Blog Archive

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Eric Post et al., Science, Vol. 325, 2009: Ecological dynamics across the Arctic associated with recent climate change

Science (11 September 2009), Vol. 325, No. 5946, pp. 1355-1358; DOI: 10.1126/science.1173113


Ecological dynamics across the Arctic associated with recent climate change

Eric Post,1,2,* Mads C. Forchhammer,2 M. Syndonia Bret-Harte,3 Terry V. Callaghan,4,5 Torben R. Christensen,6 Bo Elberling,7,8 Anthony D. Fox,9 Olivier Gilg,10,11 David S. Hik,12 Toke T. Høye,9 Rolf A. Ims,13 Erik Jeppesen,14 David R. Klein,3 Jesper Madsen,2 A. David McGuire,15 Søren Rysgaard,16 Daniel E. Schindler,17 Ian Stirling,18 Mikkel P. Tamstorf,2 Nicholas J.C. Tyler,19 Rene van der Wal,20 Jeffrey Welker,21 Philip A. Wookey,22 Niels Martin Schmidt,2 and Peter Aastrup2


At the close of the Fourth International Polar Year, we take stock of the ecological consequences of recent climate change in the Arctic, focusing on effects at population, community, and ecosystem scales. Despite the buffering effect of landscape heterogeneity, Arctic ecosystems and the trophic relationships that structure them have been severely perturbed. These rapid changes may be a bellwether of changes to come at lower latitudes and have the potential to affect ecosystem services related to natural resources, food production, climate regulation, and cultural integrity. We highlight areas of ecological research that deserve priority as the Arctic continues to warm.

1 Department of Biology, Penn State University, 208 Mueller Lab, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
2 Department of Arctic Environment, NERI, Aarhus University, Box 358, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark.
3 Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA.
4 Abisko Scientific Research Station, Abisko, SE 981-07, Sweden.
5 Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, U.K.
6 Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Analysis, GeoBiosphere Science Centre, Lund University, Sweden.
7 Department of Geography and Geology, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen, Denmark.
8 The University Centre on Svalbard, Longyearbyen, Norway.
9 Department of Wildlife Ecology and Biodiversity, NERI, Aarhus University, Grenåvej 14, DK-8410 Rønde, Denmark.
10 Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland.
11 Arctic Ecology Research Group (GREA), 16 rue de Vernot, FR-21440, Francheville, France.
12 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada.
13 Department of Biology, University of Tromsø, NO-9037 Tromsø, Norway.
14 Department of Freshwater Ecology, NERI, Aarhus University, P.O. Box 314, Vejlsøvej 25, DK-8600 Silkeborg, Denmark.
15 U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA.
16 Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Postboks 570, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland.
17 School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
18 Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, Edmonton, Alberta, T6H 3S5, Canada.
19 Centre for Saami Studies, University of Tromsø, N-9037, Norway.
20 University of Aberdeen, School of Biological Sciences, Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability, Aberdeen AB24 3UU, Scotland.
21 Environment and Natural Resources Institute, University of Alaska-Anchorage, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA.
22 School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland, U.K.

*Correspondence, e-mail:;

Link to abstract:

No comments: