Terrestrial Arctic Biology

The course offers an introduction to terrestrial and fresh water biological communities of the Arctic, approached by considering the development of the Arctic terrestrial biota, adaptations of organisms to Arctic terrestrial habitats and how the organism interacts, both within and between trophic levels, with a special emphasis on the vascular plants and invertebrate fauna of Svalbard.


The role of the climatic history and the current physical conditions of the Arctic as well as the biological interactions in shaping Arctic communities will be explored in comparison with communities of other terrestrial and limnic regions. The structure and diversity of plant communities, both at species and gene level, will be studied in relation to evolutionary history, plant traits, climate, soil properties, soil micro-flora and herbivory. For invertebrates, the emphasis will be on the ecology of those groups that are of greatest significance on Svalbard.

Limnology is included as an element of this course with both field projects and linked lectures. Among the vertebrates the ecology of terrestrial birds and mammals and freshwater fish will be discussed. The link between terrestrial and marine ecosystems through seabirds and sea-mammals will be discussed, but this will be dealt with in more detail in the course AB-202 Marine Arctic Biology.

Course details

Academic level(s)Bachelor
CountryNorway
Language of instructionEnglish
InstitutionUniversity Centre in Svalbard
Begin date-
End date-
Registration deadline15.04.2014
ECTS credits15.0
Field schoolNo
Fields of studyBiology and biochemistryLife science (broad programmes)
Teaching placeSvalbard
Teaching termAutumn
Tagsarcticbiologysvalbardlimnologyfresh waterinvertegrateflora and fauna
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