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Opportunities and limitations to detect climate-related regime shifts in inland Arctic ecosystems through eco-hydrological monitoring
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
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2011 (English)In: Environmental Research Letters, ISSN 1748-9326, E-ISSN 1748-9326, Vol. 6, no 1, 014015- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study has identified and mapped the occurrences of three different types of climate-driven and hydrologically mediated regime shifts in inland Arctic ecosystems: (i) from tundra to shrubland or forest, (ii) from terrestrial ecosystems to thermokarst lakes and wetlands, and (iii) from thermokarst lakes and wetlands to terrestrial ecosystems. The area coverage of these shifts is compared to that of hydrological and hydrochemical monitoring relevant to their possible detection. Hotspot areas are identified within the Yukon, Mackenzie, Barents/Norwegian Sea and Ob river basins, where systematic water monitoring overlaps with ecological monitoring and observed ecosystem regime shift occurrences, providing opportunities for linked eco-hydrological investigations that can improve our regime shift understanding, and detection and prediction capabilities. Overall, most of the total areal extent of shifts from tundra to shrubland and from terrestrial to aquatic regimes is in hydrologically and hydrochemically unmonitored areas. For shifts from aquatic to terrestrial regimes, related water and waterborne nitrogen and phosphorus fluxes are relatively well monitored, while waterborne carbon fluxes are unmonitored. There is a further large spatial mismatch between the coverage of hydrological and that of ecological monitoring, implying a need for more coordinated monitoring efforts to detect the waterborne mediation and propagation of changes and impacts associated with Arctic ecological regime shifts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 6, no 1, 014015- p.
Keyword [en]
Arctic, climate change, regime shifts, eco-hydrology, hydrology, biogeochemical cycling, permafrost, ecosystem dynamics, feedbacks, monitoring
National Category
Environmental Sciences Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources Climate Research
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-66708DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/6/1/014015ISI: 000289263600016OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-66708DiVA: diva2:468251
Note

authorCount :5

Available from: 2011-12-20 Created: 2011-12-20 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Arctic Water System Change and its Interactions with Permafrost and Ecosystem Changes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Arctic Water System Change and its Interactions with Permafrost and Ecosystem Changes
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Climate change and various changes in the landscape itself, such as permafrost thaw, may trigger and mediate substantial changes in the inland water system of the Arctic. Many climate change responses in the Arctic landscape and ecosystems are then related to alterations in the hydrological system. The nature of all these change interactions is not well understood. This thesis aims to improve our understanding of changes in the Arctic inland water system and their interactions with permafrost and ecosystem changes. Investigation of the spatial coverage of systematic hydrological monitoring data and observation data for hydro-climatically related ecosystem shifts, such as large-scale lake-area change, shows that this overlap is small. Yet some monitoring hotspot areas exist, where such data overlap and can be used to improve our understanding of linked hydrological, permafrost and ecosystem changes in the Arctic under climate change. Analysis of lake-change patterns in such hotspot areas indicates permafrost thaw as a main change driver/mediator of some change patterns. However, clear indication of basin-wide influence of permafrost thaw on hydrological discharge dynamics was only found in two relatively small out of total six investigated permafrost basins of different scales. Further, both permafrost and non-permafrost basins exhibit large-scale lake-area changes. A salient change pattern emerging across all investigated basins is an opposite direction of runoff change to that of precipitation change. This contrast is explainable by apparent evapotranspiration changes that may be due to observed changes in surface water (lake) area and associated water-storage changes. Patches of local lake-area change can thus add up to considerable large-scale effects on evapotranspiration and runoff changes. Overall, this thesis shows that linking water system change to permafrost and ecosystem changes is essential for advancing our understanding of Arctic environmental change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, 2014. 22 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 46
Keyword
Arctic, climate change, monitoring, ecosystem shifts, hydrology, hydro-climatic change, permafrost
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108269 (URN)978-91-7649-015-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-11-21, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Submitted.

Available from: 2014-10-30 Created: 2014-10-16 Last updated: 2014-11-21Bibliographically approved

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