Posted on November 3, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Landscape-level conservation projects critical to giving species some resilience in the face of climate change
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The gradual rise in global temperatures may have long-term effects on biodiversity, but some species — including UK butterflies — may be more threatened by extreme weather events related to climate change. Events like drought could push some insects toward extinction.
“We have provided the first evidence that species responses to extreme events may be affected by the habitat structure in the wider countryside; for example in the total area and fragmentation of woodland patches,” said lead author Dr. Tom Oliver from the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.
The UK has suffered from a number of severe droughts over the last few decades, including in 1976 and 1995. Under global warming, the frequency of such summer droughts is expected to increase. The intense summer drought in 1995 led to marked declines in insect species associated with cooler and wetter microclimates and scientists are interested in how to make species populations more resilient, so they can recover from extreme climate events. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Colorado, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: biodiversity, butterflies, conservation, Environment, extreme weather, global warming, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 25, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Brown argus finds new food and expands range, showing how climate change will have winners and losers
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A butterfly once thought to be threatened by global warming has changed its diet and increased its range, showing how some species may be able to adapt to a changing climate.
“There will be winners and losers from climate change,” said University of York professor Jane Hill, one of the co-authors of the study published this week in Science. “It is important that we begin to understand how the complex interactions between species affect their ability to adapt to climate change so we can identify those that might be at risk and where to focus conservation efforts.”
The researchers found that warmer summers have allowed the brown argus butterfly to complete its life cycle by eating wild Geranium plants. Because the Geraniums are widespread in the British countryside, this change in diet has allowed the butterfly to expand its range in Britain at a surprisingly rapid rate. Over the past 20 years, the Brown Argus has spread northwards by around 79 kilometres and has become common in the countryside in much of southern England. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Britain, brown argus butterfly, butterflies, climate change, global warming | 1 Comment »