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TARANTELLA: Terrestrial Ecosystems in Arctic and Antarctic


Terrestrial ecosystems in Arctic and Antarctic: effects of UV light, liquefying ice, and ascending temperatures (TARANTELLA)

Predicted changes in climate and ozone concentrations in the Polar Regions make it critically important to understand how changes in key environmental factors influence polar terrestrial ecosystems via the modification of their individual but interconnected components.

Observational and experimental research on the effect of climate change and ozone depletion is affiliated to international research programmes including the EBA, Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic project, SCAR in the Antarctic, and in the Arctic to ITEX, International Tundra Experiment as well as IGBP-GCTE.

TARANTELLA aims to coordinate these studies by focusing on the experimental approach, in both the Arctic, in collaboration with ITEX, and in the Antarctic.

A common methodology is used, the so-called Open-Top Chambers (OTC) or small greenhouses for temperature manipulations; for UV-B field research, UV-B supplementation (lamps) and/or UV-B exclusion (foils), are used to experimentally establish varied UV-B levels.

The objectives of TARANTELLA are :
o To compare the effects of experimentally induced climate change and enhanced UV-B radiation
o To study and analyse effects of temperature (including moisture and nutrient availability) and UV-B radiation manipulations deployed over different periods of time and in different localities
o To compare the patterns and processes of manipulated with non-manipulated natural controls.
o To study these changes along latitudinal and altitudinal gradients.
o To study plant morphological and chemical effects in response to UV-B radiation
o To test how the balance between facilitation versus competition among autotrophic species varies with temperature and UV-B radiation and other climatic variables
o To investigate the effects of environmental perturbation on carbon- and nutrient dynamics within and between the different compartments of the ecosystem

Summary of activities from 2007