For those interested in vegetation dynamics and/or what I’ve been spending time on… it turns out that interactions between plants have a stronger impact on the occurrence and abundance of those plants than grazing and trampling by herbivores. In other words, in the open fellfields of northern Finland neighbouring plants  matter more than reindeer and lemmings for vegetation.  This is a main conclusion for a recent paper of mine in Ecology – for more details you can find the paper online here. The finding of the import influence of dominant plants  fits broadly with the results an earlier study of mine (which I wrote about here).

Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum; with the thin needle-like leaves) and dwarf birch (Betula nana; with the large toothed leaves) have strong impacts on neighbouring plants

 

This research is based on fieldwork conducted at Kilpisjärvi; you can find previous blog’s about my summer fieldwork here and here. I’m looking forward to heading up to Lapland this winter (watch this space for details…) and again for another summer field season.

 

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