Background and activities

Dr. James D. M. Speed


My research involves a range of taxa from vascular plants and bryophytes to invertebrates, birds and large mammalian herbivores. I work at a range of scales, from the individual to the ecosystem, with short-term experiments to palaeoecology, and from local scale patterns to regional scale processes. I have worked in environments from the high-arctic and temperate-alpine regions to boreal forests and African savannahs. A core interest is the impact of vertebrate herbivores and land-use on plant populations and communities. My work also focuses on the ability of herbivores to affect ecosystem and vegetation states and the how the impact of herbivory on ecosystems feeds back to herbivore populations.

Outstanding Academic Fellows programme

Current Research

Disentangling the impacts of herbivory and climate on ecological dynamics: The DISENTAGLE project addresses how climate and herbivory together affect ecosystem processes across spatial scales. The project investigates interactions between herbivory and climate in northern ecosystems by examining (1) The growth of woody plants and community composition at the site scale. (2) The ability of herbivores to determine plant species distributions at a regional scale and (3) The functional and phylogenetic ecology of herbivores across the world's arctic and boreal ecosystems.

AfricanBioServices: Investigating how productivity, nutrient cycling and carbon storage vary with livestock and wild herbivore grazing along a climatic gradient in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem

SustHerb Project The SustHerb project is working towards sustainable management of moose, red deer and their food resources.  I am involved in analysing vegetation and tree response to browsing herbivores.

Previous Projects

MIRACLE project: Mires and climate: towards enhancing functional resilience of fen peatlands

Sheep Grazing Project Quantification of the impact of grazing on the distribution and growth of mountain birch above the forest line and vegetation change in the alpine tundra.

Managing ecosystem services in low alpine cultural landscapes through livestock grazing Moving on from this project we  are investigating how sheep grazing impacts on alpine ecosystem services through impacts on the treeline.

Systematic review of impacts of reindeer grazing. I was part of a team carrying out a systematic review of the impacts of reindeer herbivory on mountain and arctic vegetation 

DYLAN Project Homepage I also worked within the DYLAN project where I am synthesising the impact of land use and natural drivers of landscape state across protected areas in Norway and the UK, with a long-term perspective. 

Postdocs

Stuart W. Smith (Postdoc 2015-2019) Investigating how wildlife and livestock affect vegetation and ecosystem processes in the Serengeti-Mara region in Tanzania and Kenya

Kenny Helsen (Postdoc 2015-2017) Assessing the impact of invasive plant species on ecosystem services and associated ecosystem functions using a functional effect trait framework.

PhD Students

Malene Ø. Nygård (PhD student 2017-2021) Plant conservation genomics

Anders L. Kolstad (PhD student 2015-2019) Ungulate-mediated effects on ecosystem functions and services in boreal production forests

Master Students

Ida Marielle Mienna (Master student 2016-2018) Spatial phylogenetics of the Norwegian flora.

Victoria Berger (Master student 2016-2018) Successional dynamics in boreal forests: what is the impact of moose browsing, and which pathways are preferred by landowners?

Former Master students

Winta Gebreyohanis (Master student 2015-2017) The effects of browsing and climate on above- ground carbon stocks in boreal forests.

Joana Awuah Adofo (Master student 2015-2017) The impact of bushfire on plant functional groups and carbon storage in the savanna of northern Ghana.

Philbert M. Ngoti (Master student 2015-2017) Feeding ecology Of Eastern Black Rhinoceros (Diceros Bicornis Michaeli) in southern Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

Ina Åsnes Skjellbred (Master student 2016-2017) Spatial patterns in the phylogenetic diversity of Arctic herbivores.

Toril Nes (Master student 2013 – 2015). The Effects of Moose (Alces alces)Browsing on Boreal Tree Species in Norway and Quebec

Kristin Wangen (Master student 2013 – 2015). Understanding the Ecology of Three Mixed Northern Hepatic Mat Species at Regional Scale through Species Distribution Modelling, and Local Scale through Growth Measurements and Micro-Climatic Assessment.

Marie Maurset (Master student 2013 – 2015). Long-term Effects of Shifts in Grazing Pressure on Alpine Plant Species along an Elevational Gradient.

Else Marte Vold (Master student 2011 – 2013). Management effects on low-herb diversity in outlying grasslands

Suzanne Hansen (Master student 2010 – 2012). Red-listed vascular plants species in sub-alpine and alpine landscapes: How does land-use affect their distribution?


