Drone-based mapping of changed vegetation

COAT researchers monitor vegetation disturbances by biotic and abiotic factors, such as herbivory and extreme winter weather. However, these are not typical vegetation classes included in remote-sensing based maps.

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COAT expands the vegetation monitoring at Svalbard, now including drones and high-resolution imagery. The team is learning to use advanced equipment to capture not only changes in the vegetation but also to quantify disturbances from herbivores and damage after winters with a lot of ice covering the ground.

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COAT predicted an increase in ptarmigan populations in Finnmark this year and this corresponds well with FeFo's own surveys

COAT has modeled the population fluctuations of willow ptarmigan in Finnmark and looked at what influences changes in the population. The modeling is the result of a collaboration between COAT, the research project SUSTAIN  and several stakeholders, including the landowner Finnmarkseiendommen (FeFo) . The stakeholders wanted the models to be us...

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Do the forbs miss the Mammoth?

An international team led by a COAT -professor at UiT proposes a mechanism by which the large Pleistocene mammals were essential in promoting a very high floristic diversity, and that a similar mechanism is likely to promote diversity in our contemporary grasslands. The idea arised in the tundra grasslands of Varanger Peninsula during monitoring ...

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The Eastern European vole is the only alien mammal species in Svalbard and the host for a zoonotic parasite. In a new paper published in PNAS , COAT researchers analyze the vole’s population dynamics. These analyses provide insight about the expected development of the vole population in a warming climate in Svalbard and more generally, what driv...

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Cascading effects of moth outbreaks on subarctic soil food webs

Large‐scale moth outbreaks have led to profound changes in plant communities from birch forests dominated by dwarf shrubs to grass‐dominated systems. However, the indirect effects on the belowground compartment are poorly known.

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Long time series are important for understanding changes in nature. Despite extensive research on vegetation in Svalbard, long-term monitoring has been lacking. But we can now present “Year 1” of Svalbard vegetation monitoring within COAT.

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This year's snow measurements in Komagdalen and Vestre Jakobselv have been carried out

Snow measurements are an important part of the monitoring done in COAT – snow is indeed an important driver of many processes underlying dynamics of arctic ecosystems. The measurements we do focus on simple measurements of snow depths in different habitats (snowbeds, hummock, meadow, heath), as well as much more detailed assessment of the different...

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Understanding and predicting how climate change impacts Svalbard ptarmigan population dynamics

Iterative near-term forecasting is a promising approach to better understand and manage rapidly changing ecosystems such as the Arctic. Forecasts generated on a short-term time scale allow scientific hypotheses to be tested more frequently, speeding up scientific advancement, and are relevant to managers because the time scale can be influenced by...

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Red fox traps placed in Varanger

In the first week of February, a small team from COAT and local experts Alfred Ørjebu and John Arne Kristiansen placed 3 wooden box traps designed for live trapping red foxes in southeastern Varanger peninsula. The effort is part of a new research project that attempts to deploy GPS collars on red foxes to investigate their movement behavior as pa...

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