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‘There are new species’: indigenous knowledge of biodiversity change in Arctic Yakutia


Ksenofontov, Stanislav M; Backhaus, Norman; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela (2019). ‘There are new species’: indigenous knowledge of biodiversity change in Arctic Yakutia. Polar Geography, 42(1):34-57.

Abstract

Climate change, nutrient pollution, land conversion, overexploitation, and invasive species and diseases – the ‘big five’ global drivers of ecosystem change – are altering biodiversity in the Arctic. Changes in biodiversity have implications for local people since they depend on biodiversity for their traditional activities. Remote Arctic areas lack scientific records of biodiversity status and trends. Indigenous knowledge (IK) can help fill in these information gaps. More importantly, IK is essential to establish policies and practices for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. This study presents indigenous people’s perceptions of changes and trends in biodiversity in Arctic Yakutia in Northeastern Siberia, Russia. The results document the perception of indigenous people on biodiversity changes at the study sites: new species of plants and animals have expanded their ranges to the north, and the abundance of native species as well as the phenology of plants have changed. IK relates these trends to different global change drivers, assumes that the changes are both naturally and anthropogenically driven, and reflects resulting alterations in species interactions in the forest tundra and tundra ecosystems.

Abstract

Climate change, nutrient pollution, land conversion, overexploitation, and invasive species and diseases – the ‘big five’ global drivers of ecosystem change – are altering biodiversity in the Arctic. Changes in biodiversity have implications for local people since they depend on biodiversity for their traditional activities. Remote Arctic areas lack scientific records of biodiversity status and trends. Indigenous knowledge (IK) can help fill in these information gaps. More importantly, IK is essential to establish policies and practices for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. This study presents indigenous people’s perceptions of changes and trends in biodiversity in Arctic Yakutia in Northeastern Siberia, Russia. The results document the perception of indigenous people on biodiversity changes at the study sites: new species of plants and animals have expanded their ranges to the north, and the abundance of native species as well as the phenology of plants have changed. IK relates these trends to different global change drivers, assumes that the changes are both naturally and anthropogenically driven, and reflects resulting alterations in species interactions in the forest tundra and tundra ecosystems.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Geography, Planning and Development, General Earth and Planetary Sciences, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Language:English
Date:2 January 2019
Deposited On:27 Nov 2018 10:58
Last Modified:24 Jan 2019 02:04
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1939-0513
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/1088937x.2018.1547326

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