Eeva M Soininen

Eeva M Soininen
UiT The Arctic University of Norway · Department of Arctic and Marine Biology

PhD

About

58
Publications
13,342
Reads
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961
Citations
Introduction
I am a researcher at UiT- The Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø, Norway) and project coordinator of COAT (Climate-ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra). My main research interests are plant-herbivore interactions in the context of food web ecology. I am interested in spatial and temporal variability of food web interactions and development of study designs and methods to capture such variation. I mainly do my research in tundra food webs, in the context of long-term ecological research.
Additional affiliations
August 2015 - present
UiT - The Arctic University of Norway
Position
  • Researcher
April 2015 - July 2015
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
Position
  • Researcher
October 2012 - March 2015
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Position
  • Researcher
Education
January 2008 - October 2012
August 2000 - December 2006
University of Helsinki
Field of study
  • Ecology

Publications

Publications (58)
Article
Silica defences in grasses have recently been suggested to be a potential driver of vole population dynamics. However, the ability of grasses to induce silica in response to herbivory has not been tested in northern ecosystems where small rodents are important herbivores. We conducted a large-scale field experiment in subarctic tundra using three r...
Article
Full-text available
Variability in biotic interaction strength is an integral part of food web functioning. However, the consequences of the spatial and temporal variability of biotic interactions are poorly known, in particular for predicting species abundance and distribution. The amplitude of rodent population cycles (i.e., peak-phase abundances) has been hypothesi...
Article
Full-text available
Background In order to understand the role of herbivores in trophic webs, it is essential to know what they feed on. Diet analysis is, however, a challenge in many small herbivores with a secretive life style. In this paper, we compare novel (high-throughput pyrosequencing) DNA barcoding technology for plant mixture with traditional microhistologic...
Article
Full-text available
Snow covers the ground over large parts of the world for a substantial portion of the year. Yet very few methods are available to quantify biotic variables below the snow, with most studies of subnivean ecological processes relying on comparisons of data before and after the snow cover season. We developed a camera trap prototype to quantify subniv...
Article
Full-text available
The use of hunting statistics for population monitoring has often been criticized because such data are affected by several sources of error. Still, for many harvested populations hunting statistics are the only available data source and cautious use of such data may be valuable for management. Here we assessed to what extent long-term monitoring o...
Article
Full-text available
Background Changes in the diversity of herbivore communities can strongly influence the functioning of northern ecosystems. Different herbivores have different impacts on ecosystems because of differences in their diets, behaviour and energy requirements. The combined effects of different herbivores can in some cases compensate each other but lead...
Preprint
Rain-on-Snow (ROS) events occur across many regions of the terrestrial Arctic in mid-winter. Snow pack properties are changing and in extreme cases ice layers form which affect wildlife, vegetation and soils beyond the duration of the event. Specifically, satellite microwave observations have been shown to provide insight into known events. Only Ku...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial variation in plant chemical defence towards herbivores can help us understand variation in herbivore top–down control of shrubs in the Arctic and possibly also shrub responses to global warming. Less defended, non‐resinous shrubs could be more influenced by herbivores than more defended, resinous shrubs. However, sparse field measurements l...
Preprint
Full-text available
Small rodents are prevalent and functionally important across world’s biomes, making their monitoring salient for ecosystem management, conservation, forestry and agriculture. Yet, there is a dearth of cost-effective and non-invasive methods for large-scale, intensive sampling. As one such method, fecal pellet counts readily provide relative abunda...
Article
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The Arctic is under great pressure due to climate change. Drones are increasingly used as a tool in ecology and may be especially valuable in rapidly changing and remote landscapes, as can be found in the Arctic. For effective applications of drones, decisions of both ecological and technical character are needed. Here, we provide our method planni...
