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  Subjects -> METEOROLOGY (Total: 112 journals)
Showing 1 - 36 of 36 Journals sorted alphabetically
Acta Meteorologica Sinica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Atmospheric Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 43)
Advances in Climate Change Research     Open Access   (Followers: 29)
Advances in Meteorology     Open Access   (Followers: 24)
Advances in Statistical Climatology, Meteorology and Oceanography     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Aeolian Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
American Journal of Climate Change     Open Access   (Followers: 29)
Atmósfera     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Atmosphere     Open Access   (Followers: 26)
Atmosphere-Ocean     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP)     Open Access   (Followers: 48)
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions (ACPD)     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Atmospheric Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 73)
Atmospheric Environment : X     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Atmospheric Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 69)
Atmospheric Science Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 36)
Boundary-Layer Meteorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
Bulletin of Atmospheric Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society     Open Access   (Followers: 51)
Carbon Balance and Management     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Ciencia, Ambiente y Clima     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Climate     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Climate and Energy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Climate Change Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Climate Change Research Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Climate Change Responses     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Climate Dynamics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44)
Climate law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Climate of the Past (CP)     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Climate of the Past Discussions (CPD)     Open Access  
Climate Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 42)
Climate Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Climate Resilience and Sustainability     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Climate Risk Management     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Climate Services     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Climate Summary of South Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Climatic Change     Open Access   (Followers: 64)
Current Climate Change Reports     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Developments in Atmospheric Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28)
Dynamics and Statistics of the Climate System     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Earth Perspectives - Transdisciplinarity Enabled     Open Access  
Economics of Disasters and Climate Change     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Energy & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Environmental and Climate Technologies     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Environmental Dynamics and Global Climate Change     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Frontiers in Climate     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
GeoHazards     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Global Meteorology     Open Access   (Followers: 17)
International Journal of Atmospheric Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 21)
International Journal of Biometeorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Climatology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
International Journal of Environment and Climate Change     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
International Journal of Image and Data Fusion     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Agricultural Meteorology     Open Access  
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35)
Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34)
Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 198)
Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Journal of Climate     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 54)
Journal of Climate Change     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Climatology     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Hydrology and Meteorology     Open Access   (Followers: 29)
Journal of Hydrometeorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Meteorological Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Meteorology and Climate Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate     Open Access   (Followers: 27)
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 80)
Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan     Partially Free   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Weather Modification     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Large Marine Ecosystems     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Mathematics of Climate and Weather Forecasting     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Mediterranean Marine Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Meteorologica     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Meteorological Applications     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Meteorological Monographs     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Meteorologische Zeitschrift     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
Mètode Science Studies Journal : Annual Review     Open Access  
Michigan Journal of Sustainability     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Modeling Earth Systems and Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Monthly Weather Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34)
Nature Climate Change     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 133)
Nature Reports Climate Change     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 37)
Nīvār     Open Access  
npj Climate and Atmospheric Science     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Open Atmospheric Science Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Open Journal of Modern Hydrology     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Revista Brasileira de Meteorologia     Open Access  
Revista Iberoamericana de Bioeconomía y Cambio Climático     Open Access  
Russian Meteorology and Hydrology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Space Weather     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25)
Studia Geophysica et Geodaetica     Hybrid Journal  
Tellus A     Open Access   (Followers: 22)
Tellus B     Open Access   (Followers: 21)
The Cryosphere (TC)     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
The Cryosphere Discussions (TCD)     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
The Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Theoretical and Applied Climatology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Tropical Cyclone Research and Review     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Urban Climate     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Weather     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Weather and Climate Dynamics     Open Access  
Weather and Climate Extremes     Open Access   (Followers: 16)
Weather and Forecasting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Weatherwise     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
气候与环境研究     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)

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Journal Cover
Climate Change Responses
Number of Followers: 10  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2053-7565
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2652 journals]
  • Associations between changing climate and body condition over decades in
           two southern hemisphere passerine birds

