Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Land and sea species differ in climate change response

Date:
May 29, 2012
Source:
Simon Fraser University
Summary:
Marine and terrestrial species will likely differ in how they respond to climate change according to a new study by Simon Fraser University and Australia's University of Tasmania.

Marine and terrestrial species will likely differ in their responses to climate warming, new research by Simon Fraser University and Australia's University of Tasmania has found.

The study, published this week in Nature Climate Change, provides insights into why and how species are moving around the globe in response to global warming.

Researchers gathered published data from tests determining the physiological temperature limits -- tolerance to heating and cooling levels -- on 169 cold-blooded marine and terrestrial species, then compared the data with the regions the species inhabit.

They found that while marine animals closely conformed to the temperature regions they could potentially occupy, terrestrial species live farther from the equator than their internal thermometers suggest they can live. In other words warm temperatures aren't limiting them from living in closer to the equator.

"Finding that marine and terrestrial species are limited by their cold tolerance suggest that warming will allow expansions of animals towards the poles to take advantage of newly opened up habitats," says lead author Jennifer Sunday, a biologist from Simon Fraser University, Canada.

"However because land animals are not limited by heat to the same extent as marine animals, patterns of retreat in the hottest regions of species' ranges may differ between land and sea."

The research team found that while both the cold and warm boundaries of marine species are marching towards the poles, terrestrial species have been less responsive at their warm versus their cold range boundaries.

"We think a combination of things is going on," says Amanda Bates, co-author from the University of Tasmania's Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS). "A species niche isn't just set by temperature. On land where water is key, species may be hindered more by dryness rather than being too hot at this range boundary.

"Second, it could be that rare heat waves are actually setting boundaries on where species can live. Finally, as Charles Darwin pointed out over 150 years ago, there may be more species and much more ecological competition toward the tropics, which may be enough to exclude species from living in the warmer end of their potential real estate."

The authors call for research to better understand how climate change will affect animals, especially those on land where predicting responses to warming may be particularly difficult.

"Terrestrial species ranges may stretch towards the poles -- expanding their cold range boundaries but responding erratically at their warm boundaries," says Nicholas Dulvy, a marine biologist at SFU.

"These individuals will be overrun by the 'pole-wards' march as other species enter their territories. So we will see all sorts of new ecology as species come into contact and interact as never before."

The team concludes by pointing out that while chaotic species combinations may be bad news for animals on land, entire assemblages of species are likely to shift in the ocean, meaning researchers can make better predictions about how marine species redistribute in the face of climate change.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Simon Fraser University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jennifer M. Sunday, Amanda E. Bates, Nicholas K. Dulvy. Thermal tolerance and the global redistribution ofanimals. Nature Climate Change, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1539

Cite This Page:

Simon Fraser University. "Land and sea species differ in climate change response." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120529102427.htm>.
Simon Fraser University. (2012, May 29). Land and sea species differ in climate change response. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120529102427.htm
Simon Fraser University. "Land and sea species differ in climate change response." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120529102427.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) The Buenos Aires Zoo debuted a trio of rare white Bengal tiger cubs on Wednesday. (April 16) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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