In 2008, the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted scientific criteria for identifying ecologically or biologically significant marine areas in need of protection on the open oceans and deep seas.
While much scientific discovery lies ahead, available information and current and emerging methodologies already allow us to begin identifying oceanic features that are likely of particular ecological or biological importance.
Arctic Flora and Fauna: Status and Conservation is the first truly circumpolar overview of Arctic biodiversity written for the nonspecialist. It provides the reader with a clear understanding of the importance of the Earth's largest ecoregion and its status in the face of a rapidly changing world.Resource Type: Reports
The areas of the ocean that lie beyond national jurisdiction limits, also called the high seas, are vulnerable to human activities and currently underrepresented when compared to terrestrial and nearshore1 marine environments under protection. Thus, there is a growing movement among the conservation community to increase measures, such as marine protected areas, that can ensure protection of the largely undiscovered but important biodiversity of the high seas.Resource Type: Reports
An international team of research scientists has created a peer-reviewed website, http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/, which tracks multiple changes in the Arctic environment (Fig. 1). While the 2007 loss of summertime sea ice is the most dramatic example, changes are also seen in the atmosphere, on land and in the ocean, and as shifts in location and abundance of Arctic species.Resource Type: Reports
Arctic ecosystems are harsh and inhospitable, containing very low species diversity. However, although the habitats are relatively homogeneous throughout the circumpolar Arctic region, differences in species richness and areas of outstanding species richness can be recognised. Analysis of patterns in species diversity can be used to prioritise regions for conservation in the Arctic. Towards this goal, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) programme has been compiling information on the distribution and abundance of species and ecosystems in the Arctic. The work described in this report was designed to complement other ongoing projects and was included in the CAFF V work plan. It was carried out under an EU fellowship at UNEP-WCMC.Resource Type: Reports
An assessment of impacts on Arctic terrestrial ecosystems has emphasized geographical variability in responses of species and ecosystems to environmental change. This variability is usually associated with north-south gradients in climate, biodiversity, vegetation zones, and ecosystem structure and function. It is clear, however, that significant east-west variability in environment, ecosystem structure and function, environmental history, and recent climate variability is also important.Some areas have cooled while others have become warmer.
Overall, the subregional synthesis demonstrates the difficulty of generalizing projections of responses of ecosystem structure and function, species loss, and biospheric feedbacks to the climate system for the whole Arctic region and implies a need for a far greater understanding of the spatial variability in the responses of terrestrial arctic ecosystems to climate change.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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