10 September 2018

Summer warming causes enhanced root growth in Arctic wetland

Ludovica d’Imperio performing root scans
Photo: Bo Elberling

In a recent article in Frontiers in Plant Science, CENPERM researcher Ludovica d’Imperio and colleagues present observed changes in root growth in an Arctic ecosystem caused by changes in the environmental conditions. The research, that is based on an experimental setup in the field in which the snow depth during winter and/or the temperature during summer are increased, investigates how plant roots respond to these drivers – drivers that mimic changes in future climate.

The authors conclude that warming enhances root growth and thereby allows plants to take up more nutrients that are released when permafrost melts. This will increase the belowground biomass in these Arctic ecosystems. In contrast, enhanced snowfall during winter would have a negative impact on root growth.

Original article

D’Imperio, L., Arndal, M.F., Nielsen, C.S., Elberling, B., Schmidt, I.K. (2018). Fast Responses of Root Dynamics to Increased Snow Deposition and Summer Air Temperature in an Arctic Wetland. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9, doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01258. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.01258

The article has also been discussed in Jyllands-Posten (in Danish, behind paywall):

Grøn vækst vil mindske det arktiske bidrag til global opvarmning