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Invasive species in Svalbard

Photo: Mary Wisz
Photo: Mary Wisz

A new research study forecasting sea surface temperatures for the next century shows that Svalbard may become more vulnerable to invasive species with future climate change. By 2050, the climate of Svalbard will have become more similar to that of the lower latitude ports that today send ships to  the island. Ships visiting Svalbard can carry non-indigenous species in ballast water, and as the Arctic warms, these organisms will be more likely to survive and invade Svalbard’s coasts. Other Arctic coastal areas are likely to become similarly vulnerable to such increased invasive species risk due to ship transport as the Arctic warms.

The research is a collaboration between University of Tromsø, Norway, and Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, Denmark, Danish Meteorological Institute, and other partners.

Read the whole paper here: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ddi.12117/abstract

For more information, contact Mary S. Wisz, PhD. Senior Scientist – Spatial ecology