Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Niels Martin Schmidt

Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation: Heterogeneity over space and time

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • S.C. Elmendorf
  • ,
  • G.H.R. Henry
  • ,
  • A.D. Bjorkman
  • ,
  • R.D. Hollister
  • ,
  • J.L. May
  • ,
  • R.G. Björk
  • ,
  • U. Molau
  • ,
  • T.V. Callaghan
  • ,
  • L.S. Collier
  • ,
  • L. Hermanutz
  • ,
  • E.J. Cooper
  • ,
  • J.H.C. Cornelissen
  • ,
  • F. Keuper
  • ,
  • S.I. Lang
  • ,
  • T.A. Day
  • ,
  • A.M. Fosaa
  • ,
  • W.A. Gould
  • ,
  • J. Mercado
  • ,
  • J. Grétarsdóttir
  • ,
  • J. Harte
  • ,
  • D.S. Hik
  • ,
  • S. Koh
  • ,
  • I.H. Myers-Smith
  • ,
  • A. Hofgaard
  • ,
  • F. Jarrad
  • ,
  • I.S. Jónsdóttir
  • ,
  • K. Klanderud
  • ,
  • Ø. Totland
  • ,
  • J.A. Klein
  • ,
  • G. Kudo
  • ,
  • V. Loewen
  • ,
  • A. Michelsen
  • ,
  • S.F. Oberbauer
  • ,
  • T. Troxler
  • ,
  • S. Pieper
  • ,
  • E. Post
  • ,
  • C. Rixen
  • ,
  • C.H. Robinson
  • ,
  • N.M. Schmidt
  • G.R. Shaver
  • ,
  • A. Stenström
  • ,
  • A. Tolvanen
  • ,
  • C.-H. Wahren
  • ,
  • P.J. Webber
  • ,
  • J.M. Welker
  • ,
  • P.A. Wookey
Ecology Letters (2011) 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 20years 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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEcology Letters
Volume15
Issue2
Pages (from-to)164-175
ISSN1461-023X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

Press/Media items

ID: 42076787