Cassiope tetragona growth rate as a proxy of climate change on Ellesmere Island, Canada

The Arctic Tundra is an enigmatic biome. Its largely treeless plains feature low-lying sedges, grasses, mosses and shrubs adapted to permafrost, the permanently frozen subsoil that underpins what is, in fact, a surprisingly diverse northern ‘oasis’. As a region identified as particularly vulnerable to accelerated climate warming, a study of its flora can reveal much about the effects of such changes. A general study can give an overview of the ecological response to climate change in circumpolar regions, while individual species can be used as a proxy of long-term climate variations.

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