Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010: Indicator #08, The Arctic Species Trend Index

Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010: Indicator #08, The Arctic Species Trend Index

Dramatic changes, such as sea ice loss, are projected to occur in Arctic ecosystems over the next century. Understanding how the Arctic’s living resources, including its vertebrate species, are responding to these changes is essential in order to develop effective conservation and adaptation strategies. Arctic species that are adapted to these extreme environments are expected to be displaced, in part, by the encroachment of more southerly species and ecosystems. Limited functional redundancy in Arctic ecosystems poses a particular risk as the loss of a single species could have dramatic and cascading effects on an ecosystem’s state and function. Our current, mostly single species approach to monitoring with a bias towards charismatic species over functional species, limits our ability to detect and understand critical changes in the Arctic’s ecosystems. A broader and more integrated approach is needed to facilitate a better understanding of how Arctic biodiversity is responding to a changing Arctic and how these changes might reflect or counter global biodiversity trends.


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