Article
Full-text available
Background Herbivores modify the structure and function of tundra ecosystems. Understanding their impacts is necessary to assess the responses of these ecosystems to ongoing environmental changes. However, the effects of herbivores on plants and ecosystem structure and function vary across the Arctic. Strong spatial variation in herbivore effects i...
Article
Full-text available
Poleward shifts in species distributions are expected and frequently observed with a warming climate. In Arctic ecosystems, the strong warming trends are associated with increasing greenness and shrubification. Vertebrate herbivores have the potential to limit greening and shrub advance and expansion on the tundra, posing the question of whether ch...
Article
Full-text available
During the last decade, methods based on high-throughput sequencing such as DNA metabarcoding have opened up for a range of new questions in animal dietary studies. One of the major advantages of dietary metabarcoding resides in the potential to infer a quantitative relationship between sequence read proportions and biomass of ingested food. Howeve...
Article
Full-text available
Small rodents are a key indicator to understand the effect of rapidly changing winter climate on Arctic tundra ecosystems. However, monitoring rodent populations through the long Arctic winter by means of conventional traps has until now been hampered by snow cover and harsh ambient conditions. Here, we conduct the first extensive assessment of the...
Article
Full-text available
The Antarctic ecosystem represents a remote region far from point sources of pollution. Still, Antarctic marine predators, such as seabirds, are exposed to organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) which may induce adverse health effects. With increasing restrictions and regulations on OHCs, the levels and exposure are expected to decrease over time. We st...
Article
Full-text available
Predator avoidance and food availability are both factors known to influence habitat selection and site fidelity around calving in caribou and reindeer. Here, we assess habitat selection and site fidelity during the calving period in the solitary, Arctic Svalbard reindeer Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus, which is subject to limited predation risk a...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding and predicting large-scale ecological responses to global environmental change requires comparative studies across geographic scales with coordinated efforts and standardized methodologies. We designed, applied and assessed standardized protocols to measure tundra herbivory at three spatial scales: plot, site (habitat), and study area...
Preprint
Full-text available
Occupancy models have been developed independently to account for multiple spatial scales and species interactions in a dynamic setting. However, as interacting species (e.g., predators and prey) often operate at different spatial scales, including nested spatial structure might be especially relevant in models of interacting species. Here we bridg...
Article
Full-text available
1. Increasing populations of mesopredators are suspected to cause declines in vulnerable wildlife to the extent that mesopredator decimation actions (culling) have become commonplace. Design constraints, especially a lack of spatial replication, often hamper the assessment of the impact of such actions. However, extensive temporal replication (i.e....
Article
Full-text available
In the long‐term, herbivores can alter nutrient dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems by changing the functional composition of plant communities. Here, we ask to what extent herbivores can affect plant‐community nutrient dynamics in the short‐term. We provide theoretical expectations for immediate effects of herbivores on tundra‐grassland plant‐commu...
Article
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Vegetation change has consequences for terrestrial ecosystem structure and functioning and may involve climate feedbacks. Hence, when monitoring ecosystem states and changes thereof, the vegetation is often a primary monitoring target. Here, we summarize current understanding of vegetation change in the High Arctic—the World’s most rapidly warming...
Technical Report
Overview of the Climate-Ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra (COAT) for Svalbard. COAT is a response to the urgent international calls for establishment of observation systems that make it possible to gain insight into how climate impacts Arctic tundra. COAT Svalbard is an essential component of the Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing Sy...
Article
