Delayed response to climate change could leave some species isolated in climatic traps
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A new study of Alpine plants by Austrian ecologists suggests that some current climate models may over-estimate the rate of habitat loss resulting from global warming in the next few decades.
But the long-term impact is still likely to be the loss of many species that live in narrow ecological niches that will mostly be lost as the climate continues to warm. There may be a delayed response in some species that will be able to hang on in tiny microclimates as the ecosystems around them change, but they to will be lost due to an inability to disperse across any significant distance, according to ecologists from the Department of Conservation Biology, Vegetation and Landscape Ecology of the University of Vienna.
The results of the study, published in Nature Climate Change, suggest that, by the end of the 21st century, high Alpine mountain flora will lose on average 44 percent to 50 percent of its current distribution area, a moderate forecast as compared to predictions based on traditional modeling techniques. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Summit County news | Tagged: alpine flora, climate change, Environment, global warming, Landscape Ecology, University of Vienna | Leave a Comment »