Background and activities
My main interest in conservation biology and plant ecology has been how anthropogenic processes affect biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services at different spatio-temporal scales.
My expertise is primarily within alpine, semi-natural and boreal (coniferous and deciduous forest) ecosystems focusing on how land use processes in interaction with climate affects biodiversity components as well as supporting, regulating and provisioning services. Experiences from interdisciplinary projects have provided insight in the science-policy interface and how e.g. socio-economic drivers indirectly affect biodiversity and ES and how people perceive and respond to these changes. Much of this interdisciplinary work has focused on the ecosystem impact of domestic livestock and wild ungulates but also how the management of large herbivore ecosystem engineers interacts with societal processes.
Gunnar Austrheim Current projects
MANaging ECOsystem services in low alpine cultural landscapes through livestock grazing (MANECO) http://www.ntnu.no/web/vitenskapsmuseet/maneco
How to manage dynamic landscapes? (DYLAN). Towards a new framework for the management of cultural and natural heritage in upland Landscape Conservation Areas (LCA) in Norway. Norwegian Research Council, program ”Environment2015”. (leader Gunnar Austrheim).
Towards sustainable management of moose, red deer and their food resources. Norwegian Research Council, program “Environment2015”. NFR: Miljø2015. (leader Erling J. Solberg NINA) www.NINA.no\hjortevilt.
Scientific, academic and artistic work
A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database
- (2020) The relative role of climate and herbivory in driving treeline dynamics along a latitudinal gradient. Journal of Vegetation Science.
- (2020) Urban aliens and threatened near-naturals: Land-cover affects the species richness of alien- and threatened species in an urban-rural setting. Scientific Reports. vol. 10.
- (2020) Increasing Cervidae populations have variable impacts on habitat suitability for threatened forest plant and lichen species. Forest Ecology and Management. vol. 473.
- (2020) Cool as a moose: How can browsing counteract climate warming effects across boreal forest ecosystems?. Ecology.
- (2019) Moose effects on soil temperatures, tree canopies, and understory vegetation: a path analysis. Ecosphere. vol. 10:e02966 (12).
- (2019) Long-term changes in northern large-herbivore communities reveal differential rewilding rates in space and time. PLOS ONE. vol. 14 (5).
- (2019) Assessing sampling coverage of species distribution in biodiversity databases. Journal of Vegetation Science. vol. 30 (4).
- (2018) Pervasive moose browsing in boreal forests alters successional trajectories by severely suppressing keystone species. Ecosphere. vol. 9:e02458 (10).
- (2017) Cervid Exclusion Alters Boreal Forest Properties with Little Cascading Impacts on Soils. Ecosystems.
- (2017) Bærekraftig beiting i fjellet: Hvilke prinsipper legger sentrale interessegrupper til grunn for å balansere mellom ressursbruk og ressursgrunnlag?. Tidsskriftet UTMARK. vol. 2017 (2).
- (2017) The importance of herbivore density and management as determinants of the distribution of rare plant species. Biological Conservation. vol. 205.
- (2016) Synergies and trade-offs between ecosystem services in analpine ecosystem grazed by sheep – An experimental approach. Basic and Applied Ecology. vol. 17 (7).
- (2016) The role of individual traits and environmental factors for diet composition of sheep. PLOS ONE. vol. 11 (1).
- (2016) Sheep grazing in the North Atlantic region: A long-term perspective on environmental sustainability. Ambio. vol. 45 (5).
- (2015) Transitions in European land-management regimes between 1800 and 2010. Land Use Policy. vol. 49.
- (2015) Continuous and discontinuous variation in ecosystem carbon stocks with elevation across a treeline ecotone. Biogeosciences. vol. 12 (5).
- (2015) Disjunct populations of European vascular plant species keep the same climatic niches. Global Ecology and Biogeography. vol. 24 (12).
- (2014) Experimental effects of herbivore density on above-ground plant biomass in an alpine grassland ecosystem. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine research. vol. 46 (3).
- (2014) Temporal scales of density-dependent habitat selection in a large grazing herbivore. Oikos. vol. 123 (8).
- (2014) Linking sheep density and grazing frequency to persistence of herb species in an alpine environment. Ecological research. vol. 29 (3).