Climate as a driver of shrub expansion and tundra greening

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Geosciences

Abstract

Global climate change has been identified as a serious threat that has already had profound impacts on terrestrial Arctic systems. A dramatic example of this is the expansion of tundra shrubs. Shrubs are an important part of the Arctic carbon cycle and major contributors to feedbacks facilitating high-latitude climate warming. The April 2014 IPCC Impacts report assigned a high confidence in the detection of an increase in shrubs in Arctic ecosystems and attributes shrub expansion to climate warming. However currently, the relative importance of climate versus other biological or environmental factors as drivers of tundra shrub growth and expansion remains poorly understood.

Over the next century tundra ecosystems are predicted to warm by 2 - 10C. A significant unknown is whether shrubs will rapidly respond to warming conditions, or whether environmental factors such as water availability, nutrient limitation, herbivory, pathogen outbreaks, or fire will begin to limit the rate of future vegetation change. To address this knowledge gap, we propose to: 1) quantify the importance of climate as a driver of tundra shrub growth and expansion at sites across the tundra biome, 2) test the correspondence between plot-scale field observations with remotely-sensed data of tundra greening, 3) analyse the correlations between time series of shrub growth, tundra greening and climate and 4) assess the agreement between patterns of tundra greening and vegetation change at the landscape-scale.

Our key objectives are:
1) To scale tundra vegetation change-climate interactions from plot to biome: We will integrate locally-collected data from sites around the Arctic and remotely-sensed data to test a) whether growing season temperatures are the primary driver of tundra vegetation change and b) whether remotely-sensed greening data capture a signal that correlates with spatial and temporal variation in local-scale shrub expansion.
2) To link patterns of tundra greening and vegetation change at the landscape scale: To scale from plot to biome at our focal research site Herschel Island, we will collect high spatial resolution (< 10 cm pixel) tundra greening data using an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to compare with vegetation monitoring data, plant trait measurements, disturbance rates and terrain characteristics.
3) To improve predictions of tundra vegetation change: We will integrate our research findings to make data-driven predictions of shrub increase across the tundra biome. We will conduct a data synthesis workshop in 2017 to integrate our research objectives, evaluate the future research priorities and synthesize our findings.

This proposed research is both timely and urgent, as the required biome-scale datasets have only recently become available in long-enough duration, and the technologies, methodological approaches and statistical techniques are only now refined sufficiently to test mechanisms of shrub expansion across spatial and temporal scales. Our findings will provide fundamental insights into the drivers of shrub growth and tundra greening and will enable improved predictions of future tundra vegetation change.

The proposed research will result in the generation of a publically available dataset that will provide key estimates of tundra vegetation change to the broad scientific community. We will disseminate results through timely publications in internationally recognized journals and presentations at major conferences, knowledge exchange, ecological assessments, public engagement, and media. Lastly, the project will provide comprehensive training, mentorship and networking opportunities for early career researchers.

Planned Impact

The results of this research on vegetation change in tundra ecosystems will be relevant and of interest to policy makers, northern human communities, the media and the general public. In order to disseminate this research programme, we will build upon our previous extensive outreach and engagement experience, to provide summarized results to all stakeholders. Our activities will be targeted to UK, northern and global audiences. We will focus engagement in two primary areas: 1) global change impacts in tundra ecosystems and in particular vegetation change and 2) open science, collaboration and coordinating international scientific collaborations.

Policy Makers
Policy makers at a variety of levels make decisions about climate change mitigation, conservation of biodiversity, resource extraction and preservation of natural heritage. Understanding the vegetation changes currently underway and the projected extent of future changes in Arctic ecosystems will allow policy makers at the international, national, territorial and local levels to evaluate options that will best protect natural capital such as ecosystem functions ecosystem carbon stores, and wildlife species e.g.,caribou, muskox, and artic fox. We will communicate the scientific findings through knowledge exchange including ecological impact assessments. Our findings will provide key data to ecological and climate modellers who are estimating feedbacks to climate warming.

Northern Communities
Northern communities have a vested interest in understanding how their local lands are being altered by global change including warming temperatures, reduced sea ice and extended growing seasons. In order to conduct globally relevant research, scientists must bring results back to the local communities where the research is being conducted. During this research project, we will strive to effectively communicate research findings to those living in communities in close proximity to the research sites including Inuvik, Aklavik and Whitehorse. The research group will conduct school visits, give community presentations and interact with park managers to share our findings.

General Public
Changes to Arctic ecosystems are some of the most dramatic examples of climate change impacts. The Arctic is changing more rapidly than the rest of the world due to amplification of energy feedbacks. The observed rapid loss of sea ice, permafrost thaw, tundra fires and the dramatic responses of tundra vegetation are impacts that can be easily communicated to a global audience. An improved understanding of climate change impacts to northern ecosystems will influence behaviours and shape attitudes towards climate mitigation policies as well as informing the public about important ecological interactions and earth system processes. Our research group will engage with traditional media outlets and social media to communicate our findings and contribute to the growing body of evidence outlining climate impacts in Arctic ecosystems.

Early Career Researchers
We are only beginning to be able to estimate future impacts of climate change in tundra ecosystems. This is an emerging field that will grow over time. We need to train highly skilled scientists who have an interdisciplinary understanding of ecology, evolution and earth system science and who additionally have advanced skills in statistical and spatial analysis, field and laboratory techniques, taxonomy and communication. This project will provide training, mentorship and expertise in a variety of research skills to the ~7 participating early career researchers (6 undergraduate students and one postdoc) and will also present opportunities for these young scientists to build an extensive research network and establish their own future careers.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Arctic From Above digital exhibition 
Description We present photographs of Arctic tundra landscapes and the plants and wildlife that inhabit them, captured as a part of scientific research expeditions to the rapidly warming Arctic. Images include landscapes captured from above using drones. These images are part of scientific datasets used to model the 3D structure of the tundra environment. This work represents the interface between science and art, where the process of data collection has produced imagery that communicates the reality of global change and captures the patterns and beauty of remote Arctic ecosystems. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact The photographs and video clips from our digital exhibition have been key elements to communication of our science with local people, media and the general public. 
URL https://arcticabove.com/
 
