The Broad Footprint of Climate Change.pdf - R ES E A RC H...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 13 pages.

REVIEW SUMMARY CLIMATE CHANGE The broad footprint of climate change from genes to biomes to people Brett R. Scheffers, * Luc De Meester, Tom C. L. Bridge, Ary A. Hoffmann, John M. Pandolfi, Richard T. Corlett, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Paul Pearce-Kelly, Kit M. Kovacs, David Dudgeon, Michela Pacifici, Carlo Rondinini, Wendy B. Foden, Tara G. Martin, Camilo Mora, David Bickford, James E. M. Watson BACKGROUND: Climate change impacts have now been documented across every ecosystem on Earth, despite an average warming of only ~1°C so far. Here, we describe the full range and scale of climate change effects on global biodiversity that have been observed in nat- ural systems. To do this, we identify a set of core ecological processes (32 in terrestrial and 31 each in marine and freshwater ecosystems) that underpin ecosystem functioning and sup- port services to people. Of the 94 processes considered, 82% show evidence of impact from climate change in the peer-reviewed literature. Examples of observed impacts from meta- analyses and case studies go beyond well- established shifts in species ranges and changes to phenology and population dynamics to in- clude disruptions that scale from the gene to the ecosystem. ADVANCES: Species are undergoing evolu- tionary adaptation to temperature extremes, and climate change has substantial impacts on species physiology that include changes in tolerances to high temperatures, shifts in sex ratios in species with temperature-dependent sex determination, and increased metabolic costs of living in a warmer world. These phys- iological adjustments have observable impacts on morphology, with many species in both aquatic and terrestrial systems shrinking in body size because large surface-to-volume ratios are generally favored under warmer conditions. Other morphological changes include reduc- tions in melanism to improve thermoregula- tion, and altered wing and bill length in birds. Broader-scale responses to climate change include changes in the phenology, abundance, and distribu- tion of species. Temperate plants are budding and flowering earlier in spring and later in autumn. Comparable adjustments have been observed in marine and freshwater fish spawning events and in the timing of sea- sonal migrations of animals worldwide. Changes in the abundance and age structure of popula- tions have also been observed, with widespread evidence of range expansion in warm-adapted species and range contraction in cold-adapted species. As a by-product of species redistributions, novel community interactions have emerged. Tropical and boreal species are increasingly incorporated into temperate and polar commu- nities, respectively, and when possible, lowland species are increasingly assimilating into moun- tain communities. Multiplicative impacts from gene to community levels scale up to produce ecological regime shifts, in which one ecosys- tem state shifts to an alternative state.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture