Plants and soil microbes respond to recent warming on the Antarctic Peninsula
Annual temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula, one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, have risen by up to 0.56°C per decade since the 1950s . Terrestrial and marine organisms have shown changes in populations and distributions over this time [2 and 3], suggesting that the ecology of the Antarctic Peninsula is changing rapidly. However, these biological records are shorter in length than the meteorological data, and observed population changes cannot be securely linked to longer-term trends apparent in paleoclimate data . We developed a unique time series of past moss growth and soil microbial activity from a 150-year-old moss bank at the southern limit of significant plant growth based on accumulation rates, cellulose δ13C, and fossil testate amoebae. We show that growth rates and microbial productivity have risen rapidly since the 1960s, consistent with temperature changes , although recently they may have stalled . The recent increase in terrestrial plant growth rates and soil microbial activity are unprecedented in the last 150 years and are consistent with climate change. Future changes in terrestrial biota are likely to track projected temperature increases closely and will fundamentally change the ecology and appearance of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Authors: Royles, Jessica ORCID record for Jessica Royles, Amesbury, Matthew J., Convey, Peter ORCID record for Peter Convey, Griffiths, Howard, Hodgson, Dominic A. ORCID record for Dominic A. Hodgson, Leng, Melanie J. ORCID record for Melanie J. Leng, Charman, Dan J.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.