Title Arctic from Above Photography Exhibition 
Description We present photographs of Arctic tundra landscapes and the plants and wildlife that inhabit them captured as a part of scientific research expeditions to the rapidly warming Arctic. Images include landscapes captured from above using drones that are a part of scientific datasets used to model the 3D structure of the tundra environment. This work represents the interface between science and art where the process of data collection has produced imagery that both communicates global change and captures the beauty in remote Arctic ecosystems. Artist bios: Jeff Kerby is postdoctoral researcher at the Neukom Institute at Dartmouth College, USA where he focuses on studying arctic ecology. He has worked extensively on conservation and ecology related drone projects in Africa, South America, and the Arctic.  He is also an avid natural history photographer and recently had his first photo feature published in National Geographic magazine (April 2017). http://www.nationalgeographic.com/explorers/bios/jeff-kerby/ Sandra Angers-Blondin is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh where she studies the climate sensitivity of tundra shrub growth.  She has worked across Arctic tundra ecosystems in Northern Quebec and the Yukon Territory.  She is a keen photographer and recently has won the British Ecological Society Photographic Contest and featured in Nature Sauvage magazine. https://www.instagram.com/sandra.angers.b/ Anne Bjorkman is a postdoctoral research at Aarhus University in Denmark where she studies biodiversity changes in tundra ecosystems. She has worked in high arctic ecosystems including on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. She is an enthusiastic photographer of landscapes and plants. Her work was recently published in the book "Woolly Bear of the North". http://annebjorkman.com/ Team Shrub is a research group at the University of Edinburgh working to understand how global change alters tundra ecosystems.  The research group is led by Isla Myers-Smith and includes the three exhibiting photographers Kerby, Angers-Blondin and Bjorkman and other researchers.  Our research is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council of the UK. We hope to engage the public directly through photography and other media with Arctic ecosystems undergoing climate and environmental change - connecting the seeming distant Arctic to our daily lives. https://teamshrub.com/ 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The Arctic from Above exhibit was visited by 4000+ visitors during the Edinburgh International Science Festival in April - May 2017. 
URL https://www.summerhall.co.uk/visual-arts/arctic-from-above/
 
Title Art in Data - Contemporary Connections 
Description Exploring the art in data This exhibit will create an interactive discussion of the untapped potential of data to convey both artistic and scientific meaning, including new work exploring Arctic environmental change. Environmental data and computer algorithms contain patterns that can inform both scientific findings and artistic expression. This exhibit will create an interactive discussion with participants about the untapped potential of data to convey artistic meaning. The displayed works are an exploration of the theme of 'Our Connected World' by demonstrating the connections between art, scientific data and environmental change. The exhibit additionally includes new work that is a collaboration between artist Simon Sloan, communicators and scientists at the University of Edinburgh to create visualisations of data collected during field expeditions to the Canadian Arctic (http://teamshrub.wordpress.com/). This new digital art will explore Arctic ecosystems undergoing climate and environmental change - connecting the seeming distant Arctic to our daily lives in Edinburgh. Simon Sloan, a recent graduate from Glasgow School of Art has a passion to combine digital media with the natural environment (http://simonsloan.com/). He has developed skills to create interactive installations and data visualisations, with successful exhibitions held in Edinburgh Maker Faire, Glasgow Degree Show and London New Designers. His work will appeal to a broad range of audiences and age groups, with interactive game like features as well as informative content on the subjects being addressed. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The Art in Data contribution to the Contemporary Connections exhibition was visited by 4000+ visitors at the Edinburgh International Science Festival in April and May 2017. 
URL http://www.ascus.org.uk/contemporary-connections-eisf-2017/
 
Title Video Qikiqtaruk Summer 2016 
Description A short (2 1/2 min) video of drone based landscape shots from our field work on Qikiqtaruk - Herschel Island in 2016 hosted on Vimeo. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact So far the video as had a small, but notable impact, having been viewed by 200+ people at the time of writing. 
URL https://vimeo.com/223034145
 
Title Video clips and short films on Team Shrub website, Instagram and Twitter 
Description We have produced multiple short films or video clips posted to the Team Shrub website, Instagram and Twitter to communicate our research findings and the process of doing Arctic research. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact These creative products help communicate our science and allow us to engage with the general public, Northern peoples and UK audiences. 
URL http://teamshrub.com/lab-blog/
 
Description Key findings so far include:
1. Weak correspondence among satellite-observed tundra greening and on-the-ground observations of tundra vegetation change across the tundra biome.

2. Evidence of dramatic vegetation change over a 15-year period on Qiqiktaruk - Herschel Island in the Canadian Arctic.

3. Different greening patterns across different vegetation types in relation to disturbance regime, bare ground cover, soil moisture and topography.

4. Synchrony in greenness trends across the growing season from drone-sensed imagery and on-the-ground plant phenology records (leaf emergence, flowering, senescence).

Remaining questions to address include:
1. How are community-level plant traits changing overtime in tundra ecosystems?

2. How does plant composition change influence greening patterns and tundra ecosystem functions over space and time with warming?

3. How do tundra greening patterns and trends over time correspond across spatial scales from different satellite records, drone imagery and on-the-ground observations?
Exploitation Route Our findings are contributing to international collaborations as a part of the sTundra working group:
https://www.idiv.de/?id=172

As a direct result of the project, new collaborations are being forged through the High-Latitude Drone Ecology Network (lead by the Team Shrub at the University of Edinburgh):
https://arcticdrones.org/

As the project progresses, the findings will be further integrated into collaborative research efforts, scientific publications, government reports, climate/environmental impact assessments and outreach initiatives.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Environment

URL https://teamshrub.com/
 
Description Our findings are feeding into scientific publications, government reports, climate/environmental impact assessments, community outreach both in the UK, Canadian North and Internationally.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description British Ecological Society Travel Grants
Amount £500 (GBP)
Funding ID TT17\1196 
Organisation British Ecological Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2017 
End 12/2017
 
Description CHARTER: Drivers and Feedbacks of Changes in Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity
Amount € 5,899,931 (EUR)
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 04/2020 
End 04/2024
 
Description NSERC Discovery Frontiers Grant
Amount $4,294,000 (CAD)
Funding ID 401217510 
Organisation Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) 
Sector Public
Country Canada
Start 12/2017 
End 12/2022
 
Description United Kingdom and Canada Arctic Partnership Bursary
Amount £19,350 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2017 
End 04/2018
 
Description United Kingdom and Canada Arctic Partnership Bursary
Amount £19,900 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 04/2019
 
Description Walters Kundert Fellowship
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Funding ID WK 08/18 
Organisation Royal Geographical Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2018 
End 06/2019
 
Title Monitoring of tundra vegetation with multispectral drone sensors 
Description We have developed common protocols and guidance material for the monitoring of Arctic tundra vegetation using multispectral drone sensors. Imagery captured in narrow bands of the visible and near-infrared band of the spectrum allows estimation of vegetation parameters such as productivity and LAI. It also enables the calculation of vegetation indices such as those commonly used in satellite remote sensing and hence allows for direct comparisons between products created with the two types of platforms. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The protocols developed were shared with the High Latitude Drone Ecology Network (HiLDEN) and are openly available on the internet (see URL below). These protocols have been deployed by researchers from the network at sites across the tundra during summer 2017 and 2018. We also have a publication close to submission that is the outcome of this work. 
URL http://arcticdrones.org
 
