Climatically induced interannual variability in aboveground production in forest-tundra and northern taiga of central Siberia

Oecologia. 2006 Feb;147(1):86-95. doi: 10.1007/s00442-005-0248-4. Epub 2005 Sep 15.


To investigate the variability of primary production of boreal forest ecosystems under the current climatic changes, we compared the dynamics of annual increments and productivity of the main components of plant community (trees, shrubs, mosses) at three sites in the north of Siberia (Russia). Annual radial growth of trees and shrubs was mostly defined by summer temperature regime (positive correlation), but climatic response of woody plants was species specific and depends on local conditions. Dynamics of annual increments of mosses were opposite to tree growth. The difference in climatic response of the different vegetation components of the forest ecosystems indicates that these components seem to be adapted to use climatic conditions during the short and severe northern summer, and decreasing in annual production of one component is usually combined with the increase of other component productivity. Average productivity in the northern forest ecosystems varies from 0.05 to 0.14 t ha(-1) year(-1) for trees, from 0.05 to 0.18 t ha(-1) year(-1) for shrubs and from 0.54 to 0.66 t ha(-1) year(-1) for mosses. Higher values of tree productivity combined with lower annual moss productivity were found in sites in northern taiga in comparison with forest-tundra. Different tendencies in the productivity of the dominant species from each vegetation level (trees, shrubs, mosses) were indicated for the last 10 years studied (1990-1999): while productivity of mosses is increasing, productivity of trees is decreasing, but there is no obvious trend in the productivity of shrubs. Our results show that in the long term, the main contribution to changes in annual biomass productivity in forest-tundra and northern taiga ecosystems under the predicted climatic changes will be determined by living ground cover.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Climate*
  • Ecosystem*
  • Forestry
  • Population Dynamics
  • Seasons
  • Siberia
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors
  • Trees / growth & development*