As climate change alters Arctic ecosystems and enables greater human activity, biological invasions are likely to increase in the Arctic. To some extent, Arctic terrestrial ecosystems may be predisposed to invasion because many invasive plants are adapted to open disturbed areas. Range map scenarios developed for 16 highly invasive plants either occurring in or at risk of invading Alaska also paint a sobering outlook for the future. This map depicts the potential expansion of one invasive aquatic plant, Hydrilla veticillata, well up into Arctic Alaska ecosystems and even into far eastern Russian aquatic systems. Another recent study examining global distribution trends associated with climate change predicted that marine communities in the Arctic and Antarctic will be the most at risk from climate induced invasions.
From collection: Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010
Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF