Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 437499
Title Removal of Betula nana causes permafrost degradation and triggers changes in geomorphology and hydrology - an experimental study in the tundra ecosystem in North-eastern Siberia
Author(s) Nauta, A.L.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Blok, D.; Berendse, F.
Event The 11th Nederlands Aardwetenschappelijk Congres, 29-30 Maart 2012, Veldhoven, the Netherlands, 2012-03-29/2012-03-30
Department(s) Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology
Publication type Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings
Publication year 2012
Abstract In 2007 a removal experiment was started to study the biosphere-geosphere interaction in the tundra ecosystem. In this experiment Betula nana was removed in circular plots of 10 meter diameter. Due to the large plot size, the removal of Betula nana caused an increase in thawing depth and degradation of the permafrost. In 2011 we measured that the surface in the removal plots has subsided and resulted in wetter plots. The surface subsidence is explained by the presence of pure ice layers that disappeared after increasing the thawing depth. In the wetter removal plots we measured an expansion of graminoids and limited regrowth of Betula nana, as the wet circumstances in the removal plots are more beneficial to graminoid vegetation. It is amazing that a disturbance in the vegetation causes such a rapid chain of reactions in the geosphere resulting in a totally different environment. This also emphasizes the vulnerability of the tundra ecosystem to disturbances.
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