Flaggskipet har som mål å skape ny kunnskap hva angår relasjonene mellom klimaendringer, responser i økosystem og samfunn i nordlige landskap og dermed bli internasjonalt ledende på sentrale og helhetlige klimarelaterte problemstillinger i nordområdene.

Flaggskipet vil være med på å utvikle bærekraft og tilpasningsdyktighet i landbaserte primærnæringer, spesielt de utmarksbaserte (beitedyr, skogbruk), men også turisme og friluftsliv, og skal svare på miljøforvaltningens behov for overvåkning og bevaring av biomangfold og høstbare ressurser i nordområdene. Kunnskap om de menneskelige ressursene, tilpasning og sårbarhet i samfunn i nord vil bidra i forvaltning, politikkutforming og prioriteringer i området. Flaggskipet vil bidra til en helhetlig forståelse av nordlige terrestre økosystems rolle i det globale klimasystemet slik at denne innsikten kan ligge grunn for vurderingsprosesser i CAFF/Arktisk råd og IPCC og sluttlig for internasjonal politikkutforming.

Global oppvarming griper inn i hverdagen til folk som bor i nord. Naturressurser og andre verdier i landbaserte (terrestre) økosystem kommer under et sterkt press som forskerne bare delvis kan forutsi utfallet av. På den nordlige halvkule herjes skogene nå i økende grad av insektangrep, uttørking og branner. Tundraen gror igjen mens permafrosten smelter og jorderosjonen øker som fører til store endringer i næringstilførselen til innsjøer og elver. Snø og islag endres også med delvis ukjente konsekvenser for de nordlige økosystemene.

Arter med tradisjonell betydning for folk i nord, som ressurser, symboler og nøkkelroller i økosystemene og lokalsamfunn er i tilbakegang, mens nye arter fra sør invaderer nordområdene. Forskersamfunnets omfattende utredninger omkring disse endringene konkluderer med at global oppvarming ligger til grunn for mange av dem.

Lokal- og urfolkssamfunn i nord har møtt, og vil i framtiden møte, spesielt store utfordringer. Deres levesett og næring er nært knyttet til naturen, som også er et viktig grunnlag for kulturell og sosial identitet. Det finnes kunnskap om hvordan urfolk historisk sett har tilpasset seg naturlig variasjon i lokale klimaforhold og ressursgrunnlag. Men vi mangler kunnskap om det kreves en ny type tilpasning eller om de nåværende tilpasningsstrategiene er tilstrekkelige for å møte de nye klimatiske forholdene.

Senere års forskning har også vist at nedbryting av kulturminner i nordområdene skjer raskere enn antatt. Dagens kunnskap er basert på kulturminners eksponering under dagens klimaforhold. Ny grunnforskning må derfor gå hånd i hånd med anvendt forskning og forvaltningen bør utnytte forskningsbasert kunnskap på tvers av fagdisipliner.

Virkningene av økosystemendringene i nordlige landskap vil ha vidtrekkende konsekvenser. Hvis tundraen gror igjen med busker og trær kan dette ha tilbakekoblingseffekter på det globale klimasystemets som akselererer oppvarmingen. Hvor fort og i hvilket omfang dette kan skje er sentrale forskningsspørsmål med stor internasjonal oppmerksomhet. Likeledes er det viktig å finne ut om det finnes mottiltak. Beitedyr, både ville og tamme, kan modifisere vegetasjonens utvikling i nordområdene og forskere i flaggskipet vurderer nå om en rasjonell beitedyrforvaltning kan utnytte dette.

En rekke arter vil kunne komme til å bli så sjeldne at kan fort havne på rødlistene ettersom leveområdene deres krymper, næringsressurser forsvinner og nye konkurrenter og fiender vandrer inn fra sør. Forvaltningsmyndighetene har behov for en løpende oppdatering på hvilke arter og naturtyper som etter hvert kommer i faresonen, hvilke årsakssammenhenger som ligger til grunn, og hva som er mulighetene for rasjonelle forvaltningstiltak. Flaggskipet er i ferd med å etablere et klimaøkologisk observasjonssystem for arktisk tundra (KOAT) med hensikt å gi tidlig oppdagelse av endringer og årsakssammenhenger som kan true biomangfold og viktige ressurser og tjenester i økosystemene.

