Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Plant community responses to simulated environmental change at a high arctic polar semi-desert
Author(s): Robinson, Clare H
Wookey, Philip
Lee, John A
Callaghan, Terry V
Press, Malcolm C
Contact Email:
Keywords: bare ground
extreme events
polar semi-desert
tundra soils
Issue Date: 30-Apr-1998
Date Deposited: 6-Nov-2018
Citation: Robinson CH, Wookey P, Lee JA, Callaghan TV & Press MC (1998) Plant community responses to simulated environmental change at a high arctic polar semi-desert. Ecology, 79 (3), pp. 856-866.
Abstract: Impacts of climate change were simulated over five summer seasons in a high arctic polar semi-desert at Ny Ă…lesund, Svalbard, by using polythene tents to increase temperature, and by increasing precipitation and soil nutrient (NPK) availability. The effects of these treatments on vegetation cover were assessed at the start of the 1991, 1993, and 1995 field seasons, and at peak biomass in the same years. Over the first season of the experiment (1991), changes in percentage total living vegetation cover were significantly greater, and changes in dead vegetation cover significantly lower, in the tented treatments. In subsequent seasons, changes in total living cover were also greater under treatments simulating climate change, although the significant factors and interactions were year-specific. Between years, at both the early and mid-season sampling periods, the fertilizer application had the strongest effect on changes in plant cover, significantly decreasing cover of living Dryas octopetala, Saxifraga oppositifolia, and bare ground between 1991 and 1995, while increasing cover of bryophytes, Salix polaris, Polygonu viviparum, and total dead vegetation. Although cover of D. octopetala was greater during the first three years of fertilizer addition, marked winter injury occurred in this species on fertilized plots during winter 1993-1994. This resulted in reductions in total live cover and D. octopetala cover and an increase in total dead cover (by up to 22%) in watered and fertilized plots between 1991 and 1995. Seedlings of nitrophilous 'immigrant' species were established naturally on bare ground in fertilized plots in the third year of the study and subsequently increased in number, so that after five seasons the community tended more toward bird-cliff vegetation rather than polar semi-desert vegetation. The tent treatment and the simulated increase in summer precipitation had little effect between seasons on the plant community, in comparison with the fertilizer treatment.
DOI Link: 10.1890/0012-9658(1998)079[0856:PCRTSE]2.0.CO;2
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Robinson_et_al-1998-Ecology.pdfFulltext - Published Version133 kBAdobe PDFUnder Permanent Embargo    Request a copy

Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependent on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.