The vulnerable Svalbard tundra: effects of goose grazing

Tundra ecosystems are vulnerable to disturbance by goose grazing, particularly grubbing for roots and rhizomes in wetland systems. The Svalbard breeding population of pink-footed goose has more than doubled over the last 20 years, and increased impacts on lowland fens and marshes are observed. We plan to set up a baseline for monitoring the extend and trends in goose grazing impacts, focussing on sites which have for long been affected and a site which has just been occupied by the geese. We base our study on field transects in combination with photos from plot to landscape scale.