    • Authors: Janet L. Gardner; Eleanor Rowley; Perry de Rebeira; Alma de Rebeira; Lyanne Brouwer
      Abstract: Background Climate change presents considerable challenges for endotherms because they must maintain high, relatively constant body temperatures across a range of environmental conditions to ensure survival and optimise performance. Individuals exposed to changing weather must manage energy and water allocation to maintain thermal homeostasis, with consequences for body condition, and hence there is potential for selection because body condition is strongly linked to fitness. Understanding how weather drives changes in body condition is therefore fundamental to understanding how fitness is affected by climate change. Here we test for associations between weather and body condition and how this changes over time, in two co-existing species of small insectivorous passerines, the red-winged fairy-wren, Malurus elegans and white-browed scrubwren, Sericornis frontalis, that have been the subject of a ringing study for 39 years in temperate south-western Australia. The study populations have experienced increases in minimum temperatures in winter and summer as well as decreases in the frequencies of days with thermal minima < 5 °C, but the summer climate remains relatively mild with few days experiencing thermal maxima > 35 °C. Although, warming temperatures may reduce thermoregulatory costs, repeated exposure to hot conditions has been shown to have negative effects on body condition. Thus, we predict that the reduction over time in daily minima < 5 °C, along with the influence of increased maximum and minimum temperatures in summer and winter, will have positive effects on body condition. Results In accordance with thermoregulatory predictions, colder daily minima in the range 1–19 °C prior to capture were associated with reduced body condition in winter in both species. Furthermore, in summer, in fairy-wrens but not scrubwrens, warmer daily maxima were associated with increasing body condition, and repeated exposure to temperatures > 30 °C over consecutive days was negatively associated with body condition. Body condition increased over the 39 years of the study for fairy-wrens but there was no change in scrubwrens, which is consistent with observed within-season associations between body condition and weather, and the change in climate over time. Conclusions We show that associations between body condition and weather variables are complex and dynamic, with seasonal trends in body condition resulting from a balance between multiple, competing weather variables. Moreover, temporal trends in body condition over years could be predicted from the relative strength of seasonal trends and the direction and magnitude of changing climate. Because body condition is predicted to be strongly tied to both reproduction and survival, changes in climate may be having complex and far reaching consequences for demography mediated through shifts in body condition. Finally, subtle differences in the sensitivities of the species to weather variables led to different trends in condition over time which may be associated with differences in the capacity for behavioural thermoregulation. Understanding the causes of such sensitivities is vital in improving capacity to predict species responses to climate change.
      PubDate: 2018-03-27
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-018-0038-y
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2018)
  • Sensitivity analysis of a climate vulnerability index - a case study from
           Indian watershed development programmes

    • Authors: Archana Raghavan Sathyan; Christoph Funk; Thomas Aenis; Peter Winker; Lutz Breuer
      Abstract: Background This paper presents a detailed analysis of a composite Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) to examine and compare climate change vulnerability and its dimensions adaptive capacity, sensitivity and exposure. Thereby, we are mainly interested on climate change vulnerability at community-level watershed development programmes and how the different implementing agencies could help to address the problems associated with climate change in future planning and implementation. Method The primary data used for this study was obtained from household surveys (n=215) in three watershed communities of Kerala, India. We use bootstrap sampling and a leave-one-out sensitivity analysis to compare the climate vulnerability of the three examined watersheds in detail. By introducing the bootstrapping method and sensitivity analysis into the research field of climate vulnerability, the paper describes significant differences in CVI values and the influencing indicators to the overall vulnerability at the watershed community level. Results The results show that there are significant differences in the exposure and sensitivity dimensions of vulnerability even if the overall CVI shows less variability and no significant differences among the three watersheds. The sensitivity analysis emphasizes that ‘Livelihood Strategies’ and ‘Social Network’ are the most influencing major components of vulnerability. This suggests that implementing agencies should focus on these two major components in order to improve the watershed development programmes. Conclusion The bootstrapping approach is transferable to evaluate the degree of influence of indicators on a composite index like the CVI. Moreover, it allows us to evaluate the potential effectiveness of various other climate change programmes where the evaluation is commonly done by field surveys. This thereby helps to increase the credibility in the examination of the impacts of climate change at different scales in order to find key areas for better policy planning.
      PubDate: 2018-01-26
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-018-0037-z
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2018)
  • Impacts of a millennium drought on butterfly faunal dynamics

    • Abstract: Background Climate change is challenging plants and animals not only with increasing temperatures, but also with shortened intervals between extreme weather events. Relatively little is known about diverse assemblages of organisms responding to extreme weather, and even less is known about landscape and life history properties that might mitigate effects of extreme weather. Our aim was to address this knowledge gap using a multi-decadal dataset of 163 butterfly species that recently experienced a millennium-scale drought. To understand faunal dynamics in the context of the millennium drought, we investigated the behavior of phenology (including date of first flight), species richness and diversity indices through time at 10 study sites spanning an elevational gradient. Linear models were developed to understand the differential sensitivity of butterflies to climate at low and high elevations. Results Dates of first flight advanced across the elevational gradient during the drought, leading to an overall expansion of the flight window at low elevations and a compression of the flight window in the mountains. The number of species observed per year increased at lower elevations but decreased at higher elevations, apparently as a consequence of extreme sensitivity to hot and dry conditions. Conclusion Montane populations may be more sensitive to climatic extremes than expected based on availability of microclimates and spatial heterogeneity, while low-elevation populations (despite existing in degraded habitats) are buffered by life history plasticity.
      PubDate: 2018-06-05
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-018-0039-x
  • Climate change refugia and habitat connectivity promote species

