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Wetlands in cold ecoregions - affected species

In the boreal zone, natural stream flows are characterised by a spring flood with the high peak annual water level caused by snowmelt, followed by decreasing discharge during the summer and autumn, with occasional summer and autumn flood peaks caused by rain. During winter, the flow is low and primarily fed by groundwater discharge. Models of climate change predict increased temperatures and changed patterns of precipitation that will alter the flow of rivers and streams with consequences for riparian communities. In boreal regions of Europe, stream flows will exhibit earlier spring-flood peaks of lower magnitude, lower summer flows and higher flows in autumn and winter (Ström et al., 2012).

These hydrological changes are predicated to have a significant effect on riparian plant communities, with changes in the growth and survival of individual species as well as changes in community biomass production and species composition (Ström et al., 2011).

Currently we are working on a selection of affected species for wetlands in cold ecoregions - so please stay tuned..

Plants

Arctic Marsh-grass | Arctophila fulva

[id: 170]
[ID-fwe: 597]

Common name:

Arctic Marsh-grass

Scientific name:

Arctophila fulva

Where to find:

Marshes, meadows and tundra

Climate change impact:

In terms of REFRESH, the most relevant habitats are slow moving arctic streams and their beds, which are vulnerable to climate change as it effects freezing/thawing seasonality and flooding.

Response description:

This grass is not included in the IUCN red list and is quite widespread in the Arctic (both Palaearctic and Nearctic): Circumpolar/circumboreal (gaps in North Atlantic area) including northern Fennoscandia, Svalbard, Novaya Zemlya and the Polar Ural (also in parts of Siberia, Alaska, Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador, Hudson Bay and West Greenland). A. fulva is found in wet places, mainly arctic i.e. wet meadows, pond margins (and emergent), marshes, along streams (and sandy beds), river terraces, lakeshores, wet tundra. A. fulva can occur as an aquatic and in imperfectly or moderately-well drained moist areas. Substrates include rock (rocky bottom of shallow ponds), sand (sometimes stony) and silt (most often), with soil/water chemistry acidic, calcareous (e.g. marine deposits over acidic bedrock) or circumneutral. A. fulva grows in or at the edge of shallow clear, tundra ponds, lakes, slow moving streams, wetlands close to sea level and water bodies where ice disappears early in the summer. Some otherwise suitable habitats may be eliminated by onshore thrusting of lake ice.

More about the species:

http://www.iucnredlist.org/

Search for more information about this species or other macrophytes on freshwaterecology.info:

Autecological characteristics, ecological preferences, biological traits, distribution patterns

http://www.freshwaterecology.info/TaxaDB_mphSearch.php

Broad-leaved Cinna | Cinna latifolia

[id: 176]

Common name:

Broad-leaved Cinna

Scientific name:

Cinna latifolia

Where to find:

Wet woodland

Climate change impact:

Difficult to be sure how this species in riparian areas would respond to climate change, but the fairly broad geographical range outside Europe suggests this species may not be markedly vulnerable.

Response description:

The grass is not in the IUCN red list and is found in northern Fennoscandia and adjacent parts of Russia. Outside Europe, it occurs in Asia (Siberia, including the far east, Caucasus, China, Mongolia, and eastern Asia) and North America (Subarctic, western and eastern Canada and USA (NW, N-central, NE, SW, S-central and SE). It occurs primarily in damp woods, but ecological data (including its presence in relation to rivers) are sparse.

Cordate flapwort | Jungermannia exsertifolia

[id: 67]
[ID-fwe: 610]

Common name:

Cordate flapwort

Scientific name:

Jungermannia exsertifolia

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Increased water temperature

Response description:

In the treeless regions of the Arctic and sub-Arctic, streams are less affected by shade and thus more likely to be nutrient limited than light limited, as are streams in forested areas. There may also be greater eutrophication as areas previously undeveloped become farmed as temperatures rise.

Search for more information about this species or other macrophytes on freshwaterecology.info:

Autecological characteristics, ecological preferences, biological traits, distribution patterns

http://www.freshwaterecology.info/TaxaDB_mphSearch.php

Lapland Buttercup | Ranunculus lapponicus

[id: 222]

Common name:

Lapland Buttercup

Scientific name:

Ranunculus lapponicus

Where to find:

Margins

Climate change impact:

Data from the European populations are scarce, but the likelihood is that this plant could be vulnerable to climatic change, although the plant is by no means confined to the riparian zone.

Response description:

Not in the IUCN red list, R. lapponicus is a circum-boreal species found in Eurasia, Greenland, and North America and is considered globally secure being distributed all over the arctic, with the exception of N and E Greenland. In Europe, however, it is confined to Fennoscandia and adjacent Russia south to central Sweden and the central Urals. It grows in wet localities, especially in moss carpets along beaches, streams and lakes, as well as low-elevation bogs, arctic-alpine grasslands and northern coniferous forests (as well as in North America in cool mossy cedar swamps underlain by calcareous deposits, tundra and muskeg). American data suggest an altitudinal range of 0-900 and clearly indicate the sensitivity of this plant to hydrology, especially groundwater and nutrient content. North American experimental research also suggests that climatic warming may lead to competitive exclusion or range contraction in R. lapponicus. Threats include forest clearance, wind-throw and fire, together with flooding.

Little Grapefern (USA) | Botrychium simplex

[id: 171]

Common name:

Little Grapefern (USA)

Scientific name:

Botrychium simplex

Climate change impact:

Despite inclusion in Annex II (Habitats Directive), this species is not included in the IUCN red list, being widespread and locally frequent in some parts of its range (outside Europe). In addition, though dependent upon seasonally wet sites, B. simplex is not primarily a riparian species. However, any climate changes in Europe that resulted in changes to the eco-hydrological regime, whether in desiccation of sites or inundation, would make B. simplex more vulnerable in its localised sites.

