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Year: 2020
Project manager: Dorothee Ehrich
Project code: 471 1052019

The aim of this strategic funding project, which has been initiated in 2017, is to continue the collaborative work between Fram Centre researchers, who are part of the Climate ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra (COAT), and the Arctic Research Station in Labytnangi (Yamal, Russia) in monitoring climate related ecosystem change on Yamal (Yamal EcoSystem – YaES). In this arctic region, climate change and land-use management related both to intensive reindeer herding and to industrial development are the main drivers of change. Ecosystem-based monitoring programs, which can provide the data necessary to increase our understanding of the causality in ongoing changes, are at present few – and nearly non-existent in Russia, where most of the Eurasian arctic tundra is located. The scarcity of data from the Russian Arctic has been pointed out repeatedly by programs aiming at integrating monitoring efforts in the Arctic, such as the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) of CAFF.
We focus on the following monitoring targets, which can be directly related to COAT:
1) Decadal changes in small rodent community composition (species distribution and population dynamics), likely related to climate change.
2) The predator/scavenger guild: importance of climate and anthropogenic resources as drivers, as well as possible conflicts with reindeer herders.
3) Plant-herbivore interactions, interactions within the herbivore community and herder-reindeer-vegetation interactions.
Moreover, an important goal of this project is to continue the integration of YaES into international initiatives such as CBMP.

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