Comparing the impacts of climate change on the responses and linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

Highlights

• Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are affected by anthropogenic climate change

• Organisms respond by poleward migrations and upward migration

• CO2 negatively affects many aquatic organisms by ocean acidification

• Increased water temperatures result in shoaling of the upper mixed layer

• Changes in precipitation, hurricane frequency and rising seawater affect terrestrial habitats

Abstract

Aquatic and terrestrial organisms are being exposed to a number of anthropogenically-induced environmental stresses as a consequence of climate change. In addition, climate change is altering various linkages that exist between ecosystems on land and in water. Here we compare and contrast how climate change is altering aquatic and terrestrial environments and address some of the ways that the organisms in these ecosystems, especially the primary producers, are being affected by climate change factors, including changes in temperature, moisture, atmospheric carbon dioxide and solar UV radiation. Whereas there are some responses to climate change in common between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems (e.g., changes in species composition and shifting geographic ranges and distributions), there are also responses that fundamentally differ between these two (e.g., responses to UV radiation). Climate change is also disrupting land-water connections in ways that influence biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles, and biosphere-atmosphere interactions in ways that can modify how aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are affected by climate change and can influence climate change. The effects of climate change on these ecosystems are having wide-ranging effects on ecosystem biodiversity, structure and function and the abilities of these systems to provide essential services.

Häder D.-P. & Barnes P. W., in press. Comparing the impacts of climate change on the responses and linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Science of The Total Environment. Article (subscription required).


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