Navigation Links
Scientists look to ancient past to better predict how species may respond climate change
Date:4/15/2013

What do woolly mammoths wandering around the ancient spruce woodlands of eastern North America have to do with predicting how species could respond to climate change? Matt Fitzpatrick of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Appalachian Laboratory, along with researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California-Merced, have received a three-year, $670,000 award from the National Science Foundation to study how plants and animals responded to changes in climate during the ice age to better predict what we can expect in the near future.

In particular, they will be trying to understand the response of vegetation, such as forests, to changes in climate. Working with fossilized tree pollen found at the bottom of lakes and fossils of mammals like woolly mammoths and rodents that fed on plants, the scientists can tell how the plants and animals living in forests thousands of years ago responded to changes in climate. Understanding this relationship can help build better models to predict how forests will respond to climate changes in the future.

"Looking to the past, we can ask whether we can 'predict' changes we saw in the past and learn how to build better models to predict the future," said lead researcher Matt Fitzpatrick."This is a period of time about 21,000 years ago to near-present when the climate changes are known very well. It roughly mimics the amount of climate change expected in the next hundred years."

Fitzpatrick studies global change and biodiversity, trying to understand what determines where species occur and how climate change may alter where species could live in the future. As part of this grant, he will develop and test new methods that consider interactions between species, for the first time accounting for patterns of species coexistence--such as when two kind of plants grow in the same place because one provides shade for the other--in order to predict how species and biological communities respond to changes in climate.

"We're trying to get better at forecasting what will happen in the future," he said. "What will vegetation in the eastern North America look like if climate changes the way climate models suggest? By looking to the past and assessing our ability to predict these observed changes back in time, we're hoping to do that better than we are able to do today."

The National Science Foundation award includes Matt Fitzpatrick of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Appalachian Laboratory, Jack Williams of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Jessica Blois of the University of California- Merced.


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Pelsinsky
apelsinsky@umces.edu
410-330-1389
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists learn what makes nerve cells so strong
2. Inter-American Network of Science Academies celebrates women scientists -- April 17 event
3. A novel surface marker helps scientists fish out mammary gland stem cells
4. Scientists stress need for national marine biodiversity observation network
5. Scientists decode genome of painted turtle, revealing clues to extraordinary adaptations
6. 8 M € from EU to enhance access by scientists to the largest European biobanks
7. CSHL neuroscientists show jumping genes may contribute to aging-related brain defects
8. NYSCF scientists develop new protocol to ready induced pluripotent stem cell clinical application
9. Scientists find government justification of new environmental policy unfounded
10. NYSCF scientists develop 3-D stem cell culture technique to better understand Alzheimers disease
11. UGA discovery may allow scientists to make fuel from CO2 in the atmosphere
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/3/2016)... , February 4, 2016 --> ... SEK 1,351.5 M (105.0), up 1,187% compared with fourth quarter of 2014. ... to SEK 517.6 M (loss: 30.0). Earnings per share increased ... was SEK 537.4 M (neg: 74.7). , ... Revenues amounted to SEK 2,900.5 M (233.6), up 1,142% compared with 2014. ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... , Feb. 3, 2016 Vigilant Solutions announces ... Department in Missouri solved two ... reader (LPR) data from Vigilant Solutions. Brian ... in which the victim was walking out of a convenience store and witnessed ... next to his vehicle, striking his vehicle and leaving ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed ... focused on medical screening and diagnostic applications, ... Wearable devices that facilitate and assure continuous ... movement are being bolstered through new opportunities ... signal acquisition coupled with wireless connectivity and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)...  Matchbook, Inc., a company specializing in procurement ... announced today the appointment of Jim Shuman ... nearly 25 years of experience in supply chain, ... two decades in executive level roles as the ... and, most recently headed global logistics and procurement ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Rocky Mountain Chapter 21st Annual Vendor ... expecting to fill more than 100 tables for its annual event, which will ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... SonaCare ... training and support program, Sonalink™ remote monitoring. The inaugural launch of this new ... February 5th, connecting Dr. Samuel Peretsman to a HIFU technical expert at SonaCare ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Curoverse announced ... On Azure, Arvados provides capabilities for managing and processing genomic and health data ... from major institutions collecting and analyzing genomic data,” said Adam Berrey chief executive ...
Breaking Biology Technology: