Climate in Svalbard is warming fast, and we need to understand its effect on Arctic ecosystems. Plant communities are expected to change from mosses to higher plants. Biodiversity might decrease as cold-adapted plants lose their natural habitat.
The experiment in Endalen is part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). ITEX is a network of experimental sites distributed around the world, from arctic to alpine regions. At all ITEX sites, impacts of warming on tundra ecosystems are studied.
In the current project, we aim to study effects of warming and exclusion of herbivores on plant communities in the High Arctic after up to 20 years of experimental treatment.
The experiment was set up in Endalen in High Arctic tundra on Svalbard. Treatments include warming by using Open Top Chambers, and exclusion of herbivores by using cages.
The project started in 2001 and is expected to continue in the future.
Ingibjörg Svala Jónsdóttir (University of Iceland)
Anne Bjorkman (University of Gothenburg)