Blog
About

13
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
1 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Long-Term Trends and Role of Climate in the Population Dynamics of Eurasian Reindeer

      Read this article at

      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Temperature is increasing in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world. The frequency and nature of precipitation events are also predicted to change in the future. These changes in climate are expected, together with increasing human pressures, to have significant impacts on Arctic and sub-Arctic species and ecosystems. Due to the key role that reindeer play in those ecosystems, it is essential to understand how climate will affect the region’s most important species. Our study assesses the role of climate on the dynamics of fourteen Eurasian reindeer ( Rangifer tarandus) populations, using for the first time data on reindeer abundance collected over a 70-year period, including both wild and semi-domesticated reindeer, and covering more than half of the species’ total range. We analyzed trends in population dynamics, investigated synchrony among population growth rates, and assessed the effects of climate on population growth rates. Trends in the population dynamics were remarkably heterogeneous. Synchrony was apparent only among some populations and was not correlated with distance among population ranges. Proxies of climate variability mostly failed to explain population growth rates and synchrony. For both wild and semi-domesticated populations, local weather, biotic pressures, loss of habitat and human disturbances appear to have been more important drivers of reindeer population dynamics than climate. In semi-domesticated populations, management strategies may have masked the effects of climate. Conservation efforts should aim to mitigate human disturbances, which could exacerbate the potentially negative effects of climate change on reindeer populations in the future. Special protection and support should be granted to those semi-domesticated populations that suffered the most because of the collapse of the Soviet Union, in order to protect the livelihood of indigenous peoples that depend on the species, and the multi-faceted role that reindeer exert in Arctic ecosystems.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 13

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Decadal trends in the north atlantic oscillation: regional temperatures and precipitation.

           J Hurrell (1995)
          Greenland ice-core data have revealed large decadal climate variations over the North Atlantic that can be related to a major source of low-frequency variability, the North Atlantic Oscillation. Over the past decade, the Oscillation has remained in one extreme phase during the winters, contributing significantly to the recent wintertime warmth across Europe and to cold conditions in the northwest Atlantic. An evaluation of the atmospheric moisture budget reveals coherent large-scale changes since 1980 that are linked to recent dry conditions over southern Europe and the Mediterranean, whereas northern Europe and parts of Scandinavia have generally experienced wetter than normal conditions.
            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Spatial population dynamics: analyzing patterns and processes of population synchrony.

            The search for mechanisms behind spatial population synchrony is currently a major issue in population ecology. Theoretical studies highlight how synchronizing mechanisms such as dispersal, regionally correlated climatic variables and mobile enemies might interact with local dynamics to produce different patterns of spatial covariance. Specialized statistical methods, applied to large-scale survey data, aid in testing the theoretical predictions with empirical estimates. Observational studies and experiments on the demography of local populations are paramount to identify the true ecological mechanisms. The recent achievements illustrate the power of combining theory, observation and/or experimentation and statistical modeling in the ecological research protocol.
              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Opposing plant community responses to warming with and without herbivores.

              If controls over primary productivity and plant community composition are mainly environmental, as opposed to biological, then global change may result in large-scale alterations in ecosystem structure and function. This view appears to be favored among investigations of plant biomass and community responses to experimental and observed warming. In far northern and arctic ecosystems, such studies predict increasing dominance of woody shrubs with future warming and emphasize the carbon (C)-sequestration potential and consequent atmospheric feedback potential of such responses. In contrast to previous studies, we incorporated natural herbivory by muskoxen and caribou into a 5-year experimental investigation of arctic plant community response to warming. In accordance with other studies, warming increased total community biomass by promoting growth of deciduous shrubs (dwarf birch and gray willow). However, muskoxen and caribou reduced total community biomass response, and responses of birch and willow, to warming by 19%, 46%, and 11%, respectively. Furthermore, under warming alone, the plant community shifted after 5 years away from graminoid-dominated toward dwarf birch-dominated. In contrast, where herbivores grazed, plant community composition on warmed plots did not differ from that on ambient plots after 5 years. These results highlight the potentially important and overlooked influences of vertebrate herbivores on plant community response to warming and emphasize that conservation and management of large herbivores may be an important component of mitigating ecosystem response to climate change.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                30 June 2016
                2016
                : 11
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
                [2 ]Department of Geography and Geology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
                [3 ]Plant Biology and Nature Management, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
                [4 ]Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
                University of Colorado, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: AU JM TH JO EK. Analyzed the data: AU AS. Wrote the paper: AU TH EK JO BCF JM. Collected the data: AU TH EK FS JO BCF JM.

                [¤]

                Current address: Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

                Article
                PONE-D-15-52198
                10.1371/journal.pone.0158359
                4928808
                27362499
                © 2016 Uboni et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, Pages: 20
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001862, Svenska Forskningsrådet Formas;
                Award Recipient :
                This study was funded by the Swedish Research Council Formas, grant number 2012-170 awarded to JM. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Animals
                Vertebrates
                Amniotes
                Mammals
                Ruminants
                Reindeer
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Population Biology
                Population Dynamics
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Population Biology
                Population Metrics
                Population Growth
                Earth Sciences
                Seasons
                Winter
                Earth Sciences
                Atmospheric Science
                Climatology
                Climate Change
                People and Places
                Geographical Locations
                Asia
                Russia
                People and Places
                Geographical Locations
                Europe
                Russia
                People and Places
                Geographical Locations
                Europe
                Norway
                People and Places
                Geographical Locations
                Asia
                Siberia
                Custom metadata
                Data are available from the sources listed in S1 Table and in the Methods section.

                Uncategorized

                Comments

                Comment on this article