Title Vegetation monitoring using multispectral sensors - best practices and lessons learned from high latitudes 
Description Rapid technological advances have dramatically increased affordability and accessibility of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and associated sensors. Compact multispectral drone sensors capture high-resolution imagery in visible and near-infrared parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, allowing for the calculation of vegetation indices, such as the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) for productivity estimates and vegetation classification. Despite the technological advances, challenges remain in capturing high-quality data, highlighting the need for standardized workflows. Here, we discuss challenges, technical aspects, and practical considerations of vegetation monitoring using multispectral drone sensors and propose a workflow based on remote sensing principles and our field experience in high-latitude environments, using the Parrot Sequoia (Pairs, France) sensor as an example. We focus on the key error sources associated with solar angle, weather conditions, geolocation, and radiometric calibration and estimate their relative contributions that can lead to uncertainty of more than ±10% in peak season NDVI estimates of our tundra field site. Our findings show that these errors can be accounted for by improved flight planning, metadata collection, ground control point deployment, use of reflectance targets, and quality control. With standardized best practice, multispectral sensors can provide meaningful spatial data that is reproducible and comparable across space and time. Assmann JJ, JT Kerby, AC Cunliffe, IH Myers-Smith. 2018. Vegetation monitoring using multispectral sensors - best practices and lessons learned from high latitudes. Journal of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems doi: http://doi.org/10.1139/juvs-2018-0018 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact These best practice guidelines are the basis of the High Latitude Drone Ecology Network collaboration. 
URL http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/full/10.1139/juvs-2018-0018#.XIl2UtF7muV
 
Title Number of flowering tundra plant species at eight monitoring plots (2017) on Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island, Yukon, Canada 
Description This dataset contains records of the number of open flowers per plant species in each 2x2m plot on different survey dates. Plots are from two distinct vegetation communities (Herschel, Komakuk, coded in the data as HER and KOM). Plots were monitored in 2017. Funding was provided by the NERC grant NE/M016323/1. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Orthomosaic of permafrost landscape on Qikiqtaruk - Hershel Island, Yukon, Canada (August 2017) 
Description This red-green-blue (RGB) orthomosaic is composite created from 8994 photographs collected withunmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over the eastern part of Qikiqtaruk, Herschel Island, in the Canadian Yukon (69.5N, 138.8W). The images were collected on the 10th and 11th of August 2017. Further details on the image processing are provided in the Lineage section. This dataset was created by Andrew Cunliffe, with support from Isla Myers-Smith, William Palmer, Jeffrey Kerby and other members of Team Shrub (https://teamshrub.com/), in order to inform ongoing ecological monitoring studies in this area. Part of this orthomosaic was used for a study into permafrost coastline retreat, published in The Cryosphere (Cunliffe, A. M., Tanski, G., Radosavljevic, B., Palmer, W. F., Sachs, T., Lantuit, H., Kerby, J. T., and Myers-Smith, I. H.: Rapid retreat of permafrost coastline observed with aerial drone photogrammetry, The Cryosphere, 13, 1513-1528, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-13-1513-2019, 2019). 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Percent cover of tundra plant species at twelve repeat-monitoring plots (1999-2017) on Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island, Yukon, Canada 
Description This dataset contains the percentage cover of plant species, bare ground and litter from twelve 1x1m vegetation monitoring plots. Plots are from two distinct vegetation communities (Herschel, Komakuk) approximately 500m apart. Plots were established in 1999 and monitored in 2004, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Data is presented as total percentage cover per species (not relative cover). Funding was provided by the NERC grant NE/M016323/1. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Phenology of tundra plant species at eight monitoring plots (2016-2017) on Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island, Yukon, Canada 
Description This dataset contains phenological records (timing of life events such as the opening of flowers) for tundra plant species from eight 2x2m monitoring plots. Plots are from two distinct vegetation communities (Herschel, Komakuk, coded in the data as HER and KOM). Plots were established in 2016 and monitored in 2016 and 2017. Data are presented as phenological stages for each monitored plant individual at survey dates across the 2016 and 2017 growing seasons. Flower stalk length, leaf length and new growth length were measured in mm. Active layer depth was measured in cm and was recorded at the corner of each 2x2 m plot. Soil moisture was measured as a percentage. Funding was provided by the NERC grant NE/M016323/1. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Plant trait records for tundra vascular plant species from the Yukon, Canada, 2014-2017 
Description This dataset contains plant trait measurements for nine plant functional traits (specific leaf area, vegetative height, reproductive height, seed mass, leaf dry matter content, wood density, leaf area, leaf fresh mass, leaf dry mass) collected in situ from tundra plant communities at three sites in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The three sites (Kluane Platueau (60.96 degN, 138.41 degW), Pika Camp (61.22 degN, 138.28 degW), Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island (69.57 degN, 138.90 degW)) were visited annually from 2014-2017. Funding was provided by the NERC grant NE/M016323/1. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Qikiqtaruk Data 
Description This repository contains code and data necessary to replicate data analysis, figures, and tables in "Eighteen years of ecological monitoring reveals multiple lines of evidence for tundra vegetation change". 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The Arctic tundra is warming rapidly, yet the exact mechanisms linking warming and observed ecological changes are often unclear. Understanding mechanisms of change requires long-term monitoring of multiple ecological parameters. Here, we present the findings of a collaboration between government scientists, local people, park rangers and academic researchers that provide insights into changes in plant composition, phenology and growth over 18 years on Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island, Canada. Qikiqtaruk is an important focal research site located at the latitudinal tall shrub line in the western Arctic. This unique ecological monitoring program indicates the following findings: 1) nine days per decade advance of spring phenology, 2) a doubling of average plant canopy height per decade, but no directional change in shrub radial growth and 3) a doubling of shrub and graminoid abundance and a decrease by half in bare ground cover per decade. Ecological changes are concurrent with satellite-observed greening and when integrated suggest that indirect warming from increased growing season length and active layer depths, rather than warming summer air temperatures alone, could be important drivers of the observed tundra vegetation change. Our results highlight the vital role that long-term and multi-parameter ecological monitoring plays in both the detection and attribution of global change. 
URL http://github.com/ShrubHub/QikiqtarukHub
 
