Ecological and Environmental Change Research Group
Stay or Go workshop

EECRG on Sommarøya

Vigdis Vandvik, John-Arvid Grytnes, Hilary Birks, and John Birks spent three days (March 18-20 2013) at the final workshop of the Nordforsk Stay or Go network. The workshop was held in the wonderful Sommarøy Arctic Hotel amidst magnificent mountain and coastal scenery still blanketed with full, fresh winter snow.

Attendees of the Stay or Go workshop on Sommarøya
Attendees of the Stay or Go workshop on Sommarøya
Hilary Birks

The Stay or Go network is concerned with the capacity of plants to persist, adapt, or migrate in the face of environmental changes. The network has initiated several exciting collaborative projects:


  • local-scale temperature variation and spatial buffering of climate warming (Lenoir et al. 2013)
  • Ellenberg temperature indicator-values and their variability and robustness
  • genetic and ecological consequences of landscape heterogeneity
  • recent turnover in arctic and alpine vegetation
  • long-term Quaternary vegetation dynamics and ecological traits
  • grazing impacts on plant persistence or migration


This network has been very successful thanks to the wonderful leadership of Bente Graae and the input from its members. It has held three research workshops (Selbu, Lygra, Sommerøya) and two graduate-student training courses (Abisko, Finse).

The Sommarøya workshop was excellently organised by Kari Anne Bråthen and it was a good mixture of exciting scientific discussions, spectacular scenery, excellent food and company, and unusual sights such as Fucus brown sea-weed encased in ice and an external hot-tub in which to relax and view the aurora borealis.