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Interactions 2010-2022 (Hochstetter Forland, NE Greenland)

A joint circumpolar project to measure and predict the cascading impacts of “Indirect Trophic Interactions” in arctic terrestrial vertebrate communities

General

Program / partnership
Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM)
Other
Project start
30.06.2010
Project end
31.12.2022
Type of project
Research
Project theme
Terrestrial ecosystems
Project topic
Biology
Birds
Climate research
Ecology
Ecosystems
Ecosystems, terrestrial
Environmental science
Modelling
Monitoring
Seabirds
Terrestial mammals

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, North-East
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 75.158474633769, -19.771638038457

Fieldwork start
01.07.2019
Fieldwork end
11.08.2019

Project details

17.03.2019
Science / project plan

“Interactions Working Group”

Important progress has been made in recent decades to describe and understand how arctic terrestrial vertebrate interact, especially concerning predator-prey interactions.

Indirect interactions between different prey species modulated by shared predators (e.g. Arctic fox) are believed to have important impacts on the structure and/or dynamics of some communities. Yet, our understanding of these types of interactions is still fragmentary.

The operational aim of the project is to promote the implementation of several common protocols that will (1) improve each collaborator’s knowledge at the site level and, more importantly, that will (2) be merged across sites and years to improve our understanding of the functioning and the influence of indirect interactions on arctic vertebrate communities in general.

Five types of data have been identified as being mandatories to answer questions related to this topic. These data sets will be collected using 5 specific protocols described in the following chapters:

  1. Monitor predation pressure using artificial nests
  2. Monitor real predation rates on Calidris nests using Tiny Tags thermologgers
  3. Observations of predators and lemmings
  4. Assessing lemming (or “rodent”) relative abundance
  5. Assessing “herbivores” (excl. rodents) relative abundance using “faeces transects”

Since 2016, 12 sites are implementing these protocols in Canada, Alsaka, Russia, Scandinavia and Greenland (3 sites including our own study site at Hochstetter Forland, Karupelv valley on Traill Island and Zackenberg). Seven additional sites  (in North America and Svalbard) are implementing some of the protocols since 2018 (see figure).

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