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Reduced arctic tundra productivity linked with landform and climate change interactions

  • Arctic tundra ecosystems have experienced unprecedented change associated with climate warming over recent decades. Across the Pan-Arctic, vegetation productivity and surface greenness have trended positively over the period of satellite observation. However, since 2011 these trends have slowed considerably, showing signs of browning in many regions. It is unclear what factors are driving this change and which regions/landforms will be most sensitive to future browning. Here we provide evidence linking decadal patterns in arctic greening and browning with regional climate change and local permafrost-driven landscape heterogeneity. We analyzed the spatial variability of decadal-scale trends in surface greenness across the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska (similar to 60,000 km(2)) using the Landsat archive (1999-2014), in combination with novel 30 m classifications of polygonal tundra and regional watersheds, finding landscape heterogeneity and regional climate change to be the most important factors controlling historicalArctic tundra ecosystems have experienced unprecedented change associated with climate warming over recent decades. Across the Pan-Arctic, vegetation productivity and surface greenness have trended positively over the period of satellite observation. However, since 2011 these trends have slowed considerably, showing signs of browning in many regions. It is unclear what factors are driving this change and which regions/landforms will be most sensitive to future browning. Here we provide evidence linking decadal patterns in arctic greening and browning with regional climate change and local permafrost-driven landscape heterogeneity. We analyzed the spatial variability of decadal-scale trends in surface greenness across the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska (similar to 60,000 km(2)) using the Landsat archive (1999-2014), in combination with novel 30 m classifications of polygonal tundra and regional watersheds, finding landscape heterogeneity and regional climate change to be the most important factors controlling historical greenness trends. Browning was linked to increased temperature and precipitation, with the exception of young landforms (developed following lake drainage), which will likely continue to green. Spatiotemporal model forecasting suggests carbon uptake potential to be reduced in response to warmer and/or wetter climatic conditions, potentially increasing the net loss of carbon to the atmosphere, at a greater degree than previously expected.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Mark J. Lara, Ingmar NitzeORCiDGND, Guido GrosseORCiDGND, Philip Martin, A. David McGuire
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-423132
DOI:https://doi.org/10.25932/publishup-42313
ISSN:1866-8372
Parent Title (English):Postprints der Universität Potsdam Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe (550)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2019/01/25
Year of Completion:2018
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2019/01/25
Tag:Alaska; CO2; degradation; ecosystem; exchange; ice; landscapes; permafrost; trends; winter warming events
Issue:550
Pagenumber:10
Source:Scientific Reports 8 (2018) Art. 2345 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-20692-8
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 50 Naturwissenschaften / 500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 60 Technik / 600 Technik, Technologie
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, 4.0 International