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From Catchment to Coast (C2C)

How are northern ecosystems affected by climate change, and how do different ecosystems affect each other? This 5-year Fram Centre research program aims to provide critical new knowledge related to: (1) Cross-ecosystem climate change impacts; and (2) How to best integrate cross-ecosystem linkages into cohesive management approaches.

Land møter hav på Svalbard.

About the project

Climate change is affecting all ecosystems across the globe. Climate change impacts terrestrial, freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems simultaneously, and climate effects in one ecosystem may modify or enhance effects in adjacent ecosystems (cross-ecosystem impacts). For example, changes in snow accumulation and winter thaw events on land are impacting the timing and magnitude of spring snowmelt floods along rivers and leading to increased runoff and floods during autumn and winter instead. As a consequence, the flow of carbon and nutrients from terrestrial to marine ecosystems is changing, and will likely result in broad range of effects on those ecosystems and the services they provide. Taken together, climate and land-use change, as well as other pressures such as changes in species distribution, will reshape cross-ecosystem linkages and change the flow of carbon, nutrients and organisms between terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.

Although ecosystems are intrinsically linked, research and management of ecosystems, even for adjacent ecosystems, are traditionally highly disciplinary and compartmentalized and carried out independently of each other. Given the close links between climate change and other global change impacts on terrestrial, freshwater, and marine coastal environments, there is an increasing need to take interdisciplinary cross-ecosystem approaches to studying the potential effects of global change on northern ecosystems. In C2C, we take an integrative ‘catchment to coast’ approach, bridging across ecosystem boundaries by assessing and quantifying cross-ecosystem linkages between terrestrial, freshwater, and coastal ecosystems. By focusing on linkages that are likely to be particularly climate-sensitive, and of high societal relevance, and by relying on close cooperation between natural and social scientists from several disciplines and relevant stakeholders, C2C aims to provide critical new knowledge related to:

1) Cross-ecosystem climate change impacts, and

2) How to best integrate relevant cross-ecosystem linkages into cohesive (cross-) ecosystem-based management approaches.

NIVA is involved in all C2C Work Packages, including leading WP2 Task 1 and WP3 Task 1.

Figure work packages


Lead institution: Norwegian Institute of Nature Research (PIs André Frainer and Amanda Poste)

Project leader group : Vera Hausner (UiT), Rolf Ims (UiT), Maria Jensen (UNIS), Paul Renaud (Akvaplan-niva), Angelika Renner (IMR), Virve Ravolainen (NPI), Sanne Bech Holmgaard (NIKU), Ole Einar Tveito (MET), Bodil Bluhm, UiT, Leah Jackson-Blake (NIVA).