Phenological responses to small-scale spatial variation in snowmelt timing reveal compensatory and conservative strategies in subarctic-alpine plants

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/235463

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Gehrmann , F , Hänninen , H , Liu , C & Saarinen , T P 2017 , ' Phenological responses to small-scale spatial variation in snowmelt timing reveal compensatory and conservative strategies in subarctic-alpine plants ' , Plant Ecology & Diversity , vol. 10 , no. 5-6 , pp. 453-468 . https://doi.org/10.1080/17550874.2018.1428693

Title: Phenological responses to small-scale spatial variation in snowmelt timing reveal compensatory and conservative strategies in subarctic-alpine plants
Author: Gehrmann, Friederike; Hänninen, Heikki; Liu, Che; Saarinen, Timo Pekka
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Plant Ecophysiology and Climate Change Group
University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences
University of Helsinki, Biosciences
Date: 2017
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: Plant Ecology & Diversity
ISSN: 1755-0874
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/235463
Abstract: Background: In tundra ecosystems, the adjustment of phenological events, such as bud burst, to snowmelt timing is crucial to the climatic adaptation of plants. Natural small-scale variations in microclimate potentially enable plant populations to persist in a changing climate.Aims: To assess how plant phenology responds to natural differences in snowmelt timing.Methods: We observed the timing of eight vegetative and reproductive phenophases in seven dwarf-shrub species in relation to differences in snowmelt timing on a small spatial scale in an alpine environment in subarctic Finland.Results: Some species and phenophases showed accelerated development with later snowmelt, thus providing full or partial compensation for the shorter snow-free period. Full compensation resulted in synchronous occurrence of phenophases across the snowmelt gradient. In other species, there was no acceleration of development. The timing of phenophases varied between two consecutive years and two opposing mountain slope aspects.Conclusions: The results have shown three distinct patterns in the timing of phenophases in relation to snowmelt and suggest alternative strategies for adaptation to snowmelt timing. These strategies potentially apply to other species and tundra ecosystems and provide a framework, enabling one to compare and generalise phenological responses to snowmelt timing under different future climate scenarios.
Subject: 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
climate change
compensation
conservative strategy
natural snowmelt gradient
phenophases
plant phenology
subarctic
tundra
SHRUB SALIX-HERBACEA
CLIMATE-CHANGE
FLOWERING PHENOLOGY
EMPETRUM-HERMAPHRODITUM
GLOBAL-CHANGE
TUNDRA
COVER
PATTERNS
GROWTH
ADAPTATION
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