Species may appear deceptively resilient to climate change

Nature itself can be the best defense against climate change for many species — at least in the short term­ — according to a study published today (Nov. 22) in the journal Ecology Letters from the University of California, Davis.

The study found that natural habitats play a vital role in helping other plants and animals resist heat stresses ramping up with climate change — at least until the species they depend on to form those habitats become imperiled. This suggests a need to re-evaluate climate change predictions for many species, including predictions that species in the south will move north with global warming.

“We might take for granted some of the resilience of our ecosystems because we don’t realize how much they depend on these habitats,” said lead author Laura Jurgens, who was a Ph.D. candidate at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory at the time of the study and is currently a postdoctoral researcher with Temple University and Smithsonian Institution.  The study’s second author is Brian Gaylord, a UC Davis professor of evolution and ecology at Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Read the article here.

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