Long-term monitoring reveals large impacts of an exceptional wet summer at a Siberian Arctic tundra site

M.M.P.D. Heijmans, Peng Wang, J. Limpens, J. van Huissteden, T.C. Maximov, F. Berendse

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

Abstract

In recent decades, shrub expansion has been observed in many places over the Arctic in response to climate warming. In 2007 we started research at a pristine Northeast-Siberian tundra site to investigate the relationship between shrub cover and summer thawing of permafrost by experimentally removing the shrub part of the vegetation. This Betula nana removal experiment is still running. The removal plots changed dramatically after three to five years, illustrating the importance of running field experiments longer than the 3-year timescale of a PhD project. The treatment effects became stronger over time as a result of feedbacks between vegetation, permafrost thaw, water and snow, which turned the originally elevated shrub patches into waterlogged depressions and ponds (Nauta et al. 2015). Nine years of measurements in the unchanged control plots showed that the thawing depth was not largest in the warmest summer, as one may expect, but in the wettest summer, implying an important role for precipitation in this ecosystem. We think the exceptional wet summer of 2011 was a trigger for local permafrost collapse outside the experiment, which is confirmed by some preliminary results. The increased thawing induced melting of ice in the permafrost leading to soil subsidence and ponding of water. The resulting thaw ponds show drowning of the shrubs and high methane emission. If a future warmer and wetter climate can more frequently trigger such local permafrost collapse, methane-emitting wetlands would expand in the Siberian lowland tundra landscape, which contrasts with the widely assumed shrub expansion.

Conference

ConferenceNetherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM) 2016
CountryNetherlands
CityLunteren
Period9/02/1610/02/16

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tundra
shrub
permafrost
summer
thawing
monitoring
pond
methane
removal experiment
vegetation
climate
warming
snow
melting
wetland
timescale
ice
water
ecosystem
experiment

Cite this

Heijmans, M. M. P. D., Wang, P., Limpens, J., van Huissteden, J., Maximov, T. C., & Berendse, F. (2016). Long-term monitoring reveals large impacts of an exceptional wet summer at a Siberian Arctic tundra site. Abstract from Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM) 2016, Lunteren, Netherlands.
Heijmans, M.M.P.D. ; Wang, Peng ; Limpens, J. ; van Huissteden, J. ; Maximov, T.C. ; Berendse, F. / Long-term monitoring reveals large impacts of an exceptional wet summer at a Siberian Arctic tundra site. Abstract from Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM) 2016, Lunteren, Netherlands.
@conference{f1ccbf671b6749c0a79ef0cd02ba65a0,
title = "Long-term monitoring reveals large impacts of an exceptional wet summer at a Siberian Arctic tundra site",
abstract = "In recent decades, shrub expansion has been observed in many places over the Arctic in response to climate warming. In 2007 we started research at a pristine Northeast-Siberian tundra site to investigate the relationship between shrub cover and summer thawing of permafrost by experimentally removing the shrub part of the vegetation. This Betula nana removal experiment is still running. The removal plots changed dramatically after three to five years, illustrating the importance of running field experiments longer than the 3-year timescale of a PhD project. The treatment effects became stronger over time as a result of feedbacks between vegetation, permafrost thaw, water and snow, which turned the originally elevated shrub patches into waterlogged depressions and ponds (Nauta et al. 2015). Nine years of measurements in the unchanged control plots showed that the thawing depth was not largest in the warmest summer, as one may expect, but in the wettest summer, implying an important role for precipitation in this ecosystem. We think the exceptional wet summer of 2011 was a trigger for local permafrost collapse outside the experiment, which is confirmed by some preliminary results. The increased thawing induced melting of ice in the permafrost leading to soil subsidence and ponding of water. The resulting thaw ponds show drowning of the shrubs and high methane emission. If a future warmer and wetter climate can more frequently trigger such local permafrost collapse, methane-emitting wetlands would expand in the Siberian lowland tundra landscape, which contrasts with the widely assumed shrub expansion.",
author = "M.M.P.D. Heijmans and Peng Wang and J. Limpens and {van Huissteden}, J. and T.C. Maximov and F. Berendse",
year = "2016",
month = "2",
language = "English",
note = "Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM) 2016 ; Conference date: 09-02-2016 Through 10-02-2016",

}

Heijmans, MMPD, Wang, P, Limpens, J, van Huissteden, J, Maximov, TC & Berendse, F 2016, 'Long-term monitoring reveals large impacts of an exceptional wet summer at a Siberian Arctic tundra site' Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM) 2016, Lunteren, Netherlands, 9/02/16 - 10/02/16, .

