ABC 2014

ABC 2014 meeting and conference session

The Herbivory Network organized a side meeting and chaired a scientific session during the Arctic Biodiversity Congress in Trondheim, in December 2014.  The aim of these activities was to advance the development of a general, standardized protocol for measuring herbivory in tundra ecosystems in arctic and alpine environments, and to strengthen communication with the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP).  The side meeting identified the main challenges in the development of a general protocol to measure herbivory and established the next steps for achieving this goal. The scientific session included expert talks focusing on main groups of herbivores in these systems (i.e. mammals, birds, insects), on long-term ongoing monitoring efforts and comprehensive monitoring programs, and a final round table discussion.

Overall, there was a broad agreement among the side meeting participants on the need of collaborative efforts to address herbivory questions across different sites and at different spatial scales, and thus the necessity of implementing common protocols to monitor herbivory and its impacts on tundra ecosystems.  Two main overarching research questions will guide the development of the protocol:

  • QUESTION 1. How do herbivores affect tundra vegetation? What causes temporal and spatial variation in the outcomes of plant-herbivore interactions?

  • QUESTION 2. How do herbivores modulate the responses of tundra vegetation to environmental change?

Scientific session: “How to approach collaborative research on herbivory: an ecological interaction of key importance”

During the scientific session, different case studies focusing on the main groups of Arctic herbivores and on different monitoring approaches were presented; a round table discussion followed.

  • The Hudson Bay Project – 20 years of collaboration to characterize the effects of goose herbivory in Hudson Bay (Ken Abraham)

  • Registering mammalian herbivory in plant communities (Kari Anne Bråthen)

  • Arctic Insect Herbivory, current knowledge and future directions (Toke Høye)

  • Herbivory and the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (Jason Taylor)