Cumulative Effects of Rapid Land-Cover and Land-Use Changes on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia

  • Donald A. Walker
  • Bruce C. Forbes
  • Marina O. Leibman
  • Howard E. Epstein
  • Uma S. Bhatt
  • Josefino C. Comiso
  • Dmitri S. Drozdov
  • Anatoly A. Gubarkov
  • Gensuo J. Jia
  • Elina Kaarlejärvi
  • Jed O. Kaplan
  • Artem V. Khomutov
  • Gary P. Kofinas
  • Timo Kumpula
  • Patrick Kuss
  • Natalia G. Moskalenko
  • Nina A. Meschtyb
  • Anu Pajunen
  • Martha K. Raynolds
  • Vladimir E. Romanovsky
  • Florian Stammler
  • Qin Yu


The Yamal Peninsula in northwest Siberia is undergoing some of the most rapid land-cover and land-use changes in the Arctic due to a combination of gas development, reindeer herding, and climate change. Unusual geological conditions (nutrient-poor sands, massive ground ice and extensive landslides) exacerbate the impacts. These changes will likely increase markedly as transportation corridors are built to transport the gas to market. Understanding the nature, extent, causes and consequences (i.e., the cumulative effects) of the past and ongoing rapid changes on the Yamal is important for effective, long-term decision-making and planning. The cumulative effects to vegetation are the focus of this chapter because the plants are a critical component of the Yamal landscape that support the indigenous Nenets people and their reindeer and also protect the underlying ice-rich permafrost from melting. We are using a combination of ground-based studies (a transect of five locations across the Yamal), remote-sensing studies, and analyses of Nenets land-use activities to develop vegetation-change models that can be used to help anticipate future states of the tundra and how those changes might affect traditional reindeer herding practices and the thermal state of the permafrost. This chapter provides an overview of the approach, some early results, and recommendations for expanding the concept of cumulative-effects analysis to include examining the simultaneous and interactive effects of multiple drivers of change.


Normalize Difference Vegetation Index Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer Yamal Peninsula High Normalize Difference Vegetation Index 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald A. Walker
    • 1
  • Bruce C. Forbes
    • 2
  • Marina O. Leibman
    • 3
  • Howard E. Epstein
    • 4
  • Uma S. Bhatt
    • 5
  • Josefino C. Comiso
    • 6
  • Dmitri S. Drozdov
    • 2
  • Anatoly A. Gubarkov
    • 7
  • Gensuo J. Jia
    • 8
  • Elina Kaarlejärvi
    • 9
  • Jed O. Kaplan
    • 10
  • Artem V. Khomutov
    • 11
  • Gary P. Kofinas
    • 12
  • Timo Kumpula
    • 13
  • Patrick Kuss
    • 14
  • Natalia G. Moskalenko
    • 15
  • Nina A. Meschtyb
    • 16
  • Anu Pajunen
    • 2
  • Martha K. Raynolds
    • 17
  • Vladimir E. Romanovsky
    • 12
  • Florian Stammler
    • 2
  • Qin Yu
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Biology and WildlifeInstitute of Arctic Biology, Alaska Geobotany Center, University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  2. 2.Arctic Centre, University of LaplandRovaniemiFinland
  3. 3.Earth Cryosphere InstituteMoscowRussia
  4. 4.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  5. 5.Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Geophysical Institute, IARC Room 307University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  6. 6.Cryospheric Sciences BranchNASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  7. 7.Tyumen State Oil and Gas UniversityTyumenRussia
  8. 8.START Regional Center for Temperate East AsiaChinese Academy of Science, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsBeijingChina
  9. 9.Ecology and Environmental Sciences, University of UmeåUmeåSweden
  10. 10.EPFL Swiss Federal Institute of TechnologyLausanne, ENAC-ARVE, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Station 2LausanneSwitzerland
  11. 11.Tyumen State Oil and Gas UniversityVolodarsky str. 38TyumenRussia
  12. 12.University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  13. 13.Department of Geographical and Historical StudiesUniversity of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland
  14. 14.Institute of Plant SciencesUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  15. 15.Earth Cryosphere Institute, SB RASMoscowRussia
  16. 16.Department of the Northern StudiesInstitute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of ScienceMoscowRussia
  17. 17.Institute of Arctic BiologyUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA

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