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Influence of environmental gradients on arctic plant communities


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

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Fieldwork region
Greenland, South-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 64.794133626976, -51.120491998047

Fieldwork start
Fieldwork end

Project details

Science / project plan

The ecosystems in western Greenland are strongly influenced by the composition of the plant communities, yet little is known about the effects of environmental variations on the vegetation composition. In order to understand the mechanisms that control the structure and resilience of the ecosystems it is therefore essential to better understand the factors that shape the local plant community composition.
The aim of the proposed project is to investigate how plant communities vary with altitude and among micro-habitats in an area close to the inland ice. The study constitutes the final station in an east-west gradient with similar stations on four other stations further west in the Godthåbsford (GCRC project 6502). The study is unique in using a stratified random design. This makes it possible to use the results for predicting the combined effects of climate changes and environmental gradients in the entire region.
In addition to providing unique insights into the factors that influence the vegetation composition in the area, the project provides the necessary logistical framework for studying variations in the arthropod community composition in the area (see separate proposal). Further, the establishment of permanent vegetation plots is essential for monitoring the long-term changes in the arctic ecosystems related to climate changes.

Site: Godthåbsfjorden, Nuuk, Greenland

PI: Jacob Nabe-Nielsen

Fieldwork summary / photo blog: Link to ARC photo blog