Ecology And Climate Change Pdf

ecology and climate change pdf

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The ecology of climate change and infectious diseases.

Climate is an important environmental influence on ecosystems. Changing climate affects ecosystems in a variety of ways. For instance, warming may force species to migrate to higher latitudes or higher elevations where temperatures are more conducive to their survival. Similarly, as sea level rises, saltwater intrusion into a freshwater system may force some key species to relocate or die, thus removing predators or prey that are critical in the existing food chain.

Climate change not only affects ecosystems and species directly, it also interacts with other human stressors such as development. Although some stressors cause only minor impacts when acting alone, their cumulative impact may lead to dramatic ecological changes. Additionally, recently logged forested areas may become vulnerable to erosion if climate change leads to increases in heavy rain storms.

For many species, the climate where they live or spend part of the year influences key stages of their annual life cycle, such as migration, blooming, and reproduction. As winters have become shorter and milder, the timing of these events has changed in some parts of the country:. An ecosystem refers to the animals, plants, and microorganisms that live in one place, as well as the environmental conditions that support them. Ecosystem services include the products and services provided by ecosystems, such as food, fuel, timber, water, clean air, and medicines.

It also includes less material benefits, such as regulation of local climate conditions and aesthetic value or cultural identity. An ecological threshold is the point at which there is an abrupt change in an ecosystem quality, property, or phenomenon, or where small changes in one or more external conditions produce large and persistent responses in an ecosystem.

A biome is a large, naturally occurring community of plants and animals occurring in a regional or global land area. A food web is a group of predators and prey that interact in a habitat or ecosystem. A stressor is a factor that reduces the health or productivity of an ecosystem i. Because species differ in their ability to adjust, asynchronies can develop, increasing species and ecosystem vulnerability.

These asynchronies can include mismatches in the timing of migration, breeding, pest avoidance, and food availability. Growth and survival are reduced when migrants arrive at a location before or after food sources are present. As temperatures increase, the habitat ranges of many North American species are moving north and to higher elevations. In recent decades, in both land and aquatic environments, plants and animals have moved to higher elevations at a median rate of 36 feet 0.

While this means a range expansion for some species, for others it means movement into less hospitable habitat, increased competition, or range reduction, with some species having nowhere to go because they are already at the top of a mountain or at the northern limit of land suitable for their habitat. For example, boreal forests are invading tundra, reducing habitat for the many unique species that depend on the tundra ecosystem, such as caribou, arctic foxes, and snowy owls.

As rivers and streams warm, warmwater fish are expanding into areas previously inhabited by coldwater species. See the Agriculture and Food Supply Impacts page for information about how habitats of marine species have shifted northward as waters have warmed. The impact of climate change on a particular species can ripple through a food web and affect a wide range of other organisms.

For example, the figure below shows the complex nature of the food web for polar bears. Not only is the decline of sea ice impairing polar bear populations by reducing the extent of their primary habitat, it is also negatively impacting them via food web effects. Declines in the duration and extent of sea ice in the Arctic leads to declines in the abundance of ice algae, which thrive in nutrient-rich pockets in the ice. These algae are eaten by zooplankton, which are in turn eaten by Arctic cod, an important food source for many marine mammals, including seals.

Seals are eaten by polar bears. Hence, declines in ice algae can contribute to declines in polar bear populations. The Arctic food web is complex.

The loss of sea ice can ultimately affect the entire food web, from algae and plankton to fish to mammals. Even within a single ecosystem, there can be winners and losers from climate change. Ecosystems can serve as natural buffers from extreme events such as wildfires, flooding, and drought. Examples include reefs and barrier islands that protect coastal ecosystems from storm surges, wetland ecosystems that absorb floodwaters, and cyclical wildfires that clear excess forest debris and reduce the risk of dangerously large fires.

In some cases, ecosystem change occurs rapidly and irreversibly because a threshold, or "tipping point," is passed. One area of concern for thresholds is the Prairie Pothole Region in the north-central part of the United States.

This ecosystem is a vast area of small, shallow lakes, known as "prairie potholes" or "playa lakes. The pothole region has experienced temporary droughts in the past. However, a permanently warmer, drier future may lead to a threshold change—a dramatic drop in the prairie potholes that host waterfowl populations, which subsequently provide highly valued hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Similarly, when coral reefs become stressed from increased ocean temperatures, they expel microorganisms that live within their tissues and are essential to their health.

