Pre-adaptation of Arctic plants to climate change.

RMM Crawford, Richard John Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Re-appraisal of high latitude ice cover during the Weichselian and the recent discovery of pre-Holocene plant communities in Novaya Zemlya and Northern Norway suggests that the contemporary Arctic flora may have had a longer time span in its occupation of high latitude sites than has hitherto been recognised. The present-day Arctic flora in some regions may therefore have derived at least some of its genetic inheritance from populations that survived in ice-free refugia in the high Arctic polar deserts during the latter stages of the Weichselian glaciation. Increasing evidence for sudden changes in climate at high latitudes in the past, suggests that Arctic vegetation would have been subjected to rapid climatic warming if it had maintained a presence in these regions during the late Weichselian. A review of what is known about plant survival in the high Arctic since pre-Holocene times, coupled with an examination of some of the physiological properties of modern populations in these regions is presented in an attempt to ascertain if high Arctic plants possess mechanisms which facilitate their capacity to respond either phenotypically or physiologically to climatic change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-278
Number of pages8
JournalBotanica Acta
Volume5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1994

Keywords

  • ARCTIC
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • MIGRATION
  • REFUGIA
  • ADAPTATION
  • ISOZYMES
  • DNA
  • ECOLOGICAL GENETIC-VARIATION
  • DRYAS-OCTOPETALA ECOTYPES
  • SEED BANKS
  • DRABA BRASSICACEAE
  • NORDIC POLYPLOIDS
  • CAREX-BIGELOWII
  • DIFFERENTIATION
  • POPULATION
  • TEMPERATURES
  • ISLAND

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