (using ordination and cluster analysis), we found that microbial community and the SOC chemistry were each consistently characterized by the two distinct measurement approaches. These methods identified distinct pattern differences between soil horizons (permafrost layer versus active organic layer) in both microbial community and the SOC. We used correlations to build the hypothesis about 'decoupled connection between microbiology and SOC geochemistry', particularly of their non-linearity in tundra soils, and then to assess how the C decomposition rate constants (at 4°C) relate to those structural patterns. We demonstrate that the controls on soil microbial community structure are fundamentally different from those on substrate C composition within tundra soils, thus enriching our understanding of C biogeochemical cycling and associated microbial behaviors.

  2. Shrub Abundance Mapping in Arctic Tundra with Misr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duchesne, R.; Chopping, M. J.; Wang, Z.; Schaaf, C.; Tape, K. D.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last 60 years an increase in shrub abundance has been observed in the Arctic tundra in connection with a rapid surface warming trend. Rapid shrub expansion may have consequences in terms of ecosystem structure and function, albedo, and feedbacks to climate; however, its rate is not yet known. The goal of this research effort is thus to map large scale changes in Arctic tundra vegetation by exploiting the structural signal in moderate resolution satellite remote sensing images from NASA's Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), mapped onto a 250m Albers Conic Equal Area grid. We present here large area shrub mapping supported by reference data collated using extensive field inventory data and high resolution panchromatic imagery. MISR Level 1B2 Terrain radiance scenes from the Terra satellite from 15 June-31 July, 2000 - 2010 were converted to surface bidirectional reflectance factors (BRF) using MISR Toolkit routines and the MISR 1 km LAND product BRFs. The red band data in all available cameras were used to invert the RossThick-LiSparse-Reciprocal BRDF model to retrieve kernel weights, model-fitting RMSE, and Weights of Determination. The reference database was constructed using aerial survey, three field campaigns (field inventory for shrub count, cover, mean radius and height), and high resolution imagery. Tall shrub number, mean crown radius, cover, and mean height estimates were obtained from QuickBird and GeoEye panchromatic image chips using the CANAPI algorithm, and calibrated using field-based estimates, thus extending the database to over eight hundred locations. Tall shrub fractional cover maps for the North Slope of Alaska were constructed using the bootstrap forest machine learning algorithm that exploits the surface information provided by MISR. The reference database was divided into two datasets for training and validation. The model derived used a set of 19 independent variables(the three kernel weights, ratios and interaction terms

  3. Fire disturbance effects on land surface albedo in Alaskan tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    French, Nancy H. F.; Whitley, Matthew A.; Jenkins, Liza K.

    2016-03-01

    The study uses satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer albedo products (MCD43A3) to assess changes in albedo at two sites in the treeless tundra region of Alaska, both within the foothills region of the Brooks Range, the 2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire (ARF) and 2012 Kucher Creek Fire (KCF). Results are compared to each other and other studies to assess the magnitude of albedo change and the longevity of impact of fire on land surface albedo. In both sites there was a marked decrease of albedo in the year following the fire. In the ARF, albedo slowly increased until 4 years after the fire, when it returned to albedo values prior to the fire. For the year immediately after the fire, a threefold difference in the shortwave albedo decrease was found between the two sites. ARF showed a 45.3% decrease, while the KCF showed a 14.1% decrease in shortwave albedo, and albedo is more variable in the KCF site than ARF site 1 year after the fire. These differences are possibly the result of differences in burn severity of the two fires, wherein the ARF burned more completely with more contiguous patches of complete burn than KCF. The impact of fire on average growing season (April-September) surface shortwave forcing in the year following fire is estimated to be 13.24 ± 6.52 W m-2 at the ARF site, a forcing comparable to studies in other treeless ecosystems. Comparison to boreal studies and the implications to energy flux are discussed in the context of future increases in fire occurrence and severity in a warming climate.

  4. Flowpath Transformations of Precipitation Chemistry in an Arctic Tundra Catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinton, W. L.; Pomeroy, J. W.

    2003-12-01

    This paper traces the drainage pathways followed by rainfall and snowmelt in an actic tundra basin. The major hydrological processes operating within each flowpath segment from the surface of melting snow to the basin outlet are related to changes in the ion chemistry of the water flowing from each segment. In so doing, this paper offers physically-based explanations for the transformation of major ion concentrations and loads of snowmelt water as it travels to the stream outlet in this environment. Despite representing only five percent of the basin water equivalent, snow drifts were found to control the ion chemistry of the water in hillslope flowpaths and in the stream channel. As the initial pulse of ion-rich meltwater was conveyed through hillslope flowpaths, the concentrations of most ions increased, and the duration of peak ionic pulse lengthened. The hillslope runoff process also replaced Na+ and Cl-, the major ions in the percolate with Ca2+ and Mg2+. Over the first three metres of surface flow, concentrations of most ions increased by one to two orders of magnitude, which was roughly equivalent to the concentration increase that resulted from percolation of relatively dilute water through 0.25 m of unsaturated soil. On slopes below a large melting snowdrift, ion concentrations of meltwater flowing in the saturated layer of the soil were very similar to the relatively dilute concentrations found in surface runoff. However, once the snowdrift ablated, sub-surface flow ion concentrations rose steadily above parent meltwater concentrations. Water chemistry in the stream channel strongly resembled that of drainage from adjacent hillslopes. In-channel geochemical processes increased the concentration of most ions with flow distance in the major channel.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    How soil microbial communities contrast with respect to taxonomic and functional composition within and between ecosystems remains an unresolved question that is central to predicting how global anthropogenic change will affect soil functioning and services. In particular, it remains unclear how small-scale observations of soil communities based on the typical volume sampled (1–2 g) are generalizable to ecosystem-scale responses and processes. This is especially relevant for remote, northern latitude soils, which are challenging to sample and are also thought to be more vulnerable to climate change compared to temperate soils. Here, we employed well-replicated shotgun metagenome and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to characterize community composition and metabolic potential in Alaskan tundra soils, combining our own datasets with those publically available from distant tundra and temperate grassland and agriculture habitats. We found that the abundance of many taxa and metabolic functions differed substantially between tundra soil metagenomes relative to those from temperate soils, and that a high degree of OTU-sharing exists between tundra locations. Tundra soils were an order of magnitude less complex than their temperate counterparts, allowing for near-complete coverage of microbial community richness (~92% breadth) by sequencing, and the recovery of 27 high-quality, almost complete (>80% completeness) population bins. These population bins, collectively, made up to ~10% of the metagenomic datasets, and represented diverse taxonomic groups and metabolic lifestyles tuned toward sulfur cycling, hydrogen metabolism, methanotrophy, and organic matter oxidation. Several population bins, including members of Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria, were also present in geographically distant (~100–530 km apart) tundra habitats (full genome representation and up to 99.6% genome-derived average nucleotide identity). Collectively, our results revealed

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  7. Response of tundra ecosystems to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1986-01-01

    This report includes: a detailed description of the system which we have developed for providing control of CO/sub 2/ and temperature; the effects of this treatment on ecosystem fluxes of CO/sub 2/ at ecosystem; the effects of three years CO/sub 2/ enrichment on the photosynthetic response of important tundra species; effects of mineral nutrition and CO/sub 2/ enrichment on growth, photosynthesis, and biomass partitioning of tundra species; and the effects of CO/sub 2/ on soil respiration.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    How soil microbial communities contrast with respect to taxonomic and functional composition within and between ecosystems remains an unresolved question that is central to predicting how global anthropogenic change will affect soil functioning and services. In particular, it remains unclear how small-scale observations of soil communities based on the typical volume sampled (1-2 g) are generalizable to ecosystem-scale responses and processes. This is especially relevant for remote, northern latitude soils, which are challenging to sample and are also thought to be more vulnerable to climate change compared to temperate soils. Here, we employed well-replicated shotgun metagenome and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to characterize community composition and metabolic potential in Alaskan tundra soils, combining our own datasets with those publically available from distant tundra and temperate grassland and agriculture habitats. We found that the abundance of many taxa and metabolic functions differed substantially between tundra soil metagenomes relative to those from temperate soils, and that a high degree of OTU-sharing exists between tundra locations. Tundra soils were an order of magnitude less complex than their temperate counterparts, allowing for near-complete coverage of microbial community richness (~92% breadth) by sequencing, and the recovery of 27 high-quality, almost complete (>80% completeness) population bins. These population bins, collectively, made up to ~10% of the metagenomic datasets, and represented diverse taxonomic groups and metabolic lifestyles tuned toward sulfur cycling, hydrogen metabolism, methanotrophy, and organic matter oxidation. Several population bins, including members of Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria, were also present in geographically distant (~100-530 km apart) tundra habitats (full genome representation and up to 99.6% genome-derived average nucleotide identity). Collectively, our results revealed that

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

    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 and N were previously observed after long-term nutrient additions. To analyse the role of microbial communities in these losses, we utilized 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing coupled with community-level physiological profiling to describe changes in MAT bacterial communities after short- and long-term nutrient fertilization in four sets of paired control and fertilized MAT soil samples. Bacterial diversity was lower in long-term fertilized plots. The Acidobacteria were one of the most abundant phyla in all soils and distinct differences were noted in the distributions of Acidobacteria subgroups between mineral and organic soil layers that were also affected by fertilization. In addition, Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria were more abundant in long-term fertilized samples compared with control soils. The dramatic increase in sequences within the Gammaproteobacteria identified as Dyella spp. (order Xanthomonadales) in the long-term fertilized samples was confirmed by quantitative PCR (qPCR) in several samples. Long-term fertilization was also correlated with shifts in the utilization of specific substrates by microbes present in the soils. The combined data indicate that long-term fertilization resulted in a significant change in microbial community structure and function linked to changes in carbon and nitrogen availability and shifts in above-ground plant communities.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    Among the major challenges in anticipating Arctic changes are “surprises” stemming from changes in system components that have remained relatively stable in the historic record. Tundra burning is potentially one such component. We conducted charcoal analysis of lake sediments from several tundra regions to evaluate the uniqueness of recent tundra fires, and examined potential climatic controls of Alaskan tundra fires from CE 1950-2009. A striking example of tundra burning is the 2007 Anaktuvuk River (AR) Fire, an unusually large fire in the tundra of the Alaskan Arctic. This fire doubled the area burned north of 68 oN in that region since record keeping began in 1950. Analysis of lake-sediment cores reveals peak values of charcoal accumulation corresponding to the AR Fire in 2007, with no evidence of other fire events in that area throughout the past five millennia. However, a number of tundra fires, including one as large as the AR Fire, have occurred over the past 60 years in western Alaska, where average summer temperatures are substantially higher than the AR area. In addition, charcoal analysis of lake sediments from interior and northwestern Alaska suggests that during certain periods of the Late Glacial and Holocene, tundra fire frequencies were as high as those of the modern boreal forests. These records along with the AR and historic fires demonstrate that tundra ecosystems support diverse fire regimes and can burn frequently. Reconciling these dramatic differences in tundra fire regimes requires knowledge of climate-fire relationships. Atmospheric reanalysis suggests that the AR Fire was favored by exceptionally warm/dry weather conditions in summer and early autumn. Boosted regression tree modeling shows that warm, dry summer conditions can explain up to 95% of the inter-annual variability in tundra area burned throughout Alaska over the past 60 years and that the response of tundra burning to climatic warming is non-linear. Additionally, tundra area

  11. Monitoring larval populations of the douglas-fir tussock moth and the western spruce budworm on permanent plots: Sampling methods and statistical properties of data. Forest Service general technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Mason, R.R.; Paul, H.G.

    1994-05-01

    Procedures for monitoring Larval populations of the Douglas-fir tussock moth and the western spruce budworm are recommended based on many years experience of sample these species in eastern Oregon and Washington. It is shown that statistically reliable estimates of larval density can be made for a population by sampling host trees in a series of permanent plots in a geographical monitoring unit. The most practical method is to estimate densities of both insect species simultaneously on a plot by the nondestructive sampling of foliage on lower crown branches of host trees. For best results, sampling methods need to be consistent with monitoring done annually to accumulate continuous databases that reflect the behavior of defoliator populations over a long period of time.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  13. Estimating carbon and energy fluxes in arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  14. Methane production in sediments of small tundra ponds during winter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macrae, M. L.; Fishback, L.; Bourbonniere, R. A.; Duguay, C. R.; Soliman, A. S.

    2011-12-01

    Shallow tundra ponds in the Churchill region of the Hudson Bay Lowlands (HBL) store large quantities of organic material in the form of sediments. Organic sediments in ponds and wetlands have been identified as a source of atmospheric methane (CH4) during the summer season in many landscapes. However, less is known about CH4 production and emission during the winter months, following the formation of an ice layer on the water surface. Unfrozen sediments may continue to produce methane (CH4) during this time, which may become trapped in the ponds beneath the ice layer. This occurrence has been identified in some regions through the sampling and analysis of CH4 bubbles frozen in lake ice. The goal of this project is to examine the potential for the production and trapping of CH4 in ponds beneath the pond ice (water/ice and sediment profiles) in the Churchill region of the HBL. Thermistor and gas sampling arrays were installed in the water and sediments of two ponds. Gas samples were collected at 1-4 week intervals at the sediment-water interface and at 0-15cm and 20-35 cm depth. Results show that sediments are indeed thawed for 3-4 months of the winter season, and deeper sediments remain within the range of 0 to -5 C whereas shallow sediment temperatures ranged between 10 and -10 C over an annual cycle. Laboratory experiments showed that little difference in CH4 production was observed at sediment temperatures between -2 and 5 C, whereas production was very low at -10 C. No significant differences in CH4 production rates were observed for different sediment depths in the laboratory. Field data collected between August 2010 and June 2011 showed consistent accumulation of CH4 in sediments following the formation of an ice layer on pond surfaces. However, CH4 concentrations in gas samplers decreased in February through April after sediments were frozen, but began to increase again (May-June) as sediments thawed and began to warm. Future work will include the examination

  15. Transformations Of Runoff Chemistry In An Arctic Tundra Catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinton, W. L.; Pomeroy, J. W.

    2004-05-01

    This paper traces the transformation of snow meltwater chemical composition during melt, elution and runoff in an Arctic tundra basin. The chemistry of the water flowing through pathway segments from the surface of melting snow to the basin outlet are related to the relevant hydrological processes. In so doing, this paper offers physically-based explanations for the transformation of major ion concentrations and loads of runoff water arising from snowmelt and rainfall input as it travels to the stream outlet in this environment. Late-lying snow drifts were found to greatly influence the ion chemistry in adjacent reaches of the stream channel. As the initial pulse of ion-rich meltwater drained from the drift and was conveyed through hillslope flowpaths, the concentrations of most ions increased, and the duration of peak ionic pulse lengthened. Over the first three metres of surface flow, the concentrations of all ions except for NO3- increased by one to two orders of magnitude, with the largest increase occurring for K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+. This was roughly equivalent to the concentration increase that resulted from percolation of relatively dilute water through 0.25 m of unsaturated soil. The hillslope runoff pathways replaced Na+ and Cl-, the major ions in the snow melt percolate arriving at the ground surface with Ca2+ and Mg2+. On slopes below a large melting snowdrift, ion concentrations of meltwater flowing in the saturated layer of the soil were very similar to the relatively dilute concentrations found in surface runoff. However, once the snowdrift ablated, sub-surface flow ion concentrations rose steadily above parent meltwater concentrations. Three seasonally-characteristic hydro-chemical regimes were identified in a stream reach adjacent to late-lying drifts. In the first two stages, the water chemistry in the stream channel strongly resembled that of the hillslope drainage water. In the third stage, in-stream geochemical processes, particularly weathering of

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of tundra vegetation to climate warming is critical to forecasting future biodiversity and vegetation feedbacks to climate. In situ warming experiments accelerate climate change on a small scale to forecast responses of local plant communities. Limitations of this approach include the apparent site-specificity of results and uncertainty about the power of short-term studies to anticipate longer term change. We address these issues with a synthesis of 61 experimental warming studies, of up to 20 years duration, in tundra sites worldwide. The response of plant groups to warming often differed with ambient summer temperature, soil moisture and experimental duration. Shrubs increased with warming only where ambient temperature was high, whereas graminoids increased primarily in the coldest study sites. Linear increases in effect size over time were frequently observed. There was little indication of saturating or accelerating effects, as would be predicted if negative or positive vegetation feedbacks were common. These results indicate that tundra vegetation exhibits strong regional variation in response to warming, and that in vulnerable regions, cumulative effects of long-term warming on tundra vegetation - and associated ecosystem consequences - have the potential to be much greater than we have observed to date. PMID:22136670

  17. Assessing the Tundra-taiga Boundary with Multi-Sensor Satellite Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ranson, K. J.; Sun, G.; Kharuk, V. I.; Kovacs, K.

    2004-01-01

    Monitoring the dynamics of the circumpolar boreal forest (taiga) and Arctic tundra boundary is important for understanding the causes and consequences of changes observed in these areas. This ecotone, the world's largest, stretches for over 13,400 km and marks the transition between the northern limits of forests and the southern margin of the tundra. Because of the inaccessibility and large extent of this zone, remote sensing data can play an important role for mapping the characteristics and monitoring the dynamics. Basic understanding of the capabilities of existing space borne instruments for these purposes is required. In this study we examined the use of several remote sensing techniques for identifying the existing tundra- taiga ecotone. These include Landsat-7, MISR, MODIS and RADARSAT data. Historical cover maps, recent forest stand measurements and high-resolution IKONOS images were used for local ground truth. It was found that a tundra-taiga transitional area can be characterized using multi- spectral Landsat ETM+ summer images, multi-angle MISR red band reflectance images, RADARSAT images with larger incidence angle, or multi-temporal and multi-spectral MODIS data. Because of different resolutions and spectral regions covered, the transition zone maps derived from different data types were not identical, but the general patterns were consistent.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Determining Regional Arctic Tundra Carbon Exchange: A Bottom-Up Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huemmrich, Fred

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the carbon atmospheric exchange with Arctic tundra. In the Arctic the ecosystem has been a net carbon sink. The project investigates the question of how might climate warming effect high latitude ecosystems and the Earth ecosystems and how to measure the changes.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Micrometeorological measurements of CH4 and CO2 exchange between the atmosphere and subarctic tundra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fan, S. M.; Wofsy, S. C.; Bakwin, P. S.; Jacob, D. J.; Anderson, S. M.; Kebabian, P. L.; Mcmanus, J. B.; Kolb, C. E.; Fitzjarrald, D. R.

    1992-01-01

    Eddy correlation flux measurements and concentration profiles of total hydrocarbons (THC) and CO2 were combined to provide a comprehensive record of atmosphere-biosphere exchange for these gases over a 30-day period in July-August 1988 in the Yukon-Kuskokwin River Delta of Alaska. Over 90 percent of net ecosystem exchanges of THC were due to methane. Lakes and wet meadow tundra provided the major sources of methane. The average fluxes from lake, dry tundra, and wet tundra were 11 +/- 3, 29 +/- 3, and 57 +/- 6 mg CH4/sq m/d, respectively. The mean remission rate for the site was 25 mg/sq m/d. Maximum uptake of CO2 by the tundra was 1.4 gC/sq m/d between 1000 and 1500 hrs, and nocturnal respiration averaged 0.73 gC/sq m/d. Net uptake of CO2 was 0.30 gC/sq m/d for the 30 days of measurement; methane flux accounted for 6 percent of CO2 net uptake.

