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Persistence of arctic-alpine flora during 24,000 years of environmental change in the Polar Urals

Persistence of arctic-alpine flora during 24,000 years of environmental change in the Polar Urals
Persistence of arctic-alpine flora during 24,000 years of environmental change in the Polar Urals
Plants adapted to extreme conditions can be at high risk from climate change; arctic-alpine plants, in particular, could “run out of space” as they are out-competed by expansion of woody vegetation. Mountain regions could potentially provide safe sites for arctic-alpine plants in a warmer climate, but empirical evidence is fragmentary. Here we present a 24,000-year record of species persistence based on sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) from Lake Bolshoye Shchuchye (Polar Urals). We provide robust evidence of long-term persistence of arctic-alpine plants through large-magnitude climate changes but document a decline in their diversity during a past expansion of woody vegetation. Nevertheless, most of the plants that were present during the last glacial interval, including all of the arctic-alpines, are still found in the region today. This underlines the conservation significance of mountain landscapes via their provision of a range of habitats that confer resilience to climate change, particularly for arctic-alpine taxa.
2045-2322
Clarke, Charlotte
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Edwards, Mary
4b6a3389-f3a4-4933-b8fd-acdfef72200e
Gielly, Ludovic
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Ehrich, Dorothee
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Hughes, Paul
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Morozova, Liudmila
8b7723ea-d9e6-4be8-a957-8ea2758805cc
Haflidason, Haflidi
781397a8-d086-4096-b8b1-968fdf530314
Mangerud, Jan
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Svendsen, John Inge
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Alsos, Inger
d790287d-4acd-4ff3-8a63-87948f25581a
Clarke, Charlotte
68afb5e9-7966-4b54-9549-47c49e350f6c
Edwards, Mary
4b6a3389-f3a4-4933-b8fd-acdfef72200e
Gielly, Ludovic
d7afde89-0930-4471-9370-09c8c98a05a6
Ehrich, Dorothee
54f9b971-cfe4-4640-bdc0-c43337a0db72
Hughes, Paul
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Morozova, Liudmila
8b7723ea-d9e6-4be8-a957-8ea2758805cc
Haflidason, Haflidi
781397a8-d086-4096-b8b1-968fdf530314
Mangerud, Jan
82ad9a0e-9e1d-41b1-99e7-f36cea06a152
Svendsen, John Inge
9ce3f9aa-6eba-4134-be7d-08e1e350789f
Alsos, Inger
d790287d-4acd-4ff3-8a63-87948f25581a

Clarke, Charlotte, Edwards, Mary, Gielly, Ludovic, Ehrich, Dorothee, Hughes, Paul, Morozova, Liudmila, Haflidason, Haflidi, Mangerud, Jan, Svendsen, John Inge and Alsos, Inger (2019) Persistence of arctic-alpine flora during 24,000 years of environmental change in the Polar Urals. Scientific Reports, 9, [19613]. (doi:10.1038/s41598-019-55989-9).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Plants adapted to extreme conditions can be at high risk from climate change; arctic-alpine plants, in particular, could “run out of space” as they are out-competed by expansion of woody vegetation. Mountain regions could potentially provide safe sites for arctic-alpine plants in a warmer climate, but empirical evidence is fragmentary. Here we present a 24,000-year record of species persistence based on sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) from Lake Bolshoye Shchuchye (Polar Urals). We provide robust evidence of long-term persistence of arctic-alpine plants through large-magnitude climate changes but document a decline in their diversity during a past expansion of woody vegetation. Nevertheless, most of the plants that were present during the last glacial interval, including all of the arctic-alpines, are still found in the region today. This underlines the conservation significance of mountain landscapes via their provision of a range of habitats that confer resilience to climate change, particularly for arctic-alpine taxa.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 3 December 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 December 2019
Published date: 23 December 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 436901
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/436901
ISSN: 2045-2322
PURE UUID: 23485928-ab59-4553-948e-20eeaae3bea6
ORCID for Mary Edwards: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3490-6682
ORCID for Paul Hughes: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8447-382X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Jan 2020 17:33
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 05:54

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Contributors

Author: Charlotte Clarke
Author: Mary Edwards ORCID iD
Author: Ludovic Gielly
Author: Dorothee Ehrich
Author: Paul Hughes ORCID iD
Author: Liudmila Morozova
Author: Haflidi Haflidason
Author: Jan Mangerud
Author: John Inge Svendsen
Author: Inger Alsos

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