Animals Can’t Adapt Fast Enough For Climate Change

Animals are also suffering from the consequences of climate change. Although the birds seem to be the least affected, since they modify their migratory routes depending on the temperature, they are not getting adapted quickly enough to fit their reproductive season into the food chain. Climate change is transforming forests and oceans. When the habitat of a large number of species is altered, many of them will not know how to adapt to the change.

The hope of these species is that they modify their habits in order to live with climate change. Some animals may start breeding earlier to take advantage of the cold season or evolve into smaller sizes, since, the smaller the size, the easier it is to control body temperature.

So far, scientists do not know how animals could react to high temperatures, however, the journal Nature Communications has published a research in which about 60 scientists have participated and have contrasted data from 58 previous studies in the field. Their conclusions are that although some species are already adapting to climate change, they are not doing fast enough, according to Arstechnica.

To reach these conclusions, they have been based on the morphology and phenology of the species. Morphology refers to physiological changes, such as resizing; and phenology has to do with migrations, reproduction and other events that alter the life cycle of the species.

The majority of species that have been taken into account in the study have been birds since they are very easy to observe. The study confirmed that 17 species of birds are changing their phenology, laying their eggs ahead of time.

birds

When the heat arrives earlier, the insects begin to reproduce earlier, so the birds must also do so in order to feed their chicks. If the birds begin to breed earlier, the bird predators must also do so, because they must feed their young. A phenological change in a species is a piece of domino that alters the rest of the food chain.

The species that do not reproduce until reaching an age, as elephants do not reproduce until age 20, will have much more difficult to adapt to this phenological change.

Author: Climate

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