Response description:

B. simplex is native to Europe with the exception of the British Isles and the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Canada, Greenland, USA (northeast, central northeast, northern Prairie states, Virginia, northwest, Rocky Mountains and California). B. simplex var. simplex is said to be the European form, though many European plants (notably in the Arctic) may be B. tenebrosum. B. simplex is primarily a plant of open habitats, occurring in pastures, meadows, orchards, prairies, wetlands, fens, sand dunes and in lake and stream edge vegetation. Most of these habitats are at least temporarily wet and some (fens) are permanently saturated. Within these habitats, plants may be among sparse vegetation and fully exposed to the sun, or they may grow among tall dense herbaceous vegetation, receiving only very low light.

Sudetic Lousewort (USA) | Pedicularis sudetica

[id: 164]

Common name:

Sudetic Lousewort (USA)

Scientific name:

Pedicularis sudetica

Where to find:

Bogs and wet forest

Climate change impact:

As with other montane and alpine species associated with flushes, this plant is vulnerable to changes in the timing and amount of flow. Sudeten populations may be especially vulnerable as apparent relicts from a mainly Arctic and Subarctic distribution. Though typical of smaller stream edges, this species may have some relevance to REFRESH.

Response description:

Not in the IUCN red list, this plant occurs in Arctic and Subarctic Asia and America, as well as locally in Europe. The main centre in Europe is in Arctic Russia together with the north and central Urals, but with an outlying area in the Sudeten Mountains on the border of Poland and the Czech Republic. Within these Central European sites it grows in very wet habitats at 1150-1450 m asl especially in peat bogs at the edge of springs and streams in the subalpine zone, as well as wet forest edges ? always on acid soils. Further north in Europe, it again grows in bogs and flushes, but also in mossy tundra. None of the Polish populations exceed 100 individuals at any one site. Threats include altered hydrology, air pollution and the impacts of tourism/skiing, though the species is noted as vulnerable to any change in soil, climate and hydrology.

Willow Moss | Fontinalis antipyretica

[id: 68]
[ID-fwe: 178]

Common name:

Willow Moss

Scientific name:

Fontinalis antipyretica

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Search for more information about this species or other macrophytes on freshwaterecology.info:

Autecological characteristics, ecological preferences, biological traits, distribution patterns

http://www.freshwaterecology.info/TaxaDB_mphSearch.php

Yellow Marsh Saxifrage | Saxifraga hirculus

[id: 226]

Common name:

Yellow Marsh Saxifrage

Scientific name:

Saxifraga hirculus

Where to find:

Flushes, mires, tundra

Climate change impact:

Vittoz et al. (2006) also suggest that climate change and nitrogen atmospheric pollution, which may increase competition from surrounding species or which allows the colonisation of the mires and flushes by new competitive species could threaten S. hirculus. It appears that the main threats have been brought about by drainage and inappropriate management but climatic change resulting in altered groundwater flow and flushing of these habitats would also render S. hirculus vulnerable. However in almost all instances, the habitats of S. hirculus are outwith the scope of REFRESH.

Response description:

Not in the IUCN red list, S. hirculus has a circum-polar Boreo-arctic Montane distribution. In Europe it occurs in the north, east and centre but rapidly becomes rare west- and southward. Flora Europaea records it for Austria, the UK, Czech Republic (extinct), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany (recently extinct), Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands (extinct), Italy?, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia and the Baltic states, Sweden and Svalbard . S. hirculus is declining or threatened in most European countries and is very rare and endangered in Central and Western Europe, as well as rare in Scandinavia, vulnerable in Romania and down to a single site in Switzerland. S. hirculus grows in wet, base-rich flushes and mires, as well as tundra, especially where vegetation succession is checked by moderate grazing, and now considered an upland species in some European countries because its favoured habitats in the lowlands have been destroyed. It has suffered from over-grazing and drainage with the latter together with turf extraction being the main factors in its decline, though collection for herbaria may have been a significant cause of losses toward the edges of its range. Afforestation and the demands of agriculture have been cited in the UK and Ireland. The UK sites may hold >300,000 plants. S. hirculus needs a low competition from sedges and peat-bog mosses in order to grow, which may be achieved naturally by a stable water table close to the soil surface, with running cold water, a neutral to slightly acid pH together with a nitrogen deficit (Vittoz et al. 2006).

Mammals

Tundra Vole | Microtus oeconomus

[id: 161]

Click to enlarge

Common name:

Tundra Vole

Scientific name:

Microtus oeconomus

Where to find:

Margins

Climate change impact:

Occurs over a wide bioclimatic range and is therefore unlikely to be immediately vulnerable to climate change. However the subspecies listed in the HD annex (from the edges of the vole's distribution and with a much narrower range) could be affected delet

Response description:

Microtus oeconomus is a Holarctic species, with a wide range extending from north-west Europe in the west to Alaska in the East. Specifically in Europe, its main range extends from eastern Germany and northern Fennoscandia through Poland, Belarus, and northern and central European Russia. Isolated relict populations are found in the Netherlands (ssp arenicola), southern Norway and northern Sweden, the Finnish coast, and Austria/Slovakia/Hungary (ssp mehelyi). It typically inhabits damp, densely-vegetated areas along the edges of lakes, streams and marshes. The species may be found in tundra, taiga, forest-steppe, and even semi-desert. Wet meadows, bogs, fens, riverbanks and flooded shores are all important habitats. Feeds on green vegetation.

More about the species:

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/13451/0



Climate Change and Freshwater
Online: http://www.climate-and-freshwater.info/climate_change/wetlands/cold/affected_species/
Date: 2017/03/29
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