SLU news

New report: major changes in Arctic freshwater biodiversity

Published: 21 May 2019
Front cover of a report.

In a new report from the Arctic Council’s working group Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, researchers from the eight Arctic countries show how Arctic biodiversity is affected by climate change and development. The researchers have also identified areas with knowledge gaps and proposed possible actions that could prevent further loss of biodiversity.

Willem Goedkoop, professor at the Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, is one of the researchers who been leading the compilation and assessment of biological data from monitoring of Arctic lakes and streams.

"Observed changes in lake and stream flora and fauna give a cohesive picture of the slow, climate induced landscape changes ongoing in the Arctic region. We have, for example, observed increasing plant biomass and thawing permafrost", says Willem Goedkoop.

Other examples include negative effects on cold water species such as Arctic char, which are facing increased competition from species migrating north, and increasing risk of toxic cyanobacteria blooms.

The analyses carried out by the researchers were made possible by access to data collected by environmental monitoring programmes.

– Databases with environmental data hosted by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences have been an important asset for the report, says Willem Goedkoop.

Read the report and a summary for policy makers: The State of the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report.

State of the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report.

Willem Goedkoop shares why Arctic freshwater biodiversity is important.