    • Authors: Toni Lyn Morelli; Sean P. Maher; Marisa C. W. Lim; Christina Kastely; Lindsey M. Eastman; Lorraine E. Flint; Alan L. Flint; Steven R. Beissinger; Craig Moritz
      Abstract: Background Climate change refugia, areas buffered from climate change relative to their surroundings, are of increasing interest as natural resource managers seek to prioritize climate adaptation actions. However, evidence that refugia buffer the effects of anthropogenic climate change is largely missing. Methods Focusing on the climate-sensitive Belding’s ground squirrel (Urocitellus beldingi), we predicted that highly connected Sierra Nevada meadows that had warmed less or shown less precipitation change over the last century would have greater population persistence, as measured by short-term occupancy, fewer extirpations over the twentieth century, and long-term persistence measured through genetic diversity. Results Across California, U. beldingi were more likely to persist over the last century in meadows with high connectivity that were defined as refugial based on a suite of temperature and precipitation factors. In Yosemite National Park, highly connected refugial meadows were more likely to be occupied by U. beldingi. More broadly, populations inhabiting Sierra Nevada meadows with colder mean winter temperatures had higher values of allelic richness at microsatellite loci, consistent with higher population persistence in temperature-buffered sites. Furthermore, both allelic richness and gene flow were higher in meadows that had higher landscape connectivity, indicating the importance of metapopulation processes. Conversely, anthropogenic refugia, sites where populations appeared to persist due to food or water supplementation, had lower connectivity, genetic diversity, and gene flow, and thus might act as ecological traps. This study provides evidence that validates the climate change refugia concept in a contemporary context and illustrates how to integrate field observations and genetic analyses to test the effectiveness of climate change refugia and connectivity. Conclusions Climate change refugia will be important for conserving populations as well as genetic diversity and evolutionary potential. Our study shows that in-depth modeling paired with rigorous fieldwork can identify functioning climate change refugia for conservation.
      PubDate: 2017-12-22
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-017-0036-5
      Issue No: Vol. 4, No. 1 (2017)
  • The relative influence of change in habitat and climate on elevation range
           limits in small mammals in Yosemite National Park, California, U.S.A.

    • Authors: Maria J. Santos; Adam B. Smith; James H. Thorne; Craig Moritz
      Abstract: Background Different processes determine species’ geographic ranges, including species’ responses to changing climate, habitat, or both simultaneously. Here we ask which combination of factors best predicts shifts in the upper and lower elevation range limits and overall range of small mammal species in Yosemite National Park, California, USA across the last 100 years. Methods We used species distribution models (SDMs) to predict elevation range dynamics of small mammals between 1910 and 1930 and 2003 and 2010, based on combinations of habitat and climate variables, and compared the predicted SDM distribution with the “observed” range from occupancy modelling (OM). Results SDM model convergence was successful for eight species. Predictions of elevation range shifts from the SDMs agreed with OM for four of these species; while the other four could be partially predicted. SDMs predicted shifts in lower limits (six correct) better than upper limits (five correct). The five correctly predicted upper limit shifts were best predicted with climate; whereas five out of the six lower elevation shifts included habitat. SDMs were best at predicting range contraction at higher elevations. Conclusions Climate generally had a stronger effect on range dynamics than habitat, especially at higher elevations. However, at mid-elevations SDMs showed an increasing importance of habitat on range shifts at these elevations, in the cases range shifts were reliably predicted. Predicting elevation range shifts on the basis of climate or habitat alone is insufficient, as habitat and climate play varying roles at different elevations, associated with different processes underlying range shifts. Failure to predict observed range shifts may arise from biotic interactions, behaviour flexibility, or evolutionary adaptation, aspects which are only beginning to be incorporated into distribution modelling frameworks.
      PubDate: 2017-11-10
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-017-0035-6
      Issue No: Vol. 4, No. 1 (2017)
  • Drivers of amphibian declines: effects of ultraviolet radiation and
           interactions with other environmental factors

