Spatial contexts for temporal variability in alpine vegetation under ongoing climate change

Plant Ecology
By: , and 



A framework to monitor mountain summit vegetation (The Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments, GLORIA) was initiated in 1997. GLORIA results should be taken within a regional context of the spatial variability of alpine tundra. Changes observed at GLORIA sites in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA are quantified within the context of the range of variability observed in alpine tundra across much of western North America. Dissimilarity is calculated and used in nonmetric multidimensional scaling for repeated measures of vascular species cover at 14 GLORIA sites with 525 nearby sites and with 436 sites in western North America. The lengths of the trajectories of the GLORIA sites in ordination space are compared to the dimensions of the space created by the larger datasets. The absolute amount of change on the GLORIA summits over 5 years is high, but the degree of change is small relative to the geographical context. The GLORIA sites are on the margin of the ordination volumes with the large datasets. The GLORIA summit vegetation appears to be specialized, arguing for the intrinsic value of early observed change in limited niche space.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Spatial contexts for temporal variability in alpine vegetation under ongoing climate change
Series title Plant Ecology
Volume 214
Issue 11
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Kluwer Academic Publishers
Publisher location Dordrecht
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 11 p.
First page 1309
Last page 1319
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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