Arctic citizen science: snow and plant phenology in a changing climate

Arctic citizen science: snow and plant phenology in a changing climate

Project Summary

As scientists a major challenge of our time is to understand and predict effects of climate change on ecosystems and the services they provide to humanity. A larger and possibly more important challenge is to increase the awareness of the importance of these processes and to get the vital to support of citizens, policy and decision makers for adaptation, mitigation and management schemes. Arctic regions are of special concern in future climate-warming scenarios, because the air temperature increase is predicted to be amplified towards the north where sensitive ecosystems experiences significant change and exert strong feedback effects on the global climate system.

The aim of the project is to reach out to the visitors of Abisko, involve them in a climate research project and use this interaction to communicate how we do climate research. Specifically, we will develop an existing study site into a citizen science trail, adjacent to the Abisko Scientific Research Station and the naturum Abisko in collaboration with the Swedish National Phenology Network and their nation-wide monitoring tool Naturens kalender. As the trail follows an elevational, and thereby a strong climatic gradient, it will offer a concrete illustration of climate effects on plants, snow and the possible effects climate change.

The existing study site was originally established between 1917 and 1919 by Swedish botanist Thore C. E. Fries as an elevational-transect comparing snowmelt dates with plant phenology. Starting in 2017 Climate Impacts Research Centre scientists will replicate Fries’ study to determine how the observed climate changes in the region have affected both snow cover and plant phenology. The new study will incorporate cutting-edge climate stations and phenology cameras to allow us to analyse our results using modern multivariate approaches.

To increase the impact of the new study we will implement a citizen science phenology project along the same trail. The citizen science phenology project will include a citizen science phenology mobile application developed in collaboration with existing Naturens kalender app as well as PicturePosts and PhenoCam projects to allow citizen scientists to contribute observations and phenology photos and get near-real time feedback through innovative mobile and web interactive applications. In addition to providing this novel way of directly interacting with and contributing to climate change research project in the Arctic as “citizen scientists”, we will communicate specific and general research results in relation to climate change effects in the Arctic. The project will utilize many unique aspects of the Abisko region, a hot spot for both tourism and world class research. The science trail targets both Swedish and international visitors and through the international phenology networks we can guide the visitors to participate in similar kinds of citizen science based phenology monitoring back home. An interdisciplinary working group of international scientists and stakeholders actively engaged in Arctic nature conservation and science will develop the project.

Collaborators

Magnus Auger, Abisko Scientific Research Station, Swedish Polar Research Secretariat
Håkan Grudd, Abisko Scientific Research Station, Swedish Polar Research Secretariat
Kjell Blomgren, Naturens Kalender, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Lo Fisher, naturum Abisko, County Administrative Board/ Länsstyrelsen Norrbottens län
Jan Karlsson, Umeå University

Funding Organizations

Climate Impacts Research Centre
FORMAS
 


Deep diversity: patterns, mechanisms and effects in below-ground vegetation

Copyright Scott Wilson

Project Summary

Deep diversity: patterns, mechanisms and effects in below-ground vegetation

The objectives of my research program are to explore how below-ground vegetation contributes to patterns of species diversity, how below-ground mechanisms control diversity, and how the loss of diversity affects ecosystem services such as soil carbon sequestration.

Species diversity and species richness are basic features of all ecosystems, but our knowledge of vegetation diversity is based only on above-ground data. We examine predictions about variation in below-ground diversity following biological invasion, and along environmental gradients such as prairie-forest boundaries. Below- and above-ground diversity are likely to differ because of differences in the architecture and life spans of roots and shoots. New information about below-ground diversity has the potential to challenge long-held ideas about the processes that underlie vegetation structure and function.

Spatial patchiness is a widely-recognized cause of diversity, yet there are few comparisons of patchiness beneath vegetation types, and none at root-relevant scales.  Previous studies of patchiness are based on scales (cm – m) that are coarse relative to the size of fine roots (< mm).  We will measure fine-scale patchiness under contrasting vegetation types associated with climate change and biological invasion.

