Current issue: 54(2)
An equilibrium model driven by climatic parameters, the Siberian Vegetation Model, was used to estimate changes in the phytomass of Siberian vegetation under climate change scenarios (CO2 doubling) from four general circulation models (GCM's) of the atmosphere. Ecosystems were classified using a three-dimensional climatic ordination of growing degree days (above a 5 °C threshold), Budyko's dryness index (based on radiation balance and annual precipitation), and Conrad's continentality index. Phytomass density was estimated using published data of Bazilevich covering all vegetation zones in Siberia. Under current climate, total phytomass of Siberia is estimated to be 74.1 ± 2.0 Pg (petagram = 1,015 g). Note that this estimate is based on the current forested percentage in each vegetation class compiled from forest inventory data.
Moderate warming associated with the GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) and OSU (Oregon State Univ.) projections resulted in a 23–26 % increase in phytomass (to 91.3 ± 2.1 Pg and 93.6 ± 2.4 Pg, respectively), primarily due to an increase in the productive Southern Taiga and Sub-taiga classes. Greater warming associated with the GFDL (General Fluid Dynamics Laboratory) and UKMO (United Kingdom Meteorological Office) projections resulted in a small 3–7 % increase in phytomass (to 76.6 ± 1.3 Pg and 79.6 ± 1.2 Pg, respectively). A major component of predicted change using GFDL and UKMO is the introduction of a vast Temperate Forest-Steppe class covering nearly 40% of the area of Siberia, at the expense of Taiga; with current climate, this vegetation class is nearly non-existent in Siberia. In addition, Sub-boreal Forest-Steppe phytomass double with all GCM predictions. In all four climate change scenarios, the predicted phytomass stock of all colder, northern classes is reduced considerably (viz., Tundra, Fore Tundra, northern Taiga, and Middle Taiga). Phytomass in Sub-taiga increases greatly with all scenarios, from a doubling with GFDL to quadrupling with OSU and GISS. Overall, phytomass of the Taiga biome (Northern, Middle, Southern and Sub-taiga) increased 15% in the moderate OSU and GISS scenarios and decreased by a third in the warmer UKMO and GFDL projections. In addition, a sensitivity analysis found that the percentage of a vegetation class that is forested is a major factor determining phytomass distribution. From 25 to 50% more phytomass is predicted under climate change if the forested proportion corresponding to potential rather than current vegetation is assumed.
The study was made in the Ivalojoki and Oulankajoki valleys, consisting of terraces of well sorted sandy material aged 9500–300 B.P. The vegetation is characterized by dry and moderately dry forest types with Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) as the dominant tree species. The study included: forest types, particle size and sorting of mineral horizons, thickness of horizons, amount of organic material, pH, electrical conductivity, and NH4OAc (pH 4.56) extractable Fe, Al, P, K, Mg, Mn and Zn concentrations. The principal aim was to study the interrelationships between all these properties with special reference to the age of the soil.
The results allowed a distinction to be made between the following categories: (1) features typical of podsolization (e.g. increase in leaching of Fe and Al with age of soil from the A2), (2) certain factors showing higher values in the north (Ivalo) than in the south (Oulanka), principally Fe and Mg, (3) declining trends in P, Mg, Mn and Zn concentrations with age, which may partly be due to the geological history, and (4) declining trends in amount of organic material and electrical conductivity with age, these both being factors arising from the geological history rather than from podzolization.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.