为什么有些动物和植物会茁壮成长在气候变化

坚持草原黄鼠。 文斯·史密斯,CC BY 坚持草原黄鼠。 文斯·史密斯,CC BY

这是二月中旬,并沿英国南部海岸 金头鲷 从外海进入河口漂流。 同时,几千 白鹭 正准备飞往欧洲大陆的繁殖季节,虽然几百将留在英国。

在整个欧洲北部,年轻 黄蜂蜘蛛 很快疾走他们的柔滑蛋囊中。 今年夏天,在整个英格兰南部乡村的游客将会看到一个闪光的蓝色闪烁如 红色的小眼睛豆娘 掠过池塘对面。

这些事件都有一个共同点:他们正在发生的事情太多进一步北部比他们有最近在20年前。

这不仅仅是欧洲的事情。 北极熊 在移动, 伞树 通过美国向北蔓延,以及热带鸟类新几内亚山 上坡撤退。 南部非洲的标志性箭袋树,它提供了在其掏空树干refridgeration,本身就是逃避高温和 从赤道标题远。 世界各地的物种是由他们的自然栖息地移动。

手指点在气候变化。 随着区域变得太热或干燥,许多野生动物的数量正在下降。 但在另一面,有些品种都出现了在历史上有过冷或潮湿的地方。

我们经常听到的故事是在植物和动物的可怕跌幅。 比利牛斯青蛙在山顶上含情脉脉的西班牙和法国边境,例如, 无法移动到气候凉爽。 麦哲伦企鹅小鸡死于风暴 气候变化带来的。 哥斯达黎加的金蟾蜍,这实际上是一个相当惊人的明亮的橙色,被认为是由温暖,干燥的天气已带动灭绝, 除其他因素外.

那么,为什么还有那么多的物种受到气候变化的威胁,而另一些,像金头鲷,小白鹭和黄蜂蜘蛛,都能够茁壮成长?

和我的同事刚刚 发表了一篇论文 试图回答这个问题。 我们的团队的率领下 Alba Estrada, wanted to understand why some species decline in the face of climate change while others colonise distant habitats.

Colonisation might avoid extinctions and may even make some species more successful than they were before climate change. If we could predict which species can and can’t colonise new locations, we could decide which are most in need of conservation.

How far individual animals or plant seeds can move was long thought to be the most important factor. For example, the wasp spider has probably spread so quickly by using an extraordinary technique called 气球: releasing fine threads of silk into the air and floating for many kilometres on them.

But other characteristics also turned out to be highly important. For example, how quickly plants and animals can breed, how well they can compete with other species for resources, and what kinds of food they can eat or habitat they can live in.

The upshot of this is that we might be able to predict which animals will thrive under climate change. The wood mouse is found throughout continental Europe, up to the southern tip of Norway and Sweden. As climate changes, we think the mouse will move north into Norway, Sweden, and Finland because it can breed quickly, live in lots of habitats, has a broad diet, and individuals can travel a long way.

On the other hand, consider the European ground squirrel. This small rodent currently lives in southeast Europe, though large parts of the rest of the continent will become suitable as the weather warms. However, we think it might stay just where it is because it can only live in grasslands – and climate change won’t suddenly turn farms and forests into meadows.

It’s encouraging to know that some species are doing well under climate change, and that northern European wildlife lovers can look forward to seeing some exotic plants and animals in their countryside. There are some headaches, however. Those gilt-head bream are munching away on the local shellfish, which might be taking food away from the native fish. Small red-eyed damselflies look great, but they could become all too common around British ponds and outcompete native species. Several birds that have colonised the UK from warmer climes seem to be have been helped along by wetland conservation areas.

Could the very methods we use to protect wildlife be helping some dangerous species to spread? There are good reasons to both welcome these newcomers with open arms, and worry about the damage they might do. Climate change is once again posing us some tricky conservation questions.

关于作者

Regan Early, Lecturer in Conservation Biology, University of Exeter. She studies the effects of human activity on wildlife around the world. Her basic approach is to use patterns in species distributions to understand many aspects of species ecology – climate tolerances, biotic interactions, population dynamics, phenology – and how these will be affected by changes in climate and landscapes.

这篇文章最初出现在谈话


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