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4.4 Terrestrial ecosystems, soil and forests

Climate change is already affecting terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity and is projected to become an even more important driver of biodiversity and ecosystem change in the future. Climate change will have a broad range of positive and negative impacts on biodiversity at genetic, species (e.g. plant and animal species) and ecosystem levels, including shifts in the distribution of species and ecosystems, changes in species abundance, changes in species phenology (i.e. timing of annual events) and an increased risk of extinctions for some species. This chapter describes the main projected impacts of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems, soil and forests.