Response of Arctic mountain vegetation and invertebrate communities to climate change (evidence from the Polar Urals GLORIA summits)

Lead Author Yuri, Mikhailov
Institution Contact Ural State Forest Engineering University Sibirsky trakt, 37 620100 Yekaterinburg Russia
Co-Authors Pavel Moiseev, Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology RAS, Russia Dmitry Moiseev, Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology RAS, Russia
Theme Theme 1: Vulnerability of Arctic Environments
Session Name 1.1 Climate Change and Environmental Management in the Arctic
Datetime Wed, Sep 14, 2016 03:00 PM - 03:20 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text Our study sites in the Polar Urals are part of the international long-term monitoring network GLORIA (Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments). In 2001 vascular plant species occurrence was recorded first on 66 mountain summits distributed across 17 study regions in Europe including Polar Urals.
Polar Urals as GLORIA target region comprises a suite of four summits spanning an altitudinal range from the treeline to the uppermost peaks. The sampling areas cover the summits from their tops down to the 10 meter contour line and divided into eight sections connected with four cardinal directions. For each section, a complete list of vascular plants was collected in 2001 and resurveyed in 2008 and 2015 (for herpetobiotic invertebrates - first collected in 2008 and resurveyed in 2015). The number of vascular plant species between 2001 and 2008 increased from 58 to 60 (on separate summits from 35-50 to 38-54). This is similar to South Scandes and less then in North Scandes.
For the period 2001-2015 in the Polar Urals the abundance of dominant plant species significantly decreased on all summits, several species completely disappeared from some plots while some species from lower belts appeared or increased the abundance. For all recorded species an altitudinal index was calculated and based on this upward or downward movement of species was found. Altitudinal species ranks of European mountain plants were used to calculate a thermophilisation indicator of mountain vegetation. For the Polar Urals between 2001 and 2008 it was 0,054 (p<0,0001), which is exactly the same value as a European mean but much less than in South Urals (0,17).
Data loggers has been measuring the soil temperature 10 cm below the surface at hourly intervals since 2001 until 2015. Maximum warming of the soil was recorded in 2012-2013 but in 2014 it reached the minimum. Before the resurvey of 2008 warming of the soil was near to long-term means.
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