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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Re-surveying historical vegetation records in Svalbard

Awarded: NOK 98,291

The Arctic belongs to the areas most affected by climate change. Following the overall warming of their environment, tundra plant species have been shown to track their suitable climatic niche by shifting their ranges towards cooler places, specifically upward or poleward. With accelerating rates of climate warming, it is of high interest whether plant species’ range shifts are accelerating as well or whether they continue with constant velocities. Earlier studies could only observe plant species distributions at two points in time, and could therefore not assess changes in velocities of range shifts and had to assume constant velocities. Here, we will add a third point in time and assess, for the first time, whether the velocity of climate-induced range shifts of tundra plant species is increasing as climate change is accelerating.

Funding scheme:

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum