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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. AmeriFlux US-ICt Imnavait Creek Watershed Tussock Tundra

    DOE Data Explorer

    Bret-Harte, Syndonia [University of Alaska Fairbanks; Euskirchen, Eugenie [University of Alaska Fairbanks; Shaver, Gaius [Marine Biological Laboratory

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Labile carbon concentrations are strongly linked to plant production in Arctic tussock tundra soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Weintraub, M. N.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Steltzer, H.; Sullivan, P.

    2013-12-01

    The exchange of carbon and nutrients between plants and microbes is a key determinant of carbon balance in Arctic soils. Microbes rely on labile plant carbon for the energy they need to produce enzymes that can release nutrients and less energetically favorable carbon from soil organic matter. One of the main mechanisms of carbon transfer is rhizodeposition, the exudation of labile plant carbon such as sugars from roots into the rhizosphere. Despite the importance of this flow of energy and materials from plants to microbes, there have been few attempts to quantify labile carbon pools or fluxes in Arctic soils. To improve our knowledge of labile carbon dynamics in Arctic soils, we address two basic questions: (1) What are the seasonal patterns of labile carbon concentrations? and (2) How do seasonal patterns in labile carbon correlate with plant production, microbial biomass, and soil nutrients? We measured concentrations of total reducing sugars (TRS) in the soil solution of moist acidic tussock tundra on 28 dates during the 2012 growing season in 20 plots of an early snowmelt × warming experiment. We evaluated these total reducing sugar concentrations in the context of eddy flux carbon exchange data, plant NDVI, total dissolved carbon in soils, microbial biomass, and soil nutrients. Though we did not see treatment effects of the snowmelt × warming experiment, we did observe a clear seasonal pattern in TRS concentrations in which they started low at the time of thaw, then built to a maximum value around the time of peak plant physiology in July, followed by a decline as plants senesced. We observed a clear correlation between TRS and gross primary production (GPP). NDVI values also increased with TRS concentrations during the first half of the season and then leveled off as TRS began its decline. These relationships were in contrast to labile N concentrations, which remained at low concentrations all season. Our data suggest that rhizodeposition of labile carbon

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Trace gas and vegetation feedback responses of Alaskan tussock tundra to long-term snow depth manipulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebbs, L. M.; Taneva, L.; Sullivan, P.; Welker, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    Changes in the precipitation and temperature regimes in Northern Alaska are manifesting themselves through shifts in sea ice, vegetation traits, animal migration timing and hydrologic dynamics. Changes in precipitation and soil temperature result in changes in plant mineral nutrition, soil nutrient availability, trace gas exchanges and differential nutrient acquisition strategies by arctic plants. In this study, we report on the extent to which long-term increases in snow depth, along with reductions in snow depth alter the magnitudes and pattern of CO2 exchange, soil properties and vegetation traits. A doubling of snow depth (from ~0.5 to ~1.0m) results in a delay of the growing season by ~ 2 weeks, however, by peak season, the rates of CO2 exchange are 50% higher in areas which had experienced deeper snow depth levels. To the contrary, long-term reductions in snow depth results in accelerated rates of plant phenology, however CO2 exchange rates at peak season are 30% less than those areas under ambient snow cover in the preceding winter. Reduced snow depth areas had the coldest winter soil temperatures while the deeper areas had the warmest winter soil temperatures, which may partially explain the summer CO2 fluxes indirectly via different rates of winter N mineralization and differences in leaf N properties. Our results indicate that shifting fall, winter and spring when snow is the primary form of precipitation, may have profound effects on tussock tundra systems.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:26296675

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Amino acid composition of humic substances in tundra soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasilevich, R. S.; Beznosikov, V. A.

    2015-06-01

    Peripheral amino acid fragments of humic and fulvic acid molecules from tundra soils have been identified and quantified. A significant weight fraction of amino acids has been found in humic acid preparations, which exceeds their content in fulvic acids. Features of the amino acid composition of humic substances along the soil profile and depending on the degree of hydromorphism and the proportions of different (neutral, basic, acidic, cyclic) groups in amino acids have been revealed. The molar ratio between the hydroxy and heterocyclic amino acids reflects the degree of humification of the soil.

  19. 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

  20. Changes in tundra vascular plant biomass over thirty years 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.; Genet, H.; Ray, P. M.; Shaver, G. R.

    2014-12-01

    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. In 2013, we harvested vegetation and soils in the most common plant community types located in the source areas for fluxes measured by eddy covariance towers located 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) at Imnavait Creek, Alaska. While the purpose of this harvest was to relate biomass and production to estimates of overall net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) obtained by micrometeorological methods, it also afforded an opportunity to compare with biomass harvests done in the 1980s in moist acidic tundra at Imnavait Creek; there have been no other harvests than ours at Imnavait since then. Our data showed that 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. Aboveground biomass of vascular plants in our 2013 harvest in moist acidic tundra was nearly three times higher than that measured approximately thirty years earlier in three harvests of nearby areas at Imnavait Creek, due to an increase in the biomass of shrubs and graminoids. Comparison with other biomass harvests from the vicinity of Toolik Field Station indicate that vascular plant biomass in moist acidic tundra has increased over this time period, with the greatest increase evident by the mid-1990s, and a more gradual increase through to the present time, despite no obvious increase in air temperature as seen in data from nearby climate stations. These data will be

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25324836

  2. Willow Shrub Expansion Following Tundra Fires in Arctic Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Racine, C.

    2010-12-01

    Climate warming in the Arctic is predicted to result in the expansion of woody shrubs and increased frequency and size of tundra fires. How will fire influence this shrub expansion? Over a period of 32 years, following a 1977 tundra fire in the central Seward Peninsula, we sampled seven times the post-fire vegetation at eight permanently marked sites on a long (2 Km) hillslope (Nimrod Hill). We had previously sampled vegetation here in 1973 prior to the fire. By 2001, 24 years post-fire conspicuous willow shrubs (mostly Salix pulchra) had increased in numbers, size and cover over the entire slope in moist tussock-shrub tundra, well-drained heath, and wet meadow. Prior to fire, willow on this slope was largely restricted to small drainages or watertracks. Willows here have originated from both seed and vegetative resprouting - the latter mostly in moist tussock-shrub tundra from willows resprouting within one to three years post-fire. With fire-induced removal of vascular plant competition and Spagnum moss cover and litter in tussock-shrub tundra, both seedling and resprouting willows have grown rapidly to overtop tussocks by 30-40 cm. Similar rapid post-fire resprouting of willows has been observed in tussock-shrub tundra after the 2007 Anaktuvuk River tundra fire and after the 1977 tundra fires in the Noatak River basin. On Nimrod Hill the most striking willow expansion has occurred on the severely burned and well-drained backslope where willow establishment from seed 5-10 years after fire has resulted in up to 40% cover of rapidly growing willows of both upright and spreading growth form. At several sites along the slope there is evidence of continuing willow expansion from seedlings 24 to 32 years post-fire, when we might expect the effects of fire on seedbeds would have ceased. We conclude that tundra fire may promote shrub expansion in the Arctic.

  3. 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.

  4. Complexation of mercury(II) ions with humic acids in tundra soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasilevich, R. S.; Beznosikov, V. A.; Lodygin, E. D.; Kondratenok, B. M.

    2014-03-01

    The interaction mechanisms of mercury(II) ions with preparations of humic acids (HAs) isolated from organic horizons of surface-gleyed soils (Haplic Stagnosol (Gelic, Siltic)) of shrub tundra and hydromorphic peat gley soils (Histic Cryosol (Reductaquic, Siltic)) of moss-lichen tundra have been studied. The particular features of the interactions between the mercury(II) ions and the HAs are related to the molecular structure of the HAs, the mercury concentration range, and the environmental parameters. The fixation of mercury(II) ions into stable coordination compounds is most efficient in the pH range of 2.5-3.5. At the element concentrations below 0.50 μmol/dm3, the main complexing sites of HAs are their peripheral aminoacid functional groups. Pyrocatechol, salicylate, and phenolic groups from the nuclear moiety of molecules interact in the concentration range of 0.0005-0.50 mmol/dm3; the physical sorption of mercury hydroxo complexes by the surface of HAs is the main process occurring in the system.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Availability of elements in tundra soils on acidic and ultramafic rocks in the Polar Urals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kataeva, M. N.

    2013-02-01

    The chemical properties of soils and their particle-size distribution in ecotopes of the Polar Urals mountain tundra were considered in relation with the lithological and geochemical features of the parent rocks. In the soils of ecotopes on the ultramafic massif, the contents of the total Ni (2830 mg/kg) and the total Cr (2327 mg/kg) were found to exceed their clarke values, which suggested the accumulation of these elements by plants and their migration with water. In the soils of the ultramafic massif, the average content of mobile Ni was 46.8 mg/kg, which exceeded the Ni MPC by 11.7 times. The average concentration of mobile Cr in the soils of the massif made up 0.35 MPC. In the soils of geochemical acidic rocks, the contents of mobile Ni and Cr were lower than their MPC levels. A higher content of particles with an average diameter ≥5 μm was found in the soils of the ultramafic massif.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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. PMID:23928888

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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 ( and ). 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. PMID:24893754

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-11-01

    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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Seasonal Change Of CO2 Flux At Tundra Vegetation In Interior Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nojiri, A.; Harazono, Y.; Ohtaki, E.; Iwata, T.

    2003-12-01

    CO2 flux and micrometeorology have been measured to reveal the responses of forest at permafrost to climate change since October in 2002. The vegetation was black spruce and tussock tundra located in the campus (147° 51'W, 64° 51N) of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska. There have been significant gaps of flux measurements in the interior Alaska where it is generally warmer in summer and has different climate conditions. CO2 uptake started in March when the tussock tundra was still under snow cover. CO2 uptake increased after spring thaw in mid April that ranged -0.3mg/m2/s and increased gradually until early May (DOY135). After that, daily maximum CO2 uptake kept almost upper-limit level of -1mg/m2/s during summer (June and July). Day-length was longer at the site so the nighttime CO2 respiration was defined as CO2 efflux when PAR was less than 10 mol/m2/s. Averages of CO2 respiration were 0.042mg/m2/s in mid April (DOY100-109), 0.021mg/m2/s in mid May (DOY130-139), 0.15mg/m2/s in mid June (DOY160-169), and 0.15mg/m2/s in mid July (DOY190-199), respectively. Air temperature in mid summer did not changed remarkably and daily average temperature in June and July were almost the same as between 10 and 20. These were caused by lower solar radiation and higher level of precipitation in 2003 summer than the normal year. Observed CO2 flux was limited period and the CO2 budget over tussock tundra in interior Alaska was a source from spring to summer in 2003. Long term CO2 budget study is demanded to reveal whether anthropogenic or natural variation is major effect on climate change, thus it is important to continue the flux measurements and to reveal the relationships between the atmosphere and the vegetation.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Mycorrhizal colonization mediated by species interactions in arctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Urcelay, Carlos; Bret-Harte, M Syndonia; Díaz, Sandra; Chapin, F Stuart

    2003-11-01

    The Alaskan tussock tundra is a strongly nutrient-limited ecosystem, where almost all vascular plant species are mycorrhizal. We established a long-term removal experiment to document effects of arctic plant species on ecto- and ericoid mycorrhizal fungi and to investigate whether species interactions and/or nutrient availability affect mycorrhizal colonization. The treatments applied were removal of Betula nana ( Betulaceae, dominant deciduous shrub species), removal of Ledum palustre ( Ericaceae, dominant evergreen shrub species), control (no removal), and each of these three treatments with the addition of fertilizer. After 3 years of Ledum removal and fertilization, we found that overall ectomycorrhizal colonization in Betula was significantly reduced. Changes in ectomycorrhizal morphotype composition in removal and fertilized treatments were also observed. These results suggest that the effect of Ledum on Betula's mycorrhizal roots is due to sequestration of nutrients by Ledum, leading to reduced nutrient availability in the soil. In contrast, ericoid mycorrhizal colonization was not affected by fertilization, but the removal of Betula and to a lower degree of Ledum resulted in a reduction of ericoid mycorrhizal colonization suggesting a direct effect of these species on ericoid mycorrhizal colonization. Nutrient availability was only higher in fertilized treatments, but caution should be taken with the interpretation of these data as soil microbes may effectively compete with the ion exchange resins for the nutrients released by plant removal in these nutrient-limited soils. PMID:12905060

  18. Changing the seasonality of an Arctic tundra ecosystem: earlier snowmelt and warmer temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    In the Arctic and around the world, earlier plant growth is an indication that warmer temperatures or other global changes are changing the seasonality of the Earth’s ecosystems. To determine how changes in seasonality affect plant life histories and biogeochemical cycles in tussock tundra, we established a factorial experiment that includes two approaches to changing the seasonality of this ecosystem. In early May, we placed radiation absorbing fabric on the snow surface to accelerate the timing of snowmelt. We monitored the rate of snowmelt over a 10 day period and removed the fabric on the 10th day when the accelerated plots were 80% snowfree. Instrument arrays placed in the plots collected daily data that characterize an increase in energy absorption in these snowfree areas over the 4 day period prior to when control areas were snowfree. In addition, when the plots became snowfree we placed open-top-chambers in areas with and without accelerated snowmelt. The chambers increased air temperatures especially during mid-day early in the growing season. The instrument arrays included light sensors to monitor the plant community life history by observing surface greenness. Our results suggest that the plant community initiated growth earlier when snowmelt occurred earlier and that warming speeded the development of the plant canopy. However, plant species’ life history responses to these changes in seasonality were variable. Experimental alteration of the timing of plant life history events will provide a useful tool to examine controls on the seasonality of biogeochemical processes, such as nutrient availability to plants and nutrient limitation of decomposition. Accelerated snowmelt and warmer temperatures in tussock tundra, AK.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Shrub line advance in Arctic and alpine tundra of the Yukon Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers-Smith, I. H.; Hik, D.

    2010-12-01

    Growing evidence indicates an expansion of canopy-forming woody shrubs up mountain slopes and northward into Arctic tundra. The correlation between warming and greening has been used to link climate change with shrub expansion; however, the exact mechanisms driving observed increases in canopy-forming shrubs are probably more complex. Shrub expansion that results in a change in canopy cover may modify the ecology of tundra ecosystems by changing understory plant composition, soil thermal dynamics, surface albedo, nutrient turnover times and carbon storage. We surveyed the abundance of all tundra willow species (Salix spp.) growing at three sites in the Yukon Territory: the mountains of the Kluane Region, the Richardson Mountains, and on Qikiqtaruk - Herschel Island in the Beaufort Sea. At the two mountainous sites, we collected sections from the largest stem of willow shrubs at shrub line (the maximum elevation at which canopy-forming shrubs grow) and below shrub line (at approximately 50% shrub cover) in a total of 16 valleys. At the coastal site we collected samples from each of the 4 vegetation types: the alluvial fan, ridges, tussock tundra and disturbed terrain. Shrub stems were thin-sectioned using a microtome, photographed with a microscope and ring widths were measured from the digital images. We compared age distributions of willow individuals at and below shrub line and found younger populations at higher elevations, particularly on warm, south-facing aspects. Younger willows at shrub line and a lack of significant mortality in the field surveys indicate that shrubs have advanced up slope at the mountainous sites. Photographic and long-term plot data indicate increases in cover and height of willow shrub patches at the coastal site. We compared growth rings to regional weather data, and found positive correlations between annual growth and summer temperatures. Our results indicate that willows grew most in years with a warm June and July. This evidence of

  7. 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.

  8. Methane Suppression: The Impacts of Fe(III) and Humic Acids on Net Methane Flux from Arctic Tundra Wetlands in Alaska and Finland (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipson, D.; Miller, K.; Lai, C.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic soils contain large reservoirs of carbon (C) that are vulnerable to loss from climatic warming. However the potential global impacts of this C depend on whether it is lost primarily in the form of methane (CH4) or carbon dioxide (CO2), two gases with very different greenhouse warming potentials. In anaerobic environments, the relative production of CH4 vs. CO2 may be controlled by the presence of alternative terminal electron acceptors, which allow more thermodynamically favorable anaerobic respiratory pathways to dominate over methanogenesis. This work investigated how the addition of terminal electron acceptors, ferric iron (Fe(III)) and humic acids, affected net CH4 fluxes from high-latitude wetland ecosystems. We conducted two manipulative field experiments in Barrow, Alaska (71° N) and Finnish Lapland (69° N). The ecosystem in Barrow was known from previous studies to be rich in Fe(III) and to harbor a microbial community that is dominated by Fe(III)- and humic acid-reducing microorganisms. The role of these alternative electron acceptors had not previously been studied at the Finnish site. CH4 and CO2 fluxes were measured using a portable trace gas analyzer from experimental plots, before and after amendments with Fe(III) (in the chelated form, ferric nitrilotriacetic acid), humic acids, or water as a control. Both in the ecosystem with permafrost and naturally high levels of soil Fe (Barrow, AK) and in the ecosystem with no permafrost and naturally low levels of soil Fe (Petsikko, Finland), the addition of the alternative electron acceptors Fe(III) and humic acids significantly reduced net CH4 flux. CO2 fluxes were not significantly altered by the treatments. The reduction in CH4 flux persisted for at least several weeks post-treatment. There was no significant difference between the reduction caused by humic acids versus that from Fe(III). These results show that the suppression of CH4 flux by Fe(III) and humic acids is a widespread phenomenon that

  9. 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.

  10. DNA hybridization assay for detection of nucleopolyhedrovirus in whitemarked tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma) larvae.

    PubMed

    Ebling, P M; Smith, P A; van Frankenhuyzen, K

    2001-01-01

    DNA dot-blot hybridization assays utilizing a horseradish peroxidase-labelled whole genomic DNA probe and enhanced chemiluminescence were conducted to quantify detection thresholds of nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) in whitemarked tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma) larvae. The minimum detection thresholds for an aqueous suspension of occlusion bodies (OBs), OBs added to macerates of non-infected larvae and OBs in macerates of diseased larvae were 7.8 x 10(3), 7.8 x 10(3), and 1.5 x 10(3) OBs, respectively. Purified viral DNA was detected at a concentration of 1.6 x 10(-1) ng in a 20 microliters volume. The presence of pre-occluded viral nucleocapsids and DNA, inherent to infected larvae, improved the detection threshold five-fold compared with OBs alone. Larval tissues did not block the detection system utilized, nor did they bind non-specifically to the probe. Detection thresholds, upon sequential hybridization of the same membrane, on average deteriorated two-fold between the first and second hybridization and an additional six-fold between the second and third hybridization. NPV infection was detected two days post-inoculation (pi) in about one-third of the larvae examined and in almost all larvae three days pi. Microscopic analysis of stained larval smears missed NPV infection in almost all larvae two days pi and about two-thirds of the larvae three days pi. Results from the two methods of analysis were not comparable until four days pi. The detection system utilized is a reliable, efficient and simple method for the early detection of NPV infection in large numbers of larvae and may be used for further studies quantifying the role of this baculovirus in the ecology of whitemarked tussock moth populations. PMID:11455634

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Tundra Rehabilitation in Alaska's Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynn, L. A.

    2012-12-01

    Oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic has been conducted for more than 40 years, resulting in over 3,640 ha of gravel fill placed for roads, pads, and airstrips to support the industry. Likewise, tundra disturbance from burying power lines and by tundra vehicle travel are also common. Rehabilitation of disturbed sites began around 2002, with well over 150 ha that has been previously treated or is currently being rehabilitated. Two primary goals of rehabilitation efforts have been 1) revegetation by indigenous species, and 2) limiting thermokarst. Early efforts were concerned that removing gravel and having exposed bare ground would lead to extensive subsidence and eolian erosion. Native grass cultivars (e.g. Poa glauca, Arctagrostis latifolia, and Festuca rubra) were seeded to create vegetation cover quickly with the expectation that these grasses would survive only temporarily. The root masses and leaf litter were also expected to trap indigenous seed to enhance natural recolonization by indigenous plants. Due to the remote location of these sites, many of which are only accessible by helicopter, most are visited only two to three times following cultivation treatments, providing a limited data pool. At many sites, the total live seeded grass cover declined about 15% over the first 5¬-6 years (from around 30% to 15% cover), while total live indigenous vascular cover increased from no or trace cover to an average of 10% cover in that time. Cover of indigenous vascular plants at sites that were not seeded with native grass cultivars averaged just less than 10% after 10 years, showing no appreciable difference between the two approaches. Final surface elevations at the sites affect local hydrology and soil moisture. Other factors that influence the success of vegetation cover are proximity to the Arctic coast (salt effects), depth of remaining gravel, and changes in characteristics of the near-surface soil. Further development of rehabilitation techniques and the

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    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. The decomposition pathways observed in this study are important to consider in numerical modeling of greenhouse gas production in the Arctic.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. The unseen iceberg: Plant roots in arctic tundra

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra is characterized by short-statured plant communities underlain by carbon (C)-rich soils and permafrost. Ecosystem C and nutrient cycles in tundra are driven by complex interactions between plants and their environment. However, root dynamics are one of the least understood aspects of plant growth in the Arctic. We synthesized available literature on tundra roots and discussed their representation in terrestrial biosphere models. Belowground biomass in tundra ecosystems can be an order of magnitude larger than aboveground biomass. Data on root production and turnover in tundra is sparse, limiting our understanding of the controls over root dynamics in these systems.more » Roots are shallowly distributed in the thin layer of soil that thaws each year, and are often found in the organic horizon at the soil surface. Species-specific differences in root distribution, mycorrhizal colonization, and resource partitioning may affect plant species competition under changing climatic conditions. Model representation of belowground processes has increased in complexity over recent years, but data are desperately needed to fill the gaps in model treatment of tundra roots. Future research should focus on estimates of root production and lifespan, and interactions between roots and the surrounding soil across the diversity of tundra ecosystems in the Arctic.« less

  13. The unseen iceberg: Plant roots in arctic tundra

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra is characterized by short-statured plant communities underlain by carbon (C)-rich soils and permafrost. Ecosystem C and nutrient cycles in tundra are driven by complex interactions between plants and their environment. However, root dynamics are one of the least understood aspects of plant growth in the Arctic. We synthesized available literature on tundra roots and discussed their representation in terrestrial biosphere models. Belowground biomass in tundra ecosystems can be an order of magnitude larger than aboveground biomass. Data on root production and turnover in tundra is sparse, limiting our understanding of the controls over root dynamics in these systems. Roots are shallowly distributed in the thin layer of soil that thaws each year, and are often found in the organic horizon at the soil surface. Species-specific differences in root distribution, mycorrhizal colonization, and resource partitioning may affect plant species competition under changing climatic conditions. Model representation of belowground processes has increased in complexity over recent years, but data are desperately needed to fill the gaps in model treatment of tundra roots. Future research should focus on estimates of root production and lifespan, and interactions between roots and the surrounding soil across the diversity of tundra ecosystems in the Arctic.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:26611527

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Matrix Matters: Differences of Grand Skink Metapopulation Parameters in Native Tussock Grasslands and Exotic Pasture Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Gebauer, Konstanze; Dickinson, Katharine J. M.; Whigham, Peter A.; Seddon, Philip J.

    2013-01-01

    Modelling metapopulation dynamics is a potentially very powerful tool for conservation biologists. In recent years, scientists have broadened the range of variables incorporated into metapopulation modelling from using almost exclusively habitat patch size and isolation, to the inclusion of attributes of the matrix and habitat patch quality. We investigated the influence of habitat patch and matrix characteristics on the metapopulation parameters of a highly endangered lizard species, the New Zealand endemic grand skink (Oligosoma grande) taking into account incomplete detectability. The predictive ability of the developed zxmetapopulation model was assessed through cross-validation of the data and with an independent data-set. Grand skinks occur on scattered rock-outcrops surrounded by indigenous tussock (bunch) and pasture grasslands therefore implying a metapopulation structure. We found that the type of matrix surrounding the habitat patch was equally as important as the size of habitat patch for estimating occupancy, colonisation and extinction probabilities. Additionally, the type of matrix was more important than the physical distance between habitat patches for colonisation probabilities. Detection probability differed between habitat patches in the two matrix types and between habitat patches with different attributes such as habitat patch composition and abundance of vegetation on the outcrop. The developed metapopulation models can now be used for management decisions on area protection, monitoring, and the selection of translocation sites for the grand skink. Our study showed that it is important to incorporate not only habitat patch size and distance between habitat patches, but also those matrix type and habitat patch attributes which are vital in the ecology of the target species. PMID:24098423

  1. 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.

  2. Fire, temperature and nutrient responses on the C balance of arctic tundra soils from surface, mineral horizons and permafrost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Baets, S. L.; Lewis, R.; van de Weg, M. J.; Quine, T. A.; Shaver, G. R.; Hartley, I. P.

    2013-12-01

    . Labile C additions promoted the decomposition of soil organic matter in the deep soil samples, but not in the surface samples, with the positive priming effect being lost following N addition. This study indicates that there is the potential for considerable loss of C following the thaw of near-surface permafrost in Alaskan tussock tundra, although the C present may be slightly less readily decomposable than C stored nearer the surface. The decomposition of near-surface permafrost C was shown to be highly temperature sensitive and thus accurately simulating the soil thermal regime post-thaw is likely to be important in predicting rates of C release. In addition, root colonisation of previously frozen horizons may stimulate decomposition if labile C inputs increase. On the other hand, the inhibition of activity by N addition suggests that the positive feedback associated with reduced microbial N limitation in a warming Arctic may not be ubiquitous.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)). PMID:25142212

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Quantification of DOC concentrations in relation with soil properties of soils in tundra and taiga of Northern European Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    Potential mobilization and transport of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) in subarctic river basins towards the oceans is enormous, because 23-48% of the worlds Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) is stored in northern regions. As climate changes, the amount and composition of DOC exported from these basins are expected to change. The transfer of organic carbon between soils and rivers results in fractionation of organic carbon compounds. The aim of this research is to determine the DOC concentrations, its fractions, i.e. humic (HA), fulvic (FA), and hydrophilic (HY) acids, and soil characteristics that influence the DOC sorptive properties of different soil types within a tundra and taiga catchment of Northern European Russia. DOC in taiga and tundra soil profiles (soil solution) consisted only of HY and FA, where HY became more abundant with increasing depth. Adsorption of DOC on mineral phases is the key geochemical process for release and removal of DOC from potentially soluble carbon pool. We found that adsorbed organic carbon may desorb easily and can release DOC quickly, without being dependent on mineralization and degradation. Although Extractable Organic Carbon (EOC) comprise only a small part of SOC, it is a significant buffering pool for DOC. We found that about 80-90% of released EOC was previously adsorbed. Fractionation of EOC is also influenced by the fact that predominantly HA and FA adsorbed to soil and therefore also are the main compounds released when desorbed. Flowpaths vary between taiga and tundra and through seasons, which likely affects DOC concentration found in streams. As climate changes, also flowpaths of water through soils may change, especially in tundra caused by thawing soils. Therefore, adsorptive properties of thawing soils exert a major control on DOC leaching to rivers. To better understand the process of DOC ad- and de-sorption in soils, process based soil chemical modelling, which could bring more insight in solution speciation, mineral

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Effect of the biota diversity on the composition of low-molecular-weight water-soluble organic compounds in southern tundra soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shamrikova, E. V.; Kubik, O. S.; Punegov, V. V.; Gruzdev, I. V.

    2014-03-01

    Water extracts from the organic horizons of southern-tundra loamy permafrost-affected soils (a surface-gleyed tundra soil, a surface-gleyed soddy tundra soil (Haplic Stagnosols (Gelic)), and a peaty tundra soil (Histic Cryosol (Reductaquic)) and their undecomposed moss layers have been analyzed. The total weight concentration of the cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, and Na+) determined by the atomic absorption method reaches 20 mg/dm3 in the organic horizons and 40-90 mg/dm3 in the undecomposed moss layers. Potassium and calcium ions dominate in all the organic horizons (80-90% of the total weight); potassium ions prevail in the mosses (about 70%). The weight concentration of carbon in the water-soluble organic compounds is 0.04-0.07 g/dm3 in the organic horizons and 0.20-0.40 g/dm3 in the undecomposed moss layers. The content of low-molecular-weight organic compounds (alcohols, carbohydrates, and acids) identified by gas chromatography and chromatomass spectrometry is 1-30 mg/dm3 in the organic horizons of the soils and 80-180 mg/dm3 in the mosses, which does not exceed 26% of the total organic carbon in the extracts.

  14. 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

  15. Differential Utilization of Carbon Substrates by Bacteria and Fungi in Tundra Soil▿

    PubMed Central

    Rinnan, Riikka; Bååth, Erland

    2009-01-01

    Little is known about the contribution of bacteria and fungi to decomposition of different carbon compounds in arctic soils, which are an important carbon store and possibly vulnerable to climate warming. Soil samples from a subarctic tundra heath were incubated with 13C-labeled glucose, acetic acid, glycine, starch, and vanillin, and the incorporation of 13C into different phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA; indicative of growth) and neutral lipid fatty acids (NLFA; indicative of fungal storage) was measured after 1 and 7 days. The use of 13C-labeled substrates allowed the addition of substrates at concentrations low enough not to affect the total amount of PLFA. The label of glucose and acetic acid was rapidly incorporated into the PLFA in a pattern largely corresponding to the fatty acid concentration profile, while glycine and especially starch were mainly taken up by bacteria and not fungi, showing that different groups of the microbial community were responsible for substrate utilization. The 13C-incorporation from the complex substrates (starch and vanillin) increased over time. There was significant allocation of 13C into the fungal NLFA, except for starch. For glucose, acetic acid, and glycine, the allocation decreased over time, indicating use of the storage products, whereas for vanillin incorporation into fungal NLFA increased during the incubation. In addition to providing information on functioning of the microbial communities in an arctic soil, our study showed that the combination of PLFA and NLFA analyses yields additional information on the dynamics of substrate degradation. PMID:19363072

  16. 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. PMID:12374055

  17. 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

  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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Siberian tundra ecosystem vegetation and carbon stocks four decades after wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loranty, Michael M.; Natali, Susan M.; Berner, Logan T.; Goetz, Scott J.; Holmes, Robert M.; Davydov, Sergei P.; Zimov, Nikita S.; Zimov, Sergey A.

    2014-11-01

    Tundra ecosystem fire regimes are intensifying with important implications for regional and global carbon (C) and energy dynamics. Although a substantial portion of the tundra biome is located in Russia, the vast majority of accessible studies describe North American tundra fires. Here we use field observations and high-resolution satellite remote sensing observations to describe the effects of wildfire on ecosystem C pools and vegetation communities four decades after fire for a tundra ecosystem in northeastern Siberia. Our analyses reveal no differences between soil physical properties and C pools in burned and unburned tundra, which we attribute to low combustion of organic soil associated with low-severity fire. Field and remote sensing data show no differences in aboveground C pools and vegetation communities indicating recovery to prefire conditions. These results are comparable to observations of ecosystem recovery in North American tundra. An assessment of literature data indicate that the average annual area burned in Russian tundra is an order of magnitude larger than that of Alaskan tundra, highlighting a crucial need to assess Russian tundra fire regimes in order to understand the current and future role of the biome wide fire regime in regional and global C and energy dynamics.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  13. 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%.

  14. 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.

  15. 50 CFR 20.107 - Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... section, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed... tundra swans. 20.107 Section 20.107 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE..., and Shooting Hours Schedules § 20.107 Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans....

  16. 50 CFR 20.107 - Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... section, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed... tundra swans. 20.107 Section 20.107 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE..., and Shooting Hours Schedules § 20.107 Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans....

  17. 50 CFR 20.107 - Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... section, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed... tundra swans. 20.107 Section 20.107 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE..., and Shooting Hours Schedules § 20.107 Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans....

  18. 50 CFR 20.107 - Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... section, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed... tundra swans. 20.107 Section 20.107 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE..., and Shooting Hours Schedules § 20.107 Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans....

  19. 50 CFR 20.107 - Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... section, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed... tundra swans. 20.107 Section 20.107 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE..., and Shooting Hours Schedules § 20.107 Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans....

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Long-Term Release of Carbon Dioxide from Arctic Tundra Ecosystems in Northern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Bret-Harte, M. S.; Edgar, C.; Shaver, G. R.

    2014-12-01

    Recent data syntheses and modeling studies of arctic tundra carbon dioxide (CO2) balance have suggested that the tundra is a CO2 sink, a source or neutral. Much of this uncertainty arises from a lack of data pertaining to winter CO2 flux, as well as how these ecosystems have responded to recent warming trends. Due to a harsh, remote environment, long-term, continuous measurements of arctic tundra CO2 fluxes over the full annual cycle have been non-existent. In September 2007, we began eddy covariance measurements of net ecosystem exchange (NEE, where a negative value denotes a sink) of CO2 in northern Alaska at two ecosystems, heath and wet sedge tundra. These measurements continue to the present, and represent the longest continuous record of arctic tundra NEE currently available. From January 2008 - December 2013, the ecosystems were annual sources of CO2, with the wet sedge tundra acting as a greater source (mean ± standard deviation of 50 ± 30 g C m-2 y-1) than the heath tundra (16 ± 6 g C m-2 y-1). During these same years, the ecosystems were sinks of CO2 in the summer (June - August), with less variability between the ecosystems, -77 ± 15 g C m-2 in the wet sedge tundra, and -70 ± 12 g C m-2 in the heath. Environmental controls over NEE differed between ecosystems and seasons, with the wet sedge tundra acting particularly responsive in terms of CO2 release during periods with warm air temperatures from fall to early winter. During cold winter periods, CO2 release from the snowpack in both ecosystems was related to increases in wind speed and drops in atmospheric pressure. Overall, the measured differences in the annual versus summer NEE illustrate how the sink strength of the tundra can be overestimated if data are only collected during the growing season. Furthermore, eddy covariance measurements of methane (CH4) in the wet sedge tundra during late spring to early fall from 2012 to present show that this ecosystem releases 0.34 ± 11 mg CH4 m-2 d-1

  3. Identifying nitrogen limitations to organic sediments accumulation in various vegetation types of arctic tundra (Hornsund, Svalbard)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skrzypek, G.; Wojtuń, B.; Hua, Q.; Richter, D.; Jakubas, D.; Wojczulanis-Jakubas, K.; Samecka-Cymerman, A.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic and subarctic regions play important roles in the global carbon balance. However, nitrogen (N) deficiency is a major constraint for organic carbon sequestration in the High Arctic. Hence, the identification of the relative contributions from different N-sources is critical for understanding the constraints that limit tundra growth. The stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources and numerous plants were analyzed in ten tundra types in the Fuglebekken catchment (Hornsund Fjord, Svalbard, 77°N 15°E). The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by seabirds' feces (colonially breeding, planktivorous Alle alle), ranged from 0-21% in Patterned-ground tundra to 100% in Ornithocoprophilous tundra. The total N-pool utilized by tundra plants in the studied catchment was built in 36% by birds, 38% by atmospheric deposition, and 26% by N2-fixation. The results clearly show that N-pool in the tundra is significantly supplemented by nesting seabirds. Thus, if they experienced substantial negative environmental pressure associated with climate change, it would adversely influence the tundra N-budget [1]. The growth rates and the sediment thickness (<15 cm) in different tundra types varied considerably but the tundra age was similar, <450 cal BP. The only exception was Ornithocoprophilous tundra with very diverse ages ranging from 235 to 2300 cal BP and thickness up to 110cm. 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. [1] Skrzypek G, Wojtuń B, Richter D, Jakubas D, Wojczulanis-Jakubas K, Samecka-Cymerman A, 2015. Diversification of nitrogen sources in various tundra vegetation types in the high Arctic. PLoS ONE

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Tundra snow (exclusive of drifts) tends to be a thin veneer (<1 m) modified by extensive aeolian features like dunes and barchans. These features are on the order of 0.2 to 1.0 m high, and the substrate beneath the veneer snow (often various types of tundra) can have similar local relief. Consequently, veneer snow depths exhibit a high degree of spatial heterogeneity. Lateral variations of depth as high as 50% or more can be observed over a few meters. Even greater depth variations occur where the topography creates traps that hold drifts as thick as 5 m. We have been measuring and modeling the tundra snow in a nested series of basins ranging from 1 to 200 km in northern Alaska for 30 years. These efforts show that while modeling can produce reasonably accurate simulations of the deeper drifts, in many cases it does not do a good job in capturing the more subtle aspects of the snow distribution, being hampered by limited precipitation and wind data. More accurate and detailed patterns of snow distribution can be revealed through direct measurement or through melt period sequential imagery. These can improve the accuracy of weather-driven model depth distributions, but producing pattern maps remains labor- and time-intensive. Both approaches tend to do poorly at scales of 100-m or less where surface features like sastrugi and dunes alter the snow depth. These small-scale variations in depth and snow water equivalent might not seem important, but comparison of point values of snow depth from observing stations with spatial maps of the snow surrounding the stations suggests that significant differences can exist. A more comprehensive understanding of drifting and drift features is needed in order to improve our ability to model and understand this dynamic and fascinating class of snow.

  5. Assessments of recent tundra change based on repeated vegetation surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elmendorf, S.; Henry, G.; Thetundra Vegetation Change Group

    2010-12-01

    Results from experimental warming studies suggest tundra vegetation will respond rapidly and dramatically to climate warming, and indeed, NDVI data from remote sensing and repeat aerial photography suggest such changes may already be occurring. NDVI changes, however, may reflect responses to a variety of processes. Repeat measurements of permanently marked plots offer an invaluable opportunity to monitor detailed changes in vegetation composition and abundance. Here, we report results from a synthesis of repeat measurements of 195 permanent plots in Arctic and alpine tundra plant communities in North America (90 plots), Europe (82 plots), Asia (10 plots), Australia (12 plots), and Antarctica (1 plot) that were revisited at least twice between 1980 and 2010, with an average timespan of 13 years between first and last sampling periods. Annual air-temperature warming over the sampling period varied considerably among sites, ranging from slight cooling to increases of nearly 2°C per decade. In our preliminary analyses, we found significant tundra-wide increases in vegetation height as well as abundance of evergreen shrubs and graminoids, but declines in mosses. We anticipated that changes in vegetation height, abundance of deciduous shrubs, and percent of vegetated ground would be highest in areas where climate warming is occurring most rapidly, but found no support for these predictions in our observational dataset. It is possible that local vegetation dynamics in these areas are affected more by other longer-term non-equilibrium processes such as recovery from glaciation, or an alternative suite of local drivers, such as snow cover, precipitation, disturbance or herbivory.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:24804439

  10. Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Elmendorf, Sarah C.; Beck, Pieter S. A.; Wilmking, Martin; Hallinger, Martin; Blok, Daan; Tape, Ken D.; Rayback, Shelly A.; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Forbes, Bruce C.; Speed, James D. M.; Boulanger-Lapointe, Noémie; Rixen, Christian; Lévesque, Esther; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Baittinger, Claudia; Trant, Andrew J.; Hermanutz, Luise; Collier, Laura Siegwart; Dawes, Melissa A.; Lantz, Trevor C.; Weijers, Stef; Jørgensen, Rasmus Halfdan; Buchwal, Agata; Buras, Allan; Naito, Adam T.; Ravolainen, Virve; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Wheeler, Julia A.; Wipf, Sonja; Guay, Kevin C.; Hik, David S.; Vellend, Mark

    2015-09-01

    Rapid climate warming in the tundra biome has been linked to increasing shrub dominance. Shrub expansion can modify climate by altering surface albedo, energy and water balance, and permafrost, yet the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. Dendroecological data consisting of multi-decadal time series of annual shrub growth provide an underused resource to explore climate-growth relationships. Here, we analyse circumpolar data from 37 Arctic and alpine sites in 9 countries, including 25 species, and ~42,000 annual growth records from 1,821 individuals. Our analyses demonstrate that the sensitivity of shrub growth to climate was: (1) heterogeneous, with European sites showing greater summer temperature sensitivity than North American sites, and (2) higher at sites with greater soil moisture and for taller shrubs (for example, alders and willows) growing at their northern or upper elevational range edges. Across latitude, climate sensitivity of growth was greatest at the boundary between the Low and High Arctic, where permafrost is thawing and most of the global permafrost soil carbon pool is stored. The observed variation in climate-shrub growth relationships should be incorporated into Earth system models to improve future projections of climate change impacts across the tundra biome.

  11. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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

    2008-01-01

    Understanding feedbacks between terrestrial and atmospheric systems is vital for predicting the consequences of global change, particularly in the rapidly changing Arctic. Fire is a key process in this context, but the consequences of altered fire regimes in tundra ecosystems are rarely considered, largely because tundra fires occur infrequently on the modern landscape. We present paleoecological data that indicate frequent tundra fires in northcentral Alaska between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago. Charcoal and pollen from lake sediments reveal that ancient birch-dominated shrub tundra burned as often as modern boreal forests in the region, every 144 years on average (+/- 90 s.d.; n = 44). Although paleoclimate interpretations and data from modern tundra fires suggest that increased burning was aided by low effective moisture, vegetation cover clearly played a critical role in facilitating the paleofires by creating an abundance of fine fuels. These records suggest that greater fire activity will likely accompany temperature-related increases in shrub-dominated tundra predicted for the 21(st) century and beyond. Increased tundra burning will have broad impacts on physical and biological systems as well as on land-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic, including the potential to release stored organic carbon to the atmosphere. PMID:18320025

  14. Late-Summer Tundra Methane Concentrations and Fluxes on the North Slope of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, J. P.; Suriben, R. S.; Coffin, R. B.; Boyd, T. J.; Rose, P. S.; Douglas, T. A.; Millholland, L. C., IV; Boudart, E. R.; Woods, J. E.

    2014-12-01

    Scientific evidence indicates wide-scale changes in Arctic climate. The Arctic contains large expanses of tundra with permafrost, or permanently frozen subsoil. Climate change impacts on the tundra have the potential to enhance biogenic methane (CH4) production in thawed, active soils or release CH4 trapped in or below the permafrost. Methane is a highly effective greenhouse gas so CH4 released from thawing tundra or melting massive ice features constitutes a potential positive feedback to Arctic climate change. In August, 2013 the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL-6114) led an expedition to investigate late-summer tundra CH4 concentrations and fluxes on the North Slope of Alaska near Prudhoe Bay. Permafrost cores were collected to measure tundra CH4 concentrations and soil parameters and a series of gas traps were deployed to measure tundra CH4 flux at 9 locations spread across a study area of ~1800 km2. Thaw probe measurements at each site provided information on the depth of the seasonally-thawed (active) layer. Results show large differences in tundra CH4 concentrations with depth through the active layer and into the upper permafrost terrain and fine-scale variability in daily CH4 flux over a relatively small spatial area. It is likely that variations in biogeochemical and geomorphological characteristics such as soil composition, microbial activity, moisture type, active layer composition and extent from site-to-site control the CH4 regime. In order to provide more accurate estimates of permafrost tundra CH4 storage and fluxes, controls on CH4 variability from location to location must be better understood. Further research is required to quantify and predict tundra CH4 flux in order to better understand the potential impact it will have on Arctic climate, particularly if, as predicted, climate warming leads to the liberation of permafrost carbon in these landscapes.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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). PMID:26034016

  18. 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,

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. Isotopic identification of soil and permafrost nitrate sources in an Arctic tundra ecosystem

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Heikoop, Jeffrey M.; Throckmorton, Heather M.; Newman, Brent D.; Perkins, George B.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Chowdhury, Taniya Roy; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Graham, David E.; Norby, Richard J.; Wilson, Cathy J.; et al

    2015-05-13

    The nitrate (NO3–) dual isotope approach was applied to snowmelt, tundra active layer pore waters, and underlying permafrost in Barrow, Alaska, USA, to distinguish between NO3– derived from atmospheric deposition versus that derived from microbial nitrification.

  7. 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.

  8. Marine animals significantly increase tundra N2O and CH4 emissions in maritime Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Renbin; Liu, Yashu; Xu, Hua; Ma, Dawei; Jiang, Shan

    2013-12-01

    studies on greenhouse gas emissions from animals concentrated on domestic animals, with limited data available from wild animals. The number of marine animals is potentially large in coastal Antarctica. In this paper, N2O and CH4 emissions were investigated from a penguin colony, a seal colony, a skua colony, the adjacent animal-lacking tundra, and background tundra sites to test the effects of marine animals on their fluxes in maritime Antarctica. Extremely high N2O emissions occurred in the penguin puddles (mean 392 µg N2O m-2 h-1) and seal wallows (mean 579 µg N2O m-2 h-1). The N2O emissions from animal colony tundra (13-57 µg N2O m-2 h-1) are much higher than those from the animal-lacking tundra, whereas the background tundra showed negligible N2O fluxes. Penguin puddles and seal wallows were stronger CH4 emitters than animal colony tundra soils, while animal-lacking tundra soils were strong CH4 sinks. Overall high N2O and CH4 emissions were modulated by soil physical and chemical processes associated with marine animal activities: sufficient supply of the nutrients NH4+-N and NO3--N, total nitrogen, and total organic carbon from marine animal excreta, animal tramp, and high soil water-filled pore space. Laboratory incubation experiments further confirmed that penguin and seal colony soils produced much higher N2O and CH4 emissions than animal-lacking tundra soils. Our results indicate that marine animal colonies are the hot spots for N2O and CH4 emissions in maritime Antarctica, and even at the global scale, and current climate warming will further increase their emissions.

  9. Initial Conceptualization and Simulation of Arctic Tundra Landscape Evolution Using the Alaska Thermokarst Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolton, W. R.; Romanovsky, V. E.; McGuire, A. D.; Grosse, G.; Lara, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    Thermokarst topography forms whenever ice-rich permafrost thaws and the ground subsides due to the volume loss when excess ground ice transitions to water. The Alaska Thermokarst Model (ATM) is a large-scale, state-and-transition model designed to simulate transitions between [non-]thermokarst landscape units, or cohorts. The ATM uses a frame-based methodology to track transitions and proportion of cohorts within a 1-km2 grid cell. In the arctic tundra environment, the ATM tracks thermokarst-related transitions between wetland tundra, graminoid tundra, shrub tundra, and thermokarst lakes. The transition from one cohort to another due to thermokarst processes can take place if thaw reaches ice-rich ground layers either due to pulse disturbance events such as a large precipitation event or fires or due to gradual active layer deepening that eventually results in penetration of the protective layer. The protective layer buffers the ice-rich soils from the land surface and is critical to determine how susceptible an area is to thermokarst degradation. The rate of terrain transition in our model is determined by the ice-content of the soil, the drainage efficiency (or ability of the landscape to store or transport water), and a cumulative probability of thermokarst initiation. Tundra types are allowed to transition from one type to another (ie wetland tundra to a graminoid tundra) under favorable climatic conditions. In this study, we present our conceptualization and initial simulation results from the ATM model for an 1792 km2 area on the Barrow Peninsula, Alaska. The area selected for simulation is located in a polygonal tundra landscape under varying degrees of thermokarst degradation. The goal of this modeling study is to simulate landscape evolution in response to thermokarst disturbance as a result of climate change. The ATM will eventually be incorporated into the Integrated Ecosystem Model (IEM) for Alaska and Northwest Canada for use in management decisions

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:23953054

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Organic matter composition and stabilization in a polygonal tundra soil of the Lena Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Höfle, S.; Rethemeyer, J.; Mueller, C. W.; John, S.

    2013-05-01

    This study investigated soil organic matter (OM) composition of differently stabilized soil OM fractions in the active layer of a polygonal tundra soil in the Lena Delta, Russia, by applying density and particle size fractionation combined with qualitative OM analysis using solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and lipid analysis combined with 14C analysis. Bulk soil OM was mainly composed of plant-derived, little-decomposed material with surprisingly high and strongly increasing apparent 14C ages with active layer depth suggesting slow microbial OM transformation in cold climate. Most soil organic carbon was stored in clay and fine-silt fractions (< 6.3 μm), which were composed of little-decomposed plant material, indicated by the dominance of long n-alkane and n-fatty acid compounds and low alkyl/O-alkyl C ratios. Organo-mineral associations, which are suggested to be a key mechanism of OM stabilization in temperate soils, seem to be less important in the active layer as the mainly plant-derived clay- and fine-silt-sized OM was surprisingly "young", with 14C contents similar to the bulk soil values. Furthermore, these fractions contained less organic carbon compared to density fractionated OM occluded in soil aggregates - a further important OM stabilization mechanism in temperate soils restricting accessibility of microorganisms. This process seems to be important at greater active layer depth where particulate OM, occluded in soil aggregates, was "older" than free particulate OM.

  16. Organic matter composition and stabilization in a polygonal tundra soil of the Lena-Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Höfle, S.; Rethemeyer, J.; Mueller, C. W.; John, S.

    2012-09-01

    This study investigated soil organic matter (OM) composition of differently stabilized soil OM fractions in the active layer of a polygonal tundra soil in the Lena-Delta, Russia by applying density and particle-size fractionation combined with qualitative OM analysis using solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and lipid analysis combined with 14C analysis. Bulk soil OM was mainly composed of plant-derived, little decomposed material with surprisingly low and strongly increasing apparent 14C ages with active layer depth suggesting slow microbial OM transformation in cold climate. Most soil organic carbon was stored in clay and fine silt fractions (< 6.3 μm), which were composed of little decomposed plant material indicated by the dominance of long n-alkane and n-fatty acid compounds and low alkyl/O-alkyl C ratios. Organo-mineral associations, which are suggested to be a key mechanism of OM stabilization in temperate soils, seem to be less important in the active layer as the mainly plant-derived clay and fine silt sized OM was surprisingly "young" with 14C contents similar to the bulk soil values. Furthermore these fractions contained less organic carbon compared to density fractionated OM occluded in soil aggregates - a further important OM stabilization mechanism in temperate soils restricting accessibility of microorganisms. This process seems to be important at greater active layer depth where particulate OM, occluded in soil aggregates, was "older" than free particulate OM.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Using Image Segmentation to Identify Tundra Vegetation Variability in High Resolution Satellite Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazow, Z.; Roemke, L.; Loranty, M. M.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems will play an important role in the global carbon cycle in coming decades and centuries. Amplified climate warming at high northern latitudes has stimulated carbon uptake via plant productivity, while thawing permafrost is releasing carbon to the atmosphere. Accurately quantifying the effect of changing tundra ecosystems on global climate will require detailed understanding of both of these processes. In this context, accounting for the spatial variation of landscape features is critical to creating carbon budgets for ecosystems and regions, and for forecasting the effects of climate change in the tundra. Water tracks and other areas that feature channelized subsurface water flow are landscape features with distinct differences in carbon stocks and fluxes relative to adjacent upland tundra areas. Numerous studies have shown that water tracks and flowpaths have greater water and nutrient availability that leads relatively high carbon stocks and rates of carbon uptake. However a clear understanding of the relative proportion of tundra ecosystems that are comprised of these landscape features is lacking. Recently developed fine-scale remote sensing technology allows for the spatial analysis of tundra landscapes and specifically water tracks. This study automates process of distinguishing water tracks through the use of image classification and segmentation techniques on high-resolution satellite imagery. Both supervised and unsupervised classification techniques identify water tracks as distinctive and tundra landscape features. Unlike the unsupervised classification, edge detection and region-thresholding algorithms in the supervised classification differentiates water tracks from locations with high productivity by assessing connectivity shape. Depending on the area of inquiry, water tracks comprise roughly 10%-25% of the landscape. Field observations indicate that water tracks have greater plant productivity, and rates of carbon cycling

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Climate Forced Alpine Tundra Ecosystem Dynamics: A Model Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarosch, A. H.; Clarke, G. K.; Danby, R. K.; Hik, D. S.

    2007-12-01

    Insights concerning the future evolution of alpine ecosystems depend on understanding and simulating their response to climate change. Comprehensive studies of these regions require novel spatio-temporal computational models of climate-forced landscape/ecosystem interactions. As part of the International Polar Year (IPY) we are examining alpine tundra landscapes and ecosystems in the Kluane region of southwest Yukon, Canada. Based on the combination of long-term geophysical and ecological field studies and driven by different climate change scenarios, such a model is being used to explore the range of possible future scenarios for the region. As the first step in building such a complex model, we present a simplified, grid-based model to demonstrate potential changes in plant community distribution driven by key climate variables such as temperature and precipitation. A linear orographic precipitation model is used to downscale climate data which, in combination with a digital elevation model, forms the geophysical input for the model. Simplified ecological rules describing the potential state transition of different plant communities and land cover types are incorporated in the model in a cellular automation fashion. The response of the ecosystem to several different climate scenarios will be presented, including a set of North American Regional Reanalysis climate data. This simplified model is used to demonstrate the potential of such interdisciplinary simulations to gain deeper understanding of ecosystem evolution with climate change.

  9. Vectors and transmission dynamics for Setaria tundra (Filarioidea; Onchocercidae), a parasite of reindeer in Finland

    PubMed Central

    Laaksonen, Sauli; Solismaa, Milla; Kortet, Raine; Kuusela, Jussi; Oksanen, Antti

    2009-01-01

    Background Recent studies have revealed expansion by an array of Filarioid nematodes' into the northern boreal region of Finland. The vector-borne nematode, Setaria tundra, caused a serious disease outbreak in the Finnish reindeer population in 2003–05. The main aim of this study was to understand the outbreak dynamics and the rapid expansion of S. tundra in the sub arctic. We describe the vectors of S. tundra, and its development in vectors, for the first time. Finally we discuss the results in the context of the host-parasite ecology of S. tundra in Finland Results Development of S. tundra to the infective stage occurs in mosquitoes, (genera Aedes and Anopheles). We consider Aedes spp. the most important vectors. The prevalence of S. tundra naturally infected mosquitoes from Finland varied from 0.5 to 2.5%. The rate of development in mosquitoes was temperature-dependent. Infective larvae were present approximately 14 days after a blood meal in mosquitoes maintained at room temperature (mean 21 C), but did not develop in mosquitoes maintained outside for 22 days at a mean temperature of 14.1 C. The third-stage (infective) larvae were elongated (mean length 1411 μm (SD 207), and width 28 μm (SD 2)). The anterior end was blunt, and bore two liplike structures, the posterior end slight tapering with a prominent terminal papilla. Infective larvae were distributed anteriorly in the insect's body, the highest abundance being 70 larvae in one mosquito. A questionnaire survey revealed that the peak activity of Culicidae in the reindeer herding areas of Finland was from the middle of June to the end of July and that warm summer weather was associated with reindeer flocking behaviour on mosquito-rich wetlands. Conclusion In the present work, S. tundra vectors and larval development were identified and described for the first time. Aedes spp. mosquitoes likely serve as the most important and competent vectors for S. tundra in Finland. Warm summers apparently promote

  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. PMID:26552271

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Boundary layer O3 dynamics and deposition to tundra during a summer in the Alaskan Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Dam, B. A.; Helmig, D.; Doskey, P. V.; Oltmans, S. J.; Boylan, P.

