Current Projects

We are an active group of scientists with diverse research programs, but we all share a common interest in plant-animal interactions in tundra regions. So far, our collaborative efforts have culminated in two published papers, and three trial versions of standardized protocols on how to measure herbivory.

In addition to the ongoing, longer-term effort of developing robust protocols to measure herbivory in tundra, there are also a number of exciting new projects currently being developed:

  • An assessment of the functional and phylogenetic diversity of herbivore assemblages across the Arctic. This work follows from the Barrio et al. (2016) data material and aims to summarize the functional groups and phylogenetic diversity of arctic herbivores. James Speed and MSc student Ina Skjelbred are developing the phylogenetic analyses and Eeva Soininen is leading the analyses of functional diversity.

  • A systematic review on the effects of herbivores on tundra soils led by the Soil Working Group (Maria Väisänen, Guillermo Bueno, Maria Tuomi and Francis Brearley). This work will revise the current knowledge on the impacts of herbivores on tundra soils through literature search.

  • Identification of data gaps in tundra herbivory research, led by Eeva Soininen, James Speed and Jennifer Forbey. Eeva and James are developing a systematic protocol that aims to create a systematic map of the conducted herbivory research. Jennifer will lead a review on what kind of paradigms have been prominent in herbivory research for the last decades.

  • The assessment of the effects of historical grazing within tundra sites, led by Martin Mörsdorf. A discussion on the methods that can be used to define historical grazing effects within tundra study sites was initiated during the workshop at HN2016. This could be developed into a protocol during the next meetings.

  • Assessment of background invertebrate herbivory levels in tundra. This work will analyse the prevalence and intensity of invertebrate herbivory across tundra sites. Isabel Barrio and MSc student Sarah Rheubottom are developing the assessments at the plant community level.

  • Study designs for plant-herbivore interactions. This conceptual work, led by Virve Ravolainen, will discuss best practices to design studies in the field of plant-herbivore interactions.

If you are interested in contributing to any of these efforts, please feel free to contact the lead persons.