Title Radial growth of tundra shrubs (1990-2014) at four sites in Northern Canada (Yukon, Quebec) 
Description This dataset contains annual growth time series for 296 tundra shrubs belonging to 7 species (Salix and Betula genera) collected at the following sites in Northern Canada: Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island (Yukon Territory), Kluane region (Yukon Territory), Umiujaq (Quebec) and Salluit (Quebec). Each individual time series (raw measurements) is presented along with the species and canopy size of the corresponding shrub. Funding was provided by the NERC grant NE/M016323/1. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Shrubring Data 
Description This is a GitHub repository for the ShrubHub growthring database. Purpose: We combined individual datasets of shrub growth from sites around the tundra biome to explore the climate sensitivity of shrub growth. Abstract: This dataset consists of tundra shrub growth data from 37 arctic and alpine sites in 9 countries, including 25 species, and ~42 000 annual growth records from 1821 individuals. Summary: Rapid temperature increases in the tundra biome have been linked to increasing shrub dominance. Shrub expansion can modify climate by altering surface albedo, energy and water balance, and permafrost, yet the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. Dendroecological data consisting of multi-decadal time series of annual shrub growth provide an underused resource to explore climate-growth relationships. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact These data are being used in a number of collaborations and have contributed to the following papers/manuscripts: Myers-Smith IH, et al. 2015. Climate sensitivity of shrub expansion across the tundra biome. Nature Climate Change 5.9: 887-891. doi: http://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2697 Ropars P, S Angers-Blondin, et al. IH Myers-Smith. 2017. Different parts, different stories: climate sensitivity of growth is stronger in root collars versus stems in tundra shrubs. Global Change Biology doi: http://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13631 Grabowski MM, IH Myers-Smith*, JF Brodie, S Angers-Blondin. Contrasting boreal and tundra shrub growth responses to climate and competition. In prep. etc. 
URL http://github.com/ShrubHub/ShrubringHub
 
Title Tundra Trait Team Database 
Description Motivation: The Tundra Trait Team (TTT) database includes field-based measurements of key traits related to plant form and function at multiple sites across the tundra biome. This dataset can be used to address theoretical questions about plant strategy and trade-offs, trait-environment relationships and environmental filtering, and trait variation across spatial scales, to validate satellite data, and to inform earth system model parameters. Main types of variable contained: The database contains 80,827 measurements of 18 plant traits. The most frequently measured traits (>1,000 observations each) include plant height, leaf area, specific leaf area, leaf fresh and dry mass, leaf dry matter content, leaf nitrogen content, leaf carbon content, leaf phosphorus content, seed mass, and stem specific density. Spatial location and grain: Measurements were collected in tundra habitats in both the northern and southern hemispheres, including Arctic sites in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Fennoscandia, and Siberia and alpine sites in the European Alps, Colorado Rockies, Caucasus, Ural Mountains, Pyrenees, Australian Alps, and Central Otago Mountains (New Zealand). More than 99% of observations are georeferenced. Time period and grain: All data were collected between 1964 and 2016. A small number of sites have repeated trait measurements at two or more time periods. Major taxa and level of measurement: Trait measurements were made on 834 terrestrial vascular plant species growing in tundra habitats. Most observations are on individuals (88%), while a small number represent plot or site means or maximums per species. Software format: csv file and GitHub repository with data cleaning scripts in R; contribution to TRY trait database (www.try-db.org) to be included in the next version release. Keywords: plant functional traits, tundra, Arctic, alpine 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Research involving this database is included in four papers, additional manuscripts in review and several new research collaborations. Publications include: Bjorkman AD, IH Myers-Smith*, SC Elmendorf, S Normand, N Rüger, et al. Changes in plant functional traits across a warming tundra biome. Nature 562: 57-62. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0563-7 Bjorkman AD, IH Myers-Smith*, SC Elmendorf, S Normand, Thomas HJD, et al. Tundra Trait Team: A database of plant traits spanning the tundra biome. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/geb.12821 Myers-Smith IH, HJD Thomas and AD Bjorkman. 2018. Plant traits inform predictions of tundra responses to global change. New Phytologist. doi: http://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15592 Thomas HJD, IH Myers-Smith*, AD Bjorkman, SC Elmendorf, D Blok, et al. 2018. Traditional plant functional groups explain variation in economic but not size-related traits across the tundra biome. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi: http://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12783 Thomas HD, Bjorkman AD, IH Myers-Smith*, SC Elmendorf, J Kattge, et al. Global plant trait relationships extend to the climatic extremes of the tundra biome. In review at Nature Communications. 
URL http://github.com/TundraTraitTeam/TraitHub
 
Description ARCFUNC - Functional biogeography of Arctic plant diversity: trajectories in space and time 
Organisation Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF)
Country Denmark 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Postdoc Anne Bjorkman has worked for both projects on common research goals and her salary is now covered by the ARCFUNC project. A working group meeting will be held in June 2017 where NERC PhD student Haydn Thomas and myself as PI for the ShrubTundra project will be attending and working with the ARCFUNC team on our common research projects including an analysis and manuscript investigating tundra biodiversity patterns and change.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners Anne Bjorkman, Anne Blach Overgaard and Signe Normand at Aarhus University and other international collaborators have been working to compile data sets and conduct analyses for our common research projects on the topic of tundra biodiversity patterns and change
Impact Outputs in process
Start Year 2016
 
Description AWI 
Organisation Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution My research group is collaborating with Prof. Hugues Lantuit at the Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research for the fieldwork component of the NERC-funded ShrubTundra Project (NE/M016323/1).
Collaborator Contribution Prof. Hugues Lantuit has supported our field work logistics and we have cost shared to reduce field expedition expenses.
Impact This collaboration has led to the following manuscripts to date with more collaborations planned in future: Jaroslav O, et al. 2016. Effect of Terrain Characteristics on Soil Organic Carbon and Total Nitrogen Stocks in Soils of Herschel Island, Western Canadian Arctic. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes. Early view. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ppp.1881/abstract Wolter J, et al. 2016. Vegetation composition and shrub extent on the Yukon coast, Canada, are strongly linked to ice-wedge polygon degradation. Polar Research. Accepted.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Aurora Research Institute 
Organisation Aurora College
Department Aurora Research Institute (ARI)
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We work with the Aurora Research Institute to coordinate field logistics for the NERC-funded ShrubTundra Project (NE/M016323/1).
Collaborator Contribution See above.
Impact This collaboration has resulted in public outreach in the Northwest Territories and has fostered connections to other research projects in the region.
Start Year 2008
 
Description Herschel Island - Qiqiktaruk Territorial Park 
Organisation Government of Yukon
Country Canada 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution My research group are helping to collect, collate and analyse data from the Herschel Island - Qiqiktaruk Territorial Park ecological monitoring programme. We are working with the Government of the Yukon and the Territorial Park employees to improve the ecological monitoring programme and communicate the resulting changes that are being observed to local communities, scientific researchers and other government agencies.
Collaborator Contribution Herschel Island - Qiqiktaruk Territorial Park and the Yukon government are directly supporting the field logistics of our research and providing in kind support to facilitate the major research objectives of the NERC-funded ShrubTundra Project (NE/M016323/1).
Impact This collaboration has resulted in the following manuscript and other in prep. manuscripts that will be submitted in 2016: Myers-Smith IH, DS Hik, C Kennedy, D Cooley, JF Johnstone, AJ Kenney, CJ Krebs. Expansion of canopy-forming willows over the twentieth century on Herschel Island, Yukon Territory, Canada. Ambio 40:610-623. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13280-011-0168-y Profile in Science: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6145/483.full
Start Year 2008
 
