Freezing resistance of arctic tundra plants on Svalbard

TitleFreezing resistance of arctic tundra plants on Svalbard
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1990
AuthorsOdasz, A. M.
Conference Name58th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 58th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1990
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationSacramento, California
KeywordsArctic, Cold tolerance, Freezing resistance, Tundra

Arctic tundra plants collected from limestone-ridge vegetation on Svalbard (79 N) in summer survived freezing tests to only -2 degrees C or -4 degrees C. In winter, although injured by freezing, species retained capacity to grow after tests to -67 degrees C. Plants also survived -67 degrees C in a simulation experiment with 'continental' conditions where high ambient temperatures caused water stress while soils remained frozen. Most species survived the effects of a simulated warm spring followed by a freeze. Surprisingly there was no difference in cold tolerance of graminoid and cushion-plant herbaceous species.