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The distributions of many terrestrial organisms are currently shifting in latitude or elevation in response to changing climate. Using a meta-analysis, we estimated that the distributions of species have recently shifted to higher elevations at a median rate of 11.0 meters per decade, and to higher latitudes at a median rate of 16.9 kilometers per decade. These rates are approximately two and three times faster than previously reported. The distances moved by species are greatest in studies showing the highest levels of warming, with average latitudinal shifts being generally sufficient to track temperature changes. However, individual species vary greatly in their rates of change, suggesting that the range shift of each species depends on multiple internal species traits and external drivers of change. Rapid average shifts derive from a wide diversity of responses by individual species.
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Acknowledgments: This work was supported by the Howard
Hughes Medical Institute (C.B.L., S.R.S., D.M.K., D.H.),
the NSF (CAREER-0644282 to M.K., DBI-0644111 to
A.S.), the NIH (R01-HG004037 to M.K., P50- HG02568
to D.M.K., U54-HG003067 to K.L-T., 1U01-HG004695
to C.B.L., 5P41-HG002371to B.J.R.), the Sloan
Foundation (M.K.), and the European Science Foundation
(EURYI to K.L-T.).
Supporting Online Material
Materials and Methods
Figs. S1 to S9
Tables S1 to S12
References (2949)
10 January 2011; accepted 24 June 2011
Rapid Range Shifts of Species
Associated with High Levels
of Climate Warming
I-Ching Chen,
Jane K. Hill,
Ralf Ohlemüller,
David B. Roy,
Chris D. Thomas
The distributions of many terrestrial organisms are currently shifting in latitude or elevation in response
to changing climate. Using a meta-analysis, we estimated that the distributions of species have
recently shifted to higher elevations at a median rate of 11.0 meters per decade, and to higher latitudes
at a median rate of 16.9 kilometers per decade. These rates are approximately two and three times
faster than previously reported. The distances moved by species are greatest in studies showing the
highest levels of warming, with average latitudinal shifts being generally sufficient to track temperature
changes. However, individual species vary greatly in their rates of change, suggesting that the
range shift of each species depends on multiple internal species traits and external drivers of change.
Rapid average shifts derive from a wide diversity of responses by individual species.
Threats to global biodiversity from climate
change (1-8) make it important to identify
the rates at which species have already
responded to recent warming. There is strong evi-
dence that species have changed the timing of
their life cycles during the year and that this is
linked to annual and longer-term variations in
temperature (912). Many species have also
shifted their geographic distributions toward
higher latitudes and elevations (1317), but this
evidence has previously fallen short of demon-
strating a direct link between temperature change
and range shifts; that is, greater range shifts have
not been demonstrated for regions with the high-
est levels of warming.
We undertook a meta-analysis of available
studies of latitudinal (Europe, North America,
and Chile) and elevational (Europe, North Amer-
ica, Malaysia, and Marion Island) range shifts for
a range of taxonomic groups (18)(tableS1).We
considered N= 23 taxonomic group × geographic
region combinations for latitude, incorporating
764 individual species responses, and N=31
taxonomic group × region combinations for ele-
vation, representing 1367 species responses. For
the purpose of analysis, the mean shift across all
species of a given taxonomic group, in a given
region, was taken to represent a single value (for
example, plants in Switzerland or birds in New
York State; table S1) (18).
The latitudinal analysis revealed that spe-
cies have moved away from the Equator at a
median rate of 16.9 km decade
(mean = 17.6
km decade
, SE = 2.9, N= 22 species group ×
region combinations, one-sample ttest versus
zero shift, t= 6.10, P< 0.0001). Weighting each
study by the (numberofspecies)inthegrou
region combination gave a mean rate of 16.6 km
. For elevation, there was a median shift
to higher elevations of 11.0 m uphill decade
(mean = 12.2 m decade
, SE = 1.8, N=30spe-
cies groups × regions, one-sample ttest versus
zero shift, t= 7.04, P< 0.0001). Weighting ele-
vation studies by (number of species) gave a
mean rate of uphill movement of 11.1 m decade
A previous meta-analysis (14)ofdistribu-
tion changes analyzed individual species, rather
than the averages of taxonomic groups × regions
that we used, and also included data on latitu-
dinal and elevational shifts in the same analysis
(18). It concluded that ranges had shifted toward
higher latitudes at 6.1 km decade
er elevations at 6.1 m decade
(14), whereas
the rates of range shift that we found were sig-
nificantly greater [N= 22 species groups × regions,
one-sample ttest versus 6.1 km decade
3.99, P= 0.0007 for latitude; N= 30 groups ×
regions, one-sample ttest versus 6.1 m decade
t= 3.49, P= 0.002 for elevation (18)]. Our
estimated mean rates are approximately three
and two times higher than those in (14), for
Department of Biology, University of York, Wentworth Way,
York YO10 5DD, UK.
