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Boulder, CO, United States

Morgado L.N.,University of Oslo | Semenova T.A.,Leiden University | Welker J.M.,University of Alaska Anchorage | Walker M.D.,HOMER Energy | And 2 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2016

Many arctic ecological processes are regulated by soil temperature that is tightly interconnected with snow cover distribution and persistence. Recently, various climate-induced changes have been observed in arctic tundra ecosystems, e.g. shrub expansion, resulting in reduction in albedo and greater C fixation in aboveground vegetation as well as increased rates of soil C mobilization by microbes. Importantly, the net effects of these shifts are unknown, in part because our understanding of belowground processes is limited. Here, we focus on the effects of increased snow depth, and as a consequence, increased winter soil temperature on ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities in dry and moist tundra. We analyzed deep DNA sequence data from soil samples taken at a long-term snow fence experiment in Northern Alaska. Our results indicate that, in contrast with previously observed responses of plants to increased snow depth at the same experimental site, the ECM fungal community of the dry tundra was more affected by deeper snow than the moist tundra community. In the dry tundra, both community richness and composition were significantly altered while in the moist tundra, only community composition changed significantly while richness did not. We observed a decrease in richness of Tomentella, Inocybe and other taxa adapted to scavenge the soil for labile N forms. On the other hand, richness of Cortinarius, and species with the ability to scavenge the soil for recalcitrant N forms, did not change. We further link ECM fungal traits with C soil pools. If future warmer atmospheric conditions lead to greater winter snow fall, changes in the ECM fungal community will likely influence C emissions and C fixation through altering N plant availability, fungal biomass and soil-plant C-N dynamics, ultimately determining important future interactions between the tundra biosphere and atmosphere. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

The HOMER software is the global standard for economic analysis of sustainable microgrid systems for remote power, island utilities, and microgrids, with over 100,000 users in 193 countries. HOMER was originally developed at the U ...

Chattopadhyay D.,University of Queensland | Bazilian M.,Columbia University | Bazilian M.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Lilienthal P.,HOMER Energy
Electricity Journal | Year: 2015

Providing access to electricity for the roughly 3 billion people who currently have no access or limited access to reliable service is a fundamental social and economic development challenge. A significant part of this population lives far away from the power grid, mostly in rural areas, where mini-grids could go far in meeting this enormous demand. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Elmendorf S.C.,National Ecological Observatory Network | Elmendorf S.C.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Henry G.H.R.,University of British Columbia | Hollister R.D.,Grand Valley State University | And 15 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

Inference about future climate change impacts typically relies on one of three approaches: manipulative experiments, historical comparisons (broadly defined to include monitoring the response to ambient climate fluctuations using repeat sampling of plots, dendroecology, and paleoecology techniques), and space-for-time substitutions derived from sampling along environmental gradients. Potential limitations of all three approaches are recognized. Here we address the congruence among these three main approaches by comparing the degree to which tundra plant community composition changes (i) in response to in situ experimental warming, (ii) with interannual variability in summer temperature within sites, and (iii) over spatial gradients in summer temperature. We analyzed changes in plant community composition from repeat sampling (85 plant communities in 28 regions) and experimental warming studies (28 experiments in 14 regions) throughout arctic and alpine North America and Europe. Increases in the relative abundance of species with a warmer thermal niche were observed in response to warmer summer temperatures using all three methods; however, effect sizes were greater over broadscale spatial gradients relative to either temporal variability in summer temperature within a site or summer temperature increases induced by experimental warming. The effect sizes for change over time within a site and with experimental warming were nearly identical. These results support the view that inferences based on space-for-time substitution overestimate the magnitude of responses to contemporary climate warming, because spatial gradients reflect long-term processes. In contrast, in situ experimental warming and monitoring approaches yield consistent estimates of the magnitude of response of plant communities to climate warming.

Semenova T.A.,Naturalis Biodiversity Center | Semenova T.A.,Leiden University | Morgado L.N.,Naturalis Biodiversity Center | Welker J.M.,University of Alaska Anchorage | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2015

Arctic tundra regions have been responding to global warming with visible changes in plant community composition, including expansion of shrubs and declines in lichens and bryophytes. Even though it is well known that the majority of arctic plants are associated with their symbiotic fungi, how fungal community composition will be different with climate warming remains largely unknown. In this study, we addressed the effects of long-term (18 years) experimental warming on the community composition and taxonomic richness of soil ascomycetes in dry and moist tundra types. Using deep Ion Torrent sequencing, we quantified how OTU assemblage and richness of different orders of Ascomycota changed in response to summer warming. Experimental warming significantly altered ascomycete communities with stronger responses observed in the moist tundra compared with dry tundra. The proportion of several lichenized and moss-associated fungi decreased with warming, while the proportion of several plant and insect pathogens and saprotrophic species was higher in the warming treatment. The observed alterations in both taxonomic and ecological groups of ascomycetes are discussed in relation to previously reported warming-induced shifts in arctic plant communities, including decline in lichens and bryophytes and increase in coverage and biomass of shrubs. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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