Líffræðifélag Íslands - biologia.is
Líffræðiráðstefnan 2019

Erindi/veggspjald / Talk/poster V18

Effects of grazing on plant communities adapting to climate change

Höfundar / Authors: Rán Finnsdóttir (1,2)

Starfsvettvangur / Affiliations: 1. Uppsala University , 2. The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland

Kynnir / Presenter: Rán Finnsdóttir

Global warming is expected to affect the arctic harsher than other regions of the globe. Many plant species will face conditions that contradict their adaptations in a warming climate. Changes in habitat can lead to drastic changes in biodiversity as well as exerting a strong environmental pressure for plants to evolve and adapt quickly. Herbivory grazing in the arctic also effects plant ecosystems and may influence their response to warming. The aim of this study is to examine whether grazing influences or impedes plants’ adaptation to rising temperatures. Geothermally warmed areas have been used as in situ proxy systems for effects of warming climates on ecosystems. Here Grændalur, a geothermally warmed valley in SW Iceland, is used as a study site to explore the effects of warming and grazing on ecosystems. Three soil temperature gradient transects have been established there and each transect has six fenced-off plots, at different soil temperatures (ambient +0, +1, +3, +5 and +10°C), as well as paired plots outside the fence that are grazed by sheep. Species richness, cover, and composition as well as plant height were measured in these plots inside and outside the fence. The results will give insight into the effects of grazing on plant community responses to warming climates.