Biodiversity Research Center, Academia
Sinica, 128 Academia Road, Section 2, Nankang Taipei 115,
School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and
Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, Durham University,
South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK.
Centre for Ecology &
Hydrology, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire,
OX10 8BB, UK.
*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:
Fig. 1. Relationship between observed and expected range shifts in response to climate change, for (A)
latitude and (B) elevation. Points represent the mean responses (TSE)ofspeciesinaparticulartax-
onomic group, in a given region. Positive values indicate shifts toward the pole and to higher ele-
vations. Diagonals represent 1:1 lines, where expected and observed responses are equal. Open circles,
birds; open triangles, mammals; solid circles, arthropods; solid inverted triangles, plants; solid square,
herptiles; solid diamond, fish; solid triangle, mollusks.
on August 18, 2011www.sciencemag.orgDownloaded from
latitude and elevation respectively, implying much
greater responses of species to climate warming
than previously reported (18). Most of the data
we analyzed are from the temperate zone and
from tropical mountains (table S1), where eco-
systems are at least partly temperature-limited;
different rates of change might be observed in
moisture-limited ecosystems (19).
Published studies have shown nonrandom
latitudinal and elevational changes (1, 7, 1317)
but have not previously demonstrated a statis-
tical linkage between range shifts and levels
of warming. We found that observed latitudinal
and elevational shifts (the latter more weakly)
have been significantly greater in studies with
higher levels of warming (mean latitudinal shift
versus average temperature increase; N=23spe-
cies groups × regions, Pearson correlation coef-
ficient (r) = 0.59, P= 0.003; mean elevational
shift versus temperature increase; N= 31, r=
0.37, P= 0.042). Temperature gradients differ
across the world, so a given level of warming
leads to different expected range shifts of spe-
cies in different regions (20), assuming that spe-
cies track climate changes. To estimate the
expected shifts, we calculated the distances in
latitude (kilometers) and elevation (meters) that
species in a given region would have been re-
quired to move to track temperature changes
and thus to experience the same average tem-
perature at the end of the recording period as
encountered at the start (18) (table S1). We
found that both observed latitudinal and ele-
vation range shifts were correlated with predicted
distances (Fig. 1A, N= 20 species groups ×
regions, r= 0.65, P= 0.002 for latitude; Fig.
1B, N= 30 groups × regions, r= 0.39, P=
0.035 for elevation), so our analyses directly
link terrestrial range shifts to regional and study
differences in the warming experienced.
Despite reports that many species lag behind
climate change (2123), nearly as many studies
of observed latitudinal changes fall above as
below the observed = expected line in Fig. 1A
(9 points above, 11 below; c
= 0.20, 1 df, P=
0.65), suggesting that mean latitudinal shifts are
not consistently lagging behind the climate. The
lag in elevation response (Fig. 1B; 2 points above
the 1:1 line, 28 below; c
= 22.53, 1 df, P<
0.001) is equally surprising because the required
distances to track climate are much shorter than
for latitudinal shifts (20). Real and apparent ele-
vation lags may arise if suitable new conditions
at higher elevations occur only in locations that
cannot be reached easily (for example, on other
mountain peaks), or they may reflect the topo-
graphic and microclimatic complexity of moun-
tainous terrain [for example, cooler locations
may be on poleward-facing slopes rather than
higher (24)]; the need for finer-resolution analy-
ses (25); and additional topographic, climatic, ge-
ological, and ecological constraints [for example,
causing declines in cloud forest species (2628)].
Taxonomic differences are not consistent pre-
dictors of recent response rates. For example,
birds seem to have responded least in terms of
elevational shifts but had a slightly greater than
expected latitudinal shift (Fig. 1). Much greater
variation is associated with differences among
species within a taxonomic group than between
taxonomic groups (Fig. 2 and table S2). For lat-
itudinal studies, on average 22% (average of
N= 23 species groups × regions) of the species
actually shifted in the opposite direction to that
expected. Similarly, 25% of species shifted down-
hill rather than to higher elevations (average of
N= 29 species groups × regions). Thus, despite
an overall significant shift toward higher lati-
tudes and elevations, which is greatest where
the climate has warmed the most, and despite
around three-quarters of species shifting pole-
ward and to higher elevations, we found that
species have exhibited a high diversity of range
shifts in recent decades.
At least three processes are likely to generate
the high diversity of range shifts among species:
time delays in speciesresponses, individualistic
physiological constraints, and alternative and in-
teracting drivers of change. Species may lag be-
hind climate change if they are habitat specialists
or immobile species that cannot colonize across
fragmented landscapes (17,2123), or if they
possess other traits associated with low extinc-
tion or colonization rates (29). Species may also
show individualistic physiological responses to
different aspects of the climate, such as different
sensitivities to maximum and minimum temper-
atures at critical times of their life cycles. These
sensitivities will combine with variable wait times
for different novel climatic extremes to take
place (30). Species are also affected to dif-
ferent extents by nonclimatic factors and by
multispecies interactions, which themselves de-
pend on a diversity of environmental drivers
(21,28). For example, a species might retreat
toward the Equator at its poleward margin if it
contracts with habitat loss faster than it expands
through climate warming; whereas the poleward
range margin of a species that thrives in novel ag-
ricultural landscapes may spread at a rate exceed-
ing that expected, were warming the sole driver.
