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Establishing a missing link: warm summers and winter snow cover promote shrub expansion into alpine tundra in Scandinavia
Responsible organisation
2010 (English)In: New Phytologist, ISSN 0028-646X, E-ISSN 1469-8137, Vol. 186, no 4, p. 890-899Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

                                                      

Shrub expansion in alpine and arctic areas is a process with possibly profound implications for ecosystem functioning. The recent shrub expansion has been mainly documented by remote sensing techniques, but the drivers for this process largely remain hypotheses.

Here, we outline a dendrochronological method, adapted to shrubs, to address these hypotheses and then present a mechanism for the current shrub expansion by linking recent climate change to shrub growth performance in northern Sweden.

A pronounced increase in radial and vertical growth during recent decades along an elevational gradient from treeline to shrubline indicates an ongoing shrub expansion. Age distribution of the shrub population indicates the new colonization of shrubs at high elevations.

Shrub growth is correlated with warm summers and winter snow cover and suggests the potential for large‐scale ecosystem changes if climate change continues as projected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111) , 2010. Vol. 186, no 4, p. 890-899
Keywords [en]
climate change, Juniperus nana, Scandinavia, serial sectioning, shrub expansion, shrub rings, subarctic vegetation
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-8129DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03223.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-8129DiVA, id: diva2:1288801
Conference
2019/02/14
Available from: 2019-02-14 Created: 2019-02-14 Last updated: 2019-02-14

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Publisher's full texthttps://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03223.x
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  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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