Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010: Indicator #15, Effects of Decreased Freshwater Ice Cover Duration on Biodiversity

Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010: Indicator #15, Effects of Decreased Freshwater Ice Cover Duration on Biodiversity

Ice cover is an important component of northern freshwater ecosystems influencing numerous physical, chemical, and biological processes in standing-water (lentic) and running-water (lotic) systems. The duration of Arctic lake and river ice is determined by the dates of autumn freeze-up and spring break-up, the timing of which is strongly controlled by climate. The broad extent of lakes and rivers throughout the northern high-latitudes provides good spatial coverage necessary to make the timing of lake and river ice freeze-up and breakup an effective indicator of climate change, and how such change might be affecting these important aquatic ecosystems.


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