How to preserve the tundra in a warming climate

NCoE Tundra is a Nordic Centre of Excellence (2011–15), funded by TRI, the Top-level Research Initiative.

We study the interaction between the ecological phenomenon of top-down impacts in food webs and climate–vegetation interactions and integrate this perspective with the reindeer husbandry and the Sámi culture dependent on it.

Based on scientific evidence reported by IPCC, there has been a very substantial Arctic warming since the mid-20th century. The Arctic region will also warm more rapidly than the global mean, and mean warming over land will be larger than over the ocean. These physical changes will influence the northern ecosystems. A potential transformation may occur from arctic-alpine tundra to forest or dense scrubland. This modification may trigger positive feedbacks, where vegetation changes speed up climate warming by decreasing the surface albedo. Our aim is to unravel the complex climate-animal-plant interaction of the tundra ecosystem and explore the capability of herbivorous mammals in controlling and inhibiting the expansion of woody vegetation.

The Centre is a network of nine research parties in Finland, Norway and Sweden, and is formed of eight Work Packages.

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