Steven D. Mamet


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Non-uniform growth dynamics of a dominant boreal tree species (<i>Picea mariana</i>) in the face of rapid climate change
Anastasia E. Sniderhan, Steven D. Mamet, Jennifer L. Baltzer
Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Volume 51, Issue 4

Northwestern Canada’s boreal forest has experienced rapid warming, drying, and changes to permafrost, yet the growth responses and mechanisms driving productivity have been under-studied at broad scales. Forest responses are largely driven by black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) — the region’s most widespread and dominant tree. We collected tree ring samples from four black spruce-dominated sites across 15° of latitude, spanning gradients in climate and permafrost. We investigated (i) differences in growth patterns, (ii) variations in climatic drivers of growth, and (iii) trends in water use efficiency (WUE) through 13 C isotope analysis from 1945 to 2006. We found positive growth trends at all sites except those at mid-latitude, where rapid permafrost thaw drove declines. Annual growth was lowest at the tree limit site and highest at the tree line. Climatic drivers of these growth patterns varied; positive growth responses at the northerly sites were associated with warmer winters, whereas Δ 13 C trends and climate-growth responses at mid-latitude sites indicated that growth was limited by moisture availability. Δ 13 C signatures indicated increased WUE at the southernmost site, with no significant trends at northern sites. These results suggest that warming will increase the growth of trees at the northern extent of black spruce, but southerly areas may face drought stress if precipitation does not balance evapotranspiration.


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Shallow soils are warmer under trees and tall shrubs across Arctic and Boreal ecosystems
Heather Kropp, M. M. Loranty, Susan M. Natali, Alexander Kholodov, A. V. Rocha, Isla H. Myers‐Smith, Benjamin W Abbot, Jakob Abermann, Elena Blanc‐Betes, Daan Blok, Gesche Blume‐Werry, Julia Boike, A. L. Breen, Sean M. P. Cahoon, Casper T. Christiansen, Thomas A. Douglas, Howard E. Epstein, G. V. Frost, Mathias Goeckede, Toke T. Høye, Steven D. Mamet, J. A. O’Donnell, David Olefeldt, Gareth K. Phoenix, V. G. Salmon, A. Britta K. Sannel, Sharon L. Smith, Oliver Sonnentag, Lydia Smith Vaughn, Mathew Williams, Bo Elberling, Laura Gough, Jan Hjort, Peter M. Lafleur, Eugénie Euskirchen, Monique M. P. D. Heijmans, Elyn Humphreys, Hiroyasu Iwata, Benjamin Jones, M. Torre Jorgenson, Inge Grünberg, Yongwon Kim, James A. Laundre, Marguerite Mauritz, Anders Michelsen, Gabriela Schaepman‐Strub, Ken D. Tape, Masahito Ueyama, Bang‐Yong Lee, Kirsty Langley, Magnus Lund
Environmental Research Letters, Volume 16, Issue 1

Abstract Soils are warming as air temperatures rise across the Arctic and Boreal region concurrent with the expansion of tall-statured shrubs and trees in the tundra. Changes in vegetation structure and function are expected to alter soil thermal regimes, thereby modifying climate feedbacks related to permafrost thaw and carbon cycling. However, current understanding of vegetation impacts on soil temperature is limited to local or regional scales and lacks the generality necessary to predict soil warming and permafrost stability on a pan-Arctic scale. Here we synthesize shallow soil and air temperature observations with broad spatial and temporal coverage collected across 106 sites representing nine different vegetation types in the permafrost region. We showed ecosystems with tall-statured shrubs and trees (>40 cm) have warmer shallow soils than those with short-statured tundra vegetation when normalized to a constant air temperature. In tree and tall shrub vegetation types, cooler temperatures in the warm season do not lead to cooler mean annual soil temperature indicating that ground thermal regimes in the cold-season rather than the warm-season are most critical for predicting soil warming in ecosystems underlain by permafrost. Our results suggest that the expansion of tall shrubs and trees into tundra regions can amplify shallow soil warming, and could increase the potential for increased seasonal thaw depth and increase soil carbon cycling rates and lead to increased carbon dioxide loss and further permafrost thaw.


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Reviews and syntheses: Changing ecosystem influences on soil thermal regimes in northern high-latitude permafrost regions
M. M. Loranty, Benjamin W. Abbott, Daan Blok, Thomas A. Douglas, Howard E. Epstein, Bruce C. Forbes, Benjamin Jones, Alexander Kholodov, Heather Kropp, Avni Malhotra, Steven D. Mamet, Isla H. Myers‐Smith, Susan M. Natali, J. A. O’Donnell, Gareth K. Phoenix, A. V. Rocha, Oliver Sonnentag, Ken D. Tape, Donald A. Walker
Biogeosciences, Volume 15, Issue 17

Abstract. Soils in Arctic and boreal ecosystems store twice as much carbon as the atmosphere, a portion of which may be released as high-latitude soils warm. Some of the uncertainty in the timing and magnitude of the permafrost–climate feedback stems from complex interactions between ecosystem properties and soil thermal dynamics. Terrestrial ecosystems fundamentally regulate the response of permafrost to climate change by influencing surface energy partitioning and the thermal properties of soil itself. Here we review how Arctic and boreal ecosystem processes influence thermal dynamics in permafrost soil and how these linkages may evolve in response to climate change. While many of the ecosystem characteristics and processes affecting soil thermal dynamics have been examined individually (e.g., vegetation, soil moisture, and soil structure), interactions among these processes are less understood. Changes in ecosystem type and vegetation characteristics will alter spatial patterns of interactions between climate and permafrost. In addition to shrub expansion, other vegetation responses to changes in climate and rapidly changing disturbance regimes will affect ecosystem surface energy partitioning in ways that are important for permafrost. Lastly, changes in vegetation and ecosystem distribution will lead to regional and global biophysical and biogeochemical climate feedbacks that may compound or offset local impacts on permafrost soils. Consequently, accurate prediction of the permafrost carbon climate feedback will require detailed understanding of changes in terrestrial ecosystem distribution and function, which depend on the net effects of multiple feedback processes operating across scales in space and time.


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A novel stochastic method for reconstructing daily precipitation times-series using tree-ring data from the western Canadian Boreal Forest
Kwok Pan Chun, Steven D. Mamet, Juha M. Metsaranta, Alan G. Barr, Jill F. Johnstone, H. S. Wheater
Dendrochronologia, Volume 44

Abstract Tree ring data provide proxy records of historical hydroclimatic conditions that are widely used for reconstructing precipitation time series. Most previous applications are limited to annual time scales, though information about daily precipitation would enable a range of additional analyses of environmental processes to be investigated and modelled. We used statistical downscaling to simulate stochastic daily precipitation ensembles using dendrochronological data from the western Canadian boreal forest. The simulated precipitation series were generally consistent with observed precipitation data, though reconstructions were poorly constrained during short periods of forest pest outbreaks. The proposed multiple temporal scale precipitation reconstruction can generate annual daily maxima and persistent monthly wet and dry episodes, so that the observed and simulated ensembles have similar precipitation characteristics (i.e. magnitude, peak, and duration)—an improvement on previous modelling studies. We discuss how ecological disturbances may limit reconstructions by inducing non-linear responses in tree growth, and conclude with suggestions of possible applications and further development of downscaling methods for dendrochronological data.