BG2.17Snow-shrub interactions: Exploring the hydrology, biochemistry and ecology of changing tundra ecosystems
|Convener: Cécile Ménard|
Surface air temperature in the Arctic has increased faster than in any other part of the globe, at a rate of 0.4C per decade since the mid-1960s. This warming has led to a decrease of approximately 10% of the areal coverage of snow, with a further 9 to 18% projected by the end of the century. The spatial distribution, depth and thermal properties of snow are also affected by vegetation cover. Increasing evidence from field observations, remotely sensed data and models suggests that the recent climate warming is leading to a âgreeningâ of the Arctic. Tundra vegetation is known to respond quickly and dynamically to increases in temperature and changes in snow cover, notably through an increase in the cover and biomass of shrubs. Herbivory, for example reindeer husbandry in Fennoscandia, also has a strong control on shrub densities and distributions. The relationship between shrubs and snow are at the core of feedback loops affecting the energy balance, soil thermal regime and thus the biochemistry, ecology and hydrology of the Arctic.
We welcome contributions investigating these relationships, with a particular focus on:
- Advances in modelling of snow-shrub interactions.
- Remote sensing techniques to evaluate shrub expansion and / or the
effect of snow-shrub interactions on the energy balance at high latitude.
- Shrub-snow-soil temperature interactions.
- Role of herbivory in shrub expansion.