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Forecasting wildlife response to rapid warming in the Alaskan Arctic

BioScience
By: , and 

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Abstract

Arctic wildlife species face a dynamic and increasingly novel environment because of climate warming and the associated increase in human activity. Both marine and terrestrial environments are undergoing rapid environmental shifts, including loss of sea ice, permafrost degradation, and altered biogeochemical fluxes. Forecasting wildlife responses to climate change can facilitate proactive decisions that balance stewardship with resource development. In this article, we discuss the primary and secondary responses to physical climate-related drivers in the Arctic, associated wildlife responses, and additional sources of complexity in forecasting wildlife population outcomes. Although the effects of warming on wildlife populations are becoming increasingly well documented in the scientific literature, clear mechanistic links are often difficult to establish. An integrated science approach and robust modeling tools are necessary to make predictions and determine resiliency to change. We provide a conceptual framework and introduce examples relevant for developing wildlife forecasts useful to management decisions.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Forecasting wildlife response to rapid warming in the Alaskan Arctic
Series title BioScience
Volume 65
Issue 7
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Oxford Journals
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Biology WTEB
Description 11 p.
First page 718
Last page 728
Country United States
State Alaska
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N