Data were collected on three sites, see under Purpose.
For Falklands Islands there are observations and countings of species, and data on soil respiration (2004, 2005).
For all three sites climate data were collected. Anchorage Island: 2004 - 2008; temperature; soil moisture; relative humidity. Falkland Islands: 2003 - 2009; temperature; soil moisture; relative humidity and AWS data(relative humidity, air temperature, snow height, wind speed, wind direction, pyranometer). Signy Island: 2003 - 2007; temperature; soil moisture; relative humidity.
The Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Unit for Polar Ecology, in collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Department of Systems Ecology, and the British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK, executes research on the effects of climate change on the terrestrial ecosystems of the polar regions, with a focus on Antarctic Terrestrial Ecosystems. In 2003, three field sites were established ... along a latitudinal gradient: in the Falkland Islands (54°S), Signy Island (61°S), and Anchorage Island (68°S). The latitudinal gradient, serves as a proxy for climate change. In each of the three field sites artificial warming treatments were established. Artificial warming was achieved by erecting hexagonal open top chambers (OTCs) made of acrylic plastic, 2m in diameter, 60cm high.
The OTCs were placed in a paired plot design, without an OTC receiving ambient circumstances, the other half covered with an OTC in which the temperature was enhanced by 1 – 2 °C. As OTCs do not influence the temperature only, but also other climatic factors such as relative humidity, soil moisture, etc. in both the control plot and the OTC a combination of direct warming with OTCs across this environmental gradient allows to look at short and long-term effects of warming on ecosystems.
Field observations and measurements have been made yearly in the three field sites as part of three Ph.D. studies, on the effects of climate change on ecosystem composition and – processes (especially primary production and decomposition), on hydrological and nutritional changes, and on changes in the soil microbial communities and processes.
Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)
Province or State:
Stef Bokhorst, Ad Huiskes, Peter Convey and Rien Aerts (2007)The effect of environmental change on vascular plant and cryptogam communities from the Falkland Islands and the Maritime Antarctic. BMC Ecology, 7:15 doi:10.1186/1472-6785-7-15
S. Bokhorst, A. Huiskes, P. Convey, P.M. van Bodegom, R. Aerts (2008) Climate change effects on soil arthropod communities from the Falkland Islands and the ... Maritime Antarctic. Soil Biology and Biochemistry xxx: 1-10
S. Bokhorst, A. Huiskes, P. Convey, R. Aerts (2007). External nutrient inputs into terrestrial ecosystems of the Falkland Islands and the Maritime Antarctic region. Polar Biol 30:1315-1321 DOI 10.1007/s00300-007-0292-0
S. Bokhorst, C. Ronfort, A. Huiskes, P. Convey, R. Aerts (2007) Food choice of Antarctic soil arthropods clarified by stable isotope signatures. Polar Biol 30:983-990 DOI 10.1007/s00300-007-0256-4
S . BOKHORST, A. HUISKES, P. CONVEY and R . A E R T S (2007) Climate change effects on organic matter decomposition rates in ecosystems from the Maritime Antarctic and Falkland Islands. Global Change Biology 13, 2642-2653, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01468.x