The National Centre for Research and Development



CORE; Programme area: climate change including polar research; ID: 198571



Project title: Ecosystem stress from the combined effects of winter climate change and air pollution - how do the impacts differ between biomes?


Acronym: WICLAP


Project Promoter: Institute of Geodesy and Cartography


Polish partners: University of Warsaw, Opole University


Norwegian Partners: Norwegian Institute for Polar Research, The Norwegian Meteorological Institute


Project cost (EUR): 928 673


Grant amount (EUR): 928 673

Duration: 36 months






Project summary:

The on-going climate change differs in magnitude between seasons and latitudes. The impact of climate change on ecosystems depends on climatic zone and type of vegetation. During the winter season the most harmful ecosystem stress is caused mainly by winter warmings combined with loss of snow cover and then frosts events. It has negative impact on vegetation condition during the growing season. Air pollution is the additional stress factor. The main objective of this project is to study how air pollution increases the susceptibility of different plants to drop their health due to climate changes. It will be also compared how this combined stress differs between latitudes (arctic – Svalbard and temperate – Poland) and for various vegetation types (deciduous and coniferous forests, lichens and mosses). To achieve this goal the detailed spatial and temporal analysis of meteorological parameters will be carried out in combination with spatial and temporal variability of vegetation indices derived from various satellites and aerial images (1972-2015). Information about air pollution will be obtained from archived Sciamachy spectrometer (2002-2010) and from ground stations. The results of plants health derived from remote sensing data (expressed through vegetation indices) will be validated using archival and future (2013-2015) hyperspectral ground measurements in five study areas (two at Svalbard and three in Poland). In parallel the measurements of heavy metals in plants will be carried out. To better understand the dependencies between winter warmings, air pollution and vegetation health, the full-factorial experiment with full environmental control will be carried out in laboratory in Tromsø. The results obtained in this project for arctic and temperate zones will be compared to studies conducted in boreal zone within on-going research project financed by the Research Council of Norway and headed by Dr. Bjerke from NINA.


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