Communities are assembled from species that evolve or colonise a given geographic region, and persist in the face of abiotic conditions and interactions with other species. The evolutionary and colonisation histories of communities are characterised by phylogenetic diversity, while functional diversity is indicative of abiotic and biotic conditions...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Along with climate change, herbivory is considered a main driver of ecosystem change in terrestrial Arctic environments. Understanding how herbivory influences the resilience of Arctic ecosystems to ongoing environmental changes is essential to inform policy and guide sustainable management practices. However, many studies indicate that...
Article
Full-text available
The above mentioned article was originally scheduled for publication in the special issue on Ecology of Tundra Arthropods with guest editors Toke T. Høye . Lauren E. Culler. Erroneously, the article was published in Polar Biology, Volume 40, Issue 11, November, 2017. The publisher sincerely apologizes to the guest editors and the authors for the in...
Article
Full-text available
Chronic, low intensity herbivory by invertebrates, termed background herbivory, has been understudied in tundra, yet its impacts are likely to increase in a warmer Arctic. The magnitude of these changes is however hard to predict as we know little about the drivers of current levels of invertebrate herbivory in tundra. We assessed the intensity of...
Article
Full-text available
The temporal dynamics of most tundra food webs are shaped by the cyclic population dynamics of lemmings. While processes during winter may be behind the recent disruptions of lemming cycles, lemming winter ecology is poorly known. We present here the first DNA metabarcoding data on the winter diet of Norwegian lemmings (Lemmus lemmus), based on fec...
Poster
Full-text available
The priorities of the Herbivory Network (http://herbivory.biology.ualberta.ca) are to integrate study sites, methodologies and metrics used in previous work; to coordinate data collection and ensure meaningful comparisons across studies; to develop new research questions and synthesize knowledge on the role of herbivory in northern and alpine ecosy...
Article
Understanding the forces shaping biodiversity patterns, particularly for groups of organisms with key functional roles, will help predict the responses of ecosystems to environmental changes. Our aim was to evaluate the relative role of different drivers in shaping the diversity patterns of vertebrate herbivores, a group of organisms exerting a str...
Article
Full-text available
Fungal endophytes are species rich and ubiquitous, yet, apart from the genus Epichloë, their ecology is largely unknown. Here we explore how herbivores affect the diversity of fungal endophytes in tundra grasslands. We assess both hyphal morphological and taxonomic diversity in grass individuals. By microscopic examination we identified endophytes...
Article
Predictable variation in demographic patterns among populations inhabiting extreme environments can be used to direct common management actions. Ptarmigan and other grouse are ecologically important herbivores in Arctic and alpine areas, but survival estimates are lacking for many harvested populations. This hampers more detailed assessment of how...
Article
Full-text available
Sympatric species are expected to minimize competition by partitioning resources, espe-cially when these are limited. Herbivores inhabiting the High Arctic in winter are a prime ex-ample of a situation where food availability is anticipated to be low, and thus reduced diet overlap is expected. We present here the first assessment of diet overlap of...
Poster
Full-text available
Plant-herbivore interactions are central to the functioning of tundra ecosystems, and the outcomes of these interactions vary regionally. We need a common approach to assess how and why the role of herbivory varies at global scales. The Network presently has more than 100 members from 11 countries, committed to developing coordinated research effor...
Article
Full-text available
Silicon (Si) is one of the most common elements in the earth bedrock, and its continental cycle is strongly biologically controlled. Yet, research on the biogeochemical cycle of Si in ecosystems is hampered by the time and cost associated with the currently used chemical analysis methods. Here, we assessed the suitability of Near Infrared Reflectan...
Article
Full-text available
Intraspecific competition for food is expected to increase the trophic niche width of consumers, defined here as their diet diversity, but this process has been little studied in herbivores. Population densities of small rodents fluctuate greatly, providing a good study model to evaluate effects of competition on trophic niche. We studied resource...
Article
Full-text available
The ecology of small rodent food selection is poorly understood, as mammalian herbivore food selection theory has mainly been developed by studying ungulates. Especially, the effect of food availability on food selection in natural habitats where a range of food items are available is unknown. We studied diets and selectivity of grey-sided voles (M...
Data
