Climate changes poses a problem for many species of animal on our planet. As environments shift, animals will need to follow their preferred climate.
New research points out that the current rate of climate change up until 2080 will actually benefit most mammals that currently live in northern Europe’s Arctic and sub-Arctic land areas, but only if they are actually able to reach these new locations.
“This will be the case only on the condition that the species can reach the areas that take on the climate these animals are adapted to,” said Christer Nilsson, professor of landscape ecology at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University.
Their findings have been published in the journal PLUS ONE, and detail the expected changes in climate locales throughout northern Europe’s Arctic and sub-Arctic land areas.
They modelled the distribution of species and found that the predicted climate changes up to the year 2080 will benefit most mammal species that currently live in these locales, with the exception of some cold-specialist species such as the Arctic fox and lemming.
While these locales will be beneficial to these species, the one drawback is that these species now have to reach those new locales. Christer notes that they believe it to be “highly improbable that all mammals will be able to do so, owing partly to the increased fragmentation of their living environments caused by human beings.”
Instead, these “species will reduce the extent of their distribution instead,” Christer noted.
Additionally, the species mix may start to become a problem. Maybe all the mammals will be able to migrate towards their new locales, but when the predators and hunted are all ending up in the same location, the species diversity is going to be severely challenged.
Source: Umeå University