    2014-12-01

    Atmospheric turbulence quantities, boundary layer O3 levels and deposition to the tundra surface were investigated at Toolik Lake, AK during the 2011 summer season. Beginning immediately after snowmelt a diurnal cycle in ambient O3 developed, and O3 values measured over tundra throughout the summer varied significantly between nighttime minima of 5 ppbv and daytime maxima of 50 ppbv. The mean amplitude of the diurnal cycle in surface O3 following snowmelt was 13 ppbv, far larger than observed at other high Arctic locations. The diurnal cycle is attributed to a combination of surface deposition to the tundra and stable boundary layer conditions at night, and the entrainment of O3 from higher in the atmosphere during increased daytime mixing. The mean O3 deposition velocity during the month of June was 0.11 cm s-1. O3 deposition to tundra exhibited a diurnal cycle, with daytime mean of 0.2 cm s-1 and nighttime mean of 0.08 cm s-1. These values are slightly lower than previously reported summertime deposition velocities in the northern latitudes over tundra or fen, although measurements for comparison were limited.

  13. [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

  14. USE OF GREENHOUSE CHAMBERS FOR ENHANCING GROWTH OF TUNDRA TRANSPLANTS ON THIN GRAVEL FILL IN PRUDHOE BAY, ALASKA

    EPA Science Inventory

    An approach is presented that could facilitate disturbed tundra revegetation and monitoring in Alaska North Slope Oil Fields. xperiments were conducted on an abandoned drilling pad where the gravel was removed to a thin layer (Ca. 20 am) above tundra grade and mixed with underlyi...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Specific features of the genesis of automorphic soils of the northern forest-tundra (southeast of the Bol'shezemel'skaya tundra)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rusanova, G. V.; Deneva, S. V.; Shakhtarova, O. V.

    2015-02-01

    Automorphic soils developed from sandy materials (podzolized podburs, (Entic Podzols) and iron-illuvial podzols (Haplic Podzols)) and loamy materials (organic cryometamorphic soils (Gelic Cambisols) and iron-illuvial svetlozems (Spodi-Stagnic Cambisols)) were studied in the northern forest-tundra zone. Podzolized podburs and podzols of tundra cenoses were less podzolized in comparison with the analogous soils developed under forest cenoses. This can be explained by a higher intensity of cryogenic processes favoring the fixation of iron-humus films on skeletal grains in the sandy soils of tundra cenoses. In the organic cryometamorphic soils, the illuviation of Al-Fe-humus compounds with the formation of bleached skeletans in the upper part of the mineral horizon was identified. The eluvial-illuvial differentiation of the soil mass diagnosed by the analyses of intraped mass was weakly pronounced. The features attributed to the activity of cryogenic processes were also described in these soils. Iron-illuvial svetlozems were characterized by the migration of iron compounds within the microprofile of podzol in the topsoil and by the specific well-structured cryometamorphic horizons in the lower part of the profile. The features inherited from the previous stages of soil development were identified in these soils.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Nutrients and biomass spatial patterns in alpine tundra ecosystem on Changbai Mountains, Northeast China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Gang; Jiang, Ping; Wei, Jing; Shao, Hongbo

    2007-11-15

    Biomass and nutrients were investigated in 2003, 2004 and 2005 growing seasons by using a chronosequence of five vegetation types in alpine tundra on Changbai Mountains. The objective of this study was to test whether nutrients at biointerfaces were significant differences among five vegetation types. The biomass and elevation are highly related (biomass=-237.3ln(elevation)+494.36; R(2)=0.8092; p<0.05). There were no significant differences in phosphorus (P) and sulphur (S) concentrations of roots, stems and leaves among five vegetation types while there are significant differences in nitrogen (N) and P stocks of roots, stems and leaves and in S stock of stems and leaves among typical alpine tundra vegetation (TA), meadow alpine tundra vegetation (MA), and swamp alpine tundra vegetation (SA) (p<0.05). Vegetation nutrients stock is averagely 72.46kg hm(-2), and N, P, S stocks are 48.55, 10.33 and 13.61kg hm(-2), respectively. Soil N and S concentrations in MA are significantly higher than those in other four soil types. P is higher in SA (p<0.05). Soil nutrients stock (0-20cm) is averagely 39.59t hm(-2), and N, P, S stocks are 23.74, 5.86 and 9.99t hm(-2), respectively. PMID:17659864

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Isotopic identification of soil and permafrost nitrate sources in an Arctic tundra ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Heikoop, Jeffrey M.; Throckmorton, Heather M.; Newman, Brent D.; Perkins, George B.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Chowdhury, Taniya Roy; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Graham, David E.; Norby, Richard J.; Wilson, Cathy J.; Wullschleger, Stan D.

    2015-05-13

    The nitrate (NO3) dual isotope approach was applied to snowmelt, tundra active layer pore waters, and underlying permafrost in Barrow, Alaska, USA, to distinguish between NO3 derived from atmospheric deposition versus that derived from microbial nitrification.

  15. 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.

  16. Contrasting soil thermal responses to fire in Alaskan tundra and boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Yueyang; Rocha, Adrian V.; O'Donnell, Jonathan A.; Drysdale, Jessica A.; Rastetter, Edward B.; Shaver, Gaius R.; Zhuang, Qianlai

    2015-02-01

    Recent fire activity throughout Alaska has increased the need to understand postfire impacts on soils and permafrost vulnerability. Our study utilized data and modeling from a permafrost and ecosystem gradient to develop a mechanistic understanding of the short- and long-term impacts of tundra and boreal forest fires on soil thermal dynamics. Fires influenced a variety of factors that altered the surface energy budget, soil moisture, and the organic-layer thickness with the overall effect of increasing soil temperatures and thaw depth. The postfire thickness of the soil organic layer and its impact on soil thermal conductivity was the most important factor determining postfire soil temperatures and thaw depth. Boreal and tundra ecosystems underlain by permafrost experienced smaller postfire soil temperature increases than the nonpermafrost boreal forest from the direct and indirect effects of permafrost on drainage, soil moisture, and vegetation flammability. Permafrost decreased the loss of the insulating soil organic layer, decreased soil drying, increased surface water pooling, and created a significant heat sink to buffer postfire soil temperature and thaw depth changes. Ecosystem factors also played a role in determining postfire thaw depth with boreal forests taking several decades longer to recover their soil thermal properties than tundra. These factors resulted in tundra being less sensitive to postfire soil thermal changes than the nonpermafrost boreal forest. These results suggest that permafrost and soil organic carbon will be more vulnerable to fire as climate warms.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:18707754

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. Atmospheric loading of nitrogen to Alpine Tundra in the Colorado Front Range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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-2d-1 directly from the atmosphere with a similar amount contributed indirectly as NO3-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-2d-1 may be compared to an earlier measurement of dry plus fog deposition (1 - 2 mg N m-2d-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-2d-1. The equivalent estimate for a basin with 50% tundra vegetation cover is 0.4 mg N m-2d-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-2d-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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:25556338

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. Circumpolar Dynamics of Arctic Tundra Vegetation in Relation to Temperature Trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Arctic tundra vegetation has generally exhibited a "greening" trend for at least the past three decades. However, these temporal trends in tundra vegetation are highly heterogeneous in space across different arctic regions, as well as showing variability over time. The factors controlling this variability are likely numerous with complex interactions, however, a first approach is to examine how vegetation dynamics relate to trends in temperature. We used a 32-year record (1982-2013) of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Land Surface Temperatures from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensors onboard NOAA satellites (GIMMS 3g dataset) to analyze observed changes in both aboveground tundra vegetation and surface temperatures. We divided the circumpolar dataset into two continental regions (North America and Eurasia), as well as by tundra subzone (A-E) sensu the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map (CAVM). We 1) compared temporal trends in both MaxNDVI (peak values) and TI-NDVI (seasonally integrated values) with those of the Summer Warmth Index (SWI - sum of mean monthly temperatures > 0 °C); 2) assessed how the detrended interannual variabilities in NDVI compared to those of SWI; and 3) analyzed current and prior year SWI, as well as prior year NDVI, as controls on current year NDVI. Interannual coefficients of variation for SWI were 2.0 - 2.5 times greater than those for NDVI, and the temporal trendlines for NDVI were much "tighter" with greater r² values than those for SWI. Interannual variability in NDVI was greatest in the "Mid-Low" Arctic, whereas interannual variability in SWI was greatest in the most southern Arctic. Surprisingly, the observed relative rates of change in NDVI were greater than those of SWI for the warmer subzones for both North America and Eurasia. Finally, the change in NDVI from one year to the next was only weakly correlated with current year SWI. These results suggest that 1) there are clearly factors

  9. 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

  10. The Pleistocene ``Tundra-Steppe'' and the productivity paradox: the landscape approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yurtsev, Boris A.

    2001-01-01

    "Tundra-steppe" means either a certain type of plant community with codominance of both steppe and tundra species (including prostrate shrubs), or a type of landscape, codominated by both steppe and tundra (Yurtsev, Relic Steppe Complexes of Northeastern Asia. Nauka Press, Novosibirsk (in Russian) 1981; In: Hopkins, Matthews Jr., Schweger, Young, (Eds.), Paleoecology of Beringia. Academic Press, New York, 1982, pp. 157-177). A discrepancy between Pleistocene glacial climates that were much colder and drier than present in Beringia and the highly diverse herbivorous fossil fauna (the "productivity paradox") is explained in terms of much greater diversity of herbaceous vegetation (grasses, sedges and forbs) in the mosaic of Beringian 'tundra-steppe' landscapes. Analysis of the relic distribution of some predominantly herbaceous plant communities throughout Beringia (Yurtsev, 1981, 1982, Komarovskiye chteniya (Vladivostok) 33 (1986) 3-53 (in Russian); Protection of Gene- and Coenotic Pool of the Herbaceous Biogeocoenoses, Sverdlovsk, 1988, pp. 128-129 (in Russian); Bridges of Science Between North America and the Russian Far East, 45th Arctic Science Conference, Abstracts, Vol. 1. Dalnauka Press, Vladivostok, 1994, p. 268; Paleontological Journal, 6 (1996)) provides the phytogeographic and landscape — ecological grounds for the reconstruction of plant cover of these landscapes. Dry watersheds and slopes had cryophytic (cold-adapted) steppes, cryoxerophytic (cold and dry-adapted) herbaceous and prostrate shrub-herbaceous communities, dry herb-prostrate shrub tundras, and tundra-steppe communities proper. All sorts of depressions on interfluves and in valleys along with concave pediments were occupied by dry steppe-meadows and brackish-water moist meadows. In some specific habitats sparse groupings of continental halophytes (plants growing in saline soils) of "arctic takkyrs", zoochoric (plants with seeds dispersed by animals) groupings of annual-biennial "ruderals

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  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. PMID:25812054

  18. AmeriFlux US-ICh Imnavait Creek Watershed Heath Tundra

    DOE Data Explorer

    Bret-Harte, Syndonia [University of Alaska Fairbanks; Euskirchen, Eugenie [University of Alaska Fairbanks; Shaver, Gaius [Marine Biological Laboratory

    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.

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

    DOE Data Explorer

    Bret-Harte, Syndonia [University of Alaska Fairbanks; Euskirchen, Eugenie [University of Alaska Fairbanks; Shaver, Gaius [Marine Biological Laboratory

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Psychrotolerant actinomycetes of plants and organic horizons in tundra and taiga soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubrova, M. S.; Zenova, G. M.; Yakushev, A. V.; Manucharova, N. A.; Makarova, E. P.; Zvyagintsev, D. G.; Chernov, I. Yu.

    2013-08-01

    It has been revealed that in organic horizons and plants of the tundra and taiga ecosystems under low temperatures, actinomycetal complexes form. The population density of psychrotolerant actinomycetes in organic horizons and plants reaches tens and hundreds of thousands CFU/g of substrate or soil, and decreases in the sequence litters > plants > soils > undecomposed plant remains > moss growths. The mycelium length of psychrotolerant actinomycetes reaches 220 m/g of substrate. Application of the FISH method has demonstrated that metabolically active psychrotolerant bacteria of the phylum Actinobacteria constitute 30% of all metabolically active psychrotolerant representatives of the Bacterià domain of the prokaryotic microbial community of soils and plants. Psychrotolerant actinomycetes in tundra and taiga ecosystems possess antimicrobial properties.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Element cycling in the dominant plant community in the Alpine tundra zone of Changbai Mountains, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing-Shuang; Yu, Jun-Bao

    2005-01-01

    Element cycling in the dominant plant communities including Rh. aureum, Rh. redowskianum and Vaccinium uliginosum in the Alpine tundra zone of Changbai Mountains in northeast China was studied. The results indicate that the amount of elements from litter decomposition was less than that of the plant uptake from soil, but that from plant uptake was higher than that in soil with mineralization process released. On the other hand, in the open system including precipitation input and soil leaching output, because of great number of elements from precipitation into the open system, the element cycling(except N, P) in the Alpine tundra ecosystem was in a dynamic balance. In this study, it was also found that different organ of plants had significant difference in accumulating elements. Ca, Mg, P and N were accumulated more obviously in leaves, while Fe was in roots. The degree of concentration of elements in different tissues of the same organ of the plants also was different, a higher concentration of Ca, Mg, P and N in mesophyll than in nerve but Fe was in a reversed order. The phenomenon indicates (1) a variety of biochemical functions of different elements, (2) the elements in mesophyll were with a shorter turnover period than those in nerve or fibre, but higher utilization rate for plant. Therefore, this study implies the significance of keeping element dynamic balance in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountains. PMID:16083139

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. Functional convergence of tundra vegetation simplifies the interpretation of flux observations at larger spatial scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoy, P. C.; Williams, M.; Evans, J. G.; Lloyd, C. R.; Prieto-Blanco, A.; Disney, M.; Street, L. E.; Shaver, G. R.

    2007-12-01

    A central challenge in terrestrial carbon cycle research is upscaling measurements of vegetation function to larger spatial and temporal scales. A solution is required to, for example, make chamber-based measurements relevant at larger spatial scales and to make eddy covariance measurements applicable to leaf or chamber- based studies. Here we demonstrate that a simple model for photosynthesis and ecosystem respiration parameterized using pan-arctic chamber flux measurements closely matches eddy covariance flux observations in a tundra ecosystem near Abisko, Sweden. The agreement holds when using a generic parameter set that does not account for vegetation type or measurement location. Inverting the model to predict leaf area using eddy covariance-measured net ecosystem exchange closely approximates tower-based LAI estimates across seasons and during periods of drought stress. Thus, recent findings documenting functional convergence of arctic vegetation holds at multiple spatial as well as temporal scales using both chamber and tower measurements. After validating the model using the eddy covariance measurements, we integrate the model with meteorological and LAI observations using a simple data assimilation scheme. The reduction of error achieved via data assimilation is compared to standard techniques of estimating eddy covariance error. Our analysis demonstrates that accurate estimates of C flux at multiple spatial scales across the tundra biome are possible given accurate estimates of photosynthetically active radiation, temperature, and leaf area index given the observed functional convergence of tundra vegetation.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Lead toxicosis in tundra swans near a mining and smelting complex in northern Idaho.

    PubMed

    Blus, L J; Henny, C J; Hoffman, D J; Grove, R A

    1991-11-01

    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, dark-green 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 lead-poisoned 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) PMID:1759849

  7. 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

  8. Twenty year record of vegetation change from long-term plots in Alaskan tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, W. A.; Mercado Díaz, J. A.

    2008-12-01

    We examined change in plant species composition at two sites in the Southern Alaska Foothills, on the north slope of the Brooks Range, over a 20-year period. Current models and experimental work with tundra vegetation have predicted an increase in shrub species and a decrease in graminoid species as a response to climatic warming. Furthermore, the warming of the Alaskan Arctic during the past 150 years has accelerated over the last three decades and is expected to increase vegetation productivity in tundra if shrubs become more abundant. Decadal change in vegetation in tundra landscapes may be both subtle and slow. Interpreting such change is complicated by spatial variation at small scales and by difficulty in understanding how point changes in species composition relate to landscape-level change in vegetation. Our approach involved resampling the same points in a series of permanent plots over a multi-year interval, using large sample sizes, and analyzing several aspects of compositional change. Our analysis was designed to look at changes in overall species' abundance over time and at relationships between species in terms of the likelihood of one species replacing another. Understanding relationships between species increases the predictive power of measures of species composition and abundance in a time series. We found significant increases in abundance of specific shrub and graminoid species, and a general increase in the extent of the canopy, with a concurrent decrease in the abundance of understory mosses. These changes, extrapolated over the broad expanse of similar vegetation in the Arctic, may have profound above and below ground effects including changes in soil properties, carbon storage and nutrient cycling, and plant community composition.

  9. The impacts of thawing permafrost on tundra lakes, Mackenzie Delta region, NWT, Canada. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kokelj, S.; Thompson, M. S.; Lantz, T.; Thienpont, J.; Pisaric, M. F.; Smol, J. P.; Blais, J.; Zajdlik, B.

    2009-12-01

    Many arctic regions with abundant lakes and ponds are characterized by ice-rich terrain sensitive to thermokarst disturbance. In the Mackenzie Delta region, retrogressive thaw slumps commonly develop adjacent to tundra lakes and may impact several hectares of terrain. The numbers, size and growth rates of slumps have increased significantly since the 1970s with rising air and permafrost temperatures. To examine the chemical effects of thawing permafrost on lake water quality we assessed water chemistry for large number of slump-disturbed and undisturbed lakes across tundra uplands in the Mackenzie Delta region. The environmental factors typically evoked to explain variation in tundra lake water quality, including surficial geology and proximity to the treeline or to the coast, were subordinate to the main driver, permafrost degradation. Thaw slump-affected lakes had elevated ionic concentrations and water clarity in comparison with undisturbed lakes. The strength of the ionic impact was positively associated with the proportion of catchment affected by slumping and inversely related to disturbance age. We also found that fire-induced active-layer deepening had a detectable influence on lake water ionic strength. Preliminary evidence suggests sedimentary diatom assemblages track the changes in chemical and physical limnology coincident with the timing of thermokarst slumping, and thus, may prove a valuable tool for inferring changes at the base of the aquatic food web in these lakes. In a warming arctic, we can anticipate that thermokarst processes will increase in importance as a driver of ionic chemistry and optical properties of small lakes and ponds with potential to alter aquatic food webs.

  10. Phytomass patterns across a temperature gradient of the North American arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epstein, Howard E.; Walker, Donald A.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Jia, Gensuo J.; Kelley, Alexia M.

    2008-09-01

    Only a few studies to date have collectively examined the vegetation biomass and production of arctic tundra ecosystems and their relationships to broadly ranging climate variables. An additional complicating factor for studying vegetation of arctic tundra is the high spatial variability associated with small patterned-ground features, resulting from intense freeze-thaw processes. In this study, we sampled and analyzed the aboveground plant biomass components of patterned-ground ecosystems in the Arctic of northern Alaska and Canada along an 1800-km north-south gradient that spans approximately 11°C of mean July temperatures. Vegetation biomass was analyzed as functions of the summer warmth index (SWI-sum of mean monthly temperatures > 0°C). The total absolute biomass (g m-2) and biomass of shrubs increased monotonically with SWI, however, biomass of nonvascular species (mosses and lichens), were a parabolic function of SWI, with greatest values at the ends of the gradient. The components of plant biomass on patterned-ground features (i.e., on nonsorted circles or within small polygons) were constrained to a greater degree with colder climate than undisturbed tundra, likely due to the effect of frost heave disturbances on the vegetation. There were also clear differences in the relative abundances of vascular versus nonvascular plants on and off patterned-ground features along the SWI gradient. The spatial patterns of biomass differ among plant functional groups and suggest that plant community responses to temperature, and land-surface processes that produce patterned-ground features, are quite complex.

  11. Molecular detection of Setaria tundra (Nematoda: Filarioidea) and an unidentified filarial species in mosquitoes in Germany

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Knowledge of the potential vector role of Culicidae mosquitoes in Germany is very scanty, and until recently it was generally assumed that they are not involved in the transmission of anthroponotic or zoonotic pathogens in this country. However, anticipated changes in the course of global warming and globalization may alter their status. Methods We conducted a molecular mass screening of mosquitoes for filarial parasites using mitochondrial 12S rRNA-based real-time PCR. Results No parasites causing disease in humans such as Dirofilaria spp. were detected in about 83,000 mosquitoes tested, which had been collected in 2009 and 2010 in 16 locations throughout Germany. However, minimum infection rates of up to 24 per 1000 mosquitoes were revealed, which could be attributed to mosquito infection with Setaria tundra and a yet unidentified second parasite. Setaria tundra was found to be widespread in southern Germany in various mosquito species, except Culex spp. In contrast, the unidentified filarial species was exclusively found in Culex spp. in northern Baden-Württemberg, and is likely to be a bird parasite. Conclusions Although dirofilariasis appears to be emerging and spreading in Europe, the absence of Dirofilaria spp. or other zoonotic filariae in our sample allows the conclusion that the risk of autochthonous infection in Germany is still very low. Potential vectors of S. tundra in Germany are Ochlerotatus sticticus, Oc. cantans, Aedes vexans and Anopheles claviger. Technically, the synergism between entomologists, virologists and parasitologists, combined with state-of-the-art methods allows a very efficient near-real-time monitoring of a wide spectrum of both human and veterinary pathogens, including new distribution records of parasite species and the incrimination of their potential vectors. PMID:22236560

  12. Permafrost thaw and soil moisture driving CO2 and CH4 release from upland tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Natali, Susan M.; Schuur, Edward A. G.; Mauritz, Marguerite; Schade, John D.; Celis, Gerardo; Crummer, Kathryn G.; Johnston, Catherine; Krapek, John; Pegoraro, Elaine; Salmon, Verity G.; Webb, Elizabeth E.

    2015-03-01

    As permafrost degrades, the amount of organic soil carbon (C) that thaws during the growing season will increase, but decomposition may be limited by saturated soil conditions common in high-latitude ecosystems. However, in some areas, soil drying is expected to accompany permafrost thaw as a result of increased water drainage, which may enhance C release to the atmosphere. We examined the effects of ecosystem warming, permafrost thaw, and soil moisture changes on C balance in an upland tundra ecosystem. This study was conducted at a water table drawdown experiment, established in 2011 and located within the Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research project, an ecosystem warming and permafrost thawing experiment in Alaska. Warming and drying increased cumulative growing season ecosystem respiration by ~20% over 3 years of this experiment. Warming caused an almost twofold increase in decomposition of a common substrate in surface soil (0-10 cm) across all years, and drying caused a twofold increase in decomposition (0-20 cm) relative to control after 3 years of drying. Decomposition of older C increased in the dried and in the combined warmed + dried plots based on soil pore space 14CO2. Although upland tundra systems have been considered CH4 sinks, warming and ground thaw significantly increased CH4 emission rates. Water table depth was positively correlated with monthly respiration and negatively correlated with CH4 emission rates. These results demonstrate that warming and drying may increase loss of old permafrost C from tundra ecosystems, but the form and magnitude of C released to the atmosphere will be driven by changes in soil moisture.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Molecular detection of Dirofilaria immitis, Dirofilaria repens and Setaria tundra in mosquitoes from Germany

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background As a result of globalization and climate change, Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens, the causative agents of dirofilariosis in Europe, continue to spread from endemic areas in the Mediterranean to northern and northeastern regions of Europe where autochthonous cases of dirofilarial infections have increasingly been observed in dogs and humans. Whilst D. repens was recently reported from mosquitoes in putatively non-endemic areas, D. immitis has never been demonstrated in mosquitoes from Europe outside the Mediterranean. Methods From 2011 to 2013, mosquitoes collected within the framework of a German national mosquito monitoring programme were screened for filarial nematodes using a newly designed filarioid-specific real-time PCR assay. Positive samples were further processed by conventional PCR amplification of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene, amplicons were sequenced and sequences blasted against GenBank. Results Approximately 17,000 female mosquitoes were subjected to filarial screening. Out of 955 pools examined, nine tested positive for filariae. Two of the COI sequences indicated D. immitis, one D. repens and four Setaria tundra. Two sequences could not be assigned to a known species due to a lack of similar GenBank entries. Whilst D. immitis and the unknown parasites were detected in Culex pipiens/torrentium, D. repens was found in a single Anopheles daciae and all S. tundra were demonstrated in Aedes vexans. All positive mosquitoes were collected between mid-June and early September. Conclusion The finding of dirofilariae in German mosquitoes implies the possibility of a local natural transmission cycle. While the routes of introduction to Germany and the origin of the filariae cannot be determined retrospectively, potential culicid vectors and reservoir hosts must prospectively be identified and awareness among physicians, veterinarians and public health personnel be created. The health impact of S. tundra on the indigenous

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Reproductive Ecology and Severe Pollen Limitation in the Polychromic Tundra Plant, Parrya nudicaulis (Brassicaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Fulkerson, Justin R.; Whittall, Justen B.; Carlson, Matthew L.

    2012-01-01

    Pollen limitation is predicted to be particularly severe in tundra habitats. Numerous reproductive patterns associated with alpine and arctic species, particularly mechanisms associated with reproductive assurance, are suggested to be driven by high levels of pollen limitation. We studied the reproductive ecology of Parrya nudicaulis, a species with relatively large sexual reproductive investment and a wide range of floral pigmentation, in tundra habitats in interior montane Alaska to estimate the degree of pollen limitation. The plants are self-compatible and strongly protandrous, setting almost no seed in the absence of pollinators. Supplemental hand pollinations within pollinator exclusion cages indicated no cage effect on seed production. Floral visitation rates were low in both years of study and particularly infrequent in 2010. A diversity of insects visited P. nudicaulis, though syrphid and muscid flies composed the majority of all visits. Pollen-ovule ratios and levels of heterozygosity are consistent with a mixed mating system. Pollen limitation was severe; hand pollinations increased seed production per plant five-fold. Seed-to-ovule ratios remained low following hand pollinations, indicating resource limitation is likely to also be responsible for curtailing seed set. We suggest that pollen limitation in P. nudicaulis may be the result of selection favoring an overproduction of ovules as a bet-hedging strategy in this environmental context of highly variable pollen receipt. PMID:22427886

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Regional-Scale Vegetation Dynamics in Patterned-Ground Ecosystems of Arctic Tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epstein, H. E.; Kelley, A. M.; Walker, D. A.; Jia, G. J.; Raynolds, M. K.

