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Thaw pond development and initial vegetation succession in experimental plots at a Siberian lowland tundra site

Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique M P D; Blok, Daan LU ; Wang, Peng; Karsanaev, Sergey V; Maximov, Trofim C.; van Huissteden, Jacobus and Berendse, Frank (2017) In Plant and Soil
Abstract
Permafrost degradation has the potential to change the Arctic tundra landscape. We observed rapid local thawing of ice-rich permafrost resulting in thaw pond formation, which was triggered by removal of the shrub cover in a field experiment. This study aimed to examine the rate of permafrost thaw and the initial vegetation succession after the permafrost collapse. Methods In the experiment, we measured changes in soil thaw depth, plant species cover and soil subsidence over nine years (2007–2015). Results After abrupt initial thaw, soil subsidence in the removal plots continued indicating further thawing of
permafrost albeit at a much slower pace: 1 cm y−1 over 2012–2015 vs. 5 cm y−1 over 2007–2012. Grass cover strongly increased after... (More)
Permafrost degradation has the potential to change the Arctic tundra landscape. We observed rapid local thawing of ice-rich permafrost resulting in thaw pond formation, which was triggered by removal of the shrub cover in a field experiment. This study aimed to examine the rate of permafrost thaw and the initial vegetation succession after the permafrost collapse. Methods In the experiment, we measured changes in soil thaw depth, plant species cover and soil subsidence over nine years (2007–2015). Results After abrupt initial thaw, soil subsidence in the removal plots continued indicating further thawing of
permafrost albeit at a much slower pace: 1 cm y−1 over 2012–2015 vs. 5 cm y−1 over 2007–2012. Grass cover strongly increased after the initial shrub removal, but later declined with ponding of water in the subsiding removal plots. Sedges established and expanded in the wetter removal plots. Thereby, the removal plots have become increasingly similar to nearby ‘natural’ thaw
ponds. Conclusions The nine years of field observations in a unique shrub removal experiment at a Siberian tundra site document possible trajectories of small-scale permafrost collapse and the initial stage of vegetation recovery,
which is essential knowledge for assessing future tundra landscape changes. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
in
Plant and Soil
pages
16 pages
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85027877841
ISSN
1573-5036
DOI
10.1007/s11104-017-3369-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1f74023c-de25-4c2c-99f9-f9662a363927
date added to LUP
2017-08-23 14:01:51
date last changed
2017-09-10 05:23:09
@article{1f74023c-de25-4c2c-99f9-f9662a363927,
  abstract     = {Permafrost degradation has the potential to change the Arctic tundra landscape. We observed rapid local thawing of ice-rich permafrost resulting in thaw pond formation, which was triggered by removal of the shrub cover in a field experiment. This study aimed to examine the rate of permafrost thaw and the initial vegetation succession after the permafrost collapse. Methods In the experiment, we measured changes in soil thaw depth, plant species cover and soil subsidence over nine years (2007–2015). Results After abrupt initial thaw, soil subsidence in the removal plots continued indicating further thawing of<br/>permafrost albeit at a much slower pace: 1 cm y−1 over 2012–2015 vs. 5 cm y−1 over 2007–2012. Grass cover strongly increased after the initial shrub removal, but later declined with ponding of water in the subsiding removal plots. Sedges established and expanded in the wetter removal plots. Thereby, the removal plots have become increasingly similar to nearby ‘natural’ thaw<br/>ponds. Conclusions The nine years of field observations in a unique shrub removal experiment at a Siberian tundra site document possible trajectories of small-scale permafrost collapse and the initial stage of vegetation recovery,<br/>which is essential knowledge for assessing future tundra landscape changes.},
  author       = {Li, Bingxi and Heijmans, Monique M P D and Blok, Daan and Wang, Peng and Karsanaev, Sergey V and Maximov, Trofim C. and van Huissteden, Jacobus and Berendse, Frank},
  issn         = {1573-5036},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  pages        = {16},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Plant and Soil},
  title        = {Thaw pond development and initial vegetation succession in experimental plots at a Siberian lowland tundra site},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11104-017-3369-8},
  year         = {2017},
}