Invited Review: Climate change impacts in polar-regions: lessons from Antarctic moss bank archives

first_imgGlobal climate is changing, with heterogeneous effects on the biological world including direct impacts on plant phenology. The resilience and future dynamics of ecosystems will depend on their responsiveness to gradual environmental change, as well as susceptibility to more frequent climatic extremes (e.g. Orsenigo et al., 2014, Xu et al., 2013). High latitude regions are experiencing particularly rapid climatic changes, and bryophytes, specifically mosses, are the dominant plants in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. Wetlands cover 70% of the Arctic, largely made up of Sphagnum dominated peatlands that are shaped by freeze-thaw processes and may be minerotrophic fens or ombrotrophic bogs (Minayeva & Sirin, 2010). In the Antarctic, over one hundred species of moss have been identified (Ochyra et al., 2008), with two native vascular plant species. Most Antarctic mosses form occasional low growing carpets, mats, turfs and hummocks, whilst some ombrotrophic peat banks up to three metres deep have accumulated in more maritime areas.last_img read more