Climate-change ecology

Definition

Climate-change ecology is the study of the effects of anthropogenic climate change on any aspect of ecology. It includes the effects of altered temperature and precipitation on the distribution, abundance, behaviour and physiology of populations and communities.

Featured

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Analysing a global database of >40,000 tundra plant phenological observations monitored for up to 20 years, the authors show that community-level flowering has been contracting in response to recent warming, in contrast to findings from lower latitudes.

    • Janet S. Prevéy
    • , Christian Rixen
    • , Nadja Rüger
    • , Toke T. Høye
    • , Anne D. Bjorkman
    • , Isla H. Myers-Smith
    • , Sarah C. Elmendorf
    • , Isabel W. Ashton
    • , Nicoletta Cannone
    • , Chelsea L. Chisholm
    • , Karin Clark
    • , Elisabeth J. Cooper
    • , Bo Elberling
    • , Anna Maria Fosaa
    • , Greg H. R. Henry
    • , Robert D. Hollister
    • , Ingibjörg Svala Jónsdóttir
    • , Kari Klanderud
    • , Christopher W. Kopp
    • , Esther Lévesque
    • , Marguerite Mauritz
    • , Ulf Molau
    • , Susan M. Natali
    • , Steven. F. Oberbauer
    • , Zoe A. Panchen
    • , Eric Post
    • , Sabine B. Rumpf
    • , Niels Martin Schmidt
    • , Edward Schuur
    • , Philipp R. Semenchuk
    • , Jane G. Smith
    • , Katharine N. Suding
    • , Ørjan Totland
    • , Tiffany Troxler
    • , Susanna Venn
    • , Carl-Henrik Wahren
    • , Jeffrey M. Welker
    •  & Sonja Wipf
  • Research |

    The increasing frequency of marine heatwaves suggests that the impacts of successive events may be influenced by previous events. The extent of the 2016 and 2017 bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef shows that ecological memory played a role in the impacts of the second heatwave.

    • Terry P. Hughes
    • , James T. Kerry
    • , Sean R. Connolly
    • , Andrew H. Baird
    • , C. Mark Eakin
    • , Scott F. Heron
    • , Andrew S. Hoey
    • , Mia O. Hoogenboom
    • , Mizue Jacobson
    • , Gang Liu
    • , Morgan S. Pratchett
    • , William Skirving
    •  & Gergely Torda
  • Research |

    Prescribed burning has far less impacts on peat growth and carbon sequestration than previously thought, according to a long-term experiment in fire-managed peat moorlands in England. Managed burning may be a viable strategy to make peatlands more resilient to devastating wildfire.

    • R. H. Marrs
    • , E.-L. Marsland
    • , R. Lingard
    • , P. G. Appleby
    • , G. T. Piliposyan
    • , R. J. Rose
    • , J. O’Reilly
    • , G. Milligan
    • , K. A. Allen
    • , J. G. Alday
    • , V. Santana
    • , H. Lee
    • , K. Halsall
    •  & R. C. Chiverrell

News and Comment

  • Editorial |

    Keeping global temperature to no more than 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels is an enormous task that requires the complementary efforts of scientists from across the biological, physical and social sciences.

  • News and Views |

    Multiple lines of evidence reveal that annual maximum photosynthesis across the world has been increasing over the past 30 years, adding crucial new information on the processes influencing the land carbon sink and on vegetation’s key role in mitigating climate change.

    • Sara Vicca
  • Editorial |

    Adjustments in the timing of seasonal events can seem like a relatively subtle impact of climate change, but one with potentially large ramifications for the health of ecosystems and the services they provide.

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Biological communities beneath Antarctic ice shelves remain a mystery, hampering assessment of ecosystem development after ice-shelf collapse. Here we highlight major gaps in understanding of the patterns and processes in these areas, and suggest effective ways to study the ecological impacts of ice-shelf loss under climate change.

    • Jeroen Ingels
    • , Richard B. Aronson
    •  & Craig R. Smith
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Climate change will almost certainly cause millions of deaths. Climate engineering might prevent this, but benefits — and risks — remain mostly unevaluated. Now is the time to bring planetary health research into climate engineering conversations.

    • Colin J. Carlson
    •  & Christopher H. Trisos