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Chytry M.,Masaryk University | Danlels F.J.A.,Institute of Biology and Biotechnology of Plants | Di Pietro R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Koroleva N.,Russian Academy of Sciences | And 3 more authors.

During preparation of the European checklist of vegetation units (EuroVegChecklist), it became clear that some earlier described syntaxa need to be typified in order to stabilize nomenclature and some new syntaxa need to be described. Here we propose nomenclature adjustments and formal description of four new alliances for the Arctic, alpine and oro-Mediterranean vegetation of Europe, Greenland and Anatolia. First, we typify the class Juncetea trifidi. Second, we describe four new alliances, such as the Puccinellion nuttallianae (Low-Arctic salt steppes of Greenland; class Saxifrago tricuspidatae-Calamagrostietea purpurascentis), Dryado octopetalae- Caricion arctisibiricae (Arctic tundra vegetation of north-eastern European Russia; class Carici rupestris- Kobresietea bellardii), Leontopodio nivalis-Elynion myosuroidis (southern European alpine tundra vegetation; class Carici rupestris-Kobresietea bellardii) and Lagotido uralensis-Caricion ensifoliae (alpine tundra vegetation of the Southern Ural Mountains; class Juncetea trifidi). Two new associations are described within the first two of these alliances. Finally, we present an interpretation of the alliance Muscario-Scillion nivalis. © by Milan Chytrý 2015. Source

Daniels F.J.A.,Institute of Biology and Biotechnology of Plants | De Molenaar J.G.,Grattostraat 24

The changes in the vascular plant flora of Tasiilaq, low arctic Southeast Greenland, between around 1900 and 2007 were studied by comparing the data from historical literature with those of the field observations performed between the late 1960s and 2007. Since 1900, the percentage of widely distributed arctic species distinctly decreased, whereas that of the low arctic species somewhat increased, and boreal species hardly increased. Vegetation monitoring revealed minor changes and showed that several thermophilous and xerophilous species increased between 1968/1969 and 2007, whereas some hygrophilous species decreased. Repeated vegetation mapping of a shallow pond revealed conspicuous changes suggesting increased evaporation/precipitation ratios associated with environmental warming up and decreasing snow accumulation in winter, in line with results of previous investigations. In spite of climate warming, expansion of the town and increasing human impact, flora and vegetation on the whole appeared rather stable during the last 40 years without invading species or introductions. © Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2011. Source

Walker D.A.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | Kuss P.,University of Bern | Epstein H.E.,University of Virginia | Kade A.N.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | And 3 more authors.
Applied Vegetation Science

Question: How do interactions between the physical environment and biotic properties of vegetation influence the formation of small patterned-ground features along the Arctic bioclimate gradient? Location: At 68° to 78°N: six locations along the Dalton Highway in arctic Alaska and three in Canada (Banks Island, Prince Patrick Island and Ellef Ringnes Island). Methods: We analysed floristic and structural vegetation, biomass and abiotic data (soil chemical and physical parameters, the n-factor [a soil thermal index] and spectral information [NDVI, LAI]) on 147 microhabitat relevés of zonal-patterned-ground features. Using mapping, table analysis (JUICE) and ordination techniques (NMDS). Results: Table analysis using JUICE and the phi-coefficient to identify diagnostic species revealed clear groups of diagnostic plant taxa in four of the five zonal vegetation complexes. Plant communities and zonal complexes were generally well separated in the NMDS ordination. The Alaska and Canada communities were spatially separated in the ordination because of different glacial histories and location in separate floristic provinces, but there was no single controlling environmental gradient. Vegetation structure, particularly that of bryophytes and total biomass, strongly affected thermal properties of the soils. Patterned-ground complexes with the largest thermal differential between the patterned-ground features and the surrounding vegetation exhibited the clearest patterned-ground morphologies. Conclusions: Characterizing the composition and structure of small-scale plant communities growing on distinctive microhabitats within patterned-ground complexes was necessary to understand the biological and physical controls of vegetation on patterned-ground morphology. Coarser-scale vegetation units, referred to here as 'zonal patterned-ground vegetation complexes' (groups of patterned-ground plant communities within zonal landscapes), were useful for landscape and regional-level comparisons and for extrapolation of information collected at plot scales to larger regions. Vegetation maps of the representative landscapes in each subzone were needed for extrapolation. Different growth characteristics of plants growing in northern and southern parts of the gradient have an important effect in stabilizing highly frost-active soils. A conceptual diagram summarizes the interactions between vegetation and patterned-ground morphology along the Arctic climate gradient. © 2011 International Association for Vegetation Science. Source

Walker D.A.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | Epstein H.E.,University of Virginia | Raynolds M.K.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | Kuss P.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | And 14 more authors.
Environmental Research Letters

Satellite-based measurements of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI; an index of vegetation greenness and photosynthetic capacity) indicate that tundra environments are generally greening and becoming more productive as climates warm in the Arctic. The greening, however, varies and is even negative in some parts of the Arctic. To help interpret the space-based observations, the International Polar Year (IPY) Greening of the Arctic project conducted ground-based surveys along two >1500km transects that span all five Arctic bioclimate subzones. Here we summarize the climate, soil, vegetation, biomass, and spectral information collected from the North America Arctic transect (NAAT), which has a more continental climate, and the Eurasia Arctic transect (EAT), which has a more oceanic climate. The transects have broadly similar summer temperature regimes and overall vegetation physiognomy, but strong differences in precipitation, especially winter precipitation, soil texture and pH, disturbance regimes, and plant species composition and structure. The results indicate that summer warmth and NDVI increased more strongly along the more continental transect. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd. Source

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