Relationship Between Plant Biomass And Climate Change In The Arctic

2119 words - 8 pages

Introduction

The world has been warming up including the arctic since the 1950s (Hudson and Henry 2009; Mcguire et al. 2009).This concept is widely known as climate change or global warming. The increase in temperature on the earth surface and atmosphere has been a by-product of man’s industrialization and an insatiable need for energy (Smith 2008). A once contentious issue has now been put to rest furthermore there is the newly found supposition among the public that in fact climate change is a real and threatening problem (Smith 2008). The arctic’s warming affects a cross spectrum of environmental and biological systems that might not be irreversible and have the potential to cause precipitous changes in the earth structure (Mcguire et al. 2009). It is widely known that the low temperature in the arctic is one of the key factors that limit the growth of plant directly or indirectly (Post and Pedersen 2008). Temperatures directly affect plant growth by restricting the degree of tissue respiration and nutrient uptake (Brooker and Van der wal 2003) and indirectly by decelerating down the rate of decomposition (Chapin and Shaver 2002). The additional presence of CO2 is expected to increase plant biomass (Brouder and Volenec 2008). The interactive factors of Temperature, soil nutrients, CO2 availability and precipitation are the key factors for the growth of plants (Post and Perdersen 2008). The arctic is an excellent environment to carry out experimental studies on plants because of notable changes that can be noticed in plant structure or mass because of a change in temperature (Mcguire et al. 2009). There is a wide consensus among a number of scientists working in the arctic that warming leads to increased plant biomass in the area over a period. Walker et al., (2005) showed with his experiments at 11 different locations across the tundra biome. They showed plant responses in growth over two growing seasons. In some cases, warming seemed to favour some species over others suggesting climate change will shift or alter the balance of plant biome interaction in the arctic region (Dormann et al. 2009). However, some results showed no change in plant growth over the same period of two years (Hollister and Webber 2000). The efficacy of these warming experiments were analysed but some of these measurement experiments showed improved reproductive effects in plant species over a longer period (10-12 years) than a shorter time length (1-3 years). The fact noted by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (2004) which suggested improved coordination and longer research time frame-work to enhance data validity and assessment. In this review, data realized from the arctic will be analyzed using statistical tests and a full discussion of the different...

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