What are the main climate drivers for shrub growth in Northeastern Siberian tundra?

D. Blok, U. Sass-Klaassen, G. Schaepman-Strub, M.M.P.D. Heijmans, P. Sauren, F. Berendse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


Deciduous shrubs are expected to rapidly expand in the Arctic during the coming decades due to climate warming. A transition towards more shrub-dominated tundra may have large implications for the regional surface energy balance, permafrost stability and carbon storage capacity, with consequences for the global climate system. However, little information is available on the natural long-term shrub growth response to climatic variability. Our aim was to determine the climate factor and time period that are most important to annual shrub growth in our research site in NE-Siberia. Therefore, we determined annual radial growth rates in Salix pulchra and Betula nana shrubs by measuring ring widths. We constructed shrub ring width chronologies and compared growth rates to regional climate and remotely sensed greenness data. Early summer temperature was the most important factor influencing ring width of S. pulchra (Pearson's r=0.73, p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1169-1179
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • plant functional types
  • alaskan arctic tundra
  • summer temperature
  • nitrogen mineralization
  • tree growth
  • manipulation experiment
  • environmental-change
  • cassiope-tetragona
  • vegetation types
  • northern alaska


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