Publications

NIBIOs employees contribute to several hundred scientific articles and research reports every year. You can browse or search in our collection which contains references and links to these publications as well as other research and dissemination activities. The collection is continously updated with new and historical material.

2021

To document

Abstract

Simple Summary Chronic Wasting Disease is a deadly infectious disease affecting cervids that was discovered in Norway in 2016. CWD can transmit through environmental reservoirs and aggregation and spatial clustering of animals may affect transmission. Deer usually forage on scattered forage, but anthropogenic food sources are often concentrated in space, leading to spatial aggregation. We determined what caused red deer to revisit the same locations in the environment, and the extent to which this was caused by anthropogenic food sources. We document that the most visited sites were indeed anthropogenic, which opens potential avenues to disease mitigation. Abstract Herbivores like cervids usually graze on widely scattered forage, but anthropogenic food sources may cause spatial revisitation and aggregation, posing a risk for transmission of infectious diseases. In 2016, chronic wasting disease (CWD) was first detected in Norway. A legal regulation to ban supplemental feeding of cervids and to fence stored hay bales was implemented to lower aggregation of cervids. Knowledge of further patterns and causes of spatial revisitation can inform disease management. We used a recently developed revisitation analysis on GPS-positions from 13 red deer (Cervus elaphus) to identify the pattern of spatial clustering, and we visited 185 spatial clusters during winter to identify the causes of clustering. Anthropogenic food sources were found in 11.9% of spatial clusters, which represented 31.0% of the clusters in agricultural fields. Dumping of silage and hay bales were the main anthropogenic food sources (apart from agricultural fields), and unfenced hay bales were available despite the regulation. The probability of the clusters being in agricultural fields was high during winter. It may be necessary to find other ways of disposing of silage and enforcing the requirement of fencing around hay bales to ensure compliance, in particular during winters with deep snow.

To document

Abstract

Organisms use circadian rhythms to anticipate and exploit daily environmental oscillations. While circadian rhythms are of clear importance for inhabitants of tropic and temperate latitudes, its role for permanent residents of the polar regions is less well understood. The high Arctic Svalbard ptarmigan shows behavioral rhythmicity in presence of light-dark cycles but is arrhythmic during the polar day and polar night. This has been suggested to be an adaptation to the unique light environment of the Arctic. In this study, we examined regulatory aspects of the circadian control system in the Svalbard ptarmigan by recording core body temperature (Tb) alongside locomotor activity in captive birds under different photoperiods. We show that Tb and activity are rhythmic with a 24-h period under short (SP; L:D 6:18) and long photoperiod (LP; L:D 16:8). Under constant light and constant darkness, rhythmicity in Tb attenuates and activity shows signs of ultradian rhythmicity. Birds under SP also showed a rise in Tb preceding the light-on signal and any rise in activity, which proves that the light-on signal can be anticipated, most likely by a circadian system.

To document

Abstract

The high Arctic archipelago of Svalbard (74°–81° north) experiences extended periods of uninterrupted daylight in summer and uninterrupted night in winter, apparently relaxing the major driver for the evolution of circadian rhythmicity. Svalbard ptarmigan (Lagopus muta hyperborea) is the only year-round resident terrestrial bird species endemic to the high Arctic and is remarkably adapted to the extreme annual variation in environmental conditions. Here, we demonstrate that, although circadian control of behavior disappears rapidly upon transfer to constant light conditions, consistent with the loss of daily activity patterns observed during the polar summer and polar night, Svalbard ptarmigans nonetheless employ a circadian-based mechanism for photoperiodic timekeeping. First, we show the persistence of rhythmic clock gene expression under constant light within the mediobasal hypothalamus and pars tuberalis, the key tissues in the seasonal neuroendocrine cascade. We then employ a “sliding skeleton photoperiod” protocol, revealing that the driving force behind seasonal biology of the Svalbard ptarmigan is rhythmic sensitivity to light, a feature that depends on a functioning circadian rhythm. Hence, the unusual selective pressures of life in the high Arctic have favored decoupling of the circadian clock from organization of daily activity patterns, while preserving its importance for seasonal synchronization.

Abstract

Heavier rainstorms, more landslides, the winds howling more often, a longer summer… The good or bad of a warming climate! In this educational tool kit, your pupils will learn about northern climates, and possibly even sense it. Not the least, they will learn about climate changes in the north, which are not quite the same as in the south.

Abstract

Even in the most pristine of northern Europe, we have lost almost all the long stretches of intact natural lands. We build and travel all over the place. The environmental problems it creates are unsustainable. In this tool kit, the students learn about the good and the bad of our consumption of nature, and are challenged to be conscious about both.

Abstract

The Green Shift is like Jekyll & Hyde. Will it save the planet, or is it just greenwashing? In this tool kit, we try to get a practical grasp on this vague buzz-word. You will learn why 2+2 is never 4 in the green shift. The shadow side of it is still the same environmental issues as before. We reflect upon how the green shift indeed can be used to make changes, and not just greenwash our dirt.