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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Snow bunting reproduction in a changing environment: effects of altered predation rates versus earlier spring onset (RiS ID 11613)

Tildelt: kr 60 999

This project focuses on the effects of, and potential interplay between, advanced timing of spring onset and changes in predation pressure by the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) on breeding dates and reproductive success of snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) in Adventdalen. Spring onset and early summer weather likely affects the abundance/activity of arthropods, the main food source for snow bunting chicks. Arctic foxes, which abundance from year to year is largely affected by fluctuations in reindeer abundance, are the snow buntings' main predator (primarily on eggs). I will monitor breeding data, arthropod abundance and predation rates on nests in Adventdalen, with a special focus on in-depth data on egg predation rates. My data will be added to a long-term monitoring program on snow buntings which started in 1998. Together with weather data from Svalbard, I will use the data set to evaluate the effect of climate change on different trophic interactions impacting the snow bunting population.


SSF-Svalbard Science Forum