Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Extinction from global warming: Changing interactions between species may be more dangerous than high temperatures alone

Date:
October 17, 2012
Source:
Stony Brook University
Summary:
A new study reviewed 136 case studies to determine the underlying causes of why many populations have gone extinct due to changing climate. According to the authors, extinctions of plant and animal populations from human-related climate change are already widespread, but the causes of these extinctions are very poorly understood. Contrary to expectations given global warming, the results of the study show that very few populations have gone extinct simply because temperatures got too hot for the plants and animals to survive.

Associate Professor John J. Wiens and PhD student Abigail Cahill, have co-authored a research paper, "How does climate change cause extinction?" published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.
Credit: Image courtesy of Stony Brook University

A new study, published online Oct. 17, 2012 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, reviewed 136 case studies to determine the underlying causes of why many populations have gone extinct due to changing climate.

The article, entitled "How does climate change cause extinction?" describes research led by John J. Wiens, an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University and by PhD students Abigail E. Cahill and Matthew E. Aiello-Lammens.

According to the authors, extinctions of plant and animal populations from human-related climate change are already widespread, but the causes of these extinctions are very poorly understood.

Contrary to expectations given global warming, the results of the study show that very few populations have gone extinct simply because temperatures got too hot for the plants and animals to survive.

"Instead," said Dr. Wiens, "climate change more often leads to local extinctions and declines by influencing interactions between species, such as reducing prey populations for predators. These shifting interactions may make even small climatic changes dangerous for the survival of plant and animal species. So, for example, many animals may starve to death because of climate change long before the climate gets hot enough for them to die from overheating."

Co-authors of the study include M. Caitlin Fisher-Reid, Xia Hua, Caitlin Karanewsky, Hae Yeong Ryu, Gena Sbeglia, Fabrizio Spagnolo, John Waldron, and Omar Warsi, all from the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Abigail E. Cahill, Matthew E. Aiello-Lammens, M. Caitlin Fisher-Reid, Xia Hua, Caitlin J. Karanewsky, Hae Yeong Ryu, Gena C. Sbeglia, Fabrizio Spagnolo, John B. Waldron, Omar Warsi, and John J. Wiens. How does climate change cause extinction? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1890

Cite This Page:

Stony Brook University. "Extinction from global warming: Changing interactions between species may be more dangerous than high temperatures alone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016203350.htm>.
Stony Brook University. (2012, October 17). Extinction from global warming: Changing interactions between species may be more dangerous than high temperatures alone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016203350.htm
Stony Brook University. "Extinction from global warming: Changing interactions between species may be more dangerous than high temperatures alone." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016203350.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
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