What we do

 We are a group of researchers investigating plant-animal interactions in tundra environments. Our goal is to form collaborative partnerships and design standardized protocols for measuring herbivory across alpine and Arctic ecosystems.

New Publications Related To Herbivory

Below are some exciting new papers recently published by Herbivory Network members:

Not only mosses: lemming winter diets as described by DNA metabarcoding

In this study, Eeva Soininen at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway and her co-authors present compelling DNA evidence that the conventional idea of lemmings as moss-specialists needs to be revised. Read more


Expansion of deciduous tall shrubs but not evergreen dwarf shrubs inhibited by reindeer in Scandes mountain range

Tage Vowles and his collaborators at the University of Gothenburg recently published a paper in The Journal of Ecology describing how reindeer limit the growth of deciduous tall shrubs but not evergreen shrubs in Swedish alpine ecosystems. Read more


The importance of herbivore density and management as determinants of the distribution of rare plant species

Herbivory Network members James Speed and Gunnar Austrheim have published a paper in the journal Biological Conservation where they use a national-level data set mapping densities of large herbivores to predict the distribution of rare plant species within Norway. Read more

Sea ice, rain-on-snow and tundra reindeer nomadism in Arctic Russia

Herbivory Network member Bruce Forbes and his colleagues investigated the extreme weather events of November 2006 and 2013 in Western Siberia, which caused mass reindeer starvation. The authors we were able to track weather events in detail using state-of-the-art satellite sensors.  Read more


Recent Meetings

14We had a successful Herbivory Network Meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland on 15-16 September, 2016. Through a series of workshops, we launched several new collaborative initiatives related to herbivore ecology in the Arctic. Read more…


Herbivory Protocols

_e5c8270-2We have developed protocols that quantify the impacts of herbivores on tundra ecosystems using targeted experimental designs. If implemented across study areas, these protocols can be powerful tools to understand plant-animal interactions across broad geographic regions. Read more…


Research Highlights

barrio-mapIn the Arctic, herbivores often play a key role in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. The diversity of herbivores varies across the Arctic, and until now, no one knew whether this was shaped by physical environmental factors, like temperature, or biotic factors, such as plant productivity. Find out more about this study and other research conducted by our network.



Photo credits:

Featured image: Lawrence Hislop, Norwegian Polar Institute
Field work on cliffside: Lawrence Hislop, Norwegian Polar Institute
Reindeer herder: Bruce Forbes, University of Lapland
Fecal pellet: Lawrence Hislop, Norwegian Polar Institute
Willow ptarmigan: Neil Paprocki
Sheep:  Atle Mysterud University of Oslo
Frozen reindeer: Roma Serotetto
Icelandic flag: Katie Christie, Alaska SeaLife Center
Counting fecal pellets: Lawrence Hislop
Circumpolar map: Isabel Barrio, University of Iceland

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