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Increased spring freezing vulnerability for alpine shrubs under early snowmelt

Alpine dwarf shrub communities are phenologically linked with snowmelt timing, so early spring exposure may increase risk of freezing damage during early development, and consequently reduce seasonal growth. We examined whether environmental factors (duration of snow cover, elevation) influenced siz... Full description

Journal Title: Oecologia 2014-05-01, Vol.175 (1), p.219-229
Main Author: Wheeler, J. A
Other Authors: Hoch, G , Cortés, A. J , Sedlacek, J , Wipf, S , Rixen, C
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer
ID: ISSN: 0029-8549
Zum Text:
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recordid: cdi_swepub_primary_oai_DiVA_org_uu_225008
title: Increased spring freezing vulnerability for alpine shrubs under early snowmelt
format: Article
creator:
  • Wheeler, J. A
  • Hoch, G
  • Cortés, A. J
  • Sedlacek, J
  • Wipf, S
  • Rixen, C
subjects:
  • Advanced snowmelt
  • Alpine dwarf shrubs
  • Alpine ecosystems
  • Alpine plants
  • Altitude
  • Analysis
  • Animal and plant ecology
  • Animal, plant and microbial ecology
  • Biological and medical sciences
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biologiska vetenskaper
  • Biomass
  • Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Climate
  • Climate change
  • Climatology. Bioclimatology. Climate change
  • COMMUNITY ECOLOGY
  • Community ecology - Original research
  • Earth, ocean, space
  • Ecology
  • Ecosystem
  • Ekologi
  • Ericaceae - physiology
  • Exact sciences and technology
  • External geophysics
  • Freezing
  • Frost damage
  • Fundamental and applied biological sciences. Psychology
  • General aspects
  • Global temperature changes
  • Growing seasons
  • Growth
  • Hydrology/Water Resources
  • Leaves
  • Life Sciences
  • Loiseleuria procumbens
  • Meteorology
  • Microhabitats
  • Natural Sciences
  • Naturvetenskap
  • Plant Leaves
  • Plant Sciences
  • Plants
  • Salix - physiology
  • Salix herbacea
  • Seasons
  • Shrubs
  • Snow
  • Snowmelt
  • Spring
  • Spring freezing resistance
  • Switzerland
  • Vaccinium - physiology
  • Vaccinium myrtillus
  • Vaccinium uliginosum
ispartof: Oecologia, 2014-05-01, Vol.175 (1), p.219-229
description: Alpine dwarf shrub communities are phenologically linked with snowmelt timing, so early spring exposure may increase risk of freezing damage during early development, and consequently reduce seasonal growth. We examined whether environmental factors (duration of snow cover, elevation) influenced size and the vulnerability of shrubs to spring freezing along elevational gradients and snow microhabitats by modelling the past frequency of spring freezing events. We sampled biomass and measured the size of Salix herbacea, Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium uliginosum and Loiseleuria procumbens in late spring. Leaves were exposed to freezing temperatures to determine the temperature at which 50 % of specimens are killed for each species and sampling site. By linking site snowmelt and temperatures to long-term climate measurements, we extrapolated the frequency of spring freezing events at each elevation, snow microhabitat and per species over 37 years. Snowmelt timing was significantly driven by microhabitat effects, but was independent of elevation. Shrub growth was neither enhanced nor reduced by earlier snowmelt, but decreased with elevation. Freezing resistance was strongly species dependent, and did not differ along the elevation or snowmelt gradient. Microclimate extrapolation suggested that potentially lethal freezing events (in May and June) occurred for three of the four species examined. Freezing events never occurred on late snow beds, and increased in frequency with earlier snowmelt and higher elevation. Extrapolated freezing events showed a slight, non-significant increase over the 37-year record. We suggest that earlier snowmelt does not enhance growth in four dominant alpine shrubs, but increases the risk of lethal spring freezing exposure for less freezing-resistant species.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0029-8549
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 0029-8549
  • 1432-1939
  • 1432-1939
url: Link


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creatorcontribWheeler, J. A ; Hoch, G ; Cortés, A. J ; Sedlacek, J ; Wipf, S ; Rixen, C
descriptionAlpine dwarf shrub communities are phenologically linked with snowmelt timing, so early spring exposure may increase risk of freezing damage during early development, and consequently reduce seasonal growth. We examined whether environmental factors (duration of snow cover, elevation) influenced size and the vulnerability of shrubs to spring freezing along elevational gradients and snow microhabitats by modelling the past frequency of spring freezing events. We sampled biomass and measured the size of Salix herbacea, Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium uliginosum and Loiseleuria procumbens in late spring. Leaves were exposed to freezing temperatures to determine the temperature at which 50 % of specimens are killed for each species and sampling site. By linking site snowmelt and temperatures to long-term climate measurements, we extrapolated the frequency of spring freezing events at each elevation, snow microhabitat and per species over 37 years. Snowmelt timing was significantly driven by microhabitat effects, but was independent of elevation. Shrub growth was neither enhanced nor reduced by earlier snowmelt, but decreased with elevation. Freezing resistance was strongly species dependent, and did not differ along the elevation or snowmelt gradient. Microclimate extrapolation suggested that potentially lethal freezing events (in May and June) occurred for three of the four species examined. Freezing events never occurred on late snow beds, and increased in frequency with earlier snowmelt and higher elevation. Extrapolated freezing events showed a slight, non-significant increase over the 37-year record. We suggest that earlier snowmelt does not enhance growth in four dominant alpine shrubs, but increases the risk of lethal spring freezing exposure for less freezing-resistant species.
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subjectAdvanced snowmelt ; Alpine dwarf shrubs ; Alpine ecosystems ; Alpine plants ; Altitude ; Analysis ; Animal and plant ecology ; Animal, plant and microbial ecology ; Biological and medical sciences ; Biological Sciences ; Biologiska vetenskaper ; Biomass ; Biomedical and Life Sciences ; Climate ; Climate change ; Climatology. Bioclimatology. Climate change ; COMMUNITY ECOLOGY ; Community ecology - Original research ; Earth, ocean, space ; Ecology ; Ecosystem ; Ekologi ; Ericaceae - physiology ; Exact sciences and technology ; External geophysics ; Freezing ; Frost damage ; Fundamental and applied biological sciences. Psychology ; General aspects ; Global temperature changes ; Growing seasons ; Growth ; Hydrology/Water Resources ; Leaves ; Life Sciences ; Loiseleuria procumbens ; Meteorology ; Microhabitats ; Natural Sciences ; Naturvetenskap ; Plant Leaves ; Plant Sciences ; Plants ; Salix - physiology ; Salix herbacea ; Seasons ; Shrubs ; Snow ; Snowmelt ; Spring ; Spring freezing resistance ; Switzerland ; Vaccinium - physiology ; Vaccinium myrtillus ; Vaccinium uliginosum
ispartofOecologia, 2014-05-01, Vol.175 (1), p.219-229
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1Oecologia
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descriptionAlpine dwarf shrub communities are phenologically linked with snowmelt timing, so early spring exposure may increase risk of freezing damage during early development, and consequently reduce seasonal growth. We examined whether environmental factors (duration of snow cover, elevation) influenced size and the vulnerability of shrubs to spring freezing along elevational gradients and snow microhabitats by modelling the past frequency of spring freezing events. We sampled biomass and measured the size of Salix herbacea, Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium uliginosum and Loiseleuria procumbens in late spring. Leaves were exposed to freezing temperatures to determine the temperature at which 50 % of specimens are killed for each species and sampling site. By linking site snowmelt and temperatures to long-term climate measurements, we extrapolated the frequency of spring freezing events at each elevation, snow microhabitat and per species over 37 years. Snowmelt timing was significantly driven by microhabitat effects, but was independent of elevation. Shrub growth was neither enhanced nor reduced by earlier snowmelt, but decreased with elevation. Freezing resistance was strongly species dependent, and did not differ along the elevation or snowmelt gradient. Microclimate extrapolation suggested that potentially lethal freezing events (in May and June) occurred for three of the four species examined. Freezing events never occurred on late snow beds, and increased in frequency with earlier snowmelt and higher elevation. Extrapolated freezing events showed a slight, non-significant increase over the 37-year record. We suggest that earlier snowmelt does not enhance growth in four dominant alpine shrubs, but increases the risk of lethal spring freezing exposure for less freezing-resistant species.
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0Advanced snowmelt
1Alpine dwarf shrubs
2Alpine ecosystems
3Alpine plants
4Altitude
5Analysis
6Animal and plant ecology
7Animal, plant and microbial ecology
8Biological and medical sciences
9Biological Sciences
10Biologiska vetenskaper
11Biomass
12Biomedical and Life Sciences
13Climate
14Climate change
15Climatology. Bioclimatology. Climate change
16COMMUNITY ECOLOGY
17Community ecology - Original research
18Earth, ocean, space
19Ecology
20Ecosystem
21Ekologi
22Ericaceae - physiology
23Exact sciences and technology
24External geophysics
25Freezing
26Frost damage
27Fundamental and applied biological sciences. Psychology
28General aspects
29Global temperature changes
30Growing seasons
31Growth
32Hydrology/Water Resources
33Leaves
34Life Sciences
35Loiseleuria procumbens
36Meteorology
37Microhabitats
38Natural Sciences
39Naturvetenskap
40Plant Leaves
41Plant Sciences
42Plants
43Salix - physiology
44Salix herbacea
45Seasons
46Shrubs
47Snow
48Snowmelt
49Spring
50Spring freezing resistance
51Switzerland
52Vaccinium - physiology
53Vaccinium myrtillus
54Vaccinium uliginosum
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authorWheeler, J. A ; Hoch, G ; Cortés, A. J ; Sedlacek, J ; Wipf, S ; Rixen, C
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8Biological and medical sciences
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26Frost damage
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45Seasons
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50Spring freezing resistance
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abstractAlpine dwarf shrub communities are phenologically linked with snowmelt timing, so early spring exposure may increase risk of freezing damage during early development, and consequently reduce seasonal growth. We examined whether environmental factors (duration of snow cover, elevation) influenced size and the vulnerability of shrubs to spring freezing along elevational gradients and snow microhabitats by modelling the past frequency of spring freezing events. We sampled biomass and measured the size of Salix herbacea, Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium uliginosum and Loiseleuria procumbens in late spring. Leaves were exposed to freezing temperatures to determine the temperature at which 50 % of specimens are killed for each species and sampling site. By linking site snowmelt and temperatures to long-term climate measurements, we extrapolated the frequency of spring freezing events at each elevation, snow microhabitat and per species over 37 years. Snowmelt timing was significantly driven by microhabitat effects, but was independent of elevation. Shrub growth was neither enhanced nor reduced by earlier snowmelt, but decreased with elevation. Freezing resistance was strongly species dependent, and did not differ along the elevation or snowmelt gradient. Microclimate extrapolation suggested that potentially lethal freezing events (in May and June) occurred for three of the four species examined. Freezing events never occurred on late snow beds, and increased in frequency with earlier snowmelt and higher elevation. Extrapolated freezing events showed a slight, non-significant increase over the 37-year record. We suggest that earlier snowmelt does not enhance growth in four dominant alpine shrubs, but increases the risk of lethal spring freezing exposure for less freezing-resistant species.
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doi10.1007/s00442-013-2872-8
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