Rationale, concepts and approach to the assessment
- Molecular Cell Biology
- Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Special Issue, we present the ﬁndings of the section of the
report that focuses on terrestrial ecosystems of the Arctic, from the treeline ecotone to the polar deserts.
The Arctic is generally recognized as a treeless wilderness
with cold winters and cool summers. However, deﬁnitions of
the southern boundary vary according to environmental, geographical or political biases. This paper and the assessment in the following papers of this Ambio Special Issue focus on biota (plants, animals and microorganisms) and processes in the region beyond the northern limit of the closed forest (the taiga), but we also include processes south of this boundary that affect ecosystems in the Arctic. Examples are overwintering periods of migratory animals spent in the south and the regulation of the latitudinal treeline. The geographical area we have deﬁned as the current Arctic is the area we use for developing scenarios of future impacts: Our geographical area of interest will not decrease under a scenario of the replacement of current Arctic tundra by boreal forests.
- Physical Geography
- Biological Sciences
- ISSN: 0044-7447