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Are any organisms' habitats being fragmented or destroyed in the arctic wetlands?
Question Date: 2012-09-22
Answer 1:

Arctic wetlands have suffered less destruction and fragmentation from human activities than wetlands in lower latitudes, mainly because there are fewer people living there, building roads, farming, diverting water and polluting. However, this does mean that they are immune from human interference. For example, in Finland, a large fraction of the peatlands have been drained for forestry use. Draining wetlands results in a decrease in biodiversity, as well as a loss of nesting areas for migratory birds. Another problem faced by Arctic wetlands is overgrazing by sheep and reindeer, which is detrimental to plants and lichen, and may also result in increased erosion. Mining and oil and gas exploration can cause habitat fragmentation by building roads and potentially destroy habitat with pollution. Climate change is likely to have serious impacts on Arctic wetland habitats in the future. In the Arctic, temperatures are rising at nearly twice the rate of global average temperatures. Permafrost, permanently frozen ground, plays an important role in the formation of Arctic wetlands, so melting of permafrost could contribute to the destruction of some habitats. Additionally, it is predicted that warming will cause Arctic wetlands to become drier as a result of increased evapotranspiration.

Answer 2:

Probably - exactly what's happening to arctic environments is currently uncertain. With the climate changing, some environments are going to get moved and may be destroyed, but I'm not sure we know which ones yet.

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