Global Climate Change & Its Influence On Species Essay

The species composition and distribution in planet ecosystem is the result of long evolution. In the end, each species has adapted to its particular niche characterized by certain temperature range, food or light intensity, which allow breeding and maintaining the balanced number of population. Any disruption of this balance is accompanied with the loss of certain functions of the ecosystrem, and some of these setbacks can substantially affect the life and health of the mankind.

To date, scientists have described about 1.7 million taxa of living organisms, but their total number is estimated at 5-30 million, while some scientists adjusted this figure to 80 million taxa. Meanwhile, according to various sources, from 100 to 200 species are becoming endangered every 24 hours; others dramatically change their geographic range and breeding patterns. These phenomena can be directly linked to the global climate warming and heat waves associated with it. Transforming the conditions and functions of entire ecosystems, it violates the established laws of modern speciation and biodiversity, and these transformations are often massive and difficult to forecast. Meanwhile, understanding the principles of these effects is crucial for planning balancing and conservation measures.

Thus, as Tomanek (972) marks, despite significant variations in thermal stress response indicators among different species, the common tendency is observed in holding a strategy to occupy a particular thermal niche, with the highest temperatures allowing organisms to synthesize heat shock proteins being only several degrees higher than the highest body temperatures they are able to face. This basically means that any further temperature increase will potentially push them beyond those established limits. Moreover, the higher the variability of thermal environments is, the lower is the acclimatory plasticity of species (Tomanek 974).

For instance, as Stillman and Tagmount (4210) found, thermal acclimatization has the largest effect on heat stress responses in porcelain crabs, while the latter is expressed greater in specimens from sites low variability of temperatures. In this regards, according to Brown et al. (e0146724), most of the forecasted scenarios of water temperatures changes expected by the end on our century demonstrate lethal or sublethal effects for endangered species of Delta Smelt and Hypomesus transpacificus in San Francisco Estuary, which will eventually lead to full unavailability of these species during summer and fall. Obviously, this is only one of the many examples of the potential substantial marine habitat compression. Overall, the expected temperature increase in the Southern Ocean might become the greatest challenge for the survival of the majority of Antarctic marine organisms. In particular, González et al. claim that some Antarctic marine invertebrates are not able to generate thermal stress response at all. Thus, the evaluation of acclimatization genes in the Antarctic sea urchin revealed a significant delay in stress proteins expression.

As González rightly note, physiological responses to thermal stress are not uniform among various taxa. And yet, currently observed climate warming effects as well as the predicted severity of heat waves also produces major influence on birds. For instance, according to Nikiforov (256), climate changes have already affected almost 50% of bird species of Belarus, with negative trends found in 49 out of 225 breeding species. Although positive population trends were documented for 63 species, researchers emphasize their active spreading from southern regions closer to the northern ones, where temperature increase occurs now. In turn, Žalakevičius et al. (2009, 175) predict that 17 out of the 49 species preserved in special protected areas of Lithuania are likely to become extinct, while other 32 species might benefit from climate warming, but the long-term results of increase in their population is currently unpredictable. Specifically, some northern species might eventually be threatened by competition with their southernmost sections (Žalakevičius et al. 2006, 169). Affected by the densities in farmland and consequent habitat loss, the former also change their breeding traditions dramatically, as in case of European Scops Owls (Kryński eta l 46).

Thus, even species with currently wide climatic ranges may still be vulnerable to various direct and indirect effects of climate changes. For instance, the half-century forecast by Beaumont and Hughes (959) demonstrates that more than 80% of Australian butterfly species distributions may decrease even under the most conservative climate change scenarios. Moreover, under an extreme scenario, 92% of species distributions show a decrease, which makes at least 50% in over 80% of cases (Beaumont and Hughes 960). Meanwhile, butterfly extinction is also linked to mismatches between plant and ant. Thus, according to Moir et al. (1299), on the one hand, climate changes directly affect the processes of massive coextinction of species, and on the other hand, global warming results in creating favourable thermal conditions to the expansion of some crop pests. For example, a major rice insect pest brown planthopper is expected to experience a northward shift in its Asian overwintering boundaries as well as the significant increase of the latter by 11, 24 and 44 % in intermittent and 66, 206 and 477% in constant values during the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s respectively (Hu et al. 338). Similarly, Berzitis et al. (2781) found that a major soybean pest Cerotoma trifurcate is likely to expand its North American habitat northward.

