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Documenting lemming population change in the Arctic: Can we detect trends?

  • Dorothée EhrichEmail author
  • Niels M. Schmidt
  • Gilles Gauthier
  • Ray Alisauskas
  • Anders Angerbjörn
  • Karin Clark
  • Frauke Ecke
  • Nina E. Eide
  • Erik Framstad
  • Jay Frandsen
  • Alastair Franke
  • Olivier Gilg
  • Marie-Andrée Giroux
  • Heikki Henttonen
  • Birger Hörnfeldt
  • Rolf A. Ims
  • Gennadiy D. Kataev
  • Sergey P. Kharitonov
  • Siw T. Killengreen
  • Charles J. Krebs
  • Richard B. Lanctot
  • Nicolas Lecomte
  • Irina E. Menyushina
  • Douglas W. Morris
  • Guy Morrisson
  • Lauri Oksanen
  • Tarja Oksanen
  • Johan Olofsson
  • Ivan G. Pokrovsky
  • Igor Yu. Popov
  • Donald Reid
  • James D. Roth
  • Sarah T. Saalfeld
  • Gustaf Samelius
  • Benoit Sittler
  • Sergey M. Sleptsov
  • Paul A. Smith
  • Aleksandr A. Sokolov
  • Natalya A. Sokolova
  • Mikhail Y. Soloviev
  • Diana V. Solovyeva
Terrestrial Biodiversity in a Rapidly Changing Arctic

Abstract

Lemmings are a key component of tundra food webs and changes in their dynamics can affect the whole ecosystem. We present a comprehensive overview of lemming monitoring and research activities, and assess recent trends in lemming abundance across the circumpolar Arctic. Since 2000, lemmings have been monitored at 49 sites of which 38 are still active. The sites were not evenly distributed with notably Russia and high Arctic Canada underrepresented. Abundance was monitored at all sites, but methods and levels of precision varied greatly. Other important attributes such as health, genetic diversity and potential drivers of population change, were often not monitored. There was no evidence that lemming populations were decreasing in general, although a negative trend was detected for low arctic populations sympatric with voles. To keep the pace of arctic change, we recommend maintaining long-term programmes while harmonizing methods, improving spatial coverage and integrating an ecosystem perspective.

Keywords

Arctic Dicrostonyx Lemmus Population monitoring Temporal trends Small rodent 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Numerous funding agencies supported all the monitoring and research programmes included in this paper; they are listed in the appendix, and a large number of field workers were involved over the years in all sites. We thank Denver Holt for providing metadata for this study, and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (NMS), the Norwegian Environmental Agency (DE), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (GG) for supporting work with this review. We thank Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring programme for access to data. The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Supplementary material

13280_2019_1198_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (992 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 992 kb)

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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothée Ehrich
    • 1
    Email author
  • Niels M. Schmidt
    • 2
  • Gilles Gauthier
    • 3
  • Ray Alisauskas
    • 4
  • Anders Angerbjörn
    • 5
  • Karin Clark
    • 6
  • Frauke Ecke
    • 7
  • Nina E. Eide
    • 8
  • Erik Framstad
    • 9
  • Jay Frandsen
    • 10
  • Alastair Franke
    • 11
  • Olivier Gilg
    • 12
    • 13
  • Marie-Andrée Giroux
    • 14
  • Heikki Henttonen
    • 15
  • Birger Hörnfeldt
    • 7
  • Rolf A. Ims
    • 1
  • Gennadiy D. Kataev
    • 16
  • Sergey P. Kharitonov
    • 17
  • Siw T. Killengreen
    • 1
  • Charles J. Krebs
    • 18
  • Richard B. Lanctot
    • 19
  • Nicolas Lecomte
    • 14
  • Irina E. Menyushina
    • 20
  • Douglas W. Morris
    • 21
  • Guy Morrisson
    • 22
  • Lauri Oksanen
    • 23
    • 24
  • Tarja Oksanen
    • 23
    • 24
  • Johan Olofsson
    • 25
  • Ivan G. Pokrovsky
    • 26
    • 27
    • 35
  • Igor Yu. Popov
    • 28
  • Donald Reid
    • 29
  • James D. Roth
    • 30
  • Sarah T. Saalfeld
    • 19
  • Gustaf Samelius
    • 31
  • Benoit Sittler
    • 32
  • Sergey M. Sleptsov
    • 33
  • Paul A. Smith
    • 34
  • Aleksandr A. Sokolov
    • 35
    • 36
  • Natalya A. Sokolova
    • 35
    • 36
  • Mikhail Y. Soloviev
    • 37
  • Diana V. Solovyeva
    • 27
  1. 1.UiT The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Arctic Research Centre, Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversityRoskildeDenmark
  3. 3.Département de Biologie and Centre d’Études NordiquesUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  4. 4.Wildlife Research DivisionEnvironment and Climate Change CanadaSaskatoonCanada
  5. 5.Department of ZoologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  6. 6.Environment and Natural ResourcesYellowknifeCanada
  7. 7.Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental StudiesSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUmeåSweden
  8. 8.Norwegian Institute for Nature ResearchTrondheimNorway
  9. 9.Norwegian Institute for Nature ResearchOsloNorway
  10. 10.Parks CanadaInuvikCanada
  11. 11.Department of Renewable ResourcesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  12. 12.UMR 6249 Chrono-Environnement, Université de Bourgogne Franche-ComtéBesançonFrance
  13. 13.Groupe de recherche en Ecologie ArctiqueFranchevilleFrance
  14. 14.K.-C.-Irving Research Chair in Environmental Sciences and Sustainable DevelopmentUniversité de MonctonMonctonCanada
  15. 15.Natural Resources Institute FinlandHelsinkiFinland
  16. 16.Laplandskii Nature ReserveMonchegorskRussia
  17. 17.Bird Ringing Centre of RussiaMoscowRussia
  18. 18.Department of ZoologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  19. 19.Migratory Bird Management DivisionU.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceAnchorageUSA
  20. 20.MoscowRussia
  21. 21.Department of BiologyLakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada
  22. 22.National Wildlife Research Centre, Environment and Climate Change CanadaCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  23. 23.Department of Arctic and Marine BiologyUiT - The Arctic University of NorwayAltaNorway
  24. 24.Department of Biology, Section of EcologyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  25. 25.Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  26. 26.Max-Planck Institute for OrnithologyRadolfzellGermany
  27. 27.Laboratory of OrnithologyInstitute of Biological Problems of the NorthMagadanRussia
  28. 28.A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and EvolutionRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  29. 29.Wildlife Conservation Society CanadaWhitehorseCanada
  30. 30.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  31. 31.Snow Leopard TrustSeattleUSA
  32. 32.Chair for Nature Conservation and Landscape EcologyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  33. 33.Institute of Biological Problems of CryolithozoneSiberian Branch of the Russian Academy of SciencesYakutskRussia
  34. 34.National Wildlife Research CentreOttawaCanada
  35. 35.Arctic Research Station of Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural BranchRussian Academy of SciencesLabytnangiRussia
  36. 36.Science Center for Arctic StudiesState Organization of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous DistrictSalekhardRussia
  37. 37.Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Faculty of BiologyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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