Diet of Tundra voles (n = 67), in meadow habitat at Komagelva and Vestre Jakobselva, Varanger peninsula, during summer and autumn 2007. Mean proportion with standard error and frequency of occurrence (percentage of individuals where taxa present). Abundance of taxa at species level is included in the genera, which are included in families. Column “...
Data
Grey-sided vole (n = 81) selectivity at plant functional group level, based on compositional analysis comparing used (plant DNA in individuals diet) against available (biomass of grid where the individual was trapped). The table is read along the rows; “+” indicates that food item on a row was used more than that in a column, “−” that it was less u...
Data
Details of the DNA metabarcoding methodology used, in order of execution, for the two datasets combined for this study. Notes: 1Soininen et al. (2009), 2available at http://www.grenoble.prabi.fr/trac/ecoPCR/, 3available at http://www.grenoble.prabi.fr/trac/OBITools/, 4in the final dataset used for analyses. (DOCX)
Data
Tundra vole (n = 66) selectivity at plant family level, based on compositional analysis comparing used (plant DNA in individuals diet) against available (biomass of grid where the individual was trapped). The table is read along the rows; “+” indicates that food item on a row was used more than that in a column, “−” that it was less used. Tripled s...
Data
Diet of Grey-sided voles (n = 82), in heath habitat at Komagelva and Vestre Jakobselva, Varanger peninsula, during summer and autumn 2007. Mean proportion with standard error and frequency of occurrence (percentage of individuals where taxa present). Abundance of taxa at species level is included in the genera, which are included in families. Colum...
Data
Tundra vole (n = 66) selectivity at plant functional group level, based on compositional analysis comparing used (plant DNA in individuals diet) against available (biomass of grid where the individual was trapped). The table is read along the rows; “+” indicates that food item on a row was used more than that in a column, “−” that it was less used....
Data
Grey-sided vole vole (n = 81) selectivity at plant family level, based on compositional analysis comparing used (plant DNA in individuals diet) against available (biomass of grid where the individual was trapped). The table is read along the rows; “+” indicates that food item on a row was used more than that in a column, “−” that it was less used....
Article
Full-text available
Lemmings are key herbivores in many arctic food webs and their population dynamics have major impacts on the functioning of tundra systems. However, current knowledge of lemming diet is limited, hampering evaluation of lemming-vegetation interactions. This lack of knowledge is mainly due to methodological challenges, as previously used microhistolo...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Patterns of shrub patches reflect the long-term effects of several environmental drivers; the same drivers may also affect adjacent herbaceous vegetation. The identity of such drivers may be indicated by associating patterns of shrubs and adjacent vegetation. However, such associations have rarely been examined. Aim: Assess the hypo...
Article
The Svalbard rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta hyperborea) is an endemic subspecies of rock ptarmigan inhabiting the high Arctic archipelagos of Svalbard and Franz Josefs Land. This ptarmigan species exists at low population densities, with little interannual variations in population numbers, and limited habitat for breeding with less than 5 % of the la...
Article
Detailed patterns of food selection by pre-breeding barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis) were investigated in Vårsolbukta, western Spitsbergen, Svalbard, in moss-dominated vegetation. This habitat is favoured by geese during the early Arctic spring when grass abundance is low. Grass is more profitable food than moss in terms of nutrient content and di...
Article
Detailed patterns of food selection by pre-breeding barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis) were investigated in Varsolbukta, western Spitsbergen, Svalbard, in moss-dominated vegetation. This habitat is favoured by geese during the early Arctic spring when grass abundance is low. Grass is more profitable food than moss in terms of nutrient content and di...
Article
Full-text available
We studied carabid beetle abundance at eight forest-farmland edges using pitfall traps across 60-m gradients (30m into the forest, 30m into the adjacent farmland) in southern Finland in May–August 2001. Carabid assemblages changed gradually across the studied gradients, the most drastic changes occurring right at the edge (5m). Forest-associated ca...

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Projects (2)
Project
COAT is an ecosystem-based observation system aiming at detecting, documenting and understanding the impacts of climate change on arctic tundra in order to enable scientifically evaluated management actions. For science plan of COAT see: www.coat.no.