Study on How Climate Changes Influence Animals Performed by Russian and French Scientists

Scientists of the Institute for Plants and Animals Studies at the Urals branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and their counterparts from the French Academy of Sciences will study how the climate changes influence the Arctic ecology systems. The research will be in Greenland and in Russia’s Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region, the Institute’s representative Vasily Sokolov told TASS on Tuesday.

“We plan this project with the French Academy of Sciences. We shall study data from various areas in Greenland and Russia to see how the climate changes affect the Arctic ecosystems in terms of changing populations and species,” the scientist said. “In all those areas live lemmings and a few predators – Arctic foxes, skuas, owls, but every area is different in population sizes – we shall be using this difference in our work.”

According to the researcher, three stations would be organized in Yamal – on the White Island, at the Sabetta settlement and near the Yerkuta scientific station, and another three stations would be in Greenland.

“Among other Arctic areas, Greenland is different in terms of its position, isolation and lay of land,” the Russian scientist continued. “Having studied animals’ reactions at areas with different nature conditions, we shall have a more precise picture of the processes and thus we shall be able to model and forecast possible changes.”

“In a more wide meaning, our theory is that the climate and structures of ecosystems affect reaction of Arctic foxes on growth of rodents, and so forth,” he added.

Latest studies show that every minor difference in predators’ reactions may cause major changes in population dynamics of neighboring species, the scientist said.

“In order to study potential direct and indirect consequences from the climate changes on relations within the Arctic ecosystem, we should merge the data from stations, which differ in resources, density and climate conditions,” he said. “The project’s results would benefit for understanding processes, which continue in the Arctic ecosystems, and may be used for forecasts and for putting together a strategy of keeping the existing diversity.”