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The cooling capacity of mosses : controls on water and energy fluxes in a siberian tundra site

Blok, Daan LU ; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Schaepman-Strub, G.; van Ruijven, J.; Parmentier, Frans-Jan LU ; Maximov, T.C. and Berendse, F. (2011) In Ecosystems 14(7). p.1055-1065
Abstract
Arctic tundra vegetation composition is expected to undergo rapid changes during the coming decades because of changes in climate. Higher air temperatures generally favor growth of deciduous shrubs, often at the cost of moss growth. Mosses are considered to be very important to critical tundra ecosystem processes involved in water and energy exchange, but very little empirical data are available. Here, we studied the effect of experimental moss removal on both understory evapotranspiration and ground heat flux in plots with either a thin or a dense low shrub canopy in a tundra site with continuous permafrost in Northeast Siberia. Understory evapotranspiration increased with removal of the green moss layer, suggesting that most of the... (More)
Arctic tundra vegetation composition is expected to undergo rapid changes during the coming decades because of changes in climate. Higher air temperatures generally favor growth of deciduous shrubs, often at the cost of moss growth. Mosses are considered to be very important to critical tundra ecosystem processes involved in water and energy exchange, but very little empirical data are available. Here, we studied the effect of experimental moss removal on both understory evapotranspiration and ground heat flux in plots with either a thin or a dense low shrub canopy in a tundra site with continuous permafrost in Northeast Siberia. Understory evapotranspiration increased with removal of the green moss layer, suggesting that most of the understory evapotranspiration originated from the organic soil layer underlying the green moss layer. Ground heat flux partitioning also increased with green moss removal indicating the strong insulating effect of moss. No significant effect of shrub canopy density on understory evapotranspiration was measured, but ground heat flux partitioning was reduced by a denser shrub canopy. In summary, our results show that mosses may exert strong controls on understory water and heat fluxes. Changes in moss or shrub cover may have important consequences for summer permafrost thaw and concomitant soil carbon release in Arctic tundra ecosystems. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
moss, evaporation, ground heat flux, shrub, permafrost, tundra, Arctic, climate change
in
Ecosystems
volume
14
issue
7
pages
1055 - 1065
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:80855148187
ISSN
1432-9840
DOI
10.1007/s10021-011-9463-5
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
caa1cdb0-c3cd-4e51-9766-fbcc47eeb1ca (old id 4221429)
date added to LUP
2014-02-10 14:55:46
date last changed
2017-11-19 04:02:54
@article{caa1cdb0-c3cd-4e51-9766-fbcc47eeb1ca,
  abstract     = {Arctic tundra vegetation composition is expected to undergo rapid changes during the coming decades because of changes in climate. Higher air temperatures generally favor growth of deciduous shrubs, often at the cost of moss growth. Mosses are considered to be very important to critical tundra ecosystem processes involved in water and energy exchange, but very little empirical data are available. Here, we studied the effect of experimental moss removal on both understory evapotranspiration and ground heat flux in plots with either a thin or a dense low shrub canopy in a tundra site with continuous permafrost in Northeast Siberia. Understory evapotranspiration increased with removal of the green moss layer, suggesting that most of the understory evapotranspiration originated from the organic soil layer underlying the green moss layer. Ground heat flux partitioning also increased with green moss removal indicating the strong insulating effect of moss. No significant effect of shrub canopy density on understory evapotranspiration was measured, but ground heat flux partitioning was reduced by a denser shrub canopy. In summary, our results show that mosses may exert strong controls on understory water and heat fluxes. Changes in moss or shrub cover may have important consequences for summer permafrost thaw and concomitant soil carbon release in Arctic tundra ecosystems.},
  author       = {Blok, Daan and Heijmans, M.M.P.D. and Schaepman-Strub, G. and van Ruijven, J. and Parmentier, Frans-Jan and Maximov, T.C. and Berendse, F.},
  issn         = {1432-9840},
  keyword      = {moss,evaporation,ground heat flux,shrub,permafrost,tundra,Arctic,climate change},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {1055--1065},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Ecosystems},
  title        = {The cooling capacity of mosses : controls on water and energy fluxes in a siberian tundra site},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10021-011-9463-5},
  volume       = {14},
  year         = {2011},
}