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Idiosyncratic responses of high Arctic plants to changing snow regimes

Rumpf, Sabine B. and Semenchuk, Philipp R. and Dullinger, Stefan and Cooper, Elisabeth J.. (2014) Idiosyncratic responses of high Arctic plants to changing snow regimes. PloS one, 9 (2). e86281.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/88416/

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Abstract

The Arctic is one of the ecosystems most affected by climate change; in particular, winter temperatures and precipitation are predicted to increase with consequent changes to snow cover depth and duration. Whether the snow-free period will be shortened or prolonged depends on the extent and temporal patterns of the temperature and precipitation rise; resulting changes will likely affect plant growth with cascading effects throughout the ecosystem. We experimentally manipulated snow regimes using snow fences and shoveling and assessed aboveground size of eight common high arctic plant species weekly throughout the summer. We demonstrated that plant growth responded to snow regime, and that air temperature sum during the snow free period was the best predictor for plant size. The majority of our studied species showed periodic growth; increases in plant size stopped after certain cumulative temperatures were obtained. Plants in early snow-free treatments without additional spring warming were smaller than controls. Response to deeper snow with later melt-out varied between species and categorizing responses by growth forms or habitat associations did not reveal generic trends. We therefore stress the importance of examining responses at the species level, since generalized predictions of aboveground growth responses to changing snow regimes cannot be made.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > ├ľkologie (Rumpf)
UniBasel Contributors:Rumpf, Sabine
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
ISSN:1932-6203
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:19 May 2022 09:37
Deposited On:19 May 2022 09:37

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