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The Arctic Tundra and adjacent Boreal Forest or Taiga support the most cold-adapted flora and fauna on Earth. The evolutionary capacity of both plants and animals to adapt to these thermally limiting conditions has always attracted biological investigation and is a central theme of Tundra-Taiga Biology. How the polar biota will adapt to a warmer world is creating significant and renewed interest in this habitat. The Arctic has always been subject to climatic fluctuation and the polar biota has successfully adapted to these changes throughout its evolutionary history. Whether or not climatic warming will allow the Boreal Forest to advance onto the treeless Tundra is one of the most tantalizing questions that can be asked today in relation to terrestrial polar biology.
Tundra-Taiga Biology provides a circum-polar perspective of adaptation to low temperatures and short growing seasons, together with a history of climatic variation as it has affected the evolution of terrestrial life in the Tundra and the adjacent forested Taiga. It will appeal to researchers new to the field and to the many students, professional ecologists and conservation practitioners requiring a concise but authoritative overview of the biome. Its accessibility also makes it suitable for undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in tundra, taiga, and arctic ecology.
1: Arctic climate history
2: The Holocene at high latitudes
3: Human arrival in the Arctic
4: Tundra diversity
5: Taiga and bog
6: Arctic survival in mammals and birds
7: Plant survival in cold habitats
8: Demography and reproduction
9: Evolution in the Arctic
10: Disturbance, pollution, conservation, and the future
Robert Crawford is Emeritus Professor of Biology of the University of St Andrews. He was awarded a DSc (Liège) in 1960, and made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1973. He is a Fellow of the Linnaean Society (1999) and Associate Member of the Belgian Royal Academy (2001).