University of Oulu

Vuorinen, KEM, Oksanen, L, Oksanen, T, Pyykönen, A, Olofsson, J, Virtanen, R. Open tundra persist, but arctic features decline—Vegetation changes in the warming Fennoscandian tundra. Glob Change Biol. 2017; 23: 3794– 3807. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13710

Open tundra persist, but arctic features decline : vegetation changes in the warming Fennoscandian tundra

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Author: Vuorinen, Katariina E. M.1; Oksanen, Lauri1,2; Oksanen, Tarja1,2;
Organizations: 1Section of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
2Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway, Alta, Norway
3Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
4Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
5Department of Physiological Diversity, Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig, Germany
6German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
7Department of Ecology & Genetics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2019040511284
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-05-10
Description:

Abstract

In the forest‐tundra ecotone of the North Fennoscandian inland, summer and winter temperatures have increased by two to three centigrades since 1965, which is expected to result in major vegetation changes. To document the expected expansion of woodlands and scrublands and its impact on the arctic vegetation, we repeated a vegetation transect study conducted in 1976 in the Darju, spanning from woodland to a summit, 200 m above the tree line. Contrary to our expectations, tree line movement was not detected, and there was no increase in willows or shrubby mountain birches, either. Nevertheless, the stability of tundra was apparent. Small‐sized, poorly competing arctic species had declined, lichen cover had decreased, and vascular plants, especially evergreen ericoid dwarf shrubs, had gained ground. The novel climate seems to favour competitive clonal species and species thriving in closed vegetation, creating a community hostile for seedling establishment, but equally hostile for many arctic species, too. Preventing trees and shrubs from invading the tundra is thus not sufficient for conserving arctic biota in the changing climate. The only dependable cure is to stop the global warming.

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Series: Global change biology
ISSN: 1354-1013
ISSN-E: 1365-2486
ISSN-L: 1354-1013
Volume: 23
Issue: 9
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13710
OADOI: https://oadoi.org/10.1111/gcb.13710
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Subjects:
Copyright information: © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Vuorinen, KEM, Oksanen, L, Oksanen, T, Pyykönen, A, Olofsson, J, Virtanen, R. Open tundra persist, but arctic features decline—Vegetation changes in the warming Fennoscandian tundra. Glob Change Biol. 2017; 23: 3794– 3807, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13710. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.