Elina Kaarlejärvi


Elina Kaarlejärvi
(PhD Student)

Email: elina.kaarlejarvi@umu.se
Umeå University Webpage

Research Summary

I’m interested in how biotic interactions and environmental changes impact plant communities and consequently ecosystem functioning. Currently I am studying how biodiversity responds to biotic and abiotic changes and moderates ecosystem functions. In my research I combine experimental field studies and controlled greenhouse experiments.

Project Summary

Importance of environmental changes and biodiversity FOR ecosystem functioning

My postdoc project explores how environmental changes and biodiversity impact ecosystem multifunctionality. Environmental changes can affect ecosystem functions in two ways; directly, and indirectly by affecting biodiversity. In this project I compare the strengths of direct and biodiversity-mediated effects of environmental changes on several simultaneous ecosystem functions, so called multifunctionality of ecosystems.  I use diversity of functional traits as a measure of biodiversity and investigate how climate warming, herbivory and soil nutrients influence multiple ecosystem functions. As methods I use long-term field experiments in Finland and Greenland to study this in natural ecosystems and controlled mesocosm experiments to test mechanisms driving the observed patterns.


Eric Post, University of California Davis
Harry Olde Venterink, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Funding Organizations

The Swedish Research Council (to Elina Kaarlejärvi)


Sabine Güsewell at ETH Zurich
Anu Eskelinen, German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Lepzig
Johan Olofsson, Umeå University

Elina Kaarlejärvi 's Publications


Eskelinen A., Kaarlejärvi E. & Olofsson J. 2016: Herbivory and nutrient limitation protect warming tundra from lowland species' invasion and diversity loss. Global Change Biology, in press, doi: 10.1111/gcb.13397.

Uboni A, Horstkotte T, Kaarlejärvi E, Sévêque A, Stammler F, Olofsson J, Forbes B & Moen J. 2016: Long-Term Trends and Role of Climate in the Population Dynamics of Eurasian Reindeer. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0158359. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158359.

Kaarlejärvi E., Hoset KS. & Olofsson J. 2015: Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate. Global Change Biology, 21: 3379-3388.

Kaarlejärvi E. & Olofsson J. 2014: Concurrent biotic interactions influence plant performance at their altitudinal distribution margins. Oikos, 123: 943–952.

Väisänen M., Ylänne H., Kaarlejärvi E., Sjögersten S., Olofsson J., Crout N. & Stark S. 2014: Consequences of warming on tundra carbon balance determined by reindeer grazing history. Nature Climate Change 4: 384-388.

Kaarlejärvi E., Eskelinen A. & Olofsson J. 2013: Herbivory prevents lowland plants benefiting from warmer and more fertile conditions at high altitudes. Functional Ecology, 27: 1244–1253.