Timing is Everything: Seasonality and Phenological Dynamics Linking Species, Communities and Trophic Feedbacks in the Low vs. High Arctic



We are collecting data on phenological dynamics of plants in response to observed and experimental warming, at the species- and community scales, at study sites in Kangerlussuaq and Zackenberg, Greenland. The focus of the data collection is at Kangerlussuaq, where we have expanded our long-term monitoring plots and added some experimental warming plots using open-topped chambers to compare the spatial dynamics of species-specific responses to warming at small and larger spatial scales. Simultaneously, we are continuing our observations on the timing of onset and progression of the season of parturition by caribou and muskoxen at Kangerlussuaq and by muskoxen at Zackenberg. Initial results indicate continued trophic mismatch between the timing of plant growth and calving by caribou in Kangerlussuaq, but a trophic match for muskoxen at both study sites. We are deploying camera traps at the Kangerlussuaq site to record remotely the temporal dynamics of caribou and muskox foraging at the study site, and phenology cameras to record remotely the dynamics of plant phenology at the same time. We have also begun sampling invertebrate emergence and developmental phenology and will be looking at this in relation to plant phenology as well.

Project Map


Principal Investigator


Eric Post

University of California Davis

Post - link to SAM contact for fixing fields.

Co-Principal Investigator


Mads Forchhammer

University of Aarhus

Forchhammer - link to SAM contact for fixing fields.

Papers in Review or Press

Kerby, J., C.C. Wilmers, and E. Post, "Climate change, phenology, and the nature of consumer-resource interactions: advancing the match/mismatch hypothesis", in T. Ohgushi, O.J. Schmitz, and R.D. Holt, (editors), Ecology and evolution of trait-mediated interactions: linking evolution, community, and ecosystem, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Cahoon, S., P. Sullivan, E. Post, & J. Welker, "Herbivores limit CO2 uptake and suppress carbon cycle responses to warming in the Arctic", Global Change Biology.

Høye, T.T., E. Post, N.M. Schmidt, K. Trojelsgaard, & M.C. Forchhammer, "Shorter flowering season in a warmer Arctic", Global Change Biology.

Post, E., "Ecology of Recent Climate Change", Princeton University Press.

Conference Abstracts

Post, E., "Phenology: response, driver, and ecological integrator", Penn State University ecology graduate student invited seminar, University Park, PA (2011).

Post, E.,"Ecological response to climate change across scales of space, time, and biological organization", University of Calgary Ecology graduate student invited seminar, Calgary, AB (2011).

Kerby, J. and M. Avery, "Seasonality and Phenological Dynamics Linking Species, Communities, and Trophic Feedbacks in the Low- vs. High-Arctic", Seasonality Project Meeting, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT (2010).


1 July 2009 to 30 June 2013