Summary: # The Arctic biogeographical region has a highly varied landscape and contains some of Europe’s few remaining large wilderness areas.# The climatic conditions put extreme pressure on plants and animals, and large parts of the region are still under glaciation. Permafrost is widespread.# There are few winter-active species, but very large populations of summer-active plants and animals.# Large numbers of many migrating birds and fish species link arctic ecosystems inextricably with the conditions of circumpolar ecosystems as well as with Europe, northern Asia and Africa.# Large parts of the region are dominated by coastal habitats and interchange with the sea is a dominant feature.# Predicted increases in temperature of some degrees may change conditions radically in many areas and shift plant and animal communities towards more boreal types. Distributions of existing species and habitat types would shift northwards to higher latitudes and upwards to higher altitudes. Some species may become extinct.# There are significant anthropogenic impacts from long-range air pollution, and in some areas from long-term overgrazing and recently from tourism.
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