A seminar by Dr. Françoise Martz, Natural Resources Institute Finland /Luonnonvarakeskus (Luke), Rovaniemi (Finlande), entitled :
” Winter climate change effects on tree seedlings in the boreal forest “
will take place on Thursday, 14 September 2017, from 1.00 pm to 2.00 pm in Conference room, Centre INRA Grand Est – Nancy, Champenoux
At high latitudes, the climate has warmed at twice the rate of the global average with most changes observed in autumn, winter and spring. Increasing winter temperatures and wide temperature fluctuations are leading to more frequent rain-on-snow events and freeze-thaw cycles. By decreasing the insulation capacity of the snowpack and causing ice layers or ground ice encasement, those events have the potential to lead to colder soil but also to hypoxia and accumulation of trace gases in the subnivean environment. To test the effect of such changing overwintering conditions on boreal forest, we established a snow manipulation experiment in a coniferous forest in Northern Finland with planted Norway spruce and Scots pine seedlings. Four snow manipulation levels were applied: ambient conditions, artificial ice encasement, snow compaction and complete snow removal. Dual stable isotope labelling (INRA collaboration) or expression of marker genes were techniques used to explore the metabolic and molecular responses of the seedlings to adverse winter conditions. Results after three consecutive years of snow manipulation confirmed our hypothesis that changing snow cover has damaging effect on health and winter survival of seedlings in both species.