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Winter in northeastern North America: a critical period for ecological processesAuthor(s): John L. Campbell; Myron J. Mitchell; Peter M. Groffman; Lynn M. Christenson; Janet P. Hardy; Janet P. Hardy
Source: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 3(6): 314-322.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionEcological research during winter has historically been a low priority in northeastern North America, an oversight that stems from the commonly accepted notion that there is little biological activity when temperatures drop below freezing. However, recent research has shown that winter can be an especially important period for ecological processes, providing evidence that "dormant season" is a misnomer. Uncertainties about the effects of climate change on ecosystems are highlighting the need for a more thorough understanding of winter ecology. The failure to collect winter data in northeastern North America has meant that researchers are illequipped to make predictions about how ecosystems will respond to future climate change. A more focused, integrative ecologica1 winter monitoring and research effort will enable us to better prepare for, and respond to, future climate change.
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CitationCampbell, John L.; Mitchell, Myron J.; Groffman, Peter M.; Christenson, Lynn M.; Hardy, Janet P. 2005. Winter in northeastern North America: a critical period for ecological processes. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 3(6): 314-322.
Keywordsclimate change, snow cover, global warming
- Consequences of climate change for biotic disturbances in North American forests
- Northern forest winters have lost cold, snowy conditions that are important for ecosystems and human communities
- Spatial variability in forest growthclimate relationships in the Olympic Mountains, Washington.
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