This is known as coral bleaching. As ocean temperatures warm and the acidity of the ocean increases , bleaching and coral die-offs are likely to become more frequent.

Chronically stressed coral reefs are less likely to recover. Climate change and shifts in ecological conditions could support the spread of pathogens, parasites, and diseases, with potentially serious effects on human health, agriculture, and fisheries.

For example, the oyster parasite, Perkinsus marinus , is capable of causing large oyster die-offs. This parasite has extended its range northward from Chesapeake Bay to Maine, a mile expansion tied to above-average winter temperatures. Climate change, along with habitat destruction and pollution, is one of the important stressors that can contribute to species extinction.

Settele, J. Scholes, R. Betts, S. Bunn, P. Leadley, D. Nepstad, J. Overpeck, and M. Terrestrial and Inland Water Systems. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Field, C. Barros, D. Dokken, K. Mach, M. Mastrandrea, T. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K. Ebi, Y. Estrada, R. Genova, B. Girma, E. Kissel, A. Levy, S. MacCracken, P. Mastrandrea, and L. White eds. A Report by the U.

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How climate change plunders the planet

Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: Lafferty Published Geography, Medicine Ecology. The projected global increase in the distribution and prevalence of infectious diseases with climate change suggests a pending societal crisis. The subject is increasingly attracting the attention of health professionals and climate-change scientists, particularly with respect to malaria and other vector-transmitted human diseases. The result has been the emergence of a crisis discipline, reminiscent of the early phases of conservation biology.

PDF | There is now ample evidence of the ecological impacts of recent climate change, from polar terrestrial to tropical marine environments.

Climate Change and Society: Approaches and Responses

Once production of your article has started, you can track the status of your article via Track Your Accepted Article. Help expand a public dataset of research that support the SDGs. Congratulations on the launch of Climate Change Ecology! Climate Change Ecology will promote a holistic view of understanding ecological responses to a rapidly changing world, with a particular focus on all aspects of climate change. Within this context, the journal will consider manuscripts that present primary research from terrestrial, marine and freshwater systems.

Urban Ecology, Water Quality and Climate Change

Climate change presents perhaps the most profound challenge ever to have confronted human social, political, and economic systems. The stakes are massive, the risks and uncertainties severe, the economics controversial, the science besieged, the politics bitter and complicated, the psychology puzzling, the impacts devastating, the interactions with other environmental and non-environmental issues running in many directions. This article summarizes the entire work which brings together a representation of the best scholars on climate change and society.

Climate change

Climate change includes both global warming driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases , and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change , since the midth century, humans have had unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale. Temperature rise on land is about twice the global average increase, leading to desert expansion and more common heat waves and wildfires. The World Health Organization calls climate change the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. Heat wave intensification. Events like the June European heat wave are becoming more common.

In addition to having a large influence on global heat transport and precipitation, the oceans are comprised of diverse habitats that support a wealth of marine wildlife. They also provide humans with a wide variety of goods and services including foods, recreational opportunities, and transportation corridors. Based upon current scientific evidence, emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are projected to cause significant global climate change during the 21st century. Such climate change will create novel challenges for coastal and marine ecosystems that are already stressed from human development, land-use change, environmental pollution, and over-fishing.

Rising temperatures are affecting organisms in all of Earth's biomes, but the complexity of ecological responses to climate change has hampered the development of a conceptually unified treatment of them. In a remarkably comprehensive synthesis, this book presents past, ongoing, and future ecological responses to climate change in the context of two simplifying hypotheses, facilitation and interference, arguing that biotic interactions may be the primary driver of ecological responses to climate change across all levels of biological organization. Eric Post's synthesis and analyses of ecological consequences of climate change extend from the Late Pleistocene to the present, and through the next century of projected warming. His investigation is grounded in classic themes of enduring interest in ecology, but developed around novel conceptual and mathematical models of observed and predicted dynamics. Using stability theory as a recurring theme, Post argues that the magnitude of climatic variability may be just as important as the magnitude and direction of change in determining whether populations, communities, and species persist. He urges a more refined consideration of species interactions, emphasizing important distinctions between lateral and vertical interactions and their disparate roles in shaping responses of populations, communities, and ecosystems to climate change. It can increase understanding among budding and established biologists by serving as a reference and tutorial.


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PDF | As part of the US National Climate Assessment, over 60 subject-​matter experts from government agencies, academia.



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