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The Longest Baseline Record of Vegetation Dynamics in Antarctica Reveals Acute Sensitivity to Water Availability

Colesie, Claudia and Pan, Yueming and Cary, S. Craig and Gemal, Emma and Brabyn, Lars and Kim, Jeong-Hoon and Green, T. G. Allan and Lee, Charles K. (2022). The Longest Baseline Record of Vegetation Dynamics in Antarctica Reveals Acute Sensitivity to Water Availability. . 10 :8 , e2022EF002823
[Research article]

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Abstract

Against a changing climate, the development of evidence-based and progressive conservation policies depends on robust and quantitative baseline studies to resolve habitat natural variability and rate of change. Despite Antarctica's significant role in global climate regulation, climate trend estimates for continental Antarctica are ambiguous due to sparse long-term in situ records. Here, we present the longest, spatially explicit survey of Antarctic vegetation by harmonizing historic vegetation mapping with modern remote sensing techniques. In 1961, E. D. Rudolph established a permanent survey plot at Cape Hallett, one of the most botanically diverse areas along the Ross Sea coastline, harboring all known types of non-vascular Antarctic vegetation. Following a survey in 2004 using ground-based photography, we conducted the third survey of Rudolph's Plot in 2018 using near-ground remote sensing and methodologies closely mirroring the two historic surveys to identify long-term changes and trends. Our results revealed that the vegetation at Cape Hallett remained stable over the past six decades with no evidence of transformation related to a changing climate. Instead, the local vegetation shows strong seasonal phenology, distribution patterns that are driven by water availability, and steady perennial growth of moss. Given that East Antarctica is at the tipping point of drastic change in the near future, with biological change having been reported at certain locations, this record represents a unique and potentially the last opportunity to establish a meaningful biological sentinel that will allow us to track subtle yet impactful environmental change in terrestrial Antarctica in the 21st century.

Authors/Creators:Colesie, Claudia and Pan, Yueming and Cary, S. Craig and Gemal, Emma and Brabyn, Lars and Kim, Jeong-Hoon and Green, T. G. Allan and Lee, Charles K.
Title:The Longest Baseline Record of Vegetation Dynamics in Antarctica Reveals Acute Sensitivity to Water Availability
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:10
Number:8
Article number:e2022EF002823
Number of Pages:18
Publisher:AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Climate Research
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Physical Geography
Keywords:baseline environment, terrestrial ecosystem, climate change, Antarctica, remote sensing, moss
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-118921
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-118921
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1029/2022EF002823
Web of Science (WoS)000842513900001
ID Code:28843
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:14 Sep 2022 11:42
Metadata Last Modified:14 Sep 2022 11:51

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