The Arctic in the Twenty-First Century: Changing Biogeochemical Linkages across a Paraglacial Landscape of Greenland

N. John Anderson, Jasmine E. Saros, Joanna E. Bullard, Sean M. P. Cahoon, Suzanne McGowan, Elizabeth A. Bagshaw, Christopher D. Barry, Richard Bindler, Benjamin T. Burpee, Jonathan L. Carrivick, Rachel A. Fowler, Anthony D. Fox, Sherilyn C. Fritz, Madeleine E. Giles, Ladislav Hamerlik, Thomas Ingeman-Nielsen, Antonia C. Law, Sebastian H. Mernild, Robert M. Northington, Christopher L. OsburnSergi Pla-Rabès, Eric Post, Jon Telling, David A. Stroud, Erika J. Whiteford, Marian L. Yallop, Jacob C. Yde

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Abstract

The Kangerlussuaq area of southwest Greenland encompasses diverse ecological, geomorphic, and climate gradients that function over a range of spatial and temporal scales. Ecosystems range from the microbial communities on the ice sheet and moisture-stressed terrestrial vegetation (and their associated herbivores) to freshwater and oligosaline lakes. These ecosystems are linked by a dynamic glacio-fluvial-aeolian geomorphic system that transports water, geological material, organic carbon and nutrients from the glacier surface to adjacent terrestrial and aquatic systems. This paraglacial system is now subject to substantial change because of rapid regional warming since 2000. Here, we describe changes in the eco- and geomorphic systems at a range of timescales and explore rapid future change in the links that integrate these systems. We highlight the importance of cross-system subsidies at the landscape scale and, importantly, how these might change in the near future as the Arctic is expected to continue to warm.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBioScience
Volume67
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)118-133
Number of pages16
ISSN0006-3568
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License

Keywords

  • Tundra
  • Lake
  • Carbon
  • Permafrost
  • Aeolian

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