Research and research interests
Currently ongoing projects
1) Rodent grazing effects on sub-arctic plant communities and plant-soil interactions,
2) Identifying rodent species from single fecal pellets using near-infrared reflectance spectoscopy (NIRS),
3) Habitat specificity of and within-landscape patterns in rodent population dynamics and predator-rodent-plant interactions.
Impact of grey-sided voles on tundra plant communities and soil processes
Small rodents can have profound effects on plant communities in terms of biomass and species composition. Owing to a combination of direct (feces and urine deposition, burrowing) and indirect mechanisms (e.g. changes in plant litter quantity and quality), above-ground grazing can affect below ground processes, such as soil nutrient levels, soil organic matter content and decomposition rates in different and often context-specific ways. In turm, changes in e.g. soil nutrient levels modulate the growing environment for plants and ultimately forage availabilty of rodents, and thus herbivory effects on soils can circle back to the above-ground system. In this context I’m studying how grey-sided vole (Myodes rufocanus) grazing affects plant community composition in mesic sub-arctic habitats, how this in turn affects some key soil properties, and how selectivity of grazing mediates responses of plants and soil. The project is based on a long term (10yr) food web manipulation experiment at lake Iesjavri, Finnmark, Northern Norway.
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