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The High–Low Arctic boundary: How is it determined and where is it located?


Ermokhina, Ksenia A; Terskaia, Anna I; Ivleva, Tatiana Yu; Dudov, Sergey V; Zemlianskii, Vitalii А; Telyatnikov, Michael Yu; Khitun, Olga V; Troeva, Elena I; Koroleva, Natalia E; Abdulmanova, Svetlana Yu (2023). The High–Low Arctic boundary: How is it determined and where is it located? Ecology and Evolution, 13(10):e10545.

Abstract

Geobotanical subdivision of landcover is a baseline for many studies. The High–Low Arctic boundary is considered to be of fundamental natural importance. The wide application of different delimitation schemes in various ecological studies and climatic scenarios raises the following questions: (i) What are the common criteria to define the High and Low Arctic? (ii) Could human impact significantly change the distribution of the delimitation criteria? (iii) Is the widely accepted temperature criterion still relevant given ongoing climate change? and (iv) Could we locate the High–Low Arctic boundary by mapping these criteria derived from modern open remote sensing and climatic data? Researchers rely on common criteria for geobotanical delimitation of the Arctic. Unified circumpolar criteria are based on the structure of vegetation cover and climate, while regional specifics are reflected in the floral composition. However, the published delimitation schemes vary greatly. The disagreement in the location of geobotanical boundaries across the studies manifests in poorly comparable results. While maintaining the common principles of geobotanical subdivision, we derived the boundary between the High and Low Arctic using the most up‐to‐date field data and modern techniques: species distribution modeling, radar, thermal and optical satellite imagery processing, and climatic data analysis. The position of the High–Low Arctic boundary in Western Siberia was clarified and mapped. The new boundary is located 50–100 km further north compared to all the previously presented ones. Long‐term anthropogenic press contributes to a change in the vegetation structure but does not noticeably affect key species ranges. A previously specified climatic criterion for the High–Low Arctic boundary accepted in scientific literature has not coincided with the boundary in Western Siberia for over 70 years. The High–Low Arctic boundary is distinctly reflected in biodiversity distribution. The presented approach is appropriate for accurate mapping of the High–Low Arctic boundary in the circumpolar extent.

Abstract

Geobotanical subdivision of landcover is a baseline for many studies. The High–Low Arctic boundary is considered to be of fundamental natural importance. The wide application of different delimitation schemes in various ecological studies and climatic scenarios raises the following questions: (i) What are the common criteria to define the High and Low Arctic? (ii) Could human impact significantly change the distribution of the delimitation criteria? (iii) Is the widely accepted temperature criterion still relevant given ongoing climate change? and (iv) Could we locate the High–Low Arctic boundary by mapping these criteria derived from modern open remote sensing and climatic data? Researchers rely on common criteria for geobotanical delimitation of the Arctic. Unified circumpolar criteria are based on the structure of vegetation cover and climate, while regional specifics are reflected in the floral composition. However, the published delimitation schemes vary greatly. The disagreement in the location of geobotanical boundaries across the studies manifests in poorly comparable results. While maintaining the common principles of geobotanical subdivision, we derived the boundary between the High and Low Arctic using the most up‐to‐date field data and modern techniques: species distribution modeling, radar, thermal and optical satellite imagery processing, and climatic data analysis. The position of the High–Low Arctic boundary in Western Siberia was clarified and mapped. The new boundary is located 50–100 km further north compared to all the previously presented ones. Long‐term anthropogenic press contributes to a change in the vegetation structure but does not noticeably affect key species ranges. A previously specified climatic criterion for the High–Low Arctic boundary accepted in scientific literature has not coincided with the boundary in Western Siberia for over 70 years. The High–Low Arctic boundary is distinctly reflected in biodiversity distribution. The presented approach is appropriate for accurate mapping of the High–Low Arctic boundary in the circumpolar extent.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:590 Animals (Zoology)
570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Nature and Landscape Conservation, Ecology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:28 September 2023
Deposited On:12 Oct 2023 10:24
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:39
Publisher:Wiley Open Access
ISSN:2045-7758
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.10545
PubMed ID:37780086
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)