Dispersal and Fire Limit Arctic Shrub Expansion

July 21, 2022

Dispersal and Fire Limit Arctic Shrub Expansion

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Field with low, light green vegetation with mountains in distance and white and dark gray rain cloud cover
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Yanlan Liu, assistant professor at The Ohio State University's School of Earth Sciences (SES) and School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) and Principal Investigator at the Byrd Center is lead author of a study recently published in the journal Nature Communications titled Dispersal and fire limit Arctic shrub expansion. The study looked at historic data and used high-resolution satellite imagery across Alaska and western Canada to show that observed shrub expansion has not been controlled by environmental suitability during 1984–2014 but can mostly be explained by considering seed dispersal and fire. Incorporating processes of seed dispersal and fire in land models helps project shrub expansion and climate feedbacks and estimates shrubs will expand into 25% of the non-shrub tundra by 2100, in contrast to 39% predicted based on increasing environmental suitability alone.

Ohio State News published an article titled Arctic Shrub Expansion Limited by Seed Dispersal and Wildfire on their site (https://news.osu.edu/arctic-shrub-expansion-limited-by-seed-dispersal-and-wildfire/).

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