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Philipp R. Semenchuk, Bo Elberling and Elisabeth J. Cooper Snow cover and extreme winter warming events control flower abundance of some, but not all species in high arctic Svalbard Ecology and Evolution 3

Version of Record online: 29 JUN 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.648

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Winter warming events, often occurring together with rain, can substantially remove snow cover and thereby expose plants to cold winter air. Depending on morphology, different parts of the plant can be directly exposed. On this picture, we see Dryas octopetala seed heads from the previous growing season protrude through the remaining ice layer after a warming event in early 2010. The rest of the plant, including meristems and flower primordia, are still somewhat protected by the ice. In the background we can see a patch of Cassiope tetragona protruding through the ice; in this case, the whole plant including flower primordia is exposed, which might be one reason why this species experienced a loss of flowers the following season. Photograph by Philipp Semenchuk.

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