Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Jakob J. Assmann; Isla H. Myers‐Smith; Albert B. Phillimore; Anne D. Bjorkman; Richard E. Ennos; Janet S. Prevéy; Greg H. R. Henry; Niels M. Schmidt; Robert D. Hollister
    Date: 2019
    Source: Global Change Biology. 25(7):2258-2274.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)

    Description

    The Arctic is undergoing dramatic environmental change with rapidly rising surface temperatures, accelerating sea ice decline and changing snow regimes, all of which influence tundra plant phenology. Despite these changes, no globally consistent direction of trends in spring phenology has been reported across the Arctic. While spring has advanced at some sites, spring has delayed or not changed at other sites, highlighting substantial unexplained variation. Here, we test the relative importance of local temperatures, local snow melt date and regional spring drop in sea ice extent as controls of variation in spring phenology across different sites and species. Trends in long‐term time series of spring leaf‐out and flowering (average span: 18 years) were highly variable for the 14 tundra species monitored at our four study sites on the Arctic coasts of Alaska, Canada and Greenland, ranging from advances of 10.06 days per decade to delays of 1.67 days per decade. Spring temperatures and the day of spring drop in sea ice extent advanced at all sites (average 1°C per decade and 21 days per decade, respectively), but only those sites with advances in snow melt (average 5 days advance per decade) also had advancing phenology. Variation in spring plant phenology was best explained by snow melt date (mean effect: 0.45 days advance in phenology per day advance snow melt) and, to a lesser extent, by mean spring temperature (mean effect: 2.39 days advance in phenology per °C). In contrast to previous studies examining sea ice and phenology at different spatial scales, regional spring drop in sea ice extent did not predict spring phenology for any species or site in our analysis. Our findings highlight that tundra vegetation responses to global change are more complex than a direct response to warming and emphasize the importance of snow melt as a local driver of tundra spring phenology.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Assmann, Jakob J.; Myers‐Smith, Isla H.; Phillimore, Albert B.; Bjorkman, Anne D.; Ennos, Richard E.; Prevéy, Janet S.; Henry, Greg H. R.; Schmidt, Niels M.; Hollister, Robert D. 2019. Local snow melt and temperature—but not regional sea ice—explain variation in spring phenology in coastal Arctic tundra. Global Change Biology. 25(7):2258-2274. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14639.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    Arctic tundra, climate change, phenology, sea ice, snow melt, spring, temperature, vegetation.

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/58514