Project: Future ArcTic Ecosystems (FATE): drivers of diversity and future scenarios from ethno-ecology, contemporary ecology and ancient DNA

Acronym FATE (Reference Number: 136)
Duration 01/12/2018 - 01/04/2022
Project Topic The Arctic is currently experiencing some of the globally most dramatic ecosystem changes due to climate warming and increased anthropogenic pressure, with important implications for biological conservation and its inhabitants. Indigenous Arctic and Subarctic communities, whose livelihoods are closely linked to their environment and who directly depend on the herding and hunting of large herbivores, will have to adapt to the effects of climate warming and vegetation changes. Building relevant scenarios requires understanding the relative roles of climate, herbivory and increased anthropogenic pressures as large-scale drivers as well as on local scales relevant to the communities. We will conduct a comprehensive inter- and transdisciplinary study using sedimentary ancient DNA, current ecological observations and anthropological investigations of indigenous peoples’ knowledge and interpretations. We will 1. use DNA of plants, mammals and fungi from sediment cores to identify local biodiversity changes and vegetation shifts over large spatial (circumarctic) and temporal (Last Glacial Maximum until today) scale. 2. identify drivers of recent and historic biodiversity changes by comparing contemporary and past effects of herbivory, anthropogenic impacts and climate change on a circumarctic spatial scale and integrate them in climatic niche models to forecast future changes. 3. chronicle indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) of biodiversity changes and their drivers, and of the role of societal practices/human choices in shaping and adapting to changes in four separate Arctic areas. 4. build scenarios based on the outcomes of 1-3 in an iterative process with local stakeholders. Our study will bring together the perspectives of local communities and scientific data acquisition throughout the project. This will allow us to investigate ecosystem shifts and build scenarios of transformations of biodiversity and ecosystem services that are of immediate stakeholder relevance.
Network BiodivScen
Call Scenarios of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Alfred-Wegener-Institute Helmholtz-Centre for Polar and Marine Research Coordinator Germany
2 Tromsø Museum – The Arctic University of Norway Partner Norway
3 Umeå University Partner Sweden
4 UNESCO Partner France
5 Université Paris Sud Partner France
6 University of Alberta Partner Canada
7 University of California Santa Cruz Partner United States of America
8 University of Lapland Partner Finland