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The Arctic is an Ecosystem
by Bill Heal
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The Terrestial Ecosystem Or Ecosystems
Terriestial ecosystem: The overall message
  Terrestrial ecosystems have changed in the past, are changing now, and will change in the future.
  The systems respond to climate variations in space and time, ranging from the small scale tundra polygons to circumpolar movements of vegetation and animals.
  Plants, animals and micro-organism are intimately linked locally, both above and below ground, and across landscapes.
  Heat (energy), water, carbon and nutrients are transferred into, within and out of the systems by biological and physical processes.
  Changes in the atmosphere affect the land, but changes in the land have 'feedback' effects on the atmosphere.

You may recognise different types of vegetation (scientists spend lots of time arguing about classification) and think that they are the Terrestrial Ecosystems. They certainly have distinct characteristics and have many internal links. In that sense they are 'ecosystems'. But it is equally certain that they are dynamic; they are changing; and they are intimately linked to each other and dynamically linked to the wider physical environment. Understanding these wider links is critical when considering protection of species and habitats, and the use and management of resources. Changes in one place affect other places. And that applies to changes in the North affecting the South, and vice versa. One System!

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The Arctic is an Ecosystem, by Bill Heal.
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