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Title: The impact of climatic change on wild animals and plants: a meta-analysis

Author: Root, Terry L.; Price, Jeff T.; Hall, Kimberly R.; Schneider, Stephen H.; Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Pounds, J. Alan;

Date: 2005

Source: In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., editors 2005. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 2 Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 1115-1118

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Over the last 100 years, the global average temperature has increased approximately 0.6° C. Using information from the literature, we examine the extent to which animals and plants are already exhibiting a discernible change consistent with changing temperatures and predicted by our understanding of the species’ physiological constraints. The types of changes include poleward and altitudinal range expansions, movement of abundance patterns, and shifts in morphometrics, genetics, behavior, and in the timing of events such as animal breeding or plant blooming dates. We examined over 2500 articles to find those that met the following conditions -they span at least 10 years and meet at least two of the following criteria (all association had to be statistically significant): 1) A trait of at least one species (e.g., shifting range boundary) shows a change over time. 2) That trait is correlated with changes in local temperature. 3) Local temperatures change over the time period of the study. The 45 studies meeting these criteria examine over 1250 species. Metaanalyses provide a way to combine results from different studies and, when taken together, these studies reveal an underlying consistent shift, or “fingerprint,” among species from various taxa examined at locations virtually around the globe. Hence, the balance of evidence obtained from these studies suggests that a significant impact from climatic warming is discernible in the form of long-term, large-scale alteration of animal and plant populations.

Keywords: climate change, fingerprint, global warming, observed impacts, phenology

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Root, Terry L.; Price, Jeff T.; Hall, Kimberly R.; Schneider, Stephen H.; Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Pounds, J. Alan 2005. The impact of climatic change on wild animals and plants: a meta-analysis. In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., editors 2005. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 2 Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 1115-1118

 


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