    • Authors: Lesley A. Alton; Craig E. Franklin
      Abstract: Abstract As a consequence of anthropogenic environmental change, the world is facing a possible sixth mass extinction event. The severity of this biodiversity crisis is exemplified by the rapid collapse of hundreds of amphibian populations around the world. Amphibian declines are associated with a range of factors including habitat loss/modification, human utilisation, exotic/invasive species, environmental acidification and contamination, infectious disease, climate change, and increased ultraviolet-B radiation (UVBR) due to stratospheric ozone depletion. However, it is recognised that these factors rarely act in isolation and that amphibian declines are likely to be the result of complex interactions between multiple anthropogenic and natural factors. Here we present a synthesis of the effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in isolation and in combination with a range of naturally occurring abiotic (temperature, aquatic pH, and aquatic hypoxia) and biotic (infectious disease, conspecific density, and predation) factors on amphibians. We highlight that examining the effects of UVR in the absence of other ecologically relevant environmental factors can greatly oversimplify and underestimate the effects of UVR on amphibians. We propose that the pathways that give rise to interactive effects between multiple environmental factors are likely to be mediated by the behavioural and physiological responses of amphibians to each of the factors in isolation. A sound understanding of these pathways can therefore be gained from the continued use of multi-factorial experimental studies in both the laboratory and the field. Such an understanding will provide the foundation for a strong theoretical framework that will allow researchers to predict the combinations of abiotic and biotic conditions that are likely to influence the persistence of amphibian populations under future environmental change.
      PubDate: 2017-11-09
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-017-0034-7
      Issue No: Vol. 4, No. 1 (2017)
  • Phenotypic plasticity and water availability: responses of alpine herb
           species along an elevation gradient

    • Authors: Sonya R. Geange; Verõnica F. Briceño; Nicola C. Aitken; Jose A. Ramirez-Valiente; Meisha-Marika Holloway-Phillips; Adrienne B. Nicotra
      Abstract: Background Alpine regions are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The Australian Alps are potentially more so than other mountain regions, as they cover a very small geographic area (<0.05% of mainland Australia), with a low maximum elevation (2228 m). Therefore, response to climate change will be primarily determined by the ability of species to survive in-situ through local adaptation or phenotypic plasticity. Existing climate change models project not only warming but increasingly variable precipitation and snow cover across the Australian Alps. Thus, plasticity in water use traits may become increasingly important for the establishment and persistence of Australian alpine plants. Given that plants from lower elevations inhabit a more heterogeneous environment with more frequent frosts, greater temperature extremes, and higher evapotranspiration, we predict plasticity – and particularly adaptive plasticity – may be more common at low relative to high elevation. To test these predictions we investigated the extent of plasticity and the adaptive value thereof in water use traits in three herbaceous Australian alpine plant species. Seeds were collected from low and high elevation alpine sites and grown at ample and limiting water availability under common-garden conditions. For morphological and physiological traits, we compared both their means and phenotypic plasticity across treatments and elevations. Results Responses of morphological and physiological traits to water availability were in accord with many previous studies of water response. Although previous work in the same environment demonstrated greater plasticity in response to temperature for low elevation populations, plasticity in response to water availability in our study showed markedly little variation as a function of elevation. Rather, patterns of plasticity were highly variable among species and among traits within species, with few instances of adaptive plastic responses. Conclusion We discuss the difficulties in observing adaptive plasticity and the importance of microhabitat variation in shaping the persistence of these Australian alpine species.
      PubDate: 2017-09-15
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-017-0033-8
      Issue No: Vol. 4, No. 1 (2017)
  • Precipitation quantity and timing affect native plant production and
           growth of a key herbivore, the desert tortoise, in the Mojave Desert

    • Authors: Melia G. Nafus; Tracey D. Tuberville; Kurt A. Buhlmann; Brian D. Todd
      Abstract: Background Deserts may be disproportionately vulnerable to changes in precipitation that accompany global climate change due to complex evolutionary relationships of species to historical conditions. Based on current and projected climate scenarios for the southwestern United States, we manipulated rainfall timing and quantity and measured the response by plants and the growth and behavior of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) to precipitation in the eastern Mojave Desert. Results We found that winter-dominant rain – the current prevailing pattern in the eastern Mojave Desert – and greater total rainfall correlated with greater cover and species richness of plants. Winter-dominant rain also correlated with a higher proportion of native plants flowering relative to invasive plants. Juvenile tortoises grew more rapidly when they were subjected to rainfall treatments that associated with increased plant abundance and species richness, while their behavior appeared more driven by water availability. Conclusions Our results suggest that precipitation timing may be as important as rainfall quantity when considering total effects of climate change on arid-adapted systems. Further research should explore how the timing of rainfall may interact with aridity or temperature to influence total effects due to climate change on arid communities.
      PubDate: 2017-06-12
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-017-0032-9
      Issue No: Vol. 4, No. 1 (2017)
  • Effects of climate change on zooplankton community interactions in an
           Alaskan lake

