Study indicates drought and predation is affecting reproduction
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Yellowstone’s migratory elk have been feeling the impacts of drought and increased predation by wolves and grizzlies – two landscape-level changes with broad implications for conservation of migratory animals, according to a new study published in the journal Ecology.
Declining spring snowcover will impact plants and animals use deep snow cover as a refuge from winter cold
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Beneath winter’s deep snows there is a secret world of frozen insects and amphibians in quasi-hibernation, where small mammals scoot about eating bugs and fungi. It’s an ecoogical world that’s mostly invisible but functions as a critical part of larger ecosystems. The subnivium, as scientists have dubbed it, is now at risk from global warming.
Long-term study aims to determine climate change tipping points
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Some alpine and arctic plants — including species found in the Colorado mountains — are showing negative effects of warmer conditions, with lower survival at the southern edges of their range, according to University of Wyoming ecologist Daniel Doak.
Together with Duke University researcher William Morris, Doak is conducting a long-term research project to determine how these species respond to climate change. In most years the impacts to plant populations are balanced by stronger growth in other areas. But in the warmest years of the six-year study, both survival and growth of the plants fell.
The study is based on the assumption that, as the Earth’s climate warms, species are expected to shift their geographical ranges away from the equator or to higher elevations. While scientists have already documented shifts for many plants and animals, the ranges of others seem stable. Continue reading “Tracking global warming in Colorado’s alpine zone”→