    2006-12-01

    Regional-scale patterns of vegetation have been analyzed along a number of climate gradients throughout the world; these spatial dynamics provide important insights into the controlling factors of vegetation and the potential plant responses to environmental change. Only a few studies to date have collectively examined the vegetation biomass and production of arctic tundra ecosystems and their relationships to broadly ranging climate variables. No prior study has taken a systematic and consistent approach to examining vegetation biomass patterns along the full temperature gradient of the arctic biome. An additional complicating factor for studying vegetation of arctic tundra is the high spatial variability associated with small patterned-ground features (e.g. non-sorted circles and small non-sorted polygons), resulting from intense freeze-thaw processes. In this study, we sampled and analyzed the aboveground plant biomass components of patterned-ground ecosystems in the Arctic of northern Alaska and Canada along an 1800-km north-south gradient that spans approximately 11 degrees C of mean July temperatures. At each of ten locations along the regional temperature gradient, we ran several 50-m transects and harvested the aboveground biomass of three 20 x 50 cm plots for each transect. Vegetation biomass was dried, sorted by plant functional groups and tissue types, weighed, and analyzed as functions of the summer warmth index (SWI sum of mean monthly temperatures > 0). The absolute biomass (g/m2) of shrubs and graminoids increased exponentially with SWI, whereas forb and lichen biomass showed no change along the gradient. Moss biomass increased linearly with SWI, but with greater variabiliy than the other types. Relative aboveground biomass (% of total) of shrubs and graminoids increased with SWI, whereas percent lichen biomass decreased, and forbs again exhibited no significant change. Percentage of moss biomass was a parabolic function of SWI, with high relative

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:25522194

  18. Shrub canopies influence soil temperatures but not nutrient dynamics: An experimental test of tundra snow–shrub interactions

    PubMed Central

    Myers-Smith, Isla H; Hik, David S

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24198933

  19. 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., III; 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Impact of seabird activity on nitrous oxide and methane fluxes from High Arctic tundra in Svalbard, Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Renbin; Chen, Qingqing; Ding, Wei; Xu, Hua

    2012-12-01

    In this study, tundra N2O and CH4 fluxes were measured from one seabird sanctuary (SBT) and two non-seabird colonies (NST-I and NST-II) in Ny-Ålesund (79°55'N, 11°56'E), Svalbard during the summers of 2008 and 2009. N2O and CH4 fluxes from SBT showed large temporal and spatial variations depending on the intensity of seabird activity. High seabird activity sites showed large N2O and CH4 emissions while low N2O and CH4 emissions, even CH4 uptake occurred at medium and low seabird activity sites. Overall the mean fluxes were 18.3 ± 3.6 μg N2O m-2 h-1 and 53.5 ± 20.3 μg CH4 m-2 h-1 from tundra SBT whereas tundra NST-I and NST-II represented a relatively weak N2O source (8.3 ± 13.2 μg N2O m-2 h-1) and strong CH4 sink (-82.8 ± 22.3 μg CH4 m-2 h-1). Seabird activity was the strongest control of N2O and CH4 fluxes compared with soil temperature and moisture, and high N2O and CH4 emissions were created by soil physical and chemical processes (the sufficient supply of nutrients NH4+-N, NO3--N, total nitrogen, total phosphorus and total carbon from seabird guano, seabird tramp and appropriate water content) related to the seabird activity. Our work suggests that tundra ecosystems impacted by seabird activity are the potential "hotspots" for N2O and CH4 emissions although these sources have been largely neglected at present. Furthermore the combination of seabird activity and warming climate will likely further enhance N2O and CH4 emissions from the High Arctic tundra.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buell, Mary-Claire

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

  11. Understanding Pan-Arctic Tundra Vegetation Change Through Long-term Remotely Sensed Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    The goal of this paper is to present an analysis of the seasonality of tundra vegetation variability and change using long-term remotely sensed data as well as ground based measurements and reanalyses. An increase of Pan-Arctic tundra vegetation greenness has been documented using the remotely sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Coherent variability between NDVI, springtime coastal sea ice (passive microwave) and land surface temperatures (AVHRR) has also been established. Satellite based snow and cloud cover data sets are being incorporated into this analysis. The Arctic tundra is divided into domains based on Treshnikov divisions that are modified based on floristic provinces. There is notable heterogeneity in Pan-Arctic vegetation and climate trends, which necessitates a regional analysis. This study uses remotely sensed weekly 25-km sea ice concentration, weekly surface temperature, and bi-weekly NDVI from 1982 to 2010. The GIMMS NDVI3g data has been corrected for biases during the spring and fall, with special focus on the Arctic. Trends of Maximum NDVI (MaxNDVI), Time Integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI), Summer Warmth Index (SWI, sum of degree months above freezing during May-August), and open water area are calculated for the Pan Arctic. Remotely sensed snow data trends suggest varying patterns throughout the Arctic and may in part explain the heterogeneous MaxNDVI trends. Standard climate data (station, reanalysis, and model data) and ground observations are used in the analysis to provide additional support for hypothesized mechanisms. Overall, we find that trends over the 30-year record are changing as evidenced by the following examples from recent years. The sea ice decline has increased in Eurasia and slowed in North America. The weekly AVHRR landsurface temperatures reveal that there has been summer cooling over Eurasia and that the warming over North America has slowed. The MaxNDVI rates of change have diverged between N. America and Eurasia

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Imperio, Ludovica

    2014-05-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:26386054

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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%.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:26990225

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:26718892

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Increasing Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) in Arctic tundra ponds over the past 40 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lougheed, V.; Contreras, G.; Andresen, C. G.; Miller, N. A.; Reyes, F. R.

    2013-12-01

    With a warming Arctic, permafrost is expected to thaw and active layer depth to increase, thus releasing organic material and nutrients into aquatic environments; however, there are few long-term datasets with which to test these predictions in aquatic ecosystems. The Arctic tundra ponds at the International Biological Program (IBP) site in Barrow, Alaska, studied for the first time in the 1970s, represent one of the very few locations in the Arctic where long-term data are available on freshwater ecosystem structure and function. The objective of this study was to determine whether Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) concentrations in Arctic tundra ponds had changed over time, how changes in thaw depth and temperature have impacted DOC quantity, and what the consequences of any changes have been for aquatic ecosystems. Over the summers of 2010-13 we collected water samples and measured thaw depth from 5 IBP ponds and compared these with data from the 1970s. Ponds were 2°C warmer and thaw depth was up to 19cm deeper in the 2000s as compared to the 1970s. Release of organic (e.g. DOC) and inorganic compounds (e.g.nitrogen) from formerly frozen organic ground into the ponds was associated with the increased thaw depth. For example, DOC was significantly higher in 2009-2012 compared to the 1970s; this was most notable later in the growing season. Similarly, incubations experiments indicate a steady rise in DOC released from permafrost with warming. DOC is likely a relatively conservative tracer of permafrost thaw in aquatic systems, and thus was a better predictor of increased phytoplankton levels than inorganic nutrients. This study will add to our understanding of the changes that warmer temperatures and altered aquatic environments bring to the Arctic and the consequences for carbon budgets in northern latitudes.

  18. Isotopic identification of soil and permafrost nitrate sources in an Arctic tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heikoop, Jeffrey M.; Throckmorton, Heather M.; Newman, Brent D.; Perkins, George B.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Roy Chowdhury, Taniya; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Graham, David E.; Norby, Richard J.; Wilson, Cathy J.; Wullschleger, Stan D.

    2015-06-01

    The nitrate (NO3-) dual isotope approach was applied to snowmelt, tundra active layer pore waters, and underlying permafrost in Barrow, Alaska, USA, to distinguish between NO3- derived from atmospheric deposition versus that derived from microbial nitrification. Snowmelt had an atmospheric NO3- signal with δ15N averaging -4.8 ± 1.0‰ (standard error of the mean) and δ18O averaging 70.2 ± 1.7‰. In active layer pore waters, NO3- primarily occurred at concentrations suitable for isotopic analysis in the relatively dry and oxic centers of high-centered polygons. The average δ15N and δ18O of NO3- from high-centered polygons were 0.5 ± 1.1‰ and -4.1 ± 0.6‰, respectively. When compared to the δ15N of reduced nitrogen (N) sources, and the δ18O of soil pore waters, it was evident that NO3- in high-centered polygons was primarily from microbial nitrification. Permafrost NO3- had δ15N ranging from approximately -6‰ to 10‰, similar to atmospheric and microbial NO3-, and highly variable δ18O ranging from approximately -2‰ to 38‰. Permafrost ice wedges contained a significant atmospheric component of NO3-, while permafrost textural ice contained a greater proportion of microbially derived NO3-. Large-scale permafrost thaw in this environment would release NO3- with a δ18O signature intermediate to that of atmospheric and microbial NO3. Consequently, while atmospheric and microbial sources can be readily distinguished by the NO3- dual isotope technique in tundra environments, attribution of NO3- from thawing permafrost will not be straightforward. The NO3- isotopic signature, however, appears useful in identifying NO3- sources in extant permafrost ice.

  19. Vegetation biomass, leaf area index, and NDVI patterns and relationships along two latitudinal transects in arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epstein, H. E.; Walker, D. A.; Raynolds, M. K.; Kelley, A. M.; Jia, G.; Ping, C.; Michaelson, G.; Leibman, M. O.; Kaarlejärvi, E.; Khomutov, A.; Kuss, P.; Moskalenko, N.; Orekhov, P.; Matyshak, G.; Forbes, B. C.; Yu, Q.

    2009-12-01

    Analyses of vegetation properties along climatic gradients provide first order approximations as to how vegetation might respond to a temporally dynamic climate. Until recently, no systematic study of tundra vegetation had been conducted along bioclimatic transects that represent the full latitudinal extent of the arctic tundra biome. Since 1999, we have been collecting data on arctic tundra vegetation and soil properties along two such transects, the North American Arctic Transect (NAAT) and the Yamal Arctic Transect (YAT). The NAAT spans the arctic tundra from the Low Arctic of the North Slope of Alaska to the polar desert of Cape Isachsen on Ellef Ringnes Island in the Canadian Archipelago. The Yamal Arctic Transect located in northwest Siberia, Russia, presently ranges from the forest-tundra transition at Nadym to the High Arctic tundra on Belyy Ostrov off the north coast of the Yamal Peninsula. The summer warmth indices (SWI - sum of mean monthly temperatures greater than 0°C) range from approximately 40 °C months to 3 °C months from south to north. For largely zonal sites along these transects, we systematically collected leaf area index (LAI-2000 Plant Canopy Analyzer), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI - PSII hand-held spectro-radiometer), and vegetation biomass (clip harvests). Site-averaged LAI ranges from 1.08 to 0 along the transects, yet can be highly variable at the landscape scale. Site-averaged NDVI ranges from 0.67 to 0.26 along the transects, and is less variable than LAI at the landscape scale. Total aboveground live biomass ranges from approximately 700 g m-2 to < 50 g m-2 along the NAAT, and from approximately 1100 g m-2 to < 400 g m-2 along the YAT (not including tree biomass at Nadym). LAI and NDVI are highly correlated logarithmically (r = 0.80) for the entire dataset. LAI is significantly related to total aboveground (live plus dead) vascular plant biomass, although there is some variability in the data (r = 0.63). NDVI is

  20. Geocryological hazards and destructive exogenic geological processes on lines of linear constructions of tundra and forest-tundra zones of Western Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ospennikov, E. N.; Hilimonjuk, V. Z.

    2009-04-01

    Economic development of northern oil-and gas-bearing regions, even by application of shift method, is accompanied by a construction of the linear transport systems including automobile- and railways. Construction of such roads is connected with the risks caused by the whole complex of hazards, defined by the environmental features of the region, including flat surface with strong marshiness, development of a peat, fine-grained and easily eroded friable sedimentations, as well as by complicated geocryological conditions. Geocryological conditions of Western Siberia area are characterized by a rather high heterogeneity. This implies the strong variability of permafrost soils distribution, their thickness and continuity, depths of seasonal thawing and frost penetration, and also intact development of geocryological processes and phenomena. Thermokarst, thermo erosion and thermo-abrasion develop in the natural conditions. These processes are caused by partial degradation of permafrost. A frost heave also occurs during their seasonal or long-term freezing. Failure of an environment, which is always peculiar to construction of the roads, causes reorganization of geocryological systems that is accompanied by occurrence of dangerous geocryological processes, such as technogenic thermokarst (with formation of various negative forms of a relief: from fine subsidence up to small and average sized lakes), frost heave ground (with formation frost mound in height up to 0,5 - 1,5 meters and more), thermal erosion (gullies and ravines with volume of the born material up to several thousand cubic meters). Development of these destructive processes in a road stripes leads to emergencies owing to deformations and destructions of an earthen cloth, and to failure of natural tundra and forest-tundra ecosystems. The methodical approaches based on typification and zoning of the area by its environmental complex have been developed for an estimation of geocryological hazards at linear

  1. Flux Of Carbon from an Airborne Laboratory (FOCAL): Synergy of airborne and surface measures of carbon emission and isotopologue content from tundra landscape in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobosy, R.; Dumas, E.; Sayres, D. S.; Kochendorfer, J.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic tundra, recognized as a potential major source of new atmospheric carbon, is characterized by low topographic relief and small-scale heterogeneity consisting of small lakes and intervening tundra vegetation. This fits well the flux-fragment method (FFM) of analysis of data from low-flying aircraft. The FFM draws on 1)airborne eddy-covariance flux measurements, 2)a classified surface-characteristics map (e.g. open water vs tundra), 3)a footprint model, and 4)companion surface-based eddy-covariance flux measurements. The FOCAL, a collaboration among Harvard University's Anderson Group, NOAA's Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division (ATDD), and Aurora Flight Sciences, Inc., made coordinated flights in 2013 August with a collaborating surface site. The FOCAL gathers not only flux data for CH4 and CO2 but also the corresponding carbon-isotopologue content of these gases. The surface site provides a continuous sample of carbon flux from interstitial tundra over time throughout the period of the campaign. The FFM draws samples from the aircraft data over many instances of tundra and also open water. From this we will determine how representative the surface site is of the larger area (100 km linear scale), and how much the open water differs from the tundra as a source of carbon.

  2. Effects of experimentally-warmed tundra on diurnal gas exchange in Salix-, Carex, and Eriophorum in a high-arctic lowland oasis

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, M.H.; MacDonald, S.E. ); Henry, G.H.R. )

    1994-06-01

    Gas exchange was measured for the willow Salix arctica and two sede species. Carex qauatilus stans and Eriophorum angustifolium triste, at Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island (78[degrees]52'N) in an experiment designed to stimulate climate change. The tundra was warmed using passive, open-topped experimental chambers that raised daily mean temperatures approx. 2[degrees] over two seasons. The chambers are part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX), the objective of which is to assess potential impacts of global warming on tundra plant communities. Salix arctica was measured in dry tundra and on adjacent wet meadow hummocks. The sedges were measured on hummocks and in hollows in the wet meadow only. Gas exchange was measured every four hours for 48 hours for each species. For S arctica, experimental warming had no effect in the dry tundra, but appeared to depress net assimilation (NA) in the wet meadow. Gas exchange parameters were slightly higher overall in the dry tundra for this species. For the sedges, the warming treatment had no major effect, although it caused some reduction of NA for Eriophorum on the hummocks. Gas exchange parameters were generally higher for Carex than for Eriophorum. No regular diurnal patterns of gas exchange were observed for any species.

  3. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soils and lower-layer plants of the southern shrub tundra under technogenic conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yakovleva, E. V.; Gabov, D. N.; Beznosikov, V. A.; Kondratenok, B. M.

    2014-06-01

    In soils and plants of the southern shrub tundra, 15 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been detected by high-performance liquid chromatography. Polyarenes in emissions, soil organic horizons, and plants mainly include low-molecular-weight PAHs: naphthalene, fluorine, and pyrene. The contents of the total PAHs in soils and plants exceed the background levels by 3-5 times. The distribution of polyarenes among the organs of the studied plants is nonuniform and depends on the plant species and technogenic load on the area. The studied plants include both hyperaccumulators of polyarenes ( Pleurozium schreberi) and indicators of PAHs in the soil ( Polytrichum commune). Pleurozium schreberi is the most abundant species in the areas under study, and it accumulates the largest mass fraction of PAHs. The differences in the accumulation of PAHs by the plants of the tundra and taiga zones have been revealed.

  4. Effect of warming on the degradation and production of low-molecular-weight labile organic carbon in an Arctic tundra soil

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Yang, Ziming; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Liang, Liyuan; Graham, David E.; Gu, Baohua

    2016-01-16

    The fate of soil organic carbon (SOC) stored in the Arctic permafrost is a key concern as temperatures continue to rise in the northern hemisphere. Studies and conceptual models suggest that SOC degradation is affected by the composition of SOC, but it is unclear exactly what portions of SOC are vulnerable to rapid breakdown and what mechanisms may be controlling SOC degradation upon permafrost thaw. Here, we examine the dynamic consumption and production of labile SOC in an anoxic incubation experiment using soil samples from the active layer at the Barrow Environmental Observatory, Barrow, Alaska, USA. Free-reducing sugars, alcohols, andmore » low-molecular-weight (LMW) organic acids were analyzed during incubation at either –2 or 8 °C for up to 240 days. Results show that simple sugar and alcohol SOC largely account for the initial rapid release of CO2 and CH4 through anaerobic fermentation, whereas the fermentation products, acetate and formate, are subsequently utilized as primary substrates for methanogenesis. Iron(III) reduction is correlated to acetate production and methanogenesis, suggesting its important role as an electron acceptor in tundra SOC respiration. These observations are further supported in a glucose addition experiment, in which rapid CO2 and CH4 production occurred concurrently with rapid production and consumption of labile organics such as acetate. However, addition of tannic acid, as a more complex organic substrate, showed little influence on the overall production of CO2 and CH4 and organic acids. Together our study shows that LMW labile organics in SOC control the initial rapid release of green-house gases upon warming. We thus present a conceptual framework for the labile SOC transformations and their relations to fermentation, iron reduction and methanogenesis, thereby providing the basis for improved model prediction of climate feedbacks in the Arctic.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Qin; Epstein, Howard; Walker, Donald

    2009-10-01

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

  6. The employment of weather satellite imagery in an effort to identify and locate the forest-tundra ecotone in Canada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aldrich, S. A.; Aldrich, F. T.; Rudd, R. D.

    1969-01-01

    Weather satellite imagery provides the only routinely available orbital imagery depicting the high latitudes. Although resolution is low on this imagery, it is believed that a major natural feature, notably linear in expression, should be mappable on it. The transition zone from forest to tundra, the ecotone, is such a feature. Locational correlation is herein established between a linear signature on the imagery and several ground truth positions of the ecotone in Canada.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1989-12-31

    Predicting the response of northern ecosystems to increases in atmospheric CO{sub 2} and associated climatic change is important for several reasons, including the fact that northern ecosystems contain large stores of carbon, most of which is below ground and because northern ecosystems could conceivably be either sources or sinks for CO{sub 2} under future climatic and atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations. The carbon in northern ecosystems is equal to about 20% of the world`s terrestrial carbon and about 70% of the carbon currently in the atmosphere. Eighty-three percent of this carbon is below ground in the seasonally-thawed upper soil layers and in the permanently frozen zone, the permafrost. Because of bogs and permafrost, northern ecosystems are unusual in that they can potentially store significant amounts of carbon over long time periods. Most other mature ecosystems have little capacity for long- term carbon storage. Given the right conditions, northern ecosystems can also release a significant amount of carbon. A substantial amount of the carbon stored in northern ecosystems, and much of the future storage potential, is in the tundra regions. These systems could conceivably act as sources or sinks depending on developing climatic and atmospheric conditions. Our recent work indicates that elevated CO{sub 2} alone will have little effect on carbon storage in the tundra. However, the combination of elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} (+ 340 ppm) and air temperature (+4{degrees}C) in the absence of any change in soil water table or soil moisture content, should result in significant increases in carbon sequestering in the tundra. However, if changing climate results in a decrease in the water table and soil moisture levels, this may lead to sizeable losses of carbon from the tundra soils.

  8. Diurnal patterns of gas-exchange and metabolic pools in tundra plants during three phases of the arctic growing season

    PubMed Central

    Patankar, Rajit; Mortazavi, Behzad; Oberbauer, Steven F; Starr, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    Arctic tundra plant communities are subject to a short growing season that is the primary period in which carbon is sequestered for growth and survival. This period is often characterized by 24-h photoperiods for several months a year. To compensate for the short growing season tundra plants may extend their carbon uptake capacity on a diurnal basis, but whether this is true remains unknown. Here, we examined in situ diurnal patterns of physiological activity and foliar metabolites during the early, mid, and late growing season in seven arctic species under light-saturated conditions. We found clear diurnal patterns in photosynthesis and respiration, with midday peaks and midnight lulls indicative of circadian regulation. Diurnal patterns in foliar metabolite concentrations were less distinct between the species and across seasons, suggesting that metabolic pools are likely governed by proximate external factors. This understanding of diurnal physiology will also enhance the parameterization of process-based models, which will aid in better predicting future carbon dynamics for the tundra. This becomes even more critical considering the rapid changes that are occurring circumpolarly that are altering plant community structure, function, and ultimately regional and global carbon budgets. PMID:23467719

  9. Landsat-based Analysis of Mountain Forest-tundra Ecotone Response to Climate Trends in Sayan Mountains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kharuk, Viatcheslav I.; Im, Sergey T.; Ranson, K. Jon

    2007-01-01

    observations of temperatures Siberia has shown a several degree warming over the past 30 years. It is expected that forest will respond to warming at high latitudes through increased tree growth and northward or upward slope migration. migration. Tree response to climate trends is most likely observable in the forest-tundra ecotone, where temperature mainly limits tree growth. Making repeated satellite observations over several decades provides an opportunity to track vegetation response to climate change. Based on Landsat data of the Sayan Mountains, Siberia, there was an increase in forest stand crown closure and an upward tree-line shift in the of the forest-tundra ecotone during the last quarter of the 2oth century,. On-ground observations, supporting these results, also showed regeneration of Siberian pine in the alpine tundra, and the transformation of prostrate Siberian pine and fir into arboreal (upright) forms. During this time period sparse stands transformed into closed stands, with existing closed stands increasing in area at a rate of approx. 1 %/yr, and advancing their upper border at a vertical rate of approx. 1.0 m/yr. In addition, the vertical rate of regeneration propagation is approx. 5 m/yr. It was also found that these changes correlated positively with temperature trends

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-06-01

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

  11. EnMAP Specific BRDF Measurements and Vegetation Indices for Low-Growing Biomes in the Arctic Tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchhorn, M.; Heim, B.; van der Linden, S.

    2011-12-01

    Global warming is highest in the Arctic where the tundra regions are expected to undergo pronounced changes. Remote sensing can provide spatial and temporal data on variables linked to vegetation and ecosystem processes on global scale. Specifically, hyperspectral remote sensing data can relate to Vegetation Indices (VIs), Leaf Area Index (LAI) and the fraction of Photosynthetically active Radiation (fPAR). Currently, spaceborne hyperspectral imaging data is provided by the CHRIS/PROBA and the Hyperion programs. The Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP), a German hyperspectral mission, is the next step in this line and will provide high spectral resolution observations with a ground sampling distance of 30 meter. The continuous spectral sampling provided by imaging spectroscopy offers the possibility to develop robust algorithms for vegetation indices in low-growing tundra biomes. Since the EnMAP sensor has pointing capabilities, both spectral and directional reflection characteristics need to be taken into account. In order to examine the influence of the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) on spectral variables such as the Vegetation Indices, LAI and fPAR, we developed the EnMAP specific field goniospectrometer, EyeSight. We took part at the summer field campaign of the Earth Cryosphere Institute (RU) in 2011 on the Yamal Peninsula, Western Siberia, Russia. Field spectroscopy, vegetation and biomass analysis, and field goniometer measurements under varying sun zenith angles and moisture conditions have been conducted. The spectral measurements and BRDF measurements of the low-growing tundra are presented and discussed.

  12. Long-term mountain tundra composition's responses to grazing pressure in the context of environmental changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saccone, Patrick; Pyykkonen, Tuija; Eskelinen, Anu; Virtanen, Risto

    2013-04-01

    Strong changes in northern tundra in response to climate changes are expected and in particular an increasing shrubiness. However, global changes contain not only warming or shifts in snow-cover but also changes in land-use, e.g. for arctic low productive ecosystems changes in grazing pressure. Grazing could also represent an important driver of future Arctic tundra communities. However, the relative importance of biotic and abiotic drivers of plant communities' composition remains largely unknown, in particular because short-term experiments provided to conflicting evidences. Here, we present the results from a long-term (23 years) experiment set up in 1989 at Kilpisjärvi in the north-western Finnish Lapland. The experiment consisted in the transplantation of twenty 40x50 cm blocks of Vaccinium myrtillus heath including 5-10 cm thick soil layer from a 660 m.a.s.l. dry slope to a snowbed 150m higher in elevation containing dry and wet sites. We considered the transplantation at higher altitude in snowbed conditions an increase in harsher conditions (shorter growing season, lower productivity). Half of the transplanted blocks were protected from herbivores and the percentage cover of each plant species was estimated in mid-august 2012 from a central 12.5 x12.5 cm area in each block. Our results showed that the dominance of the shrub V. myrtillus was strongly reduced as response to transplantation to snowbed. Consequently the competitive pressure also decreased and allowed an increase of the species richness. Soil moisture differences between installation locations induced divergence in plant communities' composition allowing the increase in abundance of subordinate species as bryophytes and graminoids in wet and dry sites respectively. Excluding herbivory, some species assumed high dominance reducing the community diversity. In the wet exclosures, quarter of the surface was covered by a moss and V. myrtillus co-dominated. The strongest changes occurred in dry

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Using geomorphology to map plant community distribution in complex polygonal tundra landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sloan, V. L.; Gangodagamage, C.; Iversen, C. M.; Norby, R. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change over the next century is expected to substantially alter Arctic ecosystem structure and function, resulting in important feedbacks to global climate. Representing Arctic landscapes in the carbon cycle and climate models, however, is challenging because vegetation and soils vary over small spatial scales. Robust approaches are needed for identifying distinct plant communities for fine-scale model parameterizations, and for mapping the distribution of these communities to enable scaling from plot to grid-cell. Here, we demonstrate how a novel technique using LiDAR-derived metrics to delineate micro-topographic features can also be applied to mapping plant community distribution in a polygonal tundra landscape on the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO), Alaska. We recorded species composition in 48, 1 x 1 m plots located across contrasting ice-wedge polygon types on the BEO in July 2012. One-way cluster analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling identified four major plant communities, namely i) tall Carex (sedge) dominated communities, ii) mixed tall graminoid-forb-moss communities, iii) dry graminoid-lichen communities and iv) low-stature, lichen dominated-communities. These communities were strongly linked to micro-topography, corresponding with i) low centers ii) troughs, iii) rims and transitional polygon centers, and iv) high centers. We therefore combined plant community type with geomorphological analyses using high-resolution LiDAR-derived metrics (e.g. slope, curvature, flowpath distances) to delineate micro-topographic features to produce a vegetation map. The map was verified using 24 field survey transects in which plant community boundaries were mapped using DGPS. The approach performed well, with only a small (5%) over-estimate of the extent of trough communities and a corresponding under-estimate of rim and transitional center communities. Overall, these analyses provide a framework which can be used for parameterizing fine

  15. Assessing seasonal backscatter variations with respect to uncertainties in soil moisture retrieval in Siberian tundra regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Högström, Elin; Trofaier, Anna Maria; Gouttevin, Isabella; Bartsch, Annett

    2015-04-01

    Data from the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) instrument provide the basis of a near real-time, coarse scale, global soil moisture product. Numerous studies have shown the applicability of this product, including recent operational use for numerical weather forecasts. Soil moisture is a key element in the global cycles of water, energy and carbon. Among many application areas, it is essential for the understanding of permafrost development in a future climate change scenario. Dramatic climate changes are expected in the Arctic, where ca 25% of the land is underlain by permafrost, and it is to a large extent remote and inaccessible. The availability and applicability of satellite derived land-surface data relevant for permafrost studies, such as surface soil moisture, is thus crucial to landscape-scale analyses of climate-induced change. However, there are challenges in the soil moisture retrieval that are specific to the Arctic. This study investigates backscatter variability unrelated to soil moisture variations in order to understand the possible impact on the soil moisture retrieval. The focus is on tundra lakes, which are a common feature in the Arctic and are expected to affect the retrieval. ENVISAT Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) Wide Swath (120 m) data are used to resolve lakes and later understand and quantify their impacts on Metop ASCAT (25 km) soil moisture retrieval during the snow free period. Sites of interest are chosen according to high or low agreement between output from the land surface model ORCHIDEE and ASCAT derived SSM. The results show that in most cases low model agreement is related to high water fraction. The water fraction correlates with backscatter deviations (relative to a smooth water surface reference image) within the ASCAT footprint areas (R = 0.91-0.97). Backscatter deviations of up to 5 dB can occur in areas with less than 50% water fraction and an assumed soil moisture related range (sensitivity) of 7 dB in the ASCAT

  16. Spectral determination of concentrations of functionally diverse pigments in increasingly complex arctic tundra canopies.