Biological invasions are accomplished by fast-growing species with high biomass that might be expected to increase carbon storage in soil. On the other hand, we have found that the roots of one wide-spread invasive species are nutrient-rich and easily decomposed, so that soil carbon does not increase following invasion. We will test the generality of this result with both field studies and experiments.

 My research examines the functional ecology of below-ground processes that dominate vegetation and influence diversity in Canada. The significance of the program is that roots account for 80-90% of plant mass in temperate, arid and arctic vegetation. Further, below-ground production and decomposition regulate CO2 fluxes to the atmosphere approximately 10 times greater than those from fossil fuel combustion. The US National Academy of Sciences recommended six areas of ecology for priority funding. Five of these (biodiversity, biogeochemical cycles, climate change, invasive species and habitat alternation) are addressed by this program. Our program will also contribute to the conservation of diverse native grassland from invasion, and provide an understanding of the relative abilities of different plants to sequester C and nutrients in soil.

Collaborators

Gesche Blume-Werry, Umeå University (former PhD student)
Sabrina Träger, University of Regina (PhD Student)
Vasiliki Balogianni, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil(former PhD Student)
Makoto Kobayashi, Hokkaido University, Japan
Christer Nilsson, Umeå University
Daniel R Schlaepfer, University of Basel, Switzerland
John Bradford, US Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center, United States

The invisible carbon: an early indication of ecosystem change!

The invisible carbon: an early indication of ecosystem change!

Project Summary

Streams are sensitive sentinels for environmental change by their integration of processes in terrestrial and aquatic systems. Upland headwater streams in the north Swedish tundra show seasonally exceptional high concentrations of uncolored dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and high CO2 concentrations. We suggest that this reflects on-going changes in the terrestrial environment responding in their delivery of carbon (C) to the recipient aquatic systems. This is a hitherto unknown effect of a changing tundra landscape that will have large implications for the positive feedback on the global climate warming because of the large quantities of C that is stored in tundra soils. Current climate change mobilizes the stored C in upland tundra soils and cause a substantial increase in headwater stream C emissions and water-borne C losses.

We are studying stream CO2 fluxes mainly across a 42-km long stream network in the Miellajokka catchment near Abisko to better understand how stream functional traits and landscape features affects CO2 emissions. We are amongst others using different isotopic approaches (13C, 15N, 87Sr/86/Sr, 34S18O4 and water isotopes) and high-resolution measurements of stream CO2 and oxygen to disentangle different sources and processes that affects stream CO2 concentrations and emissions. We are also studying spatiotemporal variations in stream DOC across different tundra streams to unravel how different landscape features and hydrological conditions affect stream DOC concentrations, its degradability and qualitative characteristics. We are particularly interested in pulses of high stream DOC concentrations that has occurred irregularly during early autumns.

Collaborators

Carl-Magnus Mörth, Stockholm University
Steve Lyon, Stockholm University
Ann-Kristin Bergström, Umeå University
Ryan Sponseller, Umeå University
Jan Karlsson, Umeå University
Martin Berggren, Lund University
Gerard Rocher Ros, Umeå University

Funding organizations

The Swedish Research Council (VR) 2013-5001
FORMAS 2014-970

Global Nitrogen Enrichment Experiment (AGNEE)

Global Nitrogen Enrichment Experiment (AGNEE) - Role of nitrogen deposition on nutrient limitation of phytoplankton and zooplankton in low productive lakes

Project Summary

Variation in atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition due to anthropogenic activities have profound effects on the chemistry and biology of lake ecosystems worldwide. Our previous research has shown that there are dramatic variations in productivity, nutrient biogeochemistry, and food chain structure among low productivity lakes in the Northern biosphere. This research program assess on a global scale two critical knowledge gaps: (1) How rates of N deposition control lake dissolved inorganic N (DIN):total phosphorus (TP) stoichiometry, nutrient limitation of phyto- and zooplankton, and the consequence of these biogeochemical changes on the nutritional quality of the food web; and (2) How catchment structure and function may serve to mitigate unwanted changes in lake ecosystem stoichiometry. The research is conducted on low productive lakes in Sweden and Canada/US along a similar climate and wet DIN deposition gradient (<1 to 8-10 kg N/ha/yr). In Sweden sampling is conducted in three areas: Värmland, Västerbotten and in Norrbotten (i.e. in the Abisko region). We use N deposition, satellite remote sensing- and GIS data to determine the influence of catchment structure in regulating DIN:TP ratios in lakes. We aim to establish how DIN:TP ratios influence biomass, composition and elemental stoichiometry of phyto- and zooplankton communities; and we perform bioassay enrichment experiments to determine nutrient limiting factors of phytoplankton and consumer driven nutrient regeneration responses.