  5. Does earlier snowmelt lead to greater CO2 sequestration in two low Arctic tundra ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphreys, Elyn R.; Lafleur, Peter M.

    2011-05-01

    Some studies have reported that spring warming and earlier snowmelt leads to increased CO2 sequestration in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. We measured tundra-atmosphere CO2 exchange via eddy covariance at two low Arctic sites (mixed upland tundra and sedge fen) in central Canada over multiple snow-free periods to assess this hypothesis. Both sites were net sinks for atmospheric CO2 in all years (2004-2010), but with high interannual variability. Despite a large range in snowmelt date (30 days), we did not find a statistically significant correlation between seasonal accumulated net ecosystem production (NEP) and snowmelt for either site. Although many factors can influence seasonal total NEP, our analysis shows that annual variations in photosynthetic capacity, likely driven by changes in leaf area, is a dominating control at these Arctic sites. At the upland tundra site, protection of overwintering buds by a longer duration of deep snow appears to be linked to greater photosynthetic capacity and NEP. Whereas at the fen site, sedge growth benefits from earlier snowmelt resulting in a strong correlation with early season NEP and an increase in total study period NEP with increasing growing degree days. These results highlight the complexity of interannual variation in ecosystem CO2 exchange in Arctic tundra and suggest that snowmelt date alone cannot predict seasonal, or annual, NEP.

  6. Alpine forest-tundra ecotone response to temperature change,Sayan Mountains, Siberia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ranson, K Jon; Kharuk, Vyetcheslav I.

    2007-01-01

    Models of climate change predict shifts of vegetation zones. Tree response to climate trends is most likely observable in the forest-tundra ecotone, where temperature mainly limits tree growth. There is evidence of vegetation change on the northern treeline However, observations on alpine tree line response are controversial. In this NEESPI related study we show that during the past three decades in the forest-tundra ecotone of the Sayan Mountains, Siberia, there was an increase in forest stand crown closure, regeneration propagation into the alpine tundra, and transformation of prostrate Siberian pine and fir into arboreal forms. We found that these changes occurred since the mid 1980s, and strongly correlates with positive temperature (and to a lesser extent, precipitation) trends. Improving climate for forest growth( i.e., warmer temperatures and increased precipitation) provides competitive advantages to Siberian pine in the alpine forest-tundra ecotone, as well as in areas typically dominated by larch, where it has been found to be forming a secondary canopy layer. Substitution of deciduous conifer, larch, for evergreen conifers, decreases albedo and provides positive feedback for temperature increase.

  7. Genome sequence of Pedobacter arcticus sp. nov., a sea ice bacterium isolated from tundra soil.

    PubMed

    Yin, Ye; Yue, Guidong; Gao, Qiang; Wang, Zhiyong; Peng, Fang; Fang, Chengxiang; Yang, Xu; Pan, Li

    2012-12-01

    Pedobacter arcticus sp. nov. was originally isolated from tundra soil collected from Ny-Ålesund, in the Arctic region of Norway. It is a Gram-negative bacterium which shows bleb-shaped appendages on the cell surface. Here, we report the draft annotated genome sequence of Pedobacter arcticus sp. nov., which belongs to the genus Pedobacter.

  8. Tundra ponds of the Yukon Delta, Alaska, and their macroinvertebrate communities.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maciolek, J.A.

    1989-01-01

    The Yukon Delta, a low alluvial tundra in western Alaska, has more than 105 thaw-basin ponds within its 70000 km2 area. In 1984 and 1985, 68 ponds in three interior areas of the Delta were surveyed to determine limnological features, macroinvertebrate fauna, and trophic character. Ponds ranged up to 90 ha in area, 2 m in depth, and 17 m in elevation, and occurred in various temporal stages of growth and senescence. Among the 18 major invertebrate taxa collected, in order of decreasing frequency of occurrence, Trichoptera, Hemiptera, Diptera, Pelecypoda, Isopoda, Coleoptera, Gastropoda, and Oligochaeta were found in over 50% of the ponds. Trichoptera, the only taxon occurring in all ponds, was represented by 22 species of 6 families. The average Delta pond had 6.6 of the nine more common taxa. This measure of faunal richness was similar among study areas but was higher in low-tundra (sea level) ponds and in older ponds on raised tundra. In comparison, lentic invertebrate communities in five other areas of Alaskan and Canadian tundra had fewer taxa and also lower average richness based on occurrence of the same nine taxa.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Human impacts on the tundra-taiga zone dynamics: the case of the Russian lesotundra.

    PubMed

    Vlassova, T K

    2002-08-01

    The tundra-taiga zone is considered not only as a natural ecotone, but as a unique fringe zone with socioeconomic peculiarities. This holistic approach enables us to analyze several significant types of human impacts (industrial impacts and those associated with renewable resources development, including traditional reindeer herding and human settlements) and their role in the displacement of the lesotundra zone. In Russia, there is much evidence of deforestation and ecosystem degradation in different regions of the lesotundra zone and the northern taiga which borders the lesotundra zone. One indicator of this is that in the Archangelsk region and the Komi Republic, the observed current southern border of the lesotundra zone lies 40-100 km to the south of the southern boundary of the Protection Belt of Pretundra Forests, established in 1959. Human impacts also displace the northern boundary of the lesotundra zone (the boundary with the tundra zone) to the south. As a result, according to published estimations, the total area of human-made tundra and lesotundra stretching from the Kola Peninsula to Chukotka, is c. 470-500,000 km2. The increases in man-made tundra lead to negative consequences for the sociocultural sustainability of the lesotundra zone, a decrease in the quality of life (notably for permanent residents and native people and increases in mortality and depopulation. It cannot be predicted with any certainty that climate warming in the tundra-taiga zone will lead to a northward movement of the boreal forest treeline. We need also to consider the human impacts discussed in this article, which may actually lead to a southward movement of the lesotundra zone.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  13. Atmospheric loading of nitrogen to alpine tundra in the Colorado front range

    SciTech Connect

    Sievering, H.; Burton, D. ); Caine, N. )

    1992-12-01

    Dry deposition of atmospheric nitrogen gas and aerosol species was estimated for the alpine tundra of Niwot Ridge, 3525 m elevation in the Colorado Rockies. Comparisons, for the 4 month long growing season and the remaining 8 months of the year, were made with wet deposition and throughfall incident measurements taken during 1987-1989. Dry deposition of N to the tundra is estimated to be equal to or slightly greater than its wet deposition. During the mid-May to mid-September growing season, atmospheric N deposition is > 1.0 mg N m[sup -2] d[sup -1] directly from the atmosphere with a similar amount contributed indirectly as NO[sub 3]-N in snowmelt water as a result of dry and wet deposition to the winter snowpack. The total N deposition to Niwot Ridge tundra during the growing season of about 2 mg N m[sup -2] d[sup -1] may be compared to an earlier measurement of dry plus fog deposition (1-2 mg N m[sup -2] d[sup -1]) to a subalpine coniferous canopy at Niwot Ridge. Nitrate yields from two small drainage basins at Niwot Ridge match these fluxes. Seven years of record from an unvegetated glacial cirque suggest an average yield from the alpine of 0.7 mg N m[sup -2] d[sup -1]. The equivalent estimate for a basin with 50% tundra vegetation cover is 0.4 mg N m[sup -2] d[sup -1]. The contrast in these two estimates of daily averaged N yields for the entire year suggests the retention of nearly 1 mg N m[sup -2] d[sup -1] during the growing season in the more vegetated basin. The sink for this N could be the tundra soil and vegetation where biological activity is often limited by the availability of N. 26 refs., 3 tabs.

  14. Critical review of mercury fates and contamination in the Arctic tundra ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Poissant, Laurier; Zhang, Hong H; Canário, João; Constant, Philippe

    2008-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination in tundra region has raised substantial concerns, especially since the first report of atmospheric mercury depletion events (AMDEs) in the Polar Regions. During the past decade, steady progress has been made in the research of Hg cycling in the Polar Regions. This has generated a unique opportunity to survey the whole Arctic in respect to Hg issue and to find out new discoveries. However, there are still considerable knowledge gaps and debates on the fate of Hg in the Arctic and Antarctica, especially regarding the importance and significance of AMDEs vs. net Hg loadings and other processes that burden Hg in the Arctic. Some studies argued that climate warming since the last century has exerted profound effects on the limnology of High Arctic lakes, including substantial increases in autochthonous primary productivity which increased in sedimentary Hg, whereas some others pointed out the importance of the formation and postdeposition crystallographic history of the snow and ice crystals in determining the fate and concentration of mercury in the cryosphere in addition to AMDEs. Is mercury re-emitted back to the atmosphere after AMDEs? Is Hg methylation effective in the Arctic tundra? Where the sources of MeHg are? What is its fate? Is this stimulated by human made? This paper presents a critical review about the fate of Hg in the Arctic tundra, such as pathways and process of Hg delivery into the Arctic ecosystem; Hg concentrations in freshwater and marine ecosystems; Hg concentrations in terrestrial biota; trophic transfer of Hg and bioaccumulation of Hg through food chain. This critical review of mercury fates and contamination in the Arctic tundra ecosystem is assessing the impacts and potential risks of Hg contamination on the health of Arctic people and the global northern environment by highlighting and "perspectiving" the various mercury processes and concentrations found in the Arctic tundra.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  16. Biosphere/atmosphere CO2 exchange in tundra ecosystems - Community characteristics and relationships with multispectral surface reflectance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whiting, Gary J.; Bartlett, David S.; Fan, Song-Miao; Bakwin, Peter S.; Wofsy, Steven C.

    1992-01-01

    CO2 exchange rates were measured at selected tundra sites near Bethel, Alaska using portable, climate-controlled, instrumented enclosures. The empirically modeled exchange rate for a representative area of vegetated tundra was 1.2 +/- 1.2 g/sq m/d, compared to a tower-measured exchange over the same time period of 1.1 +.0- 1.2 g/sq m/d. Net exchange in response to varying light levels was compared to wet meadow and dry upland tundra, and to the net exchange measured by the micrometeoroidal tower technique. The multispectral reflectance properties of the sites were measured and related to exchange rates in order to provide a quantitative foundation for the use of satellite remote sensing to monitor biosphere/atmosphere CO2 exchange in the tundra biome.

  17. Biosphere/atmosphere CO[sub 2] exchange in tundra ecosystems - community characteristics and relationships with multispectral surface reflectance

    SciTech Connect

    Whiting, G.J.; Bartlett, D.S.; Fan, Songmiao; Bakwin, P.S.; Wofsy, S.C. New Hampshire Univ., Durham Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA )

    1992-10-01

    CO2 exchange rates were measured at selected tundra sites near Bethel, Alaska using portable, climate-controlled, instrumented enclosures. The empirically modeled exchange rate for a representative area of vegetated tundra was 1.2 +/- 1.2 g/sq m/d, compared to a tower-measured exchange over the same time period of 1.1 +.0- 1.2 g/sq m/d. Net exchange in response to varying light levels was compared to wet meadow and dry upland tundra, and to the net exchange measured by the micrometeoroidal tower technique. The multispectral reflectance properties of the sites were measured and related to exchange rates in order to provide a quantitative foundation for the use of satellite remote sensing to monitor biosphere/atmosphere CO[sub 2] exchange in the tundra biome. 28 refs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, A. E.; Christen, A.; Henry, G. H. R.

    2015-12-01

    Soil carbon stored in high-latitude permafrost landscapes is threatened by warming, and could contribute significant amounts of carbon to the atmosphere and hydrosphere as permafrost thaws. Permafrost disturbances, especially active layer detachments and retrogressive thaw slumps, have increased in frequency and magnitude across the Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, Canada. To determine the effects of retrogressive thaw slumps on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 in high Arctic tundra, we used two eddy covariance (EC) tower systems to simultaneously and continuously measure CO2 fluxes from a disturbed site and the surrounding undisturbed tundra. During the 32-day measurement period in the 2014 growing season the undisturbed tundra was a small net sink (NEE = -0.12 g C m-2 d-1); however, the disturbed terrain of the retrogressive thaw slump was a net source (NEE = +0.39 g C m-2 d-1). Over the measurement period, the undisturbed tundra sequestered 3.84 g C m-2, while the disturbed tundra released 12.48 g C m-2. Before full leaf out in early July, the undisturbed tundra was a small source of CO2, but shifted to a sink for the remainder of the sampling season (July), whereas the disturbed tundra remained a source of CO2 throughout the season. A static chamber system was also used to measure fluxes in the footprints of the two towers, in both disturbed and undisturbed tundra, and fluxes were partitioned into ecosystem respiration (Re) and gross primary production (GPP). Average GPP and Re found in disturbed tundra were smaller (+0.41 μmol m-2 s-1 and +0.50 μmol m-2 s-1, respectively) than those found in undisturbed tundra (+1.21 μmol m-2 s-1 and +1.00 μmol m-2 s-1, respectively). Our measurements indicated clearly that the permafrost disturbance changed the high Arctic tundra system from a sink to a source for CO2 during the growing season.

  20. Relative roles of different-sized herbivores and plant-plant interactions in tall shrub tundra vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravolainen, Virve; Ims, Rolf; Bårdsen, Bård-Jørgen; Stien, Audun; Kollstrøm, Julie; Lægreid, Eiliv; Bråthen, Kari Anne

    2013-04-01

    Tall shrubs play important roles in the ecology of Arctic tundra ecosystems, including support of high shrub-associated biodiversity and regulation of a range of ecosystem processes. Tall shrub patches and herbaceous vegetation surrounding them often form a two-state vegetation mosaic. Such tall shrub tundra vegetation is an important locus for current vegetation changes in the Arctic. Both abiotic and biotic drivers are known to influence the shrub component. However, although expansion of the shrub state has received much focus lately, relative strengths of the multiple drivers of vegetation state are currently not fully understood. We investigated the role of herbivory relative to temperature and relative to plant-plant interactions, conducting a field survey and experimental studies at large spatial scales in riparian tall shrub tundra in Norway. We found both summer temperatures and summer grazing by reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) to affect tall shrub distribution and expansion potential. Furthermore, we found strong and rapid shrub growth change in response to abundance of key arctic herbivores; small rodents. Finally, we quantified the relative importance of neighboring plants and both herbivore types to recruiting tall shrubs. The previously unforeseen rate at which tall shrub tundra responded to altered herbivore pressures further exemplifies its central role in the tundra ecosystems, promoting tall shrub tundra as a bell-whether of change with respect to both abiotic and biotic drivers. While many of the results clearly relate to herbivory, neighboring plants or climate as drivers, some variation remains unexplained warranting future research focus on this highly dynamic part of the tundra ecosystem. Our results suggest that spatially variable biotic interactions are likely to modify forcing by climate, calling for an ecosystem approach when studying change in tundra ecosystems.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-09-27

    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. Here, we present an end-to-end effort for high-resolution numerical modeling of thermal hydrology at real-world fieldmore » sites, utilizing the best available data to characterize and parameterize the models. We also 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. Moreover, areas of significant disagreement between model results and observations highlight the importance of field

  3. Tundra fire alters stream water chemistry and benthic invertebrate communities, North Slope, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, A. R.; Bowden, W. B.; Kling, G. W.; Schuett, E.; Kostrzewski, J. M.; Kolden Abatzoglou, C.; Findlay, R. H.

    2010-12-01

    Increased fire frequency and severity are potentially important consequences of climate change in high latitude ecosystems. The 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire, which burned from July until October, is the largest recorded tundra fire from Alaska's north slope (≈1,000 km2). The immediate effects of wildfire on water chemistry and biotic assemblages in tundra streams are heretofore unknown. We hypothesized that a tundra fire would increase inorganic nutrient inputs to P-limited tundra streams, increasing primary production and altering benthic macroinvertebrate community structure. We examined linkages among: 1) percentage of riparian zone and overall watershed vegetation burned, 2) physical, chemical and biological stream characteristics, and 3) macroinvertebrate communities in streams draining burned and unburned watersheds during the summers of 2008 and 2009. Streams in burned watersheds contained higher mean concentrations of soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), ammonium (NH4+), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). In contrast, stream nitrate (NO3-) concentrations were lower in burned watersheds. The net result was that the tundra fire did not affect concentrations of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (NH4+ + NO3-). In spite of increased SRP, benthic chlorophyll-a biomass was not elevated. Macroinvertebrate abundances were 1.5 times higher in streams draining burned watersheds; Chironomidae midges, Nematodes, and Nemoura stoneflies showed the greatest increases in abundance. Multivariate multiple regression identified environmental parameters associated with the observed changes in the macroinvertebrate communities. Since we identified stream latitude as a significant predictor variable, latitude was included in the model as a covariate. After removing the variation associated with latitude, 67.3 % of the variance in macroinvertebrate community structure was explained by a subset of 7 predictor variables; DOC, conductivity, mean temperature, NO3-, mean discharge, SRP and NH

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

    PubMed

    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. The dynamics of the tundra-taiga boundary: an overview and suggested coordinated and integrated approach to research.

    PubMed

    Callaghan, Terry V; Crawford, Robert M M; Eronen, Matti; Hofgaard, Annika; Payette, Serge; Rees, W Gareth; Skre, Oddvar; Sveinbjörnsson, Bjartmar; Vlassova, Tatiana K; Werkman, Ben R

    2002-08-01

    The tundra-taiga boundary stretches for more than 13,400 km around the Northern Hemisphere and is probably the Earth's greatest vegetation transition. The trees that define the boundary have been sensitive to climate changes in the past and models of future vegetation distribution suggest a rapid and dramatic invasion of the tundra by the taiga. Such changes would generate both positive and negative feedbacks to the climate system and the balance could result in a net warming effect. However, the boundary is becoming increasingly affected by human activities that remove trees and degrade forest-tundra into tundra-like areas. Because of the vastness and remoteness of the tundra-taiga boundary, and of methodological problems such as problematic definitions and lack of standardized methods to record the location and characteristics of the ecotone, a project group has been established under the auspices of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). This paper summarizes the initial output of the group and focuses on our uncertainties in understanding the current processes at the tundra-taiga boundary and the conflicts between model predictions of changes in the location of the boundary and contrasting recently observed changes due to human activities. Finally, we present recommendations for a coordinated international approach to the problem and invite the international community to join us in reducing the uncertainties about the dynamics of the ecotone and their consequences.

  6. The impact of climate change on ecosystem carbon dynamics at the Scandinavian mountain birch forest-tundra heath ecotone.

    PubMed

    Sjögersten, Sofie; Wookey, Philip A

    2009-02-01

    Changes in temperature and moisture resulting from climate change are likely to strongly modify the ecosystem carbon sequestration capacity in high-latitude areas, both through vegetation shifts and via direct warming effects on photosynthesis and decomposition. This paper offers a synthesis of research addressing the potential impacts of climate warming on soil processes and carbon fluxes at the forest-tundra ecotone in Scandinavia. Our results demonstrated higher rates of organic matter decomposition in mountain birch forest than in tundra heath soils, with markedly shallower organic matter horizons in the forest. Field and laboratory experiments suggest that increased temperatures are likely to increase CO2 efflux from both tundra and forest soil providing moisture availability does not become limiting for the decomposition process. Furthermore, colonization of tundra heath by mountain birch forest would increase rates of decomposition, and thus CO2 emissions, from the tundra heath soils, which currently store substantial amounts of potentially labile carbon. Mesic soils underlying both forest and tundra heath are currently weak sinks of atmospheric methane, but the strength of this sink could be increased with climate warming and/or drying.

  7. [Characteristics of erythrocyte lipids in blood of tundra voles (Microtus oeconomus Pall.) inhabiting areas with increased natural radioactivity].

    PubMed

    Shevchenko, O G; Shuktomova, I I; Shishkina, L N

    2011-01-01

    Interrelations between the lipid characteristics of the blood erythrocytes and 226Ra accumulation in the body of tundra voles (Microtus oeconomus Pall.) inhabiting areas with different levels of the radiation background were investigated. It is shown that the ratio of the phospholipid (PL) fractions which cause the blood erythrocyte structure depends on the phase of the population cycle, as well as on the sex and age of tundra voles. The statistically significant interrelation between lysoforms and the sphingomielin content has been revealed in the blood erythrocyte PL of tundra voles; its scale somewhat differs for the animals from the reference and Ra areas. The peroxide concentration in the blood erythrocyte lipids of tundra voles from the Ra area exceeded the control values in all mature groups of the animals trapped at the depression phase of the population density. The 226Ra content in the bodies of the tundra voles which were trapped in the Ra area at the increased phase of the population cycle is for certain higher than that for the animals from the reference area. Interrelations between the lipid peroxidation parameters in the blood erythrocytes and the body 226Ra content for separate sex-age groups of tundra voles have been revealed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  11. [Methanotrophic communities in the soils of Russian northern taiga and subarctic tundra].

    PubMed

    Kaliuzhnaia, M G; Makutina, V A; Rusakova, T G; Nikitin, D V; Khmelenina, V N; Dmitriev, V V; Trotsenko, Iu A

    2002-01-01

    The PCR analysis of DNA extracted from soil samples taken in Russian northern taiga and subarctic tundra showed that the DNA extracts contain genes specific to methanotrophic bacteria, i.e., the mmoX gene encoding the conserved alpha-subunit of the hydroxylase component of soluble methane monooxygenase, the pmoA gene encoding the alpha-subunit of particulate methane monooxygenase, and the mxaF gene encoding the alpha-subunit of methanol dehydrogenase. PCR analysis with group-specific primers also showed that methanotrophic bacteria in the northern taiga and subarctic tundra soils are essentially represented by the type I genera Methylobacter, Methylomonas, Methylosphaera, and Methylomicrobium and that some soil samples contain type II methanotrophs close to members of the genera Methylosinus and Methylocystis. The electron microscopic examination of enrichment cultures obtained from the soil samples confirmed the presence of methanotrophic bacteria in the ecosystems studied and showed that the methanotrophs contain only small amounts of intracytoplasmic membranes.

  12. The modeled effects of fire on carbon balance and vegetation abundance in Alaskan tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietze, M. C.; Davidson, C. D.; Kelly, R.; Higuera, P. E.; Hu, F.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic climate is warming at a rate disproportionately faster than the rest of the world. Changes have been observed within the tundra that are attributed to this trend, including active layer thickening, shrub land expansion, and increases in fire frequency. Whether tundra remains a global net sink of carbon could depend upon the effects of fire on vegetation, specifically concerning the speed at which vegetation reestablishes, the stimulation of growth after fire, and the changes that occur in species composition during succession. While rapid regeneration of graminoid vegetation favors the spread of this functional type in early succession, late succession appears to favor shrub vegetation at abundances greater than those observed before fire. Possible reasons for this latter observation include changes in albedo, soil insulation, and soil moisture regimes. Here we investigate the course of succession after fire disturbance within tundra ecosystems, and the mechanisms involved. A series of simulated burn experiments were conducted on the burn site left by the 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire to access the behavior of the Ecosystem Demography model v2.2 (ED2) in the simulation of fire on the tundra. The land surface sub-model within ED is modified to improve simulate permafrost through the effects of an increased soil-column depth, a peat texture class, and the effects of wind compaction and depth hoar on snow density. Parameterization is conducted through Bayesian techniques used to constrain parameter distributions based upon data from a literature survey, field measurements at Toolik Lake, Alaska, and a data assimilation over three datasets. At each step, priority was assigned to measurements that could constrain parameters that account for the greatest explained variance in model output as determined through sensitivity analysis. Following parameterization, a series of simulations were performed to gauge the suitability of the model in predicting carbon balance and

  13. AmeriFlux US-ICh Imnavait Creek Watershed Heath Tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Bret-Harte, Syndonia; Euskirchen, Eugenie; Shaver, Gaius

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-ICh Imnavait Creek Watershed Heath Tundra. Site Description - The Imnavait Creek Watershed Heath Tundra (Ridge Station) is located near Imnavait Creek in Alaska, north of the Brooks Range in the Kuparuk basin near Lake Toolik and the Toolik Field Station. The Kuparuk River has its headwaters in the Brooks Range and drains through northern Alaska into the Arctic Ocean. Within these headwaters lies the Imnavait basin at an average elevation of 930 m. Water tracks run down the hill in parallel zones with a spacing of approximately 10 m. The Ridge Station was deployed at the end of Summer 2007.

  14. AmeriFlux US-ICs Imnavait Creek Watershed Wet Sedge Tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Bret-Harte, Syndonia; Euskirchen, Eugenie; Shaver, Gaius

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-ICs Imnavait Creek Watershed Wet Sedge Tundra. Site Description - The Imnavait Creek Watershed Wet Sedge Tundra (Fen Station) is located near Imnavait Creek in Alaska, north of the Brooks Range in the Kuparuk basin near Lake Toolik and the Toolik Field Station. The Kuparuk River has its headwaters in the Brooks Range and drains through northern Alaska into the Arctic Ocean. Within these headwaters lies the Imnavait basin at an average elevation of 930 m. Water tracks run down the hill in parallel zones with a spacing of approximately 10 m. The Fen Station was deployed at the end of Summer 2007.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  16. Controls over nutrient flow through plants and microbes in Arctic tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F.S. III.

    1991-01-01

    During 1990, we worked primarily on two major projects. The first was a field study of {sup 15}N partitioning between plants and microbes at Imnavait Creek. {sup 15}N was absorbed faster on the tundra than in temperate climates, and release of labeled nitrogen occurs much more slowly, indicating a slow turnover. The second major project was a model of nutrient uptake by {und Eriophorum vaginatum}. The major effort for 1991 will be on continued model development to match model predictions with results of current field work. Also scheduled for 1991 is completion of field work with {und E. vaginatum} and related soils. This should provide validation of the applicability of R4D concepts to anthropogenic disturbances in tundra. 5 figs. (MHB)

  17. Sequencing and analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of tundra shrew (Sorex tundrensis) from China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chunzhu; Zhao, Shuai; Wu, Hualin; Wu, Shengyang; Zhang, Zhongwen; Wang, Bo; Dou, Huashan

    2016-07-01

    The complete mitogenome sequence of tundra shrew (Sorex tundrensis) was determined using long PCR. The genome was 17,444 bp in length and contained 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 23 transfer RNA genes, 1 origin of L strand replication and 1 control region. The overall base composition of the heavy strand is A (32.9%), C (24.8%), T (29.0%), and G (13.3%). The base compositions present clearly the A-T skew, which is most obviously in the control region and protein-coding genes. The extended termination-associated sequence domain, the central conserved domain and the conserved sequence block domain are defined in the mitochondrial genome control region of tundra shrew. Mitochondrial genome analyses based on MP, ML, NJ and Bayesian analyses yielded identical phylogenetic trees. The three Sorex species formed a monophyletic group with the high bootstrap value (100 %) in all examinations.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  1. Blood lead concentrations in Alaskan tundra swans: linking breeding and wintering areas with satellite telemetry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ely, Craig R.; Franson, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) like many waterfowl species are susceptible to lead (Pb) poisoning, and Pb-induced mortality has been reported from many areas of their wintering range. Little is known however about Pb levels throughout the annual cycle of tundra swans, especially during summer when birds are on remote northern breeding areas where they are less likely to be exposed to anthropogenic sources of Pb. Our objective was to document summer Pb levels in tundra swans throughout their breeding range in Alaska to determine if there were population-specific differences in blood Pb concentrations that might pose a threat to swans and to humans that may consume them. We measured blood Pb concentrations in tundra swans at five locations in Alaska, representing birds that winter in both the Pacific Flyway and Atlantic Flyway. We also marked swans at each location with satellite transmitters and coded neck bands, to identify staging and wintering sites and determine if winter site use correlated with summer Pb concentrations. Blood Pb levels were generally low (<0.2 μg/ml) in swans across all breeding areas. Pb levels were lower in cygnets than adults, suggesting that swans were likely exposed to Pb on wintering areas or on return migration to Alaska, rather than on the summer breeding grounds. Blood Pb levels varied significantly across the five breeding areas, with highest concentrations in birds on the North Slope of Alaska (wintering in the Atlantic Flyway), and lowest in birds from the lower Alaska Peninsula that rarely migrate south for winter.

  2. Blood lead concentrations in Alaskan tundra swans: linking breeding and wintering areas with satellite telemetry.

    PubMed

    Ely, Craig R; Franson, J Christian

    2014-04-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) like many waterfowl species are susceptible to lead (Pb) poisoning, and Pb-induced mortality has been reported from many areas of their wintering range. Little is known however about Pb levels throughout the annual cycle of tundra swans, especially during summer when birds are on remote northern breeding areas where they are less likely to be exposed to anthropogenic sources of Pb. Our objective was to document summer Pb levels in tundra swans throughout their breeding range in Alaska to determine if there were population-specific differences in blood Pb concentrations that might pose a threat to swans and to humans that may consume them. We measured blood Pb concentrations in tundra swans at five locations in Alaska, representing birds that winter in both the Pacific Flyway and Atlantic Flyway. We also marked swans at each location with satellite transmitters and coded neck bands, to identify staging and wintering sites and determine if winter site use correlated with summer Pb concentrations. Blood Pb levels were generally low (<0.2 μg/ml) in swans across all breeding areas. Pb levels were lower in cygnets than adults, suggesting that swans were likely exposed to Pb on wintering areas or on return migration to Alaska, rather than on the summer breeding grounds. Blood Pb levels varied significantly across the five breeding areas, with highest concentrations in birds on the North Slope of Alaska (wintering in the Atlantic Flyway), and lowest in birds from the lower Alaska Peninsula that rarely migrate south for winter.

  3. Long-term persistence of spent lead shot in tundra wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flint, Paul L.; Schamber, Jason L.

    2010-01-01

    We seeded experimental plots with number 4 lead pellets and sampled these plots for 10 years to assess the settlement rate of pellets in tundra wetland types commonly used by foraging waterfowl. After 10 years, about 10% of pellets remained within 6 cm of the surface, but >50% remained within 10 cm. We predict that spent lead pellets will eventually become unavailable to waterfowl; however, it will likely require >25 years for all pellets to exceed depths at which waterfowl species may forage.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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, p<0.001) at all the observation sites, indicating that ammonia nitrogen (NH₄(+)-N) content acted as a strong predictor for N₂O emissions from tundra 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.

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

    PubMed

    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, p<0.001) at all the observation sites, indicating that ammonia nitrogen (NH₄(+)-N) content acted as a strong predictor for N₂O emissions from tundra 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. PMID:25079988

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

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

  10. Remote sensing of vegetation and land-cover change in Arctic Tundra Ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stow, D.A.; Hope, A.; McGuire, D.; Verbyla, D.; Gamon, J.; Huemmrich, F.; Houston, S.; Racine, C.; Sturm, M.; Tape, K.; Hinzman, L.; Yoshikawa, K.; Tweedie, C.; Noyle, B.; Silapaswan, C.; Douglas, D.; Griffith, B.; Jia, G.; Epstein, H.; Walker, D.; Daeschner, S.; Petersen, A.; Zhou, L.; Myneni, R.

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to review research conducted over the past decade on the application of multi-temporal remote sensing for monitoring changes of Arctic tundra lands. Emphasis is placed on results from the National Science Foundation Land-Air-Ice Interactions (LAII) program and on optical remote sensing techniques. Case studies demonstrate that ground-level sensors on stationary or moving track platforms and wide-swath imaging sensors on polar orbiting satellites are particularly useful for capturing optical remote sensing data at sufficient frequency to study tundra vegetation dynamics and changes for the cloud prone Arctic. Less frequent imaging with high spatial resolution instruments on aircraft and lower orbiting satellites enable more detailed analyses of land cover change and calibration/validation of coarser resolution observations. The strongest signals of ecosystem change detected thus far appear to correspond to expansion of tundra shrubs and changes in the amount and extent of thaw lakes and ponds. Changes in shrub cover and extent have been documented by modern repeat imaging that matches archived historical aerial photography. NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) time series provide a 20-year record for determining changes in greenness that relates to photosynthetic activity, net primary production, and growing season length. The strong contrast between land materials and surface waters enables changes in lake and pond extent to be readily measured and monitored. ?? 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Remote sensing of vegetation and land-cover change in Arctic tundra ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Checkstow, D.A.; Hope, A.; McGuire, D.; Verbyla, D.; Gamon, J.; Huemmrich, F.; Houston, S.; Racine, C.; Sturm, M.; Tape, K.; Hinzman, L.; Yoshikawa, K.; Tweedie, C.

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to review research conducted over the past decade on the application of multi-temporal remote sensing for monitoring changes of Arctic tundra lands. Emphasis is placed on results from the National Science Foundation Land-Air-Ice Interactions (LAII) program and on optical remote sensing techniques. Case studies demonstrate that ground-level sensors on stationary or moving track platforms and wide-swath imaging sensors on polar orbiting satellites are particularly useful for capturing optical remote sensing data at sufficient frequency to study tundra vegetation dynamics and changes for the cloud prone Arctic. Less frequent imaging with high spatial resolution instruments on aircraft and lower orbiting satellites enable more detailed analyses of land cover change and calibration/validation of coarser resolution observations. The strongest signals of ecosystem change detected thus far appear to correspond to expansion of tundra shrubs and changes in the amount and extent of thaw lakes and ponds. Changes in shrub cover and extent have been documented by modern repeat imaging that matches archived historical aerial photography. NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) time series provide a 20-year record for determining changes in greenness that relates to photosynthetic activity, net primary production, and growing season length. The strong contrast between land materials and surface waters enables changes in lake and pond extent to be readily measured and monitored.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  14. Analysis of nitrogen saturation potential in Rocky Mountain tundra and forest: implications for aquatic systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, Jill S.; Ojima, Dennis S.; Holland, Elisabeth A.; Parton, William J.

    1994-01-01

    We employed grass and forest versions of the CENTURY model under a range of N deposition values (0.02–1.60 g N m−2 y−1) to explore the possibility that high observed lake and stream N was due to terrestrial N saturation of alpine tundra and subalpine forest in Loch Vale Watershed, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Model results suggest that N is limiting to subalpine forest productivity, but that excess leachate from alpine tundra is sufficient to account for the current observed stream N. Tundra leachate, combined with N leached from exposed rock surfaces, produce high N loads in aquatic ecosystems above treeline in the Colorado Front Range. A combination of terrestrial leaching, large N inputs from snowmelt, high watershed gradients, rapid hydrologic flushing and lake turnover times, and possibly other nutrient limitations of aquatic organisms constrain high elevation lakes and streams from assimilating even small increases in atmospheric N. CENTURY model simulations further suggest that, while increased N deposition will worsen the situation, nitrogen saturation is an ongoing phenomenon.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  16. Sensitivity analysis of a model of CO2 exchange in tundra ecosystems by the adjoint method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Waelbroek, C.; Louis, J.-F.

    1995-01-01

    A model of net primary production (NPP), decomposition, and nitrogen cycling in tundra ecosystems has been developed. The adjoint technique is used to study the sensitivity of the computed annual net CO2 flux to perturbation in initial conditions, climatic inputs, and model's main parameters describing current seasonal CO2 exchange in wet sedge tundra at Barrow, Alaska. The results show that net CO2 flux is most sensitive to parameters characterizing litter chemical composition and more sensitive to decomposition parameters than to NPP parameters. This underlines the fact that in nutrient-limited ecosystems, decomposition drives net CO2 exchange by controlling mineralization of main nutrients. The results also indicate that the short-term (1 year) response of wet sedge tundra to CO2-induced warming is a significant increase in CO2 emission, creating a positive feedback to atmosphreic CO2 accumulation. However, a cloudiness increase during the same year can severely alter this response and lead to either a slight decrease or a strong increase in emitted CO2, depending on its exact timing. These results demonstrate that the adjoint method is well suited to study systems encountering regime changes, as a single run of the adjoint model provides sensitivities of the net CO2 flux to perturbations in all parameters and variables at any time of the year. Moreover, it is shown that large errors due to the presence of thresholds can be avoided by first delimiting the range of applicability of the adjoint results.

  17. Evaluation of Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Snow Albedo Product (MCD43A) over Tundra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Zhuosen; Schaaf, Crystal B.; Chopping, Mark J.; Strahler, Alan H.; Wang, Jindi; Roman, Miguel O.; Rocha, Adrian V.; Woodcock, Curtis E.; Shuai, Yanmin

    2012-01-01

    This study assesses the MODIS standard Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF)/Albedo product, and the daily Direct Broadcast BRDF/Albedo algorithm at tundra locations under large solar zenith angles and high anisotropic diffuse illumination and multiple scattering conditions. These products generally agree with ground-based albedo measurements during the snow cover period when the Solar Zenith Angle (SZA) is less than 70deg. An integrated validation strategy, including analysis of the representativeness of the surface heterogeneity, is performed to decide whether direct comparisons between field measurements and 500- m satellite products were appropriate or if the scaling of finer spatial resolution airborne or spaceborne data was necessary. Results indicate that the Root Mean Square Errors (RMSEs) are less than 0.047 during the snow covered periods for all MCD43 albedo products at several Alaskan tundra areas. The MCD43 1- day daily albedo product is particularly well suited to capture the rapidly changing surface conditions during the spring snow melt. Results also show that a full expression of the blue sky albedo is necessary at these large SZA snow covered areas because of the effects of anisotropic diffuse illumination and multiple scattering. In tundra locations with dark residue as a result of fire, the MODIS albedo values are lower than those at the unburned site from the start of snowmelt.

  18. Sensitivity analysis of a model of CO2 exchange in tundra ecosystems by the adjoint method

    SciTech Connect

    Waelbroek, C.; Louis, J.F. |

    1995-02-01

    A model of net primary production (NPP), decomposition, and nitrogen cycling in tundra ecosystems has been developed. The adjoint technique is used to study the sensitivity of the computed annual net CO2 flux to perturbation in initial conditions, climatic inputs, and model`s main parameters describing current seasonal CO2 exchange in wet sedge tundra at Barrow, Alaska. The results show that net CO2 flux is most sensitive to parameters characterizing litter chemical composition and more sensitive to decomposition parameters than to NPP parameters. This underlines the fact that in nutrient-limited ecosystems, decomposition drives net CO2 exchange by controlling mineralization of main nutrients. The results also indicate that the short-term (1 year) response of wet sedge tundra to CO2-induced warming is a significant increase in CO2 emission, creating a positive feedback to atmosphreic CO2 accumulation. However, a cloudiness increase during the same year can severely alter this response and lead to either a slight decrease or a strong increase in emitted CO2, depending on its exact timing. These results demonstrate that the adjoint method is well suited to study systems encountering regime changes, as a single run of the adjoint model provides sensitivities of the net CO2 flux to perturbations in all parameters and variables at any time of the year. Moreover, it is shown that large errors due to the presence of thresholds can be avoided by first delimiting the range of applicability of the adjoint results.

  19. Advancing the long view of ecological change in tundra systems. Introduction.

    PubMed

    Post, Eric; Høye, Toke T

    2013-08-19

    Despite uncertainties related to sustained funding, ideological rivalries and the turnover of research personnel, long-term studies and studies espousing a long-term perspective in ecology have a history of contributing landmark insights into fundamental topics, such as population- and community dynamics, species interactions and ecosystem function. They also have the potential to reveal surprises related to unforeseen events and non-stationary dynamics that unfold over the course of ongoing observation and experimentation. The unprecedented rate and magnitude of current and expected abiotic changes in tundra environments calls for a synthetic overview of the scope of ecological responses these changes have elicited. In this special issue, we present a series of contributions that advance the long view of ecological change in tundra systems, either through sustained long-term research, or through retrospective or prospective modelling. Beyond highlighting the value of long-term research in tundra systems, the insights derived herein should also find application to the study of ecological responses to environmental change in other biomes as well.

  20. Soils of Sub-Antarctic tundras: diversity and basic chemical characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abakumov, Evgeny; Vlasov, Dmitry; Mukhametova, Nadezhda

    2014-05-01

    Antarctic peninsula is known as specific part of Antarctica, which is characterizes by humid and relatively warm climate of so-called sub Antarctic (maritime) zone. Annual precipitation and long above zero period provides the possibility of sustainable tundra's ecosystem formation. Therefore, the soil diversity of these tundra landscapes is maximal in the whole Antarctic. Moreover, the thickness of parent material debris's is also highest and achieves a 1 or 2 meters as highest. The presence of higher vascular plants Deshampsia antarctica which is considered as one of the main edificators provides the development of humus accumulation in upper solum. Penguins activity provides an intensive soil fertilization and development of plant communities with increased density. All these factors leads to formation of specific and quite diverse soil cover in sub Antarctic tundra's. These ecosystems are presented by following permafrost affected soils: Leptosols, Lithoosols, Crysols, Gleysols, Peats and Ornhitosols. Also the post Ornhitosols are widely spreaded in subantarcic ecosystems, they forms on the penguin rockeries during the plant succession development, leaching of nutrients and organic matter mineralization. "Amphibious" soils are specific for seasonal lakes, which evaporates in the end if Australian summer. These soils have specific features of bio sediments and soils as well. Soil chemical characteristic as well as organic matter features discussed in comparison with Antacrtic continental soil in presentation.

  1. Temperature and plant species control over litter decomposition in Alaskan tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Hobbie, S.E.

    1996-11-01

    This study compared effects of increased temperature and litter from different Alaskan tundra plant species on cycling of carbon and nitrogen through litter and soil in microcosms. Warming between 4{degrees} and 10{degrees}C significantly increased rates of soil and litter respiration, litter decomposition, litter nitrogen release, and soil net nitrogen mineralization. Thus, future warming will directly increase rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling through litter and soil in tundra. In addition, differences among species` litter in rates of decomposition, N release, and effects on soil net nitrogen mineralization were sometimes larger than differences between the two temperature treatments within a species. Thus, changes in plant community structure and composition associated with future warming will have important consequences for how elements cycle through litter and soil in tundra. In general, species within a growth form (graminoids, evergreen shrubs, deciduous shrubs, and mosses) were more similar in their effects on decomposition than were species belonging to different growth forms, with gramminoid litter having the fastest rate and litter of deciduous shrubs and mosses having the slowest rates. Differences in rates of litter decomposition were more related to carbon quality than to nitrogen concentration. Increased abundance of deciduous shrubs with future climate warming will promote carbon storage, because of their relatively large allocation to woody stems that decompose slowly. Changes in moss abundance will also have important consequences for future carbon and nitrogen cycling, since moss litter is extremely recalcitrant and has a low potential to immobilize nitrogen. 82 refs., 8 figs., 7 tabs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paiewonsky, P.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  4. Modeling dynamics of circum-arctic tundra plant communities in response to climate warming and grazing pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Q.; Epstein, H. E.; Walker, D. A.; Forbes, B. C.; Vors, L. S.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic is a complex system with strong interconnectedness among system components. Understanding the responses of the arctic tundra biome to a changing climate requires knowledge of the complex interactions among climate, soils, and the biological system. In this study, we investigate the individual and interactive effects of projected climate change and reindeer/caribou grazing across a variety of climate zones and soil nutrient levels on tundra plant community dynamics using an arctic vegetation model - ArcVeg. Our research questions include: 1) How does soil nutrient availability affect tundra vegetation responses to projected climate warming? 2) How does grazing affect tundra vegetation responses? 3) How do interactions of soil nutrients, climate warming and grazing affect tundra vegetation? We based our simulations on A1B scenario temperature data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), soil organic nitrogen data from Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) simulations and grazing pressure derived from reindeer/caribou population data from the CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment Network (CARMA). We found that in general tundra communities responded to warming with increased plant biomass, but the magnitude of the response is affected by the bioclimate zones, warming magnitude, available soil nutrients and grazing pressures. Regions with greater soil organic nitrogen responded to warming with greater biomass increase, Low Arctic tundra tended to have greater biomass increase than High Arctic tundra due to greater shrub abundance. However, such responses are mitigated by grazing. Regions with greater reindeer population and thus greater grazing intensity tended to have stronger negative effects on plant responses to warming than regions with less grazing. For example, in Subzone D, total biomass and NPP increases due to warming were about 71% and 43% in an Alaskan low grazing-intensity region, but 63% and 36% in a northwestern Canada

  5. Molecular detection of hematozoa infections in tundra swans relative to migration patterns and ecological conditions at breeding grounds.

    PubMed

    Ramey, Andrew M; Ely, Craig R; Schmutz, Joel A; Pearce, John M; Heard, Darryl J

    2012-01-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) are broadly distributed in North America, use a wide variety of habitats, and exhibit diverse migration strategies. We investigated patterns of hematozoa infection in three populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska using satellite tracking to infer host movement and molecular techniques to assess the prevalence and genetic diversity of parasites. We evaluated whether migratory patterns and environmental conditions at breeding areas explain the prevalence of blood parasites in migratory birds by contrasting the fit of competing models formulated in an occupancy modeling framework and calculating the detection probability of the top model using Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). We described genetic diversity of blood parasites in each population of swans by calculating the number of unique parasite haplotypes observed. Blood parasite infection was significantly different between populations of Alaska tundra swans, with the highest estimated prevalence occurring among birds occupying breeding areas with lower mean daily wind speeds and higher daily summer temperatures. Models including covariates of wind speed and temperature during summer months at breeding grounds better predicted hematozoa prevalence than those that included annual migration distance or duration. Genetic diversity of blood parasites in populations of tundra swans appeared to be relative to hematozoa prevalence. Our results suggest ecological conditions at breeding grounds may explain differences of hematozoa infection among populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska.

  6. Molecular detection of hematozoa infections in tundra swans relative to migration patterns and ecological conditions at breeding grounds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramey, Andrew M.; Ely, Craig R.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Pearce, John M.; Heard, Darryl J.

    2012-01-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) are broadly distributed in North America, use a wide variety of habitats, and exhibit diverse migration strategies. We investigated patterns of hematozoa infection in three populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska using satellite tracking to infer host movement and molecular techniques to assess the prevalence and genetic diversity of parasites. We evaluated whether migratory patterns and environmental conditions at breeding areas explain the prevalence of blood parasites in migratory birds by contrasting the fit of competing models formulated in an occupancy modeling framework and calculating the detection probability of the top model using Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). We described genetic diversity of blood parasites in each population of swans by calculating the number of unique parasite haplotypes observed. Blood parasite infection was significantly different between populations of Alaska tundra swans, with the highest estimated prevalence occurring among birds occupying breeding areas with lower mean daily wind speeds and higher daily summer temperatures. Models including covariates of wind speed and temperature during summer months at breeding grounds better predicted hematozoa prevalence than those that included annual migration distance or duration. Genetic diversity of blood parasites in populations of tundra swans appeared to be relative to hematozoa prevalence. Our results suggest ecological conditions at breeding grounds may explain differences of hematozoa infection among populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska.

  7. Master function for the solid:solution equilibrium of DOC in taiga and tundra soils of N. Russia: experimental and modeling results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

    The formation and degradation of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) in arctic environments is intensively investigated, in the context of DOC loading of arctic rivers and seas as well as climate change. However, chemical interaction studies are more scarce, in particular those involving modeling. We investigated DOC interactions in N. Russian taiga and tundra soils, and found that water extractable organic carbon (WEOC) comprises only a small fraction of total organic carbon, whereas DOC is again a small fraction of WEOC. The chemical composition of DOC in terms of humic, fulvic, and hydrophilic acids, the concentrations of dominant cations such as Ca and Al, and the solid iron oxide contents appear to differ profoundly for different soil horizons, as well as between taiga and tundra soils. To reconcile these differences, we processed the data with a simple Freundlich model and with advanced LCD (Ligand and Charge Distribution) modeling of DOC interactions. In the LCD modeling, a combination is made of advances such as CD-MUSIC, and Nica-Donnan approaches, that are implemented in the software ORCHESTRA (though adjusted for computational stability by us). To avoid fitting without good foundation, use is made of the generic parameterization of LCD in combination with measured, site-specific chemical data such as concentrations. We observe that the soil samples from both regions, soil types and horizons can be described with a single DOC sorption Freundlich isotherm. More interestingly, for the same set of samples, the LCD modeling enables us to cast DOC sorption into a single Master Function, that takes iron oxide content and Al and Ca concentrations of soil samples into account in a purely predictive way. Based on this Master Function, it is feasible to assess how DOC is sorbed onto the solid surface. In combination with DOC production and degradation models, our results provide a more balanced instrument to address changes in DOC loading to surface waters due to

  8. Alaska's Living Tundra. Alaska Wildlife Week, 25-29 April 1988. Unit 6: Primary Teacher's Guide; Upper Elementary Teacher's Guide; Junior/Senior High School Teacher's Guide; Supplement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quinlan, Susan E.

    Despite its cold and barren appearance, Alaska's tundra supports a surprising variety of insects, birds, and mammals. In this document, three teacher's guides (for primary, upper elementary, and junior and senior high schools) and a supplementary resource packet present a comprehensive unit of study on Alaska's living tundra. The five lessons in…

  9. Dynamics of the recovery of damaged tundra vegetation: preliminary results of revegetation experiments of maritime tundra with Elymus mollis on Adak Island, Alaska. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Amundsen, C C; McCord, R A

    1982-08-01

    The vegetation of the central Aleutian Islands, Alaska is maritime tundra (Amundsen, 1977). While maritime tundra is not characterized by the presence of permafrost, the soil temperatures remain low (5 to 7/sup 0/C) year-round (Williams, 1980). The low soil temperature, a high level of soil moisture, and a low level of incident solar radiation are thought to delay the development of the vegetation. Natural revegetation of natural or man made open areas is relatively slow. Disturbed areas from World War II military activity are not completely revegetated after almost 40 years. Because of the windy and wet climate of the region, exposed soil is unstable and subject to extensive freeze-thaw action and erosion. Insults to the vegetation, both marine and aeolian, are common. Successful reproduction by seed is uncommon among species of this flora. The primary means of reproduction appears to be by vegetative propagules which are usually fragments of the shoot and rhizome. While the transport of the fragments by wind and water aids in the dispersal of the propagules, the same action often removes these fragments from open areas. This later activity further delays the revegetation of open and disturbed areas. Elymus mollis Trin. is the most successful major native species found to date as it fragments due to wind and water action and transplants easily. Transplanting experiments with sprigs of Elymus mollis Trin. have been conducted on Adak Island, Alaska since 1977. Preliminary results indicate that Elymus mollis may be transplanted for revegetation with a survival rate of at least 90 percent. Experiments were set up in 1979 to determine appropriate planting density, sprig rhizome length, and best time of year for transplanting. Preliminary results for these experiments are reported here.

  10. Response of microbial community of tundra soil to global warming: Simulation of seasonal and long-term population dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Panikov, N.S.

    1994-11-01

    A mathematical model has been constructed and verified to simulate dynamics of a microbial community in typical tundra. The model contains the following state variables: the population densities of three competing microbial species (exemplified by Arthrobacter, Pseudomonas, and Bacillus), indexes of their physiological state, concentration of available organic substrate, plant litter reserves, the amount of microbiovorous protozoans, and temperature. The mathematical model simulates adequately the qualitative features of microbial seasonal dynamics observed in tundra. The global warming and associated increase in primary productivity, as predicted by simulation, will relieve the pressure of L-selection and thus result in stabilization of the tundra microbial community. The model also predicts that aerobic decomposition of dead organic matter in solid will be accelerated compared to its formation. 24 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  13. Lead toxicosis in tundra swans near a mining and smelting complex in northern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blus, L.J.; Henny, C.J.; Hoffman, D.J.; Grove, R.A.

    1991-01-01

    Die-offs of waterfowl have occurred in the Coeur d`Alene River system in northern Idaho since at least the early 1900`s. We investigated causes of mortality and lead and cadmium contamination of 46 tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) from 1987 to 1989; an additional 22 swans found dead in 1990 were not examined. We necropsied 43 of the 46 birds found from 1987 to 1989; 38 of these were from the Coeur d`Alene River system, which has been contaminated with mining and smelting wastes for a century, and the other 5 were from a nearby, relatively uncontaminated area. Of the 36 livers of swans from the contaminated area that were analyzed, 32 contained lethal levels of lead (6 to 40 micrograms/g, wet weight) and all birds exhibited several symptoms of lead poisoning, notably enlarged gall bladders containing viscous, darkgreen bile. Only 13% of the lead-poisoned birds (10% when data were included from other studies of swans in the area) contained shot, compared to 95% of lead-poisoning swans in studies outside northern Idaho. Lead concentrations in blood samples from 16 apparently healthy swans (0.5 to 2.3 micrograms/g, and 4 leadpoisoned birds found moribund (1.3 to 9.6 micrograms/g) indicating that tundra swans accumulated high levels of lead from ingestion of sediment that contained up to 8,700 micrograms/g of lead and plants that contained up to 400 micrograms/g. The swans spend only a few weeks in the area staging during the spring migration. The five tundra swans from the uncontaminated area had low levels of lead and essentially no symptoms of lead poisoning.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Tall shrub and tree expansion in Siberian tundra ecotones since the 1960s.

    PubMed

    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

  16. Arctic Tundra Vegetation Functional Types Based on Photosynthetic Physiology and Optical Properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huemmrich, Karl F.; Gamon, John; Tweedie, Craig; Campbell, Petya P. K.; Landis, David; Middleton, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    Climate change in tundra regions may alter vegetation species composition and ecosystem carbon balance. Remote sensing provides critical tools for monitoring these changes as optical signals provide a way to scale from plot measurements to regional patterns. Gas exchange measurements of pure patches of key vegetation functional types (lichens, mosses, and vascular plants) in sedge tundra at Barrow AK, show three significantly different values of light use efficiency (LUE) with values of 0.013+/-0.001, 0.0018+/-0.0002, and 0.0012 0.0001 mol C/mol absorbed quanta for vascular plants, mosses and lichens, respectively. Further, discriminant analysis of patch reflectance identifies five spectral bands that can separate each vegetation functional type 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. Area-averaged canopy LUE estimated from coverage fractions of the three functional types varied widely, even over short distances. Patch-level statistical discriminant functions applied to in situ hyperspectral reflectance successfully unmixed cover fractions of the vegetation functional types. These functions, developed from the tram data, were applied to 30 m spatial resolution Earth Observing-1 Hyperion imaging spectrometer data to examine regional variability in distribution of the vegetation functional types and from those distributions, the variability of LUE. Across the landscape, there was a fivefold variation in tundra LUE that was correlated to a spectral vegetation index developed to detect vegetation chlorophyll content.

  17. Tall shrub and tree expansion in Siberian tundra ecotones since the 1960s.

    PubMed

    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

  18. Differentiation of tundra/taiga and boreal coniferous forest wolves: genetics, coat colour and association with migratory caribou.

    PubMed

    Musiani, Marco; Leonard, Jennifer A; Cluff, H Dean; Gates, C Cormack; Mariani, Stefano; Paquet, Paul C; Vilà, Carles; Wayne, Robert K

    2007-10-01

    The grey wolf has one of the largest historic distributions of any terrestrial mammal and can disperse over great distances across imposing topographic barriers. As a result, geographical distance and physical obstacles to dispersal may not be consequential factors in the evolutionary divergence of wolf populations. However, recent studies suggest ecological features can constrain gene flow. We tested whether wolf-prey associations in uninterrupted tundra and forested regions of Canada explained differences in migratory behaviour, genetics, and coat colour of wolves. Satellite-telemetry data demonstrated that tundra wolves (n = 19) migrate annually with caribou (n = 19) from denning areas in the tundra to wintering areas south of the treeline. In contrast, nearby boreal coniferous forest wolves are territorial and associated year round with resident prey. Spatially explicit analysis of 14 autosomal microsatellite loci (n = 404 individuals) found two genetic clusters corresponding to tundra vs. boreal coniferous forest wolves. A sex bias in gene flow was inferred based on higher levels of mtDNA divergence (F(ST) = 0.282, 0.028 and 0.033; P < 0.0001 for mitochondrial, nuclear autosomal and Y-chromosome markers, respectively). Phenotypic differentiation was substantial as 93% of wolves from tundra populations exhibited light colouration whereas only 38% of boreal coniferous forest wolves did (chi(2) = 64.52, P < 0.0001). The sharp boundary representing this discontinuity was the southern limit of the caribou migration. These findings show that substantial genetic and phenotypic differentiation in highly mobile mammals can be caused by prey-habitat specialization rather than distance or topographic barriers. The presence of a distinct wolf ecotype in the tundra of North America highlights the need to preserve migratory populations. PMID:17725575

  19. Nitrogen deposition but not climate warming promotes Deyeuxia angustifolia encroachment in alpine tundra of the Changbai Mountains, Northeast China.

    PubMed

    Zong, Shengwei; Jin, Yinghua; Xu, Jiawei; Wu, Zhengfang; He, Hongshi; Du, Haibo; Wang, Lei

    2016-02-15

    Vegetation in the alpine tundra area of the Changbai Mountains, one of two alpine tundra areas in China, has undergone great changes in recent decades. The aggressive herb species Deyeuxia angustifolia (Komarov) Y. L. Chang, a narrow-leaf small reed, was currently encroaching upon the alpine landscape and threatening tundra biota. The alpine tundra of the Changbai Mountains has been experiencing a warmer climate and receiving a high load of atmospheric nitrogen deposition. In this study, we aimed to assess the respective roles of climate warming and atmospheric nitrogen deposition in promoting the upward encroachment of D. angustifolia. We conducted experiments for three years to examine the response of D. angustifolia and a native alpine shrub, Rhododendron chrysanthum, to the conditions in which temperature and nitrogen were increased. Treatments consisting of temperature increase, nitrogen addition, temperature increase combined with nitrogen addition, and controls were conducted on the D. angustifolia communities with three encroachment levels (low, medium, and high levels). Results showed that 1) D. angustifolia grew in response to added nutrients but did not grow well when temperature increased. R. chrysanthum showed negligible responses to the simulated environmental changes. 2) Compared to R. chrysanthum, D. angustifolia could effectively occupy the above-ground space by increasing tillers and growing rapidly by efficiently using nitrogen. The difference in nitrogen uptake abilities between the two species contributed to expansion of D. angustifolia. 3) D. angustifolia encroachment could deeply change the biodiversity of tundra vegetation and may eventually result in the replacement of native biota, especially with nitrogen addition. Our research indicated that nutrient perturbation may be more important than temperature perturbation in promoting D. angustifolia encroachment upon the nutrient- and species-poor alpine tundra ecosystem in the Changbai

  20. Differentiation of tundra/taiga and boreal coniferous forest wolves: genetics, coat colour and association with migratory caribou.

