Forests of the Arctic form a vulnerable biome as a transition zone between boreal forests and tundra. Despite their relatively low commercial value as timber suppliers, they host unique biodiversity values and provide both global and local irreplaceable benefits to peoples.
Human civilization is currently a large driver of global change causing more severe impacts on ecosystems in the Arctic than at the other parts of the world. Global change affects the water, carbon, nitrogen and mineral nutrient cycles of forests. Furthermore, the altered biogeochemical cycles increase the vulnerability of forest biodiversity to global threats such as changing climate. Tree and dwarf-shrub species of arctic forests face human-induced environmental changes which are more rapid than their life-cycles. In addition, pollution degrades the biodiversity values and functioning of these forest ecosystems at risk of adaptation. Pollution from sources far away reach the Arctic by air and water, while the increasing mining, oil and gas activities within the Arctic amplify sources of local pollution.
This session will explore (1) the characteristics of biogeochemical cycling in arctic forests, (2) direct and indirect impacts of human induced environmental changes on biogeochemical cycles in arctic forests, and (3) the effects of global change mitigation actions and forest management practices on biogeochemical cycles in arctic forests.