Collaborators

Irena Creed, Western University, Canada
Anders Jonsson, Umeå University
Peter Isles, Umeå University
Danny Lau, Umeå University
Tobias Vrede, Swedish of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala

Funding organizations

Swedish Research Council (VR)

Ecological effects of glacial dust deposition on remote Arctic lakes

Ecological effects of glacial dust deposition on remote Arctic lakes

Project Summary

The Arctic is changing rapidly as a result of climate warming and other global environmental change processes. One of the most obvious effects of altered Arctic heat budgets is the thinning of the Greenland ice sheet and the retreat of outlet glaciers. However, the increased fluvio-glacial output from glaciers is also laden with silt and there is growing evidence that such output from the Greenland ice sheet is increasing with enhanced seasonal melting. Some of this glacially-derived material is lost to the marine system but a significant part is deposited on glacial outwash plains from where the finer particles are deflated and transported to nearby terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Importantly this silt and the deflated dust is not inert. Because of its high nutrient content (carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen, silica and micronutrients), this silt/dust may be ecologically important because of the low nutrient status of adjacent aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. There are few studies on how glacially-derived dust influences lakes within terrestrial areas adjacent to the ice margin, despite the knowledge that lakes are hotspots of carbon processing. The vast majority of lakes adjacent to the Greenland ice sheet are not hydrologically connected to it by meltwater channels, and so aerially-delivered dust might be an important or even predominant lake nutrient source. Fertilization of lakes by nutrients associated with dust stimulates primary production and hence affects carbon dynamics. In this study we will compare the ecological effects of glacially-derived dust on lakes along a gradient of dust deposition rates in SW Greenland and assess its role in regional carbon and aquatic community dynamics at a range of temporal (annual to centennial) and spatial scales (lake to regional landscape).

Project Dates: 2017-2020

Funding Organizations

Natural Environment research Council (NERC, U.K.).

Collaborators

Joanna Bullard, Loughborough University
Suzanne McGowan, University of Nottingham
Mike Watts, British Geological Survey
Erika Whiteford, Nottingham Trent University

Project Website

A cross-system analysis of ecological change in Kangerlussuaq (SW Greenland) and Torneträsk (Northern Sweden)

A cross-system analysis of ecological change in Kangerlussuaq (SW Greenland) and Torneträsk (Northern Sweden)

Project Summary

One of the major constraints on critically evaluating the causes of ecological change in sensitive arctic ecosystems is the lack of long-term monitoring. The area around Torneträsk in Northern Sweden and Kangerlussuaq in south-west Greenland are two of the more extensively studied arctic lake districts. As well as the benefits associated with long-term monitoring and having contrasting climates (low versus sub-arctic; precipitation), the two areas also differ in some key characteristics, most notably, surface water hydrology, in-lake DOC concentration and characteristics, terrestrial vegetation. However, as well as these climate and ecological differences, both areas have had the benefits of palaeolimnological studies, field experiments and integrated lake-catchment studies. In this project we will synthesize the available data from these areas using novel statistical approaches to understand the key drivers of ecological changes at a range of timescales.

Collaborators

Jan Karlsson, Umeå University
Jonatan Klaminder, Umeå University
Bror Holmgren (PhD student), Umeå University

 

Impacts of climate warming and brownification on trophic dynamics and food webs of northern lakes

Danny Lau Stream Fieldwork.jpg

Impacts of climate warming and brownification on trophic dynamics and food webs of northern lakes

Project Summary

Warming and brownification (increased terrestrial inputs of colored dissolved organic matter, OM) are major environmental changes in northern lakes. There is a high degree of uncertainty of how these changes will act individually and collectively on lake ecology and functioning. Biological compositions in northern lakes are expected to alter with warming and brownification. However, knowledge of the corresponding responses in resource use (autochthony vs allochthony) and production of consumers, and resultant trophic-transfer efficiency (TTE) and food-chain length (FCL), is lacking. There is a critical need to understand these responses, as TTE determines the strength of trophic support for aquatic top predators (e.g. fish) and thus food production for humans, and FCL can strongly influence ecosystem functioning and services. The purpose of this project is to assess these lake responses to warming and brownification by using a combined approach that comprises (i) a field study of subarctic lakes across a climate gradient, and (ii) mesocosm experiments on aquatic consumers under manipulative climate conditions.

Effect of herbivory and climate on tundra vegetation

Copyright Laurenz Teuber 2011

Copyright Laurenz Teuber 2011

Effect of herbivory and climate on tundra vegetation

Project Summary

Mammalian herbivores like lemmings, voles and reindeer have strong direct and indirect effects on tundra vegetation via consuming plants and thus reducing plant biomass or via addition of urine and droppings and thus indirectly altering soil nutrient cycling. Recent findings reveal that the effects of herbivores on tundra ecosystems are so strong that they can be observed as changes in NDVI on satellite images and herbivores could thus influence plant production, carbon fluxes and albedo even at regional scales. However, the interactive effect of herbivores and climate change, and the mechanistic link between changes in plant community composition or plant traits and changes in NDVI and albedo is poorly known.

We will study the interactive effect of herbivores and climate on plant community composition and plant traits using two long term field experiments in the Fennoscandian tundra. We aim to improve the interpretation of the driving forces behind changes in NDVI observed in satellite images, and clarify the potential of herbivores to influence the climate via changes in the albedo of the tundra.

This project is part of the Nordic Centre of Excellence-Tundra, funded by the Top-level Research Initiative (TRI).

Collaborators

Te Beest Mariska, Umeå University

Effects of altered snow conditions on herbivory in an arctic ecosystem

Copyright Gesche Blume-Wherry 2012

Copyright Gesche Blume-Wherry 2012

Effects of altered snow conditions on herbivory in an arctic ecosystem

Project Summary

By the end of the century, an increase of global average temperatures with 1.4 - 5.8° is predicted as a result from increased greenhouse gas levels in the athmosphere. The climate scenarios for northern latitudes predict not only higher temperatures but also higher precipitation that may even create a greater and prolonged snow cover in some areas. The profound changes in temperature and snow conditions may change plant community composition and ecosystem functioning, and produce positive or negative feedbacks to climate via changes in the carbon cycle. Herbivory is a key process for the function of arctic ecosystems, as herbivores alter plant community composition, plant chemical composition, nutrient cycling, primary production and carbon storage.

The goal of this project is to study how altered snow conditions will affect plant-herbivore interactions in arctic ecosystems. We will thus study herbivory and plant chemical composition in a snow manipulation experiment along a natural gradient in snow cover. A combination of plant chemical analyses and ecological studies of herbivory in the field is essential in order to understand these complex interactions. We can, by running experiments along natural gradients, avoid many weaknesses commonly associated with both experiments and descriptive studies.

Impact of permafrost thawing on aquatic ecosystems: quantification of chemical compounds inputs

Impact of permafrost thawing on aquatic ecosystems: quantification of chemical compounds inputs

Project Summary

Over half the below-ground terrestrial organic carbon (C) pool resides in permafrost soils that are currently thawing because of recent climate change. As a result, vast amounts of terrestrial carbon (C) are mobilized, having the potential to accelerate global warming. The enhanced transport of other elements (e.g. nutrients and pollutants) with thawing may also cause dramatic biogeochemical impacts such as eutrophication or high-latitude pollution in aquatic ecosystems. Despite the dramatic ecological effects of thawing permafrost, how this process occurs and the strength of the export of biochemical compounds to surface waters still represents one of the biggest uncertainties in our climate impact models. My project will fill this gap by providing the first quantification of both spatial and temporal variations in permafrost groundwater discharge (PGD) and its importance for both the C cycle and the quality of surface waters. The estimation of these fluxes will be assessed by applying a novel technique based on using radium (Ra) isotopes and radon (222Rn) as tracers of groundwater inputs.

Collaborators

Jan Karlsson, Umeå University
Jordi Garcia-Orellana, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
Valentí Rodellas i Vila, Aix-Marseille Université, France

 

Effects of reindeer on plant and soil nutrient stoichiometry in Arctic tundra

Effects of reindeer on plant and soil nutrient stoichiometry in Arctic tundra

Project Summary

Herbivores directly and indirectly influence the structure and function of ecosystems throughout the world. Present conceptual models predict that herbivores have a positive effect on nutrient availability and primary productivity in nutrient rich environments and a negative one in nutrient poor environments. However, a recent meta-analysis did not support a positive relationship between plant nutrient availability and the effect of herbivores on nitrogen cycling in several grassland ecosystems. The reason for the shortcoming of present theories could be that they fail to incorporate the complex interactions regulating the release of nutrients from the soil organic matter by microbial decomposers.

In order to assess this shortcoming, a new stoichiometric explicit model of the nutrition of herbivores, plants and microbes was designed. In contrast to previous models, it includes delayed composition and stoichiometric constraints on decomposers similar to what we find in terrestrial ecosystems.

This project will focus on 1) testing predictions of the model in a reindeer-dominated tundra ecosystem and 2) further developing the model by adding key processes that operate in northern ecosystems (e.g. uptake of organic nutrients by plants, herbivore-mediated changes in plant community composition).

Funding Organizations

The Kempe Foundation

Collaborators

Johan Olofsson, Umeå University
Mehdi Cherif, Umeå University
 

Microbial use of phosphorus in soils

Microbial use of phosphorus in soils

Project Summary

Globally, phosphorus (P) together with nitrogen (N) is the most important nutrient element limiting plant growth. In boreal forest ecosystems, P limitation is found in groundwater discharge areas and recent studies also indicate that many alpine ecosystems may be P limited. In this project I will study microbial strategies to utilize phosphate and organophosphorus compounds and the effect of surface sorption. One method that will be used is measurement of microbial respiration using a respicond. This is a microbial bioassay for studying the availability of P to microorganisms.

Ongoing studies

In the first project we sampled six different South African forest soils. The soils were selected to represent a broad range of soil properties, especially concerning aluminium, iron and organic carbon content. The respiration results will be compared to the amount of P in the soil to show how much of the total P pool that microorganisms can utilise and how the microbial availability is affected by iron and aluminium concentrations in the soil. This way we can compare in detail how different soil properties interact with microbial available P determined in the bioassay.

In the second ongoing study we sampled 30 islands in Lake Hornavan and Lake Uddjaur, situated close to Arjeplog in the boreal forest of Northern Sweden. The time since the last major fire vary between the islands and the wildfires form a chronosequence which is closely correlated to island size and vegetation succession (Wardle et al. 1997). Earlier results indicate increasing phosphorus limitation over time since the last fire (Wardle et al, 2004). During this study we will compare the different P and N pools with microbial growth kinetics in relation to island size and humus depth.

Taking the pulse of Swedish rivers: using metabolism to monitor ecosystem responses to environmental change

Taking the pulse of Swedish rivers: using metabolism to monitor ecosystem responses to environmental change

Project Summary

Streams and rivers carry out multiple ecosystem services that respond to and integrate natural and anthropogenic perturbations across landscapes. In northern regions, a critical aspect of this ‘integration’ involves the regulation of carbon (C) transfer from land to the atmosphere and sea. In this context, the degree to which streams and rivers transform terrestrial organic carbon (OC) and act as sources of CO2 to the atmosphere is subject to much current debate. National monitoring programs have the potential to shed light on this issue, yet these efforts rarely assess aquatic ecosystem processes. As a solution, we propose adding high frequency measurements of dissolved oxygen (DO) to current monitoring programs, which allow for the calculation of fundamental metabolic rates at daily time scales. Such measures reveal the ‘pulse’ of biological activity in running waters with the temporal resolution needed to capture changes in the degradation of terrestrial OC and CO2 production and fixation in response to diverse environmental changes. The goals of this research are to 1) determine how the rates and patterns of metabolism in Swedish rivers are shaped by regional climatic gradients and anthropogenic stressors, 2) Quantify the extent to which streams and rivers in arctic, boreal, and hemi-boreal zones degrade terrestrial OC, and contribute to CO2 evasion, and 3) Advance a simple and cost efficient method to assess metabolism that will complement current monitoring programs in Sweden by adding functional metrics

Funding Organization

Formas

Collaborators

Jan Karlsson, Umeå University
Erin Hotchkiss, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Hjalmar Laudon, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå

Quantifying cryogenic soil-mixing in the tundra soil and its role for the long-term carbon cycling in the arctic

Suoro fieldcrew Keith Larson 20150715.jpg

Quantifying cryogenic soil-mixing in the tundra soil and its role for the long-term carbon cycling in the arctic

Project Summary

Tundra soils play an important role in the global carbon cycle. Tundra regions are warming rapidly due to the ongoing global warming, and there are concerns that this will reduce the accumulation rate of carbon in tundra soils. It is even feared, that from being a sink, these soils will instead become a significant source of carbon to the atmosphere, which will add to the currently increasing levels of greenhouse gases. In the discussion about changed carbon cycling due to changed climate in tundra regions, temperature dependent decomposition processes and changed plant productivity rates have been the main mechanisms studied although it has been suggested that soil frost processes, might be of more importance for the fat of the soil carbon pool than temperature dependent microbial processes. The objective with my research project is to test this hypothesis.

Collaborators

Marina Becher, Umeå University

What is a landscape characterized by grazing?

What is a landscape characterized by grazing?- and how is it preserved in a changing climate?

Project Summary

In the environmental quality objective A Magnificent Mountain Landscape, it is stated that the pristine character of the mountain environment must be largely preserved, in terms of biological diversity, recreational value and natural and cultural assets. The reindeer management regime plays a central role in fulfilling these objectives, since almost the entire Swedish mountain landscape is grazed by reindeer. A more general understanding of how the current vegetation is shaped by reindeer grazing, how vegetation change when reindeer is excluded, and how these changes interact with other herbivores and climatic conditions is essential for evaluating how different reindeer management regimes will obtain the specific goals within this objective. The overall aim of this project is thus to investigate how reindeer influence the mountain vegetation in order to determine features of a landscape characterized by grazing, and evaluate how different reindeer management regimes and climate will determine future vegetation patterns and biodiversity. To achieve this we will examine how effects of excluding reindeer on vegetation vary across gradients in reindeer densities and climatic conditions in the Scandinavian mountains, and assess the importance of these findings in relationship to the environmental quality objectives.

Funding Organizations

Naturvårdsverket

Collaborators

Johan Olofsson, Umeå University
Jon Moen, Umeå University
Robert Björk, Gothenberg University
 

Network: Warming and (species) Removal in Mountains (WaRM)

Network: Warming and (species) Removal in Mountains (WaRM)

Project Summary

Rising temperatures associated with climate change is a major global political and socio-economical priority. The amount of carbon in the atmosphere regulates how much warming will occur globally, but the amount of carbon taken up and released from terrestrial ecosystems under warming remains uncertain in the models that predict future climates. Warming has a range of direct (e.g. changes in process rates) and indirect (shifts in dominant plant species, plant-soil interactions) effects on ecosystem properties and processes. In WaRM we study community and ecosystem responses to the direct and indirect effects of warming in a coordinated project that combines experimental warming and dominant plant species removal at high and low elevations among 12 globally-distributed gradients, including one in Abisko. We have five overarching objectives with this network: (1) To determine the relative influences of climate and interactions among species on biodiversity and ecosystem carbon dynamics. (2) To examine the patterns and processes that shape ecosystem function among disparate ecosystems. (3) To investigate whether the functional composition of plant communities determines how communities respond to warming and dominant species removal. (4) To assess whether functional traits can be used to improve predictions of how ecosystem function and community structure change in response to climate and climate change. (5) To leverage the results of these experiments to improve a community land model to refine predictions about global carbon cycling.