    PubMed

    Musiani, Marco; Leonard, Jennifer A; Cluff, H Dean; Gates, C Cormack; Mariani, Stefano; Paquet, Paul C; Vilà, Carles; Wayne, Robert K

    2007-10-01

    The grey wolf has one of the largest historic distributions of any terrestrial mammal and can disperse over great distances across imposing topographic barriers. As a result, geographical distance and physical obstacles to dispersal may not be consequential factors in the evolutionary divergence of wolf populations. However, recent studies suggest ecological features can constrain gene flow. We tested whether wolf-prey associations in uninterrupted tundra and forested regions of Canada explained differences in migratory behaviour, genetics, and coat colour of wolves. Satellite-telemetry data demonstrated that tundra wolves (n = 19) migrate annually with caribou (n = 19) from denning areas in the tundra to wintering areas south of the treeline. In contrast, nearby boreal coniferous forest wolves are territorial and associated year round with resident prey. Spatially explicit analysis of 14 autosomal microsatellite loci (n = 404 individuals) found two genetic clusters corresponding to tundra vs. boreal coniferous forest wolves. A sex bias in gene flow was inferred based on higher levels of mtDNA divergence (F(ST) = 0.282, 0.028 and 0.033; P < 0.0001 for mitochondrial, nuclear autosomal and Y-chromosome markers, respectively). Phenotypic differentiation was substantial as 93% of wolves from tundra populations exhibited light colouration whereas only 38% of boreal coniferous forest wolves did (chi(2) = 64.52, P < 0.0001). The sharp boundary representing this discontinuity was the southern limit of the caribou migration. These findings show that substantial genetic and phenotypic differentiation in highly mobile mammals can be caused by prey-habitat specialization rather than distance or topographic barriers. The presence of a distinct wolf ecotype in the tundra of North America highlights the need to preserve migratory populations.

  1. Arctic Tundra Vegetation Functional Types Based on Photosynthetic Physiology and Optical Properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  2. Delineation of Tundra Swan Cygnus c. columbianus populations in North America: geographic boundaries and interchange

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ely, Craig R.; Sladen, William J. L.; Wilson, Heather M.; Savage, Susan E.; Sowl, Kristine M.; Henry, Bill; Schwitters, Mike; Snowden, James

    2014-01-01

    North American Tundra Swans Cygnus c. columbianus are composed of two wellrecognised populations: an Eastern Population (EP) that breeds across northern Canada and north of the Brooks Range in Alaska, which migrates to the eastern seaboard of the United States, and a Western Population (WP) that breeds in coastal regions of Alaska south of the Brooks Range and migrates to western North America. We present results of a recent major ringing effort from across the breeding range in Alaska to provide a better definition of the geographic extent of the migratory divide in Alaska. We also reassess the staging and winter distributions of these populations based on locations of birds tracked using satellite transmitters, and recent recoveries and sightings of neck-collared birds. Summer sympatry of EP and WP Tundra Swans is very limited, and largely confined to a small area in northwest Alaska. Autumn migration pathways of EP and WP Tundra swans abut in southwest Saskatchewan, a region where migrating WP birds turn west, and EP birds deviate abruptly eastward. Overall, from 1989 to 2013 inclusive, 2.6% of recoveries or resightings reported to the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory were of birds that moved from the domain of the population in which they were initially captured to within the range of the other population; a proportion roughly comparable to the results of Limpert et al. (1991) for years before 1990. Of the 70 cross-boundary movements reported since 1989, 39% were of birds marked on breeding areas and 61% were of birds marked on wintering areas. Dispersing swans (i.e. those that made crossboundary movements) did not differ with respect to age or sex from those that did not move between populations. The Brooks Range in northern Alaska effectively separates the two populations within Alaska, but climate-induced changes in tundra breeding habitats and losses of wetlands on staging areas may alter the distribution for both of these populations.

  3. Soil Organic Matter in Forest Ecosystems of the Forest-tundra zone of Central Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukhortova, Liudmila

    2010-05-01

    Our study was conducted on 17 forest sample plots in the forest-tundra zone of Central Siberia, Krasnoyarsk region, Russia. They were covered by larch/feather moss/shrub and larch/grass forest types growing on cryozems and podburs (Cryosols). The investigation was aimed at estimating soil organic matter storage and structure in forest ecosystems growing along the northern tree line. Such ecosystems have low rates of exchange processes and biological productivity. Estimating soil carbon in these forest types is important for a deeper understanding of their role in biogeochemical cycles and forecasting consequences of climate changes. Soil organic matter was divided into pools by biodegradation resistance level and, hence, different roles of these pools in biological cycles. The soil organic matter was divided into an easily mineralizable (LMOM) fraction, which includes labile (insoluble) (LOM) and mobile (soluble) (MOM) organic compounds, and a stable organic matter fraction that is humus substances bound with soil matrix. The forest-tundra soil carbon was found to total 30.9 to 125.9 tons/ha. Plant residues were the main part of the soil easily mineralizable organic matter and contained from 13.3 to 62.4% of this carbon. Plant residue carbon was mainly allocated on the soil surface, in the forest litter. Plant residues in the soil (dead roots + other "mortmass") were calculated to contribute 10-30% of the plant residues carbon, or 2.5-15.1% of the total soil carbon. Soil surface and in-soil dead plant material included 60-95% of heavily decomposed residues that made up a forest litter fermentation subhorizon and an "other mortmass" fraction of the root detritus. Mobile organic matter (substances dissolved in water and 0.1N NaOH) of plant residues was found to allocate 15-25% of carbon. In soil humus, MOM contribution ranged 14 to 64%. Easily mineralizable organic matter carbon appeared to generally dominate forest-tundra soil carbon pool. It was measured to

  4. Isotope Hydrology of Arctic Tundra Lakes in a Region Impacted by Permafrost Disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, D. L.

    2009-05-01

    A projected "hot spot" of climate warming and development is the Mackenzie River Delta region, Northwest Territories, Canada. The upland tundra areas within the Mackenzie Gas Project development area north of Inuvik contain thousands of small lakes and ponds with poorly defined ephemeral drainage that are underlain by thick permafrost and ice-rich sediments for which the basic water balance controls are not fully understood. Natural retrogressive thaw slumps are common along lakeshores and the rapid drainage of ice-rich permafrost-dammed lakes has been occurring. Ongoing oil/gas exploration activities and infrastructure construction may result in terrain disturbance and localized degradation of permafrost, while climate change may increase the magnitude and frequency of thermokarst processes. These disturbed lakes are believed to act as historical analogues for the future effects of climate change on the hydrology, geochemistry, and aquatic ecology of small tundra lake catchments in the continuous permafrost zone of northwestern Canada. Environment Canada initiated an integrated research program in 2005 with the overall goal of improving our understanding of hydro-ecological processes in freshwater aquatic ecosystems affected by shoreline slumping vs. pristine lakes. Limited catchment studies have examined water-balance parameters (e.g., precipitation, evaporation, and surface flows) for tundra lakes in the development area. Enrichment of oxygen-18 (18O) and deuterium (2H) stable isotopes in surface waters have been shown to be useful indicators of water balance variations in remote permafrost regions of Canada where hydroclimatic information is very limited. In particular, information on evaporation: inflow (E/I) ratios and residence times would provide useful information for estimating appropriate water withdrawals from lakes within the proposed development area. A key question is "does permafrost slumping impact the hydrology of tundra lakes via catchment area

  5. Plant and microbial responses to nitrogen and phosphorus addition across an elevational gradient in subarctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Sundqvist, Maja K; Liu, Zhanfeng; Giesler, Reiner; Wardle, David A

    2014-07-01

    Temperature and nutrients are major limiting factors in subarctic tundra. Experimental manipulation of nutrient availability along elevational gradients (and thus temperature) can improve our understanding of ecological responses to climate change. However, no study to date has explored impacts of nutrient addition along a tundra elevational gradient, or across contrasting vegetation types along any elevational gradient. We set up a full factorial nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization experiment in each of two vegetation types (heath and meadow) at 500 m, 800 m, and 1000 m elevation in northern Swedish tundra. We predicted that plant and microbial communities in heath or at lower elevations would be more responsive to N addition while communities in meadow or at higher elevations would be more responsive to P addition, and that fertilizer effects would vary more with elevation for the heath than for the meadow. Although our results provided little support for these predictions, the relationship between nutrient limitation and elevation differed between vegetation types. Most plant and microbial properties were responsive to N and/or P fertilization, but responses often varied with elevation and/or vegetation type. For instance, vegetation density significantly increased with N + P fertilization relative to the other fertilizer treatments, and this increase was greatest at the lowest elevation for the heath but at the highest elevation for the meadow. Arbuscular mycorrhizae decreased with P fertilization at 500 m for the meadow, but with all fertilizer treatments in both vegetation types at 800 m. Fungal to bacterial ratios were enhanced by N+ P fertilization for the two highest elevations in the meadow only. Additionally, microbial responses to fertilization were primarily direct rather than indirect via plant responses, pointing to a decoupled response of plant and microbial communities to nutrient addition and elevation. Because our study shows how two

  6. Long-term persistence of spent lead shot in tundra wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flint, P.L.; Schamber, J.L.

    2010-01-01

    We seeded experimental plots with number 4 lead pellets and sampled these plots for 10 years to assess the settlement rate of pellets in tundra wetland types commonly used by foraging waterfowl. After 10 years, about 10% of pellets remained within 6 cm of the surface, but >50% remained within 10 cm. We predict that spent lead pellets will eventually become unavailable to waterfowl; however, it will likely require >25 years for all pellets to exceed depths at which waterfowl species may forage. ?? 2010 The Wildlife Society.

  7. [Complex estimation of thyroid gland state in tundra voles, inhabiting the natural radioactive polluted sites].

    PubMed

    Ermakova, O V; Raskosha, O V

    2005-01-01

    Behow is presented the complex state of thyroid gland of tundra voles living in high level natural radioactivity conditions (Ukhta region of Komi Republic) by morphological and functional criteria. High sensitivity of thyroid gland under natural chronic irradiation of whole organism is noticed. The essential changes in the morphological structure and in the hormone level of the thyroid gland are found in animals, which live for a long time in the conditions of the radioactive pollution. It is determined, that the inside population processes influence on the structure and on the funcition of the thyroid gland.

  8. Assessing the Annual Carbon Balance of the Tundra Through Attention to Wintertime CO2 Flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, E.; Natali, S.; Ganzlin, P.; Schuur, E. A.

    2012-12-01

    Northern latitudes play a significant role in the global carbon (C) cycle due to the vast amount of C stored in permafrost soils. Cold temperatures limit microbial decomposition and as such, permafrost soils have been accumulating C for thousands of years. In recent decades, the bulk of temperature increases in high latitudes has occurred during the winter and this trend is expected to accelerate in the coming decades. As high latitudes warm, previously frozen C is expected to decompose and this could result in a positive feedback to climate change. While warming has been shown to increase plant productivity during the growing season, these seasonal C gains may be offset on an annual basis by C losses during the snow-covered period. Although winter ecosystem respiration (Reco) rates are relatively low, the fact that winter accounts for such a large portion of the year (roughly October-April) means that wintertime respiration contributes 12-30 percent of annual C losses from the tundra. With warming, the amount of C lost from tundra ecosystems in the winter could increase. This study addresses the annual C balance of the tundra by focusing on winter Reco at the ecosystem warming experiment Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research (CiPEHR) in interior Alaska. Specifically, we use two types of chamber measurements, forced diffusion sensors, and soda lime to measure the winter Reco of control and experimentally warmed plots. We find that the experimentally warmed plots released fifty to three hundred times as much C as the control plots using the soda lime and chamber measurements, respectively. We compared these on-plot measurements to a nearby an eddy covariance tower and found that chamber measurements show higher C losses whereas the eddy covariance tower record the lowest. Using a combination of all methods, we find that when winter Reco is accounted for the tundra may be a net C source or C neutral. This highlights the importance of wintertime C loss as

  9. Nitrogen Accumulation and Partitioning in High Arctic Tundra from Extreme Atmospheric N Deposition Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phoenix, G. K.; Osborn, A.; Blaud, A.; Press, M. C.; Choudhary, S.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are threatened by pollution from extreme atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition events. These events occur from the long-range transport of reactive N from pollution sources at lower latitudes and can deposit up to 80% of the annual N deposition in just a few days. To date, the fate and impacts of these extreme pollutant events has remained unknown. Using a field simulation study, we undertook the first assessment of the fate of acutely deposited N on arctic tundra. Extreme N deposition events were simulated on field plots at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard (79oN) at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2 g N m-2 yr-1 applied as NH4NO3 solution over 4 days, with 15N tracers used in the second year to quantify the fate of the deposited N in the plant, soil, microbial and leachate pools. Separate applications of 15NO3- and 15NH4+ were also made to determine the importance of N form in the fate of N. Recovery of the 15N tracer at the end of the first growing season approached 100% of the 15N applied irrespective of treatment level, demonstrating the considerable capacity of High Arctic tundra to capture pollutant N from extreme deposition events. Most incorporation of the 15N was found in bryophytes, followed by the dominant vascular plant (Salix polaris) and the microbial biomass of the soil organic layer. Total recovery remained high in the second growing season (average of 90%), indicating highly conservative N retention. Between the two N forms, recovery of 15NO3- and 15NH4+ were equal in the non-vascular plants, whereas in the vascular plants (particularly Salix polaris) recovery of 15NO3- was four times higher than of 15NH4+. Overall, these findings show that High Arctic tundra has considerable capacity to capture and retain the pollutant N deposited in acute extreme deposition events. Given they can represent much of the annual N deposition, extreme deposition events may be more important than increased chronic N deposition as a pollution source. Furthermore

  10. Physiological and ecological implications of coupled heat and water transport mechanisms of endotherms and tundra vegetation. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, W.P.; Stewart, W.E.

    1986-01-01

    This research seeks to extend a current quantitative general heat and mass transfer model developed for the porous insulation of endotherms to include the porous media of tundra vegetation, to test the model's predictions for endotherm heat generation requirements and water loss rates for different insulations under conditions measured in the laboratory and in the field on various inanimate objects and live endotherms, and to integrate the porous media model with microclimate models to calculate heat and mass fluxes through the low canopies of tundra vegetation and the soil. 9 refs., 6 figs.

  11. Soil carbon content and CO2 flux along a hydrologic gradient in a High-Arctic tundra lake basin, Northwest Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKnight, J.; Klein, E. S.; Welker, J. M.; Schaeffer, S. M.; Franklin, M.

    2015-12-01

    High Arctic landscapes are composed of watershed basins that vary in size and ecohydrology, but typically have a plant community complex that ranges from dry tundra to moist tundra to wet sedge systems along water body shorelines. The spatial extent of these plant communities reflects mean annual soil moisture and temperature, and is vulnerable to changes in climate conditions. Soil moisture and temperature significantly influence organic matter microbial activity and decomposition, and can affect the fate of soil carbon in tundra soils. Consequently, due to the unique soil carbon differences between tundra plant communities, shifts in their spatial extent may drive future High Arctic biosphere-atmosphere interactions. Understanding this terrestrial-atmosphere trace gas feedback, however, requires quantification of the rates and patterns of CO2 exchange along soil moisture gradients and the associated soil properties. In summer of 2015, soil CO2 flux rate, soil moisture and temperature were measured along a soil moisture gradient spanning three vegetation zones (dry tundra, wet tundra, and wet grassland) in a snow melt-fed lake basin near Thule Greenland. Mean soil temperature during the 2015 growing season was greater in dry tundra than in wet tundra and wet grassland (13.0 ± 1.2, 7.8 ± 0.8, and 5.5 ± 0.9°C, respectively). Mean volumetric soil moisture differed among all three vegetation zones where the soil moisture gradient ranged from 9 % (dry tundra) to 34 % (wet tundra) to 51 % (wet grassland). Mean soil CO2 flux was significantly greater in the wet grassland (1.7 ± 0.1 μmol m-2 s-1) compared to wet tundra (0.9 ± 0.2 μmol m-2 s-1) and dry tundra (1.2 ± 0.2 μmol m-2 s-1). Soil CO2 flux increased and decreased with seasonal warming and cooling of soil temperature. Although soil temperature was an important seasonal driver of soil CO2 flux rates, differences in mean seasonal soil CO2 flux rates among vegetation zones appeared to be a function of the

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

  13. On site bioremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated Arctic tundra soils in inoculated biopiles.

    PubMed

    Mohn, W W; Radziminski, C Z; Fortin, M C; Reimer, K J

    2001-10-01

    There is a need to develop technology to allow the remediation of soil in polar regions that have been contaminated by hydrocarbon fuel spills. Bioremediation is potentially useful for this purpose, but has not been well demonstrated in polar regions. We investigated biopiles for on-site bioremediation of soil contaminated with Arctic diesel fuel in two independent small-scale field experiments at different sites on the Arctic tundra. The results were highly consistent with one another. In biopiles at both sites, extensive hydrocarbon removal occurred after one summer. After 1 year in treatments with optimal conditions, total petroleum hydrocarbons were reduced from 196 to below 10 mg per kg of soil at one site, and from 2,109 to 195 mg per kg of soil at the other site. Addition of ammonium chloride and sodium phosphate greatly stimulated hydrocarbon removal and indicates that biodegradation was the primary mechanism by which this was achieved. Inoculation with cold-adapted, mixed microbial cultures further stimulated hydrocarbon removal during the summer immediately following inoculation. At one site, soil temperature was monitored during the summer season, and a clear plastic cover increased biopile soil temperature, measured as degree-day accumulation, by 30-49%. Our results show that on-site bioremediation of fuel-contaminated soil at Arctic tundra sites is feasible. PMID:11693928

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

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Congcong; Ni, Yingying; Liang, Wenju; Wang, Jianjun; Chu, Haiyan

    2015-01-01

    The elevational diversity pattern for microorganisms has received great attention recently but is still understudied, and phylogenetic relatedness is rarely studied for microbial elevational distributions. Using a bar-coded pyrosequencing technique, we examined the biodiversity patterns for soil bacterial communities of tundra ecosystem along 2000–2500 m elevations on Changbai Mountain in China. Bacterial taxonomic richness displayed a linear decreasing trend with increasing elevation. Phylogenetic diversity and mean nearest taxon distance (MNTD) exhibited a unimodal pattern with elevation. Bacterial communities were more phylogenetically clustered than expected by chance at all elevations based on the standardized effect size of MNTD metric. The bacterial communities differed dramatically among elevations, and the community composition was significantly correlated with soil total carbon (TC), total nitrogen, C:N ratio, and dissolved organic carbon. Multiple ordinary least squares regression analysis showed that the observed biodiversity patterns strongly correlated with soil TC and C:N ratio. Taken together, this is the first time that a significant bacterial diversity pattern has been observed across a small-scale elevational gradient. Our results indicated that soil carbon and nitrogen contents were the critical environmental factors affecting bacterial elevational distribution in Changbai Mountain tundra. This suggested that ecological niche-based environmental filtering processes related to soil carbon and nitrogen contents could play a dominant role in structuring bacterial communities along the elevational gradient. PMID:26217308

  15. Arctic Tundra Vegetation Functional Types Based on Photosynthetic Physiology and Optical Properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huemmrich, Karl F.; Gamon, John; Tweedie, Craig; Campbell, Petya K.; 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+/-0.001, 0.0018+/-0.0002, and 0.0012+/-0.0001 mol C/mol 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

    A total of 842 blood samples collected from five species of tundra-nesting geese in Alaska was screened for haemosporidian parasites using molecular techniques. Parasites of the generaLeucocytozoon Danilewsky, 1890, Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890, and Plasmodium Marchiafava and Celli, 1885 were detected in 169 (20%), 3 (<1%), and 0 (0%) samples, respectively. Occupancy modeling was used to estimate prevalence of Leucocytozoon parasites and assess variation relative to species, age, sex, geographic area, year, and decade. Species, age, and decade were identified as important in explaining differences in prevalence of Leucocytozoonparasites. Leucocytozoon parasites were detected in goslings sampled along the Arctic Coastal Plain using both historic and contemporary samples, which provided support for transmission in the North American Arctic. In contrast, lack of detection of Haemoproteus and Plasmodiumparasites in goslings (n = 238) provided evidence to suggest that the transmission of parasites of these genera may not occur among waterfowl using tundra habitats in Alaska, or alternatively, may only occur at low levels. Five haemosporidian genetic lineages shared among different species of geese sampled from two geographic areas were indicative of interspecies parasite transmission and supported broad parasite or vector distributions. However, identicalLeucocytozoon and Haemoproteus lineages on public databases were limited to waterfowl hosts suggesting constraints in the range of parasite hosts.

