Large scale differentiation and population dynamics in tundra plants and vegetation

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Abstract

The inclusion of the botanical projects in the Swedish-Russian Tundra Ecology -94 expedition provided new information on the ecology of tundra plants. The vegetation patterns on different scales were documented, and interpreted as the result of a complex interaction with environmental factors. The distribution of fruticose lichens was studied, and it was shown that these lichens rely on different modes of asexual reproduction for their dispersal. Extreme old genet ages were demonstrated for species of Carex and there were similar strong indications for lichens. Populations of Carex were genetically diverse in spite of old ages and often low levels of flowering. Large differences between sites in flowering and vegetative ramet production (vegetative reproduction) in Carex reflected a asynchronous between-year population fluctuation, which was related to cyclic lemming populations and climate. Important gaps in our knowledge of the ecology of tundra plants are pointed out, some of which will hopefully be resolved during the tundra expedition, Tundra Northwest 1999.

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  • Botany
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-238
JournalAmbio: a Journal of Human Environment
Volume28
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes