January 1, 1993 to December 31, 2002
Project Location: 
Circumpolar Arctic Region
Project Description: 

The International Tundra Experiment, ITEX, was established in 1990 as a MAB-NSN initiative (Man-And-the-Biosphere, Northern Sciences Network). Since then the program had grown rapidly and is one of the most active international field programs in arctic ecology. The purpose of ITEX is to monitor the performance of plant species and communities on a circumpolar basis in undisturbed habitats with and without environmental manipulations. There are two dozen active ITEX field sites throughout the circumpolar Arctic and in some alpine areas, operated by field parties from thirteen countries. The basic experiment is a temperature enhancement manipulation, where the field mean surface temperature is increased by 2-3 degrees C to simulate the climate at the middle of the next century according to the forecast from the GCMs (General Circulation Models). Most of the results generated within ITEX so far relate to the response of single species, but from the field season of 1995 the experimentation was scaled up to include community-level responses. There are also ITEX research efforts dealing with plant phenotypic plasticity and quantitative genetics of some of the target species.