Snow cover is a neglected driver of Arctic biodiversity loss

Pekka Niittynen, Risto K. Heikkinen, Miska Luoto

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu

Kuvaus

Snow has far-reaching effects on ecosystem processes and biodiversity in high-latitude ecosystems, but these have been poorly considered in climate change impact models1,2. Here, to forecast future trends in species occurrences and richness, we fitted species-environment models with temperature data from three climate scenarios and simulated up to a 40% decrease in snow cover duration (SCD)3. We used plot-scale data on 273 vascular plant, moss and lichen species in 1,200 study sites spanning a wide range of environmental conditions typical for mountainous Arctic landscapes (within 165 km2). According to the models, a rise in temperature increased overall species richness and caused only one species to lose all suitable habitat. In contrast, a shorter SCD tempered the effect of increasing temperature on species richness and led to accelerated rates of species’ local extinctions after a tipping point at 20-30% SCD decrease. All three species groups showed similar extinction rates but contrasting species richness responses. Our simulations indicate that future biodiversity patterns in Arctic regions are highly dependent on the evolution of snow conditions. Climate impact models that ignore the effects of snow cover change may provide biased biodiversity projections, with potentially erratic implications for Arctic nature conservation planning.
Alkuperäiskielienglanti
LehtiNature Climate Change
Vuosikerta8
Numero11
Sivut997-1001
Sivumäärä7
ISSN1758-678X
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 22 lokakuuta 2018
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu

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Niittynen, Pekka ; Heikkinen, Risto K. ; Luoto, Miska. / Snow cover is a neglected driver of Arctic biodiversity loss. Julkaisussa: Nature Climate Change. 2018 ; Vuosikerta 8, Nro 11. Sivut 997-1001.
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title = "Snow cover is a neglected driver of Arctic biodiversity loss",
abstract = "Snow has far-reaching effects on ecosystem processes and biodiversity in high-latitude ecosystems, but these have been poorly considered in climate change impact models1,2. Here, to forecast future trends in species occurrences and richness, we fitted species-environment models with temperature data from three climate scenarios and simulated up to a 40{\%} decrease in snow cover duration (SCD)3. We used plot-scale data on 273 vascular plant, moss and lichen species in 1,200 study sites spanning a wide range of environmental conditions typical for mountainous Arctic landscapes (within 165 km2). According to the models, a rise in temperature increased overall species richness and caused only one species to lose all suitable habitat. In contrast, a shorter SCD tempered the effect of increasing temperature on species richness and led to accelerated rates of species’ local extinctions after a tipping point at 20-30{\%} SCD decrease. All three species groups showed similar extinction rates but contrasting species richness responses. Our simulations indicate that future biodiversity patterns in Arctic regions are highly dependent on the evolution of snow conditions. Climate impact models that ignore the effects of snow cover change may provide biased biodiversity projections, with potentially erratic implications for Arctic nature conservation planning.",
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author = "Pekka Niittynen and Heikkinen, {Risto K.} and Miska Luoto",
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Snow cover is a neglected driver of Arctic biodiversity loss. / Niittynen, Pekka; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Luoto, Miska.

julkaisussa: Nature Climate Change, Vuosikerta 8, Nro 11, 22.10.2018, s. 997-1001.

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu

TY - JOUR

T1 - Snow cover is a neglected driver of Arctic biodiversity loss

AU - Niittynen, Pekka

AU - Heikkinen, Risto K.

AU - Luoto, Miska

PY - 2018/10/22

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N2 - Snow has far-reaching effects on ecosystem processes and biodiversity in high-latitude ecosystems, but these have been poorly considered in climate change impact models1,2. Here, to forecast future trends in species occurrences and richness, we fitted species-environment models with temperature data from three climate scenarios and simulated up to a 40% decrease in snow cover duration (SCD)3. We used plot-scale data on 273 vascular plant, moss and lichen species in 1,200 study sites spanning a wide range of environmental conditions typical for mountainous Arctic landscapes (within 165 km2). According to the models, a rise in temperature increased overall species richness and caused only one species to lose all suitable habitat. In contrast, a shorter SCD tempered the effect of increasing temperature on species richness and led to accelerated rates of species’ local extinctions after a tipping point at 20-30% SCD decrease. All three species groups showed similar extinction rates but contrasting species richness responses. Our simulations indicate that future biodiversity patterns in Arctic regions are highly dependent on the evolution of snow conditions. Climate impact models that ignore the effects of snow cover change may provide biased biodiversity projections, with potentially erratic implications for Arctic nature conservation planning.

AB - Snow has far-reaching effects on ecosystem processes and biodiversity in high-latitude ecosystems, but these have been poorly considered in climate change impact models1,2. Here, to forecast future trends in species occurrences and richness, we fitted species-environment models with temperature data from three climate scenarios and simulated up to a 40% decrease in snow cover duration (SCD)3. We used plot-scale data on 273 vascular plant, moss and lichen species in 1,200 study sites spanning a wide range of environmental conditions typical for mountainous Arctic landscapes (within 165 km2). According to the models, a rise in temperature increased overall species richness and caused only one species to lose all suitable habitat. In contrast, a shorter SCD tempered the effect of increasing temperature on species richness and led to accelerated rates of species’ local extinctions after a tipping point at 20-30% SCD decrease. All three species groups showed similar extinction rates but contrasting species richness responses. Our simulations indicate that future biodiversity patterns in Arctic regions are highly dependent on the evolution of snow conditions. Climate impact models that ignore the effects of snow cover change may provide biased biodiversity projections, with potentially erratic implications for Arctic nature conservation planning.

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