Within this network Maja’s work is largely focused on running the Abisko site and on studies of Direct and indirect impacts of climate change on carbon sequestration in mountains funded by Formas and Göran Gustafssons Stiftelse för natur och miljö i Lappland.

Collaborators

Maja Sundqvist, Umeå University
Aimee Classen, University of Copenhagen
Nathan Sanders, University of Copenhagen
Toke Hoye, Aarhus University
David Wardle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå
Jennie McLaren, University of Texas at El Paso
Thomas Crowther, Netherlands Institute for Ecology
Mariano Rodrigues-Cabal, Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet Comahue, Argentina
Mark Hovenden, University of Tasmania, Australia
Julie Deslippe, University of Wellington, New Zealand
Jin-Sheng He, Peking University, China
Christian Rixen, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Switzerland
Soya Wipf
John-Arvid Grytnes, University of Bergen, Norway
Sandra Lavorel, University of Grenoble, French
Noelia Barrios, CONICET, CENAC-APN, Argentina

Funding Organizations

Formas
Göran Gustafssons Stiftelse för Natur och Miljö i Lappland
The Carlsberg Foundation


 

Climate impact on the carbon emission and export from Siberian inland waters

Arctic Lake Jan Karlsson.jpg

Climate impact on the carbon emission and export from Siberian inland waters

Project Summary

Siberia contains vast carbon (C) stocks potentially vulnerable to mobilization following permafrost thawing, and inland waters draining these regions are largely understudied. Thus, research on inland waters of Siberia is of particular importance for understanding climate change. This interdisciplinary project link expertise in aquatic biogeochemistry, hydrology and permafrost dynamics with the aim to improve the knowledge of the role of high latitude inland waters in emitting C to atmosphere and in exporting C to downstream coastal regions and how this varies between different climate regimes. We will carry out a comparative study of lake-stream networks across a climate gradient in western Siberia covering a large range of permafrost conditions. We will quantify to what extent terrestrial C export is evaded vs. exported downstream in the river networks along the gradient, and how these fluxes are related to differences in hydrological dynamics. This is a JPI Climate collaborative research project on Russian Arctic and Boreal systems (www.jpi-climate.eu/projects).

Project Dates: 2014-2017

Funding Organizations

The Swedish Research Council (VR)
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC, UK)

Collaborators

Sergey Kirpotin, Tomsk University, Russia
Hjalmar Laudon, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå
Oleg Pokrovsky, University Toulouse, France
Doerthe Tetzlaff, University of Aberdeen, UK
Chris Soulsby, University of Aberdeen, UK
Pertti Ala-Aho, University of Aberdeen, UK (Post doc)
Svetlana Serikova, Umeå University (PhD student)

Climate change induced regime shifts in Northern lake ecosystems

Sunset over lake Törnetrask (as seen from the Abisko Scientific Research Station)

Sunset over lake Törnetrask (as seen from the Abisko Scientific Research Station)

Climate change induced regime shifts in Northern lake ecosystems

Project Summary

A present major scientific challenge is to understand and predict effects of climate change on lake ecosystems and the services they deliver. Globally, lakes are concentrated at northern latitudes where the magnitude of climate change is expected to be strongest. Recent advances in lake research suggest that responses of Northern lakes to global warming are fundamentally different from the expectations based on conventional knowledge. This project brings together new tools and concepts in biogeochemistry and ecology, with the aims of understanding and predicting the effects of climate change on the delivery of two major ecosystem services, fish production and the net greenhouse gas balance of Northern lakes.

Specific objectives include:

  1. Assessment of long vs. short term effects of climate change;
  2. Assessment of nonlinear dynamics and regime shifts; and,
  3. Projection of responses to future climate conditions.

The project’s core is made up of a multi-scale (pond to whole-lake) experimental test of ecosystem responses to increases in temperature and precipitation/runoff. Further, we will use aDNA techniques to address past regime shifts and ecosystem resilience to climate change from paleolimnological sediment records. Finally, the project will develop process-based models to be used in the projection of future conditions in lakes at the whole ecosystem scale.

