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Functional interactions between large herbivores and plant communities in contrasted ecosystems - Marjorie Bison - France

Awarded: NOK 42,000

Large herbivores have a key-role on plant specific and functional diversity given their position in the trophic network, between producers and carnivores. However, the role of large herbivores may be diverse depending on herbivore species, population dens ity, and spatial scale, as well as ecosystem productivity and diversity. Understanding relationship between herbivory and plant diversity at different scales and in ecosystem of contrasted productivities is therefore essential to better quantify how large herbivore impact plant functional diversity and biomass, and reconcile management goals for herbivores and plant conservation. This topic has got a renewed focus in the last decades due to the impressive increase of large herbivores in arctic and tempera te ecosystems, which occurs in the context of rapid climate and land use changes. This project is based on an already data base on resource use and characteristics of resources available, which will able to get new results on plant-herbivore relationship in natura, and furthermore, to compare different ecosystems (Alps vs subantarctic, subantartic vs Finmark tundra). The six months stay of the PhD student, which will occur after the PhD student will have worked on these data during one year, will allow he r to produce two manuscript jointly written with the Tromso group. It will reenforce existing collaboration with her group in France in the Alpine Ecology lab and ours.

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