What are the effects of herbivore diversity on tundra ecosystems?

Laura Barbero Palacios, Isabel C. Barrio, Jan C. Axmacher, Laura Bartra, Katrín Björnsdóttir, Ragnhild Bjørkås, Mathilde Defourneaux, Mariana García Criado, Olivier Gilg, Michael den Herder, David S. Hik, Bernice C. Hwang, Ilona Kater, Elina Kaarlejärvi, Tiina H.M. Kolari, Jeppe A. Kristensen, Mari Kuoppamaa, Thomas K. Lameris, A. Joshua Leffler, Isla Myers-SmithEmmanuel P. Pagneux, Matteo Petit Bon, Emmanuel Serrano, Eeva M. Soininen, Jennifer S. Ramsay, Anna Skarin, Natalya Sokolova, James D. M. Speed, Mari Tuomi, Helen C. Wheeler, Torben Windirsch

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific

Abstract

Northern ecosystems are strongly influenced by herbivores, but differences in diet composition, behaviour and energy requirements among herbivore species lead to contrasting impacts on ecosystem functioning. Arctic herbivore communities are changing rapidly in response to ongoing environmental and land use changes, and for these reasons, a better understanding of the consequences of changes in the diversity of herbivore assemblages in ecosystem functioning is needed. We used a systematic review to synthesize the available evidence on the effects of herbivore diversity on different processes, functions, and properties of Arctic tundra ecosystems. We searched primary field studies in databases, search engines and specialist websites and retrieved 5891 articles. After screening titles, abstracts, and full texts, 201 articles including 3955 studies were considered relevant for the systematic review. There was a geographical bias in the distribution of studies across the tundra biome, with most studies concentrated around well-established research locations. Most studies focused on the effects of a single herbivore species, while only a few studies specifically addressed the separate and combined effects of different herbivore species. The majority of studies focused on impacts of vertebrate herbivores on different aspects of arctic tundra vegetation, while other ecosystem processes, functions and properties have received less attention. Our results indicate that the available knowledge on the effects of herbivore diversity is relatively limited, so the consequences of ongoing changes in herbivore communities may be difficult to forecast. Future studies should explicitly address the role of herbivore diversity to understand the responses of tundra ecosystems to ongoing environmental changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages20-21
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoEC publication typeNot Eligible
EventIcelandic Ecological Society Meeting 2023 - Hótel Laugarbakka, Laugarbakki, Iceland
Duration: 24 Mar 202326 Mar 2023
https://nordicsocietyoikos.glueup.com/event/icelandic-ecological-society-meeting-2023-70375/

Conference

ConferenceIcelandic Ecological Society Meeting 2023
Country/TerritoryIceland
CityLaugarbakki
Period24.03.202326.03.2023
Internet address

Field of science

  • Ecology, evolutionary biology

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