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Climate change impacts on wildlife in a High Arctic archipelago – Svalbard, Norway

Published on Feb 1, 2017in Global Change Biology8.88
· DOI :10.1111/gcb.13381
Sébastien Descamps17
Estimated H-index: 17
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute),
Jon Aars29
Estimated H-index: 29
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute)
+ 6 AuthorsHallvard Strøm16
Estimated H-index: 16
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute)
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Abstract
The Arctic is warming more rapidly than other region on the planet, and the northern Barents Sea, including the Svalbard Archipelago, is experiencing the fastest temperature increases within the circumpolar Arctic, along with the highest rate of sea ice loss. These physical changes are affecting a broad array of resident Arctic organisms as well as some migrants that occupy the region seasonally. Herein, evidence of climate change impacts on terrestrial and marine wildlife in Svalbard is reviewed, with a focus on bird and mammal species. In the terrestrial ecosystem, increased winter air temperatures and concomitant increases in the frequency of ‘rain-on-snow’ events are one of the most important facets of climate change with respect to impacts on flora and fauna. Winter rain creates ice that blocks access to food for herbivores and synchronizes the population dynamics of the herbivore–predator guild. In the marine ecosystem, increases in sea temperature and reductions in sea ice are influencing the entire food web. These changes are affecting the foraging and breeding ecology of most marine birds and mammals and are associated with an increase in abundance of several temperate fish, seabird and marine mammal species. Our review indicates that even though a few species are benefiting from a warming climate, most Arctic endemic species in Svalbard are experiencing negative consequences induced by the warming environment. Our review emphasizes the tight relationships between the marine and terrestrial ecosystems in this High Arctic archipelago. Detecting changes in trophic relationships within and between these ecosystems requires long-term (multidecadal) demographic, population- and ecosystem-based monitoring, the results of which are necessary to set appropriate conservation priorities in relation to climate warming.
  • References (126)
  • Citations (30)
Cite
References126
Newest
Published on Jan 1, 2018
Fred A. Johnson20
Estimated H-index: 20
,
Gitte Høj Jensen7
Estimated H-index: 7
+ 1 AuthorsJesper Madsen32
Estimated H-index: 32
Published on Apr 1, 2016in Ecology and Evolution2.42
Christoffer Høyvik Hilde1
Estimated H-index: 1
(NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology),
Christophe Pélabon21
Estimated H-index: 21
(NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
+ 2 AuthorsSébastien Descamps17
Estimated H-index: 17
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute)
The energetic costs of reproduction in birds strongly depend on the climate experienced during incubation. Climate change and increasing frequency of extreme weather events may severely affect these costs, especially for species incubating in extreme environments. In this 3-year study, we used an experimental approach to investigate the effects of microclimate and nest shelter on the incubation effort of female common eiders (Somateria mollissima) in a wild Arctic population. We added artificial...
Published on Nov 1, 2015in Biology Letters3.32
Charmain D. Hamilton5
Estimated H-index: 5
,
Christian Lydersen46
Estimated H-index: 46
+ 1 AuthorsKit M. Kovacs50
Estimated H-index: 50
Since the first documentation of climate-warming induced declines in arctic sea-ice, predictions have been made regarding the expected negative consequences for endemic marine mammals. But, several decades later, little hard evidence exists regarding the responses of these animals to the ongoing environmental changes. Herein, we report the first empirical evidence of a dramatic shift in movement patterns and foraging behaviour of the arctic endemic ringed seal ( Pusa hispida ), before and after ...
Published on Aug 1, 2015in Biology Letters3.32
Peter P. Marra54
Estimated H-index: 54
(SCBI: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute),
Emily B. Cohen11
Estimated H-index: 11
(SCBI: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute)
+ 2 AuthorsChristopher M. Tonra8
Estimated H-index: 8
(SCBI: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute)
For vertebrates, annual cycles are organized into a series of breeding and non-breeding periods that vary in duration and location but are inextricably linked biologically. Here, we show that our understanding of the fundamental ecology of four vertebrate classes has been limited by a severe breeding season research bias and that studies of individual and population-level responses to natural and anthropogenic change would benefit from a full annual cycle perspective. Recent emergence of new ana...
Published on Jul 21, 2015in PLOS ONE2.78
Marie-Anne Blanchet5
Estimated H-index: 5
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute),
Christian Lydersen46
Estimated H-index: 46
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute)
+ 1 AuthorsKit M. Kovacs50
Estimated H-index: 50
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute)
The harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) population in Svalbard marks the northernmost limit of the species’ range. This small population experiences environmental extremes in sea and air temperatures, sea ice cover and also in light regime for this normally temperate species. This study deployed Conductivity Temperature Depth Satellite Relay Data Loggers (CTD-SRDLs) on 30 adult and juvenile harbour seals in 2009 and 2010 to study their foraging behaviour across multiple seasons. A total of 189,104 div...
Published on Jul 1, 2015in Nature Climate Change21.72
Maria Fossheim10
Estimated H-index: 10
,
Raul Primicerio24
Estimated H-index: 24
+ 3 AuthorsAndrey V. Dolgov13
Estimated H-index: 13
Rapid warming of Arctic marine ecosystems has led to a change in the spatial distribution of fish communities, with boreal communities expanding into regions previously dominated by Arctic fish species, which are now retracting northwards.
Published on Jun 1, 2015in Conservation Biology6.19
Kristin L. Laidre31
Estimated H-index: 31
(UW: University of Washington),
Harry L. Stern21
Estimated H-index: 21
(UW: University of Washington)
+ 13 AuthorsRobyn P. Angliss10
Estimated H-index: 10
(NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Arctic marine mammals (AMMs) are icons of climate change, largely because of their close association with sea ice. However, neither a circumpolar assessment of AMM status nor a standardized metric of sea ice habitat change is available. We summarized available data on abundance and trend for each AMM species and recognized subpopulation. We also examined species diversity, the extent of human use, and temporal trends in sea ice habitat for 12 regions of the Arctic by calculating the dates of spr...
Published on Mar 25, 2015in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Jouke Prop12
Estimated H-index: 12
(UG: University of Groningen),
Jon Aars29
Estimated H-index: 29
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute)
+ 13 AuthorsElin Noreen4
Estimated H-index: 4
(NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
The Arctic is becoming warmer at a high rate, and contractions in the extent of sea ice are currently changing the habitats of marine top-predators dependent on ice. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) depend on sea ice for hunting seals. For these top-predators, longer ice-free seasons are hypothesized to force the bears to hunt for alternative terrestrial food, such as eggs from colonial breeding birds. We analyzed time-series of polar bear observations at four locations on Spitsbergen (Svalbard) an...
Cited By30
Newest
Published on Jan 31, 2019in Scientific Reports4.01
Françoise Amélineau6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Montpellier),
David Grémillet46
Estimated H-index: 46
(University of Montpellier)
+ 3 AuthorsJérôme Fort18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of La Rochelle)
Ongoing global changes apply drastic environmental forcing onto Arctic marine ecosystems, particularly through ocean warming, sea-ice shrinkage and enhanced pollution. To test impacts on arctic marine ecological functioning, we used a 12-year integrative study of little auks (Alle alle), the most abundant seabird in the Atlantic Arctic. We monitored the foraging ecology, reproduction, survival and body condition of breeding birds, and we tested linkages between these biological variables and a s...
Published on Jul 22, 2019in Diversity and Distributions4.09
Jan Hanzelka6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Charles University in Prague),
Petra Horká5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Charles University in Prague),
Jiří Reif19
Estimated H-index: 19
(Charles University in Prague)
Published on May 29, 2019in Polar Biology2.00
Giovanni de Vincenzi3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UNITO: University of Turin),
I. Parisi1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 4 AuthorsGiuseppa Buscaino18
Estimated H-index: 18
(National Research Council)
In this study, we used long-term passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) to improve knowledge about the use and spatiotemporal distribution of Erignathus barbatus vocalisations. Two autonomous passive acoustic recorders were deployed between August 2014 and July 2015 in the inner and outer parts of the Kongsfjorden (Svalbard Islands, Norway) resulting in 1728 h of data recorded and 17,220 vocalisations detected. We investigated the vocalisation occurrence with respect to the presence of ice in the fjo...
