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Impacts of shrub expansion and climate gradients on arthropod assemblages


Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Terrestrial ecosystems
Project topic
Climate research
Environmental science

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Fieldwork region
Greenland, South-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 64.785359508527, -51.304512994141

Fieldwork start
Fieldwork end

Project details

Science / project plan

Future shrub expansion in Greenland is likely to be particularly pronounced in certain parts of the Godthåbsfjord area, while shrubs may not expand in other parts due to the strong climatic gradients (coast/inland, altitude, slope and aspect). On the basis of an existing GCRC project (6502), we propose to investigate the biomass, assemblage structure and seasonal dynamics of above‐ and below‐ground arthropod communities associated with existing vegetation plots (Figure 1). Among the existing plots, arthropods will be sampled in selected plots with low and high shrub dominance. Pitfall traps, malaise traps and soil coring will be used as sampling methods during three sampling periods during June‐August. Subsets of the samples will be used for biomass assessments, trophic structure and phenology.

The aim is to test whether each of these response measures are affected by shrub dominance, position on the climate gradient and plant species composition. The outcomes of this project will provide the basis for very strong inference about the role of climate and associated changes in plant communities (composition and shrub dominance) in shaping future terrestrial animal communities in the Arctic.

Site: Godthåbsfjorden, Nuuk, Greenland

PI: Toke Høye

Fieldwork summary / photo blog: Link to ARC photo blog