Warmer temperatures and changing patterns of precipitation will impact plants and vegetation in Greenland. The tree line is shifting northwards, conditions for agriculture are improving and longer and more frequent summer droughts are expected in the future. Comprehensive research is needed in order to properly understand how different factors impact one another and affect the occurrence and distribution of various species in the future.

The Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and the Greenland Climate Research Centre collect existing data on terrestrial ecosystems in Greenland. They focus on living resources and their natural environments under varying climatic conditions. The aim of the research is to improve the understanding of how different kinds of plants as well as entire ecosystems will respond to a changing climate. In many cases, the overall objective is to determine how specific species will be impacted in the future by changes to their living conditions.

Research stations in Zackenberg and near Nuuk monitor a number of different terrestrial plants as part of the BioBasis programme that follows multiple components of local ecosystems simultaneously. The data collected is used for further research by guest researchers that visit the stations. Much of the research is centred on understanding how changing conditions will influence the country’s living and non-living resources.

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