Expansion of Juniperus sibirica Burgsd. as a response to climate change and associated effect on mountain tundra vegetation in the Northern Urals Expansion of Juniperus sibirica Burgsd. as a response to climate change and associated effect on mountain tundra vegetation in the Northern Urals

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Vol17 No.10: 2339-2353

Title】Expansion of Juniperus sibirica Burgsd. as a response to climate change and associated effect on mountain tundra vegetation in the Northern Urals

Author】Andrey A. GRIGORIEV1*; Yulia V. SHALAUMOVA2; Olga V. EROKHINA3; Svetlana Yu. SOKOVNINA4; Elizaveta I. VATOLINA5; Martin WILMKING6

Addresses】1 Laboratory of Geoinformation Technology, Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology UB RAS, Ekaterinburg, Russia; 2 Laboratory of Mathematical Modeling in Ecology and Medicine, Institute of Industrial Ecology UB RAS, Ekaterinburg, Russia; 3 Laboratory of Vegetation and Mycobiota Biodiversity, Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology UB RAS, Ekaterinburg, Russia; 4 Laboratory of Dynamics of Arctic Ecosystems, Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology UB RAS, Labytnangi, Russia; 5 Department of Forest Taxation and Forest Management, Institute of Forest and Nature Management, Ural state Forest Engineering University, Ekaterinburg, Russia; 6 Institute for Botany and Landscape Ecology, Greifswald University, Germany

Corresponding author】Andrey A. GRIGORIEV

Citation】GrigorievAA, Shalaumova YV, ErokhinaOV, et al.(2020) Expansion of Juniperus sibirica Burgsd. as a response to climate change and associated effect on mountain tundra vegetation in the Northern Urals. Journal of Mountain Science 17(10).https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5925-6

DOI】https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5925-6

Abstract】Shrub expansion into arctic and alpine tundra is one of the prominent vegetation changes currently underway. We studied the expansion of shrub vegetation into high elevation tundra in the Kvarkush Range of the Northern Ural mountains, Russia. Age structure analysis of the dominant shrub Juniperus sibirica Burgsd. seems to support ongoing upslope advance of shrubs, a process particularly active in the second half of the 20th century. We found a close connection between the expansion of shrub vegetation and the general change in climatic conditions of the cold season (months with mean air temperature below 0°Сfrom November to March). In general, the greatest influence on the distribution of J. sibirica is exerted by the climate conditions of the beginning (November-January) and the end (March) of the cold season. With increasing elevation, the correlation coefficients between the establishment of J. sibirica shrubs and the precipitation of the beginning of the cold season increased, and reached maximum values at the top elevation level of the study area. However, the upwards shift of J. sibirica into typical mountain tundra does not lead to changes in the ecological structure of vegetation at this stage, but simply a decrease in the area of mountain tundra.

KeywordsJuniperus sibirica; Expansion; Tundra; Vegetation; Plant communities; Climate changes; Northern Ural mountains