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Changing Arctic Ecosystems - The role of ecosystem changes across the Boreal-Arctic transition zone on the distribution and abundance of wildlife populations

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Full Publication: https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2013/3054/

Product Type: Government Publication

Year: 2013

Authors: McNew, L. B., C. M. Handel, J. M. Pearce, A. R. DeGange, L. E. Holland-Bartels, and M. E. Whalen

Suggested Citation:
McNew, L. B., C. M. Handel, J. M. Pearce, A. R. DeGange, L. E. Holland-Bartels, and M. E. Whalen. 2013. Changing Arctic Ecosystems - The role of ecosystem changes across the Boreal-Arctic transition zone on the distribution and abundance of wildlife populations. USGS Fact Sheet 2013-3054, 2 p.

Abstract


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. These changes include increases in shrub growth, conversion of tundra to forest, alteration of wetlands, shifts in species' composition, and changes in the frequency and scale of fires and insect outbreaks. Changing habitat conditions, in turn, may have significant effects on the distribution and abundance of wildlife in these critical northern ecosystems. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting studies in the Boreal-Arctic transition zone of Alaska, an environment of accelerated change in this sensitive margin between Arctic tundra and boreal forest.

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