International Polar Year (IPY) 2012: From Knowledge to Action
Global climate change will affect many areas of the world in differing degrees of magnitude. High latitude regions have shown the impact of climate change the most. In 1995 and 1996, two study sites were established in Barrow and Atqasuk, Alaska. The ongoing study uses open-top chambers to examine the response of vegetation to experimental warming. The change of numerous Arctic species has been documented. Here the dominant sedge at both sites, Carex aquatilis-stans, is examined and patterns of change have become apparent. Generally, the study has shown that there are more Carex aquatilis-stans inflorescences and more inflorescences went to flower on experimental versus control plots. Likewise, more inflorescences tended to go to seed on experimental compared to control plots. These effects of experimental warming suggest that Carex aquatilis-stans will become even more dominant in the Arctic community since experimental warming appears to have led to greater development and reproduction.