Sustainable management of renewable resources in a changing environment: an integrated approach across ecosystems (SUSTAIN) 62018

John-André Henden

john-andre.henden@uit.no

UiT Norges arktiske universitet

Major anthropogenic stressors, like climate change and harvesting, currently affect all terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. Yet, the interactive effects of these stressors remain poorly understood, and they are generally studied separately within each system. Such interactions may alter ecosystem functions and processes in previously unexpected ways, also affecting the ability to provide ecosystem services. In this project we address the general question of how combined anthropogenic and climatic changes affect different harvested ecosystems (particularly, but not only, in Arctic regions), and how management strategies can be improved to ensure sustainable exploitation and resilience. We follow a strategic foresight protocol with the involvement of a panel of end users and propose a joint effort of theoretical development and empirical analyses of high quality data, from populations to whole ecosystems, to increase our knowledge of the underlying mechanisms of ecosystem responses.

 

COAT – Climate-ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra 102018

Rolf A. Ims
rolf.ims@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

COAT- Climate-ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra is presently the key activity in WP5 of terrestrial flagship. COAT is a baseline activity also for the other work packages of the flagship by providing data and analyses on long-term ecosystem-level impacts of climate change in the Norwegian sector of the proper terrestrial Arctic. COAT aims to becoming a pioneering observatory within the circumpolar Arctic – based on a fully ecosystem-based approach according to principles for adaptive monitoring. During 2011-2013 a team of 24 researchers belonging to 5 institutions developed a the comprehensive COAT Science plan (Ims et al. 2013) to be implemented on high-arctic Svalbard and low-arctic Varanger peninsula. The plan has been externally reviewed with the best grade possible. In 2015-2017, funding for establishing COAT Infrastructure during 2016-2020 was granted from RCN and Tromsø Research Foundation (TRF). However, external funding for running the long-term research within COAT is yet not in place. Until such external funding has been achieved, only the most important baseline monitoring series will be maintained. The present application to the terrestrial flagship regards expenses (mainly field work) for continuing the baseline activities of COAT that will complement internal funding from the participating flagship institutions.

 

Frame-by-frame: a new approach for monitoring plant-pollinator interactions by time lapse photography
152018

Jane Uhd Jepsen
jane.jepsen@nina.no
NINA – Norsk institutt for naturforskning

Climate and climate change is affecting the strength and nature of biotic interaction in the Arctic. The phenologies of plant and herbivores are changing, and increased mismatches between flowering seasons and pollinating insects has been suggested as a contributing cause to the rapid decline in pollinator abundance and diversity observed both in the Arctic and elsewhere. This place an added urgency on understanding the functional role pollinators play in particular ecosystems, and the sensitivities, climatic and otherwise, of plant-pollinator interactions. Monitoring plant-pollinator interactions with a sufficiently high temporal resolution is challenging though, and new methodologies which allow us to cut cost and/or obtain more frequent or complete observations are much needed. Frame-by-frame is testing and implementing a newly proposed protocol based on high frequency time lapse photography. The protocol targets simultaneous measurements of temperature, plant phenology, flowering, seed/berry production, pollinator visitation rates and pollinator diversity. We test the protocol on two common insect-pollinated plants Dryas octopetala and Rubus chamaemorus. The images and insect samples obtained will contribute to building up an efficient analysis pipeline for automatic detection of insects and flowers based on machine learning and computer vision. The goal of the project team is to establish a network of arctic and alpine sites based on the same protocol in the next few years, all contribution images to the same analysis pipeline. The project will hence both advance our understanding of plant-pollinator interactions in the Arctic and contribute to further methodological advances and increased international collaboration.

