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Bioscience Projects 2000

Greenland Falcon Research and Monitoring
William A Burnham
01/03/2000 - 01/11/2000

Thule District:
We will continue surveys of the avifauna from Etah south to Savissivik. Species-level research will continue on Dovekies (Alle alle) at breeding sites, consisting of: capture, ringing, and release of unharmed birds. Continued surveying will occur for Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) and Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) with capturing and banding of young and adults with possible placement of one or two satellite-tracked radio telemetry transmitters on falcons to monitor seasonal movement.
Holsteinsborg and Sukkertoppen Districts:
Work will continue surveying and monitoring for Peregrine Falcons and Gyrfalcons with capturing and banding of young. Prey transects will be performed to survey and census the seasonal density of prey in the area. At fall (September/October) capture/band/release census of migrant falcons will also be initiated.
Scoresbysund District:
We will begin the surveying of the area for Gyrfalcons and possibly Peregrine Falcons with limited capturing and banding of young. At fall (September-October) capture/band/release census og migrant falcons will also be initiated.
Uummannaq District:
We will survey the area for Gyrfalcon and Peregrine Falcon nests with capturing and banding of young.

Adaptations to Cold in Great Cormorants Wintering in Greenland
David Grémillet
07/03/2000 - 30/03/2000

The aim of this project is to carry out the first study of the activity budget and feeding behaviour of Great Cormorants wintering in Greenland north of the Arctic Circle and to identify the behavioural adaptations which may allow these poorly insulated endotherms to cope with severe weather conditions.

Responses of Caribou to Simulated Predators and Scavengers
Joel Berger
29/03/2000 - 20/04/2000

The recent extinction of wolves and grizzly bears from 95-99% of the contiguous USA and Mexico has altered predator-prey dynamics. The primary objective of the proposed study is to evaluate how varying predation pressure (contemporary, past, and novel) affects caribou foraging. This type of information is necessary to understand how current predation, and its loss and restoration, shapes prey systems. Caribou responses to potential predators and scavengers will be evaluated by gathering data on foraging rates when exposed to simulated sounds of wolves, ravens, and novel and neutral stimuli projected through a speaker. Comparisons are to be made with data already gathered on wolf-savvy caribou in Alaska.

Greenland Wolf Research Project: 9th Season
Ulf Marquard-Petersen
26/04/2000 - 26/05/2000

GWRP is a ten-year research project with the primary purpose of establishing long-term baseline data on the small, isolated population of arctic wolves in North and East Greenland. Since 1991, ground-based surveys have been conducted throughout northeastern Greenland every spring or summer. Because wolf packs in the High Arctic undergo large perturbations, long-term baseline data are essential to accurately describe temporal and spatial distributions, to identify key habitats, and to monitor population trends. During the projects 9th field season, data on distribution, densities, pack sizes, and prey availability will be collected in a number of areas hypothesized to constitute key wolf habitat.

Carbon dioxide and methane dynamics in Greenland
Nanna Høegh
24/05/2000 - 13/06/2000

At present, the pool of organic soil carbon in northern boreal forest and tundra amounts to an estimated 30% of the world total carbon. Emission of methane from tundra soil contributes about 20-25% of the global atmospheric methane budget and with the large carbon reservoir in these areas, the response to projected global warming could be very important. At present, it is not known how global change will affect the carbon balance in Greenalnd. The overall objective of this project is to get abetter understanding of the microbial carbon dynamics in selected terrestrial and coastal ecosystems in Greenland. By the use of flux measurements of methane and carbon dioxide exchange along landscape transacts from oxic to anoxic ecosystems, experimental manipulations and turnover studies by radiolabelled methane (14CH4) models of the biogas exchange will be proposed.

Re-sampling Birch Trees From Southern Greenland for Dendroclimatic Analysis
Matthew A Arsenault
01/06/2000 - 21/06/2000

The objectives and scientific content of the project
Greenland is an important region with regards to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and there are few high-resolution records from the region to complement the long ice core records from the GISP2 and GRIP initiatives. The birch trees from the Qinguadalen valley of southern Greenland (60 gr. 16´N, 40 gr. 30´W´) have demonstrated a significant, direct response to temperature throughout the year of growth, beginning in the prededing winter. The existing chronology ends in 1977 and was compared with only 34 years of instrumental climate records. An updated chronology would allow for substantially improved dendroclimatological methods to be employed, and for comparison with much longer, higher quality climatic data.

Ecopolaris 2000
Olivier Gilg
01/06/2000 - 05/09/2000

The aim of this expedition (the third of a three year program) is to investigate the lemming dynamics and the predator prey interactions. Scientific programs and logistics will be organised with the Karupelv Valley Project leaded by Dr Benoit Sittler on Traill Ø since 1988. Predator responses (both numerical and functional) to lemming fluctuations will be investigated on Traill Ø (June-August: 4 people) and in several other locations in the Fjord region between 72 and 73gr30N (August: 4 people). Daily monitoring, territory mapping, radiotracking, pellets - scats sampling and other procedures are planned to assess several model parameters. Coupled with our previous data (1998 & 1999), our results will be used to test and improve the parameterised model developed by Prof. Ilkka Hanski (University Helsinki) for microtine dynamic. The model work is part of an ongoing collaboration between University of Montpellier (F), Uni. Helsinki (FIN) and Uni. Freiberg (D).