    • Authors: Jackie L. Carter; Daniel E. Schindler; Tessa B. Francis
      Abstract: Background Ecological communities are organized by interactions among the biota, and between the biota and external environmental drivers that affect the dynamics of individual taxa. Climate change may alter communities in unexpected ways when environmental drivers have complex effects on individual species that are then transmitted indirectly to other species via biotic interactions. Methods We used a multivariate autoregressive (MAR) modeling framework to assess the strengths of intrinsic interactions and extrinsic (environmental) forcing responsible for changes in the zooplankton community of a sockeye salmon nursery lake in southwestern Alaska from 1963 to 2009. During this time period there has been a strong trend towards earlier spring ice breakup dates and warmer summer water temperatures. Results MAR analyses of community time-series showed that water temperature was the dominant driver of change in the zooplankton community; competitive interactions were relatively rare, and only copepods (both cyclopoids and calanoids) were affected by predation (juvenile sockeye salmon). Best-fit community models were used to develop scenarios of zooplankton community composition under several different potential climate conditions and salmon densities and revealed the potential for a shift in the dominant zooplankton taxa in this lake, driven largely by taxon-specific sensitivity to climate and sockeye salmon predation. Conclusions Simulations suggest that cladocerans will become more prevalent in this community and that calanoid copepods will suffer from ongoing climate warming. These results have important implications for fish in these northern lakes, as they suggest that the production of planktivorous fish should increase with ongoing climate change.
      PubDate: 2017-06-07
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-017-0031-x
      Issue No: Vol. 4, No. 1 (2017)
  • Beyond exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity: a response based
           ecological framework to assess species climate change vulnerability

    • Authors: Lucas Fortini; Olivia Schubert
      Abstract: As the impacts of global climate change on species are increasingly evident, there is a clear need to adapt conservation efforts worldwide. Species vulnerability assessments (VAs) are increasingly used to summarize all relevant information to determine a species’ potential vulnerability to climate change and are frequently the first step in informing climate adaptation efforts. VAs commonly integrate multiple sources of information by utilizing a framework that distinguishes factors relevant to species exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. However, this framework was originally developed for human systems, and its use to evaluate species vulnerability has serious practical and theoretical limitations. By instead defining vulnerability as the degree to which a species is unable to exhibit any of the responses necessary for persistence under climate change (i.e., toleration of projected changes, migration to new climate-compatible areas, enduring in microrefugia, and evolutionary adaptation), we can bring VAs into the realm of ecological science without applying borrowed abstract concepts that have consistently challenged species-centric research and management. This response-based framework to assess species vulnerability to climate change allows better integration of relevant ecological data and past research, yielding results with much clearer implications for conservation and research prioritization.
      PubDate: 2017-04-20
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-017-0030-y
      Issue No: Vol. 4, No. 1 (2017)
  • Ecotone response to climatic variability depends on stress gradient

    • Authors: George P. Malanson; Lynn M. Resler; Diana F. Tomback
      Abstract: Background Variability added to directional climate change could have consequences for ecotone community responses, or positive and negative variations could balance. The response will depend on interactions among individuals along environmental gradients, further affected by stress gradient effects. Methods Two instantiations of the stress gradient hypothesis, simple stress and a size-mediated model, are represented in a spatially explicit agent based simulation of an ecotone derived from observations of Abies lasiocarpa, Picea engelmannii, and Pinus albicaulis in the northern Rocky Mountains. The simple model has two hierarchically competitive species on a single environmental gradient. The environment undergoes progressive climate change and increases in variability. Because the size model includes system memory, it is expected to buffer the effects of extreme events. Results The interactions included in both models of the stress gradient hypothesis similarly reduce the effects of increasing climatic variability. With climate amelioration, the spatial pattern at the ecotone shows an advance of both species into what had been a higher stress area, but with less density when variation increases. In the size-mediated model the competitive species advances farther along the stress gradient at the expense of the second species. The memory embedded in the size-mediated model does not appear to buffer extreme events because the interactions between the two species within their shifting ecotone determine the outcomes. Conclusions Ecotone responses are determined by the differences in slopes of the species response to the environment near their point of intersection and further changed by whether neighbor interactions are competitive. Interactions are more diverse and more interwoven than previously conceived, and their quantification will be necessary to move beyond simplistic species distribution models.
      PubDate: 2017-01-19
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-017-0029-4
      Issue No: Vol. 4, No. 1 (2017)
  • An estimate of the water budget for the endangered night parrot of
           Australia under recent and future climates