 

Health and infectious diseases in semi-domesticated reindeer in a changing climate
182018

Morten Tryland
morten.tryland@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

Climate change will have an impact on ecosystems, including the presence and prevalence of infectious agents and diseases affecting reindeer and people, and northern societies in particular. This project is closely linked with the CLINF-project («Climate-change effects on the epidemiology of infectious diseases and the impacts on Northern societies”, Nordic Centre of Excellence, 2016-2021), and is addressing pathogens and climate sensitive infections in semi-domesticated reindeer (Norway) and wild reindeer (Iceland). Reindeer will be sampled (live or slaughterhouse/hunt; 2017-2019) and investigated for reindeer pathogens, climate sensitive infections and the presence of unknown viruses (metagenomics). We will also address traditional knowledge among reindeer herders regarding understanding, prevention and treatment of reindeer diseases, through interviews with the project participants. Data will be available for all the working packages in CLINF and thus compared with parallel findings in Russia, Finland, Sweden and Greenland, and will also be linked to findings from a previous project (CARD), and thus be a part of a long-term monitoring, addressing fluctuations and trends along with a changing climate. The data will be published for scientists and stakeholders, and also used for complex statistical analyses and modeling through CLINF. Through this project we aim at linking member institutions of Fram Centre closer together, as well as linking biology and veterinary medicine to traditional Sami reindeer herding knowledge.

 

AMINOR
232018

Sandra Hamel
sandra.hamel@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

AMINOR – the Research School in Environmental Research of the FRAM Centre – provides a communication and educational platform for scientists and environmental managers, focusing on the integration of monitoring, science and management across several scientific disciplines. It is a multidisciplinary research network connecting members across all flagships represented at the FRAM Centre. The main focus groups are researchers, PhD and master students from diverse scientific disciplines: statistics, oceanography, meteorology, terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecology, economics and political/social science. AMINOR aims at promoting the use and development of theory, excellent study designs and appropriate analytical methods in both research and management, through workshops, group discussions and courses. Such a strong scientific framework is paramount to rigorous monitoring of ecosystems, hence creating better conditions to answer scientific and management questions.

 

Pioneering pests: revealing the potential of the range-expanding winter moth to establish itself in low-arctic willow shrub tundra 352018

Ole Petter Laksformso Vindstad
ole.p.vindstad@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

Thickets of willow shrubs constitute biodiversity hotspots in low-arctic tundra. Shrubs thickets are expected to expand under climate warming, but expansion of efficient boreal herbivores into the tundra may counteract shrub encroachment. In northeast Norway, the outbreaking winter moth has expanded its range through the northern-boreal birch forest until reaching the edge of the low-arctic tundra on the Varanger Peninsula. In 2017 and 2018, we received reports of intensified moth outbreaks on willow thickets well beyond the birch treeline in this area. The local public and authorities expressed great concern over this development, and there was high demand for knowledge about the current extent and likely future development of these outbreaks. At present, however, poor knowledge about the suitability of willow as a host for the winter moth prevents us from telling if outbreaks on willow simply represent a “spillover” of larvae from birch, or if the winter moth will be capable of displaying outbreaks also in pure willow shrub tundra well beyond the arctic birch treeline. The project “Pioneering Pests” constitutes a series of pilot studies that will fill the most pressing knowledge gaps and test methods for monitoring moth outbreaks on willow. Specifically, we will test if the winter moth can complete its lifecycle on willow, if willow outbreaks require the presence of birch in thickets, if willow is a phenologically favorable host for the winter moth, and how outbreaks are distributed along a gradient running from the edge of the birch forest and into the tundra.

 

Lemenboka 382018

Rolf A. Ims
rolf.ims@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

I regi av forslaget Cappelen Damm har forfatter Kirsti Blom siden 2003 utgitt 11 barnebøker om dyreliv, miljøforhold og miljøtrusler i Arktisk. Serien har etter hvert fått kallenavnet det «Arktiske biblioteket for barn». Alle bøkene har hatt en Framsenter-forsker som medforfatter. Bøkene som har omhandlet arktiske landdyr, har etter at Framsenteret ble etablert i 2011, fått finansiell støtte av det terrestre flaggskipet. Finansieringen av disse bøkene utgjør så langt trolig det terrestre flaggskipets betydeligste, allmenne formidlingsbidrag. Denne søknaden gjelder den seneste boka i denne serien. Boka får tittelen «Lemen». Den skal utgis i 2019 med Kirsti Blom og Rolf A. Ims som forfattere. Lemenboka skal omhandle disse smågnagernes spektakulære biologiske egenskaper og sentrale funksjoner i nordlige økosystemer. Den vil behandle en rekke forskningstema som er sentrale i det terrestre flaggskipet – bl.a. hvordan klimaendringene påvirker en art med nøkkelfunksjoner i nordlige økosystem. Boka vil bli skrevet for barn i 4.-7. klassetrinn, men erfaringsmessig leses disse bøkene av et mye bredere spektrum av lesere. Det søkes her om dekning av utgifter til dette formidlingsprosjektet som ikke vil bli finansiert av forlaget eller fra andre kilder.

