Abstract Detail

Bryology and Lichenology

Yetley, Zoie [1], Kiel, Scott [2], Eppley, Sarah [3], Rosenstiel, Todd [4].

Species-specific Differences in Albedo of Terrestrial Mosses: a potential driver of climate feedback in Antarctica.

Moss is one of the first plants to colonize land and since then it has been recognized as a pioneer species in establishing new ecosystems. In some ecosystems, like Antarctica, moss dominates the terrestrial landscape and can function as an ecosystem engineer, with significant control on biogeochemistry, energy dynamics and other ecosystem processes. In Antarctica, the climate is warming rapidly and as glaciers continue to melt more ice-free regions are becoming available for colonization by Antarctica’s unique assemblage of terrestrial greening. This shift will change the surface energy balance and likely play a role in climate feedbacks, leading to further warming in the region. Yet, the collective ecosystem implications of this modern revegetation of Antarctica are poorly understood. Furthermore, with over 100 species of moss present in Antarctica, it is important to understand species-level variation and at different hydration levels for this poikilohydric plant. This is the first study to look at species-specific differences of mosses in albedo, a measure of radiation reflected by a surface, at different levels of hydration. We found that among three dominant species there is a significant difference in albedo (p < 0.01) in both wet and dry states. These results indicate that physiological differences in species can influence the surface energy balance. As the ecosystem engineers, moss will likely shape the climatic conditions in these polar regions, suggesting a better understanding of species-specific traits is necessary for better forecasting of global climate feedbacks.

1 - Portland State University, Biology, Science Research & Teaching Center, Room 246, 1719 SW 10th Ave. , Portland , OR, 97201, USA
2 - Portland State University, Biology, Portland State University, SRTC Room 246 , 1719 SW 10th Ave. , Portland , OR, 97201, USA
3 - Portland State University, Biology, PO Box 751, Portland, OR, 97207, United States
4 - Portland State Biology, 1719 SW 10th Ave. SRTC 246, Portland, OR, 97201.0, United States

climate change
surface energy balance.

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PBL006
Abstract ID:729
Candidate for Awards:None

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