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Tundra landform and vegetation productivity trend maps for the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska

April 1, 2018

Arctic tundra landscapes are composed of a complex mosaic of patterned ground features, varying in soil moisture, vegetation composition, and surface hydrology over small spatial scales (10–100 m). The importance of microtopography and associated geomorphic landforms in influencing ecosystem structure and function is well founded, however, spatial data products describing local to regional scale distribution of patterned ground or polygonal tundra geomorphology are largely unavailable. Thus, our understanding of local impacts on regional scale processes (e.g., carbon dynamics) may be limited. We produced two key spatiotemporal datasets spanning the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska (~60,000 km2) to evaluate climate-geomorphological controls on arctic tundra productivity change, using (1) a novel 30 m classification of polygonal tundra geomorphology and (2) decadal-trends in surface greenness using the Landsat archive (1999–2014). These datasets can be easily integrated and adapted in an array of local to regional applications such as (1) upscaling plot-level measurements (e.g., carbon/energy fluxes), (2) mapping of soils, vegetation, or permafrost, and/or (3) initializing ecosystem biogeochemistry, hydrology, and/or habitat modeling.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title Tundra landform and vegetation productivity trend maps for the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska
DOI 10.1038/sdata.2018.58
Authors Mark J. Lara, Ingmar Nitze, Guido Grosse, A. David McGuire
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Scientific Data
Series Number
Index ID 70196965
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle

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