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Haraldsstovu, Kolbrún í, 2020. The effects of grazing and climate warming on plant species in the Faroe Islands. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Ecology

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Abstract

The Faroe Islands are composed of eighteen small islands situated in the middle of the
North Atlantic Ocean. Heavily affected by grazing and harsh weather conditions, the
mountaintop vegetation is exposed to multiple environmental pressures. In this project
I examined the effects of climate warming and grazing on Faroese plant species. Three
different treatments were used; an inside fenced area containing nine plots to exclude
grazing, and another ten plots with Open Top Chambers simulating climate warming and
finally nine plots outside the fenced area, which are consistently exposed to grazing.
Since 2001 high resolution photographs have been taken of the plots, for this study, the
years 2007 and 2017 being chosen for comparison. I developed a new method of plant
cover estimation for this study involving placing a digital quadrat on each photograph
within which the cover of nine different plant species was estimated.
The frequency of several plant species was observed to increase over the 10-year period,
as well as the overall plant diversity. Exceptions included Euphrasia which showed a
negative response to grazing, Salix herbacea and Silene acaulis which were negatively
affected by experimental warming, and Ranunculus acris which responded positively to
experimental warming. The difference in responses to the environmental pressures
examined could be attributed to various reasons; functional plant traits, adaptive
resilience and short term vs. to long term responses, amongst others. The continuation
of this monitoring study will help connect interactions between the different global
drivers of change and resulting effects on plant diversity in a region where climate
consequences are largely unknown.

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Føroyar, eitt lítið oyggjasamfelag, liggja mitt í Norður Atlants havinum. Gróðurin er sera
nógv ávirkaður av seyðabiti og sum heild er veðurlagið ógvuliga ábært og vindhart. Hetta
merkir at fjallagróðurin í Føroyum er undir nógvum umhvørvisligum trýsti. Í hesari
uppgávu vóru ávirkanin av hita og seyðabiti á ymisk plantusløg á føroyskum fjøllum
kannaði. Níggju innhegnaðar støðir sum útihýsa seyði vórðu kannaðar. Somuleiðis vóru
kannaðar tíggju støðir, sum eftirlíkna eitt heitari veðurlag og níggju støðir uttanfyri
hegnið, har seyður hevur atgongd, kannaðar. Góðskugóðar myndir hava verið tiknar av
hvørjari støð síðani 2001, og árini 2007 og 2017 vóru samanborin í hesi kanning. Ein
nýggjur granskingarháttur varð gjørdur í samband við hetta kanningararbeiðið. Ein
talgildur kvadratur varð teknaður á hvørja mynd og síðani vóru plantu sløgini eyðmerkt
og tald.
Sum heild vístu úrslitini at plantusløgini koma seg væl hóast seyðabit. Yvir eitt 10-ára
tíðarskeið vuksu tær flestu meira enn tær vóru etnar, og sum heild hækkaði plantuliga
margfeldið í hesum tíðarskeiðinum. Kortini vísti tað seg at seyðabit hevði eina negativa
ávirkan plantuslagið Euphrasia. Tvey sløg, ávíkavíst Salix herbacea og Silene acaulis vóru
negativt ávirkað av hita, hinvegin vísti Ranunculus acris seg at tola hita væl. Orsøkin til at
plantusløgini vóru ymiskt ávirkaði av kannaðu umhvørvis trýstum kunnu vera fleiri;
planturnar kunnu hava ymisk virkiseyðkenni, sum gera tær meiri mótstøðuførar enn
aðrar. Eisini kunnu tær hava tillaga seg til náttúruumhvørvið í Føroyum. Ein grund kann
eisini vera at stutttíðar kanningar, sum hendan, vísa øðrvísi úrslit enn langtíðar
kanningar. At enda hevur tað alstóran týdning at hendan eftirlits kanning heldur fram
soleiðis at sambindingarnar millum tey drívhjól handan umhvørvisbroytingar gerast
sjónligari og eru við til at lýsa ávirkanina á plantuliga margfeldið í einum øki har
avleiðingar av veðulagsbroytingum enn eru ókendar.

Main title:The effects of grazing and climate warming on plant species in the Faroe Islands
Authors:Haraldsstovu, Kolbrún í
Supervisor:Auffret, Alistair and Weiner, Jacob and Gaard, Magnus
Examiner:Strengbom, Joachim
Series:UNSPECIFIED
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM025 EnvEuro - European Master in Environmental Science 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
Keywords:climate change, grazing, plant responses, environmental pressures, frequency, experimental warming, functional plant traits, resilience
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-16143
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-16143
Subjects:Plant ecology
Language:English
Deposited On:20 Oct 2020 10:31
Metadata Last Modified:21 Oct 2020 01:03

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