Project Dates: 2017-2021

Funding Organizations

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation

Collaborators

David Bastviken, Linköping University
Ann-Kristin Bergström, Umeå University
Christian Bigler, Umeå University
Richard Bindler, Umeå University
Åke Brännström, Umeå University
Pär Byström, Umeå University
Sebastian Diehl, Umeå University
Isabelle Domaizon, French National Institute for Agricultural Research
Göran Englund, Umeå University
Cristian Gudasz, Umeå University
Dag Hessen, Oslo University, Norway
Jonatan Klaminder, Umeå University
Sally MacIntyre, University of California Santa Barbara, USA
Frank Peeters, University of Konstanz, Germany
André de Roos, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Martin Rosvall, Umeå University
David Seekell, Umeå University
Ryan Sponseller, Umeå University
Xiau-Ru Wang, Umeå University

Monitoring and management of Arctic lakes in a changing climate

Jan Karlson monitoring Arctic lakes

Monitoring and management of Arctic lakes in a changing climate

Project Summary

There is a lack of scientific based monitoring and management strategies of Arctic lakes where climate change effects are expected to be especially pronounced. The purpose of this study is to improve knowledge and monitoring of climate impacts on Arctic lakes. Specific aims include to quantify and provide threshold variables for climate change induced regime shifts in fish resource use and production, and to develop tools and guidelines to be used in monitoring programs. By experimental and comparative studies across climate gradients we test predictions of rapid changes in fish production and resource use with climate change, and by developing new analytical and statistical tools we test predictions that changes in lake function following climate change could be rapidly detected using automatized and cost efficient methods suitable for use in monitoring. Based on the results we will develop methods and guidelines together with stakeholders for use in monitoring of Arctic lake ecosystems. The outcome of the project will be of fundamental importance for society as this will provide knowledge and tools for sustainable management of a unique and attractable resource sensitive to environmental perturbations. The project is financed by FORMAS and carried out in collaboration with the county boards in Northern Sweden.

Project Dates: 2016 to 2018

Funding Organization

FORMAS (2015-723)

Collaborators

Jan Karlsson, Umeå University
Jens Andersson, Jämtland County Administrative Board
Ann-Kirstin Bergström, Umeå University
Pär Byström, Umeå University
Sally MacIntyre, University of California Santa Barbara, USA
David Seekell, Umeå University

Climate impact on sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in high-latitude lakes

Törnetrask in the Autumn (as viewed from the Abisko Scientific Research Station)

Törnetrask in the Autumn (as viewed from the Abisko Scientific Research Station)

Climate impact on sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in high-latitude lakes

Project Summary

Arctic and subarctic lakes play an important role in the global carbon (C) cycle by burying C in sediments and emitting greenhouse gases as carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere. The relative magnitude of these different pathways has large implications for their role in the C cycle, i.e. to what extent they act as C sources or sinks. Still, the knowledge of C cycling in lakes is in many important aspects incomplete, preventing accurate quantification and predictions of their C source-sink function and response to climate change. The aim of the project is to assess climate impacts on C emission and burial in arctic–subarctic lakes. We will specifically investigate direct impacts by temperature and precipitation, and indirect impacts via changes in terrestrial surroundings, and how these various drivers influence the C source-sink function of lakes depending on the rate and magnitude of change. An important part is to assess the various sources and pathways underpinning emission and burial in lakes. The core of the project is made up of (i) comparative studies of lakes across gradients in temperature and precipitation and (ii) large-scale experimental test of responses in C emission and burial to increases in temperature and precipitation/runoff.

Project Dates: 2017-2020

Funding Organization

The Swedish Research Council (VR)

Collaborators

Jan Karlsson, Umeå University
David Bastviken, Linköpings University
Blaize Denfeld, Umeå University (Post Doctoral Researcher)
Cristian Gudasz, Umeå University
Sally MacIntyre, University of California Santa Barbara, USA
Oleg S. Pokrovsky, University Toulouse, France
Chris Soulsby, University of Aberdeen, UK
Bror Holmgren, Umeå University (PhD Student)