Workshop: Biotic response on climate change in Svalbard
This week, 18 scientists from Bergen, Helsinki, Lund, Stockholm, Tallinn, Lithuania, Oxford and UNIS gathered at UNIS for a workshop on biotic response on climate change.
Text: Anne Hormes, associate professor in quaternary geology
BIOCOLD (Biotic response to climate change in cold climates) is a network designed to bring together research groups that represent different methodological approaches for investigating the main questions of palaeoecology, palaeontology, and palaeoclimatology concerning the understanding of biotic responses at the end of the last ice age, species response patterns, migration processes, and extinctions leading to the present day distribution of biota.
UNIS has three staff members that are part of the BIOCOLD network: Pernille Bronken Eidesen, Eike Müller and Anne Hormes.
This week, scientists within the network gathered at UNIS in Longyearbyen for a workshop on biotic response on climate change.
On Wednesday there was an excursion to Linnévatn and Linnévalley in order to discuss the Quaternary landscape development in this region with a special focus on Holocene climate change.
Lake Linnévatn is a key site for Holocene lake sediment cores that are used to reconstruction former climate change during the last 10,000 years. Several other lake sediments have been retrieved in the very same area since the 1980’s.
The workshop participants discussed the challenges for building chronologies in the High Arctic and the sparseness of vertebrae and vegetation residues in lake sediment archives and how to overcome these.
On Thursday the excursion led to the glacier fore-field of Nordenskiöldbreen to gain insight of vegetation establishment in deglaciated glacier fore-fields.
The workshop offered the BIOCOLD participants excellent opportunities to develop new ideas and future research collaborations.
The BIOCOLD workshop participants in front of the Nordenskiöld glacier. (Photo: Anne Bjune, University of Oslo/Bjerknes Centre).