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Ecosystem change and stability over multiple decades in the Swedish subarctic: complex processes and multiple drivers

Callaghan, Terry V.; Jonasson, Christer; Thierfelder, Tomas; Yang, Zhenlin; Hedenas, Henrik; Johansson, Margareta LU ; Molau, Ulf; Van Bogaert, Rik; Michelsen, Anders and Olofsson, Johan, et al. (2013) In Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions B. Biological Sciences 368(1624).
Abstract
The subarctic environment of northernmost Sweden has changed over the past century, particularly elements of climate and cryosphere. This paper presents a unique geo-referenced record of environmental and ecosystem observations from the area since 1913. Abiotic changes have been substantial. Vegetation changes include not only increases in growth and range extension but also counterintuitive decreases, and stability: all three possible responses. Changes in species composition within the major plant communities have ranged between almost no changes to almost a 50 per cent increase in the number of species. Changes in plant species abundance also vary with particularly large increases in trees and shrubs (up to 600%). There has been an... (More)
The subarctic environment of northernmost Sweden has changed over the past century, particularly elements of climate and cryosphere. This paper presents a unique geo-referenced record of environmental and ecosystem observations from the area since 1913. Abiotic changes have been substantial. Vegetation changes include not only increases in growth and range extension but also counterintuitive decreases, and stability: all three possible responses. Changes in species composition within the major plant communities have ranged between almost no changes to almost a 50 per cent increase in the number of species. Changes in plant species abundance also vary with particularly large increases in trees and shrubs (up to 600%). There has been an increase in abundance of aspen and large changes in other plant communities responding to wetland area increases resulting from permafrost thaw. Populations of herbivores have responded to varying management practices and climate regimes, particularly changing snow conditions. While it is difficult to generalize and scale-up the site-specific changes in ecosystems, this very site-specificity, combined with projections of change, is of immediate relevance to local stakeholders who need to adapt to new opportunities and to respond to challenges. Furthermore, the relatively small area and its unique datasets are a microcosm of the complexity of Arctic landscapes in transition that remains to be documented. (Less)
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publication status
published
subject
keywords
subarctic environment, climate change impacts, ecosystem stability
in
Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions B. Biological Sciences
volume
368
issue
1624
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • wos:000321565600009
  • scopus:84879963792
ISSN
1471-2970
DOI
10.1098/rstb.2012.0488
project
BECC
MERGE
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
44fa8dfc-bc46-418c-b7ce-7651fab6e190 (old id 3975430)
date added to LUP
2013-08-21 17:31:15
date last changed
2019-10-15 04:39:15
@article{44fa8dfc-bc46-418c-b7ce-7651fab6e190,
  abstract     = {The subarctic environment of northernmost Sweden has changed over the past century, particularly elements of climate and cryosphere. This paper presents a unique geo-referenced record of environmental and ecosystem observations from the area since 1913. Abiotic changes have been substantial. Vegetation changes include not only increases in growth and range extension but also counterintuitive decreases, and stability: all three possible responses. Changes in species composition within the major plant communities have ranged between almost no changes to almost a 50 per cent increase in the number of species. Changes in plant species abundance also vary with particularly large increases in trees and shrubs (up to 600%). There has been an increase in abundance of aspen and large changes in other plant communities responding to wetland area increases resulting from permafrost thaw. Populations of herbivores have responded to varying management practices and climate regimes, particularly changing snow conditions. While it is difficult to generalize and scale-up the site-specific changes in ecosystems, this very site-specificity, combined with projections of change, is of immediate relevance to local stakeholders who need to adapt to new opportunities and to respond to challenges. Furthermore, the relatively small area and its unique datasets are a microcosm of the complexity of Arctic landscapes in transition that remains to be documented.},
  author       = {Callaghan, Terry V. and Jonasson, Christer and Thierfelder, Tomas and Yang, Zhenlin and Hedenas, Henrik and Johansson, Margareta and Molau, Ulf and Van Bogaert, Rik and Michelsen, Anders and Olofsson, Johan and Gwynn-Jones, Dylan and Bokhorst, Stef and Phoenix, Gareth and Bjerke, Jarle W. and Tommervik, Hans and Christensen, Torben and Hanna, Edward and Koller, Eva K. and Sloan, Victoria L.},
  issn         = {1471-2970},
  keyword      = {subarctic environment,climate change impacts,ecosystem stability},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1624},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Ecosystem change and stability over multiple decades in the Swedish subarctic: complex processes and multiple drivers},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2012.0488},
  volume       = {368},
  year         = {2013},
}