Description Kluane Lake Research Station 
Organisation Arctic Institute of North America
Department Kluane Lake Research Station (KLRS)
Country Canada 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We work with the Kluane Lake Research Station to coordinate field logistics for the NERC-funded ShrubTundra Project (NE/M016323/1).
Collaborator Contribution See above.
Impact This collaboration has resulted in public outreach in the Kluane Region and has fostered connections to other research projects in the Yukon.
Start Year 2006
 
Description NASA Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) project affiliation 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Department Arctic Boreal Vulnerable Experiment
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The NERC-funded ShrubTundra (NE/M016323/1) project has received project affiliation status with the NASA Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) project (http://above.nasa.gov/). This will facilitate sharing of scientific objectives, data and methods and allow for improved collaboration among NASA-funded scientists and our project team.
Collaborator Contribution We have attended NASA Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) sessions and side meetings at the AGU meetings in December 2016 and have coordinated with Airborne data collection plans for the field season of 2016 - 2020. We have joined the vegetation working group of the ABoVE project to discuss joint scientific objectives. In 2019, Isla Myers-Smith was a plenary speaker at the Annual NASA ABoVE meeting. In the field season of 2019 the NASA ABoVE project collected airborne AVIRIS data across Qikiqtaruk - Herschel Island.
Impact Outcomes include NASA airborne data collection on Qikiqtaruk - Herschel Island during the field season of 2019. This site is also on the flight plans for 2020 data collection.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ShrubHub 
Organisation University of Alberta
Department ShrubHub
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I established and coordinate the ShrubHub Research network including over 150 participants from countries in both Europe and North America, as well as Australia and China.
Collaborator Contribution This network includes all of our international collaborators participating in the NERC-funded ShrubTundra Project (NE/M016323/1) and many more past, current and future collaborators.
Impact This collaboration has resulted in the following publications and other associated research collaborations: Myers-Smith IH, et al. 2015. Climate sensitivity of shrub expansion across the tundra biome. Nature Climate Change. 10.1038/nclimate2697 http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n9/full/nclimate2697.html Myers-Smith IH, et al. 2015. Methods for measuring arctic and alpine shrub growth: A review. Earth-Science Reviews. 140: 1-13. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012825214001834 Myers-Smith IH, et al. 2011. Shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems: dynamics, impacts and research priorities. Environmental Research Letters 6:045509. doi: 10.1088/1748 9326/6/4/045509. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/045509
Start Year 2009
 
Description The High Latitude Drone Ecology Network 
Organisation High-Latitude Drone Ecology Network
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The Shrub Tundra (NE/M016323/1) project has contributed to the forming of the High Latitude Drone Ecology Network (HiLDEN). The HiLDEN network is made up of high-latitude ecologists using drones to answer ecological questions. The aims of the network are to facilitate the development and synthesis of mesoscale Arctic research by sharing protocols and field expertise to improve the collection of drone remotely-sensed data in tundra ecosystems.
Collaborator Contribution Isla Myers-Smith and visiting researcher Jeffrey Kerby are founding members of the High Latitude Drone Ecology Network (HiLDEN) with contributions from postdoc Andrew Cunliffe and PhD student Jakob Assmann. The HiLDEN network was formed through our experiences working on the Shrub Tundra project and the need to coordination of drone data collection to answer pressing questions in tundra ecology to contribute towards improved understanding of patterns and trends in the greening of the Arctic.
Impact We have convened two workshops at the AGU meeting in December 2016 and the ArcticNet meetings in December 2017 and are currently preparing two manuscripts for submission in 2018 including: Jakob J Assmann, IH Myers-Smith, JT Kerby, AM Cunliffe. Challenges and solutions to vegetation monitoring using multispectral drone sensors Jeffrey T Kerby, IH Myers-Smith, et al. The influence of sub-pixel heterogeneity on Arctic tundra greening trends across spatial scales
Start Year 2016
 
Description UK-Canada Arctic research collaborations with Dr. Trevor Lantz, Prof. Greg Henry and others 
Organisation University of British Columbia
Department Department of Geography
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have been collaborating with Dr. Trevor Lantz since 2017 and Prof. Greg Henry since 2018 as a part of UK-Canada collaborations funded in part by the NERC Arctic Office.
Collaborator Contribution Dr. Trevor Lantz and his collaborators have brought expertise and data collection from sites in the Western Canadian Arctic in the NWT, Canada. Prof. Greg Henry and his team have brought expertise and site and logistical support for working on Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada.
Impact This collaboration is leading to data synthesis activities as a part of the High Latitude Drone Ecology Network and multiple manuscripts in preparation.
Start Year 2017
 
Description UK-Canada Arctic research collaborations with Dr. Trevor Lantz, Prof. Greg Henry and others 
Organisation University of Victoria
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have been collaborating with Dr. Trevor Lantz since 2017 and Prof. Greg Henry since 2018 as a part of UK-Canada collaborations funded in part by the NERC Arctic Office.
Collaborator Contribution Dr. Trevor Lantz and his collaborators have brought expertise and data collection from sites in the Western Canadian Arctic in the NWT, Canada. Prof. Greg Henry and his team have brought expertise and site and logistical support for working on Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada.
Impact This collaboration is leading to data synthesis activities as a part of the High Latitude Drone Ecology Network and multiple manuscripts in preparation.
Start Year 2017
 
Description UK-Canada Arctic research collaborations with the Canadian Airborne Biodiversity Observatory project 
Organisation University of Montreal
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am an international collaborator on the Canadian Airborne Biodiversity Project. This project is helping to fund a field season at my research group's field site in the Canadian Arctic. I contribute to the activities of the CABO project and my research team will help to carry out the field activities in 2020 and analyses of hyperspectral and biodiversity data across the five year CABO project.
Collaborator Contribution I am an international collaborator on the Canadian Airborne Biodiversity Project. This project is helping to fund a field season at my research group's field site in the Canadian Arctic. The project will be bringing drone and hyperspectral equipment and CABO project members will be joining my research group for the 2020 field season.
Impact This project has resulted in a new collaborative network, an up coming field season with data collection and will result in scientific manuscripts in future. The collaboration is multi-disciplinary between biodiversity science and remote sensing.
Start Year 2018
 
