Ecological research in polar regions explores interactions between various groups of organisms, as well as relations that they have with respect to their environment. Despite the apparent harshness of the Arctic and Antarctic, many creatures are well adapted to living "at the edge". Ecosystems of the tundra biom are not as simple and primitive as it may seem!
Polar organisms are now facing a threat much more difficult to cope with than extreme cold, drought and darkness - a rapidly changing climate. Increasing air temperature causes melting of glaciers and permafrost, changes in water relation and growing season. These changes affect all ecosystem components. New ecosystems are forming in areas uncovered from under the ice, whereas at the southern borders of the Arctic shrub and tree expansion is underway, reducing the extent of the tundra. Great research effort is put to monitor the speed and direction of these changes, to provide effective conservation of the fragile tundra ecosystems.