Sep 26, 2018

Plant functional trait change across a warming tundra biome

Anne D. Bjorkman, Isla H. Myers-Smith, Sarah C. Elmendorf et al
  • States that the tundra is warming more rapidly than any other biome on Earth, and the potential ramifications are far-reaching because of global feedback effects between vegetation and climate
  • Explores the biome-wide relationships between temperature, moisture and seven key plant functional traits both across space and over three decades of warming at 117 tundra locations
  • Finds that:
    • Spatial temperature–trait relationships were generally strong but soil moisture had a marked influence on the strength and direction of these relationships, highlighting the potentially important influence of changes in water availability on future trait shifts in tundra plant communities
    • Community height increased with warming across all sites over the past three decades, but other traits lagged far behind predicted rates of change