Species richness changes lag behind climate change

Menendez, Rosa; Gonzales-Megias, Adela; Hill, Jane K.; Braschler, Brigitte; Willis, Stephen G.; Collingham, Yvonne; Fox, Richard; Roy, David B.; Thomas, Chris D.. 2006 Species richness changes lag behind climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 273 (1593). 1465-1470.

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Species-energy theory indicates that recent climate warming should have driven increases in species richness in cool and species-poor parts of the Northern Hemisphere. We confirm that the average species richness of British butterflies has increased since 1970–82, but much more slowly than predicted from changes of climate: on average, only one-third of the predicted increase has taken place. The resultant species assemblages are increasingly dominated by generalist species that were able to respond quickly. The time lag is confirmed by the successful introduction of many species to climatically suitable areas beyond their ranges. Our results imply that it may be decades or centuries before the species richness and composition of biological communities adjusts to the current climate

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biodiversity
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Biological Records Centre
Format Availability: Electronic, Print
Additional Keywords: biodiversity, butterflies, climate change, species richness
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 26 Jun 2007 15:18 +0 (UTC)

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