 

ECOGEN – Ecosystem change and species persistence over time: a genome-based approach 472018

Inger Greve Alsos
inger.g.alsos@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

ECOGEN, a project funded by NFR Toppforsk, aims to develop high taxonomic resolution ancient environmental DNA (sedDNA) methods and evaluate how drivers of change such as human impact, climate change and biota affect species persistence and ecosystem tipping points in arctic-alpine biomes. Within the EGOGEN project, we have already sediment samples from 28 Northern Norwegian lakes. In this ‘research project support’ project we want to increase knowledge of past ecosystems by bringing in expertise on macrofossils from NIBIO and hire an expert on palynology for analyses of fungal spores and pollen from one long core, and from surface sediment samples from the 28 lakes for which we have vegetation data (FRAM 2018). More specifically we will:
1) Extract and identify macrofossils, before they are send off for dating, to improve age-depth models, confirm local occurrence of critical taxa through macrofossil, and resolve critical issues of the local environment.
2) Derive an independent proxy for herbivory and human activity through studying coprophilous fungal spores as e.g. Sporormiella.
3) Apply pollen and spore analysis to the 28 lakes which were subject to vegetation survey in 2018 (FRAM) with the aim of establishing pollen-biomass relationships through vegetation-pollen modelling.
These additional data will strongly improve the quality of our inference though providing independent estimates of both vegetation, grazing and human activity that is independent of the sedaDNA.

 

Socio-ecologic modelling of reindeer population dynamics at multiple spatial scales using a Structural Equation Modelling approach 642018

Bård-Jørgen Bårdsen
bjb@nina.no
NINA – Norsk institutt for naturforskning

This is a continuation of the project that was financed this year. The overall aim of the project is to use Structural Equation Models (SEMs), or path analysis, to assess the relative influence of ecological and social factors in shaping population dynamics of Norwegian semi-domestic reindeer at several levels of social and administrative organization. The project is progressing as we have: 1) recently been granted access to the official statistics on the reindeer husbandry at the siida share (licensed owner) level from the Norwegian Agriculture Agency (NAA), but for fewer years period than we asked for; 2) extracted and ran pre-analyses of satellite-derived data on vegetation biomass and meteorological data across all reindeer districts in Norway. We are still awaiting an answer on our requested access to the official district-level-data from NAA, to receive the requested data (NAA), and data on predator presence/numbers (in dialogue with the Norwegian Environment Agency; NEA). As soon as we have the data at hand, we are ready to run the SEMs. In the original proposal, this was scheduled to take place in the end of 2017 and early 2018, but as NAA have spent <1.5 year granting us access (and we have spent a lot of resources following up our request), we are forced re-schedule and make all the SEMs in 2019. Previous studies have focused on the district-level, but we propose to expand this by applying SEMs at the level of the siida share and siida in addition to the district-level.

 

Yamal EcoSystem (YaES) – Collaboration for monitoring of climate related ecosystem change on Yamal, Russia
662018

Dorothee Ehrich
dorothee.ehrich@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

The aim of this strategic funding project, which has been initiated in 2017, is to continue the collaborative work between Fram Centre researchers, who are part of the Climate ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra (COAT), and the Arctic Research Station in Labytnangi (Yamal, Russia) in developing and running a program for monitoring ecosystem change on Yamal (Yamal EcoSystem – YaES). In this arctic region, which hosts intensive reindeer herding, climate change and land-use management are the main drivers of change. Ecosystem-based monitoring programs, which can provide the data necessary to increase our understanding of the causality in ongoing changes, are at present few – and nearly non-existent in Russia, where most of the Eurasian arctic tundra is located. The scarcity of data from the Russian Arctic has been pointed out repeatedly by programs aiming at integrating monitoring efforts in the Arctic, such as the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) of CAFF.
We focus on several monitoring targets, which can be directly related to COAT:
1) Decadal changes in small rodent community composition (species distribution and population dynamics), likely related to climate change.
2) Changes in the predator/scavenger guild: importance of climate and anthropogenic drivers.
3) Plant-herbivore interactions.
Moreover, an important goal of this project is to continue the integration of YaES into international initiatives such as CBMP