    • Authors: Michael R. Kearney; Warren P. Porter; Stephen A. Murphy
      Abstract: Background Endangered species management must now incorporate the potential effects of climate change, but this is often in the context of limited data. The endangered night parrot was recently rediscovered in the Australian arid zone and a major effort is underway to ensure its survival. A key question is to what extent it is dependent on standing water under current and future climates, as this has major implications for understanding and managing its habitat requirements. However, very little is known about its ecology and physiology, and its conservation status precludes invasive ecophysiological studies. Method Here we show how the methods of biophysical ecology permit strong inferences about this problem with minimal data. We developed a biophysical model of both the parrot and its habitat at the site of its rediscovery. We used allometrically-adjusted observations of the known physiology of a closely related desert-adapted Australian parrot, the budgerigar, to infer unknown aspects of the night parrot’s physiological responses, together with plumage measurements from museum specimens. We tested the microclimate model against empirical data on microhabitat temperatures and compared the endotherm model predictions against an infra-red thermograph of the bird itself. We then used the model to predict the frequency with which the parrot would need to find standing water under current and future climates depending on the water content of its food. Results Our field data show that air temperature in night parrot roosts during high summer typically exceeds the inferred resting core temperature (38 °C) and can exceed 45 °C. Our calculations imply that night parrots can persist on dry seed during winter conditions without exceeding dangerous levels of dehydration, but would need access to water or succulent (55% water) food during summer. Air temperature at the site is projected to increase 3 °C by 2070, which would lead to likely lethal (22% of body mass) levels of daily dehydration in some years even on succulent food, and would dramatically increase its dependence on standing water. Conclusion Our findings have significant implications for the conservation management of the night parrot and provide guidance for future research priorities.
      PubDate: 2016-12-12
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-016-0027-y
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2016)
  • Food storage in a changing world: implications of climate change for
           food-caching species

    • Authors: Alex O. Sutton; Dan Strickland; D. Ryan Norris
      Abstract: Abstract Food caching is a behavioural strategy used by a wide range of animals to store food for future use. When food is stored, it is susceptible to environmental conditions that can lead to spoilage via microbial proliferation or physical and chemical processes. Given that the nutrition gained from consuming cached food will almost always be less than consuming it immediately upon capture, the degree of degradation will play a central role in determining the ecological threshold at which caching is no longer profitable. Our framework proposes that the degree of susceptibility among caching species is based primarily on the duration of storage, and the perishability of stored food. We first summarize the degree of susceptibility of 203 vertebrate caching species. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of these species are long-term cachers (>10 days) but only 2% are both long-term cachers and store highly perishable food. We then integrate insights from the fields of applied food science and plant biology to outline potential mechanisms by which climate change may influence food-caching species. Four climatic factors (temperature, number of freeze-thaw events, deep-freeze events and humidity) have been shown to affect the degradation of food consumed by humans and are also expected to influence the quality of perishable food cached in the wild. Temperature and moisture are likely important factors influencing seemingly nonperishable seeds. Although we are able to provide broad classifications for caching species at risk of climate change, an improved understanding of how environmental conditions affect the quality and persistence of cached food may allow us to better predict the impact of changing climatic conditions on the fitness of food-caching animals.
      PubDate: 2016-12-08
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-016-0025-0
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2016)
  • Historical changes in thermoregulatory traits of alpine butterflies reveal
           complex ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change

    • Authors: Heidi J. MacLean; Joel G. Kingsolver; Lauren B. Buckley
      Abstract: Background Trait evolution and plasticity are expected to interactively influence responses to climate change, but rapid changes in and increased variability of temperature may limit evolutionary responses. We use historical specimens to document changes in the size and thermoregulatory traits of a montane butterfly, Colias meadii, in Colorado, USA over the past 60 years (1953–2012). We quantify forewing wing length, ventral wing melanin that increases solar absorption, and the length of thorax setae that reduces convective heat loss. Results The mean of all three traits has increased during this time period despite climate warming. Phenological shifts may have extended the active season earlier at low elevations and later at high elevations, increasing exposure to cool temperatures and selecting for increases in thermoregulatory traits. Fitness increases at higher elevations due to warming could also increase thermoregulatory traits. Warmer temperatures during pupal development and later flight dates in the season are associated with decreased wing melanin, indicating a role of phenotypic plasticity in historical trait changes. Conclusions Phenotypic shifts result from a complex interplay of ecological and evolutionary responses to climate change. Environmental variability within and across seasons can limit the evolutionary responses of populations to increasing mean temperatures during climate change.
      PubDate: 2016-12-08
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-016-0028-x
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2016)
  • Spatial variation in avian bill size is associated with humidity in summer
           among Australian passerines

