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Biotic indicators of Arctic environmental changes

Organized by: Polish Polar Consortium, Institute of Geography and Regional Development at University of Wroclaw, Institute of Geography and Spatial Management at Jagiellonian University 24. August 2018

The Polish Polar Consortium and various Polish universities are organizing a session on how Arctic terrestrial ecosystems respond to changes in temperature, water and nutrient availability. They will present the latest research on landscape-level vegetation dynamics, Arctic dendrochronology, shrubification and rapid plant colonization in the forefields of retreating glaciers.

Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management

Speakers:

  • Stéphane Boudreau, PhD, Universite Laval, Centre for Northern Studies (CEN), Quebec, Canada: Impacts of climate change on the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems in Nunavik (subarctic Québec)
  • Magdalena Opała-Owczarek, PhD, University of Silesia in Katowice, Department of Climatology, Sosnowiec, Poland, and Piotr Owczarek, Associate Professor, University of Wroclaw, Institute of Geography and Regional Development, Wroclaw, Poland: Influence of extreme climatic conditions on growth rings of Low Arctic shrubs.
  • Ingibjörg Svala Jónsdóttir, Professor, University of Iceland, Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, Reykjavik, Iceland: Vegetation and ecosystem responses to climate warming in the high Arctic
  • Wiesław Ziaja, Professor, Jagiellonian University, Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, Krakow, Poland: Increase in biodiversity after glacial recession in the SE Spitsbergen coast
  • Bogdan Zagajewski, Associate Professor, University of Warsaw, Department of Geoinformatics, Cartography and Remote Sensing, Warsaw, Poland: Spectral properties of selected High-Arctic plants

Polar environments are changing rapidly due to increases in temperature and other climate variables which affect glacier retreats, snow characteristics, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Therefore, the Arctic ecosystems play an important role in the global climate system and quickly reflect the modern environmental changes. Biotic elements of the Arctic environment are very sensitive and are excellent indicators of climate change. All levels of biological organization habitats and taxa reflect these changes. The assessment of terrestrial ecosystem response on climate change can be carried out using a different research techniques that include not only direct surveys and measurements in the field but also remote sensing techniques and dendrochronological research. The session will present the latest research on landscape-level vegetation dynamics, Arctic dendrochronology, shrubification and rapid plant colonization in the forefields of retreating glaciers. This session  focuses on how ecosystem processes respond to changes in temperature, water and nutrient availability and landscape changes.

Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management