Long-term monitoring reveals large impacts of an exceptional wet summer at a Siberian Arctic tundra site. / Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Wang, Peng; Limpens, J.; van Huissteden, J.; Maximov, T.C.; Berendse, F.

2016. Abstract from Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM) 2016, Lunteren, Netherlands.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

TY - CONF

T1 - Long-term monitoring reveals large impacts of an exceptional wet summer at a Siberian Arctic tundra site

AU - Heijmans, M.M.P.D.

AU - Wang, Peng

AU - Limpens, J.

AU - van Huissteden, J.

AU - Maximov, T.C.

AU - Berendse, F.

PY - 2016/2

Y1 - 2016/2

N2 - In recent decades, shrub expansion has been observed in many places over the Arctic in response to climate warming. In 2007 we started research at a pristine Northeast-Siberian tundra site to investigate the relationship between shrub cover and summer thawing of permafrost by experimentally removing the shrub part of the vegetation. This Betula nana removal experiment is still running. The removal plots changed dramatically after three to five years, illustrating the importance of running field experiments longer than the 3-year timescale of a PhD project. The treatment effects became stronger over time as a result of feedbacks between vegetation, permafrost thaw, water and snow, which turned the originally elevated shrub patches into waterlogged depressions and ponds (Nauta et al. 2015). Nine years of measurements in the unchanged control plots showed that the thawing depth was not largest in the warmest summer, as one may expect, but in the wettest summer, implying an important role for precipitation in this ecosystem. We think the exceptional wet summer of 2011 was a trigger for local permafrost collapse outside the experiment, which is confirmed by some preliminary results. The increased thawing induced melting of ice in the permafrost leading to soil subsidence and ponding of water. The resulting thaw ponds show drowning of the shrubs and high methane emission. If a future warmer and wetter climate can more frequently trigger such local permafrost collapse, methane-emitting wetlands would expand in the Siberian lowland tundra landscape, which contrasts with the widely assumed shrub expansion.

AB - In recent decades, shrub expansion has been observed in many places over the Arctic in response to climate warming. In 2007 we started research at a pristine Northeast-Siberian tundra site to investigate the relationship between shrub cover and summer thawing of permafrost by experimentally removing the shrub part of the vegetation. This Betula nana removal experiment is still running. The removal plots changed dramatically after three to five years, illustrating the importance of running field experiments longer than the 3-year timescale of a PhD project. The treatment effects became stronger over time as a result of feedbacks between vegetation, permafrost thaw, water and snow, which turned the originally elevated shrub patches into waterlogged depressions and ponds (Nauta et al. 2015). Nine years of measurements in the unchanged control plots showed that the thawing depth was not largest in the warmest summer, as one may expect, but in the wettest summer, implying an important role for precipitation in this ecosystem. We think the exceptional wet summer of 2011 was a trigger for local permafrost collapse outside the experiment, which is confirmed by some preliminary results. The increased thawing induced melting of ice in the permafrost leading to soil subsidence and ponding of water. The resulting thaw ponds show drowning of the shrubs and high methane emission. If a future warmer and wetter climate can more frequently trigger such local permafrost collapse, methane-emitting wetlands would expand in the Siberian lowland tundra landscape, which contrasts with the widely assumed shrub expansion.

M3 - Abstract

ER -

Heijmans MMPD, Wang P, Limpens J, van Huissteden J, Maximov TC, Berendse F. Long-term monitoring reveals large impacts of an exceptional wet summer at a Siberian Arctic tundra site. 2016. Abstract from Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM) 2016, Lunteren, Netherlands.