Description sTundra 
Organisation German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research
Country Germany 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution sTUNDRA is a working group that I (Isla Myers-Smith) lead with my NERC-funded postdoc Anne Bjorkman at the iDiv German Synthesis Centre for Biodiversity Science involving over 30 scientists from Europe and North America.
Collaborator Contribution The German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) has supported my NERC-funded research by providing a year of postdoctoral salary and by providing computing resources for the completion of our synthesis research collaborations linked to the NERC-funded ShrubTundra Project (NE/M016323/1).
Impact This collaboration has thus far resulted in the following publication and three in prep. manuscripts that are to be submitted in 2016: Myers-Smith IH, et al. 2015. Climate sensitivity of shrub expansion across the tundra biome. Nature Climate Change. 10.1038/nclimate2697 http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n9/full/nclimate2697.html
Start Year 2013
 
Description Arctic from Above Exhibition 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact We held an exhibit for our photographs from the Arctic from Above exhibit on the campus of the University of Edinburgh.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ed.ac.uk/edinburgh-friends/supplements/interface-of-science-art
 
Description Article and video in Gizmodo - New Footage Shows Just How Alarmingly Fast an Arctic Island Is Crumbling Into the Sea 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A recent publication from this NERC-funded research was covered in an article on the Gizmodo website with video provided by our team.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://earther.gizmodo.com/new-footage-shows-just-how-alarmingly-fast-an-arctic-is-1835523016
 
Description Article in New Scientist - How tea bags became a secret weapon in the fight against climate change 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A recent publication from this NERC-funded research was covered in an article in New Scientist magazine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24232330-400-how-teabags-became-a-secret-weapon-in-the-fight-...
 
Description Article in Science News - Climate change made the Arctic greener. Now parts of it are turning brown. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This article for Science News includes an interview due to a request for expertise related to this NERC-funded research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.sciencenews.org/article/climate-change-arctic-browning
 
Description Article in the Daily Mail Online - Climate change causing plants grow savanna tundra 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A recent publication from this NERC-funded research was covered in an article in the Daily Mail Online.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8095759/Climate-change-causing-plants-grow-savanna-t...
 
Description Article in the Daily Mail Online - Climate change is causing the Arctic to become greener 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A recent publication from this NERC-funded research was covered in an article in the Daily Mail Online.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7953121/Climate-change-causing-Arctic-GREENER.html
 
Description BioScience - Brewing Big Data: The Tea-Bag Index 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact PhD student Haydn Thomas conducted an interview with Lesley Evans Ogden on the Tundra Tea Bag experiment affiliated with the Shrub Tundra (NE/M016323/1) project for a piece in BioScience Magazine published 1st July 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/67/7/680/3920719
 
Description CBC News - Researchers stunned by rapid rate of erosion on Herschel Island 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Researchers stunned by rapid rate of erosion on Herschel Island - Media article about rapid rates of coastal erosion observed as a part of field research on the Shrub Tundra (NE/M016323/1) project in summer of 2017 on Qikiqtaruk - Herschel Island, Yukon Territory, Canada.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/yukon-herschel-island-erosion-1.4253948
 
Description CBC Radio North - Interview on the daily morning programme "A New Day" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Isla Myers-Smith gave a live radio interview on 22nd August 2017 on the subject of the rapid coastal erosion observed as a part of the field research of the Shrub Tundra (NE/M016323/1) project during the summer of 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Comments on the cost of Arctic field research for Science Magazine by Isla Myers-Smith 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Comments contributed to the article "Fieldwork in the Arctic is surprisingly costly, limiting the research done there" in Science Magazine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/06/fieldwork-arctic-surprisingly-costly-limiting-research-done-...
 
Description Coverage of Myers-Smith et al. Nature Climate Change 2015 in print media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Coverage of the paper Myers-Smith et al. Nature Climate Change 2015 occurred in print media after press releases from the University of Edinburgh and other institutions. This paper was covered in over 20 news paper articles in UK, Canadian, US, German, Swedish and other news papers in a variety of languages including English, French, German and Swedish.

A link to many of the relevant articles can be found at the media link on our webpage:
https://teamshrub.wordpress.com/media/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://teamshrub.wordpress.com/media/
 
Description Coverage of Nature paper by Isla Myers-Smith on the BBC and other media outlets (Changes in plant functional traits across a warming tundra biome) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Coverage of Nature paper by Dr. Isla Myers-Smith (GeoSciences): Changes in plant functional traits across a warming tundra biome. This media coverage included press releases, an online Article on the BBC website (https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45652152) and several other articles with international media outlets (https://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/en/clippings/coverage-of-nature-paper-by-dr-isla-myerssmith-geosciences-changes-in-plant-functional-traits-across-a-warming-tundra-biome(ec8eead5-6a1f-42c7-bcfb-15822da6901f).html).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45652152
 
Description Coverage of research findings in Wired Magazine - The Arctic is Getting Greener 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A recent publication from this NERC-funded research was covered in an article in WIRED magazine online.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.wired.com/story/arctic-greening/
 
Description Dialogues: When Art Meets Science, Contemporary Connections at the Edinburgh International Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Are you interested in finding our what happens behind the scenes in today's research laboratories? What conversations result when artists get creative with science? Together with invited researchers, artists and the ASCUS Lab team we want to understand the ways scientists and artists are trying to combat, explore and raise awareness of the challenges we face today in relation to our body, health and biotechnology. Why are artists interested in questions around the way we perceive and relate to our bodies? Scientific processes and technologies sometimes seem too far out of our reach, that is what we are here to change! Join us in the lab as artists and scientists share the approaches and methods they use and get the chance to try them out yourself. Come share what's going on right here right now in art and science and join us in the debate about what connecting creativity, exploration and scientific discovery means today!
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ascus.org.uk/contemporary-connections-eisf-2017/
 
Description Doors Open Day University of Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We participated in Doors Open Day at the University of Edinburgh on 29th September sharing findings of our drone research in the Arctic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/geosciences/about/news/20181014/geosciences-take-part-doors-open-day-saturd...
 
