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Studying the long-term ecological changes in boreal areas of the Yukon in Canada
20.02.2017
The research and monitoring projects on long-term biodiversity are among the most effective information tools to monitor global change. In this way you can predict how they might affect future changes in biodiversity and ecosystems, and thus obtain key ecological knowledge to establish policies for the sustainable management of natural resources.

One of monitoring biodiversity and ecological communities of the world's oldest.

Globally are very few areas where the projects are carried out monitoring in the long term, one of them is the Community Ecological Monitoring Program (CEMP) developed by Dr. Charles Krebs Brithish professor at the University of Columbia (Canada) in boreal areas of Yukon (Canada). Dr. Charles Krebs, eminent ecologist world was meant to provide paradigms of ecology of communities and populations, is the creator of the CEMP program, which has more than 40 years to develop Kluane National Park in the shelter of Arctic Institute of North America.

This project aims to make the operation of the boreal forest communities Yukon (Canada) and the impact that environmental changes have a global and long term. In it involved researchers from the University of Alberta, University of Toronto, Yukon College, the Canadian Parks Service and the Yukon Department of Environment Canada, but also from countries as far away as New Zealand and Australia which has created a more powerful clusters of research communities and biodiversity in boreal areas of the planet. Researchers Joan Real and Antonio Matías Hernández, the Conservation Biology Group, linked to the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences and Research Institute of Biodiversity at the University of Barcelona (IRBio) participate in the project with two objectives: to move our country methodologies for long-term monitoring and other research to develop a boreal forest of Yukon in the framework of the CEMP.

Student pristine boreal forests of North America and its ecological community.

The project CEMP held in one of the world's most extensive areas of pristine boreal forests are allowed to know that the main modelers of these ecosystems are fire and the spruce beetle. And that is basically how this community 'bottom-up' (bottom-up), where the hare white legs that performs cycles of abundance is the primary key when consumers rely most predators and therefore much of the community. As part of this community and long-term monitoring of the framework hypothesis is that there is a balance, but a long-term dynamics caused by two key factors above. Knowing this dynamic in the context of global climate change is occurring and taking into account the community is important to establish the management and conservation of these unique ecosystems in the world. This monitoring takes aspects from indicators related to climatic factors snowfall, rainfall and temperature, think that is located in one of the coldest areas of the world, to the primary production (plants, fungi, ...), consumers primary (micromammals hares, squirrels ...) to predators (lynx, wolf and bear) (see figure at pdf).

White-footed hares, lynx Canadian and global change.

Usually the hare legs White performs cycles 9-10 years of abundance followed with some lag the main predators of boreal ecosystems, especially the Canadian lynx. In recent years shows that the hare population cycles seem to be less regular, often decreases very high and yet its main predator the Canadian lynx seems to follow this pattern and tended to certain stability. The aim of Drs. Joan Real and Antonio Hernandez UB is known for fine diet and predation rates lynx and coyote during the cycle hares and other potential prey cycles and survival rates of the predators themselves. This should allow such relationships interspecific reveal the origin of the observed changes are circumstantial or whether these are linked with global changes.

A very important task of the two researchers was to determine protocols for comprehensive monitoring of the community (primary production, consumers and predators) so that may be of interest in monitoring the implementation of long-term planning in Catalonia.

The participation of two UB researchers on this project has been through the program Erasmus Nova Domus (Network of America and Europe for Doctoral Mobility at Universities) that has allowed the exchange between American and European universities.

 

 

 
 
  
 
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