Ecology: Winter warmer

    Article metrics

    J. Ecol. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01554.x (2009)

    Many studies of Arctic warming have focused on summer temperatures, but a new study suggests that vegetation can be damaged by unseasonably warm winter weather.

    Stef Bokhorst of the University of Sheffield, UK, and his colleagues looked at how the mountain crowberry (Empetrum hermaphroditum), the dominant shrub in northwestern Scandinavia, fared after a sudden, rapid warming in the region in December 2007. The following summer, many of the shrubs had dead shoots, and overall vegetation growth across an area of 1,424 square kilometres was 26% lower than in the previous year.

    An ecosystem-manipulation experiment that heated the ground produced a similar drop-off in shoot growth.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Cite this article

    Ecology: Winter warmer. Nature 460, 1060 (2009) doi:10.1038/4601060d

    Download citation


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.