Career and Education

2001 – 2005: BSc (Hons.) Biology, University of York

2006 – 2009: PhD Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen

2009 - 2016: Postdoctoral Fellow & Reseach Fellow, Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

2016 - Present: Associate Professor & Researcher, NTNU University Museum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology


Publications

Google Scholar profile

Research Gate profile

ResearcherID

CRISTIN profile

Barrio, I.C., Lindén, E., Te Beest, M., Olofsson, J., Rocha, A., Soininen, E.M., Alatalo, J.M., Andersson, T., Asmus, A., Boike, J., Bråthen, K.A., Bryant, J.P., Buchwal, A., Bueno, C.G., Christie, K.S., Denisova, Y.V., Egelkraut, D., Ehrich, D., Fishback, L., Forbes, B.C., Gartzia, M., Grogan, P., Hallinger, M., Heijmans, M.M.P.D., Hik, D.S., Hofgaard, A., Holmgren, M., Høye, T.T., Huebner, D.C., Jónsdóttir, I.S., Kaarlejärvi, E., Kumpula, T., Lange, C.Y.M.J.G., Lange, J., Lévesque, E., Limpens, J., Macias-Fauria, M., Myers-Smith, I., van Nieukerken, E.J., Normand, S., Post, E.S., Schmidt, N.M., Sitters, J., Skoracka, A., Sokolov, A., Sokolova, N., Speed, J.D.M., Street, L.E., Sundqvist, M.K., Suominen, O., Tananaev, N., Tremblay, J.-P., Urbanowicz, C., Uvarov, S.A., Watts, D., Wilmking, M., Wookey, P.A., Zimmermann, H.H., Zverev, V. & Kozlov, M.V. (2017) Background invertebrate herbivory on dwarf birch (Betula glandulosa-nana complex) increases with temperature and precipitation across the tundra biome. Polar Biology, DOI 10.1007/s00300-017-2139-7.

Wangen, K., Speed, J.D.M. & Hassel, K. (2017) How does microclimate affect the growth of the rare liverwort Scapania nimbosa? Lindbergia, 40, 1-10.

Speed, J.D.M., & Austrheim, G. (2017). The importance of herbivore density and management as determinants of the distribution of rare plant species. Biological Conservation, 205, 77-84.

Anderson, H.B., Speed, J.D.M., Madsen, J., Pedersen, Å.Ø., Tombre, I.M., & Van der Wal, R. (2016). Late snow melt moderates herbivore disturbance of the Arctic tundra. Ecoscience, 23(1-2), 29-39.

Austrheim, G., Speed, J.D.M., Evju, M., Hester, A., Holand, Ø., Loe, L.E., Martinsen, V., Mobæk, R., Mulder, J., Steen, H., 2016. Synergies and trade-offs between ecosystem services in an alpine ecosystem grazed by sheep–an experimental approach. Basic and Applied Ecology 10.1016/j.baae.2016.06.003.

Barrio, I.C., Bueno, C.G., Gartzia, M., Soininen, E.M., Christie, K.S., Speed, J.D.M., Ravolainen, V.T., Forbes, B.C., Gauthier, G., Horstkotte, T., Hoset, K.S., Høye, T.T., Jónsdóttir, I.S., Lévesque, E., Mörsdorf, M.A., Olofsson, J., Wookey, P.A. & Hik, D.S. (2016). Biotic interactions mediate patterns of herbivore diversity in the Arctic. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 10.1111/geb.12470.

Wangen, K., Speed, J.D.M., & Hassel, K. (2016). Hyper-oceanic liverwort species of conservation concern: evidence for dispersal limitation and identification of suitable uncolonised regions. Biodiversity and Conservation, 25: 1053-1071

Ross, L.C., Austrheim, G., Asheim, L.-J., Bjarnason, G., Feilberg, J., Fosaa, A.M., Hester, A.J., Holand, Ø., Jónsdóttir, I.S., Mortensen, L.E., Mysterud, A., Olsen, E., Skonhoft, A., Speed, J.D.M., Steinheim, G., Thompson, D.B.A. & Thórhallsdóttir, A.G. (2016). Sheep grazing in the North Atlantic region: A long-term perspective on environmental sustainability. Ambio, 1-16.

Wasof, S., Lenoir, J., Aarrestad, P.A., Alsos, I.G., Armbruster, W.S., Austrheim, G., Bakkestuen, V., Birks, H.J.B., Bråthen, K.A., Broennimann, O., Brunet, J., Bruun, H.H., Dahlberg, C.J., Diekmann, M., Dullinger, S., Dynesius, M., Ejrnæs, R., Gégout, J.-C., Graae, B.J., Grytnes, J.-A., Guisan, A., Hylander, K., Jónsdóttir, I.S., Kapfer, J., Klanderud, K., Luoto, M., Milbau, A., Moora, M., Nygaard, B., Odland, A., Pauli, H., Ravolainen, V., Reinhardt, S., Sandvik, S.M., Schei, F.H., Speed, J.D.M., Svenning, J.-C., Thuiller, W., Tveraabak, L.U., Vandvik, V., Velle, L.G., Virtanen, R., Vittoz, P., Willner, W., Wohlgemuth, T., Zimmermann, N.E., Zobel, M. & Decocq, G. (2015) Disjunct populations of European vascular plant species keep the same climatic niches. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 10.1111/geb.12375.

