Polar Biology

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 635–639

High Arctic vegetation after 70 years: a repeated analysis from Svalbard

  • Karel Prach
  • Jiří Košnar
  • Jitka Klimešová
  • Martin Hais
Original Paper

Abstract

We asked whether vegetation mapping repeated after 70 years revealed vegetation changes in the high Arctic. The study site is located at 78°38′N, 16°45′E, near Brucebyen at the Adolfbukta Bay (head of Billjefjorden) in central Spitsbergen (Svalbard), and encompasses an area of 2,042 × 521 m. The mapping carried out in 2008 did not reveal any changes in vegetation, since a previous study in 1936–1937, that could be attributed to climate change. We argue that our finding can be interpreted as evidence of a slow ecological response of constituent plants in such a harsh environment. Moreover, geographic isolation may limit establishment and expansion of new species. Some successional changes were only due to erosion–accumulation processes connected especially to stream activity.

Keywords

Vegetation mapping Vascular plants Bryophytes Climate change Svalbard Succession 

Supplementary material

300_2009_739_MOESM1_ESM.docx (20 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 20 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karel Prach
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jiří Košnar
    • 1
  • Jitka Klimešová
    • 2
  • Martin Hais
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Botany, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaCeske BudejoviceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Section of Plant EcologyInstitute of Botany ASCRTrebonCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Ecosystem Biology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaCeske BudejoviceCzech Republic

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