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Location of studies and evidence of effects of herbivory on Arctic vegetation: a systematic map

Soininen, E. M. and Bjorkas, R. and Bjornsdottir, K. and Ehrich, D. and Hopping, K. A. and Kaarlejarvi, E. and Kolstad, A. L. and Abdulmanova, S. and Bjork, R. G. and Bueno, C. G. and Finger-Higgens, R. and Eischeid, I and Forbey, J. S. and Gignac, C. and Gilg, O. and den Herder, M. and Holm, H. S. and Hwang, B. C. and Jepsen, J. U. and Kamenova, S. and Koltz, A. M. and Kater, I and Koltz, A. M. and Kristensen, J. A. and Little, C. J. and Macek, P. and Mathisen, K. M. and Metcalfe, D. B. and Mosbacher, J. B. and Morsdorf, M. and Park, T. and Propster, J. R. and Roberts, A. J. and Serrano, E. and Spiegel, M. P. and Tamayo, M. and Tuomi, M. W. and Verma, M. and Vuorinen, K. E. M. and Vaisanen, M. and Van Der Wal, René and Wilcots, M. E. and Yoccoz, N. G. and Speed, J. D. M. (2021). Location of studies and evidence of effects of herbivory on Arctic vegetation: a systematic map. Environmental Evidence. 10 , 25
[Research article]

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Abstract

Background: Herbivores modify the structure and function of tundra ecosystems. Understanding their impacts is necessary to assess the responses of these ecosystems to ongoing environmental changes. However, the effects of herbivores on plants and ecosystem structure and function vary across the Arctic. Strong spatial variation in herbivore effects implies that the results of individual studies on herbivory depend on local conditions, i.e., their ecological context. An important first step in assessing whether generalizable conclusions can be produced is to identify the existing studies and assess how well they cover the underlying environmental conditions across the Arctic. This systematic map aims to identify the ecological contexts in which herbivore impacts on vegetation have been studied in the Arctic. Specifically, the primary question of the systematic map was: "What evidence exists on the effects of herbivores on Arctic vegetation?".Methods: We used a published systematic map protocol to identify studies addressing the effects of herbivores on Arctic vegetation. We conducted searches for relevant literature in online databases, search engines and specialist websites. Literature was screened to identify eligible studies, defined as reporting primary data on herbivore impacts on Arctic plants and plant communities. We extracted information on variables that describe the ecological context of the studies, from the studies themselves and from geospatial data. We synthesized the findings narratively and created a Shiny App where the coded data are searchable and variables can be visually explored. Review findings We identified 309 relevant articles with 662 studies (representing different ecological contexts or datasets within the same article). These studies addressed vertebrate herbivory seven times more often than invertebrate herbivory. Geographically, the largest cluster of studies was in Northern Fennoscandia. Warmer and wetter parts of the Arctic had the largest representation, as did coastal areas and areas where the increase in temperature has been moderate. In contrast, studies spanned the full range of ecological context variables describing Arctic vertebrate herbivore diversity and human population density and impact.Conclusions: The current evidence base might not be sufficient to understand the effects of herbivores on Arctic vegetation throughout the region, as we identified clear biases in the distribution of herbivore studies in the Arctic and a limited evidence base on invertebrate herbivory. In particular, the overrepresentation of studies in areas with moderate increases in temperature prevents robust generalizations about the effects of herbivores under different climatic scenarios.

Authors/Creators:Soininen, E. M. and Bjorkas, R. and Bjornsdottir, K. and Ehrich, D. and Hopping, K. A. and Kaarlejarvi, E. and Kolstad, A. L. and Abdulmanova, S. and Bjork, R. G. and Bueno, C. G. and Finger-Higgens, R. and Eischeid, I and Forbey, J. S. and Gignac, C. and Gilg, O. and den Herder, M. and Holm, H. S. and Hwang, B. C. and Jepsen, J. U. and Kamenova, S. and Koltz, A. M. and Kater, I and Koltz, A. M. and Kristensen, J. A. and Little, C. J. and Macek, P. and Mathisen, K. M. and Metcalfe, D. B. and Mosbacher, J. B. and Morsdorf, M. and Park, T. and Propster, J. R. and Roberts, A. J. and Serrano, E. and Spiegel, M. P. and Tamayo, M. and Tuomi, M. W. and Verma, M. and Vuorinen, K. E. M. and Vaisanen, M. and Van Der Wal, René and Wilcots, M. E. and Yoccoz, N. G. and Speed, J. D. M.
Title:Location of studies and evidence of effects of herbivory on Arctic vegetation: a systematic map
Series Name/Journal:Environmental Evidence
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:10
Article number:25
Number of Pages:21
Publisher:BMC
ISSN:2047-2382
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:Browsing, Grazing, Grubbing, Defoliation, Tundra, Invertebrate, Vertebrate, Forest-tundra, Plant-herbivore interaction
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-114231
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-114231
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1186/s13750-021-00240-0
Web of Science (WoS)000707952200001
ID Code:26063
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:05 Nov 2021 10:25
Metadata Last Modified:05 Nov 2021 10:31

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