Physiology and Climate Change

Studies of physiological mechanisms are needed to predict climate effects on ecosystems at species and community levels.

Ongoing ecosystem changes in response to climate change include poleward or altitudinal shifts in geographical distribution (1–3), population collapses or local extinctions (4), failure of largescale animal migrations (5), changes in the seasonal timing of biological events (6), and changes in food availability and food web structure. These changes are largely driven by environmental temperature (1, 7). Examples from aquatic animal communities show that study of physiological mechanisms can help to elucidate these ecosystem changes and to project future ecological trends.

Pörtner H. P. & Farrell A. P., 2008. Physiology and Climate Change. Science 322(5902): 690-692. Article (subscription required).

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