No. 1 Feburary 1998
INTERNATIONAL TUNDRA EXPERIMENT.
Dr. Catherine Pickering, School of Applied Science, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, PMB 50 Gold Coast Mail Center, Queensland 4217 Australia, +61 (07) 5594 8259, +61 (07) 5594 8067, email@example.com
The international tundra experiment was established in 1990 to foster research into the ecology of tundra and alpine plants and their response to changes in climate, particularly increasing warming. Currently there are over twenty active ITEX field sites encompassing high and low arctic sites and alpine regions in the Northern Hemisphere. Just recently an Australian subantartic site on Maquarie island was established and the potentially for a site in the Australian alps is currently being examined.
The focus of ITEX research is on the response of arctic and alpine plants and communities to changes in the environment associated with increasing global warming. This is done by comparing environmental factors such as temperature, moisture, and nutrient availability and biological factors such as morphological and phenological characteristics of selected species of plants in control and manipulated plots. The experimental manipulations involve passively increasing temperatures by surrounding plants in open-topped chambers that reduce heat loss and provide shelter. Site and species specific responses have been found as well as community and regional patterns.
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