Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
The Cryosphere, 10, 2291–2315, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-2291-2016

Special issue: Changing Permafrost in the Arctic and its Global Effects in...

The Cryosphere, 10, 2291–2315, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-2291-2016

Research article 30 Sep 2016

Research article | 30 Sep 2016

Effects of bryophyte and lichen cover on permafrost soil temperature at large scale

Philipp Porada et al.

Data sets

Land surface model JSBACH Max Planck Institute for Meteorology http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/en/science/models/license/

The climatic fields used in this study as forcing data for the JSBACH model Max Planck Institute for Meteorology https://www.bgc-jena.mpg.de/geodb/projects/Home.php

Video supplement

Maps of subsoil temperature and active layer depth of Yakutian ASSR (Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union) C. Beer, A. N. Fedorov, and Y. Torgovkin https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.808240

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Short summary
Bryophyte and lichen cover on the forest floor at high latitudes insulates the ground and thus decreases soil temperature. This can protect permafrost soil, stabilising it against global warming. To quantify the insulating effect, we integrate a novel, process-based model of bryophyte and lichen growth into the global land surface model JSBACH. We find an average cooling effect of the bryophyte and lichen cover of 2.7 K, which implies a significant impact on soil temperature at high latitudes.