Arctic Plants are Getting Rapidly Taller


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 01 October 2018

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Arctic Plants are Getting Rapidly Taller

New plants on the block: Taller species are taking over in a warming Arctic,
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, September 26, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Arctic Growth Everywhere
"The increase in height we saw was not just in a few sites but nearly everywhere."

Warming Caused
“The researchers identify climate warming as the underlying cause. Temperatures in the Arctic have risen by about 1 degree Celsius in summer and 1.5 degrees in winter over the three decades covered by the study, some of the fastest rates of warming on the planet.”

Spreading Tallness
"Taller plant species, either from warmer pockets within the tundra or from southern areas, have spread across the tundra."

Tall Future
"If taller plants continue to spread at the current rate, the plant community height could increase by 20 to 60% by the end of the century."

Time Bomb
“...the permafrost underlying tundra vegetation contains one-third to half of the world's soil carbon. When the permafrost thaws, greenhouse gases could thus be released.”

“...taller plants could speed up this process as taller plants trap more snow in winter, which insulates the underlying soil and prevents it from freezing quickly and deeply in winter.“

"Although there are still many uncertainties, taller tundra plants could fuel climate change, both in the Arctic and for the planet as a whole."

Just Height
“In contrast to plant height, researchers found that six other measures, such as the size of leaves and their nitrogen content, showed no consistent change over the last thirty years.”

 

The Bottom Line

The effects of changing timing of the seasons are cascading through ecosystems everywhere as the rising temperatures change blooming and budding times, which reverbrates through the relationships between plant blooming, insect and animal breeding, and migration patterns, all of which are currently shifting out of their ancient relationships.

It appears that the earlier thaw and later freezing times, the longer Summers, are providing the extra time the plants need to grow extra long.

Phenology

Climate Change News: Nature Losing its Integrated Timing; Life no longer supporting itself

The Timing and Character of Seasons have Changed: Nature-Ecosystems-Watersheds Crash

 

Nonetheless, the biggest terrestrial problem for folks living in the Arctic seems to be the inevitable melting of the Arctic Permafrost that’s underway.

That’s going to be a royal mess.

END OF COLD: Say Goodbye to Permafrost

Eco Crash News: Furthest Northern Arctic Permafrost to Melt

 

 

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Arctic, plants, Arctic warming, stimulates taller plant growth

 

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