In this way, due to the complexity of global warming processes, their impacts should not only be monitored, but also further modeled in order to identify the future developments and eventually take measures for balancing extinction and expansion trends. Integrating climate change simulations into biological resource management on a regular basis might surely be challenging, however, we believe this could largely improve the quality of the decision making and policy making in this sphere.

Works Cited:

Beaumont, Linda J. and Lesley Hughes. “Potential changes in the distributions of latitudinally restricted Australian butterfly species in response to climate change.” Global Change Biology 8.10. (2002): 954 – 971. Web. 14 April 2016.

Berzitis, Emily A., Minigan, Jordan N., Hallett, Rebecca H., and Jonathan A. Newman. “Climate and host plant availability impact the future distribution of the bean leaf beetle (Cerotoma trifurcata).” Global Change Biology 20.9 (2014). 2778-92. Web. 14 April 2016.

Brown, Larry, Komoroske Lisa M., Wagner, Richard Wayne, Morgan-King, Tara L., May, Jason, and Richard E Connon. “Coupled Downscaled Climate Models and Ecophysiological Metrics Forecast Habitat Compression for an Endangered Estuarine Fish.” PLoS ONE 11.1 (2016): e0146724. Web. 14 April 2016.

González, Karina, Gaitán-Espitia, Juan, Font, Alejandro, Cárdenas, Cesar A., and Marcelo González-Aravena. “Expression pattern of heat shock proteins during acute thermal stress in the Antarctic sea urchin, Sterechinus neumayeri”. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 89.2 (2016). Web. Retrieved from 14 April 2016.

Hu, Chaoxing, Hou, Maolin, Wei, Guoshu, Shi, Baoku, and Jianli Huang. “Potential overwintering boundary and voltinism changes in the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens, in China in response to global warming.” Climatic Change 132.2 (2015): 337-52. Web. 14 April 2016.

Kryński, Kamil, Urbanek, Agata, Obłoza, Przemysław, Rubacha, Sławomir, and Wojciech Okliński. “A pair of European Scops Owl Otus scops recorded in the Narew river valley.” Ornis Polonica 56 (2015): 44-59. Web. 14 April 2016.

Moir, Melinda L., Hughes, Lesley, Vesk, Peter A., and Mei Chen Leng. “Which host-dependent insects are most prone to coextinction under changed climates?” Ecology and Evolution 4.8 (2014): 1295-1312. Web. 14 April 2016.

Nikiforov, Michael. “Distribution Trends of Breeding Bird Species in Belarus under Conditions of Global Climate Change.” Acta Zoologica Lituanica 13 (2003): 255-262. Web. 14 April 2016.

Stillman, Jonathon H., and Abderrahmane Tagmount. “Seasonal and latitudinal acclimatization of cardiac transcriptome responses to thermal stress in porcelain crabs, Petrolisthes cinctipes” Molecular Ecology 18.20 (2009). 4206-26. Web. 14 April 2016.

Tomanek, Lars. “Variation in the heat shock response and its implication for predicting the effect of global climate change on species’ biogeographical distribution ranges and metabolic costs.” Journal of Experimental Biology 213.6 (2010): 971-9. Web. 14 April 2016.

Žalakevičius, Mečislovas, Raudonikis, Liutauras, and Galina Bartkevičienė. “Can Recent Strategies of Bird Diversity Conservation be Effective in the 21st Century in the Face of Increasing Impact of Global Climate Change?” Acta Zoologica Lituanica 19.3 (2009): 172-181. Web. 14 April 2016.

Žalakevičius, Mečislovas, Stanevičius, Vitas, and Galina Bartkevičienė. “Trends in the Composition of Breeding Bird Communities: Anthropogenic or Climate Change Induced Process?” Acta Zoologica Lituanica 16.3 (2006): 165-176. Web. 14 April 2016.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: January 20, 2022] (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
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[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]
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