Myers-Smith, I.H., Elmendorf, S., Beck, P., Wilmking, M., Hallinger, M., Blok, D., Tape, K., Rayback, S.A., Macias-Fauria, M., Forbes, B.C., Speed, J.D.M., Boulanger-Lapointe, N., Rixen, C., Levesque, E., Schmidt, N., Baittinger, C., Trant, A., Hermanutz, L., Siegwart Collier, L., Dawes, M., Lantz, T., Weijers, S., Jørgensen, R., Buchwal, A., Buras, A., Naito, A.T., Ravolainen, V., Schaepman-Strub, G., Wheeler, J., Wipf, S., Guay, K., Hik, D.S. & Velland, M. (2015) Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome. Nature Climate Change, 5: 887-891.

Anderson, H.B., Hubner, C.E., Speed, J.D.M., Madsen, J. & Van Der Wal, R. (2015) Biding time before  breeding: flexible use of the Arctic landscape by migratory geese during spring. Polar Research, 34, 26372.

Bernes, C., Carpenter, S.R., Gårdmark, A., Larsson, P., Persson, L., Skov, C., Speed, J.D.M. & Van Donk, E. (2015) What is the influence of a reduction of planktivorous and benthivorous fish on water quality in temperate eutrophic lakes? A systematic review. Environmental Evidence, 4, 7.

Speed, J. D. M., Martinsen, V., Hester, A. J., Holand, Ø., Mulder, J., Mysterud, A., and Austrheim, G. (2015) Continuous and discontinuous variation in ecosystem carbon stocks with elevation across a treeline ecotone, Biogeosciences, 12, 1615-1627.

Bernes, C., Bråthen, K.A., Forbes, B.C., Speed, J.D.M. & Moen, J. (2015) What are the impacts of reindeer/caribou (Rangifer tarandus L.) on arctic and alpine vegetation? Environmental Evidence, 4, 4.

Kjærstad, G., Arnekleiv, J.V. & Speed, J.D.M. (2015) Effects of Three Consecutive Rotenone Treatments on the Benthic Macroinvertebrate Fauna of the River Ogna, Central Norway. River Research and Applications, 10.1002/rra.2873.

Thingstad, P.G., Hogstad, O. & Speed, J.D.M. (2014) The influence of climatic conditions in breeding grounds and migratory flyways on a subalpine Norwegian Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus population. Ornis Fennica

Austrheim G., Speed J.D.M., Martinsen V., Mulder J., Mysterud A. (2014). Experimental Effects of Herbivore Density on Aboveground Plant Biomass in an Alpine Grassland Ecosystem. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 46: 535-541.

Speed J.D.M., Martinsen V., Mysterud A., Mulder J., Holand Ø., Austrheim G. (2014). Long-Term Increase in Aboveground Carbon Stocks Following Exclusion of Grazers and Forest Establishment in an Alpine Ecosystem. Ecosystems 10.1007/s10021-014-9784-2.

Speed, J.D.M., Austrheim, G., Hester, A.J., Meisingset, E., Mysterud, A, Tremblay J.-P. Øien D.-I. & Solberg, E.J. (2014). General and specific responses of understory vegetation to cervid herbivory across a range of boreal forests. Oikos. DOI: 10.1111/oik.01373

Sjögren, P., Solem, T., Stenvik, L., Tretvik, A.M., Daverdin, M., Speed, J.D.M., Austrheim, G. (2014) Quantification of interpreted pollen data based on the R-value model – exemplified by impact assessment of pre-historic iron production and summer farming in Budalen, central Norway. The Holocence. 10.1177/0959683613520256

Miljeteig, C., Olsen, A.J., Båtnes, A.S., Altin, D., Nordtug, T., Alver, M.O., Speed, J.D.M. & Jenssen, B.M. (2014) Sex and life stage dependent phototactic response of the marine copepod Calanus finmarchicus (Copepoda: Calanoida). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 451, 16-24.

Speed, J.D.M., Meisingset, E., Austrheim, G., Hester, A.J., Mysterud, A, Tremblay J.-P. & Solberg, E.J. (2013). Low intensities of red deer browsing constrain rowan growth in mature boreal forests of western Norway. Ecoscience. 20:3. 311-318.