Description Edinburgh International Science Festival (EISF) 2018 - "All about Earth (from Space)!" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Together with a group of other PhD Students at the University of Edinburgh School of Geosciences, Jakob Assmann designed, planned and carried out a one-week long drop-in activity on the use of earth observation satellites in the geosciences at the National Museum of Scotland as part of the University of Edinburgh Family Activities at Edinburgh International Science Festival 2018. Visitors from all backgrounds learned about the use of sattelites in the ecological sciences including the mapping deforestation with multispectral satellite imagery. A total number of 2633 visitors were recorded during the week long drop in session. Feedback from visitors included: "It makes a difference to have actual researchers.", "I learned how scientists use satellites to detect deforestation.", "We were able to learn through doing things ourselves." and "My favourite thing was speaking to the PhD students."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Inspiring Young Scientists Event 'The Universe is Your Oyster': Researching with Drones 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Inspiring Young Scientists Event 'The Universe is Your Oyster': Researching with Drones: Meet the Experts was held at Our Dynamic Earth on 16 and 17 October 2016. There were 2201 guests at the event including youth of all ages and their parents. Several members of the research team participated from PI Isla Myers-Smith, Postdoc Andrew Cunliffe, PhD students Sandra Angers-Blondin, Haydn Thomas and Jakob Assmann and head of the University of Edinburgh Airborne GeoSciences Facility Tom Wade.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://dynamicearth.co.uk/visit/whats-on?id=3654
 
Description Interview BBC Science Hour/Science in Action - Global Warming and the Arctic Tundra 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Isla Myers-Smith was interviewed for the BBC world service including the programmes BBC Science Hour/Science in Action which aired on 12 July 2015.

BBC Science Hour
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02w8y8k

BBC Science in Action
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02wn87j
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02w8y8k
 
Description Interview for BioScience 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview with journalist for BioScience on the use of tea bags in scientific research. Article not yet published.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Interview for New Scientists article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview for New Scientist article on the use of tea bags to measure decomposition. Publication expected March-April 2019
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
 
Description Media interview on the Greening and Browning of the Arctic 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I have completed a media interview for an article on the greening and browning of the Arctic for Science Magazine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Media interviews for press release - Early melting of winter snowfall advances the Arctic springtime 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A recent publication from this NERC-funded research was covered in media interviews including for BBC Radio Scotland.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-04/uoe-emo042419.php
 
Description National Geographic Society science communication 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Through follow on National Geographic Funding we have been able to promote the research of this grant through a press release and media engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2020/01/31/global-science-team-on-red-alert-as-arctic-lands-grow...
 
Description Our Changing World Lecture Series - The Greening of the Arctic 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Isla Myers-Smith gave the Our Changing World Lecture entitled 'The Greening of the Arctic' on 8 November, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The lecture was uploaded to YouTube and has been watched over 4000 times as of 13 March 2017.

The lecture has been posted more than once on YouTube at the following links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODQKZPhY8Xo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWLjGbWRHiM
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODQKZPhY8Xo
 
Description Our Dynamic Earth Polar Day 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We participated in the Our Dynamic Earth Science Museum Polar Day sharing about our drone research in the Arctic on 8th April 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Plants Duke It Out in a Warming Arctic - BioScience 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Research of my research group was covered in a journalist written piece in the journal BioScience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://academic-oup-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/bioscience/article/65/2/220/2754278/Plants-Duke-It-Out-...
 
Description Presentation at the Aurora Research Institute, Inuvik, NWT 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We presented the findings of the ShrubTundra (NE/M016323/1) research grant in the presentation "Plants in the warming Arctic" at the Inuvik Aurora Research Institute on the 12th of July 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation at the New Scientist Live 2018 Festival in London, England by Isla Myers-Smith: The Greening of the Arctic 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Arctic is warming rapidly, with unknown consequences for tundra ecosystems and the Earth's climate. Although far away from the UK, what is happening in the tundra can be an early warning signal of things to come for the rest of the world. In this talk, Isla Myers-Smith will explore recent evidence for how vegetation in the northern-most areas of our planet is already showing signs of climate change. How are tundra ecosystems changing? Are they becoming greener? How can we use the latest drone technology to understand this change? How does the humble tea bag allow us to understand the tundra carbon cycle? And what will these changes mean for the future of the flora and fauna living in tundra landscapes and for the planet as a whole?

Isla Myers-Smith is global change ecologist. She has been working for over a decade to study how tundra plants and ecosystems are responding to the warming climate. She is the leader of the Team Shrub research group at the University of Edinburgh that is conducting cutting-edge research into vegetation at the northern latitudes and beyond. Her research integrates data from sites around the tundra biome, new technology including drones and international experiments using tea bags.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://live.newscientist.com/speakers/isla-myers-smith
 
Description Presentation to Yukon Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Department of Heritage Resources 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Isla Myers-Smith presented the research of the NERC-funded Shrub Tundra (NE/M016323/1) project to the Yukon Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Department of Heritage Resources on 7th September 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation to the Aklavik Elders and Youth program 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Isla Myers-Smith presented about the ShrubTundra (NE/M016323/1) research project to the Aklavik Elders and Youth program on 14th August 2017 on Qikiqtaruk - Herschel Island, Yukon, Canada.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation to the Aklavik Elders and Youth program 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We presented to the Aklavik Elders and Youth Camp 2018 to share the findings of the ShrubTundra (NE/M016323/1) research project in August 2018 on Qikiqtaruk - Herschel Island, Yukon, Canada.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation to the Wildlife Management Advisory Council North Slope 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I presented results from the Shrub Tundra project with the Wildlife Management Advisory Council North Slope in a 30 minute presentation to share scientific findings to local land managers and members of local communities in the Canadian North.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation to the Yukon Minister of Tourism and other government representatives 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Isla Myers-Smith gave a presentation entitled Research on Qikiqtaruk Herschel Island to the Yukon Minister of Tourism and Culture, Department of Heritage Resources and other government representatives on 2nd August 2017 on Qikiqtaruk - Herschel Island, Yukon, Canada.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Researching with Drones - Meet the Experts at the Edinburgh International Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Members of the Team Shrub research group participated in a hands-on experience of what it's like to be a drone pilot in the Arctic and what new horizons drone technologies open up for ecology as a science on 15th April 2017 at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://teamshrub.com/outreach/
 
Description School visit (Boroughmuir, Edinburgh) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The event was called "Speed Date a Scientist" and was held on June 15th, 2016 at Boroughmuir High School, Edinburgh. Students in their final year got to meet scientists from various STEM backgrounds and ask questions about their career paths. PhD student Sandra Angers-Blondin attended to discuss graduate studies and Arctic research with the pupils.

The aim of the activity was to expose students to the breadth of career options available to them in science. Students circulated around the room in pairs, spending 5 minutes with each visiting scientist to ask questions about their line of work. Students reported that "the event opened [their] eyes to the vast number of job opportunities there are from studying a science at university. Talking to [scientists] about how they got to where they are was really useful."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description ShrubTundra Project - Presentation for the Inuvialuit Final Agreement Research Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Isla Myers-Smith presented the NERC-funded ShrubTundra (NE/M016323/1) Project at the Inuvialuit Final Agreement Research Day on 6th September 2017 in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Tackling climate change: the role of universities after Paris 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This event will explore the role of universities in tackling climate change, following the ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement.