 

Cooperative solutions to common problems—the siida system in Saami reindeer husbandry
732018

Marius Warg Næss
marius.naess@niku.no
NIKU – Norsk institutt for kulturminneforskning

It has been shown that when certain conditions are met, groups of people are capable of sustainable managing their common resources. The traditional Saami siida was such a group because it was: (1) rela-tively small, consisting of 2-8 households; (2) based on kinship, formed around a core sibling group; (3) characterized by a norm of equality – herding partners were equals regardless of social status; (4) infor-mally led by a wealthy and skillful person whose authority was primarily related to herding. Moreover, (5) access to pastures were informally regulated according to siida membership. Nevertheless, the siida sys-tem is currently in the process of being transformed to a legal entity and thus might change several of the characteristic of the traditional siida and subsequently impact its ability to manage pastures as a common resource. This study thus aims at investigating: (1) how, if at all, the siida system have been impacted by the process legal consolidation; (2) to what degree the traditional characteristics of the siida have changed; and (3) if these changes have affected the siidas’ ability of sustainable managing common resources.

 

EcoShift – Scenarios for linking biodiversity, ecosystem services and adaptive actions.
762018

Vera Helene Hausner
vera.hausner@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

Arctic warming will drastically change the tundra ecosystems resulting in decline of native biological diversity with unknown implications for ecosystem services and the well-being of indigenous-and local communities. Broad-scale transitions of vegetation relating to climate change and herbivory have been documented in the past, but less is known about the implications for biological diversity, ecosystem services and local adaptation to such changes. In EcoShift we will, in collaboration with the JPI BioDiversa project FATE, employ scenario methodologies to synthesize our current understanding of broad-scale transitions of vegetation and their linkages to biological diversity, ecosystem services, local well-being and adaptations. We build these scenarios on literature review, systematic expert elicitation, and data from the FATE team based on paleoecological data, experimental and observational studies, and ethnographic data on indigenous-and local knowledge. Spatial forecasts derived from the scenarios will be tested for the Varanger peninsula where we have ground truth data from both ES Arctic and from the socio-ecological monitoring section in COAT. The funding will allow the Norwegian team to develop scenarios that are well grounded on data, and to include Varanger as a testbed for the scenarios and the spatial foresights.

 

PAcific salmon effects on terrestrial ecosystem Structure and Services (PASS)
832018

Guttorm Christensen
guttorm.christensen@akvaplan.niva.no
Akvaplan-niva AS

The sudden increase in pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) in Norwegian rivers in 2017, is thought to be linked to favourable climate conditions for pink salmon reproduction and survival, and is expected to continue as seawater temperatures rise. Anadromous fishes, such as Pacific and Atlantic salmon that migrate between the highly productive marine and less productive freshwater environments, transport energy and nutrients that subsidize freshwater and terrestrial food webs. Considerable research in North America has demonstrated the significant effect of these marine derived subsidies on the structure and function of terrestrial riverine ecosystems. But the role of marine-derived resources from the invasive pink salmon in Norway`s terrestrial environment remains unstudied. The objective of this project is to understand the effects of marine-derived energy and nutrients from pink salmon returns on terrestrial ecosystems in the oligotrophic subarctic tundra. Field work will take place in Varanger, Finnmark, in a river where large runs of pink salmon were experienced in 2017. The transfer of energy from the carcasses of pink salmon through the terrestrial food web will be quantified using terrestrial scavenger camera observations and stable isotope analysis using methodology used effectively in Alaska. The information provided by this project will be valuable in the development of future management strategies for pink salmon invasions in northern Norway. Results will be disseminated through APN and NINA media platforms, a potential Fram Forum article in 2020 and outreach workshops, in addition to a Master`s thesis.