Pedersen, Å. Ø., Speed, J. D. M., and Tombre, I. M., (2013). Prevalence of grubbing in the arctic tundra increases with the pink-footed goose population expansion. Polar Biology, 10.1007/s00300-013-1374-9.

Speed, J.D.M., Austrheim, G. & Mysterud, A. (2013) The response of plant diversity to grazing varies along an elevational gradient. Journal of Ecology, 101: 1225-1236.

Speed, J.D.M., Austrheim, G., Hester, A.J. & Mysterud, A. (2013) The response of alpine Salix shrubs to long-term browsing varies with elevation and herbivore density. Arctic Antarctic and Alpine Research. 45: 584-593.

Bernes, C., Bråthen, K.A., Forbes, B.C., Hofgaard, A., Moen, J. & Speed, J.D.M. (2013). What are the impacts of reindeer/caribou (Rangifer tarandus L.) on arctic and alpine vegetation? A systematic review protocol. Environmental Evidence, 2, 6.

Lenoir, J., Graae, B.J., Aarrestad, P.A., Alsos, I.G., Armbruster, S.W., Austrheim, G., Bergendorff, C., Birks, H.J.B., Bråthen, K.A., Brunet, J., Bruun, H.H., Dahlberg, C.J., Decocq, G., Diekmann, M., Dynesius, M., Ejrnæs, R., Grytnes, J.-A., Hylander, K., Klanderud, K., Luoto, M., Milbau, A., Moora, M., Nygaard, B., Odland, A., Ravolainen, V.T., Reinhardt, S., Sandvik, S.M., Schei, F.H., Speed, J.D.M., Tveraabak, L.U., Vandvik, V., Velle, L.G., Virtanen, R., Zobel, M., Svenning, J.-C., 2013. Local temperatures inferred from plant communities suggest strong spatial buffering of climate warming across Northern Europe. Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.12129.

Myking, T., Solberg, E.J., Austrheim, G., Speed, J.D.M., Bøhler, F., Astrup, R. & Eriksen, R. (2013) Browsing of sallow (Salix caprea L.) and rowan (Sorbus aucuparia L.) in the context of life history strategies: a literature review. European Journal of Forest Research, DOI 10.1007/s10342-013-0684-3.

Speed, J.D.M., Austrheim, G., Hester, A.J., Solberg, E.J. & Tremblay, J.-P. (2013) Regional-scale alteration of clear-cut forest regeneration caused by moose browsing. Forest Ecology and Management, 289, 289-299.

Speed, J.D.M., Austrheim, G., Birks, H.J.B., Johnson, S., Kvamme, M., Nagy, L., Sjögren, P., Skar, B., Stone, D., Svensson, E. & Thompson, D.B.A. (2012) Natural and cultural heritage in mountain landscapes: towards an integrated valuation. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, 8, 313-320.

Speed, J.D.M., Austrheim, G., Hester, A.J. & Mysterud, A. (2012) Elevational advance of alpine plant communities is buffered by herbivory. Journal of Vegetation Science 23:617-625

Speed, J.D.M., Austrheim, G., Hester, A.J. & Mysterud, A. (2011) Browsing interacts with climate to determine tree-ring increment. Functional Ecology. 25, 1018-1023

Speed, J.D.M., Austrheim, G., Hester, A.J. & Mysterud, A. (2011) Growth limitation of mountain birch caused by sheep browsing at the altitudinal treeline. Forest Ecology and Management, 261, 1344-1352.

Speed, J.D.M., Cooper, E.J., Jónsdóttir, I.S., Van der Wal, R. & Woodin, S.J. (2010) Plant community properties predict vegetation resilience to herbivore disturbance in the Arctic. Journal of Ecology. 98, 1002-1013. DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2010.01685.x

Speed, J.D.M., Austrheim, G., Hester, A.J. & Mysterud, A. (2010) Experimental evidence for herbivore limitation of the treeline. Ecology 91, 3414-3420. DOI 10.1890/09-2300

Speed, J.D.M., Woodin, S.J., Tømmervik, H. & Van der Wal, R. (2010) Extrapolating herbivore-induced carbon loss across an arctic landscape. Polar Biology, 33, 789-797 DOI 10.1007/s00300-009-0756-5

Speed, J.D.M., Woodin, S.J., Tommervik, H., Tamstorf, M.P. & Van der Wal, R. (2009) Predicting Habitat Utilization and Extent of Ecosystem Disturbance by an Increasing Herbivore Population. Ecosystems, 12, 349-359.

Speed, J.D.M., Van der Wal, R. & Woodin, S.J. (2009) Do Nitrogen Concentration and Forage Quality of the Moss Racomitrium lanuginosum Increase with Latitude? Research Letters in Ecology, vol. 2009, 4.