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UiT Norges arktiske universitet

Year: 2019
Project manager: Inger Greve Alsos
Project code: 472018

ECOGEN, a project funded by NFR Toppforsk, aims to develop high taxonomic resolution ancient environmental DNA (sedDNA) methods and evaluate how drivers of change such as human impact, climate change and biota affect species persistence and ecosystem tipping points in arctic-alpine biomes. Within the EGOGEN project, we have already sediment samples from 28 Northern Norwegian lakes. In this ‘research project support’ project we want to increase knowledge of past ecosystems by bringing in expertise on macrofossils from NIBIO and hire an expert on palynology for analyses of fungal spores and pollen from one long core, and from surface sediment samples from the 28 lakes for which we have vegetation data (FRAM 2018). More specifically we will:
1) Extract and identify macrofossils, before they are send off for dating, to improve age-depth models, confirm local occurrence of critical taxa through macrofossil, and resolve critical issues of the local environment.
2) Derive an independent proxy for herbivory and human activity through studying coprophilous fungal spores as e.g. Sporormiella.
3) Apply pollen and spore analysis to the 28 lakes which were subject to vegetation survey in 2018 (FRAM) with the aim of establishing pollen-biomass relationships through vegetation-pollen modelling.
These additional data will strongly improve the quality of our inference though providing independent estimates of both vegetation, grazing and human activity that is independent of the sedaDNA.

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