Climate warming as a driver of tundra shrubline advance

  title={Climate warming as a driver of tundra shrubline advance},
  author={Isla Heather Myers-Smith and David S. Hik},
  journal={Journal of Ecology},
  pages={547 - 560}
Climate warming is predicted to alter ecological boundaries in high‐latitude ecosystems including the elevational or latitudinal extent of tall shrubs in Arctic and alpine tundra. Over 60 studies from 128 locations around the tundra biome have investigated shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems; however, only six studies test whether shrublines are actually advancing up hill‐slopes or northward into tundra where tall shrubs are currently absent. We test the hypothesis that willow shrublines have… 

Dispersal and fire limit Arctic shrub expansion

Arctic shrub expansion alters carbon budgets, albedo, and warming rates in high latitudes but remains challenging to predict due to unclear underlying controls. Observational studies and models

A narrow window of summer temperatures associated with shrub growth in Arctic Alaska

Warming in recent decades has triggered shrub expansion in Arctic and alpine tundra, which is transforming these temperature-limited ecosystems and altering carbon and nutrient cycles, fire regimes,

A warmer and greener cold world: summer warming increases shrub growth in the alpine and high Arctic tundra

The Arctic and alpine biome is rapidly warming, which might be causing an encroachment of relatively tall woody shrub vegetation into tundra ecosystems, which will probably result in an overall

Contrasting shrub species respond to early summer temperatures leading to correspondence of shrub growth patterns

The Arctic-alpine biome is warming rapidly, resulting in a gradual replacement of low statured species by taller woody species in many tundra ecosystems. In northwest North America, the remotely

Divergent shrub‐cover responses driven by climate, wildfire, and permafrost interactions in Arctic tundra ecosystems

Estimation of shrub-cover change in 114 study sites across four burned and unburned upland and lowland tundra ecosystems in northern Alaska offers new insights into the land-atmosphere interactions as climate warming and burning intensify in high latitudes.

Arctic tundra shrubification: a review of mechanisms and impacts on ecosystem carbon balance

Vegetation composition shifts, and in particular, shrub expansion across the Arctic tundra are some of the most important and widely observed responses of high-latitude ecosystems to rapid climate

Shrub growth and expansion in the Arctic tundra: an assessment of controlling factors using an evidence-based approach

Woody shrubs have increased in biomass and expanded into new areas throughout the Pan-Arctic tundra biome in recent decades, which has been linked to a biome-wide observed increase in productivity.

Implications of evergreen shrub expansion in the Arctic

Arctic shrub expansion is occurring across large parts of the tundra biome and its potential ecological repercussions have been widely discussed. But while the term “shrub expansion” often implicitly

Past the climate optimum: Recruitment is declining at the world's highest juniper shrublines on the Tibetan Plateau.

Recon reconstructs decadally resolved shrub recruitment history (age structure) through the combination of field surveys and dendroecology methods at the world's highest juniper shrublines on the south-central Tibetan Plateau to alter the dynamics and competitive balance between woody plant species throughout these alpine biomes.

Enhanced shrub growth in the Arctic increases habitat connectivity for browsing herbivores

How climate change may increase habitat connectivity and alter the distributions of shrub herbivores in the Arctic, including creation of novel communities and ecosystems is demonstrated.



Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome

Rapid climate warming has been linked to increasing shrub dominance in the Arctic tundra. Research now shows that climate–shrub growth relationships vary spatially and according to site

Landscape Heterogeneity of Shrub Expansion in Arctic Alaska

The expansion of shrubs into tundra areas is a key terrestrial change underway in the Arctic in response to elevated temperatures during the twentieth century. Repeat photography permits a glimpse

Patterned-ground facilitates shrub expansion in Low Arctic tundra

Recent expansion of tall shrubs in Low Arctic tundra is widely seen as a response to climate warming, but shrubification is not occurring as a simple function of regional climate trends. We show that

What are the main climate drivers for shrub growth in Northeastern Siberian tundra

Abstract. Deciduous shrubs are expected to rapidly expand in the Arctic during the coming decades due to climate warming. A transition towards more shrub-dominated tundra may have large implications

Thermal segregation drives patterns of alder and willow expansion in a montane ecosystem subject to climate warming

Tall‐shrub expansion into low‐statured communities, a hallmark of recent vegetative change across tundra ecosystems, involves three major genera: Alnus, Betula and Salix. Which genus expands most

Shrubline but not treeline advance matches climate velocity in montane ecosystems of south‐central Alaska

It is hypothesized that the high biotic inertia of forest ecosystems in south-central Alaska may be due to competition with tall shrubs and/or more complex climate controls on the elevational limits of trees than tall shrub, suggesting competitive compensation can be important.

Herbivores inhibit climate‐driven shrub expansion on the tundra

Recent Pan‐Arctic shrub expansion has been interpreted as a response to a warmer climate. However, herbivores can also influence the abundance of shrubs in arctic ecosystems. We addressed these

Shrub cover in northern Nunavik: can herbivores limit shrub expansion?

Recent climate changes have increased the primary productivity of many Arctic and subarctic regions. Erected shrub has been shown to increase in abundance over the last decades in northern regions in

Tall shrub and tree expansion in Siberian tundra ecotones since the 1960s

It is concluded that shrub and tree cover is increasing in tundra ecotones across most of northern Siberia, but rates of increase vary widely regionally and at the landscape scale.

Russian Arctic warming and ‘greening’ are closely tracked by tundra shrub willows

Growth in arctic vegetation is generally expected to increase under a warming climate, particularly among deciduous shrubs. We analyzed annual ring growth for an abundant and nearly circumpolar erect