Ecosystems driven out of sync by climate change

July 2, 2016

The scientists from UK and Netherlands analyzed 800 species of plants and animals from across the food chain, this data reflected the changes in nature during the 40-years period. According to the results of studies, the ecosystems are driven out of sync by climate change. The full article is available in journal Nature.

British and Dutch scientists decided to look through the data regarding the changes in the ecosystems during last four decades. A nature life-cycle, which includes flowering, breeding, fish spawning, egg-laying, and migration showed its changes and response to the climate change.

Climate change is already causing large shifts in the timing of important seasonal biological events such as breeding and migration in many species. And this is set to continue, Stephen Thackeray says:

“It’s a very large assessment of change at the UK scale, bringing together data from long term monitoring schemes and citizen science.”

A research led by Dr. Thackeray from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology at the Lancaster University showed a complex picture of changing seasonal behaviour among species throughout the food chain. It;s worth to note that both predators and prey during the year eventually sent entire ecosystems out of sync.

According to the analysis results, the species at different levels (in the food chain) have responded very differently to changes in temperature. Such an instability could harm nature, in other words, i) predator and prey relationships could be affected, ii) breeding success and survival could change, and iii) biodiversity may decrease.