The Effects of Climate Change on Wildlife and Terrestrial Ecosystems

Taprobanica, April, 2010. Vol. 02, No. 01: pp. 30-47.

Thilina Surasinghe

“Climate change and biodiversity are interconnected, where climate change is reshaping global biodiversity. Unsustainable human activities that increase accumulation of greenhouse gases and hinder the natural balance of atmospheric greenhouse gases aggravate the effects of climate change on biodiversity. Rising seas-levels could inundate coastal habitats and stem the flow of nutrients from the ocean to the terrestrial ecosystems. Altered climate regimes directly affect wildlife, their behavior, migration, foraging, growth and reproduction. Climate change could disturb the dynamic equilibrium of terrestrial ecosystems by affecting ecosystem productivity, biomass production, hydrological balance, and trophic interactions. Further, climate change intensifies natural disasters and shifts in natural disturbance regimes. Such processes impose physiological and environmental stress on terrestrial ecosystems which adversely affect the ecosystem resistance and resilience. Moreover, warming atmosphere causes thermal optima to shift towards high latitudes and high altitudes. Terrestrial biota readily responds to temperature, where both flora and fauna alter distributions toward more favorable climatic conditions. Some climatic parameters that drive life history events, such as photoperiod, are fixed, while others, such as the timing of spring weather, are changing because of greenhouse gasses. The resulting mismatch between fixed and variable drivers of phenology, such as in mating, breeding, migration, hibernation, and post-hibernation activities, will disadvantage some species and benefit others. This will result in new ecosystems. Warming temperature favors biological activities of wildlife pathogens, since high temperature increases breeding rate, survival, hatching success and transmission of wildlife parasites and disease-causing agents. Climate change dissociates species interactions, mutual associations and a multitude of ecosystem functions. Ultimately, climate change predisposes native terrestrial wildlife to extinction and alters the functions and structure of terrestrial ecosystems. Biodiversity provides ecosystem services including the regulation and mitigation of the adverse impacts of climate change. Therefore, biodiversity conservation and terrestrial ecosystem management is critical to address climate change. Robust climate-oriented models with the use of GIS and remote sensing technology are needed to make effective predictions about the spatial and temporal effects of climate change.”

Harvesting Geospatial Knowledge from Online Social Networks

Spatio-Temporal Constraints on Social Networks Workshop, University of California, Santa Barbara, Center for Spatial Studies, 13-14 December 2010

Kristina Lerman

“Social Web has moved knowledge production from the hands of the experts and professionals to the masses. Today online social networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr, allow ordinary people not only to create massive quantities of new data, but also organize it, use it, and share it with others. Unlike earlier information technologies, the Social Web exposes social activity, allowing each person to observe and be influenced by the actions of others in real time. How will such real-time, many-to-many communication change how we discover, use, and manage information? And how will it transform society and how we solve problems? My research addresses these questions by developing methods to harvest social knowledge.”

Spatial Analysis of Metal Concentrations in the Brown Shrimp from the Southern North Sea

Scientia Marina 73(1), March 2009, pp. 105-115

Kristine Jung, Vanessa Stelzenmüller,  and Gerd-Peter ZauKe

“Spatial distributions of Cu, Pb, Cd, Ni and Zn concentrations in brown shrimps Crangon crangon (linnaeus, 1758) collected on a cruise of FrV Walther Herwig III to the southern north sea in January 2004, were investigated on a scale of 18 x 18 km to evaluate the range of spatial autocorrelations for the different variables under study. semivariogram models obtained by geostatistical procedures indicated a distinct increase in variability for most variables with sampling distance. Only if samples are taken at distances above the estimated values for the practical range of the semivariogram can stochastic independence of the data be assumed. these are 6.6 km for Cd, 3.0 km for ni and 5.2 km for Pb. Contour plots revealed a clear coincidence of high values for Cd, ni and Pb with low shrimp mean body wet weight. nevertheless, spatial autocorrelations were rather weak, since classical and geostatistical population estimates for the means and the 95% confidence intervals were in good agreement. the low detected concentrations of Pb in C. crangon were in good agreement with reported data for decapod crustaceans from other regions. For Zn reported values were distinctly below our 95% confidence intervals, while for Cu they were slightly above and for Cd distinctly above concentrations in C. crangon from this study. For Ni no comparative values exist. We conclude that with this integrated biomonitoring approach metal concentrations could be assessed more precisely and relations between biotic and abiotic variables could be evaluated.”