    PubMed

    Boelman, Natalie T; Magney, Troy S; Logan, Barry A; Griffin, Kevin L; Eitel, Jan U H; Greaves, Heather; Prager, Case M; Vierling, Lee A

    2016-09-01

    As the Arctic warms, tundra vegetation is becoming taller and more structurally complex, as tall deciduous shrubs become increasingly dominant. Emerging studies reveal that shrubs exhibit photosynthetic resource partitioning, akin to forests, that may need accounting for in the "big leaf" net ecosystem exchange models. We conducted a lab experiment on sun and shade leaves from S. pulchra shrubs to determine the influence of both constitutive (slowly changing bulk carotenoid and chlorophyll pools) and facultative (rapidly changing xanthophyll cycle) pigment pools on a suite of spectral vegetation indices, to devise a rapid means of estimating within canopy resource partitioning. We found that: (1) the PRI of dark-adapted shade leaves (PRIo) was double that of sun leaves, and that PRIo was sensitive to variation among sun and shade leaves in both xanthophyll cycle pool size (V + A + Z) (r (2) = 0.59) and Chla/b (r (2) = 0.64); (2) A corrected PRI (difference between dark and illuminated leaves, ΔPRI) was more sensitive to variation among sun and shade leaves in changes to the epoxidation state of their xanthophyll cycle pigments (dEPS) (r (2) = 0.78, RMSE = 0.007) compared to the uncorrected PRI of illuminated leaves (PRI) (r (2) = 0.34, RMSE = 0.02); and (3) the SR680 index was correlated with each of (V + A + Z), lutein, bulk carotenoids, (V + A + Z)/(Chla + b), and Chla/b (r (2) range = 0.52-0.69). We suggest that ΔPRI be employed as a proxy for facultative pigment dynamics, and the SR680 for the estimation of constitutive pigment pools. We contribute the first Arctic-specific information on disentangling PRI-pigment relationships, and offer insight into how spectral indices can assess resource partitioning within shrub tundra canopies. PMID:27193900

  17. Contrasting radiation and soil heat fluxes in Arctic shrub and wet sedge tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juszak, Inge; Eugster, Werner; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela

    2016-07-01

    Vegetation changes, such as shrub encroachment and wetland expansion, have been observed in many Arctic tundra regions. These changes feed back to permafrost and climate. Permafrost can be protected by soil shading through vegetation as it reduces the amount of solar energy available for thawing. Regional climate can be affected by a reduction in surface albedo as more energy is available for atmospheric and soil heating. Here, we compared the shortwave radiation budget of two common Arctic tundra vegetation types dominated by dwarf shrubs (Betula nana) and wet sedges (Eriophorum angustifolium) in North-East Siberia. We measured time series of the shortwave and longwave radiation budget above the canopy and transmitted radiation below the canopy. Additionally, we quantified soil temperature and heat flux as well as active layer thickness. The mean growing season albedo of dwarf shrubs was 0.15 ± 0.01, for sedges it was higher (0.17 ± 0.02). Dwarf shrub transmittance was 0.36 ± 0.07 on average, and sedge transmittance was 0.28 ± 0.08. The standing dead leaves contributed strongly to the soil shading of wet sedges. Despite a lower albedo and less soil shading, the soil below dwarf shrubs conducted less heat resulting in a 17 cm shallower active layer as compared to sedges. This result was supported by additional, spatially distributed measurements of both vegetation types. Clouds were a major influencing factor for albedo and transmittance, particularly in sedge vegetation. Cloud cover reduced the albedo by 0.01 in dwarf shrubs and by 0.03 in sedges, while transmittance was increased by 0.08 and 0.10 in dwarf shrubs and sedges, respectively. Our results suggest that the observed deeper active layer below wet sedges is not primarily a result of the summer canopy radiation budget. Soil properties, such as soil albedo, moisture, and thermal conductivity, may be more influential, at least in our comparison between dwarf shrub vegetation on relatively dry patches and

  18. Sea Ice, Hydrocarbon Extraction, Rain-on-Snow and Tundra Reindeer Nomadism in Arctic Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, B. C.; Kumpula, T.; Meschtyb, N.; Laptander, R.; Macias-Fauria, M.; Zetterberg, P.; Verdonen, M.

    2015-12-01

    It is assumed that retreating sea ice in the Eurasian Arctic will accelerate hydrocarbon development and associated tanker traffic along Russia's Northern Sea Route. However, oil and gas extraction along the Kara and Barents Sea coasts will likely keep developing rapidly regardless of whether the Northwest Eurasian climate continues to warm. Less certain are the real and potential linkages to regional biota and social-ecological systems. Reindeer nomadism continues to be a vitally important livelihood for indigenous tundra Nenets and their large herds of semi-domestic reindeer. Warming summer air temperatures over the NW Russian Arctic have been linked to increases in tundra productivity, longer growing seasons, and accelerated growth of tall deciduous shrubs. These temperature increases have, in turn, been linked to more frequent and sustained summer high-pressure systems over West Siberia, but not to sea ice retreat. At the same time, winters have been warming and rain-on-snow (ROS) events have become more frequent and intense, leading to record-breaking winter and spring mortality of reindeer. What is driving this increase in ROS frequency and intensity is not clear. Recent modelling and simulation have found statistically significant near-surface atmospheric warming and precipitation increases during autumn and winter over Arctic coastal lands in proximity to regions of sea-ice loss. During the winter of 2013-14 an extensive and lasting ROS event led to the starvation of 61,000 reindeer out of a population of ca. 300,000 animals on Yamal Peninsula, West Siberia. Historically, this is the region's largest recorded mortality episode. More than a year later, participatory fieldwork with nomadic herders during spring-summer 2015 revealed that the ecological and socio-economic impacts from this extreme event will unfold for years to come. There is an urgent need to understand whether and how ongoing Barents and Kara Sea ice retreat may affect the region's ancient

  19. Land cover heterogeneity and soil respiration in a west Greenland tundra landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley-Cook, J. I.; Burzynski, A.; Hammond, C. R.; Virginia, R. A.

    2011-12-01

    Multiple direct and indirect pathways underlie the association between land cover classification, temperature and soil respiration. Temperature is a main control of the biological processes that constitute soil respiration, yet the effect of changing atmospheric temperatures on soil carbon flux is unresolved. This study examines associations amongst land cover, soil carbon characteristics, soil respiration, and temperature in an Arctic tundra landscape in western Greenland. We used a 1.34 meter resolution multi-spectral WorldView2 satellite image to conduct an unsupervised multi-staged ISODATA classification to characterize land cover heterogeneity. The four band image was taken on July 10th, 2010, and captures an 18 km by 15 km area in the vicinity of Kangerlussuaq. The four major terrestrial land cover classes identified were: shrub-dominated, graminoid-dominated, mixed vegetation, and bare soil. The bare soil class was comprised of patches where surface soil has been deflated by wind and ridge-top fellfield. We hypothesize that soil respiration and soil carbon storage are associated with land cover classification and temperature. We set up a hierarchical field sampling design to directly observe spatial variation between and within land cover classes along a 20 km temperature gradient extending west from Russell Glacier on the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. We used the land cover classification map and ground verification to select nine sites, each containing patches of the four land cover classes. Within each patch we collected soil samples from a 50 cm pit, quantified vegetation, measured active layer depth and determined landscape characteristics. From a subset of field sites we collected additional 10 cm surface soil samples to estimate soil heterogeneity within patches and measured soil respiration using a LiCor 8100 Infrared Gas Analyzer. Soil respiration rates varied with land cover classes, with values ranging from 0.2 mg C/m^2/hr in the bare soil

  20. Long-Term Hydrological Changes of Coastal Arctic Tundra Ponds in Drained Thaw Lake Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andresen, C. G.; Lougheed, V.

    2013-12-01

    Given the dominance of these ponds in the tundra landscape, documenting long-term changes in these aquatic systems is essential to understand carbon and energy balance, trophic energy flow, and biodiversity for the Arctic. The combination of remote sensing using historical imagery, as well as rare historical data from the International Biological Program, provides a unique opportunity for understanding long-term changes in hydrology, chemistry and biology of these significant freshwater environments. To assess the changes in pond area and abundance in 22 drained thaw-lake basins (DTLB) across the Barrow Peninsula over the past 60 years, we utilized historic aerial imagery from USGS archives (1948) and modern high-resolution Quickbird (2002, 2008, 2010). Age classification of DTLB was based on Hinkel et al 2003. We compared water temperature, active layer thickness, and aboveground biomass of these systems to historical datasets compiled in the Limnology of Tundra Ponds' by Hobbie et al 1975. We observed an overall decrease of 28% in pond area and 19% decrease in pond number, where smaller ponds (<100m2) had the highest change. These losses were coincident with significantly higher air and water temperature and reduced annual rainfall, which has decreased by 2.5 cm over the past 62 years (-0.4mm/yr). Active layer in ponds increased on average by 15cm. Aquatic grasses increased in density and cover in ponds over the past 40 years. Area and number of ponds loss was independent of DTLB age; however, medium-age DTLBs had significantly higher number of new ponds over old and ancient-age basins. While we observe new ponds due to thaw lake processes, climate seems to be having a stronger effect on these systems by reducing the overall inundated area and pond number in these basins. Increased evaporation due to warmer and longer summers, permafrost degradation, transpiration from encroaching aquatic grasses and changes in precipitation patterns are likely the current major

  1. Changing snow cover in tundra ecosystems tips the Arctic carbon balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zona, D.; Hufkens, K.; Gioli, B.; Kalhori, A. A. M.; Oechel, W. C.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic environment has witnessed important changes due to global warming, resulting in increased surface air temperatures and rain events which both exacerbate snow cover deterioration (Semmens et al, 2013; Rennert et al, 2009; White et al, 2007; Min et al, 2008; Sharp et al, 2013; Schaeffer et al, 2013). Snow cover duration is declining by almost 20% per decade, a far higher rate than model estimates (Derksen and Brown, 2012). Concomitant with increasing temperatures and decreasing snow cover duration, the length of the arctic growing season is reported to have increased by 1.1 - 4.9 days per decade since 1951 (Menzel et al, 2006), and, plant productivity and CO2 uptake from arctic vegetation are strongly influenced by changes in growing season length (Myneni et al., 1997; Schaefer et al., 2005; Euskirchen et al., 2006). Based on more than a decade of eddy flux measurements in Arctic tundra ecosystems across the North slope of Alaska, and remotely sensed snow cover data, we show that earlier snow melt in the spring increase C uptake while an extended snow free period in autumn is associated with a higher C loss. Here we present the impacts of changes in snow cover dynamics between spring and autumn in arctic tundra ecosystems on the carbon dynamics and net C balance of the Alaskan Arctic. ReferencesDerksen, C., Brown R. (2012) Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2012GL053387 Euskirchen, E.S., et al. (2006) Glob. Change Biol., 12, 731-750. Menzel, A., et al. 2006. Glob. Change Biol., 12, 1969-1976. Min SK, Zhang X, Zweirs F (2008) Science 320: 518-520. Rennert K J, Roe G, Putkonen J and Bitz C M (2009) J. Clim. 22 2302-15. Schaefer, K., Denning A.S., Leonard O. (2005) Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 19, GB3017. Schaeffer, S. M., Sharp, E., Schimel, J. P. & Welker, J. M. (2013). Soil- plant N processes in a High Arctic ecosystem, NW Greenland are altered by long-term experimental warming and higher rainfall. Glob. Change Biol., 11, 3529-39. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12318

  2. Live and Dead Root Biomass in Alaskan Tundra and Boreal Forest Ecosystems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCulloch, L. A.; Loranty, M. M.; Natali, S.; Kholodov, A. L.

    2015-12-01

    High-latitude ecosystems are important sinks, as well as potentially large sources of carbon as the climate continues to change. Belowground biomass of vegetation can act as both a sink and source of carbon; with live root biomass acting as a sink of carbon stores, and dead root biomass acting as a source of carbon to the atmosphere. There is significant literature citing the large ratio of belowground to aboveground biomass in tundra ecosystems, yet understanding of allocation in forested regions of the artic is less understood. Arctic vegetation is investing more resources and energy into belowground biomass relative to aboveground biomass compared to other ecosystems. However, permafrost ecosystems have low decomposition rates as a result of their cold and saturated soils. This allows for the accumulation of a thick organic layer mainly composed of decomposing belowground biomass. Fine roots are of particular importance because their rapid turnover rates makes them important contributions to soil carbon pools. To quantify the ratio of dead to live roots in tundra and boreal forest ecosystems, soils were collected along a latitudinal gradient throughout Interior Alaska, the Arctic North Slope and Coastal Western Alaska. Several sites located in close proximity were chosen to control for geological and climatic differences among sites, allowing differences to be attributed to the proximal ecosystem. Soil samples were washed, sieved and the roots were sorted into the four categories, including fine-live, fine-dead, coarse-live, and coarse-dead. Classification of these roots followed well established protocols based on visual and physical cues with coarse roots being greater than 2mm. Dead to live ratios of root biomass varied from 4.91 to 45.98, averaging at 14.29 +/- 11.39. Belowground allocation of plant biomass and associated resources may not be significantly larger than aboveground allocation because the majority of the belowground biomass is dead and non

  3. MODIS Tree Cover Validation for the Circumpolar Taiga-Tundra Transition Zone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Montesano, P. M.; Nelson, R.; Sun, G.; Margolis, H.; Kerber, A.; Ranson, K. J.

    2009-01-01

    A validation of the 2005 500m MODIS vegetation continuous fields (VCF) tree cover product in the circumpolar taiga-tundra ecotone was performed using high resolution Quickbird imagery. Assessing the VCF's performance near the northern limits of the boreal forest can help quantify the accuracy of the product within this vegetation transition area. The circumpolar region was divided into longitudinal zones and validation sites were selected in areas of varying tree cover where Quickbird imagery is available in Google Earth. Each site was linked to the corresponding VCF pixel and overlaid with a regular dot grid within the VCF pixel's boundary to estimate percent tree crown cover in the area. Percent tree crown cover was estimated using Quickbird imagery for 396 sites throughout the circumpolar region and related to the VCF's estimates of canopy cover for 2000-2005. Regression results of VCF inter-annual comparisons (2000-2005) and VCF-Quickbird image-interpreted estimates indicate that: (1) Pixel-level, inter-annual comparisons of VCF estimates of percent canopy cover were linearly related (mean R(sup 2) = 0.77) and exhibited an average root mean square error (RMSE) of 10.1 % and an average root mean square difference (RMSD) of 7.3%. (2) A comparison of image-interpreted percent tree crown cover estimates based on dot counts on Quickbird color images by two different interpreters were more variable (R(sup 2) = 0.73, RMSE = 14.8%, RMSD = 18.7%) than VCF inter-annual comparisons. (3) Across the circumpolar boreal region, 2005 VCF-Quickbird comparisons were linearly related, with an R(sup 2) = 0.57, a RMSE = 13.4% and a RMSD = 21.3%, with a tendency to over-estimate areas of low percent tree cover and anomalous VCF results in Scandinavia. The relationship of the VCF estimates and ground reference indicate to potential users that the VCF's tree cover values for individual pixels, particularly those below 20% tree cover, may not be precise enough to monitor 500m pixel

  4. Isotopic identification of soil and permafrost nitrate sources in an Arctic tundra ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Heikoop, Jeffrey M.; Throckmorton, Heather M.; Newman, Brent D.; Perkins, George B.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Chowdhury, Taniya Roy; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Graham, David E.; Norby, Richard J.; Wilson, Cathy J.; Wullschleger, Stan D.

    2015-06-08

    The nitrate (NO₃⁻) dual isotope approach was applied to snowmelt, tundra active layer pore waters, and underlying permafrost in Barrow, Alaska, USA, to distinguish between NO₃⁻ derived from at NO₃⁻ signal with δ¹⁵N averaging –4.8 ± 1.0‰ (standard error of the mean) and δ¹⁸O averaging 70.2 ±1.7‰. In active layer pore waters, NO₃⁻ primarily occurred at concentrations suitable for isotopic analysis in the relatively dry and oxic centers of high-centered polygons. The average δ¹⁵N and δ¹⁸O of NO₃⁻ from high-centered polygons were 0.5 ± 1.1‰ and –4.1 ± 0.6‰, respectively. When compared to the δ¹⁵N of reduced nitrogen (N) sources, and the δ¹⁸O of soil pore waters, it was evident that NO₃⁻ in high-centered polygons was primarily from microbial nitrification. Permafrost NO₃⁻ had δ¹⁵N ranging from approximately –6‰ to 10‰, similar to atmospheric and microbial NO₃⁻, and highly variable δ¹⁸O ranging from approximately –2‰ to 38‰. Permafrost ice wedges contained a significant atmospheric component of NO₃⁻, while permafrost textural ice contained a greater proportion of microbially derived NO₃⁻. Large-scale permafrost thaw in this environment would release NO₃⁻ with a δ¹⁸O signature intermediate to that of atmospheric and microbial NO₃. Consequently, while atmospheric and microbial sources can be readily distinguished by the NO₃⁻ dual isotope technique in tundra environments, attribution of NO₃⁻ from thawing permafrost will not be straightforward. The NO₃⁻ isotopic signature, however, appears useful in identifying NO₃⁻ sources in extant permafrost ice.

  5. Isotopic identification of soil and permafrost nitrate sources in an Arctic tundra ecosystem

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Heikoop, Jeffrey M.; Throckmorton, Heather M.; Newman, Brent D.; Perkins, George B.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Chowdhury, Taniya Roy; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Graham, David E.; Norby, Richard J.; Wilson, Cathy J.; et al

    2015-06-08

    The nitrate (NO₃⁻) dual isotope approach was applied to snowmelt, tundra active layer pore waters, and underlying permafrost in Barrow, Alaska, USA, to distinguish between NO₃⁻ derived from at NO₃⁻ signal with δ¹⁵N averaging –4.8 ± 1.0‰ (standard error of the mean) and δ¹⁸O averaging 70.2 ±1.7‰. In active layer pore waters, NO₃⁻ primarily occurred at concentrations suitable for isotopic analysis in the relatively dry and oxic centers of high-centered polygons. The average δ¹⁵N and δ¹⁸O of NO₃⁻ from high-centered polygons were 0.5 ± 1.1‰ and –4.1 ± 0.6‰, respectively. When compared to the δ¹⁵N of reduced nitrogen (N) sources,more » and the δ¹⁸O of soil pore waters, it was evident that NO₃⁻ in high-centered polygons was primarily from microbial nitrification. Permafrost NO₃⁻ had δ¹⁵N ranging from approximately –6‰ to 10‰, similar to atmospheric and microbial NO₃⁻, and highly variable δ¹⁸O ranging from approximately –2‰ to 38‰. Permafrost ice wedges contained a significant atmospheric component of NO₃⁻, while permafrost textural ice contained a greater proportion of microbially derived NO₃⁻. Large-scale permafrost thaw in this environment would release NO₃⁻ with a δ¹⁸O signature intermediate to that of atmospheric and microbial NO₃. Consequently, while atmospheric and microbial sources can be readily distinguished by the NO₃⁻ dual isotope technique in tundra environments, attribution of NO₃⁻ from thawing permafrost will not be straightforward. The NO₃⁻ isotopic signature, however, appears useful in identifying NO₃⁻ sources in extant permafrost ice.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Impact of Climate and Fires on Abrupt Permafrost Thaw in Alaskan Tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chipman, M. L.; Reents, C.; Greenberg, J. A.; Hu, F.

    2015-12-01

    Thermo-erosion from abrupt permafrost thaw is a key pulse disturbance in the Arctic that may impact the global carbon cycle. Abrupt thaw can occur when the permafrost active layer expands in response to climate warming and/or increased wildfire activity. Understanding these drivers of thermo-erosion is necessary to anticipate feedbacks in the Arctic, where summer temperature and fire frequency are predicted to increase. We examine modern and late-Holocene thermo-erosion in high-fire (Noatak) and low-fire (North Slope) tundra ecoregions of Alaska using a combination of remote-sensing and paleo-records. Lakes with active thaw features were identified through Landsat-7 image classification and time-series analysis based on observed 0.52-0.60 μm reflectance peaks following slump formation. We identified 1067 and 1705 lakes with active features between CE 2000-2012 in the Noatak and North Slope ecoregions, respectively. The density of features was higher in the highly flammable Noatak (0.04 versus 0.01 features km-2, respectively), suggesting that warmer climate and/or fires likely promote high thermo-erosional activity at present. To assess modern signals of thermo-erosion and identify past events, we analyzed soil profiles and lake-sediment cores from both ecoregions using X-ray fluorescence. The ratios of Ca:K and Ca:Sr increased with depth in permafrost soils, were higher in soils from younger versus older slump surfaces, and were significantly correlated with the ratio of carbonate to feldspar and clay minerals in lake sediments (r=0.96 and 0.93, P<0.0001, n=15). We interpret past increases in Ca:K, Ca:Sr, and δ13C as enhanced weathering of carbonate-rich permafrost soils associated with thermo-erosion. At the North Slope site, we identified ten episodes of thermoerosion over the past 6000 years and found strong correspondence to summer temperature trends. Events were more frequent at the Noatak site, where 15 thermo-erosional episodes and 26 fires occurred over

  8. Carbon Fluxes in a sub-arctic tundra undergoing permafrost degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bracho, R. G.; Webb, E.; Mauritz, M.; Schuur, E. A. G.

    2014-12-01

    As an effect of climate change, temperatures in high latitude regions are increasing faster than in the rest of the world and future projections indicate it will increase between 7°C and 8°C by the end of the 21st century. Permafrost soils store around 1700 Pg of Carbon (C), which is approximately the amount of C stored in terrestrial vegetation and in the atmosphere combined. Sustained warming induces permafrost thaw, leads to a thicker seasonal active layer, and creates subsided patches in the landscape. Carbon that was previously inaccessible to decomposition is thus exposed, increasing the likelihood of positive feedback of CO2 to the atmosphere. We measured C fluxes (Net ecosystem carbon flux, NEE, and Ecosystem respiration, Re) using the eddy covariance approach in a tundra landscape (Eight Mile Lake Watershed, Alaska) undergoing permafrost degradation from the beginning of the growing season in 2008 and throughout most winters until May 2014. This interval encompassed a range of climatic variability that included a deviation of ± 50% from the long term average in growing season precipitation. Active layer depth (thaw depth at the end of the growing season) and subsidence in the footprint were used as indicators of permafrost degradation. Results indicate that annual NEE ranged from a sink of 0.76 MgC ha-1 yr-1 to a source of 0.55 MgC ha-1 yr-1. NEE during the growing seasons fluctuated from 1.1 to 1.8 MgC ha-1 season-1 in net C uptake. Annual NEE was strongly affected by winter Re, which represented between 33% and 45% of the annual value regardless of of the large drop in both air and soil temperature. Parameters from the light response curve (optimum NEE, NEEopt and quantum yield, α) showed a seasonal and interannual variability and were different between the most and least degraded sites in the footprint, which affected the magnitude of the carbon cycle and may have implications for landscape C balance in sub-arctic tundra.

  9. Isotopic Identification of Nitrate Sources and Cycling in Arctic Tundra Active Layer Soils and Permafrost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heikoop, J. M.; Throckmorton, H.; Newman, B. D.; Perkins, G.; Gard, M.; Iversen, C. M.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2014-12-01

    The effect of nitrogen cycling on release of carbon from tundra ecosystems is being studied as part of the US Department of Energy Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment - Arctic project. Sampling and analysis of active layer soil water at the Barrow Environmental Observatory (Alaska, USA) was performed in ancient drained thaw lake basins (DTLBs), drainages, and in polygonal terrain associated with inter-DTLB tundra. Within active layer soils, nitrate was most commonly found above analytical limits of detection in pore water from the unsaturated centers of high-centered polygons. Nitrate has also been detected, though less frequently, in soil water immediately above the frost table of an ancient (14C age of 2000 - 5500 BP) DTLB and in a small drainage adjacent to high-centered polygonal terrain. Nitrate from high-centered polygons had δ15N ranging from -9.2 to +8.5 ‰ and δ18O ranging from -8.4 to +1.4 ‰. The δ15N isotopic range is consistent with microbial mineralization and nitrification of reduced nitrogen sources including ammonium, dissolved organic nitrogen, and soil organic nitrogen. The range in δ18O of nitrate is also consistent with nitrification based on the δ18O of site waters. No evidence for an atmospheric nitrate signal, as defined by δ15N and δ18O of nitrate in snow and snowmelt, is seen. In contrast, nitrate in permafrost appears to be a mixture of pre-industrial atmospheric nitrate (with higher δ15N than modern atmospheric nitrate) and nitrate that is microbial in origin. Massive ice wedges appear to contain larger proportions of snowmelt (based on δ18O of ice) and atmospheric nitrate, whereas textural ice appears to contain a greater proportion of summer precipitation and microbially-derived nitrate. Nitrate from the ancient DTLB and drainage samples also has isotopic signatures that appear to represent a mixture of pre-industrial atmospheric nitrate and nitrate from microbial nitrification, and may, at least in part, be derived from

  10. Changes in Landscape-level Carbon Balance of an Arctic Coastal Plain Tundra Ecosystem Between 1970-2100, in Response to Projected Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lara, M. J.; McGuire, A. D.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Genet, H.; Sloan, V. L.; Iversen, C. M.; Norby, R. J.; Zhang, Y.; Yuan, F.

    2014-12-01

    Northern permafrost regions are estimated to cover 16% of the global soil area and account for approximately 50% of the global belowground organic carbon pool. However, there are considerable uncertainties regarding the fate of this soil carbon pool with projected climate warming over the next century. In northern Alaska, nearly 65% of the terrestrial surface is composed of polygonal tundra, where geomorphic land cover types such as high-, flat-, and low-center polygons influence local surface hydrology, plant community composition, nutrient and biogeochemical cycling, over small spatial scales. Due to the lack of representation of these fine-scale geomorphic types and ecosystem processes, in large-scale terrestrial ecosystem models, future uncertainties are large for this tundra region. In this study, we use a new version of the terrestrial ecosystem model (TEM), that couples a dynamic vegetation model (in which plant functional types compete for water, nitrogen, and light) with a dynamic soil organic model (in which temperature, moisture, and associated organic/inorganic carbon and nitrogen pools/fluxes vary together in vertically resolved layers) to simulate ecosystem carbon balance. We parameterized and calibrated this model using data specific to the local climate, vegetation, and soil associated with tundra geomorphic types. We extrapolate model results at a 1km2 resolution across the ~1800 km2 Barrow Peninsula using a tundra geomorphology map, describing ten dominant geomorphic tundra types (Lara et al. submitted), to estimate the likely change in landscape-level carbon balance between 1970 and 2100 in response to projected climate change. Preliminary model runs for this region indicated temporal variability in carbon and active layer dynamics, specific to tundra geomorphic type over time. Overall, results suggest that it is important to consider small-scale discrete polygonal tundra geomorphic types that control local structure and function in regional

  11. Response of ecosystem CO2 and CH4 flux to nutrient increase in Arctophila fulva dominated tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lara, M. J.; Lin, D. H.; Johnson, D. R.; Lougheed, V.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2012-12-01

    High latitude tundra ecosystems are undergoing dramatic warming that is increasing thaw depth, nutrient availability, and plant productivity in tundra ponds of northern Alaska. Understanding how these changes will affect ecosystem function remains a key research challenge. Near Barrow Alaska the extent of aquatic tundra dominated by Arctophila fulva, a common Arctic aquatic macrophyte, has increased over the past half Century. Concurrent with this change has been an increase in nitrogen and phosphorus in these aquatic ecosystems. This study examines the response of ecosystem carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) flux from A. fulva dominated tundra under elevated nitrogen and phosphorus levels. We extracted monoliths of pond margin aquatic tundra near Barrow, Alaska dominated by A. fulva and placed them in a continuous flux monitoring system, that controlled environmental conditions (light, air temperature, water table height) at different nutrient concentrations (control: 0.0 mgN L-1, 0.0 mgP L-1, low: 1.5 mgN L-1, 0.6 mgP L-1, and high: 7.5 mgN L-1, 3.0 mgP L-1). The experiment was run for approximately nine weeks. In response to the high nutrient treatment, A.fulva biomass and steady state CH4 emission (SE) increased but light usage efficiency and gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) declined, effectively switching net ecosystem production (NEP) from a carbon sink to a source. There were no significant differences in CO2 and CH4 flux between control and low nutrient treatments. No differences in gas ebullition (GE) among nutrient treatment were found but a negative relationship between GE and biomass was documented (R2= 0.34, p< 0.001). Further, using CH4 fluxes during the pre-treatment period, we estimated that GE represents approximately 30-40% of the total CH4 flux in the monoliths sampled. Collectively, short-term experimental results suggest A. fulva biomass and CO2 and CH4 fluxes in aquatic habitats have likely been altered by high levels of nutrient

  12. Greening Trends in North American Boreal Forest and Tundra during 2000-2009 from MODIS and in situ Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, D.; Morton, D. C.; Masek, J. G.; McManus, K. M.; Sexton, J. O.

