Category: Terrestrial Biology

Here you will find UNISprout-projects relating to terrestrial biology.

Thawing permafrost in the High Arctic: Understanding climate, herbivore and belowground feedbacks

Predicting ecosystems responses to changing environmental conditions is one of the most pressing challenges in ecology today. In the past few decades, mean annual temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 2-4 ºC while rain-on-snow events are becoming more frequent. Other environmental changes can be seen in a drastic increase in the goose population. All of these changes may have repercussions on C and N cycling as well as microbial functional diversity and activity in the soil.… Read more →

Svalbard Reindeer Project: The effect of autumn warming on onset and rate of senescence of Svalbard reindeer forage plants – an experimental approach

The tundra ecosystem in Svalbard is characterized by some of the fastest environmental shifts resulting from climate change. In recent years, increases in biomass of vegetation available for Svalbard reindeer has been correlated with increased temperatures in summer, which may mean more food for Svalbard reindeer. Although increases in early-season production of vegetation with increasing temperatures is well documented, the effects of late-season warming on senescence of key forage for Svalbard reindeer (i.e., the duration of availability of nutritious food) is still unknown. We aim to evaluate how key forage for Svalbard reindeer respond to gradients of heating in the late summer and throughout the growing season.… Read more →

Svalbard Reindeer Project: The effects of drying and wetting of habitats on senescence of key forage species for Svalbard reindeer – a field experiment

As soil moisture regimes shift with climate change, so may the vegetation communities wildlife of Svalbard rely on. Yet, little is known about how plants of specific habitats respond to changes in soil moisture—especially shifts in moisture later in the growing season—and it is possible some species may be able to adapt to shifts in moisture while others may not. We aim to evaluate how plant species in key habitats used by Svalbard reindeer respond to changes in moisture regimes in the late summer and early autumn.… Read more →