We found that rates of latitudinal and eleva-
tional shifts are substantially greater than reported
Fig. 2. Observed latitudinal shifts of the northern range boundaries of species within four exemplar
taxonomic groups, studied over 25 years in Britain. (A) Spiders (85 species), (B)groundbeetles
(59 species), (C) butterflies (29 species), and (D) grasshoppers and allies (22 species). Positive
latitudinal shifts indicate movement toward the north (pole); negative values indicate shifts toward the
south (Equator). The solid line shows zero shift, the short-dashed line indicates the median observed
shift, and the long-dashed line indicates the predicted range shift. SCIENCE VOL 333 19 AUGUST 2011 1025
on August 18, 2011www.sciencemag.orgDownloaded from
in a previous meta-analysis, and increase with
the level of warming. We conclude that average
rates of latitudinal distribution change match
those expected on the basis of average temper-
ature change, but that variation is so great within
taxonomic groups that more detailed physio-
logical, ecological and environmental data are
required to provide specific prognoses for indi-
vidual species.
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R. Wilson, and B. Zuckerberg for data; H.-J. Shiu for
statistical assistance; S.-F. Shen, the Ministry of Education
in Taiwan, a UK Overseas Research Scholarship Award,
and the Natural Environment Research Council for
support; and anonymous referees for comments on the
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Materials and Methods
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1 April 2011; accepted 6 July 2011
Aneuploidy Drives Genomic
Instability in Yeast
Jason M. Sheltzer,
Heidi M. Blank,
Sarah J. Pfau,
Yoshie Tange,
Benson M. George,
Timothy J. Humpton,
Ilana L. Brito,
Yasushi Hiraoka,
Osami Niwa,
Angelika Amon
Aneuploidy decreases cellular fitness, yet it is also associated with cancer, a disease of enhanced
proliferative capacity. To investigate one mechanism by which aneuploidy could contribute to
tumorigenesis, we examined the effects of aneuploidy on genomic stability. We analyzed 13 budding
yeast strains that carry extra copies of single chromosomes and found that all aneuploid strains
exhibited one or more forms of genomic instability. Most strains displayed increased chromosome loss
and mitotic recombination, as well as defective DNA damage repair. Aneuploid fission yeast strains
also exhibited defects in mitotic recombination. Aneuploidy-induced genomic instability could facilitate
the development of genetic alterations that drive malignant growth in cancer.
Whole-chromosome aneuploidyor a
karyotype that is not a multiple of the
haploid complementis found in great-
er than 90% of human tumors and may contrib-
ute to cancer development (1,2). It has been
suggested that aneuploidy increases genomic
instability, which could accelerate the acquisition
of growth-promoting genetic alterations (1,3).
However, whereas aneuploidy is a result of ge-
nomic instability, there is at present limited evi-
dence as to whether genomic instability can be a
consequence of aneuploidy itself. To test this
possibility directly, we assayed chromosome seg-
regation fidelity in 13 haploid strains of Saccha-
romyces cerevisiae that carry additional copies
of single yeast chromosomes (4). These aneu-
ploid strains (henceforth disomes) display im-
paired proliferation and sensitivity to conditions
that interfere with protein homeostasis (4,5).
We measured the segregation fidelity of a yeast
artificial chromosome (YAC) containing human
DNA and found that the rate of chromosome
missegregation was increased in 9 out of 13 di-
somic strains relative to a euploid control (Fig.
1A). The increase ranged from 1.7-fold to 3.3-
fold, comparable to the fold increase observed
in strains lacking the kinetochore components
Chl4 or Mcm21. Consistent with chromosome
segregation defects, 8 out of 13 disomic strains
displayed impaired proliferation on plates con-
taining the microtubule poison benomyl, includ-
ing a majority of the strains that had increased
rates of YAC loss (Fig. 1B).
Chromosome missegregation can result from
defects in chromosome attachment to the mitotic
spindle or from problems in DNA replication or
repair. Defects in any of these processes delay
mitosis by stabilizing the anaphase inhibitor
Pds1 (securin) (6). Five out of five disomes (di-
somes V, VIII, XI, XV, and XVI) exhibited de-
layed degradation of Pds1 relative to wild type
after release from a pheromone-induced G
(Fig. 1C and fig. S1). Defective chromosome bi-
orientation delays anaphase through the mitotic
checkpoint component Mad2 (6). Deletion of
MAD2 had no effect on Pds1 persistence in four
disomes, but eliminated this persistence in disome
V cells (fig. S1). Disome V also delayed Pds1 deg-
radation after release from a mitotic arrest in-
duced by the microtubule poison nocodazole,
which demonstrated that this strain exhibits a bi-
orientation defect. Disome XVI, which displayed
Mad2-independent stabilization of Pds1, recov-
ered from nocodazole with wild-type kinetics (fig.
