Documenting lemming population change in the Arctic: Can we detect trends?

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Dorothée Ehrich, Universitetet i Tromso
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  • Niels M. Schmidt
  • Gilles Gauthier, Université Laval
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  • Ray Alisauskas, Environment and Climate Change Canada
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  • Anders Angerbjörn, Stockholms Universitet
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  • Karin Clark, Environment and Natural Resources
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  • Frauke Ecke, Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet
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  • Nina E. Eide, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
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  • Erik Framstad, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
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  • Jay Frandsen, Parks Canada
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  • Alastair Franke, University of Alberta
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  • Olivier Gilg, Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Groupe de Recherche en Ecologie Arctique
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  • Marie Andrée Giroux, Université de Moncton
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  • Heikki Henttonen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
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  • Birger Hörnfeldt, Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet
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  • Rolf A. Ims, Universitetet i Tromso
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  • Gennadiy D. Kataev, Laplandskii Nature Reserve
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  • Sergey P. Kharitonov, Bird Ringing Centre of Russia
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  • Siw T. Killengreen, Universitetet i Tromso
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  • Charles J. Krebs, The University of British Columbia
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  • Richard B. Lanctot, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
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  • Nicolas Lecomte, Université de Moncton
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  • Irina E. Menyushina
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  • Douglas W. Morris, Lakehead University
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  • Guy Morrisson, Carleton University
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  • Lauri Oksanen, Universitetet i Tromso, University of Turku
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  • Tarja Oksanen, Universitetet i Tromso, University of Turku
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  • Johan Olofsson, Clinical Sciences, Umea universitet, Klinisk vetenskap.
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  • Ivan G. Pokrovsky, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Institute for Biological Problems of the North RAS, Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology
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  • Igor Yu Popov, Russian Academy of Sciences
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  • Donald Reid, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada
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  • James D. Roth, CEOS, University of Manitoba
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  • Sarah T. Saalfeld, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
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  • Gustaf Samelius, Snow Leopard Trust
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  • Benoit Sittler, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
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  • Sergey M. Sleptsov, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
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  • Paul A. Smith, Place Vincent Massey
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  • Aleksandr A. Sokolov, Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, State Organization of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District
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  • Natalya A. Sokolova, Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, State Organization of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District
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  • Mikhail Y. Soloviev, Lomonosov Moscow State University
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  • Diana V. Solovyeva, Institute for Biological Problems of the North RAS

Lemmings are a key component of tundra food webs and changes in their dynamics can affect the whole ecosystem. We present a comprehensive overview of lemming monitoring and research activities, and assess recent trends in lemming abundance across the circumpolar Arctic. Since 2000, lemmings have been monitored at 49 sites of which 38 are still active. The sites were not evenly distributed with notably Russia and high Arctic Canada underrepresented. Abundance was monitored at all sites, but methods and levels of precision varied greatly. Other important attributes such as health, genetic diversity and potential drivers of population change, were often not monitored. There was no evidence that lemming populations were decreasing in general, although a negative trend was detected for low arctic populations sympatric with voles. To keep the pace of arctic change, we recommend maintaining long-term programmes while harmonizing methods, improving spatial coverage and integrating an ecosystem perspective.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAMBIO
Volume49
Issue3
Pages (from-to)786-800
ISSN0044-7447
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Arctic, Dicrostonyx, Lemmus, Population monitoring, Small rodent, Temporal trends

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