Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Herbivore populations will go down as temperatures go up

Date:
October 4, 2011
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
As climate change causes temperatures to rise, the number of herbivores will decrease, affecting the human food supply, according to new research.

If predictions are right, global warming will cause large shifts in food chains with consequences for global food security and species conservation.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Toronto

As climate change causes temperatures to rise, the number of herbivores will decrease, affecting the human food supply, according to new research from the University of Toronto.

Related Articles


In a paper being published this month in American Naturalist, a team of ecologists describe how differences in the general responses of plants and herbivores to temperature change produces predictable declines in herbivore populations. This decrease occurs because herbivores grow more quickly at high temperatures than plants do, and as a result the herbivores run out of food.

"If warmer temperatures decrease zooplankton in the ocean, as predicted by our study, this will ultimately lead to less food for fish and less seafood for humans," says co-author Benjamin Gilbert of U of T's ecology and evolutionary biology department.

Several studies have shown how the metabolic rates of plants or animals change with temperature. Gilbert and his colleagues incorporated these rates into commonly-used, mathematical models of plants and herbivores to predict how the abundance of each should change with warming. They then compared their predictions to the results from an experimental study in which phytoplankton and zooplankton populations in tanks of water shifted significantly with changes in water temperature.

Gilbert cautions that long-term tests are required. Nevertheless, if their predictions are right, global warming will cause large shifts in food chains with consequences for global food security and species conservation.

The paper entitled "Theoretical predictions for how temperature affects the dynamics of interacting herbivores and plants" was written by co-authors Gilbert and Mary O'Connor with Chris Brown of the University of Queensland.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto. The original article was written by Jessica Lewis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "Herbivore populations will go down as temperatures go up." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111004123826.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2011, October 4). Herbivore populations will go down as temperatures go up. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111004123826.htm
University of Toronto. "Herbivore populations will go down as temperatures go up." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111004123826.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Ancient techniques of growing greens with fish and water are well ahead of Toronto bylaws. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chihuahua Sleeps on Top of Great Dane

Chihuahua Sleeps on Top of Great Dane

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) As this giant Great Dane lays down for bedtime he accompanied by an adorable companion. Watch a tiny Chihuahua jump up and prepare to sleep on top of his friend. Now that&apos;s a pretty big bed! Credit to &apos;emma_hussey01&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Learn how to make a mixed green salad topped with a pan-seared camembert cheese in only a minute! Music: Courtesy of Audio Network. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins