Navigation Links
Study finds Europe's habitat and wildlife is vulnerable to climate change
Date:7/28/2014

New research has identified areas of the Earth that are high priorities for conservation in the face of climate change.

Europe is particularly vulnerable, as it has the lowest fraction of its land area, only four per cent, of any continent in 'refugia' areas of biological diversity that support many species where natural environmental conditions remain relatively constant during times of great environmental change. The refugia that do exist in Europe are mostly in Scandinavia and Scotland.

The biggest refugia are in the Amazon, the Congo basin, the boreal forests of Russia, the Artic and the Australian outback.

The study identifies such climate change refugia based on the amount of natural habitat present and the risk that regions shift to a different type of natural vegetation due to climate change a phenomenon known as 'biome shift'.

The research was led by University of Southampton biologist Dr Felix Eigenbrod working in collaboration with Dr Patrick Gonzalez, Climate Change Scientist at the U.S. National Park Service, and two other Southampton scientists Dr Jadu Dash and Dr Ilse Steyl. They found that 10 to 28 per cent of the world is located in potential refugia or areas less vulnerable to future climate change and biome shift.

In addition, only one to two per cent of the world's vegetated area, however, is classified as refugia and protected by a national park or other protected area.

The results suggest that, in regions where relatively large, intact wilderness areas remain (for example, Africa, Australia and South America), conservation of the remaining large-scale refugia is the priority. In human-dominated landscapes, (most of Europe, much of North America and Southeast Asia), focusing on finer scale refugia is a priority because large-scale wilderness refugia simply no longer exist.

Dr Felix Eigenbrod: says: "Our research will help governments to better understand where to invest resources to safeguard wild plants and animals in the face of the combined threats of habitat destruction and climate change."

The findings, published in the journal Global Change Biology, are based on spatial and statistical analyses of historical climate data, satellite data on current vegetation, and projections of potential vegetation under climate change.

Past field research has shown that human climate change has already shifted vegetation at the biome level upslope and towards the Poles or the Equator. A biome is the highest level of ecological system rainforests, woodlands, grasslands, temperate forest, alpine and tundra so a change in climate that can shift the location of a biome is a very substantial force. When a biome shifts, plants and wildlife that cannot cope may shift or disappear locally. When a road, town, or clear-cutting then destroys parts of the natural habitat, the ecosystem becomes even more vulnerable.


'/>"/>
Contact: Glenn Harris
G.Harris@soton.ac.uk
44-023-805-93212
University of Southampton
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Dinosaurs fell victim to perfect storm of events, study shows
2. Study: Climate change and air pollution will combine to curb food supplies
3. First national study finds trees saving lives, reducing respiratory problems
4. New study draws links between wildlife loss and social conflicts
5. Zerenex™ (ferric citrate) long-term Phase 3 study results published in JASN
6. Study indicates large raptors in Africa used for bushmeat
7. Stanford study shows how to power California with wind, water and sun
8. Study gives new perspective on agricultural plastic, debris burning, and air quality
9. Rutgers study explores attitudes, preferences toward post-Sandy rebuilding
10. Studying impacts of indoor air pollution on tribal communities
11. Genetic study shows major impact of climate change on Antarctic fur seals
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study finds Europe's habitat and wildlife is vulnerable to climate change
(Date:6/21/2016)... , June 21, 2016 NuData ... the new role of principal product architect and ... the director of customer development. Both will report ... technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth ... response to high customer demand and customer focus ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... June 9, 2016 Paris ... Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety of people ... during the major tournament Teleste, an international ... and services, announced today that its video security solution will ... to back up public safety across the country. The system ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics & ... & Other Service  The latest report from ... of the global Border Security market . Visiongain ... billion in 2016. Now: In November 2015 ... and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the ... the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s ... how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... BEACH, Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint ... new biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed ... co-founder Matthew Nunez . "We have ... us with the capital we need to meet our ... will essentially provide us the runway to complete validation ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing ... July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... DIEGO , June 22, 2016 ... that will allow them to produce up to ... from one lot within one week. These high-quality, ... time laboriously preparing cells and spend more time ... possible through a proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: