Integrations across spatial and trophic levels
Ultimately, this project aims to reveal the bigger picture of climatic change on the Arctic terrestrial ecosystem. This final stage of the project will pull together all the data obtained on the responses of soil invertebrate and microbial decomposers, nutrient availability, plant growth and quality, timing of snow-free period and NDVI measurements to snow depth and snowmelt timing. Results at the community and landscape-scale will be used to discuss the consequences of changes to the terrestrial ecosystem for migratory (geese) and resident (reindeer and ptarmigan) herbivores.
This will involve collaboration with many partners involved in the project across a number of institutes (UiT, UNIS, CENPERM, Zackenberg Research Station, NPI, NINA).
Results from this project will contribute directly to the Adaptive Management Plan for Svalbard pink-footed geese, set up under the auspices of the Agreement of Conservation of African-European Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA). Data will also be used by the Governor of Svalbard for regulating reindeer and ptarmigan hunting quotas.