A panel of key stakeholders from across the higher education will be asked to consider:

Actions that universities can take across learning and teaching, research, and operations
Responsibility of universities to 'lead by example', and the impact they can have on policy and wider society
Challenges the sector is likely to face

Speakers include:

Iain Patton, Chief Executive, Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC)
Dr Isla Myers-Smith, Chancellor's Fellow, Global Change Research Group, School of GeoSciences
Jamie Agombar, Head of Sustainability, National Union of Students (NUS)
Mike Elm, Vice Chair, 2050 Group
Dave Gorman, Director, Department for Social Responsibility & Sustainability, University of Edinburgh (chair)

The event is part of the Visions for Change Lecture series.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ed.ac.uk/about/sustainability/events/series/visions/vfc2017-climate
 
Description Team Shrub Research Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We are ecologists working to understand how global change alters plant communities and ecosystem processes. We work at focal research sites in Northern Canada and conduct data syntheses at tundra biome and global scales.

A key theme of our research is investigating climate change impacts in tundra ecosystems. There is strong evidence that tundra ecosystems are responding to a warming climate. However, we don't yet know the mechanistic pathways leading to change that would allow for quantitative predictions. Vegetation change could restructure the tundra by influencing nutrient cycles, carbon storage, surface reflectance, thus creating feedbacks that can affect the planet as a whole. Our research group is addressing these major knowledge gaps to better understand the causes and consequences of vegetation change.

We conduct field research using a variety of tools including ecological monitoring, drones, dendroecology, decomposition experiments using tea bags, and more. We also lead data syntheses in collaboration with researchers working across the circumpolar Arctic and around the world.

Check out our research, publications, media, outreach and team. To find out more about our research check out our research blog: phenology, drones, biodiversity, northern collaborators, etc.

We also really love shrubs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019
URL https://teamshrub.com/
 
Description TeamShrub Social Media: Research Blog, Twitter and Facebook 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Our research group maintains a research blog that we keep particularly active during the summers when we are conducting research in the Canadian Arctic. We wrote 55 blog posts in 2017 and have written 151 since starting the blog in 2015. We use blog posts to disseminate information about our research activities and to help the public, friends and family engage with our scientific expeditions. The blog content has picked up attention from journalists and other forms of media engagement. As of March 2018, the blog has received ~30,000 views from ~10,000 visitors in 24 different countries. We also maintain a twitter feed (@teamshrub) with ~500 followers individual tweets attracting 1000s of impressions and 10s of engagements. We also participate in other forms of social media including facebook (where individual posts can reach 1000s of people and garner 100s of engagements), and photo sharing sites such as Instagram.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016,2017,2018
URL https://teamshrub.com/lab-blog/
 
Description The Curiosity Forest, GeoSciences/Cockburn museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact PhD student Sandra Angers-Blondin participated in "The Curiosity Forest" on 2 October 2016 and 26 October 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://teamshrub.com/2017/11/28/team-shrub-goes-to-curiosity-forest-at-explorathon-2017/
 
Description The Weather Club: Qikiqtaruk - climate change under our feet 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog post for the Royal Meteorological Society Blog by PhD student Sandra Angers-Blondin

"I am an ecologist studying the responses of tundra ecosystems to climate change. Qikiqtaruk, an island off the north coast of the Yukon Territory in the Canadian Arctic, is a place where these effects are especially tangible. I was lucky enough to conduct two field campaigns there during my PhD with Team Shrub, and to return last summer to shoot a photographic series on environmental change. Like most of the Arctic, the region has experienced rapid warming in the last century, and I will give a brief account of the changes occurring on the island as a result."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.theweatherclub.org.uk/index.php/node/553
 
Description Torronto Star - The Great Global Species Shakeup 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Isla Myers-Smith and Jeffrey Kerby conducted media interviews and provided content for an online piece on climate change impacts in Canada by Kate Allen published in the Toronto Star, Canada's biggest newspaper on 2nd December 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://projects.thestar.com/climate-change-global-species-shakeup/index.html
 
Description Tundra Shrubs talk at the the Kluane Lake Research Station open house 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Members of the project team (PhD students Sandra Angers-Blondin and Haydn Thomas) gave a public lecture in the Yukon Territory at the the Kluane Lake Research Station open house on 6 August 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Tundra Teabag Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact I maintain a website and blog for the Tundra Teabag Experiment providing background on the project, information for participants, and a blog to update on progress and key events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
URL http://tundratea.wordpress.com
 
Description Tundra shrubs - Arctic time machines at the Edinburgh International Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact PhD Student Sandra Angers-Blondin lead the workshop entitled Tundra Shrubs - Arctic time machines on 12th April 2017 at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

The Arctic is currently changing more rapidly than anywhere else on planet Earth, and scientists have a strong motivation to better understand its past in order to predict its future. As the Arctic warms with climate change, multiple lines of evidence indicate that plants are responding, including greater shrub growth in years with warmer summers. Join us as we prepare thin sections of wood from tundra shrubs in order to track past events in the annual growth records of the 'trees of the tundra', also known as shrub rings. Participants will be invited to mount, examine and photograph the thin sections under the microscope and discuss the concepts of time and change with researchers from the University of Edinburgh.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ascus.org.uk/event/tundra-shrubs-arctic-time-machines-with-sandra-angers-blondin/
 
Description Tundra vegetation change and the greening of the Arctic - Presentation at the Yukon Department of Environment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Isla Myers-Smith presented the research of the Shrub Tundra (NE/M016323/1) project to scientists at the Yukon Department of Environment on 7th September 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description University Newsletter (Jesus College, Oxford) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article written for college newsletter outlining the purpose of research and highlights of field season to current student and alumni with a wide range of backgrounds. Written by Haydn Thomas, a PhD student in the research group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.jesus.ox.ac.uk/
 
Description Vegetation change on Qikiqtaruk at Herschel Island - Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Isla Myers-Smith gave a public talk on 17 June 2016 in Qikiqtaruk - Herschel Island Territorial Park, Yukon to tourists, park rangers and other visitors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Vizzuality Blog - Capturing change in the Arctic 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact PhD student Jakob Assmann conducted an interview with blogger Camellia Williams for the Vizzuality Blog on his PhD research as a part of the Shrub Tundra (NE/M016323/1) project that was published 10th November 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://medium.com/vizzuality-blog/capturing-change-in-the-arctic-cc7c2cd774bf
 
Description Yukon Biodiversity Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Former research group member Meagan Grabowski presented our research group's research at the Yukon Biodiversity Forum in a talk entitled: "Highlights from Vegetation Research in Kluane". This talk reached professional biologists and interested members of the public in the Yukon Territory where we conduct our field research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/research/pages/groups_forums