Grant: $363,137 - National Science Foundation - Jul. 1, 2009
100% voted satisfied - 0% voted not satisfied - 1 vote(s) cast
Award Description: Broad-scale investigations of the ecological consequences of changing climate and seasonality in the Arctic are imperative to improving our understanding the Arctic as a system. This understanding will, however, continue to elude us in the absence of studies of the responses to such changes of inter-connected biological components. We propose a comprehensive investigation of ecological responses to changing seasonality at two rapidly warming sites in the Low- and High Arctic to address this need. This proposal links changing seasonality with the phenological dynamics of species, species dynamics with the phenological dynamics of communities, and community dynamics with species interactions across trophic levels. Abiotic changes associated with global climate change are occurring rapidly in the Arctic, and documentation of their rates, magnitudes, and spatial variation has received unparalleled focus. The documentation of observed biological and ecological consequences of such abiotic changes has received comparatively less attention, but one of the most common observations has been that of differential responses to warming among plant species and functional groups. These observations suggest that community- and inter-species level consequences of warming may be a common aspect of ecological response to warming throughout the Arctic. Here, we propose a comparison of ecological rates of response to changing seasonality within and across plant species, across trophic levels between plants and herbivores (caribou and muskoxen), and through space and time within and between the Low- and High Arctic. This research will inform the management and conservation of arctic species that have high cultural and economic value through subsistence hunting and tourism.
Project Description: This research will synthesize and continue the collection of long-term, spatially replicated data from Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland, and Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, to address four aspects of ecological response to changing seasonality in the Arctic: I. How do rates of phenological change in response to changing seasonality in the Arctic vary among plant species, and between the Low- and High Arctic? II. How does the timing of herbivore activity respond to changing seasonality through time and space, and between the Low- and High Arctic? III. How does changing seasonality alter reciproc l interactions between the phenology of plants and herbivores? IV. What are the large-scale and proximal drivers of the observed changes, and do they differ between the Low- and High Arctic? To answer these questions we will, in addition to continuing our monitoring efforts at both sites, use 8 years of spatially- replicated data on the phenological dynamics of 31 plant species from Kangerlussuaq, and 13 years of spatially-replicated data on the phenological dynamics of 6 plant species at Zackenberg, in addition to 8 and 13 years of daily and weekly observations of caribou at Kangerlussuaq and muskoxen at both sites. The comprehensive scope of the data and analyses proposed here are thus uncommon, if not unique.
Jobs Summary: A Principal Investigator, one post-doc scholar, and one part-time graduate student were assigned to this research project. This will provide an opportunity for expended knowledge and work-study, while facilitating the objectives of the project. (Total jobs reported: 2)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jul. 1, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.