7.2 Advance understanding of how changes to ecosystems alter animal and plant populations and their habitats and subsistence activities that depend on them.

Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems are important for subsistence and the culture of Arctic residents. These ecosystems provide key habitats for a number of plant species, and resident and migratory fish and terrestrial animal species unique to Arctic regions. These species and their ecosystems also provide the basis for important subsistence activities that are central to the lifestyles and well-being of many northern residents, especially Indigenous communities. This Objective will focus on continuing and expanding the science programs needed to understand how changes to terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems are influencing plant, fish, and terrestrial animal populations and habitats, and how these changes impact human uses of these resources. The activities for the Terrestrial Ecosystems Goal need to include engagement of key stakeholder groups in order to incorporate IK and LK. The research activities coordinated to address this Objective also provide the foundation needed for addressing Objectives within the Health and Well-being Goal.

Performance elements from the Arctic research plan

  • 7.2.1 Coordinate the development of maps from remotely-sensed data and synthesize available data to document changing plant, fish, and terrestrial animal populations and their habitats.
  • 7.2.2 Compare trends in aquatic and terrestrial animal populations and movements with changing patterns of vegetation cover, lake, pond, and wetland extent and characteristics to determine whether and how shifting habitats are influencing animal behaviors and population dynamics.
  • 7.2.3 Incorporate scientific observations and the perspectives of IK and/or LK knowledge holders into assessments of how changing Arctic ecosystems, flora, and fauna are affecting important subsistence activities, lifestyles, and well-being of northern residents.

« Terrestrial Ecosystems

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