Arctic coastal vegetation effected by delayed geese arrival: Changes in trophic processes

Many migratory waterfowl have evolved to synchronize periods of peak nutrient demand, often breeding, with periods of high resource availability. Climate change is creating phenological mismatches between herbivores and their plant resources throughout the Arctic. UArctic Research Chair, Professor Jeff Welker and his colleagues have discovered that climate‐driven changes in the timing of goose arrival have much greater consequences for coastal sedge vegetation than a similar shift in timing of local spring conditions. While advancing growing seasons and changing arrival times of migratory herbivores can have consequences for herbivores and forage quality, developing mismatches could also influence other traits of plants, such as above‐ and below‐ground biomass and the type of reproduction.  The field study was conducted in western Alaska and published in Journal of Ecology, recently.

Phenological mismatch between season advancement and migration timing alters Arctic plant traits

Choi RT, Beard KH, Leffler AJ, Kelsey KC, Schmutz JA, Welker JM.   J Ecol. 2019;00:1–16. 

The full text of this arctic research article can be found:


Last updated: 5.6.2019