Predicting effects of climate change on Svalbard reindeer population dynamics - a mechanistic approach
The goal of this cross-disciplinary project is to examine the mechanisms, relative importance and future implications of climate drivers in Svalbard
reindeer population dynamics. To achieve this, we will integrate data on climate, snow-ice, vegetation and reindeer into a novel theoretical
framework for population modelling. Specifically, we will (1) estimate key population parameters and the age-specific components of climate effects
in reindeer using individual-based data; (2) identify the links between climate and food availability; (3) quantify the relative importance of climate change during summer and winter on long-term population dynamics in three contrasting areas; and (4) predict future population sizes and time to local extinction under different climate scenarios, and how this
varies along environmental gradients. The results will provide a tool for deriving sustainable management strategies by improving our mechanistic
understanding of climate effects on arctic ungulates.