Climate change caused by human activities is by far the worst threat to biodiversity in the Arctic. … “An entire bio-climatic zone, the high Arctic, may disappear. Polar bears and the other highly adapted organisms cannot move further north, so they may go extinct.
Why is biodiversity important in the Arctic?
The Arctic is often perceived as a harsh environment. … In all, the Arctic is home to more than 21,000 known species of highly cold-adapted mammals, birds, fish, invertebrates, plants and fungi and microbe species. This extensive biodiversity provides essential services and values to people.
What is the biodiversity in the Arctic?
Over 21,000 species of animals, plants and fungi have been recorded in the Arctic. A large portion of these are endemic to the Arctic or shared with the boreal zone, but climate-driven range dynamics have left little room for lasting specialization to local conditions and speciation on local spatial scales.
What are three threats to biodiversity in the Arctic?
Climate change is by far the most serious threat to Arctic biodiversity, exacerbating other threats such as ocean acidification, habitat degradation, pollution and, in some areas, unsustainable harvesting.
Why is Arctic biodiversity declining?
The main driver of these declines is the modification of natural habitats for human uses like agriculture, mining, and other industrial purposes. Over-harvesting and climate change are also major drivers globally. In the Arctic, it comes as no surprise that climate change is the biggest driver of biodiversity loss.
How climate change is affecting biodiversity in the Arctic?
It is expected that climate change could shrink Arctic ecosystems on land, as northward moving changes are pressed against the boundary of the Arctic Ocean: the so called “Arctic squeeze.” As a result, Arctic terrestrial ecosystems may disappear in many places, or only survive in alpine or island refuges.
What is the biodiversity of the Arctic tundra?
The biodiversity of the tundras is low: 1,700 species of flora and only 48 land mammals can be found, although thousands of insects and birds migrate there each year for the marshes. There are few species with large populations.
How does climate change affect biodiversity?
This very sensitive region is highly affected by climate. Changes in rainfall patterns could also have serious impacts on drylands biodiversity. Climate change could increase the risk of wildfires, which could change the species composition and decrease biodiversity.
What is diversity and biodiversity?
The term biodiversity (from “biological diversity”) refers to the variety of life on Earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that sustain life.
How is global warming affecting biodiversity in the tundra?
A warmer climate could radically change tundra landscapes and what species are able to live in them. Warming creates potential feedback loops that encourage further destabilization of tundra ecosystems.
How will global warming affect biodiversity in the polar regions?
Current warming in the Arctic atmosphere, oceans and on land is contributing to far-reaching and rapid change across the world’s largest ecoregion. One well-publicised impact of a warming on Arctic biodiversity is the loss of habitat for species dependent on sea ice, including polar bears.
In what ways does the loss of Arctic ice affect biodiversity?
When there’s less sea ice, animals that depend on it for survival must adapt or perish. Loss of ice and melting permafrost spells trouble for polar bears, walruses, arctic foxes, snowy owls, reindeer, and many other species. As they are affected, so too are the other species that depend on them, in addition to people.
Why is biodiversity important?
Biodiversity is important to humans for many reasons. … Ecological life support— biodiversity provides functioning ecosystems that supply oxygen, clean air and water, pollination of plants, pest control, wastewater treatment and many ecosystem services.
Which ecosystem has high biodiversity low biodiversity?
Estuarine areas (where rivers meet seas and oceans) have high biodiversity compared to other areas. Trophical rainforests are rich in terms of biodiversity. Arid and semiarid areas have low biodiversity. Deserts, for example, contain limited numbers of species.
Why are changes in Arctic ecosystems significant for the rest of the world?
Changes in the Arctic climate are important because the Arctic acts as a refrigerator for the rest of the world—it helps cool the planet. So changes in the Arctic climate could affect the climate in the rest of the world.
What is an example of an ecosystem that has low biodiversity?
Example of ecosystem with low biodiversity is definitely a desert. Then there are cold deserts in Antarctica and Gobi basin of central Asia, where biodiversity is minimum. Example of ecosystem with high biodiversity is tropical rain forest as seen in Amazon basin of south America.