Permafrost thaw in boreal peatlands is rapidly altering forest community composition

Jennifer Baltzer, Rajit Patankar, Katherine Dearborn & Cory A. Wallace
Boreal peatlands are frequently underlain by permafrost, which is thawing rapidly. A common ecological response to thaw is the conversion of raised forested plateaus to treeless wetlands, but unexplained spatial variation in responses, combined with a lack of stand-level data, make it difficult to predict future trajectories of boreal forest composition and structure. We sought to characterize patterns and identify drivers of forest structure, composition, mortality, and recruitment in a boreal peatland experiencing permafrost thaw....
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