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USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystems: Forecasting Effects of Climate Change on the Distribution and Abundance of Bird Populations across the Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone

Arctic and boreal ecosystems provide important breeding habitat for more than half of North America’s migratory birds as well as many resident species. Northern landscapes are projected to experience more pronounced climate-related changes in habitat than most other regions.


Climatic changes are already causing significant shifts in vegetation and wildlife habitat across boreal and Arctic landscapes. Recent studies have documented significant northward shifts in breeding distributions of several species of birds in Alaska but little is understood about the mechanisms and ecological processes governing these changes. The main objectives of this research are to document the historical and current breeding distribution of birds within northern Alaska, assess changes in habitat and bird distribution, and forecast which avian species, communities, and habitats are likely to be most vulnerable to projected changes in breeding habitat. This information will guide decisions of management agencies for conserving biodiversity.

Project metadata record

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