Lead Institution: University of Lapland

Work Package 2 Leader: Sari Stark

Sari Stark of the Arctic Centre, ULapland is Work Package 2 leader


Work Package 2 (WP2) will construct future scenarios for key elements of  Arctic  biodiversity using reindeer – vegetation interactions to understand how  climate drivers and management regimes modify Arctic societies (SES) with impacts for the livelihoods of local and indigenous people. Building on the current understanding on the impacts  of  herbivory  on tundra ecosystems.  WP2 will then integrate socio-political processes  and food-web  implications to these scenarios.

Changes in the cryosphere in the  form of more ground icing and hard snow is bad news for tundra herbivores and the predators that depend on them, leading to food  web structure changes. 

WP2 will estimate the role of  these direct and indirect impacts of major  drivers of change on Arctic  biodiversity primarily using existing datasets collected on the ground and thus complementing the larger scale trends assessed in Work Package 1.

Description  of  work

WP2  fills  in  substantial  knowledge gaps  regarding  the  role  of  grazing  by  reindeer  and  other  herbivores  in  biodiversity  trends over decades across  the  Arctic  and  comprises of  the following  primary tasks:

  • Synthesize  evidence  of  the  effect  of  herbivores  on  species  richness  at the  circumpolar  level.   
  • Upscale  this  evidence  to  a  regional  level  within  the  Eurasian  semi- domesticated  reindeer  range  using  vast  sets  of  vegetation  inventories  with  decadal  timescales  from  Arctic countries  where  these  are  available.  These  analyses  will  reveal  how  climatic  variables  (e.g.  rainfall,  snow conditions)  and  the  timing  and  intensity  of  reindeer  grazing  interact  to  determine  ongoing  vegetation  trends at  different  habitats.  
  • Connect  ecological  frameworks  with  cultural  activities  involving management  practices,  often  unique  to  the  district  in  question  and  dependent  on  other  land-uses  and  complex socio-political  processes.  
  • Investigate  the  ways  by which reindeer  and  their  management  interacts  with  climate  to  impact  higher trophic levels,  in  particular  generalist predators,  which  in  turn  exert  a  major  impact  on  arctic  biodiversity  but  also  feedback  on  the  reindeer together  with  the  economic  yield  of  reindeer  herding.

CHARTER Researchers and Associates, WP 2

Sari StarkArctic Centre, University of Lapland | Researchgate
Minna TurunenArctic Centre, Uni of Lapland, Finland
Sirpa RasmusArctic Centre, Uni of Lapland, Finland
Teresa KomuArctic Centre, Uni of Lapland, Finland
Leena LeppänenArctic Centre, Uni of Lapland, Finland
Mari KuoppamaaArctic Centre, Uni of Lapland, Finland
Dorothee EhrichUiT Arctic Uni of Norway University of Tromsø | Researchgate
Hans TommervikNorwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) | Researchgate
Jarle BjerkeNorwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) | Researchgate
Johannes OloffsonUniversity of Umeå | Researchgate
Jouko KumpulaNatural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) | Researchgate
Isabel BarrioAgricultural University of Iceland | Researchgate | Twitter
Signe NormandUniversity of Århus | Researchgate | Twitter
Jeff T. KerbyUni of Arhus, Denmark
Jakob AssmannUni of Edinburgh, Uni of Arhus
Thomas HoyeUni of Arhus, Denmark
James SpeedNTNU University Museum, Norway
Stefeniya KamenovaNTNU University Museum| Researchgate
Otto HabeckUni of Hamburg, Germany
Timo KumpulaUni of Eastern Finland
Sonja KivinenUni of Eastern Finland
Andrei MarinNorwegian Uni of Life Sciences


Related Reading