Global southern limit of flowering plants and moss peat accumulation

Peter Convey, David W. Hopkins, Stephen J. Roberts, Andrew N. Tyler

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The ecosystems of the western Antarctic Peninsula, experiencing amongst the most rapid trends of regional climate warming worldwide, are important "early warning" indicators for responses expected in more complex systems elsewhere. Central among responses attributed to this regional warming are widely reported population and range expansions of the two native Antarctic flowering plants, Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis. However, confirmation of the predictions of range expansion requires baseline knowledge of species distributions. We report a significant southwards and westwards extension of the known natural distributions of both plant species in this region, along with several range extensions in an unusual moss community, based on a new survey work in a previously unexamined and un-named low altitude peninsula at 69 degrees 22.0'S 71 degrees 50.7'W in Lazarev Bay, north-west Alexander Island, southern Antarctic Peninsula. These plant species therefore have a significantly larger natural range in the Antarctic than previously thought. This site provides a potentially important monitoring location near the southern boundary of the region currently demonstrated to be under the influence of rapidly changing climate trends. Combined radiocarbon and lead isotope radiometric dating suggests that this location was most likely deglaciated sufficiently to allow peat to start accumulating towards the end of the 19th century, which we tentatively link to a phase of post-1870 climate amelioration. We conclude that the establishment of vegetation in this location is unlikely to be linked to the rapid regional warming trends recorded along the Antarctic Peninsula since the mid-20th century.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8929
    Number of pages10
    JournalPolar Research
    Volume30
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Cite this

    Convey, P., Hopkins, D. W., Roberts, S. J., & Tyler, A. N. (2011). Global southern limit of flowering plants and moss peat accumulation. Polar Research, 30, [8929]. https://doi.org/10.3402/polar.v30i0.8929
    Convey, Peter ; Hopkins, David W. ; Roberts, Stephen J. ; Tyler, Andrew N. / Global southern limit of flowering plants and moss peat accumulation. In: Polar Research. 2011 ; Vol. 30.
    @article{794a4b9174af4f11ad6ceb1831918bae,
    title = "Global southern limit of flowering plants and moss peat accumulation",
    abstract = "The ecosystems of the western Antarctic Peninsula, experiencing amongst the most rapid trends of regional climate warming worldwide, are important {"}early warning{"} indicators for responses expected in more complex systems elsewhere. Central among responses attributed to this regional warming are widely reported population and range expansions of the two native Antarctic flowering plants, Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis. However, confirmation of the predictions of range expansion requires baseline knowledge of species distributions. We report a significant southwards and westwards extension of the known natural distributions of both plant species in this region, along with several range extensions in an unusual moss community, based on a new survey work in a previously unexamined and un-named low altitude peninsula at 69 degrees 22.0'S 71 degrees 50.7'W in Lazarev Bay, north-west Alexander Island, southern Antarctic Peninsula. These plant species therefore have a significantly larger natural range in the Antarctic than previously thought. This site provides a potentially important monitoring location near the southern boundary of the region currently demonstrated to be under the influence of rapidly changing climate trends. Combined radiocarbon and lead isotope radiometric dating suggests that this location was most likely deglaciated sufficiently to allow peat to start accumulating towards the end of the 19th century, which we tentatively link to a phase of post-1870 climate amelioration. We conclude that the establishment of vegetation in this location is unlikely to be linked to the rapid regional warming trends recorded along the Antarctic Peninsula since the mid-20th century.",
    author = "Peter Convey and Hopkins, {David W.} and Roberts, {Stephen J.} and Tyler, {Andrew N.}",
    year = "2011",
    doi = "10.3402/polar.v30i0.8929",
    language = "English",
    volume = "30",
    journal = "Polar Research",
    issn = "0800-0395",
    publisher = "Co-Action Publishing",

    }

    Global southern limit of flowering plants and moss peat accumulation. / Convey, Peter; Hopkins, David W.; Roberts, Stephen J.; Tyler, Andrew N.

    In: Polar Research, Vol. 30, 8929, 2011.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Global southern limit of flowering plants and moss peat accumulation

    AU - Convey, Peter

    AU - Hopkins, David W.

    AU - Roberts, Stephen J.

    AU - Tyler, Andrew N.

    PY - 2011

    Y1 - 2011

    N2 - The ecosystems of the western Antarctic Peninsula, experiencing amongst the most rapid trends of regional climate warming worldwide, are important "early warning" indicators for responses expected in more complex systems elsewhere. Central among responses attributed to this regional warming are widely reported population and range expansions of the two native Antarctic flowering plants, Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis. However, confirmation of the predictions of range expansion requires baseline knowledge of species distributions. We report a significant southwards and westwards extension of the known natural distributions of both plant species in this region, along with several range extensions in an unusual moss community, based on a new survey work in a previously unexamined and un-named low altitude peninsula at 69 degrees 22.0'S 71 degrees 50.7'W in Lazarev Bay, north-west Alexander Island, southern Antarctic Peninsula. These plant species therefore have a significantly larger natural range in the Antarctic than previously thought. This site provides a potentially important monitoring location near the southern boundary of the region currently demonstrated to be under the influence of rapidly changing climate trends. Combined radiocarbon and lead isotope radiometric dating suggests that this location was most likely deglaciated sufficiently to allow peat to start accumulating towards the end of the 19th century, which we tentatively link to a phase of post-1870 climate amelioration. We conclude that the establishment of vegetation in this location is unlikely to be linked to the rapid regional warming trends recorded along the Antarctic Peninsula since the mid-20th century.

    AB - The ecosystems of the western Antarctic Peninsula, experiencing amongst the most rapid trends of regional climate warming worldwide, are important "early warning" indicators for responses expected in more complex systems elsewhere. Central among responses attributed to this regional warming are widely reported population and range expansions of the two native Antarctic flowering plants, Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis. However, confirmation of the predictions of range expansion requires baseline knowledge of species distributions. We report a significant southwards and westwards extension of the known natural distributions of both plant species in this region, along with several range extensions in an unusual moss community, based on a new survey work in a previously unexamined and un-named low altitude peninsula at 69 degrees 22.0'S 71 degrees 50.7'W in Lazarev Bay, north-west Alexander Island, southern Antarctic Peninsula. These plant species therefore have a significantly larger natural range in the Antarctic than previously thought. This site provides a potentially important monitoring location near the southern boundary of the region currently demonstrated to be under the influence of rapidly changing climate trends. Combined radiocarbon and lead isotope radiometric dating suggests that this location was most likely deglaciated sufficiently to allow peat to start accumulating towards the end of the 19th century, which we tentatively link to a phase of post-1870 climate amelioration. We conclude that the establishment of vegetation in this location is unlikely to be linked to the rapid regional warming trends recorded along the Antarctic Peninsula since the mid-20th century.

    U2 - 10.3402/polar.v30i0.8929

    DO - 10.3402/polar.v30i0.8929

    M3 - Article

    VL - 30

    JO - Polar Research

    JF - Polar Research

    SN - 0800-0395

    M1 - 8929

    ER -