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Physical Geography of Northern Eurasia

Biodiversity and Productivity of Ecosystems

<<< Geography of Animal Communities | Physical Geography Index | Biomes and Regions: The Arctic Environments

The Present and Future of Biodiversity of Northern Eurasia

Analysing the biodiversity of a region of such a scale of complexity, let alone a prognosis of its future development, is a hard task. Although studying biodiversity has always been of great importance to Russian science, the vastness and heterogeneity of the region, and the remoteness of many areas make this task enormously challenging. Close links between biomes and climate will become, without doubt, the major cause of significant shifts in the geography of biodiversity in the course of global climate change as has happened in the past. In turn, the possible future redistribution of vegetation can initiate important climatic feedbacks. The scale of consequences of climatic changes for the geography of terrestrial ecosystems is currently difficult to evaluate with good precision. However, the existing models show that the changes may be very obvious spatially and temporally rapid (Krenke, 1989). The human factor is rapidly becoming a major control over biodiversity. The vastness of the region and low population density so far have been positive factors in environmental preservation, although many areas have suffered great environmental damage. A well-developed network of protected areas gives hope that natural landscapes will be preserved. However, some recent trends in socioeconomic development cast doubt on the possibility of the preservation of the rich and unique biodiversity in many regions. Inadequate environmental legislation, a deep-rooted disregard for law, the continuing economic crisis, and the inability of governments to fund environmental control threaten the environment and biodiversity. Without doubt, the recognition of biodiversity as a crucial environmental and heritage issue, its preservation and restoration should play an important role in local, national, and intergovernmental discussions.

<<< Geography of Animal Communities | Physical Geography Index | Biomes and Regions: The Arctic Environments



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