  17. Object-based Mapping of the Circumpolar Taiga-Tundra Ecotone with MODIS Tree Cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ransom, Kenneth J.; Montesano, Paul M.; Nelson, Ross F.

    2011-01-01

    The circumpolar taiga-tundra ecotone was delineated using an image segmentation based mapping approach with multi-annual MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields (VCF) tree cover data. Circumpolar tree canopy cover (TCC) throughout the ecotone was derived by averaging MODIS VCF data from 2000 - 2005 and adjusting the averaged values using linear equations relating MODIS TCC to Quickbird-derived tree cover estimates. The adjustment helped mitigate VCF's overestimation of tree cover in lightly forested regions. An image segmentation grouped pixels representing similar tree cover into polygonal features (objects) that form the map of the transition zone. Eachfeature represents an area much larger than the 500m MODIS pixel to characterize thepatterns of sparse forest patches on a regional scale. Comparisons of the adjusted average tree cover data were made with (1) two existing tree line definitions aggregated for each 1deg longitudinal interval in North America and Eurasia and (2) Landsat-derived Canadianproportion of forest cover for Canada. The adjusted TCC from MODIS VCF shows, on average, greater than 12% TCC for all but one regional zone at the intersection with independently delineated tree lines. Adjusted values track closely with Canadian proportion of forest cover data in areas of low tree cover. Those polygons near the boreal/tundra interface with either (1) mean adjusted TCC values between 5-20% , or (2) mean adjusted TCC values <5% but with a standard deviation > 5% were used to identify the ecotone.

  18. Size and mass of grit in gizzards of sandhill cranes, tundra swans, and mute swans.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Franson, J. Christian; Hansen, Scott P.; Duerr, Adam E.; DeStefano, Stephen

    2001-01-01

    Because it has been suggested that waterbirds may ingest lost or discarded lead fishing weights as grit, we examined grit in the gizzards of Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis), Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus), and Mute Swans (Cygnus olor), three species where individuals have been poisoned by the ingestion of lead fishing weights. The greatest proportion (by mass) of grit in gizzards of Sandhill Cranes consisted of particles with a minimum dimension of 2.36-4.75 mm. Grit particles in swans were much smaller, with the most prevalent (by mass) being 0.6-1.18 mm. The greatest dimension of the largest grit particle found in cranes and swans was 17.4 mm and 14.0 mm, respectively. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a ban on lead fishing weights of ≤25.4 mm in any dimension. Based on the size of grit particles that we found in gizzards of Sandhill Cranes, Mute Swans, and Tundra Swans, we believe it is unlikely that individuals of those species would ingest, as grit, lead fishing weights larger than 25.4 mm in any dimension.

  19. Size and mass of grit in gizzards of Sandhill Cranes, Tundra Swans, and Mute Swans

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Franson, J.C.; Hansen, S.P.; Duerr, A.E.; DeStefano, S.

    2001-01-01

    Because it has been suggested that waterbirds may ingest lost or discarded lead fishing weights as grit, we examined grit in the gizzards of Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis), Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus), and Mute Swans (Cygnus olor), three species where individuals have been poisoned by the ingestion of lead fishing weights. The greatest proportion (by mass) of grit in gizzards of Sandhill Cranes consisted of particles with a minimum dimension of 2.36-4.75 mm. Grit particles in swans were much smaller, with the most prevalent (by mass) being 0.6-1.18 mm. The greatest dimension of the largest grit particle found in cranes and swans was 17.4 mm and 14.0 mm, respectively. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a ban on lead fishing weights of ???25.4 mm in any dimension. Based on the size of grit particles that we found in gizzards of Sandhill Cranes, Mute Swans, and Tundra Swans, we believe it is unlikely that individuals of those species would ingest, as grit, lead fishing weights larger than 25.4 mm in any dimension. Received 10 January 2001, accepted 28 February 2001.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  1. The tundra-taiga interface and its dynamics: concepts and applications.

    PubMed

    Callaghan, Terry V; Werkman, Ben R; Crawford, Robert M M

    2002-08-01

    The tundra-taiga interface is a dominant vegetation boundary that is related to climate and has an importance at a global level for its contribution to land atmosphere interactions, biodiversity and land use. However, our understanding of the precise location, dynamics and characteristics of the boundary, and its environmental and biotic drivers at a circumpolar level is poor. Our understanding has been constrained for various reasons, perhaps including a quest by researchers to denote 2- or even 3-dimensional tree distribution limits to a single line on a map. Current rapid sociological and environmental changes in the north necessitate better definitions to be made of characteristics associated with the tundra-taiga interface so that changes can be monitored and identified, and implications of these changes can be assessed. This concept paper introduces some of the complexities of adequately defining the boundary and suggests characteristics and processes that could focus future research at a collaborative, circumpolar level to create baseline data and to monitor and predict changes in the boundary zone.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-12-01

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

  3. Measurements of NO(x) and NO(y) concentrations and fluxes over Arctic tundra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bakwin, Peter S.; Wofsy, Steven C.; Fan, Song-Miao; Fitzjarrald, David R.

    1992-01-01

    Measurements of the atmospheric concentrations of NO, NO2, total NO(y), and O3 were made during the NASA Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition (ABLE 3A) at a remote location in a tundra bog ecosystem in southeastern Alaska during the growing season (July-August 1988). Concentrations of NO(x) and NO(y) were found to be very low compared to other remote continental sites, indicating that anthropogenic influences were small at this site during this time of year. The NO(y) emission rate from the soil were 0.13 +/- 0.05 x 10 exp 9 molecules/sq cm/s. Direct measurements of the flux of total NO(y) were made for the first time, indicating downward flux of NO(y) at all times of day, with maximum deposition of 2.5 +/- 0.9 x 10 exp 9 molecules/sq cm/s in the afternoon. Deposition of HNO3 appears to dominate the atmosphere/surface exchange of NO(y). The mean dry deposition rate of NO(y) to the tundra was 1.8 +/- 1.0 x 10 exp 9 molecules/sq cm/s.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. Topographic patterns of above- and below ground production and nitrogen cycling in alpine tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Fisk, M.C.; Schmidt, S.K.; Seastedt, T.R.

    1998-10-01

    Topography controls snowpack accumulation and hence growing-season length, soil water availability, and the distribution of plant communities in the Colorado Front Range alpine. Nutrient cycles in such an environment are likely to be regulated by interactions between topographically determined climate and plant species composition. The authors investigated variation in plant and soil components of internal N cycling across topographic gradients of dry, moist, and wet alpine tundra meadows at Niwot Ridge, Colorado. They expected that plant production and N cycling would increase from dry to wet alpine tundra meadows, but they hypothesized that variation in N turnover would span a proportionately greater range than productivity, because of feedbacks between plants and soil microbial processes that determine N availability. Plant production of foliage and roots increased over topographic sequences from 280 g{center_dot}m{sup {minus}2}{center_dot}yr{sup {minus}1} in dry meadows to 600 g{center_dot}m{sup {minus}2}{center_dot}yr{sup {minus}1} in wet meadows and was significantly correlated to soil moisture. Contrary to their expectation, plant N uptake for production increased to a lesser degree, from 3.9 g N{center_dot}m{sup {minus}2}{center_dot}yr{sup {minus}1} in dry meadows to 6.8 g N{center_dot}m{sup {minus}2}{center_dot}yr{sup {minus}1} in wet meadows. In all communities, the belowground component accounted for the majority of biomass, production, and N use for production.

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

    PubMed

    Shen, Congcong; Ni, Yingying; Liang, Wenju; Wang, Jianjun; Chu, Haiyan

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Measurements of NO(x) and NO(y) concentrations and fluxes over Arctic tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Bakwin, P.S.; Wofsy, S.C.; Fan, Songmiao; Fitzjarrald, D.R. New York State Univ., Albany )

    1992-10-01

    Measurements of the atmospheric concentrations of NO, NO[sub 2], total NO(y), and O[sub 3] were made during the NASA Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition (ABLE 3A) at a remote location in a tundra bog ecosystem in southeastern Alaska during the growing season (July-August 1988). Concentrations of NO(x) and NO(y) were found to be very low compared to other remote continental sites, indicating that anthropogenic influences were small at this site during this time of year. The NO(y) emission rate from the soil were 0.13 +/- 0.05 x 10 exp 9 molecules/sq cm/s. Direct measurements of the flux of total NO(y) were made for the first time, indicating downward flux of NO(y) at all times of day, with maximum deposition of 2.5 +/- 0.9 x 10 exp 9 molecules/sq cm/s in the afternoon. Deposition of HNO3 appears to dominate the atmosphere/surface exchange of NO(y). The mean dry deposition rate of NO(y) to the tundra was 1.8 +/- 1.0 x 10 exp 9 molecules/sq cm/s. 58 refs.

  8. Stability of the boreal forest-tundra ecotone: A test for the greenhouse effect

    SciTech Connect

    Nichols, H. . Dept. of EPO Biology)

    1993-09-01

    The Greenhouse Warming hypothesis predicts that high northern latitudes will experience greater temperature increases than lower latitudes over the next century. Arctic meteorological data indicates some recent surface warmings, while tropospheric level cooling has occurred over the last 40 years, over the North American arctic. These equivocal signals indicate the need to examine the reproductive status of the arctic tree-line, which integrates the climatic trends of the circumpolar regions. The boundary between the boreal forest and the arctic tundra is sensitive to climate change according to climatic theory, and it is expected to respond to global atmospheric warming, as demonstrated by paleo-ecological studies of the forest limit during the last several thousand years. Much of the forest edge and the dwarf spruce true islands'' in the arctic tundra are currently infertile and reproduce by vegetative layering, due to insufficient summer warmth, but are expected to produce ripened seed and pollen when sufficient warming occurs. Since weather observatories are few and far between in the arctic, these tree islands act as quasi-meteorological stations to give us early warning of climatic change. These clonal trees will act as beacons'' throughout the circumpolar areas to indicate climatic warming, and will need to be monitored by ground survey using pollen and seed collections. Then sensitivity of northern ecosystems and human cultures to climatic change require the collaboration of several arctic nations in field and remote-sensing studies to assess these dichotomous possibilities.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Livingston, G.P.; Morrissey, L.A.

    1992-03-01

    In situ observations of methane emissions from the Alaska North Slope in 1987 and 1989 provide insight into the environmental interactions regulating methane emissions and into the local- and regional-scale response of the arctic tundra to interannual environmental variability. Inferences regarding climate change are based on in situ measurements of methane emissions, regional landscape characterizations derived from Landsat Multispectral Scanner satellite data, and projected regional scale emissions based on observed interannual temperature differences and simulated changes in the spatial distribution of methane emissions. Results suggest that biogenic methane emissions from arctic tundra will be significantly perturbed by climatic change, leading to warmer summer soil temperatures and to vertical displacement of the regional water table. The effect of increased soil temperatures on methane emissions resulting from anaerobic decomposition in northern wetlands will be to both increase total emissions and to increase interannual and seasonal variability. The magnitude of these effects will be determined by those factors affecting the areal distribution of methane emission rates through regulation of the regional water table. At local scales, the observed 4.7 C increase in mid-summer soil temperatures between 1987 and 1989 resulted in a 3.2-fold increase in the rate of methane emissions from anaerobic soils.

  10. Nesting ecology of tundra swans on the coastal Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Babcock, C.A.; Fowler, A.C.; Ely, C.R.

    2002-01-01

    Nesting ecology of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) was studies the Kashunuk River near Old Chevak (61A?26a??N, 165A?27a??W), on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta of western Alaska from 1988-2000. Annual variation in snow-melt chronology, nesting phenology, nesting density, clutch size and nest success was examined. The same area (approximately 23 kmA?) was searched each year and nests were found as early as possible in the laying period. Laying initiation dates ranged from 1-27 May and hatch dates from 12 June a?? 4 July among pairs and years of study. The peak arrival of Tundra Swans and the phenology of nest initiation and hatch were highly correlated with the progression of ice and snow melt in spring. Nest density averaged 0.71 kmA? and 89% of nesting pairs hatched at least one egg. Incubation period ranged from 26 to 33 days with a median of 30 days. Clutch size varied significantly among years, driven by a low mean value of 3.4 eggs in 1999. Clutch sizes were generally larger than found in previous investigations on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, and nearly one egg larger than reported for clutches from Alaskaa??s North Slope (=70A?N). There was no indication of reduced clutch size in years of late spring snow melt, although nesting density tended to be lower.

  11. On site bioremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated Arctic tundra soils in inoculated biopiles.

    PubMed

    Mohn, W W; Radziminski, C Z; Fortin, M C; Reimer, K J

    2001-10-01

    There is a need to develop technology to allow the remediation of soil in polar regions that have been contaminated by hydrocarbon fuel spills. Bioremediation is potentially useful for this purpose, but has not been well demonstrated in polar regions. We investigated biopiles for on-site bioremediation of soil contaminated with Arctic diesel fuel in two independent small-scale field experiments at different sites on the Arctic tundra. The results were highly consistent with one another. In biopiles at both sites, extensive hydrocarbon removal occurred after one summer. After 1 year in treatments with optimal conditions, total petroleum hydrocarbons were reduced from 196 to below 10 mg per kg of soil at one site, and from 2,109 to 195 mg per kg of soil at the other site. Addition of ammonium chloride and sodium phosphate greatly stimulated hydrocarbon removal and indicates that biodegradation was the primary mechanism by which this was achieved. Inoculation with cold-adapted, mixed microbial cultures further stimulated hydrocarbon removal during the summer immediately following inoculation. At one site, soil temperature was monitored during the summer season, and a clear plastic cover increased biopile soil temperature, measured as degree-day accumulation, by 30-49%. Our results show that on-site bioremediation of fuel-contaminated soil at Arctic tundra sites is feasible.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Ecology of tundra ponds of the Arctic Coastal Plain: a community profile

    SciTech Connect

    Hobbie, J.E.

    1984-06-01

    The Arctic Coastal Plain is a flat or gently rolling area of tundra which covers the entire coastal region of northern Alaska. This profile synthesizes data on the ecology of the thousands of small shallow ponds that form an important wetland community on the tundra. These polygonal ponds are formed by the freezing, thawing, and cracking of the perma-frost. Nutrient concentrations and rates of supply to the water column are controlled by interactions with the iron-rich peat sediments. Iron concentrations control phosphorus concentrations and these in turn control the growth of algae. Two fringing emergent vascular plants, Carex and Arctophila, are often the most important primary producers in the ponds. Most algae and higher plant biomass is decomposed by microbes in a detrital food web concentrated in the pond sediments. Chironomid larvae, oligochaete worms and other insects are the dominant benthic animals. Because the ponds freeze to the bottom each winter they contain no fish; however, the community is important for many species of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds that use the ponds for feeding and breeding. Activities associated with oil production, including spills, roads, and off-road vehicles, are the major issues facing managers of this wetland community. 63 references.

  14. 100% Retention of Snowpack Derived Nitrogen Over 10 Years in High Arctic Tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choudhary, S.; Tye, A. M.; Young, S. D.; West, H. M.; Phoenix, G. K.

    2013-12-01

    Tundra ecosystems are susceptible to atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition, increasing as a result of anthropogenic activities as well as climate change. Depositions that get accumulated within the snowpack during winter months are released in spring during snowmelt, providing a periodic input of reactive N in the melt water to such nutrient limited ecosystems. Identifying ecosystem N retention and allocation and how this change over time is important to understanding the long-term consequences of such N depositions to these ecosystems. We reanalysed 10 years later an atmospheric N deposition study established in Svalbard that in 2001 used 15N isotope tracers to determine the fate of N released from melting snowpack. Applications of 15N (99 atom%) at 0.1 and 0.5 g N m-2 were made immediately after snowmelt in 2001 as either Na15NO3 or 15NH4Cl. These applications were approximately 1 × and 5 × the yearly atmospheric deposition rates. In both the previous short-term (one week to two years after 15N tracer application) and our long-term re-sampling (10 years after 15N tracer application), ~67% of the total applied 15N was retained in the ecosystem, irrespective of the N forms or N dose. This meant the tundra had 100% long-term N retention after initial partitioning, suggesting a highly conservative N cycling. Bryophytes, followed by the organic soil horizon and then the microbial biomass formed the greatest short-term 15N sink. Maximum changes in 15N retention from the short- to long-term were observed in the microbial 15N pools, with ~75% of the 15N in soil located in its biomass during the initial partitioning (July 2001) decreasing to ~17% 10 years later. This indicates significant microbial N turnover mostly into stable humus N. In contrast, vascular plants, particularly Salix polaris, showed significant increases (~60%) in their 15N retention after 10 years, indicating a high capacity for acting as a long-term N sink in this tundra ecosystem. Because the largest

  15. Modelling Ground Based X- and Ku-Band Observations of Tundra Snow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasurak, A.; King, J. M.; Kelly, R. E.

    2012-12-01

    As part of a radar-based remote sensing field experiment in Churchill, Manitoba ground based Ku- and X-band scatterometers were deployed to observe changing tundra snowpack conditions from November 2010 to March 2011. The research is part of the validation effort for the Cold Regions Hydrology High-resolution Observatory (CoReH2O) mission, a candidate in the European Space Agency's Earth Explorer program. This paper focuses on the local validation of the semi-empirical radiative transfer (sRT) model proposed for use in snow property retrievals as part of the CoReH2O mission. In this validation experiment, sRT was executed in the forward mode, simulating backscatter to assess the ability of the model. This is a necessary precursor to any inversion attempt. Two experiments are considered, both conducted in a hummocky tundra environment with shallow snow cover. In both cases, scatterometer observations were acquired over a field of view of approximately 10 by 20 meters. In the first experiment, radar observations were made of a snow field and then repeated after the snow had been removed. A ground-based scanning LiDAR system was used to characterize the spatial variability of snow depth through measurements of the snow and ground surface. Snow properties were determined in the field of view from two snow pits, 12 density core measurements, and Magnaprobe snow depth measurements. In the second experiment, a site was non-destructively observed from November through March, with snow properties measured out-of-scene, to characterize the snow evolution response. The model results from sRT fit the form of the observations from the two scatterometer field experiments but do not capture the backscatter magnitude. A constant offset for the season of 5 dB for X-band co- and cross-polarization response was required to match observations, in addition to a 3 dB X- and Ku-band co-polarization offset after the 6th of December. To explain these offsets, it is recognized that the two

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  18. Shrub canopies influence soil temperatures but not nutrient dynamics: An experimental test of tundra snow-shrub interactions.

    PubMed

    Myers-Smith, Isla H; Hik, David S

    2013-10-01

    Shrubs are the largest plant life form in tundra ecosystems; therefore, any changes in the abundance of shrubs will feedback to influence biodiversity, ecosystem function, and climate. The snow-shrub hypothesis asserts that shrub canopies trap snow and insulate soils in winter, increasing the rates of nutrient cycling to create a positive feedback to shrub expansion. However, previous work has not been able to separate the abiotic from the biotic influences of shrub canopies. We conducted a 3-year factorial experiment to determine the influences of canopies on soil temperatures and nutrient cycling parameters by removing ∼0.5 m high willow (Salix spp.) and birch (Betula glandulosa) shrubs, creating artificial shrub canopies and comparing these manipulations to nearby open tundra and shrub patches. Soil temperatures were 4-5°C warmer in January, and 2°C cooler in July under shrub cover. Natural shrub plots had 14-33 cm more snow in January than adjacent open tundra plots. Snow cover and soil temperatures were similar in the manipulated plots when compared with the respective unmanipulated treatments, indicating that shrub canopy cover was a dominant factor influencing the soil thermal regime. Conversely, we found no strong evidence of increased soil decomposition, CO2 fluxes, or nitrate or ammonia adsorbtion under artificial shrub canopy treatments when compared with unmanipulated open tundra. Our results suggest that the abiotic influences of shrub canopy cover alone on nutrient dynamics are weaker than previously asserted.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Micrometeorological measurements of CH[sub 4] and CO[sub 2] exchange between the atmosphere and subarctic tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Fan, S.M.; Wofsy, S.C.; Bakwin, P.S.; Jacob, D.J.; Anderson, S.M.; Kebabian, P.L.; Mcmanus, J.B.; Kolb, C.E.; Fitzjarrald, D.R. Aerodyne Research, Inc., Center for Chemical and Environmental Physics, Billerica, MA New York State Univ., Albany )

    1992-10-01

    Eddy correlation flux measurements and concentration profiles of total hydrocarbons (THC) and CO[sub 2] were combined to provide a comprehensive record of atmosphere-biosphere exchange for these gases over a 30-day period in July-August 1988 in the Yukon-Kuskokwin River Delta of Alaska. Over 90 percent of net ecosystem exchanges of THC were due to methane. Lakes and wet meadow tundra provided the major sources of methane. The average fluxes from lake, dry tundra, and wet tundra were 11 +/- 3, 29 +/- 3, and 57 +/- 6 mg CH4/sq m/d, respectively. The mean remission rate for the site was 25 mg/sq m/d. Maximum uptake of CO[sub 2] by the tundra was 1.4 gC/sq m/d between 1000 and 1500 hrs, and nocturnal respiration averaged 0.73 gC/sq m/d. Net uptake of CO[sub 2] was 0.30 gC/sq m/d for the 30 days of measurement; methane flux accounted for 6 percent of CO2 net uptake. 53 refs.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

  4. Bibliography on air pollution and acid rain effects on fish, wildlife, and their habitats

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-01-01

    This bibliography results from the development of nine reports synthesizing information from scientific research related to the effects of air pollution and acid deposition on fish and wildlife. The reports cover deserts, steppes, forests, grasslands, lakes, tundra, alpine meadows, rivers, streams, urban ecosystems, and critical habitats of threatened and endangered species.

  5. Bibliography on air pollution and acid rain effects on fish, wildlife, and their habitats. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-03-01

    This bibliography is the result of the development of a series of nine reports synthesizing information from scientific research related to the effects of air pollution and acid deposition on fish and wildlife resources. The reports include an Introduction, Deserts and Steppes, Forests, Grasslands, Lakes, Tundra and Alpine Meadows, Rivers and Streams, Urban Ecosystems, and Critical Habitats of Threatened and Endangered Species.

  6. Modeling the spatio-temporal variability in subsurface thermal regimes across a low-relief polygonal tundra landscape: Modeling Archive

    DOE Data Explorer

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

    2016-01-27

    This Modeling Archive is in support of an NGEE Arctic discussion paper under review and available at http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/tc-2016-29/. Vast carbon stocks stored in permafrost soils of Arctic tundra are under risk of release to atmosphere under warming climate. Ice--wedge polygons in the low-gradient polygonal tundra create a complex mosaic of microtopographic features. The 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 behaviour under 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 at Barrow, Alaska spanning across low to transitional to high-centered polygon and representative of broad polygonal tundra landscape. A multi--phase subsurface thermal hydrology model (PFLOTRAN) was developed and applied to study the thermal regimes at four sites. Using high resolution LiDAR DEM, microtopographic features of the landscape were characterized and represented in the high resolution model mesh. Best available soil data from field observations and literature was utilized to represent the complex hetogeneous subsurface in the numerical model. This data collection provides the complete set of input files, forcing data sets and computational meshes for simulations using PFLOTRAN for four sites at Barrow Environmental Observatory. It also document the complete computational workflow for this modeling study to allow verification, reproducibility and follow up studies.

  7. Migration of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) Wintering in Japan Using Satellite Tracking: Identification of the Eastern Palearctic Flyway.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wenbo; Doko, Tomoko; Fujita, Go; Hijikata, Naoya; Tokita, Ken-Ichi; Uchida, Kiyoshi; Konishi, Kan; Hiraoka, Emiko; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi

    2016-02-01

    Migration through the Eastern Palearctic (EP) flyway by tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) has not been thoroughly documented. We satellite-tracked the migration of 16 tundra swans that winter in Japan. The objectives of this study were 1) to show the migration pattern of the EP flyway of tundra swans; 2) to compare this pattern with the migration pattern of whooper swans; and 3) to identify stopover sites that are important for these swans' conservation. Tundra swans were captured at Kutcharo Lake, Hokkaido, in 2009-2012 and satellite-tracked. A new method called the "MATCHED (Migratory Analytical Time Change Easy Detection) method" was developed. Based on median, the spring migration began on 18 April and ended on 27 May. Autumn migration began on 9 September and ended on 2 November. The median duration of the spring and autumn migrations were 48 and 50 days, respectively. The mean duration at one stopover site was 5.5 days and 6.8 days for the spring and autumn migrations, respectively. The number of stopover sites was 3.0 and 2.5 for the spring and autumn migrations, respectively. The mean travel distances for the spring and autumn migrations were 6471 and 6331 km, respectively. Seven migration routes passing Sakhalin, the Amur River, and/or Kamchatka were identified. There were 15, 32, and eight wintering, stopover, and breeding sites, respectively. The migration routes and staging areas of tundra swans partially overlap with those of whooper swans, whose migration patterns have been previously documented. The migration patterns of these two swan species that winter in Japan confirm the importance of the Amur River, Udyl' Lake, Shchastya Bay, Aniva Bay, zaliv Chayvo Lake, zal Piltun Lake, zaliv Baykal Lake, Kolyma River, Buyunda River, Sen-kyuyel' Lake, and northern coastal areas of the Sea of Okhotsk.

  8. How Spatial Variation in Areal Extent and Configuration of Labile Vegetation States Affect the Riparian Bird Community in Arctic Tundra

    PubMed Central

    Henden, John-André; Yoccoz, Nigel G.; Ims, Rolf A.; Langeland, Knut

    2013-01-01

    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 of willow thickets

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

    PubMed

    Henden, John-André; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Ims, Rolf A; Langeland, Knut

    2013-01-01

    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 of willow thickets

  10. Migration of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) Wintering in Japan Using Satellite Tracking: Identification of the Eastern Palearctic Flyway.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wenbo; Doko, Tomoko; Fujita, Go; Hijikata, Naoya; Tokita, Ken-Ichi; Uchida, Kiyoshi; Konishi, Kan; Hiraoka, Emiko; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi

    2016-02-01

    Migration through the Eastern Palearctic (EP) flyway by tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) has not been thoroughly documented. We satellite-tracked the migration of 16 tundra swans that winter in Japan. The objectives of this study were 1) to show the migration pattern of the EP flyway of tundra swans; 2) to compare this pattern with the migration pattern of whooper swans; and 3) to identify stopover sites that are important for these swans' conservation. Tundra swans were captured at Kutcharo Lake, Hokkaido, in 2009-2012 and satellite-tracked. A new method called the "MATCHED (Migratory Analytical Time Change Easy Detection) method" was developed. Based on median, the spring migration began on 18 April and ended on 27 May. Autumn migration began on 9 September and ended on 2 November. The median duration of the spring and autumn migrations were 48 and 50 days, respectively. The mean duration at one stopover site was 5.5 days and 6.8 days for the spring and autumn migrations, respectively. The number of stopover sites was 3.0 and 2.5 for the spring and autumn migrations, respectively. The mean travel distances for the spring and autumn migrations were 6471 and 6331 km, respectively. Seven migration routes passing Sakhalin, the Amur River, and/or Kamchatka were identified. There were 15, 32, and eight wintering, stopover, and breeding sites, respectively. The migration routes and staging areas of tundra swans partially overlap with those of whooper swans, whose migration patterns have been previously documented. The migration patterns of these two swan species that winter in Japan confirm the importance of the Amur River, Udyl' Lake, Shchastya Bay, Aniva Bay, zaliv Chayvo Lake, zal Piltun Lake, zaliv Baykal Lake, Kolyma River, Buyunda River, Sen-kyuyel' Lake, and northern coastal areas of the Sea of Okhotsk. PMID:26853870

  11. Greater deciduous shrub abundance extends the annual period of maximum tundra greenness and increases modeled net CO2 uptake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sweet, S. K.; Griffin, K. L.; Steltzer, H.; Gough, L.; Boelman, N.

    2014-12-01

    Satellite studies of the terrestrial Arctic report increased summer greening and longer green seasons over the past several decades, which may increase productivity and lengthen the period of carbon uptake. These trends have been attributed largely to increasing air temperatures and reduced snow cover duration. However, deciduous shrubs are concurrently becoming increasingly abundant in tundra landscapes, which may also impact canopy phenology and productivity. Our aim in this research was to determine the influence of greater deciduous shrub abundance on tundra canopy phenology and subsequent impacts on net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) over the growing season in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska (68º38' N, 149º34' W). We compared deciduous shrub-dominated and evergreen/graminoid-dominated community-level canopy phenology using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and piecewise linear regression modeling. We used a tundra plant-community specific leaf area index (LAI) model to estimate LAI throughout the season. We then used a tundra specific NEE model to estimate the impact of greater deciduous shrub abundance and associated shifts in leaf area and canopy phenology on tundra carbon flux. We found that deciduous shrub canopies reached the onset of maximum greenness significantly earlier than evergreen/graminoid canopies, but both communities reached the onset of senescence at similar times, resulting in a net extension of the peak green season in deciduous shrub communities compared to evergreen/graminoid communities. The combined effect of a longer peak green season and greater leaf area of deciduous shrub canopies increased the net carbon uptake in deciduous shrub communities compared to evergreen/graminoid communities. However, the longer peak season alone significantly increased carbon uptake in deciduous shrub communities, suggesting that greater deciduous shrub abundance increases carbon uptake not only due to greater leaf

  12. The impact of vegetation type on the shortwave radiation balance of the Arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juszak, Inge; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela

    2015-04-01

    Profound changes in vegetation composition in the Arctic tundra have been observed and are predicted in a warmer future climate. Shrub expansion may positively feed back to climate warming by decreasing the shortwave albedo. On the other hand, permafrost protection through soil shading by shrubs has been discussed in literature. Several studies compared the average radiation balance across vegetation zones. However, variation within vegetation zones may be as important as differences between vegetation zones. The lowland tundra ecosystem at the Kytalyk research site (NE Siberia) is dominated by two vegetation types (dwarf shrub (Betula nana) and wet sedge (Eriophorum angustifolium)) organised in patches at a scale of about 10m. We investigated the shortwave radiation balance of both types separately and related it to the 11 year data set of the fluxtower with a mixed footprint. In addition to canopy albedo, we measured canopy transmittance below dwarf shrubs and wet sedges to quantify the often discussed effect of soil shading. Our results show that at our field site, wet sedge vegetation is shading the soil more efficiently than dwarf shrubs due to multi-year standing litter. While we measured an average transmission of 36% of the incoming shortwave radiation below dwarf shrubs, the transmission of wet sedge was 28%. Wet sedge summer albedo was on average 16% higher than dwarf shrub albedo. Additionally, the snow melted 10 days later in the sedge patches, leading to large albedo differences in the second half of May 2014. Our analysis shows, that cloud cover is the second most important control on albedo and transmittance of both vegetation types. Clouds reduced the summer albedo of both vegetation types across all zenith angles. On average, the growing season albedo was about 11% higher on clear sky days as compared to overcast days whereas the transmittance was about 23% lower. As cloud cover is expected to change with climate change, field studies of the cloud

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakhtarova, Olga; Rusanova, Galina; Lapteva, Elena

    2013-04-01

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

  14. How is climate warming altering the carbon cycle of a tundra ecosystem in the Siberian Arctic?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belelli Marchesini, Luca; (Ko) van Huissteden, Jacobus; van der Molen, Michiel; Parmentier, Frans-Jan W.; Maximov, Trofim; Budishchev, Artem; Gallagher, Angela; (Han) Dolman, Albertus J.

    2015-04-01

    Climate has been warming over the the Arctic region with the strongest anomalies taking place in autumn and winter for the period 2000-2010, particularly in northern Eurasia. The quantification of the impact on climate warming on the degradation of permafrost and the associated potential release to the atmosphere of carbon stocked in the soil under the form of greenhouse gases, thus further increasing the radiative forcing of the atmosphere, is currently a matter of scientific debate. The positive trend in primary productivity in the last decades inferred by vegetation indexes (NDVI) and confirmed by observations on the enhanced growth of shrub vegetation represents indeed a contrasting process that, if prevalent could offset GHG emissions or even strengthen the carbon sink over the Arctic tundra. At the site of Kytalyk, in north-eastern Siberia, net fluxes of CO2 at ecosystem scale (NEE) have been monitored by eddy covariance technique since 2003. While presenting the results of the seasonal (snow free period) and inter-annual variability of NEE, conceived as the interplay between meteorological drivers and ecosystem responses, we test the role of climate as the main source of NEE variability in the last decade using a data oriented statistical approach. The impact of the timing and duration of the snow free period on the seasonal carbon budget is also considered. Finally, by including the results of continuous micrometeorological observations of methane fluxes taken during summer 2012, corroborated with seasonal CH4 budgets from two previous shorter campaigns (2008, 2009), as well as an experimentally determined estimate of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) flux, we provide an assessment of the carbon budget and its stability over time. The examined tundra ecosystem was found to sequester CO2 during the snow free season with relatively small inter-annual variability (-97.9±12.1gC m-2) during the last decade and without any evident trend despite the carbon uptake

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  16. Geochemical drivers of organic matter decomposition in the active layer of Arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herndon, E.; Roy Chowdhury, T.; Mann, B.; Graham, D. E.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Gu, B.; Liang, L.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic tundra soils store large quantities of organic carbon that are susceptible to decomposition and release to the atmosphere as CO2 and CH4. Decomposition rates are limited by cold temperatures and widespread anoxia; however, ongoing changes in soil temperature, thaw depth, and water saturation are expected to influence rates and pathways of organic matter decomposition. In order to predict greenhouse gas releases from high-latitude ecosystems, it is necessary to identify how geochemical factors (e.g. terminal electron acceptors, carbon substrates) influence CO2 and CH4 production in tundra soils. This study evaluates spatial patterns of aqueous geochemistry in the active layer of low- to high-centered polygons located at the Barrow Environmental Observatory in northern Alaska. Pore waters from saturated soils were low in sulfate and nitrate but contained abundant Fe which may serve a major terminal electron acceptor for anaerobic microbial metabolism. Relatively high concentrations of soluble Fe accumulated in the middle of the active layer near the boundary between the organic and mineral horizon, and we infer that Fe-oxide reduction and dissolution in the mineral horizon produced soluble Fe that diffused upwards and was stabilized by complexation with dissolved organic matter. Fe concentrations in the bulk soil were higher in organic than mineral horizons due to the presence of these organic-Fe complexes and Fe-oxide precipitates. Dissolved CH4 increased with increasing proportions of dissolved Fe(III) in saturated soils from transitional and low-centered polygons. The opposite trend was observed in drier soils from flat- and high-centered polygons where deeper oxidation fronts may inhibit methanogenesis. Using multiple spectroscopic and molecular methods (e.g. UV-Vis, Fourier transform infrared, ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry), we also observed that pore waters from the middle of the active layer contained more aromatic organics than in mineral

  17. Changes in Nutrients and Primary Production in Barrow Tundra Ponds Over the Past 40 Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lougheed, V.; Andresen, C.; Hernandez, C.; Miller, N.; Reyes, F.

    2012-12-01

    The Arctic tundra ponds at the International Biological Program (IBP) site in Barrow, Alaska were studied extensively in the 1970's; however, very little research has occurred there since that time. Due to the sensitivity of this region to climate warming, understanding any changes in the ponds' structure and function over the past 40 years can help identify any potential climate-related impacts. The goal of this study was to determine if the structure and function of primary producers had changed through time, and the association between these changes, urban encroachment and nutrient limitation. Nutrient levels, as well as the biomass of aquatic graminoids (Carex aquatilis and Arctophila fulva), phytoplankton and periphyton were determined in the IBP tundra ponds in both 1971-3 and 2010-12, and in 2010-11 from nearby ponds along an anthropogenic disturbance gradient. Uptake of 14C was also used to measure algal primary production in both time periods and nutrient addition experiments were performed to identify the nutrients limiting algal growth. Similar methods were utilized in the past and present studies. Overall, biomass of graminoids, phytoplankton and periphyton was greater in 2010-12 than that observed in the 1970s. This increased biomass was coincident with warmer water temperatures, increased water column nutrients and deeper active layer depth. Biomass of plants and algae was highest in the ponds closest to the village of Barrow, but no effect of urban encroachment was observed at the IBP ponds. Laboratory incubations indicated that nutrient release from thawing permafrost can explain part of these increases in nutrients and has likely contributed to changes in the primary limiting nutrient. Further studies are necessary to better understand the implications of these trends in primary production to nutrient budgets in the Arctic. The Barrow IBP tundra ponds represent one of the very few locations in the Arctic where long-term data are available on

  18. Holocene vegetation histories from three sites in the Tundra of Northwestern Quebec, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Gajewski, K. ); Garralla, S.

    1992-11-01

    Two pollen diagrams from lakes north of treeline in northwestern Quebec indicate that Picea never extended north of its present-day limit during the past 6000 yr BP. Alnus crispa was slightly more abundant around 5000 BP, but there are few major changes in the vegetation of the region during the Holocene. A third site in the tundra along Hudson Bay has a slightly longer sequence (7000 yr BP) which indicates more open conditions in the early and recent part of the record. Picea may have been more abundant locally around 3000 BP. Few major changes in these diagrams can be unequivocally attributed to local changes in plant abundance; changes in tree and shrub pollen abundance parallel those seen south of treeline.

  19. Development of Antarctic herb tundra vegetation near Arctowski station, King George Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozeretska, I. A.; Parnikoza, I. Yu.; Mustafa, O.; Tyschenko, O. V.; Korsun, S. G.; Convey, P.

    2010-01-01

    We studied the development of the Antarctic herb tundra vegetation formation in relation to the history of deglaciation across a range of habitats near H. Arctowski Research Station (King George Island, South Shetland Islands). Across the three identified environmental zones (coastal, intermediate, periglacial), we quantified the total vegetation cover, cover of the two indigenous flowering plants and bryophytes, age structure and reproductive features of the two flowering plants, and species diversity of mosses and liverworts. Analysis of these data supported the recognition of the three environmental zones; however, there were few indications of systematic differences in biological features of the two higher plants across the three zones, generally supporting the view that these, and the grass Deschampsia antarctica in particular, are effective primary colonists of recently deglaciated ground in this region.

  20. Hypolithic Microbial Community of Quartz Pavement in the High-Altitude Tundra of Central Tibet

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Fiona K. Y.; Lacap, Donnabella C.; Lau, Maggie C. Y.; Aitchison, J. C.; Cowan, Donald A.

    2010-01-01

    The hypolithic microbial community associated with quartz pavement at a high-altitude tundra location in central Tibet is described. A small-scale ecological survey indicated that 36% of quartz rocks were colonized. Community profiling using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism revealed no significant difference in community structure among a number of colonized rocks. Real-time quantitative PCR and phylogenetic analysis of environmental phylotypes obtained from clone libraries were used to elucidate community structure across all domains. The hypolithon was dominated by cyanobacterial phylotypes (73%) with relatively low frequencies of other bacterial phylotypes, largely represented by the chloroflexi, actinobacteria, and bacteriodetes. Unidentified crenarchaeal phylotypes accounted for 4% of recoverable phylotypes, while algae, fungi, and mosses were indicated by a small fraction of recoverable phylotypes. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00248-010-9653-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20336290

  1. Vegetation-Associated Impacts on Arctic Tundra Bacterial and Microeukaryotic Communities

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yu; Xiang, Xingjia; Shen, Congcong; Neufeld, Josh D.; Walker, Virginia K.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25362064

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Age-specific survival of tundra swans on the lower Alaska Peninsula

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meixell, Brandt W.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Conn, Paul B.; Dau, Christian P.; Sarvis, John E.; Sowl, Kristine M.

    2013-01-01

    The population of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) breeding on the lower Alaska Peninsula represents the southern extremity of the species' range and is uniquely nonmigratory. We used data on recaptures, resightings, and recoveries of neck-collared Tundra Swans on the lower Alaska Peninsula to estimate collar loss, annual apparent survival, and other demographic parameters for the years 1978–1989. Annual collar loss was greater for adult males fitted with either the thinner collar type (0.34) or the thicker collar type (0.15) than for other age/sex classes (thinner: 0.10, thicker: 0.04). The apparent mean probability of survival of adults (0.61) was higher than that of immatures (0.41) and for both age classes varied considerably by year (adult range: 0.44–0.95, immature range: 0.25–0.90). To assess effects of permanent emigration by age and breeding class, we analyzed post hoc the encounter histories of swans known to breed in our study area. The apparent mean survival of known breeders (0.65) was generally higher than that of the entire marked sample but still varied considerably by year (range 0.26–1.00) and indicated that permanent emigration of breeding swans was likely. We suggest that reductions in apparent survival probability were influenced primarily by high and variable rates of permanent emigration and that immigration by swans from elsewhere may be important in sustaining a breeding population at and near Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

  5. Carbon-Degrading Enzyme Activities Stimulated by Increased Nutrient Availability in Arctic Tundra Soils

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24204773

  6. Comparing carbon storage of Siberian tundra and taiga permafrost ecosystems at very high spatial resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siewert, Matthias B.; Hanisch, Jessica; Weiss, Niels; Kuhry, Peter; Maximov, Trofim C.; Hugelius, Gustaf

    2015-10-01

    Permafrost-affected ecosystems are important components in the global carbon (C) cycle that, despite being vulnerable to disturbances under climate change, remain poorly understood. This study investigates ecosystem carbon storage in two contrasting continuous permafrost areas of NE and East Siberia. Detailed partitioning of soil organic carbon (SOC) and phytomass carbon (PC) is analyzed for one tundra (Kytalyk) and one taiga (Spasskaya Pad/Neleger) study area. In total, 57 individual field sites (24 and 33 in the respective areas) have been sampled for PC and SOC, including the upper permafrost. Landscape partitioning of ecosystem C storage was derived from thematic upscaling of field observations using a land cover classification from very high resolution (2 × 2 m) satellite imagery. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling was used to explore patterns in C distribution. In both environments the ecosystem C is mostly stored in the soil (≥86%). At the landscape scale C stocks are primarily controlled by the presence of thermokarst depressions (alases). In the tundra landscape, site-scale variability of C is controlled by periglacial geomorphological features, while in the taiga, local differences in catenary position, soil texture, and forest successions are more important. Very high resolution remote sensing is highly beneficial to the quantification of C storage. Detailed knowledge of ecosystem C storage and ground ice distribution is needed to predict permafrost landscape vulnerability to projected climatic changes. We argue that vegetation dynamics are unlikely to offset mineralization of thawed permafrost C and that landscape-scale reworking of SOC represents the largest potential changes to C cycling.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

  9. Tibetan alpine tundra responses to simulated changes in climate: Aboveground biomass and community responses

    SciTech Connect

    Yanqing Zhang; Welker, J.M.

    1996-05-01

    High-elevation ecosystems are predicted to be some of the terrestrial habitats most sensitive to changing climates. The ecological consequences of changes in alpine tundra environmental conditions are still unclear especially for habitats in Asia. In this study we report findings from a field experiment where an alpine tundra grassland on the Tibetan plateau (37{degrees}N, 101{degrees}E) was exposed to experimental warming, irradiance was lowered, and wind speed reduced to simulate a suite of potential changes in environmental conditions. Our warming treatment increased air temperatures by 5{degrees}C on average and soil temperatures were elevated by 3{degrees}C at 5 cm depth. Aboveground biomass of grasses responded rapidly to the warmer conditions whereby biomass was 25% greater than that of controls after only 5 wk of experimental warming. This increase was accompanied by a simultaneous decrease in forb biomass, resulting in almost no net change in community biomass after 5 wk. Lower irradiance reduced grass biomass during the same period. Under ambient conditions total aboveground community biomass increased seasonally from 161 g m{sup -2} in July to a maximum of 351 g m{sup -2} in September, declining to 285 g m{sup -2} in October. However, under warmed conditions, peak community biomass was extended into October due in part to continued growth of grasses and the postponement of senescence. Our finding indicate that while alpine grasses respond favorably to altered conditions, others may not. And, while peak community biomass may actually change very little under warmer summers, the duration of peak biomass may be extended having feedback effects on net ecosystem CO{sub 2} balances, nutrient cycling, and forage availability. 47 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  10. Nitrogen availability increases in a tundra ecosystem during five years of experimental permafrost thaw.

    PubMed

    Salmon, Verity G; Soucy, Patrick; Mauritz, Marguerite; Celis, Gerardo; Natali, Susan M; Mack, Michelle C; Schuur, Edward A G

    2016-05-01

    Perennially frozen soil in high latitude ecosystems (permafrost) currently stores 1330-1580 Pg of carbon (C). As these ecosystems warm, the thaw and decomposition of permafrost is expected to release large amounts of C to the atmosphere. Fortunately, losses from the permafrost C pool will be partially offset by increased plant productivity. The degree to which plants are able to sequester C, however, will be determined by changing nitrogen (N) availability in these thawing soil profiles. N availability currently limits plant productivity in tundra ecosystems but plant access to N is expected improve as decomposition increases in speed and extends to deeper soil horizons. To evaluate the relationship between permafrost thaw and N availability, we monitored N cycling during 5 years of experimentally induced permafrost thaw at the Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research (CiPEHR) project. Inorganic N availability increased significantly in response to deeper thaw and greater soil moisture induced by Soil warming. This treatment also prompted a 23% increase in aboveground biomass and a 49% increase in foliar N pools. The sedge Eriophorum vaginatum responded most strongly to warming: this species explained 91% of the change in aboveground biomass during the 5 year period. Air warming had little impact when applied alone, but when applied in combination with Soil warming, growing season soil inorganic N availability was significantly reduced. These results demonstrate that there is a strong positive relationship between the depth of permafrost thaw and N availability in tundra ecosystems but that this relationship can be diminished by interactions between increased thaw, warmer air temperatures, and higher levels of soil moisture. Within 5 years of permafrost thaw, plants actively incorporate newly available N into biomass but C storage in live vascular plant biomass is unlikely to be greater than losses from deep soil C pools.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Object-Based Mapping of the Circumpolar Taiga-Tundra Ecotone with MODIS Tree Cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ranson, K. J.; Montesano, P. M.; Nelson, R.

    2011-01-01

    The circumpolar taiga tundra ecotone was delineated using an image-segmentation-based mapping approach with multi-annual MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields (VCF) tree cover data. Circumpolar tree canopy cover (TCC) throughout the ecotone was derived by averaging MODIS VCF data from 2000 to 2005 and adjusting the averaged values using linear equations relating MODIS TCC to Quickbird-derived tree cover estimates. The adjustment helped mitigate VCF's overestimation of tree cover in lightly forested regions. An image segmentation procedure was used to group pixels representing similar tree cover into polygonal features (segmentation objects) that form the map of the transition zone. Each polygon represents an area much larger than the 500 m MODIS pixel and characterizes the patterns of sparse forest patches on a regional scale. Those polygons near the boreal/tundra interface with either (1) mean adjusted TCC values from5 to 20%, or (2) mean adjusted TCC values greater than 5% but with a standard deviation less than 5% were used to identify the ecotone. Comparisons of the adjusted average tree cover data were made with (1) two existing tree line definitions aggregated for each 1 degree longitudinal interval in North America and Eurasia, (2) Landsat-derived Canadian proportion of forest cover for Canada, and (3) with canopy cover estimates extracted from airborne profiling lidar data that transected 1238 of the TCC polygons. The adjusted TCC from MODIS VCF shows, on average, less than 12% TCC for all but one regional zone at the intersection with independently delineated tree lines. Adjusted values track closely with Canadian proportion of forest cover data in areas of low tree cover. A comparison of the 1238 TCC polygons with profiling lidar measurements yielded an overall accuracy of 67.7%.

  13. Nitrate and Anion Behavior in Alpine Tundra Soil in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, A.; Janke, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    Anthropogenic nitrogen deposition can potentially alter soil biogeochemistry in alpine tundra ecosystems by soil acidification, resulting in accelerated nutrient leaching as well as reduced microbial and plant diversity. Several field studies have simulated various atmospheric nitrogen loading rates and observed changes in above ground biomass, species diversity, and soil buffering capacity. Few studies to date have examined the biogeochemical behavior and transport of nitrogen in alpine tundra soil. The objective of this study is to evaluate nitrate transport in soil and the chemical behavior of associated leached ionic species. To accomplish this, a soil leaching study was conducted using both composite soil columns and intact soil cores collected in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, USA (3,658 m). Soil columns were leached in a temperature controlled environmental chamber with DI water adjusted for pH and ionic strength. Leachates were collected using a fraction collector and analyzed using IC and ICP-MS. Analysis of collected leachates for intact soil cores indicated a complex mixture of inorganic and organic anions moving in the soil wetting front, with elevated NO3- concentration > 15 mg/L. Nitrate concentration decreased rapidly after initial column breakthrough. Leaching of individual soil horizons indicated high NO3- concentrations > 15 mg/L in collected pore volumes for both the organic and subsurface horizons. Elevated concentrations of both inorganic (SO42-, F-) and organic anions (acetate, oxalate) were found in these horizons. Fluctuation of approximately 1-1.5 pH units for the intact soil column leachates and the anion elution order suggests possible complex anion exchange processes in the soil wetting front between various soil solid phases.

  14. Variability of water chemistry in Tundra Lakes, Petuniabukta Coast, Central Spitsbergen, Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Mazurek, Małgorzata; Paluszkiewicz, Renata; Rachlewicz, Grzegorz; Zwoliński, Zbigniew

    2012-01-01

    Samples of water from small tundra lakes located on raised marine terraces on the eastern coast of Petuniabukta (Ebbadalen, Central Spitsbergen) were examined to assess the changes in water chemistry that had occurred during the summer seasons of 2001-2003 and 2006. The unique environmental conditions of the study region include the predominance of sedimentary carbonate and sulphate rocks, low precipitation values, and an active permafrost layer with a maximum thickness of 1.2 m. The average specific electric conductivity (EC) values for the three summer seasons in the four lakes ranged from 242 to 398 μS cm(-1). The highest EC values were observed when the air temperature decreased and an ice cover formed (cryochemical effects). The ion composition was dominated by calcium (50.7 to 86.6%), bicarbonates (39.5 to 86.4%), and sulphate anions. The high concentrations of HCO(3) (-), SO(4) (2-), and Ca(2+) ions were attributed to the composition of the bedrock, which mainly consists of gypsum and anhydrite. The average proportion of marine components in the total load found in the Ebbadalen tundra lake waters was estimated to be 8.1%. Precipitation supplies sulphates (as much as 69-81%) and chlorides (14-36%) of nonsea origin. The chief source of these compounds may be contamination from the town of Longyearbyen. Most ions originate in the crust, the active layer of permafrost, but some are atmospheric in origin and are either transported or generated in biochemical processes. The concentrations of most components tend to increase during the summer months, reaching a maximum during freezing and partially precipitating onto the bottom sediments. PMID:22654629

  15. Variability of Water Chemistry in Tundra Lakes, Petuniabukta Coast, Central Spitsbergen, Svalbard

    PubMed Central

    Mazurek, Małgorzata; Paluszkiewicz, Renata; Rachlewicz, Grzegorz; Zwoliński, Zbigniew

    2012-01-01

    Samples of water from small tundra lakes located on raised marine terraces on the eastern coast of Petuniabukta (Ebbadalen, Central Spitsbergen) were examined to assess the changes in water chemistry that had occurred during the summer seasons of 2001–2003 and 2006. The unique environmental conditions of the study region include the predominance of sedimentary carbonate and sulphate rocks, low precipitation values, and an active permafrost layer with a maximum thickness of 1.2 m. The average specific electric conductivity (EC) values for the three summer seasons in the four lakes ranged from 242 to 398 μS cm−1. The highest EC values were observed when the air temperature decreased and an ice cover formed (cryochemical effects). The ion composition was dominated by calcium (50.7 to 86.6%), bicarbonates (39.5 to 86.4%), and sulphate anions. The high concentrations of HCO3−, SO42−, and Ca2+ ions were attributed to the composition of the bedrock, which mainly consists of gypsum and anhydrite. The average proportion of marine components in the total load found in the Ebbadalen tundra lake waters was estimated to be 8.1%. Precipitation supplies sulphates (as much as 69–81%) and chlorides (14–36%) of nonsea origin. The chief source of these compounds may be contamination from the town of Longyearbyen. Most ions originate in the crust, the active layer of permafrost, but some are atmospheric in origin and are either transported or generated in biochemical processes. The concentrations of most components tend to increase during the summer months, reaching a maximum during freezing and partially precipitating onto the bottom sediments. PMID:22654629

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25362064

  18. Simulation of Water and Land-surface Feedbacks in a Polygonal Tundra Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolton, W. R.; Busey, R.; Hinzman, L. D.; Peckham, S. D.

    2013-12-01

    The Arctic, including Alaska, is currently experiencing an unprecedented degree of environmental change. Increases in both the mean annual surface temperature and precipitation have been observed. The combination of the recent increase in air temperature and precipitation have led to 'unstable' or 'warm' permafrost conditions. This warm and unstable permafrost condition is particularly sensitive to changes in both the surface energy and water balances. The observed climatic changes are expected to continue into the next century. As such, most of the current or expected changes (related to climate, permafrost, and vegetation distributions) will be experienced in areas underlain with warm, unstable permafrost. Themokarst topography forms whenever ice-rice permafrost thaws and the ground subsides into the resulting voids. Extensive areas of active thermokarst activity are currently being observed in these warm, unstable permafrost environments. The important processes involved with thermokarsting include surface ponding, surface subsidence, changes in drainage patterns and related erosion. In this study, we will present results from the ERODE (http://csdms.colorado.edu/wiki/Model:Erode ) model in selected areas of the Department of Energy Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) project field site, located near Barrow, Alaska. The area selected for simulation is located in a polygonal tundra landscape with varying degrees of thermokarst degradation. The goal of this modeling study is to better understand and quantify the development of thermokarst features in the polygonal tundra environment, emphasizing the resulting feedbacks and connections between hydrologic processes and a dynamic surface topography. This unique application of a landscape evolution model may provide valuable information related to the rates and spatial extent of thermokarst development in response to degrading permafrost.

  19. The timing of wing molt in tundra swans: energetic and non-energetic constraints

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Earnst, S.L.

    1992-01-01

    Date of wing molt initiation, based on the regression of tenth primary length on capture date, was calculated for breeding and nonbreeding Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) on the Colville River Delta, Alaska. Breeding females initiated wing molt significantly later than breeding males and nonbreeding males and females; the molt of breeding females was correlated with the date on which their eggs hatched. Breeding males did not differ significantly from nonbreeding males and females in the date of molt initiation. Timing of molt in breeding males and females was consistent with the views that females delay molt while replenishing energy spent on reproduction, but was also consistent with the breeding pair's need for primaries to defend territories and to defend and brood young. Other results, including an increase in an index of female body condition throughout most of the molt period, and a positive correlation between clutch size and female hatch-to-molt interval, were not predicted by the hypothesis that past energy expenditures constrain the timing of molt. Patterns of wing molt within and among other Northern Hemisphere geese and swans are also difficult to explain on the basis of energetics alone. For example, breeding females initiate molt before breeding males in many species. Also, there is extreme asynchrony between mates in two swan species; one of those species also exhibits variation in which sex initiates wing molt first. Both patterns suggest that asynchrony, per se, is important, probably to facilitate brood protection or territory defense. In Tundra Swans and other northern breeding geese and swans, the non-energetic demands of territory defense, brood defense, and brooding are probably important constraints on the timing of wing molt.

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

    PubMed

    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.