Published on Jun 27, 2019
Giovanna Bertella5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Tromsø),
Benjamin Vidmar
The purpose of this paper is to provoke reflections on the potential contribution of food tourism experiences to achieving the sustainable development goals for eradicating hunger and malnutrition.,In line with the creative analytic practice in scientific inquiry, this study develops and discusses a futuristic scenario inspired by a factual company. The case is based on ideas derived from studies on educational and food tourism and entrepreneurship, more precisely ecopreneurship.,Food tourism ca...
Published on Jun 20, 2019in bioRxiv
Claudia Coleine4
Estimated H-index: 4
,
Jason E. Stajich48
Estimated H-index: 48
(University of California, Berkeley)
+ 2 AuthorsLaura Selbmann26
Estimated H-index: 26
The harsh environmental conditions of the ice-free regions of Continental Antarctica are considered one of the closest Martian analogues on Earth. There, rocks play a pivotal role as substratum for life and endolithism represents a primary habitat for microorganisms when external environmental conditions become incompatible with active life on rock surfaces. Due to the thermal inertia of rock, the internal airspace of lithic substratum is where microbiota find a protected and buffered microenvir...
Published on May 30, 2019in Ecology and Evolution2.42
Isabeau Pratte2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Acadia University),
Birgit M. Braune34
Estimated H-index: 34
(Carleton University)
+ 1 AuthorsMark L. Mallory18
Estimated H-index: 18
(Acadia University)
Published on Mar 29, 2019in Biology Letters3.32
Charmain D. Hamilton5
Estimated H-index: 5
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute),
Jade Vacquié-Garcia1
Estimated H-index: 1
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute)
+ 3 AuthorsChristian Lydersen46
Estimated H-index: 46
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute)
Global warming is inducing major environmental changes in the Arctic. These changes will differentially affect species owing to differences in climate sensitivity and behavioural plasticity. Arctic endemic marine mammals are expected to be impacted significantly by ongoing changes in their key habitats owing to their long life cycles and dependence on ice. Herein, unique biotelemetry datasets for ringed seals (RS; Pusa hispida) and white whales (WW; Delphinapterus leucas) from Svalbard, Norway, ...
Published on Mar 18, 2019in Frontiers in Marine Science
Airam Rodríguez18
Estimated H-index: 18
(CSIC: Spanish National Research Council),
José Manuel Arcos13
Estimated H-index: 13
+ 35 AuthorsBeneharo Rodríguez13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Barcelona)
Shearwaters and petrels (hereafter petrels) are highly adapted seabirds that occur across all the world’s oceans. Petrels are a threatened seabird group comprising 120 species. They have bet-hedging life histories typified by extended chick rearing periods, low fecundity, high adult survival, strong philopatry, monogamy and long-term mate fidelity and are thus vulnerable to change. Anthropogenic alterations on land and at sea have led to a poor conservation status of many petrels with 49 (41%) t...
Published on Mar 13, 2019in Polar Research1.15
Karen Lone6
Estimated H-index: 6
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute),
Charmain D. Hamilton5
Estimated H-index: 5
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute)
+ 2 AuthorsKit M. Kovacs50
Estimated H-index: 50
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute)
Ringed seals are a central component of the Arctic ecosystem; they have a circumpolar distribution and are both important predators of lower trophic animals (invertebrates and fishes) and prey for polar bears and coastal human populations. They depend on sea ice for reproduction, moulting and resting, and they consume significant amounts of ice-associated prey. The population of ringed seals in Svalbard, Norway, uses both coastal and offshore habitats, the latter being important during seasonal ...
Published on Feb 28, 2019in Journal of Mammalogy2.13
Robert A. Montgomery14
Estimated H-index: 14
(MSU: Michigan State University),
Kyle M. Redilla1
Estimated H-index: 1
(MSU: Michigan State University)
+ 4 AuthorsErling Johan Solberg24
Estimated H-index: 24
Rising ambient temperatures associated with global climate change threaten the persistence of numerous species of wildlife. Moose (Alces alces), for instance, are purported to experience heat stress occurring when ambient temperatures rise above specific seasonal temperature thresholds. These temperature thresholds, however, were established in a study that linked physiological changes in thermoregulation to ambient temperatures among a small study group of captive-reared moose. Here, we quantif...