Climatic change in the Arctic is expected to be profound. Changes in total winter snow depth and the timing of spring snowmelt are predicted. The outcomes of such changes are complex but may include earlier spring snowmelt. This project will investigate the effects of these changes on plant phenology and growth. Such understanding is crucial since plants provide forage for herbivores and help determine tundra carbon balance.
By elucidating the responses of plants to changes in snow depth and timing of snowmelt we will be better placed to predict the consequences of climatic change in the Arctic on resident and migratory herbivores and on the carbon balance of the Arctic tundra.
This is an ambitious project, which spans different trophic and spatial scales in order to determine the impacts of climatic change on the terrestrial Arctic ecosystem.
You can find out more about the different aspects of this project in the following pages:
1 Winter soil temperature impacts on soil invertebrates
2 Effects of snow depth on microbial soil communities
3 Litter decomposition, soil and plant nutrient content in response to snow depth
4 Impacts of snow depth and timing of snowmelt on plant phenology, growth, quality and growing season length
5 Community-scale analysis of snowmelt timing, growing season lengths and plant growth
6 Use of satellite data for landscape-scale analysis of snowmelt timing, growing season lengths and plant growth
7 Integration across spatial and trophic levels