    • Authors: Janet L. Gardner; Matthew R. E. Symonds; Leo Joseph; Karen Ikin; John Stein; Loeske E. B. Kruuk
      Abstract: Background Climate imposes multiple selection pressures on animal morphology. Allen’s Rule proposes that geographic variation in the appendage size of endotherms, relative to body size, is linked to climatic variation, thereby facilitating heat exchange and body temperature regulation. Thus relatively larger appendages tend to be found in animals in warmer climates. Despite growing understanding of the role of the avian bill as an organ for heat exchange, few studies have tested the ecological significance of bill size for heat dissipation across species and environmental gradients. Amongst those that have, most have focused on the relationship with ambient temperature, but there is growing evidence that humidity also has a strong influence on heat dissipation. In particular, increasing humidity reduces the potential for evaporative cooling, favouring radiative and convective heat loss via the bill, and hence potentially favouring larger bills in humid environments. Here, we used phylogenetically-controlled analyses of the bill morphology of 36 species of Australian passerines to explore the relationship between bill size and multiple aspects of climate. Results Humidity during the hot summer months (December-February) was positively associated with relative bill surface area across species. There was no overall association between bill size and summer temperatures per se, but the association with humidity was mediated by temperature, with a significant interaction indicating stronger associations with humidity at cooler summer temperatures. This is consistent with the idea that larger bills may become disadvantageous in humid conditions as ambient temperature approaches body temperature. Relative bill size was similar among closely related species, with phylogeny explaining 63.3% of the variance, and there was significant variation among species in their response to humidity. However, the relationship between relative bill size and humidity was not associated with phylogeny. Conclusions Our results are consistent with the idea that body temperature regulation underlies continent-wide patterns of bill size variation in a broad range of Australian passerines, and suggests that Allen’s Rule may apply to humidity gradients as well as temperature gradients. They add to growing evidence that a narrow focus on temperature alone in studies of responses to climate change may limit our understanding of species’ sensitivities to climatic variation, and of their capacity to adapt.
      PubDate: 2016-12-07
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-016-0026-z
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2016)
  • Towards a mechanistic understanding of the responses of large terrestrial
           mammals to heat and aridity associated with climate change

    • Authors: Andrea Fuller; Duncan Mitchell; Shane K. Maloney; Robyn S. Hetem
      Abstract: Abstract In the face of climate change, the life history traits of large terrestrial mammals will prevent them from adapting genetically at a sufficient pace to keep track with changing environments, and habitat fragmentation will preclude them from shifting their distribution range. Predicting how habitat-bound large mammals will respond to environmental change requires measurement of their sensitivity and exposure to changes in the environment, as well as the extent to which phenotypic plasticity can buffer them against the changes. Behavioural modifications, such as a shift to nocturnal foraging or selection of a cool microclimate, may buffer free-living mammals against thermal and water stress, but may carry a cost, for example by reducing foraging time or increasing predation risk. Large mammals also use physiological responses to buffer themselves against changing environments, but those buffers may be compromised by a changing physical environment. A decrease in the available food energy or water leads to a trade-off in which the precision of homeothermy is relaxed, resulting in large daily fluctuations in body temperature. Understanding how large mammals prioritise competing homeostatic systems in changing environments, and the consequences of that prioritisation for their fitness, requires long-term monitoring of identifiable individual animals in their natural habitat. Although body size predicts general ecological and energetic patterns of terrestrial mammals, high intraspecific and interspecific variability means that a species-directed approach is required to accurately model responses of large mammals to climate change.
      PubDate: 2016-11-28
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-016-0024-1
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2016)
  • Behavioural responses to heat in desert birds: implications for predicting
           vulnerability to climate warming

    • Authors: B. Smit; G. Zietsman; R. O. Martin; S. J. Cunningham; A. E. McKechnie; P. A. R. Hockey
      Abstract: Background Temperature increases associated with climate change pose a substantial threat to arid-zone bird species. However, predicting vulnerability to high temperatures using species-specific, mechanistic data, and assessing how this varies within and among species, is complex, time consuming and expensive. Using the bird community of the southern Kalahari Desert, we investigated whether interspecific variation in heat dissipation behaviour (HDB) thresholds could provide an index of vulnerability to high temperatures. We fitted logistic regression models to presence/absence data for behaviours as a function of air temperature (T air) in order to determine, for each species, the T air at which panting and gular flutter (pant 50), wing-drooping (wing 50), resting (rest 50) and shade-seeking (shade 50) responses occurred in 50 % of instances. Results We show that pant 50 (n = 30 species) is higher in species that 1) are smaller, 2) maintain low activity levels at high T airs, and 3) rely mostly on food as their water source (i.e. non-drinking species) — the only predictor variable to remain significant in phylogenetically-independent analyses. Like pant 50, wing 50 (n = 30 species) was negatively correlated with body mass, but did not vary systematically with other organismal traits. There was no systematic variation in shade 50 (n = 33 species) or rest 50 (n = 14 species) values. Conclusions Our findings suggest that evaporative cooling demands are relatively higher in larger birds and could limit activities (such as foraging) at T airs exceeding 30 °C, while the trade-off between thermoregulation and sustaining activity levels appears less pronounced in smaller species. Kalahari species that do not drink regularly show a relatively greater dependence on wing-drooping compared to panting/gular flutter, probably resulting from selective pressures to reduce evaporative cooling demands in an arid environment with scarce surface water. Two key questions remain to be answered to confirm whether variation in HDB thresholds provides an opportunity for rapid assessment of vulnerability to high temperatures in avian species from hot, arid environments. First, what are the relationships between HDB patterns and body temperature regulation? Second, is heat dissipation effort indicative of dehydration risk?
      PubDate: 2016-10-20
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-016-0023-2
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2016)
  • Microrefuges and the occurrence of thermal specialists: implications for
           wildlife persistence amidst changing temperatures

