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Plant and Vegetation Dynamics on Disko Island, West Greenland: Snapshots Separated by Over 40 Years

Callaghan, Terry V.; Christensen, Torben LU and Jantze, Elin J. (2011) In Ambio 40(6). p.624-637
Abstract
We report on a revisit in 2009 to sites where vegetation was recorded in 1967 and 1970 on Disko Island, West Greenland. Re-sampling of the same clones of the grass Phleum alpinum after 39 years showed complete stability in biometrics but dramatic earlier onset of various phenological stages that were not related to changes in population density. In a fell-field community, there was a net species loss, but in a herb-slope community, species losses balanced those that were gained. The type of species establishing and increasing in frequency and/or cover abundance at the fell-field site, particularly prostrate dwarf shrubs, indicates a possible start of a shift towards a heath, rather than a fell-field community. At the herb-slope site, those... (More)
We report on a revisit in 2009 to sites where vegetation was recorded in 1967 and 1970 on Disko Island, West Greenland. Re-sampling of the same clones of the grass Phleum alpinum after 39 years showed complete stability in biometrics but dramatic earlier onset of various phenological stages that were not related to changes in population density. In a fell-field community, there was a net species loss, but in a herb-slope community, species losses balanced those that were gained. The type of species establishing and increasing in frequency and/or cover abundance at the fell-field site, particularly prostrate dwarf shrubs, indicates a possible start of a shift towards a heath, rather than a fell-field community. At the herb-slope site, those species that established or increased markedly in frequency and/or cover abundance indicate a change to drier conditions. This is confirmed both by the decrease in abundance of Alchemilla glomerulans and Epilobium hornemanii, and the drying of a nearby pond. The causes of these changes are unknown, although mean annual temperature has risen since 1984. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Vegetation change, Arctic, West Greenland, Phenology, Biometrics
in
Ambio
volume
40
issue
6
pages
624 - 637
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000298500000008
  • scopus:80052547933
ISSN
0044-7447
DOI
10.1007/s13280-011-0169-x
project
MERGE
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f5fc2a0d-68c5-4dbf-94fd-3924701f0681 (old id 2333554)
date added to LUP
2012-02-06 13:10:27
date last changed
2017-01-01 05:25:03
@article{f5fc2a0d-68c5-4dbf-94fd-3924701f0681,
  abstract     = {We report on a revisit in 2009 to sites where vegetation was recorded in 1967 and 1970 on Disko Island, West Greenland. Re-sampling of the same clones of the grass Phleum alpinum after 39 years showed complete stability in biometrics but dramatic earlier onset of various phenological stages that were not related to changes in population density. In a fell-field community, there was a net species loss, but in a herb-slope community, species losses balanced those that were gained. The type of species establishing and increasing in frequency and/or cover abundance at the fell-field site, particularly prostrate dwarf shrubs, indicates a possible start of a shift towards a heath, rather than a fell-field community. At the herb-slope site, those species that established or increased markedly in frequency and/or cover abundance indicate a change to drier conditions. This is confirmed both by the decrease in abundance of Alchemilla glomerulans and Epilobium hornemanii, and the drying of a nearby pond. The causes of these changes are unknown, although mean annual temperature has risen since 1984.},
  author       = {Callaghan, Terry V. and Christensen, Torben and Jantze, Elin J.},
  issn         = {0044-7447},
  keyword      = {Vegetation change,Arctic,West Greenland,Phenology,Biometrics},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {624--637},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Ambio},
  title        = {Plant and Vegetation Dynamics on Disko Island, West Greenland: Snapshots Separated by Over 40 Years},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13280-011-0169-x},
  volume       = {40},
  year         = {2011},
}