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Göteborgs universitets publikationer

ITEX at Latnjajaure

Författare och institution:
Robert G. Björk (Institutionen för växt- och miljövetenskaper); Ulf Molau (Institutionen för växt- och miljövetenskaper)
Publicerad i:
The 14th ITEX workshop, Falls Creek, Victoria, Australia, 2–6 February 2007.,
Konferensbidrag, poster
Sammanfattning (abstract):
ITEX and ITEX-related research at Latnjajaure in northern Swedish Lapland has been quite diverse during the past few years, with most emphasis at the ecosystem and landscape scales. The basic warming experiment with open-top chambers and control plots is still running in a variety of ecosystems since 1993. During 2006, a re-inventory of OTCs and controls in Eriophorum vaginatum (cottongrass) dominated tussock tundra at the outlet of the lake showed significant changes since the last point-framing in 1995, not only in the OTCs but also in the control plots. No species were lost but dominance relationships among species had changed dramatically. The underlying permafrost had degraded substantially; it was continuous here in the early 1990ies but could not be detected in 2006. Already in 2003, a geo-radar transect showed no indication of remaining permafrost at the site (Else Kohlstrup et al., Uppsala University). The ecosystem had undergone a clear desiccation, and formerly water-filled boulder pits were now invaded by moss-dominated pioneer vegetation. The cottongrass tussocks had become less dense and more "fluffy" and had gradually been invaded by lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), the most expansive species in the community. The effect size was about twice as high in OTCs as in controls. The cottongrass tussock tundra is one of a handful of vegetation types pointed out as particularly sensitive to Climate Change, based on the listing in IPCC's Third Assessment Report 2001. Our team is undertaking a longer-term project including four of these systems, i.e., snowbeds, tussock tundra, high alpine fellfields, and mesic alpine heath (being invaded by mountain birch). A helicopter inventory of possible sites for tussock tundra in the region in August 2005 revealed a total stock of ca 2 km2 in Sweden (compared with the circum-arctic total of 336,000 km2). As a further outcome of the project on indicator ecosystems, new project, Alpine Cliff Ecology (ACE) was initiated at Latnjajaure in 2006 (see separate presentation). In the snowbed project, initiated in 2002, four snowbed plant communi¬ties are studied. The snowbeds are of the “moderate" class (melting out before the end of July), and they are situated in both heath and meadow sites. Our current studies encompass plant community scale to landscape scale, and include, e.g., monitoring of snow dynamics, microbial and plant community structure in fertilized and control plots, lemming population dynamics, nitrogen and debris deposition, and soil processes (for microbial studies see separate abstract/presentation). Interestingly, our preliminary data suggests that the plant community structure does not change due to fertilization. In 2004 we sampled the OTCs, established in 1993, in dry meadow and dry heath for root morphology characteristics, root biomass distribution, and microbial activity. This study shows that tundra plants may respond to climate change by increasing their specific root length (SRL; m gDM-1) and specific root area (SRA; m2 kgDM -1), whilst the microbial activity may remain unaffected. Furthermore, this study suggests that there might be incorporation of C in tundra soils partly as a result of increased turnover of the finer roots produced within the OTCs. However, the response across plant communities is not consistent. The "Meeting of Litters" experiment headed by Hans Cornelissen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Holland) was finalized in 2004, with a multi-authored paper in review at present. The project focused on comparative decomposition studies on litter samples from a large number of ITEX sites gathered at two experimental outdoor facilities in Sweden: Latnjajaure (mid alpine) and Abisko (sub-alpine). Other international within-ITEX activities at Latnja include a field research campaign by Catharine Copass Thompson and Carrie McCalley from the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, and Robert Bell and Kerry Dinsmore from the University of Edinburgh. They visited the Latnjajaure Field Station between August 2 and August 9, 2004. Their research in the Abisko area entailed linking measurements of carbon fluxes to the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), an index of greenness which can be measured on multiple scales, including from satellites. The goal for the 2004 summer was to cover as many different kinds of vegetation types in the region as possible, given the constraints of their sampling protocol. The up-scaling to the landscape level was manifested by the final publication of the GIS-based vegetation map over the Latnjajaure catchment (12 km2, 1 m2 pixel resolution) by Lindblad et al. (Pirineos 161: 3-32, 2006). This work is part of Karin Lindblad's Ph.D. thesis for her dissertation 26 January 2007.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Biologiska vetenskaper ->
Ekologi ->
Terrestrisk ekologi
Arctic, Climate Change, ITEX
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2010-02-18 09:06

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