Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: Radiocarbon bomb spike reveals biological effects of Antarctic climate change
Author: Clarke, L.
Robinson, S.
Hua, Q.
Ayre, D.
Fink, D.
Citation: Global Change Biology, 2012; 18(1):301-310
Publisher: Blackwell Science Ltd
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1354-1013
Statement of
Laurence J. Clarke, Sharon A. Robinson, Quan Hua, David J. Ayre and David Fink
Abstract: The Antarctic has experienced major changes in temperature, wind speed and stratospheric ozone levels during the last 50 years. However, until recently continental Antarctica appeared to be little impacted by climate warming, thus biological changes were predicted to be relatively slow. Detecting the biological effects of Antarctic climate change has been hindered by the paucity of long-term data sets, particularly for organisms that have been exposed to these changes throughout their lives. We show that radiocarbon signals are preserved along shoots of the dominant Antarctic moss flora and use these to determine accurate growth rates over a period of several decades, allowing us to explore the influence of environmental variables on growth and providing a dramatic demonstration of the effects of climate change. We have generated detailed 50-year growth records for Ceratodon purpureus and three other Antarctic moss species using the 1960s radiocarbon bomb spike. Our growth rate and stable carbon isotope (δ13C) data show that C. purpureus’ growth rates are correlated with key climatic variables, and furthermore that the observed effects of climate variation on growth are mediated through changes in water availability. Our results indicate the timing and balance between warming, high-wind speeds and elevated UV fluxes may determine the fate of these mosses and the associated communities that form oases of Antarctic biodiversity.
Keywords: Antarctic moss
climate change
growth rate
ozone depletion
stable isotopes
Vestfold Hills
water availability
Windmill Islands
Description: This article has an erratum at DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02646.x Some figs were printed in black and white, and should have been in colour.
Rights: © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02560.x
Grant ID:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 5
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute publications

Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.