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Species richness changes lag behind climate change.

Menéndez, Rosa and González Megías, Adela and Hill, Jane K. and Braschler, Brigitte and Willis, Stephen G. and Collingham, Yvonne and Fox, Richard and Roy, David B. and Thomas, Chris D. (2006) Species richness changes lag behind climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273 (1593). pp. 1465-1470. ISSN 0962-8452

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Abstract

Species-energy theory indicates that recent climate warming should have driven increases in species richness in cool and species-poor parts of the Northern Hemisphere. We confirm that the average species richness of British butterflies has increased since 1970–82, but much more slowly than predicted from changes of climate: on average, only one-third of the predicted increase has taken place. The resultant species assemblages are increasingly dominated by generalist species that were able to respond quickly. The time lag is confirmed by the successful introduction of many species to climatically suitable areas beyond their ranges. Our results imply that it may be decades or centuries before the species richness and composition of biological communities adjusts to the current climate.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: biodiversity ; butterflies ; climate change ; species richness
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 9606
Deposited By: Dr Rosa Menéndez
Deposited On: 17 Jun 2008 10:29
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2014 14:22
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/9606

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