 

ReinCSI – Reindeer herding adaptability to climate sensitive infections in Nenetsia and Sapmi
842018

Alma Thuestad
alma.thuestad@niku.no
NIKU – Norsk institutt for kulturminneforskning

An anthrax outbreak in the Yamalo-Nenets region in northern Russia in 2016 has been linked to climate change and thawing tundra permafrost. The ongoing Arctic warming underlie a need for improved understanding of response capacities in northern regions. The anthrax outbreak and repercussions of this outbreak is an example that highlights the importance of further knowledge on impacts on socio-ecological systems in northern regions and indigenous populations’ adaptability and coping-mechanisms with regard to the effects of climate change and climate sensitive infections (CSI). ReinCSI focuses on reindeer herders in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug and Sápmi. The overall objective is to bring together social and natural scientists and stakeholders (Nenets and Saami) to exchange research findings and experiences, particularly focusing on contributing to a better understanding of adaptions to different climate sensitive diseases.

 

Satellite and calibration/validation data in detecting seasonal changes – adapting machine learning techniques
962018

Stein Rune karlsen
stein-rune.karlsen@norut.no
NORUT

Time-series of optical satellite data can be used to map a range of different biophysical parameters, and has been used on Svalbard to map the growing season and plant productivity. Cloud detection is the most crucial step during the pre-processing of time-series of optical satellite images. The last years, machine learning techniques in cloud detection has developed as a new method with promising results. Applying machine learning techniques needs both training and validation samples, and, is to our knowledge, not been used in Arctic areas yet. In this project we explore the use of machine learning methods in cloud detection on Sentinel-2 satellite images covering Adventdalen on Svalbard. These cloud-free time-series will be processed to seasonal maps showing the development of the growing season, by using calibration/validation data established in the area and up-scaled from UAV data. The project supports several SIOS-InfraNor instruments.

 

The European Goose Management Platform; Coordinating the Agriculture Task Force
1042018

Ingunn Tombre
ingunn.tombre@nina.no
NINA – Norsk institutt for naturforskning

This is an application for Strategic Support from the Terrestrial Flagship in order to support the activity as a coordinator for the Agriculture Task Force under the European Goose Management Platform (EGMP). The platform is an establishment under The Agreement of the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), where four European Goose populations are managed following an adaptive management process. Various Task Forces are established in relation to this platform, and as the conflicts with agriculture are prominent in the countries that are hosting the geese throughout the year, a so-called Agriculture Task Force is established. The applicant, being the national expert representing Norway in EGMP, has been appointed to coordinate this Task Force. The Task Force has 22 members, representing eight nations and representatives from Wetlands International, the European hunting organization FACE, Birdlife International and the farmer organisations Copa Cogeca and EU farmers. Norway have breeding geese throughout the growing season in all the counties, especially along the coast, and have essential stopover sites for the arctic goose populations, breeding in Svalbard, both in spring and autumn. As the populations increase, conflicts with agricultural interests also increase, and it is hence a strategic position for Norway to lead activities at the interface between geese and agriculture. As the Task Force will fuel into the management plans in EGMP, it will also advice policy makers, management bodies from international to local levels, local inhabitants as well as other stakeholder groups.

 

Summer’s End- influence of snowmelt on the timing of arctic plant phenology and senescence.
1102018

Elisabeth J. Cooper
elisabeth.cooper@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

The amount of snowfall, its accumulation and timing of melt contribute to determining the nutrient status of soil and plants in the High Arctic. In addition, timing of snowmelt determines the phenology of plant development during the summer, and thereby the timing of forage availability for residential and migrating herbivores. Recent research suggests that High Arctic vascular plants have a fixed growing season length, and that the timing of senescence is dependent, at least in part, on the date of snowmelt. An earlier snowmelt could therefore potentially lead to an earlier ending of nutrient-rich green summer growth, and an earlier timing of brown, senescing, nutrient-poor vascular plant vegetation, which has much lower value as forage.

Our group recorded near-ground remotely-sensed (NRS) data from Adventdalen in Svalbard (2015-2018), and has gathered vascular plant phenology data during this period. Of particular interest is the relative contribution of vascular plants and mosses to the NRS signals, as well as the role of soil and plant moisture content and nutrients. We are developing the link between hand-collected data and NRS data at the plot-level, so that we can scale-up to the landscape level. This will enable us to interpret satellite-obtained remotely sensed data that covers larger, more inaccessible geographical areas. Ultimately, we will then be able to describe the role of snowmelt date, as well as summer growing conditions, on the timing and amount of vascular and bryophyte growth, and its knock-on effects for the herbivore populations.

 

 

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