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Program / Module 4

Module 4 - Tundra Ecosystems: Vegetation and Wildlife

Module Leader: Greg Henry

Permafrost, snow cover and liquid water have important effects on the structure and function of tundra ecosystems. The climate and permafrost soils regulate species distributions and are important evolutionary filters for Arctic species. Snow cover is a critical component of survival for both organisms wintering below it (plants and small mammals) or above it (large herbivores and carnivores). In this ADAPT module, the overall objective is to better understand the complex links between permafrost, snow, liquid water and tundra ecosystems to improve forecasts of changes and their consequences. Tundra shrub-snow-soil-permafrost feedbacks will be among the central topics of this module. The impacts of permafrost disturbance on tundra ecosystems as well as the effects of snow and permafrost on wildlife will also be addressed in several ways and constitute major research components contributed by this module to the Integrated Permafrost Systems framework.