    • Authors: L. Embere Hall; Anna D. Chalfoun; Erik A. Beever; Anne E. Loosen
      Abstract: Background Contemporary climate change is affecting nearly all biomes, causing shifts in animal distributions, phenology, and persistence. Favorable microclimates may buffer organisms against rapid changes in climate, thereby allowing time for populations to adapt. The degree to which microclimates facilitate the local persistence of climate-sensitive species, however, is largely an open question. We addressed the importance of microrefuges in mammalian thermal specialists, using the American pika (Ochotona princeps) as a model organism. Pikas are sensitive to ambient temperatures, and are active year-round in the alpine where conditions are highly variable. We tested four hypotheses about the relationship between microrefuges and pika occurrence: 1) Local-habitat Hypothesis (local-habitat conditions are paramount, regardless of microrefuge); 2) Surface-temperature Hypothesis (surrounding temperatures, unmoderated by microrefuge, best predict occurrence); 3) Interstitial-temperature Hypothesis (temperatures within microrefuges best predict occurrence), and 4) Microrefuge Hypothesis (the degree to which microrefuges moderate the surrounding temperature facilitates occurrence, regardless of other habitat characteristics). We examined pika occurrence at 146 sites across an elevational gradient. We quantified pika presence, physiographic habitat characteristics and forage availability at each site, and deployed paired temperature loggers at a subset of sites to measure surface and subterranean temperatures. Results We found strong support for the Microrefuge Hypothesis. Pikas were more likely to occur at sites where the subsurface environment substantially moderated surface temperatures, especially during the warm season. Microrefugium was the strongest predictor of pika occurrence, independent of other critical habitat characteristics, such as forage availability. Conclusions By modulating surface temperatures, microrefuges may strongly influence where temperature-limited animals persist in rapidly warming environments. As climate change continues to manifest, efforts to understand the changing dynamics of animal-habitat relationships will be enhanced by considering the quality of microrefuges.
      PubDate: 2016-10-19
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-016-0021-4
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2016)
  • Modelling mammalian energetics: the heterothermy problem

    • Authors: Danielle L. Levesque; Julia Nowack; Clare Stawski
      Abstract: Abstract Global climate change is expected to have strong effects on the world’s flora and fauna. As a result, there has been a recent increase in the number of meta-analyses and mechanistic models that attempt to predict potential responses of mammals to changing climates. Many models that seek to explain the effects of environmental temperatures on mammalian energetics and survival assume a constant body temperature. However, despite generally being regarded as strict homeotherms, mammals demonstrate a large degree of daily variability in body temperature, as well as the ability to reduce metabolic costs either by entering torpor, or by increasing body temperatures at high ambient temperatures. Often, changes in body temperature variability are unpredictable, and happen in response to immediate changes in resource abundance or temperature. In this review we provide an overview of variability and unpredictability found in body temperatures of extant mammals, identify potential blind spots in the current literature, and discuss options for incorporating variability into predictive mechanistic models.
      PubDate: 2016-10-10
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-016-0022-3
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2016)
  • Molecular analysis of the Sydney rock oyster ( Saccostrea glomerata ) CO 2
           stress response

    • Abstract: Background Human activities have led to a substantial increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emission, with further increases predicted. A RNA-Seq study on adult Saccostrea glomerata was carried out to examine the molecular response of this bivalve species to elevated pCO2. Results A total of 1626 S. glomerata transcripts were found to be differentially expressed in oysters exposed to elevated pCO2 when compared to control oysters. These transcripts cover a range of functions, from immunity (e.g. pattern recognition receptors, antimicrobial peptides), to respiration (e.g. antioxidants, mitochondrial respiratory chain proteins) and biomineralisation (e.g. carbonic anhydrase). Overall, elevated levels of CO2 appear to have resulted in a priming of the immune system and in producing countermeasures to potential oxidative stress. CO2 exposure also seems to have resulted in an increase in the expression of proteins involved in protein synthesis, whereas transcripts putatively coding for proteins with a role in cilia and flagella function were down-regulated in response to the stressor. In addition, while some of the transcripts related to biomineralisation were up-regulated (e.g. carbonic anhydrase 2, alkaline phosphatase), a small group was down-regulated (e.g. perlucin). Conclusions This study highlighted the complex molecular response of the bivalve S. glomerata to expected near-future ocean acidification levels. While there are indications that the oyster attempted to adapt to the stressor, gauged by immune system priming and the increase in protein synthesis, some processes such cilia function appear to have been negatively affected by the elevated levels of CO2.
      PubDate: 2016-09-19
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-016-0019-y
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