S2). Thus, Pds1 persistence results predominant-
ly from Mad2-independent defects in genome
replication and/or repair (see below).
We next investigated whether aneuploidy
could affect the rate of forward mutation. Di-
somes V, VIII, X, and XIV displayed an in-
creased mutation rate at two independent loci,
whereas disome IV displayed an increased
mutation rate at CAN1 but not at URA3 (Fig.
2A). The fold increase ranged from 2.2-fold to
7.1-fold, less than the 9.5-fold and 12-fold in-
creases observed in a recombination-deficient
rad51Dmutant and a mismatch repairdeficient
msh2Dmutant, respectively. Additionally, in an as-
say for microsatellite instability, we found that di-
somes VIII and XVI displayed increased instability
in a poly(GT) tract (fig. S3), which demonstrated
that aneuploidy can enhance both simple se-
quence instability and forward mutagenesis.
To define the mechanism underlying the
increased mutation rate in aneuploid cells, we
David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Massachusetts In-
stitute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University 1-3 Yamadaoka,
Suita 565-0871, Japan.
Department of Ecology, Evolution and
Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY
10027, USA.
Kobe Advanced ICT Research Center, National Insti-
tute of Information and Communications Technology 588-2 Iwaoka,
Iwaoka-cho, Nishi-ku, Kobe 651-2492, Japan.
The Rockefeller
University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA.
*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:
19 AUGUST 2011 VOL 333 SCIENCE www.sciencemag.org1026
on August 18, 2011www.sciencemag.orgDownloaded from
... Many species have experienced range shift under accelerated global change, which caused various ecological crisis (e.g., biodiversity loss, disease transmission) (Chen et al. 2011;IPCC 2022;Wan et al. 2023). Many factors affected the range shift of species such as climate change (Chen et al. 2011), human activities (Di Marco and Santini 2015), and niche expansion driven by evolution (Sillero et al. 2022). ...
... Many species have experienced range shift under accelerated global change, which caused various ecological crisis (e.g., biodiversity loss, disease transmission) (Chen et al. 2011;IPCC 2022;Wan et al. 2023). Many factors affected the range shift of species such as climate change (Chen et al. 2011), human activities (Di Marco and Santini 2015), and niche expansion driven by evolution (Sillero et al. 2022). Considering the relationship between geographic distribution and ecological niche, species may remain in native range, expand or reduce range, or change realized niche (Tingley et al. 2009). ...
... Climate change is widely suggested to be associated with the rapid range shift of species (Chen et al. 2011;IPCC 2022). A study reveals range shift in more than 85% of 47 mammal species in mountains of Colorado during 1886-2005 as temperature rises (McCain et al. 2021). ...
Full-text available
Context The earth is experiencing accelerated global change which has significantly altered the range distribution of species which would bring serious ecological problems, but the distinctive roles of climate change, human activity, and climate niche shift in the range shift of species have been rarely quantified, especially in the spatial-temporal scale. Objectives In this study, we quantified the roles of climate change, human activity and climate niche shift on the range expansion of Asian house rates in China and Asia. Methods By using historical records from literature, we examined associations of the range shift of Asian house rats with human density, air temperature, precipitation, and climate niche shift from 1920 to 2021 in its native and invaded regions in China and Asia. Results We found that Asian house rats showed an obvious range expansion from the southeast (warm and wet) to the northwest (cold and dry) of China since 1980. The first observation probability of Asian house rats in a place of China showed a significant positive association with an increase in air temperature and human population density, but a non-significant association with precipitation. Climate niche shift had a larger impact (~ 50%) on sites in the newly invaded areas than that (< 10%) in the native areas. Conclusions Our study indicates that under intensified human activities, both climate change and climate niche shift equally attribute to the northwest expansion of Asian house rats during the past few decades. Our results provide novel insights into the key factors and mechanisms in shaping range shift of animals, and significant implications for predicting and managing the range shift of species under accelerated global change.
... Yet, most biotic responses substantially lag behind immediate environmental changes, leading to socalled disequilibrium dynamics (Svenning & Sandel, 2013). Range shifts of species tracking global environmental change became an increasingly frequent phenomenon in the 21st century (Antão et al., 2020;Chen et al., 2011;Essl et al., 2019;Lenoir et al., 2020), but many species do not keep up with climate warming, leading to climatic debts, even for mobile organisms like birds and butterflies (Devictor et al., 2012;Gaüzère & Devictor, 2021). While more than 37% of naturalized alien species were introduced into their new ranges only after 1970 (Seebens et al., 2017), many of these species are still in disequilibrium in their new range (Hui, 2023), not only due to dispersal limitations but also because of demographic lags, evolutionary lags, and lags affecting biotic interactions (e.g., Alexander et al., 2018;Crous et al., 2017;Early & Sax, 2014;Wagner et al., 2021). ...
The Anthropocene is characterized by a rapid pace of environmental change and is causing a multitude of biotic responses, including those that affect the spatial distribution of species. Lagged responses are frequent and species distributions and assemblages are consequently pushed into a disequilibrium state. How the characteristics of environmental change—for example, gradual ‘press’ disturbances such as rising temperatures due to climate change versus infrequent ‘pulse’ disturbances such as extreme events—affect the magnitude of responses and the relaxation times of biota has been insufficiently explored. It is also not well understood how widely used approaches to assess or project the responses of species to changing environmental conditions can deal with time lags. It, therefore, remains unclear to what extent time lags in species distributions are accounted for in biodiversity assessments, scenarios and models; this has ramifications for policymaking and conservation science alike. This perspective piece reflects on lagged species responses to environmental change and discusses the potential consequences for species distribution models (SDMs), the tools of choice in biodiversity modelling. We suggest ways to better account for time lags in calibrating these models and to reduce their leverage effects in projections for improved biodiversity science and policy.
... Climatic changes have shifted the distributions of species and ecosystems across the planet in past epochs, and a new period of faunal redistribution is underway 34,35 . The fingerprints of climate change initially occur at local and landscape scales, and designing climate resilient PA networks requires first considering local rates of climate change and the responses of species 36 . ...
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Protected areas (PAs) are the primary strategy for slowing terrestrial biodiversity loss. Although expansion of PA coverage is prioritized under the Convention on Biological Diversity, it remains unknown whether PAs mitigate declines across the tetrapod tree of life and to what extent land cover and climate change modify PA effectiveness1,2. Here we analysed rates of change in abundance of 2,239 terrestrial vertebrate populations across the globe. On average, vertebrate populations declined five times more slowly within PAs (−0.4% per year) than at similar sites lacking protection (−1.8% per year). The mitigating effects of PAs varied both within and across vertebrate classes, with amphibians and birds experiencing the greatest benefits. The benefits of PAs were lower for amphibians in areas with converted land cover and lower for reptiles in areas with rapid climate warming. By contrast, the mitigating impacts of PAs were consistently augmented by effective national governance. This study provides evidence for the effectiveness of PAs as a strategy for slowing tetrapod declines. However, optimizing the growing PA network requires targeted protection of sensitive clades and mitigation of threats beyond PA boundaries. Provided the conditions of targeted protection, adequate governance and well-managed landscapes are met, PAs can serve a critical role in safeguarding tetrapod biodiversity.
... As a result of this geographic bias, much of what we understand about the distributional responses of migratory birds to global change comes from North American and European models (Stephens et al., 2016). These models typically conclude that the breeding ranges of migratory birds are shifting poleward (i.e., north) or to higher elevations via tracking of their preferred niche (Hitch and Leberg, 2007;Chen et al., 2011;Brommer et al., 2012). Although this likely holds true for some migratory species, recent evidence suggests the opposite pattern (i.e., southward range shifts) could be occurring for others due to climate change on the nonbreeding grounds (Dossman et al., 2023b), or that the southern range limit could be contracting with no concurrent shifts in the northern range limit (Rushing et al., 2020). ...
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Understanding the consequences of global change for migratory birds is complex as individuals are exposed to diverse conditions and experiences that interact across their annual cycle. Species distribution models (SDMs) can serve as a powerful tool that help us understand how species distributions respond to global change. However, SDMs applied to migratory birds may fail to capture the effects of seasonal variability on species distributional changes, likely due to a lack of appropriate modeling frameworks and limited data availability that hamper the inclusion of events and conditions throughout the annual cycle. Here, we review patterns in the migratory bird SDM literature over the last two decades using a vote counting approach, and provide a framework for migratory bird SDMs moving forward. We found evidence that species distribution models applied to migratory birds (1) typically incorporate data from only one season of the full annual cycle and do not account for seasonal interactions, (2) are focused on terrestrial species in North America and Europe, (3) tend to model the distributions of obligate migratory species, especially songbirds and waterfowl, and (4) largely lack biologically relevant threat layers. To improve our ability to forecast how species cope with global change, we recommend a Bayesian modeling framework where existing knowledge about a species' migratory connectivity, threats, and/or other biologically relevant factors can be specified via model priors. Full annual cycle species distribution models are important tools for improving forecasts of migratory bird distributions in response to global change.
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Subterranean ecosystems (e.g., caves, groundwaters, fissure systems) are often overlooked in global climate change and conservation agendas. This contrasts with their widespread distribution, rich biodiversity, and importance to humans as providers of multiple ecosystem services. Worryingly, evidence is accumulating regarding diverse biological alterations in subterranean ecosystems under climate change exposure. Yet, we lack quantification of the magnitude of these impacts across scales and ecosystem components. Here, we assembled a dataset covering 347 measurements of climate change impact at the organismal physiology, behavior, population/community, and habitat levels. Through a meta-analysis, we showed that climate change effects act at gene to community levels with varying strength and direction depending on habitat, taxa, and degree of subterranean specialization. By building a nuanced understanding of the multilevel impacts of climate change on subterranean ecosystems, our analysis underscores the vulnerability of different ecosystem components, providing a supported rationale for their incorporation into conservation agendas through targeted measures.
Species can respond to climate change by migrating to track their suitable climate space, and/or through adaptation (across generations) or acclimation (by individuals) to a changed in situ environment. Lichens provide an excellent model for studying acclimation; being poikilohydric, there is strong evidence that their phenotype presents an adaptation to different moisture regimes, and that key aspects of the phenotype, notably specific thallus mass (STM), have plasticity towards effective acclimation that maximizes water storage in drier environments. In this study we quantified acclimation of STM for Lobaria pulmonaria across a regional climatic gradient, and within sites for different microclimates, using a one-year common garden growth experiment. We found that STM tended to increase with thallus growth; however, when accounting for growth, STM shifted to be lower than average in wetter environments, higher than average in intermediate environments, and failed to respond in the driest environment where growth was compromised. The possibility of phenotypic acclimation in Lobaria pulmonaria appears to be functionally linked to the propensity for growth, and we present a scheme coupling growth with STM to define the limits of the species realized niche.
Distributional changes for fish populations may be difficult to interpret since temperature responses are often confounded with ontogenetic shifts. However, the relative importance of these two types of fish movement (temperature responses and ontogenetic shifts) to population distribution remains largely unstudied. This study presents the first attempt to compare the two types of movement in depth, latitude and longitude for 10 abundant groundfish species across size class and subregion. We utilized large, quality‐controlled datasets from random depth‐stratified, bottom trawl surveys consistently conducted during the summer along NE Pacific shelf from 1996 to 2015. We show that the size structure of each species varied across years and subregions with dramatically strong or poor recruitments for some species in 2015 during a marine heatwave. Principal component analysis (PCA) demonstrated that ontogenetic shifts in depth represented the primary movement pattern while temperature responses in latitude and longitude constituted a major, but a secondary pattern. Re‐run by size class, PCA results further showed that the influence of temperature and ontogeny on population distribution varied by size classes with greater ontogenetic shifts in smaller fish and elevated temperature responses in larger fish. We further show substantial ontogeny‐induced movements by depth, latitude and longitude with high variability among species and subregions. Our analyses suggest that failing to account for size structure can lead to serious misinterpretation of population distributional changes in all three dimensions: depth, latitude and longitude for populations with or without episodic recruitments.
As mean temperatures increase and heatwaves become more frequent, species are expanding their distributions to colonise new habitats. The resulting novel species interactions will simultaneously shape the temperature‐driven reorganization of resident communities. The interactive effects of climate change and climate change‐facilitated invasion have rarely been studied in multi‐trophic communities, and are likely to differ depending on the nature of the climatic driver (i.e., climate extremes or constant warming). We re‐created under laboratory conditions a host‐parasitoid community typical of high‐elevation rainforest sites in Queensland, Australia, comprising four Drosophila species and two associated parasitoid species. We subjected these communities to an equivalent increase in average temperature in the form of periodic heatwaves or constant warming, in combination with an invasion treatment involving a novel host species from lower‐elevation habitats. The two parasitoid species were sensitive to both warming and heatwaves, while the demographic responses of Drosophila species were highly idiosyncratic, reflecting the combined effects of thermal tolerance, parasitism, competition, and facilitation. After multiple generations, our heatwave treatment promoted the establishment of low‐elevation species in upland communities. Invasion of the low‐elevation species correlated negatively with the abundance of one of the parasitoid species, leading to cascading effects on its hosts and their competitors. Our study, therefore, reveals differing, sometimes contrasting, impacts of extreme temperatures and constant warming on community composition. It also highlights how the scale and direction of climate impacts could be further modified by invading species within a bi‐trophic community network.
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Climate change influences marine environmental conditions and is projected to increase future environmental variability. In the North Atlantic, such changes will affect the behavior and spatiotemporal distributions of large pelagic fish species (i.e., tunas, billfishes, and sharks). Generally, studies on these species have focused on specific climate-induced changes in abiotic factors separately (e.g., water temperature) and on the projection of shifts in species abundance and distribution based on these changes. In this review, we consider the latest research on spatiotemporal effects of climate-induced environmental changes to HMS' life history, ecology, physiology, distribution, and habitat selection, and describe how the complex interplay between climate-induced changes in biotic and abiotic factors, including fishing, drives changes in species productivity and distribution in the Northwest Atlantic. This information is used to provide a baseline for investigating implications for management of pelagic longline fisheries and to identify knowledge gaps in this region. Warmer, less oxygenated waters may result in higher post-release mortality in bycatch species. Changes in climate variability will likely continue to alter the dynamics of oceanographic processes regulating species behavior and distribution, as well as fishery dynamics, creating challenges for fishery management. Stock assessments need to account for climate-induced changes in species abundance through the integration of species-specific responses to climate variability. Climate-induced changes will likely result in misalignment between Frontiers in Marine Science
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The changes in range margins of birds breeding in Finland was analysed from published atlas data for a 12-year period (1974-1979 to 1986-1989). The change in range margin was statistically corrected for changes in species' distribution using linear regression. For species predominantly occurring in southern Finland (n = 116), the expected range margin shift, if their distribution would not have changed, was 18.8 km northwards. Northerly species (n = 34) showed no such significant range margin shift. A similar result was found earlier for UK birds. Recent range margin shifts in birds therefore seem to be a general phenomenon, which may be related to climate change.
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Changes in geographic distributions of 5 bird species endemic to the Great Plains of North America were examined over the last few decades based on the United States Breeding Bird Survey. Examining the mean latitude of individuals of each species, 3 species showed significant or near-significant northward shifts, and 1 a significant shift southward. Over all 5 species examined, colonization events were concentrated in the northern part of the distributions of the species; in 3 species, extinctions were concentrated in the southern part of the distributions of the species. The conclusion is that significant distributional changes have taken place, but they have been subtle, and might be associated with global climate change.
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While poleward species migration in response to recent climatic warming is widely documented, few studies have examined entire range responses of broadly distributed sessile organisms, including changes on both the trailing (equatorward) and the leading (poleward) range edges. From a detailed population census throughout the entire geographical range of Aloe dichotoma Masson, a long-lived Namib Desert tree, together with data from repeat photographs, we present strong evidence that a developing range shift in this species is a ‘fingerprint’ of anthropogenic climate change. This is explained at a high level of statistical significance by population level impacts of observed regional warming and resulting water balance constraints. Generalized linear models suggest that greater mortalities and population declines in equatorward populations are virtually certainly the result, due to anthropogenic climate change, of the progressive exceedance of critical climate thresholds that are relatively closer to the species’ tolerance limits in equatorward sites. Equatorward population declines are also broadly consistent with bioclimatically modelled projections under anticipated anthropogenic climate change but, as yet, there is no evidence of poleward range expansion into the area predicted to become suitable in future, despite good evidence for positive population growth trends in poleward populations. This study is among the first to show a marked lag between trailing edge population extinction and leading edge range expansion in a species experiencing anthropogenic climate change impacts, a pattern likely to apply to most sessile and poorly dispersed organisms. This provides support for conservative assumptions of species’ migration rates when modelling climate change impacts for such species. Aloe dichotoma's response to climate change suggests that desert ecosystems may be more sensitive to climate change than previously suspected.
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The conservation status of 845 zooxanthellate reef-building coral species was assessed by using International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List Criteria. Of the 704 species that could be assigned conservation status, 32.8% are in categories with elevated risk of extinction. Declines in abundance are associated with bleaching and diseases driven by elevated sea surface temperatures, with extinction risk further exacerbated by local-scale anthropogenic disturbances. The proportion of corals threatened with extinction has increased dramatically in recent decades and exceeds that of most terrestrial groups. The Caribbean has the largest proportion of corals in high extinction risk categories, whereas the Coral Triangle (western Pacific) has the highest proportion of species in all categories of elevated extinction risk. Our results emphasize the widespread plight of coral reefs and the urgent need to enact conservation measures.
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It is predicted that climate change will cause species extinctions and distributional shifts in coming decades, but data to validate these predictions are relatively scarce. Here, we compare recent and historical surveys for 48 Mexican lizard species at 200 sites. Since 1975, 12% of local populations have gone extinct. We verified physiological models of extinction risk with observed local extinctions and extended projections worldwide. Since 1975, we estimate that 4% of local populations have gone extinct worldwide, but by 2080 local extinctions are projected to reach 39% worldwide, and species extinctions may reach 20%. Global extinction projections were validated with local extinctions observed from 1975 to 2009 for regional biotas on four other continents, suggesting that lizards have already crossed a threshold for extinctions caused by climate change.
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Significant changes in physical and biological systems are occurring on all continents and in most oceans, with a concentration of available data in Europe and North America. Most of these changes are in the direction expected with warming temperature. Here we show that these changes in natural systems since at least 1970 are occurring in regions of observed temperature increases, and that these temperature increases at continental scales cannot be explained by natural climate variations alone. Given the conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely to be due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, and furthermore that it is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent except Antarctica, we conclude that anthropogenic climate change is having a significant impact on physical and biological systems globally and in some continents.
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Mean global temperatures have risen this century, and further warming is predicted to continue for the next 50-100 years. Some migratory species can respond rapidly to yearly climate variation by altering the timing or destination of migration, but most wildlife is sedentary and so is incapable of such a rapid response. For these species, responses to the warming trend should be slower, reflected in poleward shifts of the range. Such changes in distribution would occur at the level of the population, stemming not from changes in the pattern of indivduals' movements, but from changes in the ratios of extinctions to colonizations at the northern and southern boundaries of the range. A northward range shift therefore occurs when there is net extinction at teh southern boundary or net colonization at the northern boundary. However, previous evidence has been limited to a single species or to only a portion of the species' range. Here we provide the first large-scale evidence of poleward shifts in entire species' ranges. In a sample of 35 non-migratory European butterflies, 63% have ranges that have shifted to the north by 35-240 km during this century, and only 3% have shifted to the south.
Aim To estimate whether species have shifted at equal rates at their leading edges (cool boundaries) and trailing edges (warm boundaries) in response to climate change. We provide the first such evidence for tropical insects, here examining elevation shifts for the upper and lower boundaries shifts of montane moths. Threats to species on tropical mountains are considered. Location Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Methods We surveyed Lepidoptera (Geometridae) on Mount Kinabalu in 2007, 42 years after the previous surveys in 1965. Changes in species upper and lower boundaries, elevational extents and range areas were assessed. We randomly subsampled the data to ensure comparable datasets between years. Estimated shifts were compared for endemic versus more widespread species, and for species that reached their range limits at different elevations. Results Species that reached their upper limits at 2500–2700 m (n= 28 species, 20% of those considered) retreated at both their lower and upper boundaries, and hence showed substantial average range contractions (−300 m in elevational extent and −45 km2 in estimated range area). These declines may be associated with changes in cloud cover and the presence of ecological barriers (geological and vegetation transitions) which impede uphill movement. Other than this group, most species (n= 109, 80% of the species considered) expanded their upper boundaries upwards (by an average of 152 m) more than they retreated at their lower boundaries (77 m). Main conclusions Without constraints, leading margins shifted uphill faster than trailing margins retreated, such that many species increased their elevational extents. However, this did not result in increases in range area because the area of land available declines with increasing elevation. Species close to a major ecological/geological transition zone on the mountain flank declined in their range areas. Extinction risk may increase long before species reach the summit, even when undisturbed habitats are available.
Recent warming has caused changes in species distribution and abundance, but the extent of the effects is unclear. Here we investigate whether such changes in highland forests at Monteverde, Costa Rica, are related to the increase in air temperatures that followed a step-like warming of tropical oceans in 1976 (refs4, 5). Twenty of 50 species of anurans (frogs and toads) in a 30-km2 study area, including the locally endemic golden toad (Bufo periglenes), disappeared following synchronous population crashes in 1987 (refs 6-8). Our results indicate that these crashes probably belong to a constellation of demographic changes that have altered communities of birds, reptiles and amphibians in the area and are linked to recent warming. The changes are all associated with patterns of dry-season mist frequency, which is negatively correlated with sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific and has declined dramatically since the mid-1970s. The biological and climatic patterns suggest that atmospheric warming has raised the average altitude at the base of the orographic cloud bank, as predicted by the lifting-cloud-base hypothesis,.
Aim To investigate altitudinal range shifts of bryophytes in Switzerland by comparing recent altitudinal distributions with historical distributions derived from herbarium specimens. Location Switzerland, covering 41,285 km2 in Central Europe. Methods We used a dataset of 8520 herbarium specimens of 61 bryophyte species and compared altitudinal data between the two periods 1880–1920 and 1980–2005. The records we used were not specifically sampled for climatological analyses, but originate from non-systematic fieldwork by various collectors. Historical and recent records were distributed all over Switzerland with occurrences in all major biogeographical areas. To account for different sampling efforts in the two time periods, different subsampling procedures were applied. Results Overall, we found a significant mean increase in altitude of 89 ± 29 m which was mainly driven by the cryophilous species (+222 ± 50 m). The mean increase in altitude of cryophilous species corresponds to a decadal upward shift of 24 m. The upper range limit of cryophilous species also increased by 189 ± 55 m, but there was no effect on the lower range limit. For intermediate and thermophilous species neither mean, nor upper or lower range limits changed. However, the proportion of records of thermophilous to cryophilous species increased considerably at lower altitudes, but levelled off above approximately 1800 m. Main conclusions We conclude that cryophilous bryophytes are expanding their range to higher elevations in Switzerland and that at lower elevations, a slow extinction process is going on, probably as a result of climate warming trends. The observed decadal upward shifts of cryophilous species closely match those reported from vascular plants in Europe and those expected, given recent estimates of climate warming trends. We emphasize that herbaria provide valuable data that can be used to detect ongoing changes in the distribution of species.