Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor's Name

Steven F. Oberbauer

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Krish Jayachadkan

Third Advisor's Name

David W. Lee

Date of Defense

10-27-2003

Abstract

Climate change in the Arctic is predicted to increase plant productivity through decomposition-related enhanced nutrient availability. However, the extent of the increase will depend on whether the increased nutrient availability can be sustained. To address this uncertainty, I assessed the response of plant tissue nutrients, litter decomposition rates, and soil nutrient availability to experimental climate warming manipulations, extended growing season and soil warming, over a 7 year period. Overall, the most consistent effect was the year-to-year variability in measured parameters, probably a result of large differences in weather and time of snowmelt. The results of this study emphasize that although plants of arctic environments are specifically adapted to low nutrient availability, they also posses a suite of traits that help to reduce nutrient losses such as slow growth, low tissue concentrations, and low tissue turnover that result in subtle responses to environmental changes.

Identifier

FI13101545

Included in

Biology Commons

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