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Work Package 1

Predation and the dynamics of arctic-alpine food webs

Small herbivorous mammals appear to have the capacity to control the expansion of northern woody plants, but predators have the potential to prevent this by limiting rodent numbers. According to our results, primary productivity determines whether small mammals are regulated by predation or whether they are food limited and, hence, control the vegetation. Conversely, colleagues working on the coastal tundra have found evidence for predation limitation of lemmings even from unproductive tundra areas. Our working hypothesis is that this contrast reflects the subsidizing effect of marine-based resources on terrestrial food web dynamics. We will test this hypothesis by conducting parallel studies on predator-rodent-plant interactions in coastal and inland tundra.

Prof. Erkki Korpimäki, Univ. Of Turku (ekorpi[at]utu.fi)

Senior Res. Tarja Oksanen, Univ. of Turku (tarja.oksanen[at]utu.fi)

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    Keskitalo, E.C.H, Horstkotte, T., Kivinen, S., Forbes, B., and Käyhkö, J. (2015). "Generality of mis-fit"? The real-life difficulty of matching scales in an interconnected world. Accepted for publication in Ambio.

    Saccone P. and Virtanen R. (2015). Extrapolating multi-decadal plant community changes based on medium-term experiments can be risky: evidence from high-latitude tundra. Oikos. DOI: 10.1111/oik.02399.

    Stark, S. and Ylänne H. (2015). Grazing in Arctic peatlands – an unknown agent in the global carbon budget. Environmental Research Letters, 10: 051002. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/5/051002.

    Ylänne, H., Stark, S., and Tolvanen, A. (2015). Vegetation shift from deciduous to evergreen dwarf shrubs in response to selective herbivory offsets carbon losses: evidence from 19 years of warming and simulated herbivory in the sub-arctic tundra. Global Change Biology,  21: 3696–3711.

    Ruffino, L., Oksanen, T., Hoset, K.S., Tuomi, M., Oksanen, L., Korpimäki, E., Bugli, A., Hobson, K.A., Johansen, B., and Mäkynen A. (2015). Predator-rodent-plant interactions along a coast-inland gradient in Fennoscandian tundra. Ecography. DOI: 10.1111/ecog.01758.

    Björkman, C. and Niemelä, P., eds. (2015). Climate Change and Insect Pests. CABI Climate Change Series 7. 279 pp.

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