Climate change is expected to alter the distribution of habitats and thus the distribution of species connected with these habitats in the terrestrial Barents Sea region. It was hypothesised that wild species connected with the tundra and open-land biome may be particularly at risk as forest area expands. Fourteen species of birds were identified as useful indicators for the biodiversity dependent upon this biome.
By bringing together species distribution information with the LPJ-GUESS vegetation model, and with estimates of future wild and domestic reindeer density, potential impacts on these species between the present time and 2080 were assessed. Over this period there was a net loss of open land within the current breeding range of most bird species. Grazing reindeer were modelled as increasing the amount of open land retained for nine of the tundra bird species.
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