    2010-12-01

    High northern latitudes have experienced the strongest warming trends during the satellite era (1970-present). The response of boreal forest and tundra vegetation to recent and projected warming plays a pivotal role for carbon cycling in these ecosystems and related feedbacks within the Earth system. Long time series of normalized differenced vegetation index (NDVI), calculated from historical Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data, provided the first opportunity to evaluate vegetation dynamics over decadal temporal scales and continental to global spatial scales. However, due to coarse spatial resolution (1-8 km), previous studies of greening in North America with aggregated AVHRR NDVI data were unable to separate the contributions from changes in growing season length and vegetation cover to the greening signal in forest and tundra ecosystems. In this study, we isolated trends in peak growing season vegetation cover using NDVI data from the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) during 2000-2009. Our time series analysis compared 500 m NDVI data from the same 16-day composite period during peak growing season months to characterize changes in vegetation abundance during 2000-2009. This approach minimized impacts of phenology, changes in growing season length, and clouds or other data artifacts. For comparison with satellite-based observations, we used measurements of upwelling and downwelling spectral radiances over FLUXNET tower sites to derive broadband NDVI values. Trends in vegetation cover from MODIS NDVI during 2000-2009 differ from previous studies with AVHRR data. Approximately 26% of all vegetated area exhibited significant linear trends in NDVI during 2000-2009 (ptrend<0.05). However, only one third of all trends were positive (greening), corresponding to 8.6% of the boreal forest and tundra biomes in North America. Tundra in Quebec, Newfoundland and west Alaska exhibited the strongest greening trends during 2000

  13. Satellite-Based Evidence for Shrub and Graminoid Tundra Expansion in Northern Quebec from 1986-2010

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McManus, K. M.; Morton, D. C.; Masek, J. G.; Wang, D.; Sexton, J. O.; Nagol, J.; Ropars, P.; Boudreau, S.

    2012-01-01

    Global vegetation models predict rapid poleward migration of tundra and boreal forest vegetation in response to climate warming. Local plot and air-photo studies have documented recent changes in high-latitude vegetation composition and structure, consistent with warming trends. To bridge these two scales of inference, we analyzed a 24-year (1986-2010) Landsat time series in a latitudinal transect across the boreal forest-tundra biome boundary in northern Quebec province, Canada. This region has experienced rapid warming during both winter and summer months during the last forty years. Using a per-pixel (30 m) trend analysis, 30% of the observable (cloud-free) land area experienced a significant (p < 0.05) positive trend in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). However, greening trends were not evenly split among cover types. Low shrub and graminoid tundra contributed preferentially to the greening trend, while forested areas were less likely to show significant trends in NDVI. These trends reflect increasing leaf area, rather than an increase in growing season length, because Landsat data were restricted to peak-summer conditions. The average NDVI trend (0.007/yr) corresponds to a leaf-area index (LAI) increase of 0.6 based on the regional relationship between LAI and NDVI from the Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Across the entire transect, the area-averaged LAI increase was 0.2 during 1986-2010. A higher area-averaged LAI change (0.3) within the shrub-tundra portion of the transect represents a 20-60% relative increase in LAI during the last two decades. Our Landsat-based analysis subdivides the overall high-latitude greening trend into changes in peak-summer greenness by cover type. Different responses within and among shrub, graminoid, and tree-dominated cover types in this study indicate important fine-scale heterogeneity in vegetation growth. Although our findings are consistent with community shifts in low-biomass vegetation types

  14. Regional biomass and leaf-area estimates derived from satellite imagery as inputs to spatial trace-gas flux models for arctic tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Shippert, M.M.; Walker, D.A.; Auerbach, N.A.; Lewis, B.E. )

    1994-06-01

    Reflectance spectra, leaf area index (LAI), and live biomass measurements were collected for 60 plots near Toolik Lake and Imnavait Creek, Alaska during July and August, 1993. Normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI) were calculated from the reflectance spectra. NDVI was found to be highly correlated to both LAI and biomass. These relationships have been seen in temperate ecosystems, but have never been tested in Arctic tundra previous to this study. In addition, a clear relationship is seen between NDVI values and pH and moisture. Acidic plots have much higher NDVI values than non-acidic plots, while moist plots have high NDVI values relative to dry and wet plots. The average field NDVI measurements for major physiognomic categories were compared to average NDVI values for the same categories derived from a SPOT multispectral satellite image of the area. These values were also found to be highly correlated. However, field NDVI values were consistently about 40% higher than SPOT NDVI values. Possible explanations for this consistent trend include effects of low sun angle in the Arctic in combination with relatively high view angle of the SPOT sensor. Using the regression equations for the above relationships, biomass and LAI images were calculated from the SPOT image. The resulting images show expected trends in the LAI and biomass across the landscape. The image of biomass will be used as an input to a spatial model of methane emissions for the Alaskan Arctic. Another key input variable to the methane model will be soil moisture. Alternative image processing methods and/or radar images will be used to derive this important variable.

  15. Methane transport mechanisms and isotopic fractionation in emergent macrophytes of an Alaskan tundra lake

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chanton, Jeffrey P.; Martens, Christopher S.; Kelley, Cheryl A.; Crill, Patrick M.; Showers, William J.

    1992-01-01

    The stable carbon isotopic composition of methane associated with and emitted by the two dominant emergent macrophytes abundant in the many Alaskan tundra lakes, Carex rostrata and Arctophila fulva, is determined. The carbon isotopic composition of the methane was -58.6 +/- 0.5 (n=2) for Arctophila and -66.6 +/- 2.5 (n=6) for Carex. The methane emitted by these species is depleted in C-13 by 12 per mil for Arctophila and 18 per mil for Carex relative to methane withdrawn from plant stems 1-2 cm below the waterline. The results suggest more rapid transport of (C-12)H4 relative to (C-13)H4 through plants to the atmosphere. Plant stem methane concentrations ranged from 0.2 to 4.0 percent in Arctophila, with an isotopic composition of -46.1 +/- 4.3 percent (n=8). Carex stem methane concentrations ranged from 150 to 1200 ppm, with an isotopic composition of -48.3 +/- 1.4 per mil (n=3).

  16. Heterogeneity of carbon loss and its temperature sensitivity in East-European subarctic tundra soils.

    PubMed

    Diáková, Kateřina; Čapek, Petr; Kohoutová, Iva; Mpamah, Promise A; Bárta, Jiří; Biasi, Christina; Martikainen, Pertti J; Šantrůčková, Hana

    2016-09-01

    Arctic peatlands store large stocks of organic carbon which are vulnerable to the climate change but their fate is uncertain. There is increasing evidence that a part of it will be lost as a result of faster microbial mineralization. We studied the vulnerability of 3500-5900 years old bare peat uplifted from permafrost layers by cryogenic processes to the surface of an arctic peat plateau. We aimed to find biotic and abiotic drivers of CLOSS from old peat and compare them with those of adjacent, young vegetated soils of the peat plateau and mineral tundra. The soils were incubated in laboratory at three temperatures (4°C, 12°C and 20°C) and two oxygen levels (aerobic, anaerobic). CLOSS was monitored and soil parameters (organic carbon quality, nutrient availability, microbial activity, biomass and stoichiometry, and extracellular oxidative and hydrolytic enzyme pools) were determined. We found that CLOSS from the old peat was constrained by low microbial biomass representing only 0.22% of organic carbon. CLOSS was only slightly reduced by the absence of oxygen and exponentially increased with temperature, showing the same temperature sensitivity under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. We conclude that carbon in the old bare peat is stabilized by a combination of physical, chemical and biological controls including soil compaction, organic carbon quality, low microbial biomass and the absence of plants. PMID:27316560

  17. Mid-Miocene cooling and the extinction of tundra in continental Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Adam R.; Marchant, David R.; Ashworth, Allan C.; Hedenäs, Lars; Hemming, Sidney R.; Johnson, Jesse V.; Leng, Melanie J.; Machlus, Malka L.; Newton, Angela E.; Raine, J. Ian; Willenbring, Jane K.; Williams, Mark; Wolfe, Alexander P.

    2008-01-01

    A major obstacle in understanding the evolution of Cenozoic climate has been the lack of well dated terrestrial evidence from high-latitude, glaciated regions. Here, we report the discovery of exceptionally well preserved fossils of lacustrine and terrestrial organisms from the McMurdo Dry Valleys sector of the Transantarctic Mountains for which we have established a precise radiometric chronology. The fossils, which include diatoms, palynomorphs, mosses, ostracodes, and insects, represent the last vestige of a tundra community that inhabited the mountains before stepped cooling that first brought a full polar climate to Antarctica. Paleoecological analyses, 40Ar/39Ar analyses of associated ash fall, and climate inferences from glaciological modeling together suggest that mean summer temperatures in the region cooled by at least 8°C between 14.07 ± 0.05 Ma and 13.85 ± 0.03 Ma. These results provide novel constraints for the timing and amplitude of middle-Miocene cooling in Antarctica and reveal the ecological legacy of this global climate transition. PMID:18678903

  18. Hydrocarbon contamination of arctic tundra soils of the Bol'shoi Lyakhovskii Island (the Novosibirskie Islands)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kachinskii, V. L.; Zavgorodnyaya, Yu. A.; Gennadiev, A. N.

    2014-02-01

    Data on the distribution of the components of oil products that have accumulated in the arctic tundra soils of the Bol'shoi Lyakhovskii Island (the Novosibirskie Islands) under the impact of technogenic loads are analyzed. The examined soils differ in the vertical and lateral distribution patterns of the methanenaphthenic and naphthenic hydrocarbons and in the degree of their transformation. This is determined by the position of particular soils in the catenas and by the sorption of particular hydrocarbon compounds in the soils. The portion of light molecular-weight hydrocarbons in the upper horizons decreases by two-ten times in comparison with the deeper soil layers. In the lateral direction, the twofold difference in the contents of the methane-naphthenic and naphthenic hydrocarbons in the upper horizons is seen. The degree of transformation of the hydrocarbons under the impact of microbiological processes depends on the aeration conditions, the depth of permafrost table, the composition of oil products, and the soil organic matter content.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  20. Shortwave radiation interaction with highly patterned tundra vegetation and feedbacks to permafrost soil and atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaepman-Strub, G.; Erb, A.; Gurm, K.; Budishchev, A.

    2012-12-01

    Tundra vegetation is an important mediator of carbon, water, and energy fluxes between the permafrost soil and the atmosphere. Vegetation types and their feedbacks in arctic landscapes might however be highly dynamic in space and time. As an example, our NE Siberian research site is dominated by thawing ponds, wet sedge and dwarf shrub patches at the scale of a few meters. Shrubs are predicted to increase in density and height under climate change scenarios, with a related increase in absorbed shortwave radiation by the canopy, resulting in a positive feedback to climate warming. This study examines how shortwave radiation reflected to the atmosphere and transmitted to the ground is altered by shrub density and height. We present results based on a combination of manipulated plots, in situ spectral radiation and plant structural measurements, and a sophisticated 3D radiative transfer model to quantify the influence of shrubs on the shortwave energy budget. We will discuss non-linear dynamics in shortwave radiation partitioning at the land surface, with special emphasis on seasonality. Our results are relevant to test 1D assumptions in climate models and for species competition modelling.

  1. Consequences of warming on tundra carbon balance determined by reindeer grazing history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Väisänen, Maria; Ylänne, Henni; Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Sjögersten, Sofie; Olofsson, Johan; Crout, Neil; Stark, Sari

    2014-05-01

    Arctic tundra currently stores half of the global soil carbon (C) stock. Climate warming in the Arctic may lead to accelerated CO2 release through enhanced decomposition and turn Arctic ecosystems from a net C sink into a net C source, if warming enhances decomposition more than plant photosynthesis. A large portion of the circumpolar Arctic is grazed by reindeer/caribou, and grazing causes important vegetation shifts in the long-term. Using a unique experimental set-up, where areas experiencing more than 50 years of either light (LG) or heavy (HG) grazing were warmed and/or fertilized, we show that under ambient conditions areas under LG were a 70% stronger C sink than HG areas. Although warming decreased the C sink by 38% under LG, it had no effect under HG. Grazing history will thus be an important determinant in the response of ecosystem C balance to climate warming, which at present is not taken into account in climate change models.

  2. Forest patch height uncertainty from spaceborne data in the taiga-tundra ecotone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montesano, P. M.; Sun, G.; Ranson, J.; Dubayah, R.

    2014-12-01

    In the taiga-tundra ecotone (TTE), vegetation structure change can be subtle and site-dependent, yet occur across broad scales. Recent remote sensing studies have highlighted the degree to which vegetation structure in the TTE can be characterized with spaceborne remote sensing at the plot-scale. These studies demonstrate the fundamental uncertainty of space-based local-scale vertical structure measurements that are available across broad scales and provide the opportunity to understand regional variation in detailed vegetation characteristics. Patch-scale analyses of vegetation structure provide a means to examine vertical structure and horizontal patch form, their association with landscape characteristics, and a basis for examining the variation of change in patch characteristics across sites. In this study we delineate forest patches in study sites along the TTE in northern Siberia with high resolution (0.5 - 3m) spaceborne imagery (HRSI) and attribute patches with tree cover and spectral data from Landsat 7, backscatter power from ALOS PALSAR and canopy height data based on a HRSI-derived digital surface model and ICESat-GLAS ground elevation. We examine the uncertainty of forest patch height from this suite of spaceborne medium and high resolution optical, radar, and LiDAR data. Results demonstrate the potential and limits of spaceborne estimates of patch-scale forest height whose differences are often small, biophysically relevant, and subject to variable rates of change across the broad-scale of the circumpolar TTE.

  3. Long-term warming restructures Arctic tundra without changing net soil carbon storage.

    PubMed

    Sistla, Seeta A; Moore, John C; Simpson, Rodney T; Gough, Laura; Shaver, Gaius R; Schimel, Joshua P

    2013-05-30

    High latitudes contain nearly half of global soil carbon, prompting interest in understanding how the Arctic terrestrial carbon balance will respond to rising temperatures. Low temperatures suppress the activity of soil biota, retarding decomposition and nitrogen release, which limits plant and microbial growth. Warming initially accelerates decomposition, increasing nitrogen availability, productivity and woody-plant dominance. However, these responses may be transitory, because coupled abiotic-biotic feedback loops that alter soil-temperature dynamics and change the structure and activity of soil communities, can develop. Here we report the results of a two-decade summer warming experiment in an Alaskan tundra ecosystem. Warming increased plant biomass and woody dominance, indirectly increased winter soil temperature, homogenized the soil trophic structure across horizons and suppressed surface-soil-decomposer activity, but did not change total soil carbon or nitrogen stocks, thereby increasing net ecosystem carbon storage. Notably, the strongest effects were in the mineral horizon, where warming increased decomposer activity and carbon stock: a 'biotic awakening' at depth. PMID:23676669

  4. Annual survival rates of adult and immature eastern population tundra swans

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, J.D.; Bart, J.; Limpert, R.J.; Sladen, William J. L.; Hines, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus ) of the eastern population were neckbanded in Maryland, North Carolina, and Alaska from 1966 through 1990. These swans were resighted and recaptured during autumn, winter, and spring, 1966-1990. Although the original motivation for this study involved swan movements, we wanted to use the resulting data to test hypotheses about sources of variation in swan survival rates. Recaptures of legbanded and neckbanded swans permitted us to estimate neckband loss rates, which were found to vary with age and sex of swans, and number of years since initial application. Estimates of annual neckband retention rate ranged from about 0.50 for adult male swans greater than or equal to 2 years after initial neckbanding to > 0.96 for immature swans and adult females the first year following neckbanding. This variation in neckband loss rates prevented the simple correction of survival estimates to account for such loss. Consequently, we developed a series of multinomial models parameterized with survival, sighting, and neckband retention probabilities for use with the recapture and resighting data.

  5. Parental care in Tundra Swans during the pre-fledgling period

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Earnst, Susan L.

    2002-01-01

    Among studies that have quantified the care of precocial young, few have investigated forms of parental care other than vigilance. During the pre-fledging period, Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) parents provided simultaneous biparental care by foraging near each other and their cygnets, and cygnets spent more time foraging during bouts in which both parents were foraging nearby than when only one parent was foraging nearby. Parents spent nearly twice as much foraging time on land than did non-parents, a habitat in which cygnets foraged more intensely than parents (i.e., spent more time foraging during foraging bouts) and could graze on protein-rich sedges rather than use more difficult below-water foraging methods. Parents also spent more than twice as much time being vigilant and more than three times as much time defending their territory than non-parents, behaviors that presumably benefited cygents by decreasing predation risk and indirect foraging competition, respectively. Parents therefore incurred the costs of foraging less intensely during foraging bouts, spending more time interacting, more time in vigilance, and less time sleeping/preening than non-parents.

  6. Backscatter from ice growing on shallow tundra lakes near Barrow, Alaska, winter 1991-1992

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeffries, M. O.; Wakabayashi, H.; Weeks, W. F.; Morris, K.

    1993-01-01

    The timing of freeze-up and break-up of Arctic lake ice is a potentially useful environmental indicator that could be monitored using SAR. In order to do this, it is important to understand how the properties and structure of the ice during its growth and decay affect radar backscatter and thus lake ice SAR signatures. The availability of radiometrically and geometrically calibrated digital SAR data time series from the Alaska SAR Facility has made it possible for the first time to quantify lake ice backscatter intensity (sigma(sup o)) variations. This has been done for ice growing on shallow tundra lakes near Barrow, NW Alaska, from initial growth in September 1991 until thawing and decay in June 1992. Field and laboratory observations and measurements of the lake ice were made in late April 1992. The field investigations of the coastal lakes near Barrow confirmed previous findings that, (1) ice frozen to the lake bottom had a dark signature in SAR images, indicating weak backscatter, while, (2) ice that was floating had a bright signature, indicating strong backscatter. At all sites, regardless of whether the ice was grounded or floating, there was a layer of clear, inclusion-free ice overlaying a layer of ice with dense concentrations of vertically oriented tubular bubbles. At some sites, there was a third layer of porous, snow-ice overlaying the clear ice.

  7. Potential of Immobilized Whole-Cell Methylocella tundrae as a Biocatalyst for Methanol Production from Methane.

    PubMed

    Mardina, Primata; Li, Jinglin; Patel, Sanjay K S; Kim, In-Won; Lee, Jung-Kul; Selvaraj, Chandrabose

    2016-07-28

    Methanol is a versatile compound that can be biologically synthesized from methane (CH4) by methanotrophs using a low energy-consuming and environment-friendly process. Methylocella tundrae is a type II methanotroph that can utilize CH4 as a carbon and energy source. Methanol is produced in the first step of the metabolic pathway of methanotrophs and is further oxidized into formaldehyde. Several parameters must be optimized to achieve high methanol production. In this study, we optimized the production conditions and process parameters for methanol production. The optimum incubation time, substrate, pH, agitation rate, temperature, phosphate buffer and sodium formate concentration, and cell concentration were determined to be 24 h, 50% CH4, pH 7, 150 rpm, 30°C, 100 mM and 50 mM, and 18 mg/ml, respectively. The optimization of these parameters significantly improved methanol production from 0.66 to 5.18 mM. The use of alginate-encapsulated cells resulted in enhanced methanol production stability and reusability of cells after five cycles of reuse under batch culture conditions. PMID:27012239

  8. Carbon balance of Arctic tundra under increased snow cover mediated by a plant pathogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olofsson, Johan; Ericson, Lars; Torp, Mikaela; Stark, Sari; Baxter, Robert

    2011-07-01

    Climate change is affecting plant community composition and ecosystem structure, with consequences for ecosystem processes such as carbon storage. Climate can affect plants directly by altering growth rates, and indirectly by affecting predators and herbivores, which in turn influence plants. Diseases are also known to be important for the structure and function of food webs. However, the role of plant diseases in modulating ecosystem responses to a changing climate is poorly understood. This is partly because disease outbreaks are relatively rare and spatially variable, such that that their effects can only be captured in long-term experiments. Here we show that, although plant growth was favoured by the insulating effects of increased snow cover in experimental plots in Sweden, plant biomass decreased over the seven-year study. The decline in biomass was caused by an outbreak of a host-specific parasitic fungus, Arwidssonia empetri, which killed the majority of the shoots of the dominant plant species, Empetrum hermaphroditum, after six years of increased snow cover. After the outbreak of the disease, instantaneous measurements of gross photosynthesis and net ecosystem carbon exchange were significantly reduced at midday during the growing season. Our results show that plant diseases can alter and even reverse the effects of a changing climate on tundra carbon balance by altering plant composition.

  9. Distinct microbial communities associated with buried soils in the Siberian tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gittel, Antje; Bárta, Jiří; Kohoutová, Iva; Mikutta, Robert; Owens, Sarah; Gilbert, Jack; Schnecker, Jörg; Wild, Birgit; Hannisdal, Bjarte; Maerz, Joeran; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Čapek, Petr; Šantrůčková, Hana; Gentsch, Norman; Shibistova, Olga; Guggenberger, Georg; Richter, Andreas; Torsvik, Vigdis; Schleper, Christa; Urich, Tim

    2014-05-01

    Cryoturbation, the burial of topsoil material into deeper soil horizons by repeated freeze-thaw events, is an important storage mechanism for soil organic matter (SOM) in permafrost-affected soils. Besides abiotic conditions, microbial community structure and the accessibility of SOM to the decomposer community are hypothesized to control SOM decomposition and thus have a crucial role in SOM accumulation in buried soils. We surveyed the microbial community structure in cryoturbated soils from nine soil profiles in the northeastern Siberian tundra using high-throughput sequencing and quantification of bacterial, archaeal and fungal marker genes. We found that bacterial abundances in buried topsoils were as high as in unburied topsoils. In contrast, fungal abundances decreased with depth and were significantly lower in buried than in unburied topsoils resulting in remarkably low fungal to bacterial ratios in buried topsoils. Fungal community profiling revealed an associated decrease in presumably ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. The abiotic conditions (low to subzero temperatures, anoxia) and the reduced abundance of fungi likely provide a niche for bacterial, facultative anaerobic decomposers of SOM such as members of the Actinobacteria, which were found in significantly higher relative abundances in buried than in unburied topsoils. Our study expands the knowledge on the microbial community structure in soils of Northern latitude permafrost regions, and attributes the delayed decomposition of SOM in buried soils to specific microbial taxa, and particularly to a decrease in abundance and activity of ECM fungi, and to the extent to which bacterial decomposers are able to act as their functional substitutes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Global warming significantly affects Arctic tundra, including permafrost thaw and soluble C release that may differentially affect tundra microbial growth. Using laboratory experiments, we report some of the first evidence for the effects of soluble glucose-C enrichment on tundra soil prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) and fungi, with comparisons to microbial eukaryotes. Fungal increase in C-biomass was equivalent to 10% (w/w) of the added glucose-C, and for prokaryote biomass 2% (w/w), the latter comparable to prior published results. The C-gain after 14 d was 1.3 mg/g soil for fungi, and ~200 μg/g for prokaryotes. PMID:26662659

  11. Circulation of Dirofilaria repens, Setaria tundra, and Onchocercidae species in Hungary during the period 2011-2013.

    PubMed

    Kemenesi, Gábor; Kurucz, Kornélia; Kepner, Anett; Dallos, Bianka; Oldal, Miklós; Herczeg, Róbert; Vajdovics, Péter; Bányai, Krisztián; Jakab, Ferenc

    2015-11-30

    Dirofilaria repens and recently Dirofilaria immitis are known to be endemic in Hungary. Since there is no related research on Dirofilaria carrier mosquito species from Hungary, we conducted a three-year mosquito surveillance study between 2011 and 2013. During the study period we examined 23,139 female mosquitoes with a generic filaria-specific TaqMan PCR assay, and characterized them by sequencing a 500 bp segment of 12S rRNA. An important result of our study was the detection of Setaria tundra and D. repens along with an unidentified Onchocercidae nematode. D. repens is known to be endemic in Hungary, however, the detection of S. tundra in all sampling sites throughout the study period indicates for the first time the endemicity of this parasite in Hungary. The Onchocercidae sp. nematode showed 95% nucleotide identity with previously detected unidentified nematodes from Germany, indicating a broader geographical distribution of this nematode in Europe. D. immitis specific DNA was not detected among the screened mosquitoes in this study. Here we report 11 mosquito species as potential vector organisms for local filarial infections, including Aedes vexans, Ochlerotatus annulipes, Ochlerotatus sticticus, Coquillettidia richiardii, Anopheles hyrcanus and Ochlerotatus rusticus. Dirofilaria development unit was calculated and the potential transmission period was estimated, which ranged between 65 and 113 days between sampling seasons. A relatively high infection rate (36.8%) was identified, which is a notable finding for veterinary and human health professionals. Moreover, the results of our study widen the group of possible mosquito vector species for D. repens and S. tundra in Central Europe. PMID:26412142

  12. Effects of oil on tundra ponds and streams. Final report, October 1, 1978-September 30, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Hobbie, J.E.

    1982-05-01

    The effects of nutrient enrichment on an arctic tundra stream were studied in 1979 and 1980. The site was the Kuparuk River of the North Slope of Alaska. Concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen in the river were extremely low, and phosphorus was indicated as the most important limiting nutrient. An artificial stream was set up to observe the effects of added nutrients on periphyton biomass and photosynthesis. The phosphorus and phosphorus plus nitrogen enrichments showed significant increase in algal growth and production over the controls. Nitrogen alone gave no stimulus. The effects of petroleum hydrocarbons on the decomposition of plant litter was observed in an experimental setup simulating conditions in Toolik Lake, Alaska. Overall microbial activity and heterotrophic activity (/sup 14/C acetate uptake) indicated no significant short term effect after oil addition. In longer experiments, the decomposition rate of lignin and cellulose components of Carex was observed by following /sup 14/C labelled compounds. Various inhibitory and stimulatory responses were found. The studies on zooplankton and fish responses to crude oil were carried out in aquaria simulating Toolik Lake. Zooplankton with large surface to volume ratios (Daphnia) were observed to be most susceptible, while animals with large bodies were the least (Heterocope). After 2 days the oil had lost its lethal effect, but a 12 hour exposure was enough to reduce the population 95%. High doses of oil produced no mortality even on small arctic grayling. Respiration was reduced 40% after the exposure but recovery was total after 3 days. The long term recovery from an oil spill was monitored in several ponds near Barrow, Alaska. Almost total recovery of the normal biota took about 2 years. Exceptions to this were changes in species composition among planktonic algae observed for 6 years, and the elimination of varius zooplankton and aquatic insects for up to 7 years.