Karupelv Valley Project 2000
Benoît Sittler
15/06/2000 - 05/09/2000

To investigate cyclic fluctuations in lemmings, a long term study has been established in 1988 with the aim of approaching patterns in a simplified high arctic community of the NE Greenland range of the collared lemming (Dicrostonyx groenlandicus).
Data on lemmings are mainly derived from a comprehensive survey of winter nests in a ca. 1000 ha study site. This technique is also useful to approach predation by stoats that take over these nests. For the remaining predators (foxes, snowy owls, skuas) census is taken during the breeding season.
By now, two cycles could be documented. They give support to the idea that delayed density dependence processes related to the stoat lemming interactions may be involved in these fluctuations. Should these patterns prove to be recurrent then additional support would be given to the hypothesis attributing to specialised predators a paramount role in these cycles.

Long Distance Pollen Transport in the Arctic. Greenland
Dennis-Didier Rousseau
18/07/2000 - 02/08/2000

We propose to realize an experimental qualified study of the present pollen rain over Greenland in order to define a precise pollen calendar. This will allow the task of the exceptional characteristics of long distance pollen transport in this area, the determining of the supply of allochtonous pollen grains during particular periods if any...

Production of UV-B Absorbing Compounds in Bipolar Lichens
Jarle Werner Bjerke
02/08/2000 - 16/08/2000

The planned investigations in Greenland are a part of a larger project aiming to reveal the UV-B protective properties of some UV-B absorbing lichen compbounds, in particular the common phenolic usnic acid. Lichens will be collected among a oceanity - continentality gradients, and the pigment concentration will be correlated with recent near-ground UV-B intensity levels.
A one-year monitoring of the variation in pigment concentrations will be initiated, where lichens will be collected once every month from a population close to this near-ground UV-B instruments.

Naturhistorisk indsamling på Mestersvig
Jan Gruwier Larsen
03/08/2000 - 09/08/2000

Collecting of natural historical materials at Mestersvig according to collecting permit.

The mosses at Kap Moltke and Brøndlundhus in Peary Land:
Plant geographical status year 2000

Gert Steen Mogensen
26/07/2000 - 06/08/2000

The project targets on the vicinity of Kap Harald Moltke and Brønlundhus, inner parts of Peary Land, to interpret and compare the bryo-flora as described by Holmen (1960) with extant vegetational expressions. The purpose is to evaluate the local flora phytogeographically in an all Greenland perspective. The need for this reassessment stems from ambiguity between climatic or edaphic determined northern limits of bryophytes in North Greenland. Distinction between these two factors determine whether a species can be of use as monitor in climate change projects further south in Greenland.

Palaeoclimatic records from peat deposits
Jeff J. Blackford
United Kingdom
05/08/2000 - 18/08/2000

The project aims to sample peat deposits from a range of environments. We will take small -diameter (5cm) peat cores, and cut blocks where possible from open sections. The aim is to use the plant remains, tephra and degree of decomposition of the peat to reconstruct past climatic changes. These records will be correlated to similar ones from Iceland, Faroe Islands and Shetland Islands.

Sixth International Symposium on Arctic-Alpine Mycology
Henning Knudsen
11/08/2000 - 21/08/2000

Every 4 years, an arctic-alpine mycology symposium with a max.of 25 participants is being held. They have earlier been held in Alaska, the Alps, Svalbard, and Siberia. The purpose is to bring together a number of experts about the exploration of the artic-alpine mycology that are main basis for life in cold regions. At the symposium at number of lectures are held, but most of the time and the biggest value is that fresh mushrooms are collected and discussed. among the participants. In the symposium, participants from Greenland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Switzerland, France, Austria, Russia, Japan and the USA will participate.

A molecular phylogenetic study of the genus Porpidia
Jutta Buschbom
17/08/2000 - 31/08/2000

The lichen-forming genus Porpidia (Porpidiaceae, Ascomycota) provides a model system for studying the evolutionary significance of sexual and asexual reproductive modes. During the proposed fieldwork in Greenland, arctic taxa essential to molecular phylogenetic analyses of the genus and related allies will be collected. Populations of selected species within the genus will be sampled and analysed with regard to population structure and reproductive systems present. The fieldwork will make it possible to clarify the phylogenetic relationships of the genus and will provide insight into the reproductive systems and their consequences of selected Porpidia-species.

Microbial Biodiversity in Greenland
Peter Stougaard
11/09/2000 - 29/09/2000

Sampling of microorganisms from selected ecological niches around Arctic Station and preparing microorganisms for shipment to Denmark. In Denmark analysis of microbial biodiversity and applicability of sampled organisms.

Change in Arctic Marine Production (CAMP)
Søren Rysgaard
27/07/2000 16/08/2000

The main objective of the project is to establish a budget for the carbon cycling in an Arctic fjord and to study the effect of global temperature changes in an Arctic ecosystem.
Field activities include measurements of:
1. Primary production of benthic microalgae
2. Primary production of phytoplankton at increased nutrients levels
3. Growth and respiration of mussels at different food levels and temperature
4. Growth and temperature response of macrophytes.

Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Mapping - Greenland
Fred J. A. Daniëls

Along idealized vegetational sequences (from dry to wet habitats) the plant communities will be described (including soil and topographical features) in both coastal and inland localities. They will be used to find out differential vegetational features for both climatological regions.

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Updated January 28, 2002