High Arctic Biocomplexity Research - Thule, Greenland

Ecological Studies

Data graph From landscape to global scales climatic controls over primary production and ecosystem respiration are evident through the pattern of carbon accumulation in vegetation and soils. Few ecosystems, however, may be as constrained by climate as those within polar desert landscapes where ecosystem carbon accumulation is low, the average annual temperature is well below zero, and interannual variation in summer rainfall is high.

We are using several approaches to understand how climate and plant species affect carbon dynamics in this extreme environment. These approaches include: 1) an experimental increase in summer temperature and rainfall that includes two levels of warming and 2) connecting multispectral vegetation indexes to biophysical variables and ecosystem carbon exchange.

Soil-warming experiment
Soil-warming experiment.