Introduction to the Arctic environment
Very often, arctic terrestrial ecosystems are described as species poor, fragile and isolated. However, when the overall system is considered, from large mammals to micro- and meso-fauna, an intricate complexity is revealed. It is increasingly acknowledged that the Arctic plays an essential role in the earth’s climate system, and as a natural laboratory to study evolutionary and ecological aspects inherent of extreme environments.
The Arctic has considerable attention in recent years due to the importance of this rapidly changing region in the Earth System, but also due to the inherent interest of this extreme and unique environment.
The topics below provide an introduction to this fascinating environment and set the stage in order to be able to understand the biology of organisms living in arctic regions.