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      Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change

      Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          Ecological changes in the phenology and distribution of plants and animals are occurring in all well-studied marine, freshwater, and terrestrial groups. These observed changes are heavily biased in the directions predicted from global warming and have been linked to local or regional climate change through correlations between climate and biological variation, field and laboratory experiments, and physiological research. Range-restricted species, particularly polar and mountaintop species, show severe range contractions and have been the first groups in which entire species have gone extinct due to recent climate change. Tropical coral reefs and amphibians have been most negatively affected. Predator-prey and plant-insect interactions have been disrupted when interacting species have responded differently to warming. Evolutionary adaptations to warmer conditions have occurred in the interiors of species' ranges, and resource use and dispersal have evolved rapidly at expanding range margins. Observed genetic shifts modulate local effects of climate change, but there is little evidence that they will mitigate negative effects at the species level.

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          Increased plant growth in the northern high latitudes from 1981 to 1991

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            Poleward shifts in geographical ranges of butterfly species associated with regional warming

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              Biological consequences of global warming: is the signal already apparent?

              Increasing greenhouse gas concentrations are expected to have significant impacts on the world's climate on a timescale of decades to centuries. Evidence from long-term monitoring studies is now accumulating and suggests that the climate of the past few decades is anomalous compared with past climate variation, and that recent climatic and atmospheric trends are already affecting species physiology, distribution and phenology.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
                Annu. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst.
                Annual Reviews
                1543-592X
                1545-2069
                December 2006
                December 2006
                : 37
                : 1
                : 637-669
                Article
                10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.37.091305.110100
                c12e8e59-a3bc-497f-bf43-3890e19f09eb
                © 2006

                Evolutionary Biology
                Evolutionary Biology

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