How Climate Change Is Affecting Biodiversity of the Alaska Ecosystem

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HowClimate Change Is Affecting Biodiversity of the Alaska Ecosystem

HowClimate Change Is Affecting Biodiversity of the Alaska Ecosystem

Globalwarming has led to fluctuations in the distribution, density, andcomposition of Arctic communities (Pearson, Phillips, Loranty, Beck,Damoulas, Knight, &amp Goetz, 2013). The changes in variousecosystems cause significant disturbances between the atmosphere andbiosphere. However, the most recognizable effects of climate changeare within the Arctic ecosystems where Alaska is located. Theseimpacts are readily felt not only because of arctic amplification butalso because Arctic biodiversity is considered simplistic as comparedto tropical communities (Hope,2012).The slightest of changes in Alaska’s ecosystems has greater effectson biodiversity since these species have broad ranges (Hope,2012).Therefore,climate change affects Alaska’s biodiversity by altering theecosystems’ carrying capacity, changing species abundance andrichness, as well as contributing to socio-ecological effects throughbiotic disturbances.

Theatmospheric and climatic changes as a result of greenhouse gasses canimpact biodiversity through different ways. First, the changes canaffect the physiological functions of insects and pathogens whichalter their distribution and abundance. Second, the changes can causea disruption in relationships within an ecosystem such as mutualism,competition, parasitism, predation, and symbiosis (Weed,Ayres &amp Hicke, 2013).Third, they cause effects on defense mechanisms and tolerance tonegative agents. Climate change affects Alaska ecosystems by creatingbiotic disturbances (Weed,Ayres &amp Hicke, 2013).Climate change causes global warming and the subsequent warming ofArctic Biosystems. As a result, reports reveal increased populationsof pathogens and insects as warmer and wetter conditions facilitatetheir constant population increase (Weed,Ayres &amp Hicke, 2013).Many regions have been affected by increased exploration activitieswhich cause ice melting hence, increasing the size and accessibilityof natural resources in the Arctic (Raynolds,Walker, Ambrosius, Brown, Everett, Kanevskiy, Webber, Shur, Kofinas,&amp Romanovsky, 2014).

Therefore,climate change has several adverse effects on Alaska’s ecosystems.Most of these impacts affect species abundance, their interactionmodes, as well as tolerance and protective mechanisms.Consequentially, the entire biome is affected as an imbalance iscreated.


Hope,A. G. (2012). High shrew diversity on Alaska’s Seward Peninsula:community assembly and environmental change.&nbspNorthwesternNaturalist,&nbsp93(2),101-110. doi:10.1898/nwn11-26.1

Pearson,R. G., Phillips, S. J., Loranty, M. M., Beck, P. S., Damoulas, T.,Knight, S. J., &amp Goetz, S. J. (2013). Shifts in Arctic vegetationand associated feedbacks under climate change.&nbspNatureClimate Change,&nbsp3(7),673-677.

Raynolds,M. K., Walker, D. A., Ambrosius, K. J., Brown, J., Everett, K. R.,Kanevskiy, M., &amp … Webber, P. J. (2014). Cumulativegeoecological effects of 62 years of infrastructure and climatechange in ice-rich permafrost landscapes, Prudhoe Bay Oilfield,Alaska.&nbspGlobalChange Biology,&nbsp20(4),1211-1224. doi:10.1111/gcb.12500

Weed,A. S., Ayres, M. P., &amp Hicke, J. A. (2013). Consequences ofclimate change for biotic disturbances in North Americanforests.&nbspEcologicalMonographs,&nbsp83(4),441-470. doi:10.5061/dryad.cqlrl