Climate Change and Biodiversity in Natural Environments


Photo credit: AZO Cleantech

A Chinese mountain stream in the village of Yubeng, Yunnan province is shown. The water in the stream is affected by nearby dwellings (41 families) and nutrient emissions from agriculture. (Credit: Dr Jianjun Wang)

Climate Change Significantly Affects Biodiversity in Natural Environments

Written by AZoCleantech

New research indicates that the impact of climate change on biodiversity depends on how much human beings have already affected the environment.

The scientists discovered that climate change affects biodiversity most strongly in the most natural environments, as well as the most nutrient enriched environments. This means that these extremes are most susceptible to future changes in temperatures. The results are just published in the highly regarded journal Nature Communications.

We still know fairly little about the specific impacts of climate change and human activity, such as nutrient enrichment of waterways, on broad geographical scales. Researchers from the Department of Geosciences and Geography at the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Environment Institute, and the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences have studied hundreds of microcosms in mountainous regions with the aid of natural temperature gradients in the studied areas, while modifying the enrichment level in field tests.

The results indicate that the bacteria in elevated tropical areas are similar to e.g. those in arctic areas. As a result of changes in temperature and aquatic enrichment, significant alterations occur in the microcosms, and as the enrichment increases, biodiversity reduces, says Associate Professor Janne Soininen.

Spe­cies ad­ap­ted to aus­tere con­di­tions in danger

Read the full article: AZO Cleantech


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.