  13. Automatic monitoring of the effective thermal conductivity of snow in a low Arctic shrub tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domine, F.; Barrere, M.; Sarrazin, D.; Morin, S.

    2015-03-01

    The effective thermal conductivity of snow, keff, is a critical variable which determines the temperature gradient in the snowpack and heat exchanges between the ground and the atmosphere through the snow. Its accurate knowledge is therefore required to simulate snow metamorphism, the ground thermal regime, permafrost stability, nutrient recycling and vegetation growth. Yet, few data are available on the seasonal evolution of snow thermal conductivity in the Arctic. We have deployed heated needle probes on low Arctic shrub tundra near Umiujaq, Quebec, (56°34´ N; 76°29´ W) and monitored automatically the evolution of keff for two consecutive winters, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, at 4 heights in the snowpack. Shrubs are 20 cm high dwarf birch. Here, we develop an algorithm for the automatic determination of keff from the heating curves and obtain 404 keff values. We evaluate possible errors and biases associated with the use of the heated needles. The time-evolution of keff is very different for both winters. This is explained by comparing the meteorological conditions in both winters, which induced different conditions for snow metamorphism. In particular, important melting events the second year increased snow hardness, impeding subsequent densification and increase in thermal conductivity. Shrubs are observed to have very important impacts on snow physical evolution: (1) shrubs absorb light and facilitate snow melt under intense radiation; (2) the dense twig network of dwarf birch prevents snow compaction and therefore keff increase; (3) the low density depth hoar that forms within shrubs collapsed in late winter, leaving a void that was not filled by snow.

  14. Automatic monitoring of the effective thermal conductivity of snow in a low-Arctic shrub tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domine, F.; Barrere, M.; Sarrazin, D.; Morin, S.; Arnaud, L.

    2015-06-01

    The effective thermal conductivity of snow, keff, is a critical variable which determines the temperature gradient in the snowpack and heat exchanges between the ground and the atmosphere through the snow. Its accurate knowledge is therefore required to simulate snow metamorphism, the ground thermal regime, permafrost stability, nutrient recycling and vegetation growth. Yet, few data are available on the seasonal evolution of snow thermal conductivity in the Arctic. We have deployed heated needle probes on low-Arctic shrub tundra near Umiujaq, Quebec, (N56°34'; W76°29') and monitored automatically the evolution of keff for two consecutive winters, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, at four heights in the snowpack. Shrubs are 20 cm high dwarf birch. Here, we develop an algorithm for the automatic determination of keff from the heating curves and obtain 404 keff values. We evaluate possible errors and biases associated with the use of the heated needles. The time evolution of keff is very different for both winters. This is explained by comparing the meteorological conditions in both winters, which induced different conditions for snow metamorphism. In particular, important melting events in the second year increased snow hardness, impeding subsequent densification and increase in thermal conductivity. We conclude that shrubs have very important impacts on snow physical evolution: (1) shrubs absorb light and facilitate snow melt under intense radiation; (2) the dense twig network of dwarf birch prevent snow compaction, and therefore keff increase; (3) the low density depth hoar that forms within shrubs collapsed in late winter, leaving a void that was not filled by snow.

  15. A model of the CO2 exchanges between biosphere and atmosphere in the tundra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Labgaa, Rachid R.; Gautier, Catherine

    1992-01-01

    A physical model of the soil thermal regime in a permafrost terrain has been developed and validated with soil temperature measurements at Barrow, Alaska. The model calculates daily soil temperatures as a function of depth and average moisture contents of the organic and mineral layers using a set of five climatic variables, i.e., air temperature, precipitation, cloudiness, wind speed, and relative humidity. The model is not only designed to study the impact of climate change on the soil temperature and moisture regime, but also to provide the input to a decomposition and net primary production model. In this context, it is well known that CO2 exchanges between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere are driven by soil temperature through decomposition of soil organic matter and root respiration. However, in tundra ecosystems, net CO2 exchange is extremely sensitive to soil moisture content; therefore it is necessary to predict variations in soil moisture in order to assess the impact of climate change on carbon fluxes. To this end, the present model includes the representation of the soil moisture response to changes in climatic conditions. The results presented in the foregoing demonstrate that large errors in soil temperature and permafrost depth estimates arise from neglecting the dependence of the soil thermal regime on soil moisture contents. Permafrost terrain is an example of a situation where soil moisture and temperature are particularly interrelated: drainage conditions improve when the depth of the permafrost increases; a decrease in soil moisture content leads to a decrease in the latent heat required for the phase transition so that the heat penetrates faster and deeper, and the maximum depth of thaw increases; and as excepted, soil thermal coefficients increase with moisture.

  16. Permafrost collapse alters soil carbon stocks, respiration, CH4 , and N2O in upland tundra.

    PubMed

    Abbott, Benjamin W; Jones, Jeremy B

    2015-12-01

    Release of greenhouse gases from thawing permafrost is potentially the largest terrestrial feedback to climate change and one of the most likely to occur; however, estimates of its strength vary by a factor of thirty. Some of this uncertainty stems from abrupt thaw processes known as thermokarst (permafrost collapse due to ground ice melt), which alter controls on carbon and nitrogen cycling and expose organic matter from meters below the surface. Thermokarst may affect 20-50% of tundra uplands by the end of the century; however, little is known about the effect of different thermokarst morphologies on carbon and nitrogen release. We measured soil organic matter displacement, ecosystem respiration, and soil gas concentrations at 26 upland thermokarst features on the North Slope of Alaska. Features included the three most common upland thermokarst morphologies: active-layer detachment slides, thermo-erosion gullies, and retrogressive thaw slumps. We found that thermokarst morphology interacted with landscape parameters to determine both the initial displacement of organic matter and subsequent carbon and nitrogen cycling. The large proportion of ecosystem carbon exported off-site by slumps and slides resulted in decreased ecosystem respiration postfailure, while gullies removed a smaller portion of ecosystem carbon but strongly increased respiration and N2 O concentration. Elevated N2 O in gully soils persisted through most of the growing season, indicating sustained nitrification and denitrification in disturbed soils, representing a potential noncarbon permafrost climate feedback. While upland thermokarst formation did not substantially alter redox conditions within features, it redistributed organic matter into both oxic and anoxic environments. Across morphologies, residual organic matter cover, and predisturbance respiration explained 83% of the variation in respiration response. Consistent differences between upland thermokarst types may contribute to the

  17. Bioavailable soil phosphorus decreases with increasing elevation in a subarctic tundra landscape.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Andrea G; Sundqvist, Maja K; Wardle, David A; Giesler, Reiner

    2014-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an important macronutrient in arctic and subarctic tundra and its bioavailability is regulated by the mineralization of organic P. Temperature is likely to be an important control on P bioavailability, although effects may differ across contrasting plant communities with different soil properties. We used an elevational gradient in northern Sweden that included both heath and meadow vegetation types at all elevations to study the effects of temperature, soil P sorption capacity and oxalate-extractable aluminium (Alox) and iron (Feox) on the concentration of different soil P fractions. We hypothesized that the concentration of labile P fractions would decrease with increasing elevation (and thus declining temperature), but would be lower in meadow than in heath, given that N to P ratios in meadow foliage are higher. As expected, labile P in the form of Resin-P declined sharply with elevation for both vegetation types. Meadow soils did not have lower concentrations of Resin-P than heath soils, but they did have 2-fold and 1.5-fold higher concentrations of NaOH-extractable organic P and Residual P, respectively. Further, meadow soils had 3-fold higher concentrations of Alox + Feox and a 20% higher P sorption index than did heath soils. Additionally, Resin-P expressed as a proportion of total soil P for the meadow was on average half that in the heath. Declining Resin-P concentrations with elevation were best explained by an associated 2.5-3.0 °C decline in temperature. In contrast, the lower P availability in meadow relative to heath soils may be associated with impaired organic P mineralization, as indicated by a higher accumulation of organic P and P sorption capacity. Our results indicate that predicted temperature increases in the arctic over the next century may influence P availability and biogeochemistry, with consequences for key ecosystem processes limited by P, such as primary productivity. PMID:24676035

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species-rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox - perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013) we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey - altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period - a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers. PMID:25692786

  19. Interference in the tundra predator guild studied using local ecological knowledge.

    PubMed

    Ehrich, Dorothee; Strømeng, Marita A; Killengreen, Siw T

    2016-04-01

    The decline or recolonization of apex predators such as wolves and lynx, often driven by management decisions, and the expansion of smaller generalist predators such as red foxes, can have important ecosystem impacts. The mesopredator release hypothesis proposes that apex predators control medium-sized predator populations through competition and/or intraguild predation. The decline of apex predators thus leads to an increase in mesopredators, possibly with a negative impact on prey populations. Information about the abundance of mammalian tundra predators, wolf (Canis lupus), wolverine (Gulo gulo), lynx (Lynx lynx), red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) was collected from local active outdoors people during semi-structured interviews in 14 low arctic or sub-arctic settlements in western Eurasia. The perceived abundance of red fox decreased with higher wolf abundance and in more arctic areas, but the negative effect of wolves decreased in more arctic and therefore less productive ecosystems. The perceived abundance of arctic fox increased towards the arctic and in areas with colder winters. Although there was a negative correlation between the two fox species, red fox was not included in the model for perceived arctic fox abundance, which received most support. Our results support the mesopredator release hypothesis regarding the expansion of red foxes in subarctic areas and indicate that top-down control by apex predators is weaker in less productive and more arctic ecosystems. We showed that local ecological knowledge is a valuable source of information about large-scale processes, which are difficult to study through direct biological investigations. PMID:26686344

  20. Disappearing Arctic Tundra Ponds: Assessing 60 Years of Change in the Barrow Peninsula, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andresen, C.; Lougheed, V.

    2012-12-01

    Decadal hydrological changes of closed-basin tundra ponds in continuous permafrost fills a missing gap in arctic fresh water research. Furthermore, the lack of historic datasets and high resolution historical imagery adds to the challenge of understanding the long-term trends of these ecosystems. Given the dominance of these aquatic ecosystems in the Arctic landscape, documenting hydrological changes is important to understand carbon and energy balance, trophic energy flow, and biodiversity. We utilized historic aerial imagery from USGS archives of 1948 and modern high-resolution Quickbird imagery from 2008 to assess areal changes in arctic ponds over the past 60 years. Object-oriented classification was used to extract the areal extent of ponds and validated using a combination of ground-based measurements such as Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) and Differential Geographic Positioning System (DGPS). A total of 1120 ponds in different drained thaw lake basins (DTLB) distributed across the Barrow Peninsula were assessed. Analysis indicated a decline in total pond area and a decrease of 36% in the number of ponds, with change more pronounced in smaller ponds (<100m2). Aquatic plant cover data collected over a 40 year period (1970-2012) indicate that expansion of vegetation into the ponds may be a primary mechanism whereby ponds may experience infilling. Other mechanisms may include increased evaporation due to warmer and longer summers, transpiration from encroaching aquatic grasses and changes in precipitation patterns. However, images from additional years will be analyzed to separate out the roles of these variables on inter- versus intra-annual variability in pond surface area.

  1. The contribution of litter derived carbon to winter respiration in an alpine tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wipf, S.; Siegwolf, R.; Esperschuetz, J.; Hagedorn, F.

    2009-04-01

    Although soil respiration rates from snow-covered ecosystems are relatively low, they add up to a substantial fraction of the annual CO2 efflux over the whole winter, which lasts for more than half of the year in the Alpine. It is still unclear, however, which carbon sources are respired preferentially in winter. In a new experiment at the Stillberg tree line research site near Davos, Switzerland, we added 13C-labelled litter (Leucanthemopsis alpina L.) to an alpine tundra ecosystem and measured its contribution to the CO2 efflux at different soil temperatures over winter. The litter was placed either at the soil surface or at 5 cm depth, and soil temperature was decreased by manually reducing snow depth to half of of that of the control plots. Soil respiration was measured by means of a chamber system, and gas samples were analysed for their isotopic composition. Preliminary results indicate that soil respiration in early winter was about half compared to that measured in late fall. Lower soil temperatures under a shallow snow cover further decreased respiration by 40%. Litter addition increased respiration rates by 10 to 30%. At the beginning of the winter season, a higher respiration rate was found for the plots where litter was applied at the surface than at 5 cm soil depth. This effect, however, decreased with the progression of the winter as later measurements have shown. The isotopic composition of the respired CO2 suggests that carbon from the additional litter contributed about 5 to 15% to the total CO2 efflux, and that this fraction was higher in plots with lower soil temperatures. Our results show considerable and non negligible amounts of C-loss in winter. By exploring the effect of the snow cover and soil temperatures on the decomposition of fresh plant litter, this experiment will give a more detailed insight into the environmental controls of soil respiration processes and the sources of respiratory CO2 release in Alpine ecosystems.

  2. Reconstruction of the Dynamics of Mammoth Tundra-Steppe Ecosystem Productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimov, S. A.; Chapin, F. S.

    2001-12-01

    During periods of glaciation, the mammoth tundra-steppe (MTS) ecosystem was the largest biome.The productivity of this ecosystem is under discussion. During the Pleistocene, a thick layer of frozen loess accumulated on the lowlands of northern Siberia. As loess deposited on the surface, the bottom of the soil profile was incorporated into permafrost. Present-day frozen loess soils of Siberia are cryo-preserved soils of the MTS. These soils have little humus but contain large quantities of grass roots and live Pleistocene microorganisms. As the soil melts, they start to respire actively. Analysis of vertical distribution of respiration in different types of modern soil and permafrost showed that respiration potential of cryo-preserved soil is similar to respiration of low soil horizons. On the basis of the correlation of photosynthesis to respiration, we calculated productivity of the MTS ecosystem and reconstructed its dynamics. Dynamics of MTS productivity was evaluated through the dynamics of the relative quantities of herbivorous animals. We analyzed the distribution of about 600 14C dates of mammoths, bison, and rhinoceroses. An estimate of the absolute density of mammoths in the north of Siberia was calculated on the basis of data collected on the density of skeletons buried in the permafrost. Our investigations showed that vegetation productivity and density of herbivorous animals in the MTS ecosystem varied within a wide range depending on climate. Dynamics of these parameters correlate with data of temperature and atmospheric CH4 obtained from Greenland cores. During periods of climate warming the quantity of mammoths in the north of Siberia was comparable to the quantity of elephants in present-day undisturbed African savanna.

  3. Bioavailable Soil Phosphorus Decreases with Increasing Elevation in a Subarctic Tundra Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Vincent, Andrea G.; Sundqvist, Maja K.; Wardle, David A.; Giesler, Reiner

    2014-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an important macronutrient in arctic and subarctic tundra and its bioavailability is regulated by the mineralization of organic P. Temperature is likely to be an important control on P bioavailability, although effects may differ across contrasting plant communities with different soil properties. We used an elevational gradient in northern Sweden that included both heath and meadow vegetation types at all elevations to study the effects of temperature, soil P sorption capacity and oxalate-extractable aluminium (Alox) and iron (Feox) on the concentration of different soil P fractions. We hypothesized that the concentration of labile P fractions would decrease with increasing elevation (and thus declining temperature), but would be lower in meadow than in heath, given that N to P ratios in meadow foliage are higher. As expected, labile P in the form of Resin-P declined sharply with elevation for both vegetation types. Meadow soils did not have lower concentrations of Resin-P than heath soils, but they did have 2–fold and 1.5–fold higher concentrations of NaOH-extractable organic P and Residual P, respectively. Further, meadow soils had 3-fold higher concentrations of Alox + Feox and a 20% higher P sorption index than did heath soils. Additionally, Resin-P expressed as a proportion of total soil P for the meadow was on average half that in the heath. Declining Resin-P concentrations with elevation were best explained by an associated 2.5–3.0°C decline in temperature. In contrast, the lower P availability in meadow relative to heath soils may be associated with impaired organic P mineralization, as indicated by a higher accumulation of organic P and P sorption capacity. Our results indicate that predicted temperature increases in the arctic over the next century may influence P availability and biogeochemistry, with consequences for key ecosystem processes limited by P, such as primary productivity. PMID:24676035

  4. Landscape patterns of CH4 fluxes in an alpine tundra ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    West, A.E.; Brooks, P.D.; Fisk, M.C.; Smith, L.K.; Holland, E.A.; Jaeger, C. H., III; Babcock, S.; Lai, R.S.; Schmidt, S.K.

    1999-01-01

    We measured CH4 fluxes from three major plant communities characteristic of alpine tundra in the Colorado Front Range. Plant communities in this ecosystem are determined by soil moisture regimes induced by winter snowpack distribution. Spatial patterns of CH4 flux during the snow-free season corresponded roughly with these plant communities. In Carex-dominated meadows, which receive the most moisture from snowmelt, net CH4 production occurred. However, CH4 production in one Carex site (seasonal mean = +8.45 mg CH4 m-2 d-1) was significantly larger than in the other Carex sites (seasonal means = -0.06 and +0.05 mg CH4 m-2 d-1). This high CH4 flux may have resulted from shallower snowpack during the winter. In Acomastylis meadows, which have an intermediate moisture regime, CH4 oxidation dominated (seasonal mean = -0.43 mg CH4 m-2 d-1). In the windswept Kobresia meadow plant community, which receive the least amount of moisture from snowmelt, only CH4 oxidation was observed (seasonal mean = -0.77 mg CH4 m-2 d-1). Methane fluxes correlated with a different set of environmental factors within each plant community. In the Carex plant community, CH4 emission was limited by soil temperature. In the Acomastylis meadows, CH4 oxidation rates correlated positively with soil temperature and negatively with soil moisture. In the Kobresia community, CH4 oxidation was stimulated by precipitation. Thus, both snow-free season CH4 fluxes and the controls on those CH4 fluxes were related to the plant communities determined by winter snowpack.

  5. Spaceborne potential for examining taiga-tundra ecotone form and vulnerability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montesano, Paul M.; Sun, Guoqing; Dubayah, Ralph O.; Ranson, K. Jon

    2016-07-01

    In the taiga-tundra ecotone (TTE), site-dependent forest structure characteristics can influence the subtle and heterogeneous structural changes that occur across the broad circumpolar extent. Such changes may be related to ecotone form, described by the horizontal and vertical patterns of forest structure (e.g., tree cover, density, and height) within TTE forest patches, driven by local site conditions, and linked to ecotone dynamics. The unique circumstance of subtle, variable, and widespread vegetation change warrants the application of spaceborne data including high-resolution (< 5 m) spaceborne imagery (HRSI) across broad scales for examining TTE form and predicting dynamics. This study analyzes forest structure at the patch scale in the TTE to provide a means to examine both vertical and horizontal components of ecotone form. We demonstrate the potential of spaceborne data for integrating forest height and density to assess TTE form at the scale of forest patches across the circumpolar biome by (1) mapping forest patches in study sites along the TTE in northern Siberia with a multi-resolution suite of spaceborne data and (2) examining the uncertainty of forest patch height from this suite of data across sites of primarily diffuse TTE forms. Results demonstrate the opportunities for improving patch-scale spaceborne estimates of forest height, the vertical component of TTE form, with HRSI. The distribution of relative maximum height uncertainty based on prediction intervals is centered at ˜ 40 %, constraining the use of height for discerning differences in forest patches. We discuss this uncertainty in light of a conceptual model of general ecotone forms and highlight how the uncertainty of spaceborne estimates of height can contribute to the uncertainty in identifying TTE forms. A focus on reducing the uncertainty of height estimates in forest patches may improve depiction of TTE form, which may help explain variable forest responses in the TTE to climate

  6. Distribution of global fallouts cesium-137 in taiga and tundra catenae at the Ob River basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semenkov, I. N.; Usacheva, A. A.; Miroshnikov, A. Yu.

    2015-03-01

    The classification of soil catenae at the Ob River basin is developed and applied. This classification reflects the diverse geochemical conditions that led to the formation of certain soil bodies, their combinations and the migration fields of chemical elements. The soil and geochemical diversity of the Ob River basin catenae was analyzed. The vertical and lateral distribution of global fallouts cesium-137 was studied using the example of the four most common catenae types in Western Siberia tundra and taiga. In landscapes of dwarf birches and dark coniferous forests on gleysols, cryosols, podzols, and cryic-stagnosols, the highest 137Cs activity density and specific activity are characteristic of the upper soil layer of over 30% ash, while the moss-grass-shrub cover is characterized by low 137Cs activity density and specific activity. In landscapes of dwarf birches and pine woods on podzols, the maximum specific activity of cesium-137 is typical for moss-grass-shrub cover, while the maximum reserves are concentrated in the upper soil layer of over 30% ash. Bog landscapes and moss-grass-shrub cover are characterized by a minimum activity of 137Cs, and its reserves in soil generally decrease exponentially with depth. The cesium-137 penetration depth increases in oligotrophic histosols from northern to middle taiga landscapes from 10-15 to 40 cm. 137Cs is accumulated in oligotrophic histosols for increases in pH from 3.3 to 4.0 and in concretionary interlayers of pisoplinthic-cryic-histic-stagnosols. Cryogenic movement, on the one hand, leads to burying organic layers enriched in 137Cs and, on the other hand, to deducing specific activity when mixed with low-active material from lower soil layers.

  7. Towards capturing detailed patterns of taiga-tundra ecotone forests from space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montesano, P. M.; Neigh, C. S. R.; Sun, G.; Ranson, K.

    2015-12-01

    High northern latitude forests, particularly those in the taiga-tundra ecotone (TTE), lie at the leading edge of climate change. The structure of these forests contribute to climate feedbacks by modifying surface albedo and above- and below-ground carbon storage. These modifications are associated with vertical and horizontal forest characteristics such as tree height and canopy cover. These characteristics are changing unevenly throughout the TTE, and the degree to which forests are vulnerable to such changes varies, in part, according to whether the primary drivers of their response are controlled by site-scale factors or climate. Observing spatial variations in TTE forest structure is difficult given the uncertainties associated with spaceborne measurements of sparse forests. Global-scale spaceborne observations of these forests tend to overestimate sparse tree cover. This overestimation increases the uncertainty in the patterns of forests that may reflect critical site-scale controls of its structure, its vulnerability to change and the potential for climate feedbacks. The key to improving prediction of feedbacks between TTE forests and climate may be linked to how well we understand the fine-scale patterns of heterogeneous TTE forest structure. We examine the spaceborne potential for delineating fine-scale (< 2m) forest structure (height and cover) in sparse forests in the TTE. We apply automated digital stereo-photogrammetry to high resolution spaceborne images. This processing allows us to combine surface elevation models and multispectral data at forested study sites to extract detailed vertical and horizontal forest structure characteristics. With this data, we can validate coarser (~30m) global tree cover data, model forest structure characteristics and patterns, and use these patterns to examine the differences in the vulnerability of TTE forest structure at multiple scales across the circumpolar domain.

  8. Rough-Legged Buzzards, Arctic Foxes and Red Foxes in a Tundra Ecosystem without Rodents

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species—rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox – perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013) we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey – altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period – a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers. PMID:25692786

  9. Distinct microbial communities associated with buried soils in the Siberian tundra

    PubMed Central

    Gittel, Antje; Bárta, Jiří; Kohoutová, Iva; Mikutta, Robert; Owens, Sarah; Gilbert, Jack; Schnecker, Jörg; Wild, Birgit; Hannisdal, Bjarte; Maerz, Joeran; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Čapek, Petr; Šantrůčková, Hana; Gentsch, Norman; Shibistova, Olga; Guggenberger, Georg; Richter, Andreas; Torsvik, Vigdis L; Schleper, Christa; Urich, Tim

    2014-01-01

    Cryoturbation, the burial of topsoil material into deeper soil horizons by repeated freeze–thaw events, is an important storage mechanism for soil organic matter (SOM) in permafrost-affected soils. Besides abiotic conditions, microbial community structure and the accessibility of SOM to the decomposer community are hypothesized to control SOM decomposition and thus have a crucial role in SOM accumulation in buried soils. We surveyed the microbial community structure in cryoturbated soils from nine soil profiles in the northeastern Siberian tundra using high-throughput sequencing and quantification of bacterial, archaeal and fungal marker genes. We found that bacterial abundances in buried topsoils were as high as in unburied topsoils. In contrast, fungal abundances decreased with depth and were significantly lower in buried than in unburied topsoils resulting in remarkably low fungal to bacterial ratios in buried topsoils. Fungal community profiling revealed an associated decrease in presumably ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. The abiotic conditions (low to subzero temperatures, anoxia) and the reduced abundance of fungi likely provide a niche for bacterial, facultative anaerobic decomposers of SOM such as members of the Actinobacteria, which were found in significantly higher relative abundances in buried than in unburied topsoils. Our study expands the knowledge on the microbial community structure in soils of Northern latitude permafrost regions, and attributes the delayed decomposition of SOM in buried soils to specific microbial taxa, and particularly to a decrease in abundance and activity of ECM fungi, and to the extent to which bacterial decomposers are able to act as their functional substitutes. PMID:24335828

  10. Variation in xylem structure from tropics to tundra: Evidence from vestured pits

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, Steven; Baas, Pieter; Gasson, Peter; Lens, Frederic; Smets, Erik

    2004-01-01

    Bordered pits play an important role in permitting water flow among adjacent tracheary elements in flowering plants. Variation in the bordered pit structure is suggested to be adaptive in optimally balancing the conflict between hydraulic efficiency (conductivity) and safety from air entry at the pit membrane (air seeding). The possible function of vestured pits, which are bordered pits with protuberances from the secondary cell wall of the pit chamber, could be increased hydraulic resistance or minimized vulnerability to air seeding. These functional hypotheses have to be harmonized with the notion that the vestured or nonvestured nature of pits contains strong phylogenetic signals (i.e., often characterize large species-rich clades with broad ecological ranges). A literature survey of 11,843 species covering 6,428 genera from diverse climates indicates that the incidence of vestured pits considerably decreases from tropics to tundra. The highest frequencies of vestured pits occur in deserts and tropical seasonal woodlands. Moreover, a distinctly developed network of branched vestures is mainly restricted to warm habitats in both mesic and dry (sub)tropical lowlands, whereas vestures in woody plants from cold and boreal arctic environments are usually minute and simple. A similar survey of the frequency of exclusively scalariform perforation plates illustrates that the major ecological trend of this feature is opposite that of vestured pits. These findings provide previously undescribed insights suggesting that vessels with vestured pits and simple perforation plates function as an efficient hydraulic system in plants growing in warm environments with periodical or continuous drought stress. PMID:15163796

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. Assessing the spatial variability in peak season CO2 exchange characteristics across the Arctic tundra using a~light response curve parameterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mbufong, H. N.; Lund, M.; Aurela, M.; Christensen, T. R.; Eugster, W.; Friborg, T.; Hansen, B. U.; Humphreys, E. R.; Jackowicz-Korczynski, M.; Kutzbach, L.; Lafleur, P. M.; Oechel, W. C.; Parmentier, F. J. W.; Rasse, D. P.; Rocha, A. V.; Sachs, T.; van der Molen, M. M.; Tamstorf, M. P.

    2014-05-01

    This paper aims to assess the functional and spatial variability in the response of CO2 exchange to irradiance across the Arctic tundra during peak season using light response curve (LRC) parameters. This investigation allows us to better understand the future response of Arctic tundra under climatic change. Data was collected using the micrometeorological eddy covariance technique from 12 circumpolar Arctic tundra sites, in the range of 64-74° N. The LRCs were generated for 14 days with peak net ecosystem exchange (NEE) using an NEE -irradiance model. Parameters from LRCs represent site specific traits and characteristics describing: (a) NEE at light saturation (Fcsat), (b) dark respiration (Rd), (c) light use efficiency (α), (d) NEE when light is at 1000 μmol m-2 s-1 (Fc1000), (e) potential photosynthesis at light saturation (Psat) and (f) the light compensation point (LCP). Parameterization of LRCs was successful in predicting CO2 flux dynamics across the Arctic tundra. Yet we did not find any trends in LRC parameters across the whole Arctic tundra but there were indications for temperature and latitudinal differences within sub-regions like Russia and Greenland. Together, LAI and July temperature had a high explanatory power of the variance in assimilation parameters (Fcsat, Fc1000 and Psat), thus illustrating the potential for upscaling CO2 exchange for the whole Arctic tundra. Dark respiration was more variable and less correlated to environmental drivers than was assimilation parameters. Thus, indicating the inherent need to include other parameters such as nutrient availability, substrate quantity and quality in flux monitoring activities.

  13. Assessing the spatial variability in peak season CO2 exchange characteristics across the Arctic tundra using a light response curve parameterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mbufong, H. N.; Lund, M.; Aurela, M.; Christensen, T. R.; Eugster, W.; Friborg, T.; Hansen, B. U.; Humphreys, E. R.; Jackowicz-Korczynski, M.; Kutzbach, L.; Lafleur, P. M.; Oechel, W. C.; Parmentier, F. J. W.; Rasse, D. P.; Rocha, A. V.; Sachs, T.; van der Molen, M. K.; Tamstorf, M. P.

    2014-09-01

    This paper aims to assess the spatial variability in the response of CO2 exchange to irradiance across the Arctic tundra during peak season using light response curve (LRC) parameters. This investigation allows us to better understand the future response of Arctic tundra under climatic change. Peak season data were collected during different years (between 1998 and 2010) using the micrometeorological eddy covariance technique from 12 circumpolar Arctic tundra sites, in the range of 64-74° N. The LRCs were generated for 14 days with peak net ecosystem exchange (NEE) using an NEE-irradiance model. Parameters from LRCs represent site-specific traits and characteristics describing the following: (a) NEE at light saturation (Fcsat), (b) dark respiration (Rd), (c) light use efficiency (α), (d) NEE when light is at 1000 μmol m-2 s-1 (Fc1000), (e) potential photosynthesis at light saturation (Psat) and (f) the light compensation point (LCP). Parameterization of LRCs was successful in predicting CO2 flux dynamics across the Arctic tundra. We did not find any trends in LRC parameters across the whole Arctic tundra but there were indications for temperature and latitudinal differences within sub-regions like Russia and Greenland. Together, leaf area index (LAI) and July temperature had a high explanatory power of the variance in assimilation parameters (Fcsat, Fc1000 and Psat, thus illustrating the potential for upscaling CO2 exchange for the whole Arctic tundra. Dark respiration was more variable and less correlated to environmental drivers than were assimilation parameters. This indicates the inherent need to include other parameters such as nutrient availability, substrate quantity and quality in flux monitoring activities.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

    Sustainability of tundra vegetation under changing climate on the Yamal Peninsula, northwestern Siberia, home to the world’s largest area of reindeer husbandry, is of crucial importance to the local native community. An integrated investigation is needed for better understanding of the effects of soils, climate change and grazing on tundra vegetation in the Yamal region. In this study we applied a nutrient-based plant community model (ArcVeg) to evaluate how two factors (soil organic nitrogen [SON] levels and grazing) interact to affect tundra responses to climate warming across a latitudinal climatic gradient on the Yamal Peninsula. Model simulations were driven by field-collected soil data and expected grazing patterns along the Yamal Arctic Transect (YAT), within bioclimate subzones C (High Arctic), D (northern Low Arctic) and E (southern Low Arctic). Plant biomass and NPP (net primary productivity) were significantly increased with warmer bioclimate subzones, greater soil nutrient levels and temporal climate warming, while they declined with higher grazing frequency. Temporal climate warming of 2 °C caused an increase of 665 g/m2 in total biomass at the high SON site in subzone E, while only 298 g/m2 in the low SON site. When grazing frequency was also increased, total biomass increased by only 369 g/m2 in the high SON site in contrast to 184 g/m2 in the low SON site in subzone E. When comparing low grazing to high grazing effects on soil organic nitrogen pools over time (Figure 1), higher grazing frequency led to either slower SON accumulation rates or more rapid SON depletion rates. Warming accentuated these differences caused by grazing, suggesting the interaction between grazing and warming may yield greater differences in SON levels across sites. Our results suggest that low SON and grazing may limit plant response to climate change. Interactions among bioclimate subzones, soils, grazing and warming significantly affect plant biomass and productivity in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. AmeriFlux US-Atq Atqasuk

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, Walt; Zona, Donatella

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-Atq Atqasuk. Site Description - This site is 100 km south of Barrow, Alaska, Variety of moist-wet coastal sedge tundra, and moist-tussock tundra surfaces in the more well-drained upland.

  17. Spatial variation in the potential response of the Rocky Mountain National Park forest tundra ecotone to climatic change

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, W.L.; Weisberg, P.J. |

    1995-06-01

    The current structure of the forest tundra ecotone landscape and its tree populations constrain the potential response of the ecotone to climatic change. Our objectives were to characterize the major kinds of ecotone composition and environment and identify how tree regeneration varies in relation to environment. We analyzed the structure of ecotone landscapes using the r.le GIS programs. In the field, we sampled tree seedling density at 125 stratified random sampling locations. Ecotones vary from short (500 m), low diversity, two zone ecotones (closed forest and tundra) common on southerly facing, moderate, granitic slopes to long (3500 m), high diversity, four zone ecotones with multiple disturbances and permanent features found on till. Seedling densities are currently highest in mesic environments, particularly in patch forest openings and in willow wetlands in the krummholz zone. The environmental factors that influence landscape structure are not the same as those correlated with seedling density, but certain types of ecotone typically contain (or lack) environments with high seedling densities. If current seedlings attain tree height, the patch forest zone in some ecotones will become closed forest.

  18. Impact of fire disturbance on soil thermal and carbon dynamics in Alaskan Tundra and Boreal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    In Alaska, fire disturbance is a major component influencing the soil water and energy balance in both tundra and boreal forest ecosystems. Fire-caused changes in soil environment further affect both above- and below-ground carbon cycles depending on different fire severities. Understanding the effects of fire disturbance on soil thermal change requires implicit modeling work on the post-fire soil thawing and freezing processes. In this study, we model the soil temperature profiles in multiple burned and non-burned sites using a well-developed soil thermal model which fully couples soil water and heat transport. The subsequent change in carbon dynamics is analyzed based on site level observations and simulations from the Multiple Element Limitation (MEL) model. With comparison between burned and non-burned sites, we compare and contrast fire effects on soil thermal and carbon dynamics in continuous permafrost (Anaktuvik fire in north slope), discontinuous permafrost (Erickson Creek fire at Hess Creek) and non-permafrost zone (Delta Junction fire in interior Alaska). Then we check the post-fire recovery of soil temperature profiles at sites with different fire severities in both tundra and boreal forest fire areas. We further project the future changes in soil thermal and carbon dynamics using projected climate data from Scenarios Network for Alaska & Arctic Planning (SNAP). This study provides information to improve the understanding of fire disturbance on soil thermal and carbon dynamics and the consequent response under a warming climate.

  19. Decade time scale plot to landscape scale change in tundra ecosystem structure and function near Barrow, AK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, D. H.; Johnson, D. R.; Lara, M. J.; Villarreal, S.; Hollister, R. D.; Webber, P. J.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2012-12-01

    Several models suggest shifts in tundra ecosystem structure and function are likely to affect the future state of the Arctic system and how these shifts may impact the global system. Validation of such predictions remains a challenge, however, due to the lack of sustained environmental observations throughout much of the Arctic. In the absence of sustained monitoring, relocating, rescuing, and retrospectively resampling historic research sites and datasets has proven to be an effective means to establish likely change scenarios and develop hypotheses of future change trajectories. This study, synthesizes several recently published works that have used this retrospective approach to explore plot to landscape change in tundra ecosystem structure and function near Barrow, Alaska over the past half Century. This study is a contribution to the International Polar Year 'Back to the Future' project IPY-BTF, IPY # 512). At the landscape level, analysis of land cover change of time series high spatial resolution aerial and satellite imagery spanning 1948-2008 show an overall increase in the extent of dry and moist land cover and open water, and a decrease in the extent of wet and aquatic, land cover types. The 'drying' trend noted for the coastal landscape of Barrow is similar to that noted for four other Alaskan tundra landscapes but in the same study, the Barrow landscape also showed the most dramatic change in wet and aquatic land cover types. Plot level studies of sites, established in 1972 during the International Biological Program, that have been resampled three times show that species richness and diversity has increased and that wet plant communities have changed more than dry plant communities. An analysis of ecosystem function coupled to this plot level study suggests the greatest functional change has occurred in aquatic and wet plant communities where methane efflux and net ecosystem production (NEP) has increased and albedo and the normalized difference

  20. Plant response to climate change along the forest-tundra ecotone in northeastern Siberia.

    PubMed

    Berner, Logan T; Beck, Pieter S A; Bunn, Andrew G; Goetz, Scott J

    2013-11-01

    Russia's boreal (taiga) biome will likely contract sharply and shift northward in response to 21st century climatic change, yet few studies have examined plant response to climatic variability along the northern margin. We quantified climate dynamics, trends in plant growth, and growth-climate relationships across the tundra shrublands and Cajander larch (Larix cajanderi Mayr.) woodlands of the Kolyma river basin (657 000 km(2) ) in northeastern Siberia using satellite-derived normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI), tree ring-width measurements, and climate data. Mean summer temperatures (Ts ) increased 1.0 °C from 1938 to 2009, though there was no trend (P > 0.05) in growing year precipitation or climate moisture index (CMIgy ). Mean summer NDVI (NDVIs ) increased significantly from 1982 to 2010 across 20% of the watershed, primarily in cold, shrub-dominated areas. NDVIs positively correlated (P < 0.05) with Ts across 56% of the watershed (r = 0.52 ± 0.09, mean ± SD), principally in cold areas, and with CMIgy across 9% of the watershed (r = 0.45 ± 0.06), largely in warm areas. Larch ring-width measurements from nine sites revealed that year-to-year (i.e., high-frequency) variation in growth positively correlated (P < 0.05) with June temperature (r = 0.40) and prior summer CMI (r = 0.40) from 1938 to 2007. An unexplained multi-decadal (i.e., low-frequency) decline in annual basal area increment (BAI) occurred following the mid-20th century, but over the NDVI record there was no trend in mean BAI (P > 0.05), which significantly correlated with NDVIs (r = 0.44, P < 0.05, 1982-2007). Both satellite and tree-ring analyses indicated that plant growth was constrained by both low temperatures and limited moisture availability and, furthermore, that warming enhanced growth. Impacts of future climatic change on forests near treeline in Arctic Russia will likely be influenced by shifts in both temperature and moisture, which implies

  1. Spatial Variation in Carbon Release From Arctic Tundra Resulting From Microtopography Created by Permafrost Thawing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, H.; Schuur, E. A.; Vogel, J. G.

    2007-12-01

    One of the biggest potential feedbacks to global climate change from high latitude ecosystems may come from thawing of permafrost, which stores 30% of the total global terrestrial soil organic carbon (SOC). Thawing of permafrost may accelerate decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) and increase carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and such emissions from soil can lead to further warming in global scale. When permafrost thaws in ice-rich areas, it creates localized topographical surface subsidence called thermokarst, which can induce variations in soil abiotic properties. By altering multiple resources in soil, thermokarst can change C cycling in high latitude ecosystems beyond simple increases in temperature alone. The objective was to determine how thermokarst affects ecosystem C exchange. We hypothesized that there would be a positive relationship between the degree of ground subsidence and CO2 emissions from decomposition of SOM. This study was conducted in a tundra site near Denali National Park, Alaska. Three study sites were established according to the degree of surface depressions: Severe Thaw, Moderate Thaw, and Minimal Thaw. We established 50 equally spaced grid points each site and they were surveyed using GPS to measure the micro-elevation. Clear static chamber measurements were used to measure ecosystem C exchange, while soil properties such as temperature and volumetric water content (VWC) were measured simultaneously. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was measured as an indicator of primary productivity. We used forward stepwise regression analysis to quantify how much microtopography explained ecosystem C exchange. There was a negative correlation between ecosystem respiration and relative elevation at the Severe and Minimal site. The best predictor variable for ecosystem C exchange was VWC alone, which was better than temperature alone, or mixed effects of temperature and VWC. There was no relationship between NDVI and microtopography

  2. Two-source energy balance model implementation in the Alaska Arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cristóbal-Rosselló, J.; Prakash, A.; Anderson, M. C.; Kustas, W. P.; Kane, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Evaporation and transpiration are the two main processes involved in water transfer from vegetated and non-vegetated areas to the atmosphere. Evapotranspiration (ET) from the Earth's vegetation constitutes 88% of the total terrestrial ET, and returns more than 50% of terrestrial precipitation to the atmosphere (Oki and Kane, 2006); therefore it plays a key role in both the hydrological cycle and the energy balance of the land surface. In Arctic regions, surface-atmosphere exchanges due to ET are estimated from water balance computations to be about 74% of summer precipitation or 50% of annual precipitation. Even though ET is a significant component of the hydrologic cycle in this region, these bulk estimates do not accurately account for spatial and temporal variability due to vegetation type, topography, etc. (Kane and Yang, 2004). In this work we present the implementation of the Two-Source Energy Balance method, TSEB (Norman et al., 1995), in two Alaska Arctic tundra settings, as a base-line to retrieve energy fluxes at the regional scale from remote sensing imagery. In order to calibrate and validate the model, four flux towers located at the Imanvait Creek and the Anaktuvuk river were used. The TSEB model mainly requires meteorological inputs as well as land surface temperature (LST) and leaf area index (LAI) data. In this study, TSEB was run from late May to early September from 2008 to 2011 in all sky conditions using half hour intervals of meteorological data from the flux tower, and the LST derived from the four component net radiation instrument. TERRA/AQUA MODIS LAI daily product (MOD15/MYD15) was used as LAI input data. Results show an acceptable agreement between the TSEB model and flux tower data. RMSE obtained in the case of net radiation, latent heat, sensible heat and soil heat fluxes was 12, 51, 60 and 27 W/m2. Further efforts will be focused on the daily energy flux integration through implementation of the DTD model (Norman et al., 2000).

  3. Experimental warming of a mountain tundra increases soil CO2 effluxes and enhances CH4 and N2O uptake at Changbai Mountain, China

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yumei; Hagedorn, Frank; Zhou, Chunliang; Jiang, Xiaojie; Wang, Xiuxiu; Li, Mai-He

    2016-01-01

    Climatic warming is expected to particularly alter greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from soils in cold ecosystems such as tundra. We used 1 m2 open-top chambers (OTCs) during three growing seasons to examine how warming (+0.8–1.2 °C) affects the fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from alpine tundra soils. Results showed that OTC warming increased soil CO2 efflux by 141% in the first growing season and by 45% in the second and third growing season. The mean CH4 flux of the three growing seasons was −27.6 and −16.7 μg CH4-C m−2h−1 in the warmed and control treatment, respectively. Fluxes of N2O switched between net uptake and emission. Warming didn’t significantly affect N2O emission during the first and the second growing season, but stimulated N2O uptake in the third growing season. The global warming potential of GHG was clearly dominated by soil CO2 effluxes (>99%) and was increased by the OTC warming. In conclusion, soil temperature is the main controlling factor for soil respiration in this tundra. Climate warming will lead to higher soil CO2 emissions but also to an enhanced CH4 uptake with an overall increase of the global warming potential for tundra. PMID:26880107

  4. Experimental warming of a mountain tundra increases soil CO2 effluxes and enhances CH4 and N2O uptake at Changbai Mountain, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yumei; Hagedorn, Frank; Zhou, Chunliang; Jiang, Xiaojie; Wang, Xiuxiu; Li, Mai-He

    2016-02-01

    Climatic warming is expected to particularly alter greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from soils in cold ecosystems such as tundra. We used 1 m2 open-top chambers (OTCs) during three growing seasons to examine how warming (+0.8-1.2 °C) affects the fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from alpine tundra soils. Results showed that OTC warming increased soil CO2 efflux by 141% in the first growing season and by 45% in the second and third growing season. The mean CH4 flux of the three growing seasons was -27.6 and -16.7 μg CH4-C m-2h-1 in the warmed and control treatment, respectively. Fluxes of N2O switched between net uptake and emission. Warming didn’t significantly affect N2O emission during the first and the second growing season, but stimulated N2O uptake in the third growing season. The global warming potential of GHG was clearly dominated by soil CO2 effluxes (>99%) and was increased by the OTC warming. In conclusion, soil temperature is the main controlling factor for soil respiration in this tundra. Climate warming will lead to higher soil CO2 emissions but also to an enhanced CH4 uptake with an overall increase of the global warming potential for tundra.

  5. Community Land Model (CLM) Assessment on Simulating and Analyzing Water, Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles in Arctic Coastal Tundra at Barrow, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, F.; Thornton, P. E.; King, A. W.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Post, W. M.

    2012-12-01

    Recent climate warming has been widely hypothesized to be one of primary contributors to shifting both biophysical and biological conditions of Arctic tundra ecosystem and thus water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. Both constrains on integrating multiple-scale observations scattered in various sources and comprehensive process-based model assessments on those may hinder our further and/or deepen understanding of climate impacts on Arctic tundra and their feedbacks. This preliminary study is to assess and improve, as needed, the Community Land Model (CLM-CN mode) on simulating soil water, temperature, nitrogen nutrient and other factors and their effects on soil-plant C stocks and/or fluxes in Arctic tundra at Barrow, Alaska. The model assessment is carried out by exploring and using data compiled from various researches, e.g., AmeriFlux, US/IBP, ITEX and others during past few decades in the area. We add a simple N emission subroutine in the current released CLM4 (in CESM1.0.4) and modify soil water drainage boundary conditions so that model can partially capture the landscape position effects of hydrological process on thermal and biogeochemical processes. We initially parameterize and initialize the model for Arctic tundra at Barrow, AK with 4 new plant functional types (PFTs): mosses, forbs, graminoids, and shrubs, based on literature study. It shows strong inter-annual variance of C fluxes, which tightly coupled with water, temperature and N nutrient dynamics. We then conduct a factory model experiments with drainage classes and varying PFT compositions in order to understand possible water, C and N cycle variations if vegetation changes over landscape. This preliminary analysis is of importance to apply for CLM model in this highly heterogeneous coastal Arctic tundra region under historical and projected climate changes.

  6. Snow-vegetation interactions across the tundra-taiga interface: stabilising feedbacks or drivers of rapid environmental change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, R.

    2012-04-01

    Mountain Birch, Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii, forest in the Abisko area, Swedish Lapland, becomes increasingly patchy towards the tree limit. Where these patches occur mature individuals give way to dwarf shrub tundra in the space of a few meters. Further north, or uphill, of this patchy region the landscape is void of mature trees. Whilst broadly accepted that treeline position is correlated with a particular air temperature, temperature alone cannot explain the observed patchiness of the forest, as it varies little on this scale. Winter snow regime is likely to be an important controlling factor of the position of forest-patch edges. Snow cover protects delicate seedlings from blowing snow and ice particles, as well as providing insulation from freeze-thaw cycles capable of damaging fine roots, however, too great a depth of snow is likely to shorten the growing season to a point where seedlings cannot maintain a positive carbon balance. An insulating layer of snow also ensures that soils stay warmer through the winter months, therefore soil processes continue for longer, resulting in enhanced nutrient availability during the spring, compared to soils experiencing a thin layer of snow cover. Soil moisture, soil disturbance and vegetation cover may also be important controlling factors and these may depend to some extent upon winter snow regimen. Trees are able to trap wind-blown snow by decreasing local wind speed. Presence of trees will result in areas experiencing greater snow cover than a tree-free landscape. Once trees establish they may be able to modify the local environment, in terms of snow depth, creating further areas suitable for forest establishment. This is likely to be particularly true of areas downwind of existing tree patches. Where a sudden change is observed it is likely that a 'switch' is operating, allowing a sudden future change to occur if the system is perturbed. Investigating processes that control the switch between forest and

  7. Linkage between seasonal hydrology and carbon flux dynamics in tundra ponds: Samoylov Island, Lena River Delta, Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abnizova, Anna; Bornemann, Niko; Boike, Julia

    2010-05-01

    Arctic ponds have been recently recognized as being highly sensitive to changing climate. To date, ponds and lakes are disappearing in Alaska, Siberia and Canadian High Arctic because of climate warming (Fitzgerald et al. 2003; Smith et al. 2005; and Smol et al. 2007). While numerous limnological studies have been done on arctic ponds located in the Canadian High Arctic (Douglas and Smol, 1994; Hamilton et al. 2001; Lim et al., 2001), there is a limited number of studies on tundra ponds located in other circumpolar environments (e.g. Northern Siberia). Duff et al. (1999) describes tundra lakes in northern Russia as clear, dilute, oligotrophic lakes with low nutrients and dissolved organic carbon concentration. While numerous ponds and lakes exists in the Lena River Delta averaging to 2120 lakes of all sizes for every 1000 km2, no studies have been done to understand carbon flux dynamics of these freshwater ecosystems. In this study hydrological monitoring based on water balance framework was applied to a series of ponds and lakes located on Samoylov Island, 120 km south of the Arctic Ocean in the southern central Lena River Delta (72° 22' N, 126 ° 30' E) from July to September 2008. To better understand spatial differences in pond hydrology and carbon flux dynamics, the physical and biochemical data was collected from 42 tundra ponds. The selection of the ponds was based on their size (small, medium, large) and depth values ranging from 10 to 120 cm. The estimation of the seasonal water budget in 2008 showed that losses through evapotranspiration were offset by similar precipitation inputs and resulted in the equilibrium storage values in the study ponds prior to the freeze-back. Preliminary analysis showed that more than 50% of the ponds had DOC > 6.5 mg/l which exceeds average value of other Arctic ponds reported in literature (Duff et al. 1999 and Hamilton et al. 2001). Elevated DOC concentrations (> 8 mg/l) were found in the small and medium ponds with depth

  8. Methane dynamics in the subarctic tundra: combining stable isotope analyses, plot- and ecosystem-scale flux measurements

    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.

    2016-02-01

    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 a 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. 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 dominant CH4 release pathway from wetlands to the atmosphere was plant-mediated diffusion through aerenchyma, a process that discriminates against 13C-CH4. The CH4 released to the atmosphere was lighter than that in the surface porewater, and δ13C in the emitted CH4 correlated negatively with the vascular plant cover (LAI). The 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 modelling tools to better constrain the CH4 budget. Based on the IPCC A1B emission scenario, a temperature increase of 6.1 °C relative to the present day has been predicted for the

  9. Voloshinite, a new rubidium mica from granitic pegmatite of Voron'i Tundras, Kola Peninsula, Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pekov, I. V.; Kononkova, N. N.; Agakhanov, A. A.; Belakovsky, D. I.; Kazantsev, S. S.; Zubkova, N. V.

    2010-12-01

    Voloshinite, a new mineral of the mica group, a rubidium analogue of lepidolite, has been found from the rare-element granitic pegmatite at Mt. Vasin-Myl'k, Voron'i Tundras, Kola Peninsula, Russia. It is closely associated with pollucite and lepidolite and commonly with muscovite, albite, and quartz; K,Rb-feldspar, rubicline, spodumene, montebrasite, and elbaite are among associated minerals as well. Voloshinite, a late mineral that formed after pollucite, commonly fills polymineralic veinlets and pods within the pollucite aggregates. It occurs as rims up to 0.05 mm thick around lepidolite, as intergrowths of tabular crystals up to 0.25 mm in size, and occasionally replaces lepidolite. The new mineral is colorless, transparent, with vitreous luster. Cleavage is eminent parallel to {001}; flakes are flexible. The calculated density is 2.95 g/cm3. The new mineral is biaxial (-), with 2 V = 25°, α calc = 1.511, β = 1.586, and γ = 1.590. The optical orientation is Y = b, Z = a. The chemical composition of the type material determined by electron microprobe (average of five point analyses; Li has been determined with ICP-OES) is as follows (wt %): 0.03 Na2O, 3.70 K2O, 12.18 Rb2O, 2.02 Cs2O, 4.0 Li2O, 0.03 CaO, 0.02 MgO, 0.14 MnO, 21.33 Al2O3, 53.14 SiO2, 6.41 F, -O = F2 2.70, total is 100.30. The empirical formula is: (Rb0.54K0.33Cs0.06)Σ0.93(Al1.42Li1.11Mn0.01)Σ2.54(Si3.68Al0.32)Σ4O10 (F1.40(OH)0.60)Σ2. The idealized formula is as follows: Rb(LiAl1.5□0.5)[Al0.5Si3.5O10]F2. Voloshinite forms a continuous solid solution with lepidolite. According to X-ray single crystal study, voloshinite is monoclinic, space group C2/ c. The unit-cell dimensions are: a = 5.191, b = 9.025, c = 20.40 Å, β = 95.37°, V= 951.5 Å3, Z = 4. Polytype is 2 M 1. The strongest reflections in the X-ray powder diffraction pattern ( d, Å- I[ hkl]) are: 10.1-60[001]; 4.55-80[020, 110, 11 bar 1 ]; 3.49-50[11 bar 4 ]; 3.35-60[024, 006]; 3.02-45[025]; 2.575-100[11 bar 6 , 131, 20 bar 2 , 13

  10. Thermal regime of shallow water bodies in the coastal tundra zone of the Hudson Bay Lowlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Many shallow lakes and ponds of the Arctic/sub-Arctic contain thick, organic-rich sediments, which have the potential to release significant amounts of CO2 or CH4 to the atmosphere if sediment decomposition rates increase in response to warmer temperatures caused by global warming. This may be exacerbated by a deepening of the seasonal sediment thaw depth in small water bodies that are underlain by permafrost. An important step in linking climatic conditions to rates of organic matter decomposition and gas production from shallow water bodies is an improved understanding of the thermal properties of lake sediments and how sediment temperatures fluctuate in response to changing air temperatures. This knowledge is also important if the ratio of terrestrial to aquatic landscape units in cold regions changes under a warmer climate. One approach that has been used in terrestrial permafrost environments is the examination of how mean annual permafrost surface temperature deviates from mean annual 2-m screen height air temperature (MAAT). The offset between MAAT and the mean annual sediment surface temperature (MASST) has been found to be much larger in deep aquatic systems (greater than 10 m) than in terrestrial permafrost systems due to the presence of the water column that can efficiently transfer heat through mixing. However, the efficiency of heat transfer in shallow water bodies is expected to larger in summer (thawed) than in winter (frozen) conditions, when thermal energy must move by conduction alone. The present study examined the efficiency of sediment heat transfer in shallow water bodies (less than 3 m) during summer and winter periods. Air, sediment and water temperatures of three shallow water bodies in the coastal tundra zone of the Hudson Bay Lowlands near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada were monitored (December 2009-August 2011). Arrays of thermistors and heat pulse probes were placed at 10 cm increments between 20 cm above the water/sediment interface and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    High arctic ecosystems with low vegetation density contain significant stocks of organic carbon (C) in the form of soil organic matter that range in age from modern to ancient. How rapidly these C pools can be mineralized and lost to the atmosphere as CO2 (ecosystem respiration, ER) as a consequence of warming and, or changes in precipitation is a major uncertainty in our understanding of current and future arctic biogeochemistry and for predicting future levels of atmospheric CO2. In a 2-year study (2010-2011), we monitored seasonal changes in the magnitude, timing and sources of ER and soil pore space CO2 in the High Arctic of NW Greenland under current and simulated, future climate conditions. Measurements were taken from May to August at a multi-factorial, long-term climate change experiment in prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra on patterned ground with 5 treatments: (T1) +2oC warming, (T2) +4oC warming, (W) +50% summer precipitation,